Introduction training programme of HOMEOPATHS WITHOUT BORDERS   M Brands

Homeopaths without Borders is an international federation with several national sections in Europe, Africa and Latin America. Our main activities are training in homeopathy, humanitarian aid and research. The federation was established in France in 1984.

What is homeopathy?

In disease there is always a conflict between an agressor and the defense system of the human organism. The agressor can have either a microbial, a physical or a toxic nature.

Two basic approaches in medicine are possible:

1.     attacking the agressor: orthodox Western medicine uses antibiotics to kill microbes and parasites, and anti-inflammatory drugs to suppress pathological reactions.

2.     reinforcing the defense system, by improving the reaction of immune-mechanisms; this is the effect of homeopathy. On the basis of recent biological research it has been proven that specific proteins in the cell, protecting the cell to damage and cell-death, are stimulated by homeopathic medicines.

In physics it has become clear that small doses of a substance stimulate biological processes, whereas high doses can destruct them, like toxins.

Homeopathy systematically makes use of this body of knowledge: by stimulating the immune-system with a minimal dose, it gives a specific signal to the body to restore its own generative capacity. The fact that these doses are so small, has long confused traditional medical thinking, in believing that no effect was possible. This position is no longer tenable, given the recent research in biology and physics.

Respective indications of homeopathy and orthodox medicine.

  Orthodox antibiotic therapy has its use in killing large numbers of micro-organisms, when a patient is severely weakened, e.g in emergency situations where a patient needs intensive care.

However, in general treatment, the risk is that, when the agressor has been neutralized, the defense system is as weak as before. This in its turn can cause recurrences in the form of chronic infections. Another problem can be the capacities of the micro-organism to adapt to the drug: resistence develops, like in malaria and tuberculosis.

Homeopathy can, though, strengthen the immune-system so that this can neutralize the external agent by itself; this is seen in many acute diseases, like infant diarrhea and malaria. But also in chronic diseases like asthmatic and rheumatic disorders; then the  improvement is reflected in the decreasing need of orthodox medication.

Why is homeopathy an interesting option for health care systems?

1.     Due to the low doses, the drugs are very cheap; once the solutions are prepared by serial dilution and succussion, they are impregnated in lactose sugar globules. Calculations of Homeopaths without Borders and other studies have shown that the average costs of treatment do not exceed 10% of the price of orthodox medical drugs. For many people in the world this can mean the choice between homeopathy or no treatment at all, as most of them cannot afford the prices of western based pharmaceutical drugs.

2.     As mentioned above, no resistence can be developed by a micro-organism against a drug that is affecting the quality of the immune-response, rather than directly attacking the microbe itself. For malaria this can offer interesting perspectives, like a recent study in Tamale, Ghana, has shown. Homeopathy was as effective as chloroquine in this double-blind study.

3.     As many orthodox drugs are tested in relatively healthy western volunteers, they insufficiently take into account the differential effect upon malnourished patients, or people with a high bacterial and parasitical load. The original intestinal flora is already weak, and is further damaged by the drug, so that recurrences are often observed. This puts further constraints, not only upon the compromised health of the patient, but also upon the very restricted budget available for many clinics to supply their drugs.

4.     The individualization of therapy; this has homeopathy in common with traditional herbal medicine, practiced in many countries. Our experience is that homeopathy can form a bridge between western-trained doctors and traditional practitioners, as both some homeopathic and all herbal drugs are made of plants. The form of preparation is different. An interesting co-operation in Ghana with the Center for research in plant medicine in Mampong is planned.

What are the contents of the courses of Homeopaths without Borders?

1.     Basic principles of homeopathy: individualization of treatment and the similia-principle. Every patient reacts with his own particular symptoms to a given diseasse, and the drug is chosen individually, according to this particular set of symptoms. “Choosing a drug” means: if this drug produced in experiments with healthy persons a set of symptoms similar to those of the patient, it is appropriate: “like cures like” - a principle already applied by Hippocrates, the founder of western medicine.

2.     Materia medica: the pattern of symptoms, belonging to each different remedy, whereas every remedy has its specific actions upon the organism, or so-called “target-effects”.

3.     Differential diagnosis in common diseases: malaria, fever, measles, whooping cough, diarrhea, respiratory infections, traumas, suppurations, postoperative pathology, obstetrical problems. Some of the most frequently used remedies are compared with each other for each disease.

4.     The Question Strategies or consultation techniques needed for arriving at the right choice of the remedy in a relative short time, given the busy consultation hours.

5.     Specific subjects requested for by the participants, doctors and/or nurses, about  clinical problems they meet in their clinics.

How are the courses organized?

1.     A regular programma lasts for two years, in six periods of one week each; the teachers are all experienced homeopathic doctors, both in practice and in education. After the training, the new homeopaths will receive a training of trainers to continue the education in their own country.

2.     Hours: preferably after working hours, e.g. from 3 until 6 pm.

3.     Tuition  fees are required for books, papers and test-kits of medicines.

4.     After every period a simple evaluation is made of the transferred knowledge, as to give both teachers and participants feed-back; a final examination concludes the total course.

5.     All our programs are developed in close co-operation with our counterparts.


1.     Gaucher C et al. “Report on homeopathic treatment of the cholera epidemic in Peru”. British Homeop J , 1993,  82: 155-163

2.      Jacobs J et al. “Homeopathic treatment of acute childhood diarrhea, a randomized clinical trial in Nicaragua”. Pediatrics, May 1994, 93: 719-725

3.     Kyei-Faried, S and M.Hermans, Primary Health: no pay no cure? Ned Tijdschr Geneesk 139 (45): 2312-2325

4.     Reilly DT et al. “ Is homeopathy a placebo response? Controlled trial of homeopathic potency with pollen in hay fever”. Lancet, 1986, 881-886

5.     Van Wijk, R et al, “A molecular basis for understanding the benefits from subharmful doses of toxicants”. Environmental Management and Health, 1994, vol 5 no 1, 7-14

6.     Van Erp, V, and M. Brands, “Homeopathic treatment of malaria in Ghana, open study and clinical trial”, Brit Hom J, april 1996, 85: 66-70

7.     Youbicier-Simo BJ et al., The effects of embryonic bursectomy and in ovo administration of highly diluted bursin on adrenocorticotropic and immune response of chickens. 1993, Int J Immunother, 9:169-180.