Using Homeopathy in Times of a Pandemic


The world is now bracing itself for the Coronavirus, and the medical community warns that there is not yet a vaccine or any specific treatment for it. In my book, Homeopathy: An A to Z Handbook, which I wrote in 2007, I anticipated such a situation—a pandemic with no known cure—and specifically aimed to help lay people survive such a crisis.

What is homeopathy? Homeopathy is a medical science that uses natural substances to mimic illness and stimulate healing. It is based on the idea of, "like cures like." Any substance that can produce symptoms in a healthy person can cure those same symptoms in a sick person.

There are several reasons why we should all embrace homeopathy.

  1. When antibiotics fail, homeopathic remedies will still work. Germs can never develop a resistance to homeopathic remedies, as the remedies do not kill the germs directly; rather, they stimulate the immune system to do the healing. For the last two hundred years, homeopaths have cured meningitis, endocarditis, pneumonia, nephritis, tuberculosis, plague, and venereal diseases using homeopathic remedies alone. Homeopathic remedies are effective against viruses, but antibiotics are not. In 1918, the worldwide influenza epidemic killed over twenty million people, with over five hundred thousand of those deaths bieng in the United States. At a time when survival rates were 70% with conventional medicine, they were 98% with homeopathy.* Some other viral diseases are Ebola, hantavirus, viral pneumonia, viral hepatitis, yellow fever, polio, rabies, viral meningitis, viral encephalitis, dengue fever, mumps, chickenpox, measles, herpes simplex and zoster, and mononucleosis.

  2. Homeopathy is affordable—homeopathic remedies cost about eight cents per dose. Thousands of people could be treated during an emergency for just a few dollars. The antibiotic used to treat sepsis infections costs (at the time of this writing) $4,000 for one day's treatment. The equivalent homeopathic remedies cost 8¢ per dose.

  3. You can begin prescribing without a diagnosis. Homeopathic remedies are prescribed based on the person's symptoms. You don't have to know the name of the disease. This is especially important when new or exotic diseases arise.

  4. Homeopathic remedies are extremely safe and free of chemical side effects. By following a few simple rules, any person can use the remedies without danger. Prescription drugs, on the other hand, can be quite dangerous even when used by doctors. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (April 15,1998)* concluded that prescription drugs, properly prescribed and properly taken, are between the fourth and sixth leading causes of death in the United States (after heart attack, stroke, and cancer). The study found that prescription drugs kill over one hundred thousand Americans a year.

  5. Homeopathic remedies can be used prophylactically, much like vaccines. Thousands of people could be inoculated quickly and cheaply if an epidemic threatened. A remedy made from the chickpea (Lathyrus) has been used with great success during polio epidemics.

  6. People who are allergic to antibiotics and other drugs can still use homeopathic remedies. Homeopathic remedies can substitute for almost all conventional drugs.

  7. You can heal faster. Conventional drugs can relieve pain or reduce inflammation, but they don't speed healing. All homeopathic remedies, when properly selected, speed the healing process.

  8. You may be able to avoid surgery. Polyps, tonsillitis, hemorrhoids, ulcers, abscesses, gallbladder problems, and more, often yield to homeopathic treatment. Surgery is always an option, but when possible, why not try a less invasive method first?

  9. Homeopathic remedies remove toxins from the body. Conventional drugs increase the toxic load.

Most such books are limited to minor ailments, but Homeopathy takes the reader one step further, by including remedies to treat serious diseases such as cholera and anthrax.

In the introduction to the book, I outlined my hope: "One wouldn't ordinarily suggest that laypeople attempt such a feat, but these are not ordinary times. In the next ten years we may find ourselves in survival situations, either as a community or as individuals. This book was written to provide laypeople a means to treat threats to health where conventional care is either not available or not effective."

I call Homeopathy a handbook for survival, because in the coming years we may find ourselves in survival situations for many reasons, including the following reasons:

  1. Natural disasters: Weather cycles, disrupted by global warming, are becoming increasingly extreme. Natural disasters, such as droughts, severe floods, snowstorms, and heat waves, could easily disrupt everyday medical service.

  2. Terrorism: We live in an age of increasing unrest, where terrorism always looms as a possibility. A large-scale attack in a crowded urban area could temporarily overwhelm the medical system.

  3. Antibiotic-resistant infections: For the last several decades, antibiotics have been overused. This has given rise to infections that are more virulent and transmissible, while being resistant to most or all antibiotics. Pharmaceutical companies will not be able to keep up with this rapid escalation in antibiotic resistance. Bacteria can produce a new generation every twenty minutes. The world's leading experts in antibiotic-resistant microbes have predicted that it is just a matter of time before killer strains develop for which there will be no cure. At the 1994 annual meeting of the American Association for he Advancement of Science, Dr. Alexander Tomasz, a leading authority on antibiotic-resistant bacteria, stated, "In the post-antibiotic world, the simplest infections could quickly escalate into fatal illnesses. It would be nothing short of a medical disaster." The medical system could easily be overwhelmed by thousands of cases of untreatable infections. For example:
    • Staphylococcus aureus is the leading cause of infection in hospitals. It can be fatal in up to 40% of the cases. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has found strains that are resistant to all antibiotics, including MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
    • Enterococcus: In 1996, the federal government reported that 14% of all hospital-acquired enterococcus infections were resistant to all antibiotics.
    • Pneumococcus: Many strains of it are resistant to all antibiotics except vancomycin. It's just a matter of time.
    • Tuberculosis: There are now strains that resist all known treatment.
    • Plague: There are now strains that resist all known treatment.
    • Group A streptococcus (toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis, popularly known as "flesh-eating infection"): In 1993, 5% of cases were resistant to erythromycin. Two years later, 30% of cases were resistant to erythromycin.*
    • Exotic diseases, such as Ebola and hantavirus, can be expected to occur more often due to the destruction of rainforests, over-population, increased trade between nations, and global temperature changes. Global warming allows vector insects carrying these diseases to travel farther north.
  4. Chemical or drug sensitivity: More and more people have become allergic to conventional drugs. When that happens, the side effects of the drug can be more dangerous than the disease itself. If you are allergic to the drugs you need, the doctor may have nothing more to offer you. Homeopathic remedies are effective for most conditions now treated conventionally and are without any side effects.
  5. Genetic engineering: The biotechnology industry has been playing mix-and-match with the basic units of life. Genes from animals have been inserted into plants and genes from humans have been placed into animals. Genetically engineered foods are on supermarket shelves, often without any long-term testing for safety. People and animals may develop new diseases for which there is no conventional treatment. Homeopathic remedies are ideal for such a situation. To choose a remedy, all you need are the symptoms.
  6. No medical insurance: At the time of this writing, 45.8 million Americans have no medical insurance.* If you can't afford medical care for acute ailments, homeopathy may help you avoid needless suffering.

While we as a world combat the coronavirus (and other pressing health concerns), please follow all medical and CDC guidelines for prevention and treatment, including the washing of hands, self-quarantining when applicable, and limiting travel and large groups. However, homeopathy is a powerful ally during this time when we need all them ammunition that we can muster.

The practice of homeopathy has a long history of successes in deadly epidemics. As noted, worldwide influenza pandemic of 1918 killed up to fifty million people worldwide. At a time when death rates were 30% or more with conventional medicine, homeopaths had a 98% cure rate.*

During the cholera epidemic of 1849 in Cincinnati, with survival rates between 40%–52%, those treated by homeopathy had a 97% survival rate. These results were published in the local newspapers.*

In 1878, the mortality rate for yellow fever in New Orleans was 50% for conventional care, but only 5.6% with homeopathic care.*

During the 1831–32 cholera epidemic in Europe, when the mortality rate was between 40%–80%, the homeopathic hospitals were saving up to 93% of their patients. Homeopathy was so effective that the law forbidding the practice of homeopathy in Austria was repealed.*

Homeopathy has also been used to prevent disease. In 2007 the Cuban government gave 2.4 million Cubans a homeopathic remedy to prevent an epidemic of Leptospirosis. Within a few weeks the number of cases had fallen to 4 cases per 100,000.*

The Indian government has successfully used homeopathic remedies to prevent cholera, the H1N1 influenza virus ("swine flu"), and viral diseases such as Japanese encephalitis, dengue fever, and chikungunya. Right now, they are distributing a homeopathic remedy to thousands of people in an effort to prevent Coronavirus from spreading.*

In a 1974 epidemic of meningococcal meningitis in Brazil, 18,640 children were given a homeopathic remedy for prevention. Only four cases of meningitis occurred in these children.*

In the 1957 polio epidemic in Buenos Aires, the homeopathic remedy Lathyrus was given to thousands of people. Not one case of polio was reported in these individuals.*

In the smallpox epidemic of 1902 in Iowa, the homeopathic remedy Variolinum was given as prophylaxis to 2,806 patients of fifteen doctors. The protection rate was 97%.*

I don't mean to imply that Homeopathy will make you an expert in cholera or anthrax, nor are most doctors experts in those ailments. But with the information in the book you will be able to act, even if imperfectly. In a critical situation, that makes all the difference. Homeopathy is about being empowered. It also covers numerous acute ailments including epidemic diseases, childhood diseases, and also various injuries. As I write this, homeopaths around the world are correlating data from coronavirus patients to determine the best remedies to address this disease and to prevent its further spread. In every epidemic there are one or more homeopathic remedies that fit the symptoms of most patients. Once that is determined, thousands of doses can be distributed to both treat and prevent the disease. It is likely that most of the remedies needed will be common ones, readily available from health food stores and online.

If there were a safe vaccine or conventional, allopathic drugs to treat this disease, that would be excellent. However, a vaccine is said to be a year or more away and no drugs have yet been proven effective.

This epidemic is a serious threat to the population, and having some way to combat it is crucial. The dangerous pneumonia that accompanies Covid 19 can also be addressed by homeopathic remedies. Pneumonias have been treated successfully with homeopathy of over a hundred years.

In the best of worlds, everyone would have a professional homeopath prescribing for them. To the extent people can get such professional help they should. In lieu of that, people will still have the ability to act. Homeopathic remedies are selected based on an individual's symptoms. Lay people can—and have—quickly learned how to match symptoms to remedies.

For example: If a patient has a painful dry cough, lies perfectly still, is worse from the slightest movement, craves large drinks of water, feels better lying on the painful side, and is very irritable, he needs the homeopathic remedy called Bryonia. That just happens to be an important remedy for influenzas and pneumonias.

Another patient looks drowsy, sluggish, his limbs feel heavy to him, his eyelids are drooping, he has a chill up the back, and no thirst at all. His arms or legs tremble. Such a patient needs the remedy Gelsemium. This is another important remedy for influenza.

Homeopathy: An A to Z Home Handbook is arranged to make it as easy as possible to match a patient's symptoms with the correct remedy. I anticipated that people with no medical training will be using this book, so I described each remedy distinctly, so it can be differentiated from other remedies. I explain homeopathy and how to use it completely in layman's terms.

*Complete sources can be found in the bibliography of Homeopathy: An A to Z Handbook.

Schmukler, Alan V. Homeopathy: An A to Z Handbook. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2007

About Alan Schmukler

Alan V. Schmukler (Philadelphia, PA) taught homeopathy at Temple University and has been lecturing and consulting on the subject for over a decade. He founded the Homeopathic Study Group of Metropolitan Philadelphia and was ...

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