Homeopathy to the Rescue for COVID-19 Patients
Free Webinar and Diagnostic Tool to Help Patients Recover and Heal
In my previous blog post on COVID-19 resources, https://www.lovehealingandmiracles.com/covid-19-wake-up-call-part-3/, I listed Dr. Paul Herscu and his school, the New England School of Homeopathy, as the second resource on the page. For a more in-depth description of his background, you can check out what I wrote about him there.
Dr. Herscu, ND, MPH, who is a certified naturopathic doctor and classical homeopath, is also an extraordinary teacher and researcher. During this COVID-19 pandemic, however, he is an especially important light in the world because he is a brilliant expert in both epidemics and pandemics. He has been studying them for many years and has been a fount of wisdom and knowledge for other homeopaths around the world, for naturopathic doctors and for others treating patients with highly contagious viruses like COVID-19.
As soon as he learns about any contagious virus that escalates to an epidemic, or more seriously, to a pandemic, he moves into swift action like a detective called in on an important case. While detectives often try to solve cases involving those who have died under suspicious circumstances, Dr. Herscu’s job is to learn as much as he can about the highly infectious virus and how it is affecting patients so he can, as quickly as possible, help prevent any serious illness or death.
Of critical importance for him and for homeopaths around the world is to discover whether there is a Genus Epidemicus. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician and the founder of homeopathy, used Genus Epidemicus as a term to describe the one homeopathic remedy that would be most effective for the majority of a population in particular epidemics.
If there is not a single remedy that best helps the population, then Dr. Herscu must figure out what remedies are most likely to have beneficial effects. He does so through his case taking of every patient he and his wife, Dr. Amy Rothenberg, treat with COVID-19 as they gather their repertory of symptoms and patient responses to remedies. He is also busy doing extensive research and collecting data from all over the world. In his timely newsletters, he then shares the latest news from the homeopathic front on a regular basis. He already has posted 12 updates.
Samuel Hahnemann Monument at Scott Circle, Washington, D.C. Photo from upload.wikimedia.org. This image was originally posted to Flickr by dbking at https://www.flickr.com/photos/65193799@N00/23392385.
In this latest outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus called COVID-19, Dr. Herscu kept his readers, homeopaths and doctors up to date with his latest findings that he reported and continues to report. If you would like to receive his COVID-19 Epidemic Updates as they are written, you can sign up here. You can also click here to view two articles on immune resilience. To read all his posts regarding COVID-19, you can click here. His latest report was posted on April 12, 2020 in his twelfth update. You can check it out here.
Homeopathy Webinars on COVID-19
Dr. Herscu also hosted two webinars in early and late April of 2020. The first was open only to his current and former students. The second one was open to the general public. That was a great gift to the many students, doctors and others who showed up on the call or listened to the replay.
Over 1,400 people registered for the second free webinar entitled: A Concise Framework to Understand and Use Homeopathy during COVID-19, for the Time Period January-April 2020.
For those interested in viewing this webinar, you can click here to register for free and watch the webinar.
Dr. Herscu has also given permission for you to share this registration link with anyone who might be interested. “Positive feedback has been flowing in from folks who appreciated Paul’s rational analysis and thoughtful/deliberate ability to see the bigger picture,” Kim McGuire, assistant to Dr. Herscu and Dr. Rothenberg, said. “We understand this information is of interest to many in various healing communities and we hope as many people as possible can view this material,” she noted.
So far Dr. Herscu and his wife, who is also a certified naturopathic doctor and classical homeopath, have successfully treated over 170 patients. Here is what he writes in his April 12, 2020 pandemic update:
“My main focus over the three and a half months has been, and will remain, on keeping people out of the hospital. I explain why below. Our first goal has been to keep people from developing the illness to start with. However if they do develop COVID-19, the goal has been to keep it the mildest version possible. Towards that end, the two main tools we use are natural therapies, mentioned in Update 7 (http://paulherscuepidemics.blogspot.com/2020/03/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-part-vii.html) and homeopathy described in Update 8 (http://paulherscuepidemics.blogspot.com/2020/03/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-part.html). The idea is to have people react/adapt to the virus, move through the illness without becoming severely ill, and then move on with their lives. And if we do our job well, and the stars align, that is how it plays out.”
“If we do our job well, and the stars align, that is how it plays out.” Photo by Alma 3 from www.freeimages.com.
“One of our main tools is to use homeopathy, as it helps people respond early to the virus and have only subclinical or minor manifestations of the illness. We have now treated 170+ folks that have tested positive for COVID-19. The people we put on this supplementation plan and were able to receive an individualized homeopathic remedy too have done well enough. No one has been admitted into the hospital yet (touch wood). This for me is a main, most important point. We need our patients to stay out of the hospital when possible. Partly that is to save personnel and resources for those already severely ill with COVID-19 and/or other unrelated complaints. Simply, I use the hospital admission as a proxy for how well or poorly things are going.”
“To be clear, obviously, if a person’s health deteriorates to a serious condition, there is no better place to be than the hospital. If we can keep the person healthy enough to not end up in the hospital, we can avoid several unknowns. As a result, the main focus for us remains helping with prevention and keeping the disease in those who have it in its mildest form possible.”
He began the second webinar by stating something so simple and obvious, yet so important: “If we do it right, we will lower the number of deaths. If we do it wrong, there will be so many deaths.”
This year Dr. Paul Herscu and his wife, Dr. Amy Rothenberg, are celebrating their 30th year in practice together. In this photo from his website, www.nesh.com, Dr. Herscu is happily holding his Vis award, given to him in 2016 at the American Association of Physicians annual conference gala. This award honors and celebrates the life and work of the late Dr. William A. Mitchell, (1947-2007) who embodied the “Vis”- or the healing power of nature. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Herscu underscored the essential role of vitalism, and how a powerful and elegant approach like homeopathy has a central and essential role in whole-person healing.
Four Categories of Patients in Epidemics and Pandemics
According to Dr. Herscu, in every epidemic or pandemic, there are four categories of patients and those categories never change. They include those who are asymptomatic; those who have mild symptoms; those with severe/acute symptoms; and those who experience life-altering illness or death. The first category, those who are asymptomatic, is the most frustrating one because it is very difficult to know what percentage of the population is asymptomatic.
In assessing the data and seeing what is happening for patients around the world during any epidemic or pandemic, Dr. Herscu gets a clearer understanding of what is needed homeopathically to help patients get well as quickly as possible. What he discovered by late January and early February of 2020 is that most people need what is called a “chronic remedy” rather than a Genus Epidemicus. In the webinar he shared, “When a large number of people move into a true acute state, then they will need the Genus Epidemicus. This was not the case with COVID-19 patients.”
With a Genus Epidemicus, it is more of a one-size fits all remedy for a majority of the population. Chronic remedies, on the other hand, are individualized for each patient and take into account the totality of all of the patient’s symptoms.
Patients interviewed about what they felt and experienced during their COVID-19 illnesses described many different kinds of symptoms in varying degrees. Some had rashes and some didn’t. Some lost their sense of taste and smell and some didn’t. Most had problems breathing and tightness in their chests, but not all did. Some hardly had any symptoms despite testing positive and others quickly progressed to life-threatening symptoms and pneumonia.
Patients who tested positive for COVID-19 described many different kinds of symptoms. Photo by Peter Bierman from www.freeimages.com.
Dr. Herscu explained, “Most people dealing with this COVID-19 virus are doing so in their chronic state. He maintained that “the vast majority of individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are asymptomatic or have just mild symptoms.”
He estimated that about 80% of them experience this or about 80 out of 100 patients. About 15 out of 100 patients will need what Dr. Herscu calls a “true acute remedy.”
An acute remedy is a remedy that takes into account the symptoms a patient has that are probably unlike his or her normal “constitutional” symptoms. That is, a homeopath may treat a patient who typically has a very healthy appetite and hates very cold drinks. The patient then becomes ill and tells the homeopath that he now has no appetite and is craving very cold drinks. In that scenario, an acute remedy is probably what is needed.
“Five or six people out of 100 get into very serious situations and may die or have near-death experiences,” Dr. Herscu explained. “These individuals will need a unique remedy for their specific life-threatening situation.”
He also noted that “from January to April, Bryonia has been the Genus Epidemicus. It plays a small role when you look at the whole population.” Eighty percent of those infected with COVID-19 will need a chronic remedy that is individualized to their particular symptoms. Fifteen percent will need an acute remedy. Of that 15% only five or six patients will become critically ill.
Dr. Herscu has identified Bryonia as the most common acute remedy needed by patients that have the most severe symptoms. Some of those patients in this 15% also do well with Gelsemium and Eupatorium. He would prescribe a homeopathic dose of 200C in most cases. “The virus wants to live and the patient wants to live. If you give only a12C or 30C potency, if the viral load is a lot, it won’t be enough.” The remedy is to be repeated as needed.
He also described cases in which the virus dies down after a patient takes a certain remedy only to have the patient experience a massive relapse soon after. When that happens, the patient may have to repeat a remedy every hour or half-hour or every day or not at all. He cautioned practitioners not to be distracted by side symptoms.
Sometimes a patient’s chronic state shifts into what’s called a “true acute.” When that happens, the most common acute remedy needed is Bryonia. When a patient’s symptoms are minor, they are staying in their chronic state and need their constitutional remedy. When the symptoms become more severe, the patient’s disease is shifting from a chronic state into an acute one.
If a patient has a dry cough that is worse from motion and the patient is heading for pneumonia, Bryonia is needed. Although symptoms may vary from patient to patient, Bryonia is the most common homeopathic remedy for patients suffering with acute symptoms. Most people, roughly 80% of those infected, will stay in a chronic state and not escalate into an acute one.
In January and February, Dr. Herscu shared that senior citizens in their 70’s and 80’s needed intense acute remedies. Then the second wave of patients who got very sick were in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Many had no underlying conditions and were healthy prior to getting very sick.
It was at first reported that senior citizens were hit hard by COVID-19 and would need intense acute remedies to prevent life-threatening illness. But as time went on, the second wave of patients who got very sick were in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Many had no underlying conditions and were healthy prior to getting very sick. Photo by Brit Alessi from www.freeimages.com.
The patients that homeopaths are most likely to treat and have access to are those who have chronic illness. The virus will affect them in areas where they are weakest like their heart, lungs and kidneys. The big stress of the virus will impact people differently.
“Most people who already have chronic illness,” Dr. Herscu affirmed, “do not handle the virus well.”
Most of those patients will stay in their regular chronic “constitutional” state and will change their chronic state when affected by the virus. That is, they will go from one chronic condition to another. Some will still need their familiar chronic remedy while others will need a remedy different from the one that has been their previous chronic remedy. Those patients needing a different remedy will most likely need one of the following remedies: Sulphur, Lycopodium, Phosphorous, Arsenicum Album, Natrum Muriaticum and Nux Vomica.
Dr. Herscu maintains that asking what the correct Genus Epidemicus is for this virus is the wrong question to ask because a one-size fits most remedy will not work for the majority of patients. Each patient will need a constitutional remedy that reflects the totality of the patient’s particular symptoms.
Importance of Supplementation and Partnering with Homeopaths
The role of the homeopath will be to get a patient’s chronic disease under control and to advise patients about sleep, diet and supplementation. He strongly recommends that any homeopath who is not knowledgeable about supplements partner with a naturopathic doctor who can recommend what supplements will best support a patient’s immune system. In my next blog post, I will be sharing recommendations on how to help boost your immune system. You can check out two articles on “Immune Resilience” on the New England School of Homeopathy’s website here.
In his webinar, Dr. Herscu also emphasized the importance of naturopathic and other physicians reaching out to homeopaths and partnering with them.
“Your tools may not be enough and the health of an individual may be at stake. Most people who are infected with COVID-19 will need a chronic remedy to keep the expression of this virus in its mildest form. You can find homeopaths throughout the world who are good at what they do.”