Can Homeopathy be a safe alternative to antibiotics

 

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, has called the problem of antibiotics resistance a ‘ticking time bomb’, which is ‘as big a risk as terrorism.’ She has urged the government to address the issue at the upcoming G8 summit in London. The cause of this problem is two-fold. In the last five to ten years, bacteria that cause infections have developed multiple resistances to antibiotic treatments in greater numbers than ever, a ‘step change’ according to the CMO.  Secondly, pharmaceutical companies are not delivering new forms of antibiotics that can fight the bacteria that have already become immune to existing drugs.

Sadly, the use of homeopathic remedies is not currently part of this discussion. Homeopathy can offer multiple alternative remedies, which may well be more cost effective than antibiotics. Arnica, for example, is often taken for seven days before and after surgery in order to prevent infection and speed healing.  Calendula, frequently used as an anti-septic on cuts, scrapes and burns, prevents the growth and spread of bacteria.  I’ve known Homeopathic dentists to advise a mixture containing Hepar Sulph, Gunpowder and Pyrogens and Arnica for patients with an abscess or undergoing root canal treatment.  This list could be much longer. When so many alternatives to antibiotics exist and antibiotic resistance is becoming such a threat, it begs the question: why not consider homeopathic remedies as viable alternatives to antibiotics? 

In addition to the cost benefits, there is good scientific reason to do so. The Irish Society of Homeopaths has recently offered a summary of the research basis for homeopathic alternatives to antibiotics. Sinus infections, respiratory infections and ear infections have all been treated with homeopathic remedies—with impressive results. The Irish Society of Homeopaths concludes that homeopathic remedies are at least as effective as conventional treatments and that they could serve as a first-line treatment for viral and mild bacterial infections.  This in turn would help preserve the efficacy of existing antibiotics.  

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In addition to the work done by the Irish Society the Faculty of Homeopathy gives details on its website of research which shows Homeopathy to be effective.

Even if the NHS is far from ready to start using homeopathic remedies as a first-line treatment, at the very least more research should focus on this issue. When antibiotic resistance threatens global health with such intensity, can we really afford to overlook such a promising alternative to antibiotics?

 

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