Homotoxicology, the theory of disease developed by Dr. Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg (1905-1985), understands illness as the human body’s defense against toxic substances (homotoxins) present in the body as a result of metabolism. Dr. Reckeweg developed concept of a” IntercellularMatrix” by which he understood essentially the mucus between the cells and between cells and blood vessels and nerves. The exchange of substances between cells and lymph is conducted through this mucus. If the structure of Matrix changes and substance exchange becomes impaired nutrients cannot get through into the cells and toxins are not excreted but accumulated inside the Matrix.

According to Dr. Reckeweg’s therapeutic model Illness is developed when body’s capacity for detoxification is overwhelmed by Homotoxins production and they accumulate first in the matrix , then inside the cells.

The resulting disturbances, which eventually manifest as illness, are the body’s attempt to restore a state of biochemical balance. For Reckeweg, restoring this balance was the ultimate goal of all medical treatment.

Reckeweg developed a model of progression of the disease consisting of 6 stages of Homotoxin influence on the body and body’s detox reactions.

Stage 1 – Excretion – when foreign unfriendly agent enters the body first reaction is to wash it off or expel it somehow. Body uses excretion reactions such as tears , runny nose, diarrhea, cough , sneezing, etc.

Stage 2 – If excretion attempt proves unsuccessful, the body employs inflammation to deal with intruders. Inflammation in this case is acute ( redness, swelling, rise in temperature ) and is seen as defence reaction .

Stage 3 Deposition – If both excretion and inflammation are ineffective, body deposits toxins in the matrix to somehow protect cells from toxic influences. This process is insidioius and slow but if untreated will proceed to follwing stage

Stage 4 – Impregnation

Once toxins are stored in the matrix and is not removed, they start to connect to structural elements of the matrix ( collagen fibres, mucus ) and impare the movement of substances in the matrix, resulting in even higher degree of toxic load.

Stage 5 – Degeneration

In this phase defense system is not able to eliminate toxins from cells and matrix. Intracellular structures as well as genetic material becoming increasingly damaged. The progressive intoxication results in death of cells and shrinkage of affected tissue. This phase accommodate chronic degenerative diseases, most of them irreversible.

Phase 6 – Dedifferentiation

If cells did not die as a result of previous stage they can loose their differentiation and become cancerous. In this case this cells multiply in increased rate and produce more homotoxins which eventually leads to death.