The purpose of this article is to help explain how Homeopathy is a useful form of treatment for infectious diseases now and its past record proves it. Also, why it is so important to understand a little more about its mechanism of action even in this modern age of technological marvels in medicine. Homeopathic Medicine has a long and successful history for treating viral and bacterial epidemics.
- The “Spanish Flu” began in 1918 and was the most devastating pandemic in human history that had ever been, claiming more lives than World War I. The flu virus had not yet been discovered, and the usual therapy measures were merely symptomatic. In many parts of the world the pandemic was treated by homeopaths. At the time, homeopathic medical practices, out-patient clinics and hospitals existed in various countries. To this day homeopaths refer to the successful homeopathic treatment of the “Spanish Flu”.
Homeopathy is itself a technological marvel which science is slowly beginning to understand and discover as having an action explainable through physics. Interesting researchers now name Homeopathic Medicine as Ultra High Dilution Medicine in research papers.
- During past great epidemics such as diphtheria, scarlet fever, typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, malaria, etc., homeopathy decreased mortality by 10 to 30 times versus conventional medicine. During the infamous Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-19, it has been estimated that 25 to 50 million people died worldwide. In the United States alone, 550,000 died, approximately 10% of the people afflicted with the flu. 30,000 Canadians and in Native communities of the far north, some villages suffered a 100% mortality rate. Homeopathic physicians documented then more than 62,000 patients treated with Homeopathy resulting in a mortality of 0.7%. For people who were sick enough to be hospitalized, conventional medicine had a mortality of 30% while with 27,000 documented hospitalized cases, homeopathy was reporting a mortality of 1.05%.
First, a fact about Homeopathic medicines is the substances used are deemed medicinal because they are capable of producing characteristically similar symptoms to those of the illness being treated. The substances used to make Homeopathic medicines do not cause the same illness, they cause the same type of symptoms of an illness.
For example, coffee is a Homeopathic medicine that can be used to treat a person who has a state of nervousness that is similar to the side effect of taking too much coffee. So, we are not using Homeopathically made coffee to treat someone who has overdosed on coffee but we are using it to treat someone who has a nervous system out of balance like when a person has way too much reaction to coffee. The imbalance could be caused by high stress situations like an over long labor to. Or, another situation might be in certain types of manic states of mental illness.
To summarize, Homeopathic medicines are a dose of a substance that could produce a set of symptoms analogous, similar, to the symptoms of the problem being treated. Hence, we hear the expression, “Like cures like”, in describing this idea about Homeopathic medicine. I’d expand the above simplification to try and better explain it thus,
“Homeopathy cures an illness when like symptoms of that illness which are both similar, and even stronger, to the illness are introduced”.
Second fact about Homeopathic medicines is that they are given in a diluted form, and as such their side effects are minimized. The theory in effect is that an individual who is ill and has an array of symptoms as a result of that illness. Further, when sick we are uniquely hypersensitive to the Homeopathic medicine because it is capable of causing both a similar set of symptoms and these being even stronger. The Homeopathic medicine is a calculated push to the body’s ability to better manage its responses to the illness and increases the healing potential.
Third fact to know about Homeopathic medicine is that not every patient’s illness is treated the same way. For instance, different patients with a diagnosis of Strep throat are treated with different Homeopathic medicines. To explain, with regular pharmaceutical drugs a patient who has Strep throat with an earache might be an anti-biotic where the action of the anti-biotic removes the burden of the bacterial infection and therefore the client recovers. With Homeopathic medicine a patient might be Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade). It would given in dilution to avoid its toxic effects, and still influencing the immune system to function effectively against the bacterial infection and accompanying inflammation. It can be surprising to see the speed of action a properly prescribed Homeopathic medicine has on a condition like this.
Further, Homeopathic medicines are prescribed not for a pathological diagnosis like a Streptococcus bacterial infection but for the state of illness a patient who has the Strep infection. This state of illness is measured by their unique symptoms. A Homeopathic medicine is chosen after a careful examination of the nuanced characteristics of the patient’s symptoms. These are the symptoms of the illness and are the variances from the patient’s normal healthy state. The Homeopathic medicine is given diluted to provoke a stronger and healthier reaction to the suffering they currently experience. For Homeopath’s the pathology of the illness isn’t more or less important, it is because the chosen Homeopathic medicine could fail to work if not prescribed accurately and it is important to have the antibiotic on standby.
At a time of potential critical illness such as the current Coronavirus, COVID-19, Homeopathic medicine can play an important role in defending us from succumbing to the worst of its potential.
Below is a table of useful Homeopathic medicines suitable for a variety of symptoms we might experience if we become ill. From the onset when we begin to feel unwell to the point where we might be critically ill and needing additional treatment in a hospital.
|Aconitum napellus||Acon||Anxiousness. Complaints from mental shock, fear of crowds, < dry cold. Bruised feeling over entire body and heaviness of all limbs. Cannot lie on painful side. Constant desire to lie down. Painful sensitiveness of body to touch, he will not allow himself to be handled. Unbearable pains. Extra ordinary sudden sinking of strength. When sitting still most complaints disappear, but at night in bed, they are almost unendurable. Swollen feeling in many parts. Takes cold from Exposure to dry cold winds. Results of taking cold. Agg. hot days and cold nights.|
|Antimonium tartaricum||Ant-t||Much mucus in throat with shortness of breath. Ant-t, affects the Mucous MEMBRANES esp. of Bronchi and Lungs, causing GREAT ACCUMULATION OF Mucus, with coarse rattling, thereby respiration is impeded and heart action becomes laboured; defective oxygenation in the circulation of blood occurs. All these conditions cause cyanosis, depression of vital power. Patient becomes INCREASINGLY WEAK, SWEATS, BECOMES DROWSY and RELAXED with LACK OF REACTION.|
|Arsenicum album||Ars||Fearfulness, perfectionism, restlessness, < after midnight, < alone, fear of illness and infection. Breathing short and anxious. A very deep acting remedy, affecting every organ and tissue. MENTALLY the patient is extremely nervous; restless and anxious. Discharges of Mucous MEMBRANES are ACRID, THIN and SCANTY; coryza, saliva, sweat etc. Changes to taste and changes to the tongue. Pain in swallowing, great thirst, anxiety and restlessness.|
|Belladonna||Bell||Irritability, delirious fever, convulsions, inner heat, dysmenorrhoea Irritability, fits of rage with hitting, sensitivity to pain. BURNING HEAT, BRIGHT REDNESS and DRYNESS are very marked. HOT; body, part, discharges etc. Redness occurs in streaks. SEVERE NEURALGIC PAIN, that comes and goes suddenly. FULLNESS; CONGESTION esp. to head and SWELLING. PAINS ARE THROBBING; SHARP; CUTTING; SHOOTING; or clawing, of maddening severity; coming and going in repeated attacks.|
|Bryonia Alba||Bry||Apprehensive, uneasiness and dread of future. Especially over matters of work and business. Quickly prostrated, shuns all motion, complains on moving, or when being moved, of pain everywhere, white tongue, feeling of dryness in mouth without particular thirst or with desire for large quantities. Thirsty for large amounts at a time. AVERSION TO LEAST MOTION, even to distant parts, is due to its action on nerves and muscles. Dryness everywhere, of mouth, throat etc. Better: PRESSURE; LYING ON PAINFUL PART.|
|Camphora||Camph||Coldness, cramps and convulsions, with mental anguish are the marked features of Camphor indications. Convulsions with blue lips, froth at mouth and lock-jaw. It is a remedy for sudden collapse, from over-powering influences acting on nervous centres. Patient becomes ICY COLD; YET HE IS AVERSE TO COVERS, or wants them off; and then on alternately with internal burning heat and anxiousness Sudden; weakness; fainting spells growing worse.|
|China officianallis||Chin||Irritability, sensitivity of all sensory organs, high-flying future plans, periodic complaints. The debility in China, is due to PROFUSE, EXHAUSTING DISCHARGES; loss of vital fluids, excessive suppuration, diarrhoea, haemorrhages etc. INTERMITTENT periodicity is very marked in fever and neuralgias. Patient becomes teak, over-sensitive and nervous; everything upsets him; light, noise, odours, pain etc. bursting pain.|
|Eupatorium perfoiatum||Eup-p||Anxiety, despair, depression. The leading characteristic is VIOLENT ACHING, BONE BREAKING PAINS. Muscles of chest, back and limbs feel bruised, sore aching It affects the liver producing bilious effects. Patient is restless, chilly and nauseated. Colds. Influenza. Throat dry, at times becomes hoarse and loses her voice. Hoarseness, roughness of voice, cough aggravated evening, aching in all the bones, much sweat, lassitude, pale, sensitive, passive.|
|Gelsemium smperivens||Gels||Desires to be quiet, does not wish to speak, nor have any one near her for company, even if the person be silent. Has strong action upon the MUSCLES and MOTOR NERVES. In muscles it causes overpowering ACHING; TIREDNESS; HEAVINESS; WEAKNESS AND SORENESS esp. felt in the muscles of the extremities. Paralysis-of eyes, throat larynx, anus, bladder etc. or TREMORS or twitchings; of single muscles, face, chin, tongue etc. Inability to swallow or speak. Severe cough, with much pain in chest.|
|Hepar sulphuricum||Hep||Irritability, sensitivity to pain, foul-smelling discharges, slow healing of injuries. Patient is OVERSENSITIVE to all impressions; to cold; to pain; touch, noise, odours, to draught of air; slightest pain. It has a special affinity to RESPIRATORY Mucous MEMBRANES producing profuse secretions. SWEATS EASILY and profusely, but dares not uncover; sweats without relief. Glands inflamed; swell and suppurate. The patient is CHILLY; even wears overcoat in hot weather.|
|Kalium carbonicum||Kali-c||Frets about everything, peevish, impatient, contented with nothing. Melancholia. Stitches in sides of chest, on inspiration. The cold air feels hot. SHARP STITCHING; stabbing or catching pains. Pain through lower third of right chest to back. Parts lain on are painful or go to sleep. Stinging when swallowing, frequent desire to swallow saliva, but frequently cannot, causing a choking. Discharges are profuse and acrid.|
|Nux vomica||Nux-v||Irritability, ambitiousness, put themselves under pressure, outbreaks of rage, impatience, oversensitivity, worse cold. It affects the nerves, causing hyper-sensitiveness, and over impression-ability-mentally and physically. Produces DIGESTIVE DISTURBANCES; partial congestion and hypochondriacal states. Sore throat, with sensation of swelling, or as if a plug were in throat. Spasmodic dry cough, or cough with difficult expectoration and oppression of chest Internal scrapinfg sensation or RAWNESS; in throat, larynx.|
|Phosphorous||Phos||Worse being alone, likes attention, lack of endurance. Quickly prostrated by unpleasant impressions. Timid and irresolute. Melancholy; disinclined to work, study, converse. Weary of life. Sheds tears, or with attacks of involuntary laughter. Clairvoyant. Tonsils and uvula much swollen, uvula elongated, with dry and burning sensation. Anguish and heat in chest, anxiety, with want of breath. Burning, piercing soreness and tension in chest.|
|Pulsatilla||Puls||CHANGING; SHIFTING SYMPTOMS this remedy is known as a weather cock remedy. It affects the MIND; VEINS; Mucous MEMBRANES; respiration and one side. Symptoms rise to a certain pitch, then suddenly cease. It is a remedy for females, of mild, gentle, plethoric, yielding disposition, who cry readily and weep when talking. Symptoms appear on one side or go to side lain on. THIRSTLESSNESS; CHILLINESS AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH. Chilly and craves fresh air. Worse for heat of bed or room, worse evening times.|
|Sulphur||Sulph||Disinclination to wash, foul-smelling discharges, skin problems, worse warmth of bed. It causes irregular distribution Of ClRCULATlON; causing LOCAL BURNING; THROBBING; or CONGESTION; flushes of heat; rush of blood to head, chest, heart. REDNESS OF ORIFICES or of single parts. Dryness of throat: exciting cough, at night, constant desire to swallow saliva in order to moisten affected parts. Sore throat with swelling of cervical glands.|
|Veratrum viride||Verat-v||Markedly uneasy sensation in the whole body. Twitchings and convulsions; here and there; during sleep; jerking and trembling. Muscular prostration. Erratic motion; staggering. Spasms; with violent shrieking. Burning in different places; tongue, pharynx; gullet; of skin which is cold; with prickling. Burning in back of throat and esophagus, with constant inclination to swallow. Pneumonia, pulse hard, strong, quick, engorgement of lungs, with faint feeling in stomach, nausea, vomiting, slow or intermittent pulse.|
 Jahn S. Die Grippe-Pandemie nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg und die Homöopathie im internationalen Vergleich [The flu epidemic after World War I and homeopathy–an international comparison]. Med Ges Gesch. 2014;32:231–272.
 Bellavite P, Marzotto M, Olioso D, Moratti E, Conforti A. High-dilution effects revisited. 2. Pharmacodynamic mechanisms. Homeopathy. 2014;103(1):22–43. doi:10.1016/j.homp.2013.08.002
 Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy 1921; 13:1028-43
Homeopathic Research Institute – Provides Information on Homeopathic Trials
Homeopathy in epidemics an article by Roland Guenther of Royston, Vancouver Island, BC