Disease Prevention: A Case Study of Homeoprophylaxis in India
You may have wondered about the use of homeopathy in the prevention and remediation of disease. This excellent review from the Weston A. Price Foundation does the subject justice.The article can be read in its entirety at Weston A. Price Foundation’s website. It’s an excellent read for education and disease prevention for you and your family!
Medical doctors are frustrated! Their hands are tied, and they can no longer practice medicine in the way they originally intended. With the advent of electronic records and innumerable insurance company requirements, doctors’ eyes are glued to the computer screen instead of free to look their patients in the eyes. Pharmaceutical companies have overtaken public media by advertising drugs for every symptom imaginable, drugs that are often accompanied by dire side effects. What happened to “First, do no harm,” and what’s happened to modern medicine?
Actually, one nontoxic and inexpensive form of medicine is alive and well. Homeoprophylaxis, also known as HP, is a safe and effective form of immune education to protect from infectious disease. In countries such as India, where HP is sanctioned by the government, doctors are able to administer HP openly and achieve outstanding results. Homeoprophylaxis costs less than pennies per person due to the fact that very little source material can produce enough HP for thousands, if not millions, of people.
HOW HOMEOPROPHYLAXIS WORKS
Homeopathic practitioners use HP in the context of both short-term prevention during epidemic disease outbreaks as well as long-term prevention of contagious infectious diseases. Samuel Hahnemann, MD, the founder of homeopathy and the very first to use homeoprophylaxis, viewed epidemics as cases of disease that “attack many people and present with very similar suffering from the same causes.”1 In epidemic situations, homeopaths often apply a principle called genus epidemicus (GE) when the epidemic has a similar and characteristic nature in multiple patients. The GE—a homeopathic medicine individually selected for a particular outbreak of an epidemic2—addresses the common symptoms of the disease.
In the case of scarlet fever (also known as scarlatina), for instance, the common symptoms might include fever, red rash and headache. Hahnemann used HP very successfully during a 1799 epidemic of scarlatina.2,3 Homeopathic Belladonna either prevented the disease altogether or, if contracted, reduced the severity significantly and prevented complications, easing recovery and alleviating any post-epidemic symptoms. Homeopathic Belladonna proved so effective that the King of Prussia mandated its use to curtail or alleviate subsequent outbreaks of scarlet fever.
A second method of achieving prophylaxis is through the use of homeopathic “nosodes” of the targeted disease. Nosodes are made in the same manner as all homeopathic medicines. Beginning with a source material—either plant, animal, mineral or disease itself in the case of nosodes—serial dilution and succussion (vigorous shaking) is applied until no molecules of the original substance remain. A dilution of 1:99 repeated twelve times results in a solution devoid of any molecules. This is labeled as 12C, referring to the potency. A high potency such as 10M repeats the dilution and succussion process ten thousand times.
HOMEOPROPHYLAXIS IN INDIA
India has a population of 1.3 billion and is governed under a parliamentary system. There are twenty-nine states and seven union territories. Homeopathy in India is under the control of the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH).4 In addition, the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH) functions as an autonomous organization within India’s government.5 The CCRH oversees standardization, clinical research and trials, training of homeopaths and public awareness.
In response to the persistence of infectious disease as a major problem, India has employed HP effectively for cholera, the H1N1 influenza virus (“swine flu”), conjunctivitis, chickenpox and mosquito-borne viral diseases such as Japanese encephalitis, dengue fever and chikungunya. Researchers at the Government Homoeopathic Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram (the capital of the state of Kerala) surveyed families during threatened dengue and chikungunya epidemics from 2003–2006 to assess the protection provided by HP.1 Of one thousand and five families surveyed in 2003, almost nine in ten took HP for prevention of dengue; of those taking HP, only 14 percent (123/869) went on to contract dengue. In a follow-up study in 2006 of the prophylactic efficacy of HP for chikungunya, the college found a comparable 82 percent efficacy.
The state of Kerala also has used HP to great effect in Alappuzha, an area full of backwaters and coconut lagoons. Though beautiful, living conditions in this area are difficult due to poor sanitation, low socioeconomic status, lack of education, limited health awareness and poor infrastructure. Epidemics can take hold and flourish due to inadequate health care facilities. Narrow canals through mangrove swamps are the roadways, so in 2013 the government started a floating homeopathic dispensary.6 This boat provides free treatment, HP and health education. The program has been such a success that two more boats were launched in 2014 and 2015!
As another example of HP’s acceptance in India, in 2016, in direct response to two cases of swine flu in Hyderabad in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India’s Homoeo Times published the following news statement:
The state government has…directed “all the people to take homoeopathy medicines in order to avoid the attack of swine flu.” The medicine is available for free at all dispensaries. The patients who already have swine flu should take homoeopathy medicines under prescription.