One of the most common misapprehensions concerning homeopathy relates to its potential in serious illness. Many people mistakenly assume that this gentle therapy is only effective in mild conditions. Before the advent of antibiotics, the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital received patients suffering from severe infections, on transfer from other hospitals in the city where there was no possibility for active treatment.
Case records from the beginning of the 20th century make interesting reading. They contain details of patients who recovered, under homeopathic treatment, from pneumonias and other severe infections. It is important to remember, however, that, among the successes, there are also a number of patients treated at the beginning of the 20th century, who died and who would probably have survived with modern intensive care.
The converse irony is that today, after years of over-prescribing, increasing numbers of our antibiotics are becoming ineffective, with the emergence of resistant bacterial strains. We can only hope that prejudice will not prevent the medical community from tapping into a long neglected homeopathic knowledge base, for the sake of these patients.
In severe acute cases a doctor’s primary responsibility is to the safety of the patient. Miss S presented acutely with a severe chest infection and bronchospasm on a Friday afternoon. She was severely breathless at rest and virtually unable to speak. This patient did not want hospital admission. We insisted, however, that she demonstrate an unequivocal remedy response within 30 minutes, or emergency hospital admission would be arranged for her. Her air entry began to improve rapidly following homeopathic Squilla maritima and she returned home with a remedy sequence and strict instructions to call for help if the improvement was not maintained. By the time of her review, on the following Monday, she was markedly improved. She was completely free of respiratory signs and symptoms by the end of that week.