Epidemic Diseases prevention by Homoeopathy
The Prevention of Epidemic Diseases by Homoeopathy
By: David Little
Part One : The Origin of Homeoprophylaxis
Hahnemann first published the doctrine of the miasms in The Chronic Diseases (1828) and The 4th Organon of the Healing Arts (1829). These works contain the first coherent theory of constitution, temperament, predisposition, susceptibility and acute and chronic contagious diseases. It also introduces the first clinical record of a stress adaptation syndrome as well as autoimmune diseases and immunodeficiency disorders. These were watershed years as they perfected the single dose wait and watch philosophy of case management and applied it to the treatment of chronic disease. At this time, Hahnemann was using dry pellets, olfaction, and pellets dissolved in a spoonful of water.
Over the next 14 years Samuel Hahnemann developed a new case management philosophy that he claimed could speed the cure to ½ to 1/4 the time of cure of his former methods. In this system any visibly strikingly and progressive amelioration is a sign that the dose should not be repeated as long as this state lasts. In cases where a single dose only produces nominal healing action, the remedy should be repeated a suitable intervals to speed the cure. At the same time, the Founder developed an improved liquid delivery system that reaches more nerves increasing the action of remedies. The Old Master applied his new medicinal solutions to higher centesimal potencies in the 5th Organon (1833) and suggested the “divided doses” to speed the cure in the Paris edition of the Chronic Diseases (1837). A similar delivery system was used for the olfaction and oral doses of the LM potency in the 6th Organon (c. 1842-1843). The use of the centesimal and LM potency in aqueous solutions greatly expands the therapeutic range of the homeopathic system.
There is an old saying, “An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. How does this apply to Homoeopathy? What did Samuel Hahnemann have to say about the prevention of serious contagious diseases? What is the original of a first safe and effective system of prophylaxis? Perhaps, one can find some answers in Hahnemann’s Lesser Writings in an article called, The Prevention and Cure of Scarlet Fever (1801). The following is from a paragraph titled “Prophylaxis”.
“Who can deny that the perfect prevention of infection from this devastating scourge, the discovery of a means whereby this Divine aim may be surely attained, would offer infinite advantages over any mode of treatment, be it of the most incomparable kind soever?” And: “The remedy capable of maintaining the healthy uninfectable by the miasm of scarlatina, I was so fortunate as to discover”.
Dr. Hahnemann again refers to homoeoprophylaxis in the 6th Organon of the Healing Art in aphorism 73, footnote 73b that discusses acute miasmic disease. Here he discusses his use of Belladonna for prevention of scarlet fever and Aconite for roodvonk (purpura miliaris). Dudgeon reported in his Lectures on the Theory and Practice of Homoeopathy the experience of ten allopathic doctors who gave Belladonna to 1646 children who were exposed to scarlet fever of whom 123 contracted the disease, which is under 1%.. The normal attack rate in unprotected children was as high as 90%.
In The Chronic Diseases Hahnemann wrote that he used Bryonia and Rhus tox as specific remedies during an epidemic of acute typhus miasm in 1813. Hahnemann treated 180 cases and only lost two patients. The mortality rate of the orthodox doctors was 30%. These acute specifics represents early *genus epidemicus remedies* chosen by the totality of the symptoms of many persons suffering the same infectious disease. Vide page 33.
“— the entire and complete image of the typhus fever reigning at the time could only be obtained by gathering together the symptoms of all, or at least of many of these patients.”
This group picture of an acute miasm provides remedies that have both curative and prophylactic qualities. These homeopathic “specifics” were not chosen by the name of the disease alone, but rather, by the grand totality of the symptoms of the entire epidemic in a greater number of people.
The effectiveness of Homoeopathy in acute epidemics was again confirmed during the great influenza pandemic of 1918. The Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, May 1921 reported the following data. Dr. T. A. McCann of Dayton, Ohio recorded that in 24, 000 flu cases treated by orthodox medicine the mortality rate was 28.2% while those treated homoeopathically was only 1.05%. The Dean of Hahnemann College who collected 26, 795 with similar results supported this figure. (Some History of the Treatment of Epidemics with Homeopathy by Julian Winston.)
Hahnemann continued to study the actions of the miasmic diseases on the population and postulated that the suppression of these miasms would lead to new virulent strains, more complicated forms of social diseases and new complex chronic disorders. He suggested that the inner affects of the miasms will continue to mutate into deeper chronic degenerative states, which includes autoimmune diseases and immunodeficiency disorders that are incurable by orthodox medicine. His prediction that the universal suppression of infectious disease will lead to more virulent infections and more complex chronic states has come true. The abuse of antibiotics and antiviral agents has increased resistance and helped to create increased susceptibility to new virulent stains of microorganisms.
Causation in Homoeopathy
In one of Hahnemann’s earliest works, the Medicine of Experience, the Founder offered several insights into the subject of causation and the nature of the infectious miasms. He carefully explains that miasms are diseases that have “one and the same cause”. This is because these infectious diseases rely on the same contagious principle. Some miasms mutate very rapidly while others tend toward relatively fixed character. This is a special condition that calls for special measures. Vide the Medicine of Experience.
“We observe a few diseases that always arise from *one and the same* cause, e.g., the miasmatic maladies; hydrophobia, the venereal diseases, the plague of the Levant, yellow fever, small-pox, cow-pox, the measles and some others which bear upon then the distinctive mark of always remaining diseases of a *peculiar character*; and because they arise from a contagious principle that always remains the same, they also always retain the same character and pursue the same course —”
Hahnemann was the first to postulate a complete theory of susceptibility, infection and how such diseases may confuse a human being’s defense mechanism. Homeopathic philosophy is still much more advanced in this area than its orthodox counterpart. The Old Healer goes on, “These few disease, at all events those first mentioned (the miasmatic), we may therefore term specific, and when necessary bestow on them *distinctive appellations. *
Hahnemann realized very early in his career that miasmic infectious diseases are based on a causative factor that involves microorganisms, which he once called “animalcule”. Right from the beginning Hahnemann was deeply investigating causative factors in relation to infectious diseases and the human constitution. Most non-miasmic diseases that lead to protracted diseases depend on multiple internal and external causes rather than a single infectious factor that remains constant. Vide The Medicine of Experience.
All the other innumerable diseases exhibit such a difference in their phenomena, that we may safely assert that they arise from a combination of several dissimilar causes (varying in number and differing in nature and intensity). The number of words that may be constructed from an alphabet of twenty-four letters may be calculated, great though that number be; but who can calculate the number of those *dis-similar* diseases, since our bodies can be affected by innumerable, and still for the most part, unknown influences of external agencies, and by almost as many forces from within.
In these quotes Hahnemann carefully explains the difference between diseases with a single cause such as the infectious miasms and diseases based on multiple causes, which may include internal and external factors. Many diseases are complex as they are based on the “combination of several dis-similar causes”. According to Hippocrates, diseases caused by multiple factors were said to have an “aetiological constellation”. Hahnemann later elucidated how dissimilar diseases interact in § 33 to §42 of the 5th and 6th Organon. These aphorisms explain how dissimilar diseases repel each other, repress one another, or after acting for longer periods, may combine with one another to form complex disorders. These aphorisms hold the key to understanding susceptibility, disease layers, and the reversal of the symptoms as explained in Hering’s law of cure. Homoeo-prophylaxis is based on understanding the nature of the human constitution, the nature of the infectious miasms, the method of proving remedies on the healthy, and studying group symptoms in homogeneous groups of sufferers.
Susceptibility and predisposition to infectious diseases is based on the internal terrain of the constitution and the strength of the vital force. For this reason constitutional treatment that acts globally is one of the best prophylactic methods. Complex chronic diseases involve multiple factors that produce layers of disharmony that derange vital functions leading to organic pathology. The treatment of the chronic state demands the most careful individualization of the symptoms and personalized case management. Constitutional and anti-miasmatic treatment does not only provide resistance to infectious diseases. They also prevent predispositions toward certain diseases from growing into full-grown organic conditions in later life. If one removes the seeds and roots of the complaint, the trunk and branches never develop, and one does not suffer the fruits of predispositions.
There is growing resistance to antibiotic and antiseptic treatment being reported worldwide. It seems that old miasms we once thought we had conquered are returning while contemporary miasms are rapidly mutating into more dangerous forms. New miasms carried by animal hosts are crossing species lines, and infections are spreading to new areas as global warming and environmental degradation increases. At the same time, the suppression of the infectious miasms by inappropriate medicines is increasing the virulence of microorganisms and their resistance to treatment at an incredible rate. Some researchers are saying that man-made chemicals have increased the deadly power of infectious diseases in a manner that Nature by herself could not. Many predict that the development of new antibiotics will not be fast enough to keep up with the increase of resistance. At some point, the orthodox school may find itself impotent in the face of ever-increasing epidemic disorders. In the future homoeopathic remedies may be the only medicines that will work. It is essential to public health to understand how to prevent, abort and treat epidemic diseases. Homeopaths, Dare to Know!
Hahnemann was supportive of Jenner’s attempt to prevent smallpox by vaccination. He suggested that other animal miasms might be useful in the prevention of infectious diseases affecting humans. It was his personal opinion that the cowpox inoculation had lowered the number of smallpox cases during his lifetime. His case histories record patients suffering side effects from Jenner’s vaccination but he thought the danger of smallpox outweighed the risks of immunization. He suggested that Sulphur could be used to lower the risks of side effects by preventing the transmission of Psora by vaccination. This offers another methodology, i.e. the use of Homoeopathy to neutralize the side effects of orthodox immunization at the time of inoculation.
The Symptoms of Vaccinosis
Hahnemann did not write about the long term negative effects of vaccination nor speak out against the method. It was Wolf, Boenninghausen and Hering who observed that Jenner’s vaccination was causing a man-made chronic miasm. For this reason, Hahnemann’s followers began to seek remedies to remove the side effects of immunization and search for better alternatives to prevent smallpox. Today all diseases caused by immunization are called *Vaccinosis* although this word originally was used only for the vaccination against smallpox.
An acute vaccine reaction may include fever, convulsions and other serious complaints in the form of an immediate crisis. A mild acute reaction may only cause a mild fever, fussiness, or drowsiness, but after months or years the vaccine miasm may still produce more severe symptoms. Some vaccine reactions may be more insidious in nature and not show symptoms for a long time. In most cases, these illnesses will be blamed on other causes or be considered idiopathic. The chronic effects of modern immunization are producing three syndromes associated with brain damage, Post Encephalitic Syndrome (PES), Post Vaccinal Encephalitis (PVE), and Minimal Brain Damage (MBD). Harris Coulter documented the Post Encephalitic Syndrome (PES). It has been said that PVE has become the most common cause of encephalitis in the USA and other industrialized countries. MBD is closely associated with ADHD, the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Hyperactive children are 10 times more likely to end up in reform schools or to become felons in their later lives. They are more likely to start smoking, drinking and abusing drugs at an early age than other children. All three of these syndromes have been linked to a tremendous increase in autism, dyslexia, hyperactivity and learning disabilities since the introduction of the mandatory vaccination programs.
Vaccinosis produces four major sets of symptoms. These are autism, dyslexia, hyperactivity and neurological disorders, although they have also been associated with allergies and other hypersensitivities. The signs and symptoms may include:
Autism and autism-like symptoms such as unresponsiveness to human contact, avoids direct eye contact, prefers peripheral vision; avoid proximity of people; chewing motions and grinding of teeth; confusion of the senses like auditory and visual disturbances; mutism; obsessive need to keep uniformity of environmental changes, passive states, quietness and undemanding if not disturbed but aggravated by interruption, which may cause anxiety and rage; repetitive acts and ritualistic behavior; retarded cognitive development, especially language, dysphasic speech; rocking motions; banging of the head; childhood schizophrenia;
Dyslexia and dyslexia-like symptoms like children with normal intelligence that seem to have learning disabilities; confusion of orientation of letters and numbers; difficulty telling right from left; feeling different than others, difficulty in understanding linear logic but good with seeing the overall picture.
Hyperactivity and hyperactive-like symptoms like impulsiveness, suddenly does one thing and then another; inability to concentrate on one thing with short span of attention; irritability where the child dislikes being picked up and often stiffens and pushes away; learning disabilities; disordered motor coordination; restlessness of an extreme nature, can’t keep still, always in motion, restless leg syndrome, wringing of the hands; willful and disobedient.
Neurological disorders like EEG abnormalities; Gullain-Barre syndrome (GBS); epilepsy; eyes disorders; poor visual coordination; speech impediments; hearing impediments; violent behavior; infantile spasms; learning disabilities; mental retardation; brain damage; motor impairments; seizures; tics; tremors; spasms; loss of motor control; paralysis; multiple sclerosis (MS); transverse myelitis; demylinating neuropathy; idiopathic brain and nervous diseases, etc.
Reactions to specific immunizations include the following.
DPT: Skin reactions; fever; vomiting; diarrhea; cough; runny nose; ear infection; Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) high pitched screaming, persistent crying; excessive sleepiness; collapse; shock-like episodes; brain inflammation; seizures; convulsions, epilepsy; infantile spasms; loss of muscle control; blood disorders, thrombocytopenia, hemolytic anemia; diabetes; hypoglycemia, etc.
Pertussis vaccine: Brain damage; breathing problems; collapse; convulsions; inconsolable bouts of crying; diarrhea; encephalopathy; grand mal epilepsy; high fevers; pain; high pitched screaming (cri encephalique); seizures; shocks; Sudden Infant Deaths Syndrome (SIDS); sleepiness; projectile vomiting; coughing, respiratory complaints, etc.
Tetanus: reoccurring abscess; anaphylactic shock; loss of consciousness; demylinating neuropathy; inner ear nerve damage; fever; etc.
Measles vaccine; aseptic meningitis; ataxia; learning disabilities; mental retardation; seizures; multiple sclerosis, Reye’s syndrome, Gullain-Barre syndrome (GBS); blood clotting disorders; juvenile onset diabetes; Cohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis.
Mumps vaccine: Bruising; encephalitis; itching; rashes; seizures of a febrile nature; unilateral nervous deafness; swollen glands, etc.
Rubella vaccine: Arthritis; anthralgia; polyneuritis; numbness; pain; paralysis, etc.
MMR: Fatigue, sore throat, cough, runny nose, headache, dizziness, fear, rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; sore lymph nodes; anaphylaxis; convulsions; encephalopathy; otitis media; conjunctivitis; nerve deafness; thrombocytopenia; purpura; optic neuritis; retinitis, arthritis; Gullain-Barre (GBS); subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. Symptoms of measles, mumps and rubella vaccines combined.
Varicellla vaccine (chickenpox): cellulites; transverse myleitis; Guillian-Barre syndrome (GBS); herpes zoster. Documented cases of transmission of vaccine virus from child to household contacts, including a pregnant woman, etc.
Polio vaccine: fever; headache; neurological complications; pain in the joints; paralysis, of lungs, of one or more limbs, sore throat; stiffness, of back, of neck; vomiting; weakness of muscles; Werdig-Hoffman disease; SV40 infection (Salk vaccine was contaminated with SV40 between 1955-1963); polio-like symptoms; etc.
Hepatitis B: Up to 17% report weakness, headache, arthritis and fever more than 100F. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS); Guillian-Barre (GBS); demyelization including transverse myelitis, optic neuritis, multiple sclerosis (MS); chronic arthritis; immune system dysfunction, etc.
It has been noticed by homœopaths that vaccinations may lead to changes of personality, sleep patterns, eating patterns, bowel patterns and other alterations of natural cycles. Each vaccine has acute symptoms, latent symptoms and chronic symptoms. The acute symptoms are those that are mostly recorded by the orthodox school. They do not look for or wish to acknowledge the fact that immunization may produce latent states that create chronic organic pathology over the long term. When such states appear they view the pathology as a new independent disease, and do not see the connection between the distant cause (vaccination) and the recent events (new diseases). Each vaccine has the potential to produce an insidious syndrome of symptoms somewhat similar to the diseases from which they are made. For this reason, the homœopath must study each vaccine and the target disease for a deeper understanding of the symptoms and possible remedies.
The Methodology of Homeoprophylaxis
Hahnemann’s method for finding specific homoeoprophylaxis is based on the *genus epidemicus remedies*. These genus remedies are found by studying the signs and symptoms of the target miasm in a group of patients. This method provides remedies that can prevent, abort, and treat the prevailing miasm. The same genus remedy that will prevent the disease will usually abort the early stages of the illness before the more dangerous symptoms develop. This is a valuable technique in the early stages of serious contagions when the symptoms are more common, and it is not wise to wait for the more dangerous yet characteristic symptoms to appear. The same remedy that will prevent and abort dangerous infections will also treat a good number of developed cases although other genus remedies may be needed according to the symptoms and the stage of the disease.
The development of a collective picture is the most suitable method for finding remedies for diseases of common cause and similar symptoms that affect a homogenous group. This method can be used on epidemic miasms that have a unique nature as well as those which are of a fixed character. Hahnemann explains his methods for making a collective picture and finding group remedies in aphorism 100 to 103 of the Organon. This method is called the group anamnesis. The group anamnesis is very useful when there is a clear and present danger of infectious diseases. Dr. Carol Dunham wrote: “The selection of the prophylactic remedy must, to some extent, be governed by the nature of the epidemic, and therefore the best preventive cannot always be determined until the epidemic has appeared, and its peculiar nature has been ascertained.”
At the same time, health workers should seek to remove unhygienic conditions that support epidemics. Individuals should avoid high-risk behavior and avoid contaminated people, food and water. Those suffering from extremely contagious diseases should observe a self-regulated quarantine.
The publication of Hahnemann’s The Chronic Diseases (1828) caused great interest in the nature of chronic miasms and their anti-miasmatic remedies. One of the direct consequences of these teachings was the development of the use of miasmic agents as remedies. Not long after Hahnemann published his new discoveries, Hering begin to experiment with the use of the potentized miasms. He called these new remedies “nosodes”. The Greek word “Noso” is a prefix that refers to the morbid roots of disease. This term is connected with the Latin word, “noxa”, which is the root of the word, noxious. This name is harmonious with the idea of using infectious materials as a basis for healing. This method had been used occasionally in the past but it was an extremely dangerous undertaking before the advent of potentized remedies.
Hering is responsible for greatly expanding the homoeopathic materia medica as well as adding seven new categories of potentized remedies. For example, Hering introduced:
1. The idea of using poisons taken from insects, snakes, and other venomous creature as remedies (animal poisons).
2. The use of remedies made from miasmas (nosodes).
3. The introduction of potentized miasmas taken directly from the patient’s body (auto-nosodes).
4. The use of potentized miasmic products for the prevention of infectious diseases (homoeo-prophylaxis by nosodes).
5. The use of homologous organs, tissue and secretions (sarcodes).
6. The use of the chemical relationships and nutritional elements innate to the organism (biochemics).
7. The use of potentized disease vectors for the removal of infestations e.g. potentized weed seeds to get rid of weeds and potentized insects to remove insects (isodes).
Hering continued to experiment with nosodes of the acute and chronic miasms and invited his colleagues to conduct provings. He was the first to recommend the use of potentized itch vesicles (Psorine cum Psorinum); potentized gonorrheal discharges (Medorrhinum); potentized tuberculosis (Pthisine cum Tuberculinum) and potentized syphilis (Syphiline cum Syphilinum) as remedies. He noted that such medicines could be used as curative medicines and intercurrent remedies in chronic diseases. In 1830 Hering proposed the use of Hydrophobinum for the prevention of rabies, Variolinum for prevention of smallpox, and Psorine for the prevention of the itch miasm.
The use of specific remedies has been a part of homoeo-prophylaxis since the days of Hahnemann, Hering and Baron von Boenninghausen. Boenninghausen was one of the first to point out the dangers of orthodox immunizations. The Baron, Wolf and Hering were very well aware of the dangers of the vaccination and actively searched for better alternatives. The Baron’s first experience was his successful use of Thuja as a genus epidemicus remedy for the prevention and treatment of smallpox. He wrote about this experience in Concerning the Curative Effects of Thuja in Small-pox, which is found in Boenninghausen’s Lesser Writings.
“The decidedly favorable results caused me not only to use the same remedy with all the following small-pox patients, but to also use the same remedy in several houses where small-pox had broken out, as a prophylactic, and lo! also here the result was favorable, and no case came to my knowledge where, after using Thuja, any other member of the family had been infected.”
After his experiments with Thuja, the Baron went on to test Hering’s idea of a nosode made from the smallpox virus. This nosode is called Variolinum. He found that a nosode made from smallpox was very successful in preventing the disease. This led the Baron to say:
“Variolinum 200th is far superior to crude vaccination and absolutely safe.”
Homeopathy has no objection to the use of controlled disease exposure, which is also at the base of orthodox immunizations. Where a homeopath differs from the orthodox practitioner is in the preparation and methods of giving the dose to the patient. Some problems involved with orthodox immunization include products contaminated with chemicals and other viruses, the crude nature of the delivery systems, and compound inoculations. This is combined with giving too many immunizations too quickly at too young of an age. Today orthodox authorities in the USA suggest up to 25 or more immunizations by the age of 5. This includes multiple vaccinations for Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B; Rotavirus; Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus (DPT); Haemophilus (Hib); Peumococcal vaccine; Polio; Influenza (yearly); Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR); Varicella (chickenpox); and Meningococcal infections. Although some of these vaccinations may produce some immunity they are not without risks and side effects.
Three types of Homoeoprophylaxis
Homoeopathy has developed three methods of homoeo-prophylaxis. These are the constitutional remedies, the genus epidemicus remedies and the use of nosodes.
The first method of homoeoprophylaxis is constitutional treatment. These chronic remedies are chosen by the essential nature of the totality of symptoms that tend to reduce susceptibility toward infectious disorders. The chronic remedy is selected by the personal anamnesis, which emphasizes careful individualization. This study includes a detailed assessment of the mental and physical symptoms of the patient with special attention to that which is striking, extraordinary, uncommon and oddly characteristic of the individual. These remedies strengthen the vital force, remove predispositions to infection, increase vitality and raise general immunity. Constitutional remedies are somewhat universal in their applications and unequaled in manifold preventative powers. When combined with good hygiene, nutrition and stress management programs, constitutional treatment forms the first line of defense against all forms of infectious disease. Pierre Schmidt opined that constitutional remedies given in early childhood is an ideal method of protecting the individual from common childhood diseases (Mathur. K.N., Principles of Prescribing). In Homoeopathy and Immunization L.J. Speight recorded the following statement by Dr. Pulford.
“No disease will arise without an existing predisposition to that disease. It is the absence of the predisposition to any particular disease that makes us immune to it. Homœopathy alone is capable of removing these predispositions”
2. The second method of homoeoprophylaxis is called the *the genus epidemicus remedies*. These are specific remedies chosen for protection against targeted infectious diseases. Genus remedies are selected the essential nature of the totality of the symptoms as expressed in a homogeneous group of suffers of the same infectious miasm. These remedies are selected by the group anamnesis. They are effective in preventing, aborting and treating the targeted miasm. This method is based on the collective picture as reviewed in aphorisms 100 to 103 of the Organon. The traditional Homoeopathic method has been to strengthen the constitution by constitutional treatment in ordinary times, and then use specific prophylaxes when there is a clear and present danger. The treatment must be combined with avoidance of overcrowded, unhygienic places and contaminated food and water as well as the most careful personal hygiene and diet.
3. The third method of homoeoprophylaxis is the use of *identical nosodes*. In this method a nosode of the threatening miasm is given as a preventative of the same disease. In this way, the infectious miasms carry their own cure. For example, the nosode, Pertussin, is reputed to prevent whooping cough. Unlike the remedy epidemicus, the exact nature of the miasms behind the epidemic must be known and a proper stock available. Homeopathic nosodes have a wider band of action than orthodox immunization. For example, nosodes from previous flu epidemics are often effective against new epidemics. If this is not the case, new nosodes can be made from patients suffering from a new infectious disorder. The nosodes for a good number of epidemic disorders are available in homoeopathic pharmacies.
The key to good homoeopathic prophylaxis lies in knowing when to use the individual anamnesis and when the group anamnesis might be more appropriate. Good constitutional treatment removes a host of predispositions that are linked to the susceptibility to acute and chronic infectious diseases. If the inner terrain is healthy the patient is more resistant to infection in general and increases immunity. To delay constitutional treatment while giving every possible specific for every known infectious disease may be counter-productive. Hahnemann made it very clear that specific prophylaxis should only be used when there is truly a clear and present danger of infection. In this way general protection provided by good constitutional treatment can be complemented by a specific prophylaxis.
Nevertheless, there are times when dangerous epidemics threaten the populace and specific protection may be necessary. For example, when the USA was threatened by smallpox epidemics at the turn of the 20th century, homeopaths used Variolinum as a preventative for thousands of people. Under such conditions it is not practical to give everyone individualized treatment. For this reason, those involved in public campaigns against smallpox used the nosode, Variolinum, because it could be distributed to the masses as a specific preventative. There is a very good discussion of these issues found in a magazine called the Medical Advance from 1904. Homoeopaths have conducted many trials in the field to test the effectiveness of constitutional and specific prophylaxis.
Testimony of Great Homoeopaths
Many great classical homoeopaths used homoeopathic remedies to prevent disease. The testimony of such luminaries as Hahnemann, Hering, Boenninghausen, Kent, Allen and Boger can be found throughout homoeopathic literature. Here is just a small sampling of their experiences.
1. Hahnemann suggested in Cure and Prevention of Scarlet Fever (18O1) that Belladonna could be used to prevent scarlet fever. In Cause and Prevention of the Asiatic Cholera (1831) Hahnemann noted that the skillful use of Cuprum 30C prevents cholera.
2. In 1833 Dr. Hering wrote a paper in which he discussed the potential of Psorine to prevent an infection of the itch miasma (Stapf, arch. xii, 3).
3. Baron von Boenninghausen was a keen practitioner of homoeo-prophylaxis. He would sometimes give the same remedy he gave a person suffering an epidemic disease to the contacts of the patient. He also used genus epidemicus remedies and nosodes to prevent disease. The Baron wrote the following in the Characteristic Value of Symptoms found in his Lesser Writings.
“Homoeopathy has the most sure and approved prophylactics, and these indeed are the very same which have the power of healing those diseases when they have developed. Therefore, when we find in a family a case of infectious typhoid fever, there the same remedy which has been given to the patient in accordance with his symptoms, will also be sure to protect those in house from infections, as it destroys the natural disposition thereto, and it will even in the shortest time, restore those with whom there may have already been apparent the beginning of the disease. This last fact is the more important as these first beginning are usually so poor in symptoms that no certain choice can be founded on them: but the known occasional causes fully makes up for what is lacking.”
4. James Kent, who many consider the Father of Constitutional homoeopathy, wrote:
“The great prophylactic is the homeopathic remedy. After working in an epidemic for a few weeks, you will find perhaps that half a dozen remedies are daily indicated and one in these remedies in a larger number of cases than any other. This one remedy seems to be the best suited to the general nature of the sickness. Now you will find that for prophylaxis there is required a less degree of similitude than is necessary for curing. A remedy will not have to be so similar to prevent disease as to cure it, and these remedies in daily use will enable you to prevent a large number of people from becoming sick. We must look to homeopathy for our protection as well as for our cure”.
Kent also wrote in his Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica (page 1000) that the Tuberculin nosode has the potential to prevent TB infection in those predisposed toward the miasma.
“If Tuberculinum bovinum be given in 10m, 50m, and CM potencies, two doses of each at long intervals, all children and young people who have inherited tuberculosis may be immuned from their inheritance and their resiliency will be restored.”
5. In 1884 Dr. Burrnet wrote:
“Speaking for myself, I have for the last nine years been in the habit of using vaccine matter (Vaccininum) in the 30 homeopathic centesimal potency, whenever small-pox was about, and I have thus far not seen any one so far treated get variola.”
6. William Boericke wrote in the Pocket Manuel of Homoeopathic Materia Medica that Baptisia has a prophylactic power over typhoid, clears carriers of the disease, and could be of service in typhoid Vaccinosis caused by orthodox immunizations.
“Baptisia in low dilutions produces a form of anti-bodies to the bacteria typhosus, viz., agglutinins. Thus it raises the natural bodily resistance to the invasion of the bacillary intoxication, which produces the typhoid syndrome. Typhoid carriers. After inoculation with anti-typhoid serum.”
7. Dr. Wheeler suggests that a nosode in 30th potency will provide protection from a specific infectious disease for at least a fortnight.
8. In 1907 Dr Eaton collated the results of several homeopathic doctors in Iowa during a smallpox epidemic and reported the result to a paper read at the American Institute of Homoeopathy.
1. Persons given Variolinum 30c was 2806
2. Definite exposures to small-pox was 547
3. Smallpox cases after taking Variolinum was 14
4. Efficacy 97%
Of his experience Dr. Eaton said,
“We must not do Homeopathy the injustice of giving this, one of its most successful and useful outgrowths, a partial and equivocal recognition, just because it happens to be strange to us. This splendid piece of practice is not new; it has it roots in the past, though we may not have known it. And we must not injure the cause by refusing to recognize its value just because we happen not to have been conversant with it”
9. Dorothy Shepherd wrote:
“Nosodes of disease products of the actual disease are often most active preventatives”.
She then goes on to give several examples from her long career. She did clinical trials in boarding schools where epidemics were rampant. References to these experiences can be found in her book, Homeopathy and Epidemic Diseases. She also confirmed the effectiveness of the nosode, Pertussin, in the prevention of whooping cough.
10. H.C. Allen wrote in Allen’s Keynotes the following on page 300 in his discussion of
“As a preventive of, or protection against small-pox, Variolinum 200th is far superior to crude vaccination and absolutely safe from sequelae, especially septic and tubercular infection. The efficacy of the potency is stumbling block to materialists. But is it more difficult to comprehend than the infectious nature of variola, measles and pertussis? Those who have not used it, like those who have not experimentally tested the laws of similars, are not competent witnesses. Put it to the test and publish the failure to the world.”
11. This is a quote from C.M Boger on homoeoprophylaxis from the Homeopathic Recorder under the remedy, Psorinum.
“It (psorinum) is useful in suppressed itch, in fact, all nosodes seem to be most successful in types of disease similar to the ones from which they have been derived or in helping to clear up and bring about reaction in imperfectly cured cases of the same disease; thus Tuberculin does its best work in incipient consumption, pneumonia and other respiratory affections which do not react properly. THEY ARE ALSO USED AS PROPHYLATICS, INDUCING A MORE CERTAIN IMMUNITY THAN CAN OTHERWISE BE OBTAINED; this is especially true of Variolinum, the small-pox nosode which I have tested to my entire satisfaction, even allowing unvaccinated persons under its influence to nurse and sleep with the small-pox victim, the children of the family doing the same; out of more than a dozen of such exposures I have not had a single infection.”
This is the experience of a great homeopath that prepared the Boenninghausen Repertory, The Synoptic Key and General Analysis in a card file repertory. Boger was a man of vast experience. Our generation of homeopaths must investigate the words of such a wise grandfather.
12. In The Collected Works of Arthur Hill Grimmer the good doctor states, “lathyrus has given the most certain protection in thousands of exposed cases of polio through many epidemics in the last forty years”. It is said that his study included 30, 000 over the years and to his knowledge no one suffered any side effects. Dr. Grimmer preferred the use of a single dose of a high potency, which he claimed could provide protection up to a year. This was the fruit of his experience.
13. Dr. P Chavanon (Paris 1932) administered Diphtherinum 4M and 8M and after one to two months the antitoxins were measured in the blood. He noted that 45 children changed from Schick test +ve (no antibodies against diphtheria) to shick test ve (antibodies present) (Chavanon, P. La Dipterie, 4th edition. St. Denis, Niort: Imprimerie 1932.). Patterson and Boyd repeated this text in 1941, and 20 out of 33 children were observed to produce antibodies to diphtheria by Schick test (Patterson, J and Boyd WE. “Potency Action: A Preliminary Study of the Alteration of the Schick Test by a Homeopathic Potency.” British Homeopathic Journal 1941; 31: 301-309). Dr. Roux repeated the experiment in 1946. This nosode provided laboratory confirmation of lasting immunity. The blood antitoxins seemed to last up to 5 years with one dose. (Eizayaga, F. “Tratamiento Homeopatico de las Enfermedades Agudas y Su Prevension.” Homeopatia 1985; 51(342): 352-362.). Allen used Diphtherinum for 25 years as a prophylactic and no one he treated in such a manner contracted the disease. He challenged the profession to test this assertion and publish their failures.
14. In August 1974 in Guarantingueta, Brazil there was a severe epidemic of meningitis. 18,640 children were given Meningococcinum 10CH while 6,340 children did not receive the nosode. Out of the 18,640 children 4 cases of meningitis developed. Out of the 6,340 children 34 cases were noted. Such a large-scale public health campaign cannot be carried out with individualized treatment. This study implies that the success rate of Meningococcinum was 95%. (Castro, D and Nogueira GG. “Use Of The Nosode Meningococcinum As A Preventive Against Meningitis.” JAIH 1975; 68: 211-219.)
On the basis of the 1974 trial, the Brazilian government funded a larger study in 1998. The study was conducted by two professors of medicine from the University Foundation in Blumenau, Brazil, Blumenau specialist physician, and the Health City Secretary. The field trial lasted one year. 65, 826 persons up to 20 years old were given homoeo-prophylaxis, while 23, 532 were used as a non-medicated control group. Out of the 65, 826 cases give homoeo-prophylaxis only 4 suffered from meningococcal infection. Out of the 23,532 unprotected individuals there were 20 cases of meningococcal infection. Applying a similar ratio based on the number of infections in the non-immunized group to the 65, 826 treated people should yield around 58 cases yet there were only 4 cases. The study showed that homoeo-prophylaxis was 95% effective in the first six months and 91% effective over a full year. (Meningococcin, its Protective Effect against Meningococcal Disease, Homoeopathic LINKS Winter, 2001 Vol 14 (4) 230-4 Mroninski C, Adriano E, Mattos G.)
16. Dr. W.L. Bonnel, M.D. presented a paper to the International Hahnemannian Association on June 1940 on homoeoprophylaxis. He stated:
“Not one case receiving homeopathic care died, while the ‘old school’ doctors lost 20 percent of their (smallpox) cases… I gave about 300 internal vaccinations (homeopathic remedies), five to adults acting as practical nurses; to the man who installed the telephone and lights in the pest house; to mothers who slept with their children while they had smallpox in its severest form. All of these people, exposed daily, were immune.”
Posology and Case Management
The strategy, posology and case management methods for homoeo-prophylaxis are a unique study. This is because the remedy is being given to prevent rather than treat symptoms. First of all, the practitioner must take into account the health of the individual and their domestic and occupational situation. Is the child being breastfed? Breastfeeding is a natural form of prophylaxis as the mother transmits anti-bodies to the baby through her milk. It also supplies love and attention, which are important to the physical and emotional health of the child. Children that are not breastfed run more risk of infection. The use of formulas in the 3rd world has been disastrous on two counts. First of all, the child receives no protection from the mother’s milk, and secondly the formulas are often made with contaminated water. This is a form of double jeopardy.
Other questions include the following. Is the patient relatively healthy or chronically ill with some complaint? Do they have a good diet, overeat, or are they malnourished? Do they have a clean water source? Do they live under good hygienic conditions or are they directly affected by poor sanitation? Do they live a healthy lifestyle or do they have a number of bad habits? What is their occupation and working conditions? Do they live in the countryside or in overcrowded conditions in a city? Is the person going on a trip where they may be exposed to infectious diseases not present in their home country? The health worker must do all they can to remove those exciting and maintaining causes that increase the chance of infection. To remove those causes and conditions that promote disease is the duty of the friend of health.
One of the principles of Homoeopathy is minimal intervention in that the practitioner should do only what is necessary. For this reason, the homoeopath should only try to prevent those diseases that are a clear and present danger to the patient. There are some persons who have adopted the treatment plan of orthodox medicine, or are following the suggestions of allopathic doctors when traveling. Since Polio is no longer present in the USA and Europe, is there any real risk of contracting this disease? Other diseases may be present in certain populations but children run no appreciable risk of contracted the infection. For example, hepatitis B is transmitted congenitally through mother, sexual intercourse, contaminated bodily fluids through blood and infected injection needles. If the mother does not have hepatitis B then the child will not have a congenital infection. Other than this those at high risk are promiscuous persons practicing unprotected sex, drug users, and health professionals like doctors, nurses, ambulance personnel, etc. How many newborn babies have sex, inject drugs, or work in a hospital? For this reason, giving remedies to prevent such a disease at this age is unnecessary.
Orthodox doctors often advise persons traveling to foreign countries to take a number of immunizations for diseases that are not present in the locality or during the season they are visiting. For example, the chance of catching malaria in the winter in the Himalayan regions of India is nil. Going to South India or West Bengal in the monsoon is another matter! For this reason, it is important to study the situation before leaving the country.
The common childhood diseases like measles, mumps, chickenpox and whooping cough are still common. Homoeopathy is reputed to have effective methods of preventing and treating theses acute miasms. Whooping cough is quite common and can produce serious long lasting symptoms that are uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. The orthodox immunization does not seem to work entirely as many children with the shot still contract the disease. In the average child measles, mumps and chickenpox respond well to acute treatment. Perhaps, whooping cough is the most prolonged and dangerous of these acute miasms. I have found, however, that homoeopathy can work wonders in such cases. I cured whooping cough in two of my children with single doses in a matter of few days, one with Belladonna LM 0/3 and one with Cuprum 200C.
For many years there has been a debate in the homoeopathic community over whether one should use homoeo-prophylaxis against such complaints. Some one-sided constitutionalists claim that homoeo-prophylaxis is not part of classical homoeopathy. They say homoeopathy is only for treating symptoms not preventing diseases. This, obviously, is not true as Hahnemann, Hering, Boenninghausen, Kent, Boger, Allen and others all used and taught this method. Others say that suffering the childhood diseases is good for the child as it increases their immunity. They don’t seem to realize that the successful prevention of these diseases also increases resistance to similar diseases. Some of these infected children may experience much suffering, and go on to experience serious sequels or never-well-since syndromes. When it comes to dangerous or crippling infections, the child may die or suffer lifelong damage. This in itself is good reason for providing as much protection as possible.
At the other extreme are practitioners who try to imitate the orthodox school’s immunization program by putting children on a great number of prophylactic remedies for several years. Some persons are proposing a series of 28 remedies in 44 doses in high potencies over a period of five years. This delays constitutional and anti-miasmatic treatments, which are central methods of homeoprophylaxis. Chronic remedies remove predispositions to infection, strengthen vitality, and increase the resistance of the host to diseases. For example, those with the tuberculin miasm are predisposed to chest infections like pneumonia and respiratory flu. If the miasm is well treated the patient’s internal terrain will change in such a manner that they will not be susceptible to such diseases. What we find when we study traditional historical sources is that there is a middle path that avoids the extremist views of the one-sided constitutionalists and the excessive use of specific prophylaxis.
There are close relationships between the chronic miasms and acute miasms. In this way, constitutional and anti-miasmic treatment are used to strengthen general resistance and specific prophylaxis can be used a complement to prevent those infectious miasms that pose a high risk. Some persons never get flu, or if they do, it is only of the mildest, easy to treat nature. Does such a person need to take remedies to prevent seasonal influenza? No, not really. How about persons who are weakened by chronic conditions and prone to respiratory complaints, pneumonia, and complications? Yes, such a person may benefit from constitutional treatment as well as the use of specific preventative remedies during flu season until they no longer get flu.
In the 1940s Elizabeth Wright-Hubbard used nosodes to circumvent the enforcement of mandatory vaccination laws for smallpox. She would administer the nosodes as intercurrent remedies at longer intervals during constitutional treatment and record that she had immunized the patient. The method allowed for both constitutional treatment and protection from smallpox with specific remedies used as intercurrents. Perhaps, her methods offer clues to the integration of constitutional treatment with the intercurrent use of specific prophylaxis. It may well be possible to treat infants with constitutional remedies as a primary method and use specific preventative remedies for those serious infections that pose a long-term threat. If an acute epidemic enters the area then specific genus epidemicus remedies and nosodes can be administered as intercurrent remedies at that time.
Specific homoeo-prophylaxis is a form of sub-clinical provings on the healthy subjects and must be done carefully so that no unnecessary or overly strong symptoms are produced. Overmedication with such epidemic remedies and nosodes has the potential to produce a strong medicinal disease similar to the disease state that one wishes to avoid. Such a situation may be worse than the natural disease as the duration may last longer than many acute miasms. If the patient is given too many preventative remedies in too large a dose too many times it could cause long lasting problems. So how do we administer homoeopathic remedies for prophylaxis in a safe and effective manner?
To use homoeo-prophylaxis the homoeopath must understand the process of proving remedies on the patient and apply these principles to preventative applications. Homoeo-prophylaxis is very similar to a homoeopathic proving but the primary goal is not to produce overt symptoms. The first phase is a study of the nature of the patient’s constitution, the nature of the remedy to be tested, and nature of the potential medical reactions that may be elicited. Before carrying out homoeo-prophylaxis the practitioner must take a complete cases history to assess the condition of the patient. They must also study the nature of the remedy that are going to administer to the patient. This is so that they understand the nature of the symptoms they are trying to prevent, and the potential symptoms that might be activated in the patient.
The primary action of a homoeopathic remedy replaces the susceptibility to the targeted natural disease with a subtle, yet stronger remedial mistuning. From this time forward, the stronger homoeopathic potency repels the targeted natural disease. The primary action of the prophylactic remedy stimulates a specific secondary action of the vital force that provides further resistance to the target miasm. Thus both the primary action of the remedy and the secondary action of the vital force are protective in nature. If the primary action of the remedy is too strong the individual will prove the remedy and produce signs and symptoms. For this reason, the practitioner must be very careful not to overmedicate the client by using too large a dose, too high a potency, or giving the remedy too many times when it was not necessary.
In aphorism 281 of the Organon the Founder wrote that sensitivity varies in a ratio of 1 to 1000. This means that a dose and potency that would cause no impression in a number 1 hyposensitive will cause dangerous aggravations in a number 1000 hypersensitive. An average person would be around 500 on the scale. This means that the size of the dose and the degree of the potency best be individualized in accordance with the predispositions of the patient and the time and circumstances. In mass public campaigns where individualization is more difficult, the recipients should take small doses of a moderate potency. In our opinion homoeopathic prophylaxis is best carried out with the use of the C and LM potencies in medicinal solutions and in divided doses, if and when necessary. This is because this method allows the patient to adjust the remedy to the sensitivity of the constitution in a manner not possible with the dry dose.
Hahnemann gave very clear instructions on his method of homoeo-prophylaxis in an article called Cure and Prevention of Asiatic Cholera in 1831 on page 755. He received reports from homoeopaths treating the disease and constructed a group anamnesis to find genus epidemicus remedies to prevent, abort and cure cholera. The Founder recommended Cuprum as a preventative remedy for the disease. Hahnemann wrote:
“The above preparation of copper, together with good and moderate diet, and proper attention to cleanliness, is the most certain preventive and protective remedy; those in health should take, once every week, a small globule of it (cupr. X [30C]) in the morning fasting, and not drink anything immediately afterwards, but this should not be done until the cholera is in the locality itself or in the neighborhood.”
This quote offers a number of insights into Hahnemann’s preventative methods. First of all, he suggests that one should not take Cuprum for the prevention of the epidemic until “cholera is in the locality itself, or in the neighborhood”. Therefore, one only uses homoeo-prophylaxis when there is a clear and present danger of infection. There is no reason to allow the fear campaigns of the orthodox school to scare individuals into taking remedies for diseases when there is little or no risk. Secondly, Hahnemann states that a single dose of the 30C once every 7 days while there is a threat of infection is sufficient to prevent the target disease. This offers an idea of how often one might have to repeat a 30C during an epidemic. Thirdly, he recommends that the individual eats a healthy, moderate diet and keeps good hygiene.
In Hahnemann’s article on cholera he suggests that 1 small pellet of Cuprum should be taken in the morning on fasting. In the same article he advises that the dry pellets be moistened in water, which he normally did in a spoonful of water, that he gave the patient. Later he changed the delivery system of the remedy to the full medicinal solution in a bottle. The medicinal solution and split-doses is an excellent way to give a remedy for homoeoprophylaxis. This is because medicinal solution can be succussed each time before ingestion to slightly raise the potency so that the individual never receives the exact same potency twice in succession. A remedy prepared in this manner acts deeply and smoothly on the vital force and poses less risk of aggravation on repetition.
The choice of the dose, potency and repetition is an important aspect of homoeo-prophylaxis. It was Hahnemann’s experience that the 30C potency should be repeated around every 7 days in the average person with moderate sensitivity. Wheeler stated that he found a dose of a nosode was sufficient to prevent a disease for at least 2 weeks. Dr. Eaton noted that Variolinum 30C was 97% effective in preventing smallpox in 1907. Burrnet also found Variolinum 30C very effective. These potencies seem sufficient for epidemic disorders that pose a threat for a few weeks or months. Boenninghausen used Variolinum 200C in a similar way.
The duration of the 200C is more long lasting than the 30C and should be effective for at least 2 to 4 weeks. Higher potencies like 1M should provide protection for longer periods like many weeks to months. The French studies in 1932 and 1946 showed that Diptherotoxinum 4M and 8M produces antitoxins in the blood for up to 5 years! Such a long acting potency may be very good for some persons but those who are sensitive may be strongly aggravated. In general, one might opine that 30C is sufficient to protect a person for shorter periods, 200C for moderate periods, and 1M for longer periods. Ultra high potencies like 10M may produce resistance for years. Lower potencies are suitable for shorter-term threats while higher potencies might be better for longer-term dangers. Nevertheless, the potency used should be appropriate for the physical condition, age, and sensitivity of the patient so that the remedy does not produce a proving with troublesome symptoms. Those who are hyposensitive might need the remedy more often while those who are hypersensitive might not tolerate the remedy repeated at such short intervals.
The graduated LM potency scale (0/1, 0/2, 0/3 up to 0/30) is well suited to the preventative use of homoeopathic remedies. This is because they have the depth of the higher centesimal potencies (200C, 1M, etc), but if properly prepared and administered do not produce prolonged aggravations. Most aggravations caused by the LM potency wear off in a short period of time. The LM potencies act as deeply as the higher centesimal potencies, although all things being equal, they may not act as long. The LM potencies are less prone to getting out of control than the 1M, 10M, 50M, CM and MM. In general, it is very important to individualize the potency factors in accordance with the patient’s sensitivity and the strength of their vital force.
It is most prudent to administer a single test dose of the chosen amount and potency and put the individual under observation for a reasonable amount of time. This is because one does not know how the patient will react to the remedy, dose and potency. The persons that are most likely to produce noticeable symptoms are those who are most susceptible to the target miasm. When a single dose produces symptoms the remedy should not be repeated for the time being, as there is no need for further stimulation. This indicates that the individual is very sensitive to the prophylactic remedy and the preventative process has already begun. These persons are what might be called “single dose provers” and their situation must be handled very carefully. If such a person is given too large a dose of too high a potency too many times they may suffer symptoms for long periods. They are the most at risk to the target miasm as well as overmedication by the preventative remedy. This is because they are hypersensitive to the remedy and the similar disease.
Those individuals that produced no observable symptoms on the single dose may be given the remedy in split-doses if necessary. The intervals between doses must be judged according to the sensitivity of the individual constitution and the degree of the potency. Those who appear weak and sensitive should not be given high potencies or a long series of doses. Each dose must be carefully assessed before the next dose in the series is given so that no major proving symptoms are produced. Sometimes a person may be susceptible to the target disease yet constitutionally hyposensitive and tend not to react to stimuli. Such persons will need a series of divided-doses over a period of time to attain protection. In general, individuals that show no symptoms even if the dose is repeated in relatively short intervals are not particularly susceptible to the remedy or the target disease.
To insure that prophylaxis has been attained the remedy may be given until the homoeopath observes the very first signs of a preventative proving and then the remedy should be stopped immediately. The aim is only to elicit a subtle reaction that demonstrates that the process of prophylaxis is beginning. If the patient tells you that they “feel” the remedy they are taking that is enough action for the time being. Some patients may feel positive effects; others might feel a slight malaise, a feeling of uneasiness, or a sense that something is going to happen. This shows the person is sensitive to the preventative remedy and the primary action is sufficient. At this time, the client is again put under observation to see if the symptoms develop further or cease of their own accord. It is in this waiting period that the secondary response of the vital force begins to produce the constitutional immune response to the target disease.
Depending on the nature of the disease and chance of exposure a follow up “booster dose” can be given to extend the periods of protection. Always cease administering the dose on first subtle signs of the arousal of signs and symptoms. There are those who do not produce any signs or symptoms of a proving during the process of prophylaxis. If the doses of the medicinal solution have been adjusted over a reasonable period of time, yet no symptoms are produced, the person is most likely already immune to the disease in question and the remedy may be stopped.
It may be helpful to explain to the client the nature of homoeopathic provings and make clear that taking a prophylaxis is a sub-clinical proving. The individual or parents must be active observers and keep a journal of any symptoms that may arise. All symptoms that are produced during the process of homoeo-prophylaxis should be recorded in this journal. This is particularly helpful when unproven nosodes are being administered. Such symptoms offer insights into the remedial powers of the nosode and will help fill out its therapeutic image. If the individual volunteers to further prove the remedy the process will certainly offer new insights that will benefit others. A properly carried out proving strengthens the individual’s overall resistance and actually can increase their state of health. One must, however, always be very careful during such a process, as overmedication during a proving can cause long lasting symptoms. The symptoms should never be allowed to become too strong producing unneeded stress and strain on the body and mind.
Samuel Hahnemann proved a great number of remedies on himself. The Founder credited his long life and good health to the provings he performed over a period of 50 years. Taking part in provings is one reason the early homoeopaths understood the process of testing remedies on the healthy very well. They felt the change that remedies produce firsthand on their body and mind. This is a way of experiencing the ‘living materia medica”. There is little danger in homoeo-prophylaxis if the process is done slowly and carefully with moderate potencies and the doses are kept within reasonable limits.
The medicinal solution is very suitable for a prophylactic remedy as it can be given in single and infrequent doses or repeated as split-doses at shorter intervals if needed. The medicinal solution is succussed just prior to administration so that the patient never receives the exact same potency twice in succession. This method helps to reduce aggravations and makes the remedy act smoother and longer. The use of a random number of dry pills, especially of the higher potencies, frequently causes medicinal symptoms to appear. If one is using the dry dose it is best to follow Hahnemann’s 1831 recommendation and only use 1 pill and not to repeat the remedy too often! Too many dry pills accumulate in the vital force and may produce a “remedy miasm”. The grafting of dynamic remedy symptoms on the vital energy is something best avoided. Better safe then sorry. Remember the first Hippocratic maxim is “Physician, Do No Harm”.
Remedies for Specific Homoeoprophylaxis
There are two types of epidemic miasms, those that mutate greatly from year to year, and those that are of a relatively fixed character. There is also the potential for new infections to cross species lines at any time. The genus epidemicus method is the best method for finding preventative remedies for quickly mutating strains and new infections. The genus epidemic remedies can be tailored to suit the presiding symptoms according to the group case. For infectious diseases that are of a more fixed character, there are certain specifics that have proved useful over many years. For example, Lathyrus Sativus is reputed to prevent poliomyelitis; Chelidonium is reputed to prevent hepatitis; and China, Natrum Muriaticum and Malaria Officinalis are reputed to prevent malaria; Cuprum is reputed to prevent cholera; Crotalus Horridus is reputed to prevent yellow fever; Pulsatilla is reputed to prevent measles; Belladonna is reputed to prevent meningitis; Drosera is reputed to prevent whooping cough; Eupatorium Perfoliatum is reputed to prevent dengue fever; and Baptisa is reputed to prevent typhoid. The India government tested the use of Belladonna to prevent Japanese Encephalitis and noted that the mortality was greatly reduced.
Nosodes are also very useful in protecting individuals from the identical infectious disease. For example, Pertussin is reputed to prevent whooping cough; Diphtherinum is reputed to prevent for diphtheria; Morbilinum is reputed to prevent measles; Rubellinum (Rubella nosode) is reputed to prevent rubella; Parotidinum is reputed to prevent mumps; Varicellinum (chickenpox nosode) is reputed to prevent chickenpox; Tetanus Toxin is reputed to prevent tetanus and Meningococcinum is reputed to prevent meningitis. Influenzinum is reputed to prevent flu; Haemophilus is reputed to prevent Haemophilus influenza type B; and Pneumococcinum is reputed to prevent pneumonia.
Tuberculinium is reputed to help prevent tuberculosis in place of BCG. Cholera nosode is reputed to prevent cholera; and Typhoidinum is reputed to prevent typhoid. Various hepatitis nosodes are reputed to prevent hepatitis. Lyssin is reputed to prevent hydrophobia (rabies). Variolinum is not commonly used as smallpox is no longer present but it would prove useful in the case of bio-terrorism. The above prophylactic remedies cover all the main components of the orthodox immunization program like Polio vaccine, DPT, MMR, measles, chickenpox, mumps, etc. It also includes remedies for a number of infections found outside developed Western countries. Those living in the West should investigate exactly what risks they may face when traveling to Asia, South America, Africa, etc.
Certain remedies can be used at the time of exposure to prevent complications and infections while promoting rapid healing. For example, Arnica given for a serious accident is reputed to prevent septic infections; Ledum is reputed to prevent tetanus in a puncture wound while Hypericum is reputed to prevent tetanus in wounds and crush injuries; Calendula is reputed to prevent infections in ragged wounds; Staphysagria is reputed to prevent infections in sharp cuts like those from a knife; and Cantharis is reputed to prevent infections in burns. Arsenicum Album is reputed to prevent gastroenteritis caused by food poisoning. Many remedies known for acute exposures, accidents and injuries have prophylactic power over complications. Although this list of remedies not complete in itself, the suggestions included in this article form the basis of the prevention of infections by homoeo-prophylaxis.
Part Two : Homeoprophylaxis, The Medical Advance
May, 1904, page 242.
The following material is based on an article published in The Medical Advance in the USA in May 1904. This was a time when homoeopaths were in the frontlines in the prevention and treatment of smallpox during wide-spread epidemics. This interesting debate explores the pros and cons of homoeo-prophylaxis. This discussion is between the editors of The Medical Advance, who supported the use of the nosode, Variolinum, and a pure constitutionalist who believed that such methods are quite questionable.
Letter to the Editor, from S. L. Guild-Leggett, Syracuse, New York, in The Medical Advance, Vol. XLII, No. 5, May 1904, page 242.
I am somewhat amazed at a seeming discrepancy in the principles laid down in some of your recent editorials; particularly those recommending the universal use of Variolinum as the best preventive of smallpox.
Now why pursue the old method of making people sick to get them well; “giving them fits” because one is “death on fits?” Is that a homeopathic law? Surely, it would be far better to spread abroad the fact that Homeopathy can prevent smallpox, and then teach students that diseases, of whatever kind, can be prevented by placing the subject under the influence of the medicine indicated and so restoring him to perfect health; or in other word, that perfect health, or progress in that direction, is the best protection from contagious diseases. Surely, you believe that if a medicine such as Sulphur, Hepar, Silica, Thuja, etc., we found indicated in a given case, and subsequently prescribed, there would be no further need of preventive medicine, except perfect sanitation which is but another name for perfect cleanliness. Then why not teach that Homeopathy can prevent smallpox and all other contagious diseases, and simply show homeopaths how to do it?
Even the old school admits that a man cannot be attacked by infection [or as they put it, germs] except when his vital forces are low. While we know that the entire organism, or its parts, are out of harmony when we find sick symptoms; and furthermore, that in such cases, the vital force has lost control. Why then not harmonize these discordant forces and restore the control of that vital dynamic, thus permitting it to exercise the best and highest form of prophylaxis.
Commentary by David Little
Ms. Guild-Leggett represents the pure constitutional position in the debate between the constitutional and nosode method. She has seen in her experience that the use of the individual remedies provides homeoprophylaxis to contagious diseases. As in all preventative medicine this must be combined with good diet, careful hygiene and sanitation, and healthy living conditions. Innate susceptibility resides in the predispositions of the physical constitution and mental temperament. Poor diet, stressful emotional conflict, trauma, abuse and poor living and working conditions may further aggravate these innate predispositions. Predispositions include inherited and acquired diatheses and miasms as well as the effects of the stress of life. Homeopathic treatment of the individual removes the underlying predispositions providing a strong vitality, which is more resistant to stress as well as infectious diseases. Constitutional treatment is the central method of homoeo-prophylaxis. Genus epidemicus remedies and nosodes only work against one target disease while constitutional remedies prevent manifold conditions. Constitutional remedies work in such a manner that they can prevent heart attacks, cancer and other serious diseases from developing in later years. They also change the internal terrain so that there is less susceptibility to infectious diseases, or at least reduce their severity so they are easy to treat.
Dr. Guild-Leggett continues:
I confess to being unable to see why this wholesale feeding of Variolinum will not, eventually, cause more sickness than it prevents. Its very potentization gives it a power unknown to the crude; and though probably avoiding the fault of cross mixtures of other poisonous substances, it is quite capable of more insidious work. Teach, then, that Homeopathy holds the best means of preventative medicine, but do not try to fix these means. Remember that there are no specifics for disease, and I much doubt whether there are for prophylaxis – except perfect health or progress toward that much desired boon.
As to your later editorial relating to the cure of leprosy, I believe that is all that it should be in relation to the true principle of healing all such diseases which, however much the case may resemble one another, must be treated individually. I think you know how when you try.
Commentary by DL
Dr. Guild-Leggett appears to be questioning whether the prevention of epidemic diseases is actually a homoeopathic method. She also states that the wide scale use of Variolinum will cause more sickness than it prevents. She reminds the editor that there are “no specifics for disease”. With all respects to the doctor, it must be pointed out that the origin of homoeo-prophylaxis lies with no other personage than Hahnemann! Hering, Boenninghausen, Burrnet, Boger, and others, all tested the safety and effectiveness of Variolinum over many years. Boger was so confident of his prophylaxis that he did not separate the contacts within the house. He never saw a case even in households where children slept in the same bed. There are many other testimonials and statistics on this subject.
The good doctor seems to forget that the proving of remedies on the healthy does not cause harm if the testing process is carried out correctly. The application of remedies for prophylaxis is a sub-clinical proving that should be even safer than provings that are intended to bring out symptoms. She also does not seem to understand that Hahnemann taught that there are specifics remedies for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. These specifics are also chosen by the totality of the symptoms, but rather than in one individual, the remedies are chosen on the basis of a collective case involving numerous patients. This method is very effective in diseases of common cause and similar symptoms that affect a homogeneous group. Hahnemann’s case taking methods include the personal anamnesis of individual diseases, and the group anamnesis for collective disorders. With this in mind, one may easily declare that homoeo-prophylaxis is an integral part of classical Homoeopathy.
Homeoprophylaxis is a form of sub-clinical proving of remedies on relatively healthy individuals. It is true that there were reports of proving symptoms such as skin eruptions and other complaints caused by Variolinum. So Ms. Leggett’s cautions about producing “more sickness” should be taken into consideration when administering genus remedies and nosode for prophylaxis. Such remedies may produce signs and symptoms on sensitive and weakened constitutions and those individuals with whom they have a special affinity. These, however, are no different than proving symptoms and should be recorded as they give therapeutic insights. The ones with the most potential for reaction are those who need the protection the most. Those who show little reaction are those who have little susceptibility and are probably immune naturally. In the science of preventative healing all these factors should be taken seriously.
The Response of the Medical Advance
Commentary On The Above Letter To The Editor
We are glad that Dr. Leggett has criticized the ADVANCE so frankly, for her article brings up for discussion a most important truth; one in regard to which we believe she will agree with us in the main, in spite of the “seeming discrepancy” of some of our utterances. First of all, she objects to our recommending the “old fashioned” way of “making people sick to get them well.” In reply to this, we can only say that it is God’s way, not ours. It was God who turned Adam and Eve out of Paradise into a less comfortable place, in order that He might make them better; and though we believe that our friends, the allopaths, have misunderstood God’s ways of working, and make people a great deal sicker than they need to in trying to make them well and comfortable, we still believe that there are times that the only way to help a man get well is to make him feel a little sicker for a while. Nor is this heresy, for if there is one thing more notorious than any other in regard to high potency prescribing, it is that in dealing with chronic diseases, deep-rooted and obstinate ailments, it sometimes produces a very severe though temporary aggravation before its curative work begins. So, in pleading as we have for homeopathic vaccination, we are simply suggesting that those who are exposed to smallpox, and are sickly enough to really be in danger of taking it, should for a little while be made to suffer pain to protect them against still more serious ills.
Commentary by DL
The editor is not denying that proving symptoms may be produced by the administration of nosodes for prevention. He feels that these aggravations are less uncomfortable and dangerous than the disease being prevented. This is true within reason. Nevertheless, this shows how careful one should be when using genus remedies and nosodes for prophylaxis. It would be wise to study provings and the section in Organon dealing with this subject, and apply related information to homoeo-prophylaxis, as the methods are similar. It is always wise be to be prudent, patient and cautious when giving these powerful remedies to children and adults, especially if ill, weak or old. If the practitioner uses reasonable potencies in medicinal solution, and does not overmedicate patients, proving symptoms can be reduced to a minimum if not totally eliminated.
The Editor continues:
We heartily agree with Dr. Leggett when she says that “perfect health or progress in that direction is our best protection.” But it seems to us that she overlooks the fact that vaccination with Variolinum would itself help in bringing about just that progress toward a more perfect health of which she speaks; for the medicine would doubtlessly take very little effect except on those patients who were, to some extent, in need of the stirring up which homeopathic vaccination would give them. But Dr. Leggett, evidently realizing that we might dodge the accusation which she had made, has asked a further question which is exceedingly full of interest, for she says: “Surely you believe that if a medicine like Sulphur, Hepar, Silica, Thuja, etc., were indicated in a given case, there would be no further need of preventive medicine?”
Here it seems to us that she is most emphatically right for we believe that there are many cases in which some one of our polychrests – those which have a deep constitutional power – would protect even more perfectly and for a much longer period of time than Variolinum, and we believe the time will come when our most invaluable and omniscient boards of health will give to each competent physician the power to protect his patients in such a way as seems to him most fitting. But that time has not yet come; and so we are foolish enough to believe that it is better to accept a half-loaf than none, and internal vaccination is certainly a step in the right direction, even if it is not ideally perfect.
Commentary by DL
The editor reminds the readers that he also understands the preventative powers of constitutional homoeopathy but in dealing with social health conditions, such treatments are impossible due to the numbers involved. It would be unfeasible to treat each individual constitutionally during a serious epidemic or pandemic. Under these circumstances it is much more efficient to treat the masses with genus remedies and nosodes. Sometimes, what is appropriate for an individual may be different than the needs of society. It is our opinion that the editor has a very balanced view. He also notes that those who produce the most symptoms after taking a remedy are those who are the most sensitive to remedy. These are the persons who are in most danger of contracting the related miasm. They are the persons who need the nosode or genus epidemicus remedy the most! The editor feels that such a proving is healthy for the individual in the long run. Within reason, he is right. Nevertheless, excessively strong prolonged aggravations are not healthy as they not only cause pain, but also drain vitality. In extreme cases there is danger of producing pathology. For this reason, it is important to take the entire matter seriously and be as prudent as possible.
The Editor continues:
Variolinum may not be in most cases the true simillimum that is needed to protect every one but we venture to say that in many cases, it is just as truly homeopathic as a large portion of our so-called good and successful prescriptions. It is not the best way, always, this we freely admit, but it is better than old fashioned vaccination, a thousand fold, and so is worthy of commendation, since the fact is well known that most physicians have not the patience or the skill to find a true simillimum, even if the board of health would let them.
Nor is this all. There is yet another factor to be taken into consideration, which is the fact that the finding of a simillimum takes time and brains and money, and most people are not willing to pay the money, nor are most doctors willing to sacrifice their time and health, gratis, simply for the sake of giving to every one an ideal vaccination for which they are not willing to pay. And yet, we do most profoundly believe that when the public finds that Variolinum does protect, and that it works by the law of similia, they will be sure to look with a more friendly eye on all forms of homeopathic treatment and thus will be more and more likely to come to us for assistance.
Commentary by DL
The editor is a man who has done his time in public service and has a very practical approach to social medicine. He is quite correct. It takes a well-trained homoeopath and well-informed patient to do individualized treatment. Some persons do not have the knowledge, time or money to access a homoeopath for private treatment. These practitioners were facing a major smallpox epidemic in the general populace of their cities and towns. For them Variolinum provided a group specific that made it possible to protect thousands of people. Dr. Eaton’s study showed that the use of Variolinum can protect up to 97% of persons taking the nosode. How many homoeopaths have a 97% rate for finding the correct constitutional remedy capable of preventing every type of serious infection in one session? I must confess I cannot claim such a thing! Remember, this is during a major epidemic where one has very little time and no ability to reach the masses.
From the studies I have seen nosodes are quite effective in preventing the diseases from which they are made. This method is very simple if the nature of the epidemic is known and a nosode can be purchased or manufactured. In South Brazil in 1974 Meningococcinum 10CH was given to 18,640 children and only four children fell ill with the disease. At the same time, 34 out of 6,340 undedicated children fell ill with the disease. It simply was not possible to take a constitutional case of 19,000 children under threat of infection. Such a public health campaign could not be done with constitutional remedies.
The Advance editors continues:
We, ourselves, would rather be protected by some remedy still more homeopathic to our own individual temperament and frailty than even Variolinum, but we are trying to look upon this matter in a charitable light; and yet, Dr. Leggett, having for the moment convinced herself that we have turned traitor to our Hahnemannian principles, is very earnest in pleading with us to repent, and so she gives yet another reason why we should hesitate to use Variolinum.
She writes: “Its very potentization gives it a power for [mischief] unknown to the crude.” Here we cannot help thinking that she is slightly mistaken; for the history of provings with high potencies seems to show that though they may for a while create a great deal of discomfort and some very obstinate aches and pains, they seldom, if ever, do real injury; and Hahnemann says, often improve the health of the prover. So it seems to us that this objection is not well taken. But we agree with her, when she says that it is not best to try to fix once for all, the homeopathy is the best prophylactic for smallpox or any other disease. For all that we have tried to do is to point out the fact that there is a remedy, which [in a somewhat imperfect way] is so really prophylactic in thousands of cases, for a short time, at least, that it is worth remembering and is likely to become an entering wedge by which state boards of health will be induced to look upon homoeopathy.
Commentary by DL
I think the editor’s point about prophylaxis being similar to provings is well taken as they are both performed on the healthy human organism. If the posology of the proving is administered in a careful manner the effects of the proving only strengthen the general constitution to diseases. Hahnemann attributed some of his long life and health to the proving a great number of remedies. In homeoprophylaxis the same principles come into play. The problem is that those who need the protective remedies the most are those who are most susceptible to proving the symptoms. If a remedy is used in too large a dose, too high a potency, and repeated when not needed, there is a chance that too many signs and symptoms will be produced. If such over medication is continued there is a chance of producing a “remedy miasma” in that individual. Some mishandled provings have produced pathology and remedial diseases. Best to be very careful and conservative in such matters.
To her closing words about leprosy, we say a most hearty “Amen”; and may God grant to us the privilege of hastening the day when hosts of busy workmen from one end of this great land to the other, shall be searching out the really best remedy for each of their patients and trying to individualize every case. But, the world moves slowly, and as some one has quoted, “God is for some a good reason an evolan intelligentis dealings with the world,” and so we cheerfully bid Godspeed to any movement which is bringing men a little nearer to the ideals which we love.
In this connection it is very pertinent to mention the fact that Hahnemann in his Organon, Par. 100 definitely calls attention to the fact that smallpox, measles, etc., are epidemics in which the contagious principle always remains the same, and even though some of our readers may be inclined to challenge this statement that even here the poison varies from one epidemic to another quite markedly, there received certainly a very important truth in what he says. –
Commentary by DL
I think this discussion expresses both sides of the debate between constitutional and specific prophylaxis. Every experienced practitioner knows the power of constitutional and anti-miasmatic treatment. Most chronic degenerative diseases are based on an aetiological constellation rather than a single common cause. That is why it is very difficult (if not impossible) to find specific remedies for individualized complaints. Such remedies are found by the essential nature of the totality of the characteristic symptoms, with emphasis on the striking, extraordinary, uncommon and oddly characteristic symptoms of the individual. (Org. §153).
There are, however, diseases of common cause and similar symptoms that are of a relatively fixed character. This includes the miasm as well as certain environmental disorders, endemic nutritional deficiencies, mass exposure to toxins and specific telluric effects. It is possible that the group anamnesis may be applied to other group conditions such as group hysteria and mass panic. In this case the collective remedy is found by the totality of the characteristic symptoms of the entire suffering group. The instructions on how to make the group anamnesis for diseases of singular cause and relatively fixed character are found in Organon §100, 101, 102 and 103.
There are two major methods of preventing infectious diseases. The first is the use of the individual constitutional medicine and the second is the use of specific genus epidemicus remedies and nosodes. There are two forms of extreme view that may be called the one-sided constitutionalists and the one-sided specificists The one-sided constitutionalist opines that all a person needs is the one grand constitutional medicine that works on both the acute and chronic symptoms. They believe that such a method provides total protection. While it is true that constitutional remedies do strengthen resistance there is no guarantee that it will prevent virulent infections all the time and under every circumstance. If the patient still catches colds, coughs, flu or an occasional infection, they are still susceptible to infectious miasms.
The one-sided specificist will give a great number of genus remedies and nosodes for nearly every infectious disease known to humanity over several years while they delay any other form of treatment. Persons of this persuasion also tend to give specific remedies and nosodes for every orthodox immunization or childhood illness the patient suffered. The last thing on their minds seems to be constitutional treatment, which they find difficult. If not careful, such methods run the risk of serious overmedication and a gradual weakening of the vital force through too many reactions. They do not seem to understand that proper constitutional treatment can remove a host of lingering symptoms caused by immunizations and unresolved effects of infection.
At the same time, some one-sided constitutionalists don’t seem to understand that specific remedies and nosodes can be very helpful in removing obstacles to the cure that block constitutional remedies. It is our opinion that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. We believe that both methods, i.e. the constitutional and specific, both have their values and can be used together within the paradigm of traditional Homoeopathy.
What guides one to the choice of the constitutional or epidemicus remedies? The situation of course! For example, I visited New Delhi, India in 1998 with my wife and children when there was cholera in the city. I was staying in an area that was near a neighborhood with cholera cases. As cholera is transmitted by fecal contamination; I relied on careful hygiene, bottled water, well-cooked food, and the constitutional remedies I was giving my family for protection. If I were treating the cholera epidemic, I would start giving individual acute remedies while I constructed a group case to discover the specific genus remedies for prevention and treatment. If possible I would prepare a sample from patient to make a nosode of Cholerinum, Delhi, 1998. I would administer genus epidemicus remedies as my lead medicines and give individual remedies to atypical cases. I would give the major genus epidemicus remedy to the contacts of the ill patients. I would distribute the genus remedy to the people living in the neighborhood. If a nosode was available it could be used in a similar manner. If my family and I were more closely exposed to contaminated food and water, and other conditions associated with the cholera, I would have used specific remedies to complement the ongoing constitutional treatment.