The problem of medical aid to the poverty-stricken millions inhabiting this vast sub-continent of India and other parts of the world has long been engaging the attention of social workers and thinkers. Can the so-called scientific system of medicine, with its prohibitive cost of diagnostic methods by examinations of blood, stool. urine, sputa and X-rays, etc., and a still more expensive treatment, furnish the solution of this gigantic problem for decades to come? How long shall prejudice against new ideas so inherent in human nature, coupled with an anti- propaganda carried on by vested interests, continue to obscure vision in relation to homoeopathy which alone can furnish the answer to this colossal problem?.
Homoeopathy has been dubbed quackery and unscientific One need not be surprised at it. Civilizations friend, philosopher and guide, the grand old Bernard Shaw said: “Where there is no ventilation, fresh air is considered unwholesome;where there is no religion, hypocrisy becomes good taste; where there is no knowledge, ignorance calls itself science!” When Galileo first declared before the scientific world that it was the earth which moved round the sun and not vice versa, he was a bit more lucky inasmuch as he could secure a following in his own lifetime.
Today homoeopathy is recognised as a scientific art of healing practically all over the world. Its pioneers have been old school (allopathic) medical men who investigated honestly and were converted. Its great stronghold is in U.S.A. where there are numerous high grade medical colleges Alas, this is no longer true-Ed and hospitals catering to the requirement in homoeopathic education and treatment. Lately,England too has accorded official recognition to homoeopathy by enacting the necessary legislation. On the list of personal physicians to His late Majesty the Kind of England has been the eminent homoeopath, Sir John Weir.
In India,where old prejudices perhaps die harder than in most other countries,there has been great opposition to the homoeopathic system of treatment. There has been a persistent and organized opposition from the old school medical practitioners who have always anticipated great injury to their vested interests, as homoeopathic treatment is very cheap besides being very rational, scientific and easy to understand and apply.
The heads of the medical and health departments in the governments in various states are allopaths, and on account of traditional prejudices they have been quite unsympathetic so far as state recognition of homoeopathy has been concerned. The common mans apathy towards homoeopathy has been due to the fact that it involves a considerable modification of the existing ideas about disease and its treatment.
Naturally there has been more confidence in the ayurvedic system of treatment which is more than 3500 years old, or in the allopathic treatment which is about 1500 years old and which, in addition, has been state patronized under the British rule and even after that. Homoeopathy is only about 150 years old. But in spite of the strong current of prejudices and opposition, homoeopathy has made headway in its sacred task of alleviating human suffering.
As there still exists a lot of misconception about homoeopathy, it may not be our of place to present a brief exposition of its principles and the way it works. Homoeopathy is only a new method of treatment and it has opposition to the other branches of medical science. Anatomy, physiology, pathology, surgery, public health and hygiene are basic or essential subjects which are and should be taught in homoeopathic medical colleges. In is only as regards the outlook on disease, its causation and treatment, that homoeopathy strikes a different note. To understand disease, it is necessary to understand HEALTH. The human machine is an automatically functioning machine.
“In the healthy condition of man,” says Hahnemann, “the spiritual Vital Force, the dynamis that animates the material body, rules with unbounded sway the retains all the parts of the organism in admirable harmonious vital operation, as regards both sensations and functions, so that out indwelling reason gifted mind can freely employ this living healthy instrument for the higher purposes of existence. “This, health is a state in which the automatic functioning of the human machinery, its parts, organs, endocrine glands, etc, is carried on by the Vital Force in perfect harmony and peace so as to ensure the maximum physical, mental and spiritual efficiency. The state off health is characterized by a feeling of comfort and ease, and by the absence of all subjective sensations, even a consciousness of our various organs.
NOW DISEASE(=dis-ease) is a state in which this normal poise of the healthy state has been disturbed by the impact on the Vital Energy of some force inimical to health, resulting in a deranged functioning of the vital energy, on account of which man begins to feel morbid, painful sensations. In fact, these morbid and painful symptoms and sensations are the earliest and the only indications which the Vital Force gives to the individual about the invasion of its harmony, and if the dis-ease cannot be removed at this earliest stage, then follow the other consequences, viz., disturbances in the functions of organs and glands, the various structural and tissue chances, the alterations in the normal nature of the blood, discharges and excreta, and the presence of various germs, worms, parasites, etc.
Now, it is at this stage that the old school physicians (allopaths) recognize the advent of disease which is quite natural in consonance with their materialistic conception of disease and the purely physical and objective methods of investigation and diagnosis, and in fact these very conditions are considered by them to be the causes of diseases. But how illogical is this concept of disease? How can that which follows be the cause of that which precedes! The cause is always prior in existence to the effect. To the homoeopath, the cause of disease is as subtle, dynamic,and invisible as the Vital Energy itself.
It is not a material entity which can be seen, touched or handled physically, but it is a morbific influence or force belonging to the realm of dynamic energy which disturbs and perverts and healthy, normal functioning of the Vital energy, giving rise to sensations and subjective symptoms first and the germs,worms, pathological and objective symptoms afterwards. The only way in which we can discern the cause of disease is by means of the signs and symptoms it produces.
The test-tube, the microscope, and the most sensitive scientific instruments have failed to demonstrate the mysterious way in which the chain of life is maintained within us, and likewise the cause of disease and the mysterious way in which it operates are beyond the ken of the senses or the scientific instruments which can only examine the resultant effects of disease, wrongly considered by the old school of medicine to be the causes of diseases. And now it will be easily understood and appreciated how early homoeopathy can diagnose and treat disease by properly assessing and acting upon the symptomatic indications, averting subsequent pathological and other developments.
Now as regards TREATMENT. Samuel Hahnemann, originally a highly qualified and learned medical scientist of the allopathic school, became deeply conscious of the aforesaid unphilosophical approach of the old school of medicine to the nature and causation of disease, and of the equally unsatisfactory and crude methods of treatment. Having become disgusted with vague, untenable and everyday changing theories and hypotheses, and purely speculative and lawlessly empirical methods of treatment, he set about thinking if in the realm of medicine also there were some natural laws which could guide with a reasonable certainly in the treatment of sickness.
He was a great scholar and the author and translator of several medical books. His persistent quest and investigations led him to the discovery of the famous LAW OF SIMILARS according to which a drug can cure in the sick such symptoms as it has the power to produce in the healthy, provided it is administered in sufficiently small and potentized doses. This is a law of nature as true, universal and immutable as the Law of Gravity, and it has stood the test for over a hundred and fifty years. This is the solid rock on which homoeopathy stands, firm and secure,and unshaken by millions of medical tempests and blasts which have blown away theory after theory and hypothesis after hypothesis.
Besides the Law of Similars, there are certain other natural laws to guide the homoeopathic prescriber of which we cannot take not in a general discussion like the present one. But all this is enough to show how homoeopathy emancipates us from the lawless empiricism of the old school and offers a system of treatment based on definite, precise and well-tested principles. Just as an apple detached from the tree falls to the ground and does not fly off in any other direction, so the similar remedy must bring about a cure if a cure is possible.