The term Homeoprophylaxis has been around for at least a century. Basically, it means lessening the likelihood of getting some acute illness by taking certain remedies associated with that illness.
Really, any type of homeopathy can do this, but this concept is focused on acute illnesses that may be “going around” or could go around in the future.
Lets first take an historical look at homeoprophylaxis. As early as the time of Samuel Hahnemann, the German physician who founded and developed the principals of homeopathy in the early 1800’s, homeopathy has been used to prevent people from getting sick. According to his series of books Materia Medica Pura, when Scarlet Fever was at epidemic levels in Europe, Dr. Hahnemann recognized that Belladonna was a common remedy for those who were suffering from this life threatening affliction. So he decided to try to prevent others from getting scarlet fever by giving them a pre-emptive dose of Belladonna. It was so successful, that in 1838 the Prussian Government ordered its citizens to receive a dose of Belladonna due to the Scarlet Fever epidemic going on there. There is a reason it was called Scarlet Fever. Today it is rare due to Anti-biotics when people are diagnosed with a strep infection. But when someone needs Belladonna with a fever, their face turns red, they are warm to the touch except for their hands and feet–you can even feel the heat above their body, and they have a high fever.
Since the time of Hahnemann, homeopaths have tried to determine the genus epidemicus for the current acute illness. Many times I have recommended to families to take a dose of Arsenicum, for example, if that is the remedy that others in the family have needed when a stomach bug is the current affliction du jour. This is why it is so important to call when you get sick. Often I may already have a good idea what you need. Or, you could help yourself, and others, including family members, when you call. When it is recognizable, I do try to post suggestions either on Facebook or through emails. (Like my Lotus Homeopathy Facebook Page if you haven’t done so yet. I did a quick search in my electronic books (over 800) on the word “prophylactic”. There were 1355 hits. Many come from homeopathy journals of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
You can see that preventing illness with homeopathy has long been an effective strategy. In the late 1900’s, Dr. Isaac Golden studied the effectiveness of using Homeoprophylaxis to prevent childhood diseases as an alternative to conventional vaccines. His results from a study of nearly 2500 children in Australia over more than 15 years showed them to be as effective or more effective than conventional vaccines. And not only that, but the unvaccinated children who participated in in the program were generally healthier than the unvaccinated children who did not participate in the program. For more information about Homeoprophylaxis, please click here.
This past winter I had an interesting experience. I took a dose of a remedy which I was unfamiliar with. I just never thought to recommend it (it doesn’t always come up when searching for acute remedies). So I took it to see what it was about. I developed the same set of symptoms I always seem to get when I get sick, only not as intense or long lasting. The end result was that I did not get sick this winter. I didn’t even feel like I was going to get sick. (I may have an exacerbation of chronic symptoms, but that is not acute illness, as was disgusted in earlier sections of this series.) This is what is called the Complementary remedy. That is, the remedy you need when you get an acute illness, which often has symptoms opposite of what you need when for you chronic state. For example, a high energy person may need a remedy such as Gelsemium, which is wiped out, flat on his back, when he gets an acute illness.
I have decided that next November, I will take another dose of that complementary remedy just to see if I can use it as a prophylaxis for all things acute. Hopefully I will remember to let you know how that goes. But it is hard to determine what your complementary remedy is without a constitutional consult.
Now that you know about the potential of homeopathy to prevent disease, you can feel safe venturing out during an outbreak, with the comfort of knowing you can lessen your chances of getting sick.