|Homoeopathy - Myths & Facts|
Myths about Homoeopathy
Do homoeopathy use steroids to attain quick results? - A myth
No, says PRABHA PATWARDHAN, and explains the reason for this common misunderstanding
Do homoeopaths use cortisone, A steroid? This question is often posed by some patients during the course of a consultation. The answer is a definite ‘no’. Homoeopathy of integrity and commitment to their profession do not use cortisone. And in fact have no need to. Their material medica is very rich in remedies with a vast range of curative effects.
I am an allopath who turned to homoeopathy after experiencing a personal cure for a minor but irritating ailment which allopathy was unable to cure. I then studied homoeopathy and have been in homoeopathic practice for the last 15 years. My only regret is that I did not study it earlier. Homoeopathy is a wonderful system of therapeutics. and no one who has studied it seriously has ever doubted its efficacy. Then why have people begun to doubt its practice?
When I posed this question to
my patients, who had voiced their reservations, they said that "they had the
medicines tested (in most cases given to them by very reputable doctors).
And they had tested positive for cortisone.
In view of this, why would any homoeopathy want to use cortisone?
Recently I had an occasion to test these allegations. One of my old patients who had changed to another homoeopathy nearer her home phoned me frantically to say that she had his medicines checked and they had tested positive for steroids. I decided to send some of my medicines for testing at the same lab. The medicines sent were: unmedicated pills. Cina 1m, Belladona 30 and Sulphur 30. All these medicines were sent in a base of a small amount of lactose (milk sugar).
A report the following week said that all of them had tested positive for steroids!
I asked them to carry out the same test on plain lactose. This also tested positive for steroids. It was now obvious that all these medicines were giving a false positive reaction.
The test used was the “Colorimetric method using tetrazolium blue salts”. In this test, the reaction of tetrazolium blue salt to give a highly colored compound known as Farmazan. Under controlled conditions, the amount of Farmazan developed is proportional to the quantity of steroid or any reducing sugar present in the material being tested.
In fact for some years, tetrazolium salts have been used for determination of reducing sugars. So if the drug contains any lactose. it will impart a strong color with tetazolium blue salt which will give a false impression of the presence of a steroid. Secondly, if the alcohol used in this method is not completely free from aldehyde, it will interface with the characteristic color, which may again give a false positive reaction for a steroid. So this method is not advisable to determine the presence of steroids in the drug.
Most homoeopathy use lactose as a base for holding the pills, containing the homoeopathic remedy. Together in the powders of alcohol, are likely to give a false positive test for steroids if this method is used.
Other methods used to test steroids are Liberman Buchard test. Thin layer chromatography method and UV absorption method.
Almost all steroids show UV absorption between 235 and 240 nm in dehydrated alcohol or methanol in a clear solution. A complete spectrum of this solution is taken between 400 NM and 200 NM on a suitable spectrophotometer, If any steroid is present, it will show maximum at 240 NM.
It was decided to test the same homoeopathic remedies for steroids using the UV absorption method. None of the four samples showed maximum between 235 NM. (The steroid added was clobetasone-17 butyrate which has maxima at 235 NM).
Thus it is clear that before accepting a claim that the tested medicine does contain a steroid, one must find out what testing procedures were used to eliminate the possibility of a misleading result. If tests conclusively prove that the medicine given is indeed a steroid, under the guise of a homoeopathic remedy, then one must confront the doctor and seek an explanation or complain to the homoeopathic Council so that disciplinary action can be taken against the erring doctor. Unsubstantiated allegations against any doctor are most unfair and damaging to his professional integrity and indeed to the profession.
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