By Maria Suszczyńska,
Manufacturers of homeopathic remedies claim that their products have no side effects. But this is not the whole truth. There are side effects, but these are of a different nature. People resorting habitually to homeopathic remedies suffer spiritual problems.
A few years ago, while attending Holy Mass in Medjugorje, I was struck by the following words during the homily: “People enslaved by an evil spirit often turn to psychiatrists who, knowing no better, prescribe remedies that have no efficacy in such cases. These include homeopathic remedies.” As a pharmacist I have conducted scientific research into new pharmaceutical products, dispensed drugs in several pharmacies, served on drugs advisory and regulatory committees, and worked in the wholesale and retail sector. Needless to say, the priest’s words caused me considerable consternation. After Mass I stayed behind and asked him directly what he meant in speaking about the dangers of homeopathic remedies. He was unable to give me a clear answer. All he could tell me was that he had heard somewhere that certain pharmaceutical companies resorted to magic during the manufacturing process.
Jesus tells us, “if you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8: 31-32). Mary must have heard my cry for the truth, for not long after she invited me to attend a closed retreat where we spent several hours studying the First Commandment, “You shall not have strange gods before me.” And, as the best of all mothers, she led me marvelously to the truth I so earnestly sought.
It was clear to me that Mary had brought together people with a variety of personal problems. But the subject of discussion that aroused the greatest emotions was that of health. The retreatants’ questions led me to an answer, which, in the light of my professional knowledge, strikes me as increasingly more obvious. Since then I have sought to share my insight with anyone who will listen, but all too often my efforts are met with rejection. Over the issue of homeopathy, in particular, I have lost a good many friendships, but, on the other hand, I have formed new, more enduring ones.
Of course it is only natural that we should place a high value on our health. But for many people health has become the overriding value. That is why many devout Catholics, whom the Evil One is no longer able to seduce through the more common sins, fall prey to his elaborately laid snares in precisely this area.
What is homeopathy? These days articles promoting natural healing remedies can be found in just about every glossy magazine. While I have no opinion one way or the other regarding a good many of these, I draw the line at homeopathy. Advertisers tout homeopathy as a perfectly safe method, since it consists in the use of minimal doses of substances, which in larger doses would elicit symptoms like those of the given ailment. The principle is that of similia similibus (curantur) — i.e. like cures like. In this connection the action of a homeopathic drug is often compared to that of a vaccine. And all this to convince as many people as possible of the putative wondrous benefits of homeopathic medicines.
When I studied pharmacology, homeopathy received only passing mention, since pharmaceutical law at the time forbade the sale of homeopathic drugs in Poland. But in recent years homeopathy has become a required area of study in most graduate pharmacological programs. Pharmaceutical companies currently go to great deal of expense offering physicians supplementary training in the field of homeopathy, which is presented as a modern method of treatment. It is the brainchild of German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1753-1843), a man who scorned Christianity and derided Our Savior Himself. He belonged to the Freemasons, a sect condemned by the Church as a tool and the seat of the devil. In 1777 he was received into the Masonic Lodge in Transylvania. He also dabbled in the occult. He admitted himself that the idea of homeopathy arose from a series of illuminations he had received during spiritualist séances. Here then is sufficient reason to reject this method of treatment outright.
Hahnemann’s “medicine” is based on his spiritualization of the human organism and the diseases attacking it. From his most important work entitled Organon der Heilkunst (The Organon of the Healing Art), we learn that diseases constitute a “purely spiritual, dynamic disturbance of the life force.” For this reason, medicines must also act in the spiritual realm. This, in turn, led Hahnemann to elaborate his doctrine of “spiritualized matter.” “There are groups,” Fr. Aleksander Posacki assures us, “who seek homeopathic remedies through spiritualist séances in which mediums seek illumination from the spirit world.” Thus, homeopathy represents a regression from real pharmaceutical science by returning to magical practice, but in the guise of science.
Homeopathic drugs are prepared from solutions (consisting for all practical purposes of pure solvent), whose potency is determined by a strict method of dilution. For example, to obtain a remedy with a decimal potency of 6X, one part of the original soluble substance is mixed and shaken with nine parts of alcohol and water. After this a sample of that diluted solution is serially diluted by a further factor of ten for a total of 6 times. This works out to one part of the original solution mixed into 999,999 parts (106 – 1) of the diluent. In a remedy with a potency of 10X the amount of active ingredient in the diluent is in the order of 1 : 10, 000, 000, 000, which, if we were to express graphically, would be like dissolving a single teaspoon of a substance in a one-hundred-cubic-meter tank of diluent. Even higher dilutions are produced, after which for all practical purposes not even a single particle of the substance is present in the solution. One may well wonder what active ingredient there is present to have any effect at all. What is this if not the practice of magic?
Small wonder then that these remedies are able to slip through the rigorous control process that is required of other medicinal drugs before they can be sold to the public. Pharmaceutical legislation in Poland has recently introduced the term “medicinal product” in place of the older term “medicine.” This seemingly senseless change has relaxed the law to encompass these remedies, which until recently were not recognized as medicines as such. Yet even under the new law, pharmaceutical outlets run by certified pharmacists may not sell psychotropic drugs, glass ampoule drugs, or strong-acting, single-ingredient homeopathic remedies, i.e. those of the highest potency. From this we can conclude that our lawmakers recognize the danger to life and health that these products represent and that for this reason they must be strictly monitored.
Foreign pharmaceuticals are currently staging a veritable invasion of the Polish market. Enormous sums of money go into the promotion of these homeopathic quasi-remedies. And even though many of these products are sold in our pharmacies, they remain unlisted in the Government Index of Medicinal Products Permitted for Sale in the Republic of Poland. The crisis of our health service creates perfect conditions for the promotion of homeopathy in our country, the more so, as not only remedies for the flu and obesity, but also those for every possible ailment warranting a visit to a specialist can be bought over the counter without a prescription. And here too, just as in the case of all healings wrought by forces of unknown origin, only the external symptoms of the disease are relieved (or else transferred to another organ). The patient who experiences relief from the symptoms of one ailment blithely reaches for the next remedy without realizing his increasing addiction to these products. From my observation of people who are addicted to homeopathic remedies I have the distinct impression that illness never leaves their families.
One of the major claims made by purveyors of homeopathic remedies is that their products have no side effects. But this is not the whole truth. There are side effects, but these are of a different nature. People resorting habitually to homeopathic remedies suffer spiritual problems. The most recent studies conducted by physician-priest Fr. Miroslaw Nowosielski indicate that those who resort to homeopathic remedies suffer from a lack of trust in God the Father.
Several exorcists claim to have encountered cases of spiritual enslavement caused by homeopathic drug use. This may not seem credible, but then is this so very different from the case of alcoholism, which begins with an innocent glass of beer, or of drug addiction, which starts with the occasional puff of “weed?” Observation allows us to state with complete certainty that homeopathy, whether efficacious or not, is always accompanied by problems such as spiritual aridity, lack of peace and joy, psychological disorders, depression, a sense of the futility of life, anxiety, discouragement, and resistance to prayer.
I have often held discussions with deeply devout people, who will not on any account part with their vials of homeopathic granules, as though their very lives depended on them. But if we know that these drugs are harmful, then this is reason enough to be rid of them. I am convinced that if for the sake of our Creator we clean our medicine cabinets of these products, God will generously reward us in return.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds believers that: “All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service, and have a supernatural power over others — even if this were for the sake of restoring their health — are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion” (2117). Homeopathy is quite simply dangerous. It attempts to heal with the help of “dynamised” substances, i.e. substances charged with an occult energy. The Holy Scriptures never speak of “life forces” or “energies,” but they do speak of life and power. That power is manifested most fully in the Eucharist. That is where the spring of life gushes and from which we are to draw our spiritual and physical strength. Nor should we forget the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, which Christ established, so that through His Church and the power of the Holy Spirit we may be healed and the suffering, fortified.
Published in February 2012.