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Eating DrugsPsychopharmaceutical Pluralism in India$
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Stefan Ecks

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724767

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724767.001.0001

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Immaterial Medicines

(p.107) 3 Homeopathy
Eating Drugs

Stefan Ecks

NYU Press

This chapter examines Calcutta homeopaths, emphasizing their self-proclaimed ability to target patients' “nerves.” The influential position of homeopathy in Bengal helps us to understand lay suspicions of biomedical drugs as expensive, full of toxic side effects, and capable only of superficial “suppression” of illness symptoms. Invented by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843), homeopathy has been practiced in India since the early nineteenth century. Under Indira Gandhi, in 1973 the Indian Parliament recognized homeopathy as one of seven “national systems of medicine.” Today homeopathy is supervised alongside other forms of Indian medicine in a department of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare called AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy).

Keywords:   homeopathy, Calcutta homeopaths, Bengal, biomedical drugs, nerves

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