February 22nd, 2012
By: Carolanne Wright
Homeopathic medicine has a long, successful history of prevention and treatment of illness without harmful side effects. Documentation spanning several centuries has shown the incredible effectiveness of homeopathy during some of the most deadly epidemics in history.
Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician in the 1800s, is considered the father of homeopathy. Dr. Hahnemann, a man deeply rooted in the scientific method, critically condemned the medical practices of the day such as bloodletting and purging with medicines made with mercury, lead, and arsenic. He discovered the “Law of Similars” while researching cinchona bark which is used to treat malaria. Hahnemann, in perfect health, began taking this Peruvian bark two times a day for several days. He reported that he began showing identical symptoms to malaria. Upon conclusion of the experiment, he realized medicinal substances create symptoms in healthy people that were almost identical to the diseases they were meant to treat. This was the beginning of Dr. Hahnemann’s distinguished career in homeopathy which lead to widespread acceptance of his method around the world.
Epidemics: Fertile ground for the usefulness of homeopathy
Homeopathic medicine has been used successfully by Hahnemann and others for treatment during some of the most devastating epidemics in history. During the European Typhus Epidemic of 1813, those treated in homeopathic hospitals had a mortality rate of less than 1 percent while those treated with allopathic medicine had a mortality rate well over 30 percent. Documentation for the Russian Cholera Epidemic of 1831 confirmed a death rate of under 10 percent for those treated homeopathically while conventional treatments had a death rate of up to 80 percent.
During the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 that claimed the lives of millions, homeopathic hospitals had a remarkably low mortality rate. Twenty-six thousand cases of the flu were treated homeopathically with 1.05 percent mortality rate while the 24,000 cases that were treated allopathically had a mortality rate of 28.2 percent. Gelsemium was the most commonly used remedy for the H1N1 influenza virus of the pandemic.
Hahnemann was inspired to use homeopathic medicine as a preventative while treating several ailing children in two families. The first family had three children out of four who were ill with scarlet fever. The fourth, who was taking Belladonna for a finger joint problem at the time, remained free from the illness.
Shortly after, a family with eight children, three of which were already infected with scarlet fever, requested Dr. Hahnemann’s expertise to help protect the other five children. Once again, he used Belladonna with positive result. All five children escaped the illness even though they were exposed repeatedly to their unwell siblings. After observing the protective effects of Belladonna against scarlet fever, Hahnemann continued to use this remedy with extraordinary success during epidemics.
Additional disease prevented by homeopathy
During a 1902 smallpox outbreak in Iowa, a Dr. Eaton reported that 2806 people were given Variolinum as a preventative. The rate of protection was an astounding 97 percent which was unheard of in allopathic medicine.
The British Medical Journal reported that during the 1974 meningitis outbreak in Brazil, those who were given Menigococcium prophylaxis were protected from developing the disease 23 more times than those who did not receive treatment.
Homeopathic medicine has also been shown to be astonishingly effective in preventing polio. In several studies involving over 11,000 children, Lathyrus Sativus was given as a ‘vaccine’ against the disease. Not a single case of polio was reported nor were there any documented side effects.
As safe alternative to conventional medicine, homeopathy is remarkably beneficial in preventing and treating many of the most dangerous communicable diseases known to man.
April 13, 2010
Doctors at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital said in a report published in pediatrics that the current definitions for eating disorders, namely anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa need to be expanded to have more people diagnosed with eating disorders
“Anorexia nervosa is characterized by emaciation, a relentless pursuit of thinness and unwilling to maintain a normal or healthy weight, a distortion of body image and intense fear of gaining weight,” The National Institute of Mental Health states in a document.
Symptoms accompanying this eating disorder include depression, anxiety, obsessive behavior, substance abuse, cardiovascular and neurological complications and impaired physical development.
They may also include thinning of the bones, brittle hair and nails, dry and yellow skin, growth of fine hair, mild anemia, and muscle weakness and loss, sever constipation, low blood pressure, slowed breathing and pulse, and low body temperature.
“Bulimia nervosa is characterized by recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food (e.g., binge-eating), and feeling a lack of control over the eating. This binge-eating is followed by a type of behavior that compensates for the binge, such as purging (e.g., vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics), fasting and/or excessive exercise,” the NIMH states.
Symptoms associated with bulimia include psychological illnesses such as depression, anxiety and or substance abuse problems, and physical conditions like electrolyte imbalances, gastrointestinal problems and oral and tooth-related problems.
The researchers said the diagnostic cutoffs for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa may be too strict and many people who suffer severe conditions, but can’t be diagnosed with any eating disorder by the current definitions.
Rebecka Peebles, MD and colleagues suggest the group of people who are diagnosed with “eating disorder not otherwise specified” or EDNOS by the current definition should be treated like they suffer anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa as their conditions are severe enough to be treated as patients suffering bulimia and anorexia.
Peebles’ team studied 1,310 female patients treated for eating disorders at Packard Children’s between Janunary 1997 and April 2008 and two-thirds of the patients had EDNOS. They found many patients with EDNOS were qualified for treatments indicated for anorexia and bulimia patients.
August 12, 2009
By Ed Hornick and Elaine Quijano
Wendell Potter knows a little something about the health care industry’s practices and is not afraid of to speak out as the health care reform debate heats up around the country.
The former vice president of corporate communications at insurance giant Cigna, who left his post, says the industry is playing “dirty tricks” in an effort to manipulate public opinion.
“Words matter, and the insurance industry is a master at linguistics and using the hot words, buzzwords, buzz expressions that they know will get people upset,” he told CNN Wednesday.
Now a senior fellow on health care for the watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy, Potter writes a blog on health care reform. He is focusing on efforts to defeat legislation supporting a government health care plan — something he supports.
In early July, Potter testified before the Senate Commerce Committee, telling senators that “I know from personal experience that members of Congress and the public have good reason to question the honesty and trustworthiness of the insurance industry.”
Potter described how underwriters at his former company would drive small businesses with expensive insurance claims to dump their Cigna policies. Industry executives refer to the practice as “purging,” Potter said.
“When that business comes up for renewal, the underwriters jack the rates up so much, the employer has no choice but to drop insurance,” Potter had said.
In an e-mail to CNN, Cigna spokesman Chris Curran denied the company engages in purging.
“We do not practice that. We will offer rates that are reflective of the competitive group health insurance market. We always encourage our clients to compare our proposed rates to those available from other carriers,” Curran wrote.
But now, Potter is back in Washington at the invitation from Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-New York. He is questioning insurance companies’ public relations tactics — and says some of the questions from town hall meetings are familiar.
“People talk about the government takeover of the system … that’s a buzz term that comes straight out of the insurance industry,” he said.
A Cigna spokesman would not comment directly on Potter’s accusations. Instead, the company released a written statement saying officials agree that health care reform is needed. But the statement went on to say that officials don’t see how a government-sponsored plan can accomplish that.
But Potter’s concerns fall right in line with the Democrats’ strategy of hitting insurance companies hard this summer. Republicans argue that insurance companies aren’t solely to blame for the health care crisis, noting that many of their constituents are perfectly happy with the current system.
The Democratic Party is also dealing with a group of fiscally conservative members known as “Blue Dogs” who are worried over the high costs of the health care plans being bandied about.
Slaughter says that the concerns over a government option may be set up to “try and protect one industry” — referring to the health insurance industry.
Potter insists he has no agenda — just a deep passion for the issue.
“This is hard to do. It’s scary to do something like this. I don’t think I’m any more courageous than anybody but I feel I had to do this.”
Potter also has said he decided to resign in 2007 after Cigna’s controversial handling of an insurance claim made by the family of a California teenager, Nataline Sarkysian.
The Sarkysian family made repeated appeals at news conferences for Cigna to approve a liver transplant for the 17-year-old, who had leukemia. Cigna initially declined to cover the operation, then reversed its decision.
Sarkysian died hours after the company’s reversal.