March 18, 2020
The current pandemic castigating the world is a coronavirus, the COVID-19, caused by one of the same family as the other SARS and MERS viruses, which caused their own respective epidemics a few years ago. This virus is not like the flu virus, and often mistaking them may make the situation worse. The infectiousness and lethality of this Covid-19 virus is greater than the influenza/flu virus, whose deaths are nevertheless very large in total numbers; however, the Covid-19 kills more quickly and spreads more quickly, so it is critical to control its spread quickly.
The view from physicians, of whether the COVID-19 is a severe threat, has increased, generally at a 28% of all physicians while a survey, done about a week and a half ago, was 16%. In Italy, 70% of physicians viewed COVID-19 as a threat, which is a little more than twice as many as it was in the earlier survey mentioned. (https://bit.ly/3aYrm2r)
This situation has been a factor for the best and the worst of human traits to arise. Some individuals have come forth as heroes, showing compassion and care, at the cost of their own lives, such as Li Wenliang, Chinese whistleblower doctor who first identified the Coronavirus and died from it (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-51403795); and, Roberto Stella, leader of the medical association in Italy's northern Varese region (https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/926816), who continued assisting patients, even after the hospital’s protective gear ran out, until his death. On the other end, there are the unscrupulous merchants, interested in profit over lives; and corruption in healthcare, more interested in their image and self than in public health and wellness. It is certainly a time for reflection.
While the particulars of the disease, its course and treatment are sorted out, there is still little to offer from a conventional medical standpoint other than supportive measures. Known antivirals could be an effective treatment but results are still being evaluated.
The main approach is prevention, by washing hands often, using hand sanitizers with greater than 60% alcohol, and staying away from possibly infected people, and keeping a distance of about 6 feet (2 meters) from others when in public places, when it is absolutely necessary to go out. This principle of limitation of social contact and distancing is for at least three to four weeks and could be longer. Such protocols are being proposed by the WHO (World Health Organization) and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in the USA, and other national health organizations and local authorities from around the world.
People who are sick, with: sore throat; dry, rough, cough; general achiness and weakness; fever; and difficulty breathing, should stay home and call their physician or local hospital for assistance. They should wear a face mask, and when coughing should do so into a tissue, or the crux of their elbow to avoid spreading the virus; should drink plenty of fluids.
Communities, such as those in South Korea, Singapore and Shanghai, have been able to contain their Covid-19 deaths, by limiting social contact, to around 1%, the while world’s average ranges between almost 4% to 10% of deaths from infection from Covid-19.
Almost all deaths are from people above their sixth decade of life, particularly those with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, respiratory, cardiovascular diseases, and immunological problems. The most severe problem being respiratory difficulties, usually due pulmonary fibrosis and respiratory failure. Otherwise, most other people develop mild to moderate symptoms common to most viral infections. Young people may not be concerned about their susceptibility, but they may contaminate older people, even within their own family, with regrettable consequences.
Some sources predict that in the course of the subsequent months, perhaps a year, about 60% of the population will end up getting a Covid-19 infection, and there could be the development of immunity. But how this epidemic unfolds is anyone’s guess.
With the significant limitations with conventional approaches, in cost and availability, homeopathic medicine can be an important way to address epidemics, if only the evidence was considered judiciously by unbiased scientists. It is truly sad that a system of medicine that had been proven by the test of time, experience, and solid data is neglected, to the detriment of the public, because of obstinate adherence to an intransigent materialistic and biased theory, when there is plenty of evidence to validate homeopathy. It is a very cost effective and efficient way to treat the public, without discarding conventional approaches; the best of both paradigms could be a powerful approach to planetary health and wellness.
Homeopathy is a holistic therapy based on the individualized treatment of the patient using small amount of substances capable of producing, in larger dosages, the same particular symptoms of the person’s constitutional makeup. Therefore, the best prophylaxis for any disease is that before any symptoms, people should resort to personalized treatment of their own life imbalance.
However, since its inception, homeopathy has been used for epidemics, and it is because of these early successes that homeopathy gained prominence. This experience has been repeated and confirmed through two centuries of homeopathy’s use. (Bradford, 1895; Saine, 2019; CCRH, 2020)
A relatively recent, large-scale, study involving hundreds of thousands of patients, in Cuba, affected by the recurrent leptospirosis epidemic, were successfully treated for prevention with a homeopathic medicine from the infectious agent. Those preparations produced from the infectious agents, similar to the nature of vaccines but at much lower concentrations, are called “nosodes.” There is more work on the use of nosodes in epidemics. (Bracho, et al. 2010)
Though there are indications that some homeopathic medicines are often found to correspond to the symptoms of patients affected by the Covid-19, it is always important to approach each case without preconceptions in order to find the medicine most suited for the patients’ symptoms. If a particular medicine appears repeatedly in a set of cases, and is also found useful clinically, that particular medicine can be called the “Genus epidemicus” and can be used as a preventive medicine. So far, considering experiences from colleagues in China, Italy, India, France, Austria, Netherland and Germany; the following drugs have been found useful.
Early stage: Gelsemium, Bryonia alba, Ferrum Phos, Eupatorium Perf., Bellad., Ars.
Later stage: Arsenicum Album, Phosphorus, Antim Tart, Stannum Met.
We review here the list of some medicines with indications considered clinically useful by Dr Renzo Galassi, from Italy. In addition, the CCRH (Central Council for Research in Homeopathy), under the Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India, has declared Ars Alb 30 as Genus epidemicus, for that country, which is being distributed by the public as well private clinics to the public. Dr. Alok Pareek, LMHI Past President, adds this practical hint about Ars Alb: “Arsenicum album has to be considered as the first remedy in many cass. It covers the Acute stage of viral symptoms very well as well as the mental state of panic associated with the outbreak of any such epidemic. The remedy covers the mental fear and anxiety in the community.”
Dr Aditya Kasariyans, from Iran, in collaboration with Dr Rajan Sankaran, and Dr. Emma Pistelli, from Pistoia, a collegue of his from the Lycopodium Group - Homeopathia Europea, have been using Camphora 1000CH, as it may correspond to advanced stages. This observation is still not yet corroborated sufficiently, though a homeopathic physician from the USA, Dr. Peter Prociuk, has reported a case of serious viral infection, not yet confirmed as Covid-19, that responded to Camphora.
Further data about the outcome of this intervention is yet to come, and systematic steps are being taken to gather concrete clinical outcomes data. We intend to update this information as we received it from other NVPs (National Vice Presidents), the national representatives to the LMHI. Therefore, we request all NVPs and every Homoeopathic institution to share your experience with us, we will be compiling the information and share with the homoeopathic community.
A Few hints coming from the daily practice and information collected during the pandemic of Covid -19.
Dr. Renzo Galassi
These are some observations from the “field” of clinical experience and material found in the early masters of homeopathy who faced several epidemics, including the well-known Spanish flu.
For what has been seen until now, from our clinical point of view, the pandemic has to be divided and distinguished in two phases.
A) The first phase is very similar to the common influenza and for a fast reference I have extracted from our Materia Medica the symptoms of the remedies that occur more frequently in the patients. As we wait for a more accurate reports from colleagues studying clinical cases around the world, it can be useful to fix in our memory the symptoms of the following remedies that, until now, are considered the most useful and could be of some help to relieve the disease in a few days, particularly in patients who are under chronic homeopathic treatment. I write the remedies in order of importance and frequency of utilization. Bry., Gels., Ferr. Phos., Bellad., Eupat. Perf., Nux vom., Acon., Ars.
Dryness of throat ; dry and raw, on empty swallowing.
A sort of scraping and roughness in the throat posteriorly.
Pain and difficulty on swallowing, as if a hard body was in throat.
Tickling in larynx.
Respiration: impeded; quick and deep, without motion of the ribs; better in cold air and from drinking cold water. Impeded, during violent motion. Sighing inspiration.
Frequent desire to take a full inspiration, which, however, cannot be done in consequence of a feeling as if there was something should expand but would not, as though the lungs will not expand sufficiently.
Hacking, dry cough from the upper part of trachea. Dry cough with sticking pain under the sternum; as if coming from the stomach; with a crawling and tickling in pit of stomach. Dry, spasmodic, after eating and drinking, sometimes with vomiting of food.
Sensation as if the head and chest would fly to pieces on coughing. Bursting headache. Stitching in sides of chest during cough.
Constriction of chest; feeling the need of breathing deeply; when attempting to breathe deeply, pain in chest.
Stitch in upper part of chest, through the shoulders, on inspiring.
Great thirst, desire for large quantities of cold water; also for warm drinks, which relieve.
< (agg) Motion, of eyes; walking; exertion; ascending stairs; rising; stooping.
Influenza adds more of severe occipital headache, dull, heavy, deep-seated aching in the back and limbs or bruised soreness all over as though he had been pounded. No other remedy has cured more cases of la grippe or endemic or epidemic influenza.
Fauces dry, burning, irritated, sore. Throat feels as if filled up; tonsils inflamed, swollen, mostly in or beginning in the right.
Swallowing causes shooting in the ear.
Thirst absent or slight.
Cough from tickling or roughness of the fauces; hoarse; rawness and soreness of the chest; coryza; bronchial catarrh. Croupy cough.
Yawning, chilly. Chilliness, languid aching in back and limbs; sense of fatigue, desires to avoid all muscular exertion; every afternoon, 4 to 5 p.m.
Chills begin in the hands; chills running up the back; hands and feet cold.
Wants to lie still.
The Gelsemium case never manifests the agonized fear and tossing about or the excessive thirst and full, bounding pulse of Aconite. The face is more of a dusky red than in Aconite and there are periods of drowsiness which indicate the prostration and sluggish circulation which are ever present in the Gelsemium case.
I want to underline the following remedy, Ferrum Phos., often overlooked, that is very useful and especially when we find the last symptom I wrote, that is an important clinical observation done by Harvey Farrington, son of Ernest and that can guide us in the prescription instead of Gelsemium, Belladona or Aconite.
Worse: NIGHT; morning; cold; touch; jar; motion; while standing.
Better: cold applications; warmth; gentle motion: while lying down.
The outstanding features of Ferrum phos. are passive congestions; inflammations; fever or pains and anaemia with red face. Like Belladonna and Aconite, it is indicated in the first stage of inflammatory processes before exudation has taken place, but its action is of longer duration than that of these two remedies
The acute phase, with more or less sudden onset, high temperature, flushing of the face, congestion, active inflammation.
The right side is principally affected, again reminding us of Belladonna. Violent congestive headache on the right side of the head.
The general aggravations as to time occur at night and in the morning. Rheumatic pains, fever and cough are worse at night.
The Ferrum phos. patient feels the cold severely, especially on top of the head and in the back. Headache, neuralgia, lameness and stiffness of the neck and shoulders or in the small of the back are induced by sitting in a draft of cold air.
The cough is worse from cold and in the open air unless the weather is warm.
Conversely, warmth and plenty of covering make the patient comfortable in general. However, his pains are almost invariably better from cold local applications. This is an important distinction to bear in mind for amelioration of painful symptoms from heat is common to many remedies. This modality places Ferrum phos. in a small group, and as a consequence, becomes a strong characteristic. The desire to lie down is not entirely due to weakness. The Ferrum phos. patient is worse while standing.
The Ferrum phos. subject is aggravated by effort of exertion. Active motion increases his sufferings, especially those of inflamed parts. But gentle or slow motion often relieves.
More important, however, is a tendency to loquacity and mirth. Patients coming down with influenza or capillary bronchitis with red face and high fever. They joke, laugh and chatter as though they were not ill. But the fever and red face give ample evidence of the beginning of a serious condition. They keep up a constant stream of conversation, but it is not the vehement loquacity of such remedies as Belladonna.
Constant urging and desire to swallow; seemed as if he would choke if he did not swallow.
During deglutition, feeling in the throat as if it were too narrow, or drawn together, as if nothing would pass properly.
Pharynx as if excoriated; scraping; sensation of enlargement with dryness and burning; bright redness or bright and yellowish redness of fauces.
Dry cough: from dryness of larynx; from tickling itching in back part of the top of larynx, evening, after lying down in bed; from sensation of a foreign body in larynx, or constriction. Extremely painful to touch.
Attack of coughing, as if one had inhaled dust; wakens at night; mucous expectoration.
Sensation as if something were in the pit of stomach, which excites cough.
Barking cough, waking suddenly, 11 p. m.; face fiery red; crying with cough.
The attack consists of a few dry coughs in a rough, hollow, barking sound, preceded by cy crying and often followed by sneezing.
Internal chill, with external burning heat.
Chill and heat alternating.
Internal heat, with anxiety and restlessness. Heat of forehead,; of head, with redness of face and delirium.
Heat predominates; averse to uncovering.
Sweat on the covered parts; with or immediately after the heat, mostly in face.
The common name, "Boneset", is well chosen. Aching in the bones as if they were broken is the central feature of the drug, for it occurs in practically every case where Eupatorium is indicated. The more prominent this symptom, the more likely is Eupatorium to be the remedy. With these bone pains there is marked bruised soreness of the softer tissues.
Pains: ACHING IN THE BONES AS IF BROKEN; BRUISED SORENESS. THIRST.
Worse: morning; cold; cold air; motion; odor of food.
Better: warmth; perspiration.
Painful soreness of eyeballs. Fauces sore. Loss of appetite. Thirst for cold water.
After drinking cold water : shuddering. ; vomiting bile. After eating : violent distressing pains ; no ease until all is vomited.
Vomiting ; as the chill passes off, or between chill and fever.
Difficulty of breathing, attended with perspiration, anxious countenance, sleepiness.
Great oppression of the chest ; a full breath hurts, ; rattling on chest.
Dyspnoea, with hard, dry cough.
Must lie with head and shoulders high.
Rough, scraping cough, chest sore ; must support it with the hands ; flushed face, tearful eyes.
Intense aching in limbs, as if the bones were broken ; back and limbs ache, as if broken.
Pains all over ; left ankle, hip, shoulder ; pains come instantly and go away as quickly.
Cough dry, fatiguing, from titillation in hard palate and larynx; worse after midnight and early in the morning; causing pain in the stomach and soreness in the abdominal walls; worse after eating. Cough causes bursting headache and bruised feeling in abdominal muscles.
Cough worse from mental effort ; ascending ; cold ; exertion; on awakening ; from tobacco ; drinking, eating from beer ; better from warm drinks.
Chill : evening and night in bed till morning ; worse when moving and from drinking with hot face ; alternating with heat.
Irritability increased with the symptoms.
B) Remedies for the second phase of the disease.
It is difficult to have a detailed report about this phase because most of the patients in this condition are hospitalized. We can say that if we can follow our patients with Homeopathy from the beginning and they are not in very poor health condition, they will tend to improve and heal during the first phase. (We are waiting for further information about the more or less accuracy of this statement).
Anyway, in the case we need to see patients with the evolution of the influenza in a more severe respiratory disease, don’t forget to study in order of importance: Phosphorus, Arsenic. Alb, Hepar Sulphur, Ant. Tart., Kali carb., Puls., Silicea and Sulph. In very severe cases Opium and Carb. Veget.
A special mention has to be done for Stannum met., especially in old patients with former diseases of lungs and Kalium Iodatum for its similarity with the interstitial pneumonia typical of covid-19 epidemic.
Disposition to take a deep breath; causing a feeling of lightness.
Evening dyspnoea ; must loosen the clothing.
Crowing, snorting respiration.
Oppressed breathing, from every movement, when lying down and in the evening.
Cough. Dry, evening in bed ; concussive, in paroxysms of three coughs ; caused by mucus in chest, and by stitches and dryness in trachea ;
Cough caused by talking, singing, laughing, lying on (right) side and from drinking anything warm.
Tension across upper part of chest, with emptiness in lower.
Chest so weak he cannot talk; empty feeling in chest.
Chill: 10 a.m., finger-tips numb, or in the evening over the back ; only on head, with thirst; slight, but with chattering teeth, as from convulsion of masseter muscles.
Some caution may need to be taken with this remedy, because its symptoms are mainly based on toxicological and clinical symptoms; however, that is the case with other medicines in the homeopathic materia medica, such as Belladona. On the other hand, it also has more than 150 years of successful use in clinical practice.
Suffocative cough, larynx swollen.
Cough dry; hawking ; later copious, green sputum.
Stitches through sternum to back, or deep in chest, while walking.
Pneumonia in the beginning when the disease localizes itself; also with so extensive hepatization, as to cause cerebral congestion and serous exudation; face is red, pupils large; urine suppressed; one side as if paralyzed.
Oedema pulmonum, or when the disease localizes itself and infiltrations begin and as a result, both lungs consolidate. At first the patient has a very red face, the pupils are more or less dilated, and is drowsy; later the patient grows worse, breathing becomes more heavy and the pupils fail to react to light; stitching pains through the lungs, particularly through the sternum to the back, worse from any motion .
Bracho, G, E Varela, R Fernandez, e et_al. 2010. «Large-scale application of highly-diluted bacteria for Leptospirosis epidemic control.» Homeopathy (Elsevier) 99 (3): 156-166.
Bradford, Thomas Lindsley. 1895. The Life and Letters of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel.
CCRH, Central Council for Homeopathic Research. 2020. «Homoeopathy-in-various-Epidemics-in-India-since-1985-CCRH-Report.» Homeobook.com. 3 March. https://www-homeobook-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.homeobook.com/homoeopathy-in-various-epidemics-in-india-since-1985-ccrh-report/amp/.
Saine, Andre. 2019. «Epidemic Infectious Diseases Public Health and Homeopathy.» Americans for Homeopathy Choice - Research. https://homeopathychoice.org/app/uploads/2019/02/Epidemic-Infectious-Diseases-Public-Health-and-Homeopathy-AFHC-Re-Citizen-Petition-from-Americans-for-Homeopathy-Choice.pdf.
Materi a Medica compilation by Renzo Galassi from the most classical sources, such as Hahnemann, Hering, Lippe, Guernsey, Boger, Farrington, Cowperthwaite, H.C. Allen and T.F. Allen.