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
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
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
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
Dr. Anupam Bhattacharyya