Below is the comprehensive interview of Prof. A.R. Khuda-Bukhsh, Ph.D., taken by Dr. Saurav Arora, founder IPRH. Dr. Khuda Bukhsh is the former Head, Deptt. of Zoology, University of Kalyani, and Retired Professor Emeritus, University Grants Commission, Govt. of India, at the University of Kalyani. For full profile of Prof. AR Khuda-Bukhsh, you may visit www.researchinhomeopathy.org/compendium-arkb
Q: How did you develop an interest in Homeopathy? Where and what was your first encounter with homeopathy?
A: My father, late Muhammed Khuda Bukhsh, a member of the Parliament for several terms from 1952 through 1975 intermittently, was among the 30 members of the Parliamentary Joint Committee (http://www.cchindia.com/history.htm) who proposed and got the bill passed for the development of Central Council of Homeopathy (CCH) in India. He served as one of the members of the Joint Committee until his death on the 24th July 1975. The relevant part of the Parliamentary proceedings may be read as:
“Central Council of Homoeopathy and the maintenance of a Central Register of Homoeopathy and for matters connected therewith, made in the motion adopted by Rajya Sabha at its sitting held on the 3rd April, 1972 and communicated to this House on the 4th April, 1972 and to resolve that the following 30 Members of Lok Sabha be nominated to serve on the said Joint Committee, namely:
- Shri Ziaur Ansari
- Shri Vidya Dhar Bajpai
- Shri Kushok Bakula
- Shri Muhammed Khuda Bukhsh
- Shri A.M
He occasionally enquired from me if I had any idea about how could the miniscule doses of ultra-highly diluted homeopathic remedies induce the recovery process in a diseased person that apparently takes place after the administration of the homeopathic remedies. Can administration of the homeopathic drugs in patients produce any adverse effects or side-effects? Because he was preparing himself to defend the propagation of homeopathy in India through legislation and was also a little concerned about certain unexplained aspects of homeopathy, and he wanted to convince himself if the situation demanded an explanation, so that he could push the bill through with satisfactory and logical answers to the House. I was at that time vacationing briefly in our native house at Beldanga, Murshidabad, India after passing out M.Sc. in Zoology in 1971 (1970 batch). These queries also made me interested in learning something about the homeopathy and the enigmas confronted with this system. Unfortunately, when I approached my research guide, late Professor G.K. Manna, with a project to work on homeopathy for my Ph.D. degree in his Cytogenetics Laboratory, he advised me against taking such a research problem and suggested me to explore an area of fish cytogenetics which was almost a virgin research area in India at that time, for the relative difficulty in studying chromosomes of teleostean fish, generally containing a large number of small chromosomes. So I sent a project on fish cytogenetics to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) which got approved. I submitted my Ph.D. thesis in 1975 and joined as a Lecturer in Zoology, University of Kalyani with effect from 1st April 1975. I shelved the plan to do research in homeopathy for the time being, but I was looking for a scope to do so independently, if and when I could procure some funds for doing research of my choice and dear to my heart, for solving the mysteries of homeopathy, understanding the mechanism of its action and to establish it as a science. These always kept me motivated for finding an opportunity to do some meaningful research in this front.
Q: What brought your interest to research in homeopathy? What is your motivation for research in homeopathy?
A: I was greatly impressed from my childhood with the simplistic way of the treatment procedure adopted in homeopathy. You enquire about the details of the disease symptoms, some family history of the patient, get to know some of his/her “likes and dislikes” and you put some medicines made up of sweet sugar pills on the tongue, just for a few times; within a reasonable time, the disease symptoms would vanish and the patient would get cured in due course!
In 1980, I took a batch of M.Sc. students for conducting a field excursion to Simla (in Himachal Pradesh). A girl student suddenly met with an accident; she fell down the stairs after missing a step and got herself injured and was in trauma. She broke a small part of her tooth and started bleeding from her mouth. Her eyes got reddened and she was in great pain. It was in the early morning and the doctor was not available at that morning hour. Our hotel was also quite far away from the hospital. So we had only to depend on Arnica montana 30C, which a student was carrying and I readily gave her a dose of Arnica 30C after washing her mouth with cold water. The bleeding stopped and I then repeated the dose at an interval of 10-15 minutes two more times. In about 35-40 minutes she was greatly relieved of her pain and redness of her eyes was also gradually turning to normal. After about two hours we could take her to a local doctor who pushed the ATS injection and gave her some allopathic painkillers. But by that time her pains were so much reduced that she declined to take the painkiller anymore. This experience stimulated me to think about what could be the hidden strength of the potentized tiny drops of the highly diluted remedy that produced so spectacular result against the trauma and injury. Was it only due to the so-called “Psychological or Placebo effect” or there was some “real” physiological effect that could be demonstrable and could be reproduced in repeatable experiments in a laboratory set up? – I wondered.
By that time I was conducting independent research in fish cytogenetics. I also had some practical knowledge of handling chromosomes of a mammalian model, mice (Mus musculus) with some acceptable cytogenetical protocols. I started seriously thinking if my expertise in cytogenetics research could be utilized in studying the possible effects of potentized homeopathic drugs, first taking into consideration some scientifically accepted cytogenetic protocols. But the problem was- how could I cause shock and injury in the small animal like a mouse, without making it a fatal injury? After deep thoughts, an idea suddenly sprang up into my mind- of producing sub-lethal injury with the help of exposing the animals to whole body x-irradiation in known sub-lethal doses. And then I had to search out for the remedial effects, if any, of the homeopathic drug, Arnica montana 30C, on the chromosomes, utilizing some accepted cytogenetic protocols and keeping several arms of control, like a set of mice fed with only succussed alcohol (alcohol 30C), another with only diluted alcohol without succussion, another fed only water and finally mice not fed water after exposure to whole body x-irradiation with 50 rad or 100 rad and studying the efficacy of the homeopathic drug, if any, at different fixation time-points, compared to that of the controlled sets of mice. And the drug fed mice really showed much less cytogenetical damage compared to the other groups of control! That was the beginning of my long journey into homeopathic research. Starting from cytogenetical parameters, gradually many other scientifically accepted protocols were adopted one after another – like histological, physiological, biochemical, immunological, electron microscopic, and some other protocols; in fact, in our laboratory, we were the group who utilized the most number of scientific protocols ever used in a single laboratory for homeopathy research! And the more I got involved in such advanced studies with various techniques (always keeping suitable controls), my motivation towards understanding the molecular mechanism of biological action of the potentized homeopathic remedies became stronger and stronger.
Q: Being a mainstream, bio-medical scientist, what are your views about modus operandi of homeopathy?
A: According to the skeptics, the patients who showed improvement with homeopathic treatment would have anyway shown this apparent improvement without the administration of the homeopathic drugs at all!! So, as a mainstream scientist, my first goal was to establish and demonstrate through repeatable results that the potentized homeopathic remedies definitely and consistently showed biological action, while the “succussed alcohol” without drug could not show the improvement. So we used the separate sets of controlled drug unfed or succussed alcohol-fed controls of the mammalian model, mice, which are known to have close genetic semblances with human beings so that results could be extrapolated to understand their efficacy in humans as well. Right after we discovered the ability of some potentized homeopathic drugs to repair/protect the chromosomal/DNA damage in 1980, I started wondering about how this could happen as the drugs were diluted much beyond the Avogadro’s limit and therefore were not expected to contain even a single molecule of the original drug substance. We continued with our study to examine more extensively if some other potentized homeopathic drugs used against shock and injury could also have similar anti-radiation effects (see updated Compendium of work by Prof. AR Khuda–Bukhsh, Version 2 here) and we observed repeatable results in mice that potencies of 30C and above (diluted much beyond Avogadro’s limit) of certain other homeopathic drugs like Ruta graveolens, Hypericum, X-ray etc., which were also not expected to have a single original molecule of the drug substance, also showed demonstrable radio-protective activities in varying degrees as compared to control data.
In the meantime, the mechanism of repair of chromosomal DNA had already been firmly established by others and it had been already accepted by the cytogeneticists and molecular biologists that certain specific genes (e.g. XP-A through XP-D, XP-F, XP-G and ERCC1 genes in mice) had specific functions in the repair mechanism of the DNA/chromosomes. Without regulated activation of these repair genes, the process of repair of DNA or chromosomes could not be possible. Thus, prima facie, the idea that these repair genes somehow got activated at the behest of the administration of the drug presumably by certain receptor activation and triggering specific signalling cascades leading to the final step of correction of relevant gene expression that had gone faulty – appeared to be a sound working hypothesis, pending further experimental verifications directed towards searching for such a molecular mechanism related to the regulation of gene expression in living organisms. The task was not that easy to convince the logic of my “gene regulatory hypothesis” to the scientific community; first I presented it in All India Congress of Cytology and Genetics held in Berhampur University Ganjam, Orissa) in 1993 before some renowned Indian scientists to get their views/criticism as well as of other fellow cytogeneticists on the proposed hypothesis. This working hypothesis was first printed in the proceedings of that Conference in 1995; subsequently, I published this hypothesis with a little more clarification in 1997 in the reputed peer-reviewed international journal, Complementary Therapies in Medicine (see Compendium for full reference), after I had satisfactorily answered many queries of the learned reviewers.
We designed some more experiments to examine if homeopathic Arsenicum album could ameliorate arsenic intoxication in mice, taking parameters from both cytogenetical and biochemical protocols including some enzyme biomarkers which are known to be under genetic control. We also investigated the efficacy of homeopathic Merc sol against mercury poisoning in mice and so on. In other words, we tried to understand if the homeopathic doctrine of “like cures like” could be demonstrated with experimental data. We published these and some other experimental data in some prestigious peer-reviewed journals like Complementary Therapies in Medicines and BMC Complementary and Alternative medicines in several consecutive prints (see Compendium for full references). Fortified with some more significant data obtained through these studies, again I tried to enrich the hypothesis a little more and was successful in publishing a little more details of my “gene regulatory hypothesis: in the respectable mainstream journal, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, in 2003 (see Compendium for reference), this time facing a more rigorous peer-review process! Then I tried to ask myself- how could the vehicle carry the specific memory of the original drug substance? As per some other hypotheses, the water structure could be influenced by various physical factors (electrical, magnetic, ionic, silicon/boron etc.) which could influence the ultra-structural configuration of water that carried the “blueprint” or “message” embedded in the “vehicle”.
My mission was then to amass scientific experimental evidence towards more critical understanding and verifying correctness of the gene regulatory hypothesis as well that I proposed. But although I had many ideas, and I needed much more scientific information to add, I had no funds to work with! How could I go for my proposed experiments that would enable me to provide supportive evidence towards the verifying validity of my hypothesis? I wanted to check several aspects, one after the other, including the possible signalling mechanisms involved, both in in vivo and in vitro models, and to add up concrete evidences towards the ability of the homeopathic drugs to trigger epigenetic modifications by specific experimental proofs and from data obtained from the state-of-the-art techniques including Western blot, immunofluorescence, FACS and global microarray analyses, which I thought could clearly provide evidence in respect of my “gene regulatory hypothesis”.
I made many unsuccessful attempts to procure funds, but finally got little fund from the Rayne Institute, England, through the courtesy of Sir Richard Thomson to conduct an experiment on mice in vivo to examine if some potentized homeopathic drug could ameliorate the toxicity in them, particularly reflected through some hepatic toxicity biomarkers. The results were published in the BMC complementary and alternative medicine in 2003 and that too with an International Press release (https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-10/bc-arf101703.php). Soon I was contacted by the New Scientist, the famous Science Magazine, for an interview that was published in the next issue (https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn4305-homeopathy-reduces-arsenic-poisoning-in-mice/). BBC News also broadcast the results of our promising study (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3208528.stm) and encouraged funding agencies to fund our research which had great implication in combating groundwater arsenic contamination and ameliorating a large number of arsenic victims at a cheaper cost in various countries, particularly in large areas of Bangladesh and also in some parts of India in the Ganga basin. I started getting collaboration proposals from different countries like USA and Australia, but with preconditions that I could not agree to. Then Dr. Philippe Belon, the then Director of Research, Boiron Laboratories, Lyon, France, was kind enough to visit my laboratory with a funding proposal which I thankfully accepted. Boiron Laboratories started funding me from 2004 and continued till 2013. So, our search for finding out the truth behind homeopathic mysteries and the possible mechanism of action started gaining momentum. In due course, we wanted to check if the silicon nanoparticles originating from the glass vial were solely responsible for the biological action, and whether nanoparticles originating from other containers or vials could also behave in the same manner. So we designed an ingenuous experiment of using two types of containers, one made up the glass, and the other, of polypropylene material. Our aim was also to check if the succussion procedure could have any impact on the physicochemical properties of the dynamized homeopathic remedy. So we adopted three succussion procedures: by traditional hand jerks, by vortexing, and by sonication.
We took the mother tincture of Gelsemium semperverens, because it contained one coumarin compound, scopoletin, as its major bioactive component that had the property to fluoresce under UV-light and the fluorescence intensity could be measured by a sophisticated and sensitive cytofluorimeter. Any subtle change could be attributable to change caused due to the difference in vial or succussion mode. We found some interesting findings and published the data in the respected British mainstream journal, Experimental Biology and Medicine in 2008 (see Compendium). We observed that the fluorescence measurements had subtle differences, some of which were statistically significant, between preparations made in a glass vial and polypropylene vials, and also among the different modes of succussion! Those dilutions also showed subtle differences in their biological activities. This made us believe that the nanoparticles emerging from the containers and different succussion methods were somewhat different in respect of the orientation of the nanoparticles for an interaction with the scopoletin and since the particles fluoresced, they also contained the initial drug material. This study also received media attention (http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/homoeopathy-goes-nano-1471).
Then an innovative idea came to my mind that this could be used as a good model for studying the role of homeopathic nanoparticles if only we could produce nanocapsules of the homeopathic drug in the lab by any established techniques. So we searched literature extensively and decided to go for Polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA), a biodegradable nontoxic polymer for the purpose of encapsulating nanoparticles of the homeopathic drug, and also kept control with blank polymer capsules without mixing them with the drug, adopting the standardized solvent displacement technique. Our objective was to make in-depth studies on searching for the role of homeopathic nanoparticles in animal systems in vivo and in-vitro. Our first job was to confirm that we really could produce the nanoparticles containing the drug inside the PLGA capsules and checked if they had typical characteristics of the nanoparticles of the drug and really had their size within the nano-range. So we first characterized the nanoparticles physicochemically to ensure that they certainly enclosed nanoparticles of the specific drug within their shell, keeping blank nanoparticulate shells of the polymer as a control.
We deployed many state-of-the-art techniques like electron microscopic and spectroscopic (TEM, HR-TEM, SEM, AFM, FTIR, DLS, X-ray Diffraction, COSY etc.) methods to study these nanoparticles of the original drug substances (dried mother tinctures) in respect of their zeta potential, electrical charges, shapes, entrapment efficiency etc. Then we evaluated their modalities of biological action by adopting many acceptable parameters in both in vitro cancer cells and diabetes cells and in induced cancer mice and hyperglycaemic mice in vivo, respectively. Interestingly, we also showed the ability of certain homeopathic mother tinctures to induce nanoparticle-precipitation from silver nitrate solution and nanoparticles produced by each mother tincture showed subtle differences in their physicochemical properties as well as biological activities. This paper was published in the prestigious main-stream journal, Colloids, and Surface-B.
We also utilized various state-of-the-art techniques to track down the distribution of these nanoparticles in different tissues in mice with induced cancer in vivo and also in different cancer cells in vitro to analyze if they could cross the blood-brain-barrier and combat/inhibit division/growth of cancer cells and could lead them to senescence/apoptosis. We also tried to understand the possible molecular mechanism(s) involved in regard to expression of certain target genes and the possible signaling pathways involved. Interestingly we conducted these studies from 2010 onwards and continually published results in some CAM and mainstream journals with high impact factors (IF 3.0 to 4.5) like Colloids and Surface: B, Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Toxicology Letters, European Journal of Pharmacology, European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Experimental Biology and Medicine etc. (see Compendium version-2), but our studies by and large went unnoticed (though my interviews occasionally got published in different magazines from various countries (e.g. http://thehomeopathiccollege.org/interviews/interview-of-professor-anisur-rahman-khuda-bukhsh/ by American Homeopath). Therefore, our works did not get a chance to be highlighted by either homeopathic enthusiasts or researchers doing research in similar areas, or perhaps due to failure to understand the significance of our studies. However, when a subsequently published report suggested the presence of some drug nanoparticles in highly diluted homeopathic metal drugs detected through high-resolution microscopes, it actually caused a paradigm shift in homeopathy research. Nevertheless, eyebrows were still raised about their possible biological functions, or mechanism of functioning, because tracking down the ultra-highly diluted homeopathic drugs or their nanoparticle-contents inside an animal system to detect their presence or mode of function is an extremely difficult proposition, if not impossible, and the issue could not, therefore, be satisfactorily resolved. However, the situation remained unresolved more because our published works remained mostly unsighted by most colleagues working on homeopathy for quite a long time. A re-visit to our works in this regard aroused some late interest. But our works on the conscious preparation of nanoparticles of the mother tincture and then also nano-encapsulation of some major bioactive components present in the mother tinctures proved to be a very significant step in clarifying possible role of nanoparticles in understanding biological function as well as establishing the missing link between the discovery of nanoparticles and correlating the possible biological mode of their function. Anyways, our extensive studies may now be found helpful in resolving the issue of how the homeopathic nanoparticles could act to trigger the recovery process through their action on the regulatory process of gene expression mainly through epigenetic modification of DNA sequences. We have been able to show how the homeopathic nanoparticles could interact with proteins to have a regulatory effect on ligands (see Compendium), with DNA to modulate its conformational structure, on their possible role in epigenetic modifications, on signaling cascades and pathways of action etc. At last, in a recent issue of PLOS-One, a group of Italian scientists led by Paolo Belavite finally put on firmly their stamp of approval that this “gene regulatory hypothesis” first proposed by me offers the most appropriate and plausible molecular mechanism of biological action through which homeopathic drugs may act.
Our interesting works on the responses of microorganisms like bacteria, bacteriophages and cultured cells in vitro (only having the intrinsic cellular control) and the ability of the potentized homeopathic remedies to modulate their specific gene expressions were also mentioned and the significances of these studies were clearly understood by them. Scientist like Dr. Iris Bell from the USA also mentioned many of our works in most of her recent papers acknowledging the significances and impact of these studies. A support by stalwart researchers and their teams is a significant step towards final acceptance of the gene regulatory hypothesis as the universal molecular mechanism applicable to all living organisms and repetitive works carried out by many researchers along the lines of our initial thoughts are yielding similar results and correctness of my hypothesis proposed some twenty years back is gaining further ground! At last my name was included individually in the Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anisur_Khuda-Bukhsh) as a homeopathy researcher and vehement opposition by some homeopathy-haters, and efforts to delete it from Wikipedia did not succeed!
I must express my deep sense of gratitude and appreciation to the European Committee for Homeopathy, comprising some 28 European countries, for their kind gesture in giving me “Life Time Achievement Award” in the Central Hall of the famous Town Hall in Vienna on 18th November 2016, during the 16 ECH Conference “in recognition of my distinguished and devoted service in the field of homeopathic research”. For full report of the Award ceremony please visit here.
In fine, as a biomedical scientist, therefore, I’ll like to speak out on my views and understanding about the mechanism of action of the potentized homeopathic remedies highlighting the following:
- Nanoparticles of homeopathic drugs can have specific roles to play in the formation and specific orientation of water molecules (to form the so-called “information bits”) and they can also have a definite role in rendering water its “correct memories”. To me, the first “like” of the “like cures like” dictum represents the function of nanoparticles that carry specific blueprints or molecular imprints for the vehicle to be able to carry the specific “Memory of Water”.
- We have shown that these nanoparticles can trigger changes in gene expression presumably through epigenetic modifications as a major player, they can target specific receptors, and they can induce a cascade of relevant genes into activation/inactivation; we have published papers on epigenetic modifications and global microarray data (see Compendium) in favour of our hypothesis.
- Animals and plants, both multicellular (advanced) and unicellular forms (primitive like protozoans, bacteria, virus, fungus etc.) can respond suitably to potentized homeopathic drugs. Cancer cells in cultured condition, away from the control of living animals or origin, can still respond to the treatment of homeopathic ultra-high dilutions (through intrinsic cellular/DNA control) (http://www.thehomeopathysite.com/thehomeopathysite) . Our hypothesis can explain these phenomena satisfactorily.
- Potentized homeopathic drugs have even shown to act from a small distance, or by activation of receptors through smell, which can only be explained by the “gene regulatory hypothesis”. Human genes like “Serotonin-transporter” genes can be activated when a person is in melancholy (no touch or physical contact is always required to trigger a gene into activation/inactivation) or the genes “Jun” or “Phos” could be activated at the time of parental care (in lactating mother, even the thought of her new-born baby can activate these genes causing the lady to ooze out milk even when she is away from the baby!). Thus this hypothesis can explain the “mind-body” relationship as well, and in the practice of homeopathy, mind status is taken as an important parameter in the selection of homeopathic remedy.
- The gene regulatory hypothesis can offer a complete explanation to understand the molecular mechanism of biological action of the potentized homeopathic drugs in an acceptable scientific manner in all forms of living organisms and has been supported with strong scientific evidences published in many peer-reviewed reputed journals by us.
Q: What were the most challenging parts in conducting research being a main stream bio-medical scientist?
A: As a mainstream researcher, I readily got government funded scientific projects from UGC, CSIR, ICAR, DOE etc. on my basic research on fish, aphids, toxicological environmental studies etc., but it was not so easy to get a project to work on homeopathy! I wrote projects on homeopathy, but not to speak of other scientific funding agencies, I was not successful in getting a project even from CCRH in the eighties, perhaps because the significance and importance of my proposed anti-radiation study could not be properly understood at that time! I started homeopathy research in early 1980 onward but could only manage to get a small project on homeopathy from the ministry of AYUSH in 2004. It took full two and a half years for processing my project since its receipt and for meeting all paraphernalia like accrediting my University (University of Kalyani) for homeopathy research, even though by that time I published quite a few research papers including many in reputed peer-reviewed international journals! I only got a project approved after one of our research papers was published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2003 with an International Press release that attracted the attention of many journalists and electronic media people all over the world. In fact, this research paper in the BMC journal was considered as one of the “Edge Papers” in 2003. Boiron Laboratories wanted to make a collaborative study on efficacy of Arsenicum album in amelioration of arsenic toxicity in some arsenic victims living in groundwater arsenic contaminated villages in West Bengal, we happily signed the MoU to start the work on and from 1st August 2004 and the grant continued for three consecutive terms until July 31st in 2013. In fact, without the generous financial support from Boiron Laboratories, it could not have been possible to make the little contributions that I could make in the global homeopathy research arena. Almost simultaneously, my small project submitted to AYUSH also got sanctioned. It was on the efficacy of some homeopathic drugs on ameliorating induced cancer in mice. So, the year 2004 witnessed the turning point in my career that enabled me to implement many of my research ideas and thoughts on homeopathy research.
Q: Did you have failures in homeopathic research?
A: No, not really in homeopathic research as such although in biological materials there can sometimes be a small variation of data, and statistical analysis can be helpful in arriving at a conclusion in such cases. We sometimes faced repeated failures during the standardization of some new techniques; some molecular biology techniques needed trials and errors before they could be properly standardized.
Q: Homeopathy faces a lot of skepticism, what should be our approach to face/answer such skepticism?
A: Homeopathy faces skepticism mainly from ignorant, illogical and obstinate people driven mostly with some vested interest! Anyone with an open and a rationale scientific mind can never be a skeptic, given that a large number of experimental scientific data are already there for their understanding and removal of any doubts! But most of them spend more time to ridicule homeopathy rather than going through the scientific literature including those papers published in respectable journals. It is more due to their personal ego problem, and therefore, not very important for the researchers who have really done research on homeopathy. The “bats” of the “true and learned researchers” should be allowed to make the “talking” while the rest should ignore these as simply rubbish. However, some caution should be taken to restrain some “illogical” or “ignorant” persons who sometimes make unfounded claims despite not having done any recognizable first-hand research on homeopathy and only depending on some borrowed research data of others, makes his own unrealistic claim! Emphasis should be given to do more meaningful research on homeopathy by technically qualified, intelligent and potentially strong researchers from different streams. The more genuine research in homeopathy will be carried out, the more the voice of criticism will diminish!
Q: What are your views to shorten the gap between fundamental and applied research?
A: To my mind, fundamental research is far more important to establish homeopathy as an “advanced science” and help of the mainstream researchers is of utmost importance for this aspect. But in many cases, mainstream scientists doing research on homeopathy have no or very little idea about the tenets of homeopathy or the basics of which the treatment strategies are followed, particularly on the basis of selection of the remedy or the potency. On the other hand, most of the homeopathic practitioners depend more on symptoms and their practicing experiences, without having much knowledge of the recent scientific advances made in the domain of homeopathy and utilizing this knowledge in their choice of drug selection. In recent years, new advances have been made in formulating newer homeopathic drugs from dynamization of specific genetic part of DNA. Inspired by our “gene regulatory hypothesis, a new field of “homeogenetics/homeogenomics” is thus emerging where the introduction of potentized remedies derived from specific part of DNA (of a specific gene) are being used with increasing rate of success to ameliorate/cure certain diseases where the genetic cause has been detected/implicated. New nosodes are also being introduced with proving. Therefore, I agree to some extent that there is a gap in relative progress and application of fundamental research and applied research in homeopathy. A two-pronged approach may be helpful:
- Any mainstream scientists who are to work on homeopathy with any Govt. funded AYUSH project should undertake an abridged course, say for a week or so, to receive basic knowledge about homeopathy;
- To introduce in the graduation medical course of homeopathy some recent scientific advances on homeopathic concept including the possible mechanism of action and including some good scientific research papers published by renowned scientists dealing with both fundamental and applied aspects of homeopathy, so that they can keep track with more scientific discoveries around the world and take advantage of the scientific knowledge emerging in the particular area in his/her medical practice. Those practitioners with a research mind may be encouraged to scientifically document interesting cases, both of success stories and failures!
Q: Can we apply the results of fundamental research in clinical practice?
A: Yes, scientific works and the outcome can be of practical clinical help, particularly in the case of dreadful diseases like thalassemia, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, bacterial/viral diseases, arsenic intoxication, etc.
Q: What are your contemplations about the fate of homeopathy in India?
A: India is going to play a key role in the propagation of homeopathy in other countries as well. India has already recognized homeopathy as a part of the important medical system and the Government of India is allocating sufficient funds for research and propagation of medical knowledge, training of doctors etc. Funding in homeopathy is limited. Hence we need to be diligent in channelizing the available funds to the most impactful projects. Scientists with research potential should be identified and homeopathy research by non-medical scientists in different Universities and Institutes should get encouragement and Government support. A renewed effort should be initiated on revamping the homeopathic system of education, particularly re-orienting the syllabus and also in dynamization of the education and research activities, their monitoring, and putting qualified, efficient and talented persons with strong research and administrative potential, particularly in the helm of education and administrative set ups respectively. I see the fate of homeopathy towards a better direction and playing the role of a world leader in near future with a rejuvenated and dynamic leadership of efficient administrative and research set ups.
Q: What is your message to young and budding researchers?
A: Love homeopathy, thoroughly read and learn, defend and confidently practice homeopathy without any prejudice or complex. One should not hesitate to use homeopathy drugs even as a supportive medicine when dealing with life-threatening diseases. Keep yourself thoroughly abreast of the recent scientific developments in homeopathy and preach for homeopathy as an advanced medical system.