Some modern homeopaths are exploring the use of more esoteric substances, known as imponderables because they do not originate from a material substance but from electromagnetic or electrical energy presumed to have been captured by direct exposure, Positronium, and Electricitas (electricity) or through the use of a telescope (Polaris). Recent ventures by homeopaths into esoteric substances include Tempesta (thunderstorm), and Berlin wall.
Lets look at an example: If your child accidentally ingests certain poisons, you may be advised to administer Syrup of Ipecac to induce vomiting. Ipecac is derived from the root of a South American plant called Ipecacuanha. The name, in the native language, means the plant by the road which makes you throw up. Eating the plant causes vomiting.
When a group of healthy volunteers took this substance to determine the effects of this drug, they found that the drug induced other symptoms as well. The mouth retained much saliva. The tongue was very clean. There was a cough so severe that it led to gagging and vomiting. There was incessant nausea. While it is expected that vomiting would usually relieve the nausea, this was not the case.
Such an experiment, using healthy volunteers, is called a proving, and it is the homeopaths source of information about the action of a drug.
Of what use could this plant be? If a person were suffering from a gagging cough after a cold, or a woman were experiencing morning sickness with incessant nausea that is not relieved by vomiting, then Ipecacuanha, administered in a minute dose, especially prepared by a homeopathic pharmacy in accordance with FDA approved guidelines, can allay the similar suffering.
Today, about 3000 remedies are used in homeopathy; about 300 are based on comprehensive Materia Medica information, about 1500 on relatively fragmentary knowledge, and the rest are used experimentally in difficult clinical situations based on the law of similars, either without knowledge of their homeopathic properties or through knowledge independent of the law of similars.