MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

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.[1]

    1. 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).
    2. Unani is popular in the Middle East, India, Pakistan and their neighbouring countries.
    3. 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.
    4. 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[2].
    5. Unani treatments can consist of diet, massage, exercise, blood-letting, leeching, and medication.
    6. There are very few rigorous clinical trials of Unani. Their results vary and depend on the modality tested.[3],[4]
    7. Unani remedies can include substances or products, including herbs, minerals, that are not safe for human consumption.[5] The risks may therefore be considerable.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27604201

[2] https://www.britannica.com/science/Unani-medicine

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29749363

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26687754

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12408732

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!

 

 

5 Responses to Hard to believe: dangerous GOVERNMENTAL advice regarding SCAM for the corona virus pandemic

  • Just saw this:
    [https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/after-flak-ayush-ministry-withdraws-homeopathy-advisory/story-GHW8wMuCXexEqOy7AAgp4J.html]
    Facing flak for its unscientific advisory asking people to use homeopathy to prevent coronavirus infection and that Unani medicines could manage its symptoms, the ministry of Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy) on Wednesday was forced to issue a rejoinder saying the advisory was a “preventive measure and not claiming to be a treatment advice for the coronavirus infection”.
    “Ayush system is based on traditional health practices. The traditional healthcare system of the country provides lifestyle advocacies to boost immunity, which helps in the prevention of various kinds of infectious diseases. Recently, the outbreak of coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been noticed which mainly involves the respiratory system. The ministry of Ayush is issuing the advisory as preventive measure and not claiming to be a treatment advice for the Coronavirus infection,” read the statement.
    The health ministry did not comment on the advisory. “Since it has been issued by the Ayush ministry, any clarification should be sought from them. Health ministry has nothing to do with this advisory,” said health secretary Preeti Sudan.
    The advisory was issued following the 64th meeting of the scientific advisory board of the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) under the Ayush ministry to discuss ways and means for prevention of the nCoV infection through homoeopathy a day ago.
    GOOD TO SEE SOME SENSE AFTER ALL!!!
    [BUT AS A PREVENTATIVE IT’S JUST AS USELESS]

  • It strikes me that if you have a Ministry of AYUSH, you can expect crackpot suggestions. Nice to see the disavowal by the Ministry of Health.

    BTW your title led me to think that the article ‘Quelques conseils pour s’armer contre le coronavirus et autres virus de l’hiver‘ was coming from a government source somewhere.

  • Unfortunately, India’s politicians have developed a disturbing habit of promoting national pride and (real or perceived) traditionalism through subverting science. Here’s one of the more ludicrous examples:
    “The Indian cows have humps, which the foreign cows don’t have. The foreign cow has a straight back, like a buffalo. The hump has an artery, called ‘swarnanari’ (gold artery). When sunlight falls on it, gold is made. … So the texture turns yellow or golden. This milk has preventive properties. A person can live on this kind of milk only. You don’t have to eat anything else. It is a complete food,”

    Ah well, let’s just say that what people like this man lack in common sense, they more than make up with their imaginative mind…

  • India has a fondness for all kinds on nuttery – see here:

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/02/hindu-nationalists-claim-ancient-indians-had-airplanes-stem-cell-technology-and

    “Hindu nationalists claim that ancient Indians had airplanes, stem cell technology, and the internet” from the Indian Science Congress, a government-funded annual jamboree held in Jalandhar.

    The Indian government in 2017 decided to fund research to validate claims that panchagavya, a mixture that includes cow urine and dung, has therapeutic value……….

    “Instead, the talk celebrated a story in the Hindu epic Mahabharata about a woman who gave birth to 100 children, citing it as evidence that India’s ancient Hindu civilization had developed advanced reproductive technologies. Just as surprising as the claim was the distinguished pedigree of the scientist who made it: chemist G. Nageshwar Rao, vice-chancellor of Andhra University in Visakhapatnam. “Stem cell research was done in this country thousands of years ago,” Rao said.”

    Of course India puts Ayurvedic medicine on a par with conventional medicine and there are large ayurvedic hospitals almost indistinguishable from the real thing. This is a shame because India has some excellent medical facilities and exports a lot of fine doctors to the UK/US and elsewhere – but whether it is misplaced nationalism or the equivalent of Mao’s cynical plot to use TCM for the poor locals and keep “Western Medicine” for the elite IDK.

    Whatever PM Modi is doing his best to push this nonsense – see here:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/28/indian-prime-minister-genetic-science-existed-ancient-times

    “But now for the first time an Indian prime minister has endorsed these claims, maintaining that cosmetic surgery and reproductive genetics were practiced thousands of years ago.
    “We all read about Karna in the Mahabharata. If we think a little more, we realise that the Mahabharata says Karna was not born from his mother’s womb. This means that genetic science was present at that time. That is why Karna could be born outside his mother’s womb.”
    “We worship Lord Ganesha. There must have been some plastic surgeon at that time who got an elephant’s head on the body of a human being and began the practice of plastic surgery.”
    “If we talk about space science, our ancestors had, at some point, displayed great strengths in space science. What people like Aryabhata had said centuries ago is being recognised by science today. What I mean to say is that we are a country which had these capabilities. We need to regain these.”

    And this fruitloop is in charge of the country?

    • And this fruitloop is in charge of the country?

      Unfortunately I can think of more than one country with a fruit-loop in charge. Lord Acton”s dictum probably should read “Absolute power induces dementia” or “Only the demented seek absolute power”

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