Cystic fibrosis is a genetic, inherited disease which affects the secretory glands. These include the glands which secrete sweat and mucus, leading to sufferers experiencing ‘salty’ tasting skin, profuse sweating, frequent chest infections, shortness of breath and excess mucus production. Adult males may also find themselves infertile due to the absence of the vas deferens. These symptoms can appear in childhood and even newborn babies. Mucus can also become stuck to the alveoli, as the mutated cilial epithilial cells produce excess amounts due to mutated protein. This thick mucus resin makes oxygen extraction from the alveoli harder and as oxygen molecules must travel through the mucus this can make breathlessness common. With this mucus residing their for long periods of time it provides a breading ground for bacteria leading to chest infections. Eventually cystic fibrosis causes decline in organ function.
Cystic fibrosis is a fairly rare disease, but one of the most widely spread life-shortening familial conditions and more prevalent in Western countries. In the US one in 4,000 children are born with cystic fibrosis. Unfortunately there is no known scientific cure for cystic fibrosis, with health professionals most often prescribing a balanced diet and lots of exercise, though some gene therapies and transplantations can be used to treat certain symptoms. Treatment aimed at improving organ function, particularly the lungs and reproductive organs continues throughout the patient’s life.
With no curative measures available then, many patients will choose to turn to alternative medicine for help. Of these, the homeopathic remedy for cystic fibrosis is one of the most popular. Homeopathic treatments aim to work by encouraging the body’s natural immune systems to combat the condition by using trace amounts of materials that would cause the same symptoms as the illness in larger quantities. Cystic fibrosis lends itself to the homeopathic philosophy which looks at conditions from a holistic perspective, seeing most conditions as part of a holistic and innate genetic makeup of the individual and their interaction with the environment around them.
A homeopathic remedy for cystic fibrosis will vary from patient to patient and will include varying materials and dilutions depending on the exact nature of the condition. Homeopathy operates under the principle that a cure or remedy should cause the same symptoms as the disease itself if administered to healthy patients (the ‘law of similars’). A cystic fibrosis cure should therefore be made from a substance that if ingested normally, would cause additional mucus and chest infection, such as graphites or causticum.
In this way the remedy aims to encourage the body’s natural defences and immunities to combat the illness and drive it out of the body. For this reason it is normal to experience symptoms worsening during homeopathic treatment before they begin to improve. Homeopaths believe meanwhile that to use a treatment that goes ‘against’ the symptoms would cause the condition to worsen and infect the major organs. For this reason they often advise against traditional medicine which is a fairly controversial subject.
The homeopathic remedy for cystic fibrosis only contains a very trace amount of these substances however, as to case further mucus and chest infections would be unwise and could further exacerbate the existing condition. For this reason the substance is always heavily diluted by a shaking and beating process called ‘succussion’, resulting in the final mixture consisting of almost purely the substance used to dilute it. The more diluted the substance the more potent it is said to be by homeopaths, with the most highly rated substances (in terms of potency) containing not a single molecule of any active ingredients. It is claimed by homeopaths however that the water retains a ‘memory’ or essence of the substance’s ‘vital force’ giving it active properties in aiding recovery.
It should be understood however that there is no scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of homeopathy and any affects are largely thought to be from placebo (wherein belief in your own recovery can actually lead to healing). Some homeopaths now claim that water has a form of ‘memory’ that allows it to recall the properties of other molecules, however this is not based on any scientific principles and studies have failed to discover such a phenomenon. The molecular structure of water is also understood and makes it highly unlikely that such an effect takes place.
Homeopathic remedy for cystic fibrosis may help the individual to feel better about their condition, and for some people it can seem to help. However there is no evidence to suggest this is the case, so patients certainly should not forego traditional medicine and should be careful not to spend too much money on substances that are in fact 100% water and alcohol.