HOMEOPATHY IN EPIDEMICS
This is in response to many asking for advice in using homeopathy in the currect virus epidemic. In homeopathy the practice of identifying the effective remedy in treating and preventing the disease resulted in a remedy called the Genus Epidemicus. In what follows it some history and explanation of how this has been done.
THE SIMILAR REMEDY
In the discovery and development of homeopathy Dr. Hahnemann first had the understanding of using a similar remedy, a medicine similar in its effect to the disease condition. This is very important to understand.
Hahnemann found that if he gave such a substance that resulted in more or less the same pattern of disturbance as the patient was presenting, that it brought about rapid recovery of health. It was an unexpected discovery.
How could it do this? It was not obvious at first but Dr. Hahnemann came to the understanding that this medicine, when given in adequate dosage, became the primary influence in the person. Attention was shifted from the disease to the remedy and the disease was canceled out. Then when the remedy effect ended (in a few hours) the patient was left free of the disease and proceeded to rapidly recover health.
The next development in homeopathic work was the finding that a sick individual was showing a condition unique to them. There may be some patterns, like having a cold, but each person was affected in their own way and not identical to others. The idea of diagnosis was, therefore, discarded, as diagnosis is done so as to group patients together under one label, all of which are to get the same treatment. Dr. Hahnemann found this was not reliable. It was necessary to look carefully at each patient and find which of the available medicinal substances was indicated for that particular person. This is how homeopathy developed at first.
A next discovery was that epidemics were an exception to this rule. There was something different about the epidemic diseases of the time, like cholera, typhoid and influenza. After careful investigation of a large number of patients affected by these diseases the understanding emerged that these diseases were an exception to what was said above. Whereas most conditions were, indeed, unique to that individual, the epidemic diseases resulted in the same pattern of disturbance in all affected. This is more like diagnosis, but qualified.
The value in making this discovery was coming up with the method of finding out which remedy was most suitable by grouping many patients together — like 20 or more. IN OTHER WORDS, THEY WERE GROUPED AND ANALYZED AS IF THEY WERE ONE PERSON.
This gave a more complete picture of what remedy would be most similar.
Once this remedy was recognized it could be used for all the persons affected by the epidemic and it would not be necessary to do extensive workup of each person. It saved time.
As well, the same remedy could be used in the healthy people that were around the sick one (the family) as a preventive of the disease before it made its appearance.
The remedy that was recognized (and sometimes two remedies) by going through this process is called the genus epidemicus.
UNDERSTANDING THE DYNAMIC
If what has been explained so far is understandable, then we can go into the use of the genus epidemicus remedy.
As said above, the identified remedy could now be used routinely to treat all of those becoming affected. However, this next point is very important to understand. The remedy in its similarity matches the very first disturbance that occurs on exposure to the infectious disease. We know how a cold will start, or a flu condition. There will be early hints of it coming on — a sensation, fever, something like that. It is this very first early stage that the genus epidemicus is similar to.
If the disease is not treated at that early stage, or treated ineffectively, then as it develops it becomes a pattern that no longer matches the genus epidemicus. This is critical to understand. What Dr. Hahnemann found was that epidemics were different from other diseases in that THE VERY FIRST STAGE OF THE ILLNESS WAS THE SAME IN ALL AFFECTED. However, he goes on to explain that if the disease has developed further, there will be other remedies needed, not the genus epidemicus. He gives examples for cholera and scarlet fever, and such like.
This is what is happening today with coronavirus. If the person is not treated at the beginning with the genus epidemicus, then using that same remedy later will not be effective. A different one is needed. The different remedy needed is no longer the same in all affected persons (or animals) as they have reverted to the condition of individuality as described above — same as most disease conditions.
This can lead to confusion in what is reported because a homeopathic practitioner may say there is this list of 6 remedies they have found useful (or more). What they are reporting is the treatment of cases that are in a later stage.
USE OF THE GENUS EPIDEMICUS
If we can summarize all of this, we can say that epidemics are different as to homeopathic treatment in that the very first stage will be the same in all affected. However, any development of the condition past the beginning will call for careful individual prescribing.
I will add that is not just that the disease has developed but the same thing happens if at the very beginning a remedy different than the genus epidemicus is used. If that remedy has some effect, it will alter the pattern but the disease continues. This continued disease will also require a remedy other than the genus epidemicus.
When we are discussing identifying the genus epidemicus, it is with the idea it can be used successfully in all very early cases. We will see a clinical pattern that confirms this in that the genus epidemicus will most often act with one dose, that being sufficient. When it is reported a remedy is being used, over and over, for days, it is not this situation, it is not using the genus epidemicus.
The genus epidemicus can also be used to prevent the disease in those not affected. How is this done? There is no standard method, but historically a common practice was to give the remedy in 30c potency once a week.
I hope this makes sense to you. Those of you that use homeopathy likely already know this, but many are not clear about it so the intention here is to give you the ability to interpret the reports coming out.