DUBAI: Homeopathy is no longer a second choice when it comes to getting a health problem addressed, a leading homeopath, who opened his fifth clinic to cater to the growing demand in the UAE, has claimed.
Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Mukesh Batra, chairman and founder of Batra’s Health care group, said homeopathy was earlier a second choice after allopathy failed to address health issues, but now most people resort to homeopathy first.
He said: “In allopathy, antibiotics are widely used. We know that Antibiotic Microbial Resistance (AMR) is a very dangerous trend as these medicines destroy the healthy gut flora along with the harmful ones.
In allopathy, antibiotics are widely used. We know that Antibiotic Microbial Resistance (AMR) is a very dangerous trend as these medicines destroy the healthy gut flora along with the harmful ones.
"Homeopathy works through nerve endings and that is why our pills are kept under the tongue which has the maximum nerve endings for best absorption. Our treatment is easy to follow and helps strengthen the immune system. It works wonders in the area of child health.”
The benefits of homeopathic treatment among adults are also many.
“Women have had a breakthrough in Poly Cystic Ovaries Disorder (PCODS), men have had great results to reverse hair fall and baldness. We also address other concerns like mental health, nagging respiratory issues, skin problems and digestive disruptions,” said Dr Batra, adding how allopathic treatment for mental health usually involves strong medication with side effects.
“Although homeopathy has a slow turn around, it addresses the root of the problem, not just the symptoms, and cures the ailment,” said Dr Batra.
Ever since the Ministry of Health and Prevention approved the practice of homeopathy as a branch of alternative medicine in the UAE in 2001, it has been gaining gradual but certain acceptance with residents.
Homeopathy is a branch of complementary medicine, discovered by Dr Samuel Hahneman in early 18th century based on his doctrine of ‘like cures like’. This essentially means that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease, will, when given to healthy people in a weaker form, cure the disease. The homeopaths use a diluted form of the irritant to cure a disease. For instance, those with pollen allergy are treated with diluted pollen extracts of flowers.
One of the oldest homeopaths, Dr Vanetta Shahani, who began her practice in 2002, credits the rising popularity of this branch of complementary medicine to its efficacy and good results. “I was among the first batch of licensed homeopaths in the UAE. Earlier, people were not aware of homeopathy and largely depended on allopaths. This branch of medicine gradually gained popularity as awareness about it increased with more and more patients coming in for relief for respiratory, digestive, skin and other health issues.”
Children in Dubai have been advised surgery for issues such as adenoids. But after homeopathy, antibiotics, surgeries could be avoided.
Dr Shahani feels word of mouth helped spread homeopathy when patients returned with good results and no side effects.
“Children in Dubai often suffer from respiratory complaints and in many cases have been advised surgery for issues such as adenoids. But after treatment with homeopathy, antibiotics and surgeries could be avoided. So mothers saw its advantage and with increasing success, homeopathy gained the credibility it deserved.”
Dr Batra said: “Homeopathy in Dubai is getting mainstream and has gained credibility among people as it cures diseases without being invasive or having side-effects. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), homeopathy is the second largest system of medicine practised in over 80 countries.
"A survey conducted by Dubai Health Care City found that over 48 per cent of UAE residents use alternative systems of medicine and of these 55 per cent were happy with the results.”
In the UAE, homeopathy has gained much acceptance after many health insurance policies have started reimbursing patients for treatment.
While nearly 45 per cent of patients at the Batra clinics are from South Asian countries, 35 per cent are European expatriates and visitors who find homeopathy treatment in their own countries expensive.
The remaining 20 per cent of patients include Arabs and Emiratis.
Dr Batra claimed that a new branch of homeopathy focused on examining inherited genes for a particular illness and delaying the onset of some of the inherited disorders significantly.
These included skin afflictions such as atopic and neuro dermatitis and baldness, hypothyroidism and Type II diabetes.
“There have been double blind trials in Europe, which proved that those who took homeopathy along with their allopathic medication for diabetes had better blood sugar control, and pain management in post chemotherapy patients was better,” he added.
Lending more credibility to this branch of complementary medicine is the fact that homeopathic doctors must undergo a rigorous five-and- a-half year course to get the basic degree, followed by two years of internship and residency.
Dr Batra said there are 35 homeopathy colleges in India where homeopaths get recognised degrees. “There may be quacks practising homeopathy, but they should be caught. Those who want to practise here in the UAE have to undergo a rigorous test just as their allopath counterparts. So there is nothing nebulous about homeopathy.”
Chronic tonsillitis cured
Dr Usha Khatri, chief medical officer of Batra’s clinics, said homeopathy can be is effective in the treatment of chronic tonsillitis.
"A 13-year-old came to us with a complaint of chronic tonsillitis. Every few months, he would be down with fever with his tonsils and adenoids getting inflamed. We addressed the problem laterally.
"The tonsils are the first line of defence to trap infection. It appeared that the child’s immune system was weak and he was contracting an infection with his tonsils being overworked in a bid to stop the infection.
"So we gave him medication (extracts from flowers such as Bella Donna, among other things) to strengthen his immune system. The episodes of frequent tonsillitis gradually subsided and the child is now doing well.”
Diabetes, obesity and thyroid issues resolved
Kausar Khan, a Dubai resident and mother of two, is a classic success story when it comes to homeopathic remedies.
“After I had my son, aged four and daughter, three, my weight ballooned. I was on insulin, I had some episodes of skin afflictions such as psoriasis and hair loss. All of this was resolved with homeopathy,” said Khan.
“The allopaths refused to treat me. Basically, these diseases are manifestations of our stress and emotional health. The soothing extracts of flowers, roots and herbs had a calming effect on me.
"They relaxed my neurons, helped to build my immunity and assisted my self-healing. Today, I am off insulin, my skin condition has disappeared, I have lost weight and am feeling so much better, thanks to homeopathy treatment.”
■ Hair fall, alopecia or baldness
■ Skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, neuro and atopic dermatitis
■ Kid’s ailments such as tonsillitis, asthma, cold, cough, earache
■ Digestive issues such as food allergies, heart burns, acidity, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome
■ Gynaecological issues such as PCODS, dysmenorrhoea (heavy menstrual bleeding) and menopause issues
■ Respiratory ailments in adults like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder