Newsletter January, 2011

Dear Reader,

A very Happy New Year!

Since preparing for Christmas and singing my head off throughout it has been a welcome relief to get into the holidays and do nothing very much, very slowly.

Finally crawling into bed at 3am after singing the Carol Service and Midnight Mass at St Joseph's Catholic Church Subiaco Perth was wonderful. As earlier in the week I had been singing carols at the Domestic and International Airports Perth with Akapellamunda there was not much voice left. Driving North of Perth to Guilderton with my nephew Mark to spend what was left of Christmas Day and Boxing Day with my family in 40 degrees was a challenge, but well worth it. After a rest we all swam in the estuary of the Moore river now a scene of tranquility and beauty, but sadly in the past witness to terrible tragedy in the Aboriginal history of the area.

The following day was Mass at 8am in the local community centre - a contrast to the grandeur of the Midnight Mass but somehow equally spiritual with the few attendees singing to a cd with unbelievably complicated arrangements - we did our best! Then back in the river asap and falling asleep in between times - still 40 degrees. Very restful indeed!

Since then there has been dreadful weather in Australia with extreme flooding in Queensland - billions of dollars worth lost in homes business and farming ruined, with families airlifted out or in evacuation centres - no electricity, clean water, or supplies of foods and other basic goods. We in Perth have the best weather really with 3000 hours of sunshine a year and not much in the way of extreme conditions.

A state of emergency has been declared with the armed forces as well as the emergency services called into play. As the rainy season approaches for that part of Australia more misery is about to come; no one knows how they will manage.

Insurance companies are reneging on their policies leaving people with nowhere to live and no means of supporting themselves. Emergency finance and goods are being supplied by the Government but these will not last for long - Australians are already being asked for flood disaster donations.

For my part I am very concerned about the health issues now emerging as the floods continue and sewage and public health measures fail. In many 3rd world countries such as India - Bangladesh springs to mind every year, water borne diseases are common, destroying societies and killing many; now it is Australia's turn - something I suspect many of them would never have dreamed of as the Lucky Country renowned for its prosperity and good weather.

Here is my article on Cholera - something now on the cards for the flooded area as systems formerly taken for granted break down.

Let's hope it doesn't come to this but at least I have put the information out there in case it does.

Cholera

Cholera is a life threatening disease and develops very quickly where public hygiene i.e. clean water supplies and sewage systems are disrupted by natural (as well as industrial) disasters such as flooding caused by adverse weather conditions. Commonly occurring as a complication of tsunamis, cyclones, hurricanes, earthquakes, peoples' lives are threatened and many deaths occur annually as a result of this.

The incubation period is only 2 - 6 days; within 1 week the whole population can be at risk if prompt action to correct the public health systems is not taken. Witness the flooding in New Orleans, the recent disasters in Haiti and now in Queensland Australia where an area the size of France and Germany is flooded. Every year China India and Asia suffer the devastating effects of cholera often despite extensive vaccination programs. Commonly these outbreaks occur in the area of shipping ports. Unfortunately vaccination is not always successful and may actually cause a susceptibility to the disease in some patients.

I recall a case of cholera in a 60 year old man in the UK whose father had recently died - then his father's brother who he was actually much closer to. His wife booked them on a holiday to Singapore and took him to their GP for holiday vaccinations including cholera and typhoid beforehand. He contracted cholera soon after arriving in Singapore and was desperately ill being admitted to hospital for emergency treatment. On his return he came for an appointment and was given Cholera 30 - within half an hour he felt very much better and made a good recovery - up till then he had not despite extensive treatment in Singapore and the UK.

Symptoms of cholera

Characterised by sudden diarrhoea - within an hour mucus flecked watery fluid - rice water stools - may be pouring from the patient. There is also vomiting without nausea, often projectile, severe cramps beginning in the legs, and acute circulatory collapse. The lips become blue, the extremities cold, and an increasing lethargy gives way to terminal coma and finally death. Fever is unusual except in children and the temperature may become rapidly subnormal. Loss of body fluids and minerals causes shutdown and dehydration leading to renal failure and death.

Orthodox treatment is to set up intravenous infusions of glucose and/or saline and the patient monitored closely for any clinical signs of deterioration.

The fatality rate for cholera is around 40 - 50%

Homeopathic treatment should always include Arnica China Carbo veg as general First Aid revival and Camphor Cuprum and Veratrum Album for the profound collapse and cramps affecting the patient. Cholera 30 may be given once the disease is diagnosed - in my own practice I ensure that travelers going abroad carry the appropriate disease nosodes (remedies made from the disease) in the 30c potency. Given daily alongside indicated remedies will really assist the process of healing.

Arnica

No one gets sick unless traumatized on some level of their being. Not all patients in touch with the cholera organism 'comma vibrio' or 'vibrio cholerae' succumb to it. Those patients already elderly, young, handicapped, distressed emotionally (the above recently bereaved patient), or injured, will be more vulnerable as in any illness. Arnica restores the equilibrium to the patient balancing the physical emotional mental and spiritual bodies so that healing can take place.

The Arnica patient has nausea and foetid vomiting, which may be of dark coagulated blood. Constant desire to drink.
Abdominal symptoms are cramps from epigastrium down over the bowels, then foul stools. They may be bloody foamy purulent acrid involuntary. Must lie down after every stool.

Carbo Veg

General dyspepsia rancid eructations, excessive flatulence, colic forcing the patient to bend double; painful diarrhoea in elderly patients, gasping for air. This remedy, known as the 'corpse reviver' will be needed if the patient is in extremis and the respiratory and circulatory systems start to collapse.

China

Is always needed where there is loss of body fluids and in this instance there is simultaneous diarrhoea and vomiting causing rapid dehydration and collapse. It prevents the patient from becoming anaemic.

CAMPHOR

Leading remedy in cholera. In early stages when there is collapse coldness and sudden prostration.

Extreme icy coldness of the skin with sudden and absolute prostration of the vital force. The face is livid purple icy cold. Upper lip drawn up exposing the teeth, (rictus grin) mouth foaming, eyes sunken and fixed, sudden shrinking of strength and collapse; absent or painless stool. Although the body is icy the patient will NOT be covered.

VERATRUM ALBUM

Excessive cold sweat.

Cold sweat on the forehead and a violent thirst for quantities of ice cold water and acid drinks. A craving for fruits. Excessive vomiting and purging. As if cold water in the veins.

CUPRUM

When there are excessive cramps.

Spasmodic cramping pains. Nausea. Vomiting relieved by drinking cold water. Craves cold drinks. Black painful bloody stools. With weakness and cramp in abdomen. Cramps starting in fingers and toes.

I would also include Nux Vomica and Arsenicum Album as both remedies feature simultaneous diarrhoea and vomiting with weakness and exhaustion brought on by rapid loss of body fluids. Use the Nux Vom when the vomiting seems to be worse (Vom) and the Arsenicum Album if the diarrhoea seems more predominant.(Ars)I know this is a crude way of remembering, but who cares in an emergency.

Replacement of fluids may not always be available by intravenous infusion - a rectal infusion can be very effective in these circumstances providing a hollow rubber or plastic tube is available. Generally a half pint at a time is a good quantity delivered slowly into the rectum by keeping the tube raised only slightly above the patient ; otherwise oral fluids given at regular intervals in small quantities 30mls will help.(egg cup) Large quantities will only encourage further vomiting.

Remedies may be put together in the patient's drinking water - they will all potentise the water; the vital force is intelligent enough to decide which of the remedies it will absorb. There is no need for an 'intellectual' discussion about this.30 years in busy Homeopathic practice with a background of clinical experience for 18 years through nursing in all fields in the NHS UK has shown me that the vital force is exactly that - healing is in God's hands, not ours - we merely assist, and our only mission is 'to heal the sick'.

For those not familiar with the Compton Burnett account of giving Aconite to a ward full of  very sick children with Scarlet Fever in the 19th century, here it is.

He had recently discovered, and was very excited by, the treatment of scarlet fever with Homeopathic medicine. He gave the nurse in charge of the ward the instructions to give half the ward Aconite and not to the other half as a scientific experiment. She was not impressed - a girl after my own heart - the patients are more important than some test or the doctor's ego. In the morning he turned up on the ward to find all his patients well, to his surprise. On asking why, the nurse stated that if he thought it would help half the patients, why not all of them? and had wisely ignored his directions. I suspect many of us nurses have been doing this for years; witness Florence Nightingale in the Crimea and her management of cholera and typhoid cases.

Needless to say there have been many cases of cholera reported in the Homeopathic literature over the years but not valued in today's scientific community. Again - who cares? Certainly not the patient. As usual the Homeopathic community has to stand up for itself and uphold the clinical examples we are all familiar with to the public. In Europe the crowned heads were directed to Hahnemann after he saved many people's lives in the cholera epidemic sweeping across the land. The reason why today the Royal Family still uses Homeopathy taking kits wherever they go. Homeopathy is well established in Europe and its former colonies for this reason.

Here are some examples of successful treatment of cholera courtesy of Dr Dorothy Shepherd in her book 'Homeopathy in Epidemic Diseases' first published in 1967.

In Vienna in 1836 the practice of Homeopathy was forbidden, but cholera was raging so violently in that city that permission was obtained to open an Homeopathic Cholera Hospital where the results were so favourable that two thirds of the patients treated there survived, while two thirds of those treated in other hospitals died. The then Austrian Minister of Interior repealed the law relating to the practice of Homeopathy in Austria.

In Rheims came the report that of 1, 270 patients treated only 108 died, while the allopathic mortality rate in Russia was between 60 - 70%.Thereafter Homeopathic physicians flourished in Russia.'

(I have a family of Russian patients here in Australia who are very well versed in the use of Homeopathy.)

'And 1 Homeopathic doctor in the South of France had a mortality rate of 5 - 7% while the allopathic death rate in the rest of France was 90%'.'

(I have a home in France - every chemist has the word 'Homeopathie' in the window - our village GP is well versed in it and most French people have a good understanding and working knowledge of Homeopathic medicine.)

'Cholera was raging in London in 1854 and 25 beds were devoted to the treatment of cholera patients in the London Homeopathic Hospital, with the satisfying result that only 16% of cases died, while the fatality rate of Chelsea under orthodox treatment was 54%.'

'Dr Rubini had remarkable results in the Naples epidemic of 1854 - 1855.He treated 225 cases of cholera without a single death in Alberge and 166 soldiers of a Swiss regiment stationed there with the same success.'

Modern day Homeopaths would do well to read our old journals - a lot of them are not on - line - current academic qualifications are all very well, but it is the clinical assessment and practical application of Homeopathic knowledge that really counts for our patients.

Nursing Care of patients with Cholera (Dr John H. Clarke - The Prescriber)

Nursing patients carefully with regular observations taken assists immeasurably in the successful treatment of any illness. Medicines will always help, but human touch, empathy, and support with effective procedures carried out with the minimum of fuss, are essential for recovery. (my comments)

'The patient should be kept at rest and as warm as possible; hot flannels being applied to the abdomen, and hot water bottles to the feet. No solid food whatsoever should be given. Water may be given and small pieces of ice to suck. Milk is the best food if it is tolerated.

Movement is to be avoided. It is better to treat patients at their own homes if at all possible, as the very fact of moving a patient into hospital may make the difference between death and recovery.'

Bibliography

A Short textbook of Medicine - Houston Joiner and Trounce - all Physicians I learned from as a student nurse at Guy's Hospital London in the late 1960's.They were all down to earth hardworking consultant physicians with their patients' best interests at heart. Guy's Hospital founded the British Holistic Medical Association and we were always taught to put the patient first - 'if you don't know enough about the illness nurse, ask the patient - he knows more about it than any doctor' something I have found to be absolutely true. Of course in Homeopathic Practice that is exactly what we do - take the case in the patient's own words as far as possible.

Homeopathy in Epidemic Diseases - Dr Dorothy Shepherd
Her books are all based on a deep knowledge and respect for her patients - and sound observation and clinical experience. They are few but essential reading for all interested in Homeopathy whether patient or practitioner.

The Prescriber - Dr John H Clarke
What a great little book this is - written in the 19th century after years in practice John H Clarke writes a great introduction to prescribing in Homeopathy with the same humility and respect for the patient that should be present in all case taking. He was a Consultant Physician at the London Homeopathic Hospital. His introduction is a joy to read and so helpful in illustrating 'how'. Interestingly in the reference to the treatment of cholera he refers to 'Rubini's' tincture of camphor - the doctor who is referred to in Dorothy Shepherd's book. 'The Prescriber' was generously given to me by a Brighton (UK)GP who had done a Homeopathic course at the Faculty of Homeopathy London - the doctors' place of training, after hearing that I was about to do a 4 year course at the College of Homeopathy London for lay practitioners. I had taken my elder daughter to see him regarding her frequently bursting eardrums - she was 3 at the time - now 33. I have found it invaluable as the years have gone by as a quick reference to confirm prescriptions.

Phatak's Materia Medica
As always a reliable source of information for remedies and easily understood.

The World Travellers' Manual of Homeopathy. Dr Colin Lessell
An invaluable resource for anyone traveling anywhere. It is clear concise and easily understood with descriptions of the various diseases - their symptoms - orthodox treatment and the Homeopathic remedies needed in each case. I always advise patients to take this book with them.

Equipment to take on travels.
Helios Traveller's kit - this 36 remedy kit includes the remedies mentioned above.
A comprehensive first aid kit as supplied by St John's Ambulance or similar organization.
Calendula and Chelidonium tinctures to put in daily water supplies to keep blood and liver clean.
Water bottle(s) and water filters. Good reliable ones available from the YHA shops.
Rehydration sachets containing electrolytes and minerals.
Water sterilization tablets.
Mosquito nets


Homeopathy for Burns and Scalds

With summere here in the Southern Hemisphere, burns including subburn and scalds can be treated with Homeopathy. Click Here to download our PDF relating to treatment using Homeopathy for Burns and Scalds.


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Last but not least congratulations to the Brits for winning the Ashes!

Until next time,

Kate Diamantopoulo
www.arnica.com.au

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