Homeopathy, Epidemics and Viral Infections
As case numbers of viral infection rise again this winter, I am reminded that epidemics have come and gone throughout history and that homeopathic medicines can help. With over 200 years of use, homeopathy has seen its share of epidemics, including its use during the plague and cholera in the 1800s, the Spanish flu of 1918 and more recently a Leptospirosis outbreak in Cuba. Homeopathy has proven to be an adjunct to conventional medicine, supporting the body’s natural healing abilities and often lessening the impact of symptoms on the body. While homeopathy is not meant to replace conventional medical care in the emergency of an epidemic such as Covid, many people who have been diagnosed find that they are asked to self isolate at home and only go to the hospital when symptoms become serious – this is the perfect time to add a suitable homeopathic medicine.
Homeopathy can be given while symptoms are mild to intense, before hospitalization is needed and may minimize the effects of symptoms so that hospitalization becomes unnecessary. While there are no guarantees that homeopathic interventions prevent hospitalizations, there is no harm in using these natural medicines, as they do not conflict with any conventional treatment and can be given alongside other treatments as they become necessary – and there is evidence that homeopathic medicines minimize symptoms. One study showed that out of 50 patients treated by homeopathic medical doctors in Italy, none required hospitalizations: Symptomatic COVID-19 positive and likely patients treated by homeopathic physicians – an Italian descriptive study. Nonetheless, serious illnesses such as these should only be treated in collaboration with public health officials and medical physicians.
How is homeopathy different?
Unlike conventional medicine, homeopathy works best as a highly personalized medicine rather than by diagnosis, so what may help one person may not be suitable for the next person. The best homeopathic medicine is selected according to the symptoms a person experiences rather than by disease diagnosis. Be aware that homeopathy essentially works with the body’s innate ability to heal itself, stimulating the immune system instead of “treating” the flu like anti-viral medications might. It does not “kill” viruses or bacteria, but rather strengthens the body so it helps you recover faster and more fully from an illness. The advantage of this is that when you start to feel better—the fever slows, pain eases—it means that you are on the mend.
Over a year ago, my colleague Robin Pollack and I gave a webinar on homeopathy and epidemics, One Flu Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Homeopathy, the Flu and Epidemics, with some remedy recommendations for the home prescriber in case of viral illness – and this is just as relevant now as it was then. Note that home remedies are only recommended for symptoms of a viral infection that range from mild to medium intensity. If you’re new to homeopathy or your symptoms are intense, seek the advice of a homeopath and phone your doctor or the nurse hotline if you have symptoms that concern you.
This video on Homeopathy and Epidemics is long – brimming on two hours – so if you’d like to learn more about the history of homeopathy for epidemics, start at the beginning – and if you’d like to learn more about homeopathic medicines to keep at home skip to the 54 minute mark. Would you prefer to read about homeopathy for viruses without listening to the video? Check out my previous blog: Homeopathy – Flu Recovery Naturally. This blog outlines the top remedies to keep on hand for any viral infection.
As a final note, I’d like to leave you with some quotes about homeopathy during the Spanish flu of 1918, a flu that killed more young people than World War I, and homeopathy was used quite successfully in many of those cases. Here are some quotes from old records, some of which are also on British parliamentary record:
Dr. H. A. Roberts was a physician on a troop ship at the time. Another boat pulled alongside to get any spare coffins- its mortality rate was so high. On his return to port, the commander said to Roberts, “used all your coffins?” To which Roberts, who had been treating his ship with homeopathy, replied, “Yes, and lost not one man!”
Fifteen hundred cases were reported at the Homeopathic Medical Society of the District of Columbia with but fifteen deaths. Recoveries in the National Homeopathic Hospital were 100%.-E. F. Sappington, M. D., Philadelphia.
One physician in a Pittsburgh hospital asked a nurse if she knew anything better than what he was doing, because he was losing many cases. “Yes, Doctor, stop aspirin and go down to a homeopathic pharmacy, and get homeopathic remedies.” The Doctor replied: “But that is homeopathy.” “I know it, but the homeopathic doctors for whom I have nursed have not lost a
single case.” -W. F. Edmundson, MD, Pittsburgh.