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Homeopathy, Dysbiosis, & the Bowel Nosodes
''...it must always be remembered that they are deep acting remedies and cover the totality...''
Dysbiosis is microbial imbalance. Most prominent in the digestive tract, and on the skin, dysbiosis can occur on any exposed surface or mucous membrane, such as the vagina, lungs, mouth, nose, sinuses, ears, nails or eyes.
Dysbiotic gut microbiota is associated with intestinal disorders including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and coeliac disease, and the extra-intestinal disorders of allergy, asthma, heart disease, and obesity. Gastrointestinal disturbances such as Chron’s disease, colitis and gastritis are commonly reported by individuals’ diagnosed with chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, autism, and chronic fatigue syndrome.(1)
In the 1920’s Dr. Edward Bach, a Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital allopathic physician and bacteriologist, began to observe human intestinal bacterial commensals during particular states of ill health and at specific stages of disease processes. Finding disease correlation with altered bowel flora, Dr. Bach began to isolate and utilize autogenous bowel flora, with some success, in the treatment of patients with chronic disease, and in 1925 alongside Dr. Charles Edwin Wheeler published Chronic Disease a Working Hypothesis in which the authors stated that chronic disease was held to be caused by the absorption of toxins from the bowels to a greater or lesser degree depending upon the permeability of the individual’s intestinal mucosa.(2,3)
Classical homeopathic philosophy, theory and practice has a more evolved understanding of health and disease. As, for example, although bactericidal effect via homeopathic medicine has been shown,(4-9) this is not in accordance with the general principles of homeopathy with its hypothesis that homeopathic medicines affect the host via activation of the immune system to prevent adhesion or growth of bacteria rather than by direct bactericidal or bacteriostatic effects.(10)
In many conditions of dysbiosis, disease development involves the mutual relationship between the gut microbiota and the immune system. Dysbiosis has multi layered causations not just the overgrowth or absence of microorganisms.(1) Homeopathic medicine is not ‘out to kill’ microbes, rather it enables us to exist in harmony within ourselves, our surroundings and the world of micro-organisms.
Individualized homeopathy (IH) is the use of a single homeopathic medicine selected on the totality of signs and symptoms of an individual,(11) that is, concomitant conditions and diseases, psychological features and feelings, all combine to inform the homeopathic prescription(12) – no generalized homeopathic medicine by diagnosis exists.(13)
A Japanese researcher finding it ‘difficult to find correct constitutional remedies as they often require high-level techniques and time’ conducted an outpatient study ‘since there are only 11 main bowel nosode remedies, they are easier to choose from’ with people aged from 4 to 72 suffering gastrointestinal disturbances such as constipation and diarrhoea;(14) 69% had some type of improvement, and 26% showed major improvement or eradication of symptoms - suggesting that homeopathic medicine could possibly be a useful method for controlling gastrointestinal disturbances. This study utilized one bowel nosode for each case which could be seen as in alignment with the symptom cluster study approach.(15)
Researchers of a 2019 pilot trial conducted to compare the effectiveness of the bowel nosode Dysentery compound (DC) with IH in 60 patients diagnosed with IBS were unable to demonstrate their non-inferiority hypothesis of DC against IH.(16) This might be due to the fact that there are no shortcuts in homeopathy - the art and the science of the study of the individual.
Dr. John Paterson, considered by many as an authoritative source in the correct use of the bowel nosodes as medicines wrote;(3)
“In using the bowel nosodes it must always be remembered that they are deep acting remedies and cover the totality from the highest level of the ‘mentals’ to the lowest level of ‘gross pathology’ and that they also cover the life history of a patient from earliest childhood to adult life or old age. The taking of the case is therefore of great importance in the choice of the nosode for a particular case, and attention must be given to the past as well as the present symptoms.’’
Sarah’s paper Drugs, Dysbiosis and the Bowel Nosodes examining nine cases of resolved gut disturbance was published in Similia, The Australian Journal of Homeopathic Medicine (Vol. 31, No. 1) in June 2019.
Sarah Penrose BSc(hons)Hom can be contacted at goodhealthforgreatlife.com
1 Carding et al., 2015. Dysbiosis of the gut microbiota in disease. Microb Ecol Health Dis. Feb 2;26:26191. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4315779/
2 Saxton J. Bowel Nosodes in Homoeopathic Practice. 2nd ed. Scotland: Saltire Books Limited; 2008.
3 Paterson J. The Bowel Nosodes. 8th ed. India: B. Jain Publishers; 2009.
4 Buchheim-Schmidt et al., 2021. In vitro evaluation of the anti-pathogenic activity of Okoubaka aubrevillei on the human gastrointestinal tract. Zeitschrift fur Gastroenterologie [online]. May;59(5):423-437. English. https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/a-1404-3344
5 Munshi et al., 2021. In-Vitro Evaluation of Antimicrobial Activities of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella typhi, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Candida albicans Nosodes. Homeopathy [online]. May 21. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34020481/
6 De et al., 2012. Potentiated homeopathic drug Arsenicum Album 30C inhibits intracellular reactive oxygen species generation and up-regulates expression of arsenic resistance gene in arsenite-exposed bacteria Escherichia coli. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao [online]. Feb;10(2):210-27. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22313889/
7 Jaguezeski et al., 2021. Daily intake of a homeopathic agent by dogs modulates white cell defenses and reduces bacterial counts in feces. Microbial Pathogenesis [online]. Jul;156:104936. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33951540/
8 de Paula Coelho et al., 2017. Homeopathic medicine Cantharis modulates uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC)-induced cystitis in susceptible mice. Cytokine [online]. Apr;92:103-109. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28142108/
9 Jaguezeski et al., 2020. Daily consumption of a homeopathic product decreases intestinal damage and stool bacterial counts in mice challenged with Escherichia coli. Microbial Pathogenesis [online]. Oct;147:104269. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32439564/
10 Pannek et al., 2018. In Vitro Effects of Homeopathic Drugs on Cultured Escherichia coli. Homeopathy [online]. May;107(2):150-154. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29566404/
11 Bellavite et al., Immunology and homeopathy. 2005. 1. Historical background. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: eCAM [online]. Dec;2(4):441-52. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16322800/
12 Bornhöft et al., 2006. Effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of homeopathy in general practice - summarized health technology assessment. Forsch Komplementmedizin [online]. 2006;13 Suppl 2:19-29. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16883077/
13 Pannek et al., 2019. Usefulness of classical homeopathy for the prophylaxis of recurrent urinary tract infections in individuals with chronic neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine [online]. Jul;42(4):453-459. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29485355/
14 Uchiyama-Tanaka, 2018. Case Study of Homeopathic Bowel Nosode Remedies for Dysbiotic Japanese Patients. J Altern Complement Med. Feb;24(2):187-192. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28805460/
15 Yakir et al., 2019. A Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind Randomized Trial with Individualized Homeopathic Treatment Using a Symptom Cluster Approach in Women with Premenstrual Syndrome. Homeopathy. Nov;108(4):256-269. Available from: https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-0039-1691834
16 Nahar et al., 2019. An open-label randomized pragmatic non-inferiority pilot trial to compare the effectiveness of Dysentery compound with individualized homeopathic medicines in irritable bowel syndrome. J Complement Integr Med. 2019 Jun 14;16(4):/j/jcim.2019.16.issue-4/jcim-2018-0217/jcim-2018-0217.xml. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31199766/