Do Homeopathy medicines contain steroid?

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

homeopathyHomoeopathic system of medicine is the second largest medical system in the world according to the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics. This system originated in Germany 200 years ago and it is practiced in more than 60 countries. In India alone there are more than 3, 00,000 institutionally qualified Homoeopathic doctors. These medicines are used world wide for more than 2 centuries and side effects/adverse effects were not reported till date. Govt of India has recognized this system and regulations for practicing Homoeopathic system of medicines were formulated. There are more than 200 undergraduate colleges and around 25-30 postgraduate colleges of Homoeopathy are there in India.

Homoeopathy is effective in acute as well in chronic diseases. But many a times people have a wrong notion that Homoeopathy is effective only in chronic cases and in acute illnesses one need to go for Allopathy. It is totally a wrong concept. Many of the acute illnesses are easily managed with Homoeopathic medications like acute respiratory infection, fever, throat infection, severe headache, dysmenorrhea, severe joint pains, ear ache, loose stools etc. Meantime Homoeopathy is useful in recurrent, refractory chronic diseases as well.

What are these steroids and where it is used?

In our body there is a pair of endocrine gland called adrenal gland situated on the upper pole of both the kidneys. These glands produces steroid hormones of three types namely mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids and androgens. These Hormones are very essential for maintenance of life. One cannot survive without these hormones. Excessive production of these hormones and deficient production produces various clinical disorders/Syndromes.

Among these synthetic glucocoriticoids are used for therapeutic purpose because of its anti-inflammatory, mild immunosuppressant action. These are prescribed by practioners of Allopathic system of medicine in case of acute conditions/ emergencies. These steroid preparations should not be taken for long time, and if taken should be under strict medical conditions. When these steroids are given for a long time it produces softening of the bone (osteoporosis), abnormal fat deposition over the trunk( Buffalo hump), abnormal hair growth ( Hirsutism), Diabetes, Weight gain etc.

Who can use steroids?

Only an allopathic doctor can give steroid with caution. In the market various steroid preparations are available. It is available in the form of tablets, nasal drops, inhalers, injections etc. Many a time’s steroids will save the patient in life threatening emergencies. But it should be taken strictly as per the medical advice. Qualified allopathic doctors give steroids in several clinical conditions like acute asthma, skin infections and eczemas, acute joint diseases, connective tissue disorders etc. Non allopathic doctors( Homoeopathic, Ayurvedic, Unani) are not permitted to prescribe steroids in any form.

Where is the origin of the information- Homoeopaths use steroids?

1.Many so called ‘educated people’ are ignorant about Homoeopathic system of medicine. According to them only steroid is an all time panacea for every kind of acute illnesses. So whenever they come across their relatives and friends who are on Homoeopathic treatment, they warn their relatives about steroid content in these medicines.

2. When the beneficiaries of Homoeopathy share their experience with Non Homoeopathic doctors a general warning they receive is – “careful, it may have steroids”. It may be due to ignorance about Homoeopathic system of medicine or decided aversion to alternative system of medicines.

3. This is how such irresponsible statements get disseminated and deprived many deserving patients to come for Homoeopathic treatments. This is a ‘weapon’ used by many to stop the patients going for Homoeopathic treatment. Not only steroid, some persons will go to the extent of saying that Homoeopathic medicines contain crude metals and chemicals. That’s how such false allegations are propagated in the public.

WHAT ARE THE LAB TESTS TO DETECT PRESENCE OF STEROID?

There are several Laboratory tests available to estimate the presence of steroids in a given compound. Some are old yet popular test, i.e. colorimetric tests and some are confirmatory tests like Thin layer chromatography method and UV absorption method.

BEWARE ABOUT THE FALSE POSITIVE REACTION:

One of the old methods of detecting the presence of steroid is COLORIMETRIC METHOD using tetrazolim blue salts. If the given compound contain steroid, during this test a highly coloured compound is produced which is known as FARMAZAN. This test gives false positive result if the given compound contain reducing sugar like lactose. As we all know most of the Homoeopathic medicines contain lactose( goat’s milk powder) and hence there will be a false positive reaction. Most of the potentised Homoeopathic medicines contain some percentage of dispensing alcohol and responsible for the false positive reaction. Hence this method is not advisable to confirm the presence of steroids.

CONFIRMATORY TESTS:

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. This is the right method of testing to confirm the presence of steroids and no Homoeopathic medicines will show positive reaction.

If anyone is interested to find out any steroid content in Homoeopathic medicines they are requested to go for these above mentioned tests than colorimetric test. Many a times people are misguided because of this misleading result in colorimetric test.

35 Responses to Do Homeopathy medicines contain steroid?

  1. ramesh

    nice article, it may be a eye opener for many. Many deserving patients seek Homoeopathic treatment, but due to such false irresponsible allegations many dont continue. thanks for the information

  2. Chandrasekar

    Good, It is a right answer for many scientifically tempered prejudice people to correct their biased idea about this great system of medicine. In India only 10-15 % population is aware about this system. It is estimated that by the year 2050, 50 % of the Indians will be using Homoeo medicines

  3. Dr.RamJyothis

    Very good article! a very few herbal medicines, Strophanthus, Dioscorea etc contains phytosteroids which morphologically similar to corticisteroids and anabolic steroids. These are the secondary metabilities of those plants. So while prescribing these type of drugs,in material doses, doctors should be careful.
    Reference:
    Useful plants of dermatology. III. Corticosteroids, Strophanthus, and Dioscorea
    Scott A. Norton MD, MSc

    Dermatology Service, R. W. Bliss Army Health Clinic, the University of Hawaii School of Medicine, Honolulu, and the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Fort Huachuca, Arizona

    Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
    Volume 38, Issue 2, February 1998, Pages 256-259

  4. Dr Roshan Pinto

    Nice article and lots of informations and clearing all doubts. Prasanna wishing you all the best and wishing that many such articles may come from you.

  5. Dr Girish Navada

    one of the good article which is a eye opener, kicks off the misconception in group of public. Homoeopathic medicines produces wonderful cures many to blame it for steroids here is the answer better go and check doubts are cleared. congratulation dr prasanna god bless you.
    dr girish navada u k

  6. anand kumar

    Hello dear dr,
    Aude sapare!
    Most of the Homoeopaths are insensitive to any comment/criticism on their system. Many senior Homoeopathic drs are just busy in making wealth, than creating better awareness about this modern scientific medicines( Homoeopathy). It is very sad to note that Homoeopaths are not united, instead they blame each other about the methodology of practice. This is the hightime where all the Homoeopaths should come under one roof and seriously discuss about these issues and prepare a manual for the common man about this wonderful system of medicine called Homoeopathy.
    I wish you all the very best for your thought provoking article and kindly continue your contribution in making this system a human friendly one.
    best wishes,
    Dr Anand Kumar.

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  8. ragini

    good article n helped me in time.one must understand that should start with strong belief in it .do enough research and start with belief and don’t discuss about this with neighbors.

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  10. ravikota

    Thankyou for the eye opener about the misconspetion.

    Does all homeo drugs act as a catalist on endocrine gland called adrenal gland situated on the upper pole of both the kidneys .

    For the above reason the drug is clasifed as steroid

  11. Jasper Crespo

    hi, this article was very usefull for me. But it was really hard to find it with google.es. Maybe you should improve it with seo wordpress addons for wordpress like WP seo. Just a tip 😉 🙂

  12. Marychandrakala.T

    Thank you Dr.Prasanna. This article was of immense help to me. I am taking homeopathic medicines and some had given their misconceptions about steroids in homeopathic medicines. I was thinking how to ask my doctor about this. Now my doubts are clarified and I am happy.

  13. Suparna

    Sir,
    Is there any treatment for buffalo hump?

  14. Bindu

    very informative & enlighting. one last query remains, where exactly can i get them tested as i reside in hyderabad. it would be so kind of u if u could enlighten me in this area.
    thank u.

  15. sandeep punwatkar

    this is very useful article. my elder brother is a victim of induced steroids. He has caught osteoporosis and diabetes and gained weight due to swelling in the body. He is having psoriasis in severe condition. I need more information and suggestions in this regards.
    sandeep

  16. Swarna

    Hello, thanks for such a valuable information on use of steroids in homeopathy medicines.

  17. Stephania Wollman

    Another quality article my man! spot on.

  18. Dr.Rochas berlin

    Hi dr,
    Really very informative….thank u so much.

  19. Leo fernandez

    HI DR PRASANNA,
    Homoeopathy has remained as alternative system due to misconceptions alone. If these are corrected from the general public, then this system may become main stream of medicine,
    I must congratulate you for your selfless service to this system.
    great day.

  20. Sonia

    My 7 yr old daughter has asthma and food allergies. We live in USA. We went to a reputed Homeopathic doctor in India and she had been feeling fine since we started his homeopathic medicine. Was not on any allopathic medicine But her doctors here in USA say that such quick relief means it has steroids for sure. I stopped her homeopathic medicine and she got an asthma attack 10 days after that. I don’t know what to do. Please advice.

  21. meerabai

    Dr. Informative and good literature citation to test the presence of steroids. Thank u

  22. girija nand

    My daughter (probably) treated with steroids after head injury by Allopaths, suffered from weight gain and hypothyroidism in a few months. Cortisonum 30 (selected by using software RADAR 10.5.002) cured the case within a month.

    a

    0

  23. MKSURESH

    DEAR DOCTOR,
    I THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE EXCELLENT ARTICLE ABOUT ” PRESENCE OF STEROIDS IN HOMOEPATHY MEDICINES”. SUCH ARTICLES ARE REALLY USEFUL FOR A LAYMAN LIKE ME WHO IS A MECH ENGR. I WOULD TO KNOW FROM YOU IF SEVERE ARTHRITIS ( WITH LOT OF KNEE PAIN) FOR A WOMAN OF 60 YEARS — IS HOMOEPATHY OR AYURVEDIC MEDICINES USEFUL. WHICH IS MORE EFFECTIVE.
    I REQUEST A REPLY IN THIS MATTER.

    THANKS AND REGARDS,
    MKSURESH, SR CITIZEN, BANGALORE. 21-1-13
    E MAIL :dynamic69@rediffmail.com

  24. Dr. Prasanna

    Hello sir,
    thanks for your comments on my article. Regarding treatment of joing pains in geriatric age group depends on the stage of osteoarthritis, symptomatology and general health of the patient. You can consult one of the qualifed Homoeopaths of your city and can discuss about this problem.

  25. monia

    Do u have any idea that amar homeopathy is using steroids or not as his medicine give result with in a minute.

  26. Bidyut

    Thanks for the nice article.

    But if we assume some hemeopath doctor (in rarerest of the rare situations) uses steroid in his medicines, then after how many day or months the side effects of steroid will start to up?

  27. Dr. Prasanna

    Hello dear bidyut,
    Only a person with criminal mentality can do that. In our population atleast 2-3 per 10000 population can have criminal mentality. If unfortunately, any learned homoeopath belongs to this personality he may do it. If you have a strong suspicion take the medicine sample to a nearby medical college biochemistry department and ask them to confirm the presence of steroid by doing libermann buchard test or thin layer chromatography test or UV Absorption method. NOT BY COLORIMETRIC TEST as it may give false positive test. If the given sample shows positive for steroid in the confirmatory test then inform to the health department- AYUSH section so that many more patients can be saved from your effort.

    regards.

  28. Dr. Prasanna

    Hello,
    I do not have any idea about amar homoeopathy. But still i would like
    to add that, if he is a qualified homoeopath, ( with BHMS OR MD degree
    ) from a recognised institution, definitely his expertise in
    homoeopathy which may be giving magical result. Never listen to the
    rumors like this. Homoeopaths are tortured with such rumors by ”
    HOMOEOPATHIC INTOLERANT DRS”.

  29. remabe

    Dr. I am taking some medicines for sebbhoeric dermatitis and relasted pimples. I don’t know the names of the medicines as the doctor gives it in his own packaging. I feel Am putting on weight…is it possible it contains some hormones that are making me gain weight.

  30. M V SREENIVAS

    Please advise the best place in Bangalore where i can get the medicine tested for Steriods presence.

    Please acknowledge and do the needful.

    Thanking you.

    M V Sreenivas.

  31. Aditya

    Dear Dr

    Thanks for the info in the article.

    I completely agree with you that Homeopathy has been a victim of rumors and unnecessary scandals, regarding the use of Steroids to appease the instant relief seeking population or to generate high success rate in a short time.

    However, i cannot not help but wonder, if your negating the possibility of such things, might also give an incorrect message to the general public. Let me explain, as in the case of rumors which have created false notions about the homeopathy medical system, does your article not give almost blanket coverage to all homeopaths practicing today? Pl refer to the following statements:
    1.Definitely his expertise in homeopathy which may be giving magical result-How can you be so sure that there is no wrong doing here? Are you also not getting into assumptions?
    2.This is the right method of testing to confirm the presence of steroids and no Homeopathic medicines will show positive reaction-are you not giving a definitive statement as an expert on the matter when you know that somewhere someone is/might be using steroids and those samples of homeopathic medicine will test positive?

    i understand that your intent is to spread awareness and i appreciate that…but i think the probability of malpractice in any medical system, is a reality which cannot be ignored. As long as our intent is to apprise & sensitize everyone of the benefits & imminent dangers of a particular system, with objective and non-biased analysis, we will not create any wrong perceptions which is what our aim should be….

    Hope my observation is not misunderstood and the intent behind it is recognized…

    Regards

    Secra

  32. P Girish Kumar

    Sir, I put a question about the steroid content of Ayurvedic Medicines in FACEBOOK and requested for comments.(facebook ID Girish Paladka). I did not get any reply. Thanks for your article.

  33. Bhavya

    I have severe asthma. I am using inhaler on and off from past 2 years. I decided to try homeopathy. The first set of tablets did not make much of a difference. The second set of tablets gave me such an increase in cough which lasted till I took the tablets. When the tablets got over my asthma increased a lot. I went to doctor within 4 days and told him it has increased. He gave me fresh set of tablets. I just took 3 pills and my asthma reduced very much. I was relieved. Yesterday one of my friends told to be careful about steroids. I had no clue about it and was shocked. I feel like not taking the tablets as he told me how can just 3 pills reduce the asthma. I am really confused and scared. I do not know what to do. Can someone guide me?

  34. Aravind bhat

    Dear sir,
    Thanks a lot. I am really inspired with your efforts to remove quite a lots of misconceptions about Homeopathy in general public. Many Leading Homeo drs are least interested in educating people about this. Many times i have asked my doctor ( one of the leading homeo dr in my city) and he says that it is out of jealousy people are spreading this propaganda. But my question is what is your effort in preventing this spread of false propaganda. Anyway i am really happy that, though you are always a busy person, but when approached- very mild, scientific tempered and matured person. May god give you more and more strength to spread homeopathy in a scientific spirit.

    aravind
    udupi

  35. H'Dr Shafiq S Virani

    Dear Dr. Kumar,

    Your article is, no doubt, an eye opener for general public, who is misguided by Non Homoeopathic doctors.

    Thanks a million

    Regards

    H’Dr Shafiq Virani

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