Over 5 million French people and over $20 million dollars is spent on a little known but much used homeopathic remedy to treat the flu. Homeopathy has recently become Europe’s fastest growing form of alternative medicine. Last year sales of homeopathic medicines in Europe topped £3billion.
Debate about how it scientifically works are heated but most Europeans are now going to a homeopath as their first course of treatment and 20 per cent of Scottish GPs currently practice this medicine. Many scientific studies have been carried out that proves its efficacy medically and especially in flu outbreaks like this swine flu H1N1.
This medicine could be the natural solution for the epidemic. No nasty chemicals and it reduces the flu symptoms by three days in comparison to a vaccine that has not been tested and will take up to six weeks to create an effect. Most importantly this remedy could help regulate the deadly ‘cytokine storm’ effect of this flu.
Oscillococcinum was first studied in France during the 1987 flu epidemic caused by an H1N1 virus similar to the swine flu of today. This multi-centre study examined the effect of Oscillococcinum (200C) on the early symptoms of flu. Results were published in the peer-reviewed British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. More patients in the treatment group recovered completely in the first 48 hours than the control group (17 percent of patients with active treatment compared to 10 percent of controls). More patients in the treatment group also judged the treatment as better compared to the placebo, 61 percent vs 49 percent.
In 1990 German scientists replicated the French study of Oscillococcinum. They used the same criteria as the previous study. After 48 hours of treatment with Oscillococcinum the treatment group had considerably milder symptoms than the control group, and the number of patients with no symptoms from day two onward was significantly greater in the treatment group 17.4 % compared to the control group 6.6 %.
Both of these studies show a significant curative effect of a homeopathic medicine in the treatment of flu in carefully conducted, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Conventional antiviral drugs reduce the duration of flu by about one day if taken within the first 48 hours of illness. These studies shows that homeopathy carries the potential to make a dramatic difference in any flu epidemic without the risk of drug side effects. Some of those drugs have now been linked to heart problems and do not address the ‘cytokine storm’ of this swine flu H1N1.
Private European insurers cover homeopathic treatments and The World Health Organisation recommends them. A few years ago Spain took an initiative to incorporate homeopathy into its national health service. There are over 250,000 homeopaths in India.