It appears the Canadian investigative TV show “CBC Marketplace” is planning an episode this fall on vaccine alternatives, with a focus on the tiny part of the population using homeopathic nosodes as a form of disease prevention.
Last Spring CBC Marketplace sent reporters “undercover” to the offices of several Canadian homeopaths, including my own, under the pretext of wanting alternative vaccination information. While it is disturbing to be the target of journalistic investigation, the good news is that this experience is stimulating the wider homeopathic community to come together and disseminate the growing body of scientific evidence in favor of homeopathy (see www.extraordinarymedicine.org). As the Marketplace episode may not show all sides to the story, this newsletter will address the whats and whys about vaccination, nosodes and disease prevention.
What are homeopathic nosodes?
Nosodes are homeopathic remedies made from the discharge or product of a specific disease. Such a product goes through the potentization process of dilution and succussion (vigorous shaking) so many times that there is nothing physical left within the substance however it retains the energetic imprint of the disease with the potential of stimulating immune system response.
Are nosodes regulated in Canada?
Yes, they are regulated and approved by Health Canada. As of September 1st, 2014, all manufacturers’ labels must include “This product is not intended as a vaccine alternative” – although apparently this does not apply to practitioners dispensing nosodes to their clients.
How are nosodes used?
Commonly in constitutional prescribing when someone with a family history of a particular disease carries a susceptibility and experiences symptoms resonant with that disease. For example, a person with a family history of tuberculosis may experience periodic bouts of bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. While certain homeopathic remedies may help them heal from the individual illnesses, prescribing a dose of the nosode Tuberculinum may help clear this inherited susceptibility and eliminate future chest issues in general.
Marketplace, however, is targeting a different use of nosodes – to influence the immune system and lessen its susceptibility to a specific disease. Some people refer to this as “homeopathic vaccination” however this is incorrect – a better term is Homeopathic Prophylaxis (HP).
What’s the difference between conventional vaccination and HP?
A conventional vaccine is chemically made from a material dose of an antigen (a live, attenuated or killed virus, bacteria or toxin), combined with adjuvants (such as aluminum phosphate or aluminum hydroxide) and preservatives (thimerosol, formaldeyde etc.). Most childhood vaccines combine pathogens, with up to 6 in a single needle, and are injected directly into the blood stream. Success rates vary but no vaccine has proven 100% effective in preventing the specific disease. Vaccination is not mandatory in most of Canada however compliance to vaccination schedules is strongly endorsed.
In HP, the nosode is a strictly energetic substance made solely from the single disease product diluted and succussed either in water or alcohol. Taken by mouth mimics a natural exposure, as recognized by the immune system’s resources. While protocols vary, a short series of doses are intended to stimulate a specific, disease-related immune response, educating the immune system and diminishing susceptibility to this particular disease. Without any physical disease agent present, there is no possibility of mutation or engrafting of the disease onto the physical body and the absence of allergic/toxic substances eliminates adverse effects.
What’s the issue with vaccines?
This topic goes beyond the scope of this newsletter but it ranges from possible contamination in laboratories and storage to the cultivation methods and ingredients used in vaccines interacting within the human system. While millions of individuals are routinely vaccinated with minimal problems, nevertheless every year thousands of people do suffer ill effects from vaccination. Since its inception in 1989 the US Vaccination Injury Compensation Program has paid out over 2 billion dollars for injuries and even death legally proven in court as a result of vaccination. In Canada, statistical victims of vaccine damage have no legal recourse, as illustrated by journalist Andre Picard in the Globe and Mail on Feb. 15, 2011:
“While there has been sporadic dialogue over the years amongst Canadian health officials about the need for a vaccine injury compensation program, Canada still remains one of few western countries that denies the reality of vaccine injuries and provides no avenue whatsoever to compensate vaccine injury victims and their families.” (www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/no-fault-compensation-urged-for-those-injures-by-vaccines/article622341/).
How effective is HP compared to vaccination? What proof is there behind this?
Using homeopathic remedies and nosodes as a method to prevent disease dates from homeopathy’s beginnings. Using homeopathy alone, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann not only cured the sick in epidemics such as typhoid and cholera, but also successfully treated the healthy so they would not become sick.
Recent global examples include outbreaks of Meningococcal disease in Brazil in 1998 where the University Foundation in Blumenau, Brazil followed approximately 18,000 children given HP preventatively and reported a 91-95% protection rate against the disease. In 2007/2008, the Cuban medical system distributed HP to approximately 2.5 million people to prevent the annual outbreak of Leptospirosis with the outcome being more successful than previous years where vaccination had been the preventative method (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20674839). There is long list of written documentation successfully using HP to prevent illnesses including polio, Dengue Fever, Diptheria, Malaria, influenza and Hepatitis A.
Regarding using HP to prevent childhood illness, Dr. Isaac Golden in Australia followed approximately 3,000 children over 5 year periods evaluating its effectiveness in disease prevention. He compared the incidence of diseases amongst HP children to those children conventionally vaccinated as well as children who didn’t use vaccination or HP. His research showed HP protection rates of 88% for Whooping Cough, 91% for Measles and 94% for Mumps, on par with conventional vaccines – and his statistics also showed that children using HP had lower percentage of conditions such as asthma, eczema, ear/hearing conditions, allergies and behavioral issues. : http://www.homstudy.net
In North America, a homeopath named Kate Birch is currently overseeing an HP program based on Isaac Golden’s work where children follow his protocol of remedy administration over a 4 year period of time, with parents submitting regular questionnaires regarding their children’s health, reaction to remedies, illness, etc. The material is being compiled in a data base for publication, in order to provide another body of evidence showing homeopathic prophylaxis as a viable means of disease prevention. (www.vaccinefree.wordpress.com)
Why do “experts” say HP is ineffective and reject its use?
Although there have been numerous studies and reports on its successful use, these are mostly to be found in alternative medical/homeopathic journals as the main stream press/medical journals are reluctant to print such information. Prestigious scientists and institutes depend on funding from companies (often pharmaceutical), organizations and governments that may perceive homeopathy as a threat and certain skeptics continue to embarrass/discredit those who advocate for homeopathy. As mentioned above, the website www.extraordinarymedicine.org lists respected scientific studies on homeopathy’s promise on everything from diarrhea in children to breast cancer as well as rebuttals to those mainstream articles denigrating homeopathy.
The desire to prevent disease in society is a noble one and towards this aim, governments and medical systems continue to create new vaccines and additions to the vaccination schedule. In Canada today, by 18 months of age a child will have been injected with 37 different pathogens – compared to 1983 where a similar aged child would have received 10. Not every child will sail through this protocol unscathed – and this is the dilemma many parents feel in weighing the risks of vaccination against the risks of non-vaccinating. While conventional medicine does not endorse it, there is research and historical evidence suggesting HP is an alternate way to protect against certain diseases.
We can all look towards a day when rather than compete, our various health systems and philosophies will complement and further stimulate the continued development of helpful, safe and beneficial practices.