Research Scientist

HOMEOPATHY Part 1 of the Integrative Health Series from The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center ™

Homeopathy, Sweet Homeopathy
This article is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat
any illness or disease. As always, please consult your healthcare provider with any
health-related questions or concerns you may have.

By Pierre Fontaine, RSHom CCH
Twenty years ago I was studying nutrition, diet and supplementation. I was taking a lot of supplements thinking this was the best I could do to stay healthy. At the time, I had more supplements in the apartment than you could find at the Vitamin Shoppe. Back then, few people were taking even Vitamin C, never mind single amino acid and trace minerals or enzymes. I was also taking shark cartilage pills every day because “sharks don’t get cancer!”



Then one day I watched a program on the dwindling shark population caused by over fishing. The images were graphic, with fishermen slashing the fins and leaving the animals to die off in the water. I was deeply touched and started to think about the horrible consequences. And a thought crossed my mind about the sago palm Vitamin C I was taking daily. Could I be part of a deforestation of sago palm? I didn’t know the answer to that but a seed was planted in my mind about taking supplements. Shortly after that, I heard about spirulina grown in plastic pools in Mexico City. I also thought, here we are, at most a few million people in the U.S. and a handful in Europe taking supplements to stay healthy and the effects are not sustainable! What about all this processing and the plastic bottles? To me, the “health” movement was part of “big business” and needed improvement.
Then one summer, medical waste washed up on the beaches of Long Island.  I was thinking of pursuing a deeper medical career but was still looking for the right profession. My whole childhood had been spent in hospitals due to my father’s endless string of chronic illnesses. I was not warm to the idea of med school. Conflicting thoughts could not be swept under the rug. At the same time, I was spending so much money on all these supplements and wondered how could the less fortunate in the U.S., Africa or South America afford this? The inequality of healthcare in Western medicine was foremost in my mind.

I listened to Dr. Atkin and many other doctors on the radio religiously but the information, though interesting, seemed to miss a crucial point. They all had a program for health. Does everybody need to be on a program? In the village I come from people live into their 90’s and they are not on a program. Many gurus say take this many milligrams of this and this many milligrams of that but everyone seemed to miss something. The nutritional colleges I was looking into had a very limited approach to diet, advocating consumption of less animal fat and not addressing the problems associated with white sugar. I didn’t think I could make a profession out of this issue, but what about the effects of taking supplements and the wide discrepancies between so many “experts?” My gut feeling was that there must be a better path to healing.

Homeopathy as the Ultimate “Green” Alternative

Using only natural substances, each homeopathic remedy is the end product of an efficient refinement process generating virtually zero waste. Only a minute amount of the original source is needed to make a remedy. The pills themselves come in a small bottle, thereby minimizing waste. From an economic point of view, a homeopathic remedy is extremely affordable. When homeopathy is practiced optimally, only one individual remedy is needed for each person.  The initial client consultation is quite long, often three hours, and therefore has a cost involved. However, an enormous amount of money is actually saved as it is an extremely effective approach to health care.
A quick example is when a young woman came to see me with a condition called chronic eosinophilic pneumonia, causing a chronic cough which she had for over six months. She has been hospitalized once for a week and admitted for emergency care several times. She was given steroids and many other medications, including antibiotics at first because of a misdiagnosis. The first day she took the homeopathic remedy, she felt better and for the first time in months, slept well.
Homeopathy is one of the most complete systems to restore health or reverse illness in a holistic way. Homeopathy is fast acting, without harmful side effects. All of these facts constitute a perfect fit with today’s awakening toward a natural, sustainable system of health. Many are already on this path, looking toward more sustainable ways of farming, cleaning, and transportation.
I have to admit that it never made sense to me to exercise and eat organic food, then when sick take something that is counter to holistic well-being. Homeopathy constitutes a return to the logic of nature, working with and probing into its infinite depth. This is why the logic and effectiveness of homeopathy are remarkable to the wide majority of people who come across it, and more education is needed to reach those that have yet to discover this modality.
The Origin of Homeopathy:
The Discovery of “Like Cures Like”

In 1790, Samuel Hahnemann stumbled upon the principle he later called homeopathy. While translating a medical book on quinine, he noted that the poisoning symptoms of quinine, such as intermittence of symptoms and deep chills followed by heat and sweat, are very similar to the symptoms of malaria. Hahnemann reasoned that the effectiveness of quinine in the treatment of malaria laid not in its bitterness as was thought at the time, but rather in its properties to mimic malaria.
Following this illuminating moment, he took by way of experiment enough quinine to produce symptoms in himself. He indeed developed, in a controlled manner, symptoms very similar to malaria. He recorded in detail every symptom he was experiencing. Over the next few years, he went on to try other substances on himself and friends, each time judiciously recording the symptoms.
After 10 years of testing different substances, he started to see patients again, giving them substances according to the principle of similarity: a substance that can produce a certain set of symptoms in a healthy individual can also cure someone suffering from the same set of symptoms. It worked! The principle is simply “like cures like.” He then coined the term “homeopathy.” As word spread about the effectiveness of homeopathy, other doctors followed suit and confirmed the results.
For the rest of his life, Hahnemann added substances to his repertoire of remedies and prescribed accordingly. To this day, albeit in a far more refined manner, we continue to add to our arsenal of homeopathy remedies, counting several thousand and growing.
Though the discovery of “like cures like” is significant, Hippocrates mentioned it 2000 years earlier. What is far more significant about Hahnemann is that he not only “rediscovered” the principle of similarity, but he also refined it so significantly that to this day we still practice according to the basic tenets Hahnemann originally laid out. However, homeopathy is now practiced in a broader way and with a much larger number of effective remedies. This is not a flaw but rather a testament to the immovable truth that homeopathy rests upon.
More on the Principle of “Like Cures Like”:
Understanding the Vital Force

After a few years, Hahnemann and his many followers needed a more reliable system to do “provings,” the term used to determine the proper remedy to use for each specific condition.  Through decades of work, Hahnemann realized that the provings revealed greater differentiating symptoms when the original substances had gone through a strict regiment of serial dilutions and succession (a process of vigorous shaking). This process is called potentization, which has received much attention from the 2008 Nobel Prize winner in medicine, Pr Luc Montagnier.
With more differentiation, every remedy began to exhibit unique results. This led Hahnemann to realize that natural substances such as plants, and minerals, prepared according to these principles of potentization far beyond the original material substance, were no longer acting biochemically but rather upon each person’s distinct dynamism. This is called the “Vital Force,” the very dynamic that keeps us alive. He wrote about it the following way: “When a person falls ill, it is initially only this life force, everywhere present in the organism… mistuned to such abnormality…that it imparts to the organism the adverse sensations and induces in the organism the irregular functions that we call disease.” In other words, illness starts on the dynamic level - in the Vital Force – and creates a state of illness (set of symptoms) within a person that is not confined to any one part of the body. Acting upon the Vital Force, a remedy is a resonating force on the entire illness.


Pierre Fontaine, RSHom (NA), CCH, has been a professional Homeopath in New York City since 1994. He is a registered member of the North American Society of Homeopaths "RSHom (NA)" and is certified by the Council on Homeopathy Certification "CCH." His leadership qualities were instrumental in the birth of the New York State Homeopathic Association of which he was the Vice President. Pierre is an avid advocate in support of a National Health Freedom Bill protecting the right of choice for all citizens of the United states. As such he has testified before the White House Commission on Alternative Medicine Policy. Pierre graduated after the four year program from the School of Homeopathy; Devon, England. Half of it was pursued in New York, the other half in England. "I wanted to have the best education I could get. This is why I did not hesitate to travel to England. It was an enormous effort but it was the right thing to do because England has a much more sophisticated educational system in the field." Consequently, his dedication to homeopathy and to people is obvious.   pierre_fontaine_homeopathy

Winter 2009 Newsletter

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