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 Homeopathy: Infectious Disease: Effective Alternatives to Antibiotics 

Homeopaths use Allium cepa (onion), Euphrasia (eyebright), Natrum mur (salt), or other individually chosen medicines for the common cold. Aconite (monkshood), Belladonna, Bryonia (wild hops), Phosphorous (phosphorous), or others are helpful in treating common viral respiratory infections.

Influenza is a condition which results from viral infection, and it is also a condition that is easily treated with homeopathy. Although individualization of homeopathic medicines is generally a necessity in order to them to work, there are conditions in which certain medicines are particularly effective. Oscillococcinum (pronounced o-cill-o-cock-i-num) is a medicine that homeopaths have found particularly effective in treating the flu. Its manufacturer, Boiron Laboratories of Lyon, France, have found that it is 80-90% effective in treating the flu when taken within 48 hours of onset of symptoms. Its success is so widely known in France that it is the most widely used treatment for the flu in that country.

Interestingly enough, Oscillococcinum is a microdose of the heart and liver of a duck. One might easily wonder how such a substance might ever be beneficial for the flu, but there actually is some sound logic to it. Perhaps you too heard about the research at the Mayo Clinic that showed that chicken soup has some antiviral action. Since chicken soup is basically a broth of the organs of chickens, perhaps Oscillococcinum is effective because it is "duck soup."

Ben Hole, M.D., a practicing homeopath in Spokane, Washington, reports, "Oscillococcinum is impressively successful, but if in the rare situations where it doesn't work or isn't available, there are several other homeopathic medicines which can be used with excellent results when they are individually prescribed." Otherher commonly used homeopathic medicines for the flu include Gelsemium (yellow jasmine), Bryonia, Rhus tox, and Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset).

3) Restoration from Recurrent or Longlasting Viral Infection
Although conventional medicine offers very little relief for recurrent or longlasting viral infections, homeopaths have observed that microdoses relieve the symptoms of various chronic viral conditions such as herpes simplex, herpes genitales, chronic Epstein-Barr virus, and warts. One cannot claim that homeopathic medicines actually "cure" these viral conditions since the virus is assumed to remain in the body throughout one's life, though homeopaths find that their patients get significantly less severe bouts of infection or do not get any symptoms for long periods of time.

The homeopathic approach to treating all these disorders includes a thorough analysis of the person's totality of symptoms. There is thus no one medicine for a specific disease.

4) Correction of the Chronic Sequelae
After a viral (or even bacterial) infection people sometimes feel they are still not back to their same healthy self. Generally, an individually chosen homeopathic medicine is prescribed. If the individualized medicine is not working, homeopaths will occasionally give a potentized dose of the specific virus which previously infected the person as a way to strengthen their ability to regain health. Varicellinum (the chickenpox virus) is commonly given in a safe microdose for symptoms that linger after the chickenpox, and Parotidinum (the mumps virus) is often given for symptoms that linger after the mumps.

For the post-herpetic neuralgias, the common medicines are Hypericum (St. John's Wort), Kalmia (mountain laurel), Magnesia phosphoria (phosphate of magnesia), Causticum (Hahnemann's potassium hydrate), Mezereum (spurge olive), or Arsenicum.

A state of weakness after a bout of influenza is often treated with China (cinchona bark), Gelsemium, Sulphur (sulphur), Phosphoricum acidum (phosphoric acid), Cadmium (cadmium), and Avena sativa (oat).

Respiratory infections occasionally linger creating chronic nasal discharge, sinusitis, and ear infections. Some of the common medicines given are Kali bichromium (bichromate of potash), Kali iodatum (potassium iodide), Kali carbonicum (potassium carbonate), Kali muriaticum (Chloride of potassium), Kali sulphuricum (potassium sulphate), Silica, Mercurius, Pulsatilla, Alumina (aluminum), Nux vomica (poison nut), and Conium (hemlock).


1. Rene Dubos, Mirage of Health, San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1959, 93-94.
2. Marc Lappe', When Antibiotics Fail, Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1986, xii.
3. William Crook, The Yeast Connection, New York: Vintage, 1986.
4. Lappe', xiii.
5. Lappe', xvii.
6. R. Cave, editor. "Those Overworked Miracle Drugs," Newsweek, August 17, 1981, 63.
7. R.B. Sack, "Prophylactic Antibiotics? The Individual Versus the Community," New England Journal of Medicine, 300, 1979, 1107-1108.
8. Claude Bernard, An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine, New York: Dover, 1957 (originally written in 1865), 160-163.
9. Jonas Salk, Mandala Holistic Health Conference, San Diego, September, 1976. Proceedings published in Journal of Holistic Health, 1976.
10. F.L. Buchem, "Therapy of Acute Otitis Media: Myringotomy, Antibiotics, or Neither? A Double-Blind Study in Children," Lancet, 883, October 24, 1981.
11. J. Thomsen, "Penicillin and Acute Ototis Media: Short and Long-term Results," Annals of Otolology, Rhinology, and Laryngology. Supplement. 68:271, 1980.
12. E.M Mandel,, "Effifacy of Amoxicillin with and without Decongestant--Antihistamine for Otitis Media with Effusion in Children," New England Journal of Medicine, 316:8, February 19, 1987, 432-437.
13. Buchem.
14. Randall Neustaedter, "Management of Otitis Media with Effusion in Homeopathic Practice," Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, 79(3-4)87-99, 133-140, September- December, 1986.
15. M. Diamant, "Abuse and Timing of Use of Antibiotics inAcute Otitis Media," Archives of Otolaryngology, 100:226, 1974.
16. D. Kilby, "Grommets and Glue Ears: Two Year Results," Journal of Laryngology and Otology, 86:105, 1972. M.J.K.M. Brown, "Grommets and Glue ear: A Fie-year Followup of a Controlled Trial," Journal of Social Medicine, 71:353, 1978. T. Lildholdt, "Ventilation Tubes in Secretory Otitis Media," Acta Otolaryngology. Supplement. 398:1, 1983.
17. Bisno, 1983. M. Land, "Acute Rheumatic Fever: A Vanishing Disease in Suburbia," JAMA, 249:895-898, 1983.
18. "Pediatricians Urge Confirmatory Test for Suspected Strep Throat," Medical World News, January 12, 1987, 42.
19. Alan L. Bisno, "Where Has All the Rheumatic Fever Gone?" Clinical Pediatrics, December, 1983, 804-805.
20. A. Gastanaduy, "Failure of Penicillin to Eradicate Group A Streptococci During an Outbreak of Pharyngitis," Lancet, 8193:498- 502, 1980. E. Kaplan, "The Role of the Carrier in Treatment Failures After Antibiotic Therapy for Group A Streptococci in the Upper Respiratory Tract," Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, 98:326-335, 1981.
21. Alan L. Bisno, The Concept of Rheumatogenic and Non-rheumatogenic Group A Stregtococci," in Red: Streptococcal Diseases and the Immune Response, New York: Academic Press, 1980, 789-803. Alan L. Bisno, "Streptococcal Infections that Fail to Cause Recurrences of Rheumatic Fever," Journal of Infectious Disease, 136:278-285, 1977.
22. A. George Veasy,, "Resurgence of Acute Rheumatic Fever in the Intermountain Area of the United States," New England Journal of Medicine, 316,8, February 19, 1987, 421-426.
23. Health Facts, 12, 96, May, 1987, 2.
24. Rene Dubos, Mirage of Health, New York: Harper and Row, 1959. Thomas McKeown, The Role of Medicine, Princeton: Princeton University, 1979.
25. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1982, Life Tables, volume II, section 6, Hyattsville, Md.: National Center for Health Statistics, 13.
26. Rene Dubos, Man Adapting, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965, 346.
27. Thomas L. Bradford, The Logic of Figures or Comparative Results of Homoeopathic and Others Treatments, Philadelphia: Boericke and Tafel, 1900.
28. Ibid., 68.
29. Harris L. Coulter, Divided Legacy: The Conflict Between Homoeopathy and the American Medical Association, Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1973, 302.
30. Neustaedter, 87.
31. L.M. Singh and Girish Gupa, "Antiviral Efficacy of Homoeopathic Drugs Against Animal Viruses," British Homoeopathic Journal, 74(3):168-174, July, 1985.
32. Richard Savage, "Homoeopathy: When No Effective Alternative," British Homoeopathic Journal, 73(2):75-83, April, 1984.
33. "Sesenta mil Brasilenos se Vuelcan en Farmacias Homeopaticas: Cunde la Meningitis," (front page headline), Excelsior, July 29, 1974.
34. Transactions of the New York State Homoeopathic Medical Society, 1867, 57-59.
35. "Report of Life Insurance Committee," Transactions of the American Institute of Homoeopathy, 1897, 53-58; 1898, 81-90.
36. Victor Gong, Understanding AIDS: A Comprehensive Guide, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University, 1985, 77-89.
37. Richard Smith (editor), Newsweek, August 12, 1985, 22.
38. Physicians' Desk Reference, Oradell, N.J.: Medical Economics Co., 1985.
39. Hans H. Neumann, "Use of Steroid Creams as a Possible Cause of Immunosuppression in Homosexuals," New England Journal of Medicine, 306,15, 935, April 15, 1982.
40. Personal Communication. For additional information, see Mike Strange, "Aid: What Homoeopathy Can Offer," The Homoeopath: Journal of the Society of Homoeopaths, 6,3, 1987, 117-124.
41. Singh and Gupa.42. R.G. Gibson,, "Homoeopathic Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Evaluation by Double-Blind Clinical Therapeutic Trial," British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1980,9, 453- 459.

Copyright 1991 by Dana Ullman, M.P.H. used by permission of the author from the book Discovering Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century published by Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam.

For further information about homeopathic medicine, contact:
Homeopathic Educational Services
2124B Kittredge St.
Berkeley, CA. 94704
(510)649-1955 (fax)

(Excerpted from Discovering Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century ISBN: 1556431082)
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 About The Author
Dana Ullman, MPHDANA ULLMAN, MPH, is one of America's leading advocates for homeopathy. He has authored 10 books, including ...more
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