Recently we covered what happens when someone in your building tests positive for the coronavirus. Building on that, we’ve also come to know that residents of the containment buildings are been given homeopathy medicine to protect themselves for COVID-19. However, not everyone is aware of what these medicines are and what is their purpose, leading to apprehension amongst people.
“ We were given this bottle of medicine and were asked to have it thrice a day. It had these small tablets. But they didn't tell us hat was it or anything, so it felt really shady to have it” said Aashna
The decision is most likely based on the AYUSH ministry’s advice, which has said answered questions on does homeopathy medicines work against the coronavirus. In its advisory, it has recommended that homeopathic and Unani medicines could be effective in the prevention of novel coronavirus.
However, even this decision has met with pushback from several health experts. A hospital in Bhopal has also claimed that it was able to treat COVID-19 patients effectively with only homeopathy medicines.
So does homeopathy medicine work against COVID-19? If yes, how exactly?
What The AYUSH Ministry Says On The Issue
The advisory from the AYUSH ministry has been pretty clear on the role homeopathy medicine can play in the fight against COVID-19. It has suggested the use of homeopathy and Unani medicines as a means of strengthening the immune system.
In its recommendation, the ministry says that homoeopathy medicine Arsenicum album 30 could be taken empty stomach daily for three days as a prophylactic medicine against the infection. A prophylactic medicine refers to one which is used to prevent a disease from occurring
If after that novel coronavirus infection remains in the community after a month, the same could be repeated as well.
Does Homeopathy Medicine Work? Experts Don’t Believe So
However, after the ministry’s guidelines, several experts and claims revealed that there seems to be no evidence of the efficacy of these measures.
Many facts checking websites found no evidence that the medicine being recommended, Arsenicum album 30 had no history when it came to curing coronavirus infections.
In fact, no studies were found that researched the drug’s efficacy in humans and animals for the coronavirus. Similarly, the link that homeopathy can cure coronavirus wasn’t established as well.
Revealing her take on a Bhopal hospitals claim of successfully healing COVID-19 positive patients with homeopathy, a public health expert said “Such a trial and claim on successful treatment through homeopathy are not only dangerous for patients being treated this way but others also in the state and other parts of the country. The central government and the state government both are making appeals to people repeatedly to come forward to get themselves examined at allopathy hospitals if they have any suspected symptom of Coronavirus.
But That Doesn’t Mean Homeopathy Use Should Be Stopped Completely
Instead of completely writing off medicine’s role while investigating does homeopathy work, it is important to understand the fine print and the rationale behind the ministry’s advice.
The ministry has actually said that it should only be used for boosting immunity, and not for using it as a medicine to treat COVID positive patients.
Kerala, one of the states that have managed to deal effectively with the crisis, has been using Ayurveda medicines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
Similarly, the society of homepaths has charted out how homeopathy medicine can play an important role in this time. It reveals that homeopathy medicine should always be taken in combination with other medication. Additionally, the most appropriate homeopathy medicine depends upon an individual’s unique symptoms, and therefore prescriptions should also be customized accordingly when recommending homeopathy medicine.
Past instances are filled with examples where homeopathy medicine has been effective against epidemics and infectious diseases. Some of these include the Spanish flu in 1918 and the swine flu in 2009
Just like other modes of treatment, instead of completely writing off the role of homeopathy, adequate research into its effectiveness against the novel coronavirus is the best way forward.