Though several vaccines as well as drugs have been introduced to combat the H1N1 virus, most have met with limited success, some running afoul of even the doctors due to their side-effects. Doctors practising homoeopathy, however, claim that alternative medicine can help prevent and even cure swine flu, and that too without side-effects.
On Friday, at a meeting convened by the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), experts suggested ways and means for the prevention of flu-like illnesses, including swine flu, through homoeopathy.
Even the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) has suggested homeopathic medicines to prevent swine flu. “The experts in the meeting, chaired by Dr Diwan Harish Chand, vice president of the council’s governing body, suggested that the substance arsenicum album could be taken as preventive medicine against flu-like illnesses including swine flu,” said a union health ministry official.
The doctors recommended taking Arsenicum Album 30 - four pills for adults and two pills for children a day - on an empty stomach for three days as prophylactic medicine against flu-like illnesses. The dose should be repeated after one month, in case flu-like conditions prevail in the area.
The expert group also urged that general hygienic measures suggested by the ministry of health and family welfare for prevention of the disease be followed by the public.
Ten people have succumbed to the virus so far. Since the onset of the monsoon, swine flu cases have multiplied, with 244 people having tested positive in Mumbai so far. One more patient, a pregnant woman, was diagnosed with H1N1 virus on Saturday, while one succumbed to the virus in Raigad district.
“Homeopathy can not only prevent but also cure H1N1,” said Dr Rajesh Patel, a practising homoeopath. “As they have no side-effects, homeopathic medicines can be administered to people falling under the high risk category, including infants, pregnant women, and the elderly,” he added.
“Homeopathic medicines do not target the causative organisms directly, but bolster the body’s immune system instead,” agreed homoeopath Padma Govindan, adding that she had treated several patients with flu-like symptoms over the past few weeks.
In the past, various flu epidemics such as the Spanish flu and bird flu have been successfully treated and prevented by homeopathic remedies like gelsemium, bryonia, influenzinum, and oscillococcinum, said homoeopaths.