Creating Waves of Awareness
HOMEOPATHY DOESN’T NEED CERTIFICATION
Dr. M. A. USMANI
Pakistan’s leading scientist, scholar and educationist, Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman, wrote in his column: ‘The wondrous world of science’, DAWN, Magazine, sci tec, March 6, 2011
I quote the full column:
[Homeopathy—is it science?
Before discussing the issue of homeopathy, one needs to understand the ‘placebo effect’. If a patient takes an inert pill or coloured water, believing that it will cure him, it does actually have a beneficial effect. This is known as the ‘placebo effect’ and it needs to be carefully considered when randomised clinical trials are being carried out to determine the efficacy of medicines. The reason that the placebo appears to work in some persons is that if you really believe that a particular medicine will work for you, then your body chemistry reacts accordingly and in some cases it actually does!
Homeopathy is widely practised in many parts of the world, including Europe. But does it really work beyond the placebo effect? Extensive randomised clinical trials under strictly controlled conditions have proved over and over again that it has no more benefit than that which can be attributed to the placebo effect. Some clinical trials that initially indicated some positive effects were later shown to be faulty.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health, USA, has reported: “Its key concepts are not consistent with established laws of science (particularly chemistry and physics).” Health organisations in many advanced countries such as the UK’s National Health Service, the American Medical Association (AMA Council on Scientific Affairs (1997). “Alternative Medicine: Report 12 of the Council on Scientific Affairs (A–97)”, American Medical Association), and the Federation of American Societies on Experimental Biology (FASEB) (FASEB J 20 (11): 1755–8, doi:10.1096/fj.06-0901ufm, PMID 16940145) have also issued definitive statements that there is no convincing scientific evidence to support the use of homeopathic treatments in medicine.
It is clear that any benefits of homeopathy are due to two main reasons: (a) the placebo effect, and (b) the natural tendency of the body to heal itself over time. Beware also of a third dangerous factor: addition of corticosteroids to such medicines by charlatans. These may give you immediate relief but are injurious to health.
However, in spite of lack of scientific proof of its efficacy, homeopathy continues to be widely practiced in many countries.”]
Prof. Ata-ur-Rehman says: “Homeopathy is widely practised in many parts of the world, including Europe. But does it really work beyond the placebo effect? Extensive randomised clinical trials under strictly controlled conditions have proved over and over again that it has no more benefit than that which can be attributed to the placebo effect. Some clinical trials that initially indicated some positive effects were later shown to be faulty.”
There is a Persian adage: ‘Aftab amad dalil-i-aftab’ i.e. the appearing of the sun is the proof of the sun. When you have seen the sun, then nobody can make you believe that there is no sun. Same is the case with Homeopathy. Homeopathy is rock-hard in its presence. It is at that stage now that such remarks do not detract even an iota from its solid scientific status; but it makes the knowledge and erudition (or the scientific acumen) of the objector doubtful, or suspicious, unless it be considered intentional. Homeopathy stands on the principles and immutable laws, and governed by clearly laid down principles and tenets, that can be checked, rechecked and verified practically, always and everywhere.
Why should we hanker after certification, from any quarter, to prove that Homeopathy is a curative therapeutics, based squarely on science? We have seen the sun verily because we have been basking in it for full one century and a half? When I myself am basking in this sun for the last 40 solid years, and have not only treated countless thousands of people of sick humanity, from all over the country and abroad? And the infants and children that I treated have grown up to full adulthood, and I am now treating their young ones; that is the 3rd generation?
My own children, six in all, did not get any other treatment except homeopathy, and they range from 38 down to 25 years of ages? I did not expose any child of mine to any sort of vaccination. I missionarily avoided this harmful course of vaccination by visiting the heads of their schools and colleges, forbidding them vaccinating my children, telling them that ‘being a physician myself I had already inoculated them.’ In those days teams used to come to educational institutions for this purpose. How can one say that the treatment of children and infants, and pets could ever be a ‘placebo effect’? And these are the fields where Homeopathy equally excels.
THE CONCEPT OF HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT
To understand Homeopathy and to grasp its modus oprandi, one has to decustomize or recast ones thinking processes. Homeopathy is the only therapeutic science in the world that does not depend on the drug effect of medicines, but on the vital reaction of the organism, brought about by the indicated remedy prescribed. A homeopathic medicine is chosen after taking a full case: i.e., the clinical complaint of the patient: the temperament of the patient; the psychological personality of the patient and its adjustment with the prevailing socio-economic environ vis-à-vis his pathologic disability. Therefore, homeopathic medicine is no more a simple medicine or a drug system. This is because of this fact that the masters, in the field of homeotherapeutics, gave the name ‘remedy’ to the thus selected medicine. It is truly a ‘remedy’ for the problem that is the whole patient.
A homeopath asks so many questions to the patient: viz., his presenting complaint, his past history, his family background, his psychological problems and maladjustments, his trends and reserves and emotional complexes. When he, subsequently, comes to the stage of repertorization of such a vast and multidimensional case, he is certainly not searching a medicine for the pathologic or the clinical complaint of the patient, which is, as we know, a very small part of the whole problem. He is, in fact, searching a ‘remedy’ for the whole case. And this remedy, evidently, is not a simple remedy, but a remedy (though it may consist of a single substance) that has the promise of acting as a ‘remedial program’ to bring round the sick personality, with its multi-faceted complexes and maladjustments, to a normal, healthy personality, freed from all the psycho-somatic abnormalities and sicknesses. This was owing to this fact that the masters in the field of Homeopathy started using the term ‘Remedy’ in place of medicine or drug.
The medicine is for the disease; and the remedy is a remedy for the sum-total of psycho-somatic ills of an individual; hence it is a sort of solution for the complex of the complaints of the individual, in the background of temperament and personal and family history of the patient. A homeopathic dose, therefore, is not a pill of medicine, but an ‘encapsulated’ agenda for the patient concerned, or a therapeutic module, containing a program to bring the patient roundly towards cure; a motivating force, to accomplish a predestined (or preordained) task.
Take, for an example, a case of tedious chronic cough that has defied all treatments and nostrums. The patient’s suffering was grave; and it was feared, according to the anamnesis of the case, and the family history, that the patient was heading towards phthisis pulmonalis (i.e. tuberculosis). The three remedies that came out prominently were: Kali Carb, Drosera and Sulphur. The second, i.e., Drosera was chosen in view of the family history of the patient, and the hovering fear of the malignant drift of the case. Now the preordained job of this remedy was to handle the present troublesome cough, and also check the tendency of the case from advancing towards phthisis. That is the innate property of Drosera. And Drosera admirably did it. It brought the case roundedly towards health.
We homeopaths certainly and abundantly use placebo in our daily practice. And it is seen that: ‘The more successful a homeopath is, in his practice, the more placebo he uses’. The above case was given only one dose of Drosera, but was treated for more than two weeks. These two weeks the patient took three doses of bland lactose powders, per day. Similarly in most chronic cases, the patients, after receiving one or two doses of the indicated remedy, in rapid succession, go on coming, for many weeks or months, and every time they receive blank lactose doses; and every time they report to his doctor that they are ‘better than before’. This is Homeopathy! This is the mark of Homeopathy. A single dose of the indicated remedy gets ‘implanted’, so to say, in the constitution of the patient, and start unfolding its effects to move the case towards cure and restoration.
To every scoffer of Homeopathy I advise to proceed (if he wants to taste Homeopathy) in this way: (Since the proof of the pudding is in tasting it!) Take a substance, of his choice, (let him take, i.e. a confirmed emetic agent, as Ipecac., or its alkaloid emetine, and make a homeopathic potency from it, according to boldly and clearly laid down pharmaceutical rules (in Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia), read the symptoms of this medicine, in the homeopathic materia medica, or take a case resembling poisoning with the overdose of this substance, apply the potency, above prepared, in 30 or 200, and witness the miracle, or publish the failure if he encounters it.
Or, let’s make matters simple for these priestly scientists, to save them from unnecessary hassle; they should make the following tests:
• In acute, sudden attack of diarrhea, of little children or infants, passing out watery, and noisy motions, quite painless, on just starting feeding or nursing, stool gushing out with spluttering, give one dose of Croton Tiglium 30, or 200. (better 200). (Even in 80% of asymptomatic infantile diarrhea cases will respond curatively to this remedy.
• Throat infection (sore throat), with fever or not, with excessive saliva, Merc. Sol. 30, will cure in 90% of cases.
• Upper respiratory tract infection, in children, infants and adults, with high fever, with dry, white coated tongue, with vehement thirst, and sore fatiguing dry cough, Bryonia Alba 30, 200, 1M, will charm away the whole disease.
• A child with upper respiratory infection with cold and moist cough, and vomiting of mucus on coughing, totally thirstless, magically recovers with Ipecac.
Here I may relate the case of my grandson, age one year, suffering with the above symptoms, with low fever. My daughter in-law insisted to consult a child specialist; who after checking the case prescribed three syrups, viz. anti-biotic syrup, anti-pyretic syrup and anti-tussive syrup. I bought all these syrups, and handed over a full shopper of these medicines to my daughter, with the advice not to give these to the child for one day. I gave a powder of Ipecac 30, and asked her to dissolve that dose in ten teaspoons of water, and give the child, one spoon every 3 hours. The next day the child was 3/4th better, and, on the third day he was totally recovered. That shopper of three syrups is still lying unused, in our cupboard. The inevitable lesson, in accordance with the basic law of economics, is, why should one use so many medicines, and in so large quantities, when only a fraction of a drop of a single medicine can suffice to restore a patient to health? Especially, it is a grave proposition when we know that medicines are mostly poisons which are used sagaciously for the treatment of disease.
The less the medicine the better.
• For a heart patient, with intense fear and certainty of death, (even predicting death), Aconite 30, one dose, will at once calm the patient.
• A patient with the same symptoms as above, but with conviction that he/she cannot be helped, Agnus Castus will wipe away all the angst.
• Restless insomniac children, crying piteously and not going to sleep, at night, at once doze off after receiving one dose of Coffea Cruda 30.
• A very restless patient, on the death bed, crying and tossing constantly, licking his/her lips and only wetting her mouth with a sip of water, and quite inconsolable; Arsenicum Album, is definitely indicated, but should not be given, as it would act as euthanasia, unless you, out of mercy, so desire. Give some approximately indicated remedy instead.
Professor’s last sentence is: “However, in spite of lack of scientific proof of its efficacy, homeopathy continues to be widely practiced in many countries.”
Homeopathy is practiced not many countries, but in all the countries of the world, excepting, perhaps, very few countries, that can be counted on the fingers of the hands. To reject the collective acceptance, by almost 30% of the world’s populace, is an affront to the human psyche. Every homeopath of some repute has the honor of treating the medical specialists of the dominant schools and multitude of scientists. The three-fourth of the Masters of Homeopathy were originally M.D. of Allopathy, who could not swallow the uncouth therapeutics of their own school. Not few of them were appointed by the governments of the day, and the medical bodies to study homeopathy to bring out its charlatan character. But they ended, after studying and testing Homeopathy, believing the other way.
The randomized trials, which the learned Professor has talked above, cannot be applied to Homeopathy, as Homeopathy has never discovered or invented any medicine that can be a specific cure for any particular disease, by dint of its chemo-physiologic properties. A homeopath never claims of curing any particular disease with any particular medicine, or claim that so and so medicine is a specific for so and so disease. So, the randomized trials are irrelevant as far as homeopathy is concerned. There is only one practical way to test Homeopathy against the dominant school of medicine. Give two wards to each school, in a well established hospital: one for acute and viral diseases, and the other for one kind of chronic diseases, say GI ward. The statistics should be collected for at least six months. The results will tell where Homeopathy stands: where the real cures occurred, and where only palliations and suppressions took place, with a plethora of side-effects.
Copyright 2011-12/All rights reserved © Dr Usmani
Contact author for permission to use