2009 Avril

The future of homeopathy , homeopathy for Epidemics, collective trauma and endemic diseases

de Harry van der Zee, MD
The Future of Homeopathy
Homeopathy for Epidemics, Collective Trauma and Endemic Diseases – Part 1

This article consists of three parts:
1. The History Of Homeopathy
2. Building On The Past
3. From Theory To Practice

The History of Homeopathy
Before discussing future ways of applying homeopathy on a world-wide scale it is interesting to go back in time to the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. In terms of public acknowledgment and scientific recognition as also in terms of clear and significant results was the period during which homeopathy was at its best. The reason for this is because homeopaths were using homeopathy’s best asset – the treatment of epidemics.

Genus epi - A remedy for a disease
Hahnemann himself already laid down the foundation for successful treatment of epidemic diseases. The rule is very simple:
• Take a good number of cases and put their symptoms together
• Include all disease specific symptoms
• Exclude all patient specific symptoms
• Select one or more remedies based on the disease totality

In the American Homeopath (1998 – ‘As If One Patient’) Greg Bedayn describes how Hahnemann discovered how to treat epidemic diseases:
• ‘In 1799 Hahnemann first applied the genus epi; the single homeopathic remedy to treat a similarly affected population, during a scarlet fever epidemic he treated in Königslutter, Germany. The story of how he accidentally discovered the genus epi is interesting: There was a large family that had members with scarlet fever.
Hahnemann noticed that one of the children who had been taking Belladonna for another reason did not have symptoms of scarlet fever. He discovered that by giving the other members of the family Belladonna, as a prophylactic, they did not get scarlet fever. Hahnemann concluded that a remedy that rapidly cures at the onset of an illness would be the best preventative.
This serendipitous discovery led Hahnemann into developing the principle of genus epi - where if one takes the symptom-totality from each person in a epidemic population and then puts those features together into one case, as if one person, and gives the indicated simillimum to the entire affected population - that it will cure.’

This approach, as Hahnemann found out, worked well. Bedayn continues:
• ‘The curative results of the genus epi were so positive during the epidemics in the ensuing decades that they not only cured the majority of those affected where nothing else had worked, but they also drew international acclaim towards homeopathy, the new, the rational, medicine. There is something intrinsically powerful about the success of homeopathy in curing large populations that is undeniably attractive to anyone gifted with the power of observation, and it was through these early cures with epidemics that Hahnemann was able to quickly and widely spread the word: Homeopathy. It was from his discovery of the genus epi that Hahnemann later developed his theory of miasms; the taints that color and shape all family trees, as representing the basis of chronic disease.’

Hahnemann later writes about the genus epi principle in his ‘Organon’ §101:
• ‘It is possible that a physician meeting with the first case of a certain epidemic should fail to perceive at once its perfect image, because every collective disease of this kind will not manifest the totality of its symptoms and character until several cases have been carefully observed. But after having observed one or two cases of this kind a physician may approach the true condition of the epidemic that he is enabled to construe a true characteristic image of the same and to discover the true hom remedy.’

Hahnemann broadens this general principle in §102, when he says the complete knowledge is only to be obtained in a perfect manner by observations of the affections of several patients of different bodily constitutions.

Using this as-if-one-person approach homeopaths impressed the medical establishment with their results. Here are a few quotes to illustrate this:
• Epidemics in general: “In epidemics the mortality per 100 patients is 1/2 to 1/8 in homeopathic hospitals compared to allopathic hospitals.” (Dr. Thomas L. Bradford's ‘The Logic of Figures ...’ (1900)
‘Homeopathy had become very popular in North America during its early years due to its amazing successes obtained by the "old guard" during the epidemics - epidemics of diphtheria, scarlet fever, cholera, malaria, yellow fever - especially yellow fever; the death rate for that was 55% when allopathic treatment was used, but less than 5% in cases with homeopathic treatment; and it was the same for cholera. It is here with the "old guard" that homeopathy obtained its golden letters.’ (‘From its Roots Upwards’, Interview with André Saine, N.D., D.H.A.N.P., Vienna January 1994.)
“Ever since Samuel Hahnemann homeopathy has time and again been able to successfully treat epidemics/pandemics with a small number of remedies.” (Stahl, Hadulla, Richter, AHZ 2006)
• Cholera in Europe: “In den Ja 1830 und 1831 wurden in Russland in den von Cholera ergriffenen Gouvernements Saratoff, Tambtoff und Twer 1270 Patienten homöopatisch behandelt: 1162 davon genasen, 108 starben... d Verhältnis dem Ergebnisse der homöopatische Behandlung der Cholera in Ungarn, Mähren und Wien fast ganz gleich ist.” (Gebhardt 1929) (Of 1270 Russian cholera patients treated with homeopathy only 108 died which is ± 8%)
“When in the year 1854 cholera came to Palermo 1513 soldiers fell ill ... Of these 902 were treated with allopathy of which 386 died, a bit more than 42%; 611 were treated with homeopathy, of which only 25, so almost 4%, died.” “In the abovementioned years cholera also visited the Caribbean, and on the ‘pearl’ of these islands, Barbados, 2113 people fell ill. Of the 346 treated with allopathy 154 died, but of the 1767 treated with homeopathy only 370.” (Gebhardt 1929)
• Cholera in USA: 3% of the cholera patients under homeopathic treatment died (Cincinnati 1849). Mortality rate of cholera patients under allopathic treatment was 40-70%.
• Spanish influenza: Homeopathic treatment of the Spanish influenza during the pandemic of 1914-1918 was effective (Isaac Golden, Vaccination & Homeoprophylaxis? A Review of Risks and Alternatives).
“Homeopathy has been used with great degree of success in influenza and other epidemics for 200 years … In 1918 flu pandemic homeopaths reported around 1% mortality in their cases, while conventional doctors were losing 30% of their patients.” (www.life.us/flu)
NB! The Spanish influenza virus we know now was an avian virus. ±40 million people died in just 18 months.
“Dr.TA McCann from Dayton, Ohio reported that 24,000 cases of flu treated allopathically had a mortality rate of 28.2% while 26,000 cases of flu treated homeopathically had a mortality rate of 1.05%. This last figure was supported by Dean W.A. Pearson of Philadelphia (Hahnemann College) who collected 26,795 cases of flu treated with homeopathy with the above result. Dr. Herbert A Roberts from Derby, CT, said that 30 physicians in Connecticut responded to his request for data. They reported 6,602 cases with 55 deaths, which is less than 1%.” (The Journal of the American Institute for Homeopathy, May 1921)
“The most severe epidemic of all time was the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918. Twenty percent of the entire world population was infected and 20-40 million people died. The epidemic was so devastating that the average lifespan in the United States was decreased by ten years. During this epidemic homeopathic medicines were used widely both for treatment and as prophylaxis. The average mortality under standard treatment ran from 2.5-10%, while 1% or fewer patients died under homeopathic treatment.” (Homeoprophylaxis Fact or Fiction - Todd Hoover MD)
• Yellow Fever in USA: The success of the homeopathic treatment of yellow fever was so great that the report of the United States Government's Board of Experts mentioned several homeopathic remedies, despite the aversion to homeopathy of some of its members. (Haris Coulter, ‘Divided legacy’). (Treated in allopathic hospitals the mortality was around 55% and homeopathy decimated that percentage!).
These are clearly impressive figures, certainly if we compare them with the results of contemporary studies. If homeopathy could come up with similar significant results in our time and age general acceptance might follow a lot easier.

Why is there such a huge difference in the outcome of old and new studies. One reason is that these old figures concern epidemics, whereas more recent studies mostly concern individualized treatment of chronic diseases. The great advantage of the homeopathic treatment of epidemics is that the individuality of the patient is not an issue, nor is the skills of individual homeopaths. Once a successful (group of) remedy(ies) is identified any homeopath will be successful. The case is a lot simpler and the skills of the homeopath have less influence on the results. Another reason why these amazing figures come forward from ancient records is that penicillin had not been discovered yet, so the means to treat epidemic diseases was largely absent in allopathic hospitals. And as we know from Hahnemann, a lot of what they did rather speed the process toward death.

What happened since 1918?
With the US taking the lead homeopathy went into a decline. Homeopathic hospitals were closed. The light of homeopathy was kept alive by smaller number of homeopaths, but many lost track of what we call Hahnemannian homeopathy and as a science little progress was made. This changed in the last decades of the 20th century. Homeopathy flourished again and especially in the treatment of chronic diseases and in the understanding of the materia medica great advances were made. Soon the materia medica started to expand, many new remedies were introduced, and new approaches to case analysis and materia medica research saw the light. We all know this because we are all in the middle of this development.

If we look at homeopathy today the use of the as-if-one-person approach for epidemic diseases is marginal. Partly because in the west epidemic diseases like those mentioned earlier hardly play a role anymore. If we however look at the state of health in the whole world we see that epidemics still influence and take the lives of millions. With people migrating as never before and with virologists warning for a new avian flu pandemic also the west has to bring back epidemics into its consciousness.

It has also become very clear that Big Pharma does not and will not have all the answers and actually creates many of the problems we are facing today. More and more virulent strains of bacteria and viruses are created as a result of the war against them. The WHO is aware of this and so should any doctor, but an alternative is not recognized because the alienation of the diseasing agent as an enemy that should be extinguished is deeply seated in mainstream medical philosophy.

The following parts are to follow in the next two editions of Interhomeopathy.
Part 2 Building On The Past
Part 3 From Theory To Practice

© Harry van der Zee 2009

Mots clés: Genus epidemicus, Greg Bedayn, Belladonna, Thomas L. Bradford, Gebhardt, Isaac Golden, Dr.TA McCann, Dean W.A. Pearson, Herbert A Roberts, Todd Hoover , Haris Coulter,

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