Homeopathic medicines have been used to treat epidemic diseases as well as been used as a prophylaxis during epidemics to avoid infection.
The founder of homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, wrote about epidemic prophylaxis in the 6th Organon of the Healing Art (aphorism 73, footnote 73b). This idea was introduced during a time before vaccines were invented, therefore many M.D.s were open to using homeopathy as treatment and prophylaxis of epidemic disease. Robert Dudgeon M.D., a founder of the Hahnemann hospital, wrote about the effective prophylactic treatment of 1646 children by 10 doctors. 123 of the children contracted scarlet fever which is an infection rate of under 1%. This is much lower than the rate of infection at that time which was as high as 90%. At that time Belladonna (in homeopathic dilution) was used for this prevention.
Homeopathic medicine was used for the influenza epidemic of 1918. Mortality rate was generally 2.5% when treated with allopathic medicine, but those treated homeopathically had a mortality rate of 1.05% (History of the Treatment of Epidemics with Homeopathy by Julian Winston).
For every flu circulating, homeopaths try to find the 'genus epidemicus' of that flu. That means they try to find the homeopathic remedy that can alleviate the specific symptoms common to the circulating flu. That is the reason this blog was started. Each flu has different symptoms--fever, headache, joint pain, nasal stuffiness, chills, etc. We can tally these symptoms in a number of people to find which remedy matches most of the cases we see. Hahnemann said that the remedy found could be given to healthy individuals to prevent the flu.
To find the correct remedy for the circulating flu, patients are interviewed at length about their symptoms. Doctors in Hong Kong have compiled a list of common symptoms amongst COVID19 positive patients then watched closely for positive effect of homeopathic given in office. (After listening to symptoms and choosing a remedy, the patient stayed in the office until a positive effect of the given remedy was seen). The most common symptoms were slow manifistation of symptoms, chill, mind stupification, weakness, tickling cough, and pain in the bones. They found that these remedies were their top four effective remedies:
The Gelsemium picture looked like this: chill and fatigue, mental fatigue, no thirst, headache like a band around the nead, tickling in the throat, cough with involuntary urination while coughing, cough worse at night, and all symptoms worse wet weather. This was the top remedy.
Bryonia follows Gelsemium well especially after suppressive medications such as Ibuprofen and Tylenol are given. Bryonia symptoms were increased thirst (especially for warm water), dry cough worse at night, desire to be alone, chest pain with cough, tickling in the throat worse when entering a warm room, throat pain and a catch in the breath with cough. Many people feel that Bryonia is the top remedy for COVID19.
Arsenicum symptoms were chill, diarrhea and vomiting, minimal cough, thirsty but nausea worse with drinking, nausea at the smell of food, symptoms aggravated when eating and drinking and nausea temporarily relieved by vomiting.
Eupatorium symptoms were fever, severe myalgia even to the point of the back feeling broken, mild cough, and thirstlessness. I have heard reports of severe body aches in people who treated themselves at home (ie: did not have to go to the hospital for shortness of breath).
So we can see that in different people there are different symptoms though many symptoms overlap. What does this mean for finding the genus epidemicus?
1. There are likely different strains of COVID19 circulating
2. There may be regional reactions to COVID19 based on air temperature and air quality, humidity or other factors
3. There may be differing reactions to COVID19 based on the predisposition of the individual. This predisposition could be based on genetics, lifestyle, and the level of something called the 'vital force'--which is thought to be the inherent life energy of an individual which is capable of bringing the body back to homeostasis.
4. There may be 2 or more remedies for this flu because it is a complex flu. Is there bacterial infection on top of the viral one? Many feel this must be the case because Azithromycin does seem to help people.
What the doctors in Hong Kong decided to do was recommend a combination of Gelsemium and Bryonia, both in 30c dose, to be taken as prophylaxis. It is estimated that 50% of the population in Macau, China used these as prophylaxis. Out of over 600,000 people there were only 10 local cases of COVID19.
How often should one take these homeopathics as prevention? The common recommendation is to take one dose once weekly. When 2 remedies are suggested, one can take them alternating or combined into one remedy.
What strength should be used? This is debated amongst homeopaths and each individual has their favorite method of dosing homeopathics. Hahnemann tested out differing methods of dosing and in his later years gave doses in water rather than by pellets. This was thought to have a more gentle effect, especially when given as prophylaxis.
Can people get symptoms from taking a homeopathic prophylaxis? Yes. Similar to getting some flu symptoms from a flu vaccine, taking a homeopathic prophylactically can, in some people, create mild symptoms. Symptoms could be felt for a few hours to a couple of days for most people, although the majority of people will not note any symptoms from homeopathic prophylaxis at all.
I have taken a homeopathic combination formula developed for bronchitis during this (COVID) time. Any time I have felt shortness of breath, I have taken it. It has always relieved symptoms within about five minutes. One week when I felt very exhausted, shaky and drained at the end of the day, I took Gelsemium twice and I felt better within a day. I am currently working on a homeopathic combination in liquid dose that should be effective for the symptoms we have seen with COVID19. I must note that I did get a nasopharyngeal COVID 19 test after 5 days of mild shortness of breath and the test was negative. I will be taking the antibody test soon.
I also would like to note that most homeopaths believe that if someone has a 'constitutional remedy', that remedy should be taken as prophylaxis. A constitutional remedy is a remedy which matches a person's constitution--or their typical weaknesses and recurring symptoms. Since the remedy brings the body back into balance or to a position of strength, their constitutional remedy has a good chance of helping them fight off an infection while remaining asymptomatic.
Stay tuned for the availability of our homeopathic flu prophylaxis for 2020.