The recent outbreak of Zika virus in the Indian city of Jaipur has made me probe the possible homeopathic medicine for Zika fever, which can be used a Genus Epidemicus.
The Zika virus infection made global headlines during the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil due to Zika epidemic that infected more than 1.5 million people in 2015-16. In 2016, due to the scare associated with the name, TATA Motors in India had to even change the name of their forthcoming car, which was named Zica!
What is Zika Fever?
Zika fever is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread through mosquito bites. Its name comes from the Ziika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947.
The Zika virus belongs to the family Flaviviridae family and the genus Flavivirus, thus is related to the dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses.
How does Zika virus spread?
Zika virus spreads through the bite of Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also responsible for spreading Dengue and Chikungunya.
It can also spread through unprotected sexual contact (vaginal, oral or anal) and from a pregnant woman to the foetus.
What are the Symptoms of Zika Fever?
In most cases, there are no symptoms. In a few cases, Zika can trigger paralysis (Guillain-Barré Syndrome).
Zika can spread from a pregnant woman to her baby. This can result in microcephaly, severe brain malformations, and other birth defects. It can also lead to abortions.
When present, symptoms are mild and last less than a week. They include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes.
As said earlier, Zika infection can have no symptoms, but people may experience:
Pain areas: in the back of the eyes, joints, or muscles
Whole body: fatigue, fever, chills, loss of appetite, or sweating
Also common: eye redness, headache, skin rash, or vomiting
What is the treatment for Zika fever?
There’s no vaccine or specific treatment in conventional medicine for Zika virus treatment. Instead, the focus is on relieving symptoms and includes rest, rehydration and acetaminophen for fever and pain. Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen should be avoided.
Homeopathic Medicine for Zika Fever
Homeopathy is a holistic system of medicine, which treats on the basis of symptom similarity. While individualistic therapy is preferred in most cases, in epidemic cases, one or two remedies may be found indicated in most patients. Such a homeopathic medicine is called Genus Epidemicus.
Homeopathy treatment for zika fever is also based on this philosophy, so let us try to figure out the possible genus epidemicus and a larger group of indicated remedies for Zika virus fever, based on the currently known symptoms.
The first thing to note is that FOR MOST PEOPLE who get infected by the Zika virus, either there are NO SYMPTOMS or MILD SYMPTOMS.
That means we need remedies that can produce mild illness. It rules out homeopathic remedies like Aconite, Belladonna, Lac caninum, Lachesis, Merc sol, Phytolacca, Stramonium etc, which are known to produce violent/intense symptoms.
That means we need remedies that have mildness of symptoms and nature. Remedies like Calcarea carb, Acid phos, Pulsatilla, Ignatia, Gelsemium, Arnica, Arsenic alb, Lycopodium, Natrum mur, Rhus-tox, Silicea, Sepia etc.
Although Zika virus infection is often clinically labelled as a mild form of Dengue but the homeopathic remedies that are commonly indicated for Dengue will not work for it because it neither has the severe bone pains of Eupatorium, not has the hemorrhagic complications that indicate Phosphorus, Crotalus etc.
There are two characteristic symptoms that we can add to filter remedies:
- Fever often comes with a mild rash.
- Fever often has redness of eyes with it.
After this filtering, we are left with 8 remedies:
Rhus-tox, Arsenic alb, Natrum mur, Sepia, Pulsatilla, Lycopodium, Sulphur, Calcarea carb
So this is the likely group of homeopathic remedies that can prove helpful in Zika virus fever.
Can we filter it further? Let us look at the complications:
- Guillain-Barré Syndrome
- Microcephaly / Congenital defects
For GBS, we can use the rubric
Paralysis, Fever after: NAT MUR, Arn, Ars, Lach, Nux vom, Gels, Arn, Vinc-m
Head, Microcephaly – only has Syphilinium and Tuberculinum and they might help the children born to the Zika infected mother.
Miscarriage, Fever with has Baptisia, Pulsatilla, Hammamelis and Ruta.
So now we are left with Natrum mur, Pulsatilla and Arsenic alb that cover the possible complications too. These three remedies are likely to help in most cases of Zika Fever.
Since Arsenic album has prostration which is out of proportion to illness (which is usually not present in Zika fever), I believe the most indicated homeopathy remedies for zika virus infection will be Natrum mur and Pulsatilla.
It is very easy to differentiate between these two homeopathy remedies:
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You can read the detail symptoms of these and all other homeopathic remedies in the book Therapeutics of Fever by H.C. Allen
We need actual clinical cases from a particular Zika outbreak to filter the remedies from here.
However, if we have to choose a prophylactic homeopathic medicine for zika fever before that, I will opt for Natrum mur, because in the complications of Zika, GBS is more common than Microcephaly or abortions. Also, Natrum muriaticum is better known for its relation with mosquito borne fevers and their sequel.
How effective is homeopathy in treating and preventing epidemics?
Homeopathy has a large and very successful history of use in various epidemics of Typhus, Scarlet Fever, Diphtheria, Leptospirosis etc.
The following article gives details of historical success of homeopathic medicine in treating acute epidemics:
And the following articles shed light about the recent prophylactic use of homeopathy for Leptospirosis in Cuba:
I will be happy to update this article on homeopathic medicines for Zika fever with more feedback from people who have more data. Post your feedback in the comment form below or write to me at [email protected]
Update: 29/10/18 – While Zika infection is under control in Jaipur, a fresh case has been reported in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.