Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dale C. Moss column in the Recorder

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MY TURN *8/12/2009 Pandemic? History shows better approach Making the case for homeopathic treatment Tired of the tempest over swine flu, the pandemic that never really was but may yet be? How about some good news that will probably come as a shock to 99 percent of you?

Recorder, The (Greenfield, MA) - Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Homeopaths know a bit about epidemics -- quite a bit. Samuel Hahnemann, the brilliant Austrian physician and chemist who developed the foundation of homeopathy over 200 years ago, earned widespread respect by successfully treating epidemics of cholera and scarlet fever which swept over Europe in the early 19th century. Roughly 100 years later, when the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19 was spreading death and devastation, the mortality rate in the United States among those treated with conventional medicine was nearly 30 percent. But for those treated by homeopathy it was less than 1 percent -- and patients who died were usually those who had received conventional treatment before seeking homeopathic help!

More recently, the Cuban government stopped its expensive annual vaccinations against leptospirosis, a spirochete that causes outbreaks of deadly "swamp fever" every hurricane season. In the past, it cost Cuba $2 million to $3 million each year to vaccinate a handful of the most vulnerable people in the worst affected provinces. There were still mass outbreaks of the disease in the unvaccinated majority -- and expensive hospitalizations.

But in 2007 and 2008, Cuba switched to homeopathic prophylaxis, using a homeopathic remedy instead of conventional vaccines. The result? Instead of past outbreaks of leptospirosis, there were only 10 cases of the disease -- and the entire population of five provinces was protected. The best news was that this far more massive effort at prevention cost only $200,000, or a fraction of what less successful vaccinations cost.

Better results for more people at much, much lower cost and without side effects? Sounds like Big Pharma's worst nightmare and something the Obama administration should be looking at carefully as part of health-care reform.

Sadly, it's not.

Very, very few Americans have ever heard of these homeopathic success stories.

Pick up any mass-market book that's been written on the Spanish flu pandemic and you'll find there's no mention of homeopathy's triumph in treating that deadly disease. Nor is there any mention of the role of conventional treatment in making it so deadly. The favored drug against influenza in 1918-19 was aspirin, a relatively new "wonder drug" at the time. Ignorant of its sphere of action, doctors handed it out liberally, not only to treat those already sick but as a preventative. Aspirin failed miserably on both counts.

More recent explanations of the virulence of that particular pandemic blame it on "cytokine storms" -- in other words, on an excessively aggressive immune response that ends up destroying the body. That is also supposed to explain why healthy people in the prime of life succumbed more readily to the Spanish Flu than children or the elderly: their immune systems fought back harder! In fact, that was the population that was being freely dosed with aspirin, which at the time was not considered safe for either the elderly or the young. But aspirin actually suppresses the immune system, so under the influence of aspirin, what started as influenza quickly morphed into a raging pneumonia that could kill within hours.

Conventional treatment options for the flu today are not much better. Antivirals like Tamiflu, which were stockpiled for a possible avian flu crisis, are almost certain to prove ineffectual in treating any virulent flu and doctors still hand out antipyretics like aspirin and acetaminophen, forgetting that the body's main defense against a viral attack is a nice strong fever.

In any epidemic there are symptoms common to the great majority of patients. As in epidemics past, the homeopathic community has calmly gone about the business of gathering data from cases to see what symptoms point toward the remedy or remedies that will cure. A handful of remedies were responsible for homeopathy's success in treating the Spanish Flu, and the likely genus epidemicus for swine flu has already been determined. Not only has it been performing brilliantly in cases all over the world, but because of how homeopathy works, it is not something to which a virus can build resistance.

As for vaccination against the swine flu, I remember too well the deaths and cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome that resulted from the last mass swine flu vaccination during the Ford administration. To protect myself and my family, I'll be using safe and effective homeopathic Influenzinum as a prophylactic rather than an unproven (and largely untested) vaccine.

Dale C. Moss is a classical homeopath who lives and practices in Buckland. She saw her first case of swine flu several months ago.
Section: MYT
Record Number: 12A0C02509C24A80
Copyright, 2009, The Recorder, Greenfield, MA
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