Homoeopathy came to India as early as 1810 when a Romanian traveler Dr. Honigberger
who studied Homoeopathy under Dr. Samuel Hahnemann visited this country and began
treating people with Homoeopathic medicine. In the year 1839, he treated successfully
the then ruler of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh for the paralysis of his vocal cords.
He was rewarded and was made officer-in-charge of a hospital. This royal patronage
helped Homoeopathy take root in India. He later went to Kolkata and started homoeopathic
practice there. A large number of missionaries, amateurs in Indian civil and military
services practiced Homoeopathy extensively and spread this system mostly in Bengal
and South India. Father Augustus Muller was one such missionary who provided homoeopathic
treatment at Mangalore. The system continued to flourish under the British rule
across the country.
Contrary to the developments in the western world, the Government of India soon
after Independence made rigorous efforts to develop all the systems being practiced
at that point of time. The setting up of the Homoeopathic Enquiry Committee in 1948,
appointment of the Homoeopathic Advisory Committee in 1952 and the Homoeopathic
Pharmacopoeia Committee in 1962 were the initial steps. On the recommendation of
these Committees, the Government of India accepted homoeopathy as one of the National
Systems of Medicine along with other Indian systems of medicine and enacted specific
In the Indian society, the traditional systems- collectively recognized as AYUSH
(Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy), are well established
and widely accepted due to their historical and cultural significance. The Indian
health care delivery system has a unique feature of medical pluralism wherein AYUSH
systems are being given equal status with the Allopathic system of medicine. They
also enjoy government patronage. A separate policy has been formulated to encourage
these systems vertically in the field of education and research. A large number
of hospitals, dispensaries, teaching institutions and registered practitioners are
under the AYUSH system. In 2007, there were 3360 hospitals, with 68155 beds, 21765
dispensaries, 485 colleges and 725568 practitioners under AYUSH in the entire country,
with considerable regional variations (AYUSH report 2007). Independent research
councils and institutions of these systems have been established as autonomous organisations.
The clinical practice is being integrated following a cafeteria approach in the
Health sector, wherein the patient has an option of choosing a health system according
to his conviction. Inter-system referrals are encouraged and adequate knowledge
of these systems is provided to allopathic doctors and vice versa for proper co-ordination.
It is expected that AYUSH will play a more significant role in the coming years. (www.indianmedicine.nic.in)
The Homoeopathy Central Council Act that was passed by the Parliament of India in
1973 granted formal recognition of homoeopathic education and allowed the legalised
registration of homoeopathic physicians at the Central as well as the State levels.
In accordance with the provisions of this Act, the Government constituted the Central
Council of Homoeopathy (www.cchindia.com) in the year 1974 to maintain the Central Register of
Homoeopaths and to regulate Homoeopathic education in India.
With the approval of the Government of India, the Central Council formulated the
Homoeopathy (Degree Course) Regulations, 1983 of 5 ½ years duration including one
year compulsory internship; Homoeopathy (Post Graduate Degree Course) Regulations,
1989 and Homoeopathy (Minimum Standards of Education) Regulation, 1983 for setting
up norms and standards of homoeopathic education. At present there are 186 homoeopathic
colleges (including 36 also providing Post-Graduation) with an intake capacity of
about 13,425 students every year. These institutions are affiliated to different
Universities and provide uniform homoeopathic education according to these regulations.
Prior to the Central legislation and concurrently, some of the Indian states made
their own contribution to homoeopathy by the enactment of State legislations for
the registration of homoeopathic doctors and regulation of education. At present
there are about 30 State legislations and State Boards/Councils for the control
of clinical practice and to address any issue related to homoeopathy.
Drug Control and Drug Safety Legislation
For laying down standards for quality control of homoeopathic medicines, the Govt.
of India constituted a Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Committee in 1962 and the Homoeopathic
Pharmacopoeia Laboratory (HPL) was set up in the year 1975, to undertake work related
to laying down standards of homoeopathic drugs, their verification, and for testing
the purity and quality of homoeopathic products. HPL is recognized by the Department
of Science & Technology, Govt. of India as a scientific, technological and research
Standards as worked out by the laboratory, after vetting by the Homoeopathy Pharmacopoeia
Committee, are published by the Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health & Family
Welfare, Govt. of India in the form of Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India (HPI),
of which so far nine volumes consisting of standards of 916 drugs have been published.
Homoeopathic drugs manufacturing, licensing and all other matters connected therewith
are covered under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules notified in the official
Gazette. The system of regulation, monitoring and enforcement is clearly laid down
for homoeopathic drugs and is enforced by Drug Control departments of the State
Governments. In the year 2006, Govt. of India has notified the standards of Good
Manufacturing Practices (GMP guidelines) (http://www.cdsco.nic.in).
There are more than 600 manufacturers of Homoeopathic drugs. Apart from these considerable
amount of drugs are imported from Germany. According to an estimate, in 2010, the
size of Homeopathic market in India was about INR 26 billion and the demand is growing
at an annual rate of 25-30% (ASSOCHAM 2007).
Popularity and Clinical Practice
Although Homeopathy is not indigenous to India, it is the second most acceptable
medical system after Allopathy in a majority of Indian states. Homoeopathy in India
has been fully integrated in the public health and its practice is legal. India
is a dreamland for those who wish to learn and undertake research in homoeopathy.
Currently, there are 234 hospitals with 10,933 beds and 5,910 Government dispensaries
and 217,860 registered practitioners. The Central as well as State Governments are
following a policy of co-location (Cafeteria approach) in health sector for providing
an option to the public for taking treatment from the system of one’s choice. A
study by the Government of Delhi has revealed that homoeopathic dispensaries are
very popular and are providing effective and efficient primary health services (www.homeo.delhigovt.nic.in).
Research & Development
In India, the private as well as public sectors are striving hard to undertake organized
research in homoeopathy. The Government of India has established an autonomous research
council- The Central for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH), for undertaking this task.
At present various researches are being undertaken in India which can have a great
impact on the prospects of Homoeopathy all over the world. Please visit CCRH official
site at www.ccrhindia.org to know more about research activities in India in Homoeopathy.
Homoeopathic Associations in India
India is one of the biggest countries in whole world to have qualified practitioners
and followers of Homoeopathy. There are numerous Homoeopathic associations, practitioners
and followers who work in collaboration with each other for the benefit of Homoeopathy.
These associations work at different levels of society to make Homoeopathy popular
amongst masses. Some of the most active associations are:
- Homoeopathic Medical Association of India (HMAI). Click here to
learn more. www.hmaiseminar.info
- Indian Institute of Homoeopathic Physicians (IIHP). Click here to learn more. http://www.iihp.co.in/
- Indian Homoeopathic Medical Association (IHMA). Click here to learn
- The Institution of Homoeopaths Kerala (IHK), Click here to learn
- Dr. Sehgal's School of Revolutionized Homoeopathy. For more details
please visit the link, http://www.ssrhindia.com