I have recently reported that some homeopaths recommend homeopathics against the corona virus. Since I wrote last about this subject, numerous further sites have sprung up where homeopaths try to make a fast buck on the increasing panic of large sections of the population. Here is an apt example:
We all know that in homeopathy we treat patients according to the symptoms. According to these symptoms, the homeopathic medicine influenzam 30 drug can prove to be very effective. If you want to protect yourself from the corona virus, then you can take this medicine two to three drops three to four times a day. You can also get this medicine online at home.
And if you read French, you might want to read this hair-raising nonsense under the title ‘Quelques conseils pour s’armer contre le coronavirus et autres virus de l’hiver‘:
L’un des piliers de la défense antivirale est la thymuline. Elle permet aux cellules thymiques de communiquer entre elles, et en particulier aux cellules mères d’initier les cellules jeunes et immatures. Elle est toujours conseillée en homéopathie, en 9 CH, seule dilution homologuée par les travaux du professeur Madeleine Bastide. Vous pouvez donc, quels que soient votre âge ou votre poids, prendre quatre granules de thymuline 9 CH le matin (idem pour un nourrisson de quelques semaines) pour renforcer vos défenses immunitaires.
As though this is not bad enough, now the Indian government has followed suit. The Indian ‘AYUSH’ ministry has issued recommendations that homeopathic and Unani medicines could be effective in the prevention of novel coronavirus (nCoV) infections. The advisory was issued following a meeting of the scientific advisory board of the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) under the Ministry of AYUSH to discuss ways and means for prevention of the nCoV infection through homoeopathy, the ministry said in a statement. The original press-release from the ministry beggars belief; it can be viewed here.
The ministry recommended that homoeopathic medicine Arsenicum album 30 could be taken on an empty stomach daily for three days as a prophylactic medicine against the infection. The dose should be repeated after one month by following the same schedule in case the nCoV infection prevails in the community, the advisory said, adding that the same has also been advised for prevention of influenza-like illness. It also suggests some Ayurvedic medicines, Unani decoctions and home remedies which can be useful in symptomatic management of nCoV infections. The advisory also recommended prophylactic measures/ immunomodulatory drugs as per Ayurvedic practices and taking measures to strengthen the immune system through a healthy diet and lifestyle practices.
Regular readers of this blog will, of course, understand what homeopathy is. But what is Unani, some might ask. This excerpt from my book explains:
Unani (or Yunani) is an Islamic healing philosophy that combines elements of ancient Greek medicine with those of Ayurvedic medicine. In the course of the current boom in alternative medicine, Unani has become popular also in the West.
- Unani means “Greek” in Arabic. Ancient Greek medicine was based on the erroneous concept of four elements: earth, fire, water, air, corresponding to four humours: Phlegm (balgham), Blood (dam), Yellow bile (safra) and Black bile (sauda).
- Unani is popular in the Middle East, India, Pakistan and their neighbouring countries.
- It is based mainly on Ibn Sina’s The Canon of Medicine from the 11th century. Ibn Sina (or Avicenna) is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age.
- According to proponents of Unani, the health of the human body is maintained by the harmonious arrangement of al-umoor al-tabiyah, the seven basic physiological principles of the Unani doctrine. These principles include (1) arkan, or elements, (2) mizaj, or temperament, (3) akhlat, or bodily humours, (4) aaza, or organs and systems, (5) arwah, or vital spirit, (6) quwa, or faculties or powers, and (7) afaal, or functions. Interacting with each other, these seven natural components maintain the balance in the natural constitution of the human body. Each individual’s constitution has a self-regulating capacity or power, called tabiyat (or mudabbira-e-badan; vis medicatrix naturae in Latin), or to keep the seven components in equilibrium.
- Unani treatments can consist of diet, massage, exercise, blood-letting, leeching, and medication.
- There are very few rigorous clinical trials of Unani. Their results vary and depend on the modality tested.,
- Unani remedies can include substances or products, including herbs, minerals, that are not safe for human consumption. The risks may therefore be considerable.
And what do Unani and homeopathy have in common?
Not a lot!
But one thing is for sure: neither of the two approaches are supported even by a shred of evidence to suggest that they might help against the corona virus pandemic. And another thing is almost equally sure: the above advice is not just governmental, it is mental!