Friday, 25 September 2009

Can I Get a Homeopathic Remedy Instead of a Malaria Inoculation?

I passed a nice little shop at lunch-time that just happened to sell homeopathic remedies, so I popped in for a nose around and a chat. I expect we’ve all heard stories of how some homeopaths may be willing to sell homeopathic remedies as a prevention or a cure for malaria as an alternative to conventional, proven and clinically tested anti malaria drugs.

I thought that Simon Singh’s recent book “Trick or Treatment” might have made alternative therapists a little wary and therefore unwilling to talk to random strangers in detail and certainly be on guard against making claims that homeopathy can be effective against malaria.

So the question I was wondering was, would a homeopathic retailer be prepared to write a prescription for a homeopathic anti malaria remedy to a random customer who came in off the street wanting to use the remedy in place of conventional science based medicine.

Well here’s a transcript of my conversion:

Crispian: Hiya

Homeopath: Can we help you with anything in particular?

Crispian: Um, I Don’t know. A friend of mine was on Safari last summer, well this summer, and he was talking about it and I looked it up on the web today as I quite fancied it. It was talking about the vaccinations I would need for malaria and stuff like that and I was reading the side effects and there seemed to be quite a long list of the side effects so I thought I’d just wonder around and see if there’s any alternatives basically.

Homeopath: Well we don’t sort of claim… you have to make your own decision um, but in terms of homeopathic remedies as vaccination I mean you have to read up on it, but you can get malaria in potency, you can get.. would you need yellow fever I imagine?

Crispian: I don’t know, it said malaria and there was a few other things on there, Tetanus

Homeopath: Yellow fever, Tetanus, Cholera, Typhoid, you’d need all of those probably

Crispian: So I’d need those from a conventional doctor?

Homeopath: Um. It’s up to you, I mean, you can ...there are homeo .. Um, do you know much about homeopathy? Basically, the homeopathic nosodes they’re called that are made from the actual vac… the germ, if you like. The understanding is that if you take them in potency they’re a very very high dilution it will create the necessary anti bodies in your blood

Crispian: OK

Homeopath: As opposed to taking the Jab. Some people say its good to do that preventatively before you go over, start a week before you go

Crispian: Yeah

Homeopath: Some people say there’s no point in doing it unless you get malaria and then you start taking it. um. My feeling is that you need to kinda educate yourself and take a look and see what you think you want to do. Um. Have you ever taken anti malaria drugs or anything like that?

Crispian: Well I’ve never had anything, it’s just that when I was reading all the side effects it sounded like ..

Homeopath: Where abouts would you be going?

Crispian: I wanted to do what my friend did, he started off in um Zambia and he went down through Tanzania and Botswana and down to South Africa.

Homeopath: Ok. Malaria. It’s a strong malaria zone I’d say

Crispian: Yeah, yeah

Homeopath: I don’t know about yellow fever, I don’t know if it’s a yellow fever zone, I don’t think so. Um, malaria, cholera and typhoid I would say

Crispian: OK

Homeopath: Um

Crispian: So if…

Homeopath: The other thing of course is I don’t think your… nowadays with the legislation in this country, you’re not able to purchase malaria and all these in potency without a prescription so I mean um, I could certainly write you a prescription. I’m quite happy to just write you a prescription if that’s what you need and then take it to a homeopathic pharmacy

Crispian: Oh OK, I couldn’t just pick one up here then

Homeopath: No

Crispian: Is it quite a common thing then or is it unusual?

Homeopath: There’s a huge, as you know, there’s a huge um backlash against homeopathy in this country so some people are… there are lots of sceptics in the pharmaceutical industry and general medicine who are trying to sort of root them out, root us out and um

Crispian: OK

Homeopath: The pharmacies have to have some statutory legislation that um, they’re not able to just sell it over the counter.

Crispian: OK, but I could get a prescription and then that would ..?

Homeopath: I could write you a prescription yeah

Crispian: So would you recommend that I would still need to visit my GP?

Homeopath: You’re GP’s not going to … Oh well, if you need to go for malarium or whatever quinine based drugs for the anti malaria you’ll have to educate yourself on that. I mean, um, it’s up to you. You’re not native to any of those countries so

Crispian: No. I’m from here

Homeopath: So I would suggest that you would be better off to do.. um, what’s your health like? General health?

Crispian: It’s good

Homeopath: It’s Good? Ok. I’d do some other things like um obviously take water sterilising tablets, maybe take some other remedies, take some B vitamins, that would be good. B1 and B12 are very good for malaria zones, its good to take those a couple of weeks before that, strengthen your immune system and um and increase your resistance to infection, things like that. Vitamin C is another thing that you should take. Um

Crispian: So …

Homeopath: I’d just take a good kit maybe and if you want to do homeopathy, then take a kit and learn about how to administer it, I mean I could do a 20 minute appointment with you and I could just take you through things that you need to do

Crispian: You said that it’s diluted, so what sort of level?

Homeopath: Homeopathy. Hundreds and thousands of dilutions. I mean I come from a malaria country and I, personally speaking I always just take the nosodes, and I don’t do inoculations and vaccinations anymore because I just don’t like what they put in them

Crispian: Yeah

Homeopath: And I’m not convinced that they work. That’s my own personal opinion, but you have to do what you feel is right. I’m not saying that vaccinations are bad, but some people, once they’ve taken the vaccination they get unwell for a few days

Crispian: Yeah, that’s what I heard

Homeopath: If you were to do the vaccinations, I’d go to the British Airways travel centre to get them done rather than with your GP because I don’t think GPs are well advised on things like that. I would go to the one on Regents Street, they have a travel centre there

Crispian: OK, but it sounds like I could avoid it altogether, I mean you mentioned the vitamins and the travel packs …

Homeopath: If you’re well educated and informed you could do, but its something you would need to make an informed decision on

Crispian: I’d have to look into it

Homeopath: Yeah I’d go to um, and how long would you be going for

Crispian: Well I fancied quite a while so probably 3 maybe 4 weeks

Homeopath: 3 or 4 weeks you’d be out there?

Crispian: Yeah

Homeopath: When would you be going?

Crispian: Well I’ve not booked it. I’ve only just started looking today because I just happened to see it but well, next summer, I guess next August

Homeopath: Yeah. Well that gives you, you know a good bit of time to you know get fit

Crispian: I just started looking when I was at work and I though that looked quite fun

Homeopath: I’d also possibly try and loose a bit of weight before you go, simply because if you get sick, and if your system is a little bit over, I mean you just need to be fitter and take things like liver cleansing remedies with you as well so if you get, um. Most people just get diagraph or dysentery those are the major fears in that part of the world, diarrhoea and dysentery, so things like tinctures of wormwood, things like that to keep your liver healthy because your liver is your best defence that you have if you get a blood born disease, you want your liver to be on your side. I would get the world traveller’s manual, Colin Lessell, I’ll write it down for you…. It’s called um The World Travellers Homeopathy manual or something, something like that

Crispian: OK

Homeopath: You’ll find it

Crispian: I’ll find it online will I?

Homeopath: Yeah. Its good, it tells you all about the various weird and wonderful ticks and antigens and bacteria that you can come into contact with

Crispian: OK, that’s very helpful, so it sounds like with a bit of research and if I’m comfortable then ..

Homeopath: Yeah, if you want to know more about it then I think we’re obliged to do a 20 to 30 minute consultation before we write the prescription or whatever so you know exactly how to take it and what to do

Crispian: What about the children because I’ve got the family as well so..

Homeopath: Oh, you’re going to take everyone?

Crispian: Yeah

Homeopath: Um, yeah, then I would say that if you want to put them through that as well then I think you need to be very very wised up on how to deal with an emergency if that happens

Crispian: Ok, so I could bring the family, the children in with me as well?

Homeopath: You can certainly book up, and I can take you through the remedies, um it might be worth … this is the travellers kit. Helios, they’re very good. I rate them as a good gift. This is a traveller’s kit of the basic remedies that you might need.

Crispian: OK, so these are 30 C

Homeopath: 30 C

Crispian: What’s that?

Homeopath: That’s 30 dilutions so basically … OK.. So lets see .. think of a herb that you know.. Arnica? Yeah?

Crispian: OK

Homeopath: It’s a flower, it’s a healing herb. What they’ve done is taken the herb, mashed it about put it in some alcohol for various number of days, shaken it and stirred it, taken one drop of that and then put a hundred drops of alcohol with it and then shaken it and that’s become a 1 X. They’ve done that up to one hundred.. up to ten times and then they’ve made it a 1 C and then each time they’ve taken a drop put a hundred drops of alcohol, shaken it and whatever and each time they’ve taken it up step by step by step. So by the time it’s got to 30 C …

Crispian: There’s not going to be a lot left is there?

Homeopath: Well, the original substance has gone, its passed Avogadro’s number but the imprint in the cell is arnica still. Um

Crispian: OK

Homeopath: I mean, if you’ve never taken homeopathy before

Crispian: I haven’t no

Homeopath: I think its worth experiencing it just to see, because there’s no point me telling you and you believing it. Yeah. They say its got the cellular imprint of it and the beauty of it is that it's vibrational, it won’t harm your lungs or your organs in anyway at all like conventional medicine

Crispian: OK

Homeopath: It’s just very very powerful. I’d say that you need to experience it

Crispian: OK. Thank you, you’ve been very helpful. I’ll look that up

Homeopath: OK, What’s your name?

Crispian: Its Crispian.

Homeopath: Crispian, I’m xxxxx

Crispian: Nice to meet you, Ill look that up. Cheers

Homeopath: Yeah, Bye

As you can hear the lady I spoke to was very pleasant and helpful and obviously a firm believer in homeopathy. She was keen to explain how it worked and promote other alternative therapies.

She was careful to state that it would be my own decision and that I need to make an educated an informed choice, and she was careful to disassociate her views from the shop she worked for. She did however:
  1. Clearly offer to write me a prescription for a malaria remedy to be used in place of a conventional vaccination
  2. She advised me not to consult my GP as they are ill advised on such things
  3. She mentioned that she would not personally recommend vaccines as she does not like what they put in them

Surely that’s fairly dangerous advice.
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