`Homoeopathy growing at 30 percent annually in India`

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Homoeopathy is growing at nearly 30 percent annually in India, but in spite of that it is a cottage industry, says a leading physician who claims the alternate medicine system can combat schizophrenia, insomnia, skin disorders and even reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.

`It has been clinically proven that homoeopathy effectively cures schizophrenia brought about by anxiety and panic, and stress-induced insomnia,` said homoeopath Mukesh Batra, who runs the `Dr Batra` clinic chain with 80 medical centres in 33 cities and four countries.

Giving industry figures from studies, Batra said: `The gap between the nearly Rs.15,000 crore allopathic medicine industry and the Rs.2,500 crore homoeopathic industry in India would take at least 50 years to close.`

`This, despite the fact that homoeopathy as an alternative medicine industry is growing at nearly 30 percent annually in the country,` Batra said.

Homoeopathy is still a cottage industry in India, though the country is one of the top consumers of homoeopathic drugs in the world, Batra said.

`The biggest roadblock to the boom of homoeopathy in India is the absence of over-the-counter drugs unlike allopathic medicines,` Batra said.

Health is a state imperative, but the government has not offered incentives for the industry to grow, he said.

According to the World Health Organisation, homoeopathy is the second largest medical system in the world and is considered a radical medical science. Estimates cite that 550 million people use homoeopathy medicines worldwide and it contributes to nearly 14 percent of the total alternative medicine market.

Homoeopathy was founded in 1796 by German physician Samuel Hahnemann. It is based on the law of similars, according to which a substance capable of producing certain symptoms in a healthy individual is capable of treating similar symptoms in a diseased person. Thus, the logic is to evoke a healing response from the body itself rather than trying to suppress the disease manifestation.

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