Saturday, April 25, 2009

Influenza Then and Now

Recent headlines have captured the fear of an Influenza epidemic (aka Swine Flu). There is even talk of a worldwide pandemic. The truth of the matter is not really known at this point and the statistics are changing by the hour. There is reason for concern, but we have some solace in knowing that homeopathy has dealt with this type of issue before.

In 1918 there was a pandemic flu called the Spanish Flu. It killed millions of people and wreaked havoc in the medical community. To some extent this flu outbreak was not well documented from the homeopathic point of view. Remember in the early 1900s there were many homeopathic hospitals and doctors (approximately 2000 homeopathic hospitals located in most major cities). While allopathic doctors treated the flu during this outbreak with aspirin, homeopathic doctors treated it with commonly found homeopathic remedies.

A snippet of an article about that time…

"The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI), at somewhere between 20 and 40 million people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as "Spanish Flu" or "La Grippe" the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster. Influenza constitutes the most widespread and significant respiratory infectious disease in the world, resulting in increased morbidity, mortality and economic loss each epidemic year. Pandemic influenza is a worldwide epidemic usually caused by a new virus variant to which the majority of the population has no immunity.

The Journal of the American Institute for Homeopathy, May 1921, had a long article about the use of homeopathy in the flu epidemic. Dr. T A McCann, from Dayton, Ohio reported that 24,000 cases of flu treated allopathically had a mortality rate of 28.2% while 26,000 cases of flu treated homeopathically had a mortality rate of 1.05%. This last figure was supported by Dean W.A. Pearson of Philadelphia (Hahnemann College) who collected 26,795 cases of flu treated with homeopathy with the above result."**

The rate of mortality is the rate of deaths. Taking the above statistics, allopathic treatment had approximately 6700 deaths per 24,000 patients and homeopathic treatment had approximately 270 deaths per 26,000 patients.

From the above description, homeopathy provided a much better solution to the Spanish Flu outbreak than did allopathic treatment. This is probably because homeopathy is better able to provide a solution to individual sets of symptoms in illness than allopathy no matter what the variation of these symptoms (there is a remedy that applies to any variation of symptoms). Another possibility is that homeopathy needs no name or cause or how the disease is spread to provide a solution that will cure any ailment. In this way, homeopathy can be used in any illness whether it be a known disease or not. To date, allopathy has never cured a viral infection (influenza is a virus as is HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, etc).

The symptoms of swine flu are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Taking the above symptoms (albeit a superficial list), the following homeopathic remedies would fit these symptoms (educated guess)…
Nux-v (Nux Vomica)
Aco (Aconite)
Sul (Sulphur)
Bry (Bryonia)
Ars (Arsenicum)
China (Cinchona Officinalis)
Among other possible remedies.

The above list will be edited when more information (symptoms) become apparent and/or homeopathic therapy is applied and a determination can be made as to the most effective remedies.

A more comprehensive list of homeopathic remedies (with specific symptoms) commonly used to treat various types of flu can be found (here).

The mortality rate in Mexico is holding steady at 6% (according to limited stats and the total amount infected is probably seriously under-reported- which will eventually bring this mortality rate down to logical levels as reports are more accurate). Being at one of the ground zero locations (San Antonio) in the USA hasn't helped in accumulating much further information. Schools and government agencies are closed for the week in this local area. The number of probable infected cases is slightly larger in this area than is reported on the national news but is not high by any means. No particular homeopathic emergency centers are reporting any further information to my knowledge.

For those keeping a symptom "score"... This particular flu comes on relatively quick and in some instances presents considerable vomiting. In Homeopathy, there will almost definitely be two to three potential remedies depending on individual symptoms. This is normal in almost every epidemic that homeopathy has been successfully used.

There is some evidence that the current illness is at least borne out in two phases. The first is general cold type symptoms and the second is gastro-intestinal symptoms with upper respiratory congestion. Tentatively… It is likely that EUP-PER would be a preemptive remedy and ARS for secondary illness.

As of 4/30/09 mortality rates (and resulting stats) are dropping fast (probably less than .1% at this point). Unless WHO/CDC is keeping something back, this epidemic is looking like more bark than bite. Resulting flu strains generated from this one could be the consideration to a Phase 5 Alert from WHO.

If in doubt as to the correct treatment and/or severe illness is experienced, seek emergency care immediately.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Miasms (a thumbnail sketch)

Hahnemann was extremely successful in curing acute illness (that illness that comes on suddenly and leaves just as quickly such as flu, colds, headaches, sprains, diarrhea, constipation, insomnia, etc). He did find that even though his success rate was probably 95%+ (as is common for experienced homeopathic practitioners dealing with acute illness), he was revisiting these acute illnesses every so often in the same patient.

Hahnemann reviewed several decades of his treatment with homeopathic remedies applied to a vast amount of cases. He also reviewed a thousand years of history and came to the conclusion that there was an underlying illness that affects all humans. This base ailment at times makes the more superficial illnesses almost impossible to completely cure. Hahnemann spent the next 15 years compiling evidence and clinical therapy to determine this underlying illness common to all living beings. He termed this basic underlying illness “miasm”. The term miasm can be defined most easily as “pollution”; a base pollution to a living organism giving rise to chronic as well as some acute illness.

So Hahnemann viewed the treatment of illness from two perspectives. One was treatment of acute illness which may or may not be the result of an underlying miasm and two, the treatment of chronic or long term illness which was definitely the result of an underlying miasm.

Hahnemann found that there were three basic miasms common to most if not all people. They are as follows:

1. PSORIC (psora)- called the “itch” disease. It is the mother of the other miasms and affects every living thing on the earth according to Hahnemann. It is spread through skin contact (often mother to child). Some common ailments attributed to the psoric miasm include constipation (sometimes alternating with diarrhea), psoriasis, wide ranging itching, burning ailments, leprosy and other skin related symptoms. It is characterized by under functioning ailments (hypo).

2. SYPHILITIC- called the “chancre” disease. It is created by suppressed syphilis and passed to resulting generations. It can be caused by a primary infection (not inherited) that is suppressed by antibiotic treatment. Some common ailments attributed to the syphilitic miasm include ulcerations of all types, gangrene, insanity, sterility, premature death, heart disease, suicide, destructive cancer, and ulcers of ear, nose, urinary organs, and mouth. It is characterized by self destructive tendencies and ailments.

3. SYCOTIC (sycosis)- called the “figwart” disease. It is created by suppressed gonorrhea and passed to following generations. It can be caused by a primary infection (not inherited) that is suppressed by antibiotic treatment. Some common ailments attributed to the sycotic miasm include abortion, anemia, appendicitis, pelvic disease, hemorrhoids, prostatitis, kidney swelling, gout, arthritis, asthma, eczema, rheumatism, warts, and other urinary ailments. It is characterized by red moles about the abdomen and/or figwarts (clusters). It is denoted by over functioning ailments (hyper).

There is also a fourth miasm defined by J H Allen as Psuedo-Psora or Tubercular miasm. This miasm can be created by suppressed tuberculosis and is passed from one generation to the next or contracted primarily and suppressed by antibiotic treatment. The Tubercular miasm is a combination of psoric and syphilitic miasms and as such is much more complex and lethal than either of these alone. Some common ailments attributed to the tubercular miasm include hernias, swelling (no reasonable cause), bedwetting, some cancers, diabetes, some types of cough, epilepsy, chronic fatigue, influenza, malaria, insomnia, night sweats, heart palpitation, and pneumonia. It is characterized by “restricting” type ailments.

Miasms can be inherited or contracted through exposure to the primary disease that creates them. Inherited miasms are the most common except in our time where it is not uncommon to have exposure to primary gonorrhea or tuberculosis. Even syphilis is making a comeback in Europe and other areas.

The inheritance factor of miasms is one reason that allopathic medicine finds some hereditary component to common chronic diseases.

To make it more complicated, the above miasms can be and are usually bound together creating an even more complex series of symptoms and diseases. It is rare not to find that a patient exhibits signs from all the miasms simultaneously, but there is almost always one predominant miasm at a time. Care must be taken to remove these layers of illness as they are not as easily seen independently like a typical acute disease. After all, a miasm is a “pollution” to the body and not the resulting disease that it creates (only the source).

At the time that Hahnemann expressed his miasmic theory, the homeopathic community was divided on its acceptance. Even today there are some homeopathic practitioners that do not fully accept this theory or apply it properly. I can say after much time exploring this idea, the miasms do exist and influence many diseases that are common today. The most obvious diseases affect urinary organs and also cause rheumatoid arthritis. Generally sycosis is at the root of these chronic urinary disorders as is arthritis. By treating the sycosis directly, the resulting illness is much improved if not eliminated entirely when caught in time (see homeopathic case studies). This is just one minor example of how the miasms are found in common illness and the most compelling reason that common allopathic therapy only holds these illnesses at bay while they slowly progress; treating the symptom and not the cause. Common medical therapy is no match in actually curing the cause of these illnesses (miasms) as it doesn’t believe the miasms exist. Homeopathy can be easily verified to affect these conditions with considerable alleviation when applied to the miasm behind the chronic illness.

What this means to you…

Now you have an idea of the root of many (most) chronic illnesses. You just have to treat this condition (miasm) to verify its existence, but that is often complicated. Homeopathy is very straight forward in treating and alleviating (curing) acute illness. It is just a matter of understanding how to apply it. Chronic illness and its basis in the miasms is much more difficult to treat and does not easily follow the basic concepts in homeopathy. Miasms tend to be woven in layers and are often inextricably combined in different ways. And, chronic illnesses of all types are generated by multiple miasms even as one or another of the miasms can be the most dominating factor. It is because of these various combinations of miasms that chronic illness should only be treated by an experienced practitioner. When such a practitioner is found, a chronic illness will be approached layer by layer and mental as well as physical ailments will fall to the homeopathic remedies available.

Just because chronic illnesses are more difficult to treat does not mean that you shouldn’t learn homeopathy and start to treat your own acute ailments. You will find the basics of treating ALL illness when you start with the basics to treat that next cold or flu. Study homeopathy… it is time well spent and a worthwhile goal towards your renewed health.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

YouTube Homeopathy Video Blog 5


LINK: 10 minutes

We start this video out with some psychological analysis. I am not a fan of this type of comparison within homeopathy… it is what it is. There are several parts of the video that go way too deep into this. Hahnemann stated emphatically not to confuse treating illness with other forms of medical art. Vidal realizes this when stating not to start “two things at one time” (two forms of treatment, homeopathy and XYZ ).

The interviewer makes a great point about choosing the wrong homeopathic remedy for the illness. If the remedy is not appropriate (homeopathic) to the illness, it will often have no affect at all. This is because it is not similar to the symptoms demonstrated by the patient. Homeopathic remedies act on those symptoms that they create. Now, if the wrong remedy is given over and over for some length of time, the patient will start to “prove” the remedy and will contract that illness (set of symptoms). This takes a considerable amount of time (months to years) and would be beyond common sense to advise a patient in taking a remedy that was not homeopathic (matching the symptoms) for such a period.

There really is no need to be “ready” for homeopathy or chiropractics. This is the same with any medical art. If the patient is seeking out treatment, homeopathy or allopathy for that matter should just work. If you find that homeopathy does not heal your illness, there are generally three possible reasons for this. One, the illness is too far advanced and can only be palliated. Two, the practitioner has not done their job. Or three, the patient is blocking the treatment by not following the rules. The latter commonly is created by alcohol or drug consumption during treatment.

I was pleased that Vidal does quickly mention Auto-Immune diseases. This subject is not easily understood except when questioning its background. We have seen many diseases pop-up over the last 20-30 years with no known cause and no known effective treatment. Homeopathy handles them quite well because it does not require some understanding of the workings of those diseases. It simply looks at the set of symptoms and applies to those symptoms in whatever form they exist. In this way, homeopathy can always be applied no matter how bizarre the symptoms may be and in any combination. In homeopathy, “There is nothing new under the sun”… can’t remember who said that, but I tend to prove it every so often.

Vidal gives a good example of how remedies are chosen by peculiar symptoms. These symptoms are called Strange, Rare, or Peculiar (SRP) and they will often determine the exact remedy for the illness. In the video, her example is of a woman (menstrual symptoms) that wants to be alone but with her family within reach (in the next room, not her room though). As opposed to a person who wants no one even near them (not in the same house or vicinity). Vidal uses the remedy, Sepia (SEP) for this case which is made from Cuttlefish (squid ink). Another example of a case that is fairly rapid in its response to homeopathy.

A good video for some interesting aspects of homeopathy not commonly discussed.

Next, Video 6 of 6.