Creating Waves of Awareness
RESEARCH IN HOMOEOPATHY: PRESENT AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVE
Dr Archana Narang M.O. (T), Dr Saurav Arora (SRF), Dr Latika Nagpal (SRF)
Dr. B. R. Sur Homoeopathic Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre,
Nanak Pura, Moti Bagh, New Delhi 110021
Research is an endeavour to discover answers to intellectual and practical problems through the application of scientific method.
CITATIONS FROM THE ORGANON
Research is a necessity in the ever growing era of modern science and we are now more prone for criticism and authenticity.
Research and science is nothing new to us, we have been rooted on these grounds
since the “Apple” fall on “Newton’s head”. Hahnemann was one of the four
epochal figures in the history of practice of medicine. His experiment with
materialistic doses of cinchona bark is the
root of logical thinking. From Hahnemann’s era we have been scientific,
logical and philosophical. We need upgradation in the field of homoeopathy to
compete in today’s world and to make ourselves more strong, clear and confident.
Many a times we are questioned about our principles and methods of practice. To
answer all the queries, we must prepare ourselves so strong that our existence
doesn’t go in vain. The hard work of our forefathers has brought us where we
stand today. The need of hour is scientific research, and this doesn’t mean
only test tubes and laboratories, but it is a step ahead of it. Research can be
done in numerous ways. The right research depends upon our insight and aims.
There is a researcher and a scientist in every one of us, the need is to bring
it to the front and think logically, the same way our master taught us. This
article will try to touch the latest research methodologies in Homoeopathy,
keeping in mind the basis of our philosophy.
A basic research process can be defined as, “An inquiry process that has clearly defined parameters and involves discovery
and creation of knowledge for testing, building, revision, confirmation,
refutation of knowledge and theory by means of investigation of a problem for
local decision making”. The first basic thing Hahnemann did to prove, there
exists a science beyond the materials, was by means of experimentation and observation,
observing it to the levels of criticism and analysing it to the depths of
history. Research not only means noting down the observations and findings but
to analyse them and to reach to a conclusion which is the landmark for
OBJECTIVES OF RESEARCH
The purpose of research is to discover answers through the application of scientific procedures. Until and unless we
are not clear about our objectives we cannot lead to a fruitful finding. The
objectives can be:
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD RESEARCH
A good research has some characteristics associated with it, without these it is nothing but a bundle of papers on
table. The characteristics help us to learn the simple meaning of research
methodologies. These characteristics also help us to understand the
outcomes of such research; it is likewise applying a constitutional remedy to
an individual. The purpose of the research should be clearly defined. The process
which we are planning to adopt should be detailed. Once we have decided upon
the area we want to work research protocol should be thoroughly made and
planned. To make the protocol scientific and unbiased high ethical standards
should be applied. If any limitations to the study are present they should be
clearly defined and accepted. Once data is collected its proper analysis should
be done by an expert, such as bio statistician. Logic is to be applied to every
possible test to validate the data collected and conclusions reached. The
outcomes of research should be presented with rationale and truthfulness and
once the analysis is properly done the justified conclusions should be drawn
from it and should be published for other’s benefit.
So, the linear research process consists of:
TYPES OF RESEARCH
There are numerous ways by which we can do research activities. The type of research depends upon our aim. There can be a mixed type of research on one topic also. The common types are:-
· Descriptive: as in description of drugs and their Symptomatology.
· Analytical: as in analysing already proved drugs for new spheres of actions.
· Conceptual: as in making new treatment concepts in different diseases.
· Empirical: research based on experience or observations.
· Quantitative: as in drug standardization.
· Qualitative: as in action of different potencies in different conditions.
· Applied: as in application of remedies in specific conditions.
· Fundamental: as in clinical proving, clinical verifications and collaborative research.
· Diagnostic: as in action of various remedies in specific conditions and vice versa.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY IN HOMOEOPATHY
Following are the few areas worth discussing regarding research in Homoeopathy:
standardization: Aphorism 122, “In
these experiments - on which depends the exactitude of the whole medical art,
and the weal of all future generations of mankind - no other medicines should
be employed except such as are perfectly well known, and of whose purity,
genuineness and energy we are thoroughly assured.” This drug
standardization is conducted to ensure quality, genuiness, and authenticity of
raw drugs and to evaluate the safety and efficacy of drugs. Physico chemical standardization
studies include ash values, extractive values, colour reactions, physical
constants of mother tinctures and thin layer chromatography (TLC) profiles of
extracts and mother tinctures. Pharmacogonostic studies include morphology,
anatomy, histochemistry, powder-microscopy and prelimiary chemical tests.
Pharmacological tests include toxicity studies, antifertility activity, motor
activity, hypoglycemic effects, Blood Pressure, CNS toxicity study etc.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
Homoeopathy, the rational art of healing is based on scientific fundamental principles. As we all know that in today’s
world research is an imparative part of any science, so for further development
of homoeopathic practices and for the affirmation of the fundamental principles
on which Homoeopathy is based, we have to focus on research oriented activities
in our system of medicine. To strengthen the scientific base, improving
Homoeopathic practice and verifying the clinical efficacy, research in
Homoeopathy should be carried out and encouraged.
Research in Homoeopathy should aim at making Homoeopathy more effective and reliable in wider range of conditions.
Research should improve the practice of Homoeopathy and at the same time evolve
methods to make it easier to practice. We can achieve scientific credibility
only by collecting clinical evidences for the efficacy of our drugs in various
Sometimes it is very difficult for many of us to correlate scientific attitude with homoeopathy we are doing at our
clinics and hospitals. Most of the time, we are afraid of the complexity of
research, funding issues, absence of proper data collection, difficult access
to published studies; online resources, and many more unaswered issues. Our aim
towards research is very clear, to cure and benefit our patients, to become
more scientific, to gather data, to grow stronger on philosophical and logical
grounds.All practicing Homoeopaths can contribute to the progress of
Homoeopathy by making data of their clinical experiences, by applying drugs on
large number of cases and writing down the outcomes carefully. We can also
identify the most reliable indications of each drug on which prescriptions can
be made even while working at bedside in IPDs, OPDs or in our clinics. Every
one of us can contribute to the data verification, repertory verification and
proving the efficacy of drugs of our Materia Medica. Unbiased observation and
data verification has been emphasised by, Hahnemann in aphorism 6 of Organon of Medicine, “The unprejudiced observer is well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations…..”
1. Organon of Medicine, Vth Edition.
2. Directorate General of Health
Services (DGHS). Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India. Good clinical practices for clinical
research in India, 2006.
3. Central council for research in
Homoeopathy. Workshop on research
methodology and standardization, 2006.