The debate between the effectiveness of allopathic medicines and homeopathy has been one of the most disputed in medical history. Both schools of thought at the centre of their practice aim to heal the sick but take on different trajectories to achieve the same. Having said that, a large section of people still rely on the age-old holistic approach of Homeopathy. A natural and individualised approach to healing a person using minute doses of specific remedies still resonates with people's choices and secures a popular position in India's healthcare system.
In an interview with Biplob Ghosal of Zee Media Group, Dr Kalyan Banerjee discusses the benefits of homoeopathy medicine and its efficacy in curing complicated cases like cancer, organ failure, hepatitis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and many others.
Dr Kalyan Banerjee has been practising for 38 years in Delhi's Chittaranjan Park and is the only homoeopath to have received the Padma Shree award in the field of homeopathic medicine. Dr Banerjee’s clinic, one of the largest homeopathic practices in the world, was founded in 1977 and now treats several hundred patients every single day.
Dr Banerjee has served as an Honorary Member of the Governing Body of the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India and as an Honorary Member of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Committee and the Standing Finance Committee of the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy.
Biplob: You have been practising homoeopathy for more almost four decades. Can you explain to our readers as to what extent is homoeopathy treatment effective and better than allopathic treatment?
Dr Banerjee: Homeopathy is a complete therapeutic science. My practice uses the Advanced Homeopathy protocol which is research driven and evidence based. This was developed by Prof Parimal Banerji. The most important advantage of homeopathic treatment is its ability to provide permanence in treatment by addressing acute episodes of an illness and preventing recurrence. In addition, a large number of diseases like several forms of cancers, kidney and liver failure, liver cirrhosis, epilepsy, systemic lupous erythematosis, cardiac diseases etc. show lasting improvement, which is often not possible in allopathic treatment.
We have a large number of patients of cancers and organ failures, who have survived far longer than predicted by oncologists and those who have shown complete recession with exclusive homeopathic treatment using the Advanced Homeopathy protocols. Lastly, homeopathic treatment for incurable and repeatedly recurring conditions has the advantage of causing no side effects, despite prolonged usage.
Biplob: These days gastroenteritis problem has become common and is found to be affecting people of all age groups. What are the real causes for such ailment and how is homeopathy beneficial is such cases?
Dr Banerjee: Gastro-enteritis is often misunderstood and loosely used term. Patients with acidity, loose motions and unsatisfactory stools may not always be suffering from gastro enteritis. However, these symptoms are becoming more prevalent because of increased stress levels and poor lifestyle including poor eating habits, lack of exercise and erratic sleep timing.
Homeopathy helps on several fronts by addressing stress factors and the body's ability to tolerate stress. In addition, instead of just providing an antacid or laxative, Advanced Homeopathy addresses the sensitivity of the digestive tract so that the patient can return to a normal diet without excessive restrictions. In time, due to the permanent nature of its cure, medicines are withdrawn and the patient leads a normal, healthy life. Lifestyle changes are extremely important in management of such cases.
Biplob: Another deadly disease which is causing thousands of deaths is Cancer. You have been credited of effectively curing cancer patients. Could you throw some light on the treatment you prescribe?
Dr Banerjee: My doctors and I handle very high number of cancer patients on a regular basis. The clinic has developed a reputation of curing untreatable cancers and helping patients who have been declared terminal or those that are non-refractory to chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Patients, who are ineligible for chemotherapy, also show remarkable response to treatment at our clinic using the Advanced Homeopathy protocols.
Biplob: These days infertility has become a major problem amongst the married couples. Does homeopathy treatment provide effective results?
Dr Banerjee: Homeopathic treatment has proven very beneficial to couples planning conception. My team of doctors and I, use specific homeopathic regimens depending on the cause of the problem and other factors. The treatment has helped a large number of patients who have not experienced positive results after other common procedures like IUI and IVF.
Biplob: How effective is homoeopathy treatment in treating cases like hepatitis, AIDS, swine flu, encephalitis, ebola?
Dr Banerjee: Although, all these illnesses are infectious diseases, they are entirely different from each other and need to be discussed individually.
Hepatitis and its various forms and long term complications are commonly seen at the clinic. Chronic conditions of Hepatitis B and C also show remarkable changes in viral load, antibody response and other parameters. Long term degeneration into cirrhosis is addressed with homeopathic treatment. Hepatocellular carcinoma, which may occur after cirrhosis of liver from viral hepatitis is treated with homeopathic treatment at my clinic.
Swine flu - during epidemics in the past, we used the symptom lists to match medicines from the homeopathic materia medica. Overtime, my doctors and I have evolved a homeopathic regimen that has a very high rate of success. The patients recover quickly and often have no residual symptoms.
Encephalitis - There may be several causes of this condition. Most kinds of cases show gradual improvement and many neurological symptoms may recede. A complete cure is not possible when permanent long term damage has occurred.
AIDS - A large number of patients treated at the clinic have shown very good immunological responses to treatment and are able to lead healthy and long lives. Incidental infections in patients with established AIDS or at the HIV positive stage are also addressed by homeopathic treatment at the clinic.
Ebola - The medical community as a whole knows very little about this dangerous virus. Medical researchers have recently taken a renewed interest in this condition after the outbreak which affected far flung areas of the world. It will be incorrect to say that we have conclusive evidence to treat ebola infections with homeopathic treatment. However, we have studied the symptoms and the evolution of the disease in great detail and believe that specific combination of homeopathic medicines will prove extremely beneficial for patients.
Biplob: Has the government done enough to promote homeopathy in India?
Dr Banerjee: The Government of India has been a pioneer in the state level adoption of homeopathy. An act of Parliament was passed soon after independence establishing the Central Council and standards of homeopathic training. These still remain amongst the best in the world.
However, homeopathy needs active promotion from the government and there is a need to ensure that the quality of training and practice is not being compromised. Giving support for research to individuals and smaller organisations that have amassed invaluable experience is another area that the government should focus on.
Biplob: Tell us something about your humanitarian gesture i.e. to provide free consultations to everyone who comes for treatment during the free clinic hours on daily basis.
Dr Banerjee: I have been giving consultations without charging any fee every day that I have worked for the last 38 years. The charitable hours at the clinic start from 4:30 pm and we often work till 11 pm and later. From small beginnings, today my clinic sees over 700 patients for free every day. We have served over five million prescriptions without any consultation charge. This is made possible by the hard work of the doctors that work alongside me and members of the staff.
We have streamlined the process of consultation and prescription. By using the evidence based Advanced Homeopathy protocols, my doctors and I have been able to write out prescription with confidence. Thus, the hundreds of patients who wait for hours outside my clinic every day are able to be receive care. Even so, several hundred patients have to be turned away since we are just not able to see all the patients that want to be treated every single day. The clinic sees far more patients every day than some of the busiest hospitals in the country.