Dr. Shiv Dua
The difference between allopathy and homoeopathy is that you need not believe in allopathy and still it succeeds. On the other hand, you need to believe in homoeopathy and then it succeeds. (Courtesy: Osho world, March 2006).
There is no need to take this statement seriously. Every one perceives differently. If someone is sitting in a closed room with only one small window open, he will observe what he likes from the limited vision. Suppose the scene visible within the frame of small window has a tree, some plants, a cow sitting beneath the tree and a child playing nearby. If the person sitting in the room is an artist, he would appreciate the natural beauty of the scene and like to draw. If he is a poet, he would like to write a poem, if he is a biologist, he would observe the structure of living things. If he is Botanist, he would guess about the names of plant and tree. If he is a doctor, his interest would be to judge the health of the boy. If he is veterinary doctor, he would like to know the race of cow. Everyone sees all the objects but their interests are different and hence perceive differently. Osho compared allopathy and homoeopathy with his angle of observation.
One thing is clear from his statement that homoeopathy is a faith-oriented therapy and not a science (my interpretation). It is not a science because it has no medicinal contents due to its high diluting.
None other than a scientist has now negated this sort of condemnation. Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier has supported the theory of dilutions. He has proved that homoeopathic dilutions have medicinal contents. He has endorsed homoeopathy in an interview published in Science Magazine in December 2010. Dr. Luc Montagnier is a French Virologist who won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for discovering the AIDS virus. He says, ‘I can now say that high dilutions used in homoeopathy are right. High dilutions of something are water structures which mimic the original molecules. His research has verified that electromagnetic signals of the original medicine remains in the water and have dramatic biological effects. Electromagnetic waves emanate from the highly diluted DNA of various pathogens. DNA produces structural changes in water, which persist at very high dilutions and which lead to resonant electromagnetic signals that we can measure’. (References ‘Life Positive’ magazine, September 2012 issue).
There is peremptory need to revitalize the science of homoeopathy in India. We know that homoeopathy has semblance of achievement which is not the truthful mirror. We claim that it has won the confidence of people but it is not so in totality. This semblance has come due to support of government machinery. To get faith of people, Indian government has opened many avenues like Central and State councils, Central Council for research, Pharmacopoeia Committee, Pharmacopoeia Laboratory, and National Institute of Homoeopathy. These are to idealize the homoeopathic profession. Homoeopathy has infrastructure of about 1,94000 registered medical practitioners, 75709 institutionally qualified practitioners, 297 hospitals, 7155 dispensaries, 166 under graduate teaching institutes, 21 post graduate course institutes and 857 licensed pharmacies manufacturing homoeopathic medicines. It is the largest in the world. (All figures from ‘Textbook of homoeopathic pharmacy’ by Dr. D.D. Banerjee- 1986). No other country in the world has such a huge infrastructure of homoeopathic system of medicine.
The common man is inquisitive on one point about homoeopathy. Why there can not be a disease-wise homoeopathic medicine like allopathic tablets?
Why there cannot be homoeopathic tablet for body pains, colds, headaches, constipation, or diarrhea? People need not consult doctors for such disease- wise disorders. More than seventy percent of our population lives in rural India. Villagers have advantage of purchasing disease -wise medicines even in remotest villages. They prefer to buy a tablet than to consult a doctor in the first stage. Ayurveda and Unani system of medicines have such disease-wise ‘quick to cure’ tablets available in the market. If there is constipation, ‘Triffla’ capsules are available. There are Ayurvedic headache tablets and balms in the market. This single drawback of homoeopathy is highly damaging the semblance of homoeopathy. This is also the reason why many homoeopaths allow taking of pain killers (SOS) or BP tablets with the homoeopathic medicines.
We sincerely and truthfully follow the principle of great Hahnemann without considering its suitability and utility after two hundred and fifty years. The world has changed so much that even Hahnemann would like to invent a new theory, if he takes rebirth. Have we really no way to make a dent in the law of cure? We have to think over this. The first thing that strikes us is the manner in which our colleges are preaching. It is this teaching that is preventing us to invent new avenues and approach in homoeopathy.
Original and the followed
Whatever is learnt in colleges is based upon the books by founder of homoeopathy and his fellow doctors or pupils. Dr. Hahnemann was a doctor of conventional system of medicine. Going away from it, he invented a different mode of treatment, the law of similars. This directly means that our education should be purely homoeopathic oriented, but it is not so. The education should be on fundamental propositions instead of emphasis on practice of medicine. We have imitated the system of conventional education instead of creating our own path of education.
You will please agree that both Allopathy and homoeopathy have same syllabus until last semester apart from pharmacology in allopathic and ‘materia medica’ in homoeopathy. We preach Allopathic syllabus like general and systemic pathology, preventive and social medicines, pediatrics, surgery, physiotherapy, Venereal disease, Orthopedics, dental diseases, surgical diseases of children, Neurosurgery, ENT, Ophthalmology, Obstetrics, and Gynecology etc. This knowledge of practice of medicine is essential but not to the extent of lingering it to almost four years. By this type of teaching the names of diseases go direct to the mind of the students. They assume that name of disease is very important. In their practice also, they try to find out the name of disease first. Just watch the patient’s first interrogation. The doctor enquires, ‘Yes, what can I do for you? Or what is the problem?’ the patient says, ‘Sir, I am suffering from Bronchial Asthma’. The doctor finds out the totality of symptoms of asthma before prescribing. This approach is right. Can one ignore the thoughts of asthma by name? Would the doctor not think about premonitory symptoms, and signs (pulse, percussion, auscultation etc.)? Would he or she not prescribe laboratory findings (blood eosinphills, sputum, urine etc.), radiological findings, and pulmonary function test for knowing the disease? He or she would think about what he/she had learnt in practice of medicine. How are the findings of laboratory tests going to help in homoeopathy? We have no material medica for laboratory findings from great Hahnemann. This makes the need for investigations secondary.
Fundamental rules and practice of medicine
The conflict comes at the time of prescribing medicines for the patients. Doctors do not prescribe by the names of diseases. They prescribe by the fundamental rules based upon law of similars. The peculiar thing about this prescribing is that the study in fundamental rules learning is less than the study in practice of medicine.
Another conflict is that they have not studied all the medicines given in materia medica. Only important medicines and their comparison with modalities etc. have been learned.
What is confusion?
For four years the students struggle to know about diseases and their names. In one year they are expected to be master of materia medica and prescribe according to totality of symptoms.
Their vast knowledge about the diseases goes waste. It has no relation with law of similars. We have Repertory and it helps to find disease-wise medicines but this may not be a remedy except in isolated cases.
Students adhere to subjective, objective and pathological symptoms to find out the totality of symptoms. This is against the usual guidance of ‘Essentials of practice of medicine’; they have studied. It has clinical features, signs, symptoms, diagnosis, laboratory findings and treatment. Homoeopathic symptoms are to be extracted from symptoms of ‘mind’ to descending organs of the body. They try to collate them with the practice of medicine but fail. The confusion is ‘should they prescribe according to disease or according to symptoms’?
Mixing medicines and use of patents
What is the result?
The result is that students right after passing BHMS are desperate. They do not find the jobs easily. Many of them have inadequate monetary means to open a clinic. The parents of girl students do not want to invest in opening clinic. After marriage she will be moving out of town and will have to practice upon the good will of in-laws. The result is that they take up some petty job in charitable institute which exploit their skill and pay very less. Many BHMS pass doctors take shelter with some reputed doctor. Their method of treating is then dependent upon the master who owns the clinic. When they start their own clinic, they have three options:
- Prescribing patents with the medicines given as the master did.
- Mixing medicines.
- Prescribing single remedy.
Prescribing single remedy for a disease comes after lot of experience. The easy method is mixing or giving patents. It is because of compulsion. They want to recover what they spent on their investment in studies, both the money and the time. They suffer from ‘delayed- curing’ curse from the patients. The result is that they switch over to either patents or mixing of medicines. The results of cure appear quick in many cases and they do not hesitate to practice it. Later with years of experience they might switch over to single remedy principle when their practice is established.
The beauty is that there are doctors who practice multiple drugs and are curing the patients. They are not encouraged. I read a book ‘Homoeopathic Therapeutic Compendium’ by Dr. P.S. Khokhar of Delhi. (B. Jain Publishers, 1991). This book has foreword by Dr. V.K. Gupta (Former Principal of Nehru Hom. College and Honry. Physician to the President of India). It has Introduction by Dr. Kiran Bedi, IPS and Madan Lal Khurana, ex chief minister of Delhi. I am giving names of the dignitaries only because the book is controversial. It has disease- wise combinations of homoeopathic medicines. Dr. Kiran Bedi has said that her daughter was saved by Dr. Khokhar although she had tried another noted homoeopath. Her daughter was in AIIMS for Parenchymatous Nephritis and the response of allopathy was negligible. Dr. Khokhar cured the case with his combinations.
I have tried Dr. Khokhar formulae on many of my patients and found them effective in some cases. To see the authenticity of his combinations, you may try the following combination for renal colic.
Berb.vulg 30, Lyco 30, canth 30 and sarsa 30. Mix one drop of each in one ounce of water for a dose. Mix it in some water and take it in small broken doses every 15 minutes in acute kidney pain. Repeat three hourly. (Page 46 of the book by Dr. Khokhar).
Coming to the use of patents, everyone knows that some patents are selling like hot cakes. Alfalfa and liver tonics are very much sold. I have tried one patent of headache on my patients. It gives instant relief within five minutes. For S.O.S. prescribing it is not bad for gaining popularity from patients. There are many numbered patents by drug manufacturers which relate to all diseases. They are on the pattern of dilutions by a reputed German company. I have seen many patients banking upon ‘Sabal Serrulata’ mixture of a company and coming to me when they find it not much useful for reducing the weight of prostate. The beauty is that their problems are not reduced but the weight of prostate remains same on use of this patent. (Read my book on Prostate for details on medicines- B. Jain Publishers)
Patents keep the disease within the limit if not curing. This is my observation.
If a homoeopath goes out of way to invent some mixtures for quick relief, followers of ‘classical homoeopathy’ condemn him. Tens of seminar and workshops are conducted each year. Learned speakers go on blaring and proving how they cured a chronic case with single medicine. No speaker comes up with a claim that he or she cured an acute case ‘quickly’ within minutes by single dose of a medicine. Even if such a case is presented, no one would trust it because it is against the norms of homoeopathy being a mixture.
Single medicine, mixture of medicine or patent is not relevant. Relevant is to find a way to be in the contest and compete other systems of medicine. Homoeopathy in its present set- up cannot excel allopathy.
We have to find out the methods to compete to remain in the market. Homoeopathy should now be taken as business that has to be accelerated.
- A practical approach has to be made in the studies in colleges. Not much of emphasis should be on practice of medicine. The emphasis should be on teaching law of similars.
- Mixing of medicines can be condemned only if the emphasis on practice of medicine is withdrawn in the study course.
- It is difficult to make disease -oriented homoeopathy but nothing is impossible. Research should be made on aspect of mixing medicines. At present our research organizations are making experiments on a disease by giving single medicine to a group and sac lac to the other group.
- Instead of this, two groups, one on mixtures of medicines and the other on single remedy should be experimented and results noted particularly with time taken to cure. Such comparison would fetch the truth of both procedures.
All your suggestions would be welcome.
Dr. Shiv Dua, M.A., D.I.Hom. (London), HMD (UK),
2617, Sector 16, Faridabad 121002, Haryana