The discovery of penicillin in 1928 and its use from the early 1940s was hailed as one of the greatest medical discoveries of all time. Sadly in just 70 years, we have abused this great jewel of medicine to the point where many of the common infections no longer respond to a round of antibiotics and many bacteria and potentially deadly superbugs such as Klebsiella, E-coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Pseudomonas are running rampant.
Researchers are now trying to develop other drugs, including a new generation of antibiotics, that will effectively attack these superbugs and save the world yet again.
But clearly, this is not the answer in the long term. Medicine is always looking to “fight” and “attack” and to “trick the immune system” into doing what mankind wants, but never looking at working with the immune system’s natural processes.
Long before the discovery of penicillin, Louis Pasteur, towards the end of his life, admitted that germs may not be the cause of disease at all, but might simply be another symptom of disease. He had realized that germs seemed to lead to illness when the individual’s immune system was not strong enough to meet such a challenge.
From this, advocates of a natural and more holistic approach to health realized that the “cause” of disease is not simply a bacteria or virus, but many other factors which may compromise the individual’s resistance, including the person’s inherited constitution, nutritional status, environment, life stress and mental/emotional state.
In explaining one of his experiments with silkworms, Pasteur concluded that the microorganisms present in such large numbers in the intestinal tract of the silkworms were “more an effect than a cause of disease”. They were a symptom and not the cause.
With these insights, Pasteur conceived a holistic and ecological understanding of infectious disease. Infectious diseases do not have a single cause but are the result of multiple factors and circumstances. Therefore, it seems obvious that using one single drug to continually attack these types of disease is going to fail in the end, and this is what we have seen with antibiotics.
The other issue that compounds the problem is the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in the production process of so many of our foods; meat, eggs, and all their by-products, the use of antifungals in plant production, and of course the wide-spread use of hormones to improve yields in the farming industry. Effectively we are all having prophylactic doses of all of these drugs all of the time. It is obvious that over time nature is going to develop “germs” to be able to survive these drugs and to create super germs!
But there are many quiet achievers out there: natural remedies that conventional medicine would deprive the world of because they’d rather see civilization destroy itself than admit that there are many, better options than antibiotics, which by its name – “anti” – tells us it is going on the attack.
Homeopathy has been successfully treating infectious disease for more than 200 years. Through the deadly smallpox epidemics of Samuel Hahnemann’s time in the late 1700s, syphilis, gonorrhea, the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 and of course the common everyday infections. Homeopathy was hailed a miracle in the late 1800s when people frequently suffered horribly and died from these diseases and it still has something of a reputation in many parts of the world today. However in the USA in the early 1900’s when the American Medical Association and the pharmaceutical companies were just getting started, they recognized that there was no money to be made from this low cost, very effective system of medicine and so it was driven underground.
The same is happening today, perhaps with the same motivation, and herbal and naturopathic medicines are also under threat – our other saviours! With these tools alone there is a multitude of ways of treating infectious diseases simply and effectively, and while there will always be people who won’t survive, that too is part of nature’s plan for sustainability of the earth.
Another issue that also bears thinking about is that if disease becomes resistant to the use of antibiotics, then presumably it is also going to become resistant to our efforts to medicate in other ways and to immunise against it. This is another case of trying to trick the immune system into building immunity rather than letting nature take its course to build a strong healthy immune system for life. Already we are seeing outbreaks of diseases which are commonly immunised against, with the declaration that it’s been spread by the unvaccinated. And we’ve seen over recent years that the more we immunise against a particular disease, the more there are outbreaks and mutations – whooping cough and influenza are a case in point – and now we see not only is measles an issue, but mumps is starting to reappear.
Ask yourself how our current medical system is going to deal with the enormous increase in serious chronic disease when they are struggling to manage day to day acute infection. They do great things with first aid and surgery, but how well do they really manage anything else?! There has always been a place for antibiotics but our abuse of this privilege has effectively removed this as an option.
So how can homeopathy manage infectious disease if conventional medicine can’t?
The answer is in the approach. Homeopathy treats the whole person and not the disease or diagnosis, although in acute illness sometimes we do use remedies that address the specific bacterium. However, in stimulating the immune system to work harder to overcome the disease – working with the immune system rather than trying to suppress the symptoms as we see in conventional medicine – we have much more of a chance at success. Sometimes that’s all that needs to happen: the immune system just needs a little help to become strong enough to fight for itself. We need to see the immune system as part of the whole – to be encouraged and worked with, rather than seeing its struggles as a battle with an enemy that needs to be fought against!!
We’re not really talking about any special remedies here either. Belladonna, Pulsatilla, Hepar Sulph, Merc Sol are all remedies that might commonly be used to manage infectious disease, so we do not need to go and find special new remedies to treat antibiotic-resistant illnesses. Our old favourites are still going to work despite this resistance seen in conventional medicine.
Combined with good constitutional treatment through your homeopath to build a strong immune system and the use of well-chosen remedies to overcome acute illness, antibiotic resistance is not the life sentence we are lead to believe, although in the minds of those who worship at the altar of so-called “modern medicine” it’s pretty serious!
Homeopathy is a traditional medicine. It may be used in conjunction with other medicines. For any ongoing chronic condition or serious acute illness, it is important to be assessed or examined by your GP, ED or specialist. Always seek medical advice in emergencies. The information provided in this blog does not constitute medical advice but is for information only. If in doubt as to the appropriateness of a suggestion or treatment seek advice from your healthcare professional.
Melanie Creedy trained in the UK in the early 1990s and holds a Bachelor of Health Science in Homeopathy. She is registered with the Australian Register of Homoeopaths (AROH) and is a member of the Australian Homoeopathic Association.
She was Vice President and Professional Development Coordinator of the Australian Homoeopathic Association from 2011 to 2015 and is editor of the AHA National Newsletter.
Melanie has used homeopathy for 30 years and has been in practice since 1998. For many years she ran The Children’s Ear Clinic in Western Australia, but since her tree change to Tasmania has a special interest in women’s and children’s health generally and helping individuals manage their journey on the spiritual path with homeopathy and her range of essences. Melanie has developed her own methods of dealing with complex cases over the years and offers distance consultations via phone and skype to allow people Australia-wide to access her services.