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Conventional medicine has been treating cancers with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation since decades, yet, more and more patients are looking towards other systems for help in the fight against cancer, in addition to conventional treatments. Why is that? It is obvious that current methods of treating cancer are not being truly successful and after a brief respite, the cancer often tends to flare up again with rapid deterioration of the patient. The treatment methods also leave the patient debilitated and weak, with their systems no longer being able to cope with even minor demands. If life is prolonged, the quality of life is indeed questionable. This has led to the field of Integrative Oncology where complementary and alternative methods are used, in conjunction with standard conventional measures of cancer treatment.

Integrative Oncology methods take a more holistic approach. With this approach, one realises that the cancer cells themselves are not the villains. They are just the manifestation of something going wrong within the defence mechanisms of the body. It is now known that tumour development is preceded by a pre-tumour phase that may persist for years if not decades. There is a gradual failure of the immune system with the system becoming unable to distinguish between self and non-self. A healthy organism with a fully functional immune system identifies malfunctioning cells as alien and destroys them. Plenty of such cells arise from time to time in every individual. Failure of the monitoring system may result in de-differentiation of cells in certain organs which are then no longer under central control. These cells begin to program their own ‘circuit diagram’ and it is then possible that they may proliferate without any control. The code of those deviant cells no longer connects with the ‘human being’ program. This is the view now taken by modern molecular biologists and it confirms the statements made many years ago by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy.

In the early part of the 20th century it was Rudolf Steiner, PhD., an Austrian natural scientist and philosopher, who established Anthroposophic Medicine as one of the many developments he gave the impetus for. The word anthroposophy is derived from the Greek words anthropos=man and sophia=wisdom. Anthroposophy represents a way of dealing with science and life issues, in general, in a holistic way. It incorporates all fields of modern science into a spiritual and comprehensible approach. Rudolf Steiner was not a physician. Therefore, he founded Anthroposophical Medicine and the Medical Section at the Goetheanum (in Dornach, Switzerland) in association with the Dutch physician Dr. Ita Wegman (1876 to 1943). As early as 1917, Rudolf Steiner suggested the injection of mistletoe extracts for the treatment of cancer. It was Dr. Ita Wegman who in the early 1920s introduced the mistletoe preparation Iscador into actual cancer treatment.

Mistletoe 5Mistletoe is one of the most widely studied complementary and alternative medicine therapies in people with cancer. In Europe, preparations made from European mistletoe are among the most prescribed drugs for patients with cancer. Mistletoe 1

Mistletoe extracts are marketed under several trade names, such as Iscador, Helixor, both of which are available in Europe. Helixor mistletoe products were developed in the 1970s by the non-profit Association for Leukemia and Cancer Therapy in an attempt to improve the therapeutic success with Viscum Album through a new manufacturing process. Since 1975, manufacturing and marketing are in the hands of Helixor Heilmittel GmbH.

There are about 1400 mistletoe species around the world. One thing that they all have in common is that they do not root in the mineral soil but live on other, generally woody, plants. Only white-berried mistletoe (Viscum Album) is used to treat cancer.

Since I have already elaborated on Iscador in another article, here I will give an introduction to Helixor. Helixor is a composition of purely aqueous fresh plant extracts from the white-berry mistletoe. It is produced using special rhythmic flow methods developed by the Helixor company in Germany and without using fermentation (Iscador is fermented).

There are three main types of Helixor – A, M and P.

  • Helixor A (Abietis) made from fir mistletoe.
  • Helixor M (Mali) made from apple tree mistletoe.
  • Helixor P (Pini) made from pine mistletoe.

Mistletoe 3Mistletoe extracts have different classes of substances with different effects on tumour cells and immune cells. Mistletoe extracts have glycoproteins (mistletoe lectins), polypeptides (viscotoxins), oligo- and polysaccharides, flavonoids, phenylpropane glycosides and triterpenes. These different constituents have different degrees of cytotoxicity and some of them produce induction of apoptosis and display antiangiogenesis. On immune cells, there is macrophage activation, release of Tumour Necrosis Factors and Interleukins, increase in phagocytosis, stimulation of T-helper cells, adjuvant increase in immune response, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, immunoprotection. In general, the mistletoe constitutents show DNA stabilisation effects, which play an important role in prevention of recurrence.
The cytolytic and cytostatic effects are only seen on cancer cells, leaving healthy cells intact.
The whole extract is the active ingredient of the mistletoe and only the whole extract in its complexity is able to achieve the complex effects.

Mistletoe 4Each type of Helixor is available in about 9 different dose levels or strengths. Different packs have been created, for convenience of use depending on the different therapeutic needs of patients. The choice of the Helixor product allows the physician to ‘fine-tune’ the mistletoe therapy according to the individual situation of the patient.

Pharmacological effects of Helixor -

  • Immunomodulation creates reduced susceptibility to infections and indirect immune-mediated tumour inhibition.
  • DNA stabilization (immunoprotection) produces better tolerability of chemotherapy and less immunosuppression by chemotherapy.
  • Neuroendocrine effects lead to improved quality of life esp. reduction in fatigue.
  • Tumour inhibition effects (increased apoptosis and reduced angiogenesis) lead to prolongation of survival time and tumour regression in specific cases. These direct inhibition effects are only possible with the intratumoral application and are more moderate with a peritumoral application.

Therapeutic Indications -

  • Malignant tumours.
  • Relapse prevention following tumour surgery.
  • Defined precancerous conditions like chronic hepatitis B and C, ulcerative colitis, intestinal polyps, cervical intra-epithelial neoplasias.
  • Benign tumours like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, brain tumours.
  • Therapy is not contraindicated in patients undergoing surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy – however, close monitoring of the patient reaction and a reduction of dose may be needed.

Contraindications -

  • Allergies to mistletoe preparations
  • Florid autoimmune diseases, patients under immunosuppressive therapy
  • Hyperthyroidism with tachycardia
  • Acute inflammatory high febrile diseases (if temperature is over 38 C, it should not be administered that day)

Method of administration -

  • The injection has to be subcutaneous, ideally injected with a short needle at an angle of approx 45 degrees, after forming a 2-3 cm thick fold of skin. Insulin syringes are ideal for the purpose.
  • Preferred injection sites are the upper arms (not for breast cancer patients), abdomen and upper thighs.
  • The injection should be taken during morning hours, before noon.
  • The usual protocol is to inject Helixor 3 times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. From the 3rd year, depending on your response to the treatment, the physician may choose to give the injections twice a week. The physician will also choose a regular pattern for breaks of a fortnight after every 14 injections during the Maintenance Phase. The physician may choose to give daily injections in some cases.
  • Do not inject near inflamed skin areas, areas intended for surgery or near fresh surgical scars, avoid areas treated with radiotherapy.
  • Always inject at varying sites esp. during the Induction Phase.
  • The local reaction from the last injection must subside before the next injection is administered.

Duration of Helixor Therapy -

The treating physician decides on the duration of treatment, however certain guidelines exist.

  • So long as an increased risk of relapse exists, therapy for the prevention of relapse should be carried out.
  • Generally, a 2-year intensive therapy followed by subsequent phasing out with increasingly longer pauses/breaks can be recommended. In general, mistletoe therapy can be discontinued after 5 years.
  • In cases with tumours which tend towards late relapses (breast cancer, renal cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma), the prevention of relapse treatment should not be discontinued after the 5th year and should be continued as long-term treatment, using 2 series packs twice a year.
  • In cases of inoperable or metastasizing tumours and incurable systemic diseases, the palliative therapy should be continued indefinitely as long as the patient benefits.

Monitoring Helixor Therapy -

1) Local skin reaction – This is a local reaction on the skin at the site of the subcutaneous injection. This is an inflammatory response and is desirable – it is not a sign of intolerability or allergy – it shows that the skin’s immune cells have been activated by the administered dose. The ideal reaction is about 3 cm. If it approaches 5 cm or crosses that, you have to inform the physician guiding your Helixor therapy, so that the dose can be modified. This local reaction will likely be warm, slightly swollen and slightly itchy as well. It normally subdues within 2-3 days. It is best checked immediately prior to the next planned injection. Do not administer the next injection if the previous reaction still persists.
2) Temperature reaction – A temperature rise is a good sign of an increased release of transmitting agents of the immune system (cytokines).
A rise in temperature, between 0.5 – 1 C (0.9 – 1.8 F), is seen, usually 4-12 hours after the injection. This often leads to a feeling of warmth and not of cold/shivering. There should be a mild rise in mean temperature levels which is often very low in tumour patients. Also, there may be an increase in temperature amplitude by at least 0.5 C or 0.9 F, also on injection free days. This creates a good daily rhythm instead of the typically flat or chaotic temperature curve seen in tumour patients.
Ideally the patient should check oral/rectal temperature every 2 hours with an electronic thermometer, (with patient being at rest for about 30 minutes before measuring), for 2 days prior to starting the injections, so the physician can have a baseline graph. The thermometer tip should be placed deep below the tongue. During the Induction Phase, temperature mapping should ideally be done daily, about twice a day; once in the morning before getting up and again at the time of expected maximum temperature (which is determined by the temperature mapping done before the start of injections). During Maintenance Phase, temperature mapping can be done only for check-up purposes, for approx. 1 week every 3 months.
Your physician can provide you with a Temperature Control Chart in which entries can be made.
Based on these reactions, the ideal dose level for the patient is determined.
3) Blood tests (CBC) are also recommended from time to time – monthly in the induction phase, later every 3-6 months – we initially want an increase in WBCs with an increase in some immature forms. From week 3, we may see an increase in eosinophils. After 1-3 months an increase in absolute lymphocytes.
Advanced progressive tumours are accompanied by localized and systemic chronic inflammatory changes, which manifest as an increased ESR and increased C Reactive proteins. Successful mistletoe therapy leads to significant reduction of these inflammatory changes and this manifests as normalizing of ESR and CRP. These parameters are hence to be monitored for advanced metastasizing tumours.
[The temperature reaction and the immune tests (blood parameters) are not to be considered while the patient is taking chemotherapy. ]

Typical effects of Helixor -

  • Increasing performance and zest for life
  • Reduction of cancer-related fatigue
  • Normalization of body rhythms (temperature, sleep, digestion)
  • Increased appetite
  • Improvement of nausea/vomiting
  • Emotional well-being
  • Improvement of depression and anxiety
  • Decrease in tumour-related pain

Depending on the patient’s situation, the goal of therapy will differ and different treatment schedules are used. However, with any treatment schedule, dietary and lifestyle changes are also imperative. The Anthroposophic approach covers all aspects of life and treatments ideally should include conversation-free psychotherapy like art therapy and music therapy. When the human being focuses on his individual purpose in life and makes changes for the better, dramatic therapeutic results can often be seen.

Bibliography -

  1. Compendium of Mistletoe Therapy with Helixor in integrative Oncology – Helixor Heilmittel GmbH, Germany.
  2. Introduction to Anthroposophical Medicine – Robert Gorter, MD.
  3. Cancer as a Disease of Our Times – W. Bühler and R. Leroi. Translation by Dr. R. Goldberg, M.D., 1979.

Author: Michael Frass, Martin Bündner (ed.)  cover

Reviewed by: Dr. Firuzi Mehta

568 pages, hardbound.
First English edition 2015

Publishers: Narayana Verlag, Germany
ISBN: 978-3-95582-077-0

Price: Euros 59.00

On first hearing about this book that dealt with homeopathy, intensive care and emergency    medicine, I was impressed, intrigued and keen to read it. Most people have the impression that homeopathy is only for slow conditions;, that one needs time to get results, etc. Our literature does talk about quick results in life-threatening conditions, but those are few and far between. To have a whole book dedicated to the use of homeopathy in such situations is a marvellous thing indeed. So when I was offered a chance to review this book, of course, I jumped at it.

Let me first talk a bit about the authors of the book. Both the editors of this book, Michael Frass and Martin Bündner have long-standing experience in emergency medicine and homeopathy. Michael Frass was head of the intensive internal medicine unit at the Medical University of Vienna and Martin Bündner has served in rescue and emergency medicine.

A total of 19 physicians have contributed their cases for compiling this book; a vast majority of cases are by Michael Frass and Martin Bündner.

The book has four main sections:

I     Introduction

II   Intensive Care Medicine

III   Emergency Medicine

IV   Materia Medica

The Introduction starts with a chapter that covers a brief understanding of homeopathic principles and how homeopathy is used in a clinical setting. The second chapter discusses the development and current status of Intensive Medicine. The next chapter further discusses the use of homeopathic treatment alongside intensive medicine. Another chapter in the same section discusses remedy production and quality control. An ICU remedy kit has been compiled, which comprises 60 remedies. The table given discusses the English description of the homeopathic source material, the contents, the pharmacological effect, the allopathic indications and the frequent homeopathic indications of the remedy. For eg.,

2

The next section, on Intensive Care Medicine, has chapters on Infectious diseases, Disorders of Haemostasis, Heart, circulation and blood vessels, Lungs, Kidneys, Gastrointestinal tract, Perioperative care and Toxicology.

The third section on Emergency Medicine has chapters on Traumatology, Cardiovascular emergencies, Lungs, Gastroenterological emergencies, Intoxication, Neurological emergencies, Psychiatric emergencies, Gynaecology and obstetrics, Urological emergencies and Thermal emergencies.

The last section has a Materia Medica which gives a brief idea of the clinical indications, general information with main symptoms, ameliorating and aggravating circumstances which play an important role in the selection of the right homeopathic remedy.

The book has a total of 145 cases, all of them with a detailed analysis. To give an idea of the type of cases covered, here is a picture from the Table of contents.

3

Each topic starts with a quick overview of the definition of the clinical entity, incidence, mortality, symptoms, latest diagnostic methods, imaging techniques, blood cultures, therapy and the general outline of the homeopathic treatment, giving details of randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies which have been made in an intensive care unit. Important rubrics from the repertory have been given and a differentiation between important homeopathic remedies given. This is followed by a critical commentary.

Cases then follow, starting with the anamnesis, the acute event, diagnosis, conventional treatment given and then the homeopathic treatment with rubric selection and progress of the case. Principles of classical homeopathy have been followed in most cases. This is again followed by an evaluation and a critical commentary.

The cases have been described in a clear and concise manner, highlighting the role of homeopathy in a situation where in many cases, conventional treatment was trying its best but the patient response was minimal. Most of the cases show remarkable and clear improvement in the patient’s condition after the homeopathic treatment was started. Some surgeries have been avoided and danger to life averted. Homeopathy has helped patients get weaned off life-support systems much earlier than otherwise possible.

The authors have discussed the difficulties of homeopathic treatment in an ICU set-up and the benefits of initial conventional life-saving and life-support methods. It is clear that the authors and editors have been balanced in their view point and there is no display of dangerous fanaticism.

This book shows how valuable our gentle but high-energy remedies can be in emergency situations in an ICU set-up. It would be wonderful if all ICUs would have the possibility of integrating homeopathy along with conventional medicine. After all, to benefit our patients; that isthe goal of any system of therapeutics, is to benefit the patients.

Reading this book will give hope and encouragement to young homeopaths that with hard work, acquiring knowledge of the Materia Medica and skill with the Repertory, even cases that look ‘difficult’ are manageable with our wonderful system of medicine, Homeopathy!

No review of mine is complete without a mention of the binding, paper quality, printing, etc. This book gets 9 on 10 in this department, simply because there are a couple of pages where some paragraphs have been wrongly repeated! Apart from that, wonderful smooth paper, good hardcover, excellent binding, good printing! No complaints. It was a pleasure to read this book. I think this book will encourage more homeopaths to venture into this arena of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine.

This review was first published in June 2016 in the monthly Ezinehttp://hpathy.com/book-reviews/homeopathy-in-intensive-care-and-emergency-medicine-by-michael-frass-martin-bundner-ed-reviewed-by-dr-firuzi-mehta/

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 This book review was first published at Hpathy.com in the November 2015 issue.

Author: Patricia Le RouxHomeokids

Reviewed by: Dr. Firuzi Mehta

224 pages, hardbound.

First English edition 2015

Publishers: Narayana Verlag, Germany

ISBN: 978-3-95582-008-4

Price: USD 44.00

 
Patricia Le Roux (1953 – 2011) was a French pediatric consultant and homeopath, trained in homeopathy at the Faculty of Medicine of Marseilles in France where she also taught the subject. She died after a tragic accident in October 2011 and the world has lost a very good practitioner.

I had read several of her articles in the magazine Spectrum and was always impressed with the clarity of her thought and understanding of the remedies and cases she presented. When the Hpathy editor Alan Schmukler offered me a chance to review this book, I immediately agreed.

Children form a considerable percentage of any homeopathic practice since even lay people understand that homeopathy is a safe system of medicine and free of the toxic side-effects of the chemical drugs used in conventional medicine. Children, with their systems relatively unspoiled, show positive results to the correct homeopathic remedy very rapidly. We have all seen children who come to our practice, with chronic ailments, some more severe than others, which cause not just suffering to the little child, but anxiety and stress to their families as well. Conventional medicine truly has nothing much to offer in chronic conditions. With strong chemical drugs, the chronic ailment is at best suppressed and some other chronic ailment manifests very quickly. Meanwhile, the child and his family run from one specialist to another. They often come to us, disheartened with conventional medicine, and with hope in their eyes that maybe, just maybe, this ‘other’ form of medicine can help their precious little one.

With our homeopathic knowledge, we have the ability to positively modify the long-term health prospects of these little children, going so far as to diminish disease tendencies that run in the family gene pool. This is a big responsibility and also a privilege. We need to make utmost use of all resources at hand, to do the best work we can.

This book, Homeo-Kids, by Patricia Le Roux is a good addition to our libraries. The book starts with a brief summary of the basic principles of homeopathy which are then followed by her description of the remedies. Of the sixty remedies she has described here, many are polychrests commonly seen in our practice but there are also some less well-known remedies for children like Beryllium, Helium, Falco peregrinus and Chocolate. To make our work easier, she has grouped them into four main types: chilly, hot, slow and restless.

In describing each remedy, she gives a few lines of introduction about what the remedy is useful for. This is followed by describing the source of the remedy. A box of key words (main features) follows. The detailed description of each remedy is divided into two main parts: The Baby and The Child and each of these is described with the following sub-headings:

At home
At the clinic
Main clinical indications

This is followed by a brief conclusion about the remedy.

Patricia Le Roux has covered all the main features, keynotes and distinguishing characteristics of each remedy. Development issues faced by different remedies are discussed along with the pathophysiology seen in them. Key phrases are highlighted in bold, allowing a quick review for differentiation in the clinic when necessary. Physical issues and the emotional, mental and psychological aspect of each remedy are dealt with, giving a clear understanding of each remedy type. With this book, not only has Patricia Le Roux demonstrated her clear knowledge of classical methods, but she has also demonstrated her understanding of the relatively new approaches of Jan Scholten and Rajan Sankaran. With her immense clinical experience, she has been able to offer valuable tips for recognising remedies even in very small children who may not display typical signs or symptoms. There is a Remedy Index and an Alphabetical Repertory for ailments towards the end of the book.

With this book, we should be better prepared to recognise the remedies when we see them in practice. The reaction of the organism to the right remedy is phenomenal and hopefully, putting this knowledge to good use, we should be able to get far better results, truly easing the suffering of our little patients and creating better all-round health for our future generations.

You will remain with us in spirit, dear Patricia. Thank you for this wonderful book.

This review by me was first published in the October 2014 e-zine issue of www.hpathy.com

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frei-oct14-image001Polarity Analysis in Homeopathy – A Precise Path to the Simillimum

Author: Heiner Frei

First English Edition 2013

Reviewed by Dr. Firuzi Mehta

Published by Narayana Publishers

ISBN: 978-3-95582-001-5

Hardbound

No. of pages:312

€ 49.00

 

In recent years, there has been renewed interest in Boenninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocket Book (TPB) that was first published in 1846. This repertory follows Boenninghausen’s premise that valuable modalities, sensations and findings of a remedy are capable of generalization. His TPB was valued greatly for its precise grading of symptoms but fell into disuse eventually probably due to the popularity of Kent’s philosophy and the apparent ease of use of Kent’s repertory. The value of the Therapeutic Pocket Book (TPB) was pretty much unknown to generations of homeopaths as homeopathic colleges focussed on Kent and his works while touching upon Boenninghausen’s works only cursorily.

Over the centuries, homeopathic fundamentals have remained the same but homeopaths have constantly striven to make remedy selection easier and more accurate. A lot of new methods and schools of thought have arisen from these endeavours. The ideal method needs to be one that can reliably and reproducibly determine the required remedy. Most of the new methods have not been statistically evaluated.

Polarity Analysis (PA) was developed by Heiner Frei for a scientifically rigorous Swiss double-blind study with homeopathic treatment of hyperactive children. This study demonstrated a significant difference between high-potency homeopathic remedies and placebo. The main challenge in reaching this result was to improve the reliability of all the factors used to determine the remedy.

Polarity Analysis is a development of Boenninghausen’s concept of contraindications. PA is a working method for the Therapeutic Pocket Book and Heiner Frei’s book provides us with a practical introduction to it.

The book consists of 3 Modules and an Appendix.

Module 1 describes Polarity Analysis in detail. It shows how PA follows the founding principles laid down by Hahnemann and the practical methods of old stalwarts like Boenninghausen, Hering and Lippe. It explains the value and use of Polar Symptoms (those symptoms that can have an opposite aspect, an opposite pole) in improving the reliability of the remedy choice. The author clearly explains the kind of case-taking that is required for suitable Polarity Analysis to take place. The author has simplified our work for us by creating valuable checklists and questionnaires for acute and chronic ailments. The symptoms used for these lists are from the Therapeutic Pocket Book and use the same language as the repertory. No symptom with less than 10 remedies in it is used. The patients themselves need to mark out their symptoms on the questionnaire which the homeopath can then confirm. Since these lists are built with repertory language and are specific to the TPB, this eliminates the possibility of errors creeping in due to faults in interpreting a patient’s symptoms and then converting them to repertory language.

frei-oct14-image002

These checklists and questionnaires are given towards the end of the book. They are also freely downloadable from the author’s website, www.heinerfrei.ch

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Heiner Frei lays down, in simple language, the rules to be followed for PA to be most effective. He also clearly describes the dosage he follows and how follow-up assessments are judged.

The method of Polarity Analysis focuses on the Polarity Difference and also emphasises the importance given to contraindications. However, these details cannot be explained satisfactorily in a review.

 

Highlights of Polarity Analysis:

  • Mainly physical modalities are to be used, since they are the ones that are most reliable.
  • At least 5 polar symptoms should be used.
  • Characteristic symptoms during the ailment are to be used; not traits that are present even in health.
  • Mental symptoms are to be left for later, when remedy coverage is checked in the Materia Medica.

 

The repertorization results are weighted in the following order of importance:

  1. Absence of contraindications and size of polarity difference
  2. Completeness of symptom coverage
  3. Suitability of remedy in Materia Medica coverage.

frei-oct14-image004

Heiner Frei recommends the software program version V 2.6.0, 2012 of the Boenninghausen Arbeitsgemeinschaft (Boenninghausen Working Group). This software is preferred because it is the only one that uses the revised edition of the TPB that contains his final views on the grading of symptoms. A 30 day free trial version of this software is offered on www.boenninghausen.de

After describing the PA method in detail, Module 1 discusses the procedure to be followed in Acute Illness, along with case histories demonstrating the same.

Module 2 comprises procedure and case histories for Chronic Illness and for Mental Illness in Children and Teenagers.

Module 3 does the same for cases of Multimorbid Patients (those that have 3 or more complaints at the same time). Module 3 also has a section on Statistical Evaluation Studies of Polarity Analysis with and without checklists, comparing results with conventional homeopathic prescription methods. This is followed by a listing of the tools that are to be used for Polarity Analysis – the repertory, checklists, questionnaires and case logs.

Throughout the book, there are Quiz Questions which deal with the information covered till that point. These are very useful for clarifications and proper understanding of the topic. Answers to each Quiz are given in the Appendix at the end of the book.

My Impressions –

After a thorough reading which generated a lot of interest in this method, I downloaded the checklists and questionnaires from the author’s website www.heinerfrei.ch. I also downloaded the 30 day free trial version of the software offered at www.boenninghausen.de

I got some family members and friends to fill in the checklists and questionnaires and then worked out their cases with this method. I also used it for some of my patients where I was not too satisfied with the results so far. In some cases it confirmed the remedies already prescribed while in some it threw up some interesting possibilities that I had not considered earlier. After prescribing, some of the patients showed a good positive response. I am hopeful that this method will open up a new path to solving our cases successfully.

On the whole, the method is easy to understand and use. The case-taking method is also simple and saves time compared to conventional homeopathic history-taking. The checklists and questionnaires, being in TPB language, remove the possibility of errors in interpreting a patient’s symptoms. The software is perfectly adapted to Polarity Analysis and is very easy to use. The fact that the questionnaires have symptoms in language of the TPB also makes the use of the TPB very easy for someone who is not conversant with the book.

The Notes in red alongside the margins are very useful when a quick reference is needed.

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For beginners who may be fumbling with all the different and complex methods out there in the homeopathic world, this is a welcome break, with an assurance of good results, especially with more practice. For busy practitioners, it saves time, yet delivers better results.

The paper and print quality of the book is excellent; we have come to expect these high standards from Narayana Publishers.

Thank you, Heiner Frei!!

authentic-cures

Reviewed by Dr Firuzi V Mehta

B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.

ISBN 978-81-319-1913-2

First Edition: 2012

Paperback

Pages 439

Price INR 449/=

Dr Subrata K Banerjea is a homeopathic physician of international repute, a lecturer and an author with clinical practice both in England and India. Coming from a family of several generations of homeopaths, Dr Banerjea has written a number of books imparting his remarkable knowledge especially focussing on miasmatic prescribing.

This book is a collection of 74 cured cases described in detail and 101 short case stories.
The detailed cases cover the different body systems: Cardio-vascular diseases, Dermatological diseases, ENT diseases, Endocrinological disorders, Gastro-intestinal diseases, Gynaecological diseases, Uro-genital diseases, Neoplastic diseases, Neurological diseases, Psychiatric disorders, Respiratory diseases, Rheumatological diseases and Urological diseases. The short case stories are interesting to read since they highlight the reasons for the choice of the remedy.

In recent years, there has been a lot of confusion about case taking methods. Several homeopaths have developed their own methods of analysing the case and selecting the right remedy. There are differences in interpretation of the Organon of Medicine, sometimes in accordance with the needs of an individual method. Apart from difficulties in remedy selection, there are ever prevalent issues of potency selection and repetition which are always subjective for different practitioners who claim excellent results with even drastically differing methods.

Homeopaths have often resorted to creating their own favoured methods but often, what seems to work for one does not work for the other. A multitude of cases of homeopathic cures are published in the many homeopathic journals every year but only a few of such cases give a complete understanding of the author’s methods.

In such a scenario, Dr Banerjea’s book comes like a breath of fresh air. Dr Banerjea has outlined the structured approach that he follows and has even referenced the information wherever relevant. All through the book, there are references to the relevant aphorisms of the Organon of Medicine from which he has sourced his methods which are in perfect resonance with classical homeopathy. Due to his practice both in India and England, he has experience with patients of widely differing backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities. Despite these differences he has concluded that all patients will respond to careful enquiry that will then ensure the most correct prescription. Dr Banerjea lays great emphasis on a thorough case taking and this is clearly visible in all the cases described in his book.

As we read the book, Dr Banerjea’s method becomes clear in our minds. His approach for every case includes:

    M Miasmatic totality
    T Totality of symptoms
    E Essence which includes temperament, posture, behaviour
    K Keynotes which should cover peculiar and rare symptoms

Priority is given to ascertaining the cause of symptoms.

Dr Banerjea describes the differences in approach that are needed for cases with and without clarity of symptoms. He highlights how a head to foot miasmatic assessment of the case is done. This is a very welcome aspect of the book since the topic of miasms is often confusing for both students and practitioners. Homeopaths with no clear understanding of miasms often ignore them and this often leads to superficial prescribing and hence recurrence of ailments or progression of the disease.

Each of the 74 cases illustrated in the book gives an in-depth explanation of how the miasmatic analysis is done for the case and how the remedy covering the miasmatic background.is chosen to cover the miasm.

Today most homeopaths have patients who are already on conventional medicine treatments. With the suppressive action of allopathic drugs, the symptom picture of the patient is modified to a great extent and the original unmodified picture that we need for homeopathic prescribing is often missing. Dr Banerjea describes how he treats such patients initially which results in the possibility of weaning off the allopathic drugs so that clear symptoms arise for the further in-depth homeopathic treatment.

Dr Banerjea gives details about his remedy dispensing method in water which has the advantage of avoiding aggravations and permits strong dynamic penetrating action.

Of great interest is the fact that he often allows his remedy to work undisturbed for a number of months especially in chronic cases. He emphasises his belief, that we never gain anything by premature repetition.

Each of his 74 cases begins with

    Presenting Complaints
    Investigations before and after the treatment
    Case analysis, Miasmatic diagnosis and Basis of the final prescription
    Remedy Reaction
    Prescription chart giving detailed follow-up and treatment at each step.

The cases are accompanied by images of the medical reports and photos of the patient especially in skin ailments. One drawback is that the print of the reports is often too small to be read, but this is remedied by the free CD that comes with this book. Every case in the book is followed by a reference to the location of the details of the case in the accompanying CD.

A few negatives for the book – paper quality could have been better and the first two pages could have been better printed to look less like photocopies! A few typographical errors have crept in at different places in the book.

Overall, however, it is an excellent presentation of good homeopathic cures that will boost the confidence of homeopaths to use the classical method for all cases, even ones with deep pathology. A book well worth the price.

As Dr Banerjea writes in his Preface, this book is a celebration of what Homeopathy can do!

(First published in The Homoeopathic Heritage, Vol. 39, No. 03, June, 2013 & published at hpathy.com in July 2013)

homeopathic-psychiatry

Author: Liz Lalor

Reviewed by: Dr. Firuzi Mehta

First Edition 2011

Published by B. Jain Archibel S.P.R.L.
Printed in India
ISBN: 978-2-87491-016-6
Hardbound
No. of pages: 851
€ 38.00 | US$ 50.00 | £ 32.00 | INR 2650.00

Having completed one reading of all 851 pages of Liz Lalor’s book ‘Homeopathic Psychiatry – Understanding The Use And Meaning Of The Delusion Rubrics In Case Analysis’, I am now wondering how I can create a concise write-up about this book. It is not as simple as I thought it would be, for the simple reason that the book is more complex than it appears at first glance. For those who will read the book, it attempts to bring a deeper understanding of the Delusion rubrics in the Mind section of our repertories.

The author, Liz Lalor, has a background in Psychology and she brings her 30 years of counselling experience into this enormous and painstaking work. For too long, the important Delusion rubrics have been either neglected from a lack of understanding or misused by being taken literally or completely misinterpreted.

The book undertakes a psychoanalytic study of the meaning and application of Delusion rubrics in homeopathic case taking and case analysis. Liz Lalor emphasises the fact that it is necessary to properly understand why a constitutional remedy profile needs the psychological delusions that it has. With this understanding, we can recognise the remedies our patients need with greater ease. Different remedies have their own different needs of maintaining a certain delusion. Once we identify the psychological behavioural patterning that is inherent within the remedy profile, this insight can be used to identify the Simillimum.

In the beginning of this book, she has laid down four necessary requirements for the use of the Delusion rubrics. She clearly demarcates when the Delusion rubrics are to be used in comparison with similar non-delusion Mind rubrics.

A section on Rubric Categories follows, where she identifies the five stages that a patient will progress through in case-taking and then she uses these stages to group the Delusion rubrics accordingly. This is an important part of the case analysis process, because recognising the psychological stages helps in finding the Simillimum by narrowing down the remedies being considered. In explaining the Delusion rubrics in each different category, she analyses and describes numerous remedies, making the Delusion rubrics come alive for the reader.

The latter part of the book has the Case Companion to Homeopathic Psychiatry, where she presents twelve cases from her practice and takes her readers step-by-step with her, explaining the process of identifying the Delusion rubrics and using them to arrive at the Simillimum.

This book does not make for easy reading – it requires time and concentration to process everything that Liz Lalor writes and for the book’s full impact to be felt. In fact, I need a second reading and look forward to whatever new insights a repeat reading will bring to this complex subject.

So what has this book brought to me? It has brought me the realisation of how I have often neglected the Delusion rubrics. Reading this book has brought me several ‘VOILA!’ moments where understanding and clarity have dawned suddenly and I have identified remedies for some patients whose cases have seemed stuck. I can see that correct application of Liz Lalor’s work will be very helpful in homeopathic practice.

As regards printing quality, B. Jain Archibel deserve congratulations. Paper quality, binding and print are all very good. It has been a pleasure to read this book.

Published at hpathy.com in November 2012

Second Edition 2010 (The first edition was published in 2007)

kent-unpublished-mm
Reviewed by Dr. Firuzi Mehta 
Published by B. Jain Archibel s.p.r.l.
Printed in India
ISBN: 978-2-87491-006-7
Hardbound
No. of pages: 1702
€ 45.00 | US$ 60.00 | INR 2,600.00
 
When I received this book to review, I was excited since I had loved reading Dr. Ahmed Currim’s ‘Collected Works of Arthur Hill Grimmer’ and I knew what an excellent compilation it was. I have great respect for Dr. Currim’s work which obviously stems from his love of homeopathy.

‘J.T.Kent Unpublished Materia Medica’ begins with the interesting story of how the editor, Dr. Ahmed Currim, managed, in 1980, to retrieve 2 volumes of almost unknown notes of Materia Medica that Dr. Kent had given in 1895 to his students in Chicago at the Hering Medical College. Later, in 1985, Dr. Currim came across another, similar, 3 volume set of lecture notes that Dr. Kent had given to his students in 1893-94. Some years later, Dr. Currim acquired an old volume of notes on Materia Medica that Dr. Kent presented at the Dunham Medical College in 1901-02.

Having acquired these priceless notes which showed the progression of Kent’s thinking in Materia Medica from 1893-1902, Dr. Currim decided to edit, correct, classify and present these invaluable hidden treasures to the profession. This book is the result. It contains notes on several remedies not found in any of Kent’s already existing works like Materia Medica, Lesser Writings and Gypser’s Minor Writings. It also contains new pictures not known before of many of the regular well-known remedies, thereby widening our understanding of these remedies.

One hundred fifty five remedies have been discussed in this huge tome of 1,702 pages. They have been nicely set for ease of reading with important features set in bold type. Each remedy description begins with a section discussing general action of the remedy, followed by the Generals; then the order of sections follows the usual trend of chapters seen in Kent’s repertory: Mind, Vertigo, Head and so on.

What makes this book so special is the intermingling of tips on dealing with conditions, remedy comparisons with finer points for differentiating remedies, general hints on case management, explanation of symptoms and brief miasmatic explanations with suggestions on miasmatic prescribing. Small cases have been described off and on throughout the book which helps in deepening our understanding of the remedies and imprinting the remedy pictures on our minds. The potencies used have been mentioned, which again helps to highlight Kent’s thinking process. At some places, details about translation errors from the actual provings are included, which helps in clarification and correction of actual symptoms. Dr. Currim’s viewpoints and notes from his own valuable experience have been added as Editor’s Notes throughout the book.

Despite being a record of symptoms, the book makes for interesting reading throughout, since it is scattered with numerous little golden nuggets of valuable information which add an extra dimension to our mental images of remedies.

The quality of printing, binding and paper do not disappoint. The paper is smooth though thin, which it had to be, otherwise it would have consumed two or more volumes! A few insignificant typos have crept in, which considering the vastness of the work, can be easily overlooked.

The contents of the book display Kent’s vast knowledge and experience, hence this book serves as a valuable addition to our homeopathic literature, and will be useful to all homeopaths who strive to constantly better themselves.

Published at hpathy.com in September 2012

Fourth Edition
250 pages
ISBN code 978-81-319-0341-4
B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.
Rs.295.00
Reviewed by Firuzi Mehta
 
This book has been written by a dermatologist, Dr. Ramji Gupta and a homeopathic physician, Dr. R.K. Manchanda, thus providing a good balance between disease descriptions and homeopathic remedies indicated for them.

This is the fourth edition of the book, the first of which was published in 2005. Right from its inception, it has been a good book to have; now it comes to us in an improved version with errors corrected, more photographs added and in general, it has become a more valuable book for homeopaths.

We say that as homeopaths, we don’t need a diagnosis for treatment. Why then the need of such a book? Homeopaths often see patients who come for the treatment of skin disorders; often after the patients have done the rounds of dermatologists and have not found lasting relief. Sometimes patients are aware of the dangers of suppressing skin ailments and make their way to a homeopath.
Homeopathic colleges provide a cursory introduction to dermatology which in no way prepares a homeopath to confidently deal with what he/she sees in practice.

Though homeopathy does not treat a disease diagnosis, it is essential that homeopaths know what ailment they are dealing with. Knowing the diagnosis is important for good judgement and case management during the course of treatment. Different skin ailments have different manifestations, phases of activity and phases of remission – the homeopath has to be well versed with these possibilities – a remission phase should not be happily considered as cure!

The book begins by providing the general principles of homeopathic treatment and goes on to elaborate the miasmatic concept of skin diseases. It discusses the structure and function of the skin as an organ and defines the terminology used for skin lesions.

Different skin disorders are dealt with in well-organised chapters – Hereditary Disorders, Nutritional Deficiencies, Metabolic Disorders, Diseases due to Physical Agents, Bacterial Infections, Fungal Infections, Viral Infections, Diseases due to Arthropods, Diseases of the Hair, Diseases of the Sebaceous Glands, Diseases of the Sweat Glands, Diseases of the Nails, Disorders of Pigmentation, Allergic Disorders, Auto-Immune Disorders, Skin Tumours, Miscellaneous Disorders.
There are separate chapters on Tuberculosis and Leprosy, two of the common scourges of Indian society. There is a separate chapter elaborating homeopathic medicines used commonly in dermatology, with the description of the remedies in relation to the skin. A final annexure classifies different skin diseases according to their miasmatic status.

Plenty of positives – The book feels good in terms of paper quality and readability.
As regards content, the book has many good photographs of different skin conditions, good descriptions of most of the common dermatological conditions seen in practice and a decent listing of homeopathic remedies, with some chapters enabling close differentiation between remedies.

Just a few negatives – the index is decent, but could have been a bit more comprehensive, making searches easier. A few typos have crept in, which will hopefully get corrected in later reprints. It would have been good to have finer differentiation between remedies for all the different skin conditions within.

All in all, a practical and useful book for homeopaths who deal with patients having skin conditions.

Published at hpathy.com in April 2012.

The present weather and environmental conditions have triggered a spate of illness in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. The most prevalent is viral fevers and flu, accompanied with coughs, colds, sore throats and even tummy upsets. The present virus/es doing the rounds seem to be quite strong and are affecting a wide number of our population; however, those with strong immunities are able to throw off the illness in a few days. There have been several cases of the specific Swine Flu but we must remember that it is now no longer the dreaded illness it was supposed to be a couple of years ago – it is now as good or bad as any other seasonal flu. The other illnesses going around are malaria and dengue.

Today, I wish to talk about Dengue. It is another dreaded illness, caused by viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. The danger of dengue lies in its ability to reduce the platelet count in the body drastically, thereby triggering bleeding, internal or external which may lead to death. Conventional medicine has no treatment/cure for the dengue itself – the treatment is only supportive and aims to support the system and relieve symptoms (not cure) until the dengue runs its course. In this article, I will be describing a method which removes this danger of reducing platelets in a safe, gentle and cost-effective manner – almost a type of home remedy which has also been scientifically proven but is not used in most cases, probably due to ignorance of this method by the medical profession.

First let us talk about how Dengue presents in our system. Dengue is an illness that occurs in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Symptoms are headache, fever, weakness, severe joint and muscle pains, swelling of glands and rash. The triad of fever, rash and headache (and other pains) are characteristic of dengue. The acute phase of the illness – fever and pains – lasts for 1-2 weeks. In most cases, Dengue follows a benign, non-dangerous course. It tends to be more severe in people who already have weakened immune systems. Dengue haemorrhagic fever is a more severe type of the illness where there may be petechiae (small red or purple splotches of bleeding under the skin), bleeding from the nose and gums, black stools (indicative of an internal bleed), or easy bruising – all possible signs of haemorrhage. This can become life-threatening and can result in Dengue Shock Syndrome.

The virus is contracted from the bite of a striped Aedes aegypti mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person. Direct transmission of the virus cannot occur – it needs the person-mosquito-another person route. The mosquito flourishes during the rainy season but can breed in water-filled flower pots, plastic bags and cans all the year round. After being bitten by an infected mosquito, there is an incubation period that ranges from 3-15 days before the signs and symptoms are manifest. It starts with chills, headache, pain behind the eyes and upon moving the eyes and low backache. Aching in the legs and joints occurs in the initial hours. The temperature rises high rapidly (upto even 104 or 105 degrees F) with relatively low pulse and low BP. The eyes redden. A pale pink rash or flush comes over the face and disappears. The lymph node glands in the armpits and groin may swell. The fever and other signs last 2-4 days followed by a rapid drop in temperature and profuse sweating. Then there may be a day with no fever and a feeling of well-being. A second rise in temperature follows along with the characteristic rash that spreads from the extremities throughout the body except the face. Palms and soles may be bright red and swollen.

Typical dengue is fatal in less than 1% of cases and complications usually arise in those with weakened immune systems or in those who have taken aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The acute phase lasts 1-2 weeks and recovery takes several weeks and is accompanied by weakness.

Dengue haemorrhagic fever is accompanied with respiratory and abdominal symptoms like sore throat, cough, tummy pains, nausea, vomiting. Shock can occur after some days due to the haemorrhagic complications with sudden collapse. This form of dengue has significant mortality.

As mentioned earlier, conventional medicine treatment is purely symptomatic, aiming to relieve the symptoms while the course of the dengue lasts. Rest is important as is the need to keep the body hydrated. Pain relievers are often given to ease the headache and joint pains. Patients often take over-the-counter medications by themselves but it is important not to randomly take aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as these can worsen the situation in dengue and cause bleeding complications. For patients whose platelet counts drop alarmingly, transfusions of platelets are given.

General Precautions:
Empty stagnant water from containers, old tyres, trash cans and flower pots. This helps to eradicate the mosquitoes that carry the virus. Avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes by wearing long pants and tops/shirts with long sleeves. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is a daytime biter with peak biting time around sunrise and sunset.

Homoeopathic Treatment:
The remedy Eupatorium Perfoliatum is useful as a preventive. Please consult a homoeopath for proper potency and dosage instructions as they may vary for different patients with different susceptibilities. For those in whom dengue symptoms manifest, treatment with homoeopathic remedies is possible and very effective. Recovery is quick and the general weakness is lessened. There are remedies which even treat the haemorrhagic form of dengue.

Effective Home Remedy: PAPAYA LEAF JUICE
Now I come to the important home remedy which I want to spread awareness about. Papaya leaves play an important role in treatment and prevention of haemorrhagic complications. Studies conducted in different countries like Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Austria have all found it effective. They have found that papaya leaves have substances responsible for the release and/or production of platelets. The leaves are high in complex vitamins that help bone marrow to rapidly produce new platelets.

Normal platelets have a life span of about 5-10 days in our body. The body replenishes them as required. During the active phase of the virus in the body, the virus reduces the body’s ability to manufacture platelets. Hence the platelet count starts to drop. Usual normal platelet count varies from 1,50,000/cmm – 4,50,000/cmm. A platelet count below 1,00,000/cmm is alarming and requires attention. If the count drops below 30,000/cmm, it prevents clots from forming and spontaneous bleeding can start which is dangerous and requires hospitalization.

Leaves from a fruit bearing tree are to be used. The stem and thick veins should be removed. Wash with clean water and crush/grind. Squeeze by hand to extract the juice which has to be consumed fresh. Some sources recommend 10 ml twice a day for adults and 5 ml twice a day for children between 5 and 12 years. Crushing two leaves in a tablespoon of water and drinking the strained juice for two consecutive days has also been found effective. The platelet count rises within a few hours of taking the papaya leaf juice. It is better to take the papaya leaf juice early in the illness. When given early, patients recover quickly, thus preventing the need for hospitalization. In the final stages, when multiple organ failure has occurred, benefit is minimal.

Benefits of papaya leaf juice:

  • Improves platelet and white blood cell counts.
  • Normalises the clotting profile.
  • Improves liver function and repairs the damage done to the liver due to the dengue virus.

So stay healthy and if dengue does occur, treat it safely, gently and surely!

References:

  1. www.medicinenet.com
  2. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/8/31/nation/9402609&sec=nation
  3. apjtb.com/zz/aug/18.pdf
  4. http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2010/07/25/fea02.asp
  5. http://www.allnaturalhealththerapy.com/food-for-healing/papaya-leaves-extract-cures-dengue-hemorrhagic-fever.php

More and more people, even those in their 30s, are being tested for cholesterol levels and are prescribed some form of cholesterol-lowering drugs. Doctors are happy to prescribe these expensive medications to their patients but (knowingly or unknowingly) no mention is made of their dangerous side-effects, esp., when one considers that these drugs are meant to be taken long-term, if not for a lifetime.

One important fact is missed/ignored – statistics can easily be used to manipulate studies and figures to show misleading results. A report might say that a medicine slashes the risk of, say, heart attacks, by 50%. Such a statement fails to tell you the whole truth. If only 2 people in a group of 100, actually fit the risk profile, then a drug that prevents heart attack in 1 of those 2 people, is considered to have a 50% success rate in the whole group of 100 people, but then, 98 of the group were not at risk anyway. Hence, in this scenario, a drug that cuts the rate by 50% prevents just 1 heart attack when taken by all 100 people. Researchers prefer to use the term “Numbers Needed to Treat” (NNT). It shows how many people must take a drug for one person to benefit. The ideal NNT is 1, where everyone has improved with treatment and no-one has with control. The higher the NNT, the less effective is the treatment.

Hence, for people taking statins, it is necessary that they weigh the possible side effects against the possibility (not certainly) of any benefit.

As published in Business Week,

Lipitor and other cholesterol-lowering statins, when used in people who have had a heart attack or who have signs of heart disease — have an NNT of 16-23. In clinical trials with 5 years of treatment, 1 in 16-23 people is spared a coronary event. To prevent an actual death, the NNT is 48.

Lipitor and other cholesterol-lowering statins, when used in patients without heart disease, but who have risk factors like high blood pressure — have an NNT of 70-250, which means that 1 person in 70-250 is spared a heart attack or a stroke.

Lipitor and other cholesterol-lowering statins, when used in patients without heart disease, but who have risk factors like high blood pressure — have an NNT of 500+ to prevent death or serious medical conditions.

Zetia, which lowers cholesterol — has an NNT of 1000+ which means that, of over 1000 patients who take Zetia, heart disease is prevented in only 1.

Astonishing, isn’t it!!! For all those on cholesterol-lowering medication, have your doctors given you these figures or have you only received assurances? With such a poor benefit record, is it worth having the possibility of deadly side effects?

Some of the side-effects known to occur with cholesterol-lowering drugs are:

  • Common side-effects include headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea/constipation, rash and muscle pain.
  • Memory loss and amnesia, along with less severe cases of forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, or other cognitive symptoms that are simply chalked up to the gradual erosion of the body and mind by the aging process, when they are in fact attributable to cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.
  • Depression.
  • Polyneuropathy.
  • Muscle pain, muscle cramps, unusual tiredness.
  • Rhabdomyolysis — a fatal condition involving the destruction of muscle tissue that was responsible for the recall of the lethal statin Baycol.
  • Congestive heart failure.
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and carnitine deficiency.
  • Inflammation and rupture of tendons and ligaments.
  • Interference with the production of endorphins.
  • Liver and kidney dysfunction.

Here are some links giving details of these side-effects:

http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Statin-Drugs-Side-Effects.html

http://www.medindia.net/news/Statins-can-also-Exert-Detrimental-Effects-on-Brain-Cells-60245-1.htm

http://www.spacedoc.net/statins_brain_cell_damage.html

http://www.brainbequick.com/brain-fog.html

http://www.spacedoc.net/stopping_statins.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/statins/page2.htm#toce

References:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_04/b4068052095204.htm

http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/booth/glossary/NNT.html