UNDERSTANDING THE POLITICS OF MEDICINE

I am scheduled to present an online presentation at a joint homeopathic conference this June. It is a conference, of course on homeopathic medicine and there will be a focus on how epidemics have been, and can now be, treated successfully with the homeopathic method. Those of you that have been following my posts on this topic, addressing the current epidemic, will understand what I am referring to. A recent post, Nux, To The Rescue, is a good demonstration of that in which a young woman is sick for 11 days and within minutes of the first dose of a homeopathic remedy is showing improvement. This is why homeopathy is remarkable and is worth giving attention to.

In this scheduled conference there are several speakers whose topic is the current epidemic and their experience in treating it. Useful information, what? So imagine the surprise that I get an email this morning from the organizers of the conference warning me (and the other speakers) to be careful what they say. Here is an extract from their message which shows what I am talking about —

“…the US Federal Trade Commission and other US Government Agencies have been restricting what can be communicated regarding the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 that do not comply with strict National Institute of Health policies. Consequently, we will need to be very careful about how we communicate during our presentations. We won’t be able to use terms like ‘treatment’ or ‘prevention’, ‘COVID-19’ or ‘coronavirus’.”

Do you understand the significance of this? It is telling us that a professional conference of medical doctors discussing an entirely legal system of medicine cannot say that they either “treat” or “prevent” the disease. Can you imagine the outrage if this was directed to an allopathic conference? That conventional doctors dealing with this virus disease cannot say they have treated it?

THE HISTORY
How could this come about? We can assume that the message coming from our government is communicating their disapproval of the homeopathic method. They don’t want us to say we are treating it as we will be lying. This is not new. At this point, we are seeing the playing out of allopathic medicine being a monopoly and opposed to all other competing systems. For homeopathy, this started quite some time ago.

Homeopathy was introduced to the US in the very early 1800s by Dr. Burch Gram who had trained in Germany. He treated fellow doctors and converted many of them. As well, the dramatic effectiveness of homeopathy treating epidemics brought many other doctors into the fold. Homeopathy grew steadily and by the middle 1800s, every state had a homeopathic medical school, and 25% of doctors now used this method. The situation changed in 1847. The doctors that had not embraced homeopathy, seeing its continuing development, started an organization to combat homeopathy as well as other forms of medicine such as herbalism, chiropractic, osteopathy, and such like.

From this point, there was continued aggressive movement towards homeopathy culminating in the medical schools having their funding taken away and having to close. The organization was so hostile to homeopathy that if any members even talked to a homeopathic practitioner they would be expelled from the organization. One fellow this happened to, who was expelled from the organization, had committed this serious offense of talking to a homeopathic practitioner — his wife.

What was this organization? It called itself the American Medical Association (AMA).

The result of this process was that allopathic medicine became a monopoly, a state which is actually not accepted in other areas such as industry. However, it has been maintained in medicine. “Wait,” you say “I can get other treatment if I want.” Yes, you can get herbal treatment, homeopathic treatment, etc. — if you are willing to pay out of pocket. They are not covered by insurance and therefore stay on the fringes of the medical system.

A related development has been the incredible growth and power of the drug industry. We are talking billions of dollars. In these days, it is often this industry behind the efforts to eliminate homeopathy. You can see why. It is not unusual that a person, or animal, can be cured with homeopathic treatment of a condition that otherwise would be incurable and require the continued use of medicines for decades. I know of people cured of such, usually incurable, conditions that the total medicinal cost for this cure was less than $10. There would, of course, be the charge of the practitioner but the medicine itself very cheap and also not needing to be continued.

Can you see why this would be a threat to the monopoly?

IN CLOSING
I can understand that some reading this may think I am exaggerating. Perhaps at some point, more information on the historical success of homeopathy in epidemics can be presented. At this point, I will mention one piece of evidence.

In the 1800s there were very severe, high mortality, epidemics in the US, diseases such as cholera, typhoid, or yellow fever. When the US populace saw the extraordinary results of homeopathic treatment, there was enough fervor to organize the erection of a monument to Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy. On June 21, 1900, a monument to Hahnemann was erected in Washington, DC, with the attendance of the president of the United States. It is about a 1/2 mile from the White House. It is on a traffic circle, Scott Circle, and is quite impressive to visit. A picture of it is attached here.

hahn monument

It is very large. If I were to be standing in front of it my head would reach the bottom of the chair Hahnemann is sitting on. When we reflect on this and realize very few doctors have monuments like this, you can get some sense of the impact homeopathy had on our culture at that time. Therefore, in closing, when you hear the criticisms of homeopathy and the denial of its effectiveness, realize where it is coming from. And remember that it has been this way since 1847.

NUX, TO THE RESCUE

Here is a report from one of my medical colleagues:

I just went on quite the roller coaster ride with my daughter being sick in Wisconsin, all alone, and I couldn’t go to her because we’re pretty sure she’s got CoViD. I think she had her first symptoms on Sunday May 17 but I didn’t find out that she was sick until the 20th. Headache, light-headed, confusion, exhaustion, and then I think it was the 21st she lost her sense of smell. Not 100% but greatly reduced, with no congestion. Then she felt a little better on the 22nd and 23d.
May 22 was a Saturday and I got to the PO just in time to express-ship her remedies before they closed at noon.
Then she felt worse on the 25th, yesterday and today (27th). All this time, a week, she sounded horrible on the phone. She sometimes, no, often, couldn’t think straight enough to hold up her end of the conversation.
My remedies didn’t arrive as promised and she finally got them today (27th), two days late. I had her open the package and take a dose of NUX VOMICA 30c while we were on the phone. (She received the remedy on the 27th.)
We continued to chat and in a couple/few minutes, she came back. She sounded alert, she was herself again. (Wow! This stuff never gets old.) Later she texted me that she was trying to find the place to get tested, she was out in her car! I called her this evening (27th) and she really sounds good and says she feels a lot better. Almost 100%. I am so relieved, finally exhaling.
I don’t want to describe the despair I experienced over the last week, but it sure is sweet when it ends. I am relaxing in a way that makes me realize how very tense I’ve been over this.

COMMENT from RP:
This is a very good example of the action of a remedy for an epidemic, what we call the genus epidemicus in homeopathy. Specifically, when the remedy is so very suitable for the treatment of the epidemic, it will act 1) very quickly, 2) with one or two doses.
This is in contrast to finding the need to repeat a remedy over and over which indicates a remedy that is not a close enough match to the problem.
Is it not amazing to see a person that has been seriously ill, physically and mentally, for 11 days respond to the remedy “in a few minutes”? This is what makes homeopathy so remarkable and shows us the uniqueness of this method.

CLIENT SHARES COVID?

I had a client come to see me for osteopathic manipulation – she is a State Health Educator.  She had laryngitis, sore throat, but stated that she felt great.  She has been on a constitutional homeopathic remedy for a chronic illness.  So I decided to do nothing for her but the treatment manually that she needed for alignment.

   On the 4th day after I saw her, I woke up aching and hurting all over with a horrible headache and sinus congestion . I tried to dismiss it but by the evening I had developed a fever of 102, HR 122, Pulse oxygen saturation of 90 (normal is 99-100%).  I thought that I was a “goner” and reluctantly took Nux vomica 30 c 

   After 6 hours I was greatly improved. I took a 2nd dose and by the next day I was mostly comfortable and functional in the house (could not do hard chores outdoors like mucking out the barns . . . . so my husband did it.).

   I am just fine this week now.  Back out doing normal work in the gardens and with the animals.

   Report another 2 days later: “I still feel great.”

Note: not my client (Richard) but that of a medical colleague.

Homeopathy Treating Epidemics

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.

DISEASE STATES

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.

EPIDEMICS

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.

SUMMATION 

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.

WHY HAS HOMEOPATHY NOT BEEN MORE ACCEPTED?

Part 1

Some of you are wondering about the seeming contradiction between what is being posted here, like the last one about how effective homeopathy in epidemics, and how, nonetheless, it seems to be a minor player in the medical world. It is not “minor” in all countries but certainly not the primary system anywhere in spite of its unusual effectiveness.

The answer has to do with our cultural world view. The way we have been moving the last few centuries is increasingly towards materialism. What this means is that how we understand reality is that there is a physical universe we are derived from. The physical universe is the foundation, primary, and we have evolved from it over time. 

This is the basis for our science and, as well, for the practice of medicine. This way of seeing things is demonstrated in medicine by the emphasis on laboratory data, various physical tests, X-rays, cat scans, etc. As a result, the patient has increasingly come to be seen in fragments. Instead of considering the whole being, which includes their mental, emotional and physical states as one thing, we look away from them towards our physical devices.

Medicine, a century or so ago, was different in that the focus was on the patient as a being. The doctor would spend much time in the physical exam — palpating, touching, listening, questioning and this was the basis for deciding what was wrong. 

Quite different today. You may feel ill, yet the tests done do not show a change so you are told you are not ill though you may feel like crap.

Homeopathy is different. It started when the patient was the focus, as described above, but the way medicines were used was to give drugs, herbs, substances like silver or mercury with the intention of blocking or counteracting the symptoms the person was showing. A simple example would be the person with a fever being given something that would make the fever decrease. 

This is the same method as today, isn’t it? Treatment often is done to decrease or eliminate a symptom from expressing itself. Another way of putting it is that the symptoms are considered to be the disease. When Dr. Hahnemann discovered the effect of using substances that would bring about symptoms in the person much like they were having already, he referred to it as using “similar medicines.” Makes sense, doesn’t it? Instead of giving something to make the symptom diminish through the effect of that substance, he gave what would actually bring about those symptoms in a healthy person. 

I know, doesn’t make sense. But it was a discovery and he did not anticipate it. He was only studying how substances act on a person and saw this happen without expecting it. He probably was shocked by it. In any case, he spent the next six years researching this with patients and volunteers. After he felt confident that it really did work, he released it to the other doctors who began using it. 

As expressed in the earlier post, one of the dramatic things that happened was the extraordinary effectiveness of homeopathy in epidemics and this really confirmed that Hahnemann on to something. 

HOMEOPATHY VS. ALLOPATHY

When Dr. Hahnemann coined the word for a “similar medicine” in 1824 he used the word “homeopathy.” I won’t try to spell the German form of it but the first part of the word “homoios,” from Greek, means “like, similar, of the same kind.” The latter part of the word “patheia” means “disease, also feeling, emotion.” So the Greek word he incorporated meant “having like feelings or affections, sympathetic.”

To make the distinction clear to the fellow doctors he called the other form of medicine of that time “allopathy.” Like the word above it comes from Greek “allos” which means “other.” Again the latter part has the meaning as described above. The meaning he had in mind is that this other treatment did not use similar medicines but rather ones that were quite different in their effects. Instead of stimulating the same symptoms the patient had, the did the opposite, they countered the symptoms. The medicines, therefore, were “other” than the symptoms.

Now, after going through this, can you understand why many people will reject the homeopathy idea as nonsense? How could it be a treatment to give something that actually increases the symptoms? Of course, the homeopathic perspective is that this stimulus actually brings about an improved patient response, one that leads to the recovery of health. 

Let us contrast the two medical methods like this;

  1. The conventional, allopathic, method uses medicines that counteract the symptoms — reduce fever, stop allergic reactions, slow down diarrhea, etc.
  2. The homeopathic method, by studying the details of the patient’s condition, uses a medicine that brings about the same (actually similar) set of symptoms. This stimulates the inherent healing mechanisms of the body. 

This comparison points to a significant difference in the two views in medicine. The usual, conventional, one doesn’t have a lot of confidence that the body can heal itself. Substances are given to regulate or control it. The homeopathic method assumes that the only way health can be restored is if the patient’s system does it for itself. The medicines are a stimulus for that to happen. 

The Difference of View

As I have mentioned in other posts, I have been focussed on using homeopathy for quite a long time. You can understand that with this experience one comes to see things differently. The homeopathic view is almost the opposite of what we may call the conventional medical system, or what we homeopaths refer to as the allopathic system.

The allopathic view of patient and disease is that these two things are separate. There is the patient which is a physical being and the disease which is some external agent or infuence. The emphasis, then, is to identify that disease condition which affected the physical body so that, once known, an approved means of counter-acting it will be used. Another way to say this is that the treatment will be something that counter-acts the perceived symptoms and this counter-action is based on the use of drugs or surgery that directly blocks the expression of that problem. It could be an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory drug, a hormone, etc. Surgery is a similar method in that the unwanted physical change is removed from the body by that method.  Granted there are some health conditions that are not ascribed to an external agent in the usual sense but more to the wearing out of parts like with arthritis. However, even here, the idea is to block the symptoms that are expressing. You see, there is not the idea that these health issues cannot be cured in the sense of the person (or animal) being brought back to their previously healthy state. Even the use of the word cure is frowned upon.

The homeopathic view is based on the initial discovery, by Dr. Samuel Hahneman, that what we call disease is not caused by an external agent but rather a change in the condition of the patient at the level of what he called “the life force.” This means that disease is not physical but is a disturbance on what we might more familiarly call the energetic level. In today’s culture we can equate this to addressing the quantum vacuum from which all observed forms manifest. Dr. Hahnemann discovered that if a substance (herb, mineral, animal product) was given to this sick patient that was already know to be able to cause a very similar disturbance it acted as a stimulus and brought about return of health. So the medicines used in homeopathy are used differently than the allopathic drugs.

  • Remedies bring about a condition in the patient similar (though not exact) to what is observed in their unhealthly state.
  • Becauses of their ability to do this, the individual patient is very sensitive to them so they are given in very small doses and usually much repeated.
  • The remedies are never used to, in any way, block or tinterfere with the symptoms of the patient.
  • The choice of remedy to used is based on a direct observation of the condition of that individual, never on the idea of diagnosis (which is considered an erroneous concept).

In the story that follows you might be able to see what I am talking about here. It is the story of the contrast between the allopathic system and the homeopathic  – and an interestinsg outcome.

The “Disease Entity”

During the third week of August 1991, my 80-year-old father was hospitalized in New York. A few months earlier, he had been put on dialysis. The doctor had assured him that the inconvenience of having dialysis three times a week and having the rest of the time to live a full life was a better alternative than dying of renal failure.

He was hospitalized after he experienced extreme weakness, confusion, and a rapid decay of his mental faculties. I was joined by my brothers, and we prepared for the worst. The hardest part, for me, was the unbelievable interaction with the mind of conventional medicine. The renal specialist (who was a kindly soul— one of the few encountered), told us that they “have not yet diagnosed a disease entity.” And there, in a nutshell, is the problem. In conventional thinking, you must know what’s wrong before you can treat. They stood helpless as they tried to find something to treat. They did blood tests, Doppler tests, and CAT scans. They called in a neurologist (perhaps Dad’s confusion was neurologic in nature). He wanted to do a spinal tap to check for a rare strain of meningitis. He also checked for Lyme disease.

The neurologist was a picture of everything I fear in a physician. We were unable to reach him by phone, and his visits to my father’s room were less than three minutes long. He was always on the run. My brother, who coordinates emergency medical service in the rural area in which he lives, asked if he could meet the doctor to discuss what might be happening. “Are you a doctor?” he was asked. “No,” replied my brother. “Then we don’t have anything to talk about,” said the neurologist.

They called in a psychiatrist to determine my father’s mental state. Maybe they could find something wrong there that they could treat. Perhaps a psychosis or a delusional state. I arrived at the hospital with a kit of (homeopathic) remedies and a Repertory (the reference guide that enables one to choose the appropriate remedy). I was in touch, by phone, with several experienced medical homeopaths. I remembered the words of Kent (historically a famous and admired homeopathic practitioner and teacher): It is not up to the physician to determine if an illness is incurable. Take the case, give the remedy, let the vital force sort it out.

I was prepared for my father’s death. In the next three days, I gave him three remedies. I put them in his drinking water. Each day his symptoms changed, and the remedy selection changed with them. On the fourth day he was able to recognize us and have snippets of a lucid conversation. Within a week he was wondering why he was in the hospital. The doctors never found anything to treat. They were baffled by his sudden decline, and equally baffled by his recovery.

He continued to have some problems after his release, and I took him to a local homeopath who prescribed with a detachment I could not have. My father, though far from being in perfect health, is now functioning fairly well. In this age of modern medicine, with its tests and machines, I thought about the times past— when people understood that there was a process in life that began at birth and ended at death, and that death was a part of the whole. Instead of trying to freeze the person in life (i.e., to keep the person’s body alive at all costs), they accepted that the end does come to all. And what do you do when you are faced with an elderly man who is, apparently, running out of life? Yo u give him the proper remedy and trust the vital force. It never lets either of you down.

Mother Teresa & Homeopathy

I went through a personal crisis many years ago about what treatment to offer my patinets. Perhaps crisis too strong a word to use, but it was a significant trouble for my mind at that time. I am talking of the period about the middle ’70’s. I had “given up” on the allopathic medicine I had learned in veterinary school. I had tried my best, had gone back to school and gotten a graduate degree (PhD in immunology), gone back into practice, and still not feeling I could restore health in any consistent way. Of course, it might just be I am not a smart guy, but I prefered other viewpoints.

I did have the idea that there might be another way that would work better. I looked into several of these, such as color therapy, herbal medicine, polarity therapy, Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, etc. I am not saying I had training in these methods, but I would read about them and experiment to some extent.

Then I came across a little book on homeopathy for dogs which intrigued me.  I can’t say why exactly but my interest was engaged. I started a path into this form of medicine that leaves me sitting here some 40+ years later — still studying it.

You may well think I am naïve about this but I feel that when more spiritually oriented and kind people accept homeopathic medicine it confirms my interest in it. I would like to share this little piece with you as it is meaningful to me.

Mother Teresa and Homeopathy

by Dana Ullman, MPH

The fact that Britain’s Royal Family are strong supporters of homeopathy sometimes gives people the incorrect image of homeopathy as primarily a medical treatment for the upper class. Those of us involved in homeopathy know better. We know that homeopathy can be of value to anyone who is sick.

The fact that homeopathy is practiced in India by more trained health professionals than anywhere else in the world provides some evidence that one does not have to be rich to experience the benefits of homeopathy.

Caring for the poor is nothing new to Mother Teresa. She has worked with and for the poorest of the poor for over a half century. She has brought a message of love to them, and her Missionaries of Charity have provided medical care to millions of people. The physicians and para-professionals who have worked in her Missions have not simply prescribed just conventional drugs, they also have prescribed homeopathic medicines. Mother Teresa has a special interest in homeopathic medicine because of its effectiveness and low cost.

At present, four charitable homeopathic dispensaries are run under the guidance of the Mother’s Missionaries of Charity. One of these dispensaries primarily provides homeopathic medicines to poor and sick children in Calcutta, while the other three provide homeopathic medicines to anyone who needs them.

Considering the serious health problems that poor people in India experience, it is truly miraculous that homeopathic medicines are so effective as the primary method of treatment for many children and many adults. Mother Teresa opened her first charitable homeopathic dispensary in Calcutta in 1950. She even prescribes homeopathic medicines herself sometimes.

Dr. (Sister) M. Comes, a physician who has worked at the Mother’s Mission in Calcutta since 1945, notes that one of the obstacles to the spread of homeopathy in the Mother’s work is inadequate funding for homeopathic hospitals. At present, several Sisters are studying homeopathy at a homeopathic medical college in order to improve the care they can offer poor people.

My thanks to Dr. Parameswar Bose and Dr. Iva Pal for providing me with much of this information.