‘Textbook of Dermatology for Homeopaths’ by Ramji Gupta and R.K. Manchanda
ISBN code 978-81-319-0341-4
B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.
Reviewed by Firuzi Mehta
This book has been written by a dermatologist, Dr. Ramji Gupta and a homeopathic physician, Dr. R.K. Manchanda, thus providing a good balance between disease descriptions and homeopathic remedies indicated for them.
This is the fourth edition of the book, the first of which was published in 2005. Right from its inception, it has been a good book to have; now it comes to us in an improved version with errors corrected, more photographs added and in general, it has become a more valuable book for homeopaths.
We say that as homeopaths, we don’t need a diagnosis for treatment. Why then the need of such a book? Homeopaths often see patients who come for the treatment of skin disorders; often after the patients have done the rounds of dermatologists and have not found lasting relief. Sometimes patients are aware of the dangers of suppressing skin ailments and make their way to a homeopath.
Homeopathic colleges provide a cursory introduction to dermatology which in no way prepares a homeopath to confidently deal with what he/she sees in practice.
Though homeopathy does not treat a disease diagnosis, it is essential that homeopaths know what ailment they are dealing with. Knowing the diagnosis is important for good judgement and case management during the course of treatment. Different skin ailments have different manifestations, phases of activity and phases of remission – the homeopath has to be well versed with these possibilities – a remission phase should not be happily considered as cure!
The book begins by providing the general principles of homeopathic treatment and goes on to elaborate the miasmatic concept of skin diseases. It discusses the structure and function of the skin as an organ and defines the terminology used for skin lesions.
Different skin disorders are dealt with in well-organised chapters – Hereditary Disorders, Nutritional Deficiencies, Metabolic Disorders, Diseases due to Physical Agents, Bacterial Infections, Fungal Infections, Viral Infections, Dieases due to Arthropods, Diseases of the Hair, Diseases of the Sebaceous Glands, Diseases of the Sweat Glands, Diseases of the Nails, Disorders of Pigmentation, Allergic Disorders, Auto-Immune Disorders, Skin Tumours, Miscellaneous Disorders.
There are separate chapters on Tuberculosis and Leprosy, two of the common scourges of Indian society. There is a separate chapter elaborating homeopathic medicines used commonly in dermatology, with the description of the remedies in relation to the skin. A final annexure classifies different skin diseases according to their miasmatic status.
Plenty of positives – The book feels good in terms of paper quality and readability.
As regards content, the book has many good photographs of different skin conditions, good descriptions of most of the common dermatological conditions seen in practice and a decent listing of homeopathic remedies, with some chapters enabling close differentiation between remedies.
Just a few negatives – the index is decent, but could have been a bit more comprehensive, making searches easier. A few typos have crept in, which will hopefully get corrected in later reprints. It would have been good to have finer differentiation between remedies for all the different skin conditions within.
All in all, a practical and useful book for homeopaths who deal with patients having skin conditions.