With over five decades of experience and around seven books under his belt, Dr Mukesh Batra is regarded as the pioneer of homeopathy in India. The founder of Dr Batra’s group of companies, the homeopath has also been awarded the Padma Shri (2012). And now, the expert has added another feather in his cap by authoring his latest book —Homeopathy: Simple Remedies for All Ages — which he says “is a ready reference for all common ailments, and will help the reader nip these ailments in the bud.”
We caught up with Dr Mukesh Batra to know more about his latest offering, his journey over the years, the many myths surrounding homeopathy medicine, and the much-debated relationship between homeopathy and allopathy medicines. Read to know what the expert had to say.
Tell us about your new book, and in what ways is it different from your previous works?
The last book was an autobiography of my journey as a homeopath, the book is also adapted into a play. The book is a sneak-a-peek of my life experiences and how I converted challenges into opportunities and failures into success. The other 7-8 books I’ve authored are ailment-specific books, whereas, my recent book Homeopathy: Simple Remedies for All Ages is a ready reference for all common ailments like asthma, common cold, indigestion, anxiety, depression, and will help the reader nip these ailments in the bud. The purpose of the book is to advocate the benefits of homeopathy and how it treats all ailments for all phases of human life; right from pregnancy, to teenage or puberty-related issues, to old age. It is a DIY medicine chest that everyone should have at home. It also has practical tips on how to manage your own and your family’s health with lifestyle changes including diet and exercise.
In your book, you say that a homeopathy doctor ‘must see his patient as a whole, not as a body of troubled flesh and bones’. What exactly do you mean, and how is this approach different from mainstream medicine?
With a medical practice of almost 50 years, I have observed that most of the ailments that occur in an individual occur as a response to stress. So, it is important to note that these underlying causes are dwelling deep down in a person’s mind than in their body. A person’s personality is shaped by a lot of factors such as the home they grew up in, and the school they went to. Every adult’s personality and lifestyle are different and hence, the emotional and physical aspects should be taken into consideration — and homeopathy does just that. In homeopathy, we review the psycho-social aspects of all patients besides looking at the existing symptoms. Homeopathy is a mind-body holistic medicine signifying how our minds play an integral role in treatment. For example, people can suffer from migraine, allergies, asthma, and HBP caused by excessive stress. There is a famous phrase that goes like this, “A disease known is half cured”. You could say that homeopathy is a holistic approach to treatment that gets to the root cause of the ailment and helps the patient understand their own condition in order to attain healing.
Besides, when you go to a psychologist, they will only treat you for your mental health issues and when you go to a gynecologist, they will provide ailment-specific treatment. The point is, that a person who has experienced childhood trauma might be timid and when you go to a physician, he might miss out on this aspect while treating you for migraine or asthma. When a disease is psychosomatic, holistic treatment works best and hence, homeopathy is different than mainstream medicine.
Unlike widely believed, you also say homeopathy and allopathy are ‘not enemies’ — how do/can they work in tandem?
Homeopathy was once called an alternative medicine but is now garnering recognition as complementary medicine. Homeopathy is provided as a treatment option in multi-specialty hospitals as well as it is a natural and less invasive health care treatment for you and your family. We have successfully operated this complimentary mode of treatment in our clinic-in-clinic model at Dr Batra’s clinics in the Clover Dental Clinic (Dubai), KIIMS (Bahrain), and now in a famous fertility clinic in Greece. Homeopathic medicine is a safe and effective choice to treat diseases right from the root and has long-lasting positive patient outcomes.
A study conducted in Athens showed that adding homeopathy to conventional treatment led to a 97% control of blood sugar versus 47% in patients who were only using conventional medicines. The best part — homeopathic medicines can be taken safely, along with your conventional or pharmaceutical medications, including insulin. Homeopathy medicines are derived from natural ingredients and are often prescribed in small doses, so they do not have any side effects, making them safe to consume with any medicine.
In what circumstances/in cases of which ailments does homeopathy work best?
Homeopathy has the added advantage of treating chronic disorders and giving long-term relief to patients with no side effects. It works best for many chronic ailments like asthma, allergies, arthritis, skin problems, hair loss, PCOD, anxiety and depression, and many more. It is also considered miraculous in many cases as it brings about results in chronic ailments for which there are no solutions in conventional medicine. Homeopathy has also proven to be highly effective in the treatment of psychosomatic problems, mental health, allergies, hair loss, skin problems like psoriasis and vitiligo, respiratory problems like asthma and COPD, and many others.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, 72.9 million adults in India have diabetes and India is considered the diabetes capital of the world. I have also seen people suffer from the side effects of popular oral anti-diabetic drug prescribed to over 120 million people worldwide that causes side effects including a serious condition called lactic acidosis which may result in coma, kidney, and respiratory. Given that diabetes is essentially a lifestyle disease, homeopathy is a good choice because it takes into account the psychological and emotional factors that contribute to the disease including stress and anxiety. Homeopathy treatment also complements conventional medicine, bringing about better and long-lasting results.
It is commonly said homeopathy treats the root cause of a problem — in your over 45 years of experience, can you share any instances where chronic illnesses or life-threatening diseases were cured/managed by homeopathy?
In my almost 50 years of experience as a homeopathy professional, I have come across almost 10,000 patients who suffer from life-threatening disorders. These disorders are often diagnosed at later stages when they come to us for treatment after trying every other conventional treatment. Patients come to us with the hope that homeopathy will treat their diseases and provide long-term relief. This question reminds me of a child we treated, the patient was suffering from dentinogenesis imperfecta, a rare tooth development disorder where the patient suffers from discoloration of teeth, tooth decay, and irregular shape of the teeth. Our team of doctors treated the patient with an individualised treatment plan. After attaining successful training, the patient’s parents mentioned that they had no other option left except homeopathy. In another case, the child presented with Epidermolysis Bullosa Dystrophica (EBD) disease which is uncommon and the parents of the child could not understand the condition. After exhausting all conventional treatments, the parents chose Dr Batra’s. We were able to understand the disease and treat it. The parents said they received “unbelievable and extraordinary results in just 3 years. There are many instances as such this, we have treated over 15 lakh patients successfully and will continue to do so with the help of homeopathy.
Is it true that homeopathy medicines have absolutely no side effects?
Most homeopathic products are of plant or natural mineral origin and are rarely prepared from heavy metals. When they are used, it is in very minuscule doses and they are 100 per cent safe, and cause no toxicity or side effects. Homeopathy is a more natural and less invasive health care treatment for you and your family, homeopathic medicine is a safe and effective choice to treat diseases right from the root and has long-lasting positive patient outcomes. Nearly in my 50 years of medical practice, I have seen how homeopathy has worked successfully in treating cases that conventional medicines have not been able to treat. Therefore, turning to a safe, natural, and cost-effective medical practice like homeopathy is what the doctor orders.
In the case of individuals who are highly sensitive, homeopathic medicines work at the immune level and help to stimulate the body’s immune system. Thus, homeopathic medicines are seen to improve the over-sensitized immune system and act as an immune regulator.
It has often been alleged that homeopathy medicines are essentially steroids. What is your opinion on the same?
As mentioned earlier, most homeopathic products are of plant or natural mineral origin and are rarely prepared from heavy metals. When they are used, it is in very minuscule doses and they are 100% safe, and cause no toxicity or side effects. There are no steroids in homeopathy medicines as it is a natural system of medicine. Also, we have open pharmacies where the patients can see what they are getting in India, while in the UAE, the patient has to go to a pharmacy to fill their prescription for homeopathy so they are aware of exactly what they are getting.
What is your main idea behind writing the book?
As a professional homeopath, I have often seen people panic while dealing with acute to chronic ailments, especially during the surge of Covid-19. Our WhatsApp messages were flooded with the most bizarre remedies. So to address this, I wrote the book. I always felt the gift of homeopathy is something that should be shared with others, and what better than a book to do so. With the help of this book we will be able to fulfill our vision of taking homeopathy to every home across the world. I put together my experience of 50 years as a professional homeopath into this book. For easy reference, the diseases are arranged alphabetically whenever that suited accessibility; in some other places different groupings have been followed. A lot of these thoughts and experiences have brought forth this book and I hope it is of help to the layman.
Does homeopathy also suggest a particular diet, avoiding certain foods for healthy living?
The Founder of Homeopathy, Dr Samuel Hahnemann, was against universal diets and said every man’s stomach is like his foot, just like one shoe doesn’t fit everyone, one diet is not healthy for everyone. Homeopathy won’t deprive you of your daily dose of caffeine – your coffee or your chocolates.
There are no specific dietary restrictions while taking homeopathic medicines. Restrictions, if any, are only disease-related which are common to every system of medicine. For example, if you are suffering from diabetes, you will be advised to reduce sugar and carbohydrates. And if you are suffering from high blood pressure or kidney problems, you will be advised to reduce your salt intake.
All conventional medicine acts through absorption in the bloodstream, while homeopathy acts through nerve endings. The maximum nerve-endings are under your tongue and anything that coats the tongue may reduce the impact of homeopathic medicine. This is why the only restriction is to not eat or drink anything 30 minutes before or after the consumption of homeopathic medicines.
What has been your greatest learning about Indians and their lifestyle habits in your years of practice?
Health is a long-term relationship with ourselves, which needs continuous building and work. But in India, I have seen most people willing their health to be governed by someone else, as they are not keen to be self-governed. Indians want to lose weight but don’t want to do the exercise. They don’t want to do the work, this is why we often see mothers telling doctors to tell their kids they are not allowed ice-creams, when they should be disciplining them, themselves.