My two-year old daughter was totally indifferent to food and no amount of appetisers prescribed by her paediatrician helped. I took her to an Ayurvedic practitioner from Kerala and he gave some ghee-based preparations. Lo and behold, Yana is now a gourmet. The last time I have had a stomach upset, my mother-in-law suggested that I take flaked rice with curd and mashed banana. Eureka, a supporter of Allopathic system of medicine all my life, I was pleasantly surprised by the quick and positive effect of the ‘gharelu-nuskha’ (home made recipe).
A dear colleague’s aged mother was down with very high levels of platelet counts and high fever. The doctors suggested hospitalisation and he gave Homeopathy a try. And the results, prompt and positive, converted him, into a believer in alternative systems of medicines.
And the tribe is growing, so much so that the Government of India itself, as early as 1995 created the Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM&H). Later, it was re-named as Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) with a view to providing focused attention to development of Education & Research in Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy systems. The Department lays emphasis on upgradation of AYUSH educational standards, quality control and standardization of drugs, improving the availability of medicinal plant material, research and development and awareness generation about the efficacy of the systems domestically and internationally.
From the evergreen Yoga to the soothing Kerala massage, traditional systems of medicine are no more a fad and there are increasing calls for an integrated approach to medicine. Of course, there are critics as well who dub systems such as Homeo as having only a placebo effect.
But there are also crusaders like Dr A K Gupta, a highly qualified Delhi-based Homeopath and a Member of the Delhi Government’s Board of Homeopathic System of Medicine, who set up the first such centre, Om Vidya Institute of Homoeopathy and Allied Medical Sciences, with the objective of ameliorating the suffering of the patients through holistic medicine. Dr Gupta’s bold initiative earned him a place in the Limca Book of Records and several prestigious national and international awards.
Asserting that Homeo was effective in dealing with acute and chronic complaints, Dr Gupta says there is a strong tendency to take Homoeopathic treatment as the last resort on the grounds that it does not have any side effects and is cost effective. “But people must know Homoeopathy is potent and scientific enough to cure any disease on its own in the first instance itself. When a patient comes to a Homoeopathic doctor after having been to several other system of medicines, the patient’s body is already so drugged and low on immunity that it takes time for the Homoeopathic remedy to start showing its efficacy.”
Conceding that Homoeopathy, like any other system of medicine, has its limitations, Dr Gupta says OVIHAMS aims to provide integrated medical services to the patient under one roof. It has been observed that ignorance regarding the efficacy of other system of medicines or hesitation to accept the other systems of medicine or lack of interaction among the experts of all systems of medicine unfortunately leads to prolonging of the patient’s suffering. According to him, the need of the hour is that experts of various systems of medicine remove their misconceptions and work with an open mind towards an integrated approach to provide the best possible medical care to the suffering humanity.
Dr Gupta has been organising free homeo camps across the national capital over the years and working shoulder to shoulder with him on this noble mission is his son and young Homeopath Dr Sanket Gupta.
And what if Allopathy or Homeo or Ayurveda fail to cure your ailment? Well, one can always try Siddha, Unani or even Sowa-Rigpa, one of the oldest, living and well documented medical traditions of the world. It has been popularly practiced in Tibet, Mangolia, Bhutan, some parts of China, Nepal, Himalayan regions of India and former Soviet Union since centuries. What’s more, it’s no jadu-tona (witchcraft) but a system being promoted by the Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Let academics debate systems, let the results speak for themselves.
At the end of the day, as Dr Gupta aptly put it, “I Treat, He (God) Cures.”