ISIS Report 3/12/2014
Homeopathy for the Masses
Homeopathy can be mainstreamed as the most affordable, efficacious,
and safe public health provider through a standardized and specific therapeutic
approach that can deal effectively with all diseases including cancers and
opens the door to controlled clinical trials and scientific investigations Dr Mae-Wan Ho
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Homeopathy cures “like with like” by imitating nature, using
medicines able to produce a similar artificial disease. It was invented by
German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) who published The Organon of the Rational Art of Healing in
1810, elaborating the methods and principles of
a medical system to which he gave the name ‘homeopathy’ . Homeopathic drugs are ‘proved’ by testing for
symptoms produced in healthy subjects and applied to patients exhibiting
similar symptoms in their diseases. The medicines are made from extracts of
various plants, salts, animal products, or minerals and other natural sources,
and by diluting the extracted mother tincture or the crude materials. Solutions
are serially diluted and succussed (shaken vigorously) until the desired ‘potency’
is reached; the greater the dilution, the greater the potency. The crude or
slightly diluted extract when ingested by healthy volunteers produces symptoms
that mimic various diseases. Another tenet of homeopathy is that it treats the
whole person, and individualizes the treatment for each patient.
Individualizing treatments to patients mean long
consultations (and high fees), and no two homeopaths can agree on the course of
treatment for the same patient. Not surprisingly, therefore, classical homeopathy
has no specific treatment for any disease by name.
The Banerji Protocols
Prasanta Banerji and Pratip Banerji are a father and son team of
doctors in charge of a large homeopathic practice in Kolkata (formerly
Calcutta) India . I met them at a recent conference in Dreibergen, The
Netherlands, where we were invited speakers.
Instead of adhering to the classical doctrine of
individualized treatments, this family of doctors have rationalized and
standardized the treatments based on four generations of experience with
homeopathy, starting with the great grandfather who began studying homeopathy
more than 150 years ago, when the subject was just 50 years old. As a result, the
treatment is now much more affordable to the millions who need it, especially in
the developing world.
The Banerjis are in no doubt that homeopathy is ideal
as “the people’s medicine”. But it has been held back because proper clinical
trials using standardized treatment protocols cannot be carried out, with the
result that the efficacy of homeopathy is repeatedly challenged and denied by
mainstream medicine; and worse, homeopathy is at risk of being relegated to the
archives of history.
In a radical departure from classical homeopathy, the ‘Banerji
Protocols’ prescribe specific medicines for specific diseases. Diseases are
diagnosed using modern state-of-the-art scientific methods. With the
availability of new techniques such as ultrasonography, CT scans, magnetic
resonance imaging, cancer biomarkers and other tests, the Banerjis have been
able to further streamline the treatment protocols.
Homeopathy is very popular in Asia, especially in India,
Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. In India today, there are 162 degree colleges teaching homeopathy and
over 200 000 practitioners, the largest pool of homeopaths in the world. A
conservative estimate is that 100 million people use homeopathy . The true
number is much larger as many school teachers and scholars have educated
themselves in this affordable and easy to administer treatment and 70 % of
population in India live in villages and rural areas with limited access to
expensive conventional medical facilities.
A brief history of homeopathy in India and the Banerji Protocols
The Banerji Protocols began to develop in the family not long after
homeopathy reached India. As early as 1870, some German missionaries landed in
Bengal, and distributed homeopathic remedies among the poor. The elite slowly
recognized their efficacy and many civil servants and military personnel became
amateur homeopaths. School teachers too, took to reading the homeopathic materia
medicas and started prescribing to their village communities.
During the second half of the 19th century,
some homeopathic dispensaries were opened in Bengal and in the southern part of
India. The pioneer in Calcutta was Rajendralal Dutta (1818-1889). Coming from a
scholarly and aristocratic family in Bengal, he engaged a French doctor to be
in charge of a homeopathic hospital and dispensary in Calcutta. But the venture failed and Rajen Dutta
had to take on the job himself and started to practice homeopathy. He had many
illustrious patients including the great social reformer Pundit Ishwarachandra
Vidyasagar whom he cured of migrane, and Raja Radhakanta Dev Bahadur, the cure
of whose gangrenous ulcer created a sensation at the time.
Dutta persuaded Mahendralal Sircar, a medical doctor
and sceptic, to put homeopathy to the test. They found that homeopathic
medicines were effective even when Sircar’s conventional medicines failed.
Sircar became a convert, and a number of allopathic doctors followed his lead
and started to practice homeopathy. The Calcutta Homeopathic Medical College,
established in 1881, was the very first homeopathic medical college in India.
Gradually, homeopathic dispensaries opened in other
cities like Benares (now Varnasi) and Allahabad, and by the beginning of the 20th
century, homeopathy had spread all over India. In 1973, the Government of India
recognized homeopathy by setting up the Central Council of Homeopathy to
regulate its education and practice. Now, only qualified registered homeopaths
can practice homeopathy in India. It is probably the most popular system of
medicine in India, due to its ease of administration in the home and
Pratip’s grandfather, Preshnath Banerji, was the nephew
of Pundit Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, the social reformer whose migrane was cured
by homeopathy and became an ardent follower of homeopathy thereafter. Pareshnath
started his charitable clinic in 1918 at the remote village Mihijam situated at
the border of the state of Bihar (now Jharkhand) and soon became a legend. He had
phenomenal success in treating all kinds of diseases. Treating his patients
free of charge, he had to deal with a vast number of patients every day. He
found that specific homeopathic remedies could cure about 80 % of his patients
suffering from common ailments; this made his clinical dispensation “as quick
as lightning”. For the remaining 20 %, he paid close attention to the symptoms
described by the patients themselves. He did not always adhere to Hahnemann’s
dictum of “single simple and minimum”, but prescribed mixtures of medicines or
frequent repetitions of the medicines when required.
The Banerji Protocols are thus the result of
accumulated experience and careful observations on patient-medicine
interaction, translated into a standardized system of prescriptions to simplify
an extremely complex medical system using ultradilute medicines. It is the
accumulated experience and standardized treatments that make the Banerjis’
Mass treatment for cancers
Banerji Protocols exist for all kinds of diseases, but it is in the
treatment of cancers that they have gained international recognition. Practically
all clinical studies on cancer treatment outcomes use homeopathy as an adjunct
to conventional chemotherapy or radiotherapy, to alleviate side effects and
improve the patient’s quality of life. But the Banerji Protocols have been
deployed as sole treatment for cancer in the Kolkata clinics for years; and often
after conventional allopathic treatments failed.
The clinics in Kolkata see an average of 1 000 to 1 200
patients a day, 15 to 20 % of whom suffering from cancer. Currently, patients
from more than 120 countries use the Banerji Protocols for treating cancer
through the website www.pbhrfindia.org,
seeking online medical advice and treatment. Every type of cancer at every
stage has been treated at their clinics. The majority of patients opt for the
Banerji treatment only without conventional treatments, but there are also
patients who use the Banerji medicines as adjunct therapy along with or after
conventional treatments fail. Patients often come seeking relief from various
side effects of conventional chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. The Banerji
Protocols are standardized for different types of cancer, and customized
according to the location and tissue type.
A basic set of medicines consists of 1st
line of treatment, but 2nd line and 3rd lines are available
in cases that do not respond to the 1st line. In addition,
palliative relief is provided by preset medicines for patient’s symptoms, to
improve the quality of life.
Pratip tells me that a typical consultation fee is about
€10 for Prasanta and €5 for himself. This is certainly not out of reach for
people, even for the poor (the average wage in India in 2013 was €6 400 , and
minimum wage €1 347 ). The clinics are privately run, with no funding from
the government, whose only role is to give them the license. The remedies are
completely standardized and produced by an Indian homeopathic pharmaceutical
company. The Banerjis train many homeopaths who then set up practices for
themselves all over India.
The PBHRF (Dr Prasanta Banerji Homeopathy Research
Foundation) runs an electronic database on the treatment and response of all
cancer cases and other life-threatening diseases treated at their clinics. It
maintains a recently upgraded, state of the art computer network with a
high-end server and five nodes. There are more than 30 000 cases on the
database with over half a million visits recorded. The data consist of about 64
cancer types by site, including four cases of cancer of the heart. This is an
ongoing research initiative started in 2002, but includes cases prior to 2002. PBHRF
is currently collaborating with the top institutions of the US including the
National Cancer Institute to mine the data and use the information to
understand better the sphere of efficacy as well as to fine tune the protocols.
The overall aggregate retrospective data collected
from 2004 to 2013 on 24 204 patients with all varieties of cancer treated show
50 % of cancers completely regressed or improved, and 28 % became stable, with 7
% discontinuing and 15 % aggravated or died.
Over a year from January 2013 to December 2013, 3 559
new cancer patients were treated for 55 different types of cancer, among which
19 % were brain tumour/cancer, 13 % bronchogenic carcinoma, 7 % breast cancer.
Retrospective data collected over a one-year period on
patients treated for lung, brain and oesophageal cancers showed that complete
regressions ranged from 22 to 32 % (Figure 1).
Figure 1 Results of treatment of 1
132 cases of lung, brain and oesophageal cancers, August 2006-August 2007
In 1997, the National
Institutes of Health in the US asked PBHRF to produce records or their
successes as part of the Best Case Series programme for evaluating clinical
data from alternative healthcare practitioners. PBHRF submitted complete
records of cured cases in 1997, and their presentation of cases was accepted
after detailed scrutiny by the National Cancer Institute in 1999. They gave a
6-h presentation to a 17 member Cancer Advisory Panel that included cancer
specialists from all the leading American Cancer Centers, such as the
Washington Cancer Institute, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center,
The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and the Johns Hopkins Medical
Center. The panel accepted the presentation unanimously, and the entire
presentation of cases was published in 2008 .
Since then, the PBHRF have had many distinguished
visitors from the US. The Banerjis have also been involved in collaborative
research projects with American Institutes including the University of Texas MD
Anderson Cancer Center, Columbia University, the University of Kansas Medical
Center and many others. The Banerjis have been invited to present their work at
numerous international conferences and symposia since 1977.
In 2008, a three-member senior cancer support team
from Spain visited PBHRF for a week to get first-hand knowledge on the Banerji
Protocols. Two held senior positions at the University of Barcelona, while the
third runs a Valencia-based web portal for cancer support, which has nearly a
million visitors annually.
The response of Spanish homeopaths, pharmacists and
patients to the Banerji Protocols has been very enthusiastic.
Mode of action of homeopathic remedies
The Banerjis are actively engaged in collaborative research not just
in the clinical aspect, but also in basic research on the effect and action of homeopathic
For example, in collaboration with US researchers at the
MD Anderson Cancer Centre, University of Texas, 15 patients diagnosed with documented
intracranial tumours were treated exclusively with the homeopathic remedies Ruta
graveolens 6c and Calcarea phosphorica 3X without additional
chemotherapy or radiation . (In homeopathy, c stands for centesimal scale of
dilution, i.e., diluted by 100, so 6c means diluted in series
6 time; X stands for the decimal scale of dilution, i.e., diluted by
10, so 3X means diluted in series 3 times). Of the 15, six of seven who had glioma
showed complete regression. It was also reported by the scientists from the
study that the medicines stimulated induction of survival signalling pathways
in normal lymphocytes and induction of death-signalling pathways in brain
In a more recent study, four ultra-dilute homeopathic remedies used for
treating breast cancer (Carcinosin 30c, Phytolacca 200c, Conium 3c and Thuja 30c) were tested
against two human breast adenocarcinoma cell lines (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) and a
cell line derived from immortalized normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMLE)
. The remedies were found to have preferential cytotoxic effects
against the two breast cancer cell lines, causing cell cycle delay/arrest and
apoptosis. The effects were accompanied by altered expression of cell cycle
regulatory proteins, including down-regulation of phosphorylated Rb (retinoblastoma
protein) and up-regulation of the CDK (cyclin-dependent kinase) inhibitor p27,
which may be responsible for the cell cycle delay/arrest and induction of the
apoptotic cascade involving the activation of caspase 7 and cleavage of PARP
(poly ADP ribose polymerase) in the treated cells.
The therapeutic potential
of homeopathic remedies is not limited to cancers, but extends to all kinds of
diseases including bacterial infections. A significant finding involves Baptisia
tinctoria (wild indigo) used in the treatment of typhoid, with an estimated
22 million cases annually and 200 000 deaths . In a study using a standard
test for Salmonella infection, Banerji’s team found that the Baptisia
extract mimicked the Salmonella antigens, giving a positive test with
commercially produced Salmonella antisera . This suggests that Baptisia
administration caused a Salmonella-like reaction in the body, which
produces antibodies to Salmonella, thereby protecting it from infection.
The researchers raised the possibility that Baptisia tinctoria extract
could be used as a vaccine for both the prevention and treatment of typhoid.
The combination of prophylactic and treatment is traditional for homeopathic
What are the active ‘substances’ in homeopathic remedies?
Despite these significant findings, one main question continues to
baffle both supporters of homeopathy and critics alike. What are the active
‘substances’ in homeopathic remedies, especially those so highly diluted that
very few if any of the original solute(s) could be expected to remain? Without
an adequate answer to this question, there is no way of distinguishing between
a remedy that is efficacious and should be used in therapy and one that is not.
Indeed, the current statistics may be underestimating the true therapeutic
potential because some preparations are deficient in that respect. The recent
discovery of supramolecular nanostructures in highly diluted aqueous solutions
that are apparently required for biological activity (see  Supramolecular
Nanostructures in Highly Dilute Solutions Required for Biological Activity,
SiS 64) suggests that it may be possible to predict
biological activity in the remedy in advance of its being applied to treatment,
and thereby increase the efficacy of the remedy concerned. Clinical trials
should go hand in hand with such basic biophysical investigations that are also
crucial for how cell and organismic biology is understood .
The therapeutic potential of homeopathy has been grossly
underestimated and underappreciated. The Banerji Protocols using standardized
and specific remedies for specific diseases open the door to controlled
clinical trials along with basic biophysical studies that could mainstream this
safe, cost-effective, and minimum interventionist approach to health for
There are 2 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
|Gary Greenfield Comment left 3rd December 2014 17:05:04|
What are the active ‘substances’ in homeopathic remedies, especially those so highly diluted that very few if any of the original solute(s) could be expected to remain?
The active substance is not material but energetic. It's information. The material form is a carrier of information which can also be defined as light or energy which is manifest by electromagnetic forces. Consequently, the purpose of the actual substance being used as the remedy, need only be present within the communicative grid system which the cells reside in which would be the physical framework of the human body. The water within the body acts as the carrier of all information or energy necessary by which cells function. All modern communication technologies are based on this concept.
|R.Santhanam Comment left 4th December 2014 13:01:32|
Dr Edward Bach's Flower remedies popularly known as Bach's flower remedies are also a similar system.Only flowers are used.http://www.bachcentre.com/centre/drbach.htm
In India, Dr Malti Khaitan has developed a similar system of Flower remedies using flowers found in the Indian habitat: http://www.flowercure.com/