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Thoughts in the Time of Corona
Thoughts in the Time of Corona

It is hard to live peacefully for the so-called modern human civilization. Everyday we are earning fresh problems regarding social, political, economic and various other sectors. Along with this, nature is also organising natural surgical strikes and making the whole situation imbalanced. In that list, the latest addition is Corona virus. Falling behind all the known nightmares like, racism, wars, recession etc. this extremely infectious disease snatches the international headline. At present the global public health emergency is COVID-19.

In this article I'm going to discuss about the prophylactic scope of Homoeopathy. Though the efficacy of homoeopathic prophylactic remedies for various conditions has not been proved by controlled studies and statistical records, yet homoeopathy has reportedly been used for prevention during the epidemics of Cholera, Spanish Influenza, Yellow fever, Plague, Scarlet fever, Diphtheria, Typhoid etc. Sutherland writes, "If the Homoeopathic school is to put up an effective opposition to the growing demand for modern preventive medicine, it must be able to search for and present facts which will constitute irrefutable proof of the arguments we present."
In case of epidemics, the best prophylactic will be the remedy (Genus Epidemicus) obtained by examining typical symptoms from the accurate observations of the first few cases. To find the exact genus epidemicus we have to observe the cases and accumulate the proper symptomatology of the patients. Epidemic diseases are so called contagious in nature and they come with fixed group of symptoms. Dr. Kanjilal giving two alternative says, "It goes without saying that, the best prophylactic remedy is the constitutional similimum of the individual. It is proved by experience that persons strictly following the homoeopathic line in their medical measures, rarely fall victims to any epidemic disease. The next line of defense is the similimum of a particular epidemic - the so called Genus Epidemicus." Dr. Kanjilal clearly clarifies that to approach an epidemic with the homoeopathic concept of individualization and to approach with a genus epidemicus are completely two different paths. They both can't be fitted in the same bracket. So, in a nutshell our goal is to form the antibody. Which is induced by homoeopathic drugs. The drug that most closely simulates the disease in all its clinical aspects is more likely to be a prophylactic than one less similar.
The subject of Nosodes provides a most interesting study to the homoeopath and yet, strangely, the Nosodes seem to have received much less attention that they deserve, in spite of their great utility and efficacy when indicated in practice. Nosodes are most abused, unused, and misused of all the remedies in the homoeopathic Materia Medica. Some physicians use when routinely, others use them rarely or not at all. I personally believe that Nosodes are going to play a very significant role to combat against COVID-19.
Nosodes have been compared to vaccines and even called oral vaccines. Pierre Schmidt writes, a Nosode is "a medicine derived from pathological tissue or secretions containing the specific virus of the sickness." Boger writes : "When our late confrere, Dr. H.C. Allen, pointed to the nosodes as the most important of remedies in arousing reaction, he did the greatest thing of his busy life."
Now, the most important part is that - to fight against COVID-19 homoeopaths have the immense opportunity to discover an Autogenous Nosode from the secretions of the patient. For instance, Green reports a case of eczema which was cured by a potency made from the discharge itself, after Graph., Petr., Mez., Sulph., etc., had failed. Why it is not applicable for Corona virus now? What will be the best prophylactic remedy than that? The effectivity of the nosodes in preventing infectious diseases seems to have been established. Samuel Swan has reported a number of instances where the administration of Variolinum has apparently prevented the onset of smallpox. Wheeler has conducted scientific experiments with potencies of Diptherotoxin and has shown that the drug in potency has the power of altering the Schick reaction. Hering, Swan, Burnett, and others did much along this line. Hering proposed the employment of the diluted saliva of a rabid dog for hydrophobia in 1833, antedating Pasteur. Swan antedated Koch in the discovery of Tuberculinum. Koch introduced Tuberculin in 1890. Burnett began his work with this remedy (under the name of Bacillinum) in 1885 and obtained results never dreamed of by Koch. Various other reports are also to be found in the literature which seem to prove that the various nosodes have prevented specified diseases. Of course in some cases, a drug which has produced a similar symptom picture also appears to have acted as a prophylactic, but between the two, the similar drug and the nosode, the nosode is apparently preferred, because of its greater similarity and easier selection. So, in COVID-19, the nosode prepared from COVID-19 will seems to have a very definite effect in producing prophylaxis. Incidentally, the preventive virtues of nosode of COVID-19 will seems to be safer too. (Literature provides the same prophylactic example in between tuberculosis and Tuberculinum. On the contrary though BCG is claimed absolutely safe, in the British Medical Journal, there are instances of children who were adversely affected by BCG vaccination.) Yingling writes long time ago, "What shall we say of the Nosodes, remedies derived from morbid tissues and secretions containing the specific virus of diseases? Some twenty of the animal and four of the vegetable nosodes are now used with success. The list may be extended largely. We, of this society, all know and appreciate their use and value. It would be impossible today to get along without them. Our usefulness would be wonderfully curtailed and menaced."
Various explanation have been offered to prove that nosodes are not isopathic remedies. It has been suggested that potentization alters the nature of the original substance so that the resulting product becomes similar and not identical. But the correct reasoning seems to be that the nosode represents a product of disease in a particular individual, animal or plant. Each disease-product is the result of an interaction between a particular individual and a particular pathogenetic agent. Since these two factors and the resulting reaction cannot be exactly duplicated, the resulting product can never be identically same for any other case of disease, though the outward disease-manifestations and the disease-label may be the same. For instance, in virus diseases, it is known that the virus may mutate from time to time. The virus of the Asian Influenza epidemic of 1956 was different from the virus of the Influenza epidemic of 1918-20. The manifestation of symptomatology were also different. The mortality rate was different.
Some of the Influenzinums marked by Nelson's of London are as follows :
1. Influenzinum (the 1918 epidemic), 2. Influenza virus A Asia/57, 3. Influenza virus A England/42/72, 4. Influenza virus B Hong Kong 5/72, 5. Influenza virus A/Port Chalmers/1/73, 6. Influenza virus A (Asian) 1954, 7. Influenza virus B (Asian) 1954, 8. Bacillus Influenza 1918, 9. Influenza virus Az Hong Kong 1968, 10. Influenza virus Ar 1967, 11. Influenza virus B, 12. Influenza Co. (Combination of Az to 1918), 13. Influenza virus a1.
Similarly, when bacteria are attacked by antibiotics, these organisms are found to develop different strains which are resistant to the drugs. These are instances to show the variability in the nature of the invading organisms. No two individuals in the world are exactly alike and the reaction of each individual to a specific circumstances or agent is bound to be different from that of any other individual, however, much the reactions may appear to the alike. So, a Nosode product developed from the disease tissue of one individual will probably vary in nature and indications from the nosode product developed from the diseased tissue of another individual, though the disease entity affecting both persons may be the same. When the same nosode is prepared from the different persons, each preparation may fall under a different group; with the result, we may have a Medorrhinum of the 8th group, one of the 7th group and so on. If we were to prepare the nosode from different sick individuals, the enormous implications of this discovery can't be imagined! This is a question about the homoeopathic concept of individualization. I personally have no explanation of this last part but I'm always eager to be enlightened about that and I'm also very hopeful from my homeopathic society.
Regarding homoeopathic prophylactics the potencies to be used, and the frequency of repetition, very little authoritative information is available. Gibson states, "There is no hard and fast method for the use of potencies in prevention and the length of time protection may last is, of course, difficult to estimate. One plan is to give three doses of a 30C potency spread over a period of 24 hours. Repetition in the event of continuing danger of infection should be under the guidance of a homoeopathic physician." Wheeler and Kenyon write that a dose of the 30th potency of the prophylactic remedy will protect at least for a fortnight. Others advise one dose of the 30th once a week or the 200th once a fortnight till the epidemic passes. Grimmer considers that one dose of the 10M potency affords protection throughout an epidemic. The higher potencies seems to afford protection for longer periods as evidenced by the experiments of Dr. Paul Chavanon (under Diphtheria.)
At last there is a positive side of this Corona episode. As influenza virus had played a major role to stag the great World War One, at present Corona virus also came as a preventive medicine for our planet which is violently diseased. Obviously it's an exaggeration. But after detection of COVID-19, the display of patients, empathy, and administrative excellence shown by the government of India and other countries, we must acknowledge that. We hope that, we and our planet will be completely safe under their supervision. During this global threat over human civilization by COVID-19, causes multilayered panic among the population, the only way to cease it, if we could germinate this hope. Then we shall overcome.

Dr. Swarnadip Bhattacharyya (BHMS)
West Bengal University of Health Science

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