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Monday 30 March 2015

Meningitis B Vaccine: is it safe? Or an offer worth refusing?

This weekend (29th March 2015) the mainstream media announced proudly that all babies in Britain will soon have access to a vaccine against Meningitis B. We were told that the government, and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, had reached agreement with GlaxoSmith Kline on the cost of the deal, which had earlier been refused on the grounds of expense.

So is this good new? It is according to the government, which announced that it had obtained 'good value for money', and would now be implementing a recommendation made in 2014 that every child over 2 months should be given the vaccine. The vaccine will now be added to the national childhood vaccination scheme, the first dose being given at 2 months, followed by 2 further doses. Jeremy Hunt is reported as saying that he "was very proud that we will be the first country in the world to have a nationwide Meningitis B vaccination programme".

It is good news for the NHS, with all 4 national branches in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland announcing that they will be providing the vaccine. The Northern Ireland health minister, Jim Wells, welcome the outcome of the negotiations "to secure an effective, safe and cost-effective vaccine".

It is good news for the drug company, who are presumably content with the price for the vaccine negotiated by the government.

The charity 'Meningitis Now' believe that it is good new too, saying "To know that babies will be protected against MenB is fantastic and another great step forwards in our fight against meningitis", and the Meningitis Research Foundation also commented that "We are delighted that vaccinating all babies against this devastating disease is now within sight, cementing the UK's position as a world leader in meningitis prevention".

The BBC article, in which all these quotations of satisfaction were taken, were also good enough to report a case of one child who had lost her leg because of the illness. It also outline the seriousness of the illness, 1,800 per year, causing amputation, deafness, epilepsy and learning difficulties, with 1 in 10 cases being fatal.

So has this been good, accurate and full reporting by the BBC, and the mainstream media generally? Has it provided parents with all the information they need in order to make an informed choice about whether they should allow their babies to be vaccinated. Has the government, the NHS, the health charities, et al, been entirely honest an open in how they have presented the issue?

In July 2013, the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) concluded that the current evidence is insufficient "to support a recommendation for the introduction" of the vaccine. said the vaccine was not cost-effective, and did not offer enough protection. 

This 'Healthier Life' article, published in November 2014, questioned the need for the vaccine, and provides evidence that the health scare underlying this new vaccine was based on hysteria.

This Natural News article questions the benefits of the vaccine, and points to the very real issues of any vaccine that contain ingredients like mercury, formaldehyde, aluminium, and other poisons.

The Meningitis C vaccine is also known to cause serious long-term health problems, outline in this case.

The experience of the Meningitis B vaccine in the Far East has led to a number of deaths in India, Pakistan, Sri Landa, and Bhutan, and its withdrawal in Vietnam.

In Africa, at least 50 children have been left paralysed by the vaccine.

So, as usual, we are being presented with a vaccine whose purpose is to respond to need that is doubtful, a vaccine whose effectiveness is doubted, and where there is already evidence that it is doing harm to those who receive it.

And as usual, we are are being told by the government, the NHS, the mainstream media, and others, that it is needed, if is effective, and it is safe.

Even if none of the issues raised by the articles above are true, are we not entitled to be told about them by our 'Free Press'?

We have been given too many bland assurances in recent years about the safety and efficacy of conventional medical drugs and vaccines, only to find out many years later, after much harm and mayhem, that they are dangerous and ineffective! The Meningitis B vaccine appears to be yet another example of this.

It is about time for patients to begin to learn from past experience. The conventional medical establishment cannot be trusted. It is too powerful for governments to oppose. And the mainstream media is too much under their control and influence to question.

Our doctors in crisis (NHS in Crisis Spring 2015)

Our doctors are under severe pressure. So, of course, is the rest of the NHS in Britain. Hospital waiting lists are lengthening. Our Accident and Emergency (A&E) units are under severe pressure. And our GP's are now in crisis

A south London GP practice has published a note, entitled "Why your GP is facing a crisis" to its patients explaining why it is difficult to get an appointment to see a doctor. It provides a long list of issues facing them which is putting them under pressure. The GP magazine 'Pulse' says that it is in response to the BMA's campaign to help cut doctor's workloads.

Pulse says that it has published a number of articles of GP waiting time, GP retention and recruitment, observing that workload has increased by 20% without any increase in budget. It discussed the 'burnout' of doctors, and goes on to say that doctors are having to turn patients away, and that as a result of this, they are choosing to go straight to A&E departments - which are also unable to cope.

           ‘In conclusion: ‘Doctors have to see more people - they’re only going to get busier. They’re getting demoralised and leaving the profession. There’s no money to employ more of them; and even if the money was there, there’s a shortage of qualified people. The recruitment shortage is only making things worse for the GPs still remaining. A lack of GPs is costing the NHS money, because sending everyone to A&E is much more expensive.’

Everyone will, of course, have the greatest sympathy for doctors and other staff with the NHS. Yet it would be helpful if the conventional medical establishment began to recognise, and acknowledge the cause of the difficulties they face. 
  • The NHS is not underfunded (there has been no reduction in funding the NHS, indeed, there has been a steady, often a rapid increase, in spending on conventional medicine since 1947.
  • The NHS is not inefficient. There has been no shortage of NHS re-ogranisation and restructuring to ensure that the money is spent efficiently.

Yet, the real reason for the regular capacity crises in the history of the NHS has never been properly identified. 
The reason is the failure of conventional medicine to cope with illness.
  1. First, conventional drugs and vaccines have only limited effectiveness to cope with illness and disease.
  2. Second, conventional drugs and vaccines are themselves an important cause of the underlying increase in chronic diseases that have been seen over recent decades.
  3. The cost of conventional drugs and vaccines are, and always have been, exorbitant, and even £100 billion plus is sufficient.
This has been the regular constant message in this blog. 

It is not possible to have a medical system based on drugs and vaccines that actually increase illness, through side effects and adverse reactions, that are, in reality, new illnesses and diseases, and then expect the nation's  health to improve, or for the pressures on NHS spending to reduce. 

These pressures within the NHS are all part and parcel of the failure of the conventional medical system.

Friday 27 March 2015

Shingles? For treatment, choose between conventional drugs and homeopathic remedies.

Shingles is caused by the chicken pox virus, herpes zoster. The virus infects a nerve, and the area of skin supplied by that nerve, causing pain. Anyone who has had chickenpox in the pastcan develop shingles. It can affect any part of the body, usually just on one side, but commonly affects the chest or abdomin, or the upper face. The usual symptoms are pain, t ender skin, and a rash.

The pain which can vary from mild to severe is usually localised, and runs along the line of the infected nerve. It can be accompanied by sharp stabbing pains. The condition typically lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.

Conventional Medical Treatment of Shingles
NHS Choices says honestly that there is no conventional medical cure for shingles. The treatment it ofers "can help ease your symptoms until trhe condition improves. In many cases, shingles gets better within around two to four weeks". Even so, it says that although there is no treatment you should see a doctor "as early treatment may help reduce the severity of the condition and the risk of potential complications". For this it offers various self-care strategies, such as keeping the rash clean and dry, using topical antibiotics, and using calamine lotion.

There can be complications to the condition, including postherpetic neuralgia, where the nerve pain persists after the rash has gone.

Antiviral Drugs
Antiviral drugs, such as aciclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir, are sometimes prescribed, although these do not kill the virus, but stops it was multiplying, and so may reduce the severity of the condition, or reduce its longevity. However, they are not routinely prescribed as they are not considered necessary for milder forms of the condition. They are prescribed for older people, if it affects the eye or ear, or if the pain or rash are severe. It is also thought that might prevent postherpetic neuralgia, but NHS Choices admits that there is only 'uncertain' evidence for this.

NHS Choices also outline the side effects of antiviral medication, including:
• feeling sick
• vomiting
         • diarrhoea
         • abdominal pain
         • headaches
          • dizziness

Pregnant women are not usually presecribed antiviral drugs because of the possible side effects.

Children are also not usually prescribed antiviral drugs.

Painkilling drugs
NHS Choices says the painkillers might be prescribed to ease the pain caused by shingles, usually paracetamol, or NSAID drugs such as ibuprofen, or even Opoid painkillers, such as codeine. But the side effects of all these painmilling drugs are outlined as a precaution.

Antidepressant drugs
These are prescribed as it believed that they can be useful in relieving the nerve pain associated with shingles. The type usually used at tricyclic antidepressants, like amitriptyline, imipramine and nortriptyline. Yet there is, again, a warning about the side effects these drugs can include:
• constipation
• difficulty urinating
• blurred vision
dry mouth
• weight gain
• drowsiness

Anticonvulsant drugs
Although usually used control seizures and epilepsy, it is also thought that anticonvulsant drugs such as gabapentin and pregabalin can be useful in relieving nerve pain. However, NHS Choices warns about their side effects:
• dizziness
• drowsiness
• increased appetite
• weight gain
• feeling sick
• vomiting

There are no such problems with the use of Homeopathy for the treatment of shingles.

Homeopathic Treatment of Shingles
Note. Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats an individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important. 

Homeopathy works by matching the symptoms of illness with the known symptoms of remedies. These short remedy descriptions may guide you to a remedy that can work for you, but consulting with a qualified homeopath will enhance the chances of a good match. When a close match is found the remedy will work successfully, without any side effects, or adverse reactions.

Ranunculus bulbosus
This remedy is considered to be the most important homeopathic remedies for the treatment of shingles. It is is indicated for shingles when the rash is deeply inflamed, accompanied with stabbing pains, often on the ribcage. The eruptions are often bluish in colour.

Rhus tox
This is a common remedy used in the treatment of shingles. It can relieve the itching and pains associated with the condition. The rash consists of small, red fluid-filled vesicles, or blisters, that break when scratched, spreading the infection. The patient is often restless, changing positions often to seek relief. It is useful in Shingles that is predominantnly left sided, and hot baths and warm compresses can bring temporary relief.

Iris versicolor 
This remedy is indicated when the rash is right sided, on the abdomen, and under the right arm. The shingles is often accompanied by abdominal upset or problems with the pancreas.

Arsenicum album 
This remedy is indicated when the patient suffers terrible burning pains along the nerve pathway. Pains are often made better with the application of warm compresses. The patient may be restless, anxious, thirsty for cold drinks, and afraid to be alone.

Clematis erectu
This remedy alleviates shingles pains that are burning, with red blisters that become aggravated, especially at night time, and are ameliorated with the application of cold water. A common feature indicating the use of this remedy is when the shingles may be accompanied by urinary tract complaints.

Apis mellifica 
This remedy is indicated when the rash is bright pink, swollen, itchy and produces stinging pains made better by cool compresse, but aggravated by warmth.

This remedy is indicated for a shingles rash where the blisters are oozing, bright red, and made worse by hot applications. The rash is often accompanied by terrible itching made better with the application of cool compresses.

Monday 23 March 2015

Homeopathy skeptics fail to provide an arguable case

  The Canadian anti-Homeopathy organisation, 'Centre for Inquiry', (similar in aim and purpose to 'Sense about Science' in Britain), took out a class action against Boiron, the largest manufacturer of homeopathic remedies, in April 2012. After three years of legal wrangling, their case has been dismissed, thrown unceremoniously out of court!

Adanna Charles, of West Montreal, and her son, took does of Boiron's remeby, Oscillcochinnum, for influenza. She said there was no noticeable relief, so she decided to launch the suit. The Centre For Inquiry (CFI) was behind the action, sending out a press release encouraging people to join the class action, but later withdrawing it.

The purpose was clear. This was a legal attack on Boron, and the largest store selling homeopathic remedies, Shoppers Drug Mart). They wanted to make an example of them. They wanted to embarrass homeopathy. Iain Martell, then head of CFI's 'anti-homeopathy' said:

"If we win with this case, that sets an example for everyone else. A hefty fine against Boiron might lead other snake oil producers to be more careful in their labelling. And so on... until the next lawsuit." 

This was published in the Canadian Atheist, but again subsequently deleted.

The judgment of the Quebec Superior Court in January 2015 was damning.  Judge Louis Lacoursire completely rejected as evidence three opinion pieces by anti-homeopathy authors.

"...... the Court is reluctant to hold that there is an arguable case to be made that Oscillo products have no effect on the symptoms of flu sufferers strictly on the basis of these articles alone, notably because of the fact that Oscillo products have successfully met the requirements of Health Canada, have been approved for sale and, also, because these articles seem, at first glance, to be all out attacks on homeopathy."

The judge also criticised Adanna Charles, who he did not consider to be a suitable representative for other people who supposedly suffered damages from buying Oscillo products, because she did nothing about the supposed problem until she spotted the article about the American lawsuit about six months later.

As a result, Judge Lacoursire dismissed the suit and awarded Boiron costs. This means that Adanna Charles and her supporters in CFI may have to pay a substantial amount of Boiron's hefty legal bill.

This is a major victory for the homeopathic community against anti-homeopathic organisations, set up and funded (in part) by the pharmaceutical industry, in pursuit of solidifying their monopoly in most national health provision.

And, in the words of the judge, it shows once again the failure of the anti-homeopaths to come up with "an arguable case" in favour of their prejudice.

Cataracts, Homeopathy, and a Guinea Pig!

 This blog has been provided by Christina Villacorta, after she shared it with the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths. Many many thanks to her for allowing me to share the story, which is quite amazing.

 I would like to add a little anecdote to the cataract topic, I know it is a guinea pig, nevertheless I find it interesting!

Last year, I was treating Punky, my guinea pig, for some fat lumps under his belly. The only reason I did it was because they were big enough to bother him, one was close to his leg and it was very big. My daughters asked me several time to give him something but I have to say I do not feel comfortable prescribing for animals, they don't say much! 

Anyway, I gave him some therapeutic remedies with great success and the girls were happy and so was I.  

Now, soon after, my daughter held the guinea pig and she called me, very distressed, the poor thing had a white eye!!! It was quite thick and blue looking so I explained he had a cataract, he was old and it happens. 

Again they ask me to give something to this poor thing but I know cataracts can be tricky to treat and I have not heard of much success. I have never treated one myself but .... I had nothing to loose. So I went to old Clark prescriber and looked under cataracts: 

"........ later stages Silic, Calc fluorica 30-200 followed by Sulphur 200c 
one dose per week for 2 weeks and repeat....  Many cataracts will recede under this treatment." 

Having nothing better to go for, I put a Calc-fluor 30 in his drinking bottle and forgot about it. About a week after, I was called again by my daughter who was holding the guinea pig and she was shocked, but so was I!

The cataract was nearly gone, I would say 90%! 

I still gave him the Sulphur for a couple of weeks and the cataract never came back! This is nearly a year after.

I do not know what to think. It is one of this miracles that we see with homoeopathy and I wish it would have happened with a patient but I have never treated anyone for that. But Punky is happy and so my daughters. It was truly amazing to see what therapeutics can do even without treating the totality.

I share Christina's view. Homeopathy does sometimes work miracles. But of course it is not a miracle at all. When treatment is based on sound homeopathic principles, whether we treat humans, animals or plants, healing and cure take place. Why else are we all doing it?

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Rienso. Another Pharmaceutical drug withdrawn as it caused serious hypersensitivity reactions

Another pharmacetical drug, Rienzo (Ferumoxytol), has been quietly withdrawn from the market. Have you heard about it? No?

Well, the withdrawal was quietly announced in MIMS, which describes itself as "one of the most up-to-date prescribing references for healthcare professionals", in an email published on 18th March 2015, and on its website on 16th March 2015 where the event was described as follows:

          "The intravenous iron preparation Rienso (ferumoxytol) has been withdrawn for commercial reasons. Launched in 2012, it was licensed for the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia in patients with chronic kidney disease".

That's it! And we should perhaps note that the withdrawal was done "for commercial reasons". So nothing wrong with that, then.

Except, of course, the reason for the withdrawal was not quite as benign as that! 

In another MIMS article, published in September 2014, the reason for the 'withdrawal' for 'commercial reasons' may become a little clearer.

           "Takeda has issued a letter to healthcare professionals about the risk of serious hypersensitivity reactions associated with the use of its injectable colloidal iron-carbohydrate complex, ferumoxytol (Rienso)".

So the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the British drug regulator, MHRA, provided restrictive prescribing information for Rienzo "to mitigate the risk of serious hypersensitive reactions". It was 'contraindicated in patients with any history of drug allergy". The drug had to be "administered by trained staff in an environment where resuscitation facilities are available", and patients receiving the drug were to be monitored for hypersensitivity reactions, "including blood pressure and pulse rate, during and for at least 30 minutes after completion of the infusion". And even after this, patients were to be advised to seek urgent medical attention if they start to feel unwell

Less than two years earlier, MIMS had heralded the new drug, and its safety and efficacy in clinical drug trials!

          "The safety and efficacy of intravenous ferumoxytol were assessed in three open-label studies involving 837 patients with CKD and iron-deficiency anaemia".

It proceeded to outline and reference the studies.  The article went on to describe how 'well tolerated' the drug was, as demonstrated by three further RCTs (Randomised Controlled Tests).

Clearly 'evidence-based medicine' at its very best!

Yet this is a common tale. The conventional medical establishment heralds a new drug as being safe and effective. Then it is discovered the drug is neither safe or effective. Then, if there is no profit to be made in marketing the drug, it is quietly withdrawn "for commercial reasons".

And as far as Rienso is concerned, this all happened all in less than 3 years.

Perhaps my skeptic friends, who spend their time upholding the value of RCTs, who demand this evidence for homeopathy and other alternative medical therapies, who champion the benefits of 'evidence-based-medicine' would like to comment on this post. I would be interested to hear their views on the value of drug testing and drug regulation, and the safety of marketing drugs like this for patients.

Unfortunately, I don't think they will have anything to say!

Monday 16 March 2015

The Precautionary Principle in Medicine, and Pharmaceutical Drug Regulation

Human life can be dangerous. So it is not surprising that mankind has come up with a number of broad, general ideas about making it as safe as possible.

The precautionary principle has been taken on as part of our 'risk management' procedures for a long time. The precautionary principle means is that if it is suspected that an action, or a new policy might risk causing harm to the public, or to the environment, it should not take place. In such a situation we require some proof of safety. Where there is no certainty that an action or policy is safe, the burden of proof that it is safe, and not harmful, is placed upon those who proposing to take the action, or pursue the policy.

Fail Safe Mechanisms are another response to safeguarding the public from harm. Most people driving in a car will wear a seatbelt although not expecting to crash. Similarly, people travelling on a boat will wear a life-belt, or have access to a life-belt, although not expecting the boat to sink. In other words, we will not endanger ourselves when something goes wrong, or fails, however unexpectedly. If a building catches fire a fail safe system would ensure that the doors are open rather than closed to allow exit. To protect us from sudden surges of electrical power, all our electrical devices are fused.

Medicine pays lip service to the precautionary principle. The Hippocratic Oath states that doctors and medical practitioners should "FIRST, DO NO HARM..."

One doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, at the end of the 18th Century, was so worried by the harm he was causing that he stopped practicing, and took time to develop a medical system that would be safe for his patients. This is how the gentle science of Homeopathy started.

Yet conventional medicine has never truly embraced the precautionary principle. It has failed to develop a system of medicine that ensures that its patients are safe from harm. This is demonstrated by statistics produced by Jon Rappoport, in his blog "The Starfield Revelation: medically caused death in America". Here is what he said.

On July 26, 2000, the US medical community received a titanic shock, when one of its most respected public-health experts, Dr. Barbara Starfield, revealed her findings on healthcare in America. Starfield was associated with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. The Starfield study, "Is US health really the best in the world?", published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, came to the following conclusions - that every year in the US there are:

  • 12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgeries
  • 7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals
  • 20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals
  • 80,000 deaths from infections acquired in hospitals
  • 106,000 deaths from FDA-approved correctly prescribed medicines
  • The total of medically-caused deaths in the US every year is 225,000
  • That's 2.25 MILLION deaths per decade

As Rappoport concludes,

"This makes the medical system the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer".

So where are the 'fail safe' mechanisms in medicine, what status does the 'precautionary principle' have, within the conventional medical establishment? Where, for example, does Drug Regulation stand in relation to these principles?

As patients we are led to believe that no Pharmaceutical drug is ever allowed to be given to the public without rigorous testing through our Drug Regulations, which seek to ensure that it they are known to be safe before we are given them to take.

Unfortunately, drug regulators throughout the world, whether the FDA in America, the MHRA in Britain, or the EMA  in Europe, consistently and routinely fail to do so.

Indeed, one of the oft-cited principles of conventional medicine is that "no effective drug or vaccine can be entirely safe". Therefore, when a doctor gives us a drug or vaccine, they give no guarantee of safety, and an indication that they can do us harm! 

Of course, the idea that medicine cannot be safe for patients is entirely wrong, as homeopaths, acupuncturists, reflexologists, and other alternative medical practitioners prove every day! 

And it is a principle that no other industry would dare espouse. Consider what might happen to a car manufacturer who told us that no car could ever be safe to drive (even with proper, safe driving). Or a builder who told us that every building might fall down (even given proper maintenance). They would never sell another car, or build another building. They would be pilloried by the media. They would be barrred from selling their wares to the public.

So what about drug regulation? Pharmaceutical drugs are tested, on animals, on people, before they are marketed. Yet, the history of conventional drugs and vaccines has consistently been that, in the fullness of time, they have all proven to unsafe, harmful, dangerous, and as Rappoport's statistics demonstrated, lethal. So what happens to them?
  1. The evidence of harm from initial drug testing is discounted, sometimes kept from the drug regulator, and the drugs are approved.
  2. As more reports of harm are reported, these are also discounted, by doctors, by drug regulators, by the media, and the drug continues to be used. This can sometime continue for several years without any action being taken.
  3. As reports become more widespread, and even more serious, the warnings can no longer be entirely discounted. But rather than the drugs being withdrawn, or banned by Drug Regulators, doctors are given 'guidelines' about when, and to whom they can be prescribed, and/or warnings are printed on drug information leaflets, and/or 'black box' warnings are given on drug packaging.
Yet throughout this process the conventional medical establishment continues to give us with drugs and vaccines they know to be dangerous to our health!

There is no precautionary principle applied - stop prescribing the drug until we are certain they are safe. There is no fail safe mechanism applied - the car can crash without warning - the building can fall down! 

The patient can continue taking the drug or vaccine, regardless of any risk to his/her health, or his/her life.

Day in, day out, patients throughout the world are being prescribed dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, and the conventional medical establishment does little or nothing to protect us. It acts as if the 'precautionary principle', and 'fail safe mechanisms' are unnecessary in their sphere of activity. Yet, take another look at Rappoport's statistics, and then agree with them that we don't need protection from them!

Homeopathy Project, Kenya. An Open Letter

    As regular readers will know, one of the primary aims of this blog is to enable more people to know about, and have access too, Homeopathy. There are a number of homeopathy projects in Africa which seek to bring this beautiful, safe and effective medical therapy to the people there.

This open letter from Steve Smith shows how we can all support this process, and by posting this blog, I hope lots of my regular readers, who know about the power of homeopathy, will be able to contribute to the amazing work they are doing there.
Greetings all from TORU Health Centre Homeopathy clinic teams at Manyanga and Kambi-Mawe villages.
May I ask a little… (hmmn, rather more than a ‘little’!)… of your time, to read below…or preferably, the attached word doc. (which will be in a more orderly shape for reading comfortably)

It is my appeal from one homeopath to another, cross-continents. It is not a dry ‘project proposal’.  My appeal is borne from conscientiousness and commitment, and a grave desire for our continuity and enhancement as practising Homeopaths. Apologies for any rambling or repetitions!

You are unlikely to have heard of us. We have been treating patients with Homeopathy for 11 years now. ‘We’ comprises 8, (7 Kenyan, I British), Homeopaths… 4 homeopaths at each of the 2 clinics …plus support staff of laboratory technicians, clinic manager, receptionists, interpreter (for myself), cooks/cleaners. This is quite a unique set-up for front-line homeopathic practice in the world.  It is an organisation employing homeopaths, working as clinic teams.

Altogether we have treated almost 40,000 local people, either attending the permanent clinics or the regular outreach monthly mobile clinics we have conducted in around 30 additional villages in Toru’s lifetime. Yikivumbu, Matalani, Katangini, Welovea, Nthongoni, Katuaa, Kangundo, Muliili are just a selection of villages we visited for many years, or currently visit.

We do this without fanfare, and because we have genuinely tried to be a self-sustaining organisation from inception, our mindset has not tended towards funding from sources external to our practise in Kenya.

Patients have always been expected to pay a nominal/affordable amount for consultation and treatment (currently = approx between £3 and £4) , and for any tests conducted in our ‘in-house laboratories’, and we
see this as a respectful, non-patronising exchange for our services. We do not have a ‘charity’ mindset, and we are averse to Homeopathy having any connotation with ‘aid’, thus we avoid a policy of offering
consultation and remedies to patients for free. On average, most of our patients can budget for their health-cost needs like anyone else in the World, though it can be a struggle at times, so we do offer flexibility in charges.

From the outset we have grown organically, through patient referral, getting on with practise and trying to pay our way. (NB. All of us are living down-to-earth ordinary Kenyan-style lives. No excess, no wastage. Most of the things you take for granted like tap water, mains electricity, personal cars, are the exception for us based in the villages).

We in Kenya were the first rural Homeopathy project of this kind in Africa, and we are somehow proud of our approach and achievements so far. We are well grounded by now, and established as an entity
providing good medicine in the minds of people near and far.

We are currently engaged in various activities beyond the day to day attending to patients at the two permanent clinics. These include participation in International research on the efficacy of Homeopathy
in treating malaria, village outreach doing weekly children’s clinics providing homeopathy and nutritional supplement, the growing of spirulina in ‘ponds’, the setting up of a new urban ‘Alternative Health’ clinic, and the usual monthly mobile clinics conducted in further villages. 
We recently hosted some Rwandan Homeopathy students, and wish to assist them in establishing Homeopathy in Rwanda (very unknown, and needed, there) through sharing our experience and providing some help on the ground.
Mutually invigorating over the years, has been hosting and sharing practise with numerous volunteering homeopaths from around the world. We own a specific plot of land, poised to be constructing a clinic to
serve clientele living and working in an impending Technocity. (see below for more detail of these activities and plans)

TORU Modus OperandiClinicsThough operating as a ‘non-profit’ we are a business, and, as is often the case with persons in the world who are motivated to become Homeopaths, we are not the most keenly ‘business-minded’ of homo sapiens! As the saying in Kenya goes…’we tried’…and we keep on trying to find ways to make ends meet! 
It is a challenge. We have reasonably ‘pitched’ salaries (in the early days we paid ourselves a pittance) for us 15 employees in total at the 2 clinics to find from our income from patients, and this contributes to the usual monthly challenge of shortfalls of this income in relation to total monthly clinic expenditures.

This we have always overcome if we have been particularly busy in a month, but invariably, and especially with ‘lean’ patient attendance in months like December, we have needed a top-up of income from somewhere, and it has come!...maybe from the fees of a homeopath volunteer staying with us, or a random donation, or in the earlier years a targeted donation (for clinic infrastructure) from an organisation knowing us personally (eg. SHEAF in UK…no longer in existence). We have seen the need to diversify into other enterprises to earn income (we set up Toru Enterprises Ltd).

{Maybe we can run ‘tighter ships’, meaning to down-size our staff teams , but it is a difficult thing to do…in effect to withdraw that support to a staff member and their nearer and extended families. Should we care… as a business?  Well, for >, or for <, it seems we do!}

In the past few years a particular homeopath in the UK heard about us, got in contact out of the blue, and has displayed he also does care, by giving us some support on an annual basis. Thus with capital, Toru has been enabled to invest in enterprises to bring in extra income to the clinics…these include Mpesa (money phone transfer) outlets and a tuk-tuk trailer for water transportation. As mentioned above, we have bought a small plot of land near Konza, 60km from Nairobi, to eventually construct a new Toru clinic adjacent to an
awesome Technocity soon to be built on 5000 acres of savannah.

Most critically of all, this benefactor has covered the basics, the intermittent end-of-month shortfalls of patient income in relation to clinic expenditures, so we have continued ‘in business’ providing

Toru financial tension has been eased, but only temporarily, and has brought a new concern…in effect all the eggs have been in one basket, and they have inevitably hatched. The basket is currently empty. (Are
we thus a ‘basket-case’ of an organisation?...after 10 years of  ‘ends of the month’ trying to make ends meet …I am wondering! Some months, between the 2 clinics, we can be £500 or so short).

Well-being of HomeopathsYou, as a Homeopath reading this, may well empathise with the difficulty of making a living solely from earnings from homeopathic practise. Here, our earnings (Toru Homeopaths, myself included, receive clinic salaries of about  £130 per month) are still rather less than those of comparative Kenyan health professionals, so we have regular struggle (and for clinic support staff on smaller salaries, even more-so) to cover the costs of supporting a family, especially at times of insufficient rains equating to a failed or poor harvest (all staff are connected to land/subsistence farming ). This gets magnified when with commitment to provide full educational opportunity to our children. Secondary school/further education fees need be budgeted for.

The monies in the ‘basket’ have latterly provided individual staff more room for manoeuvre to develop…zero-interest loans, repaid monthly from salary deduction, to enable their other income-generating
activities in addition to their salaries from Toru. This help, with careful budgeting, has given us a ‘push’ (the colloquial term here).

Profiles of Homeopathy Projects on the African ContinentWe can compare and contrast ourselves with other Homeopathy projects which have commenced in different African countries in subsequent years set up on a different basis. You may indeed be supporting one of them! 
The majority of these projects acknowledge they would immediately collapse if external donations enabling their existence ceased to flow.

We have always sincerely aimed for a self-sustaining modus operandi, and have achieved a fair measure of success. But truly, once we grew in size, and started paying ourselves more of a ‘living wage’ we have always had a certain vulnerability, and we have never been able to save for a ‘rainy’ day (though here in this part of Kenya this is the inverse…a ‘sunny’ day…as we generally need more rain!).

Of course, our profile in broader Homeopathy circles has been miniscule…we have put little time and energy into peddling our worth on Facebook, (or should it be fazedbook?), ‘look at us’ style, or on a
crafted Toru website with our every act photographed or filmed and broadcast to the world. We have not been masters or ms’s of ‘cultivating the image’. We have had neither the inclination, nor the funds, to dedicate to ‘spinning’ a story.

But nowadays the internet is omnipresent in many peoples’ lives. Creating, and regularly maintaining, a website is almost a default option for a seriously practising homeopath, or a Homeopathy project within Africa.

It is more and more about marketing…of which we are novices.It rather goes without saying that I have had hesitation to follow this route for publicising our ‘worthiness’. But there are 7 Kenyan Homeopaths attending patients in the Toru Clinics. Such a team of indigenous Homeopaths is unprecedented on the continent to my knowledge (the exception being maybe South Africa, where Homeopathy had earlier establishment), and their continuity, and the spawning of new full-time practitioners, is imperative. It is a pain that we are not yet self-sustaining in our work. In my heart I feel a degree of failure. We have to ask for external help. And to ensure eggs are found in many baskets so we can breathe a certain sigh of relief.

The New Stance of TORUWith many Homeopathy projects ‘on the go’ in various African countries fuelled by external funds, it shows there is a certain well-spring of interest to be tapped. (sudden gush, flowing trickle or steady drip drip?)

We believe Toru has admirable aims, ethos, approach and practise, so we are deserving to be considered for funding to enable greater long term security, and the exponential potential for expansion of Homeopathy through established and new clinics run by Kenyan/East African Homeopaths, whilst we continue to pursue our primary aim of achieving a basis of self-sustaining clinic operations.

To those of you who have read thus far, now is the moment to take a certain liberty and make a request for some financial support specifically from you. In short, we hope that your interest is stirred in reading what we are achieving in this still fairly virgin territory for Homeopathy, and that you are encouraged to explore the idea to make a commitment to support the work of Toru.

This could be as a donor, or a fund-raiser on our behalf, or to experience and contribute on the ground through volunteering with us.

I drafted the beginnings of this ‘Open Letter’ some months ago when starting to work on creating a Toru Website. This is not completed (Duh) but we do have a Facebook site nowadays. If interested to get more of a flavour of us, you can check us out on Toru Health Clinics.

Feel free to ask more, please fire off any questions to me direct, or I can give you the contacts of my colleagues to communicate with. They will have a different outlook to me, and I expect would never have
initiated such a communication as this with strangers. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained!

I can also give you the contacts of homeopaths from abroad who have volunteered with us. Some have had comparative experience of different Homeopathy Projects on the African Continent. They will all have
something to say!

A)  My writing to you in this unsolicited manner has also been spurred on by the additional, also immediately pressing, financial challenge we face in creating a new and fresh- focussed Toru Clinic based in Wote town. This is 12 km from the Kambi-Mawe rural clinic. It will be different from our existing clinics, more ‘up-market’, more akin to a Western-style ambiance with carpets and ceilings and office furniture (as opposed to smooth concrete floors, exposed rafters, and wooden chairs), providing a more specialised Homeopathy incorporating allergy protocols, and other alternative therapies (additional skills the Homeopaths have)… acupuncture, reflexology and  massage…and in a more managed way with booked appointments. The importance of nutrition will be given more emphasis. It will have a small laboratory for the usual blood, urine, stool tests we conduct. Overall (apart from the inclusion of the lab) it will be more akin to a small Alternative Health Centre in UK. It will likewise aim to charge fees commensurate with the increased time and attention given, and the overall quality of services offered. This venture,being organised by the enterprising Julius Wambua, Homeopath and Kambi-Mawe Clinic Manager, with close support from Abha Light, has the potential to financially support the rural Toru clinics. 
The Wote clinic is a rented property and the internal embellishments of structure are in place. The full kitting out of the clinic is now to be completed. We have zero money to do this at the moment. We need £2,000. (ps. Funds have been granted by Abha Light Foundation, along with a loan secured, to get this clinic underway. Its inauguration took place on 6th March 2015) This is a pilot urban clinic. We will learn from this for expanding more in the future in this kind of way for the Konza (Technocity) clinic, and also for a clinic we would like to start within Kibwezi (the nearest town to Manyanga clinic) following a similar model.

B)  Hahnemann plainly stated that the mainstay of good health is sound nutrition. Many of our patients are nutritionally challenged. Spirulina, a superfood you probably know of, grows well in our climate. Ponds have been constructed near the Kambi-Mawe clinic. The harvested and dried spirulina is for sale at clinics, for export, and for distribution to local children, as and when possible. The venture also falls short of being self-sustaining at the moment, reliant on those who initiated the project to give ongoing financial support.  We
have a wish to start a 2nd site for spirulina production. With increased production, and with regular export sales, this would enable cheaper distribution to local people.

C)  For the past 6 months, entirely proposed and sponsored by Heal International Foundation, via Abha Light, we and other Homeopaths have been conducting regular village outreach clinics , dispensing
Homeopathic rxs, colloidal silver and spirulina for free to infants and children. HEAL has also contributed to upgrading the facilities for the production of the home-grown spirulina.

D)  In the early months of 2014 the Toru Clinics underwent an open study recording our Homeopathic treatment of malaria. Very soon it is planned to do a more comprehensive research which should show to the wider world the efficacy of Homeopathic treatment of malaria in comparison with the current artemesia- based allopathic protocol provided by the Kenyan Ministry of Health clinics.

E)  In recent months we were happy to have some Homeopathy students from Rwanda come visit us on two separate occasions to see our work. They are doing an online homeopathy course. We passed on to them our donated McGurk rx machine, and Abha Light provided sets of remedies. They now have the means to practise! Homeopathy is really in infant stage in Rwanda, and needs support to get established.

You, my fellow homeopath, having continued to read to this point, means we have whet your appetite?  You feel a bit involved already? Putting it another way, in my usual colloquial fashion…this is a ‘cold call’ from a hot and semi-arid Ukambani (our region within Kenya), and I hope you have warmed up to TORU.

Fancy, (one has to be optimistic)… if you so wish to donate to TORU on the basis of this email alone, I include below the various options available.

Clarification:. you will see the accounts are mostly in my name.  I am co-founder of Toru. My pockets helped create the initial (Manyanga ) clinic. I scrupulously ensure no clinic money diverts into my pocket...the exception being my salary as an employee of course!  I mention this because this is Kenya, where unfortunately it is too often the norm for monies to get siphoned off from their intended objective. Thus I feel to be straight and reassure. This open letter is not a scam!

Stephen John Smith
Acc no. 72976102
Sort Code 090136
IBAN no.   GB86ABBY09013672976102

2)     Alternatively to send directly to Kenya Sterling £ account in Nairobi I set up for transfers from UK

Payments from UK will need to come from your UK Bank through SWIFT, which is facilitated through CITIBANK. Please ask your bank for details, including charges for sending.

3) Otherwise, we have a PAYPAL Account. (for transfer  from your own paypal account)
Our paypal email address is  
This is linked in with a Kenyan shilling Equity Bank account

In future we are to make ourselves more donor-friendly setting up for monthly standing orders etc.

It just remains for me to say thank you for giving the time and energy to have read through this… and please feel free to get in touch to ask specific questions regarding aspects of our work which may interest
you, or for a more general enquiry about us overall. Furthermore, if you think of others who might be interested in supporting us, please could you forward this on to them.

With Best Wishes
Steve Smith
Homeopath  (Licentiate of The College of Homeopathy [London] 2002 )
TORU Project Co-ordinator

Thursday 12 March 2015

Scarlet Fever, Scarlatina. Why Homeopathy is the safest treatment.

Scarlatina or Scarlet fever is an illness usually caused by infection arising from certain strains of Strep, or Streptococcus bacteria. It often affects young children and teenagers. The symptoms are readily recognisable.
  • a rash starting with red blotches, which spreads, and turns into a fine pinkish-red rash that looks like sunburn, and makes the skin feel rough.
  • the rash is often most evident around the ears, neck, chest, elbow, inner thighs and groin.
  • swollen neck glands 
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting
  • a white coating on the tongue, which peels away leaving the tongue red and swollen
It was once an illness that could cause terrible complications, and death, but declined with the advent of public health measures, and improved living standards. However, it is a condition that has been returning in recent years.

Conventional Medical Treatment for Scarlet Fever
NHS Choices says that although most cases of scarlet fever disappear in about a week without treatment, treatment is recommended as it reduces the length of time someone is contagious, and speeds recovery.

Conventional treatment for Scarlet Fever is by a 10-day course of antibiotics usually penicillin, or erythromycin if the patient is allergic to penicillin. The known and suspected side effects of antibiotic drugs are becoming well known, and their effectiveness is known to be in considerable decline.

Beyond this, self care measures are recommended, including drinking plenty of cool fluids, and eating soft foods (if your throat is painful).

However, it also advices the use of the painkiller, Paracetamol, to bring down a high temperature, and the use of calamine lotion and antihistamine tablets to relieve itching.

The dangers of Paracetamol, and Antibistamine drugs are also well known, and can be avoided by the use of Homeopathy.

The Homeopathic Treatment of Scarlet Fever

Note. Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats an individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important. Click here to read more about “Illness Diagnosis”. 

Homeopathy works by matching the symptoms of illness with the known symptoms of remedies. These short remedy descriptions may guide you to a remedy that can work for you, but consulting with a qualified homeopath will enhance the chances of a good match. When a close match is found the remedy will work successfully, without any side effects, or adverse reactions.

Belladonna is the classic homeopathic remedy for Scarlet Fever, introduced by Samuel Hahnemann in the late 18th century, and should be the first remedy to use, but others have been identified. These remedy descriptions have been taken from the Hpathy website.

The main remedy for scarlet fever. Scarlet fever smooth, red and shiny eruptions, hot dry and red throat, very irritable stomach causing nausea and vomiting. High temperature. It also acts as a preventive.

Ailanthus Gland
Exceeding acrid coryza. When the regular rash does not come out. Malignant fever, fetid odour from mouth and nose, State of stupor from which it is difficult to arouse. Suppression of natural manifestations. Inability to concentrate, loss of memory, stupor, delirium after suppressed scarlet fever.

Rhus Tox
This remedy is indicated when in additions to regular scarlet fever, there is a vesicular eruption. Drowsiness with muttering delirium, Eruptions slow to appear.

Apis Mel
This remedy is only useful when there is oedema with kidney troubles. The skin is mottled, red and white blotches. The face is pale and puffy. Swelling of the throat with sharp stinging pain. Absence of thirst and aggravation from heat should not be over looked.

The blood affection first and the mucus membrane second are prominent. Sloughing ulceration of the throat. Pain in tonsils.

This remedy can be used as an intercurrent remedy, and as preventive for scarlet fever.

For the history of the safe and effective treatment of Homeopathy for Scarlet fever, go to the James Lind Library website.

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Croup? Why Homeopathy is the safest, and most effective treatment

Croup is a common childhood ailment marked by a harsh barking cough that arises from a viral infection of the larynx. It is often associated with mild upper respiratory symptoms such as a runny nose and cough. Croup is usually not serious and most children recover within a few days, but may need medical attention if the child develops breathing difficulties.

Conventional Medical Treatment for Croup
NHS Choices says that the treatment of croup depends on how severe the symptoms are, and that most cases are mild and can be managed at home. It warns that if the child has severe croup an urgent hospital admission might be required.

The treatment at home recommended is:
  • comforting the child (!)
  • encouraging the child to drink plenty of fluids.
  • taking ‘children's paracetamol’ to ease any pain associated with the condition, and to lower temperature if there is a fever. However, it should be noted that this advice comes with strong warnings about the use of painkilling drugs for children.
  • a single dose of “an oral corticosteroid medication called dexamethasone or prednisolone to help reduce swelling in your child's throat”. It mentions that the side effects of these medications include restlessness, vomiting, upset stomach and headache.
NHS Choices also warns not to use cough medicines or decongestants “as these do not help ease the symptoms of croup”, and “often have drowsy side effects, which can be dangerous when a child has breathing difficulties”.

Hospital treatment
In severe cases of croup, where there are breathing problems, such as shortness of breath, NHS Choices says that hospital treatment may be required, and to ring for an ambulance immediately.

The Homeopathic Treatment of Croup

Note. Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats an individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important. 

Homeopathy works by matching the symptoms of illness with the known symptoms of remedies. These short remedy descriptions may guide you to a remedy that can work for you, but consulting with a qualified homeopath will enhance the chances of a good match. When a close match is found the remedy will work successfully, without any side effects, or adverse reactions.

These remedy description are taken from Dana Ullman’s website, Homeopathic Educational Services. These descriptions apply to children with croup, and to most people with a cough. They will usually be capable of preventing croup requiring hospital admission.

These children wake from sleep with a dry, hoarse, croupy cough, which tends to be worse at night and after midnight. They are apt to develop a cold or cough during dry cold weather. Along with their dry cough, they will have a dry mouth and shortness of breath. They are usually very thirsty. The cough is worse from being cold, drinking cold water, from tobacco smoke, lying on either side, and at night, especially after midnight. This remedy is very commonly given for the initial stages of croup, bronchitis, pleurisy, and pneumonia. These children are often restless and anxious.

Antimonium tart
A loud rattling cough with an inability to expectorate mucus is characteristic of this medicine. Sometimes precipitated after being angered or annoyed, the respiratory difficulties cause these children to feel drowsy, weak, and feeble. Their symptoms are usually worse at 4 a.m. Their difficulty in breathing may cause them to sit up rather than lie down. Concurrent with these breathing difficulties are anxiousness, restlessness, and irritability. They feel chilly but are averse to stuffy warm rooms. They instead desire cool rooms and open windows. This remedy is rarely given at the beginning of an illness.

When cough symptoms appear suddenly and the child has a dry cough with laryngitis, consider this remedy. These children are restless, drowsy, and have wild dreams. Their symptoms are worse at night.

When a common cold starts with a nasal discharge and then moves down into the chest, Bryonia is often given, especially when the cough is dry and worse by motion or breathing in. It is painful to move and to inspire, so these children tend to hold their chest as they breathe in order to limit the motion of the chest. The cough is also aggravated by warm rooms and during or after eating. These children tend to be sensitive to drafts and are always catching cold. They may feel some tickling in the larynx which irritates the cough. Sometimes nausea and vomiting or a headache accompany the cough.

Bouts of continuous, dry, barking coughing are characteristic of children who need this remedy. They may experience a spasmodic tickling cough that is accompanied by choking, cold sweats, and vomiting. Their cough is aggravated by lying down and after midnight, especially at 2 a.m. The cough is irritated by talking, eating, or drinking cold fluids. These children are usually seen holding onto the chest for support during the coughing spells. They become very chilly and tend to perspire profusely, especially at night. They may also develop a deep hoarse voice.

Ferrum phos
Children who will benefit from this remedy do not get symptoms that arise suddenly, nor are the symptoms very intense. These children may, however, be anemic and become ill after being exposed to cold. The cough becomes worse from cold air, in early morning, and after eating. It is a dry hacking cough, and the expectoration may have some blood in it. The children may experience a stitching pain on inspiration and during a cough. They usually have a poor appetite with an aversion to meat and milk and a desire for sour foods. Hoarseness may accompany the cough.

Hepar sulph
This remedy is good for a barking, croupy cough, especially when it is exacerbated by exposure to cold. The cough may also be excited by dryness or dust in the larynx, eating or drinking cold things, deep inspiration, or a draft. There may be much coughing up of mucus or rattling of the chest without the ability to cough the mucus out. These children sweat during their coughing spells, and they may actually feel better in damp weather. They are very irritable while ill.

When children have a hacking cough with a tendency to retch or vomit, this remedy should be considered. These children have blood-strained mucus, constriction of the chest, and a tickling in the throat, causing a cough. They tend to cough with every breath and experience excessive salivation. The cough is worse in hot, humid weather or in changing weather. They may also have sneezing and hoarseness. This remedy is a common medicine for infants with a cough and vomiting.

Kali bich
Known to frequently cough up stringy, ropy, yellow mucus, these children are worse after eating, drinking, uncovering, cold weather, and at 3 a.m. They experience some relief from expectorating the stringy mucus, warmth, warm weather, and lying down in a warm bed. They have a sensation of a hair in the back of the throat that irritates the cough. They may have a hoarse voice and may feel pain from sticking out the tongue. In some instances they are known to have pain in the mid-sternum extending through to the back. This remedy is not useful at the beginning stages of a cough.

These children have a dry hard cough, sometimes with a persistent tickle felt behind the sternum. The cough is aggravated by lying down, especially on the left side, and they are wakened at night and need to sit up to cough. They are also aggravated by talking, moving, going from a warm room to cold air, or from strong odors. To decrease pain from coughing, they usually hold their chest. The tightness in their chest is relieved by the warmth of a bed. They crave ice drinks. Their illness exhausts them, and they sometimes have an empty, all-gone feeling or burning in the chest. Their nasal discharge may have some blood streaked in it, and they may become hoarse. This medicine is commonly given in more serious respiratory conditions like pneumonia.

This remedy is related to some characteristic cough symptoms, but it is more commonly prescribed based on a child's General Characteristics. The cough symptoms are aggravated in a warm room or warm weather, by lying down to sleep, and at night. Walking in the cool air provides some relief. Also, the child must sit up in bed to breathe better. Typically, she has a dry cough during the day, and a productive cough with yellow or greenish expectoration at night and upon waking. The key General Characteristics of Pulsatilla children are that they are affectionate, moody, weepy, indecisive, and always seek to please others. They crave affection and sympathy and cannot get enough of it. They have fears of being abandoned, so when parents get ready to go out for whatever reason, these children may beg them not to leave.

The most distinctive characteristic of children who need this remedy is that their cough is extremely sensitive to cold air. They may even place a blanket or towel over their head to avoid breathing cold air. They experience a tickling in the throat and an irritation below the larynx that is aggravated by touching or pressing the pit of the throat. They have a dry cough and usually become hoarse. They are aggravated in the night and by motion and feel better in warmth.

This remedy is one of the primary medicines for a dry, barking, croupy cough. The air passages are dry, the sputum is absent, and the voice is hoarse. The coughing can be exacerbated by cold air, warm rooms, tobacco smoke, talking, lying with the head low, drinking cold fluids, or eating sweets. The cough also tends to be worse in the early part of the night. Warm food or drinks, even in small doses, provide some relief, as does sitting up and leaning forward. This remedy is considered a second stage croup remedy, after Aconitum and before Hepar and Kali bic.

The information on this webpage represents the views and opinion of the author, based on his clinical experience, and the traditions of Homeopathy. This material is provided for information only, and should not be construed as medical advice or instruction. Always consult with a suitably qualified and registered Homeopath, or with a medical doctor for advice about the treatment they offer, especially in serious or life threatening medical conditions, or if you are already taking medical drugs.’