"homeopathy" in India

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at UNI-MUENCHEN.DE
Fri Jul 18 17:47:33 UTC 2008

Allen W Thrasher schreef:

> Do other people share my impression that while South Asia indeed has many practitioners of homeopathy in the strict sense, the system of medicine created by Samuel Hahnemann and introduced to India by John Martin Honigberger, "homeopathy" is often used there to mean any system of medicine except mainline modern Western medicine?  (All reservations on these three adjectives understood, of course!)

I'm afraid I too do not share the impression. As Ashok Aklujkar already 
mentioned, numerous people believe that it is not 'Western' (more than 
once I have heard people in Karnataka speak about 'our homeopathy' as 
opposed to 'Western allopathy', but those invariably were persons who 
had never heard of Samuel Hahnemann); but I have never heard it as a 
blanket term for everything that is not 'modern' Western 'Schulmedizin'.

On a historical note: a few months ago, a student at our institute here 
in Munich, S.V. Bhaskar Poldas from Hyderabad, submitted his thesis 
"Geschichte der Homöopathie in Indien von ihrer Einführung bis zur 
ersten offiziellen Anerkennung 1937", 267 pp. (as yet unpublished), 
based on archival work in several libraries in Germany, India and 
Britain. Poldas writes that Honigberger was merely the best-known early 
homeopath, not the first. He quotes K.G. Saxena (homeopathic personal 
physician to the Indian president, 1950-86), who states, without 
reference, that (unnamed) German missionaries had introduced homeopathy 
already in 1810, and in the Souvenir of the XXXII International 
Homeopathic Congress 1977 in New Delhi, three homeopaths from Karnataka, 
Acharya, Shaikh and Peters, mention three German missionaries in the 
Mangalore area named Lehner, Greiner and Hebich, who worked there in 
1834, five years before Honigsberger arrived in India.

Prof. Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos
Department fuer Asienstudien - Institut fuer Indologie und Tibetologie
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen
Tel. (+49-89-) 2180-5782
Fax  (+49-89-) 2180-5827

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