ArticlePDF Available

Homeopathic Clinical Features of 18 Patients in COVID-19 Outbreaks in Hong Kong

Authors:
  • Hong Kong Association of Homeopathy

Abstract and Figures

Background Hong Kong is geographically located in the province of Guangdong which, after Hubei, has been the region of China second-most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to the pathognomonic symptoms of the named disease, homeopathic symptoms are always more helpful for homeopathic prescriptions. Aim This study reports and summarizes the homeopathic symptoms observed in 18 confirmed/suspected epidemiologically related cases in cluster outbreaks of COVID-19 in Hong Kong in early 2020. Methods Homeopathic symptoms from this case series were collected from 18 consecutive patients who, in addition to their concurrent conventional treatment or traditional Chinese medicine, actively sought help from homeopathy as an adjunctive measure for symptomatic relief from COVID-19. Cases were categorized according to outbreak clusters, focusing mainly on the homeopathic symptoms. In the analysis, frequency of all homeopathic medicines, common rubrics in all the cases, common rubrics in each of the top-ranked remedies, and differentiating symptoms for each top-ranked remedy were determined. Results Homeopathic symptoms of 18 cases, each identified as mild and belonging to one of six separate clusters, are reported. Eighteen common symptoms screened out of 79 selected rubrics constituted two sets of homeopathic symptom pictures: Bryonia alba (n = 4) and Gelsemium sempervirens (n = 12). Eight and seven differentiating features, respectively, were identified for Bryonia alba and Gelsemium sempervirens. Conclusion The common symptoms of 18 mild COVID-19 cases constituted two sets of homeopathic symptom pictures, indicating Bryonia alba or Gelsemium sempervirens; they were indicated in 4 and 12 cases, respectively, out of the 18 in total.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Homeopathic Clinical Features of 18 Patients in
COVID-19 Outbreaks in Hong Kong
Ka Lun Aaron To1Yuen Ying Yvonne Fok1
1Hong Kong Association of Homeopathy, Hong Kong
Homeopathy
Address for correspondence Yuen Ying Yvonne Fok, MB ChB, MSc
Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Hong Kong Association of Homeopathy,
4/F, Union Park Center, No. 771-775 Nathan Road, Prince Edward, Hong
Kong (e-mail: yvonne.fok@chinesehomeopathy.com).
Introduction
According to the data available on April 8, 2020, the corona-
virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected at least 209
countries, with more than 1,350,000 reported cases and
79,000 deaths.1The World Health Organization (WHO)
ofcially declared the coronavirus a "pandemic" on March
11, 2020. An epide mic is the unexpectedly high inciden ce of a
disease in a community or region during a given time perio d;
it becomes a pandemic when it affects an even wider
geographical area. Health care systems in developed coun-
triesnot to mention the developing countrieshave been
challenged by the overwhelming number of patients.
Up to April 8, 2020, there were more than 81,000 cases
and 3,300 deaths in China from the COVID-19 pandemic.2
Hong Kong is geographically located in Guangdong (formerly
Canton), the second-most affected province in China after
Hubei. It has become one of the most affected cities in China
Keywords
homeopathy
COVID-19
Hong Kong
China
clinical features
Abstract Background Hong Kong is geographically located in the province of Guangdong which,
after Hubei, has been the region of China second-most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Compared to the pathognomonic symptoms of the named disease, homeopathic symp-
toms are always more helpful for homeopathic prescriptions.
Aim This study reports and summarizes the homeopathic symptoms observed in 18
conrmed/suspected epidemiologically related cases in cluster outbreaks of COVID-19
in Hong Kong in early 2020.
Methods Homeopathic symptoms from this case series were collected from 18
consecutive patients who, in addition to their concurrent conventional treatment or
traditional Chinese medicine, actively sought help from homeopathy as an adjunctive
measure for symptomatic relief from COVID-19. Cases were categorized according to
outbreak clusters, focusing mainly on the homeopathic symptoms. In the analysis,
frequency of all homeopathic medicines, common rubrics in all the cases, common
rubrics in each of the top-ranked remedies, and differentiating symptoms for each top-
ranked remedy were determined.
Results Homeopathic symptoms of 18 cases, each identiedasmildandbelongingto
one of six separate clusters, are reported. Eighteen common symptoms screened out of
79 selected rubrics constituted two sets of homeopathic symptom pictures: Bryonia
alba (n¼4) and Gelsemium sempervirens (n¼12). Eight and seven differentiating
features, respectively, were identied for Bryonia alba and Gelsemium sempervirens.
Conclusion The common symptoms of 18 mild COVID-19 cases constituted two sets
of homeopathic symptom pictures, indicating Bryonia alba or Gelsemium sempervirens;
they were indicated in 4 and 12 cases, respectively, out of the 18 in total.
received
March 31, 2020
accepted after revision
April 19, 2020
DOI https://doi.org/
10.1055/s-0040-1710545.
ISSN 1475-4916.
Copyright © The Faculty of Homeopathy
THIEME
Case Series
Published online: 2020-06-05
since the second wave of the epidemic there. With the inux
of imported cases from other countries, more than 950
conrmed cases were reported in Hong Kong by April 8,
about 10-fold the number of cases resulting from the rst
wave in late February 2020.
The WHO traditional medicine (TM) Strategy 2014 to
20233was developed and aimed to support Member States
in developing proactive policies and implementing action
plans that will strengthen the role TM plays in keeping
populations healthy. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
played an important role in the COVID 2019 treatment
protocol in China. On February 17, 2020, the National Health
Commission (NHC) of the PeoplesRepublicofChina
reported that 85% of conrmed COVID-19 patients had
been treated with TCM.4A recent systematic review showed
that, based on the evidence from SARS and H1N1 inuenza
prevention, TCM could be an alternative approach for the
prevention of COVID-19 in high-risk populations.5
In January 2019, at the World Integrated Medicine Forum
in Goa, India, Dr. Geetha Krishnan G. Pillai, representative
from the Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medi-
cine Unit of WHO, stated: Even today, for millions of people
across the globe, Traditional Medicine is their rst line of
medical care, and in many communities the only one.
Considering this fact, it is highly essential to build an
integrated health care model which uses the strengths of
TM alongside the advances in modern medical technologies.
It is necessary to re-think the strategies and policies of
nations who try to achieve the Universal Health Coverage
(UHC) goal by only relying on investments made on hugely
infrastructure-driven, highly cost-intensive, health care ser-
vices. It is high time to think of using the TM knowledge,
which is community based, low cost, and socially acceptable,
with its health preservation-based approaches, for support-
ing the achievement of UHC goals.
As a TM in Europe and many other countries worldwide,
homeopathy was used in history6during the epidemics of
scarlet fever,7Spanish inuenza,8Chikungunya fever,9,10
dengue fever,11,12 leptospirosis,13 and malaria,14 for exam-
ple. Given the paucity of strongly evidence-based regimens
for conventional vaccines and anti-viral medication in the
current COVID-19 pandemic, homeopathy has been used,
respectively, by 45% and 4550% of the populations in Hong
Kong and its adjacent city, Macau; it has been used as an
adjunctive measure in the management of inuenza-like
diseases alongside conventional medicine or TCM.
According to the Organon by Samuel Hahnemann, every
epidemic should be treated as if it were something new and
unknown(§100). A homeopathic practitioner does not
immediately perceive the complete picture of the epidemic
in the rst case that he treats(§101): we must closely
observe series of cases since each collective disease reveals
itself in the totality of its signs and symptoms(§101).
Characteristic symptoms that are peculiar to the epidemic
are important elements for the totality of a symptom picture
(§102). Instead of helping an individual to boost up his or her
self-healing power, we should aim at treating the whole
epidemic region as one patient: that is, the whole energy
patterncan only be revealed by different patients with the
same disease but different constitutions. By identifying the
peculiar and uniform characteristics for most patients in the
same outbreak, we can identify one or several remedies that
are most consistently serviceable in the epidemic for people
with good past health (§241). In different epidemic areas,
there are differences in weather, diet, collective emotional
status, strains of virus, etc., and therefore the named disease
may present itself with different symptomatology in differ-
ent regions, which will require different homeopathic med-
icines. Besides, within a given population affected by the
same virus, we will probably see distinct sets of symptoms,
which will indicate the need for different medicines.
Compared to the pathognomonic symptoms of the dis-
ease, homeopathic symptoms are more helpful for homeo-
pathic prescriptions. The objective of this case series is to
report and share the sets of homeopathic symptoms identi-
ed in 18 symptomatic COVID-19 patients in Hong Kong who
used homeopathy as adjunctive care for symptom relief. It is
not the intention of the authors to suggest homeopathic
prescription guidelines for COVID-19 symptoms because of
the likely variation in symptomatology in different countries
and the limitations of our available data.
Methods
Considering the limited availability and the considerable false-
negative rate of diagnostic tools, especially at the earlier stage
of the outbreak, and with reference to the diagnosticcriteria in
the 7th edition of the diagnosis and treatment protocol in
China,15 consecutive patients were included only if they had
fullled at least one of the following criteria:
1. Reverse trans cription polymerase chain react ion (RT-PCR)
positive for 2019-novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV);
2. Serology test positive for IgM/IgG (immunoglobulin
M/immunoglobulin G) specic for COVID-19;
3. Presenting with fever, chills, or respiratory symptoms,
and related to an outbreak cluster.
Acluster is dened as three or more symptomatic patients
identiable in a 2-week period in a small unit such as family,
ofce, or school classthat is, each cluster will have arisen
from an epidemiologically related index caseand with one
or more cases being RT-PCR positive.
Categorization of severity was as follows under the treat-
ment protocol in China:
1. Mild: fever or respiratory symptoms without pneumonia
features on imaging.
2. Moderate: fever or respiratory symptoms, with pneumo-
nia features on imaging.
3. Severe: respiratory rate >30 per minute, or oxygen satu-
ration 93% at rest.
4. Critical: respiratory failure with mechanical ventilation
support, or shock or organ failure requiring intensive care.
All the patients actively sought adjunctive care from
homeopathy. All except one (Case HK6.1) used homeopathy
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
in addition to their concurrent conventional or TCM treat-
ment. All except one suspected case (HK6.1) were consulted
through telephone calls or video calls. Patients were
requested to ll in an electronic patient registration form
when they made appointments for suspected COVID-19
symptoms, and the consultation would then be offered for
free through video calls. In the case of a patient with fever/
respiratory symptoms who walked into the consulting roo ms
without making an appointment, personal protective equip-
ment based on droplet and contact precaution was provided
to the staff. If a case was diagnosed as COVID-19 before they
sought help from homeopathy, distant consultation and
follow-up were done by video or audio calls during their
quarantined period. If a case was suspected to be COVID-19
when they sought help from homeopathy, they were advised
to follow the most updated instruction of quarantine and
treatment from the Hong Kong government.
The 18 case takingswere performed by TKL, a homeopathic
practitioner with more than 10 years of experience in homeo-
pathic practice. A standard questionnaire on common homeo-
pathic symptoms was lled in by all diagnosed/suspected
COVID-19 patients, with or without the help of a consulting-
room assistant, before the consultation with author KLAT.
Verbal consent to share anonymized clinical information for
academic purposes was obtained from each patient.
Cases are presented according to their outbreak cluster,
dened as above. The case presentations focused mainly on
the homeopathic symptoms. Full repertorizations, with Syn-
thesis Repertory 2009V last updated in RadarO pus 2.2.12, are
presented for each individual case.
Homeopathic medicines were delivered to patients within
24 hours after consultation. Follow-up checkpoints for
patients were suggested as 12 hours, 24 hours, 3 days, 7
days, and 14 days after the intake of the rst dose of medicine.
Patients, however, were encouraged to keep contact with the
assistants even at time points other than the above. At each
checkpoint, patients were asked to give an overall severity
rating of their symptoms and general well-being: 100 was the
designated referencescore for a patient in the 24 hours
immediately before the rst dose of medicine; 0 was the score
when all of the patients symptoms disappeared and general
well-being returned to normal (i.e., 100% improvement of
symptoms); 200 was the score when the severity ofsymptoms
and general well-being was twice as bad as before. There was
no upper limit of the score, and any percentage score between
the above examples was eligible.
In the analysis, frequency of all homeopathic medicines,
common symptoms in all the cases, and common rubrics for
each of the top-ranked remedies are presented. Differentiat-
ing features are also presented.
Besides, differentiating features are also presented, those
being dened as rubrics that fullled the following criteria:
1. Presen t in at least 50% of cases for the top-ranked remedy;
2. Present in no more than 2 cases for other top-ranked
remedies.
The article was rst written in Chinese and translated by
author YYYF into English.
Findings
The 18 patients were identied in six separate clusters of
COVID-19, each cluster comprising 1, 1, 5, 5, 5 and 1 case or
cases, respectively.
Cluster no.1
Case HK1.1
The patient was a 62-year-old woman, with good past health
and repeated close contact in a cluster with more than 10 RT-
PCR positive cases, diagnosed in February 2020.
She had repeated close contact with the cluster since
January 25, 2020, developed bone pain and mild dry cough in
early February. The patients symptoms were categorized as
mild, but they gradually worsened without fever for nearly 1
month. They were treated with TCM for 4 weeks; homeopa-
thy was added at the fourth week for persistent symptoms.
The patient did not take any conventional medication. An RT-
PCR test, carried out once after 4 weeks of TCM and 2 days of
homeopathy, was negative. The following homeopathic
symptoms were found:
1. Slow onset and progression of symptoms.
2. Feeling irritable from the cough; does not want to talk to
anyone. Prefers to be alone.
3. Obvious increase in thirst with desire to drink warm
water in large quantity.
4. Generally ameliorated after perspiration.
5. Mainly dry cough, with very occasional greenish sputum.
6. Extremely bad pulsating temple headache and middle
chest pain aggravated from coughing.
7. Cough aggravated by talking and lying down, and after
waking up in the morning.
8. Cough associated with tickling feeling in the throat,
ameliorated by warm drinks.
Bryonia alba 30C was prescribed, four times daily. The
patient reported more than 60% improvement in symptoms
(i.e., she reported a score of 40) after 24 hours, and 80%
improvement on day 3 (score of 20). Repertorization is
shown in Fig. 1.
Cluster no. 2
Case HK2.1
The patient was a 21-year-old man, who was conrmed for
COVID-19 infection with RT-PCR 2 days after returning from
the United Kingdom in March. The patient was categorized as
having mild symptoms. His throat symptoms started 10 days
before homeopathic consultation. There had been one day of
low-grade fever (day 4) after symptoms started, which quickly
improved with antipyretics. The antiviral drugs, Kaletra and
Ribavirin, were started at day 5. Imagingdid not show denite
pneumonia, but the cough was progressively worse. The
following homeopathic symptoms were found:
1. Slow onset and progression of symptoms.
2. Fever was generally associated with bone pain.
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
3. Sudden waking up from sleep every night since the onset
of the disease.
4. Obvious increase in thirst, with desire to drink warm
water in large quantity.
5. Stitching pain in the throat.
6. Cough was associated with headache, throat pain, and
abdominal muscle pain.
7. Headache was aggravated with any motion, even move-
ment of the eyes.
8. Cough was associated with nausea.
9. Cough aggravated during night, especially close to midnight.
10. Cough was associated with tickling feeling in the throat,
ameliorated by warm food, warm drink and open air.
11. Rhinitis with loss of smell and taste.
12. Heavily coated tongue (yellowish-white).
Bryonia alba 30C was prescribed, four times daily. The
patient reported that, after the rst dose before sleep, it was
the rst night since the onset of disease that he could sleep
through the night without a sudden waking up. More than
70% of symptoms improved (score of 30) after 24 hours, and
more than 95% improved (score of 5) at day 3. Repertoriza-
tion is shown in Fig. 2.
Cluster no. 3
Case HK3.1
The patient was an 18-year-old woman, with good past health.
She was suspected to be a COVID-19 case, and serology for the
disease was positive when it was available 7 days after adjunc-
tive homeopathic treatment. She was categorized as a mild case.
Mild symptoms started in February 2020, around a week
after contact with the index case. Symptoms gradually wors-
ened after 2 weeks. The patient was treatedwith TCM for around
3 weeks, without much improvement in symptoms, before she
sought help from homeopathy. She had subjectively assessed
Fig. 1 Repertorization of Case HK1.1.
Fig. 2 Repertorization of Case HK2.1.
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
shortness of bre ath with normal respirator y rate atcons ultation.
The following homeopathic symptoms were found:
1. Slow onset and progression of symptoms.
2. No fever but chills, with mental stupefaction and weak-
ness during chills.
3. Desire to be alone and not being bothered.
4. General bone pain over the body during chills.
5. General aggravation from wet weather.
6. Obvious increase in thirst, with desire to drink cold water
in large quantity.
7. Chills running up and down the back.
8. Chilliness aggravated by motion.
9. Headache starting from nape of the neck, extending to
the forehead above the eyes.
10. Difcult to keep eyes open.
11. Headache like a band constricting around the head.
12. Dry cough aggravated during evening, forcing the patient
to sit up.
13. Headache aggravated on coughing, causing the patient to
hold the head with hands.
14. Headache aggravated from movement of the eyes.
15. Tickling in the throat.
16. Cough associated with involuntary urination.
17. Difculty in breathing, aggravated during night and by
motion.
18. Difculty in breathing, ameliorated by lying with the
head high.
Bryonia alba 30C was prescribed, four times daily. The
patient reported to have 20% improvement (score of 80) after
12 hours, and 70% improvement (score of 30) on the third
day. Repertorization is shown in Fig. 3.
Case HK3.2
The patient was a 21-year-old woman in the same cluster; a
serology test, available 1 week after homeopathic treatment,
was positive. Her symptoms were categorized as mild.
Generalized fatigue and chills began at 4 to 5 days after
contact and gradually worsened for more than 3 weeks
before she sought help from homeopathy. She had been on
TCM treatment. The following homeopathic symptoms were
found:
1. Slow onset and progression of symptoms.
2. No fever but prominent chills; chills mainly felt over the
back, going up and down.
3. Overwhelming fatigue with mental stupor, feeling
drowsy; the patient needed to rest several times during
the consultation.
4. Thirstiness before the chills but not during them.
5. General aggravation from wet weather.
6. Generally ameliorated by perspiration.
7. Headache started from nape of the neck extending to the
head, like a band constricting around the head.
8. Headache was largely relieved after profuse urination.
9. Cough associated with burning pain in the chest.
10. The cough sounded very hoarse.
11. Tickling in the throat.
12. Cough associated with involuntary urination.
13. Cough ameliorated in open air.
14. Cough aggravated during night.
Gelsemium sempervirens 30C was prescribed, four times
daily. The patient reported 40% improvement (score of 60)
after 12 hours, and more than 90% improvement (score of 10)
in 3 days. Repertorization is shown in Fig. 4.
Case HK3.3
The patient was a 20-year-old woman in the same cluster; a
serology test, available 1 week after homeopathic treatment,
was positive. Her symptoms were categorized as mild.
Generalized fatigue and chills began at around 6 days after
the contact; she was on TCM but gradually worsened for
Fig. 3 Repertorization of Case HK3.1.
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
more than 3 weeks before starting homeopathy. The follow-
ing homeopathic symptoms were found:
1. Slow onset and progression of symptoms.
2. No fever but prominent chills, which were mainly felt
over the back, going up and down.
3. Overwhelming fatigue with mental stupor together with
weakness.
4. No thirst during chills.
5. General aggravation from wet weather.
6. Headache started from the nape of the neck extending to
the head, like a band constricting around the head.
7. Headache was largely relieved after profuse urination.
8. A very hard and dry cough.
9. Tickling in the throat.
10. Cough associated with involuntary urination.
11. Cough aggravated during the night.
Gelsemium sempervirens 30C was prescribed, four times
daily. The patient reported 20% improvement (score of 80) at
12 hours follow-up, and was almost symptom free in 3 days.
Repertorization is shown in Fig. 5.
Case HK3.4
The patient was a 19-year-old woman in the same cluster; a
serology test, available 1 week after homeopathic treat-
ment, was positive. She was categorized as having mild
symptoms. Generalized fatigue and chills began at around
7 days after the contact; she was on TCM for more than
3 weeks before starting homeopathy as the symptoms did
not improve. The following homeopathic symptoms were
found:
1. Slow onset and progression of symptoms.
2. No fever but prominent chills, which were mainly felt
over the back, going up and down.
3. Overwhelming fatigue with mental stupor plus weakness.
4. Heaviness of eyelids; difculty keeping the eyes open.
5. No thirst during chills.
Fig. 4 Repertorization of Case HK3.2.
Fig. 5 Repertorization of Case HK3.3.
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
6. General aggravation from wet weather.
7. Headache started from the nape of the neck extending to
the head, like a band constricting around the head.
8. Headache was largely relieved after profuse urination.
9. The dry cough was barking in quality.
10. Tickling in the throat.
11. Cough associated with involuntary urination.
12. Cough aggravated during the night.
Gelsemium sempervirens 30C was prescribed, four times
daily. The patient reported 30% improvement (score of 70)
after 12 hours, and 80% improvement (score of 20) in 3 days.
Repertorization is shown in Fig. 6.
Case HK3.5
The patient was a 22-year-old woman in the same cluster; a
serology test, available 1 week after homeopathic treat-
ment, was positive. The patients symptoms were catego-
rized as mild. Generalized fatigue and on-and-off low-grade
fever with chills began at around 7 days after the contact;
she was on TCM for more than 1 week before starting
homeopathy. The following homeopathic symptoms were
found:
1. Slow onset and progression of symptoms.
2. Fever alternating with chills.
3. Chills mainly felt over the back, going up and down.
4. Overwhelming fatigue with mental stupor plus weakness.
5. Heavy eyelids, with difculty keeping the eyes open.
6. No thirst during fever and chills.
7. Headache started from the nape of the neck, extending to
the head.
8. Headache was largely relieved after profuse urination.
9. Cough was associated with chest pain, burning in quality.
10. Tickling in the throat.
11. Cough associated with involuntary urination.
12. Mainly dry cough, aggravated during night time.
Gelsemium sempervirens 30C was prescribed, four times
daily. The patient was afebrile from day 1 after the remedy,
and she reported being almost free of symptoms in 3 days.
Repertorization is shown in Fig. 7.
Cluster no. 4
Case HK4.1
The patient was a 24-year-old man, with close contact in a
cluster having at least one RT-PCR positive case diagnosed in
February 2020. A serology test, available 3 weeks after
homeopathic treatment was positive. His symptoms were
categorized as mild.
He developed generalized fatigue at day 4 after close
contact with the index case, worsening for 3 days, and
treated with TCM before consultation. The following homeo-
pathic symptoms were found:
1. Low grade fever of around 37.8°C for 3 days, with extreme
chills; there was no myalgia, thirst, or perspiration.
2. Overwhelming fatigue with mental stupor; heaviness in
the body, especially the eyelids.
3. Headache described as being tied by a band around the
head.
4. No feeling of thirst during 3 days of fever.
5. Cough aggravated the headache.
Gelsemium sempervirens 30C was prescribed, four times
daily. The patient reported being afebrile after 36 hours,
with 70% improvement (score of 30) in 3 days and symp-
toms nearly gone at day 5. Repertorization is shown in
Fig. 8.
Case HK4.2
The patient was a 27-year-old man in the same cluster, and
whose serology test available 3 weeks after homeopathic
treatment was positive. The patient was categorized as a
mild case. Generalized fatigue began on day 4 after contact,
Fig. 6 Repertorization of Case HK3.4.
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
worsening for 3 days, and treated with TCM before consulta-
tion. The following homeopathic symptoms were found:
1. No fever but prominent chills, which were mainly felt over
the back rst, then in the extremities.
2. Increased thirst, generally ameliorated from perspiration
and warmth.
3. Over whelming fatigue with mental stupor, feeling drowsy
and dull (like being drunk) for 3 days.
4. Congestive pain in the forehead, aggravated with cough-
ing. Pain above eyebrows and eyeballs, making it difcult
to open the eyes.
5. Cough aggravated the congestive headache.
Gelsemium sempervirens 30C was prescribed, four times
daily. The patient reported 30% improvement (score of 70) at
12 hours, 50% improvement (score of 50) in 24 hours, and
90% improvement (score of 10) in 3 days. Repertorization is
shown in Fig. 9.
Case HK4.3
The patient was a 20-year-old woman in the same cluster; a
serology test, available 3 weeks after homeopathic treat-
ment, was positive. Symptoms were categorized as mild.
Diarrhea and vomiting began at day 4 after close contact
with the index case, worsening for 3 days, and treated with
TCM with worsening symptoms before consultation. Cough
was minimal. The following homeopathic symptoms were
found:
1. No obvious fever but prominent chills.
2. Thirsty but could only take small sips of water because of
nausea and aggravated symptoms of diarrhea.
Fig. 8 Repertorization of Case HK4.1.
Fig. 7 Repertorization of Case HK3.5.
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
3. Nausea was aggravated by the smell of food.
4. Vomiting and diarrhea, aggravated by eating or drinking.
5. Nausea temporarily relieved after vomiting.
Arsenicum album 30C was prescribed, four times daily.
The patient reported 50% improvement (score of 50) at
12 hours, and no more diarrhea within 24 hours; the patient
was completely symptom free at day 3. Repertorization is
shown in Fig. 10.
Case HK4.4
A 23-year-old man in the same cluster; a serology test,
available 3 weeks after homeopathic treatment, was positive.
His symptoms were categorized as mild. Generalized fatigue
began around the same time as Case HK4.1, with similar
progressive worsening for a few days, and treated with TCM
before homeopathic consultation. The patient developed
nasal symptoms, cough, and diarrhea gradually.
Homeopathic symptoms were:
1. No fever but prominent chills, which were mainly felt over
the back.
2. Low appetite with no thirst.
3. Overwhelming fatigue with mental stupor, which ame-
liorated in open air.
4. Mild cough, associated with tickling in the throat.
5. Sneezing with moderate amount of burning discharge.
Gelsemium sempervirens 30C was prescribed, four times
daily. The patient reported 20% improvement (score of 80) at
12 hours, and more than 80% improvement (score of 20) in 3
days. Repertorization is shown in Fig. 11.
Case HK4.5
Thepatientwasa21-year-oldmaninthesamecluster;a
serology test, available 3 weeks after homeopathic treatment,
was positive. He was categorized as having mild symptoms.
Fig. 9 Repertorization of Case HK4.2.
Fig. 10 Repertorization of Case HK4.3.
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
Generalized fatigue began around 6 to 7 days after the contact,
and progressively worsened for 2 days; he was on TCM treat-
ment before starting homeopathy. Homeopathic symptoms
were:
1. No fever but severe chills; felt that chills ran up and down
the spine. There was no myalgia.
2. No thirst during chills.
3. Overwhelming fatigue, with mental stupor.
4. Progressively worsening headache began from the left-
side nape radiating to the left eyebrow.
5. Headache was relieved by 70% after profuse urination.
6. Heaviness was felt in the eyelids, which made him reluc-
tant to keep his eyes open. The headache was associated
with slight double vision.
7. Generally ameliorated by warmth and after perspiration.
Gelsemium sempervirens 30C, four times daily, was pre-
scribed. The patient reported 50% improvement (score of 50)
at 12 hours, and was free of symptoms in 3 days. Repertori-
zation is shown in Fig. 12.
Cluster no. 5
Case HK5.1
The patient was a 23-year-old man; he was one of the
patients in a cluster with at least one RT-PCR positive case
diagnosed in February 2020; a serology test, available 2
weeks after homeopathic treatment, was positive. The pa-
tient was categorized as mild.
Generalized fatigue began2 days after close contactwith the
index case in February 2020. He had progressively worsening
headacheand chills for2 weeks, andwas on TCM before homeo-
pathy; cough was minimal. Homeopathic symptoms included:
1. No fever but worsening chills with headache.
2. Chills ran up and down the spine.
Fig. 11 Repertorization of Case HK4.4.
Fig. 12 Repertorization of Case HK4.5.
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
3. No thirst during chills.
4. Overwhelming fatigue with mental stupor.
5. Heaviness of the eyelids making it difcult for him to keep
the eyes open.
6. Generally aggravated by cold and wet weather.
7. Headache described as being tied by a band around the
head.
8. No feeling of thirst during 3 days of chills.
Gelsemium sempervirens 30C, four times daily, was pre-
scribed. The patient reported 90% improvement in headache
at 12 hours, and 90% improvement (score of 10) in 3 days.
Repertorization is shown in Fig. 13.
Case HK5.2
The patient was a 24-year-old man in the same cluster as
Case 5.1; his serology test, available 2 weeks after homeo-
pathic treatment, was positive. His symptoms were catego-
rized as mild.
Generalized fatigue, sleepiness, headache,and cough began 3
days after close contact with the index case, and developed into
shortness of breath after taking some over-the-counter cough
mixture. He was onTCM for 2 weeks, with persistent symptoms,
before homeopathy. Homeopathic symptoms included:
1. No fever but chills. The chills were mainly in the back,
running up and down the spine.
2. No thirst during chills.
3. Overwhelming fatigue was associated with pain from the
nape of the neck radiating to the head, and the pain around
the head was described as constricting with a band.
4. Constrictive tightness in the chest.
5. Central chest pain aggravated by coughing.
6. Tickling in the throat.
7. Involuntary urination during cough.
8. Cough was mostly dry, except for some yellowish sputum
produced upon waking up in the morning.
9. Dry cough aggravated at night, and after having sweet
foods.
Gelsemium sempervirens 30C, four times daily, was pre-
scribed. The patient reported 40% improvement (score of 60)
at 12 hours, and 80% improvement (score of 20) in 3 days.
Repertorization is shown in Fig. 14.
Case HK5.3
The patient was a 23-year-old man in the same cluster as Case
5.1; a serology test, available 2 weeks after homeopathic treat-
ment, was positive. The patient was categorized as a mild case.
Cough and fatigue began 7 days after close contact with
the index case; he was on TCM for 2 weeks. Symptoms did not
improve for 2 weeks before he started homeopathy. Homeo-
pathic symptoms included:
1. Overwhelming tiredness and stupefying sleepiness.
2. Eyelids were heavy, with difculty keeping the eyes open.
3. Emotionally dull; not irritable.
4. Cough was associated with pain in the central chest,
tickling in the chest, and involuntary squirting of urine.
5. Mostly dry cough, except for some yellowish sputum
produced upon waking up in the morning.
6. Dry cough aggravated during the night.
Gelsemium sempervirens 30C, four times daily, was pre-
scribed. The patient reported 30% improvement (score of 70)
at 12 hours, and 80% improvement (score of 20) in 3 days.
Repertorization is shown in Fig. 15.
Case HK5.4
The patient was a 22-year-old man in the same cluster as Case
5.1; a serology test, available 2 weeks after homeopathic treat-
ment, was positive. The patient was categorized as a mild case.
Cough and fatigue began 5 days after close contact with
the index case. Before receiving homeopathy, his symptoms
had persisted for 2 weeks, during which he had tried TCM.
Homeopathic symptoms included:
1. Overwhelming tiredness and stupefying sleepiness.
2. Eyelids were heavy, with difculty keeping the eyes open.
Fig. 13 Repertorization of Case HK5.1.
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
3. Generally aggravated from wet and cold weather.
4. Generally relieved after perspiration.
5. Cough was associated with pain in the central chest,
tickling in the throat and chest, and involuntary squirting
of urine.
6. The cough was dry most of the time.
Gelsemium sempervirens 30C, four times daily, was pre-
scribed. The patient reported 30% improvement (score of 70)
at 12 hours, and 70% improvement (score of 30) in 3 days.
Repertorization is shown in Fig. 16.
Case HK5.5
A 23-year-old man in the same cluster as Case 5.1; a serology
test, available 2 weeks after homeopathic treatment, was
positive. The patient was categorized as a mild case.
Fever, severe myalgia, and cough began 6 days after close
contact with the index case; symptoms did not improve with
3 days of TCM before starting homeopathy. Homeopathic
symptoms included:
1. Fever 38.3 to 38.5°C for 3 days at consultation, alternating
with chills.
2. No thirst during the fever or chills.
3. Weakness and severe bone pain during fever; back felt like
it was broken, not aggravated or ameliorated wi th motion.
4. Cough was mild.
Eupatorium perfoliatum 30C, four times daily, was pre-
scribed. The patient reported 30% improvement (score of 70)
at 12 hours, and 80% improvement (score of 20) in 3 days.
Repertorization is shown in Fig. 17.
Cluster no. 6
Case HK6.1
The patient was a 49-year-old woman with past medical
history of meningioma on conservative treatment. She was
related to a cluster with one RT-PCR positive case diag-
nosed in March 2020. Her symptoms were categorized as
mild.
Fig. 15 Repertorization of Case HK5.3.
Fig. 14 Repertorization of Case HK5.2.
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
She had repeated close contact with the cluster since early
March 2020, with worsening dry cough and shortness of
breath for 2 weeks before she sought help from homeopathy.
She refused any conventional or TCM treatment because of
her previous sensitivity to these measures. The following
homeopathic symptoms were found:
1. Slow onset and progression of symptoms.
2. No fever but chills; profound weakness and restlessness
during chills.
3. Desire to be alone and not being bothered.
4. General aggravation from wet weather.
5. Obvious increase in thirst, with desire to drink warm
water in large quantity.
6. Headache in the forehead above the eyes.
7. Difculty keeping the eyes open.
8. Dry cough aggravated in the evening.
9. Dr y cough aggravated after midnight , especially after 2 or
3 a.m.; must sit up to relieve.
10. Chest pain on coughing; needs to hold the chest with her
hands.
11. Pain in the throat on coughing.
12. Cough, especially aggravated when she entered a warm
room from open air.
13. Tickling in the throat.
14. Cough aggravated by talking.
15. Cough aggravated by deep breathing.
16. Cough ameliorated by drinking warm water.
17. Mainly dry cough, with minor expectoration only in the
morning.
18. Cough associated with lachrymation.
19. Cough associated with involuntary urination.
20. Difculty in breathing, aggravated during the night.
21. Constriction in the chest.
Bryonia alba 200C was prescribed, four times daily. Bryonia
alba 200C was usedinstead of 30C because of the high intensity
of her cough.The patient reported that symptoms improved by
50% within 15 minutes after the rst dose, and perspiration
followed and further improved. On the rst day, she reported
her symptoms as improved for 2.5 hours after each dose of the
remedy, and therefore the dosage was increased to 2-hourly.
She reported more than 60% (score of <40) improvement in
symptoms at day 3. Repertorization is shown in Fig. 18.
Fig. 17 Repertorization of Case HK5.5.
Fig. 16 Repertorization of Case HK5.4.
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
Analysis
The case series comprises 10 young men and 8 young/middle-
aged women, each with mild symptoms. The most frequently
indicated medicines for the 18 cases were Gelsemium semper-
virens (n¼12) and Bryonia alba (n¼4), followed by Eupato-
rium perfoliatum (n¼1) and Arsenicum album (n¼1).
Gelsemium sempervirens was used in 80% of the cases in
clusters 3, 4, and 5. Eighteen common symptoms with a
minimum frequency of 4 were screened from 79 selected
rubrics from all the cases and are summarized in Table 1.
These common symptoms constructed the characteristic
symptom pictures of the two commonly indicated medi-
cines: Bryonia alba and Gelsemium semper virens.Itisknown
in the literature that Bryonia alba and Gelsemium sempervi-
rens are related remedies: Br yonia alba is found to have good
function when it is prescribed following the initial prescrip-
tion of Gelsemium sempervirens.16
Frequencies of all common symptoms (present in >2
cases) in the four cases of Bryonia alba are summarized in
Table 2. And frequencies of all common symptoms (present
in >3 cases) in the 12 cases of Gelsemium sempervirens are
summarized in Table 3.
Eight and seven differentiating homeopathic features
were identied for Bryonia alba and Gelsemium sempervi-
rens, respectively, shown with repertorization in Tables 4
and 5.
Discussion
This case series provides in detail the full repertorization of a
few clusters in Hong Kong. More experience from other
countries or regions will be helpful to nd out if the
homeopathic symptomatology pattern is consistent or not.
From the experience in Hong Kong, the homeopathic
features of the patients who were categorized as mild
were quite obvious and characteristic. Common symptoms
of the disease, such as dry cough, fatigue, sore throat and
shortness of breath, would not be very helpful in nding the
simillimum because these symptoms are present in several
homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic symptoms that were
strange, rare, and peculiar in classical textbooks were readily
visible at a higher frequency compared to times without the
epidemic. Examples in clude the chills that went up and down
the back, the band-like headache, and the relief of headache
from profuse urination.
It is important to emphasize that no direct causation
effect can be concluded from a case series which, by
denition, was observational and non-controlled: the
reported percentage improvements in symptoms should
therefore be viewed accordingly. Other limitations of this
case series include its small sample size and the lack of
severe or critical COVID-19 cases; the majority of the cases
in this series were young and all were categorized as mild.
Information about homeopathic clinical features of the
severe and critical cases would be very useful for homeo-
paths around the world. However, more than 80% of all
conrmed COVID-19 cases have been categorized as mild or
moderate.17 These were the patients with relatively good
past health compared to the severe or critical patients, who
often suffered from chronic co-morbidities.18 Dr. Hahne-
mann stated in The Organon that the remedies identied
from the peculiar and uniform characteristics of patients in
the same outbreak would be consistently serviceable in the
epidemic for people with good past health (§241). In other
words, Hahnemann observed more than 200 years ago that
the relatively healthy patients showed a more homoge-
neous homeopathic clinical picture in epidemics, so that
Fig. 18 Repertorization of Case HK6.1.
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
the few remedies identied from case series could be
applicable in most patients according to the Law of Similars.
Thus, by identifying the homeopathic clinical features in the
mild COVID-19 patients, the peculiar characteristic of the
epidemic in the region should be revealed. In severe and
critical cases, a more individualized pattern of homeopathic
symptoms would be expected because of their co-existing
constitutional susceptibilities.
Conclusion
The 18 mild COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong presented two
main sets of homeopathic symptom pictures, indicating
Table 1 Homeopathic rubrics with a minimum frequency of 4
in the 18 cases
Rubrics Frequency
1 GeneralsSlow manifestation 18
2MindStupefaction
MindStupefactionchill, during
MindStupefactionfever, during
12
3 GeneralsWeaknesschill, during
GeneralsWeaknessfever, during
12
4 EyeHeavinesslids
EyeOpening the lidsdifcult
keep the eyes open; hard to
11
5CoughTickling
CoughTicklingthroat; in
CoughTicklingChest
10
6 StomachThirstlesschill; during
StomachThirstlessfever; during
10
7 ChillBeginning in back
ChillBeginning inbackdorsal
region
BackColdnessextending toUp
and down the back
10
8 BladdeUrinationinvoluntary
cough agg.; during
8
9 GeneralWeathercold weather
wetagg.
GeneralWeatherwetagg.
8
10 HeadConstrictionband or hoop 7
11 CoughNight
CoughNightmidnightafter
CoughDrynightmidnightafter
7
12 BackPainCervical regionNape of
neckextending tohead
6
13 Chest- Paincoughduringagg. 6
14 HeadPaincoughduringagg. 5
15 HeadPainurinationprofuse
amel.
5
16 StomachThirstlarge quantities; for 4
17 CoughDryexpectoration
morning, only in
4
18 GeneralsPerspirationafteramel. 4
Table 2 Homeopathic rubrics with a minimum frequency of 3
in the 4 cases of Bryonia alba
Rubrics Frequency
1 GeneralsSlow manifestation 4
2 StomachThirstlarge quantities; for 4
3CoughTickling
CoughTicklingthroat; in
CoughTicklingChest
4
4MindCompanyAversion to 3
5 GeneralsFood and Drinkswarm
drinksdesire
3
6 GeneralsPainBones
GeneralsPainBoneschill; during
GeneralsPainBonesfever; during
3
7HeadPaincoughduringagg. 3
8ThroatPaincoughduringagg. 3
9CoughWarmdrinksamel. 3
10 CoughLying agg.
CoughSit up, must
3
Table 3 Homeopathic rubrics with a minimum frequency of 4
in the 12 cases of Gelsemium sempervirens
Rubrics Frequency
1 GeneralsSlow manifestation 12
2MindStupefaction
MindStupefactionchill, during
MindStupefactionfever, during
11
3 EyeHeavinesslids
EyeOpening the lidsdifcultkeep
the eyes open; hard to
9
4 GeneralsWeaknesschill, during
GeneralsWeaknessfever, during
9
5ChillBeginning in back
ChillBeginning inbackdorsal
region
BackColdnessextending toUp and
down the back
9
6 StomachThirstlesschill; during
StomachThirstlessfever; during
9
7CoughTickling
CoughTicklingthroat; in
CoughTicklingChest
6
8HeadConstrictionband or hoop
HeadPainpressing painband as
from a
6
9 GeneralWeathercold weather
wetagg.
GeneralWeather wet weatheragg.
6
10 CoughNight
CoughNightmidnightafter
CoughDrynightmidnightafter
6
11 BladdeUrinationinvoluntary
cough agg.; during
6
(Continued)
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
Bryonia alba and Gelsemium sempervirens. These medicines
were indicated in 4 and 12 cases, respectively, out of the 18
cases in total.
Highlights
1. Homeopathy was used in Hong Kong in the COVID-19
pandemic as an adjunctive measure for symptom relief
alongside conventional medicine or TCM.
2. Homeopathic symptoms are always more helpful than
pathognomonic symptoms of the named disease for
homeopathic prescription.
3. Homeopathic symptoms of 18 cases from six clusters
were reported.
4. Eighteen common symptoms with a minimal frequen-
cy of four were screened from 79 selected rubrics from
all the cases.
5. The common symptoms constituted two sets of ho-
meopathic symptom pictures: Bryonia alba and Gelse-
mium sempervirens. They were used in 4 and 12 cases
respectively out of the 18 cases.
6. Eight and seven differentiating features were identi-
ed for Bryonia alba and Gelsemium sempervirens,
respectively.
Conict of Interest
None declared.
Acknowledgments
We thank Sandy Yiu Ling Shan and Edmund Tse Po Sang
for their assistance in arranging the questionnaire before
the case taking, and Alex Tournier, PhD, E xe cutive Director
of the Homeopathy Research Institute, and Dr. Frederik
Schroyens, Scientic Coordinator of Zeus Soft (Belgium),
for comments that greatly improved the manuscript.
References
1World Health Organization. Coronavirus (COVID-19). Available
at: https://covid19.who.int/. Accessed April 8, 2020
2World Health Organization. Coronavirus (COVID-19): China.
Available at: https://covid19.who.int/region/wpro/country/cn.
Accessed April 8, 2020
3Zhang Q. WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2 023. Geneva:
World Health Organization; 2013
Table 3 (Continued)
Rubrics Frequency
12 Chest- Paincoughduringagg. 5
13 HeadPainurinationprofuseamel. 5
14 BackPain - Cervical regionNape of
neckextending tohead
5
15 GeneralsPerspirationafteramel. 4
Table 4 Differentiating features of Br yoniaalba, with reper torization
Rubrics
1 Stomachthirstlarge quantities; for
2Mindcompanyaversion to
3 Generalsfood and drinkswarm drinksdesire
4 Generalspainbones
Generalspainboneschill; during
Generalspainbonesfever; during
5 Headpaincoughduringagg.
6Throatpaincoughduringagg.
7Coughwarmdrinksamel.
8Coughlyingagg.
Coughsit up, must
Table 5 Differentiating features of Gelsemium sempervirens,
with repertorization
Rubrics
1 Eyeheavinesslids
Eyeopening the lidsdifcultkeep the eyes open;
hard to
2Chillbeginning in back
Chillbeginning inbackdorsal region
Backcoldnessextending toUp and down the back
3 Stomachthirstlesschill; during
Stomachthirstlessfever; during
4 Headconstrictionband or hoop
Headpainpressing painband as from a
5 Generalweathercold weatherwetagg.
Generalweather wet weatheragg.
6Coughnight
Coughnightmidnightafter
Coughdrynightmidnightafter
7 Bladdeurinationinvoluntarycough agg.; during
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
4National Health Commission of the Peoples Republic of China.
Press conference of the joint prevention and control mechanism
of the state council; February 17, 2020. Available at: http://
www.gov.cn/xinwen/gwylkjz18/index.htm. Accessed April 8,
2020
5Luo H, Tang QL, Shang YX, et a l. Can Chinese medicine be used for
prevention of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? A review of
historical classics, research evidence and current prevention
programs. Chin J Integr Med 2020;26:243250
6Jacobs J. Homeopathic prevention and management of epidemic
diseases. Homeopathy 2018;107:157160
7Hahnemann S. Heilung und Verhütung des Scharlachebers.
Gotha, Germany1801
8Winston J. The Faces of Homeopathy. Wellington, New Zealand:
Great Auk Publishing; 1999
9Wadhwani GG. Homeopathic drug therapy. Homeopathy in chi-
kungunya fever and post-chikungunya chronic arthritis: an ob-
servational study. Homeopathy 2013;102:193198
10 Nair KRJ, Gopinadhan S, Kurup TNS, et al. Homoeopathic genus
Epidemicus Bryonia albaas a prophylactic during an outbreak
of Chikungunya in India: a cluster-randomised, double-blind,
placebo- controlled trial. Indian J Res Homoeopathy 2014;
8:160165
11 Saeed-ul-Hassan S, Tariq I, K halid A, Karim S. Comparative clinical
study on the effectiveness of homeopathic combination remedy
with standard maintenance therapy for dengue fever. Trop J
Pharm Res 2013;12:767770
12 Jacobs J, Fernandez EA, Merizalde B, Avila-Montes GA, Crothers D.
The use of homeopathic combination remedy for dengue fever
symptoms: a pilot RCT in Honduras. Homeopathy 2007;96:2226
13 Bracho G, Varela E, Fernández R, et al. Large-scale application of
highly-diluted bacteria for leptospirosis epidemic control. Home-
opathy 2010;99:156166
14 Van Erp VMA, Brands M. Homoeopathic treatment of malaria in
Ghana. Br Homeopath J 1996;85:6670
15 Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol for COVID-19 (Trial Version 7),
National Health Commission of the Peoples Republic of China.
Available at: http://www.nhc.gov.cn/xcs/zhengcwj/202003/
46c9294a7dfe4cef80dc7f5912eb1989.shtml. Ac cesse d Apr il 8, 20 20
16 Schroyens F. Related Remedy, RadarOpus database 2007. Available
at: https://www.radaropus.com/academy/Radaropus-in-der-t%
C3%A4glichen-Praxis-Webinar-mit-Dr.-Frederik-Schroyens
17 Wu Z, McGoogan JM. Characteristics of and important lessons
from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-1 9) outbreak in China:
summary of a report of 72 314 cases from the Chinese Center for
Disease Control and Prevention. JAMA 2020;323:12391242
18 Guan WJ, Liang WH, Zhao Y. China Medical Treatment Expert
Group for Covid-19. Comorbidity and its impact on 1590 patients
with Covid-19 in China: a nationwide analysis. Eur Respir J 2020;
55:2000547
Homeopathy
Homeopathic Clinical Features of COVID-19 Patients To, Fok
... These are not the only countries that have turned to homeopathy during the pandemic; other countries that have produced research in this topic are Belgium (Devos et al. 2021), Brazil (Adler et al. 2021), China (To and Fok 2020), and many more countries. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Homoeopathy has been practised in South Africa for over 100 years, but the vast majority of South Africans have never heard of it. Only a small number of South Africans use homoeopathy, and it is largely unknown to many South Africans because it is only available through private health care, with only 20% of the population estimated to belong to private healthcare schemes. There has been no study to examine the utilisation of marketing strategies to promote homoeopathy. A recent study at the University of Johannesburg reflected that students were not aware of homoeopathy and the reason behind this was because of the lack of promotion and marketing of homoeopathy. This research investigates the marketing strategies used by practising homoeopaths in the eThekwini municipality area. The study aimed to determine the marketing strategies used and to evaluate the successful application of these marketing strategies for patient acquisition. Furthermore, the study investigated the homeopathic practitioners’ attitudes towards the marketing strategies used to market homeopathic services. Data was gathered using semi-structured in-depth interviews with 12 participants over a period of 45 minutes. The sampling used in this qualitative study was purposive and snowball sampling. The study followed a constructivism paradigm. After the study was completed, the researcher used qualitative thematic data analysis, which enabled the researcher to reach certain findings. The study results revealed four themes word-of-mouth, aversion to the use of marketing, additional services are the key method of differentiation in the market, and electronic word-of-mouth. The study made several important recommendations for marketing homeopathic practices, the main one being that training and meetings on marketing should be provided by the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) to practitioners to assist them in understanding what is and is not allowed in marketing. In conclusion, there was a need to assess the marketing strategies that are used by homoeopaths for acquiring new customers, as studies have indicated that the inability to obtain new patients is due to poor awareness of homoeopathy, which can lead to the failure in the growth of their practices. This research has revealed that there is a lack of understanding of what marketing is and its application in the healthcare space by both the practitioners.
... Initial experiences, focusing on the homeopathic clinical features of 18 Chinese patients, were reported in 2020. 2 Homeopathy has a long history of use in epidemic disease 3,4,5,6,7 and the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sharp increase in demand for homeopathy as an adjunctive treatment. This is also borne out by multiple publications of surveys, 8,9,10 case reports, 11 case series, 2,12,13 prospective and retrospective cohort studies, 14,15,16 as well as research projects and initiatives. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Clificol COVID-19 Support Project is an innovative international data collection project aimed at tackling some of the core questions in homeopathy. This paper reports on the further investigation of the genus epidemicus concept during the first wave of the pandemic in the Chinese population. Methods The design is an observational clinical case registry study of Chinese patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The symptoms were prospectively collected via a 150-item questionnaire. The concept of genus epidemicus, including the role of treatment individualization, was investigated by analyzing whether presenting symptoms clustered into distinct groups. Two standard statistical analysis techniques were utilized: principal component analysis for extracting the most meaningful symptoms of the dataset; the k-means clustering algorithm for automatically assigning groups based on similarity between presenting symptoms. Results 20 Chinese practitioners collected 359 cases in the first half of 2020 (766 consultations, 363 prescriptions). The cluster analysis found two to be the optimum number of clusters. These two symptomatic clusters had a high overlap with the two most commonly prescribed remedies in these sub-populations: in cluster 1 there were 297 prescriptions, 95.6% of which were Gelsemium sempervirens; in cluster 2 there were 61 prescriptions, 95.1% of which were Bryonia alba. Conclusion This is the first study to investigate the notion of genus epidemicus by using modern statistical techniques. These analyses identified at least two distinct symptom pictures. The notion of a single COVID-19 genus epidemicus did not apply in the studied population.
... Various data collections were carried out globally and some medicines were found useful. [4][5][6] Generally, most medicine prescriptions were based on one or two symptoms (keynote prescribing). Some examples of keynote prescribing 7 are: ...
Article
Background/Objective Most of the symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are covered by large repertory rubrics and hence many remedies have been proposed as “genus epidemicus”. The aim of this study was to combine the information from various data collections to prepare a COVID-19 Bayesian mini-repertory/an algorithm-based application (app) and test it. Methods In July 2021, 1,161 COVID-19 cases from 100 practitioners globally were combined. These data were used to calculate “condition-confined” likelihood ratios (LRs) for 59 symptoms of COVID-19. Out of these, 35 symptoms of the 11 medicines that had at least 20 cases each were considered. The information was entered in a spreadsheet (algorithm) to calculate combined LRs of specific combinations of symptoms. The algorithm contained the medicines Arsenicum album, Belladonna, Bryonia alba, Camphora, Gelsemium sempervirens, Hepar sulphuris, Mercurius solubilis, Nux vomica, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla and Rhus toxicodendron. To test concordance, the doctors were then invited to re-enter the symptoms of their cases into this algorithm. Results The algorithm was re-tested on 358 cases, and concordance was seen in 288 cases. On analysis of the data, bias was noticed in the Merc group, which was therefore excluded from the algorithm. The remaining 10 medicines, representing 81.8% of all cases, were included in the preparation of the next version of the homeopathic mini-repertory and app. Conclusion The Bayesian mini-repertory and app is based on qualitative clinical experiences of various doctors in COVID-19 and gives indications for specific medicines for common COVID-19 symptoms. It is freely available [English: https://hpra.co.uk/; Spanish: https://hpra.co.uk/es ] for further testing and utilization by the profession.
... This leads to host immunity as the principal barrier against the virus. Even though CAM was utilized on a limited cohort, the drug Bryonia alba was frequently prescribed to COVID-19 patients with favourable results, which initiated our quest for this experiment (To and Fok 2020;Jethani et al. 2021). In this experiment, we attempted to find out the effect of a diluted ethanolic extract of Bryonia alba, in Delta SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD protein-induced systemic inflammation in chick (Gallus gallus domesticus) embryo. ...
... This leads to host immunity as the principal barrier against the virus. Even though CAM was utilized on a limited cohort, the drug Bryonia alba was frequently prescribed to COVID-19 patients with favourable results, which initiated our quest for this experiment (To and Fok 2020;Jethani et al. 2021). In this experiment, we attempted to find out the effect of a diluted ethanolic extract of Bryonia alba, in Delta SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD protein-induced systemic inflammation in chick (Gallus gallus domesticus) embryo. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Bryonia alba extract is a well-known drug which is being utilized as phytomedicines and homoeopathic preparations since more than two centuries. This medicine is frequently used in clinical practice for flu-like conditions, respiratory tract infections, and gastrointestinal diseases, as evidenced by old literature and historical records. The plant contains Bryonicin, Bryonolic acid, Bryodin, Cucurbitacin, etc. The alkaloids in Bryonia alba have been discovered to be a powerful heme-oxygenase-1 inhibitor, which could help reduce oxidative stress during SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. During three waves of SARS-CoV-2, extracts of Bryonia alba were used; however, the actual scientific explanation for its mechanism of action is still unknown. In this experiment, we studied cytokine changes by diluted Bryonia alba extract in Delta SARS-CoV-2 spike protein RBD-induced pathogenesis, in fertilized chick ( Gallus gallus domesticus ) embryos. Results The recombinant Delta SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD protein was inoculated in 14-day-old chick ( Gallus gallus domesticus ) embryos along with control, pre-, and post-treatment sets with diluted Bryonia extract. After 48 h, allantoic fluids were collected and stored at – 20 °C for study of different cytokines. Histological changes of the liver were also studied in each animal. Diluted Bryonia extract upregulated IFN-α and IL-10 markedly. In pre-treatment set, IFN-α, IL-8, IL-10, and IL-1β were markedly decreased, while in the post-treatment set IL-6, IL-10, IL-8, and TGFβ1 were significantly decreased, with a tendency of more anti-inflammatory surge than pro-inflammatory cytokines. Conclusions This experiment indicated an immunomodulatory role of diluted ethanolic extract of Bryonia particularly in the post-treatment set, decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines with beneficial effect.
... Time point 0 to 5 days 0 to 7 days 0 to 10 days All participants China officinalis [37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46]. These studies present relevant data, that should be further tested in clinical trials, but we are not aware of any prior published controlled clinical trial that evaluated homeopathic approaches in the context of COVID-19. ...
Article
Background Different homeopathic approaches have been used as supportive care for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, but none has been tested in a clinical trial. Objectives To investigate the effectiveness and safety of the homeopathic medicine, Natrum muriaticum LM2, for mild cases of COVID-19.
... Historically, during the other epidemics of Spanish influenza, dengue fever, scarlet fever, Chikungunya fever, leptospirosis, and malaria, homeopathy was used in Europe as well as many other countries in the world. As there is scarcity of strong evidence-based regimens for anti-viral medications and conventional vaccines in the current COVID-19 pandemic, homeopathic medications has been used by 4-5% in the Hong Kong population and 45-50% in the Macau population as an adjunctive measure alongside conventional medicine in the management of influenza-like diseases 42 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new evolving infectious disease characterized as atypical pneumonia caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2(SARS-CoV-2). It was first seen in Wuhan, China, and later spread across the globe led to a worldwide pandemic affecting millions of people. The usual manifestations of COVID-19 include cough, sore throat, fever, dyspnoea, and fatigue with exposure recently. Most of COVID-19 patients may have mild or moderate disease, whereas severe to life-threatening disease course is seen in 5–10% of the patients. Several clinical trials are presently trying to find the most effective drug or combination of the drugs for this disease. This article aims to discuss the treatment strategies in different forms of medicine that are being used for COVID-19 patients and review the literature available.
Article
Background and Objectives Asymptomatic COVID-19 subjects can transmit the infection for as many as 14 days and are regarded as a significant factor in the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. This exploratory study aimed to determine any additional benefits of selected homeopathic medicines compared with placebo in asymptomatic COVID-19 individuals receiving standard care. Methods This open-label, randomized, placebo-controlled, exploratory trial was undertaken at a COVID Care Centre (CCC) in Madhya Pradesh, India. Patients (n = 200, 18–65 years, both sexes) having a positive RT-PCR and asymptomatic during admission were enrolled. They were randomly assigned to one of four groups (each n = 50): Arsenicum album 30C (Ars. alb.), Camphora 1M (Camph.), Bryonia alba 30C (Bry. alb.) and placebo (Pl.). All the patients were given standard care. The primary outcome was the number of patients becoming RT-PCR negative for SARS-CoV-2 at days 5, 10 and 15. Results In total, 200 asymptomatic COVID-19 patients were enrolled. One hundred and seventy-seven patients became RT-PCR negative by day 15; 88%, 80%, 98% and 88% from Ars. alb., Camph., Bry. alb. and Pl. respectively. A Chi-square test of association for the total patients who became RT-PCR negative for SARS-Cov-2 in each group showed a marginal statistical significance (Chi-square: 8.1, p = 0.04). A two-proportion Z-test comparing each pre-identified homeopathic medicine with placebo showed marginal statistical significance (p = 0.05) for Bry alb. only. Median time in days to RT-PCR negative (Kaplan Meier analysis) was 10 days in each of the groups. Conclusion There was some evidence that, compared with Ars alb., Camph. or Pl., Bry. alb. was associated with an increased number of patients who became RT-PCR negative for COVID-19 by day 15. The possible effect exerted needs to be investigated in additional research.
Article
Full-text available
Among the seven human coronaviruses (HCoVs), SARS, MERS, and SARS-CoV2 caused the most severe illnesses. Although WHO recommended three vaccines against Covid-19, this does not guarantee complete protection against the human body. Since the virus constantly changes and infects people causing great suffering and death, we must protect ourselves by following specific hygiene rules. This study showed the effectiveness of Homeopathic Remedies as the alternative treatment for Covid-19. Samples (suspected and confirmed patients of Covid-19) were given homeopathic medicines, and the results were recorded. This study aims to demonstrate a global effort to control the coronavirus (COVID-19) through alternative therapies. National health systems should promptly endorse the efficacy of validated homeopathic treatments to treat the Covid-19 disease as alternative medicine.
Article
Full-text available
Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak is evolving rapidly worldwide. Objective To evaluate the risk of serious adverse outcomes in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) by stratifying the comorbidity status. Methods We analysed the data from 1590 laboratory-confirmed hospitalised patients 575 hospitals in 31 province/autonomous regions/provincial municipalities across mainland China between December 11 th , 2019 and January 31 st , 2020. We analyse the composite endpoints, which consisted of admission to intensive care unit, or invasive ventilation, or death. The risk of reaching to the composite endpoints was compared according to the presence and number of comorbidities. Results The mean age was 48.9 years. 686 patients (42.7%) were females. Severe cases accounted for 16.0% of the study population. 131 (8.2%) patients reached to the composite endpoints. 399 (25.1%) reported having at least one comorbidity. The most prevalent comorbidity was hypertension (16.9%), followed by diabetes (8.2%). 130 (8.2%) patients reported having two or more comorbidities. After adjusting for age and smoking status, COPD [hazards ratio (HR) 2.681, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 1.424–5.048], diabetes (HR 1.59, 95%CI 1.03–2.45), hypertension (HR 1.58, 95%CI 1.07–2.32) and malignancy (HR 3.50, 95%CI 1.60–7.64) were risk factors of reaching to the composite endpoints. The HR was 1.79 (95%CI 1.16–2.77) among patients with at least one comorbidity and 2.59 (95%CI 1.61–4.17) among patients with two or more comorbidities. Conclusion Among laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19, patients with any comorbidity yielded poorer clinical outcomes than those without. A greater number of comorbidities also correlated with poorer clinical outcomes.
Article
Full-text available
Objective Since December 2019, an outbreak of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) occurred in Wuhan, and rapidly spread to almost all parts of China. This was followed by prevention programs recommending Chinese medicine (CM) for the prevention. In order to provide evidence for CM recommendations, we reviewed ancient classics and human studies. Methods Historical records on prevention and treatment of infections in CM classics, clinical evidence of CM on the prevention of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and H1N1 influenza, and CM prevention programs issued by health authorities in China since the COVID-19 outbreak were retrieved from different databases and websites till 12 February, 2020. Research evidence included data from clinical trials, cohort or other population studies using CM for preventing contagious respiratory virus diseases. Results The use of CM to prevent epidemics of infectious diseases was traced back to ancient Chinese practice cited in Huangdi’s Internal Classic (Huang Di Nei Jing) where preventive effects were recorded. There were 3 studies using CM for prevention of SARS and 4 studies for H1N1 influenza. None of the participants who took CM contracted SARS in the 3 studies. The infection rate of H1N1 influenza in the CM group was significantly lower than the non-CM group (relative risk 0.36, 95% confidence interval 0.24–0.52; n=4). For prevention of COVID-19, 23 provinces in China issued CM programs. The main principles of CM use were to tonify qi to protect from external pathogens, disperse wind and discharge heat, and resolve dampness. The most frequently used herbs included Radix astragali (Huangqi), Radix glycyrrhizae (Gancao), Radix saposhnikoviae (Fangfeng), Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae (Baizhu), Lonicerae Japonicae Flos (Jinyinhua), and Fructus forsythia (Lianqiao). Conclusions Based on historical records and human evidence of SARS and H1N1 influenza prevention, Chinese herbal formula could be an alternative approach for prevention of COVID-19 in high-risk population. Prospective, rigorous population studies are warranted to confirm the potential preventive effect of CM.
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The objective was to assess the usefulness of homoeopathic genus epidemicus (Bryonia alba 30C) for the prevention of chikungunya during its epidemic outbreak in the state of Kerala, India. Materials and Methods: A cluster‑ randomised, double‑ blind, placebo ‑controlled trial was conducted in Kerala for prevention of chikungunya during the epidemic outbreak in August‑September 2007 in three panchayats of two districts. Bryonia alba 30C/placebo was randomly administered to 167 clusters (Bryonia alba 30C = 84 clusters; placebo = 83 clusters) out of which data of 158 clusters was analyzed (Bryonia alba 30C = 82 clusters; placebo = 76 clusters). Healthy participants (absence of fever and arthralgia) were eligible for the study (Bryonia alba 30 C n = 19750; placebo n = 18479). Weekly follow‑up was done for 35 days. Infection rate in the study groups was analysed and compared by use of cluster analysis. Results: The findings showed that 2525 out of 19750 persons of Bryonia alba 30 C group suffered from chikungunya, compared to 2919 out of 18479 in placebo group. Cluster analysis showed significant difference between the two groups [rate ratio = 0.76 (95% CI 0.14 ‑ 5.57), P value = 0.03]. The result reflects a 19.76% relative risk reduction by Bryonia alba 30C as compared to placebo. Conclusion: Bryonia alba 30C as genus epidemicus was better than placebo in decreasing the incidence of chikungunya in Kerala. The efficacy of genus epidemicus needs to be replicated in different epidemic settings.
Article
Background Homeopathy has been used to treat epidemic diseases since the time of Hahnemann, who used Belladonna to treat scarlet fever. Since then, several approaches using homeopathy for epidemic diseases have been proposed, including individualization, combination remedies, genus epidemicus, and isopathy. Methods The homeopathic research literature was searched to find examples of each of these approaches and to evaluate which were effective. Results There is good experimental evidence for each of these approaches. While individualization is the gold standard, it is impractical to use on a widespread basis. Combination remedies can be effective but must be based on the symptoms of a given epidemic in a specific location. Treatment with genus epidemicus can also be successful if based on data from many practitioners. Finally, isopathy shows promise and might be more readily accepted by mainstream medicine due to its similarity to vaccination. Conclusion Several different homeopathic methods can be used to treat epidemic diseases. The challenge for the future is to refine these approaches and to build on the knowledge base with additional rigorous trials. If and when conventional medicine runs out of options for treating epidemic diseases, homeopathy could be seen as an attractive alternative, but only if there is viable experimental evidence of its success.
Article
Purpose: To investigate the effectiveness of homeopathic combination remedy compared with standard maintenance therapy for the treatment of dengue fever.Method: A total of 50 patients with dengue fever were divided into two equal groups. Group 1 was treated with homeopathic combination remedy for consecutive 6 days while standard maintenance therapy was similarly given to Group 2 patients. Their full blood count (FBC) including platelet count (PLT), white blood cell count (WBC) and hematocrit level (HCT) were recorded The parameters were monitored daily in order to determine between the two groups.Results: Following the six-day homeopathic combination remedy, PLT count increased from (95.60 ± 0.04) x 103 to (311 ± 0.13) x 103/μL, and WBC from (79.5 ± 0.05) x 104 to (90.3 ± 0.02) x 104/μL. However, HCT decreased from 48.02 ± 6.70 to 42.32 ± 3.42 %. On the other hand, standard maintenance therapy increased PLT count from (73.44 ± 0.04) x 103 to (239.00 ± 0.04) x 103/μL and WBC from (53.50 ± 0.02) x 104 to (79.40 ± 0.02) x 104/μL, but decreased HCT from 42.30 ± 2.48 to 39.68 ± 4.35 %. A significant difference was seen in the PLT count, WBC and HCT level between the two therapies (p = 0.012, 0.003 and 0.021, respectively).Conclusion: The homeopathic combination appeared to be a more potent treatment against dengue fever; however, further studies are required to demonstrate this clearly.
Article
In a clinic in Tamale (Ghana, Northern Region) patients with malaria were treated with homoeopathic drugs in an open study (n=75), of whom 90.7% (n=68) showed clinical improvement. Subsequently in a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial, one group (n=30) received homoeopathic drugs, of which 83.3% improved clinically, whereas the other group (n=25) received chloroquine with improvement in 72% patients. This difference is not statistically significant due to the limited samples. The results do, however, suggest further research with larger groups.
Article
To observe the effect of homeopathic therapy in Chikungunya Fever (CF) and in Post-Chikungunya Chronic Arthritis (PCCA) in a primary health care setting. A prospective observational study was conducted at Delhi Government Homeopathic Dispensary, Aali Village, New Delhi, India, for a period of 6 months, from 1st October 2010 to 31st March 2011. 126 patients (75 CF, 51 PCCA) were enrolled based on predefined inclusion criteria. A single homeopathic medicine was prescribed for each patient after case taking with the help of Materia Medica and/or Repertory. Results were evaluated on the basis of visual analogue scale and symptom scores. Complete recovery was seen in 84.5% CF cases in a mean time of 6.8 days. 90% cases of PCCA recovered completely in a mean time of 32.5 days. Homeopathic therapy may be effective in CF and PCCA. A randomized controlled trial should be considered.