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Alternate medicine gaining in popularity

Homeopathy: Homoeopathy is a system of alternative medicine developed over 200 years back by a German homeopath – Samuel Hahnemann and is based on the doctrine ‘like cures like’. It is a non-toxic system of medicine and as per World Health Organisation, is the second most widely used system of medicine internationally. Unlike many health models, the model for homoeopathy is one of individualisation.

Homoeopathic system helps stimulate the immune system and the body’s natural ability to heal. The potentised remedy acts as a catalyst to set healing in motion. This is called self-healing through body’s own DNA repair mechanism. With homeopathy, doctors make the patient’s own body repair and heal itself.

Hence, one of the most important principle of homoeopathic medicine is that treatment is individualistic and tailored to each person’s specific symptoms, history, body and need. Even if two people are battling the same illness, based on their symptoms and history, the homoeopath will prescribe different individual medicines.

“The superiority of homoeopathy from the conventional medicine is in a fact that the relief offered by it in the treatment of chronic diseases is quite lasting for many months or years. This is achieved because homoeopathy treats the root of the diseases. The approach in homoeopathy is such that it addresses the patient’s physical, disease, emotional and genetic totality; and treats the disease traits.
Homoeopathy is essentially a safe system of medicine, free from any adverse effects if used correctly,” said Dr Jayshree Thakur of the Dr Jayshree’s Homeopathic Healthcare Clinic.

Dr Thakur added that the format of the medicine is such that the medicines are without any toxic substance. The medicines are prepared from natural substance obtained from plant, animal and mineral kingdom, hence are absolutely harmless.

Homoeopathy is safe for new-born babies, pregnant women, and elderly patients as well as for those patients who have delicate health. Some of the other benefits and advantages of homoeopathy include its ease to administer and it is child-friendly.

In Goa, the awareness of Homoeopathy is on the rise owing to the growing acceptance of this highly individualised remedy to address specific symptoms in patient populations. However, there is still a gap in distribution of homoeopathy products. Compared to the reach of allopathic medicines, there are only 20-25 outlets in the state who sell homoeopathic products. Most of the medicines are administered by the practitioner themselves.

A recent study conducted by IMRB on ‘Acceptance of Homeopathy in India’ revealed that 59 per cent people in major cities have shifted from allopathy to homeopathy in the last one year.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) assessment on ‘Homoeopathy demand on the rise’ in which it was found out that in metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and other satellite towns like Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Lucknow spoke very high for homeopathy, arguing that though it takes longer to root out aliments but the treatment is safe and physiologically satisfactory for, there are no side effects.

Herbal: Herbal medicine is recognised as an effective healing method with Indian history acknowledging the healing purposes and usage of plants. Most of the conventional drugs have originated from plant sources, for example aspirin (willow bark). Worldwide, herbal medicines received a boost when WHO encouraged developing countries to use traditional plant medicine to fulfill needs not met by modern systems. The global herbal market is increasing and herbal medicines have become common form of alternative medicines.

Dr Maria Carina Cordeiro of the Goan Pharma said, “As per the WHO reports, about three-quarters of the world’s population currently use herbs and other forms of traditional medicines to treat diseases. Allopathic medicines have failed to prove its efficiency and there are number of diseases with no therapeutic solutions.

Although the Allopathic medicines are extremely effective in handling short term and emergency health conditions, it has been largely ineffective in treating chronic diseases. Nowadays, people prefer herbal medicines to allopathic medicines due to issues related to side effects and affordability.

Escalating prices, tighter budgets and high healthcare and lifestyle costs, have actually driven consumers towards the more economical, healthier and safer option of alternative medicine and dietary supplements, to get relief from various disorders.”

Goan Pharma, a company having registered office at Porvorim has under the leadership of Dr Maria Carina Cordeiro scientifically developed a formulation called DENPAP which is very effective in increasing platelet count and providing relief from other symptoms of Dengue fever.

The said research-based medicine DENPAP has been tested non-clinically for heavy metals, microbial content; tested for toxicity and efficacy on animals model in a USFDA recognised lab and also conducted clinical trials on patients. The product has been licenced by FDA Maharashtra and also Ayush Department of Bangalore.

Only after rigorous testing, the product DENPAP was launched into the market for Dengue and provides relief to the patients within a span of 3-5 days. Goan Pharma also intends to make their presence internationally by exporting their products. Many novel herbal medicines are in the pipeline which can provide relief at an affordable rate to the patients suffering from a disease or interlinked diseases that have no targeted therapy.

Ayurveda: Ayurveda is a 5000 year old science treating ailments at their roots, offering holistic cure in a natural way, it is a ‘Science of Life’ that guides an individual to live healthy long life. Established in 1899, Sandu is a well known brand in the field of Ayurveda and is a leading Ayurvedic manufacturing and marketing company selling Ayurvedic products for over 119 years.

Sandu Pharmaceuticals Ltd’s state of the Art Ayurvedic medicine manufacturing plant was set up at Pilerne Industrial Estate, Bardez-Goa in the year 1997 and since then Sandu has been part of Goa’s journey of industrial growth, manufacturing Ayurvedic medicines and providing employment to hundreds of people of Goa.

Umesh Sandu, director of Sandu Pharmaceuticals Ltd said, “Sandu Pharmaceuticals Ltd is the only fully integrated Ayurvedic medicine manufacturing company in Goa, having a range of about 175 products which are useful for an infant to an adult. It is a myth propagated by the Western multinational drug companies that Ayurveda Medicnes contain heavy metals and are unsafe for consumption.

Apart from plant source, minerals and metals are also used in some medicines but they are processed and purified in such a way so that their bio availability is increased to the highest levels, without causing any adverse effects. It is a nano medicine technology, which was prevalent thousands of years ago, which now has been validated in recent scientific studies and accepted world over.”

He added that in Goa, we see lot of lifestyle related disorders amongst today’s youngsters, like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, stress, joint pains etc which can be successfully treated through Ayurveda, but if these youngsters follow Ayurveda from early years then these disorders can be avoided permanently.

“Ayurvedic medicines has got tremendous buzz and is being positively seen and accepted in the entire world, Goa being no exception to this. We have been experiencing consistent growth of around 20 to 25 per cent for past couple of years,” said Sandu. [H]

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