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

Hard to believe but apparently true: it has been reported that the state government of Kerala distributed homeopathic medicines to people across the state as ‘immunity boosters’. A total of 4.5 million samples have already been distributed.

Map

No, these reports were not dated 1 April!

They are only two days old.

Dr. B Vijayakumar, a member of the State level expert group of the Indian Homoeopathic Medical Association (IHMA’s) revealed that homoeopathy has had a long history in treating and preventing epidemics ever since its inception including those such as Dengue, Chikungunya, Chickenpox and Typhoid. “Its effectiveness in the management of viral diseases has proved beyond doubt many a time. Homeopathy, being one of the most sought after the alternative system of medicine all over the world.”

VK Prasanth, MLA who has been the former mayor of Thiruvananthapuram was the first to launch the distribution of homeopathic medicine in his constituency. “The centre has recognised the homoeopathy medicine to boost the immunity and thereby work as a preventive. When I associated with it, first I was criticised, but now the medicine is in high demand across the state.” said Prasanth.

The Indian Homoeopathic Medical Association (IHMA) is part of the Kerala Government’s RAECH (Rapid Action Epidemic Control Cell, Homoeopathy) programme which officially looks after all the epidemic activities in Kerala.

The government of Kerala even has a ‘Department of Homeopathy. Its stated vision is:

  • Permanent establishment of Homoeopathic Health care facility to all Panchayaths in our state.
  • To open more specialities OP’S in vulnerable locations like coastal belt, tribal areas, metros etc. And Speciality IP’s In our district Hospitals.
  • To extent elaborate laboratory facilities in our district hospitals.
  • To formulate Research & Development wing in Department of Homoeopathy.
  • Computerization of all Dispensaries.
  • As per the Central Govt. Decision and Direction by Supreme Court primary Health care in the periphery i.e. Panchayats shall be designed in such a way that all the three systems i.e. Homoeopathy, Allopathy and Ayurveda Should come under one roof.

We have, of course, discussed the track record of homeopathy in epidemics before on this blog. It is simply not true that the evidence is convincing. It is also not true that homeopathy has ever been shown to boost any parameter indicative of the immune response. It is finally also untrue that there is good evidence that any homeopathic remedy is an effective treatment of any viral infection (or any other condition).

18 Responses to To build immunity amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the Kerala Government is giving a massive push to homeopathy

  • “It is finally also untrue that there is good evidence that any homeopathic remedy is an effective treatment of any viral infection (or any other condition).”
    YES: No GOOD evidence, so far.
    —>so what´s wrong with “To formulate Research & Development wing in Department of Homoeopathy.”???

    But:
    Mortality……………………….conventional treatment………………………….Homeopathic treatment
    SPANISH FLU 1918 ……………………30%……………………………………………..1,05%

    and even if other factors such as differences in care etc. (which was certainly the case in the 19th century, but certainly no longer in 1918), the difference is blatant.

    From your :”track record of homeopathy in epidemics”
    “18. Effect of individualized homoeopathic treatment in influenza like illness, Indian Journal of Research in Homeopathy (2013)
    A multicenter, single blind, randomized, placebo controlled study to evaluate the effect of homoeopathic medicines in the treatment of Influenza like illness and to compare the efficacy of LM (50 millisimal) potency vis-à-vis centesimal (C) potency. In LM group (n=152), C group (n=147) or placebo (n=148) group. The study revealed the significant effect of individualized homoeopathic treatment……”
    What´s wrong with this study???

    and from same:
    “do homeopaths really believe that conventional medics and scientists would ignore such evidence, if it were sound or even just encouraging? This assumes that all healthcare professionals (except homeopaths) are corrupt and cynical enough not to follow up leads with the potential to change medicine for ever. It assumes that we would supress knowledge that could save the lives of millions for the sole reason that we are against homeopathy…”
    YES, and YES and YES.
    Proof:
    the very obvious attempt by the Australian NHMRC to falsify homeopathic study results, which will now lead to a review (at the request of the ombudsman) …

  • One could naively argue that this is the perfect opportunity to study the effectiveness (or more likely utter lack thereof) of homeopathy as a prophylactic or a disease treatment – after all, we’re talking about a huge test group.

    Unfortunately, I’m pretty certain that the proponents of homeopathy will make certain that
    – any efforts to carry out a reliable, controlled study will be muddled from the onset, among other things by dispensing their sugar crumbs willy-nilly, without proper record-keeping, and without maintaining a large enough untreated control group, and that
    – any epidemiologic data arising from this course of action will be twisted and tortured after the fact to ‘prove’ that homeopathy was somehow efficacious.

    After all, they’ve done this before, especially in India. I recall some truly awful ‘studies’ dealing with treatment and prevention of chikungunya and dengue, where the whole methodology including the data summary literally fits on a postage stamp, merely consisting of a 4-cell ‘table’ listing the numbers of people treated and untreated, vs. the numbers of people who did and didn’t get fever.

    And what’s even more disheartening: homeopaths happily accept this kind of utter bovine excrement(*) as proof of efficacy, while at the same time rejecting astronomical amounts of real science proving them wrong.

    *: Which incidentally is also a central ingredient in India’s medicinal doctrine

  • Homeopathy doesn’t seem ever to have done too well in India at boosting immunity to (or treating) Hansen’s Disease and Tuberculosis, for both of which India apparently has the worst incidence in the world.

    • Why should “the worst incidence in the world” be completely assigned to homeopathy? There are many more allopaths in India than homeopaths.

      • Well, my comment was just in view of what Atanas had said – “In India homeopathy is very well developed” and that Atanas is able to cure Covid-19 in 1 to 3 days; a truly remarkable result.

        In this thread it has also been suggested that homeopathic remedies can confer, or boost, immunity to serious disease conditions. In view of the claimed penetration of homeopathy within healthcare in India, there is presumably a different ratio of homeopathy to conventional medical practice from the ratio found in other countries. If homeopathy treatment is effective in conferring immunity to, and in treating, serious health conditions, more people should be immune to, and/or cured of TB and Leprosy. Do you know any reliable evidence relating to homeopathic cure of either of those conditions?

        Those two are admittedly bacterial – perhaps homeopathy is only claimed to confer immunity to, or to treat, viral infections?

  • Wonderful news! I was expecting it. 🙂 In India homeopathy is very well developed. I hope that this will soon be applied in other countries as well. By the way the same was done in Hong Kong and Macao – according to Dr. A. Saine two homeopathic remedies were delivered to 600 000 residents in Hong Kong and to 300 000 in Macao. I haven’t seen any new cases in both places in the last weeks on the Live Update site. I will again mention it from my personal experience with patients with Covid-19 symptoms: the initial manifestations of the disease disappear in almost all cases within 1 to 3 days with homeopathic remedies and no other medication! I don’t care whether it sounds scientific to someone or no. What matters to me are the results and the gratitude of my patients.

    • … and it doesn’t even matter which homeopathic remedy, as they are all pure placebos!

    • Since homeopathy is so well developed in India, there is very strong evidence that it works no better than placebo, as India has the worst burden of Tuberculosis and of Hansen’s disease (leprosy) in the world:

      https://tbfacts.org/tb-statistics-india/
      https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/screening-all-children-for-leprosy-tb-indias-disease-burden-mission-5966838/

      • OK, you can try for yourself with placebo, if you get Covid-19 symptoms. 🙂 Or for your patients. If you say there is no difference… 🙂

        • thank you

          • Kerela, in India, when compared to UK seems to be doing fairly good in its battle against Covid 19.

            The first case appeared on January 30, 2020. As of today, there are 4 cases and 500 infections. At 50% of UK’s population, it extrapolates into 1000 infections and 8 dead! (The population density of Kerela at 860/sq km is over 3 times higher than that of UK at 281/sq km)

            The first case in UK was reported on 29 January, 2020. The people have been dropping dead like flies! 28446 at last count.

            Homeopathic remedies seems to be doing a great job in Kerela. Even if it does not work for you! It seems to work for smarter people: Prince Charles, for example.

            In Cuba also, on comparative basis with UK, they seem to be doing good. 67 deaths only.

            You should start looking for what is it in homeopathy that manages to save people?
            Or the corollary: why does scientific medicine and doctors kill people during pandemics?

            Either way, the situation is really bad in UK.

          • I note that this article https://www.india.com/news/india/covid-19-wreaks-havoc-across-the-nation-but-how-the-curve-has-started-to-flatten-in-kerala-3998512/ says

            “According to the experts, aggressive testing and contact tracing have helped Kerala in successfully fighting the pandemic, which has wreaked havoc across the country”.

            What do you feel has been the role of homeopathy? The article says nothing about that. Were the test kits homeopathic? If not, how did they come into existence? Was the contact-tracing homeopathic? Or was it a bit of standard, orthodox epidemiological methodology. In any case, kudos to Kerala for implementing these measures.

            Can you say a little more about how you think homeopathy has helped in Kerala?

            Prince Charles has been a supporter of homeopathy, but he and other members of the royal family all get treated by and in proper medical doctors and hospitals.

          • Kerala again:

            On 13 May, 2020, one TV channel discussed the reason behind Kerela’s success with the keeping infection under control but importantly the fatalities due to COVID 19.

            Among the many points listed were: use of homeopathic and Ayurvedic medicines. It seems Kerela has more Ayurveda clinics than allopathic hospitals.

            Now other states, in consultation with Kerela’s team handling the pandemic are distributing homeopathic remedies to front line workers and in areas where the incidence of reported infection is very high. Mumbai with over 15000 infected and about 600 dead, and Punjab have formally started dispensing homeopathic remedy.

            The interview: in Hindi.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na4EqIGxLfw

            The world, nearing 300,000. For a small country like UK, over 33,000 dead. Time to re-look at “SCAM”.

          • Edzard

            Compare the demographic data of Kerela with that of UK: UK will score on all parameters and Kerela would seem to be the candidate for more infections and more worryingly: definitely more deaths.

            Why is it that there are so many deaths in UK and almost NONE in Kerela. The X factor: while the population in UK is mainly dependent upon NHS and the modern medicine through it, for routine approach to medical support, the people from Kerela depend upon Ayurveda, Homeopathy and to some extent, the allopathic system. The local people have demonstrated much superior immunity, other wise there would have been many more infections and surely, numerous deaths. This is because a very large population % of Kerela is in the +60 year range: the age reference found most susceptible to COVID fatality.

            On the other hand, for the population in UK, medicine did not work and they seems to lack immunity altogether: as if living on crutches made of modern medicine. The virus simply dismantled the crutch: 40,000 is an unbelievably high figure for a small country like UK.

            All studies aside, the proof of the pudding is in eating. Maybe its time, you look at reason why the medicine that fails the study, resolves the real problem.

  • Looking at what Wikipedia has to say about Covid-19 in Kerala, it seems that the key has been prevention of spread through hygiene and quarantine measures. Those of course are standard medical strategies for preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

    Unless of course the whole of Wikipedia is in the pay of Big Pharma. Mind you it’s hard to see how Big Pharma would benefit from preventing disease by hygiene measures…..

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