Defining a homoeopath

By Ahmad Fakir Muhammad, Homoeopath, Karachi, Pakistan

A Paanwala in Bakra Piri area of Karachi is called Doctor Saheb by the people who come to him to have a medicine prescribed. He prescribes homoeopathic combinations.

A salesman at a homoeopathic store in Aram Bagh is also called Doctor Saheb by the people who come to him to get medication for an illness.

An owner of a homoeopathic medical store at Aram Bagh Road also prescribes homoeopathic medicines and an Imam (or perhaps Mauzin) of a Masjid in the limits of Saddar Town prescribes homoeopathic medicines for them.

That all the four gentlemen are enthused with the spirit to serve the ailing humanity goes without saying, however, since they have not formally or systematically studied homeopathy, they cannot be expected to follow the basic rules of homeopathic prescribing, let alone understanding its nuances. Their prescriptions are based on “number series” of different local and foreign manufacturers, occasionally interspersed with one or two single remedies.

We cannot blame them, for their knowledge of homeopathy is mostly confined to the small booklets issued by the manufacturing companies. That these booklets contain misleading information is known to all of us.

The above four gentlemen can be excused for their lack of understanding of homeopathy. Sadly, most of our “qualified homeopaths” are doing worse than the above four gentlemen.

One or two examples would be necessary to understand the point. Recently, a lady patient of 70 consulted me for her arthritis. Before visiting me, she had been under the treatment of a “qualified homoeopath” and she had been given a number of combinations. The latest prescription included: Hypertonicum of Weber, GHR 15, Ledum 81 of Lehning, Diacure Lehning, Diabene Lehning and a capsule which gave “instant relief” and since the capsule was said to give relief whenever taken, I suspected it contained cortisone.

Coming across “homoeopathic prescriptions” containing 4-6 complex medicines and 2-3 single remedies is quite common now-a-days. On reviewing such cases, one often finds, the cases just needed one remedy! Some of such prescriptions that I came across are uploaded here without any comments.

The second genre or kind of homoeopaths prescribe for a disease name or for a few symptoms on a routine basis without taking a detailed anamnesis as per the requirements of homeopathy. In other words, they prescribe on allopathic patterns but less effectively. For example, they would prescribe:

Aconite, Belladonna. Gelsemium etc., for fever and headache
Colocynth, Cuprum, Merc sol, etc., for stomachache
Baptisia, Aloe, Ars alb, veratrum alb, etc. for diarrhea
Ipecac, Antimonium tart, Hepar sulf, Phosphorus, etc., for cough
Rhus tox, Ledum, etc., for joint pains
Berberis, Cantharis, Urtica, etc., for kidney stones
Carduus, Chelidonium Nat sulph, etc., for gall-stones, and the list goes on …….

To be continued …….