Altern Ther Health Med. 1997 Mar; 3(2): 33-8.
The similia principle as a therapeutic strategy: a research program on stimulation of self-defense in disordered mammalian cells.
Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Faculty of Biology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
The similia principle is considered to be the essence of homeopathy. This article describes a research program for study of the similia principle in cultured mammalian cells. This systematic program with its rather simple research model was set up ultimately to contribute to the design of studies of the similia principle with more complex organisms such as humans. With respect to application of the similia principle, the concepts of self-defense and self-recovery are central. At the cellular level, self-defense and recovery largely depend on the availability of proteins with a cell-protective function, most notably, stress or heat shock proteins. To study the similia principle, we use four lines of research to examine the processes of self-defense. First, stimulation of self-defense in disturbed and disordered cells is studied by using low doses of an agent homologous or identical to the disturbing agent. The second line of research deals with the specificity of this stimulation: Is cellular self-defense after exposure to toxicant A also effectively stimulated in an analogous or heterologous way by low doses of other toxicants such as B or C? The third line of research involves the duration of low-dose sensitivity of disordered cells for homologous stimulations, in particular, the desensitization of cells toward these homologous stimulations. The fourth line of research deals with whether-according to the similia principle-the state of desensitization can be overruled by heterologous condition(s) that induce an analogous pattern of protector proteins (ie, a pattern closely resembling the damage-induced pattern) and thus effectively stimulate cellular defense and recovery.