Vital Force-Generation and Utilisation

The author, a homeopath and physics major, discusses the vital force from a biochemical perspective.

Vital force” is a term coined around two centuries ago by Dr. Hahnemann to describe the energy supply needed to support life. He referred to life’s energy source as a “vital force” because its underlying principles at that time were unknown. Since then, scientists have clearly defined the biochemical pathways that supply the cellular bio-energy that is required to begin and support life. These biochemical pathways are so well known that they are routinely included in the teachings of general high school biology.

In the animal world, the life-supporting bio-energy is generated mostly by mitochondria through the conversion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to adenosine diphosphate (ADP). Essentially, every cell contains thousands of mitochondria.

ATP is the high-energy molecule that stores the bio-energy we need to drive just about every biological process that is required for life. Living things use ATP like a battery. Let me explain a bit about the chemistry of the generation of bio-energy. The structure of ATP has an ordered carbon chain as a backbone, but the part that is really critical is the phosphorous part – the triphosphate.

Three phosphorous groups are connected by oxygens to each other. If just one of the phosphate groups is removed from the end, so that there are just two phosphate groups, now called ADP, sufficient energy is released to support all life processes. Just the removal of one phosphate group from ATP liberates about the same amount of energy as in a single peanut.

Food energy, derived from dietary glucose for example, is used by the mitochondria to convert the ADP back to ATP so that the energy is again available to support all of life’s biological processes. The accumulative energy of all the cells in the system gives rise to what can be called vital energy. This vital energy when consumed by the system to do some useful work (FORCE = capacity to do work) is called force. Since this force is being generated from vital energy, it is therefore referred to as the ‘Vital Force’.

Disruption of this vital energy system due to an underactive mind or body function or suppression of mitochondrial function has an overall effect on the whole mind / body system. This is when a healthy system becomes symptomatic and is pronounced ‘sick’. There is insufficient ATP derived energy to support proper functioning of all the biological processes that are required to maintain health.

It is also very important to recognise that there are two distinct genetic systems that we inherit from our parents. One is the mitochondrial genetic system which is inherited almost exclusively from our mothers and the other is the separate nuclear genetic system that is inherited equally from both parents. Ill health may be caused by abnormalities in either genetic system or indeed by inappropriate interaction between the two.

Picture a country which is in good shape and form in all respects, and suddenly in one part of this country there are problems arising due to internal or external agents and this part drags all into chaos. Then the effect of this chaos is felt throughout this country in the form of economy, unrest, even the population is effected in mind and body. The population living closest to the affected part/area will suffer maximum damage in all respects; those more distant from the source of the unrest will be affected to a lesser extent.

To overcome this unrest the normal course of action by the authorities is to utilise some of its additional resources. If, with the utilisation of these resources authorities can control the situation, the whole country comes back to normality. Otherwise it gets into the grip of anarchy and depletion of vital resources that are necessary for the sustainability of the country.

The same scenario holds true for all living beings. Within all living beings, mind and body should always be in an equilibrium state (optimal health). If there is a shift from a balanced to an unbalanced state, there is anarchy and unrest within the system. This unbalanced state can be due to environmental factors, food (fuel) habits, or negative interactions with others. All these factors have a direct effect on a healthy system. One or all of these three factors; living in pollution, having unhealthy food habits, and company of bad fellow beings, results in mind and body damage of a healthy system. Consequently this healthy system would go from a balanced to an unbalanced state of health and become symptomatic.

The gravity, longevity, and nature of these symptoms will depend upon how much vital energy or bio-energy a system has, or is capable of generating, from all the available resources. In this instance the simple principle prevails that the fastest, safest and most effective way to produce vital energy will be the optimum way to regain equilibrium and optimum health. Once the physiological system has reached the required level of vital energy, or ATP induced bio-energy, then it will be able to restore all the normal healthy, balanced mind and body functions.

About the author

Saqib Rashid

Saqib Rashid

Dr Saqib Rashid "“ B.Sc., M.Sc., DHM (BIH) is a fully qualified and experienced homeopath. He attained a BSc. degree, and later a MSc. degree in physics. He achieved his postgraduate diploma in Homeopathic medicine (DHM) from the British Institute of Homeopathy, Egham, Surrey, United Kingdom.


  • “Vital Force” was not coined by Christian S. Hahnemann. See: Vitalism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – [ Traducir esta página ] It was argued that the essential difference between the two forms of matter was the “vital force”, present only in organic material. …

    Development – Foundations of chemistry – Developmental biology – Mesmerism – En caché – Similares

  • Now: Vital force is the foundation of life itself. That is the reason it is called “vital”, from “vita”, life, in Latin. That energy is formed with chemical and physical energies, being the electric very important, more than the chemical. That is the energy the brain uses to control the organism as a totality and keep it going alive.
    But there are energies we do not know, like the one that avoids-protect feet to burn with flame under certain conditions, walking on coil on fire. This is, of course, stronger than fire.
    Vitalism, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary,[Merriam-Webster definition] is a doctrine that the functions of a living organism are due to a vital principle distinct from biochemical reactions, a doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining. The existence of such a force has never being proved but there are signals of the existence of something like it.
    Yes; the life-supporting bio-energy is generated mostly by mitochondria through the conversion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and other processes for the electricity production. But what else there is?

  • This isn’t exactly the ‘vital force’ Hahnemann talks about. it can’t be quantitified or measured its rather a faculty controlling the life energy

      • The article about the generation of cellular energy is no doubt good, it refreshes one’s memory and providea food for thought.The thing is the word “force” as meant in Hahnemann’s concept of “Vital force” isn’t the force as defined in fundamental physics, ie capacity to do work. We can give the analogy of the workers in a factory doing the manufacture work using ‘force’ as defined in physics this can be compared to the cellular energy ok, but the task of the vital force is that of the manager who ‘gets things done’ more with some special ability and the power vested with his office, though he has energy it can not be directly attributed to the work done. Vital force defined by Hahnemann is similar to this, hence it is more appropriate to call it a ‘faculty’ than a’force’ the former being a much wider term which does not limit the meaning of the CONCEPT “VITAL FORCE”.

  • As you have stated we can infer from your reply, either Dr Hahnemann picked up a wrong word or he did not know what exactly he was saying, but I think this is totally wrong. He fully comprehend the meaning of force and its wider implications in the time to come. In his time the bio-genetic science was not much advanced as it is today this is why he gave us a vague idea about vital force, and left the task for us to expound on it with the help of modern scientific discoveries.
    Hence, this is not wise to suggest that Dr Hahnemann meaning of force was not what is the true meaning of force in physical sciences, then we will not do any service to Homeopathy.
    For non-homeopathic world the force is force we can’t change its definition and understanding.
    Only the need of the time is to take Dr Hahnemann’s astonishing theory of vital force and Homeopathy to step ahead in the folds of modern medical science not to keep it under the covers of unproven philosophy of spiritual world.

  • Well,atleast you agreed tnat Hahnemann intended spiritual nature of the vital force.I am happy about that, and I hate to argue too.
    It is such a highly abstract concept and any attempt to give a materialistic explanation will amount to taking us back to the allopathic line of thinking, the very thing Hahnemann had abandoned as ‘unscientific’. If we are to accept that the cell generated energy itself is the vital force,and the inadequacy in the same is the cause of diseases & correcting the energy production or supply will restore the health, does it not pre-suppose the ‘causa morbi’ as a material object ?the addition (or removal in the case of negetive causa morbi) of which cures the disease ? when it comes to that we know even energy is the dualistic form of matter.Hence there won’t be any takers among clear thinking homeopaths
    And why should we be ashamed of talking about phylosophy or spirituality ? Science can explain only the ‘HOW’ of things not the ‘WHY’ of things.When science is no more capable of explaining spirituality takes over.Albert Einstein had also remarked “everyone who is seriously in the pursuit of science will ultimately be convinced that a vastly superior power is manifest in the laws of the universe…before which we feel humble.
    Ralf juitter has made a scholarly analysis of these dilemma that exists in homeopathy, in his essay “Facts and theories, Hahnemann’s balancing act” in the december issue of the ezine. he says “any tendency to think that the miasms are real and vital force can be directly perceived-are to be counterbalanced in homeopathy by concrete comparison and unprejudiced observation”.

  • I never agreed ‘that Hahnemann intended spiritual nature of the vital force.’ It (Vital Force) was purely his view which including himself no one can understood yet! Spirit and physical body are two separate entities which are interdependent on each other. Our physical body has a huge impact on our spiritual system as far as spirit remains within our body,it takes food from our physical body in the form of energy. In the above article I have tried to explain this very phenomena of Vital Force. This is why I have openly challenged that if any homeopath understands the true concept of vital force, he should come forward to relieve the burden of Dr Hahnemann as he himself could not explain it. At least I have tried to shed some light!


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