In 2011, a homeopath named Rebecca Williams joined us, as a volunteer, on one of our regular mobile treatment camp excursions into the Barot Valley. Born in New Zealand, Rebecca has spent most of her adult years living a spiritual life near Kullu, India. As a homeopath, and a fluent Hindi speaker, we were excited to have her along on our trip. She is also one our dearest ex-pat friends.

After arriving in the small, mountain village of Bara Gran, we soon met a local man who, in the past, had generously offered us a place to work as well as a delicious lunch of rajma (kidney beans), rice and vegetables. Although this man, Rajan Thakur, had always told us of his unbearable suffering, he had never actually taken the medicine we had prescribed for him. Rajan was a deeply disturbed man. He had extreme insomnia, and could not tolerate the night hours without heavy medication. By his own admission, he was heavily addicted to a handful of mysterious allopathic medications that a local pharmacist prescribed to him monthly. After years of daily consumption of god knows what, his physical health had visibly weakened.

It was a beautiful, sunny morning in Bara Gran and we greeted Rajan with enthusiasm. He, however, was anything but enthusiastic. He spoke in soft tones. He said he was very sick and near death. Then, he told the story of a sore on his skin, which both developed and opened suddenly. When Rebecca and I asked to see the skin, he said, “Not here. The neighbors can see”, and took us into his dark bedroom, where he took off his shirt. We gasped as he revealed a large, irregular ulcer, 12 inches by 8 inches, which was 2 inches deep and over his liver area. The story soon unfolded about how only a few weeks ago he had felt perfectly fine. Suddenly, one day, he felt a sharp pain, and the next day a hole opened in his abdomen. The hole kept enlarging and, within a few days, had grown to an enormous size. He was then taken to the local, free, government hospital where they diagnosed him with food poisoning, and discharged him, to die at home. He was given one week to live. That was 9 days ago.

At that moment, I did not recognize it as a case of necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh eating bacteria, as it is commonly known. Antibiotics are mostly ineffective against this disease, and the mortality rate is about 70%.

Rebecca and I took his case history and prescribed a homeopathic remedy, to be taken once a day, for the next 10 days. As it was late November, we would not be coming to this valley again until the spring. The winter snows make travel impossible in this region. So, I advised Rajan to come to my clinic in Bir as soon as he was able. As we left the Barot valley later that day, I wondered what Rajan’s fate would be. Honestly, I did not have much hope, although I felt certain that the remedy was very well selected, and if anything could help, homeopathy could.

On December 15th, I received a garbled call in our clinic. It was Rajan. He said that he was feeling better and asked me to please come visit him. I could not do that, so instead I sent him some more medicine on the local bus.

Needless to say, Rajan did not die of this disease. He recovered gradually and completely, and thus is part of the small percentage of people who survive necrotizing fasciitis. Did homeopathy save his life? While there is no way to absolutely prove this, it is highly unlikely that the disease suddenly stopped on its own. It is much more likely that, without our help on that day, Rajan Thakur would not be alive today, tending to his farm and cattle in the beautiful, Barot valley.