Homoeopathy: Truths and Myths

Popular reactions to homoeopathy range from deep reverence bordering on faith on one hand, down to laughing disdain and scorn, as befits quackery, on the other. And of course, there are quite a few who have never heard of it. Again in between there is a vast majority who alternate between homoeopathy, allopathy and other systems of medicine, not to speak of a small percentage who turn to homoeopathy only as a last resort when all else failed (often to get permanently cured!)

Amidst all the conflicting notions and emotions homoeopathy remains a complete dichotomy: Whereas that homoeopathic medicines act and can cure has been established beyond all reasonable doubt, it still remains an enigma to the modern materialistic science, as to how they can do so when a potentized homoeopathic medicine often do not contain any demonstrable amount of any active constituent other than the diluents medium itself which is usually alcohol. This absence of material constituents of medicine often confounds of the modern chemists, physicists and the medical profession, who tend to label homoeopathy as unscientific. But over a lakh homoeopaths across five continents dispersed over 70 countries and their innumerable patients, whose number must run into millions, will tell you otherwise. They will have you know that homoeopathic and not materially, and that they act have been demonstrated indubitably drug proving on healthy human provers as well as by clinical provings. In many instances, such proving data were observed and recorder by doctors trained in modern medicine who transformed into homoeopathic practitioners in their more mature years. What then, is the truth about Homoeopathy? To start with What is Homoeopathy?  Is it scientific? Is it safe? Does it act? Can it cure? Let us take up some of these important questions.

What Is Homoeopathy?

Homoeopathy refers to a system of treatment where we treat the patient and not the so called "disease". It is based on the principle of  "let like cure like". In simple terms it means that a patient suffering from any derangement of health and exhibiting a number of symptoms would be treated by the smallest possible dose of that medicinal substance in dynamized or potentized form, which when applied to a healthy human being, is known to be capable of producing derangement of health and symptoms similar to the case in question. To illustrate, let us take the classical example of cinchona i.e., Peruvian bark. It is known that when fresh juice of cinchona bark is taken orally by a healthy human being, he exhibits malaria like fever. Therefore, when a patient is suffering from malaria like fever, a homoeopath would treat him with potentized cinchona.

Is Homoeopathy Scientific?

Any one who seriously seeks the answer need only go through the Organon of Medicine written by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the great master and founder of homoeopathic system of medicine and thereafter no rational mind can remain in doubt or call it unscientific. It is true that certain aspects of potentized medicines is not yet fully understood. For example, it is impossible to tell apart a bottle of pure alcohol from a bottle containing say 200th potency of Nux Vomica ( or any other homoeopathic medicine for that matter) by any physical or chemical test that are available to us till date. And therefore certain cynics are liable to hold the view that Nux Vom 200 liquid is nothing but pure alcohol. This perhaps is the strongest accusation levelled against homoeopathy to make make it look unscientific. Well nothing could be further removed from the truth. Application of Nux Vom 200( or any other homoeopathic medicine for that matter) on a human individual will prove that it has the power to alter the state of health and therefore is a drug, and not mere alcohol. And different drugs will alter the health in different ways which are characteristic of a particular drug applied.

Is It Safe?

It will be oversimplification to state that homoeopathic medicines do not have any side effects at all, but such is extremely rare as to be virtually nonexistent in the hands of a competent prescriber.

Does Homoeopathy Act On Children Only? In Chronic Disease Only?

This is another myth that many people believe in. The truth is homoeopathy is efficacious irrespective of age, sex, caste creed or colour. It acts equally well in either chronic or acute diseases.

Is Homoeopathy Slow Acting?

Far from it. A well selected remedy can demonstrate its action immediately upon ingestion. Cases have been reported where improvements of patients took place within minutes of applying the medicine.

Can Homoeopathy Replace Surgery?

Study of Surgery is included in the homoeopathic training in this country these days. Every trained homoeopath is expected to identify a truly surgical case as such and refer it to a surgeon. But many so called surgical cases can be effectively treated by homoeopathy. There are reported instances where patients advise surgery by surgeons got cured by homoeopathic medicines instead, thus obviating the need of surgical operations. From my very personal knowledge I know where only one dose of a homoeopathic medicine completely and permanently cured  a case of acute appendicitis where immediate surgery had been advised by an eminent surgeon of the time. This happen in Calcutta in 1931, my father was the patient and Dr. Younan was the Homoeopath. As to whether a particular patient should go for homoeopathic treatment or surgical operation, opinion will depend on various factor and may also differ as medical men will. 

Is Homoeopathy Expensive?

Unusually not, it can be, if you would like to consult some of the top homoeopaths. Quality usually does not come cheap. Homoeopathic medicines however are easily affordable. The primary reason for the upsurge of homoeopathic treatment and its tremendous popularity is that it cures the patient permanently without any adverse side effects.

Is Homoeopathy Recognized In India?

Very much so. From the bygone era when homoeopathy was held in ill conceived contempt, now it enjoys popular as well as Governmental approval and support not only in this country but in a large number of countries across the globe as well, including highly countries  like U.K., U.S.A., France, Germany, Switzerland, etc. where more and more patients having been disenchanted with the modern medicine are turning to homoeopathy for cure.

Dr. Anupam Bhattacharyya


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