Pharmacologist Madeleine Ennis Admits; “Homeopathy, There is Something Going on There”

Posted on June 16, 2009. Filed under: Madeleine Ennis and Homeopathy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I just LOVE this article published in NewScientist. Maybe one day Gimpy et al will admit there is something to homeopathy as well! After all, hope does spring eternal!!

MADELEINE Ennis, a pharmacologist at Queen’s University, Belfast, was the scourge of homeopathy. She railed against its claims that a chemical remedy could be diluted to the point where a sample was unlikely to contain a single molecule of anything but water, and yet still have a healing effect. Until, that is, she set out to prove once and for all that homeopathy was bunkum.

In her most recent paper, Ennis describes how her team looked at the effects of ultra-dilute solutions of histamine on human white blood cells involved in inflammation. These “basophils” release histamine when the cells are under attack. Once released, the histamine stops them releasing any more. The study, replicated in four different labs, found that homeopathic solutions – so dilute that they probably didn’t contain a single histamine molecule – worked just like histamine. Ennis might not be happy with the homeopaths’ claims, but she admits that an effect cannot be ruled out.

So how could it happen? Homeopaths prepare their remedies by dissolving things like charcoal, deadly nightshade or spider venom in ethanol, and then diluting this “mother tincture” in water again and again. No matter what the level of dilution, homeopaths claim, the original remedy leaves some kind of imprint on the water molecules. Thus, however dilute the solution becomes, it is still imbued with the properties of the remedy.

You can understand why Ennis remains sceptical. And it remains true that no homeopathic remedy has ever been shown to work in a large randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial. But the Belfast study (Inflammation Research, vol 53, p 181) suggests that something is going on. “We are,” Ennis says in her paper, “unable to explain our findings and are reporting them to encourage others to investigate this phenomenon.” If the results turn out to be real, she says, the implications are profound: we may have to rewrite physics and chemistry.

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17 Responses to “Pharmacologist Madeleine Ennis Admits; “Homeopathy, There is Something Going on There””

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Here is a fairly large trial

Greetings all,
A historical and inspiring event took place 10-12 December 2008 in Havana Cuba that I had the honour to attend. There, the Carlos J Finlay Institute under the guidance of its director-general, Dra. Conception Campa Huergo and Dr. Gustavo Bravo and others hosted NOSODES 2008, an International Meeting on Homeoprophilaxis, Homeopathic Immunization and Nosodes against Epidemics.

Homeopaths from Cuba, S America, Canada, Australia, UK, and Kenya (yours truly) made presentations on the wide varieties of successful disease prevention using homeopathy and more specifically, nosodes.

Each presentation was more amazing than the previous. All were very remarkable and notable in the field of research and science. Some of the topics included Childhood Disease Prevention, Homeopathic prophylaxis as an aspect of gov’tal programs, Nosodes Genus Epidemicus and Compexes, Homeoprophylaxis on Agronomy, Homeoprophylaxis on Veternary, Homeoprophylaxis in TB, Homeoprophylaxis in Chagas disease, Homeoprophylaxis in hepatitis, Homeoprophylaxis in Malaria (yours truly, again) and the list of presentations goes on.

Some of the speakers (known to our English speaking homeopaths) were Martine Jourde, Issac Golden (Aus), Kate Birch (Canada), Tony Pincus (Ainsworth, UK), Leo Van Gelder (NL) & Lindsay Hickey (UK). A number of Cuban & SAmerican homeopaths also presented their work. All have done unique work in the field of homeopathy & epidemic disease.

But none of these remarkable speakers, each presenting their amazing work in disease prevention and use of nosodes could not hold a candle to the historical accomplishment of the Cubans in their presentation of controlling the local endemic-epidemic disease of Leptospirosis.

Now, the Finlay Institute is primarily the Cuban research institute that produces allopathic vaccinations for their country. Since Cuba is outcasted by the USA government, they have come to depend on themselves for the making of medicines, health care programs, etc. And since the Cuba is not under the yoke of the international pharmaceutical juggernaut, they are not held back from adopting homeopathy and other alternative medicines wholeheartedly into their national health programmes. The Finlay director-general herself is very pro-homeopathy (not to mention, besides, a macrobiotic vegetarian).

To put it simply, what they presented is this:

Cuba goes through a yearly cycle of Leptospirosis epidemic, especially after the hurricanes flood the countryside and water pollution reaches its height. (Leptospirosis: infectious disease caused by the spirochaete Leptospira transmitted to humans from rats, giving jaundice and kidney damage. Can cause death)

Annually the population is exposed to the disease, most especially after hurricanes.

Until Aug 2007, the Finlay Institute (a part of the Ministry of Public Health, Cuba) has been distributing its own allopathic Lepto vaccination. August is the height of the hurricane season. Annually, many are left homeless, flooded out and under the stress of disaster situation. There is a sharp rise in the lepto epidemic.

The usual expectacy of infection even with allopathic vaccination would have been around a few thousands, with some deaths included.

Part of the reason for this is that the high cost of vaccination prevents putting but the most at-risk populations (ie children, pregnant women, elderly) on vaccination. The cost of such limited vaccination is about US$3,000.000.

But in Aug 2007, Finlay put approximately 5,000,000 people (yes! 5 million!) in 2 provinces on homoepathic nosode prophylaxis at the cost of about only US$ 200,000.

That figure represents the entire population of the 2 provinces. The prophylaxis consisted of 2 single doses about 2 weeks apart. Included in the dose was the Lepto nosode + some Bach flower remedies to address the mental distress of the disaster situation.

How very amazing it was to watch this presentation being made. Up to the point, the presenters were showing us graph after graph of the usual rise of the epidemic, year after year, even with the use of allopathic vaccination. Each year the graphs would edge higher and higher towards the year-end, reaching up to the thousands of infected.

But this time, within 2 weeks after Aug 2007, the rising lines literally dropped off the chart to ZERO-Ten infections only! Yes. Near-zero infections, zero deaths from leptospirosis after Aug 2007. And in 2008, no deaths, infections less than 10 a month.

HISTORY MADE for Homeopathy
This mass treatment of 5 million people with homeopathy, I don’t believe, has been done anywhere else in the world, not even in India, where homeopathy enjoys the shelter of the government.

And the awesome results of going from hundreds of infected to near-zero in the period of a few weeks, also is historical. My jaw dropped as I watched the graphs demonstrate their success.

The Cuban team readily admits that they have not invented anything new as far as homeopathic philosophy or application. They have simply followed what we homeopaths know to work. And since they have no pharmaceutical multi-nationals to stop them, they were able to do it on a massive scale unknown in the history of homeopathy.

What is remarkable is their application to such a large population, and its dramatic success, with full scientific verification. The results are incontrovertible and undeniable even by the most rabid of anti-homeopaths.
I’m eagerly awaiting their formal publication in the medical journals of this remarkable event. I’m sure once these medical results are published, homeopaths will have more “weapons” in our “arsenal” to fight for our existence and for the adoption of homeopathy in national health programmes in industrialized and developing countries.
As a word or two about Dra Heurgo, Dr. Bravo and the rest of the Cuban team. Truly remarkable people. “Concita” as Dra Heurgo is lovingly known by the people of Cuba, is well known and loved as a woman who has done remarkable work to improve the health of the population. I found her to be a remarkable person – untiring, passionate about her work and compassionate in her motivation to serve her fellow human beings.


Ennis’ research isn’t recent – it was published in 2004.

Do you suggest that only the very recent things are good, and older things become immediately outdated and should be discarded? Then all the laws of physics and chemistry should be considered obsolete, as they all were discovered long before 2004…

The reply “Here is a fairly large trial” about the prevention of epidemic leptospirosis in Cuba is just rubbish. How can you establish the value of a medicine without a rigorous multiple-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment trial. Anything less is just nonsense.

Freddie……..speaking of rubbish and nonsense, it is time to stop with the same old rebuttal, it is very tiresome. Instead of puking out the same old comment, why don’t you actually take time to study the trial and open your mind to the possibility that there is another way to determine the efficacy of a medicine?

And Freddie How can you establish the value of a vaccine without a rigorous multiple-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment trial. Anything less is just nonsense.

“One of the researchers, Professor Madeleine Ennis, an asthma researcher at Queen’s University of Belfast, remains skeptical of homeopathy. She noted that “the research does not prove that homoeopathy works.” They didn’t test homeopathy; they tested high dilutions of histamine. Ms Ennis was invited to replicate her research by the Horizon program that tested the procedure, she declined the invitation.
“Plus, an allegedly positive replication of this study was reported. This new experiment was performed in 4 European laboratories, and a member of Benveniste´s original team took part in them. This study, however, was only published as a short, non-peer reviewed article, and, apparently, had methodological flaws that could compromise its results. For instance, the authors reported that ¼ of their data had to be discarded, although no clear justification was presented for that. Also, the statistical techniques used appear inadequate.” – R Almeida – Rev Hosp Clin Fac Med S. Paulo, 2003 –”
Its important for you to understand that a member of Benveniste’s team took part in all apparently marginally positive results, when he was removed from the protocol, the results where negative,(Nature magazine tried to replicate Benveniste’s work and failed, finding only positive results when this particular individual took part.) When dealing with any dilutions, procedures have to be flawless in order to avoid contamination. This individual contaminated the results.
Since 2005, this work has not been replicated.
Oh another thing, I thought Homeopathy only worked after consultation and individualization of the remedy.

Interesting that Malenko starts by quoting articles and disintegrates into plain old gossip. It is the usual skeptic side step and blatant prejudice. The gossip is that it was Benveniste’s side kick behind it all. Ya, ya…blah, blah blah.

Benveniste’s original study was a very complicated lab experiment and Ennis only did a small part of it.

And with the accusations of fakery, plain hatred and then negative gossip and perception control by the Malenkos and the neo-con PR firm that runs Sense about Science why would anyone want to replicate a homeopathy experiment that shows homeopathy works?

This is especially with the possibility of having to work with the World Association of Magicians and Skeptics wanting to be with you in the lab messing around with it.

Oh dear, touched a nerve there. RSide, can you tell me if the research has ever been replicated. I think thats a no. The research is void because of the contamination of the dilutions.
It happens in science, no conspiracy. Simply rerun the trial correctly, obtain the same results and we have something to look at. Instead we have 200 years plus and still no positive research, simply naive conspiracy theories.

According to the article the study has been replicated. So where do you get your information (bullshit) from.

And no nerve was touched- but it is time for good people to stand up to your spreading of lies and gossip and bullshit in the name of “science”. It all seems to sound good and reasonable some of the time but when you get down to it you are really just another drug pusher disappointed that there are potential customers who haven’t taken the bait.

Take note of the new post by goodscience and CAM paradigm.

Hey Rside…..great point about “pushing” drugs in light of the death of Michael Jackson most recently and Anna Nicole Smith and Heath Ledger. I am sure there are many, many more stories like these celebrities that are not reported for obvious reasons. As much as the allopathic community tries to defame homeopathy, their own medicine does a great job of doing that very thing, defamation of drug therapy, all on its own!

Pasted from above. “Plus, an allegedly positive replication of this study was reported. This new experiment was performed in 4 European laboratories, and a member of Benveniste´s original team took part in them. This study, however, was only published as a short, non-peer reviewed article, and, apparently, had methodological flaws that could compromise its results. For instance, the authors reported that ¼ of their data had to be discarded, although no clear justification was presented for that. Also, the statistical techniques used appear inadequate.” – R Almeida – Rev Hosp Clin Fac Med S. Paulo, 2003 –”
I presume you read my original response, apparently not.
No lies or gossip, show me the positive research into homeopathy, none. If there does ever appear a positive well run trial, great, we can then begin to use Homeopathy. What would it take for you to admit Homeopathy is simply sugar and water.
As for the recent article above, Prof Walach has a very poor track record for research. All he seems to be saying is that to date there are no well run trials showing Homeopathy and other alternative practices to be anything other than placebo.
Yes many drugs do not perform as well as promised, further trials find them out, the literature is published and they fall from use. Can you say the same about Homeopathy, name one Homeopathic pill that has been removed from practice because it doesn’t do what it says it can on the label.
If something works it is no longer alternative, simple.
However I’m sure your far happier with your conspiracy theories. Perhaps you might want to look at this web site,
Food for thought.


Ok lets look at the link you have put in. You have reports of around 20 situations, some problematic, some very dubious and all without substantiation. Most of these situations are caused by an error of omission as opposed to a homeopathic remedy itself. There are thousands of errors of omissions by medical doctors per year in any country.

Responsible homeopaths, like responsible medical doctors refer someone to an emergency room in emergency and serious situations.

But lets compare your link to one drug, Vioxx. Over 50,000 confirmed cases of injury or death. No criminal charges, just civil law suits for millions of dollars.

And you say about bad drugs: “further trials find them out” but the whole Vioxx problem is only coming to light because of lawyers and not the medical or research community.

To use the issue of medical malpractice as a reason for stopping or criticizing homeopathy is ridiculous considering the state of medical malpractice and mistakes in medicine and the nasty effects of many drugs.

Yes ,Homeopathy does work but not in air conditioned labs ,funded with research grants.It positively works in clinics where patients repeatedly come, pay and are satisfied , if not how clinics are thriving since last 200 years !Can any one cite one example where generations have been fooled and robed with single trick !Lancet ,Nature , Bad Science , all were invited to come to my clinic to witness testimony but none even cared to reply! I again invite all skeptics to attend my clinic and get their doubts clear .

Can any one cite one example where generations have been fooled and robed with single trick

Yes – pick a religion any religion…

This article is inaccurate, despite what it says, the results obtained by Ennis’ trial have not been reproduced by any credible trials since.

Dear Madam,
I have gone through your recent works on high dilution principle and was highly influenced by the same. I am sending herewith the summary of two of my published works, if you are interested, I shall send you the detailed study. I have even sent my entire works to Professor Benveniste in 2003, when he was alive, on his request.
The main point of controversy so that Benveniste affair is not getting substantial importance in mainstream science is definitely the principle of high dilution beyond Avogadro’s limit, where no molecule of the original compound exists. However, it has been advocated that diluting away of molecules is possible so long as the solution remains homogenous. When homogeneity is lost the Avogadro’s limit does not exist (1-2). We know that water has a high dielectric constant (= 80), so it can dissolve almost every solute molecule, but during ritualized succession and infinitesimal dilution, where the number of solute molecules is depleting drastically, the number of solvent molecule covering the surface of solute molecule becomes ever increasing. In other words, the entire surface of solute molecule becomes supersaturated with solvent molecule and the dielectric constant falls. Moreover, addition of ethanol (Dielectric constant = 24) to aqueous medium causes further fall of dielectric constant of the solvent. As a result, the solute molecules become more concentrated towards the bottom of the vial and non-homogeneity is established (2). If one tries to transfer a drop of such dilution to the next vial of fresh ethanol, most of the solute molecules gaining much higher speed than the solvent molecule rush to the next container. For a better understanding of such a behavior of solutes, we can make a simple observation. When a bottle of lemonade is freshly opened and drunk, there is a sharp taste of soda water. If one deeply occludes the mouth of the bottle with a thumb, shakes it vigorously, and quickly discards some part of the liquid in the same manner for four to five times, the sharpness of taste of the remaining part of the drink would fall significantly. Therefore, if homogeneity of the solution is lost, we can make serial dilution one after another without reaching zero-molecular stage. Many scientists could not produce reproducible result of Benveniste’s experiment because they could not perform it very cautiously. There should be single line of serial dilution and each steps of serial dilution should be completely identical, otherwise the scanty molecules would be absorbed in the glass vial due to their high velocity and desirable result would not be produced. Succussion is comparable to sonication, which is used in the mainstream medical science to prepare drug loaded liposomes in order to transfer minimum quantity antibacterial, antitumoral and anticancerous drugs to the target tissue. Ethanol molecule has a polar hydrophilic (-OH) head and a very short hydrophobic (CH3-CH2-) tail. Although, it does not form visible micelle or liposome, it may be presumed that during sussussion ethanol becomes reoriented to form bilayer around hydrated drug molecules (1), because after each succession numerous tiny bubbles evolve and the solution becomes frothy and turbid for a few seconds, characteristic changes also appear in NMR spectra. With the increase of potency the number of ethanol molecules, forming protective sheath around drug molecules increases. We would have to find out how could this vanishingly low number of molecules can produce visible effect on basophil? The answer is: when the medicine is applied to human cell it strikes the lipid bilayer in an enormous speed, so that entry of drug molecules to the interior of a cell even up to nucleus becomes possible by ‘flip-flop’ transition. After reaching there it binds and stimulates minute transcription factors, which can trigger synthesis of specific antibody, so that visible changes can be induced even in a 200 potency drug.


1. Chattopadhyay, S. Proposition of a new system of medicine based on tolerance principle. Med. Hypotheses; 59(2): 191-203, 2002
2. Chattopadhyay, S. Biomathematical modeling for diluted drugs. Med. Hypotheses 61(1): 56-59, 2003
Please let me know your opinion.
With Regards
Yours Sincerely
Dr Sanjib Chattopadhyay,
Head and Associate Professor,
Dept of Zoology
[A Govt Sponsored Degree College]
111/2 BT Road ,
Kilkata 108

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