The Homeopathic Approach to Epidemics

by Amy L. Lansky, PhD

(for more information about homeopathy, visit

While the homeopathic treatment of disease is almost always an individualized process, it is fortunate that the treatment of epidemics is usually more straightforward and streamlined. Indeed, it is the success of homeopathy in treating epidemics that led to its popularity and spread worldwide during the 1800s. In essence, the strategy is to treat each epidemic as a single case of disease. This is possible because most people who fall prey to an epidemic tend to have the same symptoms.

The treatment process goes something like this. First, homeopaths gather the symptoms of several patients (not just their physical symptoms, but their emotional, mental, and behavioral symptoms as well) and come up with a small set of remedies (usually between 2 and 5 remedies) that best match this collective set of symptoms. Often, homeopaths work together to find this key set of epidemic remedies, which is called the genus epidemicus. Then, when a particular client comes in for treatment, it is relatively easy to choose which one of this small set of remedies best fits them. Over time, if one particular remedy predominates as the curative remedy, it can also be used prophylactically to prevent the disease in the first place.

Here are a few more important points about this process:

  • Not every instance of the same type of epidemic will have the same genus epidemicus. Thus, one flu season may be cured by a particular set of remedies, and another flu season will be cured by another set. Nevertheless, because specific remedies may repeatedly come up for a particular disease, these remedies can often be used prophylactically with success.
  • The kinds of symptom information provided by conventional medical sources like the CDC is, unfortunately, insufficient to determine a good genus epidemicus. That is because emotional, mental, and behavior symptoms are omitted, as well as the particularities of physical symptoms that are key for making a good homeopathic prescription. These include: time and speed of onset, causative factors, lethargy vs. restlessness, thirstiness vs. thirstlessness, patterns of heat and sweating in the body, the specific nature of excretions, sleep patterns, things that improve or aggravate symptoms, as well as many other kinds of symptoms essential to homeopathic prescribing.
  • Homeopathic treatment of epidemic disease (and other disease) does not require precise identification of the cause of a disease to be effective. This is because treatment is based on the symptoms being experienced, not on the identity of the virus, bacteria, parasite, or other pathogen. Indeed, this is a very handy and wonderful aspect of homeopathic medicine! In fact, the former director of the Office of Alternative Medicine at NIH, Wayne Jonas, MD, testified before Congress in November 2001 that homeopathy should be seriously considered for the after effects of bio-terrorism for this very reason.

Why not consider using homeopathy if your family gets the flu this year?  It could be a lifesaver. During the horrific 1918 flu epidemic, homeopathic practitioners had a death rate of only 1%, whereas conventional physicians had a death rate of 30%.

Below are four remedies that have been used successfully in treating the flu, along with some differentiating features.


A key symptom is irritability and oversensitivity, especially to noise and light. Flu might be preceded by anger or indignation, or be precipitated by overwork. Very cold — wants to stay under the covers. Desires warm drinks. Shivering. Headache from noise and light. Fatigue and collapse. May want to keep working even when sick. Stomach upset, gas, diarrhea.

The number one flu remedy (also the remedy that was curative for the 1918 flu epidemic). Totally weak and prostrate, almost paralytic weakness. Droopy eyes — can hardly keep them open. Legs feel weak and shaky — doesn’t want to get out of bed. A slow onset. Flu might be preceded by worry over an upcoming event or task. Sore throat. Bursting headache beginning in the neck, then extending over head to eyes and forehead. Headache relieved by urinating. Aching muscular pain. Thirstlessness. Chills up and down the spine. Better from fresh air and urinating.


Good to consider when none of the other flu remedies match well. A mid-grade fever — 102-103F. Flushed face. Headache better from cold applications. Burning sensation in eyes. Stuffiness. Nose bleeds. Red swollen throat. Cough better at night. Sour burps, vomiting of undigested food. Aversion to meat and milk. Stiff neck. Restless and sleepless. Chill at 1pm. Worse from being touched or jarred.


A good remedy for extreme prostration after loss of fluids — for example, from vomiting or diarrhea. A state of collapse with chilliness. Often used for after-effects of a debilitating flu. Sensitive to touch, motion, cold air. Worse periodically — for example, alternate days. Weary limbs. Painless diarrhea with lots of gas.

There are, of course, many other common flu remedies and one of them might be correct for your particular case of flu. Other commonly used remedies for the flu include: Aconite (quick onset, fear), Eupatorium (deep aching and pain in the bones), Arsenicum (very anxious, restless, and thirsty), and Bryonia (crabby, thirsty, and worse from any movement whatsoever).

To find out more about homeopathic treatment of the flu, visit the web site of the National Center for Homeopathy to read several handy articles.  Another excellent flu article was published in the Huffington Post in 2011.

About Amy Lansky

Amy L. Lansky, PhD was a Silicon Valley computer scientist when her life was transformed by the miraculous homeopathic cure of her son’s autism. In April 2003 she published Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy, one of the best-selling introductory books on homeopathy worldwide ( Amy speaks and writes internationally about homeopathy, hosts a monthly radio show on Autism One Radio (, and was an executive board member of the National Center for Homeopathy from 2004-2011. Her second book, on meditation and developing one’s innate ability to evolve and transform the world, was published in September 2011 — Active Consciousness: Awakening the Power Within (

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