At a time when the British Medical Association is calling for the end of national funding for homeopathy and detractors are describing it as "nonsense on stilts", a Nobel prize-winning scientist has made a discovery that suggests that homeopathy does have a scientific basis after all. In July, Nobel Prize winning French virologist Professor Luc Montagnier shocked fellow Nobel prize-winners and the medical establishment by telling them that he had discovered that water has a memory that continues even after many dilutions.
Until Montagnier's research, the bulk of mainstream doctors and scientist had maintained that there was no scientific way that multiple dilutions used in homeopathy could possibly work. In part, such views stemmed from lack of understanding. In larger part, such views likely stemmed from a desire to stem the rising popularity of homeopathy and eliminate it as a competition to mainstream medicine - much the same as happened in the United States a century ago.
One of the foundations of homeopathy maintains that the potency of a substance is increased with its dilution. Montagnier discovered that solutions containing the DNA of viruses and bacteria "could emit low frequency radio waves" and that such waves influence molecules around them, turning them into organized structures. The molecules in turn emit waves and Montagnier found that the waves remain in the water even after it has been diluted many times. To a lay person, that may not mean much, but to a scientist it highly suggests that homeopathy may have a scientific basis.
In Britain the market for homeopathy is estimated to be growing at around 20% a year. Over 30 million people in Europe use homeopathic medicine. Homeopathy is supported in Britain by Prince Charles and the physician to the Royal Family has been a homeopathic physician since the late 1800s.
While homeopathy is also experiencing a resurgence of popularity in the United States, it is far more popular in much of the rest of the world. In India, approximately 130 million people use homeopathy. In Brazil, homeopathy is a recognized medical specialty where 15,000 medical doctors are certified as homeopathic specialists
The latter half of the 19th century was homeopathy's heyday in the United States. Regular physicians could hardly compete. By 1902 homeopaths did seven times the business of allopaths and there were 15,000 practicing homeopathic physicians in the US. During the 1849 cholera epidemic, homeopaths from Cincinnati kept rigorous records showing that they lost only 3% of their patients, while allopathy lost 16 to 20 times more.
Many highly accomplished individuals past and present have chosen homeopathy as their therapy of choice, including several U.S. Presidents. Many of America's literary greats advocated for and often wrote about homeopathy, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Mark Twain - as did European greats such as Goethe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lord Alfred Tennyson, and George Bernard Shaw.
At the turn of the 20th century, the AMA came right out and admitted that competition was destroying physicians' incomes. Thanks to funding from John D. Rockefeller and the Carnegie Foundation, the AMA was able to repress and ultimately eliminate homeopathy and other natural and alternative competition. The 22 homeopathic medical schools that flourished in 1900 dwindled to just 2 in 1923. By 1950 all schools teaching homeopathy were closed.
Ironically, John D. Rockefeller believed strongly in homeopathy. He referred to it as "a progressive and aggressive step in medicine." Rockefeller lived to the ripe old age of 99 using only homeopathy in the latter part of his life.