The Unbelievability of Homeopathy
I totally understand people who are skeptical of homeopathy - because I used to be one of them. Homeopathic remedies are made by a long process of sequential dilution and agitation and in any remedies higher than a 12 CH there are actually no molecules of the original substance left. I could not get my head around that at the beginning and science has yet to discover an agreed-upon mechanism to understand how homeopathic remedies work in the body. This is the entertaining story of how I was converted from skeptic to professional homeopath 28 years ago.
I woke up at 2 am with a golf ball stuck down my throat - and this one was on fire! Wait – that couldn’t be right – I wasn't even a golfer. Was I dreaming? Better check in the mirror – open wide!
Oh my goodness, my left tonsil was hugely swollen, almost obstructing my throat. And the pain – excruciating! And radiating to the left ear… the left
side… something started to kick in… my memory. At least I still had one back then at the tender age of 27 and in my third year of naturopathic college. But what did the professor say again about left-sided sore throats?
Naturopathic college, not exactly what I had expected either. Everything had been just fine in first and second year where we learned anatomy, physiology, nutritional biochemistry and other things ending with ‘y’. All very scientific and right up my little alley.
Homeopathy - Diluted or Deluded?
But now we were in our third year and a few weeks into our first course on
homeopathy, something else that ended with a ‘y’ but made me question ‘why’ I
was in this college.
We learned that homeopathic remedies were prepared by lengthy process of dilution and shaking of various natural substances, mostly plant extracts, but also minerals and some animal substances, until basically all of the original substance was diluted right out of them.
It did not make any sense to me at all.
In fact, I was afraid that the school was going to turn us into quacks and thought of
quitting. I felt truly despondent as I had just invested five years of my life into becoming an ND, including three years of pre-med at U of T. Not to mention a lot of money. What was I going to do now?
But here I was in agony in the middle of the night still trying to recall the professor's lecture on tonsillitis.
Oh no, he spoke about a remedy made from snake venom! That did not help my confidence in homeopathy at all, as you can imagine. A quack selling snake oil - was that what they were going to turn us into? Was this a joke? Or some conspiracy?
And it was not just any old snake, nooo, but the famous and dreaded Bushmaster snake from South America, a big brute of a beast with a nasty habit of hunting down it's prey, including the odd human.
But my throat was killing me and it seemed to be getting worse by the minute. I could barely swallow.
Coincidentally, just the other day a rep from a homeopathic company had come by and given all 12 of us - it was a small class - a little homeopathic first aid kit. I had taken it home and dejectedly tossed it under my desk.
Oh well, at least I knew the snake venom had been completely diluted away in the remedies, so at least it would not harm me if I tried it.
Now I fished around for the first-aid kit under my desk. And there it was, a little yellow plastic tube with the Latin name of the nasty snake, Lachesis mutus, in a 30 CH potency written on it.
I popped a couple of pellets into my mouth and lied back down in bed, hoping I
wouldn’t choke to death on my own tonsil. I was truly desperate. The emergency room was my next choice.
A few minutes later I felt my tongue becoming forked. My body elongated and I slithered down the stairs into the kitchen where my roommate kept his cute, white pet rabbit. I sensed it's heat and venom was accumulating in my fangs as I got ready to strike my prey.
What really happened was that three minutes later I could swallow again! Another ten minutes and the pain was almost gone. I went back to sleep. In the morning that tonsil was barely swollen at all and I knew that something very interesting had just happened.
And that I was going to thoroughly investigate it.
Ever since that day I have devoted myself to homeopathy as a specialty, with all
its strangeness and peculiarity and it’s incredibly profound effects on living
25 years and tens of thousands of prescriptions later I am still amazed at
the powerful effects of these simple little remedies made from nature.
And, by the way, I never had another case of tonsillitis, nor do I remember ever having had an attack like this before that fateful night.
I think the universe tried to give me hint that night, a hint not to dismiss something
just because I did not understand it right away or it did not fit into my current
To have my one and only attack ever of severe left-sided tonsillitis immediately after learning about Lachesis mutus and on the verge of dropping out of school because of homeopathy seemed more than just a coincidence.
But that's how life is sometimes, isn't it?
A magical, mystery tour!
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, Naturopathic Pediatrics
209-1061 Fort Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 5A1
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-6 and alternating Saturdays from 10-4