When the world is making great strides in promoting hygiene, Hahnemann clearly evaluated the principles of hygiene and isolation of the sick during an epidemic. The isolation of the sick from the rest of the population limits the spread of disease. Is it not amazing to note that Hahnemann has given detailed instructions on how to set up an isolation (ward) for the infected people? Sterile masks and gowns were unknown then, Hahnemann has proposed the use of an oil cloth cloak covering till foot while visiting the sick and change of the same while going out. Disinfecting, airing of the rooms, sterilizing the rooms where the sick had lived; importance of fresh air; clean and nourishing food; even the minutest detail had been thought of by the master. We have had a previous post on Homoeoprophylaxis which can be read here and a discussion on facebook which can be read here.
Continuing from the previous post on Homoeoprophylaxis, where I have described the method Hahnemann adopted in scarlet fever with the use of Belladonna as a prophylactic against scarlet fever. There is a specific way of preparing prophylactic medicines. In preparing Belladonna as prophylactic against scarlet fever, he used fresh leaves of Bell before the flowers are bloomed. This is then bruised in a mortar and the juice is then pressed through a linen. This extract is then air dried thoroughly after which the powder is stored. The preparation of the prophylactic remedy begins from this powder. A grain of this powder is dissolved in 100 drops of distilled water by rubbing it in a small mortar. A strong solution of Bell is prepared from this solution after adding 300 drops of diluted alcohol (after rinsing the mortar with it). Shake it. Now, the diluted alcohol is composed of five parts of water to one part of spirit. After this a medium solution of Bell is prepared by taking a drop from the strong solution and mixing it with 300 drops of diluted alcohol;this is to be shaken for a minute. The next step is the preparation of a weak solution of Bell. A drop from the medium solution is taken and mixed with 200 drops of alcohol, shaken for a minute forms the prophylactic remedy.
Hahnemann has also described a specific mode of administration of this drug as a prophylactic. He has stressed on the dosage and repetition of the medicine. Two drops are given to a one year old child. A Child younger than this gets single drop. Three drops are given to a two year old child. Four drops to a three year old child. A four year old child could be given five to six drops according to his constitution. A five year old child receives six to seven drops. A six year old gets seven to eight drops ; a seven year old receives nine to ten drops; an eight year old gets eleven to thirteen drops; a nine year old from fourteen to sixteen drops; and with successive year up to the twentieth two drops more, not above forty drops. The dose must be given after stirring for a minute with any kind of drink. It is given every seventy two hours as long as the epidemic lasts and four to five weeks thereafter. If the epidemic is very violent and the children could bear it, the second dose should be taken twenty four hours after the first, the third dose thirty six hours after the second, the fourth forty eight hours after the third, and thereafter to let the subsequent dose be taken every seventy two hours until the end.
Homoeoprophylaxis is incomplete without discussion on the mode of treatment of the patient in an epidemic. There is no question of constitutional prescribing in prophylaxis. Genus epidemicus and anti psorics form the basis of treatment of epidemics. The genus epidemicus are selected from the the non anti psoric group of medicines. If the disease is not too severe, olfaction of a globule moistened with the medicine is the preferable mode of administration.
If the patient is already under the treatment for a chronic diseases, the antipsoric medicine must be stopped during an epidemic. A considerable duration of time might be lost in the treatment of a chronic disease thereby. At the end of the epidemic,to continue the treatment of chronic disease, the case should be re taken and continued. The picture of the sufferings are usually altered after recovery from an epidemic. Even the part of the body suffering could be different. The anti psoric, now homoeopathic to the case must be selected and administered.
Intermittent fevers by themselves require an elaborate discussion. In epidemic intermittent fevers, psora is always involved. If the patient is not under anti psoric treatmment before the onset of the epidemic fever, a dose of Sulphur or Hepar Sulph at the beginning of treatment helps in the recovery of the patient.. This can be given internally or through olfaction. After the improvement from this ceases in few days, then one or two doses of non anti psoric medicine selected as the genus epidemicus should be given . The medicines are to be given at the end of an attack. China should never be used in epidemic intermittent fevers as it will only suppress the type. China should be used only in endemic intermittent fever, that too only in connection with anti psoric medicines.
The intermittent fevers may appear in a changed form each year. The medicines also differ, with their changed forms. To Quote Hahnemann from Chronic Diseases where he talks about epidemic intermittent fevers and their treatment, " One year they require Arsenic, another Belladonna, another Antimonium Crudum, or Spigelia, Aconite, with Ipecac, alternating with Nux Vom, Sal Ammoniacum, Natrum Muriaticum, Opium, Cina, alone or in alternation with Capsicum, or Capsicum alone, Menyanthes Trifoliata, Calcarea Carb, Pulsatilla, one of the two Carbos, Arnica alone or in alternation with Ipecac, and with these they were cured in a few days." If anti psoric medicines are homoeopathic to the cases they too could be given.
In severe cases of fever, where there was no anti psoric treatment taking place before the epidemic, even after treatment with the genus epidemicus, there will always be left after pains or secondary diseases will be found left. Such diseases have the tendency to become chronic.This was observed in the chickungunya outbreak in Kerala in 2007 , in patients who had the severe attack of the fever were left crippled. Most of them were mismanaged with antibiotics is another story. Chickungunya, a self limiting, non fatal diseases took several lives in this outbreak. "With all patients in intermittent fever, psora is essentially involved in every epidemy", is what Hahnemann says in Chronic diseases. The patient will have to be treated with anti psorics as per the principles proposed by Hahnemann for the cure of psora.
The sequelae to diseases like measles, whooping cough etc. are again due to the explosion of psora. The sequelae can be prevented with the correct homoeopathic treatment of the epidemic disease itself. The sequelae can become chronic, if not treated properly with antipsorics. Sometimes there develops eruptions after the termination of the epidemic. This is again secondary psora and comes out due to the psora remaining behind after the repression from the skin of the original eruption. These require no treatment and terminates on its own. The epidemic fevers which do not pass into good health require a dose of Sulphur, if the patient has not used sulphur containing medicine shortly before is what Hahnemann says.
I do not claim that prophylaxis is complete with this post. Hahnemann, the great master has detailed even the finest points for the management of epidemics. I have tried to highlight a few of them. What are your experiences with prophylaxis? Do share them and let us learn from one another...