Prophylaxis and Preventive Medicine in Homoeopathy
Prophylactics are homoeopathic remedies used for disease prevention. The process is call homeopathic immunization or homeoprophylaxis. Just as the Law of Similars is used to choose remedies for treatment, it is also applied for prevention. Remedies not only treat symptoms in the sick similar to those they produce in the healthy, but prevent similar symptoms in the well. This ‘like treats like” process is already used in vaccination. Vaccines made from infectious organisms are used to prevent the very diseases from which they are made. The main difference between homoeopathic prophylaxis and vaccination is that vaccines contain numerous additives harmful for health, work at a biochemical level only, and bypass the body’s early defence mechanisms when injected directly into muscle. In contrast, a homoeopathic remedy has no dangerous additives and through a process of potentisation is prepared so no molecules of the infecting organism or virus remain. Physics does not yet have tools or equipment sensitive enough to measure what is happening at the level of the homeopathic effect so how it works is not yet fully understood. What is suspected is that the remedy (prophylactic) carries an energetic imprint of the original substance into the body that stimulates resistance to the targeted disease. While some prophylactics are commonly prepared, just like vaccines, from the infecting organism or virus, this is not always necessary. Any remedy that produces symptoms similar to those of the disease can have a protective effect against that disease.
Homoeopathy has developed three methods of homoeo-prophylaxis. These are the constitutional remedies, the genus epidemicus remedies and the use of nosodes.
The first method of homoeoprophylaxis is constitutional treatment. These chronic remedies are chosen by the essential nature of the totality of symptoms that tend to reduce susceptibility toward infectious disorders. The chronic remedy is selected by the personal anamnesis, which emphasizes careful individualization. This study includes a detailed assessment of the mental and physical symptoms of the patient with special attention to that which is striking, extraordinary, uncommon and oddly characteristic of the individual. These remedies strengthen the vital force, remove predispositions to infection, increase vitality and raise general immunity. Constitutional remedies are somewhat universal in their applications and unequaled in manifold preventative powers. When combined with good hygiene, nutrition and stress management programs, constitutional treatment forms the first line of defense against all forms of infectious disease.
2. The second method of homoeoprophylaxis is called the the genus epidemicus remediesThese are specific remedies chosen for protection against targeted infectious diseases. Genus remedies are selected the essential nature of the totality of the symptoms as expressed in a homogeneous group of suffers of the same infectious miasm. These remedies are selected by the group anamnesis. They are effective in preventing, aborting and treating the targeted miasm. The treatment must be combined with avoidance of overcrowded, unhygienic places and contaminated food and water as well as the most careful personal hygiene and diet.
3. The third method of homoeoprophylaxis is the use of identical nosodes.In this method a nosode of the threatening miasm is given as a preventative of the same disease. In this way, the infectious miasms carry their own cure. For example, the nosode, Pertussin, is reputed to prevent whooping cough. Unlike the remedy epidemicus, the exact nature of the miasms behind the epidemic must be known and a proper stock available. Homeopathic nosodes have a wider band of action than orthodox immunization. For example, nosodes from previous flu epidemics are often effective against new epidemics. If this is not the case, new nosodes can be made from patients suffering from a new infectious disorder. The nosodes for a good number of epidemic disorders are available in homoeopathic pharmacies. The key to good homoeopathic prophylaxis lies in knowing when to use the individual anamnesis and when the group anamnesis might be more appropriate. Good constitutional treatment removes a host of predispositions that are linked to the susceptibility to acute and chronic infectious diseases. If the inner terrain is healthy the patient is more resistant to infection in general and increases immunity. To delay constitutional treatment while giving every possible specific for every known infectious disease may be counter-productive. Hahnemann made it very clear that specific prophylaxis should only be used when there is truly a clear and present danger of infection. In this way general protection provided by good constitutional treatment can be complemented by a specific prophylaxis.
We are in the 21st century and the science has advanced so much that many methods to ascertain the immunities and development of antibodies are available. In fact. Homoeopathy should be able to answer many problems through these methods and techniques.