I believe that SPONGIA TOSTA may suit quite a few cases of the current corona virus pandemic (Covid-19). I have come to this remedy by studying cases on the internet, and journals like the Lancet which have published cases. As of 23-Mar-2020, there are 396 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the entire country (India), and I have not seen any personally. The main precautions of "social distancing", frequent washing of hands, etc are vital to slow down the spread of the virus.
The main symptoms in the pandemic are - dry painful cough, throat pain, breathlessness, and in complicated cases - bilateral pneumonia and heart failure.
I believe that for a remedy to be the genus epidemicus, it must have the hallmarks of the epidemic.
In an epidemic of viral encephalitis, we would expect one of our nerve remedies to possibly turn out to be indicated - zinc, cupr, apis, hell etc. In a cholera epidemic, the drugs most known for diarrheas, cramps, dehydration will probably be indicated and turn out the genus epidemicus.
A respiratory disease syndrome will very likely find its remedy in one of the prominent respiratory drugs such as drosera, rumx, coc-c, phos, antim tart, bry, kali-bi .... or SPONGIA.
I recently gave Bryonia to two people who got terribly anxious about losing their jobs. They were quite sick, with fever and cough. I thought they were my first cases of this Covid-19 infection, but turned out negative. They were unable to do any work, but equally unable to rest while wanting to do so. It is quite possible that in the current scenario, some other drugs with a powerful respiratory system impact - especially pneumonia - may also be indicated.
I would like to suggest Spongia tosta **for study** in cases of covid-19 infection. It has prominently:
The following are the main indications of Spongia:
I feel there is no harm in giving or taking a dose of spongia 200 in epidemic zones. Further, at the very onset of a dry cough, I would give spongia 200 and repeat every 4 hourly, if some of the above symptoms are present. If there is good relief, but quick relapse, I would give 1m.
Regarding mind symptoms, I feel many features are common to all such highly contagious epidemics - fear of going out, fear of infection, fear of death, washing hands often etc. Based on such symptoms, whether it was MERS, SARS, COVID-19 or Smallpox (mercifully not around any more!), we would give the same remedies. However, that makes no sense. Each epidemic has its own stamp, and needs a different remedy.
I believe one needs to look at the broad nature of the infection - how does it begin in the body and end, which organs does it affect and how, and so on. COVID 19 is a respiratory virus which begins with dryness in the throat, dry cough, fever, breathlessness... and ends with a bilateral pneumonia or severe impact on heart, causing death.
Finally, there is some belief that suggesting a remedy might confuse homoeopaths. There are two possibilities:
I would prefer that homoeopathic doctors come up with their best ideas rather than offer nothing but criticism.
EB Nash in his book "The Testimony of the Clinic", talks about a diphtheria epidemic:
While I don't believe Spongia alone will cure every case, I do believe it can lessen the impact and modify the course of the disease for the better when prescribed on the symptoms mentioned above.
Hahnemann himself, in the days before the Internet, without seeing a single case of cholera suggested remedies for the epidemic based on the histories available to him. Today we are far better placed to access real-time information. Here, for example, is one patient's report. I don't believe these are spurious, or useless reports. I have sent a questionnaire to a friend's friend in China, asking for information from confirmed cases of the Covid-19 infection. So also to my other friends and relatives. Anyone with the infection is welcome to contact me (only over phone and email!). Here is the questionnaire for your use: Covid-19 Questionnaire
I request you all to spread this message, and also publish results - both successes as well as failures.
An additional request is - irrespective of the medicine, we need to collect carefully the finer symptoms and signs of this syndrome.... the modalities of the cough and fever, location, sensation etc, the mental symptoms (not common ones like anxiety... or feeling of isolation, loneliness, boredom when quarantined!). We need very specific features.
Just today (23-03-2020), I received an article from a friend who knows I'm looking for such information: "Lost Sense of Smell May Be Peculiar Clue to Coronavirus Infection". This is vital information. The remedies for this peculiar symptoms are:
Smell; loss of, wanting; taste, with loss of: HYOS(3) NAT-M(3) HEP(3) NAT-S(3) PULS(3) kali-bi(2) just mag-m amyg-p anac ant-t chlf croto-t lem-m rhod sil stict teucr
Of these, the prominent respiratory remedies I know are --> hep, nat-s, kali-bi, ant-t, chlf, crot-t, sil, stict.
Spongia is not present in the above list of drugs. You can easily see the value of gathering such information, and as we go along, we form a clearer picture.
I would be grateful to any doctor who sends me such information. Please don't combine histories and send, but rather send info about each patient separately - detailing the course of the illness, as a proper history. Also it should be clearly mentioned if it is a suspected case, or a confirmed case of Covid 19. I would like to put this information up on this site, as it will help other homoeopaths analyze and recommend lines of treatment.