MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

Electrohomeopathy is a version of homeopathy few people know about. Allow me to explain:

Cesare Mattei (1809–1896), an Italian count, was interested in homeopathy. Mattei believed that fermented plants gave off ‘electrical’ energy that could be used to cure illness. He also believed that every illness had a cure provided in the vegetable kingdom by God. He began to develop his system from 1849. The large bottles are labelled ”Red”, ”Green”, “White”, “Yellow” and “Blue” so the actual ingredients remained a secret. Ointments were made up with ingredients from the small and large bottles. The vial labelled “Canceroso 5” was used for bruises, cancers, chilblains, hair loss, skin diseases and varicose veins, among other conditions. Although dismissed by the medical profession as quackery, Mattei’s system was popular. It formed part of the treatment at St Saviour’s Cancer Hospital in London from 1873.

Wikipedia offers more informing us that:

“… Mattei, a nobleman living in a castle in the vicinity of Bologna studied natural science, anatomy, physiology, pathology, chemistry and botany. He ultimately focused on the supposed therapeutic power of “electricity” in botanical extracts. Mattei made bold, unsupported claims for the efficacy of his treatments, including the claim that his treatments offered a nonsurgical alternative to cancer. His treatment regimens were met with scepticism by mainstream medicine:

The electrohomeopathic system is an invention of Count Mattei who prates of “red”, “blue”, and “green” electricity, a theory that, in spite of its utter idiocy, has attracted a considerable following and earned a large fortune for its chief promoter.

Notwithstanding criticisms, including a challenge by the British medical establishment to the claimed success of his cancer treatments,  electrohomeopathy (or Matteism, as it was sometimes known at the time) had adherents in Germany, France, the USA and the UK by the beginning of the 20th century; electrohomeopathy had been the subject of approximately 100 publications and there were three journals dedicated to it.

Remedies are derived from what are said to be the active micro nutrients or mineral salts of certain plants. One contemporary account of the process of producing electrohomeopathic remedies was as follows:

As to the nature of his remedies we learn … that … they are manufactured from certain herbs, and that the directions for the preparation of the necessary dilutions are given in the ordinary jargon of homeopathy. The globules and liquids, however, are “instinct with a potent, vital, electrical force, which enables them to work wonders”. This process of “fixing the electrical principle” is carried on in the secret central chamber of a Neo-Moorish castle which Count Mattei has built for himself in the Bolognese Apennines… The “red electricity” and “white electricity” supposed to be “fixed” in these “vegetable compounds” are in their very nomenclature and suggestion poor and miserable fictions.

According to Mattei’s own ideas however, every disease originates in the change of blood or of the lymphatic system or both, and remedies can therefore be mainly divided into two broad categories to be used in response to the dominant affected system. Mattei wrote that having obtained plant extracts, he was “able to determine in the liquid vegetable electricity”. Allied to his theories and therapies were elements of Chinese medicine, of medical humours, of apparent Brownianism, as well as modified versions of Samuel Hahnemann‘s homeopathic principles. Electrohomeopathy has some associations with Spagyric medicine, a holistic medical philosophy claimed to be the practical application of alchemy in medical treatment, so that the principle of modern electrohomeopathy is that disease is typically multi-organic in cause or effect and therefore requires holistic treatment that is at once both complex and natural.”

END OF QUOTE

If one would assume that electrohomeopathy is nothing more than a bizarre and long-forgotten chapter in the colourful history of homeopathy, one would be mistaken; it is still used and promoted by enthusiasts who continue to make bold claims. This article, for instance, informs us that:

  • Electro Homeopathic remedies tone up the brain and the nerves through which overall body processes are controlled and strengthen the digestion process.
  • The tablets provide food for the red blood cells and provide nourishment for the white corpuscles of the lymph and the blood.
  • They provide the useful elements to the plasma of the blood and provide required nutrients for the cells of which tissues are made.
  • They enhance the eviction through the skin and other modes and unnecessary substances which disturb the function and health of the body.
  • They cure the diseases and are helpful to the patients who use them.
  • They are curative as well as palliatives.
  • They are helpful in curing the serious diseases whether it is acute or chronic, non-surgical or surgical, for women, men, and children. They provide 100 percent cure.
  • They cure diseases such as tuberculosis, cancer, fistula, and cancer. They can cure these diseases without operation.
  • They cure all type of infectious diseases with certainty and are also helpful in prophylactics in the epidemics.

This article also provides even more specific claims:

Here are the 5 best Electro Homeopathic medicines for curing kidney stones –

  • Berberis Vulgaris – is the best medicine for left-sided kidney stones
  • Cantharis Vesicatoria– is one of the best medicine for kidney stones with burning in urine
  • Lycopodium – is the best remedy for right-sided kidney stones
  • Sarsaparilla – is the best medicine for kidney stones with white sand in urine
  • Benzoic Acid – is best homeopathic medicine for renal calculi…

The aforesaid homeopathic medicines for kidney stones have been found to be very effective in getting these stones out of the system. It does not mean that only these medicines are used.

What all of this highlights yet again is this, I think:

  • There are many seriously deluded people out there who are totally ignorant of medicine, healthcare and science.
  • To a desperate patient, these quacks can seem reasonable in their pretence of medical competence.
  • Loons make very specific health claims (even about very serious conditions), thus endangering the lives of the many gullible people who believe them.
  • Even though this has been known and well-documented for many years, t here seems to be nobody stopping the deluded pretenders in their tracks; the public therefore remains largely unprotected from their fraudulent and harmful acts.
  • In particular, the allegedly more reasonable end of the ‘alt med community’ does nothing to limit the harm done by such charlatans – on the contrary, whether knowingly or not, groups such as doctors of ‘integrative medicine’ lend significant support to them.

16 Responses to Electrohomeopathy … endangering lives since almost 200 years

  • The difficulty in the end is always the ‘Quis custodiet custodians’ argument is always used by these people, either charlatans or gullibles.
    Anybody who tried to regulate this area, from people asking for evidence through to bodies like the American FDA through to the main medical/ cancer bodies, comes under severe attack, and is accused of being ‘in with them’- ‘them’ being ‘Big Pharma’ of course.
    You yourself if I remember correctly have been openly called a ‘wanker’ by a qualified doctor who has gone over to the dark side, even I-medically unqualified but not exactly an idiot- have been called a ‘twat’, a ‘failed artist'( some failure), an ‘ignorant fool who should get an education'( got an extensive one), a ‘loser’, a ‘liar’, a ‘troll’, etc.
    If people desperately want to believe something, they’ll find a way, as the success of Mercola and McKinnon and others shows.
    That’s why I despair when well- meaning people say ‘more education is needed’.
    How do you educate the gullible and the wilfully stupid?
    It reminds me of the girl who was interviewed at the Noah’s Ark Creationism ‘Museum’ in America who said ‘We had it ( evolution) at school, but I wasn’t convinced’.
    It’s those last three words which are so self-important and religiously narcissistic. Sadly, some people are, intellectually, beyond help, and are angered at any attempt to change that.
    Just leave a contrary response or an intelligent contrary comment on the Cancer Tutor site, and then wait for the replies.

  • That article “Electro Homeopathy – A Brief Outlook” has to be some of the best baffle-gab I have seen in years I

  • Most of us know ‘homeopathy’ to be ‘fringe’, ‘pseudo’, or ‘alternative medicine’.
    We recognise the those who wish to take advantage of the gullible and vulnerable, and defraud the public and even institutions, have come to prefer the term ‘complementary’.
    And more recently, ‘holistic’, ‘integrative’, ‘functional’ etc. (I prefer, ‘camistry’.)

    And now, this article introduces the latest iteration to con the unwary: ‘Smart Medicine’:

    “Homeopathy works wonders when prescribed properly as it has been around for 200+ years and is the new school of smart medicine which cures without any side effects and complications.”

    Sigh…

  • sounds like one of the roots of Bioresonance…??? or of “color therapy” in which coloured bottles are used and which was tought in a chapel in a location named “White Lodge” in Southern England which is closed now…??

  • Perhaps the barmiest believer in bioresonant bollocks I have encountered during my explorations of the inexplicable, is the Stanford medical school graduate Bill Gray.
    Mr. Gray decorates his name with the letters “MD” but as he seems to have fallen out of harmony with reason and reality already in medical school, and he does not seem to practice genuine medicine at all(?), I find it inappropriate to use this suggestive honorific when referring to the man.
    Mr. Gray is irreversibly infatuated with alternative truths, in particular homeopathy. He boasts having studied under the grand master of witless water shaking, Mister Vithoulkas himself.
    His greatest “achievement” is the invention of a method of transferring the magic energy of shaken water by means of modern media. He (thinks he) records the energy of a remedy with a coil and when the recorded file is rendered in your computer speakers or cellphone, the magic is somehow supposed to be transferred over to your body.
    As can be expected from the technical setup, the files contain electrostatic, “white” noise. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Mr. Gray’s pseudotechnical gibberish is just too good for laughs.
    When I first encountered this, Mr. Gray was advertising remedy-files prepared as a cure and prevention for Ebola. At that time he had sample files generously out in the open for that particular purpose but now you have to register and pay for the the electronic potions. Here you can find his cure for malaria, if you wish to go through the process and pay the fee.
    I sent the man an e-mail asking him to confirm that the Ebola cures that contained nothing but white noise was not a bad joke. The response suggested the poor man was what may best be described as ” off his rockers”.

    • ..you might find “healing by thought” and “osteopathic distance healing by thought” as well.

      The European and Commonwealth osteopathic manipulators are fascinated by Alain Abehsera D.O. (England) and M.D. former head of the Israel Osteopathic Association teaching the osteopathic healing by thought.

      Such courses about “osteopathic healing by thouht” mostly are overbooked….

      Do nothing and get paid for that is the new marketing in European and Commonwealth osteopathy (biodynamic osteopathy coming to Europe from US by an US osteopathic PHYSICIAN !! and osteopathic healing by thought coming from Israel by an M.D. !!!)

      So what’s wrong with science related to the medical trainings worldwide that so much PHYSICIANS are teaching and practicing quackery ??

      • “So what’s wrong with science related to the medical trainings worldwide that so much PHYSICIANS are teaching and practicing quackery ??” Good question: as a former teacher in medical schools I’ve often wondered about this.

        I think the problem may have two components. 1. Science is traditionally taught in the form of ‘pre-med’ subjects — anatomy, biochemistry, physiology etc. — and medical students want to get ahead and start dealing with patients, so they recognize everything ‘pre-med’ as an annoying hurdle to be got out of the way. 2. Science is customarily taught as a ‘wall of facts’, with little or no consideration for engaging students’ minds in how we know those facts (to a high degree of certainty). Critical thinking is almost never taught as such.

        • very well said!
          i also have pondered about this question a lot, and i think you are spot on.

          • There have been some discussions in twitter about this subject and as soon as I was mentioning such circumstances I received a shit storm from some physicians…

            ..but a few doctors/physicians and medical lecturers agreed and said the same..

            they said that they had the impression that very often medical students just learn by heart to get through it without any intention to really understand what is natural science …

            Is there any hope for a change???

          • The answer probably lies somewhere before med school. I believe that it is during primary and higer education that reason starts to develop in people’s minds. From med scool on, if someone is scientifically gullible, things are almost probabilistic. Randomly, students will or won’t get the point behind fundamental theories.

            That’s why it is vital that this critical thinking is confirmed in advance, to an extent, by whatever is suitably set as entrance exams “inwards”, rather focused on within and later on as “outwards” certification exams. Both firewalls are important, and suffer a lot, in my opinion, but entrance exams are even more crucial because, if unsuitably established, they provide ample opportunity for just about whomever is capable of efficient memorization (cf. anyone) to become a doctor. From then on, wacky minds will find a way out… And then, such things happen… Sad stories.

          • I forgot to mention that there are always two sides of a problem. CAM practitioners are existing because there is a problem in the medical education with teaching natural sciences in a way that doesn’t prevent physicians to switch to alternative medicine.

            On the other hand could it be that there is a general problem in medicine with ICD 10 and understanding and defining of diseases mostly as a problem related to one department or organ system? I guess that’s fine for acute problems and for monocausal thinking which is necessary in emergency cases and in infectious diseases where you need a fast and effective algorithm.

            But why do in natural science educated physicians start to practice CAM ??? That’s the question behind all of this blogs and comments here!! Mostly they do in chronic diseases and in functional disorders, but why?

            In chronic and degenerative diseases it needs an systemic approach which is not tought in the basic medical trainings and there are only a few projects like PRISCUS in Germany or the BEERS list for the drug aspects of this problems.

            Another problem is that there is no department in medicine that is responsible especially for functional disorders e.g. of the movement apparatus related to behaviour or to diseases. The movement apparatus itself is not worth to have ONE department. It is divided in different departments like rheumatology neurology orthopedics.

            But very often diseases start with a compensation pattern in posture and movement before they became obviously acute and local and the clients therefore make consultations with an orthopedic surgeon. But the orthopedic surgeons trainings are focussed on surgery…and patients might end in psychosomatic departments which are historically based on the artificial separation of the body in boxes and departments and somewhere a “soul”.

            So in my opinion a lot is still not happening in medical trainings for understanding the patients from a systemic point of few in chronic diseases and in functional disorders and that’s why medicine is not very effective in non acute cases.

            That’s the reason why so much physicians switch to alternative medicine too because a lot of clients in general or orthopedic or internal physician’s practices and clinics come with multiple chronic diseases and functional disorders and the physician’s trainings do not provide tools for a scientific based systemic approach.

            In my opinion this reflects the problem that theories and principles of system or systemic regulation which in the 1980ties became part of natural sciences like oecological systems understanding or climate understanding or traffic development never became part of the medical trainings.

            Medical trainings still deal with the problem of being divided and specialized and responsible for just one box of the whole.

            The only departments which are basically interested in an systemic regulation approach are the pain doctors.

            But in functional disorders or in chronic diseases there is nearly no effectiveness without an systemic approach and without working with the client’s ability of self-understanding by guided self-experimenting and experiencing in the way of Antonovsky’s Salutogenesis and with a systemic approach.

            Therefore it needs a scientifically working specialized systemically thinking general physician and better scientifically based algorithms including e.g. a functional evidence based gastroenterologic diagnostic and scientifically based functional diagnostic of all other systems the movement apparatus included. E.g. the use of the BEERS list or PRISCUS must be essentially to stop problems with polymedication.

            I assume as soon as there will be a change in medical trainings to a science based systemic approach CAM and quackery will be replaced by evidence based approaches done by systemically thinking and working physicians…

  • electrohomeopathy is another branch of magnetic healing invented by Mesmer who replaced God by physical phenomena in times of enlightenment in European history. It’s the time of “Romantic Medicine” according to scientific history of medicine.
    Other branches are
    Reiki
    Craniosacral therapy
    Cranial osteopathy (soft touch version)
    Biodynamics in osteopathy
    traumahealing in osteopathy
    visceral osteopathy (soft touch version)
    Polarity therapy
    osteopathic healing by thought
    sending “energy” through chinese TCM meridians
    (which do not exist at all)
    a.s.o.

  • Electro-Homeopathy is not related to Homoeopathy at all, and at the time, homoeopaths were quite upset that these remedies were distributed by the Geneva Electro Homeopathic Institute headed by the pharmacist Albert Sauter (1846-1896), a former collaborator and representative of Mattei.

    Nonetheless, these remedies were widely distributed throughout Europe, though true homoeopathic pharmacies refused to stock them, and many homoeopaths wrote articles condeming them.

    Such tactics never work with the public, even when homoeopaths try them!

    Cesare Mattei was a friend of William Thomas Stead,

    Many books on Electro Homeopathy were sold throughout Europe at this time, and Electro Homepathy enjoyed wide public attention during the years 1875 – 1916, such was the demand for Electrohomeopathy and for domestic manuals, and despite all the homoeopaths denouncing Electro Homoepathy as pseudo homeopathy, the public continued to clamour for it.

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