By Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
A tale of ignorance and deceit
This story of a young boy, who suffered a personality change and insomnia after being bitten by a dog and who greatly improved with a homeopathic remedy called Lyssinum, has garnered much media attention, most of it very much distorted. The media as well as our own Provincial Health Officer have made it sounds as if I somehow harmed the child. Nothing could be further from the truth, as he in fact was greatly helped, but this misinformation suits the agenda of the pharmaceutical industry, which is trying its best to slander and discredit homeopathy. The Canadian mainstream media, including the Globe and Mail, National Post and CBC appears to have been fully captured by the industry and is refusing to provide balanced journalistic coverage. Many letters have been sent by myself and others to the owners, editors, ombudsmen and journalists of these publications, trying to educate them on homeopathy. The response from the CBC has been that they will not entertain anything criticizing their coverage of homeopathy.
A sad day for Canada
Maybe even more concerningly, she does not seem to quite understand how rabies is transmitted, even though she is a medical doctor, which nobody in the press seems to have noticed.
As per the CDC: "Transmission of rabies virus usually begins when infected saliva of a host is passed to an uninfected animal. The most common mode of rabies virus transmission is through the bite and virus-containing saliva of an infected host. Though transmission has been rarely documented via other routes such as contamination of mucous membranes (i.e., eyes, nose, mouth), aerosol transmission, and corneal and organ transplantations." In short, the fresh, infected saliva has to enter your body, usually via a bite.
Much ado about nothing
Homeopathic remedies don't contain any active viruses or other pathogens and are also not administered via sharp teeth, saliva or organ transplants etc. The remedy I selected consisted of a few medicated lactose pellets containing NO viruses of any kind. The homeopathic pharmacies are also required to sterilize the source substance before preparing it into a homeopathic remedy.
The mainstream media in North America is engaged in a relentless and ongoing attack on homeopathy, fueled by large pharmaceutical corporations and well-funded skeptics groups.
The usual accusation is that homeopathic remedies can't possibly work because they are so diluted. They are just water, a placebo. But now the claim suddenly is that they are somehow deadly or injurious, because the remedy in this case was made from rabid dog saliva.
I have news for you folks, homeopathy either works or it doesn't. If it doesn't, what does it matter what it's made of, dog saliva, elephant's dung or badger's pubic hair, it's so diluted that it's only water after all, or a placebo, a sugar pill.
You can't have it both ways
Now it can't be just water and toxic and full of live viruses at the same time, can it? You can't have it both ways. Canada's own CBC had homeopathic remedies analyzed a few years ago and this is what they found through independent laboratory analysis:
Still with me?
But considering that it could work, and in this case, helped a child with some behavioral and sleep issues, is not an option for the powers that be, even though that is the truth.
I would be happy to give Dr. Bonnie Henry and several hundred of her colleagues a riveting introduction to homeopathy. Once people know about it, they usually find it most interesting, especially doctors. Most doctors are highly intelligent, only accidentally biased and uninformed due to the misleading efforts of the pharmaceutical industry.
And the media is in a feeding frenzy! Mention of a naturopath, a child, and rabid dog saliva in the same sentence sure gets some people going as they don't read more than the headlines.
Where has our intelligence and attention span gone? To twitter and facebook where sound bites rule and critical thought is left in the dust? It takes more than reading and reacting to a headline or tweet to understand something deeply, far more. Ever heard of reading the whole article, maybe following the trail to the original blog and a few more links to learn more about homeopathy or any other deeper subject for that matter? But no, that could interfere with time playing video games or watching TV, right?
The tweets should read: "Wonderful news: Child greatly helped by a safe, effective, homeopathic remedy costing pennies. Great promise for children with behavioural and developmental challenges, a blessing for mankind."
The drugging of our kids
Instead, young children with behavioural issues are routinely placed on antidepressants, anti-ADHD meds and antipsychotics. There is an entire clinic in Vancouver dedicated to treating children suffering from side effects from antipsychotics. Children and teens are committing suicide as a result of antidepressants; the autistic son of one of my friends jumped off a bridge after he was put on Paxil last year. Others go on rampages, shooting their classmates in the US.
And this is okay? Yes, because it's the accepted model and homeopathy is only supposed to be 'complementary', an addition to something, like a sprig of garnish on a dinner plate or a hot towel in an airplane? Why not use homeopathy first?
I and many of my colleagues have helped thousands of such children, many destined for lives of strife and difficulty, academic failure and mental illness with a few doses of inexpensive, safe homeopathic remedies and returned them to happy, well-adjusted beings. Let's teach homeopathy to every pediatrician!
The remedy I chose in this case was one of over 7000 different homeopathic remedies. It garnered attention due to the fact that it was made from rabid dog saliva - in use since 1833 no less - had it been Arnica or a remedy made from Calcium or similar nobody would have complained. But it was the correct prescription. Homeopathy does not discriminate against any remedy, they are all equally good, rabid dog saliva isn't worse than Arnica, just different. The correct key unlocks the door.
Hateful messages and threats
Meanwhile, due to this misleading media coverage, I have been bombarded with hundreds of hateful messages a day, including threats of injury, thank you, Dr. Henry. The family, who is very happy with the treatment, also feels distressed, which is why I removed the original, detailed post. Although they granted permission for the case to be published, this is not what any of us expected or desired.
The current situation was started by a vicious attack from a skeptics organization trolling my facebook page. I fought back and someone's ego was a little bruised. So instead of doing a little research they called the media and the health authorities to be their bully.
The similarity principle
Homeopathy is based on the similarity principle, which states that a substance that can cause symptoms in a healthy person can be used to remove similar symptoms in a person who already has them as long as it is prepared in homeopathic form. Think of it as an antivenom, antidote, desensitization, or vaccine after the fact, even, like a tetanus shot. It's not quite the same but along similar lines.
The hair of the dog that bit you, the drink the morning after. The symptoms a remedy can produce are carefully elicited and recorded by volunteers who are brave enough to take such remedies and log any changes in their health, often for several weeks. This is called a proving and the practice has created huge databanks, which are used to help find the best remedies for a patient.
Remedies are also given on the basis of causation, which could include such things as emotional shock, exposure to cold wind and, in this case, a dog bite. The entire presenting state of the person, including physical as well as mental symptoms and their entire history is matched to the remedies. It is a very detailed process, now greatly assisted by the use of computer software which helps to correlate the symptoms of a person to information about our remedies. Remedies have to be matched very precisely or they won't work at all or only partially.
Getting a handle on the whole process takes many years of study and practice. During the first ten years of my relationship with homeopathy I studied obsessively, often many hours a day, in addition to my practice. I did almost nothing else, it was so fascinating. Then I had a child and had to cut back on my passion a bit.
Rabies and rabies symptoms
Rabies is an infection of the central nervous system, so early homeopaths realized that it might be useful for certain neurological and mental health issues. One brave soul, Constantine Hering, a student of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, somewhere around 1833, 50 years before the crude experiments of Louis Pasteur, who developed the rabies vaccine, managed to extract a little saliva from the mouth of a small pet dog who had been bitten by a rabid fox.
Then he made it into a homeopathic remedy. It's quite a riveting story, any interested parties are directed to Allan's Materia Medica of Nosodes. The dog had puppies when it was bitten and two of her puppies were also bitten. The doctor extracted the saliva, made it into a remedy, gave it to the puppies and was able to save them, but the mother died as her state was more advanced and she had been bitten more intensely. Ever since then, Lyssin, also known as Lyssinum or Hydrophobinum, has been used by homeopaths around the world.
One of the first symptoms a person infected with rabies may experience is a general over-excitability; they can be more lively and talkative than usual and may have trouble sleeping. Next they might feel a sense of dread, of something terrible about to happen, as well as a fear of dogs, the dark and water. Hence the reason it was given in the case in question and similar cases I have treated of children who were overexcitable, had trouble sleeping and had various behavioural issues, sometimes including an obsession with or fear of dogs.
Next, the infection can cause headaches and muscle weakness and I have also prescribed it successfully in the past for chronic headaches after a dog bite to the head as well as chronic weakness in someone whose father had been bitten by a dog and received a rabies shot before she was born. It relieved the patient.
The state can also sometimes be caused by a rabies vaccine. This is true for both animals and humans. Many cases of dogs becoming aggressive after a rabies shot have been recorded in the literature and some veterinarians are aware of this problem or other side effects of rabies vaccines. A rabies vaccine in a human can also occasionally cause mental or physical health issues. Please see links at bottom of article for more information.
Here is a humorous take on what might happen from an accidental rabies shot:
On the other hand, dogs bites are not a requirement, some children or adults I have assisted with this remedy were never bitten by a dog, but exhibited this constellation of symptoms anyway. And not every person bitten by a dog develops this state, it depends on their susceptibility, not unlike a susceptibility to certain allergies etc. Most people can eat peanuts for example, but some are allergic.
This remedy is sometimes used for people with a history of chronic abuse, torment or torture. The feeling in the person is one of intense anticipatory anxiety, they know something terrible is going to happen to them. This is similar to the intense anticipatory anxiety caused by the bite of a rabid animal.
It can be a remedy for states of psychosis and frank insanity as the infection in advanced stages causes just such a state. A great remedy in psychiatry and used by homeopathic psychiatrists around the world.
The preparation of homeopathic remedies
Homeopathic remedies are made by a lengthy process of dilution and succussion called potentization. They are made in specialized facilities which have very high quality and manufacturing standards. Please watch this video to learn more.
The remedies I gave in this case were of the potencies of 200CH, 1M and 10M which means they went through the dilution and succussion process 200, 1000 and 10,000 times.
After the process is repeated 12 times it is basically impossible to have even one of the original molecules left in the solution, which is ultimately often used to medicate lactose or sucrose pellets.
Therefor there is no single molecule of rabies in the remedy. Again, you can't catch rabies from the remedy. It also does not matter which pharmacy prepared the remedy, as there is no toxicity associated with it.
Using a remedy that was not licensed in Canada
The pharmacy I used, unbeknownst to me, had not applied for a DIN number for this or most other of their single remedies in Canada yet. The media used this angle to again stir public emotion.
Drug Identification Numbers are required by Health Canada for imported natural health products to be sold over the counter. As homeopathic practitioners however, we can import any remedy we may need and offer it to our clients, but not just sell it to the general public. Health Canada allows this under the condition that we 'compound' the remedies, meaning change their form by, for example diluting the remedy in water or crushing it. It really does not change anything about the remedy at all and is just a technicality, but the press made it sound as if the remedy was somehow illegal and therefor dangerous. Very misleading.
Helios carries several thousand remedies and it is probably not worth the effort and cost for them to undergo this process as their market is Europe and they likely only sell a few thousand dollars of remedies a year in Canada.
The pharmacy is an excellent, licensed pharmacy in the UK and not illegal by any means.
Pretty much all of our dogs and cats receive rabies vaccines and most of us, including me as well as public health officials, think that's a good thing. These vaccines contain the actual, killed rabies viruses, plenty of them.
But if an ND or homeopath gives a homeopathic preparation of rabies to a child and the child greatly improves, she experiments with rabid dog saliva on innocent children, obviously keeps rabid dogs chained up in her backyard, is clearly a child abuser and an animal abuser too, should go to jail, have her license pulled and deserves a baseball bat to head and these are just some of the milder comments and threats I've received.
The only person in any danger here is me. If you read my obituary, it will say: Died for the truth, bludgeoned to death by a man gone stark, raving mad from reading manipulative headlines produced by media and health officials, pun intended.
How does it work?
There is no scientifically agreed-upon mechanism of action for homeopathy at this point. That does not mean it can't work. We don't know how a lot of things work, that's part of the fun of trying to figure things out. Saying we don't know how it works, therefor it can't work and moreover we should not even look does not make any sense - unless you don't want people to find out.
More and more research has quantitatively shown that a homeopathic dilution differs from pure water. Montagnier's research (2009) has shown that electromagnetic signals from the original substances persist even if the substance is no longer traceable. Also research done using nuclear electromagnetic resonance (Wasserhoven, 2017), Raman Spectroscopy (Sanker et al, 2015) and solvatochromic dyes (Cartwright, 2016, 2018) also show that homeopathic preparations have physicochemical properties that differ from plain water.
There is a significant body of scientific evidence that homeopathy is effective and hundreds of thousands of clinicians around the world as well as 600 or so million people are using homeopathic remedies right now. Probably a few hundred took a dose of homeopathic rabies today and feel better for it.
And in the case that I treated the remedy worked as it did in thousands of other cases in my 26 years of practice.
Homeopathy - the best-kept secret in medicine
You know something? Homeopathy is the best-kept secret in medicine. It is safe and effective for almost all acute and chronic health problems, for physical and mental ailments alike, for old and young and even the unborn, at pennies a dose. It can be used as standalone treatment in many cases and as part of an overall approach to health in others.
I love this profession with all my heart. After 28 years in the trenches I am still excited every day to go to work and see what kinds of mysteries will unravel, what kinds of stories I'll hear, what kinds of windows will open into the human soul and into nature as the two are so closely related. Homeopathy is about finding yourself by finding your counterpart in nature, without judgement, whether it is in the form of a plant, a mineral, or an animal remedy. It is a testament to our connection with nature and with spirit.
It's a fantastically satisfying profession in every way and I highly recommend it to prospective practitioners, just try to have a strong stomach for the skeptics and realize that they are merely unhappy with their lives and definitely unable to do what you can. A little homeopathy might help them!
The truth is that if homeopathy works we'd have to adjust our understanding and entire paradigm of health and disease as well as our medical practices. Change is always difficult for human beings and there also exists major resistance to homeopathy from the pharmaceutical industry, as homeopathy is a very effective and very cost-effective form of medicine and would probably eliminate the need for 80-90% of pharmaceuticals if it was widely adopted as a primary health care system.
And that, dear reader, is the real problem.
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
For more information on homeopathy please see my page on homeopathy and/or the homeopathy research page on my website. This blog post has generated some controversy and should be understood in the greater context of homeopathy and as part of my entire website. It is meant for educational purposes and not intended as advise or treatment. Interested parties should consult with a professional homeopath in their area or with another health care provider as needed.
Please note, the material is also copyrighted. Please contact me for permission to repost, thank you.
The interested reader might like to read some of my other cases on Lyssinum and similar, below.
Hpathy, an online homeopathy journal, also offers several interesting and related articles, including:
Lyssinum - Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica
Lyssin - Allen's Nosodes
A Case of Rabies Vaccinosis
A Case of Vaccinosis - A Chronic Urinary Infection in a Dog
Anti-Rabies Vaccination and Mental Health
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Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH is a homeopath with a special interest in children with developmental and behavioural concerns. Cases are all from her practice. Names have been changed, they were published with permission and are intended for education in homeopathy only. They are not intended as medical advise or solicitation. Homeopathy treats the person, not the condition.
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Classical and Modern Homeopathy
Sooke, BC, Canada
Serving families in Sooke, Metchosin, Langford, Colwood, Victoria, Greater Vancouver Island, BC, as well as intenationally via skype and zoom.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-6 and alternating Saturdays from 10-4