The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are now acknowledging that humankind has entered the post-antibiotic era - a time when something as simple as a cut or sore throat may once again be lethal.
How did we get here?
Well, to quote Dr. Ron Whitmont, MD…
“Antibiotics are another example of our overreliance on drugs. With more than 85 antibiotic prescriptions written for every 100 people in 2014, these drugs are recklessly overused.[i] Even the CDC believes that they are unnecessary more than half of the times they are used.[ii] These drugs accumulate in food[iii] and water supplies,[iv] and are responsible for devastating environmental damage[v] in addition to the human illness that they promote.[vi] The overuse of these drugs damages the human microbiome,[vii] and the immune system[viii] directly causing a host of long-term drug caused illnesses including allergies,[ix] asthma,[x] inflammatory bowel disease,[xi] behavioral problems,[xii] autoimmunity[xiii] and cancer.[xiv]
The overuse and abuse of antibiotics is singlehandedly responsible for the epidemic of antibiotic resistant organisms, which killed more than 700,000 people in 2014, and are expected to kill more than 10 million, and add more than $100 trillion to medical costs by 2050.[xv]
This situation is undeniably dire.
Are there reliable treatment alternatives to antibiotics?
Yes. Epidemiological and clinical evidence point to homeopathy as a potentially life-saving adjunct to current pharmacological drug options. A cost effective one as well…
So what does the research show?
There are too many studies on this topic to name them all. For our purposes here, we will look at just a few.
The largest comparative effectiveness study of homeopathy published to date is the so-called EPI3 study published in 2014. This French study was a nationwide research project coordinated by the Department of Pharmacoepidemiology at the University of Bordeaux. It included 6,379 patients from 804 medical practices.
One facet of the EPI3 study demonstrated that patients who consult family physicians certified in homeopathy use significantly less antibiotics and antipyretic/anti-inflammatory drugs for upper respiratory tract infections than those who relied on family physicians who prescribe only conventional medications, with similar outcomes xvi. The EPI3 study also concluded that health expenditures are 20% less for patients consulting homeopathic family physicians in France compared to conventional family physicians xvii.
In another multinational comparative effectiveness study led by the American physician Dr. David Riley involved 30 doctors, at six clinical sites in four countries, treating patients with acute respiratory problems. Response at 14 days was 82.6% for homeopathy compared to 68% for conventional treatment. The rate of adverse events for conventional treatment was 22.3%, versus 7.8% for homeopathy (adverse events reported for homeopathy took the form of simple short term symptom aggravations only). A replication of this study included 1,577 patients, of whom 857 received homeopathic and 720 conventional treatment: improvement was significantly faster with homeopathy.xviii, xix
I promised not to make this piece a research heavy article – but let’s look at one more study just to make the point.
Otitis media (otherwise known as an ear infection) is common in small children, and physicians often prescribe antibiotics to treat these cases. Researchers at the University of Washington were curious to know whether homeopathy might be an effective alternative for these children and conducted a randomized double blind placebo control pilot study to find out. They concluded their study with this finding: “These results suggest that a positive treatment effect of homeopathy when compared with placebo in acute otitis media.”xx
And there’s so much more…
Reliable and extensive clinical and public health records have also been carefully examined internationally, looking for evidence of homeopathic medicine’s efficacy during some of the deadliest epidemics of the past 200 years. The main findings of this research show that when homeopathic medicine was employed during these deadly events, mortality rates were routinely very low. This constancy remained regardless of the homeopathic physician, time, place or type of epidemical disease, including diseases carrying a high mortality rate, such as cholera, smallpox, diphtheria, typhoid fever, yellow fever, influenza and pneumoniaxxi.
Given all of these facts, isn’t it time for a collaborative effort to investigate the efficacy of homeopathic medicine in the treatment of patients with these increasingly dangerous infections whereby homeopathic medicine is at a minimum used as an adjunct to conventional therapies?
Physicians specializing in integrative medicine around the world are increasingly saying “YES.”
About Dr. Lisa Samet:
Dr. Lisa Samet N.D. provides Washington Homeopathic Products with a weekly column on using homeopathy for the family. She's a naturopathic physician who specializes in homeopathic medicine and she's a partner with Dr. Andre Saine N.D. She is perhaps best known as a guest expert on homeopathy used by Dr. Mehmet Oz M.D. on the popular TV program - the Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Samet graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 and has been practicing in Montreal since then. She was born and raised in New York.
Dr. Samet has chosen to focus on homeopathy because in her experience it is the deepest healing modality available in that it does not just soothe or palliate symptoms but can actually stimulate the body to start to heal itself. Dr. Samet sees patients in her Montreal office as well as long distance using Skype. Learn more here: Dr. Lisa Samet. You can follow her on Facebook as well.
[iii] The Overuse
of Antibiotics in Food Animals Threatens Public Health. ConsumersUnion
POLICY & ACTION FROM CONSUMER REPORTS.
[iv]Harvard Health Letter. Drugs in the water. June 2011. http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/...
Published online 2014 May 19. doi: 10.3109/03009734.2014.896438
[vi] Brody JE. Popular Antibiotics May Carry Serious Side Effects. NYTimes Sept 22, 2012. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/popular...
[vii] Langdon A, Crook N, Dantas G. The effects of antibiotics on the microbiome throughout development and alternative approaches for therapeutic modulation. Genome Medicine20168:39 DOI: 10.1186/s13073-016-0294-z
[viii] Nield D. Antibiotics Found to Cause Immune System Damage And Reduce Brain Cell Growth
When good drugs go bad. Science Alert; 26 May 2016. https://www.sciencealert.com/side-effects-from-an...
[xi] Greenblum S, Turnbaugh PJ, Borenstein E. Metagenomic systems biology of the human gut microbiome reveals topological shifts associated with obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. PNAS;109(2): 594–599. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1116053109
[xii] Ezenwa VO, Gerardo NM, Inouye DW, et al. Animal Behavior and the Microbiome. Science; 338(6104): 198-199. DOI: 10.1126/science.1227412
[xiii] Cherepahina N, Shogenov Z, Bocharova M, et al. Microbiome and Autoimmunity. InTech, ISBN 978-953-51-1028-6, Published: March 13, 2013. DOI: 10.5772/54128
xvi, Grimaldi-Bensouda L, Begaud B, Rossignol M, Avouac B, Lert F, et al. (2014) Management of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections by Different Medical Practices, Including Homeopathy, and Consumption of Antibiotics in Primary Care: The EPI3 Cohort Study in France 2007–2008. PLoS ONE 9(3): e89990. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089990
xvii, Colas A, Danno K, Tabar C, Ehreth J, Duru G. Economic Impact of Homeopathic Practice in General Medicine In France. Health Economics Review (2015) 5:18. DOI 10.1186/s13561-015-0055-5
[xv]iii Riley D, Fischer M, Singh B, et al. (2001). Homeopathy and Conventional Medicine: An Outcomes Study Comparing Effectiveness in a Primary Care Setting. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 7:149–159.
xix, Haidvogl M Riley D, Heger M et al. Homeopathic and conventional treatment for acute respiratory and ear complaints: A comparative study on outcome in the primary care setting BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007; 7: 7. doi:
xx, JacobsJ, Springer DA et al.Homeopathic treatment of acute otitis media in children: a preliminary randomized placebo-controlled trial. Pediatr Infect Dis J, 2001, 20: 177-83.