By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Published September 10, 2014, Last updated October 21, 2016
A common perception that people have about Homeopathy is that it is slow to act. In my almost 2 decades of clinical dealing with patients, I have heard this umpteen times from people that they think that Homeopathy is slow. Such a belief is often shared by people who come to me for the first time, having been referred to me by one or the other patient of mine who has been cured of some ailment and has immense faith in the homeopathic system as well as my abilities. At that very instance, I make sure that I enlighten them about the speedy action of Homeopathic medicines and this helps them correct the notion that they are carrying in their minds. With this post, I intend to do the same for others who have similar views. It is therefore necessary to understand some basic things about human body, the body’s immunity or the defence system, the mode of action of homeopathic medicines and the nature of diseases.
Human body and its immunity
The human body has been provided with elaborate innate mechanisms to keep itself healthy. In most of the times, it is able to retain its health with this innate mechanism known as the immunity. The white blood cells form the basic defense mechanism and are able to keep most diseases at bay, working silently day in and out without even our coming to know of their work. Even when some disease manages to overpower the body’s defense mechanism and gain entry into the system, this mechanism exerts itself and tries to control the issue at hand. Often it is able to do so but requires help at times. This help comes in the form of medicines, which restore the patient to health. This is where medicine, doctors and medical aid come in.
Homeopathy strengthens the immunity and helps it cure the disease
It is pertinent to understand here what the mode of action of the homeopathic medicines is. The homeopathic medicines act as an aid to the natural immunity of the body. They help in strengthening the innate healing powers of the body and let the body cure itself. If there are some bacteria or viruses in the body, the homeopathic medicines help in activating and strengthening the various immunity mechanisms that in turn contain the infection on their own. The immunity gained from fighting an infection lives in the memory of the white blood cells forever and whenever a similar infection occurs, the available antibodies scramble at a breakneck speed to contain the infection. This prevents further infection from similar bacteria or viruses, even if the second infection occurs years later.
This is in direct contrast to the allopathic system of medicine, which assumes that the natural immunity of the body has failed to do its duty and needs to be replaced with an artificial defense mechanism. Antibiotics are prescribed indiscriminately, which inherently works on the assumption that the immunity of the body has completely failed to contain the bacteria. Hence some medicines need to be supplied that will go and just kill the bacteria or do the duty in place of the natural healing mechanism of the body. As a corollary, a lot of healthy bacteria are also killed which form the natural fauna of the gut. Also, over a period of time and with frequent or rather indiscriminate use of antibiotics, the bacteria become resistant to these antibiotics. It has often been seen that antibiotics are prescribed even when it is clear that the patient is suffering from a viral disease. Such abuse of antibiotics, instead of strenghening the body’s immunity, leaves it weak and helpless.
Nature of disease- acute or chronic
The disease that attacks a person may be a self-limiting type or a short lived one like a viral fever or a cold or a simple stomach upset. Such diseases are called acute diseases while those that tend to persist for long times or for the whole of the life are called chronic diseases. Eczema, asthma, chronic sinusitis, cervical or lumbar spondylitis, ulcerative colitis, diabetes and cancer are some of the chronic diseases.
Homeopathy acts faster in acute diseases
Yes, the fact is that Homeopathy works faster in acute diseases than the conventional form of treatment. For the purpose of illustration, let us take a commonly seen problem of viral fever. It is a well known adage that Viral is cured in 7 days with medicine and takes a week without any medicine. This is true only of the allopathic medicine as there is hardly any treatment for any viral infection. The common practice is to keep giving Paracetamol or some other medicine to lower the temperature temporarily and allow the body to fight the infection. This usually takes about a week. Some overzealous allopaths even prescribe antibiotics for reasons best known to them.
Now contrast this with Homeopathy. In my experience, having treated thousands of cases of viral fevers, I have always found that it does not take more than 2-3 days to cure the viral fever. In fact, in most of the cases, the fever is gone in a day. The only difference is that the Homeopathic medicines do not lower the temperature artificially for a little while, as happens with paracetamol. Once the effect of the medicine wears off, the temperature again rises and you will have to repeat the medicine again. This cycle keeps on continuing for the next week or so. The paracetamol only helps in lowering the body temperature and in no way helps in fighting the infection which is the cause of the fever. Here, one more thing needs to be understood that the fever is a symptom of an underlying viral infection and not a disease in itself. The allopathic medicines do not even pretend to fight the viral infection but are just trying to suppress the most visible symptom of the infection. The homeopathic medicines, on the other hand do not lower the temperature artificially and help the body fight the viral infection, which is the root cause of the fever. That is why, once the fever subsides after the body’s immunity has gained enough strength to fight the infection, the fever does not come back. An added advantage is that there is no remnant weakness or any other trouble like loss of appetite or bad taste in mouth which often remain for a while after a viral fever.
How Homeopathy is faster in chronic cases
Here also, let us take an illustrative disease like asthma. A patient suffering from asthma keeps on taking anti-allergic medicines and bronchodilators for years on end. Even steroidal inhalers are given in flare-ups and when this does not suffice, oral steroids are also resorted to. The moment he stops the medicine, he again gets the same wheezing and breathlesness. The patient ends up taking the medicines lifelong. How can this be called fast cure? It is only palliative treatment, providing temporary relief every time the patient has a flare-up. If you compare this with the homeopathic treatment, the patient will be cured of this disease after a couple of months of the homeopathic treatment. Once cured, he will be completely free from the disease as well as the medicines. He will be able to lead a completely medicine free life. Isn’t a couple of months treatment less than lifelong treatment? Isn’t the homeopathic medicine faster when it comes to curing patients? It is only the palliative care or the temporary relief that the allopathic medicines provide that is being confused for a permanent cure. When it comes to curing a patient, Homeopathy is in fact faster than allopathy.