Homeopathy, also known as homeopathic medicine, is a medical system that was developed in Germany more than 200 years ago. It’s based on two unconventional theories. Preventive treatment tries to prevent the disease from happening in healthy individuals while Curative treatment helps the patient recover from an already existing disease in that individual. Homeopathic products come from plants and minerals. Yet homeopathy is a controversial topic. A number of its key concepts don’t agree with fundamental scientific concepts. Let’s understand more about it in this interview of Doctor’s Speak.
Dr. Ankit Soni, Doctor and Founder, Lifeplus Homeopathy Clinic, is a homeopathic doctor, a counselor, a technology enthusiast with 10 years of experience in homeopathy, and has worked with 1 Mg and Medi Angels.
Lifeplus Homeopathy Clinic, Mumbai, has been working since 2010 with the goal of providing quality homeopathic treatment with a patient-centric approach. They strongly believe that every patient is unique and hence requires an individualized treatment plan, thereby maximizing optimum treatment outcomes.
Awareness of Homeopathy in India
Dr. Ankit says, "In the case of India, there has been a lot of awareness about the treatment. So if we talk from the highest level, the Indian Government promotes homeopathy a lot, there is a dedicated ministry for homeopathy, Ayush Ministry, which is now quite well known than earlier. Homeopathy in the last 15 years has grown a lot. It is probably the second most preferred treatment modality after modern medicine. And for a lot of us, that's the first or rather the most preferred choice of treatment. So, homeopathy is given a lot of recognition, especially in the last 15 years. As far as patients are concerned, the patient also has a lot of belief in the whole process of treatment. We, especially at Lifeplus, have touched at least about 30,000 plus lives in the last 10 years, and we have been able to make a lot of difference lately," he says.
Telemedicine is the Future
Dr. Ankit sheds light on the subject, "I was associated with Medi Angels initially where I came to know about telemedicine and understand the nitty-gritty of it. So, probably MediAngels were slightly earlier than their age. It was one of the very few industries, companies or startups rather to promote telemedicine. So, telemedicine definitely is the medicine of the future. There is a lot of disparity in the healthcare delivery system, especially metros and tier one cities have good access to medical healthcare. But tier-two, tier-three cities, especially rural India, where the majority of our population is, the availability of specialist doctors is very sparse, even the primary health care centers are not very great. Telemedicine is the way to bridge this gap or disparity of unavailability of special help, especially cell care. So, if I give you an example of my own clinic, we had certain protocols of telemedicine going on for a very long time before this pandemic actually happened. We were catering to our overseas patients through video conferencing, those things were already going on. And in this pandemic, also because we had already set certain things how we'll be going about. Even if there was a complete lockdown in the country, we were able to cater to all our patients. There was no problem, no lag in the delivery of healthcare. We used to send the medicines on the same day. So yes, I guess telemedicine is now slightly becoming more mainstream. And it will not replace the traditional medicine but telemedicine is here to stay," he says.
Able to help patients
Dr. Ankit talks about his experience, "Well, the journey has been superb. There was a lot of growth in me that I've seen. From starting my clinic just after passing out, with the aim of providing quality homeopathic treatment. From there, I actually came in association with MediAngels, where I understood things about second opinion services, telemedicine. Eventually, I came in association with 1MG, providing an end to end solution. So, that learning helped me a lot to implement those things in my own clinic. And because of this whole journey and experience, personal growth definitely did happen. Also, I was able to implement a lot of things in my own clinic and was able to make a lot of difference to my patients," he says.
Homeopathy for Coronavirus
Dr. Ankit explains, There are two parts in this treatment -
Preventive treatment - As the word suggests, we try and prevent the disease from happening in a healthy individual. Curative treatment - We try to make the patient recover from the disease that the patient is already having.
''So, in the case of homeopathy, the last pandemic, that world now knows, because it was all there in the history books, but nobody knew about the Spanish Flu that happened at the Fagin of World War One around the 1980s. In that scenario, homeopathy did make a lot of difference. At that time, modern medicine was not that advanced that it is right now. Homeopaths already have a principal in homeopathy that is called Genus Epidemicus, where we try to collect symptoms of a particular community, and we try to find a single remedy or a single medicine that might help and treat those patients'' he says.
''Our pioneers did at that time collect symptoms from a particular community, and then they employed that medicine within that community. And, the observation was that for people who were administered these medicines, the incidence of Spanish flu or the disease at that time was much lower than the overall incidence in that country or in that event. So, that was the experience we already had. In the current scenario, the Central Council of Research in Homeopathy (CCRH), which is the ICMR equivalent for homeopathy, did some research and they suggested an Arsenicum album as the possible Genus Epidemicus, which our government Ayush Ministry did promote. In our clinic also, when we did employ this medicine to our own patient and my personal observation was that all the patients that we gave Arsenic, none of them, have been contracted with Corona. So, that is the preventive part of it. Of course, you have to follow the other norms, that is social distancing, wearing of masks, hand sanitization, washing of hands are definitely required, but an additional layer of protection definitely can be provided by homeopathy in the form of preventive. Talking about curative treatment, which is what everybody is interested in. And so in the case of curative treatment, how homeopathy works, we need to understand that homeopathy is an individualized science of treatment. In the case of modern medicine, let's say a hundred patients come to us with fever. So, we'll give them paracetamol, and for most of them, their fever will be absolutely under control. But, in case of a patient coming to us with fever, and we're trying to treat them with homeopathy, those hundred patients might require 100 different medicines. So, it is a highly individualized method of treatment. Having said that, if in the current scenario, if we want to give a treatment to the patient, who is having COVID-19, we will have to take symptom totality of that patient. So, what can happen, with all the treatment modalities in place of modern medicine, homeopathy can definitely be offered in the form of a complementary or supplementary modality of treatment. So, yes, it can work hand in hand in a synergistic way probably to help the patient, but the thing that is very important is that the symptom totality has to be taken from that patient. If that is the case, absolutely, homeopathy can help. But, if you want to know if a single medicine will be able to help? Then no. Principle homeopathy cannot be employed in the form of - one size fits all kind of situation, that is not possible. Hence, a single remedy is not going to work. But, if symptom fatality is present, it can definitely be a very important complementary or supplementary mode of treatment," he says.
Edited By- Sana Farid Khan