Every winter for the past 25 years, I have published a newsletter called, “ Flu Watch”. It is a way of informing my patients about which homeopathic remedies are effective for that year’s flu. The method is based on the advice given by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, way back in 1810. After treating a number of cases of an epidemic disease (yes, yearly flu is an epidemic disease) and studying its nature and its symptoms, a homeopath can develop a short list of effective remedies. Usually homeopathy is based on individualizing the treatment but during an epidemic or pandemic, everyone is considered to have the same illness with very little variation.
This winter started out as usual. By late December, I was treating what I believed to be a very mild flu. Just some fatigue, a low grade fever, and the usual aches and pains that are characteristic of influenza. All that seemed to carry over into January and patients were responding well. I sent out my first Flu Watch Newsletter on January 9, 2020. The remedy that was indicated for the 2020 influenza season was Gelsemium. Within a week or so after that newsletter, I began to notice that a few patients couldn’t make a complete recovery. They were left with a chronic cough and other annoying upper respiratory symptoms. This was not unusual – it happens every flu season and each patient may need a different new remedy to complete their recovery.
By February I realized that this was not like every other flu season. By then, word of an epidemic in China had been announced along with warnings about a global pandemic. I wondered if I was somehow treating this novel coronavirus. By early March it became clear that there may be two phases to this illness. The second phase required the remedy Senega. People who did not recover with Gelsemium alone needed Senega for their fever, chronic cough, chest pain, nasal discharge, frequent sneezing, headache and a strange taste in their mouths. In homeopathy, the name of the disease is not as important as the symptoms of the disease because the remedy prescription is based on the symptom description and not the name of the virus. My patients were responding to Gelsemium and then Senega and that’s all a homeopath cares about. And yet, I knew that the conventional criticism would always be that my patients had the flu or the common cold and not COVID-19. If I had any personal doubt it was dispelled when around the last week of March, a patient of mine for whom I had prescribed Gelsemium and Senega tested positive for COVID-19. The test was performed just as he started taking Senega. He made a complete recovery within a week and even regained his sense of taste and smell. I now knew that homeopathy could cure a case of COVID-19. The patient had pre-existing conditions and was on an immunosuppressant conventional drug so although he had a mild case of the disease, the outcome could have been disastrous.
March also brought with it the news of one patient who had received Gelsemium and then Senega and had done well with both remedies but then relapsed. She had persistent fever, severe chills, cough, weakness and shortness of breath. She finally recovered only after I prescribed Antimonium Arsenicosum which represents the third phase of this disease. The third phase is the most dangerous as it represents the stage just before hospitalization may be necessary. I am now recommending to my patients that they take a dose of Senega 200C, once a week for the next several weeks as a preventive against COVID-19. With no vaccine in sight and with no definitive conventional treatment available, I believe it is not unethical to make such a recommendation. People contemplating taking Senega should discuss this option with their healthcare provider.
Since January I have published a total of five newsletters and the links to them can be found on this special pandemic page of my website. Newsletter number 5 contains information about the role of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and zinc in the treatment of COVID-19. This pandemic is likely to be around for awhile in one form or another so this blog will be followed by updates as needed. Stay Home and Stay Well.
Update December 2021 – Since this blog was written much has changed. We now have multiple Covid vaccines and slowly but surely the number of vaccinated adults and now children are getting vaccinated. We also have a main variant strain, the Delta variant which is now the main form of Covid out there. The symptoms of the Delta strain are somewhat different and in my limited experience with Delta, I can say that the original three main remedies against Covid are no longer that useful. I haven’t found any standard treatment yet for the Delta variant. I will need many more cases before I can identify the most useful remedies. Therefore, there are no preventative remedies for Covid at this point and most people should rely on the vaccines for protection. They are not perfect, they are not 100% effective (nothing in this world is) and there are some very rare side effects BUT it is the only thing we have that is reliable and researched. Regarding the Omicron variant, it is too soon to tell if the vaccines will be effective and if the disease will be more aggressive than either Delta or the original Covid strain. Like most things over the past two years, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Update February 2022 – The Omicron variant has come and is now beginning to fade throughout most of the United States. It is definitely easier to catch and is definitely milder than previous strains. However, of the 25 or so cases of this variant I have treated, two patients required hospitalization. The most frequently required remedies are Arsenicum Album, Belladonna and Kali Bichromicum depending on the presenting symptoms. Sometimes, as the symptoms shift during the course of the illness a patient may require all three at some point. Like everything else during the past two years, we’ll have to wait and see if Covid- 19 will burn itself out. This could happen if we reach herd immunity as the number of people with active antibodies increases due to infection and/or vaccination. Fingers crossed!
Update April 2022 – The Omicron variant did begin to fade as noted above but now there is a variant of Omicron, the BA.2 variant. This is a variant of a variant. This is what corona viruses do – they keep mutating and new variants appear. That is why it has always been difficult to make a standard vaccine against a corona virus. It seems like the mRNA vaccines do confer immunity but unlike standard vaccines, that immunity fades after a few months requiring multiple boosters to remain effective. Luckily, the same three remedies remain effective against this new variant – Arsenicum Album, Kali Bichromicum and Belladonna, depending on the symptom presentation. This month I have been seeing an uptick in Omicron cases in my practice so I don’t know if we are out of the woods yet. It is my hope that vaccination and naturally acquired infections will provide enough people in the US with immunity that Covid-19 will begin to finally fade. Hopefully, we will hit a low point in new cases some time this summer.
Update May 2022 – We now have 2 variants of the Omicron variant as this bug continues to morph. These new variants, BA.4 and BA.5 are even more contagious but luckily more mild for most patients. The primary remedy, at least at the start of symptoms, is overwhelmingly Arsenicum Album. If there is no change after 1-2 doses then a telemedicine visit should be scheduled or a visit to an urgent care center is in order. The uptick in cases continues and masking indoors is a good idea. If positive for Covid via rapid test or PCR then isolation for 7 days is the right thing to do. Wait at least 24 hours after symptoms before using the PCR test. Too early and you may not have sufficient antibodies to be picked up on the test. If a rapid test is negative then follow up with a PCR test the following day. many of the rapid tests have a high false negative rate. The homeopathic battle against Covid-19 continues as I treat acute and long-term Covid as well as Covid vaccine reactions.