The Ultimate Green Medicine
April 10 every year is celebrated as World Homeopathy Day. It is dedicated to one of the most popular medicine systems. It commemorates the German physician Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann’s birth anniversary, credited as the inventor of homoeopathy. Hahnemann first coined the word “homoeopathy” (“homoios” in Greek means similar, “pathos” means suffering). The law of similars is its basis. “Similia Similibus Curentur” (Like cures Like). Homoeopathy Awareness Week is also celebrated from April 10 to April 16.
The life story of Hahnemann is learning in itself. While the modern world is talking about multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, the way great researchers like Hahnemann, CV Raman pursued their research is a learning in itself. Starting their careers in a different domain and carrying out scientific research is a reminder of the need for recreating such an environment where people can move and pursue what they like. Hahnemann was born on April 10, 1755, in Meissen. For several years, he made his living as a language tutor and translator. To pursue his interest in medicine, began his medical studies and graduated with honours from the University of Erlangen at age 24. He practised medicine for several years. Around 1784, Hahnemann gave up his practice and began working on new treatment methods to establish homoeopathy. The 1970s saw the “second birth” of homoeopathy.
Active substances used in homoeopathic remedies are diluted to such an extent that the final product often does not contain a single molecule of the original substance. The perceived effectiveness of homoeopathic treatments can be explained by either natural recovery or the placebo effect (or a combination of both). Even though some believe that the principles of homoeopathy contradict evidence-based medicine and regards homoeopathy as a pseudoscience, homoeopathy is popular in many countries. The world homoeopathic market is worth billions of dollars a year.
The world has seen epidemic conditions of viral infections like dengue, chikungunya, and swine flu and now COVID. Homoeopathy is used in hospitals’ intensive care units when there is acute respiratory distress or multiple organ dysfunction. Often, there is no hope of improvement left. Allopathic doctors are struggling to find a cure for COVID. With its rich and consistent history of addressing viral infections both as prevention and treatment, homoeopathy should be considered seriously as a therapeutic option.
Homoeopathy is one of the trusted medical systems in India. One of the biggest homoeopathic drug manufacturers and traders globally. It is the H of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy). In India, the origin of homoeopathy is traced back to Dr Honigberger, a French man known as the ‘Cholera Doctor’. Mahendra Lal Sircar was the first Indian who became a homoeopathic physician. The ‘Calcutta Homeopathic Medical College’, the first homoeopathic medical college, was established in 1881. In 1973, the Government of India recognised homoeopathy as one of the national systems of medicine and set up the Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH) to regulate its education and practice.
Wikipedia refers to Homoeopathy as a pseudoscientific system of alternative medicine. The word alternative needs to be pondered about. Would we say English and alternate languages!
The response of each individual is different to different medicines and treatments. This uniqueness of the symptoms and reactions brings in the difference in the remedy prescribed to them. Now people are talking about personalised medication, and research is focused on achieving this. Homoeopathic treatment is based on personalised medicine. Allopathy has its chain of side effects connected with every prescribed medication. At the same time, homoeopathy aims to change the human body to respond better and get the system right in place.
Wellbeing is essential, and all the progress of science and technology is to enhance the quality of life. Being healthy is tops the list. Providing affordable and holistic health care is the challenge the societies are struggling to achieve. Pandemics like COVID and the struggle to contain are challenges the world is trying to cope with. Isn’t it ironic that you measure one medicine system in terms of what is established for another system? World Homoeopathy Day is a reminder that let all the possibilities be explored and adopted.
Toons: Anusha and Reema Jaiswal
Logs: Sai Baba