The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has classified six biological agents as ‘Category A-High Priority’ agents that pose the most likely threat as biological weapons. These include: Anthrax, Smallpox, Plague, Hemorrhagic Fever (e.g. Ebola Virus), Botulism and Tularemia.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has warned of “proliferation” that makes it possible for terrorists to “get their hands on capabilities that are increasingly powerful, powerful to the point that you’re not talking about thousands, you’re talking about multiples of thousands of people.”
Biological weapons laboratories in the former Soviet Union produced and stockpiled tons of powdered biological agents. Ken Alibek, the Soviet defector who shocked U.S. officials in 1992 with the his report of biological weapons from his days at “Biopreparat,” a germ warfare research center in the former Soviet Union, also has said he and his former colleagues, developed an antibiotic-resistant strain of Anthrax and had experimented with such nightmare viruses as Ebola and Marburg.
There are antibiotics for the bacterial infections Anthrax, Plague and Tularemia, but in order to be of any benefit they must be administered early, within the first 2-3 days of the onset of symptoms, when it is difficult to make the diagnosis. Without early treatment most infected individuals die. In the case of Anthrax, once the bacillus has released its lethal toxins it is usually fatal in 90% of the cases despite antibiotic treatments. Antibiotics are not effective in treating Smallpox, Hemorrhagic Fevers, or Botulism.
There is a vaccine for Anthrax, but it must be given in a series of 6 staged vaccinations over 18 months and is associated with potential for significant side effects. It is only recommended for military personnel. There is no treatment for Smallpox other than a vaccine, but in order for it to prevent an infection it must be given within 2-3 days of an exposure.
The federal government began shipping smallpox vaccine January 2003. However, many Americans, including health care workers that may be the first line of defense in case of a bio-terrorism attack, are reluctant to get vaccinated because as many as 40 people out of every million being vaccinated for the first time will face life-threatening reactions, and one or two will die.
Federal officials had hoped 500,000 health care workers would volunteer to get the vaccine within the first 30 days, beginning in late January. As of March 2003, less than 10,000 people had been vaccinated in 38 states and Los Angeles and New York, which are running separate programs. In the military, where more than 100,000 people have been vaccinated, there have been five serious reactions.
Due to the highly contagious nature of smallpox and its high death rate, it has the potential to do the most harm, however, these same attributes also make it the least likely to be deployed, because the terrorists must also know that it would likely spread around the world and could easily kill hundreds of thousands of their own people. We can only hope that the terrorists are not so brazen.
There is no vaccine for Hemorrhagic Fever, the Plague, or Botulism. A vaccine for Tularemia is currently being developed, but is not yet available.
There is an anti-toxin for Botulism, which significantly reduces the risk of death, but it to must be given promptly upon exposure. A supply of the antitoxin is maintained by CDC, however, the quantity and the availability for immediate delivery is uncertain.
The recent biological attacks have prompted many people to request antibiotics, including Cipro, from their physicians. Still others have obtained them from sites on the Internet. “We will create much more illness as a society by taking Cipro than we are likely to see with anthrax,” says Dr. David Witt, chair of infectious diseases for the Northern California branch of Kaiser Permanente.” The indiscriminate use of antibiotics can cause resistant strains of microbes that will be more difficult to treat than the ones we are already fighting.
The key to prevention is a healthy immune system. Since it is known that even in the worst epidemics, 10-70% of the population recovers, a healthy immune response is your best defense. There are some natural remedies that may provide protection, but some reported natural treatments would be worthless. What will and what won’t help? Should you get vaccinated? Should you take antibiotics? What are the best natural remedies to boost your immune defenses?
In the case of the CDC ‘Category A-High Priority’ biological agents, I believe that they are warranted and I would prescribe the CDC recommended antibiotics, plus additional natural remedies that support or enhance immune defenses. For Anthrax, the Plague and Tularemia, antibiotics should be taken as soon as possible after exposure. However, in the case of Smallpox, Viral Hemorrhagic Fever and Botulism, there are no antibiotics or vaccines currently available.
For these biological agents, I would recommend homeopathic medicines, which have documented clinical relevance to show that they may provide symptomatic relief and improve the chances of recovery. However, there are several nutritional supplements that are touted as remedies for biological agents that I believe would not provide any significant benefits.
Unfortunately, a few nutritional supplement companies have made exaggerated claims that their products “kill or inactivate biological agents.” According to the Federal Trade Commission Chairman, Timothy Muris, “A small number of marketers may attempt to take advantage of the public’s concern about bio-terrorism. Stopping these marketers and preventing consumer injury is a top priority.” Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) had urged federal regulators to immediately shut down and prosecute online sellers of fake anthrax remedies.
The FTC and the FDA have an obligation to protect consumers from false claims and unscrupulous marketers that prey upon public fears, however, their authority should not prevent the public from getting access to supportive therapies that may provide real benefits. Unchecked power of the FTC and FDA could suppress safe and effective natural remedies that could provide the public with significant positive options that should not be arbitrarily prohibited. There are several promising natural substances that may boost the immune defenses against Anthrax and other biological agents. They are listed below:
The only safe and effective natural remedies that have a clinical track record in the treatment of biological agents are homeopathic medicines. They have been documented to be effective in multiple epidemics of the past and can provide significant temporary relief of the symptoms associated with these diseases by stimulating the body to heal more quickly. By combining the homeopathic remedies that match the symptoms produced by the effects of these biological agents, the body is stimulated to respond more vigorously to combat them. Homeopathic medicines have been used in the past to treat four of six of the CDC Category A Biological Agents, including Anthrax, Smallpox, the Plague and Botulism.
Anthracinum, is a homeopathic anti-toxin made from anthrax-infected rabbits. It has been used to treat the skin lesions associated with anthrax infections. Dr. Boericke, found that the homeopathic remedy, Baptisa, made from Wild Indigo root, “raises the natural bodily resistance to the invasion of the bacillary intoxication.” He also used the homeopathic remedy Bothrops lanciolatus to treat Anthrax and other septic states of great lassitude. Additionally, another homeopathic remedy Carbo vegetabilis, has been used to treat systemic symptoms of infection similar to Anthrax, including fever, chills, malaise, collapse, respiratory distress and difficulty breathing.
Between 1846 and 1897, the famous Homeopathic Physician, Dr. Boenninghausen used the homeopathic remedy Thuja occidentalis, which is commonly known as the Tree of Life, for the treatment of Smallpox. He “found Thuja both preventive and curative in an epidemic of small pox. It aborted the process and prevented pitting.” Dr. William Boericke, M.D., found that Variolinum, a homeopathic vaccine obtained from the lymph of a small-pox pustule, could be “used for internal vaccination” and appeared to be “efficacious in protecting against, modifying and aiding the cure of Smallpox.” Additionally, he found that the homeopathic medicine made from the Pitcher-plant, Sarracenia purpurea, could also be used to treat Smallpox. He said that Sarracenia “aborts the disease and arrests the pustulation.”
Homeopathic remedies have been used with great success in many epidemic outbreaks of the plague. In 1901, John Henry Clarke, M.D. wrote, “The recent outbreak of plague in the East has recalled the fact that Ignatia amara has earned a reputation as curative even in that disease (plague).” Dr. Honigberger relates that when plague was raging in Constantinople, he administered “minute doses” of it (Ignatia) to patients affected with plague with the best success. Later on he himself caught the disease in India and cured himself with the same remedy.”
The homeopathic remedy Botulinum, is made from the toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. It has been used effectively to treat the toxic symptoms associated with Botulism, including blurred or double vision, difficulty swallowing, choking sensation, difficulty breathing, dizziness, weakness and uncertainty in walking.
Biological Agents as weapons of mass destruction present a genuine threat to the entire world population. Antibiotics are available for the bacterial infections Anthrax, Plague and Tularemia, but in order to be of any benefit they must be administered early, within the first 2-3 days of the onset of symptoms. A vaccine against Small pox is effective, but must be given within 2-3 days of an exposure in order to prevent the disease. The U.S. government currently has only 15.4 million doses of a 30-year-old stockpile of the vaccine and does not expects delivery of a new supply until the end of 2002. There is no vaccine for the Hemorrhagic Fever (Ebola Virus) and prognosis for any infected is very poor, with fatality rates as high as 90%. The CDC maintains a supply of Anti-toxin against Botulism, but, once again it is only effective in reducing the severity of symptoms if administered within a few days of exposure to the deadly toxin.
It is reasonable for all Americans to take whatever prudent precautions they can to protect themselves and their loved ones in case of an attack with biological weapons. A review of the medical literature indicates that some natural remedies may provide significant support and enhance host resistance against biological agents to perhaps prevent or reduce the severity and or duration of symptoms associated with these agents. Although a small number of unscrupulous marketers may attempt to take advantage of the public’s concern about bio-terrorism by promoting questionable remedies, there are several natural agents with documented clinical benefits. These homeopathic medicines may prove to be as indispensable in the fight against bio-terrorism as they have been in many of the infectious epidemics of the past. The wise and prudent will be prepared and will therefore not overwhelmed by fear.
Our best defense is our own immune resistance. Homeopathy offers a natural, safe and effective way to enhance that system within our own bodies. Homeopathic remedies can be taken in addition to any other conventional medical treatment to improve our chances against biological agents.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
What are Homeopathic remedies?
Homeopathic remedies are natural substances that are considered drugs under the law in the U.S. The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. § 301. Section 201(g)(1) of the Act. 21 U.S.C. § 321) defines the term “drug” as “articles recognized in the official United States Pharmacopœia, official Homœopathic Pharmacopœia of the United States (HPUS), or official National Formulary or any supplement to any of them. The Homeopathic remedies included in Biological Defense Kit are OTC (over-the-counter) drugs intended for temporary relief of symptoms in self-limiting conditions that do not require the diagnosis of a physician.
Are the Homeopathic Biological Defense Remedies designed to be taken in place of conventional antibiotics or vaccines?
No, the Homeopathic Biological Defense Remedies are designed to be taken in addition to any standard conventional medical therapy that may be available for these biological agents. However, in the case of Smallpox, Viral Hemorrhagic Fever and Botulism, there are no antibiotics or vaccines currently available. In the case of Anthrax, the Plague and Tularemia, antibiotics are available and should be taken as soon as possible. The Homeopathic Biological Defense Remedies can be taken to boost host defenses in the early stage of exposure and to treat symptoms before a diagnosis is made. If a laboratory test confirms the diagnosis of a biological agent, the Homeopathic Biological Defense Remedy can continue to be taken as a supportive measure to reduce symptoms and boost the host defenses.
How are the Homeopathic Biological Defense Formulas developed?
In order to formulate the Homeopathic Biological Defense formulas for the CDC Category A Biological Agents, I have selected the top three or four homeopathic medicines that most closely match the symptoms known to be associated with the disease. I have chosen these remedies based on classical homeopathic principals and historic use. In the case of Anthrax, Smallpox and Botulinum, there are specific homeopathic vaccines (Anthracinum, Variolinum, and Botulinum, respectively) that were developed more than one hundred years ago from the organism or its toxins. These are included in the formulas with additional homeopathic medicines that have been used in the past to treat these diseases when they were prevalent.
Can the Homeopathic Biological Defense Remedies be taken to prevent infections?
Dr, Hansen: I believe that homeopathic medicines offer the safest and most effective protection that we have in the prevention of the serious consequences of biological agents. Between 1846 and 1897, the famous Homeopathic Physician, Dr. Boenninghausen used the homeopathic remedy Thuja occidentalis, which is commonly known as the Tree of Life, for the treatment of smallpox. He “found Thuja both preventive and curative in an epidemic of small-pox. It aborted the process and prevented pitting.”
The principal behind the development of the Homeopathic Biological Defense Remedies is similar to that of the flu vaccine. Each year, the flu vaccine contains three virus strains, representing the flu viruses most likely to circulate in the United States in the upcoming winter. When the match between the virus strains in the vaccine and the circulating viruses is close, the vaccine prevents illness in up to 90% of healthy people under the age of 65.
By combining 3 or more homeopathic remedies that match the symptoms of the Biological Agents, I believe the host immune resistance can be enhanced. Millions of Americans and Europeans have used homeopathic remedies for decades. Many of them have reported that these remedies routinely prevent infections.
How do Homeopathic remedies work?
Homeopathy was discovered by a German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, in 1790. Hahnemann discovered that the body possesses inherent reactive forces that can be stimulated to fight disease from within. This was a new concept in the 18th Century. Hahnemann found that a small amount of an active substance similar to the infecting organism, chemical, or biological agent would alert and augment the defense mechanisms of the organism to prepare for, resist and counter the potential threat. Furthermore, through strictly controlled clinical trials, Hahnemann discovered and catalogued hundreds of new homeopathic medicines that could be employed in this manner against specific symptoms.
The principle of Homeopathy is similar to that of vaccinations. In fact, in 1796, six years after Hahnemann discovered Homeopathy, Edward Jenner, theorized that he could use cowpox to prevent smallpox, because cowpox is similar to but milder than smallpox. Jenner collected pus from cowpox sores on the hands of milkmaid Sarah Nelmes and inoculated an eight year old boy by the name of James Phipps. Phipps developed a fever but nothing more. Then two months later Jenner inoculated Phipps with pus from active smallpox. The boy never developed smallpox. Because cowpox is similar to smallpox, it stimulated the host defenses to fight off smallpox and recover quickly with only minimal symptoms.
Homeopathy treats the individual not the disease. The symptoms are the guiding determinant not the organism, chemical or biological agent that is causing the disease. Homeopathic remedies are selected based on a similar match of symptoms. When a substance that can cause similar symptoms is homeopathically diluted, it provokes the inherent host defenses to react and recover.
Is there any research on the effectiveness of the remedies included in the Homeopathic Biological Defense Kit against Anthrax, Smallpox, Plague, or Botulism?
Dr. Hansen: Yes, we have several homeopathic references that list the most common homeopathic medicines used to treat four out of five of the CDC Category A list of Biological Agents, including Anthrax, Smallpox, the Plague and Botulism. There are multiple historical references that praise the use of these homeopathic remedies during epidemic outbreaks. In 1901, John Henry Clarke, M.D. wrote, “The recent outbreak of plague in the East has recalled the fact that Ignatia amara has earned a reputation as curative even in that disease (plague). Honigberger relates that when plague was raging in Constantinople, he administered “minute doses” of it (Ignatia) to patients affected with plague with the best success. Later on he himself caught the disease in India, and cured himself with the same remedy.” (H.W. xxxiii.51). Thuja occidentalis, which is commonly known as the Tree of Life, was praised by Dr. Boenninghausen. He said, “I found Thuja both preventive and curative in an epidemic of small-pox. It aborted the process and prevented pitting.”
Have homeopathic remedies been used successfully in cases of Hemorrhagic Fever in Africa in recent years??
Dr. Hansen: No. There are no reports that I am aware of that indicate that homeopathic medicines have been used to treat Hemorrhagic Fevers. These are relatively new infections that include Ebola Virus, Marburg Virus and Crimean Congo Virus. However, the Hemorrhagic Fevers all cause symptoms very similar to those caused by snake venom poison and mercurial cyanide. Since the venom from snakes, such as that Crotalus horridus (Rattle Snake) contains cyanide hydrates of soda and other salts, they share similar symptoms with the homeopathic remedy Mercuris cyanatus. Both of these homeopathic medicines have been used in extremely dilute doses to treat symptoms similar to those found in Hemorrhagic Fevers, including bleeding from all of the body orifices. Homeopathic Biological Defense H is a combination of the homeopathic remedies that are known to provide symptomatic relief for symptoms similar to those of patients who have Viral Hemorrhagic Fever.