- Homeopathy is a patient-centered approach that does not directly target the COVID-19 virus, instead, homeopathy aims to enhance the patient's own ability to fight and recover from an infection.
- Homeopathic remedies are prescribed on an individual basis according to each person's unique symptoms, and the remedy named in this article is not herein being recommended as the prescription for any other particular case
- Homeopaths have a long experience (more than 200 years) with the treatment of epidemic diseases, often with promising results.
- The effectiveness of homeopathy in COVID-19 patients is currently unknown.
- Therefore homeopaths are systematically collecting and analyzing their experiences with the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
- Given the scarcity of therapeutic treatment options for COVID-19, investigating how complementary approaches could contribute, is justified.
- Subject to further confirmation / research, homeopathy may play a role as an adjunct to conventional treatment and offer advice in the management of COVID-19.
Advanced Confirmed COVID-19: Response to Homeopathic Medicine
Paul Richard Saunders, PhD, ND, CCH, DHANP, HOM
Professor of Materia Medica and Clinical Medicine
Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine Toronto, Ontario
Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
National University of Health Sciences Lombard, Illinois
A 65-year-old female presented with vomiting, diarrhea and a 10 kg weight loss that was confirmed as a diagnosis of Covid-19 (U07.1). After hospitalization she was sent home in very poor condition with an oxygen saturation of 75%. Her case was taken, a homeopathic medicine was prescribed by plussing method, and she made a remarkable recovery in a matter of hours.
Covid-19 began in China in late 2019, was officially recognized in early 2020, and declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO).1 In North America there was a concerted effort to limit treatment of Covid-19 positive patients to conventional medicine only, although the types of treatment were far from uniform and often debated in the medical literature. In homeopathic medicine the patient’s symptoms are the guiding light to homeopathic medicine selection, meaning that a large array of medicines is available depending on the symptoms expressed by the patient’s vital force.
DA is a 65-year female and the aunt of a long-standing patient of nearly two decades. She lives with her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren, a boy and his older sister. Somehow all members of this household contracted Covid-19 in March-April 2020. DA was sent to hospital because she had lost 10 kg from severe diarrhea and vomiting. She spent eight days in hospital, receiving only intravenous fluids, saline, but not total parenteral nutrition, and then was discharged back home to her extended family as the hospital had need of her bed and her condition had not worsened. At the time of her discharge her oxygen saturation was 75%; when she was admitted into hospital it was 70%. She was not placed on a ventilator or oxygen in hospital because her condition was not deemed as severe as that of other patients.
On May 5, 2020, her niece called me to complain that her Aunt DA was bedridden, Covid-19 positive, and had been sent home some 10 kg lighter, but in no better health than when she was admitted into hospital; could I help? There was however one additional issue, she spoke fluent Greek, not English, a language that she barely understood even though she had lived in North American for over a decade. The niece, SB, stated that she would translate for me, so I agreed to take her aunt’s case. Because of the distance and the Covid-19 lockdowns, the case was taken entirely over the telephone with SB doing the translation.
May 5, 2020
How can I help you?
I am toxic. I have this terrible odor and stuff is coming out of me!
What is the odor?
I am toxic, I am like “burnt rubber” or a “nasty chemical!”; no one else can smell it but I can! I tried water to flush it out, but it does not go away!
I cannot get out of bed. If I go to the bathroom, I am exhausted. It takes all of my strength to urinate and then I have to stay in bed the rest of the day to recover; I have no energy and I need to be up and doing things for my family; cook, bake…
I am shaky when on my feet, have to hold onto things to get around, but then am exhausted and have to lie in bed for hours
I have a slight sore throat that goes from the right to my ear; it is sharp like a knife; I had that when this began. It was like a bad cold.
I got the flu vaccine, but I heard that increases my risk for Covid-19! I am bedridden and cannot be with or help my family, this is terrible!
At that point DA was too exhausted to continue talking so I asked her niece, SB, to tell me more about DA as a person. She said her aunt was lively, affectionate, liked to talk, help people and was always hugging and helpful when she was with members of the immediate and extended family. She could not identify any food cravings, except that she liked Greek food; fish, seafood, vegetables, salads, and ate a healthy diet which she also cooked and fed to her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. Until Covid-19 DA did the cooking and housework because the rest of the household worked and attended school. She said her aunt was about 162 cm tall and usually weighed 68 kg, so now she must be 58 kg or less if she had lost 10 or more kg. She also described her as active, energetic and upbeat. Because of Covid-19 the niece had not seen her aunt in several months since before the lockdowns.
Diagnosis of Covid-19 is the early days of the pandemic was by nasal swab taken from deep within the nasal and sinus passages.2 The RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test makes an RNA extraction from human nasal samples with transcription of RNA into complementary DNA (cDNA) and PCR amplification of DNA to determine which virus(es) are present in order to establish the diagnosis.2,3 The ICD Code 10 diagnose for Covid-19 is UO7.14 PCR testing is now also available for saliva samples as well. Her homeopathic diagnosis was an altered vital force that had tried to expel the virus through vomiting and diarrhea, but that had left her debilitated and weakened. However, in that weakened state she produced a number of symptoms that could help one find her similimum.
Given this bit of information I looked at Nose odors imaginary and real.5 Chemical was too small a rubric as was Burnt. Offensive was better with some 50 remedies, and the sub-rubric Within the nose had 12 remedies. I could not find rubber as an odor. I also looked at the rubric Affectionate which had some 80 remedies.6
My differential diagnosis of homeopathic medicines included Sulphur, Belladonna, Calcarea, Phosphorus and Pulsatilla. I considered that in the early stage when she was transitioning from cold to full Covid-19, Hepar might have been an option because of her throat to ear symptoms, but I felt she was past that now. I have used Hepar with good success in two early covid-19 case.
DA lacked the mental state one associates with an ill Sulphur, congestion, discharges, selfishness, anxiety, and indifference to others.7 Belladonna has congestion, throbbing, shocks, restlessness, and delirium, but DA seemed sincere, present and truly concerned about her inability to help her family.8 Calcarea has cravings that did not match those of DA, is easily chilled and she had none of that, and they tend to be apprehensive when ill, but work and the desire to complete their tasks is an important symptom.9 Phosphorous can be sad and prostrate, but her weakness was due to poor oxygenation, and they are often fearful and anxious, but she did not seem so afraid despite her poor health and poor prognosis.10 Pulsatilla is generally thirstless, chilly and short of breath and symptoms in different parts of the body can cause dyspnea, and they can have a loss of smell or smell bad odors as a result of catarrh, especially on the right side.11,12,13,
I chose to start with a Pulsatilla 30CH. She was weakened, her oxygen was dangerously low, and I was uncertain if had the correct medicine. I asked her to take the remedy by plussing; two pellets in a small, clean glass jar of about 200 mL with a lid, shake ten times and take a sip, holding it in the mouth for 10-20 seconds, and repeat this for 5 doses about 15-20 minutes apart. Her niece picked up the medicine that day and couriered it to her overnight. She began taking the medicine on May 6, and again on May 7,2020. I asked for a follow-up after 2-3 days in order to assess her response.
On the morning of May 8, 2020, her niece, SB, called me to say, “What did you give her?” With trepidation I answered Pulsatilla 30 CH. She reported that her aunt began the medicine around noon on May 6 and by that evening was feeling much better. She got up on May 7 and felt so good that she made the whole family breakfast, then went for a 2 km walk, and then feeling even better after the walk, went to the grocery store to stock up on groceries for that evening’s meal. I immediately cautioned that without testing we did not know whether she was shedding viruses and that she should also conserve her new-found energy. She also reported that her Aunt told her that she had black and red spots on her arms and legs that were almost completely gone the next day, her face felt cooler, her oxygen had gone up to 96%, and while the smell was still there it was much reduced. I advised that DA should continue the Puls 30CH with plussing for another two days and then only as needed.
The next follow-up was a phone call on June 23, 2020, wherein DA told me in Greek, with translation by her niece SB, how thankful she was and how well she was. The odor took a week to go away but she felt like her old self, gave me a big hug over the phone, and invited me for a large Greek meal when Covid-19 was over. She had not taken Puls 30CH since May 10. Another follow-up on October 22, 2020, confirmed that DA was still feeling like her normal self, her family was doing well, and she had not needed to repeat Puls 30CH since early May.
This patient displayed many of the symptoms associated with a Covid-19 infection including alteration in smell, often reduced in the early stages, profound fatigue, poor oxygenation, and the easy bruising signs that she did not reveal in our initial interview.14,15 Like the many thousands of patients who have contracted Covid-19 she seemed headed into the “long haul” state that is associated with fatigue, weakness, and waxing and waning of diverse infection symptoms.14,16 Covid-19 begins as a respiratory condition but quickly moves into the circulatory, nervous and other systems leading to a diversity of symptoms that can be serious, and in some patients fatal.14,15 Happily, Pulsatilla matched her symptoms picture and vanquished her symptoms quickly, without side effects, and she was able to return to her former productive and happy self (Organon P 1-4).17 The plussing approach was used in order to give several doses in a short time with slight changes in potency. I have found it very beneficial in serious pathologies and weakened patients when the prognosis is poor or guarded.
A 65-year-old female with a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19, symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea that lead to over 10 kg weight loss, symptoms of unusual odors that no one else could detect, and dangerously low oxygen saturation, responded to a homeopathic plussing prescription of Puls 30 CH in a matter of hours. The patient returned to full health and life function and has had no relapse in over six months compared to many of the long haul Covid-19 positive patients.
1.World Health Organization. WHO characterizes COVID-19 as a pandemic. March 19, 2020. www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/ novel -coronavirus-2019/events as they happen. Accessed November 11, 2020.
2.Santiago I. The worldwide test for Covid-19. ID Tech Ex molecular diagnostics 2020-2030 and biomedical diagnostics at point of care 2019-2029. Accessed June 11,2020.
3.Lab Corp. Lap Corp COVID-19 RT-PCR test EUA summary. Burlington, NC. Accessed June 11, 2020.
4.ICD10Data.com. 2021 ICD-10-CM Codes PCS Medical Coding Reference. National Center for Health and Statistics for World Health Organization. Accessed November 11, 2020.
5.Schroyens F. Synthesis. Edition 9.1. Homeopathic Book Publishers, London, UK. 2004. p.568.
6.Schroyens F. Synthesis. Edition 9.1. Homeopathic Book Publishers, London, UK. 2004. p.4.
7.Vermeulen, F. Concordant Materia Medica. Merlijin Publishers, Haarlem, Netherlands. 1994. pp.1890-1907.
8.Vermeulen, F. Concordant Materia Medica. Merlijin Publishers, Haarlem, Netherlands. 1994. pp.316-330.
9.Vermeulen, F. Concordant Materia Medica. Merlijin Publishers, Haarlem, Netherlands. 1994. pp.415-443.
10.Vermeulen, F. Concordant Materia Medica. Merlijin Publishers, Haarlem, Netherlands. 1994. pp.1553-1569.
11.Vermeulen, F. Concordant Materia Medica. Merlijin Publishers, Haarlem, Netherlands. 1994. pp.1643-1658.
12.Vermeulen F. Concordant Reference. B Jain Archibel. Belgium. 2011. pp.1643-1658.
13.Hering C. The Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica. Pratap Medical Publishers, New Delhi, India. 1891. pp.593-594.
14.Maxwell E. Living with Covid19: often called Long Covid. National Institute for Health Research. Bethesda, MD. 2020. 29p.
15.CDC Similarities and Differences between Flu and COVID-19. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs- covid19.htm accessed September 4th, 2020.
16.Shenoy N, Luchtel R, Gulani P. Considerations for target oxygen saturation in COVID-19 patients: are we under-shooting. BMC Med. 2020 Aug 19;18(1):260.
17.Hahnemann S. Organon of the medical art. 6th Edition. Translated S Decker, Edited and annotated WB O’Reilly. Birdcage Books, Richmond, WA. 1996. pp60-61.