KNOW YOUR SCOPE
Dr. Smita Brahmachari
“The physician’s highest and only calling is to make the sick healthy, to cure, as it is called.”
“The highest ideal of cure is the rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health; that is, the
lifting and annihilation of the disease in its entire extent in the shortest, most reliable, and least
disadvantageous way, according to clearly realizable principles.”
- Samuel Hahnemann, Organon of the Medical Art1, Aphorisms 1 and 2
These wise words are the opening of the Organon, Homoeopathy’s bible and the culmination of
the life work of its founder, Samuel Hahnemann. Written 150 years ago, they speak volumes
about the state of medicine today. In fact, the public at large and also the medical profession
itself are becoming increasingly aware that modern medicine must come up with new means and
new ideas for tackling chronic diseases. Despite undoubted progress being made over the past
decades in crucial fields of medicine, despite the fact that we so often hear of new ‘major
breakthroughs’ paving the way towards achieving a definitive cure for this or that disease, and
despite the fact that our knowledge of the intimate mechanisms of the various diseases has
increased enormously as a result of techniques of molecular biology, it has to be admitted that, as
far as general practice and the vast majority of patients suffering from the chronic diseases are
concerned which includes contamination of the environment by toxic agents, ever-growing
numbers of diseases induced by increasingly potent drugs themselves, degenerative diseases to
which errors of diet or life-style contribute, allergies, autoimmunity and immune deficiency,
large numbers of neurological and psychiatric diseases, psychosomatic disorders, and tumors, the
actual practical benefit of such knowledge is not exactly spectacular!
The conventional medicine (Allopathy) does not claim to cure chronic diseases such as diabetes,
arthritis, hypertension, auto – immune diseases etc, but merely controls the symptoms using
medicines which the patient must take for the rest of his life. Far from being gentle, many
medications have side effects which are uncomfortable, harmful or even fatal for the patient,
requiring multiple other medications to alleviate problems cause by the first set. It is also very
expensive method of treatment.
In spite of the above all facts the enormous progress of conventional medicine in this century has
reinforced the opinion that allopathic treatment by means of ‘opposites’ is the only and most
effective form of treatment and, generally speaking, has also strengthened the view that it is only
a question of time before a treatment is found for every disease. The great epidemics of
infectious diseases have been defeated by a combination of improvements in living conditions,
hygiene, vaccinations and antibiotics. Our knowledge of disease due to vitamin, enzyme or
hormone deficiencies has furnished new weapons in the struggle against diseases such as
pernicious anemia, dwarfism and diabetes. If it were not for the problem of finding donors,
transplants would already be routine therapy for a sizeable number of diseases. Cortisone and its
derivatives are solving many problems of immune hypersensitivity. 2
Coming to discuss the role of Homoeopathy in current scenario, it has the best answers to the
crisis faced by modern medicine. According to the World Health Organization (WHO),
Homoeopathy is the second largest system of medicine in the world. WHO says the annual sale
of homoeopathic drugs accounts to Rs 8,400 crore globally. By 2017, the market will be Rs
52,000 crore. It further adds that homoeopathy is practiced in 66 countries and the treatment is
individualized. It seeks to stimulate the body's defence mechanisms to prevent or treat illness. A
recent industry study had predicted that Indian homoeopathy treatment market is likely to grow
30% annually, and pegged it around Rs 4,600 crore. Homoeopathy costs one fifth of an
allopathic consultation in any government set up.3
Over the years, homoeopathic medicines have been used successfully for treatment of various
conditions such as acid peptic diseases, anxiety, atopic dermatitis, autism, behavioral disorders,
bone fracture healing, conjunctivitis, chicken pox, depression, dysmenorrhoea, headaches, herpes
zoster, influenza, injuries, migraine, menstrual irregularities, pre-menstrual syndrome, psoriasis,
psychosomatic disorders, phobias, renal calculi, stress disorders, substance abuse, upper
respiratory tract infection, vitiligo, common complaints during pregnancy and lactation, or
dentition complaints in children, etc. A data analysis 4 of about 1.1 million patients attending
homoeopathic dispensaries in Delhi providing primary healthcare re-affirms these conditions as
the most frequent reason for consultation. Homoeopathy is also used in conditions such as
cancers, HIV/AIDS, terminal illnesses, etc. for providing symptomatic care and improvement in
Clinical research studies have been published on different clinical conditions such as acute otitis
media, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, behavioral disorders, benign prostatic
hyperplasia, cervical spondylosis, chronic sinusitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, preclinical hypothyroidism, HIV infection, Japanese encephalitis, learning disabilities, menopausal
complaints, complaints associated with withdrawal of drug substances, ovarian cysts, scabies,
upper respiratory tract infections, urolithiasis, warts, etc.4 Clinical outcome studies record the
patient's self-reported response after treatment. This reflects the validation of age old written
experiences but these studies further require pragmatic and randomized control trials 4 which are
now being targeted.
In the year 2005, Lancet, one of the most reputed medical journals of the world published a
controversial article, “Are the clinical effects of Homoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative
study of placebo controlled trials of Homoeopathy and Allopathy” by Shang et al. in its Vol.
366, Aug. 27, 2005, at a time when there is a paradigm shift from the conventional therapy to
Homoeopathy compelling its users to look at it with derision and suspicion. It was rightly
answered by an article published by CCRH, Newdelhi titled “Homoeopathy will not end by
pseudo - analysis”.
The more one dilutes a medicine with proper succussion, the more potent it becomes, and this
perhaps is the corner stone of Homoeopathy system of medicine. The most powerful homoeo
medicines do have the highest dilution factors. While this enormous dilution principle remained
the pillar of this 18th century healing science which seeks to deal with the disease holistically
rather than addressing the manifesting symptoms, it also proved to be the Achille's heel for its
If you go on diluting a solution containing hundred per cent of the material further and further,
there won't be any of the particles from original material left in the remaining solution beyond of
point of dilution. Homoeo remedies come through the process of `infinitesimal dilutions'. How a
‘medicine’ without any active substance can evoke a therapeutic response, skeptics ask
benchmarking with the principles of modern allopathic medicine which relies on dose- related
response of medications. No active ingredient in a formulation means that the pill or liquid can
be nothing more than a placebo. They claimed that the 'high potency' homoeo medicines can
only be placebos as no drug particle can exist beyond a certain point of dilution.
But the theory that extremely low dilutions can have no starting material seems to have taken a
big jolt very recently as Indian researchers detected particles of original materials in abysmally
low dilutions. Certain high potency – that means extremely diluted—homoeo remedies made
from metals still contained measurable amounts of starting materials even at one part in 10 raised
to 400 parts. ``We used solutions with potencies of 30c and 200c. They are well below the
Avagadro's number that states there can be no starting materials beyond a point of dilution. Our
experiment proved that particles do exist even at 30c and 200c,'' said Prasant Chikramane from
the Chemical Engineering Department from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai and
the lead author of the study. Avagadro's number corresponds to homeopathic potencies of 12C or
24X (1 part in 1024).5
The researchers utilized electron microscopy and electron diffraction techniques to detect the
nano particles in the diluted solutions. Six metals and their respective homeopathic medicines
manufactured by the leading Dr Willmar Schwabe India Private Ltd and SBL India were used for
the analysis. The medicines were gold (Aurum metallicum), copper (Cuprum metallicum), tin
(Stannum metallicum), zinc (zincum metallicum), silver (Argentum metallicum) and platinum
I have cited here two major Indian articles for answering the controversies faced by our system.
But there are many other such befitting replies. If anyone is interested to verify the efficacy of
homoeopathy in an unprejudiced way, must involve homoeopathic experts who believe in and
treat as per classical homoeopathy i.e., comprehensive homoeopathic history taking followed by
the prescription of a single individualized remedy, possibly with subsequent change of remedy in
response to changing symptoms, formulating the protocols/ study designs/ methodology, in
conformity with the doctrines of homoeopathy, particularly for the in-vivo studies and
undertaking in vitro studies involving experts of the concerned areas, by adopting randomized
However, there are certain limitations to homoeopathic treatment; with a compelling indication
for surgery and substitution therapy or with advance pathologies, where regulative therapy is no
longer sufficient. In such cases, it can be used, at best, for palliative alleviation. Both the
conventional medicine and Homoeopathy have significant contributions to the health care
delivery system. The merits of one system should not be cited to nullify the benefits of the other.
Because ultimately the health of the patient matters.
Another way I think it has compelled us to come out of dormant state to be vociferous in
protesting against such malicious propaganda on Homoeopathy. It is important for all of us to
work more meticulously, on modern scientific parameters, creating enough documentary proofs
as per the need of the hour, without jeopardizing the tenets of Homoeopathy, so that our studies
leave no gaps when such analyses are repeated.
“Homoeopathy is the only true science and art of medicine in which all curable patients find
health and new life when this most difficult of all arts is practiced by an indefatigable
discriminating physician in a pure and conscientious manner.” (F.N.to aphorism 60)6
1. Hahnemann S. Organon of the Medical Art, edited and annotated by Wenda Brewster
O’Reilly. New Delhi: B.Jain Publishers (P) Ltd, Indian edition; 2010.
2. Immunology and Homoeopathy, historical background, Paolo Bellavite, Anita Conforti,
Valeria Piasere, Riccardo Ortolani, Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative
Medicine. 2005 December; 2(4): 441–452.
3. Homoeopathy doctors double in two decades, The Times of India. New Delhi: 1st September
4. Principle and scope, Homoeopathy science of gentle healing. 2013; 22 – 24.
5. The nano effect of Homoeopathy, The Times of India. New Delhi:12th August 2011.
6. Hahnemann S. Organon of Medicine, 5th ed. New Delhi: Pratap Medical Publishers (P) Ltd,
Indian edition; 1994.
Author : The author has done her post-graduation from National Institute of Homoeopathy, Kolkata in the subject
Homoeopathic Repertory. She is presently working as Medical Officer in Dept. of ISM &Homoeopathy under Govt.
of NCT Delhi. E-mail id: firstname.lastname@example.org.