|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 19-23
A Homoeopathic journey of epidemic/ pandemic diseases from Hahnemannian epoch to COVID-19: Review
Dept. of Hom. Pharmacy, Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha’s, Dr. B. D. Jatti Homoeopathic Medical College, Hospital and Post Graduate Research Centre, Dharwad – 580 001, Karnataka, India
|Date of Submission||12-Jan-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||10-May-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||12-Aug-2022|
Dr. Haleholi Manjula
Dept. of Hom. Pharmacy, Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha’s, Dr. B. D. Jatti Homoeopathic Medical College, Hospital and Post Graduate Research Centre, Dharwad – 580 001, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
As evidenced in Hahnemann’s writings, Epidemic diseases were successfully managed by homoeopathic system of medicine. In the footnote 17 of aphorism 33, Organon of medicine, where in Hahnemann explained the prevention of scarlet fever using Belladonna. Thereafter, many homoeopaths successfully managed several epidemics, at different points of time and at different parts of the globe. Even though Hippocrates used the notional axiom, Genius Epidemicus, Hahnemann utilized it successfully for the management of epidemics. In this review, all the available homoeopathic literature was searched to find out the historical evidence of the homoeopathic medicines which were successfully utilized during epidemics and pandemics. Presently, the entire world is facing novel COVID-19, as a pandemic disease since its emergence from Wuhan in late 2019. The conventional systems of medicines across the world have been trying to control the pandemic, but none have succeeded. Vaccinations are introduced for prevention of COVID-19, only on Emergency Usage Approvals, as the real data about their efficacy and the collateral damage induced by them, is yet to be studied.
However, globally many homoeopaths have reported to have managed COVID-19 disease with different homoeopathic medicines. There have been different approaches towards the prevention, management and treatment of this pandemic, which have been subject of intense scrutiny and discussion, all over. The present review is aimed not only to bring forward the success stories of homoeopathy during the past epidemics, but also about homoeopathy being utilized for prevention, as well as treatment in the current pandemic.
Keywords: COVID-19, epidemic diseases, homoeopathy, homoeoprophylaxis, immunity
|How to cite this article:|
Manjula H. A Homoeopathic journey of epidemic/ pandemic diseases from Hahnemannian epoch to COVID-19: Review. J Ayurveda Homeopath Allied Health Sci 2022;1:19-23
|How to cite this URL:|
Manjula H. A Homoeopathic journey of epidemic/ pandemic diseases from Hahnemannian epoch to COVID-19: Review. J Ayurveda Homeopath Allied Health Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jun 1];1:19-23. Available from: http://www.dpujahas.org/text.asp?2022/1/1/19/353698
| Introduction|| |
A man was born and there the sickness took birth. If we trace back the history of mankind, it is nothing but the history of medicine. It accounts to man’s efforts to fight against the diseases from primitive ages to the present era. In these efforts, mankind has experienced many epidemic or pandemic diseases.
Based on the available literature, the first epidemic was of smallpox in Greece during 430 BC and the very first pandemic was the Antonine plague in 165 AD. Hahnemann’s journey for combating with the epidemic disease started even before the discovery of homoeopathy, wherein, he elaborated on various measures for preventing diseases in general, with special reference to communicable diseases and the importance to sanitation. When light is thrown on the history, it is very surprising to observe that homoeopathy and vaccination were discovered by Hahnemann and Edward Jenner respectively in 1796 thus prophylaxis took birth in that year.
| Subject Review|| |
Epidemic disease, Origin
In early 17th century the word epidemic has been derived from French word épidémique, from épidémie, via late Latin word from Greek epidēmia ‘staying in one place, among the people., prevalence of disease’, from epidēmios ‘prevalent’, from epi ‘upon’ + dēmos ‘the people’.
An outbreak of an infectious disease in a community affecting a large group of people at the same time is called an epidemic disease, whereas, a pandemic disease is an infectious disease, spreading over a wide geographical area consisting of several countries or the entire world.
Acute diseases are of two kinds, individual or epidemic. Hahnemann elaborates the true nature of acute epidemic disease as having an identical origin, showing a similar morbid process and which when left to itself, terminates within a moderate period either by recovery of the patient or death. Furthermore, clarifies the essence by dividing it into recurring and nonrecurring types. Recurring acute epidemic diseases are those which recur frequently in the same manner, examples are a plague, Asiatic cholera, etc. whereas non-recurring; attack a person, once in a lifetime. He calls them peculiar acute miasms, fixed miasms, half acute maisms etc, examples are smallpox, measles, pertussis, etc.
Even though Hippocrates had an idea of Genius Epidemicus but it was Paracelsus who pointed out the need of the specific remedy for each episode of epidemic. He wrote, “If you cannot find the specific remedy for every epidemic, your entire endeavor to cure it, is in vain”.
Hahnemann was very clear with the concept of epidemic disease and its management. He described the concept clearly in his writings without using the word Genius Epidemicus. However, Aegidi correlated a conversation which he had with Hahnemann when he visited him in 1831 and Hahnemann used this term Genius Epidemicus deliberately. The practical concept of the Genius Epidemicusis that the similar cause must be followed by similar effect, which Hahnemann described in the aphorisms 73, 101, and 241 in the Organon of medicine, wherein, he explained the need of a specific remedy for an epidemic disease, without using the word Genius Epidemicus. The Genius Epidemicusis in apparent argument within the homeopathic circles against the individualization. Individualization is the fundamental pathway for successful homeopathic treatment. But in epidemics, we can try to individualize a group of cases rather than every single case affected by the epidemic disease as they are almost the same. Also, they are extremely acute threatening the very existences of the affected within very short period. The selection of the remedy must be from the totality of the epidemic symptoms which is common to most of the patients, and not from one or two individual patients. It is not always easy to find one specific remedy for an entire epidemic and especially during a pandemic. The specific remedy tends to change from one climatic area to another, from the plains to the forests, from the seashore to the mountains. Furthermore, it may be different for the different stages of an epidemic disease in the same locality, due to individualization of those epidemic cases.
| Documented Evidence of Epidemic or Pandemic Diseases Managed by Homoeopathic System of Medicine|| |
- In the year 1801, purpura miliaris (roodvonk) which was diagnosed as scarlet fever, sporadic disease was initially treated with Aconite and latter Belladona found to be its prophylactic and curative by Dr. Hahnemann.
- During the1800s for smallpox epidemic Dr. Bonninghausen used Thuja 200 as curative as well as prophylactic with high success rate. For Polio myelitis, Dr. Grimmer used Gelsemium as prophylactic during the same year.
- The first homoeopathic treatment of Cholera was in 1831–32, at that time the disease started in Russia, extending to Germany. Hahnemann at that time had never seen a case of Cholera and yet mentioned the remedies that would be useful.
- Dr. Peterson was the person to treat the Cholera homoeopathically at Pensa from July 8th to 30th in 1831, out of 68 patients of whom he lost 14.
- In Hungary Dr. J. Bakody treated 223 Cholera cases out of which only 8 patients died. People addressed a petition to the allopathic physicians demanding Homoeopathy.
- Dr. Adolphus Gerstel in the same year treated 300 cases of Cholera in different villages, at Prague with extremely fortunate results and only showed 32 deaths.
- Dr. De Latour treated 629 cases of Cholera in India with homoeopathic system of medicines, out of which 430 cases cured. Bradfold compared the mortality rate of cholera treated by allopathic, which was very high in comparison with homoeopathic treatment. This was confirmed by Dr. Wild, an allopathic surgeon, editor of the Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medicine states that “While two thirds of those treated in the homoeopathic hospitals were cured, two thirds of those treated in the allopathic hospitals were died”.
- Three homeopathic physicians in Philadelphia reported in 1860 for treating 300 cases of Malignant Diphtheria without a single death while the mortality rate was over 50% under conventional medicine.
- Early 1900s, during the Smallpox epidemic in the USA, 2806 persons were given Variolinum 30c, out of which 547 were exposed to the disease and only 14 developed smallpox. This resulted in 97.5% effectiveness of the homoeopathic prophylactic.
- In 1918- 1920, during an outbreak of Spanish flu, the mortality rate was 5.8% under conventional medical care while under homoeopathy was 0.7%.
- In 1950, Dr. Taylor Smith of South Africa used the homoeopathic remedy Lathyrus sativus for Polio myelitis in 82 people, out of which 12 were primary contacts however no body was infected with Polio myelitis.
- In Chicago, Dr. Grimmer used the homoeopathic drug Lathyrus sativus for 5,000 young children, none of them developed Polio myelitis.
- In 1963, Gutman saw the effectiveness of Influenzinum for Influenza epidemic. In the same year more than 21 homoeopathic physicians revealed effectiveness of Influenzinum for the same Influenza epidemic by 86%.
- Castro and Noguiera in August 1974 managed the epidemic of meningitis in Brazil with Meningococcinum 10c as prophylactic with effectiveness of 95.7%.
- For Dengue haemorrhagic fever, in 1996 CCRH administered homoeopathic medicines as preventive medicine for more than 39,000 people in the Delhi. The cases were followed up after 10 days, more than 23,000 people were followed up, out of which 5 people (0.12%) had mild fever and rest of them did not suffered.
- During 1999- 2003 for Japanese Encephalitis, Government of Andhra Pradesh adopted Atropa Belladonna - Calcarea carbonica Hahnimani -Tuberculinumbovinum (BCT), a dosage schedule used as homoeoprophylaxis, death rate reported nil in those BCT distributed areas.
- J. Nair distributed Bryonia 30c. a preventive medicine in Kerala for Chikungunya. A report of was submitted in 2007 and it showed the results by decreasing the incidence of Chikungunya and a total number of people who took medicine was 19,750.
- Lyrio C. of Brazil, in 2011 conducted a control study of Flu Nosodes with placebo for preventing Flu and Acute respiratory infections in children. Total number of children involved were 450, divided into two groups and one with Flu Nosode and another with the placebo group, both groups were prescribed with respective medicine for 30 days and followed up to 1year. It was noted that the incidence of Flu was 3 times higher in the placebo group than those given with the prophylactic Flu Nosodes.
- In 2017, after the terrible earthquake in Nepal, B. Kawan with Red Cross team, in a camp of about 50,000 earthquake victims, used homeopathic remedies Merc., Ars., Cham., Acon. with an advantage in the prevention of Cholera.
| Current Pandemic COVID-19|| |
Coronavirus belongs to RNA viruses that cause illnesses ranging from Acute Rhinitis to severe acute respiratory infections and Covid-19. The first cases of COVID-19 reported at Wuhan, China and have spread rapidly across 217 countries infecting 55,56,679 people and causing the death of 3,51,866 people all over the globe as of 28th May 2020. It is a fact that virus-induced oxidative stress plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of viral diseases. COVID-19 disease is differentiated as mild, moderate and severe, The most common symptoms will range from coryza to breathlessness and may complicate as Pneumonia, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, multi organ failure, septic shock and death. Supportive nourishing care, adequate nutrition and arresting of further progression of COVID-19 disease is the bedrock strategy to prevent morbidity and mortality. Whereas the nutrition and immunity act as co factors in infectious diseases in its final outcome.
As of 7th June 2021, there were 17, 29, 56,039 positive corona diseases and out of which deaths were 37, 26, 466.
The Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, initiated the steps to undertake research proposals from all streams of AYUSH to generate scientific evidence on corona diseases and also introduced the ‘AYUSH Sanjivani’ application to generate data on acceptance and usage of AYUSH advocacies.
| Homoeoprophylaxis|| |
The Ministry of AYUSH, GOI for COVID-19 included homoeopathic medicine, Arsenicum Album 30c, as a probable preventive which was followed by the distribution of this preventive homeopathic medicine. Moreover, the Scientific Advisory Committee of the nodal agency for homoeopathic research in India, the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy prescribed Arsenicum Album as homoeoprophylaxis for COVID-19 infection based on the evidence from studies.
HT29 cells and macrophages showed the influence of Arsenicum Album. Also, it showed ↓NF-κB hyperactivity and ↓TNF-α release in macrophages.
In China, two groups of symptomatology were found for COVID-19 indicating Bryonia alba and Gelsemium. They gave Gelsemium 30c as a preventive medicine to 4–5% of the population in one area and in another area out of 6,00,000 people 50% got Bryonia alba. In both the areas no sick people were recorded. They also treated several mild or medium ill COVID-19 patients with Gelsemium, Bryonia alba, Eupatorium perf. in succession. They started to recover on first day and within three days they were healthy. The American Institute of Homoeopathy database reveals Bryonia alba and Arsenicum Album make up about 50% of the successful prescriptions.
In the Italian study on a group of 50 symptomatic Corona positive patients, the highest prescribed medicine was Bryonia alba in 21 cases, least was Atropa Belladonna and Antimonium tart in 6 cases each, other frequency of medications used were Arsenicum album in 16 cases, and Phosphorus in 9 cases. The hospitalization rate was zero amongst this group.
Dr. Rajan Sankaran advised to give Camphora 1M twice daily for 2 days as a prophylactic medicine, Camphora 1M, 6 hourlies for people who have got the infection and Camphora 10M, 6 hourly for those with severe lung complications.
Arsenicum album, Bryonia alba and Gelsemium were used by The international homoeopathic medical society, Liga Medicorum Homoeopathica Internationalis (LMHI), representing homoeopathic physicians all over the world, analyzed 132 Covid-19 cases and out of which 76 cases (57.5%) fully recovered.
Globally, as of 5:48pm, 30th November 2021, there have been 26, 14, 35,768 COVID-19 positive cases out of which deaths were 52,07,634. As of 28th November 2021, a total of 7,77, 27, 99,316 vaccine doses have been administered.
In India, from 3rd January 2020 to 5:48pm, 30th November 2021, there have been 3,45,87,822 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 4,68,980 deaths, reported to WHO. As of 22nd November 2021, a total of 1, 18, 35,73,646 vaccine doses have been administered
| Conclusion|| |
The susceptibility of the human organism to the acute diseases is continually present. All the epidemics are unique and individual. They appear as if new and always pose as if they never appeared earlier. Homoeopathy is always ready to face such unique acute conditions like epidemics, regardless of its newest or severest variety because of its individuality right from Hahnemannian epoch to the present Covid-19 pandemic. All the systems of medicine present some or the other management strategy. But many of them are neither practically applicable nor useful. Prejudice or ignorance about Homoeopathy is not a valid reason to disregard homoeoprophylaxis as an aappurtenant tool in the battle against epidemic diseases. However, rrefusal of Homoeo-prophylaxis inferred as a dismissal of fact, reasoning and scientificity.
Many examples might be adduced of epidemic diseases which have been cured homoeopathically. It is time to open the door to homoeopathy, with whose management, morbidity and mortality could be dramatically lessened. The application of homeopathic principles in the current pandemic can greatly speed up the recovery time without leaving patients weakened by the treatment.
Individualized homoeopathic therapeutic approach can add efficacy, efficiency, and safety for the medicinal management of an epidemic. However, the forte of Homoeopathy is to provide an effective and definitive preventive tool during an epidemic or pandemic. Time and again this has been proved emphatically.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Banerjee DD Augmented Textbook of Homoeopathic Pharmacy. 3rd ed. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers(Pvt.) Ltd.; 2021.
Jacobs J Homeopathic prevention and management of epidemic diseases. Homeopathy 2018;107:157-60.
Sabbatani S, Fiorino S [The antonine plague and the decline of the roman empire]. Infez Med 2009;17:261-75.
Hahnemann S, editor. The Friend of Health-I & II. In: The Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann. Collected and Translated by R.E. Dudgeon. Reprint edition. India: B. Jain Publishers Pvt. Ltd; 2010. p. 155-242.
Principles of Epidemiology. 3rd ed. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2012.
Available from: https://www.dictionary.com/e/epidemic-vs-pandemic/
. [Last accessed on 22 Nov 2021].
Hahnemann S Organon of Medicine. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers(Pvt.) Ltd.; 2009. 4fn aphorism no.73
Bala R, Srivastava A Historical journey of homoeopathy during epidemic diseases in the light of 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic. Int J Sci Healthc Res 2020;5:218.
Saine A Case management of the influenza and pneumonia patient with homoeopathy during the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020. [cited 2020 April 14]. Available from: https://www.homoeopathycenter.org/covid19-pandemic-webinar-dr-andre-saine
Hahnemann S Organon of Medicine. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers(Pvt.) Ltd.; 2009. 4fn aphorism no.72
Von Boenninghausen CMF, editor. Concerning the Curative Effects of Thuja in Small-pox. In: The Lesser Writings. Reprint edition. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers(Pvt.) Ltd.; 2012. p. 3.
Currim AM The Collected Works of Arthur Grimmer. Norwalk and Greifenberg: Hahnemann International Institute for Homeopathic Documentation; 1996.
Bradford TL Pioneers of Homoeopathy. Philadelphia: Boericke and Tafel; 1897. p. 11-655.
Bradford TL The Logic of Figures or Comparative Results of Homeopathic and Other Treatments. Reprint edition. Philadephia: Boericke and Tafel; 2010. p. 30.
Eaton CW Variolinum. Trans Am Inst Homoeopathy 1907. Available from: www.whale.to/v/eaton.html
Taylor-Smith A Poliomyelitis and prophylaxis. Br Homeopath J 1950;40:65-77.
Gutman W Homeopathic oral vaccine against influenza. Homoeopathy 1963;13:185-7.
Castro D, Nogueira GG Use of the nosodemeningococcinum as a preventative against meningitis. Journal of the American Institute of Homœopathy 1975;68:211-9.
Sheffield F Homeoprophylaxis: Human Records, Studies and Trials. [Internet]. 2005–2014. [cited 2020 April 15]. Available from: www.fransheffieldhomoeopathy.com
Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy. Epidemics-IMR Project. [Internet]. [cited 2020 April 30]. Available from: https://www.ccrhindia.nic.in/admnis/admin/showing.aspxid=6475
Janardanan Nair KR, Gopinadhan S, SreedharaKurup TN, Kumar BSJR, Aggarwal A, Varanas R, et al
Homoeopathic Genus Epidemicus ‘Bryonia alba’ as a prophylactic during an outbreak of Chikungunya in India: A cluster - randomised, double -blind, placebocontrolled trial. Indian J Res Homoeopathy 2014;8:160-5.
Lyrio C, Siqueira CM, Veiga VF, Fortune H, Biolchini AL The use of homoeopathy to prevent symptoms of human flu and acute respiratory infections: A double-blind, randomized, placebocontrolled clinical trial with 600 children from Brazilian public health service. Int J High Dilution Res 2011;10:174-6.
Kawan BB Homoeopathy dealing with epidemic diseases after earthquake in Nepal. Allgemeine Homöopathische Zeitung 2017;262:2-76.
Ministry of AYUSH. Advisory from ministry of AYUSH for meeting the challenge arising out of spread of Corona virus (COVID-19) in India. [Internet]. 2020. [cited 2020 April 15]. Available from: https://www.ayush.gov.in/docs/125.pdf
World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation reports.[Internet]. Available from: https://www.ayush.gov.in/docs/125.pdf
. [Last accessed on 7 Jun 2021].
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches the ‘AYUSH Sanjivani’ App and inter-disciplinary studies involving AYUSH interventions for COVID-19. [Internet]. 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports
. [Last accessed on 7 Jun 2021].
The Hindu. Ayush system helps quarantined individuals dodge coronavirus infection. [Internet]. 2020. Available from: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/ayush-system-helps-quarantined-individuals-dodge-coronavirus-infection/article31386159.ece
Chakraborty PS, Lamba CD, Nayak D, John MD, Sarkar DB, Poddar A, et al
Effect of individualized homoeopathic treatment in influenza like illness: A multicenter, single blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Indian J Res Homoeopathy2013;7:22-30.
Bellavite P, Signorini A, Marzotto M, Moratti E, Bonafini C, Olioso D Cell sensitivity, non-linearity and inverse effects. Homeopathy 2015;104:139-60.
Valeri A Symptomatic COVID-19 positive and likely patients treated by homeopathic physicians- an Italian descriptive study. [Internet]. 2020. [cited 2020 May 5]. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/34 0631586_ Symptomatic_COVID19_positive_and_likely_patients_treated_by _homeopathic_ physicians_- _an_Italian_descriptive_study
Kasariyans A Homoeopathy for coronavirus covid-19 infection: Dr Aditya Kasariyans and Dr Rajan Sankaran. [Internet]. [cited 2020 April 28]. Available from: http://www.wholehealthnow.com/document s/Homeo_Corona%20Cases%20Iran%20Fe b%202020.pdf
LIGA Medicorum Homoeopathica Internationalis. Collecting clinical experience of homeopathic treatment of COVID-19. Eighth issue. LMHI newsletter. [Internet]. 2020. [cited 2020 May 12]. [Available from: http://lmhi.org/downloads/nvp/Collecting%20clinical%20COVID%20LMHI%208%20 0405.pdf
. [Last accessed on 28 Nov 2021].
[Last accessed on 22 Nov 2021].