Infectious diseases, some of which reach epidemic or pandemic proportions, can be treated with individualized classical homeopathy, when the patient’s symptoms are matched to a medicine’s indications. Also, nosodes gained from the inciting pathogen or the individualized blood isode prepared from the patient’s blood can be used clinically.
This article reviews the homeopathic use of nosodes and blood isodes in infectious diseases, showing examples of historical and current application, with attention to potency and dosing. Blood isodes, described in detail regarding therapy (not confined to infectious diseases) and preparation, are case-specific. They function as disease-specific nosodes, and treat sequelae of infectious disease and of vaccinations.
Influenzinum hispanicum exemplifies such a disease-specific nosode, gained from the combined blood cultures of patients suffering from the Spanish influenza in the 1918-1919 pandemic. In conclusion, nosodes, clinically and prophylactically, and blood isodes, mostly documented clinically, are easily reproduced and effective therapies. The results of homeopathic treatment have been assessed in controlled two-arm trials, which, however, raise issues of responsibility, due to homeopaths favoring one of the trial arms, namely the homeopathic trial arm.
Keywords: Homeopathic nosodes and blood isodes; infectious diseases; Influenzinum hispanicum; ethics in homeopathic trials
In infectious diseases, allopathic tests and available treatments should be sought, yet homeopathy is predictably curative, offering the isode prepared from a patient’s blood, next to the indicated curative and prophylactic nosodes and homeopathic medicines. This review article focuses on the use of nosodes and blood isodes (isopathic methods) in infectious diseases and in particular examines the therapeutic effectiveness of blood isodes, which are not widely used among homeopathic practitioners.
With specific instructions,1,2 the blood isode can be prepared in tap water by patients and practitioners alike (note strict hygiene). From experience with patients, as in HIV infection,1 borreliosis, multiple myeloma,2 the blood isode is capable of treating infections, cancer of the blood, and, predictably, other dyscrasias of the blood; or, according to Imhäuser,3 infectious diseases in the broader sense or allergies, as well as sequelae of infectious, such as from neuroinvasive disease.
Homeopathy and isopathy treat infectious diseases. Both therapies use potentized medicines, and isopathy is considered part of the homeopathic method. Homeopathy cures with the similar (“home”), isopathy with the same (“ise”), in view of the Greek root words.
The homeopathic veterinarian Wilhelm Lux of Germany introduced isopathy, using products of disease (nosodes). Upon an inquiry of 1831, he advised to treat sick animals with “a drop of blood of an anthrax and a drop of the nasal mucus of the bovine plague, diluted thirty times.”
He wrote that the saliva of a rabid dog cured human rabies in Russia, as was related in 1829 by a General Boroden.4 In 1833, in the United States of America (USA), Hering (1800-1880) prepared the rabies nosode Hydrophobinum, or Lyssin, using the foaming saliva of a rabid female dog; she died before the remedy was ready.
Her rabid offspring, by smelling the potentized remedy, recovered.5 Proving results for Psorinum (product from scabies) were sent to the editor Stapf by Hahnemann (1755-1843) and published in 1833, though the medicine was to serve in the most serious diseases rather than in scabies.6
Recent isopathy (2000) by use of a disease product was highlighted in tularemia in mice. Potentized tissue of mice infected with Francisella tularensis served in prophylaxis. The 30C and 200C potencies, rather than the IM potency, were effective. In isopathy, any offending agent may be used in prophylaxis or clinically, as shown successfully in mustard gas poisoning (prophylaxis, using 30C) and allergy to mixed-grass pollens (clinic) (reviewed by Jacobs).7
Nosodes in Prophylaxis and Clinic
In infectious diseases, nosodes gained from pathogens are often given prophylactically, as to selected parts of a population: E.g., in meningitis, in 1974, Guaratinguetá (state of São Paulo, Brazil), a single dose of Meningococcinum 10C (within about 6 months, a 94% effectiveness was demonstrated)8; in malaria, from June 2006 to July 2007, Freetown (Sierra Leone), 1 dose of Malaria tropica 200X every 4 months (reducing the malaria parasitic density)9; in urine-transmitted leptospirosis in Cuba during hurricane damage in 2007 and 2008, 2 doses of 200C, 7 to 9 days apart, followed by 2 booster doses of 10MC months later, of a preparation from four strains of inactivated Leptospira, spirochetal bacteria.10
The latter homeoprophylaxis by Cuban health officials was received by almost the entire population of the three Cuban provinces with the most hurricane damage and, hence, an expected rise in leptospirosis cases. Urine from infected wild and domestic animals collects in standing water and infects man through the mucosa or cutaneous wounds. Yet, a fall in incidence occurred, from 401 cases in 2007 to 64 cases in 2008, whereas the rest of the country (twelve provinces) showed 319 and 376 cases, respectively.10
Nosodes prepared from pathogens resistant to standard medicines or sterilization procedures are available: Amputation of the right lower leg due to post-surgery bone marrow infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (case 1) and a severe outcome due to intestinal infection with Clostridium difficile (case 2) were diverted. The pertaining nosode was given in the 200C potency, 3 doses over 7 days (case 1) and a single dose (case 2) (author’s cases, 2015).
A dose of 200C may be used in hospitals in prophylaxis. Alternatively, the blood isode, an “auto-isopathic” medicine, would have been curative in the two cases and should be prepared when a specific nosode is not available, when the origin of the disease is unknown, or when given homeopathic medicines are recognized as ineffective though well matched to the symptoms.
In chronic states of infection, e.g., viremia, bacteremia, malaria, the blood isode is the recommended first therapy and is case-specific, reflecting the patient’s present state of the blood. Other bodily fluids known to carry the pathogen may be potentized.
Yet, a patient’s infected blood serves other patients infected likewise and is prophylactic. As reviewed in 1922 by the German homeopath Schlegel, the Swiss homeopath (and bacteriologist11) Nebel prepared such a nosode, namely Influenzinum hispanicum, from combined blood cultures of victims of the Spanish influenza12 (the 1918-1919 pandemic due to the 1918 H1N1 influenza virus).
According to Nebel, the toxic agent of the pandemic was contained in this isopathic medicine, which was given every 15 minutes, less often after sweating had commenced. It lightened the disease in all thus treated and in many prevented its outbreak.12 The medicine was dominantly and widely prescribed in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Homeopaths, working at that time, accredited it with saving “thousands of lives.” At times, during the pandemic in France, homeopaths “immunized” by injecting the patient’s own blood.11
Blood-Isodes: Therapy and Preparation
Lux pioneered the homeopathic use of blood isodes (“a drop of blood of an anthrax”).4 A German publication of 1999 on the methods, indications, and uses of blood isodes (“Eigenblut”) noted the initial allopathic uses: Schede (1876, Germany) reported on the application to surgical wounds. Elfstrom and Grafstrom (1898, USA) helped in pulmonary disease, immunologically, by injecting the patient’s own blood diluted in saline solution.13
The method developed by Elfstrom was to benefit infectious diseases in general. One leech sufficed to draw the blood or, though not supported, it was withdrawn directly; then, it was pressed from the leech by means of salt, defibrinated and mixed with a salt solution, heated for 2 hours at 60°C (mimicking to some degree a high fever), and injected subcutaneously in the patient.14 Some success was obtained in croupous pneumonia (1 injection)14 and in incipient pulmonary tuberculosis (3 injections within about 10 days).15 Patients had received no other treatments,14,15 except brandy.14
In 1985, Imhäuser of Germany wrote that blood isodes, long known in homeopathy, had been used mostly as supporting therapy in treatment with homeopathic medicines. Yet, in her pediatric office, 947 cases were treated with the blood isode alone, which was curative, raised immunity, and overcame an allergic diathesis.
Cured conditions included recurring or chronic infections such as otitis media, tonsillitis, cough; acute infections such as infectious diarrhea in infants, scarlet fever, measles, varicella, mumps with orchitis, pertussis encephalitis, pertussis; abscesses; sequelae of meningoencephalitis of unknown origin and of serous meningitis (fretful mood; or recurring headache, each bout lasting for weeks; or continuous headache). A typical regimen for recurring infections was: Give the 7C potency every 2 weeks for 3 doses total; follow up, if needed, with 9C every 3 weeks for 3 doses total.3
An adult female’s viral meningoencephalitis of unknown origin, with ongoing symptoms for months (unspecified inflammatory process causing protrusion of the left eye, urge to sleep, disequilibrium, cramp proclivity, vomiting), cleared after 3 doses of the blood isode, 9C (2 doses) and 12C (1 dose), taken over 7 weeks without concurrent allopathic medicines. Cuprum metallicum 200X, against cramps, was given 1 day before the first dose. She was observed for 5 years following; no sequelae were noted.
Repeated doses of 7C cured sequelae of neuroinvasive disease in children. One child’s headache abated after the first dose. Moreover, iatrogenic conditions have been treated, such as failure to thrive after vaccination or after intake of penicillin; 1 to 2 doses of 7C were curative, though sequelae of smallpox vaccination did not respond.3 Certain infectious diseases, such as Lyme borreliosis, may become chronic, and allopaths may resort to repeated antibiotic treatments.
The side effects of cancer therapy have been addressed. A woman, aged 74 years, constitutionally depleted, was helped after taking 3 drops total at intervals of 2 weeks. The patient had prepared an isode, 30C, every 2 weeks. The first dose healed two burns on her chest from radiation therapy received at a cancer clinic. The wounds, bandaged, had been present for over 2 months (author’s case, 2018).
A similar regimen may be suggested in any attempt at detoxification. Alternatively, 1 isopathic dose in high potency of a substance, e.g., an incriminated metal, is advised, as by Imhäuser.3 (In treatment in general, but mainly in chronic cases, the present author often gives the Bach flower remedies concurrently.) The blood isode targets the entire blood picture, which includes the disease as it is reflected in the blood, as well as the side effects of allopathic treatment.
Allergies, however, demand a comparatively longer treatment. Imhäuser needed months to treat bronchial asthma and eczema, using ascending potencies up to 18C; the homeopathic simillimum (the remedy fitted to the patient’s symptoms) was often needed in addition.
A hypersensitivity to mosquito bites was treated seasonally over 3 years, with gradual improvement, using 7C, 9C.3 Diemer of Germany, using Imhäuser’s basic method, had success particularly in neurodermatitis (atopic eczema) in children and hay fever in young persons, gradually increasing the potency, from 5C to 7C, 9C, 12C, 15C, 18C. At each stage, the specific potency was freshly prepared and given daily for 2 weeks, followed by a 2-week interval.16
The previously recommended potentization of blood isodes was in alcohol and water. Imhäuser used 30% alcohol as diluent and a new container, added a drop from the previous potency, at each serial step, which is the homeopathic standard.3
In 1994, Richardson-Boedler instructed the use of distilled water only in patient-made blood isodes, with preservation of final potencies in ethyl alcohol, though treating the current state of the blood with repeatedly prepared, rather than preserved, isodes was noted as beneficial.
In an emergency, tap water could be used.1 In 2015, patients were advised to regularly use tap or spring water for potentization, with no use of alcohol. It had been found effective to prepare the water-based isode (30C) periodically, with brief intake, as in a case of multiple myeloma.
Over a period of 9 months in 2012, the patient prepared the isode every 2 weeks and from each isode took only 1 drop, until cured. Homeopathic medicines were given only during the first few months, though rarely. After the cure, the allopath, attending parallelly, discontinued the allopathic medicines known not to cure (author’s case).2
For the centesimal potency, at a ratio of 1:100, 2 drops of the patient’s blood are diluted in 200 drops (10 mL) of water, or 1 drop of blood in 100 drops of water. The closed bottle, such as a 30 mL bottle filled to a third, is pounded vigorously ten times on a pliable surface (succussion) for the medicinal activation, thus producing the 1C potency.2
For practitioners or patients, the potentization method by Korsakoff (the Russian General von Korsakoff, 1788-1853) is advised.1,2 Korsakoff, when preparing homeopathic medicines, used a single container, claiming that the amount of potentized liquid adhering to the bottle after emptying was to carry on the process of potentization, with serial dilution and succussion, from 1C to 2C to 3C, and so on.17
Thus, the contents of the 1C potency are poured out and the bottle is refilled to a third with water and pounded ten times, gaining the 2C potency; these contents again are poured out, and so on.2 Korsakoff used water from melted snow for the potentization and suggested also other clean water, especially rainwater, as diluent. Final potencies were diluted and succussed in alcohol. Two strokes sufficed for the succussion in water or alcohol.17
In treatment, isodes below the 30C potency3,16 and the patient-made isodes of 30C and 200C have been beneficial.1,2 Two patients with HIV showed positive results after only 1 dose of the patient-made isode (200C).1 Two cases of borreliosis responded well2 (30c, relapsing fever, chronic Lyme disease with arthritis); a previously given homeopathic medicine had aroused a bout of the relapsing fever. An isode preserved in alcohol can function as nosode for other patients.
Discussion and Conclusion
Published results, including from controlled trials, pertaining to the homeopathic prevention and management of epidemic/pandemic diseases have been reviewed. Treatment approaches identified were: Use of the simillimum; combination medicines; genus epidemicus, also known as genius epidemicus, being the remedy identified as most closely matching the symptoms exhibited in the general population; isopathy, treating with the causative agent or the products of the disease.
Therapeutic success was demonstrated for each approach.7,18 Jacobs questioned the practicability of treating by first selecting the simillimum, mainly due to a lack of well-trained practitioners intervening in an epidemic; combination medicines needed the recognition of the commonly prescribed single medicines in a given location; and the determination of the genus epidemicus needed a joint effort, with data from many practitioners. Isopathy, promising in the cure and prevention of urgent epidemic diseases, appeared more readily acceptable by allopaths due to its vaccination-like approach.7 Yaseen noted that the immunoprophylactic activity of isopathy remains to be explored.18
Jahn stressed the necessity of an international cooperation and analysis in the identification of the genus epidemicus in an epidemic or pandemic. As an epidemic may change in expression and locality, the medicine (“epidemicum”) would have to be identified in repeated efforts; it would act in prevention and cure, as well as in the cure of sequelae.
After abatement of the epidemic, criteria for the evaluation of the medicine’s effectiveness would be established.11 For example, regarding the current coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), a search of data and the repertorization of symptoms by the Indian Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy prompted the recommendation of the remedy Arsenicum album.18
As outlined in this present study, isopathy is a predictably curative or preventive and easily reproduced therapy. The blood isode is case-specific and, as therapeutic or prophylactic nosode (e.g., Influenzinum hispanicum in history), disease-specific.
Moreover, Imhäuser noted quick results in the pediatric treatment of sequelae of neuroinvasive disease and of vaccination.3 Any infection of unknown origin and its sequelae can be addressed by the blood isode, when nosodes prepared from pathogens cannot be used.
Regarding the ethics of randomized controlled trials, Edwards and collaborators wrote: “The scientific rationale for conducting a trial rests in collective equipoise, which means that the medical community as a whole is genuinely uncertain over which treatment is best.”19
Homeopaths, wishing to inspire allopaths, will always favor their own homeopathic trial arm in a two-arm trial. Thus, on studying homeopathic trials in infectious diseases, ethical concerns are raised regarding the comparative sole use of allopathy, when all subjects are under the umbrella of homeopathic prescribers. In some diseases, particularly viral diseases, supportive care is the only allopathic therapy. Knowing of the curative value of homeopathy, as documented already in history, and in view of one’s commitment to this effective medicinal approach, the exclusion of certain patients raises their risk for a continued morbidity or fatal outcome.
It is recommended that studies of the efficacy of homeopathic treatment in infectious diseases and other ailments make homeopathy and allopathic intervention available to all subjects, at least carry out the “all you can do” approach under the circumstances. Results, containing the rates in mortality, morbidity, and sequelae, are then juxtaposed to those of purely allopathic studies or to allopathic hospital records.
Golden and Bracho noted that randomized blinded trials with control groups were not an option in the homeoprophylaxis against leptospirosis during the public health emergency in Cuba in 2007 and 2008. Superior results were demonstrated in the intervened regions in contrast to regions not exposed to homeoprophylaxis.10
Isaac Golden’s suggestions of 2012 for the improved testing of complementary and alternative medicine included: Focus on interventions/medicines already known as effective from experience; compare treatment outcomes for particular conditions with those of the pharmaceutical sciences.20 Infectious diseases continue to cause suffering and death, and combined efforts by allopathy and homeopathy are needed.
No funding was received for the writing of this article.
Conflict of interest:
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- Richardson-Boedler C. Colocynthis, Loxosceles reclusa and patient-made isodes in cancer: case reports. AJHM 2015;108:74-79.
- Imhäuser H. Homöopathie in der Kinderheilkunde: Aus der Praxis—für die Praxis. 7th ed. Heidelberg, Germany: Karl F Haug Verlag; 1985.
- Lux JJW. Isopathy of contagions. In: Julian OA. Materia Medica of Nosodes with Repertory: Treatise on Dynamised Micro-Immunotherapy. Mukherji R, trans. 2nd ed. Noida, India: B Jain Publishers; 1985:61-66.
- Hering C. Das Schlangengift als Heilmittel. Arch hom Heilkunst 1835;15(1):1-93.
- Hahnemann S. Psorin (Psoricum.). Arch. hom. Heilkunst 1833;13(3):163-187.
- Jacobs J. Homeopathic prevention and management of epidemic diseases. Homeopathy 2018;107:157-160.
- Castro D, Nogueira GG. Use of the nosode Meningococcinum as a preventive against meningitis. J Am Inst Hom 1975;68:211-219.
- Minah JB, Margai FM. A study in malaria prophylaxis: the use of malaria nosodes to reduce malaria prevalence in vulnerable communities. Calif Homeopath [serial online]. 2013;16(1). Available at: http://californiahomeopath.com/issue/the-california-homeopath-volume-16-1/article/a-study-in-malaria-prophylaxis. Accessed November 15, 2018.
- Golden I, Bracho G. A reevaluation of the effectiveness of homoeoprophylaxis against leptospirosis in Cuba in 2007 and 2008. J Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2014;19:155-160.
- Jahn S. Homeopathy in the 1918 influenza pandemic. AJHM 2015;108:160-170.
- Schlegel E. Bücherschau. La Grippe espagnole. Sa nature, son traitement curatif et préventif. Mesures prophylactiques. Edition du laboratoire pour l’étude du cancer, Lausanne 1918. Dtsch Zschr Hom 1922;1:85-91.
- Krebs H. Eigenbluttherapie: Methoden, Indikationen, Praxis. 4th ed. München, Germany: Urban & Fischer; 1999.
- Elfstrom CÉ. A preliminary report of experiments with heated blood in the treatment of croupous pneumonia and tuberculosis pulmonalis. N York M J 1898;68:307-308.
- Grafstrom AV. Clinical observations on the treatment of tuberculosis pulmonalis by heated blood. N York M J 1898;68:308-309.
- Diemer A. Mikrobiologische Therapie, Entsäuerung, Eigenbluttherapie: Therapie von Allergien in der naturheilkundlichen Praxis. EHK 2008;57:121-126.
- von Korsakoff S. Bemerkungen über ein völlig sicheres und leichtes Verfahren, die homöopathischen Arzneien zu jedem beliebigen Grade zu potenziren, so wie über einige Resultate der Anwendung bis auf eine bis jetzt noch unbekannte Höhe potenzirter Arzneien. Arch. hom. Heilkunst 1832;11(3):104-111.
- Yaseen, G. Prophylactic and therapeutic measures of homeopathy in epidemic and pandemic diseases. Homoeopathic Links. eFirst, June 17, 2021.
- Edwards SJL, Lilford RJ, Hewison J. The ethics of randomised controlled trials from the perspectives of patients, the public, and healthcare professionals. BMJ 1998;317:1209-1212.
- Golden I. Beyond randomized controlled trials: evidence in complementary medicine. J Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2012;17:72-75.
Address for correspondence: Cornelia Richardson-Boedler, NMD, MA;
1176 Sterling Ave., Berkeley, CA 94708, USA (phone/fax 001-510-666-0931; e-mail: [email protected])