Vijaykar’s ‘Theories’ on ‘Embryonic Layers’ and ‘Hering Laws of Directions of Cure’
David Witko, in his book review published in ‘The Homoeopath’,The Society of Homoeopaths.2 Artizan Road,NorthamptonNN1 4HU,United Kingdom, on ‘Predictive Homeopathy Part One – Theory of Suppression’ by Dr Prafull Vijayakar, said as follows :
“Essentially, and in outline, he charts the development of the human embryo in seven stages, from the cells and mind to the neural plate, neuro-endocrine system, mesoderm, connective tissues, endoderm, and its eventual cornpletion at the ectoderm”
“All of the organs of the body derive from these seven layers of development. To illustrate, the GI tract is formed as part of the endoderm, whilst the kidneys were formed earlier in the mesoderm”
“Vijayakar reasons that as natural embryonic growth progresses from the inside to the outside (even our bones develop this way), disease and ill-health will inevitably move in the reverse direction, i.e. from the outside (in Hering-speak) to the inside. From the ectoderm to the endoderm. From the endoderm to the mesoderm. Deeper and deeper. So if you know which parts of the body are associated with each level you can clearly see the progression of disease”.
This review of David Witko amply illustrates the essence of Vijaykar’s theory of ‘embryonic layers’ relating with hering’s law, on which his whole ‘methods’ and systems’ are built up on.
Which text book of embryology says about the development of human embryo starting from “cells and mind”? Is it vijaykar’s invention? Embryology never deals with ‘mind’, but only ‘cells’.
Obviously, vijaykar wanted to make a theory seemingly scientific utilizing some concepts borrowed from genetics, but same time he wanted to establish that ‘mind’ is primary in the development of embryo. Hence, he added the word ‘mind’ along with ‘cells’ while describing the initial stages of embryonic development.
According to his interpretation of ‘embryology’, development of human embryo ‘starts’ from ‘cells and mind’, then advances “to the neural plate, neuro-endocrine system, mesoderm, connective tissues, endoderm, and its eventual completion at the ectoderm”.
Read from Wikipedia on EMBRYONIC LAYERS:
“The gastrula with its blastopore soon develops three distinct layers of cells (the germ layers) from which all the bodily organs and tissues then develop:
the innermost layer, or endoderm, gives rise to the digestive organs, lungs and bladder; the middle layer, or mesoderm, gives rise to the muscles, skeleton and blood system; the outer layer of cells, or ectoderm, gives rise to the nervous system and skin”
”A germ layer, occasionally referred to as a germinal epithelium, is a group of cells, formed during animal embryogenesis. Germ layers are particularly pronounced in the vertebrates; however, all animals more complex than sponges (eumetazoans and agnotozoans) produce two or three primary tissue layers (sometimes called primary germ layers). Animals with radial symmetry, like cnidarians, produce two germ layers (the ectoderm and endoderm) making them diploblastic. Animals with bilateral symmetry produce a third layer between these two layers (appropriately called the mesoderm) making them triploblastic. Germ layers eventually give rise to all of an animal’s tissues and organs through the process of organogenesis”
”The endoderm is one of the germ layers formed during animal embryogenesis. Cells migrating inward along the archenteron form the inner layer of the gastrula, which develops into the endoderm.
The endoderm consists at first of flattened cells, which subsequently become columnar. It forms the epithelial lining of the whole of the digestive tube except part of the mouth and pharynx and the terminal part of the rectum (which are lined by involutions of the ectoderm). It also forms the lining cells of all the glands which open into the digestive tube, including those of the liver and pancreas; the epithelium of the auditory tube and tympanic cavity; the trachea, bronchi, and air cells of the lungs; the urinary bladder and part of the urethra; and the follicle lining of the thyroid gland and thymus.
The endoderm forms: the stomach, the colon, the liver, the pancreas, the urinary bladder, the lining of the urethra, the epithelial parts of trachea, the lungs, the pharynx, the thyroid, the parathyroid, and the intestines.”
”The mesoderm germ layer forms in the embryos of triploblastic animals. During gastrulation, some of the cells migrating inward contribute to the mesoderm, an additional layer between the endoderm and the ectoderm.
The formation of a mesoderm led to the development of a coelom. Organs formed inside a coelom can freely move, grow, and develop independently of the body wall while fluid cushions and protects them from shocks.
The mesoderm forms: skeletal muscle, the skeleton, the dermis of skin, connective tissue, the urogenital system, the heart, blood (lymph cells), the kidney, and the spleen.”
”The ectoderm is the start of a tissue that covers the body surfaces. It emerges first and forms from the outermost of the germ layers.
The ectoderm forms: the central nervous system, the lens of the eye, cranial and sensory, the ganglia and nerves, pigment cells, head connective tissues, the epidermis, hair, and mammary glands.
Because of its great importance, the neural crest is sometimes considered a fourth germ layer. It is, however, derived from the ectoderm”
“The “ectoderm” is one of the three primary germ cell layers in the very early embryo. The other two layers are the mesoderm (middle layer) and endoderm (inside layer), with the ectoderm as the most exterior layer. It emerges first and forms from the outer layer of germ cells. Generally speaking, the ectoderm differentiates to form the nervous system (spine, peripheral nerves and brain), tooth enamel and the epidermis (the outer part of integument). It also forms the lining of mouth, anus, nostrils, sweat glands, hair and nails”.
”In vertebrates, the ectoderm has three parts: external ectoderm (also known as surface ectoderm), the neural crest, and neural tube. The latter two are known as neuroectoderm.””
Please note this point: The fertilized ovum “develops three distinct layers of cells (the germ layers) from which all the bodily organs and tissues then develop: the innermost layer, or endoderm, gives rise to the digestive organs, lungs and bladder; the middle layer, or mesoderm, gives rise to the muscles, skeleton and blood system; the outer layer of cells, or ectoderm, gives rise to the nervous system and skin”
It is obvious that brain and nervous system develops from ‘ectoderm’ layer. It is the ‘outermost’ layer of embryo, not ‘innermost’. The theory of vijaykar that ‘brain and mind’ belongs to innermost embryonic layer is pure nonsense. They develop from ‘outermost’ embryonic layer called ‘ectoderm’, from which organs such as skin and hair also develops. His theory that embryonic development ‘starts’ with ‘mind’ and ‘ends’ with ‘ectoderm’ has nothing to do with embryology, except that he plays with some terms used in embryology.
David Witko says: “Vijayakar reasons that as natural embryonic growth progresses from the inside to the outside, disease and ill-health will inevitably move in the reverse direction, i.e. from the outside to the inside”.
This is the most fundamental ‘reasoning’ of vijaykar, which he utilizes to build a common ground with ‘hering laws regarding directions of cure’ on which his whole ‘theoretical system is built upon.
We already saw that the concept ‘direction of embryonic development’ on which his ‘reasoning’ is itself totally baseless. Embryonic development does not start from ‘inner’ organs of endoderm and ‘complete’ with ‘outer’ organs of ectoderm’ as vijaykar tries to establish.
Even if the direction of ‘embryonic development’ was from ‘inner layer to outer layer’, what is the logic behind his ‘reasoning’ that ‘disease and ill-health will inevitably move in the reverse direction, i.e. from the outside to the inside”?
Most funny thing regarding this ‘reasoning’ is that it goes against the fundamental concept of disease accepted by ‘classical homeopathy’ that ‘diseases originate in the level of vital force’. Vijaykar says ‘direction od disease is from ‘outermost layer’ to ‘innermost layer’. Should we understand that ‘vital force’ belongs to ‘outermost’ layer of organism according to the interpretation of Vijayakar? Both cannot be right by any way. Either vijaykar should say that diseases originate in ‘vital force’ which is the ‘innermost layer’, or he should say disease start in the ‘outermost’ layer, that is skin and hair.
Since vijaykar has gone totally wrong and self contradicting in his understanding of embryonic layers and ‘direction of embryonic development’, his explanation of ‘hering law’ based on his ‘reasoning’ is pure nonsense.
‘Curative processes happen in a direction just reverse to disease processes’- that is the sum total of Hering’s observations regarding ‘directions of cure’.
The four ‘laws’ now known as ‘herings laws’ are actually the working examples he used to demonstrate this fundamental observation.
It was the later ‘interpreters’ who actually converted these four ‘working’ examples into ‘fundamental laws’ of homeopathic cure. They understood and applied these ‘laws’ in a mechanical way. They taught homeopaths to consider ‘hering laws’ regarding ‘directions of cure’ as one of the ‘fundamental laws’ of homeopathy, similar to ‘similia similibus curentur’. They made homeopaths believe that drug effects that do not agree with these ‘laws’ cannot be considered ‘curative’, and are ‘suppressive’. There are some modern streams of homeopathic practice which rely more upon ‘hering laws’ than ‘similia similibu curentur’ in their methods of therapeutic applications.
Actually, Hahnemann did not seriously work upon those aspects of curative processes which we call ‘directions of cure’, or considered it a decisive factor in homeopathic therapeutics. He was more concerned about ‘misms’ in the management of ‘chronic diseases’, where as Hering did not consider ‘miasms’ at all.
Some modern ‘theoreticians’ have come with new theories by combining ‘hering laws’ and theory of miasms, also mixing up with terms of ‘genetics’ and ‘embryology’ which they propagate as the ‘only’ correct understanding of homeopathy
Following are the four working ‘examples’ hering used to demonstrate his observation that ‘Curative processes happen in a direction just reverse to disease processes’, and later considered as ‘Hering laws of direction of cure’:
In a genuine curative process,
- Symptoms should disappear in the reverse chronological order of their appearance in disease.
- Symptoms should travel from internal parts of body to external parts
- Symptoms should travel from more vital organs to less vital organs.
- Symptoms should travel from ‘upper’ parts of the body to ‘lower’ parts.
According to those who consider these as the ‘fundamental law of cure’, any drug effect that happen not in accordance with above laws are ‘suppressive’, and hence not ‘curative’.
‘Disease processes and curative processes always happen in reverse directions’ is the fundamental observation hering actually tried to establish regarding ‘directions of disease and cure’.
According to hering’s observation, natural disease processes always advances from lower parts of the body to upper parts, from less vital to more vital organs and from external to internal organs. More over, all these disease processes advance in a chronological order.
Logically, Hering’s observations only mean that “all genuine ‘curative processes’ should happen in a direction just reverse to disease processes”.
Over-extending and mechanical application of ‘herings laws’ without understanding their exact premises and scientific meaning may lead to grave errors regarding interpretation of curative processes and drug effects.
This phenomenon could be explained in the light of modern scientific understanding of ‘cascading of pathological molecular inhibitions’ and complex dynamics of ‘bio-molecular feed back mechanisms’.
To understand this explanation, one has to equip himself with at least a working knowledge regarding the concepts of modern biochemistry regarding the bio-molecular inhibitions involved in pathology and therapeutics.
Except those diseases which are purely due to errors in genetic substances, and those diseases which are due to genuine deficiency of building materials of biological molecules, all other diseases are considered to be caused by ‘molecular inhibitions’. Pathogenic molecules of endogenous or exogenous origin bind to some biological molecules in the organism, causing ‘molecular inhibitions’ which lead to pathological derangement in associated biochemical pathways. These pathogenic molecules may be of infectious, environmental, nutritional, metabolic, drug-induced, miasmatic or any other origin. Derangements in biochemical pathways are expressed through diverse groups of subjective and objective symptoms. This is the fundamental biochemistry of pathology.
Molecular inhibitions happening in a biological molecule due to the binding of a pathogenic molecule initiates a complex process of ‘cascading of molecular errors’ and ‘bio-feedback mechanisms’ in the organism. Errors happening in a particular biochemical pathway leads to errors in another pathway which is dependant on the first pathway for regular supply of metabolites, which further lead to errors in another pathway. This ‘cascading of molecular errors’ happens through successive stages, which is expressed through new subjective and objective symptoms. This ‘cascading’ is behind what we call ‘advancing of disease’ into new systems and organs, exhibiting ever new groups of associated symptoms. For an observer, this cascading appears in the form of ‘traveling of disease’ from one system into another. Along with these ‘cascading’ of molecular errors, there happens a series of activation and shutting down of complex ‘bio-molecular feedback’ mechanisms also. The phenomenon of ‘advancing of diseases’ should be studied in this scientific perspective of modern biochemistry.
When a molecular inhibition happens in some biological molecule ‘A’ due to binding of a pathogenic molecule ‘a’, it actually stops or decreases some essential molecular conversions that are essential part of a complex biochemical pathway P. If ‘G’ is the normal ligand of ‘A’, and ‘g’ is the product of biochemical interaction involving ‘A’, the result of this molecular inhibition is that ‘G’ accumulates on one side, and ‘g’ is not available for the next stage of molecular processes. Accumulating ‘P’ may induce a feedback mechanism leading to reduction or stoppage its production itself, or may move to other parts of organism and bind to unwanted molecular targets, initiation a new stream of pathological derangement.
Obviously, ‘traveling’ of disease or ‘advancing’ of disease happens through cascading of molecular errors in various biochemical pathways. Some disease processes may ‘travel’ from ‘external’ to internal organs, some from ‘lower parts’ to upper parts, some from ‘less vital’ parts to ‘more vital’ parts. All these ‘traveling’ is basically decided by the involved biochemical pathways. It would be wrong to generalize these observations in such a way that ‘all diseases travel from exterior to interior, lower parts to higher parts, and less vital to more vital parts’. It is also wrong to generalize in such a way that ‘curative process always travel from interior to exterior, above downwards, and from vital to less vital parts’. This is mechanical understanding and application of hering’s observations.
Actually, curative processes happens in a direction opposite to the direction of disease process. That depends upon the biochemical pathways involved and the exact dynamics of cascading of molecular inhibitions. Its dynamics is very complex, and should not be interpreted and applied in a mechanistic way. When ‘molecular inhibitions’ underlying the disease processes are systematically removed using molecular imprints, the curative process also would take place in the reverse direction of disease processes.
To sum up, Hering’s observations regarding a ‘directions of disease and cure’ is a valuable one, but it should be studied in the light of modern biochemistry.
‘Curative processes happen in a direction just reverse to disease processes”- that is the sum total of Hering’s observations regarding ‘directions of cure’.
Vijaykar totally failed to comprehend the biochemistry involved in homeopathic therapeutics, and hence could not interpret the ‘directions of disease and cure’ in relation with the interactions of biochemical pathways. In the absence of essential scientific knowledge, he only tried to make his theories appear ‘scientific’ by utilizing some terms from embryology and genetics. Playing with scientific vocabulary, he was successful in marketing his theories well among the ‘science-starved’ sections of homeopathic community.
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