Baba Ramdev vs. allopathy and the IMA

Ayurveda practitioner and teacher Baba Ramdev of India had declared allopathy to be a “stupid and bankrupt science”, claiming that [hundreds of thousands] have died due to allopathy. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has responded by urging the Health Minister there to take the “strictest steps(heavy fines or even arrest) against the guru. They say he’s endangering people by encouraging them to turn away from standard medicine.

(There are several conflicting definitions of the word allopathy. The one being used here is that branch of medicine that seeks to change the body in the opposite direction that the symptoms present; such as a fever reducer to work against fever. But critics say that’s just treating the symptoms.)

The IMA has asserted that the Indian Health Ministry must either accept the accusation and dissolve the existing medical network or charge Ramdev with a crime under the Epidemic Act.

Ramdev has claimed that various treatments for Coronavirus (hydroxychloroquin, remdesiver, antibiotics, steriods, plasma therapy [now banned in India], Ivermectin, and Fabiflu) have failed. And that more [hundreds of thousands of] people have died of modern medical treatments during the pandemic than of Covid-19 itself.

The IMA stated that Ramdev has been “winning business by defaming scientific medicine” which is an “unpardonable offense”.

Ramdev responded by suggesting allopathy offers no permanent relief for chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, thyroid problems, arthritis, colitis, asthma, and fatty liver and liver cirrhosis. And that the uproar against him is just an attempt to defame Ayurveda.

Is allopathy good or bad?

Allopathy has its good points.

  • ◆ In an emergency, such as extremely high fever or imminent respiratory collapse, allopathy can reduce symptoms enough to give the patient a chance to recover.
  • ◆ Allopathy can make a sick person feel more comfortable sooner.
  • ◆ You may have a particular need to be “fully operational” quickly, such as for your big proposal to the company’s Board of Directors tomorrow. If so, you want relief from your symptoms fast to give you that extra edge to make your presentation a success.
  • ◆ An employer can get a sick employee back to productiveness quickly by encouraging them to get an allopathic “quick fix”. This is especially true if the employer happens to be the military, where a soldier or sailor can be ordered to take the therapy offered.
  • ◆ Allopathy tends to need to be repeated over the long term, thus helping support the economy.

And its bad points

  • ◆ Allopathy interferes with the body’s own healing mechanisms. Fever, for example, has a purpose — it’s how the body fights infections. By treating the symptoms, you feel better fast — but you stay sick longer.
  • ◆ If you embrace allopathy to the exclusion of other modes of healing, a more permanent solution can easily escape consideration and remain unused.
  • ◆ By disabling the body’s own defenses, one is in danger of dying sooner.

Protecting the public

Nearly every country has passed laws restricting what “non doctor health practitioners” can do. The rationale is that standard medicine gets results, while alternative medicine is obscure and uncertain. There are alternative health clinics in countries such as the USA, but God help them if one of their clients should die. The authorities will come down on them like ugly on an ape, saying this person would be alive today if they had seen a real doctor instead. (“Real” doctors lose patients all the time, but no one seems to think that’s relevant.)

The bottom line

Under threat of fines and/or imprisonment, Baba Ramdev has issued an apology, declaring “that allopathy has earned much dignity, has prospered with the time and proven helpful during all the times of mankind’s health care needs”.