Nosode Use in Canada

While it is difficult to characterise the total number of homeopaths and naturopaths offering vaccine alternatives, it is very clear that the anti-vaccination sentiment runs deep in the alternative medicine community1,2,3,4,5,6.  Canadian naturopaths, homeopaths and alternative medicine websites are actively recommending nosodes for the prevention and treatment of potentially serious illnesses such as malaria and pertussis. In some cases these recommendations are blatant, specifically listing certain nosodes as effective vaccine substitutes7,8,9. In others, the recommendations are vague but the implication that nosodes can be successfully used to prevent disease is clear.

While it is the case that homeopathic products are regulated by Natural Health Products Directorate for over-the-counter use, it is worth noting that they are regularly prescribed by alternative health professionals in the context of a patient-practitioner relationship. In addition, the use of nosodes for the prevention of influenza is especially popular, and often linked with false or exaggerated claims against vaccines and their side effects10,11. Further, there are homeopaths in British Columbia and in Ontario who have received specific training in the use of nosodes for vaccination purposes. American homeopath Kate Birch independently certifies these homeopaths as “homeoprophylaxis supervisors” and lists their contact information on her website12. In short, there is evidence that NHPD approved nosodes are being used by Canadian alternative medicine practitioners, their patients and the general consumer in substitution for standard vaccines. Current scientific evidence does not support the use of nosodes for this purpose.

Note: since the original publication of this page, Health Canada has added a warning to the labeling standards of nosodes. Now the label must state that “This product is not intended to be an alternative to vaccination.” Despite this, practitioners may continue to prescribe these products as alternatives as these prescribing rights are outside the jurisdiction of Health Canada to enforce. Sept. 21, 2013

Additional Note: The Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, distributed an update that as of January 2016 all homeopathic nosodes will have to bear the label “This product is neither a vaccine nor an alternative to vaccination. This product has not been proven to prevent infection. Health Canada does not recommend its use in children and advises that your child receive all routine vaccinations.” This is better news but as above it does not fully solve the problem: they can still be prescribed and bought. Aug. 08, 2015.

Kate Birch and Carol Whatcott, in their book The Solution13 recommends the following nosodes for vaccine preventable illnesses:

  • Diphtherinum
  • Haemophilus influenzinum
  • Hepatitis A nosode, Hepatitis B nosode
  • Human papilloma virus nosode
  • Influenzinum
  • Menigicoccinum
  • Morbillinum (measles)
  • Parotidinum (mumps)
  • Pertussin (whooping cough)
  • Pneumococcinum
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Rotovirus nosode
  • Rubella nosode
  • Tetanotoxin
  • Varicella nosode
  • Choleratoxin
  • Dengue Fever
  • Malaria Co
  • Typhoidinum
  • Yellow Fever nosode

Isaac Golden, in his book The Complete Practitioners Guide to Homeoprophylaxis14 suggests the following childhood schedule, given as months, as “long term protection against the targeted diseases”:

  • Pertussin (mos. 1,2,12,26,52)
  • Tetanus toxin (mos. 9,10,24,44,76)
  • Pneumococcinum (mos.  Mos. 3,4,15,30,58)
  • Haemophilus (mos. 5,6,18,36,64)
  • Menigococcinum (mos. 7,8,21,40,70)

 

 What is a Nosode?      Nosodes Approved by Health Canada

 

References

  1. Busse, J.W., Wilson, K., and Campbell, J.B. (2008). Attitudes towards vaccination among chiropractic and naturopathic students. Vaccine 26, 6237–6243.
  2. Busse, J.W. (2011). Parents’ Experiences Discussing Pediatric Vaccination with Healthcare Providers: A Survey of Canadian Naturopathic Patients. PLoS One 2011; 6(8):, e22737.
  3. Downey, L. (2010). Pediatric Vaccination and Vaccine-Preventable Disease Acquisition: Associations with Care by Complementary and Alternative Medicine Providers. Matern Child Nurs J 14, 922–930.
  4. Lehrke, P. (2001). Attitudes of homoeopathic physicians towards vaccination. Vaccine 19, 4859–4864.
  5. Schmidt, K., Ernst, E., and Andrews (2002). Aspects of MMR. Survey shows that some homoeopaths and chiropractors advise against MMR. BMJ 325, 597.
  6. Riverdale Homeopathic Resources (2013). Natural prevention and treatment of infectious contagious disease – professional seminar. http://rhronline.ca/Birchseminar.htm . Accessed Feb 25 2013.
  7. McLeod, S. (2012). Vaccine Alternatives. http://www.littlemountainhomeopathy.com/vaccine-alternatives. Accessed Feb. 15 2013
  8. Thomas, D. (N.D.). Cold and flu season is upon us. http://www.askdrthomas.com/. Accessed Feb. 15. 2013.
  9. Sherwin, F (2012). Homeopathy offers painless alternative to the flu shot. Orleans Online. http://www.orleansonline.ca/pages/N2008102801.htm. Accessed Feb. 15 2013.
  10. Der-Ohnian, T. (N.D.). Homeopathic Alternatives to the Influenza Vaccine. Vitality Online. http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/homeopathic-alternatives-to-the-influenza-vaccine/. Accessed Feb. 15 2013.
  11. Peet, I. (N.D.). Flu Shot or Not – Make an Informed Decision. http://www.thehomeopathicpractice.info/resources/articles/to-get-flu-shot-or-not-make-an-informed-decision. Accessed Feb. 15 2013.
  12. Birch, K (N.D.) HP Supervision. http://vaccinefree.wordpress.com/hp-supervision/. Accessed Feb 15 2013.
  13. Birch, K, Whatcott, C. The Solution: HP: The Vaccine Alternative. Narayana Publishers. 2012.
  14. Golden, I. The Complete Practitioners Manual of Homeoprophylaxis. Gisborne, Victoria, Australia. Isaac Golden Publications. 2012.
© 2013