Iman Navab is a Homeopath working in Canada and is President of the Applied Research in Homeopathy Foundation of Canada (www.ARHFC.ca). Iman is the author of ‘Miasma of Cancer’, and is a historian of Homeopathy. He teaches History and Philosophy of Homeopathy at the Canadian College of Holistic Health.
GG: Iman, a little background on you please, in a homeopathic sense. What fuelled your interest in homeopathy?
IN: My late father became a delivery-boy for a pharmacy when he was 13 years old. His job was to deliver drugs for the pharmacy’s clients. He became very interested in the field of pharmacy, and as a result of his interest, he became a chemist and eventually owned a pharmacy. As far as I remember, I grew up in the environment of pharmacy and natural remedies. One important thing that always stood out is that my father always tried first to help his clients with natural medicines and nutritional supplements instead of or in conjunction with their prescription drugs, and for this reason he had many loyal customers. I had many opportunities to observe him giving advice to patients over the years, and I naturally developed a great interest in natural remedies. Thereafter when I finished high school, I applied to a few universities, and I received acceptance from all, and even a scholarship from the York University in Toronto. After reading an article in a local paper about the philosophy of Homeopathy, it was love at first sight. The more I read about it, the more I was mesmerized with homeopathy; so logical, such a systematic and organized approach to health-care that I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else. Therefore I pursued studying natural medicine including classical homeopathy for a total of six years. Shortly after completion of my studies, I also had the opportunity to teach homeopathy, mostly to allopathic doctors who were interested to learn about it.
GG: So, natural medicine is in your blood! However, do you see a place for allopathy?
IN: Yes definitely there is a place for allopathy; the right place for allopathy is to be the alternative-medicine, as truly it is; and for homeopathy to be the primary care giver.
GG: I agree, 100%. This way we would massively reduce deaths from iatrogenic disease, which is a leading cause of death in the US, next to heart disease and cancer. You are a classical Hahnemannian homeopath. What does this mean to you? Are you open to more ‘modern approaches?’
IN: Yes I am a Hahnemannian homeopath, but this is not the end of the road; as we know, homeopathy is a combination of science and art, so how can I be scientific and an artist if I would not be open to advancement of this medical system? We need to explore modern approaches and improve; and indeed improvement is a never-ending process. Having said that, I’m truly against misleading and unscientific methods that are mainly intended for business purposes, which at the end of the day, you see that these unproven methods do harm by confusing students and taking away their confidence in taking real cases.
GG: Could you be more specific here, maybe without naming?
IN: For instance, there are methods out there that right away direct the homeopath to classify the patient into categories or kingdoms, hence the homeopath enters into investigation of the case with a preconceived idea, a preconception of sensational delusion. Keep in mind that an unprejudiced observer first takes nothing into consideration other than symptoms of the disease in its totality!
GG: Which particular homeopaths from history inspire you?
IN: After Hahnemann, historically, I have to say Dr. Constantine Hering, because he had dignity. Hering was a real skeptic – he dedicated his life to put everything to the test and relied on pure experiments!
GG: All we ever see in print are cured cases. Can you say something about the real life difficulty of practicing homeopathy, and the failures?
IM: Generally people that believe in homeopathy have extremely high expectations from it. They should realize that homeopathy is not magic and certainly it’s not a religion; it is a medical system. Thus if a case is not curable due to many reasons, then homeopathy has its own limitations and cannot cure such cases, but to some extent it may improve the quality of life for such patients. Having said that, we also need to consider that most often in failed cases, it is the homeopath practitioner who failed, not necessarily the homeopathy. What I mean by this is that we practitioners are responsible to do a gap-analysis and quality control in the way we practice. In order to take and treat a case successfully, there are three major essentials that a homeopath needs to have: knowledge of the patient based on her individuality, knowledge of disease based on totality of the symptoms, and knowledge of Materia Medica – remedies – to find the simillimum. Incompetency, insufficient or lack of any of these skills will make it very difficult to practice homeopathy.
GG: In the UK, five homeopathic hospitals have been forced to close due to propaganda from homeopathy’s critics. Why do you think they have such an undue influence?
IM: All firms and lobbyists that sponsor negative campaigns with biased media to discredit homeopathy for their own financial benefits and secret agendas – always have harmful influences and they do whatever it takes in their bigoted approach to close down homeopathic centres. However we need to keep in mind that although they hold the political power, we have a time-tested medicine that is in service of humanity for more than 200 years. They call homeopathy a “delusion”, “placebo”, “magic”,…but they’re misleading the public by these false accusations. Tell me how logically and scientifically you can call homeopathy a delusion, placebo and magic – when it treats children, animals and plants so effectively!
In regards to the closures of the homeopathic hospitals in the U.K., I think it all comes down to business and lack of budget. Maybe we should follow India as a model, because homeopathy is integrated into their healthcare system, including hospitals and people have choice!
Regretfully, homeopaths are not united globally as we could be. We need to do a better job marketing for homeopathy in one voice. For instance, here in Canada, we have so many different homeopathy schools and at least six different associations just in Ontario – that’s only one province with less than two thousands homeopaths – but so many organizations. Instead we should have one strong association to represent the profession in this province. This way we can come together and put one scientific panel together, hire a legal counsel and designate a qualified committee for Public Relations and to handle Media inquiries in the most professional way possible.
GG: What makes you so passionate about homeopathic history?
IM: Generally in life, I think we need to know the past before we would take future actions. Even in receiving a patient’s case, we would dig out the patient’s medical history, which helps us understand and investigate the case in a better way. Similarly, I am very passionate about the history of medicine in general and most specifically about the rich history of homeopathy. One of the past homeopathic historians that I admire is the late Julian Winston who passed away in June, 2005. In 1982, Julian was elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Homeopathy in the U.S., and as of 1982 he was the editor of the NCH newsletter, Homeopathy Today. He served as registrar of the NCH Summer School from 1981 through 1987, and served as dean of the program from 1988 until 1992. Julian was also a member of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States (HPCUS); and as I mentioned he was a great homeopath historian.
GG: Where do you find such fascinating photographs and documents?
IM: I spend time communicating with many Librarians around the world, and some of them are helpful in directing me to find those historic gems.
GG: You seem to love sharing your knowledge and do so with integrity and humour. Does anything annoy you professionally?
IM: Ignorance and egotism; these are personality-disorders that unfortunately even some homeopaths are suffering from too, perhaps a few of them due to fame. I think as homeopaths we must take care of our own personal health first and try to serve patients with a healthy mind.
GG: Describe the influence that having Kaviraj as a mentor and teacher had on you.
IM: Kaviraj was a gift, and a messenger in my life; I learned things from every sentence that he spoke. A deep friendship sprung between us, and I’m grateful. I’m not able to describe by words how he impacted my mental growth. He explained things in 3D, from the scientific, spiritual and intellectual aspects. Despite his vast knowledge and expertise, above all, he was approachable and humble!
GG: Yes, a true patriarch of homeopathy. His work, particularly in the field of agrohomeopathy was pioneering and lives on. What do you want to achieve in the future?
IM: I am currently working on few exciting homeopathic research projects, which I hope to complete in the near future and to report my findings to the homeopathic community. The goal of my research team is to establish scientific procedures that would be repeatable for validation – in order to demonstrate the effects of the trituration and potentization processes – to show clearly how matter behaves when it is transformed into its dynamic potential by potentization!
GG: Where do you see homeopathy in 10 years time?
IM: That’s up to us; we can raise the bar as high and as advanced as we want. I hope to see that in 10 years or even less, by utilizing nanotechnology, we would be able to investigate the quantum mechanism of homeopathy.
GG: Thank you Iman, your work is greatly appreciated.
IM: Thank you!
Loved The interview! Thanks for sharing Iman and Gill
Thank you so much for your kind feedback!
What is a ‘Hahnemannian homeopath’? A new term like so called ‘classical homeopath’ to further divide homeopaths in groups/followers of diffrent school of thoughts or else!
Thanks for your comment. About the Hahnemannian method, I can use a historical example to explain myself better: Dr. C. Peschier (one of Hahnemann’s students -1832) said that “Hahnemann writes punctually the totality of symptoms, or entire group of sufferings of the patient. On the completion of his record, the symptoms of the disease are most carefully arranged to correspond with the indications of the medicine he deems most appropriate to the case; but in reaching this conclusion he neither confides in his memory, nor relies solely upon his long experience, but has constantly before him the Materia Medica.”
Thanks for your response.
This is,so as to say,a much waited as well as weighted interview. I loved the part where Iman says, approaching the case with preconceived classifications on the basis of Kingdoms or other categories , doesn’t strictly amounts to adherence to the idea of an unprejudiced observation.
The mention about India where Homeopathy is integrated into the health care system is also highly appreciated. Good luck to Iman and his research team in their project of showing how matter behave on dynamical potentization and how that agrees to repeatable & replicable experimentation.
Dear Venkatesh, thank you very much for your kind feedback, highly appreciated. Likewise, I wish you all the best.
Just an easy interview to read, and I truly love the honesty in it. I do not think nor did I take it that here a classification of homeopaths, the way they choose to practice or how they have been taught has been shown . I always state to never wonder from any dogma in any teaching for that is a crumbly road ahead. Must always have good postulate to build on principles and proven teachings for anyone in any profession to develop into their allowable success. I speak from experience and am proud to say and stand in light that there are schools that avoid teachings of the so important basis, the dogma, our doctrine our Dr.S.Hahnemann had laid out for us. These schools run off with the new modern methods, and yes , students get so mixed up in really how to practice homeopathy and patients show a clueless puzzled look on the face with some of the non homeopathic principle questions they find themselves to need to answer. Seriously, the reality is that in some educational institutions.
Well done Gill and Iman, proud of you for your humbleness and grounding…
Dear Ana – agreed, you have valid points and I share your concerns. Thank you so much for your great comment.
All the best,
kudos to Dr.Imam on his foreseeable nano- homeo research. Nano is the future technology.
Thank you very much for your feedback.
Great interview Iman. Enjoyed your answers a lot!
Dear Dr. Bhatia,
Thanks – I highly appreciate your feedback, and thanks to Gill Graham.
With best regards,
Iman after going through your interview its clear you don’t follow dogma blind folded and prefer to do experiments in the system to improve its authority, as many other homeopaths are in this age and time are not like this, they would not bear any genuine criticism and proclaim such critic out of the bounds of homeopathic world instantaneously. Do you admit that there are drawbacks and shortfalls in original homeopathic system and same differences can be seen in the actual teachings and practice of Dr Hahnemann’s clinic, which needs to be revised and to place them in right context rather than forcing others and new students of homeopathic system to accept them as truths, is this not the time to sift through dogma and take what fits in rationale and discard or at least find solutions what is not befitting in the whole picture? For instance ‘Law of Similars’ is backbone in homeopathic system but it does not fit in every time and in all circumstances in bigger picture. I would not say we shall discard it but we cannot rely on it in the form as it is presented to world. My other question to you is, as you claim that you are a homeopathic historian then would you dare to say that homeopathic system was actually founded on pre-existing set of principles and theories and Dr Hahnemann restructured/rephrased them to fit them in to homeopathic system but at the same time he did not give due credit to those scientists/ topologists whose theories were interwoven in homeopathic system. There is no doubt Dr Hahnemann was a genius who developed such a brilliant system of therapeutics.
Dear Saqib, thanks for your comment, you have valid points. Certainly homeopathy as a science, will evolve and improve – we have to keep an open mind about any revisions and changes that would contribute to advancement and better practices in this medical system without ignoring the foundation of it. About the Law of Similars – it may not be applicable or helpful in every case – as each case has its own unique circumstances. However I assure you that Dr. Hahnemann never claimed that he is the one who discovered it, although some individuals in the past argued that Hahnemann never gave the credit to others before his time – but this is absolutely not true. In fact he did, and in several papers he even mentioned that Hippocrates talked about the law of similars too.
History shows us that homeopathy is not man-made; it is a law of nature. This is in compliance and harmonious with nature, hence nature governs and permits homeopathy to exist without human’s will or permission. God created nature, thus homeopathy is a God-given medicine.
As Albert Einstein suggested: “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”This is because nature is the best teacher, nature teaches us that: Likes cures Like, Like attracts Like, Like produces Like, and as well, Similia similibus solvuntur, that means Like dissolves Like, which is a rule in chemistry.
In Hindu’s chronological testimony, the concept of “Like cures Like” goes back as far as 5000 years. The healing story of Mohadwa in India is an example of it.
Therefore we see that Hahnemann was indeed a genius scientist that devoted his life to reform medicine – and we should be proud of him,… and to carry on the work and make it better for future generations.
With best regards,
Dear Iman you are one of very few homeopaths who talk with senses. Thank you for responding to my critical queries. I would also suggest as a historian you should remove such criticism by presenting a paper which carries all such instances where Dr Hahnemann has endorsed appropriately to relevant personalities. You have well said, “History shows us that homeopathy is not man-made; it is a law of nature.” This is the gist of the matter. Definitely Dr Hahnemann was a genius of his time.
Are you a holistic homeopathic healer
Thank you for your thoughtful comments. You bring out a very important point, and that is that ignorance and egotism have been and always will be the stumbling blocks to progress. Education and the willingness to learn the significance of new discoveries as you have alluded to in your brilliant interview are absolute necessities to advancement of the practice. Students, take note.
thank you and I wish we in Sweden could have choice as they have in India “homeopathy or
Nice interview. I wish you could come to Pakistan:-) we need such passionate homeopaths like you.
I am overwhelmed by the response to this interview, and equally astounded by the wonderful feedback; it appears Iman has done more than one interview here. The questions asked subsequently have created much food for thought and have been answered quite brilliantly. Clearly, a ‘chat’ that was worth having!
Thank you Iman.
Take my salam, hope you are fine and good health.
Thanks for your good interview.
Dr S S Rahman,
U A E.
Lovely interview,given with such clarity
exellent, genuene what people expecting from homeopathy .i am impressing by reading that you are doing resurch in homeopathy regarding action of medicine which wiil give scietificity in eyes of materialistic world.i am practicing in homeopathy in india and have exellent result inpsoriasi ,allergic rhinitis ,migrain acid peptic disease,paediatric asthama.one more thing homeopathy complete ,and scitific after great invention of miasm by haneman