This was my third trip to India and each visit has been unique and meaningful for me. I practice ophthalmology and homeopathy, and my goal for this visit was to study the Indian experience with the homeopathic treatment of eye disease. I have to thank Dr. A.U. Ramakrishnan for coordinating my visits with some of India’s finest homeopaths including Dr. Jugal Kishore in New Delhi, Dr. K.P. Muzumdar in Bombay, and of course, Dr. Ramakrishnan.
Dr. A.U. Ramakrishnan
Dr. Ramakrishnan is a close friend who has been very helpful with my homeopathic evolution. He has made several visits to my practice in Pittsburgh to study problem eye cases and has been very kind to hold two seminars in Pittsburgh, the first on cancer and the second on diabetes.
Dr. Ramakrishnan is noted for his work with cancer patients. His approach to cancer is very aggressive, often using two remedies: the constitutional remedy and a lesional remedy specific for the cancer. He also believes in frequent repetition of the dose and has developed a plussing technique. Three pills of 200C are placed in 11 teaspoons of water. The patient is instructed to take one teaspoon every 15 minutes, stirring gently between each dose. Using this method of plussing, the second dose is infinitesimally stronger than the first. One teaspoonful is left in the glass for the next day. The following day 10 more teaspoons of water are added and again the patient takes 1 teaspoon every 15 minutes, leaving one teaspoonful in the glass. This constitutional remedy is typically repeated every day for one week and is alternated with a lesional remedy (also taken in the plussing manner). In some cases, he has prescribed this alternation of remedies for as long as 3 months. With cancer, he believes there is no time to give one dose and wait: “Cancer is a race against time.” Dr. Ramakrishnan has documented a better response using this method in the treatment of over 3,000 cancer patients. He teaches that there is a constitution of the person and also a constitution of the tumor. “You must look at both to effect a cure.” (In cancer cases, Dr. Ramakrishnan frequently prescribes Carcinosin or Scirrhinum.)
Dr. Ramakrishnan also has considerable experience in treating eye problems homeopathically. He has used Sanicula in cases of macular degeneration with the symptom of wavy vision. He also reports success using Vanadium 200C, 4 times per month. In glaucoma, many of the cases are one-sided and there is no clear remedy. In such glaucoma cases he uses: Apis, if the patient is thirstless; Physostigma, if there is a family history of glaucoma; and Glonoinum, if there is hypertension or renal disease. His recommends 200C every 15 days for two months. He will often alternate with the constitutional remedy if it becomes evident.
Dr. Ramakrishnan’s day begins at 5:00 a.m. when he reviews correspondence from his patients who are located all over the world. Most of this is done by fax and e-mail. At 7:30 a.m. he begins his office examinations and often works until 9:00 p.m. New patient visits are scheduled every 30 minutes, and follow-ups for 10 to 15 minutes.
Patients bring their complete medical records to each visit which include x-rays and lab studies. Dr. Ramakrishnan also conducts a physical exam at each visit including examination of the conjunctiva of the eye, the neck for nodes, the tongue, the heart and lungs, and blood pressure. He also carefully examines areas related to the chief complaint of the patient.
Here are a few cases that I observed.
• Mr. R., age 27. Thin body with a very wet handshake. Complains of pain after passing urine; lasts for half an hour, worse afternoon and morning. All tests are negative. He is losing weight—7 to 8 pounds in the past year. Desires sweets. Aversion to spices. Likes sour foods and fish. Prefers warm drinks over cold drinks. He is affected by tension. Very anxiety prone. Increased sexual desire; masturbation. Does not like to exercise.
Male genitalia/sex, pain, burning, after urination
Mind, excitement, when anticipating events
Rx: Argentum nit 200C
• Mr. E. age 59. Businessman who manufactures mineral water processing equipment. He is very evasive while answering questions. He has had hemorrhoids with bleeding for 15 days. No pain. Stool is free from blood. The bleeding is after the stool; 4 to 5 bowel movements a day. Ten minutes or so after eating, he needs to have a bowel movement. 100% vegetarian. Does not like sweets or spices. Likes his drinks chilled. He was elected president of his business club. Very fastidious. He sleeps well, does not remember his dreams. Likes devotional music and likes to read short stories in his spare time.
Rectum, hemorrhage from anus
Mind, occupation ameliorates
Rx: Thuja 200C
Piles are a sycotic disease. (The key to Thuja was that he is very evasive in answering all questions.)
• Ms. R., age 9. Continuous colds for the past year especially at night. Running nose and chronic cough, worse at night or in the morning. No wheezing. No family history of asthma. Headaches involving both temples. No food allergies. Sleep is good. No preference re: weather. Rough and corrugated nails with spots. Does not like sweets. Desires milk. Likes swimming and tennis. Disorganized. Very impatient. She is stubborn at home. Good at school but angry with the mother at home.
Extremities, discoloration, fingers, nails, white spots
Mouth, discoloration, tongue, yellow, base
Mind, irritability, in children
The tongue coated yellow at the base is almost a keynote for Nux vomica.
Rx: Nux vomica 200C
Dr. Jugal Kishore
My next visit was with Dr. Jugal Kishore. Dr. Kishore reportedly has the largest and most successful homeopathic practice in India. It was my pleasure to sit in with him for a week and observe this truly great master of homeopathy.
Dr. Kishore has been practicing homeopathy for over 53 years. His introduction to homeopathy was interesting. He graduated with a degree in physics and was working in the Indian Civil Service when he became very sick and no physician was able to help him. Out of desperation he began to read various medical books and he studied his case in a homeopathic textbook. His symptoms matched Iodum. He thought he had nothing to lose by taking it, and after a few doses he had a miraculous cure. He spent the next year taking various remedies and experiencing their effect. He then enrolled in a homeopathic college and began his life’s work.
Dr. Kishore’s practice has 11 homeopathic doctors, 6 exam rooms and a dispensing pharmacy. Each exam room has a computer which is linked into his private office. He has designed a program for case recording and patient management. Cases and all follow-ups are taken by the junior associates and then presented to Dr. Kishore in his large examination room. At any given time there are three to four patients with their families waiting around his large desk for their examination. There are also three to four doctors in the room listening as one of them presents the case. There are frequent interruptions with telephone calls, patients coming back into the room asking additional questions, old patients popping in just to say hello and other doctors interrupting to ask questions about patients. I was amazed at how calm Dr. Kishore was during this bedlam. Dr. Kishore listens attentively to the junior doctor presenting the case, placing marks on key points on the chart. After reviewing the patient’s chart, x-rays and lab reports, he asks the patient a few questions to clarify the case. He is very slow and methodical, listening very carefully to the patient. He then conducts a physical exam, checking their pulse and blood pressure, examining their eyes, cervical nodes and tongue. In many cases of headaches or eye complaints he carefully palpates and checks for tenderness over the sinuses. With many patients, when indicated, he examines the lungs and heart and palpates the abdomen.
In most cases, Dr. Kishore selects the remedy based on his years of experience. With other cases, he asks one of his assistants to combine a few well-chosen rubrics, or he opens Kent’s Repertory, carefully thumbing through the well-worn pages. Then with a smile, he points to a rubric which illustrates the case.
He illustrated with a case the magic of the Repertory and of homeopathy. As a young man just beginning his practice, a typhoid epidemic was spreading throughout India. He made a house call to a young girl with a temperature of 105 degrees. She had locked herself in a dark room and had closed her eyes tightly, not looking at the door. After carefully studying the case, Dr. Kishore treated her with Sepia. She made a dramatic recovery. He based his treatment on the rubric, “Mind, company, aversion to, avoids the sight of people, lies with closed eyes.” Sepia is the only remedy in that rubric. It is not listed with the usual remedies in the rubric, “Fever, typhoid fever.” This is to illustrate the importance of a well-taken case and the necessity to approach the patient without any prejudices.
Dr. Kishore was also kind enough to give me copies of more than 200 cured eye cases, which I will, with his permission, study, analyze and publish. I suggest that everyone purchase and read his book, Evolution of Homeopathic Repertories and Repertorisation. It is full of pearls from this great man. Dr. Kishore has such love for homeopathy and for his fellowmen that I left his practice enlightened and with renewed enthusiasm for homeopathy.
Here is a sample of some cases I observed with Dr. Kishore:
• Dr. Kishore often uses intercurrents when the remedy is not that clear. For example, I saw a case of Natrum mur type headaches except the patient did not crave salt and had no sensitivity to the sun. Rx: Natrum mur 30C, 3 times daily, along with Usnea barbata 6C to be taken during the attack.
• Another case was a woman with an obstruction of her fallopian tubes. Her presentation was typical of Pulsatilla except she was chilly. Rx: Pulsatilla 30C, 3 times daily, was prescribed along with Arsenicum 6C for her sinus discharge (which had the characteristics of Arsenicum).
• Man with hypertension. Left-sided weakness, shortness of breath, and sleeplessness.
Rx: Lycopodium 30C, 3 times daily along with a tincture of Passiflora incarnata to be taken at bedtime for the sleeplessness.
• 46-year-old with maxillary and frontal sinusitis. Nasal blockage. Hypertension for one month. Chilly. Dry throat. Many dreams. Does not like any interference. Domination and wants to be alone. Offensive foot sweats. Impatient. X-ray shows blockage on the right sinus. Rx: Lycopodium, 4 times daily for one month.
• Case of vitiligo and coryza. Rx: Arsenicum 30C, 4 times daily plus Sulphur 200C, Calcarea 200C and Lycopodium 200C each, every 10 days. This approach is used in cases with a strong family history of eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, children with psoriasis.
• Mr. M., age 55. Lumbar spondylosis with posterior lateral disc herniation. 3 months right-sided sciatica. Onset: he bent forward and suddenly got lumbar backache. After a few days, the pain was shooting down right buttock and right thigh. Worse walking, turning sides in bed, much worse standing. Better lying on affected side, pressure, external warmth.
History of hypertension 260/130. Previously treated homeopathically for peptic ulcer disease. Diabetes—on treatment for 6 years. Sweats a lot even in winter. Appetite normal. Thirst good. Non-vegetarian, likes chicken. No complaints after eating. Minimum of 30 cigarettes a day. Whiskey abuse. Physical exam shows the liver enlarged.
Easily tense, easily angered. Irritable. Cools down very quickly. Wants company. Memory is weak; forgetful of phone numbers and names. Easily moved to tears, likes consolation from friends. Shares emotions easily with friends. Careless about his things. Brother died and there was not that much grief; he was not attached to him.
Likes bathing; lately, his head is sensitive to cold air. Likes sleeping on the terrace in the summer. Likes cool air. Sensitive to heat.
Dr. Kishore then reviewed the case. Blood sugar is still high and patient needs to reduce alcohol and tobacco. Any numbness? No. What is the blood pressure? Is he on any medication? Electrocardiogram is reviewed; it shows hypertensive syndrome. “We must first take care of the sciatic pain,” said Dr. Kishore.
Rx: Colchicum 200C every 4–6 hours. He is to avoid bending. If he had numbness, Dr. Kishore would think of Gnaphalium.
Dr. K.P. Muzumdar
I also had the pleasure of visiting another great homeopathic master, Dr. K.P. Muzumdar, who is the former Director of the Central Research Institute for Homeopathy and Professor of the Bombay Homeopathic College. His students at the Bombay College of Homeopathy have included George Vithoulkas and Rajan Sankaran. He has practiced homeopathy for over 35 years and continues teaching at the University of Winnipeg in Canada. He has published two books: Pharmaceutical Science in Homeopathy and Pharmacodynamics and Lectures on Homeopathic Therapeutics. It was a pleasure sitting with Dr. Muzumdar during his very busy day. He is assisted by two homeopathic doctors who act mainly as secretaries, although they occasionally will take a case when the office is backed up. A large portion of his practice is pediatrics and acute prescribing. He rarely spends more than 30 minutes on a new case, 15 minutes on acute cases and 5 to 10 minutes on follow-up cases. He has no receptionist; patients wait in a large room. When he rings a bell, the next patient enters the examination room. During the examination of the patient, one of the assistant doctors transcribes the case while Dr. Muzumdar conducts the interview. Dr. Muzumdar repeats 200C potencies twice daily for 1 week for constitutional and acute cases and often uses intercurrents or other remedies to take as needed.
He said that his practice is patient-oriented, not disease-oriented. Symptoms and miasms lead to the remedy. For example, if a patient presents with a cough Dr. Muzumdar would first find out: is the cough dry or wet? Dry is the psoric or tubercular miasm, wet is the sycotic miasm. The remedies for each are very different.
Here are some cases that I observed with Dr. Muzumdar:
• A patient presented with extreme sensitivity and tenderness on the tip of his nose. Redness of nose looks like Apis. No burning, better warm—which contraindicates Apis. Rx: Calcarea picrica. This should also be thought of for a painful sty.
• Patient with lethargy, heavy head, feeling of tiredness and exhaustion. Sleep not giving her relief. Tremendous amount of exhaustion after disease. Rx: China 200C.
• Elderly man; wheezing with thick white expectorant. Hot patient, prefers fan and does not like covering. Rx: Antimonium tart.
• Young boy who developed stammering. (His father also stammered.) He stammers mainly while talking on the phone, when he is anxious, under tension, or self-conscious, or when he wants to interrupt someone who is talking. The stammering occurs in the beginning of his speech. This started after he became frightened from hearing a tiger roar in the zoo. He also repeats questions. Dr. Muzumdar was considering Zinc because the boy repeats the question even though Zinc is not in the repertory rubric, “Stammering.”
• Young man with severe attack of left-sided migraine. Natrum mur was given first and then its complement Sepia. Belladonna was to be taken as needed, if in distress.
• Young girl with low grade fever after walking, exertion, mental tension. Lab results are normal. Antibiotics were prescribed by another doctor; after 8–10 days there was no change. Low grade fever with no complaints. Rx: Baptisia—it cured her in one day. In the Repertory, Baptisia is listed as a grade 3 under “Throat, inflammation, tonsils, painless.”
• Woman with herpes zoster on her right shoulder. Herpes has three main remedies and you can treat based on these modalities: if painful, give Ranunculus bulb; if burning, give Tarentula; and if itching give Rhus tox. For post-herpetic zoster pain, Mezereum works very well
• Girl with a painful felon (abscess) on the tip of her right index finger. Rx: Myristica. A remedy of great antiseptic powers. Inflammation of skin, cellular tissue and periosteum. Often acts more powerfully than the commonly used remedies Hepar sulph and Silica.
• Eye strain from using the computer. Rx: Ruta 200C twice daily for 7 days.
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