Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or condition. It is for educational purposes only. The author advises readers to consult with a qualified health care professional prior to taking any homeopathic remedies.
Losing weight is not always easy. Can homeopathic remedies help you to lose weight? The answer is—possibly yes—depending on the reasons for the excess pounds. Perhaps homeopathy can provide a little boost for success.
Obesity is a serious problem in the U.S. as well as in many other countries around the world, and the obesity rate continues to surge. Nearly 42 percent of American adults are obese, with 9.2 percent deemed severely obese.1
Children are not faring much better. Nearly 20 percent of U.S. children and youth aged two to nineteen were obese as of 2020.2 Worldwide, thirty-nine million children under age five were overweight or obese in 2020, as were (as of 2016) over three hundred forty million children and adolescents (18 percent) aged five through nineteen—a dramatic change from just 4 percent in 1975 (only 1 percent of whom were obese).3
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), four million people die each year due to overweight or obesity.4 Overweight and obesity also add greatly to the burden of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Modern medicine considers the main causes of obesity to be greater caloric intake than use due to sedentary lifestyles and excessive consumption of high-calorie foods and drinks. It also acknowledges some metabolic impairments, especially low thyroid function, as contributors to weight gain.
Research also points to the contribution of environmental risk factors—toxins and pharmaceuticals, in particular.5 This article will examine the use of homeopathy as an aid for some of these circumstances.
HYPOTHYROIDISM AND THYROIDINUM
Metabolism refers to chemical processes that convert calories from food and drink into energy, which then fuels the many different functions of our bodies. This process is finely tuned and involves many different organs as well as the individual cells of our body. Multiple factors can affect metabolism, including hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism affects about 5 percent of Americans and is very common in women who have had more than one child. Hypothyroidism can lead to weight gain and make it difficult to lose excess weight.
A homeopathic remedy made from healthy thyroid tissue called Thyroidinum (in a 3X potency) may be helpful to support and heal an underactive thyroid. It is traditionally prepared from the healthy thyroid of a sheep, but don’t worry, it won’t turn you into a sheeple!
Consider the results of a six- to nine-month study from India, which enrolled thirty patients with diagnosed hypothyroidism who were already taking the synthetic drug levothyroxine (one hundred micrograms a day) as a mainstream therapy.6 Despite taking the medication, many of the cases still had various hypothyroid-related symptoms, such as weight gain (40 percent) and hair loss (20 percent). In the study’s treatment group, fifteen patients took Thyroidinum 3X twice a day in addition to the levothyroxine; the control group continued on levothyroxine only. The researchers monitored thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels throughout the study. Almost 73 percent (eleven of the cases) in the treatment group were able to reduce their levothyroxine dosage to as little as twenty-five micrograms a day; in addition, TSH levels improved, and those taking Thyroidinum lost from one to four and a half kilograms (about two to ten pounds) of body weight. In the control group, in contrast, weight loss ranged from zero to one kilo only. The researchers concluded, “Thyroidinum 3X hastens the curative process in primary Hypothyroidism.” None of the participants reported adverse effects from the combined treatment of Thyroidinum 3X with levothyroxine.
GLYPHOSATE AS AN OBESOGEN
Many everyday chemicals have the potential to cause endocrine disruption, which can tamper with the body’s fat cell metabolism and endocrine balance, derailing homeostatic mechanisms important to weight control. These chemicals have been tagged as “obesogens.” Obesogens can cause fat cells to accumulate extra fat, as well as interfere with appetite and satiety; they may even lead to transgenerational obesity.5 Obesogenic chemicals may also disrupt the delicate balance of the microbiome, altering the signals of friendly microbes, which tell the brain that enough food has been eaten.7 Studies have shown that exposure to these toxins in early life can predispose both animals and children to hormone disruption and obesity.7
For this article, I will focus my discussion of obesogens on glyphosate, the wide-spectrum herbicide. In use since 1974, glyphosate is the most used herbicide in human history, used by farmers as well as consumers. There are more than seven hundred fifty glyphosate-containing products for sale in the U.S., Roundup being one of the most popular.8 In addition, glyphosate has been used since 2007 on crops as a drying agent, administered about seven to ten days before harvest. As a result, almost all of the wheat, corn and soy grown in the U.S. is contaminated.
Glyphosate’s massive use has led to widespread environmental diffusion, including groundwater contamination and human consumption through food products. It is now detectable in urine, serum and breast milk samples.9,10
Glyphosate is a known endocrine disruptor. It can also damage DNA and interfere with many metabolic processes in microbes, plants, animals and humans.9 In addition to harming human health by fueling obesity, glyphosate has been linked to cancer, type 2 diabetes and infertility as well as decreased IQ, learning disabilities, autism, allergies and asthma in children, among many other documented harms.9,10
GLYPHOSATE AND HOMEOPATHY
Naturally, it is advisable to avoid glyphosate as much as possible by eating organic, non-GMO grains and grass-fed, pastured meats and eggs, but in addition it may be helpful to supplement these foods with various nutrients and use homeopathic remedies to help with detoxification. Nutrients could include binders such as activated charcoal as well as vitamin C, cod liver oil and chlorella.
There is some interesting research examining the ability of homeopathic remedies prepared from various toxins to aid in the removal of those toxins from the body. Most of this research has been done with arsenic poisoning,11-20 but some has also addressed mercury, cadmium and lead toxicity.21-28 It stands to reason that the same approach would work with glyphosate and other environmental chemicals. From a clinical perspective, this seems to be correct. Homeopath Kate Birch has written a comprehensive book about glyphosate toxicity and detoxification, which I can recommend.29
Homeopathic remedies prepared from glyphosate as well as from mixtures of common herbicides are available for purchase from some homeopathic pharmacies. The usual course is to buy 30C, 200C, 1M and 10M potencies and to take each potency twice a week for two weeks—or possibly for four weeks, depending on the individual’s response—starting with the 30C and increasing to 10M. Ideally, this should be done under the care of a knowledgeable practitioner.
I&E Organics Apothecary in the U.S. carries homeopathic glyphosate under the name CEASE-Allopathic-GLYPH. They also carry a remedy prepared from a mix of herbicides under the name CEASE-Allopathic-POLY-HERB. This may or may not help with weight loss, but I think it is worthy of consideration.
MEDICATIONS AND OBESITY
A number of common medications are known to cause or contribute to weight gain, including various antibiotics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, the contraceptive injection Depo-Provera and prednisone.30
Since 1948, antibiotics have been known to cause weight gain, when researchers found that the new antibiotic aureomycin boosted the growth of chickens when added to their feed. Some of the chickens reportedly grew to twice the weight of their unmedicated brethren.31 This was the beginning of the widespread use of antibiotics as feed additives for chickens, hogs and cattle, which then allowed for the development of large factory farms where animals could be kept in crowded and dirty conditions thanks to a steady diet of antibiotics.31
Apparently, researchers also conducted antibiotic feeding experiments on humans, including developmentally disabled children living in an institution in Florida. The force-medicated children averaged six and a half pounds of weight gain per year, compared to just under two pounds for the unmedicated kids.31
The average American child takes eighteen courses of antibiotics by age eighteen; there is significant research to support a correlation between early-life antibiotics and an increased risk of subsequent obesity.32-34 A cohort study of nearly sixty-five thousand American children using records spanning the period between 2001 and 2013 found that 69 percent were exposed to antibiotics before two years of age and by that age had received an average of 2.3 prescriptions.34 The more often they were exposed to the drugs, the more likely they were to be overweight or obese by age five. The researchers concluded that antibiotic use was a risk factor for obesity.
Another cohort study that looked at over three hundred thousand children born between fall 2006 and fall 2013 produced similar results; 72 percent of the children had been prescribed an antibiotic in their first two years of life.35 The researchers also examined the effects of acid-suppressing medications given for reflux. They concluded, “Antibiotics, acid suppressants and the combination of multiple medications in the first 2 years of life are associated with a diagnosis of childhood obesity. Microbiota-altering medications administered in early childhood may influence weight gain.”
MICROBES AND MITOCHONDRIA
The weight gain associated with antibiotics may be due to several factors. For example, among their many functions, the beneficial microbes in our gut influence the secretion of ghrelin, a peptide associated with hunger. Research has shown that antibiotic use can increase the amount of ghrelin secreted, contributing to increased appetite. Moreover, changes in ghrelin levels after antibiotic use can last for months.36
Antibiotics are also known to damage or even kill mitochondria,37,38 the multifunctional organelles within our cells that create all the energy and power in our body. Without enough active mitochondria, calories are not converted as easily to energy but are stored instead in fat cells, leading to weight gain.
Perhaps even more troubling, antibiotics have been linked to the development of anxiety and depression in children,39 as well as the development of severe mental disorders, including schizophrenia and affective disorders, in adults.40 This suggests yet another pathway to weight gain—that ice cream in the freezer can look pretty tempting when one is feeling depressed!
To restore microbial balance, some obvious measures involve the use of fermented foods and good probiotics, among others. In addition, homeopathic remedies made from antibiotics might be helpful. In my practice, I use homeopathic remedies from many different antibiotics as well as from a special mixture of antibiotics called Poly-antibioticum. I’m not sure how much this would help with weight loss, but it might be worth a try for someone with a history of antibiotic use who is struggling to lose weight. Poly-antibioticum can be purchased from Helios Homeopathic Pharmacy in the UK. (You would need to send them a message about it, as it is not listed on their regular index.) As with a glyphosate clearing, the most commonly used potencies are 30C, 200C, 1M and 10M, with each potency taken twice a week for two to four weeks. A few rounds of this may be needed.
ANTIDEPRESSANTS’ DEPRESSING EFFECTS ON WEIGHT
As mentioned, research has shown that antibiotics may cause anxiety and depression in children and potentially severe mental health problems in adults,39,40 and contribute to weight gain via mechanisms that include mitochondrial damage. To make matters worse, several antidepressants, like antibiotics, are linked to weight gain. So, someone who becomes depressed and gains weight as a result of taking antibiotics could be told to take antidepressants that add to the burden and cause even more weight gain. (Oh, the joys of pharmaceutical medicine!)
Does homeopathy have something to offer in this situation? As with the remedies made from antibiotics, homeopathic remedies made from antidepressants are also available for purchase and may help to reset the body after the use of such medications. In addition, homeopathy can be very helpful for people suffering from depression and anxiety, particularly when caused by stress and emotional trauma.
Nowadays, antipsychotics are routinely given to children with be havioral challenges such as aggression—something quite easily helped with homeopathy. Antipsychotics are known to cause damage to mitochondria and stimulate appetite,37 and so they, too, are a recognized cause of weight gain. Experts report rapid increases in weight “in the initial period after starting antipsychotics” but also continued weight gain “in the long term,” with children “particularly vulnerable” to those effects.41 In fact, in Vancouver, Canada, close to where I live, a special clinic was founded just to help children with weight gain caused by antipsychotics!42
Antipsychotic medications also impair glucose metabolism, increase cholesterol and triglyceride levels and cause arterial hypertension, leading to metabolic syndrome and weight gain that can continue or remain even after discontinuation.41 As with homeopathic remedies made from antidepressants, remedies made from antipsychotics (and, in fact, any kind of medication) are available for purchase and may help to reset the body.
HOMEOPATHIC OPTIONS FOR EMOTIONAL EATING
Eating can certainly provide comfort for most of us, but sometimes, extremes can happen. Emotional trauma and stress may lead to emotional eating and obesity. Several common homeopathic remedies may be helpful for emotional eating that is a response to stress and trauma. (Remember that ideally, remedies are carefully selected for the individual.)
About twenty years ago, I saw a client who complained about strange neurological symptoms in his arms and chest. He also wrestled with weight issues. During the intake interview, he shared that his mother had suffered from bipolar disorder and had attempted to kill him in his sleep on several occasions. He had decided as a child to become very big and strong to survive such attacks, including gaining a lot of weight. The neurological symptoms greatly improved with the homeopathic remedy Rhus toxicodendron, which can be useful when someone has been victimized by close family members.
Another client was aware of having decided as a child to become overweight and unattractive due to a history of child sexual abuse. She did not want to attract the attention of men and never married.
Ignatia amara is a wonderful remedy for emotional shocks and grief, especially if associated with disappointment and betrayal. This remedy may be indicated in cases of romantic disappointments, especially in young, refined women. The person feels shattered, and may either cry hysterically or just shut down and not be able to cry at all. Some indulge in comfort eating or develop bulimia. Everyone should have this remedy on hand because as human beings, we are all vulnerable to sudden shocks, grief and disappointment.
Natrum muriaticum (Nat. mur.) is a famous remedy for ailments that develop after long-unresolved grief and is one of homeopaths’ top remedies for eating disorders. People who may benefit from Nat. mur. tend to be emotionally closed, introverted and reserved. They don’t talk much and don’t like consolation. They are sensitive and tend to dwell on insults, finding it hard to forgive. They may eat instead!
Lac maternum, made from mother’s milk, could be a good remedy for overeating, especially if the relationship with the mother was strained or disrupted, if there was birth trauma or if the person was not breastfed. Mother’s milk helps infants come into the world, supporting incarnation. A child or adult who needs this remedy may be ungrounded, foggy and not really in touch with their body or deeper needs. After taking the remedy, they may become more aware of boundaries and needs.
Saccharum officinale, made from cane sugar, might be helpful for those addicted to sugars and sweets. Over the past one hundred years, annual U.S. sugar consumption has increased from around ten kilos in 1800 to nearly eighty-two kilos by 2009.43 It stands to reason that a remedy made from cane sugar—and probably remedies made from other sugars—might be helpful in curbing an excessive sweet tooth. Saccharum officinale also can be associated with a lack of self-love and a fear of being abandoned, with fear of being unloved and abandoned also serving as potential indications for the remedy Pulsatilla. Individuals who may benefit from Pulsatilla may eat and binge to console themselves out of loneliness or depression and may go for ice cream, whipped cream, butter, cookies and other sweet and creamy foods.
Many different factors can play a role in obesity and difficulties with losing weight, including lifestyle, environmental and pharmaceutical toxicity, hypothyroidism and emotional stress and trauma. Homeopathic remedies made from healthy tissues (such as Thyroidinum) or from environmental toxins and pharmaceuticals (such as glyphosate and antibiotics) offer novel and possibly promising approaches to help with weight loss in indicated cases.
Homeopathy has a long history of use with emotional trauma, which may lead to emotional or binge eating. Individual remedy selection is important for cases of emotional abuse and trauma. As always, it is advisable to work with a qualified homeopathic practitioner for serious health conditions.
- Janesick AS, Blumberg B. Obesogens: an emerging threat to public health. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016;214(5):559-565.
- Kiruthiga S. Homoeopathic thyroidinum 3x-an adjuvant in the treatment of hypothyroidism. Int J Complement Altern Med. 2018;11(1):1-4.
- Grün F, Blumberg B. Endocrine disruptors as obesogens. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2009;304(1-2):19-29.
- Muñoz JP, Bleak TC, Calaf GM. Glyphosate and the key characteristics of an endocrine disruptor: a review. Chemosphere. 2021;270:128619.
- https://www.gmoevidence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Glyphosate-Destructor-of-Human- Health-and-Biodiversity.pdf
- The health dangers of Roundup (glyphosate) herbicide. Jeffrey Smith & Stephanie Seneff. https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=h_AHLDXF5aw&ab
- Cazin JC, Cazin M, Gaborit JL, et al. A study of the effect of decimal and centesimal dilutions of arsenic on the retention and mobilization of arsenic in the rat. Hum Toxicol. 1987;6(4):315-320.
- Mitra K, Kundu SN, Khuda Bukhsh AR. Efficacy of a potentized homoeopathic drug (Arsenicum Album-30) in reducing toxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: I. On rate of accumulation of arsenic in certain vital organs. Complement Ther Med. 1998;6(4):178-184.
- Mitra K, Kundu SN, Khuda Bukhsh AR. Efficacy of a potentized homoeopathic drug (Arsenicum Album-30) in reducing toxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: II. On alterations in body weight, tissue weight and total protein. Complement Ther Med. 1999;7(1):24-34.
- Kundu SN, Mitra K, Bukhsh AR. Efficacy of a potentized homoeopathic drug (Arsenicum-album-30) in reducing cytotoxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: III. Enzymatic changes and recovery of tissue damage in liver. Complement Ther Med. 2000;8(2):76- 81.
- Kundu SN, Mitra K, Khuda Bukhsh AR. Efficacy of a potentized homoeopathic drug (Arsenicum Album-30) in reducing cytotoxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: IV. Pathological changes, protein profiles, and content of DNA and RNA. Complement Ther Med. 2000;8(3):157-165.
- Khuda-Bukhsh AR, Pathak S, Guha B, et al. Can homeopathic arsenic remedy combat arsenic poisoning in humans exposed to groundwater arsenic contamination?: a preliminary report on first human trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005;2(4):537-548.
- Belon P, Banerjee P, Choudhury SC, et al. Can administration of potentized homeopathic remedy, Arsenicum album, alter antinuclear antibody (ANA) titer in people living in high-risk arsenic contaminated areas? I. A correlation with certain hematological parameters. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006;3(1):99-107.
- Belon P, Banerjee A, Karmakar SR, et al. Homeopathic remedy for arsenic toxicity?: Evidence-based findings from a randomized placebo-controlled double blind human trial. Sci Total Environ. 2007;384:141-50.
- Khuda-Bukhsh AR, Banerjee A, Biswas SJ, et al. An initial report on the efficacy of a millesimal potency Arsenicum Album LM 0/3 in ameliorating arsenic toxicity in humans living in a high-risk arsenic village. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2011;9(6):596-604.
- Khuda-Bukhsh AR, Roy-Karmakar S, Banerjee A, et al. A follow-up study on the efficacy of the homeopathic remedy Arsenicum album in volunteers living in high risk arsenic contaminated areas. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:129214.
- Datta SS, Mallick PP, Khuda-Bukhsh AR. Comparative efficacy of two microdoses of a potentized homoeopathic drug, Cadmium Sulphoricum, in reducing genotoxic effects produced by cadmium chloride in mice: a time course study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2001;1:9.
- Gaddipati JP, Rajeshkumar NV, Grove JC, et al. Low-dose cadmium exposure reduces human prostate cell transformation in culture and up-regulates metallothionein and MT-1G mRNA. Nonlinearity Biol Toxicol Med. 2003;1(2):199-212.
- Laure F, Cal JC, Guillemain J, et al. Influence of the diluating factor on the protective effect of Mercurius corrosives on the toxicity induced by mercuric chloride in mice. French Homeopathy. 1985;73:375-380.
- Cotte J, Bernard A. Effects de Hahnemannian dilutions of Mercurius corrosivus on the multiplication in culture of fobroblasts entangled by mercuric chloride. Aspects of Homeopathy Research. 1983;1.
- Yoshikawa H. Preventive effect of pretreatment with low dose of metals on the acute toxicity of metals in mice. Ind Health. 1970;8:184.
- Beringhs-Bueno LA, Paschalicchio AE. High-dilutions as mercury’s chelating agent. Int J Complement Altern Med. 2017;5(3):11-12.
- Cal JC, Larue F, Guillemain J, et al. Chronobiological approach of protective effects of Mercurius corrosivus against mercury-induced nephrotoxicity. Ann Rev Chronopharmacol. 1986;3:99-102.
- Leite LB. Study on patients intoxicated by lead and treated with homeopathic preparation. Botucatu, Brazil: Institute of Biosciences, 1998.
- Birch K. Glyphosate Free: An Essay on Functional Nutrition and the Homeopathic Clearing of Glyphosate Toxicity. CreateSpace, 2019.
- Anderson LA. Which drugs cause weight gain? Drugs.com, Jun. 24, 2022.
- Kennedy P. The fat drug. The New York Times, Mar. 8, 2014.
- Neuman H, Forsythe P, Uzan A, et al. Antibiotics in early life: dysbiosis and the damage done. FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2018;42(4):489-499.
- Cox LM, Yamanishi S, Sohn J, et al. Altering the intestinal microbiota during a critical developmental window has lasting metabolic consequences. Cell. 2014;158(4):P705-721.
- Bailey LC, Forrest CB, Zhang P, et al. Association of antibiotics in infancy with early childhood obesity. JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(11):1063-1069.
- Stark CM, Susi A, Emerick J, et al. Antibiotic and acid-suppression medications during early childhood are associated with obesity. Gut. 2019;68(1):62-69.
- Martín-Núñez GM, Cornejo-Pareja I, Clemente-Postigo M, et al. Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy affect the gut microbiota and ghrelin levels. Front Med (Lausanne). 2021;8:712908.
- Kuretu A, Arineitwe C, Mothibe M, et al. Drug-induced mitochondrial toxicity: risks of developing glucose handling impairments. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2023;14:1123928.
- Karp I, Lyakhovich A. Targeting cancer stem cells with antibiotics inducing mitochondrial dysfunction as an alternative anticancer therapy. Biochem Pharmacol. 2022;198:114966.
- Prichett LM, Yolken RH, Wu L, et al. Relationship between antibiotic exposure and subsequent mental health disorders in a primary care health system. Brain Behav Immun Health. 2022;21:100430.
- Köhler O, Petersen L, Mors O, et al. Infections and exposure to anti-infective agents and the risk of severe mental disorders: a nationwide study. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2017;135(2):97-105.
- Dayabandara M, Hanwella R, Ratnatunga S, et al. Antipsychotic-associated weight gain: management strategies and impact on treatment adherence. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2017;13:2231-2241.
- Panagiotopoulos C, Davidson J, Raghuram K. A Physician Handbook for Metabolic Monitoring for Youth with Mental Illness Treated with Second-Generation Antipsychotics. BC Mental Health & Addiction Services, Jul. 21, 2010.
- Sitwell KL. 100 years of sugar consumption – When did it become too much? LinkedIn, Aug. 13, 2020.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2023🖨️ Print post