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200 years of homeopathy, where do we stand?

The Foundation for Homeopathic Research is all set to celebrate the Bicentenary year of Homeopathy in 1993.

200 years of homeopathy, where do we stand?
by Dr. Rajesh Shah, M.D.
National Journal of Homeopathy, Vol 11, No. 1, 1993


The Foundation for Homeopathic Research is all set to celebrate the Bicentenary year of Homeopathy in 1993.


Dr Rajesh Shah, the President of the Foundation writes in his article that-it is the need of the time and circumstances that all Homeopaths should actively participate and make wholehearted attempts to create more public awareness about Homeopathy. Dr. Shah points out that only a small fraction of the world population goes for Homeopathy today.

An article published in homeopathic journal

If we compare the chronological age of Ayurveda, Allopathy, Acupuncture and Homeopathy, we find that Homeopathy is the youngest of all-a little child, just 200 years old. It was around 1790 that Hahnemann came across Cullens Materia Medica and then, following experimentation, he propounded to the world the Homeopathic system of medicine in 1793.

At the age of 200 years, how much has Homeopathy grown? What is the status of Homeopathy? Honestly speaking Homeopathy has not crossed even her childhood. Today Homeopathy is practiced mainly in India (more so in certain metropolis), and only in some European countries like England, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Austria, France etc. It has been recognized but is not as popular as it should be. In the Scandinavian countries like Norway, Denmark and Finland, Homeopathy is just a neonate. In Australia and New Zealand, there are not many Homeopaths. In Russia, Homeopathy does not enjoy a respectable place. In the USA Homeopathy is treated in a very hostile manner. Only in 11 states (ie about 20 percent of states) it is legally permitted to practice Homeopathy while in rest of USA it is considered a crime to practice Homeopathy! It means Homeopathy is treated like black-magic in USA. It is an insult to Homeopathy, Hahnemann, and homeopaths all over the world. In China, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong etc. Homeopathy is not practiced at all. In the Gulf countries Homeopathy is prohibited. Homeopathy is not recognized by WHO as yet.

In European countries like England, Switzerland, and also USA, insurance companies do not reimburse the fees paid for Homeopathic treatment. In all of these countries treatment of acute, infectious diseases are avoided by most Homeopaths.

Although we do not have authentic statistical data, it can well be presumed that only a small fraction of the world population goes for Homeopathic treatment. It is bitter fact, which at the age of 200 years is difficult to swallow. In India, we tend to be happy, feeling that the awareness about Homeopathy has been increasing. This is true, yet I very strongly feel that it is only a mirage. Homeopathy has undoubtedly become more popular during the last decade, especially in major cities like Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, and Madras. Let us take the example of Bombay. Here Homeopathy has flourished amongst the upper economic strata. There are six Allopathic medical colleges as against only two Homeopathic colleges (the second college started only three years ago). Against the number of Allopathic doctors, Homeopaths are in a very small minority, Asia’s largest slum Dharavi does not have a single Homeopathic doctor. There are 2-3 Homeopathic hospitals in Bombay (two of which are in the same campus) as against numerous Government and Municipal Allopathic hospitals. There are hundreds of Allopathic nursing homes in Bombay and not a single Homeopathic nursing home. This is the status of Homeopathy in Bombay, which incidentally also has the maximum number of Homeopaths in the world.

Except a couple of Homeopathic research units there are no well-equipped research centres as compared to those for the Allopathic schools of medicine.
Taking into account the above facts, every Homeopath must be shaken up from within to take some action towards improving the status of Homeopathy.

The Causes

What are the causes behind such a mal-developed and retarded growth of Homeopathy? I think there are three main causes. viz.

Education System:

Our education system especially at the remotest places is not up to the mark. Most Homeopathic colleges lack expert and devoted Homeopathic teachers. Most Homeopathic institutions do not have attached hospital facilities. Somehow our education system has failed to motivate every student to practice Homeopathy. The standard of education has not been at a high level. Unfortunately Homeopathic colleges are producing pseudo-Allopathic doctors.

System Limitation:

Due to lack training and motivation many Homeopaths are unable to exploit the efficacy of the science in treating most of the acute cases. (We must be happy when only a few Homeopaths cure a few difficult acute cases. Sporadic cures do not carry much significance). It is of not much value when one homeopath treats successfully a case of Encephalitis. It is important that most Homeopaths be able to treat most of the acute cases of Bronchitis, Pneumonia, Nephritis etc.

Lack of efforts by homeopaths:

To me, the most important factor behind the poor status of Homeopathy is the lack of efforts by all of us. After Hahnemann, Boenninghausen, Herring, Kent, Boericke, Pierre, Smith and Vithoulkas, there is not much individual contribution over the last 150 years. There is a lack of organized attempts in fundamental research. Again, due to internal politics our progress is inhibited.


Our attitudes towards raising the status of Homeopathy has remained passive. The fast forward movement of today's world demands planned marketing and advertisement to raise the level and public awareness about Homeopathy. I would like to quote from a speech by Dr Schwartz during the International Congress in USA- "We are lazy and we alibi with professional ethics. We follow the path of least resistance preferring to be entertained, amused and letting George do the work. We are like the foolish virgins- we bury our talents and hide our candle under a bushel measure, keeping suffering humanity in the dark. It is our duty to go out and preach and advertise Homeopathy. The medical profession is starving and at large want Homeopathy but they don't know that they do".

All of us have witnessed the increasing awareness about AIDS, Drug Addiction and Sex Education in recent years. This is the result of smart social marketing. In spite of the fact that public awareness about Homeopathy is more important than anything else, we have lagged behind in our efforts to widely spread the benefits of this system. At the end of 200 years, Homeopathy has still remained in the pediatric age having difficult teething and delayed milestones, partly due to irresponsible parenting by the practitioners. The time has come to out in combined efforts to raise the level of Homeopathy.

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