At this point, homeopaths cannot claim that they have a verifiable cure/treatment OR a verifiable method of prevention for COVID-19. We still need more data and experience with this virus to come up with a definitive set of remedies. Furthermore, it is important to mention that no therapy, including homeopathy, is 100% effective in 100% of the cases.
The information in this article is an extensive compilation of my research on the subject of COVID-19 since its onset. I have been following various internationally known homeopaths who have been presenting on the management of COVID-19 from a homeopathic perspective. This article is not only regarding COVID-19 and homeopathy, but rather, it’s my attempt to provide you with a resource for homeopathic intervention of any acute epidemic outbreak.
All homeopaths in the world have recently been working tirelessly trying to figure out which remedy (or group of remedies) is the best fit for the COVID-19. I have been following the gurus in the field, including Dr. Paul Herscu, Dr. Robin Murphy, Dr. Isaac Golden, Dr. Andre Saine, and Jeremy Sherr, as well as well-known homeopaths from India, a country where homeopathy is widely practiced by a few hundred thousand practitioners, including medical doctors.
Definition of acute versus chronic diseases:
According to Medlineplus.gov, “acute conditions are severe and sudden in onset. This could describe anything from a broken bone to an asthma attack. A chronic condition, by contrast is a long-developing syndrome, such as osteoporosis or asthma.” Epidemic infectious diseases such as COVID-19 are considered “acute” diseases.
WHO declares COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic:
As you know, the WHO (World Health Organization) has declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently warned that the COVID-19 outbreak “is going to get worse”.
Beyond handwashing, masks and quarantines:
Can we do more to protect ourselves and our loved ones from contracting COVID-19? Are there extra measures we can take in addition to washing our hands regularly, wearing facial masks, using disinfectants at home and at work, and minimizing contact with acutely ill people? According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, MD, the director of the NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), manufacturing of the vaccine for COVID-19 is 1-2 years out. Hospitals may be helpful for stabilizing severely ill patients, but as you know, there are not known drugs or vaccines for COVID-19 at this point.
Homeopathy can offer a potential solution to mankind while we are waiting for an effective vaccine:
There are homeopathic remedies that are thought to be helpful for managing the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Considering the potentially catastrophic consequences (medically, economically, socially, etc.) of the further spread of this virus in the world, we ought to consider utilizing these remedies as we wait for the arrival of hopefully an effective vaccine or other conventional medical treatments.
My talks and articles on epidemics/pandemics:
Epidemics/pandemics are on the rise, and that is precisely the reason I gave a presentation on the subject of Homeopathic Prevention and Treatment of Epidemics & Pandemics at the AANP (American Association of Naturopathic Physicians) last Summer, August of 2019. (You can find this talk on my homepage, https://drsharif.com). I also wrote an article/blog in December of 2019 on the subject which can be found at: https://drsharif.com/homeopathic-prevention-and-treatment-of-epidemics-and-pandemics/.
Homeopathic remedies are for people, not for conditions:
Homeopathy does not have any remedies for any specific condition (including the COVID-19), per se! That’s not how homeopathy works. In homeopathy, we have remedies for people, not for conditions. THAT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to understand about homeopathy. Homeopaths are NOT claiming that they have remedies for prevention or treatment, per se, for COVID-19. And, no therapy, including homeopathy, is 100% effective.
Fatality rate of COVID-19 compared to some other recent epidemics/pandemics:
As you can see above, compared to many other epidemics/pandemics, COVID-19 is slightly more fatal than the seasonal flu (1-2% versus 0.1%). It’s far less fatal than ebola (25-90% fatality rate) or SARS (9.5% fatality rate).
COVID-19 is nothing like the pandemic flu of the 1918 with a much higher fatality rate. As most of you have heard in the media, the vast majority of people who have died from this virus are the elderly who had a pre-existing condition, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, cancer, etc. The younger and healthier folks might go down, but they do not stay down! They get sick as if they have a flu, in some cases a severe flu.
Are you taking fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol or Aspirin for any flu or flu-like illness?
If you have COVID-19, you should be consulting with a physician, at least through a virtual visit, to see how to manage your symptoms, including fever or aches/pains. From a natural medicine perspective, reducing fever using fever-reducing drugs, such as Aspirin or acetaminophen, is not considered wise. Fever is an important defensive mechanism that our body mounts to better deal with the viral infection. Therefore, it would make logical sense that suppressing the fever will interfere with our body’s immune system (or our innate intelligence) and can typically prolong the illness. It’s noteworthy that in the Spanish pandemic flu of 1918, patients who took Aspirin had a much higher mortality rate. Having said that, you should consult with your physician as to how to best handle your (or your loved ones’) symptoms (including fever or aches/pains). It’s important to recognize that high fever, particularly in children, can be dangerous and you need to consult with your physician in this regard.
Past and present-day evidence on Pubmed (one of the largest international medical databases) demonstrating the effectiveness of homeopathy for prevention and treatment of epidemics:
“Homeopathic practice during massive epidemics throughout the world has been the gold standard for showing the efficacy of potentized remedies.”, according to Dr. Todd Hoover, MD. In homeopathy, we have over 200 years of historical evidence as well as present-day evidence speaking to this. There is simply too much data and information here to share with you in this blog article. However, I will share a couple of articles/links with you here for starters (see below). For more information refer to my AANP talk and article on the subject of epidemics on my website. You can also refer to the Resources section at the end of this article.
While doing research in preparation for my talk on epidemics & pandemics last year, I found an article that particularly caught my attention. It’s titled “Large Scale Homeoprophylaxis: Results of Brief and Long-Term Interventions, Isaac Golden, PhD, AJHM 112-1 Spring 2019”. Here is the link to it:
https://drsharif.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Large-Scale-Homoeoprophylaxis.pdf. In short, this article discusses how over the last 10-15 years, the governments of three countries, namely Cuba, India, and Brazil, have run large scale homeoprophylaxis (meaning the use of homeopathic remedies for prevention of disease) studies, involving more than 90 million people per year. These studies demonstrated 75-95% effectiveness on the part of homeopathic remedies for prevention of a variety of serious epidemic diseases in those countries. The conclusion of this comprehensive article was: “Homeoprophylaxis can provide governments a very economical practical option to combat infectious diseases in both short and long-term disease outbreaks”. It appears to me that HP (homeoprophylaxis) can be at least a bridging device until an effective vaccine is made which could take a long time to be manufactured.
Another link you may be interested in checking out to learn more about science-based evidence for homeopathy is the following: In 2017, Dr. Iris Bell, M.D., Ph.D., and her colleagues catalogued over 6000 pieces of homeopathic research including many RCT’s (randomized, double blinded, controlled studies). Here is the link: https://homeopathyusa.org/uploads/Homeopathy-Research-Evidence-Base-05-15-2019.pdf
We have sadly NOT learned our lesson over the last 100 years since the pandemic flu of 1918:
The Spanish flu of the 1918 killed close to 50 million people worldwide. MDs in the US who practiced homeopathy (close to 20% of all the MDs in the U.S. at that time, surprised to read this?!) had a fatality rate among their patients of 1-2% while MDs who did not practice homeopathy lost nearly 50% of their patients. Refer to the book “The Homeopathic Treatment of Influenza” (Special Bird Flu Edition) by Sandra Perko, PhD for a detailed history of how American MDs who used homeopathy in their practices faired during the pandemic Spanish Flu of 1918. In the section titled “Homeopathy and Influenza”, on pages 103-108, you will find a list of medical doctors from numerous cities in the U.S. who treated their flu patients using homeopathic remedies, the names of the specific remedies they used, how many patients with the Spanish flu they treated, and how many of them survived.
For example, Dr. C.P. Bryant, MD, from Seattle, WA says: “I treated over 100 cases of influenza and pneumonia, lost two cases, one who had taken Aspirin for a week when pneumonia developed before I was called; the other a very malignant case with very high temperature from the onset. Remedies: Gelsemium, Eupatorium, Bryonia, etc.”
What have we learned about how to effectively deal with a viral pandemic since then? Frankly, it seems to me we have clearly not learned our lesson. Fortunately, we have methods of prevention such as vaccination that do demonstrate some level of efficacy, but we have no real treatments for viral epidemic outbreaks! The chaos and fear clearly demonstrate lack of readiness and confidence in combating this viral pandemic, doesn’t it?!
Reading various medical books and journal articles from the past and learning about how successful homeopathic practitioners (all of whom back then were medical doctors) throughout the world were in preventing as well as treating epidemics leaves the reader wondering what happened… why don’t we use homeopathy more extensively in our world? During this present epidemic, as a species I suggest that we take a closer and fresh look at homeopathy once again.
Advantages of homeopathy over allopathy (conventional medicine):
As I mentioned in my AANP talk as well as in my December blog on epidemics, homeopathy has numerous advantages of over allopathy:
-Patients can help themselves with these home remedies anywhere; They not need to go to a clinic to be treated.
-You can purchase the remedies without a prescription which is critical when the medical community is overwhelmed by the increasing number of ill patients at hospitals or private clinics.
-No patient testing is needed in order to find the appropriate homeopathic remedy.
-Homeopathic remedies are incredibly safe because they do not contain chemicals.
-We will never run out of homeopathic remedies since they can be diluted. In fact, diluting them makes them stronger! As crazy as it sounds, one bottle of a homeopathic remedy can save a city!
-The remedies start working immediately in the body. Note that vaccines need time to “take” in the body (for the immunoglobulins to be formed), not to mention that vaccines need time to be manufactured. Again, we certainly should welcome effective vaccines if/when available. However, we should be open to alternative ideas while we are waiting.
-Homeopathic remedies are inexpensive, therefore, available for the masses.
-Patients can help themselves, their families, their neighbors, their community, their city, etc. Once patients are told by homeopaths what remedy to use, and how to use it, they can disseminate this information to everyone they know. Therefore, in a short period of time a city can heal itself!
-Consider the possibility of concurrent epidemics and the need to administer various vaccines. How many types of vaccines would we need to address these epidemics sufficiently? What are the potential implications for children and pregnant women? With homeopathic remedies, we can tackle multiple diseases simultaneously, without significant concern for interactions among the different remedies taken by the patient. Of course, this takes skill on the part of the practitioner. Avoid treating yourself during a serious illness- always consult with a homeopath. Becoming proficient in homeopathy takes years of study and experience.
-Homeopathic remedies can be taken without any concern for interactions with patients’ pharmaceutical medications. There are no negative drug-remedy interactions. Yes, some drugs can make remedies not work as well, but for all practical purposes, you CAN take both drugs and remedies at the same time.
-Homeopathic remedies take a few different forms. They are typically made of sugar and come in pellet form. These pellets are made of sugar, and they dissolve easily in the patient’s mouth. They do not need to be swallowed, and therefore, anyone (including infants) can easily take them.
-What if the virus adapts and changes? Coming up with another suitable vaccine for the new form of the virus can potentially take many more months to years. Choosing an appropriate remedy, as always, will be a much quicker process. Again, homeopaths treat patients, not diseases. Remedies are prescribed based on the patient’s signs and symptoms, and we are not limited to the results of a test to guide our treatment.
Lifestyle, dietary suggestions, and supplement recommendations for boosting your immune system:
Do not be afraid and do not panic over COVID-19 or any other epidemic outbreak! The emotion of fear is detrimental to the immune system. Leave your worries behind, and trust in God, no matter what. Get plenty of sleep every night. Minimize stress in your life. Exercise regularly, or at least walk a little (a minimum of 15-20 minutes) daily. Eat healthy, whole and nutrient rich foods. Add generous portions of onions and garlic to your meals. Avoid sugar and processed foods. Eliminate or greatly reduce your consumption of alcohol. Drink plenty of purified water.
Taking supplements that boost the immune system is a great idea. The herb Elderberry is well-known for its immune boosting properties – Take it in any form you can find. I also recommend taking a high-quality multivitamin/multimineral supplement. Additionally, take vitamin A (minimum 1000 units a day- too much can be toxic!), Vitamin C (500-1000 mg a day), Vitamin D (1000-2000 units a day), and zinc (25 mg a day max).
Children should take a lesser dose than the above doses, depending on the age and size of the child. The rough rule is to divide the numbers above by 2. If you were to take these vitamins/minerals long-term (i.e. more than for a few months in a row), you should discuss the subject with your doctor as you can overdose on some of these nutrients. For instance, too much Vitamin A can be toxic to the liver, or prolonged use of zinc without copper can be disruptive to the nervous system. Speaking of zinc, it’s a good idea to take it with food since it can cause nausea on an empty stomach.
Note: You should discuss the type and the dose of all your supplements with a licensed physician since each person’s health status and needs is unique.
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19:
Based on the data available to us so far, the following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the COVID-19 virus: Fever (or feeling of heat or warmth in the body), a dry cough (and/or sensation of dryness in the nose, mouth, throat, bronchi, and lungs) and shortness of breath (or sensation of heaviness on the chest). Additionally, based on my research so far, often the patient appears to develop a higher level of thirst for liquids than what is normal for them, thirsty for either cold or warm/hot water, depending on the case. Often the mood of the patient with COVID-19 changes as well. These mood alterations are significant to a homeopath, and remedy selection can in some cases be contingent on whether the patient is crabby, restless, or anxious. For instance, patients that need the remedy Bryonia are often very irritable and mad- they want to be left alone and do not want to move at all since consolation and movement make their symptoms worse! Other patients who have a different emotional state, say the need to move around and seek consolation, will likely require remedies other than Bryonia.
The main three known COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath are what we call “general symptoms,” as opposed to “individualizing or characteristic symptoms.” In homeopathy, we need to have characteristic symptoms for EACH and every patient to potentially set their condition apart from others with similar general symptoms. For example, is the COVID-19 patient’s general symptom of a dry cough better with a warm drink versus a cold drink (a factor that most conventional doctors will likely not be paying any attention to)?
The answer to this simple question turns a general symptom of a “dry” cough into a characteristic symptom of a “dry cough, better with drinking cold water or hot water.” Homeopaths then use the specific or characteristic symptom to decide between two remedies, say Sulphur versus Lycopodium. A patient that needs the homeopathic remedy Sulphur may crave cold drinks, but a patient that needs the homeopathic remedy Lycopodium may crave warm/hot drinks. In homeopathy, we also look at SRP (Strange, Rare, and Peculiar) symptoms. SRPs, as the name implies, are unusual or weird symptoms that don’t really make sense to most of us.
The more characteristic and SRP symptoms are gathered globally from patients with the COVID-19 infection, the higher the confidence level of our homeopathic community will be in the potential uses of specific remedies for this condition. More on this later.
Distinguishing between COVID-19 patients and patients with other viral infections that are presently in our world does take skill. Therefore, you should discuss your symptoms with a healthcare professional. Not everyone with a cough and/or fever has COVID-19. They could be experiencing allergies, bronchitis, bacterial pneumonia, influenza, etc. To make matters more complicated, according to recent findings, COVID-19 can at times present like the common cold.
Testing/detection, is it necessary?
We need to have patients tested for epidemiological reasons. Testing provides valuable information on how the disease outbreak is disseminating and migrating throughout the world & how social distancing & quarantines play a role in its evolution. Testing is also extremely important to homeopaths so that we know what we HAVE treated (perhaps even after the fact), but not so much what we ARE treating. Let me explain: Homeopathic practitioners prescribe remedies based on the patient’s unique signs and symptoms, and do NOT rely solely on the results of a test to help us select the appropriate remedy. Often in a homeopathic practice, the patient recovers from a condition swiftly, and the homeopath may not even know exactly the name of the pathogen (bacteria or virus, etc.) that was ailing the patient!
Do we have to wait until the patient has full-blown illness prior to helping manage their sign(s) and/or symptom(s) of an acute condition using homeopathic remedies?
The answer is no. We can start our attempts to help boost our patients’ immune system as soon as they begin developing symptoms- we do NOT have to wait until the patient has a full-blown case of any acute infection or any other disease for that matter.
For instance, if we see a patient with early symptoms of a cold, including only mild nasal congestion and fatigue with no other signs or symptoms, homeopaths might prescribe the remedy Aconite. This remedy happens to be helpful for fear and hysteria.
Homeopathic management of COVID-19?
In each epidemic/pandemic outbreak, there are usually a few homeopathic remedies that seem to be effective in treating the condition at hand. These top remedy(ies) for the epidemic is(are) called the GE (Genus Epidemicus). In other words, the Genus Epidemicus may be one or a few different remedies. Based on my research, it looks like in each pandemic you could end up with one or a couple of remedies being the top remedy(ies) in one continent and possibly another remedy or a couple of remedies being the top remedy(ies) in another continent. This is important to remember. The GE is arrived at by consensus of practicing homeopaths worldwide. Stay tuned to learn what the final GE remedy (or remedies) for this pandemic may be. Although a few remedies appear to be helpful for managing the signs/symptoms of COVID-19, the homeopathic community has not yet arrived at the definitive GE for COVID-19.
I strongly advise against self-treating with homeopathic remedies when dealing with a serious illness, including a pandemic outbreak. It can be extremely challenging to find the correct remedy without extensive knowledge and experience in homeopathy. Consulting with an experienced homeopath is invariably the best choice when deciding on a remedy.
It’s noteworthy that sometimes in epidemics, to recover from the illness fully, the patient might need more than one remedy. Additionally, just as notable is that the epidemic itself evolves, and as it does so, the SAME epidemic might require different remedies through its course.
There are numerous remedies that various homeopaths throughout the world have been offering lately as potentially useful for helping manage the signs and symptoms of the COVID-19. Homeopathy does not have any remedies for any specific condition (including the COVID-19), per se. That’s not how homeopathy works. In homeopathy, we have remedies for people, not for conditions. Homeopaths are NOT claiming that they have remedies for prevention or treatment, per se, for COVID-19. And, no therapy, including homeopathy, is 100% effective. And what’s critical to note here is that in homeopathy, we always want to individualize the treatment, meaning find a remedy that matches the patient’s signs and symptoms entirely as opposed to settling with a generic remedy for everyone affected by the same illness. Deciding which remedy to take requires a significant amount of knowledge and practical experience in homeopathy. Therefore, you need to consult with a homeopath to select the best choice. Note that as we learn more about COVID-19, the homeopathic community will be more confident in the remedy selection(s), and the remedies above might change, at least in order of priority; and new ones might come into the picture while some might fall out. To make matters more complicated, viruses mutate, and as they mutate, we might need a different set of remedies. THIS IS CRITICAL TO KEEP IN MIND.
NOTE: You cannot and should not use these remedies randomly or take them all in one mouthful, hoping for the right remedy to work! That is not how homeopathy works.
What is “one” dose of a remedy, homeopathically speaking? How does one TAKE one dose of a homeopathic remedy?
One dose of a remedy is one “exposure” to the remedy in either pill or liquid form (water or alcohol-based solutions). If the remedy is in pill form, you should let one pill dissolve in your mouth, and avoid eating/drinking for at least 10 minutes afterwards. If the remedy is in liquid form, then a drop or a sip is considered one dose. In homeopathy, it is not the amount of the medicine you take that matters but the frequency with which it is taken.
As a general rule, if using homeopathic remedies in pill form, one pill or several pills barely makes a difference. Similarly, if using homeopathic remedies in liquid form, then one drop versus several drops barely makes a difference.
For sensitive patients, there might be a subtle difference between 1 pill (or 1 drop) versus 3-4 pills (or 3-4 drops). In most cases, if shortage is not a concern, I tell patients to take 2-3 pills (or 1 sip) each time they take a dose. Make sure to follow your homeopath’s prescription.
Basic rules for potency and frequency selection of homeopathic remedies:
In homeopathy, each remedy is made in a variety of potencies, starting with the weakest potency of 6c (although the remedies come in even less potent versions than 6c, but their use is extremely uncommon in clinical practice), moving up to 12c, 30c, 200c, 1M, 10M, etc. Most health food stores carry the 6c and the 30c potencies. Again, 30c is stronger than 6c. Dr. Robin Murphy, ND, an internationally known homeopath, recommends the 30c or 200c potencies to address acute and more serious conditions. For more chronic and less acutely serious conditions, he recommends lower potencies of 12c or even lower such as 6c. Note, however, that the most MPORTANT rule in potency selection is that you use whatever potency you have available to you!
Note: The following is not a prescription, just a few guidelines I share with my patients for prescribing homeopathic remedies in general, not specific for the COVID-19 per se.
There are three main steps in prescribing: 1) Choosing the correct remedy, 2) Deciding on the best potency, and 3) Deciding on a reasonable frequency of use for the remedy. Selecting the remedy definitely requires much skill and experience. Potency and frequency selection is not as complicated as remedy selection, but it can definitely be challenging for non-professionals. Helping you with the above three steps requires years of homeopathic experience, and that is why I highly recommend that you avoid self-prescribing. You must consult with a homeopathic practitioner if acutely ill with anything that could even remotely be COVID-19 or any other serious condition.
Regarding potency and frequency selection, I offer the following basic guidelines for my patients:
First, the frequency of use of the remedy depends on the severity of the condition and the potency of the remedy you have available to you. The more severe the illness, the more often you take the remedy. And, the weaker the potency of the remedy, the more often you take it.
-If the patient has mild or moderate symptoms, getting “exposed” to the remedy in the 30c potency (i.e. taking a sip of the remedy or taking one pill of the remedy) 2-3 times in 24 hours is usually sufficient. And, if 200c potency, then you would take it 1-2 times in 24 hours.
-If the patient has severe symptoms, then she likely should be exposed to the remedy more often. 3-4 times in 24 hours if in 30c potency. And, if in 200c potency, then 2-3 times in 24 hours.
Second, AS THE PATIENT’S CONDITION IMPROVES, YOU LESSEN THE FREQUENCY. For example, if you start out taking it 3-4 times a day, as the patient improves, you reduce the frequency to 2-3 times a day, then 1-2 times a day, then reducing to once a day until well.
Third, regardless of the potency of the remedy, THE MAGIC RULE IN ALL BRANCHES OF MEDICINE IS TAKE THE
MEDICINE AS NEEDED. “As needed” means repeat the remedy when the positive effects of it are beginning to wear off. It might be difficult to know when you “need” to take a remedy. You need to learn to listen to your body- your body often tells you. Unfortunately, most of us don’t know how to listen to our body’s cues. This is yet another reason to set up a virtual visit with your homeopath so that he/she can monitor your progress and make recommendations accordingly.
Does anything antidote homeopathic remedies?
Yes, coffee in any form (not caffeine), smoking marijuana (not the topical forms), and strongly smelling substances (such as camphor and menthol found in Vicks, or even some essential oils) can antidote homeopathic remedies. Therefore, while you are under homeopathic care, you need to avoid the consumption of, or any exposure to, the items mentioned above. If you happen to use any of these substances, then your homeopathic remedy will either not work at all or most likely need to be taken more frequently. I would advise you to avoid the risk of antidoting your remedy and to simply refrain from using the above items.
Essential oils are powerful medicines and can help combat a variety of pathogenic germs. However, when it comes to epidemics/pandemics, I would most definitely advise you to utilize homeopathic remedies over all other natural therapies as homeopaths have over 200 years of rich history demonstrating the effectiveness of their remedies during epidemics. Therefore, if you happen to be an essential oil fan, and would also like to use homeopathic remedies to address an acute condition of any kind, you would have to temporarily (i.e. for as long as you are under homeopathic care) stop using the oils, at least avoid inhaling them. Their internal (i.e. oral) use in pill form (versus drop form) may be OK.
Does the number of pills you take count in homeopathy?
The answer is for the most part NO. What matters in homeopathy is NOT the number of pills, but the potency and frequency of use of the remedy. In other words, whether you take one or five or fifty pills in ONE setting does not make much of a difference. Note however that homeopathic pills come in different sizes. If the size is so small that you can barely see the pills (as in the case with remedies made by Natural Health Supply), then I would recommend using 2-3 pills as “one dose” (i.e. in one setting). If the pills are larger (as in the case with remedies made by Boiron or Hahnemann laboratories) and you can rather easily see the pills, then I would suggest that you consider one pill as one dose. This recommendation is not set in stone, just my personal preference in dosing these tiny pills. Many manufacturers indicate on the bottle to take so many pills so many times a day. Those instructions are generic instructions, and are not meant to apply to all circumstances. Most companies recommend using 5 pills three times a day on many of their products. I would recommend talking to a homeopath about the subject of frequency and potency selection of your remedy, assuming you have the correct remedy on hand. Remember that you should not eat or drink anything for at least 5-10 minutes AFTER using the remedy.
What to expect from homeopathic remedies in general during acute conditions?
What you can expect from homeopathic remedies depends on whether you are treating an acute or chronic condition. It also depends on the severity of the condition and the overall health of the patient. However, the following guidelines should be helpful to you if you are acutely ill and are undergoing homeopathic care.
“After taking my homeopathic remedy, what should I be looking for?” This is one of the top questions my patients ask me when I offer homeopathic treatments (or any treatments for that matter) for their conditions, acute or chronic. When treating an acute illness (as opposed to a chronic illness), what you can expect from a homeopathic remedy is noticeable or discernable improvement in regard to at least one, ideally multiple, signs or symptoms in your body WITHIN A FEW HOURS of taking a remedy. Then, every few hours that passes you should be able to continue to recognize a gradual incline upward in your overall health. Certainly in 12-24 hours after initially taking a homeopathic remedy you should definitely be feeling better. Otherwise, it’s extremely unlikely that you are taking the correct remedy. As you heal, each symptom should have less of a hold on you. Some symptoms might move out of your body faster than others, but they all should gradually soften up their grip on you and leave your body one after another.
If you start out in acute distress, the correct remedy should provide rather immediate positive changes in your state (at least with 1-2 symptoms), especially if the potency is higher such as 200c or above.
IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that one dose of a remedy (especially at the 30c potency, and especially for a significant virus) is NOT going to do miracles in one day! You might have to take a remedy multiple times a day to experience significant positive changes EVEN IF you have the correct remedy. You should be looking for gradual but for sure positive discernable changes with good homeopathic care. Also remember that homeopathic remedies are meant to simply boost your overall health so that your own body can combat the disease, and this is a process, not a sudden occurrence. If your health is not moving in right direction after a few hours, you should discuss this with your homeopath. This is especially important if you are in acute distress.
Homeopathic management of a serious condition in a seriously ill patient should never replace conventional medical intervention. If you are having serious difficulty breathing or any other sign/symptom of a serious nature, you should refer to a hospital or urgent care facility or call 911.
What if you develop new symptoms after taking a homeopathic remedy?
Deciding whether a new symptom is a bad thing or not requires familiarity with natural healing modalities such as homeopathy or acupuncture. For instance, if you have pneumonia and undergo proper homeopathic care, you might develop nasal mucous (i.e. your nose might start running). This is a good sign! This means all the “toxins” are moving up and out of your lungs.
And sometimes coincidentally you develop a new symptom after using a homeopathic remedy. As you can see, if you have a new symptom after taking a homeopathic remedy, you truly need a skilled physician to sift through all the possibilities and help decide what is going on.
How to report your progress to your homeopath:
You should first of all have realistic expectations from the remedy so that your reporting is fair and just. For example, if even 1-2 symptoms improve by 10-20% within a few hours, please don’t say “not much has changed”. If you do, that would imply that the remedy potentially did not do anything, and this may confuse your homeopath. EACH and EVERY TIME you communicate with your homeopath in EVERY email or other form of communication such as over the phone/Skype, report EXACTLY WHAT REMEDY YOU TOOK, WHAT POTENCY, AND WHAT CHANGES YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED AFTER TAKING THE REMEDY, within hours to days. Be extremely CLEAR in your reporting. I like my patients to tell me something like: After taking the remedy X in the potency Y, I have experienced the following:
Symptom #1 (say my cough) has improved slightly or moderately or a lot or none. Or symptom #1 was such and such BEFORE taking the remedy, and now AFTER taking the remedy, that symptom has changed as follows…
Symptom #2 (say my headache) has improved slightly or moderately or a lot or none.
Symptom #3 (say my shortness of breath) has improved slightly or moderately or a lot or none.
Overall, I have improved slightly or moderately or a lot or none.
For example, you could say “I had the following symptoms, and here is my progress report:
Symptom #1) I had a dry cough that hurt my chest 9/10 BEFORE taking the remedy. And, now, 6 hours AFTER taking the remedy, my dry cough has improved moderately, and hurts my chest 5/10. And, then later on 24 hours AFTER taking the remedy, my dry cough is 80% better.
Symptom #2) I had a severe headache that hurt 9/10 BEFORE taking the remedy. And, now, 2 hours AFTER taking the remedy, the headache is mildly better, say 7/10. Etc. Etc.
Finally, please include a sentence in your report indicating how you felt OVERALL AFTER EACH DOSE of taking the remedy. Does the remedy seem like the right fit for you? If you can’t tell if the remedy is helping you overall or not, then you can report just that. Having this information is very important for us homeopaths to decide whether we are on track or not. Even if the symptoms are not improving rapidly, the correct homeopathic remedy should at least result in 1) minimal symptom relief AND 2) an overall sense of wellbeing.
Using the word “STILL” in your reporting is not constructive for our purposes of information gathering. So, please don’t report that you are “STILL feeling this or that symptom”! Instead, describe HOW your symptom(s) has/have changed over time. The word “STILL” is often not helpful in tracking how the patient is progressing. It implies NO change when there MIGHT BE positive improvements in the case, which is essential to know in order to decide whether we should stick with the existing plan or change course.
What about homeopathic prevention of epidemics?
Once we know the Genus Epidemicus (the top remedy or few remedies) for the COVID-19, we can not only utilize that remedy during an active epidemic outbreak but also use it preventatively by dosing it periodically. The periodic use of the GE can help boost the immune system, helping us prevent the illness from manifesting symptoms.
The frequency of use of a homeopathic remedy for prevention of any illness changes depending on the possibility of exposure and the potency of the remedy you have available to you.
If the possibility of exposure to the virus is very mild (example: people in a different city nearby have it), once a week is a good frequency. This is with either 30c or 200c. If the possibility is moderately higher (example: people in your neighborhood or city have it), then twice a week for 30c and still once a week for 200c. And, if the possibility is extremely high (example: someone in your family has it), then probably three times a week for 30c and twice a week for 200c.
All of this MUST be discussed with your homeopath as we believe in individualized care, not generic care. Note that other homeopaths might have slightly different suggestions. My training is in classical homeopathy, and these guidelines are based on years of experience as a homeopath.
Can you take remedies too often? And, what will happen if you do so?
Yes. IF YOU TAKE HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES TOO OFTEN, THEY WON’T WORK IN YOUR BODY WHEN YOU DO NEED THEM TO WORK! THIS IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TO REALIZE. Therefore, I urge you not to take a remedy too often. You cannot decrease the likelihood of contracting an illness by overusing a remedy, regardless of its indication. That is not how homeopathy works. It may seem counterintuitive, but less truly is better in this branch of medicine. However, there is also such a thing as “not enough.” Yet another reason to discuss your case with a licensed homeopath.
Note that if you take a remedy too often, you don’t have to worry about OD’ing since there are no active chemicals in homeopathic remedies.
HP (Homeoprophylaxis) … what does it mean and is that an option for COVID-19?
The use of a homeopathic remedy (usually a “nosode” prepared from an ill patient’s bodily discharges or the pathogen itself) to help prevent an illness is referred to as HP (homeoprophylaxis). HP in the world of homeopathy is similar to vaccines in allopathy. Unfortunately, the nosode for Covid-19 is NOT yet available. However, there are various nosodes that are for flus that manifest similarly as COVID-19. However, the subject of how to potentially use nosodes to help prevent COVID-19 is beyond the scope of this blog. It’s always better to use a specific homeopathic remedy (if it’s known) to boost the immune system and as such prevent an epidemic outbreak in the population at large versus using the nosode for that illness (or worse yet nosodes for similar diseases to the present outbreak). The nosode for a disease is too generic for everyone in the population to benefit from and definitely, not as specific as a homeopathic remedy tailored individually for the patient. Many classical homeopaths don’t even believe in the idea of using a nosode for the prevention of a disease- they believe the main way, homeopathically speaking, to combat an illness is to find a specific homeopathic remedy that captures the totality of symptoms in the person, and ideally in the population at large (i.e. the GE- genus epidemicus). However, as mentioned earlier in this article, HP interventions have been initiated & studied at a governmental level in various countries, including India, Cuba, and Brazil. (Refer to the article titled “Large Scale Homeoprophylaxis: Results of Brief and Long-Term Interventions, Isaac Golden, Ph.D., AJHM 112-1 Spring 2019” mentioned earlier in this article.) The results of these efforts demonstrated an impressive level of efficacy, and I believe that we can use HP as a bridging device until an effective vaccine is produced, which unfortunately could be a long time.
I acknowledge that what I am revealing here is a charged and controversial subject even among homeopaths, let alone the conventional medical community. I’d like to bring your attention, however, to a noteworthy article published on March 13, 2020 by John Hopkins University, titled Antibodies From COVID-19 Survivors Could Be Used To Treat Patients, Protect Those At Risk. This article demonstrates how “infusions of antibody-laden blood have been used with reported success in prior outbreaks, including the SARS epidemic and the 1918 flu pandemic.” You can read this article through the link Antibodies from COVID-19 survivors could be used to treat patients, protect those at risk. Notice the technique referred to in this article sounds similar to the concept of nosodes. Considering the successful HP studies throughout the countries mentioned above, I would highly recommend that our conventional medical colleagues seriously consider the idea of coming up with the nosode for COVID-19 and approving its use at a national level. Nosodes are similar to vaccines, but they are quick, inexpensive, and safe. They are also exceptionally easy to make, distribute & administer.
Lastly, in this section, I would like to add that in the world of HP, there are “complex remedies” that may be of use in an epidemic. I am not an expert on this subject. However, these are the highlights of what I understand it to be: In the absence of a nosode for the present epidemic, we could combine a few nosodes from past similar diseases (with a high degree of similarity to the present epidemic) plus the top remedies thought to make up the Genus Epidemicus. These types of preparations are referred to as “complex remedies.” Classical homeopaths cringe at the thought of “complex remedies,” but in an epidemic, we should remain open to all possibilities. (A note to classical homeopaths: We could do “provings” on these complex remedies as if they were a single entity.)
What if you cannot find homeopathic remedies due to shortage?
Since homeopathic remedies have no active biochemical ingredients and are “vibrational” in nature, shortage of homeopathic remedies is never a problem since even a diluted version of the remedy is just as (if not more) effective than the physical pills. In theory, one pill of the correct remedy is sufficient for the whole family or the neighborhood. So, there is no need to panic in case you cannot get a hold of a full bottle of a remedy recommended by your homeopath. One pill is sufficient to treat yourself and your circle of friends and family. If you were to purchase a homeopathic remedy over-the-counter or through Amazon, please only purchase one bottle. Do not purchase multiple bottles of the same remedy as this will certainly cause a shortage of supplies. Let’s be thoughtful and courteous towards our fellow human beings during this stressful time.
How to make a limited supply of a homeopathic remedy last for your entire family/community?
In the chance that you only have a limited number of homeopathic pills, you can do the following to make your supply last indefinitely.
Alcohol/water dilution (Preferable over water only dilution – see below section):
Purchase a 1- or 2-ounce dropper bottle. If you use a 2-ounce bottle, clearly you will have more medicine for yourself and your family/community. If you don’t have a dropper bottle, I would suggest using another type of sealable container (perhaps a cup or a jar) to keep germs out of it. Add about 80% water and 20% alcohol to the dropper bottle. Alcohol is antimicrobial & will lengthen the shelf-life of your homeopathic water solution. Without it you’d likely only be able to use the medicine for a day or two. The liquid ingredients should be as pure & clean as you can manage. Ideally, use distilled water, but tap water will do if its inaccessible. There are three varieties of alcohol traditionally used for this type of preparation. Choose only one of the following for your solution: 190 proof Everclear is the best since this variation of Everclear is a highly pure and consumable form of alcohol. Vodka or Brandy are also acceptable to use for our purposes here. I would not use any alcohol that contains flavorings or botanical additives. For example, the ingredients in gin can interfere with homeopathic remedies & is therefore not appropriate to use in this solution. Similarly, wine has too many contaminants and is only 10-12% alcohol, making it an unsuitable form of alcohol for our purposes.
Once you have prepared your bottle of 20% alcohol (80% water) solution, add one, or ideally a few pills of the indicated remedy to the solution. Put the dropper in the bottle and close it tight. Tap this bottle firmly (or shake it) approximately 10 times. The process of tapping the bottle in homeopathy is called succession, and it is meant to make the remedy more potent- A critical step in making homeopathic remedies. Your medicine is now ready! Take 1-2 drops as needed. Taking any more per dose is a waste of medicine. In homeopathy, the amount of the medicine is immaterial, whether you take one drop or ten drops barely makes a difference. During acute conditions, the patient might need a dose every hour or so initially, and then every few hours as their health improves. The need for two consecutive doses is reduced as time goes on. Store this bottle in the refrigerator between doses and shake this bottle up a few times before each use. Don’t let the dropper touch the mouth of the patient, otherwise you will have to disinfect the dropper. Note: Once the patient feels totally well, he/she should rest for 24 hours in order to prevent the illness from relapsing.
Pure water dilution without any alcohol (Less preferable than the alcohol/water dilution- see above section):
If you don’t have any of the forms of alcohol discussed above or would rather not use alcohol for any reason, you have the option of just using water to dilute your remedy. Tap water is OK, but distilled or other purer forms of water are preferred. Fill a cup (ideally disposable) with water and drop one pill in it. Let it dissolve and then firmly tap the side of the cup approximately 10 times. The process of tapping the bottle in homeopathy is called succession, and it is meant to make the remedy stronger- A critical step in making homeopathic remedies. Take 1 2 drops (or a tsp) as needed. In homeopathy, it is not the amount of the medicine you take that matters but the frequency with which it is taken. A drop or a tsp barely makes a difference, but how often it is taken does. Make sure to follow your homeopath’s prescription. During acute conditions, the patient might need a dose every hour or so initially, and then every few hours as their health improves. The need for two consecutive doses is reduced as time goes on. Store this cup in the REFRIGERATOR between doses. This way the cup should last for many days. It’s a good idea to label the cup with the person’s name if there are multiple cups in use and stored in the same fridge. Note: Even a small amount, say 1/10 of the cup, of pure alcohol, would significantly reduce the risk of contamination if you were to use it for more than a few days in a row. Tap this cup a few times as firmly as possible without spilling it before each use. This action is very important since it reenergizes the remedy, thereby making it stronger, as strange as this sounds.
Note: If you happen to use a reusable cup & spoon as opposed to disposable ones, you will need to sanitize & heat treat them in a dishwasher. This step is necessary to 1) kill any germs 2) remove the homeopathic medicine off of these items.
Sharing your remedy with those outside your immediate family when you don’t have enough pills:
Once you have your water or alcohol solution made as instructed above, you can give some of this remedy solution to others in need. You can simply pour a small amount of the solution in a disposable cup, and fill up the rest with distilled water. Then, tap it firmly 10 times. This cup now has the same effect as your own cup, and is not any weaker just because you diluted it. In fact, it may be slightly stronger! Your neighbor can do the same with their cup and distribute more to others they know who are in need. Again, remember that with even a small amount of the different forms of alcohol mentioned above, the solution is much more likely to stay free of any form of contamination. If you do dispense your remedy solution to anyone, make sure you tell them to keep it in the refrigerator between doses, and tap the container firmly a few times before each dose. Additionally, instruct them on how to take it: a few drops or a tsp as needed. Finally, tell them how during acute conditions, the patient might need a dose every hour or so initially, and then every few hours as their health improves. The need for two consecutive doses is reduced as time goes on. Remember there are NO KNOWN METHODS OF PREVENTION OR TREATMENT FOR THE COVID-19 at this point in time, so please do not misinform people you are communicating with in this regard. Homeopathic remedies do NOT treat disease, they are meant to improve a person’s overall health and boost the immune system so that your body can naturally heal itself.
Remember that coffee in any form (not caffeine), smoking marijuana (not the topical forms), and strongly smelling substances (such as camphor and menthol found in Vicks, or even some essential oils) can antidote homeopathic remedies.
We offer virtual or telemedicine visits to our patients with acute symptoms:
We ask that you do NOT come into the office if you have any acute symptoms that resemble the common cold or the flu. Our office offers virtual visits (via phone, Skype, Zoom, etc.) to acutely ill patients. Please contact the front desk directly to schedule a virtual visit if you are interested. Most insurance providers provide Telemedicine visits. In case the office is closed for any reason, you can email me directly at DrSharif@DrSharif.com. We can always schedule an appointment remotely.
I would recommend printing this article and having the printout next to your home remedies for ease of access in case of an emergency.
RESOURCES ON EPIDEMICS/PANDEMICS AS WELL AS ON COVID-19:
WHO’s (World Health Organization) website: https://www.who.int (THE BEST RESOURCE ON WORLDWIDE EPIDEMICS SURVEILANCE)
CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) website: https://www.cdc.gov
CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy) has created a one-stop comprehensive compilation of the most current, authoritative information available on the novel coronavirus.
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/covid-19. Visit the Resource Center often, as the outbreak is constantly evolving. CIDRAP sends daily updates on ALL epidemics in the world.
You can subscribe to the CIDRAP website at: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu
A wonderful tool with the updated total number of COVID-19 patients in the world and the mortality rate:
A recent article published on March 13, 2020 by John Hopkins University, titled Antibodies From COVID-19 Survivors Could Be Used To Treat Patients, Protect Those At Risk. This article demonstrates how “infusions of antibody-laden blood have been used with reported success in prior outbreaks, including the SARS epidemic and the 1918 flu pandemic.” Notice the technique referred to in this article sounds similar to the concept of nosodes.
Link: Antibodies from COVID-19 survivors could be used to treat patients, protect those at risk.
Subscribe to Dr. Paul Herscu’s epidemics updates which come out regularly. I believe he has been writing one newsletter a week so far. Dr. Herscu also has a master’s degree in public health, and is extremely knowledgeable in the epidemiological aspect of epidemic diseases. Here is the link to the registration page:
Dr. Robin Murphy, ND, offered an extremely comprehensive and helpful webinar with a large number of homeopaths throughout the world attending the webinar a few weeks ago. Here is the link to the webinar:
A professionally written article on COVID-19 written recently on March 4, 2020 by Dr. Manisha & Dr. Manish Bhatia: Title of article: “Coronavirus Covid-19 – Analysis of symptoms from confirmed cases with an assessment of possible homeopathic remedies for treatment and prophylaxis”. Here is the link to the article:
A webinar titled “Boost Natural Immunity Homeopathically, for Circulating Viruses and Covid19”. Cilla is very active in the field of homeoprophylaxis. Here is the link to the webinar:
The book “Homeopathic Leaders in Pneumonia” by Dr. A. Pulford and Dr. D.T. Pulford. Both doctors were MDs.
The book “Leaders in Respiratory Organs” by Eugene Nash, MD; 1909 (Notice this book was written by a MD about 8 years prior to the pandemic flu of 1918)
•https://www.homeopathycenter.org (National Center for Homeopathy) Incredible website! Highly recommend their “find a remedy” menu item (in the Resources menu). Subscribe to their monthly newsletter.
•https://www.homeopathyusa.org (American Institute of Homeopathy, since 1844)
•https://homeopathyusa.org/uploads/Homeopathy-Research-Evidence-Base-05-15-2019.pdf (Homeopathy Research Evidence Base: References; Curated by Iris Bell M.D., Ph.D., Peter Gold and Mary Lou Sullivan)
Homeopathic Books on Epidemics & Pandemics:
•Kent’s Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy, Chapter 3 (all on epidemics)
•Dr. Murphy’s Clinical Repertory, 4rd Ed. (World class user friendly repertory)
•Dr. Robin Murphy’s Lotus Health Institute’s CD courses on 1) Epidemics, and 2) Fever and Infections. The epidemics course comes with a paperback book which is extremely useful.
•The World Traveller’s Manual of Homeopathy by Dr. Colin Lessell
•Homeopathy in Epidemic Diseases, Dr. Dorothy Shepherd, MD (1967, old epidemics)
•Homeopathy for Epidemics by Eileen Nauman, DHM (UK) (Much info on Ebola and BIOTERRORISM)
•The Homeopathic Treatment of Influenza by Sandra Perko, PhD (Incredible resource on the flu)
•Cholera and its Prevention and Homeopathic Therapeutics by Dr. Sarat Ghose
•Human Condition Critical by Dr. Luc De Schepper, MD,PhD, LicAc, DIHom (Great book on health & healing)
•Poisons that Heal by Dr. Eileen Nauman
•The Logic of Figures; Or Comparative Results of Homeopathic and Other Treatments by Thomas Bradford
Homeopathic Articles on Epidemics & Pandemics:
•“Large Scale Homeoprophylaxis: Results of Brief and Long-Term Interventions”, Isaac Golden, PhD, AJHM 112-1 Spring 2019
•“Large-Scale Application of Highly-Diluted Bacteria for Leptospirosis Epidemic Control”, Gustavo Bracho et al, Homeopathy 2010, 99 156-166
•“Homeopathy and Epidemics, Possible Approaches- What History Can Teach us”, by Gaby Rottler, The American Homeopath, 2006
•“Homeopathic Prophylaxis: Fact or Fiction”, by Todd Hoover, MD, JAIH Autumn 2001, Vol 94, No 3
•“Emerging Economies’ Need for Cheap, Efficient Health Care Makes Western Anti-Homeopathy Rhetoric Irrelevant”, by Lionel Milgrom, PhD Et al., The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine Vol 18, #7, 2012, pp 723-726.
•“Homeoprophylaxis as a Cure for Fear of Disease”, by Kate Birch, RSHom, CCH, and Cilla Whatcott, HD (RHom), CCH, The American Homeopath, 2013
•“Homeopathic Prevention and Management of Epidemic Diseases”, Jacobs J, Homeopathy, 2018 Aug, 107(3): 157-160
•“Advances in Integrative Nanomedicine for Improving Infectious Disease Treatment in Public Health”, Iris Bell et al, European Journal of Integrative Medicine 5 (2013) 126-140
•“Acute Intercurrent or Intermediate Remedies in Chronic Diseases” by Dr. Luc De Schepper, MD, PhD, LicAc, Chom., AJHM, Summer 2004
•“Lessons from a Century After the Flu Epidemic of 1918: How Conventional Medicine Killed Millions and How Homeopathic Medicines Saved Millions”, by Dana Ullman, MPH, CCH
•“Could Homeopathy Become An Alternative Therapy in Dengue Fever? An example of 10 Cases Studies”, Seema Mahesh, Mahesh Mallappa, George Vithoulkas
•“Lives Saved by Homeopathy in Epidemics and Pandemics”, by Nancy Malik & Iman Navab
•“Homeopathy During the Deadliest Epidemic Ever Recorded”, by Lisa Samet
•“Treatment of Epidemics with Homeopathy – A History”, by Julian Winston
•“Guidelines for Epidemic Management in Homeopathy”, by Dr. Anand.P.R., MD, and Dr. Dinesh.R.S, MD, Dr. Sreejith.S, MD, Dr. Mridula Gopinathan, MD