By Dana Ullman MPH
The fact that Britain’s Royal Family are strong supporters of homeopathy sometimes gives people the incorrect image of homeopathy as primarily a medical treatment for the upper class. Those of us involved in homeopathy know better. We know that homeopathy can be of value to anyone who is sick.
The fact that homeopathy is practiced in India by more trained health professionals than anywhere else in the world provides some evidence that one does not have to be rich to experience the benefits of homeopathy. At present, there are over 100 four- or five-year homeopathic medical colleges in India.
Caring for the poor is nothing new to Mother Teresa. She has worked with and for the poorest of the poor for over a half century. She has brought a message of love to them, and her Missionaries of Charity have provided medical care to millions of people. The physicians and paraprofessionals who have worked in her Missions have not simply prescribed conventional drugs, they have also prescribed homeopathic medicines. Mother Teresa has a special interest in homeopathic medicine because of its effectiveness and low cost.
At present, four charitable homeopathic dispensories are run under the guidance of the Mother’s Missionaries of Charity. One of these dispensories primarily provides homeopathic medicines to poor and sick children in Calcutta, while the other three provide homeopathic medicines to anyone who needs them. Considering the serious health problems that poor people in India experience, it is truly miraculous that homeopathic medicines are so effective as the primary method of treatment for many children and many adults.
Mother Teresa opened her first charitable homeopathic dispensory in Calcutta in 1950. She even prescribes homeopathic medicines herself sometimes.
Dr. (Sister) M. Gomes, a physician who has worked at the Mother’s Mission in Calcutta since 1945, notes that one of the obstacles to the spread of homeopathy in the Mother’s work is inadequate funding for homeopathic hospitals. At present, several Sisters are studying homeopathy at a homeopathic medical college in order to improve the care they can offer poor people.
My thanks to Dr. Parameswar Bose and Dr. Iva Pal for providing me with much of this information.