Archive for August, 2010

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by the spirochaete Leptospira, which is transmitted to humans from the infected urine of rats. Once affected, a patient may develop high fever, chills, severe headache, muscle pains, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, jaundice, redness of eyes and rash. Complications include kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure and respiratory illness.

Cuba goes through a yearly cycle of Leptospirosis epidemic, especially after the hurricanes flood the countryside and water pollution reaches its height. Many people are left homeless, flooded out and under the stress of a disaster situation.

Cuba, being considered an outcast by the USA, has had to become self-reliant in terms of production of medicines, health care programmes, etc. This is advantageous because research is no longer hampered by the all-powerful lobby of pharmaceutical companies and hence, Cuba has been able to search for the most effective and inexpensive ways of dealing with widespread health problems.

Until 2007, the Finlay Institute distributed its own allopathic vaccine against leptospirosis; however, the yearly high incidence of the disease, almost to epidemic proportions continued.

In October-November 2007, three provinces of the eastern region of Cuba were affected by heavy rainfalls causing flooding of big areas and damage to sanitary and health systems. The risk of leptospirosis infection reached extremely high levels with about 2 million people exposed to potentially contaminated water. This time, not having enough vaccine stock to vaccinate all the at-risk population, the Finlay Institute prepared a homoeopathic remedy to be used as a preventive – leptospirosis nosode 200 CH, using 4 circulating strains. Coordination with the public health infrastructure allowed the administration of 2 doses of the nosode, at 9 days’ interval, to about 2.4 million people. About 92% of the total population from the at-risk areas were administered the doses. Another dose in the 10M potency was given after hurricane Ike hit the island. This programme cost US $200,000, much less than what the cost of the regular vaccine would have been which was around US $3,000,000.

Even after the allopathic vaccination, the usual expectancy of infection is several thousand, including some deaths. Careful research conducted showed that after the homeopathic prophylaxis the incidence of leptospirosis dropped to almost zero, just 10 cases were reported and no deaths occured even after three major hurricane hits. The rest of the country which had not received the homeopathic prophylaxis, showed the expected incidence of leptospirosis.

This application of homoeopathy in such a large population with such dramatic results and scientifically documented as it has been, is tremendously encouraging and shows how homoeopathy can be used effectively, cheaply and within an existing health care structure, if the administration really wants to achieve good health without any financial influence.

Sources and references:

Journal Spectrum of Homeopathy, No. 1, 2010. Narayana Publishers.

Spinal canal stenosis occurs due to the compression of nerve roots in the spinal canal. Here, there is a combination of narrowing of the disc space, bulging of the disc into the spinal canal and degeneration of the facet joints. This occurs due to wear and tear. A certain degree of spinal canal stenosis is common in the elderly and may not be associated with any discomfort. A diagnosis of spinal canal stenosis is not adequate reason for surgery – surgery is only to be considered when symptoms are severe and disabling. Even then, conservative treatment is first recommended and homoeopathy often plays an important role in avoiding surgery and enabling the patient to live a more normal life.

The case described below is of an elderly gentleman who was diagnosed with Spinal Canal Stenosis and was offered surgery as a last resort to ameliorate his complaints.

This 68-year-old man who lives in Jalgaon, came to my clinic in October 2006. His son’s family lives in Mumbai and they brought him for consultation after recommendation from a neighbour.
The patient had an accident that had injured the spine in 1996. Since then, he used to suffer from pain on and off. The pain had increased in intensity and frequency in the last 2 years, becoming quite unbearable in the last one month.

When he came in for consultation, his symptoms were as follows:
Throbbing pain in the right hip and right sacral region. The pain increased terribly on walking and after walking about half a kilometer, he would have to sit down for a while. The pain was better while sitting, better by support, better by pressure and better by hot fomentation.
There was tingling numbness from the soles up the entire lower limbs that came on while walking, worse in the left lower limb.

He is a vegetarian and has a balanced life, eating all vegetarian foods with no particular cravings or aversions. He drank 8-10 glasses of water per day and bowel and bladder functions were normal. He slept at 8 at night, waking at 5 in the morning. His sleep was deep and he liked to sleep for 2 hours in the afternoons. No significant dreams were elicited. There was a past history of smoking that he’d given up many years ago.

There were no major illnesses in his past history or in his family. His mother was still alive at 90.

He had a helpful nature and was well-respected in his village. People would go to him for advice. He had no fears and had firm religious beliefs. He insisted that there had been nothing unusual in his life and he lived happily with his routines. His ‘routine’ consisted of farming his land.

Based on his presenting symptoms, he was prescribed Sepia 200, once a day, with instructions to reduce the dosing if improvement set in. He was to report after a week.

After a week, he was 75% better where his pain was concerned. He said he could walk longer too. At this point, it was decided that a remedy for long-term improvement has to be selected. Kali Carb 200 was chosen. He was to report after a fortnight. He continued to improve. At the end of 6 weeks, he had no pain on walking, but the tingling numbness would occur on walking about 1/2 a km. Rest, however, even for a minute, would ease the numbness.

6 weeks further down the line, improvement continued. Few more Kali Carb 200 doses were repeated over the next 6 months with a couple of Sulphur 200 doses being given as an intercurrent. Kali Carb 1M was later given and in November 2007, he was completely free of his complaints.

They have referred several people from their village for treatment. The last report I received from the son (in July 2010) stated that his father was doing very well with no complaints whatsoever.