The COVID-19 pandemic has fostered conversations on the efficacy of non-allopathic forms of medicine in combating the virus, including homoeopathy. The pandemic is a challenge to the scientific community, which is dealing with an unknown pathogen. However, scientists and doctors have known about viruses over the years from research literature and recurring episodes of seasonal flu-like symptoms. Homoeopathic practitioners too have been treating several viral diseases. This knowledge can be harnessed to combat COVID-19.
Coronavirus is akin to several other pathogens that cause flu-like symptoms. But the virus grafts itself on to human cells, making the task for the immune system more challenging. So COVID-19 is an infectious disorder of greater intensity than several other viral diseases. That is why there is no antidote to it yet.
The disease is closely knitted to the patient’s fibres, which influence the body’s inner- dynamics. This makes it difficult to diagnose the disease early and treat it unless the dynamic principle of the body is brought in.
We know about the symptoms caused by other SARS viruses. This has given us considerable knowledge of coronaviruses and their pathogenicity. The past view of the virus is the sole means to know the character of the present coronavirus. This is an opportunity to know the individual’s suffering while allowing homoeopathy to choose possible similar remedies from within its system. This is actually the basis for all research work on the virus today.
Unfortunately, there is much confusion over homoeopathy and COVID-19. This is reflected in the debate over the system of medicine after several states recommended a homoeopathy drug, Arsenicum Album 30, for prophylactic use. An article in this paper, (‘A homoeopathic drug touted as effective against COVID‘, IE, June 3,) does not address this confusion by looking at arsenic from the standpoint of allopathic principles.
The therapeutic value of arsenic in homoeopathy must be appreciated in terms of principles embedded in this system of medicine. In its natural form, arsenic is a poison that has the capability to produce violent reactions which are similar to what it can cure. To judge the scale of this curative power, one must know the rationale behind homoeopathic therapy and the process by which homoeopathic medicines work — in this case, the transformation of crude arsenic into a dynamic energy specially adapted to harmonise the vital life forces that restore health. Homoeopathic therapy is based on the study of symptoms a substance causes. Arsenic Album has been used effectively in treating acute respiratory infections and several other conditions.
About two months ago, the Ministry of AYUSH convened a meeting of homoeopathic experts along with members of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy. The experts unanimously agreed that Arsenic Album could be used as a prophylactic for COVID-19.
Homoeopathic remedies have usually not had the technical support to prove their efficacy. Remedies like Arsenic Album, Antimonium Tartaricum, Bryonia Alba and Gelsemium, have been effectively used in the past. The novel coronavirus’s symptoms resemble those associated with Arsenic Album as a homoeopathic remedy. In recent times, it has been observed that an appropriate dose of Arsenic Album and Gelsemium can remove susceptibility to the disease-causing agent. These remedies stimulate the body’s defence mechanism. Individual practitioners have used Arsenic Album as a prophylactic in the past against virus-related signs and symptoms.
The experiences gathered so far have provided sufficient evidence and knowledge to apply them to the present situation. Arsenic Album has proved effective in non-resolving conditions where other so-called proven medicines have failed. Of course, no science is complete and all experiments are open for discussion, provided it is without prejudice.
This article first appeared in the print edition on August 12 under the title “Science, Without Prejudice”. The writer is a Delhi-based homoeopathic physician
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines