The Comparative Features Of Ayurvedic Medicine And Homeopathic Medicine
Ayurveda and Homeopathy are two streams of natural remedies that are the mainstay of alternative as well as holistic medicine. Homeopathic medicine is known more for its use of ‘atomized or potentialized’ remedies. The remedial measures are well developed but there is specific lack of holistic approach toward lifestyle and dietary factors.
Find the basic concepts of ayurvedic medicine and homeopathic medicine, the remedies, the preparation of remedies, choice of remedies, the mechanism of action, side effects and benefits of these two streams of alternative medicine.
The Basic Concepts of Homeopathy & Ayurveda
There is some basic difference in the principles of ayurvedic medicine and homeopathic medicine. Though the fundamental principle of homeopathic medicine is utilized in ayurvedic medicine many times but this approach is still originally and innovatively used in homeopathy.
Homeopathy is based on the principle ‘similia simillibus currentaer’. It simply means that similar medicine treats similar disorders. However, it is not so simple.
Suppose, a particular medicine, say Nux Vomica in its crude form produces a particular set of symptoms in body and mind of a healthy individual. So the homeopathic remedy Nux Vomica will be given in the symptoms of a sick person that are similar to those symptoms produced by the same remedy in a healthy person. We can also say that the set of symptoms in body and mind in a sick person that are similar to those symptoms produced by a homeopathic remedy in a healthy individual should match.
Each homeopathic remedy possesses its own unique profile of symptoms. It is like that every homeopathic remedy is a character with individual features. A homeopathic doctor should be able to familiar with these remedies just like a family member or a friend.
In the ayurvedic medicine, there are six basic approaches with which food, medicine and lifestyle can be utilized to deal with various disorders. The Homeopathic approach of treating the similar with similar is just one among them.
The Remedial Measures:
There is tremendous similarity in the various remedies in ayurveda and in homeopathy. Most of the remedies are derived from plants, minerals and animal kingdom. Many of the names are same in both systems of natural remedies.
The Form Of Medicine And How Remedies Are Prepared?
Ayurvedic medicine is mostly crude. Herbs and minerals are used in crude form after their purification and after enhancing their bioavailability.
In Homeopathy, remedies are used in potentated and subtle form. There are various potencies of remedies ranging from mother tincture or zero to one million. Mother tincture is the basic formulation where crude herb or mineral is dissolved in alcohol.
Then one drop of mother tincture is added to 99 drops of alcohol, we get first potency of homeopathic medicine. When one drop of first potency of medicine is added to 99 drops of alcohol, we get second potency. This is the way to get higher potencies. This work of potentialization of homeopathic remedies is made simpler by the use of various pharmaceutical equipment and good standardized homeopathic remedies are now easily available in market. Homeopathic remedies from Germany are the world leader in quality.
Nowadays various homeopathic combination formulas are also widely used. These formulas are used like ayurvedic or allopathic medicine. Each formulation is specific for a particular disorder. This is very easy to use as each formula is given a number e.g. formula number one for constipation, formula number two for teething trouble. Many homeopathic physicians consider this type of practice to be poor homeopathy because these kinds of formulas entirely lack the wisdom and matching-the-symptoms and individualized approach of homeopathic medicine.
The Mechanism Of Action Of Remedies:
The mechanism of action of herbal remedies and mineral preparations of ayurveda are explained along several lines like taste of herbs, action based on properties, post-digestion taste of herbs, active principle and specific action of remedies. Ayurvedic medicine acts along the physiology of human being and pharmacology of herbs described in Ayurveda.
Recently medicinal herbs are also being studied in various clinical research trials along the principles of conventional modern medicine and pharmacology. This provides very useful information as many of the traditional uses of herbs are validated by modern herbal research and further information about dosage, active principle, phytochemical ingredients, adverse effects, side effects, drug interactions and safety of herbal remedies are evaluated.
All these parameters of study of mechanism of action of natural remedies don’t work in case of homeopathic medicine as there is no detectable molecule of medicine is a potency as low as 30!
This comment is from a footnote of textbook of pharmacology, where the author commented jokingly that based on the preparation method of homeopathic remedies, there is only one molecule of medicine in the volume of thirty potency liquid medicine when taken is such a large quantity equal to entire globe of earth. (There is one molecule of medicine among 1060 molecules of thirty potency homeopathic liquid medicine.)
So the proposed theory is that the ‘atomization’ of homeopathic remedies leaves effect on the vehicle or alcohol. It is via this vehicle or alcohol that the medicinal effect is exerted on the vital energy of body.
Choice Of Medicine:
In ayurvedic medicine, ayurvedists choose the appropriate remedy based on the doshas and their penetration of the tissues in body and several other factors like season, duration of disease, ayurveda body and mind type, age of the person, physical and mental strength of the person and many other such criteria.
In homeopathy, the appropriate remedy is chosen by comparing the profile of symptoms of patient with the medicine. Sometimes, prominence is given to a particular symptom like thirst, anger, feeling, and other psychological or behavioral patterns and inclination and aversions.
Different persons suffering from same disorder could be given different medicine whereas the gross symptoms might appear same. This is the most intricate and great part of homeopathic medicine. If doctor is not able to choose right medicine, there will be no effect or side effect in homeopathy.
And giving placebo for prolonged times is a very usual practice in homeopathy and it is justified when a person is given some high potency medicine, say one million potency, and then he is given placebo for three or six months. Not a bad practice from the view point of patient’s desire to take some medicine and economics!
Side Effects Of Natural Remedies:
Most people consider ayurveda or homeopathy as natural remedies. All Right. And they think that there could not be any side effect or adverse effect. Wrong thinking. Many herbs are fatally poisonous and they are natural.
Natural remedies doesn’t mean lack of side effects and adverse effects. When some remedies are with medicinal effect, they are bound to have some side effect.
But these side effects are very mild and are of a different nature when compared to modern drugs. Modern drugs are built with side effects because they are ‘researched’ to target theoretically toward a single action and rest of the effects are considered undesirable or side effects. Natural remedies like ayurvedic herbs, minerals and homeopathic medicine are natural, they are made in the factory of nature, their contents are wholesome and their effects are holistic and balanced. That is why we are not flooded with side effects with natural remedies unlike drugs that are truly researched and built with side effects.
The Disorders That Can Be Treated:
This is really a very very tough question. Though there can be claims for each and every disorder by some ayurvedic or homeopathic doctors. The actual condition is not so.
Ayurvedic doctors as well as homeopathic doctors benefit greatly by the side by side study of modern medicine subjects like anatomy, physiology, toxicology, pathology, pharmacology, medicine and surgery. By being up to date with modern medicine, they are able to understand and use their system of medicine successfully in most chronic disorders and acute disorders, sometimes alone and sometimes as adjuvant therapy with modern medical specialists. Neither system or approach is complete and free from limitations. We have to borrow strengths and work for greater health and well being of all of us!