The health system in most countries is now dominated, if not entirely monopolised by the Pharmaceutical Medicine Establishment. It certainly is in Britain's NHS (National Health Service) where natural medical therapies have little or no place within it; indeed the NHS is led by people who are positively, and often gratuitously hostile towards it.
This should not be the case. The NHS should be embracing health freedom, offering patient choice, and organising itself according to the current government's 2010 manifesto which stated "No treatment for me without me". Indeed, the original constitution of the NHS included the commitment to offer patients "the best available treatment"but it now excludes what many people, an increasing number of people, consider to be 'the best available treatment'.
So let's consider what might have happened in 2020, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, if the NHS had been open to natural medicine, its ideas and principles?
- Conventional medicine would have focus, as it did focus on its fight with illness and disease mainly through its pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, its diagnostic testing, and all the other features we all know well.
- The other section would have had an entirely different approach to health, one which focused on the immune system, and the need to support natural immunity. It would include many natural medical therapies, including homeopathy, naturopathy, herbalism, acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractor, and many more. These therapies, in their different ways, all work alongside the body and its natural defences against illness and disease.
If such a structure had existed within the NHS there would have immediately been a different response from the two sections at the beginning of the pandemic.
- Conventional medicine (ConMed) would have admitted that it had no vaccine to prevent patients contracting the infection, and no treatment if they contracted it.
- The Natural Medicine section (NatMed) would have offered several possibilities of treatment through several therapies.
Homeopathy would have offered both preventative and treatment options based on the remedies that homeopaths have used for influenza, and influenza-type illnesses, for over 220 years now. Indeed, this has happened in countries like Cuba and India, and by homeopaths practising privately throughout the world, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Naturopathy would have also been able to offer a positive response. It quickly came up with at least 12 rapid reviews to the treatment of acute respiratory tract infections which informed naturopathic practitioners with respect to Covid-19 pandemic. As with homeopathy, if they had a voice within the NHS, these treatments would have been made readily available to patients.
Herbalism, similarly, came up with treatment options soon after the pandemic broke. The National Institute of Medical Herbalists, for instance, prepared a statement about the treatment of the Covid-19 infection in March 2020. This was also information the NHS denied itself in favour of their unitary pharmaceutical approach.
Acupuncture, alongside herbs and moxibustion, have also been active, finding effective treatment for Covid-19 that produced "significant outcomes for patients". Again, it is unfortunate that these were not outcomes offered to NHS patients. They could have been, had the NHS had been a more open and flexible approach to the provision of health care.
Now a disclaimer. There are probably many other natural medical therapies that have been able to contribute to the treatment of Covid-19, but were kept outside the NHS monopoly. However, these four therapies indicate the potential benefit to the NHS, and to all those patients who suffered and died with the virus - had the NatMed section been in existence.
So in early 2020 ConMed would have informed us, just as the NHS did, that it had no treatment other than the rather hopeless and forlorn task of ‘chasing’, 'subduing', and 'destroying' the virus. It would have suggested what it did suggest, that hand washing, social distancing, wearing masks (eventually) and lockdown might be effective, and that in the longer term the pharmaceutical industry might develop a vaccine.
Nat Med, however, would have recommended a different strategy. It would not chase the virus, but instead seek to support and strengthen the immune system, based on its belief that natural immunity was the best defence to any viral threat, including Covid-10. It would have supported the importance of hand washing and social distancing as temporary, initial responses, and if necessary, lockdown too. But it would have been able to offer treatment, which in itself would have offered hope and positivity, and engaged everyone in the positive task of protecting themselves. The 'Big Brother' approach of a deeply paternalistic government would not have been necessary; the individual patient would have been encouraged to take responsibility for his own health. How would this have happened?
The first task of the NatMed section of the NHS would have been to help each individual assess the strength of their immune system. Initially this may have been done through self assessment, a questionnaire, perhaps, that asked questions about the person's life style, diet and nutrition, their fitness, their general susceptibility to infections generally. In addition, it would have asked about the pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines people were taking, as it is known that the 'side effects' of many of these are known compromise natural immunity. In particular, it would have wanted to identify those patients who were taking immunosuppressant drugs. Then, treatment would have been individualised.
People with good immunity would be asked to respect those people with compromised immunity, but otherwise to get on with their lives, as normal, albeit with greater care and awareness of other people with weaker immunity. In doing so they would have been advised about natural prophylactic treatments, for example, the regular use of homeopathic remedies, like Anas Barb and Arsenicum Alb.
People with lower, or poor immunity would have been identified, and asked to isolate themselves whilst their immunity was professionally tested and assessed. Techniques of testing the immune system already exist but would have been reviewed, refined, and professionally applied to anyone with compromised immunity. Natural prophylaxis would have been offered, and treatment would then depend on the individualised assessment of the immune system. They would have been asked to socially distance, and/or lockdown accordingly whilst awaiting treatment.
In this way social distancing, self isolation and lockdown, would have been individual decisions, not decisions imposed upon entire communities.
Information Campaigns. NatMed treatment would have focused on the support and strengthening of
natural immunity. There would, no doubt, have been a nationwide
information campaign aimed at informing everyone about how they could enhance their immune systems. It would, therefore, have been a campaign that would
went much further than hand washing, the wearing of masks, social
distancing and lockdown.
Life Style Advice. NatMed would have given general advice to everyone; and specific advice to each person with compromised immunity. This would have involved advice regarding possible life-style improvements (relating, for instance, to alcohol, smoking and taking pharmaceutical drugs), diet and nutrition (with particular attention to foods rich in vitamins and minerals), developing a sensible exercise regime, and stressing the importance of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and other dietary supplements.
Treatment. NatMed treatment options would then have been offered to each patient with compromised immunity, and they would have been asked to make informed personal choice. As the treatment programme progressed their immune system would have been regularly retested improvements noted, and treatment modified accordingly.
The outcomes of each treatment, including conventional medical treatment, would have been studied for its efficacy, and comparisons made. The safest and most effective treatments would inform future advice to patients.
Recognising Dangers and Personal Responsibility. The NatMed approach to Covid-19 would have one further difference to the ConMed approach. The dangers, and the possible deaths, that the virus would cause would have been openly recognised. Epidemics always cause death, with people with a compromised or poor immune system were particularly at risk. But the focus would not be on the NHS, or the government, to assume responsibility for saving us. Or for me saving you; or you saving me. Everyone had a personal responsibility to save themselves. Everyone would be entitled to the treatment of their choice; but everyone likewise had things they could do to protect themselves.
Social, Emotional and Economic Outcomes. The NatMed approach to Covid-19 would have been a more realistic approach to the Covid-19 pandemic, but also one that would have avoided the government taking on powers that have constrained our personal freedoms and liberty, to act in ways that have caused so much distress in our social and emotional lives, which have damaged mental health of so many people, destroyed viable jobs and livelihoods, and probably wrecked the national economy.
Patient Choice. Many people may have preferred to go along with the ConMed approach, and that would have been perfectly possible, even though it has had so little to offer or to recommend it. People could have been given the option to lockdown, whilst allowing others to get on with their lives, albeit with the support of NatMed.
What would the outcome have been had NatMed being in place during 2020? The question many people will ask is which section of this imagined NHS would have been more successful. The sadness is, of course, that this is an imagined scenario. If it had been in place in 2020 patient outcomes could have been measured, and we would have known more about the relative efficacy of each approach.
However, as a homeopath, and listening to what homeopaths have been doing throughout the world to deal with this pandemic, I have little doubt that we would not be looking at a death toll of over 100,000 British citizens, and the chaos and nonsense that we have had to endure at the behest of the conventional medical establishment (which has led and controlled government policy). Moreover, we would all know much more about what we could do for ourselves in order to maintain and improve our health.