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If popping allopathic pills or antibiotics to treat a vexatious bout of cough and cold or asthmatic wheezing has got you nowhere, here's some good news. Doctors in the city suggest patients give homeopathy a serious chance. They argue that this stream of medicine helps by treating the cause of the illness instead of fixing the symptoms.
Dr Sharad Agharkhedkar, head of the paediatric medicine department at DY Patil Medical College, says homeopathic medicines can help cure chronic diseases such as asthma, arthritis, allergies and skin disorders. "However, not all homeopathic medicines are without side effects, so experts should be consulted," he says.
According to the World Health Organisation, homeopathy is the second largest primary healthcare system in the world. In France, over one-third of family doctors prescribe homeopathic remedies while England has several homeopathic hospitals and it is part of the national health system. In India, there are over 100 homeopathic medical schools and government-funded hospitals.
Consulting homeopath Dr Bina Hingorani says, "Homoeopaths do not suppress symptoms. They give medicines to stimulate or energise the body's own restorative and curative powers, thereby increasing the body's resistance power. In case of painful conditions, homoeopathic medicines help by activating body's anti-pain mechanism." Hingorani adds that even those who are already undergoing allopathic treatment can simultaneously take homoeopathic medicines. "When an improvement in health is noticed, the allopathic medicine doses can be gradually tapered under doctor's supervision," she says.
Dr Sunil Anand, who has set up a homeopathy yoga centre called Prana, says, "Homeopathy has proved to be a safe and effective treatment for a wide array of illnesses and injuries, be it physical, mental or emotional. Our centre is an initiative to bring the two disciplines of homeopathy and yoga to ensure holistic wellness," says Anand, who was a former associate professor at D S Homeopathic Medical College in the city.