Deputy Chair and Research Consultant, Human Research Ethics Committee, National Institute of Integrative Medicine, Australia
Date Essay Received: Feb 28th, 2020
Preventing any infectious disease should always include methods designed to make a person as healthy as possible – constitutional treatment, good food, clean water, as well as sensible physical precautions like washing hands, wearing a mask if appropriate, mosquito netting if relevant, and so on.
However, prevention against a specific disease is maximised by using disease-specific preventatives of which there are two main options – vaccination and homoeoprophylaxis (HP). Both have been used since the late 1790’s. HP is non-toxic, and so the question regarding its usefulness comes down to evidence of effectiveness (there is no point using something that is safe if it doesn’t work), and this is dealt with briefly below.
This essay looks at how homeopathy may make a contribution to the prevention of the COVID19 virus. It does not consider treatment which others have already written about. Three aspects of this issue are considered below.
- Medico-political Issues
I consider myself fortunate in most ways to live in Australia. However, being a natural therapist, and in particular being a homeopath is increasingly difficult. In 2013, a pro-pharmaceutical lobby group named the Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM) was formed to attack natural medicine. They began by demanding that Universities no longer research or teach natural therapies. They have influenced Australia’s peak medical research body, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) who conducted fraudulent research into homeopathy, declaring that there was no evidence of effectiveness, and followed that with similar non-science claims against 16 other modalities.
FSM have the ear of politicians and Health Departments, and have promoted legislation against natural therapies, natural therapists, and against citizens who choose to use natural therapies and make independent, pharmaceutical-free, evidence-based decisions regarding their own health.
As a result, I cannot talk about how COVID19 could be prevented in Australia under threat of prosecution, which will explain my careful choice of words below.
Groups like FSM exist in most countries with varying degrees of influence. They cause most political leaders to remain ignorant of the true benefits of natural therapies, and the politicians in turn pass legislation which benefits the sponsors of these lobby groups, the international pharmaceutical companies.
This is such a shame right now because homeopathy has a great deal to offer in all aspects of dealing with COVID19. The drug companies are racing to produce the first vaccine, but imagine what a great help it would have been to the Chinese government to quickly immunise the entire population of the Wuhan region, or to the Italian government to immunise the regional areas which are experiencing outbreaks of COVID19. Imagine how immediate immunisation of all the passengers and crew of the cruise liner stranded in Japan would have brought that outbreak to a rapid conclusion. These things are possible right now with homeopathy, and we have evidence to support this claim.
- Evidence Supporting the Effectiveness of Homoeoprophylaxis
I published two articles in 2019 describing in different ways the use of HP in three countries in over 250 million people on an annualised basis, by mainly government agencies in those countries , . One of the examples given is especially appropriate in the current situation with COVID19.
Readers may recall the Swine Flu scare which swept the world around 2009/2010. In my country it led to the Federal Government spending around $120,000,000 on vaccines, most of which remained unused. Billions were spent in the USA on the development and sale of the vaccine, and similarly in many other countries internationally.
However, the Cuban government had seen the remarkably successful HP immunisation programs against Leptospirosis in 2007 and 2008, and instructed the Finlay Institute (Cuba’s vaccine manufacturer which, under the inspired leadership of Dr Conception Campa Huergo (a real scientist) and her Vice President Dr Gustavo Bracho, prepared the HP interventions), to homeopathically immunise the entire population of Cuba over 12 months of age against Swine Flu – around 9.8 million people.
When Dr Bracho and I studied the 2010 data it became clear that we could not quantify the success of the program against Swine Flu because there were practically no cases, and it was not possible to say how many travellers entered the country carrying the virus. However, in the same intervention Finlay also immunised against Pneumococcal disease, and the published data shows a clear reduction in the disease in 2010, and a return to expected levels in 2011, and shown in Figure 1 .
Figure 1: Incidence of Deaths from Influenza and Pneumococcal Disease per 10,000 Residents of Cuba, 2000 to 2013
It appears probable that COVID19 is a potentially more serious disease than Swine Flu in 2010. However, this example shows how rapidly and successfully an appropriate HP intervention can be distributed across an entire country, at very little cost, and with no risk of toxic complications.
Do most political leaders around the world know of this intervention and the potential to use this methodology in the current crisis? – I expect not (India is an exception). And this ignorance is due to their “quarantining” from this scientific evidence by pro-Pharma lobby groups like FSM.
- What HP Remedies Could be Used?
HP remedies are usually either Nosodes (remedies prepared from diseased material, past the point where molecules of viral or bacterial matter exists), or Genus Epidemicus (GE) remedies (remedies used to best treat patients suffering from the targeted infectious disease.
As long as the prescription satisfies the Principal of Similars, it is consistent with homeopathic principles. But which remedies are best against COVID19?
- Nosodes: some practitioners/pharmacies began advertising a COVID19 nosode soon after the outbreak was declared in China. I am not aware of any description of how the viral material was obtained or prepared. We also do not know if the virus will mutate, and if it does whether the different strains will produce very similar symptom pictures (in which case one remedy will cover all strains) or very different symptom pictures (in which case different remedies will be needed).
- GE remedies: many suggestions are appearing on the web regarding which remedies are most useful to treat COVID19. The CCRH in India, for whom I have great respect, have suggested Arsenicum Album and Prime Minister Modi is taking it (oh for a PM like that in my country!!). Bryonia and Gelsemium are both recommended. Eupatoreum Perfoliatum is always on the list. There are many GE recommendations, and they vary between immediate and later stage treatments.
- A Different Approach: I always learnt a great deal during my 4 visits to Cuba from 2008 to 2014, working with Dr Bracho at the Finlay Institute. One significant lesson for a single-remedy prescriber like myself was the value of complexes. For example, when discussing the structure of their final Dengue Complex with Dr Bracho, we started with the Nosodes for each of the 4 strains of Dengue circulating in Cuba, and then looked at GE remedies. However, this is complex for Dengue because the first infection can produce mild symptoms (Eup. Pef. usually fits well), but then the second infection can cause Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever and be fatal (Phosphorous and reptile remedies were similar). Finlay Institute produced a combination remedy with the 4 Nosodes and a mix of relevant GE remedies from both stages of the disease. All these remedies had a similarity with Dengue in its various stages.
A similar approach could be used with COVID19, and given that there is some uncertainty regarding the Nosode and that there are many suggested GE remedies, IF I was preparing a combination remedy it would look something like the following: Influenzinum triple nosode M + Pneumococcinum M + Bacillinum M + Arsenicum Album 200 + Justicia Adhatoda 200 + Gelsemium 200 + Bryonia 200 + Antimonium Tartaricum 200.
By no means is this the only possible combination remedy, and remedies like Eupatoreum and Mercury could be used. It is likely that the best GE list will be changed as more experience with treating COVID19 is published by experienced homeopaths. Once a confirmed Nosode becomes available, that could be used. Remember that all these remedies have a degree of similarity to COVID19, and once proved as an entity could be used in a “classical” way. However, the experience I have gained over 3 decades studying HP is that I would feel more secure right now using a complex similar to the above rather than a single Nosode or a single GE remedy, especially as our experience with the disease is in very early stages.
Homeopathy could assist all Governments immediately, at a low cost, without any risk of side-effects, and make a definite impact on the progress of COVID19. In decades to come I expect historians to look back at recent decades of pharmaceutical aggression and their domination of many health systems, and measure the immense cost, and the damage to millions of lives caused by those who prevented decision makers from seeing the true evidence-based benefits of safe and inexpensive natural options.
God-Willing, some enlightened politicians will join Mr Modi and will be open to the use of HP to deal with COVID19. The potential costs will be minimal, the safety undisputed, the potential benefits will be immediate and significant, and right now only ignorance, pride and greed prevent the “scientific” community from offering an immunisation option which has proved itself over 200 years in hundreds of millions of people around the world.
 Golden I. Large Homoeoprophylaxis: Brief and Long-Term Interventions. American Journal of Homeopathic Medicine. Winter, 2019; 112(1): 31-36.
 Golden I. Large Homoeoprophylaxis Interventions by Government Institutions. Similia. 2019; 31(2):14-19.
 Bracho G. and Golden I. A Brief History of Homeoprophylaxis in Cuba, 2004-2014. Homeopathic Links. 2016; 29(2):128-134.