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Mani Norland: The how of homeopathy – a research blog

Insights from current, cutting edge research

Science helps us make sense of the world. From understanding atomic structure, to exploring the far corners of our galaxy, science is constantly pushing the boundaries of human knowledge.

How homeopathy works has been an unanswered conundrum for over 200 years since it was first ‘discovered’ by the German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, in the early 19th century.

Today an estimated 600 million1 people use homeopathy worldwide, bearing witness to its curative action. There is also a growing stack of over 1,2002 research papers providing evidence of its effectiveness. It is not hard to see what homeopathy can do, however pinning down how it works has never been quite as straight forward.

Globally, there are several research projects looking into the healing mechanism behind homeopathy and several promising theories, which are currently being explored by scientists, may shed some light on how homeopathy works:


Nanoparticles are tiny, microscopic particles. They are currently at the forefront of scientific research, due to their great potential for use in the biomedical, optical and electronic fields.

In the USA, Dr Iris Bell has been investigating nanoparticles as a possible explanation of how homeopathy works3. Her work, which has been reproduced in labs around the world, clearly shows that nanoparticles of the original substance remain in homeopathic medicines past Avogadro’s number. It appears they get trapped in bubbles created during the production process of homeopathic medicines, when the solution is agitated.

Nanoparticles have been shown to be enough to stimulate a healing response in an organism. Dr. Bell sees human beings as complex systems that adapt to a variety of stressors. When an illness takes hold, the body reacts and ‘maladapts’4, producing symptoms. Homeopathic remedies contain nanoparticles which, when matched correctly to the disease symptoms, act as low-level, but highly salient, stressors to the organism. The nanoparticles are not capable of producing pharmacological effects (so there are few side effects), but they are highly reactive and can stimulate a reversal of the maladapted process.

A homeopathic remedy could be a nano-sized stimulus that initiates a large response.

Coherence domains

Meanwhile, Cambridge trained researcher and scientist, Dr Alexander Tournier, is exploring the concept of coherence domains. His work shows that when a substance is placed in a liquid, it can affect that liquid, even after the physical substance is removed.

It is thought that during the production processes of homeopathic medicines, the original medicinal substance creates water molecule clusters that mimic the substance. In effect, the process imprints information from the active ingredient (e.g. a plant) into the water in which it is dissolved, so that even when it is highly diluted, and there are no longer any molecules of the substance left, its characteristics remain in the water4.

Today, Dr Tournier, whose PhD is in water protein interactions, is leading further investigations at Heidelberg’s Water Research Lab, where state of the art experimental techniques will explore the underlying physics of water. These experiments, carried out in collaboration with a range of international experts, could potentially tell us more about how homeopathic high dilutions can still contain information and be biologically active.

Morphic Resonance

Cambridge trained biochemist and best-selling author, Rupert Sheldrake, has written extensively about the importance of similarity in nature. His morphic resonance hypothesis5 works on the theory that there is an inherent memory in nature – that the laws of nature are more like habits, and that things in nature that are similar to each other have an effect on each other, regardless of whether they are in physical contact or not. The more similar, the more resonance there is.

This theory could explain homeopathy, which is also based on the law of similars. If disease symptoms are similar to those produced by snake venom, then snake venom is the substance in nature that has most resonance with the condition. Because the body is so highly sensitised to this similar substance by morphic resonance, administering the minimum dose will exert an influence that prompts a response from the body’s immune system.

Solvatochromic dyes

Steven Cartwright has been carrying out basic research on homeopathic potencies using solvatochromic dyes for the last ten years. These dyes not only detect the presence of potencies through subtle changes in their spectra (colour), but are also giving us insights into the fundamental nature of potencies and how they might work therapeutically.

Amongst the many results obtained so far, recent research has shown that potencies produce an electric field and that they can be amplified by biological systems at the cellular level.

Collaboration with Professor Bonamin in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has produced a remarkable study6, in which it was shown that, on adding Phosphorus 30C to one end of a series of connected lakes, the remedy spread throughout the whole lake system of 2 million litres in a matter of minutes and then slowly declined after 72 hours. The whole process could be tracked using solvatochromic dyes. The use of homeopathic medicines in large volumes of drinking water, in farming and ecological contexts, now has the potential to be assessed with physico-chemical monitoring.

Science is continually evolving, moving on from the limiting Newtonian theories of 200 years ago. It is only a matter of time before science provides us with a full explanation for how homeopathy works.


  1. Rapporto Eurispes, (2019) – Omeopatia en Italia. Retrieved from: www.vandaomeopatici.it/it/rapporto-eurispes-2019-omeopatia-in-italia/
  2. Retrieved from: https://www.hri-research.org/resources/research-databases/
  3. Bell, I., Koithan, M & Brooks, A. (2013). Testing the nanoparticle-allostatic cross adaptation-sensitisation model for homeopathic remedy effects. Homeopathy 102(1): 66-81. Retrieved from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3539158/
  4. Tournier, A. (2015). Quantum coherence domains. YouTube. Retrieved from: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArrcXfnz6vY
  5. Sheldrake, R. (2020). Morphic resonance. Retrieved from: www.sheldrake.org/research/morphic-resonance
  6. Aparicio, A. C., de Oliveira, L. H, Silva, J. S., Coelho, C. P., Pinheiro, S. R., Souza, M. F., Suffredini, I. B., Cartwright,S. J. & Bonamin, L. V. (2020). Interaction between solvatochromic dyes and water sampled from a natural source treated with high dilutions of phosphorus. Homeopathy. Retrieved from: https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-0039-3400255Mani Norland BA (Hons), DSH, PCH, RSHom is Principal of the School of Homeopathy. Mani grew up with homeopathy and trained in 1999 at the School of Homeopathy. Mani is a founding member of Homeopathy Course Providers Forum and a founding member and vice chair of the 4Homeopathy (the pro homeopathy group of 11 organisations in the UK). Mani is passionate about the positive promotion of homeopathy to the general public, has written many consumer facing articles on homeopathy and been interviewed on BBC radio several times. He has lectured on the subject in the UK and overseas in Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Israel, Serbia, Australia, America, Canada, Greece and South Africa.Material published in this section of the website does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Society of Homeopaths.