The Wagnells Memorial Library in Lithopolis, OH was the location of a presentation by Ellen Bench on March 27, 2014. The expected attendance was about 25. There appeared to be about 200 people. Most of the people there were familiar with Bench or with Teresa M. Quinlin, MD of Winchester Medical and Health Clinic in Canal Winchester, OH.
Through the auspices of Wagnell grants to the community for information about alternative medicine, and Dr. Quinlin’s facilitation of Bench’s visit, Bench made the trip from Montana to tell her story of how she became involved with homeopathy and the uses for this approach.
When first described, homeopathy appears to be somewhere between voodoo and alchemy. After listening to Bench’s lecture and doing some additional research, homeopathy is an accepted alternative medical approach that has been used on a global basis. The World Health Organization has recommended that homeopathy be integrated with other medical approaches on a global basis.
Bench gave some history of the development of homeopathy by German physician Samuel Hahnermann MD in the late 18th century in Germany. Bench defined the basic laws established by Dr. Hahnermann as follows:
- Law of similars (like cures like). This was first postulated by Hippocrates about 400 B.C.
- Law of infinitesimal dose (greater remedy provides greater potency).
- Illnesses are specific to each individual (holistic model approach)
The law of similars has some root in modern medicine, with snake venom used as an antidote to snake bites. Some vaccines use weakened organisms to trigger immune responses that have the body develop antibodies that prevent the full infection, e.g. smallpox and early versions of polio vaccine.
The law of infinitesimal dose came from Dr. Hahnermann’s experience in first treating himself using cinchona, a tree bark found in Peru. When he took a lot of the cinchona, he developed common symptoms of malaria. When he stopped taking cinchona, the symptoms stopped. He reasoned that a small amount of cinchona would trigger the body’s immune system to react to the cinchona and eliminate the symptoms of malaria.
Dr. Hahnermann diluted the remedies to find the right formula of the remedy that would eliminate the cause of the symptoms with the fewest side effects. Dilutions that were in the parts per million worked to resolve illnesses. This may sound fanciful, but recent studies have shown that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, can trigger estrogen-initiated breast cancer genes in the parts per billion concentration. While not intuitively satisfying, it appears that the law of infinitesimal dosage is proven.
The holistic model approach that has each patient treated on an individual basis does not lend itself to traditional approach today that has a particular drug given to anyone with a given symptom without looking for root causes. Part of the treatment using homeopathy is a detailed interview of the patient’s attitudes, symptoms, overall health and issues of stress.
Bench became involved in homeopathy after having her husband treated for shingles. She left a successful business to devote herself to learning homeopathic principles and applying them to patients. She used homeopathic remedies to solve fertility issues that resulted in her having two daughters. Bench is a true believer in homeopathy, and she is not alone.
Homeopathic hospitals are part of the UK health system, and French pharmacists are required to carry homeopathic remedies for common illnesses like colds. The royal family in England has been using homeopathy for four generations. Queen Elizabeth’s physician uses homeopathy to treat her majesty.
Bench talked of the diluted components in the remedies carrying messages to the body to trigger responses to reestablish the natural order of a healthy body. While this initially sounds like mysticism, there is now scientific research that backs up this theory. Detectable electromagnetic signals are found in the highly diluted remedy components that are thought to operate at the cellular level of the patient.
Like any disease, homeopathy has its greatest effect when the remedy is applied early in the disease process. Many people turn to alternative medicine after traditional medicine has failed. At that point, the ability of the remedy to work with the body’s immune system is drastically compromised. This is especially true with cancer patients that have had their immune system compromised due to chemotherapy and radiation.
There are documented examples of the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies in treating major epidemics. In 1849, a cholera outbreak occurred in Cincinnati. Those treated with traditional medicine had a fatality rate of over 40%. Those treated with homeopathic remedies had a fatality rate of 3%. The British have run double blind studies on homeopathy and published their results in The Lancet and the British Journal of Pharmacology that shows that homeopathy does provide document results for curing many different diseases.
There is a lot of suspicion that the US medical industry has been compromised by the pharmaceutical companies and the traditional medical schools. The research departments of medical schools are the proving grounds for new developments, and huge amounts of funding are provided by the drug trials. The side effects of these new drugs are heard in the middle of every commercial for some new cure. The phrase “ask your doctor about…” is an indication of the close cooperation of the drug companies and the medical practitioners.
The estimated 2012 revenues for the top 12 pharmaceutical companies in the US totaled $1.326 trillion dollars according to Fortune magazine. Their profits were estimated at 49.1 billion dollars. The estimated revenues of homeopathy remedies in the US in 2012 were $353 million dollars. Homeopathy is projected to grow, but they are starting with a huge deficit in market share.
Ellen Bench will return to the Columbus area in April, 2104 to provide private homeopathic counseling and sets of individual remedies that can be used to treat a variety of illnesses. If she offers other introductory or advanced lectures, she is a knowledgeable and entertaining speaker that can provide insight into the homeopathic approach.