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Sunday, 26 April 2015

THE SURVIVAL OF HOMEOPATHY- The dire need for scientific introspection.


A few days ago as I opened the newspaper, I was staring at an article on page 11 of the Deccan Herald - Belgaum edition. It screamed `HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES UNDER FDA SCANNER'. This pertained to a Food & Drug Administration missive to re-open an investigation into the effectiveness and scientific relevance of Homeo medicines and their safety. A similar but more supportive article appeared in `THE HINDU' a couple of days later. It is obvious that the allopathic pharma industry does not give up its Shark mentality. Homeopathy has now expanded into a multi-billion dollar industry, threatening the profits of the sharks. Their monopoly being disturbed is intolerable. Pushing hundreds of drugs tested on monkeys, rabbits and dogs are the best medicines for humans, is what they want us to believe. Homeo medicines tested on humans, for humans are placebo and unscientific!!! That millions of people are turning to Homeopathy even in cases where surgery is proposed as the only answer, is unsettling. That they are actually relieved by homeopathy, is preposterous!! That allopathic doctors have started referring patients to Homeopaths for management of cases where there is no remedy in their system, is sacrilegious. If results are demonstrated, it is blasphemy!!.

The pharmaceutical industry wants proof of efficacy as per their terms, under testing conditions determined by them, by standards that they will set - like playing football where the referee runs away with the goalpost!! What if the Homeopath were to call the shots? Can he ban medicines tested on animals with no anatomical or physiological resemblance to humans (what sort of scientific proof is that anyway!)? Can he ban all those drugs which have life-threatening or carcinogenic side-effects?

There are several hundred colleges of homeopathy in India, some several decades old. The unfortunate fact about these institutes, is that their graduates practice allopathy instead of homeopathy. The pretext is that the professors in these colleges often are not good enough as teachers. Their inability to instill confidence in the students being supposedly, the prime cause for their conversion. This if at all, may be only partially true. The truth is that, the law governing practice of medicine in India is very loosely applied or not at all. The Indian government faces the dilemma of a paucity of doctors especially in rural areas where such quackery is facilitated and ignored by the law enforcement agencies. That allopathy is easier to practice and fetches handsome returns with the least effort is the main reason for this bane. Homeopathic colleges and their graduates in fact have become the messengers of the allopathic system, convincing patients of its benefits, hence facilitating the penetration of allopathic medicines into the rural health care system in India. Not surprisingly this quackery is actively encouraged by the Pharma industry - they have no qualms about untrained doctors using life-threatening drugs on humans! Even in the early nineteenth century, Homeopathy was effectively practiced in some rural areas in India. My maternal grandfather practiced Homeopathy until 1955. I know most homeopaths in India actively discourage patients from taking homeopathic medicines, instilling fear about its slow effect and its unsuitability for acute diseases. It is ironical that in my thirty four years in practice, I regularly receive patients from allopathic doctors and allopathic doctors themselves as patients, but no referrals from homeopathic doctors practicing allopathy. This exposes our graduates and their hollow claims.

A scourge has now emerged from the city of Mumbai (India), which has usurped the lime-light and anointed itself as the Mecca of homeopathy. Some successful practitioners of this noble science have cunningly hijacked the science of homeopathy. Taking advantage of  its philosophical background, they have infused unsubstantiated, unscientific and home-grown fantasies into their teachings, corrupting the innocent minds of fresh graduates, who due to their very poor reading (they never read beyond their textbooks), are impressed. Concepts of Genetics, embryology and other unconnected sciences are woven into the teachings to give the students an emotional high, a delusion that homeopathy now has a modern scientific basis. Their innocent yearning for acceptability is satisfied. These students are unable to distinguish science through evidence of experiment, and circumstantial evidence (the latter is never scientific proof).

Yet another group of individuals have taken the easier way out. They too misuse homeopathic philosophy to fantasize in the most ridiculous fashion. Using Dreams, `Life-space', (the very distant past history of the patient and even that of his parents and grand-parents) and `Other songs' (whatever that might mean), to justify a prescription which can be as easily arrived at by the standard, long used and time proven system of case-taking and repertorization. Thousands of practitioners all over the world have practiced this last approach with proven results. However, the new convoluted methods can never be replicated in your own clinic (I have personally tried), because they  are entirely dependent on the fantastic interpretation of a patients symptom by the physician. Such an approach has no experimental or even circumstantial evidence to back it. The interpretation and  conversion to a rubric changes from case to case, patient to patient and symptom to symptom, depending on the whims of the proponent of this preposterous theory. Such teachings have no scientific base, are impossible to standardize, hence cannot be reproduced. This amounts to quackery and a fraudulent attempt to fame. Such ignoble attempts to confound a science through mysticism are a crime against homeopathy. These are attempts by individuals to form exclusive cults and collect followers. These latter gullible minds attend expensive seminars at exclusive locations with the vain hope that they will  learn to practice homeopathy better. Equally implicated are those teaching institutes and others who glorify these charlatans and invite such individuals to lecture students and practicing doctors. Dr. Hahnemann must be turning in his grave!

It is time for us to shed the crutch of philosophy for more credible scientific proof. Homeopathy direly needs scientific review. Another Hahnemann or Kent may yet save this science!

As a remedy, Lecturers and Professors in colleges must be qualified and practicing pure homeopathy. Every college must have an Out-patient clinic with at least 100 patients per day attending the OPD. Experienced teachers must be in charge to show students the art of case-taking which is the bed-rock of homeopathy. Hahnemannian homeopathy alone must be taught so as to reinforce the student's practical knowledge of what he has learnt in class. Every student must have a hands-on experience of interviewing and physical examination of the patient. The student must be responsible for the investigation and diagnosis of the patient and can be guided to prescribe the simillimum.Every student must be familiar with modern diagnostic procedures so that he knows what he is treating and the prognosis. In future he may face court cases where his ignorance may not be tolerated.  The patients progress must be monitored until he is cured. Every claim of cure must be backed by relevant investigations or specialist opinion if a disease entity is claimed. Seminars and conferences must change from single case presentations to series of cases where, the method of case-taking, analysis and repertorization are amply demonstrated and any new methodology claimed can be adequately studied and understood. Much can be learnt from such presentations: From groups of drugs for each rubric, to groups for particular diagnosis, comparative Materia medica to examination of rare drugs and most importantly `Key note' prescriptions. Single cases with rare diagnosis have very little demonstrative value since our prescription is based on the symptoms and not on the named disease. Discussing a single case over 4-6 hours is a futile waste of time and demonstrates the ineptitude of the physician at arriving to a conclusion.This approach gives ample opportunity to obfuscate homeopathic principles and introduce fanciful interpretation of symptoms.

A scientific approach will encourage physicians of other disciplines to refer cases to Homeopaths and also convince the common man (exposed to modern medicine) that homeopathy is not faith healing.

Monday, 20 April 2015

One of the wonder drugs in Homeopathy which I have used for almost every conceivable clinical entity from Food poisoning to Organophosphorus poisoning and its after effects, to asthma, eczema, fevers of all types is ARSENIC ALB. If any homeopath ventures into practice without this remedy in his medicine chest, he is doomed. I have analyzed this drug in my own unique way and publish the thread below. This drug cuts across all clinical nomenclature and is the most frequently prescribed remedy in my armament.


ARSENICUM ALBUMWonder drug- Chemical source
Prover: Hahnemann
CAUSE
Infection, poisoning; Cold air/drink/,food; Fruits, Alcohol; Exertion, seashore, Tobacco;
MIND
Oversensitive, Fastidious, Fear of death; thieves;ghosts;loss; Miserly;Suicidal; Restless anxiety. Despair of recovery. Self torture. Throws away bugs by handfuls.
HEAD
Constant motion, Vertigo with cough;Early gray hair,falling;dandruff. Thrown back-pain<talking
NOSE
Thin, watery,excoriating
FACE
Pale anxious,sunken(eyes),toxic, cold sweat,black lips, Cancer
MOUTH
Dry,Tongue trembling,stiff,white / black/brown coat, Trembles. Bites tumbler Taste bitter Grinds teeth
STOMACH
<Smell/thought of food. thirst small. Uneasiness. Desires sour,coffee,milk,brandy. Averse sweets,butter,fats. Pain<eating
ABDOMEN
Watery diarrhea, small, foul, scanty, burning<cold drinks; prolapse; eczema anus.
MALE
Emission during diarrhea
FEMALE
Leucorrhea-scanty,acrid,yellow<flatus, standing.Ovaritis=>thigh. Menses suppressed in weak,tired,care-worn women.
RESPIRATORY
Asthma, must sit up<odors,laughing, turning in bed, ascending, receding eruptions; cold air, summer. Cyanotic, Darting pains. Gangrene lungs; Hemoptysis; Chest-yellow spots.
SKIN
Dry,rough,scaly,cracked,seared,Parchment.  Eczema,ulcers-chronic; carbuncles, burning. Sympts alt. with internal illness. Spots-white/ black. Gangrene.
SLEEP
Restless, shocks in sleep. Dreams of death, sorrow, fear.
EXTREMITIES
Twitching,starting<sleep.Trembling, tingling, blue. Ulcers,cracks fingertips.Erupns burn violently.
FEVER
Internal burning heat.Chill>open air. Sweat, thirst +++ hot. Waves of icy coldness.  Intermittent, moaning
PECULIAR SYMPTOMS
Restless prostration, burning>hot apps. Child>carried quickly; Fastidious, Oversensitive, anxious
THREAD
Toxic infections, profuse discharges (except female), fear, anxiety, despair.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Serial study of Pneumonia/Bronchopneumonia 25 cases




I was invited by the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences - Bangalore, to present a paper on evidence based Homeopathy on 10th April 2015. I presented a serial study of 25 cases of Pneumonia/Broncho-pneumonia with X-rays and Blood counts (before and after 10 days of treatment). This Karnataka State University is the one which confers all medical graduation degrees to students of all branches of medicine and also regulates post-graduate education. It was a great honor for me and my college Bharatesh Homeopathic Medical college where I am part of the faculty as a Lecturer in Materia Medica. The paper was very well received by students of homeopathy, P.G. students, faculty of various colleges from all over Karnataka as well as distinguished guests which included the Vice-chancellor of RGUHS, Vice-chancellor of Vivekananda Yoga University, Prof C.R.Chandrashekar (B.C.Roy awardee) and others. It was a great day for Homeopathy because I think it was the first time an authentic serial study has been presented in a scientific form in this manner anywhere in the world. I plan to collect 500 such cases for documentation and study.

Here I am publishing the statistical analyses of the results of my treatment of the cases treated during a period of two months. No cases were eliminated or included to influence the results - this is a serial study. It may be noted that not a single case needed admission to a hospital, no death took place and no IV fluids or anti-biotics were used during the course of Homeopathic treatment.

It is not possible to publish the X-rays and original reports (they were displayed at RGUHS) as it would be too voluminous for publication besides it would reveal the identity of my patients for which I do not have their permission. However self-explanatory Graphs and a patients chart has been included for authenticity. The patients recovery is demonstrated from the blood counts where it is evident from the before/after chart, that the patients have been cured. Also it may be noted that most of the patients improved clinically within 48 hrs of starting the treatment and were asymptomatic within 4 days. Only a couple of cases required treatment beyond 10 days. It may also be noted that of these 25 cases, 6 cases were referred to me by doctors of modern medicine, 1 case was referred by a Pediatrician. I have also decided not to reveal the drugs used, since this blog may be taken as a reference for treating such cases, which it is not intended to be. However all details were divulged and analyzed at the RGUHS seminar. Two cases discontinued treatment as the parents felt that the children were asymptomatic. The families of these cases continue to come to me for other ailments, hence I am in a position to monitor their status clinically- they remain healthy. One case `Swaroop J' continues treatment since he has an almost chronic consolidation (14 months duration) which is responding slowly to treatment. This case I have taken as not cured since it is incomplete.
 
 





 

The  case of Pulmonary Kochs consolidation was confirmed through sputum examination for AFB and was then referred back to the pediatrician who had sent it to me, hence does not figure in the graph below. One case has been listed as a partial cure since the Pneumonia itself has resolved but has left behind a L. Apical bulla. Treatment continues as on 18th April 2015.

 

CHART OF COMPLETE BLOOD COUNTS

S.NO
NAME OF PATIENT
CBC on 1st day
FOLLOW-UP CBC 10TH DAY
1
Samarth G
HB 11.9 WBC 13400/cu.mm. P69/L30/M1
Hb 11.5 WBC 8100/cu.mm. P54/ L40/M4/E2
2
Laxman K
Hb16.6; WBC 17750/cu.mm. P75/L25
Hb 15.0 WBC 10100/cu.mm; P65/L30/M2/E3
3
Samanyu G
Hb 10.2; WBC 12500/cu.mm; P71/L29
Hb 9.0, WBC 8000; P62/L31/M4/E3
4
Shrilaxmi G.
Hb 11.9, WBC 11200/cu.mm. P81/L19
Hb 10.8 WBC7100/cu.mm. P66/L33/M1
5
Shreyas B
Hb 9.9; WBC 10400, P67/L30/M3
Hb 10.2 WBC 7200/cu.mm. P55/L41/M4
6
Raju N
Hb15.0 WBC12850. P76/L22/M1E1
Hb14.8 WBC 8100. P63/L34/M2/E1
7
Shreya C
Hb12.0 WBC 14500. P71/L23/M0/E6
Hb 12.0. WBC 7200. P60/L36/M4
8
Sufiya N
Hb12.1 WBC 12250. P58/L38/M1/E3
Hb12.8 WBC 11960 P53/L40/M0/E7
9
Suprabha B
Hb8.8 WBC 12200/cu.mm. P76/L19/E5.
SPUTUM AFB +VE  Referred to Pediatrician
10
Shweta K
Hb11.9. WBC 17200/cu.mm. P81/L19
Hb 11.4. WBC 8300/cu.mm P68/L31/M1
11
Swaroop J
Hb 11.5. WBC 39290/cu.mm. P87/L13
Hb13.0 WBC 30340. P68/ L32


After 15 days: Hb 12.6. WBC 22400. P46/L53/M1
12
Sumaya R
Hb 8.6 WBC 17690/cu.mm. P36/L63/M1
Hb 9.0. WBC 24450/cu.mm.  P83/L16/M1
After 20 days: Hb 9.2. WBC 11,700/cu.mm. P61/L37/M2
13
Bhuvanesh B
Hb12.8 WBC 11900/cu.mm. P75/L25
Hb12.9 WBC 7000/cu.mm. P62/L38
14
Mohamadsad M
Hb 12.8 WBC 13280/cu.mm. P54/L45/M1
Hb 12.5 WBC 8900 P67/L30/M3
15
Ayesha N
Hb11.9 WBC 14790. P76/L23/M1
Hb 12.5 WBC 6100/cu.mm. P60/L39/M1
16
Vaishnavi T
Hb 9.9 WBC 9000 P77/L23
Hb 9.8 WBC 6900/cu.mm. P65/L35
17
Vaishali K
Hb11.5 WBC 14500 P76/L24
Hb12.0 WBC 10100/cu.mm. P61/L35/M4
18
Manjula B
Hb 13.1 WBC 16120/cu.mm. P68/L30/M1/E1
Hb12.6 WBC 12030 P55/L48/M0/E7
19
Nidhi N
Hb12.4 WBC 12300/cu.mm. P78/L22
Discontinued Rx
20
Sulochana D
Hb10.1; WBC 8320/cu.mm. P71/L25/M1/E4
Hb 10.6 WBC 9000/cu.mm P64/L36
21
Tanmay P
Hb12.5 WBC 12540 P78/L22
Discontinued Rx
22
Vineet G
Hb 13.0 WBC 11200/cu.mm. P72/L19/E9
Hb 13.4. WBC 6440/cu.mm. P55/L40/M2/E3
23
Abubakar S
Hb 11.8 WBC 16180/cu.mm P71/L25/M1/E4
Hb12.4 WBC 10300/cu.mm P58/L39/M3
24
Priya B
Hb 12.7 WBC 13900/cu.mm P73/L26/E1
Hb 12.7 WBC 5800/cu.mm P59/L37/M2/E2
25
Dhanush K
Hb 13.0 WBC 14280/cu.mm P75/L25
Hb 13.0 WBC8100/cu.mm P60/L38/M2