Homeopathy is an alternative medicine system and is recognized as one of the national systems of medicine by the Indian government. It was created by Dr. Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann based on his doctrine of like cures like. The father and founder of Homeopathy Dr. Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann’s birthday, which is on April 10, is celebrated as the World Homeopathy Day across the world. So, on the occasion of World Homeopathy Day 2017, we interviewed Dr. Suraj Dhirwani, a 3rd generation doctor and a 2nd generation homeopath. He is the founder of Sunshine Homeopathy Clinic and consults across Mumbai. Having developed apps like 5YLE and LY5E to improve the doctor patient relationship, Dr. Dhirwani welcomes questions and interactions with patients and health enthusiasts alike. Here are his answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about homeopathy. (ALSO READ Clinical psychologist answers important questions about depression)Also Read - What is Naturopathy, How Magically it Cures Diseases, And Why You Need to Trust Your Body's Healing Powers - Expert Explains!

As a practicing homeopath, what are the challenging situations or cases you come across?

Every case is a challenge, a puzzle to be unlocked. There are a maze of symptoms that we must understand, comprehend and classify to be able to reach a diagnosis and then the right course of treatment. The real challenge is when you cannot get the clear symptoms from the patient, for example children or cases of mental disease. Also Read - AYUSH Kavach App Offers Home-Based Treatment, Users Can Call And Consult Ayurveda-Unani-Homeopathy Experts Through it

Naysayers of Homeopathy believe that it works as placebo and that it’s not capable of really treating any condition. What would you say to such criticisms?

We are a science and like every science we must be able to prove our theories. The law of Similars is verified but the modus operandi of the medicines cannot be proved in the same way as say a molecule of a drug synthesised by the modern medicine school of thought. That being said, BARC & quite a few bodies are helping our cause with sustained significant research in the field of nano technology and Homeopathic medicines. Having witnessed results first hand on children as well as animals, who have no concept of placebo, it is without doubt that there is a definitive action, which needs to be quantified with religious research. Also Read - 'Homeopathy Has Good Track Record With Epidemics And Infectious Diseases': Experts on Fighting COVID-19

Not many people in India know the benefits of homeopathy. Can you please tell our readers in a few simple words the importance and benefits of homeopathy? What are the benefits of switching to homeopathy medicine from conventional medicine?

  • For a developing country like ours – the cost of medicine in Homeopathy is one advantage that seems relevant the most.
  • Homeopathy is safe – it does not cause side effects
  • It is easy to administer and does not require complex or painful modes of administration.
  • Homeopathy treats the individual and not the disease. It treats the man IN disease.
  • One of the biggest advantage is we don’t treat by differentiating between different systems of the body – so it can be a one stop consultation with a Homeopath viz-a-viz one doctor for each system

Usually, we consume just 4 small sugar balls or a small packet of powder. How can such a small dose be effective?

Those are just vehicles to administer the medicine. The dose or medicine is actually in the dilutions (manufactured by the Homeopathic Pharmaceuticals). The 4 pills or 6 pills are just a way of calculation and having the medicines spread out at regular intervals for the prescribed period of the course. It can vary from doctor to doctor based on their preferred method – pills or powder or liquid / water. What matters is the dose going along with those vehicles.

Does the homeopathy medicine fight the disease or the symptoms?

Neither. It helps the person suffering from those symptoms fight them. As I have mentioned earlier it treats the MAN in disease rather than the disease in man.

Can homeopathy be used for mental disorders?

Yes. Definitely. Homeopathy can be used effectively for a wide variety of mental disorders.

What exactly goes into those sweet little balls of sugar? What are homeopathic medicines made from?

As mentioned above, the little balls of sugar are just vehicles. They are called Sacchrum Lactose – they are made from Cane Sugar. That is NOT Homeopathic medicine, although we seem to have become synonymous with those and help ease our route of administration.

Homeopathic Medicines, the actual dilutions manufactured by reputed Homeopathic Pharmacies in accordance with the HPI (Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of India – the official book of standards of Homeopathic Medicine, by the Government of India). These are made primarily from plant, animal and mineral sources.

Are homeopathic remedies vegan in origin?

No. Not all of them. As mentioned above, the ones made from plant and mineral sources can be considered vegan.

Do homeopathic medicines have side effects?

No. Homeopathic medicines do not have any perceptible side effects.

What are the most common diseases/ailments cured by homeopathy?

A variety of acute & chronic illnesses. Acidity, Anaemia, Arthritis, Asthma, Backache, Cervical Spondylosis, Dentition Troubles, Diarrhoea & Dysentery, Eye Disorders, Ear, Nose & Throat Problems, Hormonal Imbalance, Height & Weight Disorders, Kidney Stones, Liver Disorders, Menstrual Disorders, Mental Disorders, Obesity, Paediatric Problems, Thyroid Dysfunction, Worms … to name a few.

What are the dos and don’ts of following a homeopathic course?

Some of the standard instructions issued by all Homeopaths – do not refrigerate the medicines or expose them to direct sunlight. Keep them away from strong smelling substances. Do not touch the medicine with your hand, tap it directly on your tongue. Always consume the medicines on a clean mouth and do not consume food or water for at least 15 minutes after the medicine. Do not mix two medicines. Consume only one medicine at a time. And the most important line of them all – always consult your Physician when not sure and follow his advice.

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