Nosodes are a type of remedy used in homeopathic medicine. Homeopathic treatments, like nosodes, aim to support health and well-being by using small doses of diluted substances to activate the body’s natural healing responses.
Nosodes are believed to help treat various diseases and conditions. In this article, we’ll cover what nosodes are, how they are thought to work, and how you can work with a homeopathic practitioner to see if they might benefit you.
What are nosodes?
Nosodes are a type of remedy used in homeopathy. The word “nosodes” comes from the Greek word “nosos” which means “disease.” This is because nosodes originate from diseased organisms.
Nosodes include a wide variety of different remedies that are all made from diseased human or animal products. They can be prepared from infected organs, tissues, or secretions from humans or animals, or from cultured pathogens like bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites.1 2 3 4
Some examples of nosodes that are commonly used include influenzinum (prepared from the influenza virus), tuberculinim (prepared from tissues from people infected with tuberculosis), and psorinum (prepared from scabies blisters).
As with other homeopathic remedies such as sarcodes, nosodes are manufactured using many different steps which may involve crushing, shaking, filtering, and dissolving the original substance and then thoroughly diluting the solution. This means that only a very, very small amount of the original materials remains in the end product that is used as the remedy.
The preparation process also sterilizes and inactivates any dangerous material from the source (such as an active bacteria or virus), meaning the nosode remedy itself is no longer infectious.2
Nosodes are usually made into a small white pellet that is placed under the tongue for treatment.
How do nosodes work in the body?
The philosophy behind nosodes is based on isopathy, which is one of the main pillars of homeopathy. Isopathy is the idea that “like cures like.”
Although the actual virus or bacteria is inactivated when the nosode is prepared and then used as treatment, the material is thought to still have the same energetic qualities as the original infected material.2
Homeopaths believe that nosodes are helpful because when we present the body with the diseased or infected material, it may stimulate the body’s natural healing processes towards that disease or infection. This is thought to help the body fight off the illness, heal symptoms, and return to optimal functioning.1 2
Homeopathic practitioners use nosodes for both acute and chronic conditions. This includes infection-related illnesses as well as non-infectious illnesses.5
A practitioner will choose a very specific nosode to use depending on the patient’s symptoms, their health history, and what type of disease is being addressed. This means that the benefits of each nosode will also vary from person to person.
Do nosodes actually work?
Homeopaths have used nosodes for many years. Many credit Constantine Hering as being the first person to study the effects of this type of treatment all the way back in the 1800s.3
Today, nosodes are still commonly used in homeopathic practices. One survey found that 95% of homeopathic doctors consider nosodes to be an important element of their practice. Furthermore, another study suggests that practitioners find nosodes to be vital in the treatment of about one-third of patient cases.6
For the most part, nosodes and homeopathy in general are not well supported in the scientific literature.7 8 9 10 However, a few studies show that nosodes may offer some health benefits. One study, for example, suggests that nosodes can help with digestive disturbances, while another study found that nosodes may have anti-cancer effects in the body.11 12
It’s important to note that the medical community does not consider nosodes to be effective in preventing disease. For example, one 2018 study showed that nosodes don’t boost antibody responses or create an effective immune system response against infections.13
But while scientific evidence is lacking, a homeopathic review suggests that nosodes have the potential to help prevent infectious diseases on a pandemic-level scale. However, this review notes that a more unified way of preparing nosodes needs to be established along with enough evidence of its effectiveness and safety.5
Here’s the bottom line: While there are plenty of anecdotal and clinical reports from supporters of homeopathy touting the many benefits of using these remedies, there is currently not enough quality research to confirm any of those benefits scientifically. But as we are all unique and may benefit in different ways from various healing approaches, you may want to try homeopathy and nosodes for yourself.
Which nosodes are right for you?
Since there are so many different nosodes available to use, prepared from so many different materials, it is important to work with a trained homeopathic practitioner if you’d like to explore this type of treatment option.
While many homeopathic practitioners report frequent use of nosodes without any safety concerns, even supporters of nosodes emphasize how important it is to exercise caution when using them. They are not to be used without the oversight of a trained medical professional.1
Nosodes that are right for one person may not be right for another. A homeopathic practitioner will use their training and expertise to understand your unique health history and choose remedies that are safe for you and that will best suit your needs.
Check out this Practitioner Directory from the National Center for Homeopathy to find a homeopath in your local area.
What to expect when visiting a homeopath
Homeopathic practitioners are trained to treat from a holistic perspective, taking into account your mental, emotional, and physical health along with family history, environmental factors, and much more.
For this reason, expect to spend plenty of time with your homeopath, especially during your first visit. They will want to review your medical history, ask you many questions about your health and lifestyle, and perform a physical examination.6
After considering the various factors that affect your health from a holistic perspective, your practitioner will look to determine the root causes of your health concerns.
Then, they will create a unique, individualized treatment plan that is right for you. Ultimately, the goal of this type of treatment is to promote the body’s natural healing mechanisms and restore your body to optimal health.
Many homeopathic remedies are made into small sugar pills that simply dissolve under the tongue. Your practitioner will help you determine what dosage and frequency is right for you. They may also recommend other ways to support your healing such as lifestyle changes, dietary changes, and more.
About Chelsea Clark
Chelsea Clark is a writer and certified health and wellness coach who is passionate about supporting others along their own health journeys. She enjoys helping people make positive, lasting changes so that they can live the happiest, healthiest life possible.
1. Jadhav, A.P, & K. Sankar. “Nosodes and Sarcodes.” Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge 16, no. 1 (2017): 158-163.
2. “An Abridged Study – Nosodes and Sarcodes.” Homeopathy 360. Homeopathy360.com.
3. Patil, V.N. “Nosodes and their Utility in Homeopathy.” Homeobook. Homeobook.com
4. Arora, S., & B. Arorro. “Use of Nosodes in Homeopathic Clinical Practice: A Survey.” Revista de Homeopatia 78, no. 1/2 (2015): 8-13.
5. Nayak, D, & R. Varanasi. “Homoeopathic nosodes, a neglected approach for epidemics: A critical review.” Indian Journal of Research in Homeopathy 14, no. 2 (2020): 129-133.
6. “Nosodes.” European Coalition on Homeopathic & Anthroposophic Medicinal Products. Echamp.eu
7. “Homeopathy.” Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Mountsinai.org.
8. Mathie, R.T., N. Ramparsad, et al. “Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of non-individualised homeopathic treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis.” Systematic reviews 6, no. 1 (2017): 63.
9. “Homeopathy: What You Need to Know.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Nccih.nih.gov.
10. “Is There Good Scientific Evidence for Homeopathy.” Regents of the University of Minnesota. Takingcharge.csh.umn.edu.
11. Uchiyama-Tanaka, Y. “Case Study of Homeopathic Bowel Nosode Remedies for Dysbiotic Japanese Patients.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 24, no. 2 (2018): 187–192.
12. Mondal, J., J. Das, et al. “A homeopathic nosode, Hepatitis C 30 demonstrates anticancer effect against liver cancer cells in vitro by modulating telomerase and topoisomerase II activities as also by promoting apoptosis via intrinsic mitochondrial pathway.” Journal of Integrative Medicine 14, no. 3 (2016): 209-218.
13. Loeb, M., M.L Russell, et al. “A randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial comparing antibody responses to homeopathic and conventional vaccines in university students.” Vaccine 36, no. 48 (2018): 7423–7429.