Dr. Shivang Swaminarayan, Knowledge Co-ordinator, Gujarat State Homoeopathic Medical Council
Most of the homoeopaths and homoeopathic pharmacy may have been asked “Does homoeopathic medicines contain Steroids?” It may be difficult to track back that who planted this doubt in the minds of common man. However, the issue has been used to tarnish the image of individual homoeopath, homoeopathic system, homoeopathic pharmacist and homoeopathic medicine manufacturer.
Fundamentally homoeopathic medicines are not steroids nor they contain steroids. Any committed, qualified and knowledgeable homoeopath need not use steroid or mix steroid preparation with homoeopathic medicines. The safe and effective homoeopathic preparations in all dosage from are effective in acute and chronic problems providing excellent result by way of catalyzing body’s immune response to fight against the disease condition or metabolic disorders.
What are steroids?
It is also very important to know that steroid is a class of chemical compound like alkaloids, alcohol, tannin etc. Hundreds of distinct steroids are found in plants, animals, and fungi. All steroids are made in cells either from the sterols lanosterol (animals and fungi) or from cycloartenol (plants). Similarly, various sterols viz. Cholesterol (Animal tissues), Ergosterol (Ergot – Secale), Fucosterols (Algae), Osteosterols (Oyster shell), Zoosterol (In animal fat), Phytosterol from plants, Stigmasterols (Soyabean) are found from different natural sources.
Some of the common categories of steroids:
- Ecdysteroids such as ecdysterone
- Sex steroids are a subset of sex hormones that produce sex differences or support reproduction. They include androgens, estrogens, and progestagens.
- Corticosteroids include glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. Glucocorticoids regulate many aspects of metabolism and immune function, whereas mineralocorticoids help maintain blood volume and control renal excretion of electrolytes. Most medical 'steroid' drugs are corticosteroids.
- Anabolic steroids are a class of steroids that interact with androgen receptors to increase muscle and bone synthesis. There are natural and synthetic anabolic steroids. In popular language, the word "steroids" usually refers to anabolic steroids.
Cholesterol, which modulates the fluidity of cell membranes and is the principal constituent of the plaques implicated in atherosclerosis.
Steroids have medicinal use as life saving drug and there are various misuse, abuse or overuse of steroids by handful of people for which entire medical community may not be blamed or accused. Most commonly abused Steroids are anabolic steroids.
Many homoeopathic mother tinctures may also show presence of natural steroids for e.g. Strophanthus, Dioscorea as well many other plants having steroidal nucleus.
Does steroid cure every illness?
Steroids or cortisone is not Panacea for each and every illness. Giving cortisone only helps those patients who suffer from Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis and other collagen disorders. Prolong use of steroid (more than 30 days) causes side effects that may include swelling of the face or puffiness of the face (moon faces); osteoporosis i.e. depletion of calcium from the bones causing weak and brittle bone; development of diabetes. Incidentally no patient on homoeopathic medicine may have experienced such side effects due to homoeopathic medicines.
What are the tests for steroids?
There are instances where patients give homoeopathic medicine for testing presence of steroid. As a routine practice laboratories carry out testing by way of calorimetric method using Tetrazolium Blue Salt which gives false positive results. The only authentic test for steroids is Liebermann Buchard test or Thin Layer Chromatography test or UV absorption test.
What should you know?
It is very essential for the homoeopathic practitioners, pharmacies and patients to know that before they accept the claim that the tested medicine contains steroid, they should find out the procedure of the test as false allegation against anyone is not only unfair but also unjustful. Above all there are only FDA approved laboratories who may be approached for any test of homoeopathic medicine samples rather than any and every laboratory who does not have sophisticated and expensive equipment to carry out TLC or UV test.
Homoeopathic medicines are Safe & Trustworthy
Homoeopathy is safe and effective for all age group in the hands of trained and qualified homoeopathic practitioners. Homoeopathic medicines manufactured by GMP certified (Schedule M-1) manufacturer are reliable in sealed pack so as to ensure the uncompromised quality without any adulteration.
Source & Acknowledgement:
- Dr. P.N. Varma, Former Director, Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeial Laboratory, Govt. of India.
- Dr. Farokh Master, Homoeopath & International Teacher, Mumbai