The AMA and most mainstream medical groups have a name for homeopathic remedies – they call them magic water. In their efforts to force the government to restrict access to these remedies which have never caused anyone harm and which have been used safely in both hospital and home settings for well over 200 years, these industry lobby groups have used this term to try and denigrate not only homeopathy itself – but those who administer and use these treatments.

I am not a homeopath and am not qualified to give a professional opinion on this issue. I have, however, used homeopathy myself and on both my children and my pets without any ill effects and have seen this modality work quickly on illnesses which ‘modern’ medicine has no treatment for such as whooping cough, gastroenteritis and (in my dogs) paralysis ticks. I have also read large-scale studies on the use of homeopathic remedies which have often shown them to be safer and more effective than drug-based treatments.

This was brought home to me just yesterday when I spoke with a friend whose husband has been ill and in and out of hospital for the last couple of years. This gentleman has had ongoing health issues for decades and his wife – a trained nurse who has personally used homoeopathy for years (due to her efforts to help her own family when allopathic medicine had failed them) has worked hard to keep him as healthy as possible – a job that has become much more difficult through his precipitous decline in health of late.

Recently, he was once again admitted to hospital. He expected to be back home within a short period of time but this last visit ended up lasting for 6 months! At the time of admission, he was taking one medication. As his condition deteriorated during this period, however, he went from 1 to 22 different drugs a day! With the addition of each one, his health worsened, resulting in an extremely long hospitalisation by anyone’s standards. His wife said that most of the doctors and nurses were extremely caring but none could see or accept that this man’s deteriorating health was because of his treatment, not in spite of it. After all, he was receiving the best treatment our taxes could buy.

And while this woman had tried to advise her husband to have a care and try to reduce the number drugs he was taking, like many who are trapped in the hospital system and fearful of disobeying doctors’ orders, he continued to take the ever-increased number of medications prescribed for him.

I believe it would be correct to say that there would not be any studies in the medical literature on the use of these 22 medications when administered together as to their synergistic or cumulative effects – but that lack of evidence seems to not stop doctors from using drugs in this way.

Eventually this man, unable to leave his bed and exercise appropriately, developed a hospital-acquired pneumonia. These pneumonias are tricky to treat and frequently lead to death because the bacteria associated with them are usually resistant to most, if not all antibiotics. Six weeks of oxygen and numerous oral and intravenous antibiotics did not help. Instead, this man deteriorated even further. Scans and xrays showed that his pneumonia had progressed to a plural effusion (a collection of fluid in the chest cavity around the lung) that had completely collapsed one lung and  partially collapsed the other. A needle was inserted into his chest several times to try and suck out some of the fluid but it was too thick. The radiographer reported that the effusion now appeared to be an empyema (a collection of pus around a lung). As you can imagine, this man was now very sick. He was wheezing loudly as he breathed and even though on oxygen, was still gasping for air. He was also becoming confused at times and imagining people were there when they weren’t.  Surgery was scheduled for 3 days later when an appropriate surgeon would be available. the gunk was to be removed from inside his chest and replaced with an irritant that would cause the inside of the chest wall and the outside of the lung to become inflamed and eventually stick together with scar tissue so that the lung couldn’t collapse again.

Aside from the normal risks of this or any surgical procedure (hospital-borne infection, medical error, a slip of the knife…), his wife knew that once her husband had this surgery, his body and the way it functioned would be permanently altered. 

She talked with her husband and strongly suggested he drop some of the unnecessary medicines, something he had been too anxious to do up to that point, and at the same time allow her to contact their family’s homeopath who had been treating him regularly prior to his hospital admission. He agreed. She then spoke to his doctor and asked if  the surgery could be deferred for a short period so the benefit of the homeopathic remedy could be assessed. The doctor (a respiratory specialist) said that surgery could not be deferred – his lung was so bad that it was unavoidable and that nothing short of surgery would be able to reinflate it – that they had already tried everything they could. 

This was on a Tuesday and the surgery was scheduled for Friday.

Against doctor’s orders, his wife started homeopathic treatment on Tuesday evening – with just one dose of the indicated homeopathic remedy. When she phoned to check on her husband the following morning, he told her that for the first time in ages, he had slept through the night (up until then he was mainly awake at night and sleepy throughout the day). In addition, he thought that maybe, just maybe, he was breathing a little easier. At least she couldn’t hear him wheezing as he spoke – and it seemed to her that he was gasping less and  thinking more clearly. She advised him to repeat the dose of his remedy/medicine through that day as improvement stalled or when he started to feel worse again. By Wednesday evening, his breathing had improved significantly so that he felt that he no longer needed the oxygen. By Thursday morning he decided to throw the mask away.

This couple began to ask for a second scan in the hopes of deferring the next day’s scheduled surgery. Initially, the doctors said it would be pointless and that with the state of his lungs, it was most important that the surgery go ahead. The husband persisted with his request however, saying that he was feeling much better. As the day progressed and the husband was obviously improving, the respiratory specialist, on doing his rounds, was still insistant that the surgery should take place as it was impossible for the lung to improve enough to avoid it but, because the husband was so reluctant and kept pointing out how much better he was doing, he ordered an x-ray. No long after, he was back in the room – there had been remarkable improvement and he had cancelled the surgery. 

The husband insisted and finally, one of the doctors decided to humour him and sent him for a lung scan.

As soon as the results came back, the specialist called the man and his wife and said he was cancelling the surgery because  there had been a remarkable improvment (there was still a little fluid left and they wanted to see if he could recover himself and if not, they would do the operation the following Friday. In fact, improvement continued over the next week at which time, he left the hospital. (They left against medical advice as the staff wanted to continue treatment with the other specialists – but this couple said no because they felt that the medications they kept giving him would eventually kill him)

The surgeon called the wife to ask what remedies she had given her husband and to find out what information she had on how they work. Up until this point, he had never asked to speak with her on her own – only when she happened to be in the hospital when he was visiting. She didn’t talk with him but instead, with one of his junior doctors. When she pointed out that the homeopathy had been given, they couldn’t seem to bring themselves to say the ‘h’ word or discuss it even. All they could say to her was that, yes, there had been a remarkable recovery.

The man checked out of hospital and came home, against the wishes of his doctors, and removed most of the remaining medications and replaced them with natural alternatives and homeopathy – and he is now doing better and better in spite of some serious problems that will remain and probably lead to his death in the future. In hospital, with the ‘best of care’ he just got worse and worse. He and his wife had to fight to stop the treatment and get him back home and were seen as highly irresponsible and ‘non-compliant’. There is much more to tell – this is just a small part of what happened – but it demonstates the power of the appropriate remedy. And one of the junior doctors was kind enough to place the before and after scans and xrays on a disc for them when I asked so they could be referred to in future if required.

So is it magic water or effective medicine? You decide.