Homoeopathy is an ancient holistic medicinal system using the practice of plants and minerals. It is a system that is trusted by most, and there are many leading doctors in India that practise and have been awarded for their work in the field. While observing World Homoeopathy Day, on 10th April, let’s familiarise ourselves with the facts and history of homoeopathy.
To understand the topic better, TC46 connected with Homoeopath Dr Archana Parab. Here she explains in detail 8 things we need to know about the practice, its benefits and how it helps one’s well being.
1. Homoeopathy is a natural and holistic treatment
The term ‘Homoeopathy’ originated from the Greek words ‘Homoeos’ and ‘Pathos’ which means ‘similar’ and ‘suffering or disease’, respectively. Homoeopathic system of treatment is based on the axioms ‘similia similibus curentur’ which means ‘let likes be treated by likes.’ Though this is a practice known to the world in the earlier generations, the credit of using it in the science of healing for the first time and developing it into a branch of medical science goes to Samuel Hahnemann.
Homoeopathy is a natural, holistic, method of treatment for healing diseases, using minute doses of specific remedies, rather than just eliminating a specific symptom as a quick fix.
2. The discovery of homoeopathy ages back to 1790
Dr Christian Fredrich Samuel Hahnemann was a German Allopathic Physician. Though he set up his practice, as an allopathic medical practitioner, he stopped it with utter dissatisfaction towards the medical science that he had mastered and started translating books from German to English. While engaged in translating, he came across a comment from Cullen’s work, Materia Medica which stated it was the bitter taste of cinchona bark that cured malaria. This aroused the curiosity of Hahnemann and he tested the medicine on his body. Surprisingly, his body showed symptoms of malaria and then he tested the same on his family members also. This was the first example of drug proving that led to the discovery of Homoeopathy in 1790.
3. Homoeopathy is the third most popular method of medical treatment.
Homoeopathy is one of the most popular medical systems in India. Homoeopathy was introduced in India in the early 19th century and flourished in Bengal before spreading all over India. Mahendra Lal Sircar was the first Indian who became a homoeopathic physician. A number of allopathic doctors started homoeopathic practice following Sircar’s lead. The ‘Calcutta Homeopathic Medical College’, the first homoeopathic medical college was established in 1881. This institution took on a major role in popularising homoeopathy in India. In 1973, the Government of India recognised homoeopathy as one of the national systems of medicine and set up the Central Council of Homeopathy (CCH) to regulate its education and practice. Now, only qualified registered homoeopaths can practise homoeopathy in India. At present, in India, homoeopathy is the third most popular method of medical treatment after allopathy and Ayurveda.
4. World Homoeopathy day is celebrated to modernise the system of medicine
World Homeopathy Day is celebrated on April 10, on the birthday of Dr Samuel Hahnemann, the father of homoeopathy. World Homeopathy Day seeks to bring the community together to innovate, reinvent and modernise the system of medicine so that more people can reap its benefits.
5. Homeopathy works as a single medicine rather than separate ones
The body is born as one, functions as one and reacts as one. It is unity. When affected by sickness, it reacts as a whole. The symptoms which represent this reaction are found all over the body and also in the patient’s mental state. Thus, if we want to get a true and complete picture of the sickness, we must not only consider the chief complaint of the patient, but also the symptoms of all parts of the body and the mind. All troubles of the patient arise from one basic disorder. Homoeopathy gives one single medicine to the patient and not a separate one for each of his body parts. This single medicine affects the whole individual and treats all his troubles.
Homoeopathic remedies are capable of influencing the state of mind. This helps in treating various psychosomatic disorders and stress-related disorders like acidity, ulcerative colitis, migraine, lichen planus, psoriasis, asthma and anxiety.
Homoeopathy helps to avoid surgery in many surgical diseases like appendicitis, piles, fistula, tonsillitis, deviated nasal septum, abscess, corns, warts, molluscum, kidney stone, styes, ovarian cyst and uterine fibroids.
6. Homoeopathy is a safe and natural path of healing
Homoeopathy is an absolutely safe, gentle, and natural system of healing that works with your body to relieve symptoms, restore itself, and improve your overall health. It is extremely safe to use, even with small children and pets, has none of the side effects of many traditional medications, is made from natural substances, and is FDA regulated.
7. Homoeopathy treats ailments without any toxicity, damage or allergic reactions
- Homoeopathy has a holistic individualistic approach. It treats all the symptoms as one, it removes the cause of the disease and thus the symptoms treated by homoeopathy never recurs.
- Homoeopathic medicine can be very useful during epidemics. The remedy that is selected on the symptoms that are characteristic during the epidemic is known as the Genus Epidemicus. When given to the people during an outbreak, this will help the people in not contracting the epidemic disease. For example cholera, influenza or bird flu.
- Any childhood ailments could be very effectively and quickly treated with homoeopathy without producing any side effects whatsoever.
- Unlike antibiotics and other such medicines, homoeopathic pills do not hamper digestion or lower the body’s resistance. Neither do they cause any allergies nor cause any damage, even if taken over a long period. There is no toxicity, no addiction, no dependency, no withdrawal.
8. Homeopathy improves one’s well being by treatment of the root cause
Homoeopathy is a holistic form of treatment. This means that it considers every aspect of a person’s physical as well as psychological well being. And treats a patient completely for all their ailments. It gets to the root cause of the problem starting from what they feel in the present moment to the likes and dislikes, emotional and behavioural patterns, his family as well as personal history.
Homoeopathic medicines are aimed at improving the level of health by stimulating the self-regulatory mechanism. Improving the level of health implies, reducing any disease process as well as the susceptibility to illness. That means that it is not limited to certain diseases but is universally applicable to all kinds of diseases. It can often be used as the first option in certain medical conditions, keeping more costly and potentially toxic treatment as a second option. In addition, it can offer therapeutic options where conventional treatments have failed or where conventional treatments do not exist for the problem, where they are contraindicated or not tolerated. In many disorders homoeopathy should be a first-choice treatment instead of a last resort.
In many cases of chronic disease, homoeopathic treatment can achieve results that would be considered impossible with conventional treatment. It is being increasingly acknowledged these days that the mind-body is inter-linked. We now see the rapid rise of the holistic concept of disease with an emphasis on its psychosomatic and psychosocial aspects.
Consequently, the disease is not tonsillitis or headache or diarrhoea. These are all effects or end-products of disease. The real sickness is the disturbance in the normal functioning of the vitality. The disease is not a thing but of the body. It is like a sitar whose correct tuning has been disturbed. Naturally, all the notes from this sitar will be off-key and non-melodious.
There is no use trying to correct the individual notes because the disturbance in the tuning has to be found and corrected. In doing so, the tuner has added nothing and taken away nothing, yet has restored the harmony.
While treating a person, the symptoms are to be seen as signs of internal turmoil. They are to be utilized to recognize the nature of the disturbance. The disturbance has to be treated, not the symptom. And this is how homoeopathy can bring harmony between mind and body