Friday, September 11, 2009

One man's food is another man's poison

Whether poison or food, homeopathy can make a substance very useful in the treatment of diseases.
The sources of homeopathic drugs are many. Most of the drugs are prepared from plants, but mineral and animal products are also used. It is wonderful to see how homeopathy harnesses the energy present in the potentized drug substance for the purpose of cure. Many substances are inert in their crude form but after the process of potentization, the medicinal powers are unleashed. Common salt or sodium chloride is one such substance. A regular article of our diet, it is probably used only by homeopaths as a medicine.
The role of ginger (a common spice in our diet) as a medicine has also been known traditionally amongst all the cultures and societies. Mothers and grandmothers all over the world have used it for gastric problems and as a digestive.
A study conducted by the University of Rochester in New York has found that people who started taking ginger a few days before their chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer had fewer and less severe bouts of nausea.
Homeopathy has used ginger for the past hundred years or so.
As a homeopath, I would use it in potentized form for the vomiting of old drunkards and for diarrhoea from drinking bad or impure water. It is also known to cure colic and diarrhoea caused by eating melons, particularly cantaloupes.
It has been suggested in the past that ginger is not the right food to be given to persons with kidney disorders. In homeopathy, it is used to treat patients who have had a complete cessation of the function of the kidneys. (This is an example of the underlying law of nature- let likes be cured by likes).
In asthma, the patient who requires Ginger as a homeopathic medicine may have a severe attack and must sit up in the bed to breathe but is surprisingly free from any anxiety about the disease. Such peculiarities and deviations from the expected are picked up by the homeopath to make his prescriptions.
Amongst the plants, one family that is very useful to a homeopath is the Solanacaeae. There are many members of this family like Beladonna, Stramonium and Hyoscyamus. These are very poisonous in their crude state. Tabacum (tobacco) also belongs to this family and is known universally because it contains nicotine. The other members of this family are Capsicum, Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) and Solanum tuberosum (potato). These three are a part of our diet. Since they belong to the same family, they share many botanical characteristics. However, it is the presence of the active ingredients or the active principles that makes each different from the other. Hence Belladonna, Stramonium, and Hyoscyamus are very strong poisons. Tabacum is a milder poison, while the last three are the least poisonous. Nevertheless, each is a useful medicine in homeopathy.
Tobacco is one of the important causes of morbidity and mortality in the world.
The active principle in tobacco, nicotine is a well-known narcotic and has far reaching effects on the body. Tobacco in any form is dangerous to health. When chewed as a habit, it causes a chronic irrtation of the mucus lining of the mouth leading to oral cancers. Tobacco chewing and smoking cause cancers not only in the mouth but also the esophagus (food pipe) and the stomach and lungs.
Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, leading to a reduction of blood supply to various organs. It causes a vasoconstriction of the lining of the stomach wall, which makes it vulnerable to insults from organisms as well as the acid in the stomach and produces gastric ulcers. It also causes a relaxation of the lower end of the stomach (the pyloric valve) and allows the alkaline bilious secretions to enter the stomach. This alkaline juice is an irritant and once again predisposes the person to gastric ulcers.
Nicotine constricts the blood vessels of the heart causing ischaemia and leads to angina and heart attacks. Similarly it acts on the blood vessels of the limbs and can cause gangrene due to the vasoconstriction.
Homeopathy uses tobacco in a diluted and purified form to treat many illnesses. It has been used effectively to treat vertigo and seasickness, the pains of kidney stones, esp. of the left side and also angina pectoris.
After potentization, the therapeutic power of the drug becomes much more apparent and these substances, whether food or poison can be used to treat conditions ranging from simple sore throats and piles to typhoid fevers, convulsions and even manias.

For more information about homeopathy and homeopathic treatment of your disease, please visit our web site www.drvaishnav.com

- Dr. Daxa Vaishnav MD (Hom)

Homeopathy in Swine flu epidemic?

History has shown that there has always been a resurgence of homeopathy every time an epidemic has struck the population. From the time of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, to the present day, homeopathy has always scored over conventional allopathic medication in the treatment of epidemics. In 1813, the retreating army of Napoleon brought with it the epidemic of typhus to Leipzig. Homeopathic treatment of 180 cases of typhus by Dr. Hahnemann saw only two cases succumbing to the illness while 30% of patients under allopathic treatment died. When cholera struck Europe, the mortality rate with allopathy was 66% and the homeopathic mortality was 33%. On account of this extraordinary result, the law interdicting the practice of Homeopathy in Austria was repealed! In Britain, the statistics were suppressed because it was found that the mortality rate with allopathy was 59.2% while under homeopathic care the mortality rate was 9%
Perhaps the most recent use of homeopathy in a major epidemic was during the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. It was reported that 24,000 cases of flu treated allopathically had a mortality rate of 28.2% while 26,000 cases of flu treated homeopathically had a mortality rate of 1.05%. One physician in a Pittsburgh hospital asked a nurse if she knew anything better than what he was doing, because he was losing many cases. "Yes, Doctor, stop aspirin and go down to a homeopathic pharmacy, and get homeopathic remedies." The Doctor replied: "But that is homeopathy." "I know it, but the homeopathic doctors for whom I have nursed have not lost a single case."
Why is homeopathy so effective?
Irrespective of the name of the disease, homeopathy works at the immunity of the patient and strengthens it so that the body is able to protect itself from diseases. If a person has already been affected, it helps to stimulate the body’s self-healing powers the body so that the disease is controlled naturally by the body’s own defense mechanism.
What should a responsible homeopath do in the face of an epidemic?
If he was in India, he would send text messages to his patients about how homeopathy can prevent it- without even having seen a single case of the disease. Not to be out done other homeopaths would join the fray and make their own suggestions about the homoeopathic medicines that can be used to prevent the spread of the disease. I call this armchair practice.
Suddenly a lot of names of drugs have surfaced- one of them being Influenzinum. And suddenly this medicine has had homeopathic doctors, pharmacies and cell phone companies rubbing their hands in glee and carrying sacks of loot to the bank! A homeopathic pharmacy made its employees work overtime and sold Rs. 20,000 worth of "Swine flu prophylactics". An allopathic pharmacy that also sells homeopathic medicines reportedly sold Influenzinum worth Rs. 50,000. All that money made in just one day! Some had huge banners put up outside their establishments to draw more customers.
A word of caution to all homeopathic doctors and their patients.
A medicine can become a preventive in homeopathic practice only if it the genus epidemicus- i.e. if after observing a number of cases of the disease in his locality a homeopath finds a common set of symptoms of this disease and works out the remedy for this group of symptoms, then he can rightly call it a prophylactic or the genus epidemicus for that disease.
Influenzinum is more often required for the after effects of influenza. Some homeopaths have found that when Influenzinum is given as a preventive, it sometimes causes the disease that has already invaded the body to come out in full force.
Thanks to the panic created by the media in India, people have been hoarding Influenzinum and masks-which is a pity because with 10 cases of Swine flu everyone wants to wear a mask but with 1 million cases of AIDS no one wants to wear a condom.

For more information about homeopathy and homeopathic treatment of your disease, please visit our web site www.drvaishnav.com
- Dr. Vijay Vaishnav MD (Hom)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

We are a Lawless People

Now that the smoke and dust after the terrorist attack in Mumbai have settled, the blame game has started with the govenment blaming Pakistan, the different ministries blaming each other for intellegence failure or lack of action, the political parties blaming each other for being soft with the terrorists and the people blaming the politicians!
It is time for introspection. How about blaming ourselves? Isn't the common Indian citizen also to be blamed? We are a lawless people. Every individual who gave sound bytes or was part of any organisation that held rallies in the aftermath of the attacks is a part of his lawlessness. How many of these celebrities who vied for attention in the media have never broken the laws of the land or helped breed corruption? Have they never jumped the red light at the traffic signal or gone over the zebra crossing at the intersection? How many of these people have been very proud that their underage children are ace drivers?
Spitting on the road, smoking in public, breaking the queues at bus stops, greasing the palms of policemen and officers in every government or municipal office. Small ofences- but commited by us everyday.
Then there is the trend amongst the people to take the law in their own hands (ofcourse with the backing of political parties). Armed with the news and TV channel crew, they crash into the offices of hapless victims, who have been branded by the mob as the perpetrators of crimes, blacken their faces and make sure that the television camera has the best angles. What is a disturbing trend is that most of the time, they use the services of matronly homemakers who seem to enjoy being the upholders of the law.
In this state of lawlessness, the government and its machinery are mute witnesses. They do not even make efforts to curb this because they might antagonise their vote banks.
My student died last week due to this lawlessness. A girl who had a promising career ahead of her. She was standing by the door of a local train when a mobile phone thief, who was waiting on the tracks, hit her with a stick so that she would let go of her phone. Unfortunately, she lost her balance and fell off the train to be severed into two. And the authorities- they expressed their helplesness- the city's population is too big for them to handle esp. since they have a very small work force.
"Such small incidents happen in a big city like Mumbai"- R.R. Patil, ex Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Psyche of a Terrorist

A lot of people, esp. mental health professionals, have come up with theories about the psyche of a terrorist. Why does one become a terrorist? What is going on inside his mind? What could be the mental make-up of this person?As homeopaths we have our theories too! We wonder what precipitates the change from a 'normal' peace-loving human being to a terrorist. If a terrorist visits a homeopath for treatment, the case history may reveal a lot of reasons behind his turning into a terrorist. Perhaps there has been a history of the death of parents and friends at the hands of some organization or regime and now they want revenge. There may have been also a long history of domination, religious or otherwise, by a country or religious group and now this person has grown intolerant of the same. Some of these individuals may have changed over the years after a history of sexual abuse or rape in the past.Many of these individuals may be suffering from psychosis with delusional traits. They may have various fixed ideas that are difficult to change, e.g. a delusion that everyone is an enemy, or that he and his people are persecuted, or that he has been betrayed, or he has to murder. Gradually these thoughts seem to be a reality and then he has a desire to atack others; to kill. He becomes discontented and is estranged from society. There is a contempt for mankind and he develops a hatred for others and seeks revenge.This destructiveness is seen along with cowardice. The terrorist would resort to acts of violence against innocent individuals by planting explosive devices without ever exposing his personal identity. He may communicate with the media or the government through anonymous messages.One aspect of terrorism that is quite obvious is the underlying religious fanaticism. He calls himself an anarchist or a revolutionary or a martyr and he wants his religious beliefs to be heeded by the world. Using his religious fanaticism, he may incite others to join him in the senseless acts of terror.If a person came to us and we saw some of these features in his history, we would think of giving him homeopathic medicines like Merc sol, Sulphur, Anacardium, Nux vomica or Staphysagria. These might hopefully change his outlook towards life and turn him into a humane human.If a terrorist is in custody and exhibits the symptoms described above, homeopathic medicines like Stramonium and Hyoscyamus may help control his delusions, make him less destructive and remove his hatred and intolerance for others and other religions.For more information on homeopathy, you should visit http://www.drvaishnav.com/ "The Ultimate Guide to Homeopathy".

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Smoking banned in public places

I always thought that the Health Minister had grown too big for his boots. He had been dictating his terms to others and functioning more as a tyrranical despot till he made smoking in public places an offence.
Smoking, that includes passive smoking, is a definite health hazard. Not many people know that those who sport moustaches and smoke are at a greater risk because the smoke as well as the other compounds (read toxins) released are adsorbed onto the bushes on the upper lip. These are then continuously inhaled even after the last butt has been stubbed.
What about smokers who genuinely care about their family and don't smoke in their house? I have a neighbour who does not want his kids to inhale the nicotine that he is blowing in the wind. The smart thing to do is sit outside his flat which unfortunately is adjacent to mine and puff away to glory. So what if my children are allergic to the smoke and get recurrent chest infections. His loves his kids too much and won't let them suffer. I have shooed away the people who work for him in a small home office that he and his wife run in their apartment. When they smoke outside my apartment, they have to face my wrath, but I haven't been able to be as ugly with their employer who after all is a loving father.
Homeopathy has a medicine called Caladium that can reduce the craving for tobacco. I might just lace my neighbor's water with it so that he quits smoking!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Stormy Adolescent Affair

Adolescence (Latin adolescentia, from adolescere, to grow up) is the period of psychological, social, and physical transition between childhood and adulthood.
As a transitional stage of human development, adolescence is the period in which a child matures into an adult. This transition involves biological (i.e. pubertal), social, and psychological changes.
It is a time of rapid physical development and deep emotional changes which can be confusing and uncomfortable for child and parent alike.
This is what I think you should know about preventing problems associated with adolescence.
Diet
Your child's nutrition is important to the overall health.
Proper nutrition can also prevent many medical problems, including becoming overweight, developing weak bones, and developing diabetes.
It will also ensure that your child physically grows to her full potential.
The best nutrition advice to keep your adolescent healthy includes encouraging her to:
Eat a variety of foods
Balance the food eaten with physical activity
Choose a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables and fruits
Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
Choose a diet moderate in sugars and salt
Choose a diet that provides enough calcium and iron to meet her growing body's requirements.
A balanced diet with regular exercise and a proper amount of sleep will go a long way in maintaining the state of health.

Hygiene
During adolescence hygiene is very important to remove oils and body odour.
They must be told the importance of washing their face, underarms, pubic area, and feet daily.
Have your children wash their hands frequently to decrease the spread of germs, especially before eating and after using the bathroom.
Underwear should be made of cotton for better air circulation. Tight jeans also prevent air circulation and can cause friction of the labia (private parts).
Hygienic care revolving around the monthly cycle needs to be conveyed. Girls must learn how to anticipate and prepare for their menstrual cycles so they won't be caught by surprise. Daily bathing and special padding must be undertaken for this cyclical phase of their development.
Tampons or pads should be changed every few hours to prevent bacterial growth; tampons should not be worn overnight.
Avoid all feminine hygiene sprays, douches and scented sanitary products since they may irritate the pubic area.

Reassurance and advice
Reassure your daughter that one breast may develop faster than the other. She may also experience tenderness.
Prepare your daughter for her first menstrual period.
Menstruation may last from 1 to 8 days, and initially the periods may be scanty and irregular.
A warm bath or a hot water bottle to the abdomen may help menstrual discomfort.
Severe discomfort or pain (called dysmenorrhoea) can be easily treated with homoeopathic medicines.
Your daughter might notice a yellow stain on her panties. Leucorrhoea or a white discharge is also a common complaint during puberty. If the discharge is white, non-irritating, non-offensive and is not associated with any urinary symptoms, then it is a physiological phenomenon. This can be corrected with the help of constitutional homeopathic remedies. However, an acute onset of leucorrhoea, with an irritation, itching and redness of the parts, may be due to a fungal infection.

Mutual support
Parents need to:
Agree between themselves about their basic values and rules.
Support each other in applying them.

Listening to their problems
Adults need to be a source of advice, sympathy and comfort and not pass judgement, be criticising or give routine advice. Listening comes first.
It is always better to spend time on praising good decisions or behaviour.

Constitutional homeopathic treatment given at adolescence would go a long way in preventing disease and maintaining the physical and mental well being of the patient. However, please note that a detailed history followed by constitutional treatment by a good and qualified homoeopath is necessary to treat the complaints that appear during adolescence. It is not advisable to resort to self-medication for any disease.
You may want to visit our web site http://www.drvaishnav.com/ for more information on this topic and to learn more about homeopathy

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hey Teacher, leave them kids alone

I used to listen to this popular Pink Floyd number as a child and I think it had a cult following. It still does. My 19-year-old son now listens to Pink Floyd and tries to strum this number on his guitar.
This anthem is still relevant in the present times. I have been teaching for over 23 years and I sometimes feel that this number is a current favorite with the kids because of the reality it portrays.
Teaching, like medicine, is supposed to be a noble profession. I am a doctor as well as a teacher but I can’t completely agree with that statement.
When I was in high school more than 30 years ago, I was in a different era. Personal or private coaching was unheard of at that time. Teachers are now more mercenaries than anything else. The greed to earn more money has driven them to do things that would leave even a shameless person red faced.
Schoolteachers now openly solicit students for private coaching. They zero in on the unsuspecting pupils and talk about their poor performance and drop hints about how their academic graph would improve if the teacher specially coached them. Those who are being privately coached are favored in the class and are given special and easy assignments. Miraculously, these students also get special powers and are able to predict the questions that would be asked in the examinations! Obviously the grades improve. If the schoolteacher is not coaching you, then you are left to fend for yourself and also made to feel like a pariah. You would be ignored completely and even if you give the correct answer to the questions that are asked in class, you are a nobody.
Then there is another class of teachers that would not have the ingenuity to ask you to be coached by them. So they resort to passing sarcastic comments about the students in general. They would rant and rave about the fickle students of the school who trust outside teachers and flock to them for private coaching. They would use every possible trivial incident to insult the students and scare them into believing that they made a wrong choice of the private tutor. To make sure that the students cannot go for their coaching after school, they give a lot of assignments that have to be completed and brought back the next day.
I know of a teacher who told the class that she would not be able to teach them unless they requested the Principal of their school to increase her salary. The school is a private school that has recently increased the fees, ostensibly to pay the teachers a higher salary!
When my son was in junior college (Class XI), the teachers went a step further. They would rarely take their regular lectures and if you had a doubt that needed to be solved, they would say that this would be discussed in their private coaching class.
I have a patient who often comes home feeling insulted and humiliated because of the way the teachers treat not only her, but also her classmates. They all have to suppress their emotions because to react would mean educational suicide. She says that her teacher is only interested in teaching those students whom he is privately coaching. He uses flimsy excuses to cut the marks of the other students and even gives credit of the work done by others to his pupils. Fortunately we have a medicine in homeopathy called Staphysagria that we give her to calm her down and to get over this feeling of indignation and humiliation. It has always worked. At one time, my daughter’s friend developed a severe abdominal colic after her teacher ridiculed her. Once again homeopathy came to her rescue and a few doses of Colocynth took care of the colic and also helped her become less sensitive to the emotional assault.
A young girl was brought to us with severe depression. She did not want to go to school and had remained absent for over a week. She had no desire to talk to anyone and would shut herself up in her room. Her parents often found her weeping and when they would persistently quiz her problems she would say that she wanted to die and end her suffering. We talked to this young girl and traced this depression and suicidal thoughts to the humiliation that she had to go through everyday at school. Her teacher had apparently taken a dislike for her and would use a greater part of her teaching time in trying to insult her and erode her self-esteem. The homeopathic drug Aurum metallicum, helped this girl come out of her depression. The parents were also counseled and asked to take up this issue with the school.
In the kindergarten class and the lower grades teachers, are next to God. Even the parents are secondary to the teachers and whatever the teacher tells the child is the gospel truth. When the child reaches middle school, there is a sudden realization that the teacher is not an angel but a mere mortal. The parents once again rank higher in esteem. Finally in high school, the teacher turns into a devil and the child develops disgust for the petty, mean and egocentric teachers. This translates into a hatred for the school.
So, hey teachers, leave them kids alone.
For more information on how homeopathy can help you, please visit our web site http://www.drvaishnav.com/ -The Ultimate Guide to Homeopathy