1. What is Homoeopathy?

It is believed that our body has the ability to heal itself on its own. If there is a small injury, it heals on its own but if the wound is grave then it needs assistance to heal it. This assistance is provided in the form of medical intervention.

Homoeopathy is a holistic medicine which does not believe in compartmentalization of systems or body parts. It is a system of medicine which assists the natural healing power of the body and improves your personal resistance towards diseases. A person is diseased because of disturbed internal milieu. Homoeopathy helps in correcting this disturbed internal milieu which helps in curing the disease.

2. What are the different diseases that Homoeopathy can treat?

Homoeopathy can treat diverse diseases beginning from allergic rhinitis to fevers, skin diseases, mental disorders, phobias, anxieties, osteoarthritis, Rheumatic arthritis, gout, asthma, menstrual irregularities, thyroid disorders, cancer…..and the list can be endless except purely surgical cases.

3. What information does the Homoeopath need? Why a detailed history is required?

The information a Homoeopath needs would include a detailed description of your complaints, as to when and how they started, what aggravates and alleviates the complaints, investigations done and past treatment taken. Also they will need to know in detail about your nature, your family, your work and your life situation. Every incidence has an impact our life; hence a detailed history right from the childhood till date is needed. To aid the physician for a better Homoeopathic prescription, an honest and detailed history is required from the patient. Thus even the most trivial information can be very useful. The fact is that Homeopathy cures the patient as a whole and not just his complaints. To know him better sometimes the physician can ask some personal questions - it can be about his bowel habits, his sexual life, sleeping pattern, his dreams, his past and present emotional setbacks etc. Anything that the patient confides in the physician is kept strictly confidential.

Each patient is different from another in terms of his sufferings, his past illnesses, his hereditary tendencies and family history, his temperament, emotional status as a whole - during illness and otherwise, reactions and behavior while under stress and his likes and dislikes pertaining to food and drinks, temperature, weather etc. All these details taken from patients help to select an appropriate remedy to stimulate immune system as a whole. It is for this reason that two patients with apparently the same illness may be treated with different remedies.

4. Does Homoeopathy believe in disease diagnosis and pathological investigations?

Disease diagnosis and investigations play an important role in Homoeopathy. The reports give a clear insight about the details of the disease, its diagnosis, the disease extent, the disease course and its prognosis. Repeating the reports at regular intervals helps to evaluate the treatment and judge the improvement of the disease. However, diagnosis does not help in determining the appropriate homeopathic remedy and it is done on the basis of the individualistic signs and symptoms.

5. Is it true that Homoeopathy is slow to act?

The severity and history of the symptoms will usually determine the length of time needed to treat them. A chronic disease or lifelong illness will take more time to heal than an acute disease. For example, in an acute disease like fever the response time would be within few hours or few days, while in a chronic disease like psoriasis it can extend to weeks or months depending on the disease state. The time taken for the cure is proportionate to the chronic state of the ailment. Hence, it’s a myth that Homoeopathy is slow.

6. Is it safe for a Diabetic patient to eat these sugary pills three times a day?

Yes, it is safe for diabetic patients as the medicines contain lactose. The quantity contained is a miniscule and does not alter sugar levels.

7. Is it true that if my spouse/friend/relative suffers from the same complaint as I have- the same medicine will benefit all of us?

No. Homeopathic medicines are prescribed on the basis of Individualization. No two patients are identical. Homoeopathy believes that every individual is different from another, in his attitude, behavior, likes-dislikes, emotional state or reaction to stress. Hence, even though the complaint is similar, the same medicine may not benefit others.

8. Can we take homoeopathy medicines by reading books or newspaper articles?

Books and newspaper articles do not give a complete picture relevant to each case. The knowledge of scientific principles of Homoeopathy is very essential. Any Homoeopathic medicine needs to be consumed only under medical supervision from the homoeopath.

9. “Do Homoeopathic medicines contain steroids” is often a question which bothers the patient but they are usually hesitant to ask this to their Homoeopath.

Homoeopathic medicines do not contain steroids. Homoeopathic medicines in itself are extremely effective and there is no need for a honest and committed Homoeopath to even resort to using any steroids. Also, steroids are not a cure all for all the ills of the world. Homoeopathic medications help in improving the immunity of an individual, while steroids have an immune-suppressive effect. Hence, using steroids will in fact act against the principles of Homoeopathy and do more harm than good to the patient.

Some patients claim that they have got their Homoeopathic physician’s medication tested and it was found to be positive for steroids. In view of these allegations, a fellow homoeopath decided to get her own homoeopathic medicines tested. –“She sent some medications – medicated and non-medicated pills to the laboratory for testing. And they all tested positive for steroids.

The base of a Homoeopathic medicine i.e. the pills and powder which are used to dispense them contain lactose – also called as milk sugar.

She then asked them to carry out the same test on plain lactose. This also tested positive for steroids. This indicates that these medicines give a false positive reaction for steroids because of the presence of lactose powder, which is often used as a vehicle for the medications.

Generally, the test used by all laboratories is the ‘Colorimetric method using tetrazolium blue salts’. In this test, the result will show a false positive reaction as it will detect the reducing sugar present in the sample.

So if the sample contains any lactose (which is a reducing sugar), it will give a false result similar to the presence of steroid.

Other methods utilized to test for steroids are:
  • 1. Liberman buchard test.
  • 2. Thin layer chromatography method (TLC).
  • 3. UV absorption method.

It is important to find out which procedure has been performed in order to test the medications so as to rule out any false positive reactions. The recommended tests TLC and UV absorption method should ideally be carried out at any of the public testing laboratories listed by FDA (Food and Drug Authority).

10. Does Homoeopathy work?

Times of India, 16th Dec, 2010

“IIT scientists proved that homeopathic medicines work on the principle of nanotechnology.Mumbai

Six months after the British Medical Association rubbished homeopathy as witchcraft with no scientific basis, IIT scientists have said the sweet white pills work on the principle of nanotechnology.

Homeopathic pills containing naturally occurring metals such as gold, copper and iron retain their potency even when diluted to a nanometre or one-billionth of a metre, states the IIT-Bombay research published in the latest issue of ‘Homeopathy’, a peer-reviewed journal from reputed medical publishing firm Elsevier.

IIT-B’s chemical engineering department bought homeopathic pills from neighbourhood shops, prepared highly diluted solutions and checked these under powerful electron microscopes to find nanoparticles of the original metal.

‘‘Certain highly diluted homeopathic remedies made from metals still contain measurable amounts of the starting material, even at extreme dilutions of 1 part in 10 raised to 400 parts (200C),’’ said Dr Jayesh Bellare from the scientific team. ‘Homeo pills get potent on dilution’

His student, Prashant Chikramane, presented the homeopathy paper titled, ‘Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective’, as part of his doctoral thesis.

‘‘Homeopathy has been a conundrum for modern medicine. Its practitioners maintained that homeopathic pills got more potent on dilution, but they could never explain the mechanism scientifically enough for the modern scientists,’’ said Bellare.

Homoeopathy faces controversies because of its high dilutions beyond Avogadro’s number such as 30c and 200c (1060 and 10400 respectively). This study has demonstrated the presence of nanoparticles of the starting materials and their aggregates even at extremely high dilutions, using market samples of metal-derived medicines from two reputable manufacturers in India. Researchers have demonstrated for the first time by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction and chemical analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES), the presence of physical entities in these extreme dilutions. The confirmed presence of nanoparticles challenges current thinking about the role of dilutions in homoeopathic medicines. They have found that the concentrations reach a plateau at the 6c potency and beyond. Further they have shown that despite large differences in the degree of dilution from 6c to 200c, there were no major differences in the nature of the particles (shape and size) of the starting material and their absolute concentrations (in pg/ml).”

11. Does homeopathy have a placebo effect?

In addition to the above research which answers the question to a large extent we would also add that -If you think you must "believe in" homeopathy for it to work, you need to know that it is not a placebo effect. Here are some powerful examples:

Infants: Homeopathic remedies and treatments are successfully used by parents for common infant ailments such as colic, teething pain and some infections.

Animals: There are many veterinarians using homeopathic medicines to treat domestic pets such as cats, dogs and birds, as well as barnyard animals like goats, horses and cows. Is it possible to have a placebo effect with animals?

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