Archive for September, 2007

In this article, I would like to talk about what a Homoeopath needs to know to be able to help the patient in the best manner possible.

Many patients come to a Homoeopath with a ready diagnosis of the disease obtained from an earlier doctor and expect that once they have given the diagnosis to the Homoeopath, the Homoeopathic doctor should be able to prescribe the required medicine. For Homoeopaths, a diagnosis is important only from the point of view of differentiating peculiar symptoms characteristic to the individual patient, from general symptoms, which belong to the disease diagnosis.

It is important for patients to realize that the Homoeopathic prescription which really helps the patient the most, is one based on the peculiar symptoms of the individual patient, which as a rule, have no direct connection with the diagnosed disease. Hence anything peculiar, queer, rare and strange that the patient has observed (which we call P, Q, R, S symptoms in Homoeopathy) needs to be told to the Homoeopath. Many people refrain from talking about these symptoms, either from embarrassment or from the idea that these symptoms have nothing to do with their main complaint and they want the doctor to focus only on the main complaint. This results in the Homoeopath knowing only part of the problem and makes medicine selection more difficult and usually inaccurate as well. Patients must remember that the Homoeopathic doctor, unlike a conventional doctor, is treating the WHOLE PATIENT, and not just the PART that is ill; hence anything which the patient perceives as ‘not alright’ is important from the point of view of the Homoeopath, even though it may have no logical connection to the main problem which the patient seeks treatment for. It is these very ‘weird’ symptoms that can lead the Homoeopath to a highly successful prescription and rapid cure of the illness.

Patients also need to be very observant about their symptoms and what they suffer from. Homoeopaths need a lot of detail about everything that troubles a patient. For example, if the patient is complaining of backache, the Homoeopath needs to know the exact location of the pain, the type of pain, whether the pain radiates to another location, the factors that increase the pains and the factors that give relief, and also any other symptoms that accompany the pain.

The reason why Homoeopaths need so much detail lies in the fact that the effects of Homoeopathic medicines are tested on healthy human beings, what we call ‘Homoeopathic Proving’. Due to the energy stimulation of the Homoeopathic medicine during a proving, provers develop symptoms (which later when the same symptoms are seen in a patient, the same medicine is capable of curing on the basis of the Homoeopathic law), and because human beings have the advantage of expression (in contrast to animal testing where only gross changes in health can be noted), these symptoms are recorded in great detail, mentioning exactly what the prover is going through. Hence it is clear, that the more completely the complaints are described, the more accurate the ultimate prescription will be and the quicker is the restoration of good health.

“My standpoint is that a tumour is the product of the organism and to be really cured, the power to produce the same must be eliminated, got rid of; cutting it off merely rids the organism of the product, leaving the producing power where it was before, often the operative interference acting like pruning a vine, i.e., the tumour-producing power is increased and the fatal issue is brought nearer.”
— Dr. James Compton Burnett

After I started my practice, I had quite a few cases of cancer coming my way due to my study of the Iscador Therapy for Cancer. Since the use of Iscador is rather expensive by Indian standards, especially since it involves long-term use, I always offer my patients the choice of treatment: either Homoeopathy along with Iscador, or just Homoeopathic medicines.

This was a woman, 66 years of age, who came to me in 2001. In 1994, she had been diagnosed with carcinoma of the ovary with endometrial cancer, which is a cancer of the lining of the uterus. She had undergone a hysterectomy and chemotherapy. In 1996, she developed peritoneal metastases for which she was again operated open and had 3 cycles of chemotherapy. She then remained free of symptoms and monitored the CA-125 tumour marker counts twice a year. She decided to take Homoeopathic treatment because of a steadily rising CA-125.

She came to me with a count of 10.00 U/ml which was well within the normal range (upto 35 U/ml) but had steadily risen from 4.3 U/ml in the previous year. Apart from the cancer and its treatment, she had suffered from typhoid when young and had undergone a coronary bypass surgery in 1996. Her father had died of a heart attack (myocardial infarction) and several of her 6 siblings had heart ailments.

She enjoyed a good appetite, ate quite fast and suffered from hyperacidity if she had to remain hungry. She drank about 2.5 litres of water everyday. She loved sweet things, fruits, ice cream and chocolates. Curd (yoghurt) gave her acidity. She passed motions daily but felt mentally and physically uneasy if she were constipated even for one day. She was always constipated when she was away from home. She had profuse sweat which would occasionally leave a white powdery deposit on the clothes. She slept more on her right side and had sound sleep. She was rather chilly and disliked the fan or A.C. She couldn’t remember her dreams.

Her menopause was at 51 and did not remember having any problems then apart from an increase in irritability. She had been pregnant 5 times, had one pregnancy terminated and one child had died at the age of one. She said she had no interest in sex right from the beginning. She was scared of lifts. She was very fond of perfumes but said that she developed a skin allergy to perfumes occasionally.

For protecting her identity, I will not divulge details of her family situation. She was a talkative woman, very strong-minded. She used to come to the clinic with her husband and it was obvious who wore the pants in the family. She wept very easily and often wept in my clinic while narrating her problems and was much relieved by consolation. She was emotionally very expressive and held a grievance against her husband for not being so and giving her no attention. She was also easily angered and she always wanted things going her way. She had hasty speech and was impatient. She enjoyed cleaning-up and was particular about her things. She enjoyed partying, socialising, dressing-up; she was particular about her appearance and wanted attention from everyone around her. I noticed she was haughty with the clinic staff. She was careful with money to the point of being stingy and wanted a reduction in charges even though she could well afford the fees. She loved travelling and enjoyed doing embroidery when at home. She was a shrewd woman and did not trust others easily. Her greatest grief was the death of one of her children.

My first prescription was that of Lachesis but it did her no good; 2 months later when it was time for the CA-125 count again, it had shot up to 19.70 U/ml.

Since the constipation while travelling was a prominent physical symptom (and it didn’t fit Lachesis), I reviewed her case once again and chose Platina. I repeated Platina about twice a month and inbetween gave her the Bach Flower remedy Holly three times a day. About once in 2 months, a dose of Carcinosin was given. She did well on this regime and 6 months later, the CA-125 levels were down at 7.50 U/ml. She was relieved and so was I.

I kept her on this regime, gradually having increased the potency of Carcinosin, with some placebo treatment off and on. The counts were being monitored and the CA-125 levels were steady at around 4 U/ml. She is now no longer being regularly treated for the cancer, but once in a while, if she wants medicines for an acute problem, she contacts the clinic.

Many of my cancer patients have been treated with only Homoeopathy since Iscador was too expensive for long-term treatment. Many cancer patients arrive for treatment rather late in the course of the disease and by that time, only palliation is possible. Some decide to take Homoeopathic treatment and Iscador only after completing the Allopathic treatments of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. In most of these cases, this delay proves expensive as the disease usually progresses and the patient’s vitality is also much reduced following strong chemical treatment. It is advisable for cancer patients to begin Homoeopathy and Iscador treatment along with conventional treatments so that no time is lost. Homoeopathy and Iscador can also help in keeping side-effects of conventional treatment to a minimum.

There has been an alarming increase in the incidence of cancer since the last century. This rise in incidence has been explained not only due to sophisticated detection techniques, but also due to an increase in the environmental carcinogens affecting the cell adversely, stimulating it to unlimited growth and multiplication – cancer.

Iscador therapy is a type of treatment for cancer used by doctors trained in Anthroposophic medicine. This therapy was developed in Switzerland by Rudolf Steiner at the beginning of the 20th century. Rudolf Steiner was Austrian-born and he developed the science of Anthroposophy. The word Anthroposophy means ‘wisdom of the human being’. It takes into account spiritual dimensions of the human being and the world. Steiner introduced the concepts of anthroposophy into all aspects of life — education, medicine, pharmacy, agriculture, economics, art and religion. This was how Anthroposophic medicine was born.

Anthroposophic medicine
is based on the spiritual scientific view of a healthy human being who is in close harmony and interaction with the different levels of creation and has lost this when in a state of ill health. This involves a holistic approach and hence is compatible with other holistic systems of medicine. Training in Anthroposophic medicine is available only to doctors already trained in conventional or alternative systems of medicine. The substances from which anthroposophical medicines are prepared are essentially natural and taken from the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms. Medicines are prepared according to Homoeopathic principles and hence anthroposophic medicine and homoeopathy easily go hand in hand.

Iscador is the trade name of a group of anti-cancer treatments, all prepared from different types of mistletoe extracts. Treatment with Iscador aims at intensifying the body’s own forces against the cancer cell’s tendency towards autonomy. Iscador is a complementary rather than an alternative medicine. It is frequently prescribed in Europe by medical doctors including oncologists in addition to the conventional cancer therapies, radiation, surgery and chemotherapy. Nowadays in Europe, mistletoe is a key component in conventional cancer therapy. Here in India, following training in anthroposophic medicine, homoeopaths have begun to use Iscador for cancer cases. Iscador is available in the US under the brand name Iscar.

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 is used to treat cancer.

Mistletoe contains among other things, two groups of toxins: viscotoxins and mistletoe lectins. Viscotoxins and mistletoe lectins are proteins capable of being broken down in the digestive tract. The molecular structure and pharmacological actions of viscotoxins are closely related to those of snake venoms. They have cytolytic action, i.e., they dissolve cancer cells. The mistletoe lectins are related to castor-oil plant lectins. They have cytostatic properties, i.e., they inhibit the growth of cancer cells.


  • Early malignancies. Here it has the greatest scope, especially in Stage 0, i.e. Carcinoma-in-situ.
  • Advanced malignancies. Here it is of considerable help in inoperable tumours, recurrences, widespread metastases and in terminal cases, it brings about palliation.
  • It is used as a prophylactic for malignant lesions in pre-cancerous states, where regression of the lesion takes place.
  • Benign neoplasms.
  • Surgery. Inoperable tumours become operable through delineation of the tumour by Iscador therapy. During the operation, it helps prevent dissemination of the tumour. Post-operatively, it hastens a smooth convalescence. Early follow-up treatment by Iscador results in a significant reduction in the incidence of recurrences and late metastases by about 30-40 %.
  • Concurrent with chemotherapy and/or radiation, Iscador prevents or reduces toxic side effects, promotes tolerance as well as dispersion of the tumour.
  • Cancer patients treated with Iscador and followed up for a long time with regular laboratory investigations show no toxic symptoms, apart from the desirable rise in body temperature, transient rise in leucocytes and rise in lymphocytes. No harmful side effects have been reported. Even if Iscador is given intensively for many years, there is no depression of the bone marrow unlike chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Iscador therapy stimulates the form-giving processes and forces in the human organism against the tendency to unregulated proliferation of the cell, which is seen in cancer.

Iscador preparations are classified according to the host-tree of the mistletoe used in their preparation. Depending on the localization of the primary tumour and on the sex of the patient, the type of Iscador preparation is selected. Metastases are treated with the same preparations as the primary tumour. Special metal combinations are used to increase and potentiate the action of Iscador on specific organs. Each preparation is available in a number of strengths. The different strengths permit variation in the intensity of the treatment, depending upon the clinical state of the patient. The route of administration is usually subcutaneous; only in the case of intracranial tumours is the oral route usually used. The time of administration is usually in the morning, which is the time of the physiological rise of temperature. The frequency of administration varies according to the type and location of the tumour and the judgement of the physician. The duration of the treatment is quite long, extending over a number of years. The changes in the type of Iscador preparations, dose, frequency, etc., are managed through the assessment of the clinical response and the laboratory data.


  • Inflammatory reaction with increased flow of blood and swelling in the region of the tumour is seen occasionally with usual subcutaneous injections. This passes off in a few hours.
  • Slight increase in body temperature occurs which is desirable as a curative process.
  • Transient increase in the neutrophil component of white blood cell count, which persists for some hours.
  • Immune stimulation as a whole and consequent inhibition of tumour development which leads to :
    1) improvement in the general condition.
    2) increased appetite.
    3) gain in weight.
    4) improved sleep.
    5) decrease in fatigue and depression.
    6) stimulation of urinary and bowel functions.
    7) reduction or disappearance of pain.
  • Increased tolerance to irradiation and/or chemotherapy.
  • Relief of pain and subjective improvement in the patient are most striking even in advanced stages of cancer and inspite of the progressive course of the tumour.


  • Stationary for some time.
  • Occasional regression of the tumour.
  • Slowing down or cessation of tumour growth.
  • Reduced incidence of metastases or secondaries, or prevention of extension.
  • Reduced incidence or recurrences after operation and/or radiation.

Iscador medications are imported into India and are fairly expensive, though much cheaper than the costs of conventional cancer treatments. It should be remembered that Iscador has to be continued for several years, with few gaps in between as suggested by the treating physician.

Iscador potentiates the action of Homoeopathic therapeutics as both act on the immune mechanism. When understood and practised, these therapies become limitless in their possibilities for development and their power to treat the millions of sick people in the world.

(For more details, see my write-up on Iscador Therapy at

Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD), also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome, is a common cause of infertility in many young women. In this condition the follicles do not release the eggs normally in every menstrual cycle; multiple cysts are formed in the ovaries.

It is not really known why PCOD occurs. The polycystic ovaries are a sign of hormonal malfunction. Hormones can be affected by a woman’s emotions, thoughts, diet and personal history. A few cases are genetic and run in families, but most cases have no such familial link.

As Homoeopaths are practitioners who adopt the holistic approach, we are aware that when there is a problem with something so complex as the ovulation process, there may be a problem with the regulatory mechanism of the menstrual cycle in the brain. We know that the brain is affected by emotional and psychological factors such as stress and repressed pain in the past. Where ovarian functioning is concerned, it has been found that negative feelings about being female or feelings of inferiority are often present.


  • Obesity
  • Excess hair growth on face and body (hirsutism)
  • Irregular and infrequent or absent menses with infrequent or absent ovulation
  • Acne with greasy skin
  • Miscarriages
  • Infertility

A diagnosis of PCOD can be made based on the symptom picture the patient presents with, confirmed by blood tests and USG (ultrasonography) of the abdomen and pelvis. The blood tests are done to check the levels of the hormones oestrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinising hormone (LH), testosterone and DHEA.

Women with PCOD are at higher risk of developing other illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and uterine cancer.

Exercise and reducing body weight are important parts of the treatment of PCOD as they can reduce the risk of developing other illnesses. Having regular periods is important for the woman to reduce the risk of uterine cancer.

Since conventional medicine doesn’t know the cause of most of the cases of PCOD, treatment is aimed at quelling the symptoms only. Most women are therefore prescribed birth control pills and anti-androgenic drugs to create cyclic menstrual periods. Women suffering from infertility are prescribed drugs which induce ovulation temporarily. These treatments, though helpful, do not address the lack of ovulation or the hormonal status of the brain.
Homoeopaths believe that treatment should be aimed at setting the basic cause right and not just targeting each individual problem separately in the complex of PCOD.

Patients have to realise that PCOD does not have to be a lifelong chronic condition. Emotions have to be heeded and not suppressed. Going out in natural light as much as possible is beneficial in re-establishing hormonal balance. Diet should be well-balanced and full of nutritious items. Junk food should be avoided. A regular exercise programme should be followed.

Homoeopathic treatment involves a detailed case taking wherein all emotional, intellectual and physical aspects of the patient are considered before the main remedy is chosen. Such a chosen constitutional remedy works at deep levels setting right the basic imbalance in the body. It is seen that patients respond well to such treatment and regular menstrual cycles are soon established. Over a period of 1-2 years, all cysts in the ovaries also disappear and the woman can lead a normal healthy life without further treatment.

Before treatment

After treatment

A young college-going girl came to me complaining of pain in her left foot due to ‘corns’. On examination, it was clear that this was a case of plantar warts. Plantar warts are sometimes difficult to distinguish from corns and callosities. Plantar warts usually have little black dots on their surface which are the ends of capillaries. Corns do not have them. Plantar warts are usually multiple as they spread to other parts of the foot, while corns are only found on weight-bearing areas. In cases of plantar warts, the striations on the skin go around the lesion unlike in corns where the striations continue across the top layer of the corn. Warts on other parts of the body grow outward, but on the foot, due to the pressure while walking, they grow inward and cause great pain.

She had a tendency to develop boils on the buttocks and in the groin region. This was worse from sweat and friction and would bleed on scratching. She loved sweets, fish, chicken and ice cream and was completely averse to tea. She perspired the most on the neck and her sweat had a sour odour. She slept on her abdomen.

She was a plump, cheerful, friendly girl and laughed a lot, very easily.

Knowing the propensity of Antimonium Crudum for corns and warts, I started by giving her Antimonium Crudum 30, three times daily for a week. She started improving and I continued with the same dosage for 2 more weeks, at the end of which her foot was showing distinct signs of improvement and she was pain-free. After a month I gave her a dose of Phosphorus 1M which I considered to be her constitutional remedy.

I didn’t see her for a number of months when she remained well; about a year later I called her for a follow-up photograph. She remains well and happy, her tendency to boils has also disappeared.

Before treatment

After treatment

This was a very satisfying case, especially from the point of view of the speed of action of the Homoeopathic remedy. It took me by surprise!!

This young man came to me in the month of June 2007 with a complaint of warts which he had initially developed since about June 2006. Multiple warts had initially come up on the neck; later a couple of them arose on the scalp, followed by more warts on both upper eyelids and arms. They were approximately 50 in number. 6 months prior to coming for Homoeopathic treatment, he had all of them cauterized by a dermatologist. Within 2-3 months of the cauterization, they began to recur on the neck and by the time he came for Homoeopathic treatment, most of them had returned. They were asymptomatic but bothered him due to their appearance. There had been no history of any chemical exposure and there was no family history of warts either. Another problem for which he wanted treatment was generalised hair fall and flaky dandruff which made his scalp itch. He easily caught a cold from getting wet.

He enjoys meat and fish, loves sweet things including ice cream. He doesn’t feel thirsty. He sleeps on his back with his arms over his head.

He is the youngest sibling with two brothers and a sister. He had an arranged marriage 1 and 1/2 years back and has no problems. He loves nature – all animals, birds and plants. He has a pet dog. He used to be hot-tempered with violent anger but now thinks before reacting. He played professional cricket earlier; cricket was his passion. He believes in ‘karma’, destiny, spirituality. He’s not a materialist and is content with his life. He is helpful by nature, does some honorary work as well. He trusts easily and takes people at face value.

During the analysis and repertorization process, many other remedies covered his symptoms prominently, however, due to the main complaint of warts and the previous suppression by cauterization, I chose Medorrhinum as the remedy with which to start the case. I called him after 15 days so that I could take a photograph of his warts.

15 days later, at the follow-up, the warts on his scalp had already fallen off and those on his neck had started to itch. The photograph was taken and he was asked to report again after another fortnight.

He returned more than a month later with his neck looking smooth and wart-free. Most of them fell off during the night after the last follow-up. I had been just in time to click the first photographs!

This quick result surprised me as well and I decided to give him no further treatment for his hairfall and dandruff which remained to be cured. Fresh photographs were taken and are posted on this page. The scar marks seen on the 2nd photograph are remnants from the cauterization; the Homoeopathic treatment of the warts has left no scars.

I expect that the dose of Medorrhinum will continue to work in his system for a longer period and his hairfall and dandruff will reduce. He has been asked to report after 2 months. This post will be updated soon!

Not all cases of warts respond this quickly. Time to cure depends also on how deep-rooted different illnesses in the family are; more complex the illnesses, more the time the people in the family line take to respond even to the right remedy. Sometimes locating the right remedy takes time as well and remedies may need to be changed over a period of 2-4 months before the right remedy is prescribed. This case was more a case of serendipity for me as I had just finished reading ‘The Chronic Miasms’ by J. Henry Allen. This book lays emphasis on the treatment and eradication of deep-rooted miasms which are genetic taints of illness that get passed down the family line. It is a must-read book for every Homoeopath who wishes to attempt the cure of chronic diseases.

Before treatment

After treatment

This 17-year-old patient came to be with a patch of eczema on the right hand. She had a history of eczema on the left ankle and the left wrist some years ago. She had been treated for those eczema patches and had developed scarring over the lesion on the left wrist. Her family now wanted her to have Homoeopathic treatment for the new lesion on the right hand. It had started with itching, followed by vesicle formation which gave out a non-sticky discharge. The lesion still itched, more so when dry. There was a family history of eczema from her father’s side. Her mother was diabetic. She had come to Bombay about 6 months ago and was living with her aunt and uncle.

She loved spicy and sour food and had an aversion to milk. She slept on her abdomen. She had her first menses at the age of 15 and said that recently her cycles were getting delayed by about 2-15 days and they lasted just 1-2 days. She had dysmenorrhoea which continued for 2 days.

She liked the company of friends and said she was social, though she appeared to be a quiet, soft-spoken person. She was particular about being on time. She was not easily angered and when she did get angry, cooled down fast and held no grievances. She wept easily and was scared of the dark and of ghosts. She was studying in Class XI in the science stream and had not yet decided on her future career plan. She enjoyed travelling, sewing and embroidery. She liked being in open air. She was the eldest child of her parents with a younger brother and sister who she said was even more quiet than her.

My first prescription on the 4th of February 2005 was Phosphorus. On the 14th of February, she reported that her eczema had increased and her periods which had started on the 1st, re-started on the 8th and continued till the 13th. Her eczema patch was oozing a watery and sticky liquid. I then gave her a dose of Graphites 30 to be taken in water. A fortnight later she was better but a month later, her eczema had increased again. I switched remedies and this continued until mid-March with not much improvement; Graphites helped her temporarily but did not help the improvement to go further.

In mid-March, her aunt was rather perturbed because her periods were very erratic. She had some spotting and then a scanty flow set in which just did not stop. I probed more into her history and she revealed that her periods had become scanty since over a year. Her eczema was also fluctuating.
On the 1st of April, I reviewed her case again and gave her Pulsatilla in a high potency as a single dose. On the 11th, she came for a follow-up and reported that her periods had finally stopped on the 6th, having lasted almost 23 days. After the Pulsatilla, her eczema had flared up for about 3 days and then grew progressively better. I repeated the dose of Pulsatilla again in mid-May. In June, she mentioned that her periods had settled into a 5 day flow. The active eczema lesion had cleared up almost completely and the scarring on the other wrist looked fainter according to her relatives, though I was not too sure about that.

I decided to terminate the treatment here as she was going back to her home in North India. She was asked to keep me informed and the last time I heard from her relatives (they are also patients) she was doing fine.

This 27 year young woman with a doctorate in Pharmacology consulted me in October 2004 with a complaint of migraines which had started about 1 year back, a few months after she was married. The migraines attacked her at least 2-3 times a month with each episode lasting 2 days even with analgesics. The headache was concentrated in the right occipital region and when severe, it would radiate to the front. The pulsating pain was brought on by even 5 minutes in the sun, by skipping meals, stress, noise and often by rich, oily food. The pain would get worse after an afternoon nap and was also worse on holidays if she overslept. Movements of the head and jarring aggravated her. She got some relief by hard pressure and by oiling her hair. She mentioned that she always felt a sensation of heat and swelling of the right side of her face along with the headache.

Her job is a rather stressful one and she has a lot of responsibility to handle along with long hours of work. Her mother suffered from osteoarthritis of the knees and her father had undergone an angioplasty.

She had a good appetite and thirst. She disliked sweet things and meat and loved chocolates, sour foods, esp. sour pickles. She took extra salt with her food. She happily ate bitter food like bitter-gourd (karela). Spices aggravated her, esp. in the morning.

She hardly perspired in general but perspired quite a bit on the tip of her nose. She had a feeling of heat on her palms and felt as though she wanted to cool them. She slept more on her left side and was a light sleeper, easily disturbed by noise. If upset, she had great difficulty in falling asleep. She often woke due to starting in sleep as if falling or missing a step. She preferred a cooler climate, disliked crowds; as she said, “I like my space”.

She had a sensitive nature; was easily hurt by statements of others, but didn’t show it. She wouldn’t cry in the presence of anyone else. She was basically introverted and her ability to mix with new people was dependent on how they reacted to her. After an emotional upset, she would brood for days. She liked to maintain relations and hence tolerated a lot. She loved to read and used to paint earlier when she had more time.

Based on her symptom picture, I prescribed Natrum Muriaticum 200 as a single dose and she was given Bryonia 200 to use only when she felt her headache coming on.

At her first follow-up two weeks later, she said she felt happier, slept better and could handle stress better. She had used Bryonia once when she felt her headache coming on from loss of sleep and Bryonia had been successful in arresting it. At the end of a month, she reported that she had had no migraines. She had an episode of migraine in January 2005 when she also told me that she had pain in her knees as well for the last 2 years with swelling of the knees after exertion. Natrum Muriaticum was prescribed in a 1M potency. This prescription helped her further and she remained free of migraine episodes for the next few months.
I prescribed Sulphur 200 as an intercurrent remedy later and she remained free of migraines and knee pain. She later moved to London as her husband had a job-transfer and from what I heard from her family later (her mother and brother are also patients), she remains in good health.

This case appears a simple one with quick resolution. Not all cases respond so well; in fact, very few do. Her case history was uncomplicated making it easy for me to locate her remedy. In complicated cases, Homoeopaths often need much more time to find the right remedy and then the case may also need different remedies and intercurrents as the patient progresses. Not many patients are patient and switch doctors or therapies. In the long run, it is obvious that there are great benefits to being patient during Homoeopathic treatment.

Urticaria is an allergic condition manifesting on the skin in the form of red, raised, itchy blotches/wheals. The condition is also known as ‘hives’.The wheals can appear anywhere on the body, single or multiple, of different sizes. Urticaria can be brought about by exposure to cold, as an allergic response to an item of food/drink, or as a result of direct contact with an allergen (substance to which the body is allergic). Certain people are also allergic to chemical drugs.

At the base of urticaria, whatever be the cause, is an allergic constitution whereby the body reacts to the allergen with a stronger-than-necessary immune reaction. In conventional medicine, drugs are used to suppress the immune reaction; the allergic constitution is not modified. Unless the constitution changes, the allergic tendency remains and the chemical drugs have to be taken regularly; sometimes, in gradually increasing doses. The constitution rarely sets itself right by the body’s own efforts; Homoeopathic medicines are very useful here since they stimulate the body’s healing mechanism and set right the allergic constitution. After a suitable course of Homoeopathic medicines, the individual can remain free from medication and also from the troublesome allergy.

In 2002, a 55 year old gentleman came to my clinic. He had been a colonel in the Indian Army and had retired in 1998. He had been suffering from urticaria since the last 8 months and was taking an anti-histamine tablet daily. He had a chronic nose block and often had bouts of sneezing on waking in the morning. He was on thyroid medication as his thyroid functioning was below normal. He never wavered from his standard diet and was very particular about his health. Right from childhood, he had a disciplined upbringing and was the 2nd child with 5 brothers. He had strong faith in God with a strong sense of duty. His family came second, his ‘duty’ came first. He was extremely honest and particular about never doing anything wrong. He disliked quarrels and believed that the gates of communication should always remain open. Being a principled man, he hated anyone in his family going against his principles. He hardly had any personal requirements and liked peace and quiet. He read a lot of religious books and brooded on religious matters. He enjoyed reading poetry which often made him emotional. He was emotionally rather sensitive, particularly to the sufferings of others and to the sacrifices of others. He mentioned that his honesty and sincerity had often gone against him, demoralising him at times.

He disliked sweet things, preferred a salty taste. In the past, he had suffered from Bell’s palsy, herpes zoster of the ear and Pott’s spine (tuberculosis of the spine).

Going by his acute urticaria symptoms, Urtica Urens 30 was prescribed as an SOS medicine, so that he could reduce his use of the anti-histamine. Based on his case-history, a single dose of Aurum Metallicum 1M was prescribed. He was asked to continue Eltroxin for his hypothyroid state for the moment.

When he returned back after a fortnight, his urticaria was about 25% better in intensity and he had taken 5-7 doses of the SOS medicine. After a further month, the potency was stepped up to Aurum Metallicum 10M (again a single dose). During further follow-ups, he mentioned that his chronic nose block was much reduced and the need to use the SOS medicine also reduced drastically. The paroxysmal morning sneezing bouts were very rare. His sleep was much deeper and he felt more relaxed on waking.

After 4 months of starting treatment, he stopped getting any episodes of urticaria. He was asked to reduce Eltroxin to alternate day doses instead of daily ones. He stopped treatment soon after and returned back after 4 years, informing me that his urticaria had never recurred; however, he was still taking Eltroxin on alternate days.

One of the biggest misconceptions about Homoeopathy in the minds of people is that it is a slow form of medicine for acute diseases and is only good for chronic diseases. THIS STATEMENT IS ONLY PARTLY CORRECT. Homoeopathy is certainly one of the best forms of medicine for all chronic diseases, however, even in acute diseases, Homoeopathy can act SWIFTLY and GENTLY leading to a rapid cure.

Let us first understand what acute and chronic diseases are. Acute diseases are a deviation from the original state of health with a rapid onset, rapid progress, and a definite duration. If not treated, they can end in either death or recovery. Eg., most infections like malaria, typhoid, the common cold, pneumonia, gastroenteritis etc., are acute diseases. Chronic diseases, on the other hand, are deviations from the original state of health with a usually slow, imperceptible onset, slow but sure progress, and indefinite, long duration which end only with death, if not treated. All the degenerative diseases of the modern day like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, etc., are chronic diseases.

It is generally proclaimed by the medical profession that most chronic diseases cannot be cured but can only be controlled by medication, or if cure is to be attempted, it is to be done with surgery by the removal of unwanted tissue or the replacement of malfunctioning parts. Will this be a real cure? Why has the unwanted tissue arisen in the first place? Why has the normal functioning of the body parts gone astray? The unwanted tissue like the growths of cancer and the malfunctioning organs or parts are not ‘the disease’ but they are the outcome of the disease process, an unseen process which has gone on for a long time in the body, much before the visible signs/outcome of the disease could manifest.

Hence, it becomes clear, that to really cure such a chronic disease, we need to deal with and treat the underlying disease process and not just the outcome of the disease process. If the underlying disease process is not treated, after a brief respite, the disease will rear its nasty head up again, resulting in new growths and new manifestations. Targeting the diseased cells and thereby trying to achieve cure is NOT the solution to a chronic disease.

No one can deny that there is a Life Force within each living cell and it is this Life Force that makes us a unity, and keeps our body functioning harmoniously with its millions of cells. This Life Force is dynamic and invisible and can be affected not only by physical factors of the environment, but also by other dynamic, invisible forces like stress, grief and anxiety. These inimical forces of our day-to-day living, after a period of time, bring about a derangement in the normal functioning of our Life Force. Once this happens, it is but a matter of time until visible malfunctioning in the state of health develops. In other words, the derangement of the normal Life Force leads to the underlying disease process which in turn, leads to the visible manifestations of disease, be they just functional signs and symptoms or more serious and dangerous structural changes in the health of the individual.

No two individuals are the same; it hence follows that no two individuals will have the same derangements in health from the same identical causative factors. Each individual has his or her own immune status, own tolerance levels to environmental and other dynamic influences, own in-born weaknesses and strengths. A highly complex interaction of all these factors takes place before an individual gets sick and hence the manifestations of the sickness are also highly individual in character.

Homoeopathy respects the uniqueness of the individual and the Homoeopathic treatment of a person’s chronic disease is begun after a detailed case history which takes into account not only the person’s past and present medical history but also the life history, emotional and intellectual characteristics of the individual to be treated. The focus of treatment is not on the diseased organs and tissues, but on the underlying disease process which has resulted in the creation of the diseased organs and tissues. Homoeopathic medicines never suppress the immunity but attempt to get the immune system functioning at the optimal level so that the Life Force which has been deranged in its functioning, can get back its normal functioning again. Once the Life Force is functioning normally, the diseased organs and tissues can gradually get back their own normal functioning.

It can thus be understood from the above paragraphs that setting an individual on the path of health in a chronic disease is not an easy short-term matter. Setting right underlying disease processes can take time, depending on how long the process has gone on before the patient has sought treatment. There is no standardized treatment for any of the chronic diseases, but in each case, the treatment has to be individualized to suit that particular patient who is an individual in his own right. Only if treatment is undertaken at depth, only if the underlying causes are dealt with, can real cure be achieved. Everything else is only temporary palliation.

June 2005.