Homeoprophylaxis: Homeopathic Protection for Epidemic Diseases
Part A: Homeopathic Prevention of Meningococcal Disease
Homeoprophylaxis, or preventative homeopathy, is the use of homeopathic remedies for the protection of individuals, communities or populations against infectious disease. It has been used by professional and medically-trained homeopaths for over 200 years with reports of high rates of success during many of the world’s worst epidemics.
In this, part A of a three part article, we will look at two recent studies in which homeopathy has been successfully used during epidemics of meningococcal disease to protect large numbers of people.
Part B will examine other instances in which homeopathy has protected “at risk” populations from the effects of other epidemic diseases. It will also discuss Ph.D research in which homeoprophylaxis was shown to be a safe, effective and healthier option for disease protection.
Part C will examine some of the barriers that stop homeoprophylaxis from being a recognised option for disease protection in the Australian context and further afield.
Meningococcal Disease – Devastating and Deadly
Winter and early spring is meningococcal season. It is a particularly nasty disease with a rapid onset and high morbidity – approximately 10% – 20% of infections result in death.
A significant number of those who do survive lose fingers, toes or limbs or suffer brain damage, deafness, nervous systems disorders, liver or kidney failure, chronic fatigue, seizures, or strokes.
It can be caught at any stage of life but those most at risk are children under the age of five and young adults between 15-24 years.
The disease is spread by “carriers” through droplets on coughing or sneezing. Surprisingly, many of us could be responsible. The Meningococcal bacterium is present in the throat or nose of about 10% of us at any given time even though we remain symptom free.
While most people remain unaffected when exposed to this bacterium, some develop septicaemia (blood poisoning), meningitis (infection of the outer covering of the brain and spinal cord), or a combination of the two.
Early symptoms often feel like the onset of the flu with fever, irritability, stiff neck, headache, and joint and muscle pain. They then progress to vomiting, pale blotchy skin, drowsiness, or coma. Often, a rash of tiny red or purple spots appears that enlarges to look like a bruise.
Death can occur within 48 hours. Urgent medical attention is essential if infection is suspected.
What about the Current Vaccines?
There are 13 strains of Meningococcal disease but only two available vaccines.
One vaccine provides some protection against four of the strains but is only 55% effective in children between the ages of two to three and is ineffective in children under two years of age. Protection lasts for only two to three years.
The second vaccine provides longer protection and appears to be 92% effective in children but only against the ‘C’ strain.
There is no vaccine for the ‘B’ strain – the most common strain in Australia.
As with all vaccines, side effects do occur. Common symptoms include fever, swelling, irritability, loss of appetite, and headaches. Life threatening side effects are rare but have been reported.
Homeopathic Protection Against Meningococcal Disease
Knowing the seriousness of meningococcal disease and the lack of a complete vaccine against it, is there an another way of protection? Homoeopaths would say, “Yes – homoeopathic Meningococcinum.”
Unlike the current vaccines, Meningococcinum is being used for all strains of meningococcal disease.
While vaccines have to be matched to the individual strains of a disease, homeopathic prophylactics are matched to the disease symptoms and not the name.
Because symptoms are the same from one meningococcal strain to another, the one remedy is being used for all. For this reason, protection is possible for even the ‘B’ strain – the most common type which has no current vaccine.
Today, Meningococcinum (the name of the remedy for meningococcal disease) is frequently used to protect against this infection in some of the world’s poorest countries while those in the West remain largely unaware of it’s potential to help.
The Brazilian Experience
So how do we know that Meningococcinum works? To answer this question we will look at two recent, large-scale studies conducted in Brazil where meningococcal epidemics frequently occur.
In 1974, during an outbreak of meningococcal disease in Brazil, 18,640 children were protectd homeopathically against meningococcal infection, and 6,340 were not. The following results were obtained:
- 18,640 protected homeopathically – 4 cases of Meningococcal infection.
- 6,340 not protected – 32 cases of Meningococcal infection.
Based on the infection (attack) rate in the unprotected group, 94 cases of infection should have been expected in the homeopathically protected group. Instead, there were only four – the homeopathic option had been 95% effective against meningicoccal disease. 1
The results of the first study led to the Brazilian government funding a larger study in 1998. It was conducted by two Professors of Medicine from the University Foundation in Blumenau, Brazil, and a Blumenau specialist physician and Health City Secretary.
A total of 65,826 people between the ages of 0-20 were protected homeopathically against meningococcal disease while 23,532 were not. Over a 12 month period, the following results were obtained:
- 65,826 protected homeopathically – 4 cases of meningococcal infection.
- 23,532 not protected – 20 cases of meningococcal infection.
Based on the infection (attack) rate in the unprotected group, approximately 58 cases of infection should have been expected in the homeopathically protected group. Instead, there were only four.
Statistical analysis showed that the prophylactic gave 95% protection against the disease in the first six months and 91% protection over the year.2
Both of these studies used a 30C potency of Meningococcinum dispensed as one small sugar pill.
If the prophylactics had been given in higher potencies, and if more than one dose had been given, it is possible that a longer and increased rates of protection would have been achieved. This has certainly been the clinical experience elsewhere and is indicated by recent research in Australia.3
It is also interesting to note that the researchers of this study were at pains to point out that the use of Meningococcinum for protection against meningococcal disease was not a new development in Brazil. They have also provided another 10 references to their country’s use of prophylactics.
Benefits of Homeopathic protection
- All records show homeoprophylactics to be safe. Because homeopathy is an energetic system of medicine that prescribes remedies in sub-molecular form, poisonings, addictions, and other damaging side effects do not occur. Chemical interactions with other medicines cannot happen.
- Homeoprophylactics offer protection against diseases for which no vaccine exists. This has already been discussed with the example of the ‘B’ strain meningococci – the commonest strain.
- Homeoprophylactics offer protection when vaccines may be unsuitable, e.g. for those who have already had an adverse vaccine reaction; the malnourished; the sick or debilitated; the immune-compromised; the pregnant; those allergic to vaccine materials; and those on steroid medication. Homeoprophylaxis is safe for all these groups.
- No method of protection gives 100% protection but in recent Australian research, homeoprophylaxis provided 90.4% protection for childhood communicable diseases.4 (This research is discussed more fully in Part B). This figure is consistent with those from overseas studies on homeopathic protection. It also compares favourably with the 75-95% protection rates offered by vaccines.
- Homeoprophylactics are inexpensive. If distributed at cost, Meningococcinum, for example, could protect one person for one year against Meningococcal disease at a cost of cents rather than dollars. This would be a boon for poorer countries where the cost of vaccines places them out of reach for the majority of the population. It would also lead to significant savings in the healthcare budgets of more affluent nations that currently rely on the expense of vaccines for disease prevention.
- Homeoprophylactics are easily distributed and dispensed. One dose usually consists of a small medicated sugar pill that is dissolved in the mouth. They are pleasant for all ages and well tolerated. They do need needles and syringes, require refrigeration, or depend on teams of trained health workers for distribution.
- Homeopathic remedies are prepared from naturally occurring substances. For this reason they cannot be patented and their production or distribution cannot be restricted for profit or political gain.
Are There any Drawbacks?
None that I know of. As world famous violinist and conductor Sir Yehudi Menuhin said, “Homeopathy is one of the rare medical approaches which carries no penalties – only benefits.” In terms of disease prevention, that’s one of the best bits of news I have heard in a long time.
(To be continued in Part B of this article – Homeopathic protection in Other Epidemic Diseases. The use of homeopathic protection for other epidemic diseases will be examined plus recent Australian research regarding the effectiveness and health benefits of homeopathic protection will be discussed.)
Note: Homeoprophylaxis does not use vaccines, nor does it vaccinate. Vaccination is an entirely different process. All three terms are inaccurate if used in relation to homeoprophylaxis. )
1 Castro, D. & Nogueira, G. G. (1975). Use of the nosode Meningococcinum as a preventative against meningitis. Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, 1975 Dec 68 (4), 211-219.
2 Mroninski C, Adriano E & Mattos G. (1998/99) Meningococcinum: Its protective effect against Meningococcal disease, Homeopathic Links, Vol 14 Winter 2001, 230-234.
3 Golden, I. (2004) Homoeoprophylaxis – A Fifteen Year Clinical Study (A Statistical Review of the Efficacy and Safety of Long-Term Homoeoprophylaxis) Daylesford: Aurum Pty Ltd.
4 Golden, I. (2004) Homoeoprophylaxis – A Fifteen Year Clinical Study (A Statistical Review of the Efficacy and Safety of Long-Term Homoeoprophylaxis) Daylesford: Aurum Pty Ltd.
Answers to Reader Questions
1. Are you telling people not to vaccinate?
- Not at all BUT vaccines do have risks and are not appropriate for all. They can be contraindicated in those with severe illness, suppressed immune function, or a history of previous reactions. For these people, homeoprophylaxis offers a safer alternative. A sound decision on whether or not to vaccinate can only be made when all factors and information is taken into account.
2. I thought there was already a vaccine for meningococcal disease. Why would we need something else?
Only 2 types of meningococcal vaccines are available in Australia and neither protect against the meningococcal strain responsible for most infections in this country – meningococcal B. While one of the vaccines offers limited protection against 4 of the 13 meningococcal strains, the other vaccine, used for children, only protects against the C strain. In comparison, homeopathic Meningococcinum is used against all strains, including the more common and serious B strain.
3. Does our government know about this prophylactic and what is it doing about it?
The Australian government has been notified previously of the results of the Brazilian studies as have the Confederation of Meningitis Associations. No action was taken to advise their people and members of the results of the Brazilian studies.
4. What do the prophylactics look like and how do you take them?
Homeopathic prophylactics, as with all homeopathic remedies, are dispensed as either small, round sugar pills that dissolve in the mouth or bottles of bland-tasting liquid from which drop doses are given. The pleasant taste of the remedies means they are easy to use with babies and children.
The images below show how all homeopathic pills can be taken. Just tip a pilule from the container into its cap and then tip the pilule from the cap into the mouth where it can be either swallowed or allowed to dissolve. For babies, the pilule can be first dissolved in a little water and then placed into the mouth by a dropper or teaspoon. All remedies should be given when the mouth is free of other strong flavours.
5. My children have already had the meningococcal vaccine. Is there any point in giving them the homeopathic preventative?
In Australia, children are only vaccinated against the less common C strain of the meningococcal bacterium. There is no vaccine for the more common B strain. As homeopathic Meningococcinum protects against all strains, it would be sensible to consider its use for protection where none can be provided by a vaccine.
6. Will Meningococcinum react with, or cancel any benefits from vaccines already given?
No – there are no interactive effects between homeopathic prophylactics and vaccines. As no form of protection offers 100% protection, homeoprophylaxis may be used as a second line of defence for any vaccine that has already been given.
7. If a person already has meningococcal disease, is there anything homeopathy can do to treat it?
There are several homeopathic remedies for treating the symptoms of meningitis or encephalitis. One of the most often needed ones is homeopathic Belladonna.
If you decide not to protect homeopathically against meningococcal disease you may like to keep homeopathic Belladonna on hand. For the treatment of suspected meningococcal meningitis, give one dose of Belladonna 200C every half hour, reducing the frequency of doses as symptoms improve – this can happen rapidly. (There should be obvious improvement by 4 doses if the remedy is correct.)
At the same time seek urgent treatment from your nearest hospital or local doctor as time is of the essence. A homeopath should also be contacted to confirm that Belladonna is the most suitable homeopathic remedy for the symptoms being experienced.
Should it all be a false alarm, you can relax in the confidence that no harm will have been done by the remedy.
If the patient has suspected meningococcal septicaemia rather than meningitis, a number of other remedies apart from Belladonna may be more appropriate. Please contact your homeopath for assistance in this area while still seeking urgent help from your local hospital or doctor.
8. Where can I find more information on homeoprophylaxis?
Further information about homeopathic prophylaxis can be obtained from the Homeopathy Plus Clinic by clicking the Contact Us button on the left hand side of the page.