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Hahnemann, epidemics and homoeopathy – Dr. Maneesha Solanki

More than 250 years ago, Hahnemann led us to the discovery of a prophylactic in the past epidemic, for the present epidemic and also for any epidemic that has not yet arrive or shall hit us in the future. 

Hahnemann enunciated that diseases of human beings comprise of merely signs and symptoms and can be eradicated only by those medicines, which are capable of producing those very signs and symptoms themselves.

Epidemics are of serious character and run a rapid course, admit no delay in tackling them and require prompt and effective treatment. Careful and attentive homoeopath, nevertheless, is in a position, by examining of the early few cases of an epidemic, to arrive at a fairly accurate conceptual image of the epidemic and thus finding a medicine homoeopathic to epidemic –prophylactic and curative remedy.

Following Hahnemann’s directions, we were in a position to contain infection and protect inmates in our region in the city of Pune by administering Arsenicum album 30 to a small number of individuals who were either mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic but gave history of contact with COVID positive patients and were home quarantined. None manifested with serious symptoms of COVID-19 or needed   hospitalisation.

Keywords: Epidemic; COVID-19; homoeopathy; prophylactic; curative remedy

Abbreviations: COVID-19 – coronavirus disease 2019, SARS-CoV-2 – Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.

INTRODUCTION 

From the very earliest periods of the history of medicine until the most recent times of COVID-19 pandemic, the search for absolute preventive of diseases has always occupied a large share of the attention of those who occupied themselves with the medical art. Hahnemann was no exception in this pursuit with his new medical science he named ‘homoeopathy’.

It may appear as boastful, if someone says that the search for medicinal prophylactics is in the domain of homoeopathy but the experience and the data accumulated for the past 250 years or so from the different continents of the globe is nothing but the truth. And the same rule, as stated by Hahnemann and homoeopathic stalwarts world over, to the selection of a remedy, should also lead to the discovery of a prophylactic in the past epidemic, for the present epidemic and also for any epidemic that has not yet arrive or shall hit in the future.  

Hahnemann enunciated that diseases of human beings comprise of merely signs and symptoms and can be eradicated only by those medicines, which are capable of producing those very signs and symptoms themselves (in healthy human beings).[ 1 ]

Such is the underlying principle of ‘operation cure!’ in all genuine cures.

*Principal, Professor and HOD, Department of Medicine, Medical Superintendent,

D.S. Homoeopathic Medical College, Pune-4

Role of homoeopathy in epidemics / pandemics

The whole exercise of curing sicknesses comprise of three points necessary for curing diseases as follows:[2]

  • Investigation of the disease,
  •  Investigation of the effect of medicine, and
  •  Appropriate employment of medicines.

This is the mission and the area of skill and knowledge, and aptitude of the dedicated medical profession. It summarises the entire legacy of Hahnemann’s teachings called the science of homoeopathy, left by him – a gift to the humanity.

Vector born viral diseases affecting several people simultaneously, spread rapidly especially in thickly populated areas, where people possess habits of neglecting social distancing, disrespecting personal and community hygiene, etc., may have common originating cause, like H1N1 and dengue in the past, and COVID-19 at present. These epidemics can assume even a pandemic form and their manifestations and the course are also set. If the diseased person is left alone, he may recover spontaneously or even result in death.

The treatment of these epidemics/pandemics should not be based on their nomenclature, or on their causative organism arbitrarily alone, but as Hahnemannadvocated, as early as 250 years ago, by taking into consideration their characteristic signs and symptoms, their evolution and course and the span of the epidemic as well; along with vigorously adhering to the epidemiological guidelines for preventing their spread. Hahnemann emphasised the need for examining each epidemic as an independent new disease which has never occurred in the past.[2] (Reference: Organon, §§ 100-102)  

Fortunately, much less time is required to trace the complete picture of the disease. It is indispensable for the homoeopathic physician to carefully understand all the manifestations in a particular case (totality of signs and symptoms) by its strict examination (individualization) before initiating the treatment.

As epidemics are of serious character and run a rapid course, one must admit no delay in tackling them as they require prompt and effective treatment. Careful and attentive homoeopath, nevertheless, is in a position, by examining of the early few cases of an epidemic, to arrive at a fairly accurate conceptual image of the epidemic, and thus finding a medicine homoeopathic to the epidemic, i.e. a prophylactic and curative one;  a single remedy in a minimum dose.    

Few studies(old and recent) demonstrating the effective role of homoeopathy in epidemics are summarised below:

  1. In the year 1801, Hahnemann proved Aconitum napellus as a preventive and curative medicine in cases of purpura miliars (scarlet- like epidemic of fever) when others were giving Belladonna.[1]
  2. The most celebrated discovery of Hahnemann, the preventive of scarlet fever, Belladonna.  (Bloch gave Belladonna to 270 children during the prevalence of this malignant epidemic and all his children were well protected; Cramer gave it to 70 children none of them were attacked; Gelnecki gave it to 94and out of them 76 of them escaped the disease. Wolf gave it to 120 children; eighty-one of them were free of any sign or symptoms of this disease. All the three were renounced names in medicine of that time). [1]
  3.  Hahnemann recommended Cuprum metallicum and later on also Veratrum album in cholera epidemic(Dr Roth of Munich and Dr Burq of Paris corroborated with his suggestion by obtaining excellent results in the large number of cases treated by them).[1]
  4. Homoeopathy, in 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic, in American Journal of Homoeopathy, 1919.
  5. Government of Andhra Pradesh Publication: Japanese Encephalitis – Homoeopathy Preventive Programme- 2004[3 ]
  6. Janardanan Nair KP, Gopinathan S, Sreedhara Kurup T N , Kumari B.J. Varanasi R et.al, Homoeopathic Genus Epidemicus,  ‘Bryonia alba’ as a prophylactic during an outbreak of chikungunya in India: A cluster, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial: India Journal of Research in Homoeopathy 2014, 8:160-5
  7.  Harilal KN, Anina P Thyagraj, Thomas MV and Suresh A T , Development of Genus Epidemicus for secondary level prevention of Dengue Virus infection at Kannur, Kerala.
  8. Robert T , Mathie, Elizabeth S, Baitson, Joyce Frye, Chaturbuja Nayak, Rajkumar Manchnda and Peter Fisher: Homoeopathic Treatment of Patients with Influenza Like Illness during the 2009  A/H1N1, Influenza Pandemic in India; Homoeopathy, (2013) 102, 187-192 .

Patients with COVID-19, an infectious disease caused by the “novel corona virus”, exhibit a wide range of symptoms. Common symptoms include fever (98%), dry cough (82%), breathing difficulty (55%). Some patients also have aches and pains (44%), nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat (13%), nausea, vomiting (10%) or diarrhoea (10%).[4]

Most cases reported have mild disease and nearly 20 % appear to progress to severe disease including pneumonia, respiratory failure, and in some cases, death occurs.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and antibody testing are the dominant ways that global health care systems are testing citizens for COVID-19.

The final cost on human lives and economic impact remains unpredictable. Identification of suitable treatment and the development of suitable vaccine still remains a distant challenge.[4]

The aim of this article is to show that in the search of collective effort to control this corona pandemic should also consider time tested homoeopathy in the war against corona virus disease.

Even the AYUSH Ministry has recommended that homoeopathic medicine Arsenicum album 30 could be taken empty stomach daily for three days as a immune booster and thus a prophylactic medicine against the COVID-19 infection.[5]

A review article by Anupriya Chaudhary and Anil Khurana, entitled, “A review on the role of homoeopathy in epidemics with some reflections on COVID-19(SARS-CoV-2)”, published in Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy (Volume 14, Issue 2, Year 2020, page 100-109) unequivocally recommended use of homoeopathy in the present pandemic.[6]

Gujarat government has given homoeopathy as COVID-19 prophylactic remedy to practically half of the state and has claimed that 99.6% who availed AYUSH remedies as prophylaxis during their quarantine period tested negative for corona virus.

 The Health Minister of Kerala state has also stated that homoeopathic medicines are effective in curbing the COVID-19 spread. The number of corona virus positive cases among those who took the homoeopathic preventive medicine was very low and those who got infected were also found coming out of the infection swiftly. 

INTERVENTION

In a small study on prophylactic and curative effect of homoeopathic remedy, Arsenicum album 30 on 110 individuals who were both mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic but gave a history of contact with COVID positive patients and were home quarantined, yielded good results as none progressed to severe manifestation of infection or required hospitalisation.

CONCLUSION

It is now time to end prejudice and adopt homoeopathy in the fight against corona virus pandemic that historically proven effective in the similar viral epidemics in the past and also during the present pandemic.

About Author:

Dr Maneesha Solanki*M.D. Hom.

REFERENCES

  1. Hahnemann S: Lesser Writings; B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
  2. Hahnemann S; Organon of Medicine 6th edition; B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi
  3. Encephalitis, 2004; Government of Andhra Pradesh Publication 2004
  4. WHO Monograph on COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020.
  5. COVID-19 , 2020; Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India Publication, 2020
  6. IJRH;Vol.14; Issue 2. 2020; page 100-109.

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