Nosodes—a homeopathic product—is garnering some negative press of late. Nosodes are ultra-diluted forms of diseased tissue, blood, and other excretions taken from a sick person or animal. Nosodes are often used in the treatment of the flu.
Some are calling for a ban of nosodes, saying they pose a risk to the consumer and should be removed from shelves. Part of the problem is that government organizations such as Health Canada don’t want people taking nosodes in place of having a vaccine. Western medicine advocates also say that nosodes are not regulated tightly enough and that stricter standards need to be established to protect the public. They insist that they are only trying to ensure that what is sold in the streets is both safe and effective.
Medical experts worry that “herd immunity” may be threatened by the use of nosodes. Herd immunity refers to the phenomenon of keeping unimmunized individuals safe from infection because most of the people in the community have already been vaccinated. If vaccination rates go down, herd immunity may no longer function the way it’s supposed to and more frequent outbreaks of disease may be the result.
Already, medical officials are seeing a drop in vaccinations in children. These vaccines include being immunized against polio, diphtheria, tetanus, measles and whooping cough.
In the defence of nosodes, homeopathic doctors don’t usually go around discouraging people from getting the flu shot. Nosodes are there as an alternative for those who have already made up their minds not to get a flu shot.
As for the effectiveness and safety of nosodes, a clinical trial recently conducted at the Department of Family Medicine, University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, tested the efficacy of nosodes. They noted that for centuries, dilutions of infectious agents have been said to be effective in the prevention of infectious diseases.
To find out for themselves, they conducted a test to see if a nosode of Francisella tularensis-infected tissue could protect against this pathogen in vivo.
The researchers produced six levels of a nosode taken from the tularemia-infected tissue. They administered the nosode (along with diluted control solutions) orally to a group of animals who were infected with what the researchers termed a “lethal” dose of tularemia.
The researchers found that the tularemia nosode consistently lengthened the time until death. The nosode group showed decreased mortality compared to control.
The research team concluded that a nosode of tularemia offered protection from the infectious agent tularemia. They stated that if homeopathic nosodes can protect against infectious disease in those who can’t or won’t get a vaccination, then this form of medicine should be used and offered to the public for use.
It sounds like nosodes shouldn’t be written off yet. They may have an important role to play in safe-guarding the health of those not getting a flu shot.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
“Homeopathic nosodes ‘should not be on the shelf” CBC News web site, Oct 16, 2013; http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/homeopathic-nosodes-should-not-be-on-the-shelf-1.2075046, last accessed Oct. 23, 2013.
Jonas, W.B., et al., “Do homeopathic nosodes protect against infection? An experimental test,” Altern Ther Health Med. September 1999; 5(5): 36-40.