Vaccination – be it conventional or homeopathic – has always remained controversial. In 1796 Jenner tried his vaccination against smallpox and in 1799 Hahnemann used homeopathic Belladonna as preventive for Scarlet fever. Both of them addressed a disease which was epidemic in their time and both of them were fairly successful in their approach.
Homeopathy was a new system with few takers and the founder and the followers had much more to do, other than working on homeopathic prevention of disease. ‘Treating’ the disease effectively was a much bigger question for them. Still, homeopaths kept using homeopathic remedies as prophylactic in variety of acute epidemics of scarlet fever, diphtheria, cholera etc. However, due to lack of systematic studies homeoprophylaxis was never established as a scientific and effective method of disease prevention. In the early 20th century, with increasing might of conventional system of medicine, the homeopathic system collapsed in the majority of the world and Homeoprophylaxis was also forgotten except in some countries like India where homeopathy continued to flourish.
On the other hand, as with every new discovery in conventional medicine, the medical community felt that they have discovered a panacea! There was a lot of euphoria which followed efforts to prevent every disease in a manner similar to that used by Edward Jenner. The adverse effects of injecting ‘live’ bacteria and viruses was soon very evident but due to the huge government support and the lack of any other alternative, the ‘experimental’ work on vaccination continued, with humans being subjected to the fancies of ‘scientists’ as guinea pigs. Later, vaccination was tried with killed pathogens. Still the rate of adverse reactions was very high. Now a days vaccines are ‘attenuated’ or consist of only ‘antigenic proteins’. But even nowadays adverse reactions to conventional vaccines are not rare and the efficacy of many vaccines is still questioned. There has also been a lot of litigation from people who have suffered. But in spite of all this, the conventional vaccination has become the main stay of disease prevention.
In the last few decades, there has been a dramatic resurgence of homeopathy around the world. This growth, coupled with the increasing awareness about the bad effects of conventional medicine has prompted many people to look for alternatives to conventional vaccination. Dr. Isaac Golden is just one such man. When his own children suffered vaccine damage, he set out to research the possibility of using homeopathic medicine for disease prevention. This book, in its 6th edition, is the result of 20 years of rigorous research on homeoprophylaxis.
This book tries to answer 6 fundamental questions related to vaccination –
- Should we attempt to prevent infectious diseases?
- What is the best overall approach to infectious disease prevention?
- What are the risks and benefits of the vaccination option?
- What are the risks and benefits of homeoprophylaxis option?
- What are the comparative risks and benefits of the disease prevention options?
- What option is best for your child?
Part I begins with a general study of the following common childhood infections: Chicken Pox, Cholera, Diphtheria, Haaemophilis influenzae type b, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Influenza, Japanese encephalitis, Measles, Meningococcal disease, Mumps, Pertusis, Pneumococcal disease, Poliomyelitis, Rubella, Tetanus, Tuberculosis and Typhoid. Information about each disease is provided with details about the causative pathogen, clinical symptoms, conventional and homeopathic treatment and a brief note about efficacy of conventional vaccination and possibility of using homeopathic prevention is discussed. The chapter also discussed the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ which debates that infectious diseases were already on the decline before systematic vaccination was initiated. The general approach for increasing immunity by taking a balanced diet, exercise, sleep etc. has also been discussed.
Part II of the book deals with the risks and benefits of the conventional vaccination as well as homeoprophylaxis. The chapter summarizes:
Vaccination is generally (but not completely) an effective method of disease prevention. The short term adverse events have been underestimated and the true long-tem health consequences have not been researched thoroughly.
The book further gives details about historical statistics on the prevalence of each disease and the effects and reactions of each vaccine. Later the homeopathic option for prevention of each infection is discussed in great detail and statistics are presented based on Dr. Golden’s twenty years of research. The relative safety of homeoprophylaxis has also been studied and the results are very encouraging. While the efficacy of homeopathic preventive remedies has been found to be comparable with conventional vaccination, the overall health improvement has been found to be significantly greater and the incidence of diseases like eczema and asthma have been significantly lower in children using homeoprophylaxis.
This work is fascinating to read. Every homeopath and every parent looking for an alternative to vaccination must get hold of a copy of this book. The print quality is good and the presentation of data is very systematic and lucid. The book provides a very balanced perspective on vaccination and homeoprophylaxis and Dr. Golden deserves to be applauded for his very genuine work.