In January, The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) issued an advisory recommending homeopathy as a preventative for COVID-19.
Criticism and lack of permission from ICMR stopped homeopathic practitioners from conducting trials on patients in spite of agreement that there was no downside or any negative effects from homeopathy.
As a result, the Indian Government has set up a task-force for the scientific validation by double-blind studies of traditional forms of medicine, including homeopathy, through the ICMR.
India Today interviewed Medical Director Dr Isaac Mathai, Pune Police Commissioner K. Venkatesham, and business man and homeopathic advocate Rajiv Bajaj about these matters.
Their comments are summarised, below.
Pune Police Commissioner, K. Venkatesham
- The entire Pune police force (90,000 members at last count) has been supplied with a homeopathic remedy for protection against COVID-19.
- None have fallen ill so far and they are grateful for the support.
- The police have also shared the remedy with their families.
Medical Director, Dr Isaac Mathai
- Evidence from last 100 years that shows homeopathy is effective against viral and bacterial diseases.
- His clinical practice has treated thousands around the world with homeopathy to improve resistance, reduce symptoms, and speed recovery with epidemic disease including SARS and swine flu (H1N1).
- Homeopathy being used for COVID-19 in many countries including France, Polynesia, and Romania, and positive responses are being seen.
- The Cental Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH) has recommended Arsenicum album 30C as a preventative.
- His clinic has distributed homeopathy to almost 300,000 people around Pune.
- Different remedies are needed for different stages of the disease depending of the patient’s totality of symptoms.
- With treatment, those in hospital should expect to be discharged by 7 – 10 days rather than 3 weeks, and without complications.
- Testing to confirm the disease should be done but often, tests aren’t available and homeopathy is still being used with success in either situation
- India is the main country for homeopathy. It has the largest number of qualified homeopathic doctors and millions of people taking homeopathy for acute and chronic disease.
- Homeopathy and other systems of medicine should be bought into use for the benefit of humanity. The decision on how to treat should not be system oriented but patient oriented.
Businessman and Advocate, Rajiv Bajaj
- Allopathic medicine (conventional medicine) is palliative or suppressive but not necessarily curative.
- The impression is that one has to aggressively attack or suppress this disease with allopathy.
- Even if that were true, best estimates suggest that a vaccine is at least a year away. In the meantime, we should be practical and do what is able to be done now.
- The proposal to use homeopathy is not based on an hypothesis or blind faith but people who have recovered with it, and front-line people such as the Pune police who are doing well.
- It is naive to think that repeated lock-downs will lead to herd immunity.
- A trial should be run a trial at 2 – 3 hospitals to assess effectiveness of homeopathy. If this had been done at the beginning of the lock-down, the information would already be available.
- At about 5 rupees per person, homeopathy is cost-effective, and with no side-effects, could be India’s contribution to the world.