In India, faith in alternative medicines is growing, and people, including Punjabis, are craving for any kind of medicinal system that offers them a complete cure to their ailments.
Forty-eight-year-old Neeraj Sharma had almost given up her battle against osteoporosis, a deadly disease that she has been battling for the last five years.
The excruciating joint pains initially left her with no option but to go in for allopathic drugs and painkillers, and this resulted in her suffering from major side effects such as frequent stomach upsets.
Now, she claims that homeopathic treatment has given her some relief.
"I constantly ate pain killers all through my high fever. But later, I was lucky as one of my friends advised me to go for homeopathy. I began it partially and felt better," says Neeraj.
Patients these days are driving the fortunes of the homeopathic industry, and it is being predicted that by 2017, the growth of homeopathy will be pegged between 20-25 percent.
A recent AC Nielsen survey has revealed that 62 per cent of homeopathy users have never tried allopathy, and 82 per cent of homeopathy users would not switch to conventional treatments.
"Today there's a huge awareness among people regarding the side effects of chemical medicines so that's why more and more people are turning towards alternatives and homeopathy is one of them," said Dr. Mukesh Batra, Chairman, Dr. Batra's Positive Health Clinics.
"All over the world a lot of people die today have hydrogenise disorder, which is drug inducing disorder. And it is believed in America alone everyday 300 people die because of a drug-induced disorder, which is equal to any Boeing crash. So, you can imagine how much news it would make," he adds.
"People are now becoming more aware of the fact that chemical medicines come with lot of side effects, and therefore, people want something which is safe. They also want something that is permanent. Today, people want to wait a little bit and ask for long-term solutions rather than quick fixes," Dr. Batra said.
Ayurveda is one of the oldest and most holistic medical systems, which has taught in the universities of Taxila and Nalanda in ancient times. Ayurvedic practitioners now receive training on par with Western medical specialties. Institutions have brought Ayurvedic education from 'gurukuls' to the modern classrooms. From here it fulfills patients' news.
"I avoid taking medicines, but if I am compelled to do so, then my preference is either Ayurvedic or Homeopathy. In homeopathy, we are unable to get the first aid, but in Ayurveda, medicines are available that cures you instantly," claimed Shobha Jindal, a patient who swears by alternative medicine systems.
But, while there are positive results in some diseases in alternative therapy, there are many diseases that are best dealt with through allopathy.