Homeopathy (meaning “treating with a similar toxin”) was defined by German medical practitioners at the time of “Heroic Medicine”, in the early 1800s. Early Homeopathic Doctors were concerned with the toxic elements of treatment drugs used at that time (which included mercury, arsenic or pure quinine…). They started to dilute the drugs to reduce side effects, with a process called potentisation. Seeing better results among their patients, they defined a medicine based on the principles of “homeostasis”, a concept still key in conventional medicine. They obtained especially great success at that time with acute infections.
Homeopathy was challenged from the start by conventional doctors, partly because early homeopathic practitioners were openly critical of the medical establishment. However, it retained its fame and supporters for acute conditions, even among the medical establishment.
For example, Homeopathy was credited for its success during many epidemics in the US Far West during the XIXth Century, so much that a statue was erected a few blocks from the White House to celebrate the founder of the principles of homeopathy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Hahnemann_Monument)
- In the last 60 years, homeopathy has been used for local epidemics in Africa, South America and India, when conventional drugs were not readily available. The World Health Organisation used it with enormous success in 2007 in Cuba to combat Leptospirosis (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20674839).
So, how can we use it for the current pandemic?
First let us look at the four phases of pandemics and acute infections:
The Preparation phase
A person can strengthen their overall health and immune response prior to an infection. It should be ideally done most of the time, with good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. It is however especially important at the start of a pandemic…. For COVID-19, we now know that people with metabolic-related issues like obesity, hypertension or diabetes are more likely to develop severe symptoms and be hospitalised. So trying to lose weight healthily (if this is an issue), and reducing metabolic disrupting food like sugar or processed meals are a key part of this phase. Staying away from severely infected people with social distancing is also obviously useful.
In terms of homeopathy, many practitioners use the “homeoprophylactic approach”: this is when a remedy is prescribed to prepare the immune system to a known infection. It usually uses a remedy, which would fit the early symptoms of the infection (the “Genus Epidemicus”). Some professional practitioners also use a homeopathic remedy made from the germ itself, an approach called isopathy (“treating with the identical toxin”). This was the latter approach, which was used by the WHO in Cuba for example. India and Cuba currently have invested heavily in this homeopathic preventative approach. For common Genus Epidemicus, see the suggestions in the next phase.
If well prepared, people may be asymptomatic even if they have been exposed to the virus – they will create natural antibodies with almost no signs of acute infections.
The Early infective phase
This is on the early onset of symptoms. While we have a general picture of COVID Infection, the early symptoms will often defer slightly with each infected person. The top-3 remedies used with success as reported by professional homeopath far have been Bryonia, Arsenicum Album and Gelsemium. Oscillococcinum has also been used on the Continent.
It is worth noting that rest and a simple diet with plenty of fluid is also key at this stage. This is because during an early infective event, the body will require a tremendous level of energy to fight back. It is then good to reduce non critical body functions, such as muscular activity and digestion, to a strict minimum.
The secondary infective phase
It usually starts a few days after the early infection and will take two directions – either the desired recovery or a worsening /variation of symptoms. This is when the body does not get control of the infection. Urgent medical assistance may be then required…
In the case of COVID-19, most affected people would have only mild symptoms and start to feel better after a week or so (80% is the estimate of the NHS).
When there are worsening or variations of symptoms, a professional homeopath would prescribe new remedies, usually in quick succession, and suggest medical assistance in parallel . It is important to stress that this situation rarely occurs if the early infection is well treated and managed. The list of remedies suggested among professional homeopaths for this phase are are Ferr Phos, Gelsemium and China, as well as remedies for cough such as Ant-Tart.
The post-infective phase
It is estimated that after 2 weeks, most COVID-19 severe patients will have either died (a very small proportion) or recovered fully. Some with however suffer from post-viral ailments, with fatigue, repeated muscle and joints pain with chill and loss of smell the most commonly post-infection symptoms. Some cases of tinnitus and rash have also been reported.
At this stage, remedies like Gelsemium, China or Silica are often prescribed to support recovery. A more varied diet and supplementation can also help to boost the recovery.
In conclusion, to be prepared for pandemics, first strengthen your health and then have a therapeutic approach ready, which you can try before contacting medical emergencies.
A Homeopathic first-aid kit can usually be purchased from a British Homeopathic Pharmacy or a Registered Homeopath. Do contact a professional homeopath or a CAM practitioner if you have chronic issues or are considered at risk. Most will be happy to help you with an individualised support, and also to assist you via email if you are sick and have the remedies at home.
For more information, contact Thierry Clerc on firstname.lastname@example.org
Thierry is a regular speaker in Cambridge, and nationally in matters of natural health. He is allso a health writer for national and international publications.