THE HINDU reported on 22 May the following amazing story:

A corporator from Borivali, Riddhi Khursange, has distributed 10,000 bottles of Arsenicum Album 30, the homoeopathy medicine that was recommended by Ministry of AYUSH as a prophylactic for COVID-19. Another corporator from Ghatkopar, Pravin Chheda, has bought 25,000 bottles and has distributed over 7,100 in the past four days…

“The AYUSH Ministry must have based their claims on the benefits of the medication. The municipal corporation has also approved it for distribution,” said Mr. Chheda, who aims to distribute one lakh vials. He said all his family members have taken the three-day dose.

While the recommendation from AYUSH was issued on March 6, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on May 8 issued a circular that 20 lakh people, including those in quarantine centres, will get the medicine.

Some experts, however, do not agree with such random, mass distribution. Also known as Ars Alb, the medication was termed as genus epidemicus (homoeopathy medicine indicated for an epidemic) during the H1N1 outbreak of 2008-2009. “Back then, Ars Alb proved extremely beneficial. But the current claim of AYUSH Ministry has not been backed by the process of genus epidemicus,” said Dr Bahubali Shah, former president of the Maharashtra Council of Homoeopathy.

“Another major problem is this general mass distribution of the medicine without an attempt to collect data on efficacy. There has to be a proper distribution protocol and a protocol for analysis. Right now, corporators, NGOs, the BMC and everyone who can get their hands on the medication are distributing it without any record-keeping,” he said.

Well-known chest physician, Dr. Zarir Udwadia, who is part of the State’s COVID-19 task force, said any alternative treatment still has to undergo a trial. “In my opinion, it should not be added on ad hoc,” said Dr. Udwadia.

The State government has set up a new committee to exclusively look at AYUSH remedies. Dr. T.P. Lahane, who is a part of the committee, said a meeting was planned on Thursday evening to discuss various options.

Meanwhile, a trial on 44 COVID-19 patients in Agra has shown that a homoeopathy medicine called Bryonia Alba was more beneficial than Ars Alb. “We have submitted our findings to Central Council of Homoeopathy and are now enrolling more patients for a bigger trial,” said Dr. Pradeep Gupta, principal of the Naiminath Homeopathy College and Hospital, who is conducting the trial.

He said 22 patients were given a placebo while 22 others were given homoeopathy medicines, Bryonia Alba, Ars Alb and Gelsemium. “19 patients who had fever, cough and weakness, responded to Bryonia within the first three days, two patients who had respiratory distress were first given Ars Alb, which relieved the breathing discomfort, but they had to be put on Bryonia Alba to relieve their fever and cough. Only one patient who came in with drowsiness was first given Gelsemium, but later put on Bryonia Alba for other symptoms,” said Dr. Gupta.

For patients in Agra, Bryonia Alba seems to be the genus epidemicus, he said. Dr. Gupta has now written to the Maharashtra government to conduct a similar trial on patients here.

Are they serious?

To me this sounds as though some amateurs are playing doctor and scientist.

I am sure we will have some homeopathy fans pointing out that India is doing very well in the pandemic and that this must be due to the widespread use of homeopathy. To this I answer that firstly India is sadly no longer doing all that well, and secondly that proof of efficacy requires more than speculation. They will reply that homeopathy has proven itself in many previous epidemics. And I will counter that this is just wishful thinking.

So, will the current pandemic finally provide the proof that homeopathy works?


And the Indian homeopaths seem to be doing their utmost to obscure the picture in their hope that, in the end, they can nevertheless claim victory out of a shameful defeat.

16 Responses to COVID-19: homeopathy gone berserk in Mumbai

    We only have tired and tedious facts . . .

    “Mortality rates for flu patients working with a homeopath averaged 0.70%. For those patients suffering with flu complicated by pneumonia – the death rate averaged 3.4% or less.”
    “The mortality rate for patients with the flu in the care of ordinary medical doctors averaged 6%, and for those with flu complicated by pneumonia – between 25% and 30%.”
    “Dean W. A. Pearson of Philadelphia collected 26,795 cases of influenza treated by homeopathic physicians with a mortality of 1.05%, while the average old school mortality is 30%.
    “Thirty physicians in Connecticut responded to my request for data. They reported 6,602 cases with 55 deaths, which is less than 1%. In the transport service I had 81 cases on the way over. All recovered and were landed. Every man received homeopathic treatment. One ship lost 31 on the way. H. A. Roberts, MD, Derby, Connecticut.
    “1,500 cases were reported at the Homeopathic Medical Society of the District of Columbia with but fifteen deaths. “Recoveries in the National Homeopathic Hospital were 100%. E. F. Sappington, M. D., Philadelphia.
    “I have treated 1,000 cases of influenza. I have the records to show my work. I have no losses. Please give all credit to homeopathy and none to the Scotch-Irish-American! T. A. McCann, MD, Dayton, Ohio.”

    It is telling that the more individualised the homeopathy, the better the outcomes.

    But those were different times, before even sulfa. Many were killed by injudicious use of aspirin, just as many now have allegedly been killed by injudicious use of respirators, in response to subtle misdiagnosis. (Proof? Oh, get with the program. Look up Dr Kyle-Sidell, and others). Doctors follow protocols rather than practising medicine.

    Personally I don’t regard arsenicum as a good remedy for this situation, but it could worth a try where indicated. Knowing when it is appropriate to use bryonia would help this along.
    It is naturally difficult for homeopaths to prescribe without accurate well-observed information about the progress of the disease in individuals, and when they are being denied access to patients. No doubt we shall see their success rates post-fact, and pseudo-skeptics will split hairs in full denial.

    • Doctors follow protocols rather than practising medicine.

      Do you have any idea what doctors actually do?

      just as many now have allegedly been killed by injudicious use of respirators, in response to subtle misdiagnosis.

      Doctors encountering Covid-19 for the first time initially used their experience and knowledge of treating other causes of adult respiratory distress syndrome in deciding how and when to ventilate. As they gained and shared more experience of this new disease it was apparent just how different it is from anything that has been encountered before. Among other things the timing and methods of ventilation have changed in response to accumulating data. Nevertheless, so far ventilation has saved the lives of roughly 50% of people who have required it and who were otherwise facing almost certain death.

      Now, you seem to be saying that homeopathy would have been able to provide the answers right from the start and if used appropriately could have saved the nearly 350,000 lives lost so far worldwide.

      It is naturally difficult for homeopaths to prescribe without accurate well-observed information about the progress of the disease in individuals, and when they are being denied access to patients. No doubt we shall see their success rates post-fact, and pseudo-skeptics will split hairs in full denial.

      Given that there have now been more than 5,600,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection, surely there must be a minority who are sufficiently mistrustful of doctors that they have sought the advice of their homeopath when they became seriously ill. Would these homeopathic practitioners not then have shared their experience for the benefit of their colleagues, in the knowledge of the large number of deaths that they would thereby be preventing?

  • I bet that very soon the usual homeopaths and homeopathy fans will hit the scene to triumphantly applaud the results.

  • it looks like u did not see this:

    Very good observation is it not ?

    Other states in India which have an Ayush policy seem to be better and some r doing very well. And it looks like , it is Maharashtra, that has added so much to the fatlaity toll in India

    And any way compared to the rest of the world, India is doing very well , especially considering its tremendous population.

    Something that USA, UK etc have to learn from India. Should have done long ago. Yet, better late than never.

    Though Homeopahy is not the official treatment for Covid 19 in India, it could be the large amount of Homeopathy medications used in India that has helped to bring the fatality down , even though the case count is high. In fact the count could be higher. THAT People who are using homeopathy and getting cured are not getting tested is a fact

    • more likely, it’s the holy cows that protect the Indian population, don’t you think?

      • 😀

        In our building, free homeopathy (Arsenic Alb) was being distributed. Though the numbers of Corona Virus patients are increasing in India, the mortality rate is very less compared to other countries. It is bcoz we have a median age of 29 years.

        • @Pamela

          It is bcoz we have a median age of 29 years.

          Are you quite sure it’s not bcoz you have a high proportion of cow-worshippers? (And how do you set about knowing?)

          • 😀

            Even if there are many cow worshippers, very very few takers for cow urine as medicine.

            Our population may be young but a lot of malnutrition which can cause low immunity. And many people have diseases like diabetes but they never know as they don’t go for check up. But I don’t know, the mortality for covid 19 is less may be bcoz of lower strain of the virus.

          • could the mortality figures be falsely low because the official statistics are not reliable?

        • @Pamela

          It is bcoz we have a median age of 29 years.

          Sorry… I meant to suggest it might be bcoz a high proportion of your citizens drink water from the Ganges. (And how do you set about knowing?)

          • @ Frank : The river Ganges is so polluted that I doubt anybody drinks water of it but they do have a dip in the river. I will say that there are many takers for Santra Ras (Orange Juice) rather than Gau Mutra 😀

            @ EE : I did hear that people die of pneumonia arising out of covid 19 but the officials declare as death caused by pneumonitis or cardio-respiratory arrest. But it could be few. The mortality rates are indeed low.

  • “And any way compared to the rest of the world, India is doing very well , especially considering its tremendous population.”

    Yes, very well. India does not test enough, especially millions and millions of poor people. Therefore, India has less infections with Corona. Therefore, less people die from Covid-19, but more of an unknown cold or pneumonia or vascular disease.

    As I said, India does very well.

    *sarcasm off*

  • Rates of testing in India are very low, so it is very difficult to know what the rate of infection is there.

  • COVID-19: homeopathy gone berserk in Mumbai

    It seems that going “berserk- as per you” actually was the right action if results are used as parameters. Or is this too early to draw inference? What would be the wait time?

    This was an uncontrollable community transmission area where the homeopathic medicine was distributed and rightly so.

    “Dharavi has an area of just over 2.1 square kilometres (0.81 sq mi; 520 acres)[3] and a population of about 1,000,000. With a population density of over 277,136/km2 (717,780/sq mi), Dharavi is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.” Wikipedia.

    After Cuba, Dharavi. Which of the 100 reasons could be valid here?

    Kerela figures on Covid fatalities, compared to UK, are dramatically better with Ayurvedic medicines.

    In pandemic times, scientific medicine is unable to give results?

    • “After Cuba, Dharavi. Which of the 100 reasons could be valid here?”
      the same

      • Edzard on Tuesday 09 June 2020 at 06:26

        Homeopathic data on Spanish flu from America.

        Homeopathic data on Leptoporosis from Cuba.

        Homeopathic data on Covid 19 from Cuba.

        Homeopathic information on Covid from India.

        “But then again there are about 100 more likely explanations.”

        Why is there one common link: homeopathy introduced- explanations pending, forget results.

        Citizens in UK prefer death by scientific medicine in place of life with SCAM or is it a doctor’s decision? Was this not a Communist philosophy: state knows the best for its citizens!

        “In pandemic times, scientific medicine is unable to give results?”

        You have one explanation for this outcome?

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