It’s official now. Homoeopathy can help eradicate Japanese Encephalitis – the disease that has killed over 500 children in Uttar Pradesh in the past one year.
A clinical study has proved Homoeopathic medicine Belladonna, when given to Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) chick embryo infected with JE, significantly reduced the infection.
The study was jointly done by the School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata and Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH), an autonomous body of department of AYUSH, ministry of health and family welfare. It has been published in the American Journal of Infectious Disease.
“Apart from the embryo trial we are now doing study on animal model too, results of which will be ready shortly. Once this result comes we will then move on to human trial,” Prof Chaturbhuj Nayak, director general of CCRH told HT over the telephone.
In the animal study JE virus was injected to mother mice. It was observed that children of those mice who were given Belladonna survived but children of those mothers given placebo died after birth.
JE present a significant risk to human and animal life in southeast Asia – including India – where around 50,000 cases and over 10,000 deaths occur evry year, particularly killing children below 15-years of age.
Atatistics say 50 per cent of those getting JE infection get neurological defects and 30 per cent of the patients die.
“The study is a major breakthrough in the field of Homoeopathy research and also a befitting reply for those who say Homoeopathy to be a placebo,” said Dr Girish Gupta, a leading practitioner who has been doing research on the Homoeopathy drugs for past several years.
“In conclusion we may claim that ultradiluted Belladonna 3, 6, 30 and 200 have potential role in diminishing JE virus infection on CAM. The probable mechanism of action of these ultradiluted preperations appeared to be due to glycosidase inhibitor action of calystegines present in the Belladonna,” the researchers concluded.
Andhra Pradesh eradicated the disease in 2002
Andhra Pradesh – the third largest state in India has successfully eradicated JE way back in 2002.
The state brought JE death toll from 467 in 1993 to zero in 2002 and since then there have been no cases of JE.
Andhra was one of the first two states – the other being Tamil Nadu – where encephalitis cases were reported way back in 1979. The state saw worst death toll of 638 in 1986. JE deaths continued to happen as all preventive measures – controlling mosquitoes’ and purification of water – failed.
Use of Homoeopathic medicines was done after the results of a clinical trial done in 1999 to study combined efficacy of three Homoeopathy drugs came positive. It was decided to give three dose of Belladona, one each of Calcerea and Tuberculnum statewide.
One bottle of Beladona, -- costing Rs 10 -- has ten doses. Similarly Calcerea – costing Rs 12 -- and Tuberculnum – costing Rs 3 -- too have multiple doses. Thus cost of giving complete dose of all the three medicines for one child will roughly come to Rs 15 while the cost of vaccine and storage involves a bigger amount per head.
In 2010 Andhra Pradesh is again going for a preventive round of Homoeopathic drugs against JE to ensure the virus never grows again.