Homeopathy and the Treatment of Epidemics

Since its inception in 1796, homeopathy has been used in the treatments of epidemic diseases. For example, in 1815 Hahnemann treated 180 patients during a typhus outbreak in Leipzig. He lost only 2 patients. Homeopathy was used during the Asiatic Cholera epidemic in St. Petersburg. Hahnemann’s nephew, a homeopathic physician, wrote to Hahnemann about the epidemic. Hahnemann suggested 2-3 remedies that might be used for the various stages of the illness as well as sanitary measures to be implemented. Many lives were saved.

Perhaps the most famous success story of homeopathy and epidemics concerns the use of homeopathy during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919. Back then, there was no CDC, no governmental agency to record and transmit statistics. All we have are reports from individual doctors in various states across the US. Below is a reproduction of an article which appeared in The Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, May, 1921. In the article, W.A. Dewey, MD a homeopath from the University of Michigan, offers comments that he had gathered from his homeopathic colleagues about their experiences treating the Spanish Flu.

CLINICAL MEDICINE By David B. Jewett, M. D., Department Editor


 By W. A. Dewey, M. D., University of Michigan

 In a plant of 8,000 workers we had only one death. The patients were not drugged to death. Gelsemium was practically the only remedy used. We used no Aspirin and no vaccines. —Frank Wieland, M. D., Chicago. 

Absence of the customary drugging was also an element of the remarkable success in this plant.–Burton Haseltine, M, D., Chicago. 

 There is one drug which directly or indirectly was the cause of the loss of more lives than was influenza itself. You all know that drug. It claims to be Salicylic acid. Aspirin’s history has been printed. Today you don’t know what the sedative action of Salicylic acid is. It did harm in two ways. Its indirect action came through the fact that Aspirin was taken until prostration resulted and the patient developed pneumonia.—-Frank L. New ton, M, D., Somerville, Mass. 

 I did not lose a single case of influenza; my death rate in the pneumonias was 2.1%. The salycilates, including Aspirin and Quinine, were almost the sole standbys of the old school and it was a common thing to hear them speaking of losing 60% of their pneumonias.–Dudley A. Williams, M. D., Providence R. I. 

Three hundred and fifty cases and lost one, a neglected pneumonia that came to me after she had taken one hundred grains of Aspirin in twenty-four hours.–Cora Smith King, M. D., Washington, D. C. 

Dean W. A. Pearson of Philadelphia collected 26,795 cases of influenza treated by homeopathic physicians with a mortality of 1.05%, while the average old school mortality is 30%. 

My low death rate at Camp Lee was due entirely to the fact that I avoided the use of Aspirin absolutely. I was complimented by the chief medical officer as having the lowest death rate in the hospital. After the medical chief had noted the effect of Aspirin on the blood and the results which I was having in using Homeopathy he discouraged the use of Aspirin and the death rate came down very rapidly after that ruling. Carleton A. Harkness, M. D., Chicago. 

In Hahnemann Hospital of San Francisco, homeopathic remedies acted in a curative way while, with some other forms of treatment, the result was only palliative-Laura A. Hurd, M. D., San Francisco. 

Fifteen hundred cases were reported at the Homeopathic Medical Society of the District of Columbia with but fifteen deaths. Recoveries in the National Homeopathic Hospital were 100%0.E. F. Sappington, M, D., Philadelphia.

 I attended over one hundred cases without any fatalities. I never deviated from the homeopathic remedy. I never gave Aspirin. One case that was loaded with Aspirin before I saw him, referred to me from an old school physician, died. This epidemic should encourage us to renewed faith in Homeopathy, -G. H. Wright, M. D., Fores! Glen, Md. 

The German Aspirin has killed more people than the German bullets killed.-C. J. Loizeaux, M. D., Des Moines, Iowa. 

I remember Acetanilid in the epidemic of 1889 and its fatalities. In this epidemic I knew that Aspirin and the coal tar products would kill more people than the disease itself and it has so proved. One old school physician told me that he had gotten wise to the fact that Aspirin was killing his patients and that he had stopped using it and was relying on homeopathic and eclectic remedies.-E. B. Finney, M. D., Lincoln, Neb. 

Thirty physicians in Connecticut responded to my request for data. They reported 6,602 cases with 55 deaths, which is less than 1%. In the transport service I had 81 cases on the way over. All recovered and were landed. Every man received homeopathic treatment. One ship lost 31 on the way.-H. A. Roberts, M. D., Derby, Conn. 

Homeopathy saved patients with influenza and pneumonia, ill luck always followed the coal tar derivatives, Aspirin especially.-W. H. Hanchett, M. D., Omaha, Neb. 

Through the International Hahnemannian Association I have collected over 17,000 cases of influenza with a mortality of 4%. G. B. Stearns, M. D., New York. 

I had 300 cases and one death; one good homeopathic doctor had 275 cases and no deaths. I am health officer of my city. One old school man had 294 cases and reported 15 deaths. Aspirin and lodized lime were the remedies used by the old school.-H. H. Crum, M. D., Ithaca, N. Y. 

 I treated 455 cases of influenza and 26 cases of pneumonia with no deaths. Remedies: Gelsemium, Bryonia, Epis, etc.  T. G. Barnhill, M, D., Findlay, Ohio. 

The importance of homeopathic remedies has been emphasized ; 24 out of 42 cases who used vaccines had influenza and there were & cases of pneumonia–so vaccines as a prophylactic failed.-W. L. Love, M, D., Brooklyn. 

Eleven men reported 3,600 cases with 6 deaths. My records show 750 cases with one death. Gelsemium, Bryonia and Eupatorium were the remedies chiefly-F, A. Swartwout, M. D., Washington, D. C. 

The more Aspirin, Codein, Dobell’s solution and other extra homeopathic remedies used the slower the recovery.-James W. Ward, M. D., San Francisco. 

The mortality rate in a camp was for pneumonia 25.8%. The lieutenant in charge was persuaded to discontinue Aspirin, Digitalis and Quinine and the mortality dropped speedily to 15% with no medicine whatever. This was in one ward. Where upon it was ordered in other wards and the mortality dropped to 15% with no medicine.-W. A. Pearson, M. D., Philadelphia. 

I treated 618 cases and had 5 deaths. Three of these had had allopathic treatment.-R. S. Faris, M. D., Richmond, Va. 

One physician in a Pittsburgh hospital asked a nurse if she knew anything better than   what he was doing, because he was losing many cases. “Yes, Doctor, stop Aspirin and go down to a homeopathic pharmacy, and get homeopathic remedies.” The Doctor replied: “But that is Homeopathy.” “I know it, but the homeopathic doctors for whom I have nursed have not lost a single case,” W.F, Edmundson, M. D., Pittsburgh. 

It is a rare thing for pneumonia to develop if a good homeopathic physician is called during the first 24 hours of an attack of influenza. An appalling death rate comes from the baneful results of large doses of Aspirin, salicylates and opium preparations.-A. H. Grimmer, M. D., Chicago. 

Murphy, of Lansing, Michigan, treated 325 cases of influenza in a camp where the mortality had been 20%, while the mortality under his homeopathic treatment was less than 3%. W. H. Wilson, M. D., Chicago. 

I have treated 1,000 cases of influenza. I have the records to show my work. I have no losses. Please give all credit to Homeopathy and none to the Scotch-Irish-American!T. A. Mc Cann, A. D., Dayton, Ohio. 

In the month of October, 1918, I treated, in round numbers, 200 cases of influenza without a death.-W. R. Andrews, M, D., Mannington, W. Va. 

Dr. M. I. Boger of Portsmouth, N. H., treated 331 cases with 2 deaths.

Dr. G. G. Bascom of Lake Wilson, Minn., 300 cases with no deaths.-E. C. Price, M. D., Baltimore.  The word Homeopathy stands for so much that is good and true and useful in the medicinal therapy of the year of our Lord 1919.-0. S. Haines, M. D., Philadelphia. 

I have treated 267 cases of influenza. No deaths.-A. B. Hawes, M. D., Bridgewater, S. D. 

In one month treated 65 cases of influenza with one death and that in a tubercular case.-F. C. Thornhill, M. D., Alma, Mich. 

One of the principal druggists of Montreal told Dr, T. A. McCann that they had lost 900 patients from influenza. Being asked what drug they used most he replied that Aspirin was used more than all other drugs combined. The directions were to take a 5-grain tablet every three hours, but more took ten grains every three hours. Comment is unnecessary. 

Seventy-six cases developed in the Children’s Home without any complicating pneumonia or death. Most of the cases were on Bryonia and Gelsemium, which seemed to be successful in carrying them through to complete recovery.-). G. Dillon, M. D., Fargo, N. D. 

It has been my experience that Gelsemium was most always the first remedy and served the purpose well in early conditions. -E. B. Hooker, M. D., Hartford, Conn.

I had a package handed to me containing 1,000 Aspirin tab lets, which was 994 too many. I think I gave about a half dozen. I could find no place for it. My remedies were few. I almost invariably gave Gelsemium and Bryonia. I hardly ever lost a case if I got there first, unless the patient had been sent to a drug store and bought Aspirin, in which event I was likely to have a case of pneumonia on my hands .J. P. Huff, M. D., Olive Branch, Ky. 

Aspirin and the other coal tar products are condemned as causing great numbers of unnecessary deaths. The omnipresent Aspirin is the most pernicious drug of all. It beguiles by its quick action of relief of pain, a relief which is but meretricious. In several cases Aspirin weakened the heart, depressed the vital forces, increased the mortality in mild cases and made convalescence slower. In all cases it masks the symptoms and renders immeasurably more difficult the selection of the curative remedy. Apparently Aspirin bears no curative relation to any disease and it ought to be prohibited.-Guy Beckly Stearns, M. D., New York. 

One thousand eclectic physicians were asked to name the remedies most useful in influenza and in pneumonia. Over 75% named Aconite and Bryonia in pneumonia.-Lloyd Brothers, Cincinnati. 

Experimental research conducted in the Hygienic Laboratory, Washington, D. C., failed to show any evidence in favor of vaccine in pneumonia. “Imagine such a confession relative to our own well-tried remedies, Gelsemium, Rhus tox., Eupatorium, etc., whose indications are fixed, definite, unchangeable and permanent.” Homeopathic Recorder, October, 1920. 

In the Public Health service in New Mexico among the Mexican population chiefly Veratrum viride, Gelsemium and Bryonia were introduced and excellent results followed their use in influenza. No cases died under homeopathic medication. E. Fisher, M. D., Chicago. 

The reasons why children fared better than adults in the influenza epidemic were, first, they were seen earlier by the physician; second, they were not drugged with “sure cures” ; third, they were not filled up with Aspirin; fourth, they were put to bed; and fifth, they were given the proper remedy and had a fine chance. Dr. J. P. Cobb, Chicago. 

All of the people under my care who died of influenza had of their own accord taken Aspirin before I saw them.–W. P. Best, M. D., Indianapolis. 

There may be some hearts that can withstand Aspirin; there may be some hearts that can withstand influenza; but there are no hearts that can withstand both Aspirin and influenza.–Dr. Taylor, Philadelphia. 

Gelsemium does not depress the heart and is superior to Aspirin and other coal tar derivatives in all particulars for La Grippe.-J. A. Munk, M. D., Los Angeles. 

Many patients had been advised to take Aspirin as a prophylactic against influenza and influenza pneumonia. One lady had taken 240 grains in 48 hours. She was sent to the hospital diagnosed as scarlet fever because of the red spots on her body. Many cases who came to the hospital (Haynes Memorial) were filled up with Aspirin, Corlein, Morphine and Digitalis. Men in government work praised our hospital for its homeopathic treatment in influenza. They do not all agree, however, but they have a feeling in Boston that we have a wonderful treatment for influenza.-Samuel Clement, M. D., Boston.

During the “flu” period almost every victim got his Aspirin. Almost everybody believed in it because it relieved his distress and “couldn’t do him any harm.” The result was that thousands died who might have lived had they been willing to bear dis comfort for a little while. They died like flies around a plate of poison although “science” did all that could be done to “save” them.-A. F. Stevens, M. D., St. Louis. 

We treated over 300 cases of influenza among the members of the Student Army Training Corps with no deaths. Gelsemium, Bryonia and Ferum phosphoricum were the leading remedies. Only in those cases having had Aspirin was convalescence delayed and pneumonia produced.–C. B. Stouffer, M, D., Ann Arbor.

In some 150 cases treated in the first “Flu” epidemic Gelsemium and Bryonia were the chief remedies. Very few had pneumonia, none that I treated from the beginning. Only one died under my care, a man of sixty, having had asthma and brought into our Minnesota climate in the midst of a severe winter, a truly septic pneumonia. Wm. E. Leonard, M. D., Minneapolis.

I treated approximately 50 cases of influenza, had two pneumonias, one in a pregnant woman. All recovered. Remedies Gelsemium, Bryonia and Rhus, chiefly. Wm. Boericke, M. D., San Francisco. 

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.-C. P. Bryant, M. D., Seattle.

I treated approximately 500 cases which included much pneumonia, lost two cases; never used Aspirin nor permitted it to be used. Chief drugs used were Belladonna, Gelsemium, Sticta for the throat symptoms, Mercurius, Natrum muriaticum and Kali Muriaticum. A. B. Palmer, M. D., Seattle. 

One can click here to view a Power Point presentation on homeopathy and epidemics. For those who use homeopathy for their healthcare, none of this will come as a surprise. To the skeptics – well they will be skeptical and no historical analysis will satisfy them.

We are faced now with another pandemic. There is much speculation on the Internet and on various email lists. The truth is, until we have near universal testing capacity, homeopaths will not be able to prove that what they have been treating is this novel corona virus. When homeopathic physicians around the world have free and easy access to test kits, we will be able to report which remedies have been found curative for symptomatic patients. I very much doubt any of these successes will be documented by the CDC or any state agency but the word will spread and people will be able to use the curative remedy as a preventive since virtually all homeopathic remedies are available over the counter.

The American Institute of Homeopathy was founded in 1844, three years before the founding of the AMA. The AIH is still around and their journal is still published so perhaps we will see case reports of corona virus cured by homeopathy. Maybe an AIH member will publish 50 comments from homeopaths around the country as Dr. Dewey did in 1921?

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