Homotoxicology is a theory of medicine that views the symptoms of a particular disease as evidence of the body's defense mechanisms at work against toxic and harmful substances. German medical doctor and homoeopath Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg developed the theory referred to the toxins as homotoxins. He used natural homoeopathic treatments to help the body restore itself to a healthy condition of biochemical balance.
The Six Phases
According to the theory, there are six stages or phases to the ability of the body to cope with toxins. These are represented in the Six-Phase Table:
- Excretion: In this phase, the body is able to cope adequately with the toxins through excretion. Examples of this phase are runny nose and diarrhoea.
- Inflammation: A fever is the best example of the inflammation phase. A fever is the natural attempt of the body to neutralise toxins that it cannot adequately removed by excretion.
- Deposition: The body stores the toxins if they still cannot be removed. Usually asymptomatic, when the proper treatment is administered, however, one of the first signs that it is working is symptoms of disease. This is said to be because these toxins are being eliminated out of the body.
- Impregnation: After a period of time, the toxins build up and the body becomes “impregnated” by this. They become part of the connective tissue itself and may cause tissue damage. During this stage, severe symptoms can occur.
- Degeneration: During this phase, organ degeneration occurs as the built up toxins start destroying large cellular groups within the organs.
- Differentiation: At this stage, toxic cellular groups start to “differentiate” or distinguish themselves as distinct cell forms. At the extreme end of this phase, Malignancies such as tumours start to form.
Homotoxicology applies antihomotoxic formulations that stimulate the detoxifying functions of the body. Depending on the phase of the disease and other pertinent factors, conventional medical treatments may be advised to the patient. In several cases, both conventional and homoeopathic treatments will be indicated.
In addition, homotoxicology emphasises the importance of having a healthy diet and lifestyle. In particular, it stresses the damage that can be done by ingesting foods that have been treated with pesticides and living in a polluted environment. Practitioners prescribe remedies that include natural substances designed to aid the body in flushing out built up chemical toxins.
Homotoxicology and Homoeopathy
Over 200 years ago, German chemist and physician Samuel Hahnemann developed homoeopathy as a natural form of medicine based on the principle of the Law of Similarities which states that “likes cure likes.” To put it simply, when a substance that creates symptoms of a disease in a healthy person is properly given to a sick person, it can help stimulate the natural defence mechanisms of the body. An example for this is coffee, which under the right circumstances and when administered in the right amount of dosages, has been found to be helpful in the treatment of insomnia. Homoeopathy is used to fight existing health conditions and help in strengthening the immune system. Homoeopathy is commonly used to treat the following conditions:
- Colds and flus
- Food poisoning
- Digestive problems
- Respiratory infections
Homotoxicology is developed as a modern extension of homoeopathy partly in response to the negative effects of the Industrial Revolution, which heavily imposed chemical pollutants on the human body. Both homotoxicology and homoeopathy stress the importance of stimulating the natural ability of the body in fighting off diseases and the use of naturally derived formulas to help the healing process.