One early morning this week, a crowd was gathered outside the Bhaktapur Homeopathic Clinic to get 10ml vials of Arsenicum album 30C, a remedy believed to boost the human immune system.
The very next day, the place was deserted after the police was alerted about the lack of physical distancing and distribution of “COVID-19 pills” as some who believe in homeopathic treatment called it.
Five months into the pandemic, countries around the world still struggling to contain the virus. And in the of absence new therapy and vaccine, many have come to rely on alternative and traditional forms of medicine to prevent the disease.
Nepal has seen an increase in the number of confirmed cases and four deaths from COVID-19, and some panic-stricken citizens are now on the lookout for a magic cure. There are reports in China that combining allopathic treatment with traditional Chinese medicine considerably improved the cure rate, hospital time and even mortality rate in coronavirus patients.
In January, India’s Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy) recommended the use of Arsenicum album 30C for effective prevention of the COVID-19. Arsenicum album is a homeopathic therapy used to treat a range of symptoms including insomnia, digestive disorders, allergies, anxiety and depression.
Homeopathic treatment is called ‘pseudo-science’ by some, but adherents say that its use of tiny amounts of plants and minerals to strengthen the body’s healing process works without the side effects that modern pharmaceutical drugs have. It was developed in Germany 300 years ago, and is used across Europe and India.
Himalayan healers, Ayesha Shakya