To explain how homeopathy works, it is convenient to start with the isopathy phenomenon i.e. small dose of a drug curing the symptoms produced by the same drug consumed in large doses.
Let us look at one simple example to see if isopathy phenomenon could at all be plausible-
If we give excess food (more than the usual requirement) to a healthy person, he/she develops a disease called obesity. This can be cured by just giving less food (less than the usual requirement). Also the lesser the food he/she is allowed, the more effective it becomes in reversing the obesity.
Now let’s take the case of arsenic poisoning. We can’t treat this condition by giving small doses of arsenic, because the body’s requirement for arsenic is almost zero, any amount of arsenic could only add to the toxicity.
The best treatment in this condition would be to give ‘negative arsenic’ or ‘minus arsenic’ or a solution that has arsenic ‘deficit’ in it!
This negative solution of arsenic will ‘adsorb’ or ‘annihilate’ the arsenic in the body and hence will be able to cure the condition. Also the more is its negativity (or dilution); the more will be its efficacy.
Homeopathy is claimed to be very effective in treating the chronic heavy metal poisoning (lead, arsenic, aluminium, silver etc) as the homeopathic preparations of these heavy metals effectively chelate the corresponding metal from the body.
Some intelligent homeopaths practice what is called tautopathy in which they use highly diluted allopathic drugs (e.g. anticancer drugs) to minimize the toxicity and side effects of the corresponding drug.
So if we can prove the existence of negative substance state or negative solution, then isopathy phenomenon can be easily explained.
The situation of ‘Similars’
Homeopathy which is said to be based on the priciniple of similars, also works in the same way as isopathy but with less exactness.
1. Malaria (an infectious illness caused by the plasmodium species) is treated by cinchona (a plant extract). It is likely that both cinchona and malaria share some common ‘effector toxin’ resulting in a similar illness. Homeopathic cinchona by neutralizing this common effector toxin, cures malaria
2. Sometimes homeopaths seem to treat a presumed heavy metal poisoning using the homeopathic preparation of a different heavy metal- i.e. Arsenic poisoning treated by homeopathic lead/ plumbum etc. Also homeopathic sulphur is said to be effective for any heavy metal poisoning.
Heavy metals probably produce a variety of nonspecific symptoms in healthy persons with a lot of overlap of their drug pictures. So a ‘mismatch’ is possible while matching leading to selection of a slightly different remedy. But the remedy still seems to work despite the mismatch- another homeopathic paradox.
Possible explanations for this paradox are-
All these heavy metals may produce their symptoms via a common effector mechanism or toxin, so a homeopathic preparation of one metal not only neutralizes its own toxicity but also of other heavy metals.
A negative substance of one metal not only ‘annihilates’ itself but probably also annihilates other metals because of their structural similarity
3. Homeopathic caffeine is used to treat insomnia associated with excessive caffeine intake (isopathy). The same thing is also said be effective for insomnia unrelated to excess intake of caffeine (homeopathy)
In insomnia patients, probably there is accumulation of caffeine like substances produced de novo in the brain. Homeopathic caffeine by neutralizing or annihilating the de novo caffeine, can be helpful in insomnia unrelated to exogenous caffeine intake.