HOMOEOPATHY & PLASTIC
Dr. Priti Chowdhury, Goa
During earlier years of Homoeopathy in India, patients would take all possible treatments from all possible “Pathies” & ultimately turn to Homoeopathy as last desperate attempt to find cure. But today awareness has been created in the minds of the people about Homoeopathy & it is being accepted as first choice of treatment for any health issues. So Homoeopathy in India has been coming up in a big way now. But there are few things being practiced, which are bad for Homoeopathy.
Reference is being made towards the rampant use of Plastic containers for dispensing & storage of our medicines. We have learnt in Chemistry that certain organic substances, under certain specific conditions, in presence of specific chemical substances, undergo a process called “Polymerization”. The end-products obtained after Polymerization are called “Plastics”. Thus, Ethylene polymerizes to give Polyethylene, Propylene to Polypropylene, Carbonates to Polycarbonates & so on. However, latest research shows that the process of Polymerization continues even after formation of desired polymer. The addition of stabilizers only slows down the Polymerization process; but they do not stop the process completely & decisively. This means that we have been using Plastic containers, the constituents of which have never seized to react among themselves. In other words we have been using “Reactive Containers” for dispensing our medicines. Moreover, very little or almost nothing is known about the numerous individual chemicals used in manufacturing Plastics. The research shows that ALL PLASTICS leach into the substances stored into them. Due to this property of Plastics, the U.S. F.D.A. had classified Plastics as “Indirect Additives” which means that though they are not directly added to the substance stored in them, they definitely seep into the contained substances. Many Plastics use a chemical known as BPA (Bis Phenol-A). This BPA is proved to be a prominent Endocrine disruptor affecting general development, intelligence, memory, learning & behavior. It is even proved to produce diseases like Cancer & Alzheimer’s. Another group of chemicals called as “Phthalates”, used in softening of Plastics, are known to cause Asthma, Skeletal disorders, Disorders of Male Reproductive System, Impaired Lungs of children & cause Allergies, if exposed to beyond safe levels.
We know that all our medicines & tinctures are extracted in Ethyl Alcohol. Alcohols are known to be excellent solvents. Most chemicals get dissolved in them & they are in fact called as “Universal Solvents”. So when we expose our medicines to Plastics, the Alcohol is bound to dissolve some of the numerous chemicals in the Plastic & that in turn is bound to distort the structure & action of the active ingredients present in our medicines. This fact makes Plastic containers most hazardous & undesired for Homoeopathy.
We usually talk of competing with Allopathy. The results of any stream of Medicine are important, but equally important are the ways in which the medicines are stored & dispensed. Allopathic medicinal packing has tremendously improved in past 30 years or so. In comparison, where do WE stand? From the good old Glass phials & corks, we have slid down to the unhealthy & hazardous Plastic containers. On one side, the whole world, even each one of us at some point or other, curse Plastic as the great Environmental hazard. But we religiously keep on using the Plastic containers, sometimes re-use them & only add to the environmental issues. Plastic has become integral part of today’s life. In many places we can not actually do without Plastics. But wherever possible, we should endeavor to replace Plastic with safe & better packing material like Glass. This becomes all the more important issue when Plastic is actually affecting our great system of Homoeopathy.
Time has come for us to shift back to Glass. It is excellent container which is neutral in nature. Most chemicals can be stored in Glass for a long period of time without affecting the properties of the chemicals. In Homoeopathy, Glass gives us total protection against any adulteration & we can actually get perfect results. Not to mention, the Glass is more environmental friendly substance.
So let’s all of us to “Go Green” & save Homoeopathy from undesired & distorted effects of Plastics.
© Dr Priti Choudhari, Goa