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The Homeopathic Approach to Epidemics

by Amy L. Lansky, PhD

(for more information about homeopathy, visit www.impossiblecure.com)

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 (www.impossiblecure.com). Amy speaks and writes internationally about homeopathy, hosts a monthly radio show on Autism One Radio (autismone.org), 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 (www.activeconsciousness.com).

Comments (9)

What about pregnant and nursing mamas?
Thank you! Spread the word! I see all those kids getting vaccinated and stuffed with antibiotics for something that only requires some TLC and quiet time + gentle remedies! My kids are healthy, 5 and 7 years old, and never had ANY Antibiotics (so far) at all! We only used homeopathic remedies with great results! Keep it up!
Is this a joke? Time and again homeopathic medicines have been shown to be ineffective. And of course doctors will have a higher mortality rate - they are dealing with the sickest people! Naturopaths won't be dealing with those who are sick enough to be hospitalized!
The flu is not treated with antibiotics, only secondary bacterial infections. The flu can be mild or it can be lethal, killing millions. The flu kills a minimum of 250,00 per year and up to 50 million a year. Magic water and sugar pills are not effective. There is less than one molecule of active ingredient in a whole bottle of pills. They are "gentle" because they have no effect. When your kids are dying you need "effective" remedies instead.
Pregnant and nursing moms can safely take remedies -- no problem!
The stuff you read about no studies supporting homeopathy's efficacy, etc. are completely false, I'm afraid. There are TONS of studies -- many of them in Europe where homeopathy is used widely. I suggest you start really investigating this. One good place to start is http://www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/articles-research Interestingly, in most studies, the cases of people that were the MOST sick, with verifiable bacteria, viruses, etc. benefited the most from homeopathy. Historically, homeopathy has been used for some VERY sick people. As I said in my article, the hospital in NYC that used homeopathy exclusively during the 1918 flu epidemic had the lowest death rate. And this was a charity hospital -- i.e. the poorest people. The success of homeopathy in treating very serious epidemics in Europe and the USA was the reason it spread throughout the world, and also why medical doctors abandoned conventional medicine for homeopathy. Modern studies in the lab (with rats -- no possible placebo effect!) have also been successful. Another good place to learn more is from my book (http://www.impossiblecure.com). Many more modern studies are always being done. Homeopathy is serious medicine. It is also threatening to big pharma, which is why media coverage is slanted -- big pharma is probably more powerful today than the military industrial complex. See this article to learn more: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/12/22/Why-Skeptics-Love-to-Hate-Homeopathy.aspx I hope this is helpful.
Do you have any links to papers indexed on PubMed that show homeopathy curing non-self-limiting diseases,like syphilis and gonorrhea. Can you link to any PubMed papers that show any efficacy beyond a placebo effect? Can you cite reliable sources for your anecdote about the 1918 flu epidemic. How do you differentiate between the evidence based pharmaceutical industry and the Alt Med industry? Both are highly profitable money making ventures
Kelly, I would like to give you an even more complete and specific response (maybe I will write a new blog about it!) but here is a start. First of all, you might be interested in this year's national homeopathy conference (www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org),which takes place in April. It's focus is on scientific studies of homeopathy! One of the keynote speakers is Luc Montagnier, the researcher who won the Nobel prize in medicine in 2008 for the link between AIDS and HIV. He has since done research on ultradilutions (of DNA), finding that they retain their substance specific properties past ultradilutions that exceed Avogadro's number. Since that time, despite his respect and fame, he has come under attack and has moved his research lab to China. The simple truth is, if the facts about ultradilutions were accepted, it would destroy big pharma -- hence the concerted attacks, even against very respected scientists. Next, I wrote to Dana Ullman (also a speaker at this year's conference) who has done a lot of writing on scientific studies and the history of homeopath. His response to your questions: My ebook is full of references for evidence on the homeopathic treatment of non-self-limiting diseases, but NOT syphilis or gonorrhea. Comparing the profit for homeopathic medicines and Big Pharma is NOT a comparable subject. According to Marcia Angell, MD, (the former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine), the top 10 drug manufacturers in the Fortune 500 made more profit in 2002 than the remaining 490 (!) companies combined: Angell, Marcia. The Truth about Drug Companies. New York: Random House, 2004, p. 11. (Dr. Angell is the former editor of the famed New England Journal of Medicine and is presently a professor at Harvard Medical School.) The total sales of homeopathic medicines in the USA is between $300-$400 million (this represents the RETAIL sales, not the amount of money that comes back to the homeopathic manufacturer NOR is it the company's profit), and yet, some Big Pharma spend $100+ million in ADVERTISING and promotion on a single drug! As for the 1918 flu epidemic, my book THE HOMEOPATHIC REVOLUTION has some provocative facts about it under the bio of ROYAL COPELAND, MD. Also, there have been FOUR large double-blind placebo controlled trials showing the efficacy of Oscillococcinum in the treatment of influenza (so, heck, you or he does not have to go back to 1918 to see evidence for homeopathy in treating the flu!). --Dana Just doing my own research, if you go to pubmed and type in "homeopathy placebo" in the search bar, you get 21 pages of studies. Of course, not all of them are positive for homeopathy (neither are conventional drug trials of course!) And some of them are actually written by active homeopathy antagonists (Ernst). The 2nd one for example is on control of Hemophilia (not a self-limiting disease!) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22226313 Ecoli in pigs (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20129177) -- obviously not the placebo effect. By the way, the homepage of the National Center often has links to the newest studies... and like I said, check the research page on the NCH site (provided in my previous email). MANY of these are on Pubmed and are placebo controlled. There is just too much out there, much of it done in India and Europe, since homeopathic research is not given any support in the USA. Even some of our most illustrious researchers (e.g., Iris Bell -- MD & PhD from Stanford, and a friend of mine) has a hard time getting grants for her research (she is in Andrew Weil's institute in Arizona). As far as the 1918 flu epidemic -- at the time Royal Copeland, MD was the health commissioner (he later became a senator) and he was a homeopath. Hence, his use of homeopath at the Ward's Island charity hospital. You might check out this recent book -- Robins N. Copeland’s Cure: Homeopathy and the War between Conventional and Alternative Medicine. New York: Random House, 2005, p. 154. I haven't read it yet though. This article also mentions it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-ullman/epidemic-of-fever-phobia_b_305615.html Hope this was helpful! -Amy
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