NC: Mr. Vithoulkas, you turned to homeopathy because of your poor state of health as a child. Today you are referred to as ‘Homeopathy’s reformer of the century’. Has there ever been a moment within your life as a scientist when you have regretted it?
GV: I shall answer from my personal experience. I am now over 75 and I have never, to this present day, taken any of conventional medicine’s chemical medication, and this in spite of the fact that my health as a child was very poor.
However, this is nothing compared to the tens of thousands of cases of chronic diseases that we have seen, and that have been cured. There is no greater satisfaction for anyone involved in teaching this type of medicine than seeing people who have been suffering for years being cured.
NC: You have declared that homeopathy ‘belongs to pure medicine and differs only in its therapeutic approach to both patients and states where conventional medicine has poor results or none at all’. How can one define ‘pure medicine’?
Doctors who apply homeopathy today use all available types of diagnostic methods including modern medical technology, and the only point where they differ is in the homeopathic approach. It is only the treatment that differs, and instead of prescribing chemical medication, they prescribe a highly diluted homeopathic remedy.
If you had to choose between a form of medical treatment which restores your health without any side effects, and another form of treatment that may treat certain states but that often negatively affects or even disturbs some other part of your organism, which of the two methods would you chose? You would certainly choose the first method.
Should we not therefore maintain that this is a pure and effective medical method? This is what I have said. The correct expression is, perhaps, that a homeopathic approach is part of what one could call a genuine system of therapeutics, and that it is homeopathy’s results that give it the right to be included there.
NC: Last April, an editor from ‘The Times’ used the word ‘voodoo’ to characterize homeopathy. The article was published in a Greek newspaper. To what extent do such publications alienate patients from homeopathy, and how can the homeopathic community react to them?
GV: Unfortunately there are many ‘crazy’ ideas, as well as a certain amount of charlatanism, in this world of alternative medicine. This is due to a lack of legislation. These ideas are inserted into the homeopathic sphere by their originators, who seek a space for themselves within the chaotic arena of the new therapeutic methods. There has been a recent spate of thousands of declarations announcing new therapeutic methods that claim impossible things. In the case of ‘The Times’, the author of the article had read the opinions of a certain Australian chemist who claimed that homeopathy had its own vaccinations, with better results than the usual ones!
It was therefore to be expected that ‘the hairs on his head’ should ‘rise’ and for him to write, quite understandably, that it all sounded like voodoo. Such mad ideas are presented on a daily basis by irresponsible individuals, who appear to be taking advantage of the fact that there is a lack of legislation. They gamble on the ignorance and trust of today’s patients, who are continually searching, within the chaotic world of alternative therapies, for treatments with the least pain and the best results.
NC: One could say that the strictest critics of Homeopathy are conventional doctors. What does conventional medicine have to lose, and what can it gain, from acceptance by and cooperation with homeopathy?
GV: It has been proved that these critics ignore, or want to ignore, homeopathic knowledge. Whoever has criticized homeopathy in good faith, and whoever has accepted a discussion, has found themselves rapidly switching sides into the homeopathic camp. Medicine has nothing to lose from a serious discussion and an exchange of knowledge with homeopathy, on the contrary it can learn a lot. Those who fear that they will lose out are the pharmaceutical industries and all those who benefit from these activities, for it is true that the medicines that are used by patients are reduced and are even interrupted in cases where patients are treated homeopathically.
NC: There are, of course, certain questions of a practical nature, when we talk of cooperation between homeopathy and conventional medicine. For instance, how homeopathy could contribute in dentistry?
GV: Since you referred to dentistry it would be important to mention here that a brilliant dentist has recently elaborated a doctoral thesis in the Aristotelean University of Thessaloniki’s School of Dentistry on the subject of ‘Homeopathy’s contribution to the conventional treatment of patients with cranial and jaw-bone disturbances’. Her thesis was awarded the highest grade by the seven members of the examining board. This fact is enough to indicate the possibility for homeopathy to intervene in dentistry.
NC: In a past interview you said that the action of homeopathic medicine’s mechanism was the same as that of the placebo effect. Is it not true that such a declaration strengthens the ‘accusations’ of auto-suggestive therapy?
GV: It is well known that there are many accounts of cases which are referred to as self-healing, or cases where belief in God or a saintly person set off the organism’s defense mechanism and caused impressive cures. This can indeed happen, and no-one can doubt it.
A similar mobilizing effect takes place with homeopathic remedies. The difference lies in the fact that this mechanism is only set off in exceptional circumstances, kindled by a strong positive feeling. This type of mobilization of the organism can even happen due to deep passion, where an individual who falls in love may suddenly find that his disturbed state of health has been cured. These cases, however, are rare, and in the case of a relapse these organisms cannot be cured.
Homeopathic remedies mobilize the mechanism in a similar way, but in this case it happens whether the patient wants it to or not. The vibrations which the ‘true‘ remedy brings to the organism are similar to the placebo, but much stronger and not dependent on whether the patient who is receiving the vibrations believe in it.
In a placebo phenomenon the organism’s vibrations, which originate in the patient’s conviction that he will get better with the fictitious remedy, are usually small. Therefore only minor disturbances can be cured, and mostly for a short period of time, while homeopathic remedies, which can be repeated when necessary according to the doctor’s judgment, are powerful therapeutic medium which can cure a deeply disturbed organism’s health.
NC: There are many people who divide Homeopathy into Classical and Modern. Does this division refer to the choice of remedies, or are there also other differences?
GV: The difference lies in the fact that in order for an organism to vibrate a remedy needs to be found that is extremely ‘friendly’ to this particular patient. This remedy can be called his personal remedy, and if it is not discovered, the organism will not vibrate and will not move in a therapeutic direction.
This process of discovering the particular remedy is a difficult and time-consuming one. It requires a great specialization on the part of the doctor, as well as a large amount of time, to take down the patient’s history in order for all the necessary information to be collected. The information must then be correctly analyzed and collated in order for the correct remedy to be found.
These difficulties have given rise to an easier way. Instead of searching for the personal remedy – or ‘a needle in a haystack’ – ten, fifteen or even twenty remedies are given together, after taking the patient’s history rapidly and superficially, with the hope that the true remedy will be among the fifteen or twenty. This is what the so-called polypharmacists do, in contrast to the unicists, or classicists, who apply homeopathy correctly. The aim of these variations is apparently to simplify difficulties, but when they do occasionally crop up, the results are dismal.
My own intervention from the 1960’s onwards has been to bring homeopathy back to its proper origins. What was I supposed to do in order not to displease the homeopathic pharmaceutical industries that, instead of selling twenty or thirty remedies, were only selling one? This conflict is often taken advantage of by clever representatives who say that the homeopaths cannot agree among themselves, let them make up their minds first and then we’ll see! These discussions to my mind are excuses to delay recognition.
NC: Prevention is a major subject for discussion in the National Health Service. What is homeopathy’s role in the prevention of serious diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes or depression that are such serious problems in today’s world?
GV: Homeopathy is the preventive medicine par excellence, since organisms that are ‘beginning’ to be disturbed are rapidly brought back to a balanced state. On the other hand conventional medicine waits for a pathology to appear quite clearly before it can intervene. Homeopathy intervenes even when functional signs are presented by the organism. It can therefore prevent further developments.
NC: You have defined, as a measuring unit for human health, ‘the degree of creativity, both for the good of the individual and the good of the whole’. Do you believe that society, as a whole, can be helped by Homeopathy, and how?
GV: Yes, it can! The reason is that a truly healthy organism does not easily turn to hallucinogenic drugs, does not involve itself in degenerative acts, and does not need to take, even at a very young age, chemical medication which can affect its spiritual equilibrium.
Homeopathy, by bringing people back to health, can help society to live more peacefully and cooperatively, since such a society’s fabric will be made up of balanced persons and not of ‘monsters’ who are desperately trying to devour each other for the sole purpose of personal gain.
NC: ‘Humanity has suffered many great catastrophes thanks to the selfishness of individuals in positions of power’, you wrote in one of your books. What is the relationship of Homeopathy and Politics?
GV: Homeopathy is the most peaceful, the mildest form of therapy in the world today. It can only be practiced in societies that are basically peaceful. In societies which have realized the importance of inner peace.
This is the reason why I have also referred to the fact that conventional medicine does not have to fear the spread of homeopathy. Conventional medicine, with its ‘violent’ medicines (antibiotics, cortisone, hormones, psychotropic drugs), suits a world that is ‘violently’ antagonistic and individualist. Politics and politicians will continue, for a long time yet, to determine developments not only in the social, economical and military spheres but also in the medical one.
NC: There have been occasional discussions about vaccinations in childhood. Homeopathy has not yet given a clear answer as to whether it is for or against. Do you believe that children’s vaccinations are necessary or do you think that they could be avoided with the use of homeopathy?
GV: This is a very important question and I cannot comment on it publicly. I can however say the following: that side-effects from vaccinations may in the future be shown to have had terrifying influences on the health of the world’s population. This is therefore a subject that must be researched thoroughly and we must find the correct parameters, with the least possible side-effects, if we finally decide that vaccinations are useful.
NC: You support the legislation of Homeopathy in Greece. The first step took place last May, with the founding of the Post-Graduate Department of Holistic Alternative Therapeutic Systems at the University of the Aegean. I presume that this development has proved satisfactory.
GV: Naturally, this is a very satisfactory development. I am particularly happy that various medical schools in Europe seek my contribution in order to teach true homeopathic thought and practice to their doctors. I am satisfied e.g. by the fact that Russia‘s Health Ministry recognizes my teachings, which are taught at the MedicalAcademy in Moscow. This does not however mean that the subject is now resolved or that Homeopathy has been properly recognized in all European countries. I am afraid that this will take a long time!
NC: Do you believe that, now that doctors and dentists will be participating in this post-graduate course, relations between conventional and homeopathic medicine will improve?
GV: No, they will not be improved. At first there will be a period of waiting and expectancy, followed by a period of conflict and finally there will be a time of harmony. If you asked me whether I will be alive for this last stage, my answer would definitely be no.
NC: Do you believe that at some point Universities will open their doors to Homeopathy? Do you think that Homeopathy will ever succeed in being recognized as a medical specialization?
GV: Yes. Certain enlightened persons within the medical establishment will push for this, as far as they can of course. They will be faced with the tidal wave of personal gain and interests that reigns supreme today in all areas of our life.
The full recognition of homeopathy will only come much later, when our society develops and evolves, through the experience of pain and unhappiness that will have been caused by myriads of erroneous choices, and when a period of silence and meditation will finally and necessarily bring about a state of global co-existence and peace. How long do we have to wait for this to happen? Possibly several centuries.
NC: You have lately been living in Alonissos permanently, where you teach at the Academy for Classical Homeopathy, founded by yourself. Would you say that you have chosen to remove yourself from a ‘diseased’ Greek society and from the ‘western’ way of life?
GV: During my life certain choices appeared which I had not requested or expected. Most of my life was lived with the necessity to intervene for a better state of health, a better level of life for humanity. The possibility I have today of living within nature, which I love above all else, was given to me as a divine gift, along with many other wonderful things, such as recognition, the love of my students and many other important things, which arrived as repayment in my life, thanks to my passion and my concentration on teaching and disseminating this system of treatment. It was not my choice, but it was a reward from Divine Providence, that is how I see it.
Yes, I do not like living in the jungle that is Athens, and since my work allows me to live far from Athens, where I was born and where I grew up, I am perfectly happy. Besides, the fact that this choice was a good one is made clear when one considers the hundreds of doctors who come here from over thirty countries.
NC: Greek society has ignored your work and your input to this day, despite the fact that you have won international recognition. Do you mind this?
GV: It would seem that Greek society has recently begun to take some steps towards supporting this form of treatment. An example of this is the founding of the Post-Graduate Department at the University of the Aegean. On the other hand I do not expect a lot from these governments that are so closely linked to the media, particularly to T.V.
However, as you said, there have been many important awards in my life and I do not feel any need for other ones. For me the greatest satisfaction would be to see this system of treatment being properly established in its true form and with all its possibilities, without the fear of returning to a state of chaos such as I encountered in 1960, when I first came into contact with Homeopathy.
NC: How do you imagine Homeopathy, in 20-30 years time?
GV: I do not like imagining. I am indeed perhaps a dreamer, but I am also practical, and I feel that many things must still take place before humanity has free access to this wonderful form of treatment. This will take twenty or thirty years time, but it will definitely happen.
NC: Is there a further step for you to take in your life? What could such a step be for a respected scientist such as yourself?
GV: I would like to see a ‘meeting’, a sharing of knowledge and facts between ‘us’ and ‘them’, the respected ones, in order to show that we are separated only by very few things, while many others join us together, mainly of course our love for the sick patient.
George Vithoulkas is today an Honorary Professor of the Moscow Medical Academy (Academy of Medical Sciences), Professor in the Kiev Medical Academy and Collaborating Professor in Basque Medical University (2001-2004).
In 1996, he was honored with the Right Livelihood Award (also known as Alternative Nobel Prize, www.rightlivelihood.org) “…for his outstanding contribution to the revival of homeopathic knowledge and the training of homeopaths to the highest standards”. United Nations (Development Forum) considers this award “Among the world’s most prestigious awards”, while TIME Magazine called Jacob Uexkull, the award’s inspirator, as one of the 37 “heroes” of 2005 .
In 2000, George Vithoulkas was honored with the Gold Medal of the Hungarian Republic, from the country’s President, for his work in homeopathic medicine.
In 1995, he established International Academy of Classical Homeopathy in Alonissos, of which he is the director. In this Academy, George Vithoulkas gives the gist of 40 years of his experience and his recent ideas of levels of health. In his teachings, he gives details that will help the doctor or practitioner to determine the state of health of each individual patient and also the possibility to be estimate whether a case is curable with homeopathy and the amount of time and remedies that will be needed to accomplish a cure.
Every year, during the summer months, groups of doctors and practitioners from various countries are being trained there, doctors and practitioners from Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Russia, U.S.A., Canada, Austria, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil and of course Greece.
To find more information about his books and course, you can visit the following pages: