New Delhi: It has been more than three months since Covid-19 pandemic broke out and the hunt for its medicine has been intensified across the globe.
While the world health community is leaving no stone unturned to find a solution for the highly contagious disease, the homeopathy practitioners say they should also be given a chance to attempt to find therapeutic treatment of novel Coronavirus and should be taken on the same page for finding its drug.
Homeopathy is the longest established complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
One of the most striking features of this unorthodox medicine is its ability to survive for centuries.
Speaking to IANS, Dr. Kushal Banerjee, of Dr. Kalyan Banerjee's Clinic, one of the largest and oldest homeopathic practices in India and abroad, said, "Homeopathy has a good track record with epidemics and infectious diseases, therefore people should keep their biases aside and should try all treatments possible to save lives amid this pandemic.
"There are many examples where homeopathy did far better than allopathic. The biggest example is Spanish flu, going back to the time of the Scarlet fever epidemic, there were high survival rates in the treatment prescribed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, father of homeopathy, when people were dying, by using conventional medicines. Most recently Dr. Marino published papers in 2008-09 on Dengue and Swine flu. In 2009, a research paper was published in India, based on analysis of swine flu which happened in 2003 in which it was written that Homeopathy showed favourable trends so research must continue."
When asked if Homeopathy has medicine for novel coronavirus, Dr. Banerjee said, "there is not much data available about COVID-19. Homeopathic medicine is also given even in ICU and in case of multiple organ failure, patients start recovering quickly. There are very effective medicines in homeopathy for respiratory diseases. Right now it is important to provide benefits to as many patients as possible. All philosophies and principles should be kept aside and saving lives should be the focus. If even five per cent patients who are on ventilators could be cured, that will be a great success," he said.
Talking about evidence that Homeopathy has while dealing with novel coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Banerjee said, "We have prescribed medicines looking at the symptoms of the disease and are collecting data. Almost 15000 prescriptions of preventions of COVID-19 have been issued from our clinic since mid-January. We have patients in China, Singapore, Malaysia etc. We have been advising medicines, along with the public safety measures since December 31 when the first case was reported.
"We are in the process of analysing data. We are also running an online survey to estimate the result of that prescription. Database of 15000 people is ready. It will be the second largest study on COVID-19 anywhere in the world, the largest is of 20,000 patients. We have got responses from patients from 12 countries including the US, Italy, Norway and Sweden. The data is looking very promising.
"There is a fundamental advantage of homeopathy that it can be given alongside allopathy, it will not have any side effects. Homeopathy is absolutely safe to give to any age group of patients, be it a new born or elderly person. In case of COVID-19, there is no reason for not attempting homeopathy. Research in allopathy is going on across the world but there are still mortalities. Even allopathy is also doing symptomatic treatment. We are not saying that we have treatment for COVID-19 but allopathy also does not have it.
"Dynamics of treatments are changing everyday, therefore homeopathy should also get an attempt. However people should follow public health measures, like hygiene and social distancing then there is no harm in taking medicine as a pre-emptive measure."
Demolishing the myth about homeopathy, Dr Banerjee said, "There are lots of myths about homeopathy. One of them is that it takes very long to show the results. This is not true. It depends upon the disease for which the patient is taking treatment. In a pandemic where multiple organs are failing and ventilators are required, we also review patients in four to six hours, even at every fifteen minutes. There are very effective medicines in homeopathy for respiratory diseases."
Another practitioner of homeopathy, Dr Shalini Tomar of Swasthya Kalyan Homeopathic Medical College and Research Centre (SKHMC), Jodhpur, said, "It has been found in a research that besides Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and Influenza like illness (ILI), the novel coronavirus causes red blood cells (RBC) breakdown too, that's why the use of anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been advocated recently as it is recommended in malaria. We have lots of medicines in Homeopathy which can help cure RBC."
Dr Tomar also said that there is data of genus epidemicus which has confirmed that the homeopathy can help and when it was given in previous pandemics, the mortality rates were low.
"Our scientific advisory body Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) brought out data and recommended few medicines as prophylactic. Some medicines were distributed also in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The research is on. There is no therapeutic medicine at present for COVID-19 neither in allopathy nor in Homeopathy, they are also doing symptomatic treatment, we also can do so. In Maharashtra, treatment of homeopathy and allopathy is going on simultaneously for quick recovery. "Homeopathy is based on the principle of individuality. Two patients showing similar sets of symptoms may get different sets of prescriptions altogether. Therefore there is no particular medicine but sets of medicines, based on various parameters that can be recommended," said Dr Tomar.