HomoeoPathic Medical Health Guide
Homoeopathy did not take much time to be introduced in India. As early as 1810, some German physicians and missionaries landed in Bengal and started distributing homoeopathic remedies among the local inhabitants. By the middle of the nineteenth century, there were many amateur homoeopaths among Indian Civil and Military Services personnel in Bengal.
A book enitled 'Thirty-five Years in the East Adentures, Discoveries etc. published in London in 1852, by Dr. John Martin Honigberger, gives a glimpse of the beginning of homoeopathic practice in Lahore at the Court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Dr. Honigberger had learnt Homoeopathy from Hahnemann in Paris in 1835. In 1839, he came to India for the second time and took up the treatment of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and succeeded in his mission beyond expectations. Roundabout 1846, some homoeopathic hospitals were started by Surgeon Samuel Brookling, a retired Medical Officer at Tanjore and Puducotta in South India under the patronage of the Rajahs of those States, In November 1851 at Calcutta, the Homoeopathic Hospital and Free Dispensary was started under the patronage of the Hon'ble Sir John Hunter Littler, Deputy Governor of Bengal and President of the Council of India; and Dr. Tonnere, a French allopath by education but converted to Homoeopathy, was appointed the Physician-in-charge of the l.ospital. It is intersting to know that this doctor was appointed the first Health Officer of Calcutta, This Hospital had a short existence and Dr. Tonnere, with all his zeal and conviction failed to secure a firm footing in Calcutta.
About this time, some amateurs in the Civil and Military services had been practising Homoeopathy with great success in Calcutta. One name shines outmost conspicuously and it is that of Mr. Ed. D'Latour, one of the prominent Judges of the Sadar Dewani Adalat' (Court).Mr. Latour treated many cholera cases in which the mortality was only 30 per cent as recorded in the British Journal of Homoeopathy of July 1854. He converted his immediate subordinate, a Deputy Magistrate, Maulavi Ziauddin Hosein, who, in turn, became an amateur practitioner. About the same time two Government Medical Officers, Dr. Cooper and Dr. J. R. Russel, stationed in Fort William, were known to admire and practise Homoeopathy; Dr. H. Ryper, a military peansioner of the sub-ordinate service, staying at Cooley Bazar, Kidderpore also used to distribute homoeopathic medicines free of cost. Mr. Ryper received encouragement from Capt. May, a staff pensioner who lived just over the Kidderpore Bridge and was a great admirer and advocate of Homoeopathy. During this period, a remarkable personality appeared in Calcutta, who had much to do with the establishment and spread of Homoeopathy in India. This was Dr. Rajendra Lal Dutta, popularly known as Babu Rajen Datta. He belonged to a scholarly family of Bengal and for sometime had studied in Calcutta Medical College. He was once treated for a chronic disease by an amateur homoeopath and thereafter he developed interest in Homoeopathy. He brought Dr. Tonnere, a French doctor by education, later converted to Homoeopathy and had him placed Incharge of the Homoeopathic Hospital and Dispensary at Calcutta, in 1851. This venture somehow failed. Rajen Babu learnt Homoeopathy himself and treated successfully many patients, some of whom were distinguished men of the time such as Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and Raja Radha Kanta Deb Bahadur.
Rajen Babu was fully convinced of the efficacy and usefulness of homoeopathic remedies and as such he was always on the lockout for a suitable person to take up its cause. In these efforts he succeeded when he converted Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar to Homoeopathy. Dr. Sircar helped in providing a place of honour to Homoeopathy in India.
Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar had done M.D. of Calcutta University in 1863, and had later became member of the Faculty of Medicine of the same University. To begin with, he had only contempt for Homoeopathy but after reading some books on the subject, his interest in it was. aroused. In order to scientifically investigate this healingart, he started working with Rajen Babu. Of this he wrote as followows:
"Before taking this step I made a stipulation with Rajen Babu. I told him that as I believe his cures were effected by the strict regimen that he enjoined and not by his infinitesimal nothing—globues or drops—1 would agree to observe cases with him, provided, he would agree to keep the patient for a time at least under strict regimen alone and give them no medicine till it should appear that further expectancy would be injurious. He readily agreed. Strange to say, and to his dismay, a few cases did recover under regimen alone and without any medicine. But my triumph was not to continue long, for others proved refractory, and I had to give my consent to administer his medicines to them. A great many recovered and the incurables were benefited. This fact staggered me, the efficacy was too evident to be gainsaid; and I was compelled, much against my will. Of course, to make trials of the medicines myself in the cases which resisted my own treatment. The result, to my notification, was something bordering on the marvellous if not miraculous, "These trials were begun in 1865, and on the course of a year, the conviction became strong that Homoeopathy was not the humbug and the quackery I had thought it was. In order to be sure of the degree of their actual attenation, I prepared with my own hands some of the medicines, and I was surprised, as I have said, at their efficacy, when administered according to the principles of the system. There was truth in the system and to further resist and oppose it would be, it appeared to me, to resist and oppose the truth. And as the truth was concerned with my professional life and as I was a member of a profession whose sacred duty it was to avail of every means for the cure of the disease, the amelioration of suffering and the prolongation of life, I thought it my duty to lay my experience before the profession".
This he did in February 1867, much against the wishes of his senior colleagues and professors. He read a paper entitled: 'On the supposed uncertainty in medical, science and in the relationship between disease, and their remedial agents'. This was on the occasion of the Fourth Annual General Meeting of the Bengal Branch of the British Medcial Association, of which he was one of the Vice-Presidents,
His paper raised a storm around him in which he got engulfed. His professional colleagues had nothing but contempt for him after the event. This is how he wrote of it : "An outcast, I actually became from the next day after the meeting. The rumour spread like wild fire that I had lost my reason, that I had yielded to the seductions of Babu Rajen Datta and given adhesion to one of the worst and the most absurd of quackeries that had ever come into existence, and I had forgotten my mathematics and now believed that the part was greater than the whole. My patients, and their number was not inconsiderable, who had perfect faith in me, regretted that I should have given up my old convictions and one by one, forsook me.
The loss of my practice was sudden and complete. For six months I had scarcely a case to treat. Even those who used to receive advice gratis, every morning, at my house ceased to come and if anybody, not finding benefit anywhere else did come, it was only to beg me to give him my old and not the new medicines".
Because Dr. Sircar had now become a confirmed homoeopath, his name was removed from the Faculty of Medicine of the Calcutta University in the year 1878. He.wrote a letter of protest to the Registrar of the University as a consequence of which the Senate of the University asked the Faculty of Medicine to reconsider their last resolution. After due deliberation, the Faculty of Medicine replied in these words: "The members of the Faculty of Medicine, have in accordance with the request of the Senate, carefully considered the letter addressed to the Registrar of the Universiy by Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar. They are exceedingly sorry that a perusal of this document does not enable them to modify the resolution they recorded at the meeting of the Faculty held on the May 15 and they feel themselves compelled still to affirm that they. are unable to associate them selves as a Faculty of Medicine with a member who professes and practices Homoeopathy".
During 1863-64, Dr. Berigny, another French homoeopathic doctor came to Calcutta and set up his practice. Dr. B. L Bhandari, L.M.S. was converted to Homoeopathy under, the influence of Dr. Salazar of the University of Vienna, who came to Calcutta in 1867 and carried on his homoeopathic practice with great eclat. He, in turn, converted his son-in-law. Dr. P. C. Majumdar who had graduated from the Calcutta Medical College in 1878. Dr. Majumdar had an illustrious career.
The year 1867 is also memorable for the establishment of the Banaras Homoeopathic Hospital with Shri Lokenath Moitra who was converted to Homoeopathy by Babu Rajendra Lall Dutt, a Physician-in-charge. Dr. Ironside, Civil and Session Judge of Banaras whose wife had been cured by homoeopathic Medicines by Lokenath Babu, was the patron of this institution. In August 1869, a homoeopathic chairtable dispensary was opened at Allahabad by, private subscriptions and Babu Priyanath Bose, a layman, practising Homoeopathy was put Incharge of the institution. Thus, Homoeopathy spread throughout the length and breadth of India even at that early period.
The year 1870 is another important landmark; in the history of Homoeopathy in India when His Highness, the Maharaja Bahadur of Jaipur sent for Dr. Salazar of Calcutta for the treatment of his cataract, which was successfully treated by the doctor with homoeopathic medicines.
After Dr. Sircar and Dr. Salazar, Dr. Majumdar became a top-ranking homoeopathy and if Dr. Sircar enhanced the prestise of Homoeopathy, the latter popularised Homoeopathy amongst the people by his tremendously successful practice, writing numerous books on Homoeopathy in English and Bengali, by editing the Indian Homoeopathic Review', the oldest homoeopathic periodical in India (after Dr. Sircar's Calcutta Journal of Medicine) and by establishing the Calcutta Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital which was maintained by him and by Dr. D.N. Roy as long as they lived. Amongst his contemporaries we find a galaxy of eminent homoeopaths like Dr. B.N. Banerji, Dr. D.N. Roy, Dr. Younan, Dr. Akshoy Kumar Dutt and Dr. Chandra Sekhar Kali. Their mantle fell on Dr. J.N. Majumdar, Dr. N.M. Choudhari, Dr. Baridbaran Mukerji, Dr. S.K. Nag, and a host of others. At that time Calcutta could claim to have the cream of Indian homoeopaths.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, another great man with a broad imagination and outlook entered the field of Homoeopathy as a chemist and pharmacist. It was Mahesh Ch. Bhattacharya who was a pioneer in selling good quality medicines at very economical rates. He also compiled and published a pharmacopoeia in Bengali and English with whose help thousands have been able to enter the line.
Here we must also mention the numerous practitioners, both lay and qualified, converts and others, who enthusiastically practised and propagated the system in the various Provinces and States of India. We have very few authentic records and many of these stalwarts shall remain unknown. Among the known, we should mention: Dr. Diwan Jai Chand of Delhi, Dr. J.N. Hazra of Agra, Dr. T.S. Janakiram, Dr. N,M. Jaisoorya of Andhra, Col. Raman Rao of Madras, T.S. lyer of Bangalore, Fr. Muller of Mangalore, Dr. C.L., Daphathari of Nagpur, Dr. V.M. Kulkarni and Dr. L.D. Dhawle of Bombay, Dr. B, Bhattacharya of Baroda and numerous others in other States.
With the growth of popularity of Homoeopathy and dearth of properly qualified homoeopaths, undesirable elements forced themselves into the profession. Bogus institutions were started and bogus homoeopathic degrees began to be bought and sold to hoodwink the unwary public. As a result. Homoeopathy began to be looked down upon as something humbug and deceitful.
This was the situation which prompted a group of institutionally-trained homoeopaths to make efforts for the Government recognition of Homoeopathy with a view that homoeopathic training and practice may proceed on right lines. This group of homoeopaths briefed a large number of members of the Central Legislative Assembly who then supported and put up the first Homoeopathic Resolution in Central Assembly (under British regime) and got it passed by a majority of votes in 1936. It gave an impetus to the Bengal homoeopaths, who finally succeeded in inducing the Bengal Government to establish the General Council and the State Faculty of Homoeopathic Medicine.
Informal talks and meetings were continued with the Government officials concerned in the Centre regarding Homoeopathy, but much progress could not be made. At this juncture, the All India Institute of Homoeopathy was formed in the year 1944 with its Central Office at Delhi. The founder-members of the Institute were Dr. A. N. Mukherji of Calcutta, Dr. Diwan Jai Chand of Lahore, Dr. Daya Sankar Kayastha, Dr. J. P. Srivastava, Dr. S.P. Asthana and Dr. K.G. Saxena. Dr. Saxena has been the Founder-General Secretary of the Institute since its inception, Indian Independence was ushered in on August 15, 1947 and Rajkumari Arnrit Kaur became the first Health Minister of India. The respresentatives of the Institute met her on numerous occasions and impressed upon her the importance of giving practical shape to the proposals that had been submitted to her predecessor. However, the Health Minister felt that unless another resolution was passed by the Union Parliament, nothing could be done. Under these circumstances, the representative members of the Institute persuaded Shri S. Samanta, Shri Mohanlal Saxena, Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, Lala Deshbandhu Gupta and a few other members of the Parliament to make a move for consideration of the Homoeopathic Resolution that was put up by the Congress Party on February 17, 1948 and the Resolution was unanimously passed by the Union Parliament. The Government of India anounced on September 30, 1948 the personnel of the Homoeopathic Enquiry Committee together with its terms of reference. The personnel of this Enquiry Committee included most of the members of the All India Institute of Homoeopathy, The Committee submitted its Report in 1949, wherein it accepted the scientificity of the homoeopathic system of medicine and recommended to the Government its recognition. It also recommended the formation of a Central Council of Homoeopathy and the establishment of Provincial Homoeopathic Councils.
In 1952 Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, the then Union Health Minister appointed a Homoeopathic Advisory Comnuttee which functioned upto 1954. Later on the same Committee was designated as the Homoeopathic Advisory Committee with the Director-General of Health Services as its Chairman. In 1956, this Advisory Committee was taken over by the Ministry of Health and the Secretary in the Ministry of Health became its first Chairman. The Homoeopathic Advisory Committee recommended the appointment of an Honorary Homoeopathic Adviser in 1960 and Dr. K.G. Saxena was appointed Honorary Homoeopathic Adviser to the Government of India in 1962.This Committee also recommended the constituion of a Central Council of Homoeopathy.
A special panel of Planning Committee of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy endorsed this recommendation in 1952, 1956 and 1966. The Central Council of Health comprising of the State Health Ministers recommended in 1965 that the Central Council of Indian Systems of Medicine may be set up as early as possible to lay down and regulate the standards of education, examinations, qualifications and practice in Ayurveda, Unani and Homoeopathy.
Various All India Homoeopathic Congrosses and Conferences had also been supporting the formation of a Central Council of Homoeopathy. The Central Council of Health therefore constituted a Sub-Committee in October 1967 with Pandit Shiv Sharma as the Chairman to look into the details of the proposed legislation. Accordingly the Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy Central Council Bill, 1968 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on December 27, 1968.
A Joint Committee of Parliament coosidered the Bill. The exponents of Homoeopathy and also the experts of the three systems of Indian Medicine viz. Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha represented before the Committee that the basic concepts of Indian Medicine was different from the fundamentals of Homoeopathy and therefore a separate Council for Homoeopathy should be provided. For the proper growth and development of all the four systems, the Committee recommended two separate independent Central Councils, one for all the three systems of Indian Medicine and the other for Homoeopathy. The Committee amended the Bill suitably so as to make provisions for a composite Central Council for only the three Indian Systems deleting references of Homoeopathy. The Committee also recommended that a separate Bill for Homoeopathy be prepared on the same lines and introduced in Parliament.
Accordingly the Homoeopathy Central Council Bill was drafted and was put up to the Rajya Sabha in 1972 and again referred back to another Joint Select Committee of Parliament consisting of 42 Members of the Parliament under the Chairmanship of Smt. Purabi Mukherjee. This Committee visited various homoeopathic colleges in the country and heard the homoeopathic doctors, representatives of organisations, etc. Thereafter, the Homoeopathy Central Council Bill as recommended by this Joint Select Committee was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and was given ascent by the President of India on Dec. 19, 1973. At present, every Indian State, except Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, has its homoeopathic board/council, with two Registers of Practioners known as Part 'A' and Part 'B'. The former contains the names of all institutionally qualified practitioners. The latter contains the names of those practitioners who have been registered on experience basis and 'other norms adopted by the different States for non-institutionally qualified homoeopaths.
All over the country there are about 110 Homoeopathic Medical Colleges. Majority of these colleges have their own attached hospitals. Of them about 100 colleges impart training for the D.H.B. and D.H.M.S. diploma courses. Ten colleges have started M.B.S. (Homoeo) degree course. The examinations are conducted by the respective Boards/Councils and in some cases by the Universities. Regarding homoeopathic hospitals and dispensaries, there are three Government recognised homoeopathic hospitals:one in Kerala, one in Andhra Pradesh and one in Maharashtra. Apart from hundreds of dispensaries run by the State Governments, autonomous bodies, and associations the Central Government has been running 21 dispensaries units under the Central Government Health Scheme.
Besides various local and State Homoeopahic Medical Associations, the homoeopathic practitioners of India are organised under two national level associations the "Homoeopathic Medical Association of India" and "All India Institute of Homoeopathy".Their various units/branches located in almost all the States regularly celebrate Hahnemann's Birthday Anniversary which is participated by the lay citizens) elite and official dignataries of the localities. Some of them attract homoeopathic students by arranging for competition on various aspects of Homoeopathy, theoritical and practical (case taking and also eloquence in limited time, awarding valuable trophies to the winners. The Central Body of the Homoeopathic Medical Association of India also holds an All India Homoeopathic. Scientific Seminar every year.
The media of information are various homoeopathic periodicals, magazines and journals published from various corners of the country. Of them, the most reputed ones are : (i) Journal of Homoeopathic Medical Association of India, published bytheHomoeopathic Medical Association of India, (ii) The Hahnemannian Gleanings, published by Messrs. Hahnemann Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., of Calcutta and (iii) The Homoeopathic Heritage, published by Messrs. B, Jain Publishers of New Delhi. There are about a dozen homoeopathic publishers of which the biggest are (i) Messrs. B. Jain Publishers and (ii) Messrs. Jain Publishing Co. of New Delhi, (iii) Hahnemann Publishing Co. and (iv) M. Bhattacharya & Co. of Calcutta, and (v) World Homoeopathic Linits of New Delhi.
Similarly, there are a few dozen of the Homoeopathic manufacturers and Pharmacists of which 8 or 10 are of good repute. Names and addresses of homoeopathic manufacturers and pharmacists have been given in a separate section of this 'Directory'. The Indian homoeopathic practitioners now enjoy a high repute in the international field and at present there are 635 members of the Liga Medicorum Homoeopathica Internationalist the International Homoeopathic Medical League from India. Not only this, but the country is proud of its eminent physician Dr. Diwan Harish Ghand being the President of the International Homoeopathic Medical League.
The Indian Government is paying deep attention for the development of Homoeopathy in the country. One of its greatest achievement is to setting up of a Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Communittee in 1962 with Dr. B.K. Sarkar as Chairman and Drs. S.R. Wadia, Diwan Harish Chand, S. Raman, S. Bhattacharya, Shanti Dev Gowripathy Roy, S/Shri G.S. Bhar, P.N. Verna, B.N. Borker, P.S. Ramachandran, the then Drugs Controller of India and Dr. D. Ghosh, Director Central Drugs Laboratory, Calcutta, with Dr. K.G. Saxena as Member-Secretary.
This Committee was reconstituted on December 22, 1976 for a period of three years, with Dr. Jugal Kishore as Chairman. The members were: Drug Controller of India (Shri P.S. Rama chandran), Director Central Drugs Laboratory, a Calcutta, Dr. J N. Kanjilal, Dr. P.N. Verma, Dr. P. Pandey, Dr. P.N. Mehta, Dr. K. Prahlad, Dr. H.L.Chitkara, Dr. R.K. Bliandari, Shri GS. Bhar, Dr. S. Rengaswamy (Since March, 1974), Dr. L.N. Mahapatra (Since March, 1974) and the Assistant Adviser (Homoeo) as Member-Secretary.
The Pharmacopoeia Committee could not achieve much progress untill 1966 as they did a not have the supporting staff for the propagation of the pharmacopoeia. It was only in 1966 then the two Research Officers (a Botanist and a Chemist) were provided and a regular Research Officer (Homoeopathy) was posted in 1968, In spite of several difficulties, the Committee was able to finalise the First Volume of the Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India covering standards for raw drugs numbering 280 and it was sent to the press in 1971 and ultimately publish in 1974. This book is being declared as "Official Phamacopoeia" under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act.
In the meanwhile, the Committee had finalised standards for another 100 drugs for inclusion in the second volume. This was published in 1976. Standards for 100 more drugs have been finalised and it is published in form of the third volume in 1978. Preparation of fourth volume for inclusion of some more drugs is in progress.
That Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Committee has met 12 times during the period of eight years from 1962-70 and another 12 times during the period of next six years. The present Pharmacopoeia Committee constitutes a special working group and has been meeting frequently since 1972. to feed the technical data to the Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Committee by working out standards of the raw material, finished products etc. The Government of India have set up a Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Laboratory at Ghaziabad in U.P. in 1975 under an Officer-in-Cliarge as a sub-ordinate office of the Department and this has been engaged in working out standards for homoeopathic drugs only and also in the finished stage. The laboratory is now well equipped with the necessary staff and equipments to carry out the work.
The aims and objectives of this laboratory are as follows :
1. To lay down the standards of homoeopathic drugs.
2. To find the indigenous substitutes for the foreign plants.
3. Verification of standards of drugs included in the pharmacopoeia.
4. Confirmation of the work of the pharmacopoeia done in other laboratories.
5. Preparation of the products.
6. Durg testing of market samples, to preserve standard of authentic specimens in herbariums and museums.
7. To maintain a medical plant garden. This Laboratory, upto December 1976, has finished evolving standards for raw materials of 70 drugs, and has completed testing and verification of 13 market samples and finalised 40 monographs for homoeopathic pharmacopoeia code besides maintaining a museum of raw materials as well as herberium and the further work is in progress. Apart from what has been mentioned above, the Government of India have established various Research Unit's and Centres for the development of Homoeopathy in various parts of the country. These Units and Centres are constantly engaged in achieving their goals to a greater extent. With this, it is obvious that the future of Homoeopathy in our couniry is bright.