Homotoxicology is sometimes praised as the ‘best kept detox secret‘, often equated with homeopathy, and even more often not understood at all.

But what is it really?

Homotoxicology is the science of toxins and their removal from the human body. It offers a theory of disease which describes the severity and duration of an illness or disorder based on toxin-loading relative to our body’s ability to detoxify. In other words, it tells you how sick you’ll get when what stays inside progressively overwhelms our ability to get the garbage out. It explains what you can expect to see as you start removing toxins.

And yes, there is a hierarchy of toxic substances. Homotoxicology says you should remove the gentler ones first. As the body strengthens, it will be able to handle the really bad stuff (i.e., heavy metals). This explains why some people do really well on the same detox treatments that take others out at the knees.

Yes, I know!

This sounds very much like promotional BS!!!

So, what is it really, and what evidence is there to support it?

Homotoxicolgy is a therapy developed by the German physician and homeopath Hans Reckeweg. It is strongly influenced by (but not identical with) homoeopathy. Proponents of homotoxicology understand it as a modern extension of homoeopathy developed partly in response to the effects of the Industrial Revolution, which imposed chemical pollutants on the human body.

„Ich möchte einmal die Homöopathie mit der Schulmedizin verschmelzen H.-H. Reckeweg Küstermann/Auriculotherapie_2008.

According to the assumptions of homotoxicology, any human disease is the result of toxins, which originate either from within the body or from its environment. Allegedly, each disease process runs through six specific phases and is the expression of the body’s attempt to cope with these toxins. Diseases are thus viewed  as biologically useful defence mechanisms. Health, on the other hand, is the expression of the absence of toxins in our body. It seems obvious that these assumptions are not based on science and bear no relationship to accepted principles of toxicology or therapeutics. In other words, homotoxicology is not plausible.
The therapeutic strategies of homotoxicology are essentially threefold:

• prevention of further homotoxicological challenges,
• elimination of homotoxins,
• treatment of existing ‘homotoxicoses’.

Frequently used homotoxicological remedies are fixed combinations of homeopathically prepared remedies such as nosodes, suis-organ preparations and conventional drugs. All these remedies are diluted and potentised according to the rules of homoeopathy. Proponents of homotoxicology claim that they activate what Reckeweg called the ‘greater defence system’— a concerted neurological, endocrine, immunological, metabolic and connective tissue response that can give rise to symptoms and thus excretes homotoxins. Homotoxicological remedies are produced by Heel, Germany and are sold in over 60 countries. The crucial difference between homotoxicology and homoeopathy is that the latter follows the ‘like cures like’ principle, while the former does not. As this is the defining principle of homeopathy, it would be clearly wrong to assume that homotoxicology is a form of homeopathy.

Several clinical trials of homotoxicology are available. They are usually sponsored or conducted by the manufacturer. Independent research is very rare. In most major reviews, these studies are reviewed together with trials of homeopathic remedies which is obviously not correct. Our systematic review purely of studies of homotoxicology included 7 studies, all of which had major flaws. We concluded that the placebo-controlled, randomised clinical trials of homotoxicology fail to demonstrate the efficacy of this therapeutic approach.

So, I ask again: what is homotoxicology?

It is little more than homeopathic nonsense + detox nonsense + some more nonsense.

My advice is to say well clear of it.

14 Responses to Homotoxicology: ‘the best kept detox secret’? No, it’s even worse than homeopathy!

  • Has there been any chemical analysis of what exactly is in any ‘remedy’ or HT preparation?
    Could be pure water? Or contain irrelevant impurities – which could even be toxic could they not?
    How do we know?

  • Isn’t it interesting that it is really only the quackery types that use the word ‘toxin’ regularly. It seems to be a way to scare people without having to come up with anything that can be tested!

    By the way, all these non-cures could have at least one test – anyone selling of treating people with this sort of stuff should have the courage of their conviction and, when they get ill, only use their own remedies.I’m sure it would treat cancer, aren’t you! Well, I bet is what some practitioners say anyway.

  • It always intrigues me how far one can discard the basic tenets of homeopathy, even the namegiving feature of this lore, and still use the denomination “homeopathy”, without creating an uproar in the corresponding community.

  • This low IQ article was one of the funniest to read on this pharma shill website. Absolutely no data or science to refute it. Remember this pharma shill site claimed acupuncture was quackery too? Tell that to Harvard medical who is now scientifically proving the effects on the fibroblasts and matrix overall.

    You are going to hell for producing this site that tries to discredit all medicine that is not pharmaceutical in nature. The fact is your “mainstream” practice is the most dangerous of all and kills hundreds of thousands of people every year.

    • ‘Skeptic’ said:

      Tell that to Harvard medical who is now scientifically proving the effects on the fibroblasts and matrix overall.

      Please do tell. A DOI will suffice.

    • Your right… What is very intresting it that we can observe that the deases evolution in a clinical way in an hospital follows exactly the deases evolution describe by homotoxicoly. Swiss research confirm it and homotoxicoly is use to preserve the patient in this country, in germany as well….

    • Ain’t that the absolute truth, perfectly said!!!

  • During the week I decided to read the review that Ernst published. The conclusions are interesting: Ernst found numerous high-quality clinical trials that showed that, for certain complex homeopathic medicines were better than placebo. The intriguing thing is that at the end of the review Ernst dismisses his own conclusions saying that there must have been some kind of fraud from the companies that manufacture those products. Since then I have not found a new systematic review that analyzes homotoxicology, but several assays and meta-analyses of good quality for particular products. In my opinion, Ernst’s Review reminds me of those reviews commissioned by Monsanto in which his own scientists demonstrated organic alterations caused by pesticides, but in the end tortured the conclusions to say that their pesticides were completely harmless. This comparison is not unreasonable considering that Ernst is “expert opinion” in favor of lobbies that are characterized by their dishonesty and conflict of interest with Monsanto.

    • you have a lot of fantasy, but I am afraid the dishonesty is entirely on your side:

      In all of the studies, sponsor bias cannot be
      excluded. In three of the seven included RCTs, at least
      one author was an employee of the manufacturer. In
      most articles, no conflicts of interest were declared.
      Many articles were published in a journal closely
      linked to the manufacturer; only two of these journals
      have an impact factor [13, 22]. Our suspicion of
      sponsor bias was strengthened by correspondence with
      one manufacturer stating that financial support for
      our research project would only be given after they
      had inspected (and, by implication, agreed with) its
      results [30] (the fact that we did ask for financial
      support, but did not receive any, could be seen as a
      conflict of interest). None of the included RCTs reported having an independent monitor, which, of
      course, would have been an adequate measure to
      minimise this type of bias.
      In several trials, de-blinding of the patient is another possibility. Generally speaking, it is advisable to
      check blinding rather than to assume it, particularly if
      the claims that are being made are extraordinary.
      Other studies could have generated a false-positive
      result due to their small sample size. In two studies [8,
      22], it is possible that the verum was inert but
      ‘‘placebo’’ caused a worsening of symptoms thus producing significant inter-group differences in the absence
      of improvements in the verum groups. Table 2 lists
      further limitations that might all have contributed to
      false-positive results.

      • Ernst, that some authors had a relationship with the sponsor does not necessarily make the study false or erroneous. Upgrade your software!


        There is a growing evidence-base supporting the effectiveness of Traumeel, alone and in combination with other medicines and/or nonmedicine therapies, in treating acute musculoskeletal injuries. Traumeel appears to be well tolerated, with no signs of severe adverse events and no evidence of gastrointestinal


        The complex bioregulatory action of the medicine Traumeel S allows to control and optimize the course of the inflammatory process wherever it is located and of any form. Its use contributes to the full completion of inflammation with the recovery of the structure and function of the tissue, reduces the risk of complications and chronic inflammation


        In conclusion, the literature reviewed in this manuscript identifies Traumeel as a potential mainstay of treatment for inflammation with minimal side effects as compared to current medical regimens. However, further investigations of Traumeel are warranted to identify mechanism of action, best route of administration, and most effective treatment regimen.

        • it was a bit more that that: they were employed by the firm and published their papers in the firm’s house magazine.
          are you too thick to understand this or do you not want to?

        • From the person who cries “BIAS!” any time a non-homeopath scientist trashes another risible piece of “research” into homeopathy.

          Meanwhile, homeopaths doing “research”, funded by homeopathic companies and publishing it in their own in-house magazines is obviously above scrutiny.

          People in glass houses should be careful when throwing stones, Lols.

          Oh and Traumeel isn’t homeopathic. It contains measurable amounts of therapeutics.

        • Traumeel is
          1) Claimed to be homoeopatic, but contains singificant amounts of Calendula, Arnica arnica and Hamamelis accompanied by homoeopatic Coffea D12

          Arnica D3 1.5 g Calendula D0 0.45 g Hamamelis D0 0.45 g Echinacea D0 0.15 g Echinacea purpurea D0 0.15 g Chamomilla D0 0.15 g

          2) The comparator in One of the“signifikant“ Studies is Ibuprofen, well known to NOT be able to pentrate through the skin in signifikant amounts.
          Quackery-Studies at their best!

          • Rolf Stolt-Bechtold,

            The comparator in One of the“signifikant“ Studies is Ibuprofen, well known to NOT be able to pentrate through the skin in signifikant amounts.

            I haven’t read the study to which you are referring, but there are a number of pharmaceutical preparations of ibuprofen available which deliver it via the trans-dermal route, both in the form of patches and also creams. The licensing process requires the manufacturers to demonstrate that they are able to deliver a consistent and therapeutically effective dose.

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