The concern expressed by many parents about the safety of vaccination in the wake of the recent British country-wide mass vaccination campaign against measles and rubella has raised the perennial question: just how effective are homeopathic "nosode"
After 1830 some 52 years ahead of Koch's first isolation of the tubercle bacillus for the tuberculosis vaccine-nosodes (that is, homeopathic dilutions of the products of the illness in question given orally) were commonly used as just-in-case measures against a wide variety of diseases. According to government statistics, when homeopathy was a strong contender against orthodox medicine for medical dominance, the use of these homeopathic "vaccines" was accompanied by an amazing drop in the incidence of whooping cough, diphtheria, scarlet fever and measles in children. In all groups, the numbers of people of all ages contracting TB, dysentery, typhoid fever and Asiastic cholera plummeted (Gaier, Thorsons Encyclopaedic Dict of Hom, HarperCollins, London, 1991).
Although proof of the scientific benefit of the various "vaccines" are generally thin on the ground, a few published studies suggest the effectiveness of nosodes used as preventatives against specific diseases, including cancer.
One experimental study in the early part of this century investigated a strain of fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster), in which 50 per cent of male offspring die from a genetically inherited tumour. In a large series of 218 larval cultures matched with 22 control groups, the death rate was reduced fourfold by giving the flies homeopathic potencies of a tumour nosode mixed with Arsenicum album and Mercurius nitricus (Hom Recorder, 1925; 40: 130; J Am Inst Hom, 1925; 18; 433: 790).
Chagas-Cruz disease, known as Brazilian trypanosomiasis, is a greatly feared South American insect-borne infectious disease affecting humans, rodents and armadillos. In a controlled study, a potentized homeopathic nosode, prepared from the blood of infected mice, was given to a group of mice 10 days before they (and a control group, not given the "vaccine") were exposed to trypanosomal infection.
All the mice given the nosode survived, compared with no survivors among the control group. The nosode wasn't found to be effective when given to treat the illness, once contracted (Annals Hom Fr, 1982; 24 (3): 253-64).
Another three studies demonstrated that pretreatment with this nosode raised protective antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi (Transactions XLII Congress Liga Medicorum Homoeopathica Internationalis, Rio de Janeiro, 1986).
Although these are only animal studies against an arcane disease not encountered in the West, at least one large-scale homeopathic human trial exists. In 1974, more than 18,000 children were successfully "vaccinated" with the nosode "Menigococcinum 11CH" against meningitis (F X Eizayaga, Treatise on Homoeopathic Medicine, Buenos Aires: Ediciones Marcel, 1991).
Twenty years later, this trial not only shows how effective the treatment is, but also how safe. There wasn't a single instance of side
Harald Gaier is a registered naturopath, osteopath and homeopath.