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Homotoxicology was established by Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg

 “According to homotoxicology, all the processes, conditions and phenomena that we describe as diseases are the manifestation of the body's battle with poisons and its efforts to neutralize and excrete these poisons. Sometimes the body wins the battle, sometimes it loses. Whatever the outcome the processes that we describe as diseases are invariable biological processes serving the natural purpose of fighting and eliminating poisons.”

The body's cellular defence system (immune system) comprises a non specific component (known as the reticuloendothelial system) that consists of macrophages, neutrophillic granulocytes, and capilliray endothelial cells with the properties of macrophages (e.g., in the liver, bone marrow, and spleen) and a specific component (T and B lymphocytes). Epithelia and vascular endothelia serve a general barrier function against a variety of antigenic substances, and the same is true of the molecular sieve function of the extracellular matrix.Since more than one substance harmful to the tissue is generally involved in the development of a disease, it is appropriate to make simultaneous use of several potentized “antitoxins”, such as those in antihomotoxic products.

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Reckeweg uses the term homotoxins for all the substances harmful to the body. Homtoxins may enter the body from outside (exogenous) or arise in the body itself as a result of physiological or pathological reactions (endogenous). As synthetic organic compounds become more numerous, the prevalence of homotoxins also increases.

Phase theory, biological division, vicariation principle Reckeweg classified the body's reactions to toxins that threaten i.e. homotoxins within a morphologicotemporal framework of six successive phases.

  1. Excretion
  2. Inflammation
  3. Deposition
  4. Impregnation
  5. Degeneration
  6. Dedifferentiation phases

At a higher level a three-way functional classification into humoral (1 and 2), matrix (3 and 4), cellular (5 and 6), phases can be made.

The biological division lies between the matrix phases 3 and 4, which emphasizes the importance of the matrix as an interface between humoral and cellular phases. The biological division ultimately marks the limit of systemic regulation of an organism with the risk of transition to increasing regulatory decoupling of its subsystems. Examples include loss of regulatory coupling between the hormone system and the immune system (chronic diseases) or even decoupling of cell functions (e.g., abolition of genetically programmed cell death (apoptosis) in tumours).

The biological division is also vital to an understanding of the vicariation principle of antihomotoxic medicine, which states that a disease picture can be improved or cured if, during treatment, the patient passes through the individual phases in reverse order (regressive vicariation), finally reaching the excretion phase, persistence of individual phases being possible. Conversely, progressive vicariation means a worsening of condition.

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