Low-grade inflammation in chronic diseases: an integrative pathophysiology anticipated by homeopathy?

Med Hypotheses. 2011 May;76(5):622-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2010.12.019. Epub 2011 Feb 1.


Pro-inflammatory cytokines and their chronic effect - low-grade inflammation - have been associated with diverse chronic conditions. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were recently proposed as a treatment strategy. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, had already hypothesized a systemic and progressive disorder as the cause of many chronic diseases - the Psora theory. He also advised of the consequences of palliative use for chronic diseases, as a contrary effect of the "of the life-preserving principle" could worsen the course of those diseases. The hypotheses presented here are that the main aspects of Hahnemann's Psora theory are supported by current data on the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines and that the use of NSAIDs to treat chronic low-grade inflammation can produce a contrary, rebound effect, as anticipated by Hahnemann. By diverting from the "palliative action-rebound effect" course, not only homeopathy but integrative medicine could provide different approaches to the treatment of low-grade chronic inflammation. Studies assessing inflammatory markers in chronic integrative treatments are recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Inflammation*
  • Materia Medica*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Palliative Care
  • Quality of Life


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cytokines
  • Materia Medica