Dr Ravi M Nair (Ex. Advisor Govt. of India)
Let me, first of all, express my heartfelt gratitude to the organizers of ‘Dhanwanthareeyam – 2000 being held under the auspices of National Association for Science and Arts (N.A.S.A) and other co-sponsors. This indeed is a welcome and highly laudable initiative coming as it does at the very start of the new millennium, to project Holistic Medicine, to formulate a scientific, simple,nature friendly, side-effect-free and cost effective INTEGRATED HEALTH CARE PACKAGE.
Modern medicine is today facing a major crisis because of its sheer inability to grapple with many new and emerging diseases and a variety of viral infections as also worrying issues such as iatrogenic ailments, the prohibitive cost of modern drugs and the undue emphasis placed on diagnostics and other medical technologies. Over specialization and the five star hospital culture have come to a point of dehumanization of medicine which runs counter to holistic concepts. This seminar is, therefore, extremely well timed and fully in keeping with the felt needs of suffering humanity. At the very outset, therefore, let me offer my heartily felicitations and high appreciation for this noble effort.
Man is today in the midst of a multitude of medical systems with varying characteristic features. Each system has its own intricate and individual nature. All systems, regardless, of their conspicuous differences in approach, profess and vouchsafe to be existing for the good of humanity. The merits or demerits of a medical system are to be assessed relatively. When we endeavor to make such an attempt, 3 systems of Medicine which come out prominently are Allopathy, Ayurveda and Homoeopathy as they stand at present in their relative order of development.
The origin of Allopathy and Ayurveda can be traced back to thousands of years. They have to their credit a rich heritage of centuries to be proud of of these two. Allopathy is better blessed because of umpteen reasons. All the scientific developments in the fast developing modern world have been made available to the Allopathic system.
No other medical science has been able to get the patronage of the British Empire .Born in Greece, the Allopathic system was brought up and developed world wide by the un-questioned patronage of British imperialism. Such facilities and opportunities have never been made available to any other medical science, even to Ayurveda which is perhaps older than Allopathy.
Thus it may be seen that the astounding progress, development and sophistication that Allopathic medical science has achieved, are convincingly attributable to its uniquely favourable position. Viewed against this background, we cannot find fault with the comparative tardiness of the other systems of medicine like Ayurveda and Homoeopathy in the matter of development and sophistication.
Of the three therapeutic disciplines mentioned the case of Homoeopathy is quite distinct and different. It is the youngest of the medical sciences in the world. Despite this, it is the most benevolent and beneficial system of medicine amongst all.
The origin of Homoeopathy can be traced back to the fag end of the 18th century. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German Physician, disgusted with the then prevailing system of medicine which he himself had been practicing and which was later christened as ‘Allopathy’ by himself, was engaged in translating medical books for his livelihood. During 1790, while translating Cullen’s Materia Medica he came across a statement that the medicine prepared from Cinchona Bark could cure Malaria because of its bitterness and tonic action on the stomach. As other medicines possessing the same qualities were proved to be of no remedy to Malaria, Hahnemann could only disagree with Cullen’s above interpretation. Impelled by his instinctive curiosity Dr. Hahnemann took the medicine himself and to his surprise, experienced symptoms similar to those of Malaria.
This experience led him to reach the conclusion that the curative power of the drug lay in its disease producing power. He tried his experiments on the members of his own family and friends. His findings confirmed his conclusion. It was the some total of all these experiments that helped him enunciate the basic principle of Homoeopathy “likes cure likes’ (Similia Similibus Curentur). It is relevant here to make an analogy with the principles of our ancient Ayurvedic seers of India as exemplified in the dictum – ‘Vishasya Vishamoushadi”. Hipprocrates, the father of western medicine himself had pointed out this fact as one of the curative principles of medicine.
It took 6 years for Dr. Hahnemann to develop upon his discovery, systematise it, find out a convincing explanation for the apparent fallacy, codify the practice of the therapeutic law on scientific principles and publish his first article in Hufeland’s Journal under the title ‘Essay on a New Principle for Ascertaining the Curative Powers of Drugs’ in 1796. And a rational system of medicine ‘Homoeopathy’ took its birth.
The basic principle of Homoeopathy thus propounded by Dr. Hahnemann has its firm footing on the medical tenets enunciated by the very Fathers of Medicine, the Rishis of the East and Hippocrates of the West thousands of years ago. Homoeopathy, viewed in this perspective, is nothing but a natural evolution of one of the salient tenets proclaimed by Hipprocrates to whom Allopathic medical science is indebted. It thus goes to the credit of Dr. Hahnemann to rediscover the same, give it a form and figure, give its practitioners a mandate, and the system a methodology and scientific explanation.
Let me now narrate the basic principles of Homoeopathy. The first and foremost principle of this system of medicine is the Law of Similar Medicine. The law known as Similia Similibus Curentur states that a medicine which can induce in healthy human beings symptoms which are similar to those of the disease itself is the correct curative medicine for the disease. Enunciated by Charaka in the Ayurvedic system of medicine about five millennia ago and later declared to the Western World by Hippocrates, it was given to Hahnemann to develop an entire system of medicine based on this concept. The properties of the drugs and after studying their effects on the physical, mental and astral planes, fully in keeping with social, cultural, and environmental factors. Thus, the evolution of the drug itself is based on holistic concepts and with total regard to its impact on the human system in its entirety.
The second principle of Homoeopathy is the Law of Single Medicine at a time for a particular patient during the treatment. It is important to note that no mixing of drugs is done and each drug is allowed to have its full and effective play of its own singular characteristics. This is because of the realization that if drugs are mixed the individual properties and effects of each drug cannot be fully determined, undergo a transformation and therefore not allowed to give out their full benefits.
The third principle is the Law of Minimum Dose. The least potent dose of the drug which would provide full and complete cure without any side effects or worsening of the disease condition is the right dose, according to this Law. The stress in medication is one the dynamic properties of the drug and not on their physical or chemical properties. The drugs are fine-tuned to high potency levels by what is called the process of potentisation – dissolution of the drug substance in a stable inert vehicle such as alcohol, distilled water or sugar of milk. It is our experience that the higher the level of potency, the better the curative impact. Homoeopathy is based on the rational awakening and awareness of man.
It is highly logical methodological and scientific in its base, approach and application. The successful practice and efficacious effect of this branch of medicine demands on the part of the physician a highly resourceful mind, nursed and natured by a scientific, artistic, logical, philosophic, and holistic outlook on life. There is no place for any bias or prejudice. And what is more, all these faculties, natural as they ought to be, do preserve and maintain a direct bearing on nature and principles of nature. As a medical science devoted and decided to the welfare of the humanity, Homoeopathy approaches every human being as an inseparatable and integrated part and parcel of nature.
In Homoeopathy all medicines are developed from natural sources viz. Vegetable, Mineral, Animal, Disease products. Healthy tissues and secretions and even Immaterial substances like rays, magnets, electricity etc. There is no toxic or poisonous effect in these medicines since it is not the chemical or physical properties that are acting on the human system. On the contrary, it is a dynamic power of such drugs that is acting upon the patient. The most conspicuous and sustaining aspect of Homoeopathy is discernible in its principle underlying the potentisation of drugs. As in the case of Atomic Theory, Homoeopathy develops its drugs from the minutest form of the minutest particle of each drug. It is this million-fold reduced quantum of the drug that emanates in proportionate dynamic power to produce the immense result in curing the disease. This process of potentisation which is not seen in any other medical science is the forte of Homoeopathy. This thoroughly rules out the medicinal hazards noticed in many other systems of medicine.
In every aspect ranging from its taste, odour, quantity, handling, etc. and right up to its administration, the Homoeo medicine is lucid and simple.
The most important and significant aspect of Homoeo medicines is that they are developed after proving on human beings, not on inferior animals. Each Homoeopathic medicine is therefore more akin to human nature and human system.
Another noteworthy feature of Homoeopathic medicine is that they are free from becoming time barred or outdated. This is a quality unshared by most medicines in other systems
As it is not costly it is no doubt with in the reach of the common man. Unlike other systems of medicine Homoeopathy has developed its own concepts which are illumined and enlightened by scientific truth, logical reasoning and rational thought with regard to causation of diseases. Accordingly it believes that the causation of a disease mainly depends upon the susceptibility or proneness of a human being to the incidence of particular diseases, in addition to external agents viz, bacteria, virus etc.
Homoeopathic principle of treatment stresses on individual man with reference to his specific environment. It is the man who is treated in Homoeopathy and not the disease. It studies the constitution of the patient with reference to his mental and physical makeup. It approaches the patient in a holistic way.
In the light of the aforesaid factors, it may be seen that Homoeopathy is Safe, Simple, Scientific, Economic and Effective Medicine for All.
1.There is very effective treatment in Homoeopathy for almost all diseases both acute and chronic
2.All communicable and infectious diseases are effectively prevented and treated in Homoeopathy.
3.The fatal heart disease and the dreadful cancer are also successfully controlled and managed in Homoeopathy if they are detected earlier.
4.Allergic diseases, Auto-immune diseases and Viral diseases are also well within the curative capability of Homoeopathy.
5.Many surgical conditions can be simply and safely averted by adopting Homoeopathic Treatment at the right time.
6.There are better medicines in Homoeopathy for attending all gynaecological and obstetrical conditions.
7.Homoeopathy provides admirable treatment to all kinds of ailments, affecting each and every part of the human body such as eye, nose, ear, tooth, skin, sexual organs etc., which are treated by specialists in other systems of medicine.
8.All kinds of behaviour disorders, neurological problems, metabolic diseases are also sucessfully dealt with in Homoeopathy.
9.All ailments of human beings from the womb to tomb are capable of being cured with Homoeopathic medicine.
It is not an exaggeration to state that Homoeopathy can go to a long way in tackling the menace arising out of drug addiction, alcoholism, tobacco etc. It is also found highly efficacious in ridding even that tendency of craving for drugs, alcohol, tobacco etc.It is not a secret that in Homoeopathy there are very effective medicines to prevent the incidence of diseases and to help produce generations of healthy humans.
I have thus attempted to give a bird’s eye view of the Homoeopathic system of medicine and its high potential for growth. The growth of this 200 year old system has been beset with many obstacles and trials and tribulations.
A faster growth of this Medicine of Millennium demands greater facilities for study and research, a greater awareness amongst the people about its many-sided benefits, larger and systematic manufacture and distribution of quality medicines and help and support from other systems of medicine and other related branches of modern science. May I call upon practitioners of all other systems of medicine to take a closer look at Homoeopathy and its great potential without bias or prejudice and always remembering that the System of Medicine is for Man and not vice versa. Let us join together in this great and noble crusade for human health and welfare in the New Millennium
Paper presented in ‘Dhanwanthareeyam – 2000’, A seminar organized by NASA at National Club, Thiruvananthapuram, on 13 May 2000