What is H1N1 flu ? H1N1 virus is a new type of Influenza virus affecting pigs, humans and maybe some other animals. Humans do not yet have herd immunity to it as they do to other types of flu viruses.
As we (people on this earth) have not developed the immunity against H1N1, it is spreading like wildfire and at a rate faster than any other virus epidemic.
At present, it is a very low mortality viral infection and the risk of death (in kids who have low immunity, and adults at old age especially when weakened by diabetes or other debilitating disorders) is pale in comparison to childhood diarrhea, typhoid, bronchopneumonia at extremes of age, and many other diseases that we are used to.
The main worry is that the next mutated form of this virus, expected within a year, may acquire higher levels of virulence to cause death and or severe complications. To preempt that state of risk, we have to build the overall level of immunity in the general population (herd immunity) either by infection or with the help of a vaccine.
What are symptoms of Influenza A H1N1 ?
Just like any another flu, predominantly upper respiratory symptoms like cough, cold accompanied by the usual fever, headache, body ache, loss of appetite, sore throat, weakness, and sometimes uneasy stomach has been reported in many cases. Mild respiratory illness (nasal congestion, rhinorrhea) without fever and occasional severe disease also has been reported.
Managing H1N1 influenza:
Whenever any of above symptoms start, go to nearest Government approved laboratories for checkup and testing for H1N1 infection.
Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Community
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
If you are sick, you may be ill for a week or longer. You should stay home and keep away from others as much as possible. Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible. This is to keep from making others sick.
If you are sick and sharing a common space with other household members in your home, wear a facemask, if available and tolerable, to help prevent spreading the virus to others.
With seasonal flu, people may be contagious from one day before they develop symptoms to up to 7 days after they get sick. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods.
If you are in a high risk group for complications from influenza, you should attempt to avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with household members who are sick with influenza. If close contact with a sick individual is unavoidable, consider wearing a facemask or respirator, if available and tolerable. Infants and pregnant women should not be cared for by sick family members.
Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds, and other social distancing measures.
What Homeopathy or homoeopathic medicines can do ?
Hahnemann has mentioned guidelines for physicians to tackle any epidemic in his Organon of Medicine under the aphorisms 100-102:
In investigating the symptomatology of any epidemic or sporadic disease, it is NOT required to know whether something similar disease has appeared in the world before under the same name or any other name. Physician MUST examine every prevailing disease as if it were something new and unknown.
He SHOULD investigate it thoroughly for practicing medicine in a real and radical manner. He should NEVER substitute conjecture (guess or baseless opinion) for actual observations. He should NOT consider this new prevailing disease as if already whole or partially. He SHOULD examine this prevailing disease in all its phases.
It may be possible that the physician may not be able to obtain complete picture of disease in the first case of an epidemic disease. He may become conversant with the totality of signs and symptoms if he closely observes several cases of such disease.
This way the physician will be enabled to verify the suitableness of the medicine chosen, or to discover more appropriate, most appropriate homeopathic remedy. The whole extent or the totality of the symptoms cannot be learned from one single patient. It will be obtained by a complete survey of the morbid picture, which is essential to choose the most suitable homeopathic remedy.
Now, considering the guidelines given by Dr. Hahnemann – Inventor of Homoeopathy, I took all the symptoms (as mentioned by CDC) for further analysis.
Analysis of symptoms of hospitalized novel H1N1 patients :
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of US had tabulated the symptomatology of H1N1 virus in human beings:
Shortness of breath (54%)
Sore Throat (31%)
You can see in more than 50% of the cases Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath were marked. I would like to mention some Emergency Warning Signs here. If you become ill and experience any of the warning signs, seek emergency medical care at nearest government hospital.
In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Sele ction of Homeopathic Repertory
In Homeopathy, Repertory is a clinical applied tool, in short, it helps to analyse symptoms of a patient in a clinical setup. There are various homeopathic repertories available (like Boenninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocket Book, Boger’s Boenninghausen’s Characteristics and Repertory, Kent’s Repertory, and some newer repertories) based on certain logic, philosophies or guidelines. Each one is having specific scope and limitations.
Considering the general symptoms of the H1N1 Influenza as mentioned by CDC, I chose Kent’s Repertory to analyse all these symptoms. Kent’s Repertory is the most often used homeopathic repertory worldwide.
Rubrics of Kent’s Homeopathic Repertory pertaining to symptoms of hospitalized novel H1N1 patients: (in bracket total number of homeopathic medicines are mentioned – these number of homeopathic medicines have affinity to cure linked symptom)
Fever; HEAT in general (152)
Cough (238) – here I included homeopathic remedies of all time modalities
Respiration; DIFFICULT (Asthmatic) (259)
Generalities; WEAKNESS (309)
Chill; COLDNESS in general (177)
Extremity Pain; GENERAL (168)
Catarrh+Coryza (224) – for rhinorrhea, I included all the remedies belonging to catarrh and coryza in nose.
Throat; PAIN; Sorethroat (in general) (120)
Head Pain; GENERAL (258)
Stomach; VOMITING; General (177)
Respiration; WHEEZING (62)
Rectum; DIARRHOEA (214)
On analysing the computational result of this, following homeopathic remedies are coming at a higher ranking
I observed that Ars. is ranking on top covering almost all the symptoms of H1N1 in highest grade.
Recently, I heard that some SMS about Influenzinum are circulated widely in India and USA.
Influenzinum - a homeopathic preparation called nosode is prepared by Pasteur Institute. It is anti – grippe vaccin prepared from 2 varieties of viruses, the one being that of ordinary influenza A.P. R. – 8 and the other A – Singapore – 1, 1957, which is called Asiatic influenza. The preparation of this mixture is, 3 parts of Asiatic virus and onepart of European virus. These viruses are cultured on chidken embryo, and titrated by the reaction of Hemagglutination of Hirst, after purification, and concentration by formol. The stock contains influenza titrated 500 units of hemagglutinant per millilitre. It is interesting to note that Pasteur Institute prepare specially this vaccine mixture for Homoeopathic uses.
Following the famous “Spanish Influenza” of 1918, some nosodes of Influnza appeared. Thus Pierre Schmidt of Geneva prepared the Nosode Influenzinum – Spanish, but he neither spoecified the composition of the stock nor the origin.
In the year 1938 appeared an article of Dr. Beeby in Homoeopathic Recorder concerning this Nosode and made a comparative study with Influenzinum of Dr. Nebel. Nebel of Lausanne prepared towards 1938 a series of Nosodes but they are not found at present.
According to Demageat there exists influenzinum 1918, prepared by Bach and dichington but the stock is not known. There even exists in Influenzinum 1918, prepared by Neison Laboratory in 30 CH nd an Influenzinum with China used in Influenza sequalae of Spain. All these nosodes exist no more in pharmacy.
At Nelson are found at present the different types of Influenza and Influenzinum.
There exist also several stocks of “Grippen Nosoden” in dynamizations D6 to D 400, prepared by the Laboratory Mueller, Goepingen in Germany and utilised by Voll according to Electro – acupuncture – orgenometry and tested therapeutically with his apparatus.
Reckeweg has prepared the “Grippe – Nosode – Injeel – forte D6, D10), D30, D200, which are to be used as injections.
Our present day influenzinum, as has been remarked by Demagent, does not correspond to the old stock.
There exists no pathogenetic experiment according to the method of Hahnemann. It is also cleared that different pharmacies preparing this medicine differently, and which influenzinum we are getting in India — I am not sure about that.
Regarding using influenzinum, the general directions Clarke gave to his patients are these: When “colds” appear in a family let all those who are unaffected take Ars. 3c thrice daily and let the patients take Influ. 30c every hour or two. Even Dr. P. Sankaran of Bombay had mentioned that Influenzinum is indicated for poor reaction, when the patient’s recovery is poor after influenza. And, Tyler of UK used this in post influenzal epilepsy.
Therefore, I think Influenzinum is to be used in patients suffering from H1N1, and for sequale after H1N1.
What Homeopathic Medicine for H1N1 ?
As such, we don’t have any concrete outcome related to the present situation of H1N1 in India and abroad. Dr. Hahnemann used the prophylactic medicines during epidemics in his time. He evaluated the remedies based on his guidelines, and using those remedies proved efficacy of homeopathic medicines in epidemics. His experinces lead him to create guidelines to finding the curative remedy in such epidemics. Similarly we can apply this in our search of homeopathic medicine for H1N1 flu pandemic.
As per my analysis, in my opinion, Arsenic Album (or Ars. alb., or Arsenic alba) might be the right choice right now. Taking Ars. alb. 30 twice daily for 4-5 days might be helpful initially for a month or so. I chose 30 potency as it would be safer for kids, children, preganant, and immuno-compromised peoples. The information provided here is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician.
I presented this information here because I am finding lot of confusions in my patients, friends, students and my collegues.
In the last, if you find any flu-like symptoms, please consult your physician immidiately. All these info here is to update you about the facts. I am sure this would help you.
Dr. Anil Singhal, MD(Homeo)
Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, New Delhi.
Dr. B. R. Sur Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, New Delhi.
Bakson Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Greater Noida.
Note: You can download this information freely and spread the facts about H1N1 Flu and Homeopathy. We don’t need to create panic. We all work together to make this world H1N1 free.