The history of Homeopathy in India can be traced back to early 19th century, to German missionaries treating people on the shores of Bengal. The first official account of treatment with Homeopathic medicine, is mentioned in the travelogue of Dr. John Martin Hongberger, Late physician to the Court of Lahore titled "35 Years In The East, Adventures, Discoveries etc.". He treated the legendary Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab in 1839 with Homoeopathic remedies. The initial success of Homeopathy came in in Bengal in the 19th century in the treatment of cholera epidemics. Following this, homoeopathic charitable dispensaries and hospitals were opened, and private practitioner’s emerged. The system received a further impetus with the establishment of educational institutions and pharmacies.
The system owes recognition to the concerted efforts of some eminent allopathic practitioners of the time, who opted for Homeopathy and used it with remarkable success. The efforts of a few institutionally trained homoeopathic physicians also paved the way for the then Bengal Provincial Government to establish the General Council and State Faculty of Homoeopathic Medicine in 1943.
In post independence, the legislatures of Indian States began enacting laws to regulate teaching, practice and research such as the Madras Registration of Practitioners of Integrated Medical Act of 1956 and the Mysore Homoeopathic Practitioners Act of 1961. State legislations helped in strengthening colleges, hospitals, dispensaries and pharmacies dealing with Indian systems of medicine. Almost all the States established Directorates of Indian Medicine for development of traditional systems. At the centre, indigenous systems of medicine became a part of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Growth and development of these systems was made legitimate by including these systems in National five year plans.
The Homoeopathic Research Committee constituted in 1963 boosted homoeopathic research and identified priority research areas. A combined Council to conduct research in Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy was formed initially (1969), which paved the way for individual research councils. Subsequently, the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH) was formed in 1978. The Council identified broad areas of research and evolved protocols to develop Homeopathy in the country.
The Homeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 enacted by the Parliament facilitated the legislative mechanism to regulate homoeopathic practice and education in the country. This ensured that physicians are trained as per certain norms and their and practice is regulated. Under the provisions of this Act, the Central Council of Homeopathy (CCH) has been established in 1974.
The National Institute of Homeopathy (NIH) was established at Kolkata in 1975, as a model institute for undergraduate and postgraduate education and research. The Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Laboratory (HPL) was also founded in 1975 to lay down principles and standards of preparation of homoeopathic drugs. Due to sustained efforts of the government, an institutional framework of Homeopathy has been established at the Centre as well as in all the States.
Reference: Dr. Eswara Das, History & Status of Homeopathy around the World, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.