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Homeopathy and ‘Healthy’ Cholesterol by Dr Mukesh Batra
Homeopathy is not just a system of medical treatment; it is an advance in the area of mind-body, holistic medicine. It involves treating the individual having the illness, or disease, with highly diluted substances, prescribed primarily in pill form, with the aim of triggering the body’s natural capacity for healing.
Homeopathy is founded on the law of similars, or ‘like cures like’ principle. Put in précis, “A substance that causes a set of symptoms, when taken in large doses, can in ‘small, minute doses’ treat similar symptoms.” A homeopath, a professional graduate or post-graduate with a university degree in the subject, will match and prescribe the most appropriate remedy, based on such ‘like’ symptoms each individual or patient presents with.
Forty-seven-year-old Namrata (name changed) visited our clinic with thyroid enlargement and overweight problems. Her cholesterol levels were ‘high’ too. Her conventional (allopathic) physician had put her on thyroid medication, along with statins, a conventional (allopathic) cholesterol-lowering drug. The two were her constant companions for almost four years.
She wanted us to address her cholesterol issue — she was rather far too keen on it and, ironically, not so much worried about her thyroid and overweight problems. When we began to take her case-history, it was obvious that Namrata’s cholesterol levels had soared following a protracted court case — a stressful, unhappy marriage and subsequent divorce. It was also likely that her thyroid and overweight problems had ‘advanced’ at the same time just as well.
We put her on the homeopathic remedy, Fucus vesiculosus, based on her presenting symptoms and also her oft-repeated symptom that she seemed to be “always full of flatus in the tummy.” The remedy corresponded well with her temperament and personality-type too. After eight months of homeopathic treatment, Namrata’s thyroid and overweight problems, which had troubled her for long, were “much better.” Her cholesterol levels too reached ‘acceptable’ levels. Her conventional physician, who had an open mind, asked her to slowly taper off her thyroid medication and cholesterol-lowering drug.
It has been a year-and-a-half now, following homeopathic treatment, and Namrata’s blood cholesterol and thyroid levels continue to remain ‘normal.’
Cholesterol: Hype and Reality
Most people today are brought up with a blatant fear for cholesterol. This is hype, not reality. The fact is: the cholesterol ‘myth’ is the greatest sham in medical history. Cholesterol is essential for our physiology. It resides in every cell of the body; in simple terms, it is essential for our health.
Our body contains about 5 ounce of cholesterol, although a mere 7-8 per cent, or one-third of an ounce, circulates in our blood. Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver and the intestinal wall (1,000 mg-2,000 mg); it is synthesised in every cell, except nerve tissue. It regulates the exchange of nutrients and waste products. It helps in the development of the brain and the nervous system; it also acts as a ‘conduit’ for nerve impulses.
Cholesterol promotes the digestion of foods. Without it, complex fats and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) cannot be absorbed. It plays an essential role, no less, in the manufacture of the adrenal, sex and pituitary hormones. It is also a key substance in the skin, which gets converted to vitamin D, by sunlight. Most importantly, cholesterol creates a barrier, preventing water and other fluids from entering the body through the skin.
Your cholesterol level remains more or less dynamic, whether you eat cholesterol-rich foods or not. However, when you don’t eat dietary cholesterol at all, your body increases its production. There are two major forms of cholesterol. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are called ‘good’ cholesterol. ‘Good’ cholesterol ‘pulls’ excess cholesterol from the cells and gets rid of them from the blood. The other, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or ‘bad’ cholesterol, is suggested to ‘dump’ cholesterol in the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries — which may trigger heart attacks.
Cholesterol levels in the blood are dynamic, and not constant, like your blood pressure — they are subject to alteration, especially during seasonal changes. So, just a lab test, or a couple of readings, do not indicate a person’s average blood cholesterol levels. Besides, most cholesterol tests are anything but accurate. What is established fact, however, is cholesterol levels increase with smoking, alcohol, stress, pain, fear, pregnancy, lack of exercise and certain conventional drugs — pain-killers, cortisone and diuretics — aside from excess vitamins A and D. Certain health disorders also affect cholesterol levels — viz., hypothyroidism, liver and kidney disease and obstruction of the gall bladder.
On the other hand, just tell someone that s/he has high blood cholesterol levels, may be 300 mg/dL-350mg/dL — they will instantly pull the ‘alarm button.’ This is how influential our media — newspapers, magazines, TV and the Internet — are. The message you get is, “If you eat too much cholesterol, it ‘floods’ your blood stream and moves from the tissues through the arteries to form atherosclerotic plaques and, subsequently, heart disease and heart attack.”
The actual fact is plaque has nothing to do with high levels of cholesterol. Rather, when blood becomes acidic due to high intake of red meat and excess high-fat dairy foods, and less, or reduced, intake of alkali foods (e.g., tomatoes, avocados and green-leafy vegetables), the arteries harden (atherosclerosis) to protect themselves from ‘acidic’ blood — this causes those deadly ‘holes,’ or ‘cracks’ in the arteries. Your body, by way of defence, now works full-steam to ‘fill’ the inside of the arteries with cholesterol. When cholesterol ‘closes-in’ on such cracks, the resultant effect is high blood pressure (hypertension), to highlight one example.
Statins: No panacea
The fact also is most people have been besieged by the cholesterol juggernaut — this has lead to the use of statins by conventional physicians to combat their growing cholesterol ‘neurosis,’ now a trillion-dollar industry. Statins are no panacea. They are replete with several side-effects — muscle pain and damage, liver and kidney failure, nerve damage, nightmares, or ‘delirium,’ memory loss, cognitive dysfunction and a host of nervous system-related problems.
The inference is obvious — the story ‘plot’ for the mammoth heart disease drama, a result, or outcome, of high consumption of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol is, in actuality, too dramatised. The fact also is — there is no dependable published data that supports the position, or claim. Put simply, the grand association of high cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease (CHD) is anything, but fragile, without the presence of other (snowballing) factors — such as high levels of trigylcerides and homocysteine. All the same, the best thing to do, myth or no myth, is to achieve a healthy balance. This should aim at changing your lifestyle — because, your lifestyle holds the key to preventing atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries) and other illnesses. This is also a simple premise. When we are healthy and balanced, the liver stops producing high levels of LDL, or ‘bad’ cholesterol, because there is no need for ‘healing jobs’ to be done.
Healing with Homeopathy
Homeopathy is mind-body, holistic medicine. It has the therapeutic potential to heal deep emotional issues as well as correct chronic physical illnesses — all triggers of cholesterol imbalance. It addresses and treats underlying stressors, or factors, too. Besides, it stimulates our immune mechanisms and ‘ups’ our body systems to regulate and maintain ‘healthy’ levels of hormones, including blood cholesterol. Homeopathic remedies, based on the individual’s overall personality, presentation of symptoms, and clinical patterns, have the ability to ‘reduce’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and ‘increase’ high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or ‘good’ cholesterol levels, naturally. In so doing, they help the body to heal the underlying illness, or its cause, without side-effects. A study by researchers — to highlight a clinical study, published in The British Homeopathic Journal — reported that the homeopathic remedy, Chelidonium majus, reduced cholesterol levels in lab rabbits, which were fed a cholesterol-rich diet.
Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg, MD, a conventional physician and homeopathic researcher, proposed a new protocol to treat each condition separately, like conventional medicine. His line of treatment for high cholesterol is keyed to correct imbalance with a combination of three homeopathic remedies.
• Allium sativum D1, derived from garlic. The remedy helps to reduce elevated cholesterol levels as well as ‘bad’ cholesterol. It also increases ‘good’ cholesterol and has notable blood-thinning effects
• Crataegus oxycantha D1, or Hawthorne berries, helps to lower high blood pressure. It has historical
and evidence-based clinical testimony to decrease cholesterol levels and prevent deposition of ‘bad’ cholesterol in the arterial walls
• Viscum album D2, or mistletoe, is clinically evidenced to decrease viscosity of blood and reduce hypertension, among other symptoms.
In addition, homeopathic treatment helps to regulate one’s daily routine by promulgating a corrective programme, based on proper lifestyle, ‘customised’ to individual needs, followed by personalised diet plan, nutrient intake, exercise and relaxation.
• Keep a close watch (not get obsessed with) on your food cholesterol intake. All the cholesterol you require is produced by your body. Extra intake by way of food is redundant to the amount of cholesterol required by your body
• Avoid, or reduce, red meat, animal fats, eggs, full-fat cheese, milk, ice-cream and butter
• Increase your fibre intake — e.g., bran, brown rice, flaxseed and leafy greens
• Increase your intake of pulses — in other words, complex carbohydrates
• If you are overweight, shed those unwanted bulges. In simple terms, reduce your weight
• Stick to a 30-minute work-out, or exercise, at least 4-5 times a week; or, walk for 30 minutes, 4-5 times, for the same period
• Stop smoking — this is a must. Also, avoid alcohol
• It is said that judicious consumption of red wine can increase ‘good’ cholesterol (Note: The point is most people do not use alcohol as ‘medication’ — moderation is often a fallacy. Also, one needs to weigh the benefits against the increased risk of alcohol use, such as cirrhosis of the liver and breast cancer — not to speak of road accidents caused due to drunken driving).
Dr Mukesh Batra, LCEH, FSRH (MED) P (LON), MDH (USA), FBIH (UK), a homeopath of international repute, is Founder-Chairman, Dr Batra’s, the world’s first and largest corporatised homeopathic healthcare group. In a career spanning four decades, Dr Batra has treated over a million patients, including presidents and prime ministers, and revolutionised the way homeopathy is practiced today. Dr Batra has been honoured with several fellowships and over 60 national and international awards, including the Padma Shri by the President of India. He has authored several books, including the cyclopedic work, Healing with Homeopathy. He lives in Mumbai, India.
© Dr Mukesh Batra