This book review is reprinted from the Volume 13, 2007 Edition of American Homeopath, The Journal of the North American Society of Homeopaths, with permission from North American Society of Homeopaths.
North American Society of Homeopaths
PO Box 450039
Sunrise, Florida 33345-0039
Tel: 206 720 7000
Fax: 208 248 1942
Vaccine Free Prevention&Treatment of Infectious Contagious Disease With Homeopathy: A Manual for Practioners and Consumers,
By Kate Birch
Reviewed by Randall Neustaedter
An ever increasing percentage of parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children. Faced with an avalanche of newly developed and relatively untested vaccines, parents have become wary. The sheer number of vaccines in the recommended schedule is confusing and suspiciously overwhelming. This combined with reports of autism, asthma, and autoimmune disease as a consequence of vaccination worries parents. There are now many books and websites that provide volumes of information to make truly informed decisions about vaccination choices.
Practitioners of holistic medicine, including holistic pediatricians, homeopaths, naturopaths, pediatric acupuncturists, and chiropractors, have taken on the task of educating parents about the potential risks and adverse effects of vaccines. Holistic practitioners recognize the role of vaccines in the increasing incidence of immune dysfunction and chronic disease. Often these practitioners caution parents about the risks of vaccines, and encourage them to avoid vaccinations. Part of their confidence in taking this position is due to the effectiveness of holistic methods in the treatment of childhood infectious disease. Where conventional (allopathic) medicine has no treatment for most of the infectious disease that vaccines seek to prevent, the sciences of homeopathy and herbal medicine provide treatment and preventive approaches that have proven effective in clinical practice over hundreds of years.
This book presents the position of homeopathy in relation to these infectious diseases for the first time in a thorough, systematic, and practical volume. It is bound to give both parents and practitioners confidence in the ability of homeopathy to prevent and treat these diseases. The promotion of vaccination is based on fear of infectious disease. If doctors have no treatment for a disease that is capable of causing complications (such as measles or mumps) then they will be inclined to recommend a vaccine to prevent those complications, despite the risks. The fear of the disease in conventional medical practice is greater than the fear of the adverse effect of the vaccine. However, our increasing knowledge of the chronic diseases produced by vaccines is changing that equation. If we have an alternative approach to disease prevention and treatment, then we may not need these potentially toxic vaccines at all. Homeopathy does provide adequate disease treatment, and with the knowledge of homeopathic methods, health care practitioners can manage these diseases. Furthermore, with a holistic approach such as homeopathy, practitioners can prevent the complications of these diseases with appropriate and effective treatment of the active disease.
A holistic medical approach that also includes adequate nutrition and breastfeeding, constitutional treatment, and avoidance of toxins will create a healthy, resilient child who is much less likely to develop serious infectious disease or complications of simple childhood illness. Commonly encountered bacteria like Hemophilus influenzae will not invade and infect the nervous system causing meningitis. Common childhood diseases like flu and chickenpox will not progress into secondary infections, such as pneumonia. Homeopaths and others now have a welcome and definitive guide to the treatment of these infectious diseases.
With this book, practitioners now have the tools to both prevent diseases during epidemic exposure and to treat infectious diseases if they occur. For these reasons it is an invaluable pediatric resource. Ms. Birch has accumulated a complete reference to both common and unusual illnesses, gleaning information from many sources over the long history of homeopathy's encounters with these diseases. Practitioners in the West may never encounter yellow fever or typhoid or diphtheria, but homeopathy has been extremely effective in treating these illnesses. Homeopathy's fame and popularity in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was due in large measure to its extraordinary success with these epidemic diseases. Measles, mumps, and polio are also now rare conditions in the West, but when they occur, this book will guide us to the treatments that have proven themselves effective during the era when these diseases were prevalent. Whooping cough is commonly encountered by holistic pediatric practitioners whose patients avoid the pertussis vaccine or when the vaccine fails. And homeopathy again has very effective treatment for whooping cough. Armed with this text, practitioners can feel confident that these diseases are manageable and their corresponding vaccines unnecessary.
The unique and remarkable contribution of this book, however, is the thorough presentation of the homeopathic understanding of vaccine reactions and their management. Ms. Birch does a fascinating job of explaining and defining the classical homeopathic view of vaccine reactions. Armed with this knowledge, practitioners can then follow the guidelines and remedy suggestions she outlines to treat the resulting symptom picture. The understanding of how vaccines can undermine the health of children can also help parents in making the important and difficult decisions about infectious disease prevention for their families. This unique addition to the homeopathic literature will prove invaluable to practitioners who treat these children and to parents who can rely on the science of homeopathy for their children's health and safety.
Randall Neustaedter, OMD, LAc, CCH, has practiced homeopathy and Chinese medicine for over 25 years, specializing in child health care. An accomplished and well-recognized author, he has written The Vaccine Guide: Risks and Benefits for Children and Adults (North Atlantic Books, 2002), a book that helps comumers make informed choices about vaccination. His new book, Child Health Guide: Holistic Pediatrics for Parents (North Atlantic Books, 2005), represents a state-of the-art guide to raising children with natural medical care.