Homeopathy Papers

A Brief Encounter With “Coughers”, “Sneezers” and an Ant!

homeopathy medicines for cough treatment
Written by Carla Carmichael

Homeopath Carla Carmichael shares her observations of the coughing and sneezing passengers on one of her train rides.

Like many people who practise Homeopathy in the UK I have to do other work to make a living.  Therefore, from time to time, I have done contract work in the National Health Service here in Scotland. I was a permanent member of staff until 2007 when I resigned my post and left for warmer climes in India and Sri Lanka to further my homeopathic studies and training. Throughout my other career I have always been a train commuter with my daily commute time varying from 3 to 5 hours depending upon the location of my place of work.  Trains are very interesting places just to while away one’s time, watching others – human or otherwise. After all, not all of us wish to sit on our travels bashing the life out of the computer keyboard, the mobile phone, listening to music, reading or constantly nattering to anyone that will listen at 7.30am! No, actually, it can be more fascinating just watching others.

There was one particular day when I was travelling to one of Glasgow’s large Hospitals, which meant I had two train journeys to make, that for some very bizarre reason, sticks out in my mind. There was nothing out of the ordinary about the journey. It was a typical winter’s day, damp, cold and very miserable…….the usual sort of weather that we British like to moan about.  Timing is always of the essence when one train journey is involved, but two, well, there is no room for any dawdling shall we say!

The first train was busy, packed with the usual sea of white faces, more the 50 shades of grey, of hardened, seasoned commuters. In this sea one spots regulars, whom one only knows by sight.  Humans are creatures of habit and regular commuters usually catch the same train, sit on the same seat, in the same carriage. Woe betide anyone that doesn’t know about this unwritten rule, as looks really do kill!!!

Amongst the 50 shades of grey, we have the coughers and sneezers. Oh, how I wish these people would keep their little visitors to themselves! Some coughs sound much worse than others varying from a polite one to a constant bark, or even worse, a terrible retching sound! Ouch, Whooping cough springs to mind. Had my Japanese friend been with me he would have whipped out a few cotton face masks for them. No, take cover, this is the UK, so one can easily be bombarded by the 100 miles per hour nasal blast! Beware anyone nearby, be prepared for a tsunami of bacteria. At this point I think oxygen mask!

I notice the usual analgesics/ sprays/ antibiotics in bags/ briefcases of my fellow travellers making an appearance.  At the table of four opposite, notes are now being compared as to how long they have had their unwelcomed visitors – anything ranging from a couple of weeks to 3 months with the odd break in between. Some of these visitors, unbeknown to their hosts, will become a more permanent resident if they don’t take their health matters into their own hands. There’s now a competition to see who has had the highest number of visits to the GP, used the most anti-biotics, analgesics, and steroids. I suddenly think about the Oscars, perhaps, I could award one to the one who has been the most stoic. I would need to change the train carpet from blue to red to make the occasion more fitting. I could ask the Ticket Officer on board to make a public announcement for roaming minstrels.

On Today’s trains, open windows are scarce or stuck tight. If there is to be any bacterial/ viral escape to the outside world it may only happen briefly when the doors open at a station. Hey-ho the bacteria prefer the luxury of warmth and some moisture, so no chance there then. Whooping cough here we come! Yes, thanks to the antibiotics, vaccinations and the other suppressive Big Pharma poisons, whooping cough is making a comeback, well, actually it never went away, it has just evolved, as everything does in this world, thanks, in this instance, to Big Pharma. Nothing changes there! The coughs amongst adults, year on year, seem to be getting worse.

Being a Homeopath, I wanted to say something to my fellow travellers but all would fall on deaf ears. They are so wrapped up in their illness accolades and dulled by their allopathic medicines that nothing healthful – pun intended, would compute. Little do they know that next year, it may be much worse for them although they may gain a few more Oscars for their mantelpieces! Do they not realise that the array of health and life destroyers in their bags and briefcases is perpetuated by the insatiable greed of huge commercial interests, the manufacturing chemists and pharmaceutical companies whose revenue and “take” from the public runs to billions of pounds annually. Indeed, if all the harmful rubbish in the way of empirical medicine could be discarded and replaced by homeopathic medication, not only would the health of all be greatly improved, with cancer, kidney and heart disease drastically reducing, our vast national debt could, at the same time, be liquidated by savings resulting from universal homeopathic treatment.

Dorothy, suddenly came to my mind, no, not the one from Kansas holding Toto and wearing the ruby slippers but the one who based herself in Bramshott, England. Dr Dorothy Shepherd (1885 -1952), a doctor with a bit of nouse, a rather rare breed, sadly, becoming rarer, who wrote a wonderful collection of very readable homeopathic books. I think it would be more fitting, and certainly healthful, if my fellow travellers had her works adorning their mantelpiece, at least no more polishing of the Oscar collection would be required!

I arrive in Glasgow and make my escape, mulling it all over, and hoping that the tsunami hasn’t caused too much damage! Looking at my watch I thought the ruby slippers would have come in handy – 3 clicks of the heels and I could be at my desk.

I didn’t have too long to mull as I had to get on my other train pretty sharp. Slightly fewer passengers on this one and a shorter journey time but still the 50 shades of grey are here! As I sat on my seat, the configuration being different on this train with longer seats facing each other with a very wide aisle down the middle, I found myself looking down at the floor covering, as one does or rather, as I do! This train floor covering was rather bright to say the least and most definitely wasn’t a carpet, no Oscar nights here then. The mosaic pattern was made up of very tiny coloured pieces of green, black, dark red and white. I just happened to spot a tiny black ant carrying a very small white package, possibly, an egg. My eyes are not bionic so I couldn’t see that close, plus my behaviour, to say the least, would have looked odd had I suddenly got down upon my hands and knees to inspect.  I was intrigued by this little ant. Where had it hopped the train? Where was it going? At this point it was trying to cross the aisle floor that would be something akin to me running a marathon….no chance!  Where was its family and friends, were they catching the next train? This ant is a pioneer, there’s always one, perhaps it had the travel bug! My concern was that I hoped it made this huge crossing before some human, with a size 9, came down and squashed the poor fellow, not that the size 9er  would care or even notice anyway. I couldn’t take my eyes off this little creature and I was willing it all the way to make a safe crossing. I thought at least you’re not going to get blasted away by the coughers and sneezers. You may be safe from any bacterial/viral activity down there, your only worry is the size 9! Choosing to leave the train will require your skill and judgement.  I doubt very much that ants are as stupid as humans.

Anyway, by the time I came to my stop it had made one epic journey across to the other seat with its little white package. What endurance, and as to its fate after that, I only hope it got off somewhere with its package intact and met up with its fellow ants and had a happy ant life. I told my husband of this and he said only you would spot an ant whilst commuting on a train.

Back to Dorothy and whooping cough, joking apart, whooping cough or pertussis is a highly contagious and serious respiratory disease caused by the bacteria bordetella pertussis.  In her book, Homeopathy in Epidemic Diseases, Dr Dorothy Shepherd demonstrated the effectiveness of Homeopathy. For years, this very savvy lady worked closely with an immunization clinic and witnessed first-hand how unsuccessful vaccines were in preventing infectious disease. She also observed the dangers associated with vaccination. In an attempt to find a better solution, she purchased a copy of Dr Clarke’s monograph about the nosode of whooping cough (pertussin). Her eyes were opened to the possibilities of cutting short an epidemic of this dreaded disease.

Dorothy Shepherd duly found that Homeopathy was successful in preventing pertussis and mitigating the severity of an attack. In one example, four children contracted whooping cough and were treated with allopathic medicine. It took the children almost six months to recover and they were “a mere shadow of their former selves” according to Dorothy. Interestingly, other children living close by also contracted the disease, but were given small pills of pertussin instead. Every child fully recovered within two weeks.

In another instance, 364 cases were given daily doses of pertussin for two weeks after contact. Many of these cases were seen in the day nurseries under her care — not one of these children [including new-born] developed the disease.

Dorothy reported that a five-year-old girl in a private school was also treated successfully with pertussin. Of the twenty-one children in her class, eighteen were infected with a severe type of whooping cough. Only three escaped.

There is no connection in this article between the ant and pertussin. It so happened that on this one particular cold, damp and miserable day in my life, having escaped the coughers and sneezers successfully, the ant provided me with some light relief and food for thought. Nature is wonderful, if only mankind remembered that he is part of it and not some separate entity. He needs to wise- up before he self-destructs!

Acknowledgements and References


The Unknown Ant

Dr Dorothy Shepherd (1885 to 1952)


Dr Dorothy Shepherd – Homeopathy in Epidemic Diseases

Dr Dorothy Shepherd – More Magic of the Minimum Dose


About the author

Carla Carmichael

Carla Carmichael came to Homeopathy through serious illness, having tried other alternative and complementary treatments. It was a local Naturopath, Cameron Cunningham, who encouraged her to take up the study of Homeopathic medicine and advised that she should contact Margaret Roy, Principal of the Scottish College of Homeopathy, Glasgow. Whilst working in the NHS in Glasgow, she embarked upon a 4 year intensive programme of Classical Homeopathy at that College. She then spent a year at the Rapha Centre, Perthshire doing case work. In 2007, she went to India and Sri Lanka to further her Homeopathic education and training. Since then, she has continued to spend time with Dr Shanthakumar at his clinics in Sri Lanka. She is a member of the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths (MARH). Carla can be contacted through her website: www.cchomeopathy.com

1 Comment

  • I enjoyed your story and I agree that mankind needs to get a whole lot smarter. Maybe we’ll be as smart as an ant someday.

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