Dr. Daxa V. Vaishnav, MD (Hom) (www.drvaishnav.com), has had extensive experience in managing women’s health including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), infertility, menopause, pregnancy and labor with homoeopathy. She is currently practicing homeopathy in California, USA. She is also a faculty for the Practitioner and Doctoral Programs in Homeopathy at the American Medical College of Homeopathy at Phoenix, Arizona. She has been a Grand Rounds teacher at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, USA and a visiting faculty at the Caduceus Institute of Classical Homeopathy, Santa Cruz, California. She was a Professor and Head of Dept. of OB-GYN at Smt. CMP Homeopathic Medical College, Mumbai, India, where she had been teaching Gynecology and Obstetrics Therapeutics for 26 years. She was also a Hon. Physician at the teaching hospital attached to the college. She has many publications to her credit.
Hi Dr. Daxa,
It’s good to catch up with you again after so many years! We’ve wanted to do this interview for quite some time now. Alan our editor, will finally be relieved! I have vivid recollections of the OBS-GYN department at Mumbadevi Homeopathic Hospital, Irla, Mumbai, where we worked together and how well you managed that department for nearly 20 years wasn’t it? Please give us an idea of your memories there.
Daxa: Your question takes me down memory lane to the year 1986 when the then Principal of the college, Dr. Anil Bhatia, decided to start specialty departments at Mumbadevi hospital. Till then we had visiting specialists who were teaching at the college. They would also visit the hospital once or twice a week to examine patients that needed their expert opinion. When we started the OB/GYN department, we were giving free services to the patients for many years. The surgeries were performed at bare minimum charges and deliveries were conducted for Rs.300.
I was a lecturer when I was asked to take care of the OB/GYN Out-Patient Department (OPD). I had two house-physicians allotted to me and later as the volume of patients went up, we also had one Registrar. (All were Homoeopaths.) But in the initial period, I was house-physician, registrar and lecturer all rolled into one.
In the OPD, we were treating most of the GYN cases requiring a medical line of treatment with Homoeopathy. Even the so-called surgical cases like Ovarian cysts, Fibroids, Cervical erosion, etc. were efficiently managed with Homeopathy. I used to also treat pregnancy discomforts with homeopathic medications.
We also had Honorary OB/GYN attending the OPD and they would opine on some of the cases that needed their expert opinion or surgical intervention. Slowly the OPD strength started increasing to the point that any given day we were seeing about 70-80 patients and all the hospital beds were occupied with our department’s patients! As the patient inflow increased, our students saw not only OB/GYN patients but as a result of the increasing deliveries, many neonatal patients too and with an increase in patients in the Pediatric OPD.
Until 1992 I was “on-call” 24×7 and was always there for labours and for emergencies. I got hands-on experience on the patients in the OPD, the wards and the Operation room. I learnt to examine each patient thoroughly, to conduct deliveries and to assist in surgeries. Later, it was my turn to teach these skills to my students and resident staff.
Leela: Yes I remember those days of the hectic ObGyn department at Mumbadevi – the frequent deliveries, crying babies: the most vibrant hospital ward with constant activity! The ObGYn resident doctors had their hands full!
Daxa: It was a wonderful experience learning on patients, getting the right diagnosis and later teaching students on the live patients. I was fortunate to have colleagues in the OB/GYN department who were very open to homoeopathy and were willing to let me show them the amazing results of homoeopathy. In fact these OB/GYN doctors soon started referring the patients from their private practice to our OPD for homoeopathic management.
I also had wonderful results in PCOS/PCOD as well as infertility in the OPD and it was inevitable that I chose the topic of PCOS and homoeopathy for my dissertation at the MD (Hom.) examination.
Those were the glorious days of the department- we often had more patients in our OPD and wards than the municipal hospital just across the road. However about five or six years ago, the administration chose to shut down the labour ward and the operation theatres and some other departments of the hospital. The resident staff were also reduced. The immediate fall out was a drop in the number of patients attending all the different OPDs in the hospital. Our OPD which saw at least 70-80 patients in 2-3 hours, soon had the attendance dropping to less than five patients per day.
Leela: That’s an amazing story Daxa! Sorry to hear about the fate of this department. Your experience was so rich in homeopathic knowledge and we all want to know more. How did you begin treating the so called surgical GYN cases like Ovarian cysts, fibroids, cervical erosions? What remedies and management techniques did you use? A couple of illustrative examples would help.
Daxa: When I started seeing patients in the OPD, I had to rely solely on my research of the homeopathic literature and back it up with the study of different repertories. A lot has been written about the how homeopathy works in fibroids, ovarian cysts and other such conditions. I had to try on my own and prove not just to myself but to my allopathic colleagues that homeopathy can work in such conditions. That is how it all started.
When treating ovarian cysts, a good clinical diagnosis is important before starting Homeopathic treatment, because one does not want to miss malignant tumours. Simple ovarian cysts respond well to constitutional treatment while PCOD patients require long term treatment to manage their hormonal disturbances. They need to monitor their weight and manage stress effectively along with constitutional drugs specially belonging to the mineral kingdom.
Dr. Roberts in his book, “The Principles and Art of Cure by Homeopathy’ in the chapter ‘Homeopathic Therapeutics in the field of Endocrinology’ writes: “To a large extent the remedies which come to mind as constitutional remedies of sufficient depth to influence these glandular conditions with their structural and nervous concomitants are our great polycrests, and many of these are from the same chemical base as the elements of the physical body- Sulphur, Silica, Phosphorus, Kali, Natrum, the Carbons. Then we find such remedies as Lycopodium, Nitric acid, and the major nosodes of great use in these conditions. It is impossible, as well as dangerous practice, to name leading remedies for any pathological condition, and still more for any functional disturbance; yet there are valuable remedies which have a wide range and frequent usage in our daily practice that are not so valuable in these conditions.”
Leela: Yes those are the classical Hahnemannian principles we need to follow for cure in practice. Gynaecological disturbances are becoming more and more common in practice today, especially infertility and PCOS.
Daxa: Yes, why are we seeing so many more cases of gynaecological conditions in our practice? Earlier, the role of a woman in society was limited to looking after the home. The women of today are more independent and ambitious and are trying to adopt a man’s role in society. They have elevated stress levels and are experiencing a change in the hormones due to modern living. They are also postponing the pregnancy to further their careers. Over the past 10-12 years I had seen a sudden rise in the number of patients attending our OPD with the presenting complaints of either oligomenorrhoea or irregular menses (meno-metrorrhagia and polymenorrhoea), primary infertility or secondary infertility due to repeated abortions. Further examination and investigations of many of these cases have confirmed the clinical diagnosis of PCOS.
The role of the mental state is uniquely recognized by homoeopathy as having an important effect on the brain, esp. the hypothalamus and the pituitary. Since PCOS is a multi-factorial problem involving the endocrines (hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian system), genetic background as well as the environmental factors (stressors), it is necessary to give a constitutional medicine to each patient according to the totality of her symptoms. Hence, I don’t use specifics or organ remedies for the treatment of such cases.
Nosodes used in cases of PCOS are Medorrhinum, Tuberculinum and Carcinosin.
The sarcodes that are beneficial to the patients and help in regulating the cycle are Thyroidinum and Folliculinum.
Patients who have a strong miasmatic influence (mainly sycotic) in the anamnesis are usually given anti-miasmatic drugs like Thuja and Medorrhinum.
The response to the indicated constitutional drug dramatically improves after the use of the intercurrent or anti-miasmatic remedy.
Patients around 40 years of age with minimal symptoms respond better to Homeopathy than the young patients with symptomatic fibroids. I have been using a lot of specific, organ remedies for acute conditions with constitutional and intercurrent remedy at the right time. I have seen many cases going into menopause without compromising their uterus. I have used many specifics in cases of cervical erosion when there is a paucity of constitutional symptoms. I have used drugs like Eupion, Fagopyron, Calc ova tosta and Hydrastis
Leela : I completely agree with your perspective. Modern life has stressed out the modern achieving woman, and has contributed to an increase in gynaecological problems. PCOS is one of the most difficult conditions for modern medicine to treat… and has created the ‘infertility industry’! You mention the use of Medorrhinum as antimiasmatic. When would you use it instead of Thuja? What are your indications for Thyroidinum and Folliculinum, and how do you use them alongside the constitutional?
Daxa: I have used both Thuja and Medorrhinum as anti-sycotic remedies but I am a little partial to Medorrhinum in patients with a pelvic pathology like endometriosis, PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) or even chronic pelvic pain.
I have used Medorrhinum more often than Thuja when the patient has symptoms of the reproductive organs. They may have pelvic pain, congestive dysmenorrhoea, menorrhagia, etc. I have used Thuja strictly as an anti-sycotic when the patient doesn’t have too many local symptoms but has a pathology like a fibroid or an ovarian cyst. Thuja is a chilly remedy while Medorrhinum is a hot remedy.
I have used Thyroidinum frequently as a intercurrent in menstrual irregularities even if the thyroid levels are normal in a patient. I have learnt from experience that Thyroidinum is useful in higher potencies for amenorrhoea and oligomenorrhoea while lower potencies help in menorrhagia.
I have been using Folliculinum when the best selected remedy fails to bring about the positive response. I have used it for PCOD, especially in cases of prolonged amenorrhoea. I have used this remedy for patients with severe PMS who stop responding to their constitutional remedy. I have used it for the menopausal syndrome where the patient shows symptoms similar to Lachesis and Sepia.
Leela: Thank you for those clinical inputs! What is your vision for the future of homeopathy in this field? How do you see Homeopathic Therapeutics becoming one of the main alternatives to ObGyn case management at the OPD and IPD level?
Daxa: I feel that teaching therapeutics in the class but not exposing the students to the prescriptions in the Out-Patient Department (OPD) or the In-Patient Department (IPD) does not serve the purpose of learning. In this regard the model we had adopted in CMPHMC many years ago was the best for the patients and for the students. The patients had the advantage of being diagnosed and followed up by a gynaecologist and the students also learned the practical application of homoeopathic therapeutics, as well as when not to continue with homoeopathic treatment, or when the integrated approach and the combined treatment is helpful, i.e. the scope and limitations of homeopathy.
For this model to work, we need consultants who are open minded and willing to see the results of homeopathy. We had a great team of OB-GYN consultants as well as paediatricians, orthopedics and surgeons. Having some consultants (who are qualified in their respective field) managing and seeing the progress of these cases gives confidence to the patients and students, as well as to the Homeopath. The advantage is dual, as it takes care of the legal issues too. Unless we as teachers show the real practical application, students are usually at a loss. Unfortunately they are not exposed to in-patient management with homeopathic remedies in most colleges. Over the past few years, the administration of our college decided to shut down the most popular and greatest revenue earning department- the OB-GYN department of the hospital, which was a major loss to the student community.
Leela: That is indeed sad news! I remember the flourishing OB-GYN out-patient and in-patient departments when we were there. One final question, and a personal one now, what is your vision as a homeopath for the future of homeopathy as well as for your future as a homeopath?
Daxa: I have mixed feelings about the future of homoeopathy in India and the world. India has been the hub for homoeopathic education and practice for the past 3-4 decades. The syllabus for the training of students, though based on the MBBS (allopathy) syllabus, had originally been well conceived. However, changes were made to the syllabus a few years ago which have diluted the training and knowledge that a student would gain. If this process continues, homoeopathy I fear may no longer be ‘mainstream’ therapy (which it is, at least in metropolitan cities of India). It will have the same fate that it suffered in the early 1900’s in the USA and also what it faces in the UK right now. In fact, a few years ago the British parliament had a committee looking into the scientific aspect of homoeopathy as they wanted to get it out of the NHS. My husband Dr. Vijay Vaishnav and I had submitted a memorandum to this parliamentary committee to underscore the fact that homoeopathy is a scientific system of medicine. Your readers can see that memorandum by following this link:
We need to strengthen the education system and try and stop the mushrooming of substandard homoeopathic colleges in India. I see a slow but steady resurgence of homeopathy in the USA. For example, we are faculty at a college that is also working towards accreditation that would allow the graduates to be titled “Dr.”
At the personal front, I see myself treating cases of PCOS and infertility. It has been extremely satisfying to see joy in the eyes of infertile couples after the wife conceives with homoeopathic treatment. I have recently seen some really remarkable results with homoeopathy. One recent case was of a young lady with infertility due to low levels of the Anti-Mullerian hormone. This patient had been given up by all the infertility specialists she had seen in the US. She was so desperate that she had called doctors overseas, including India. All had told her that her ovaries were aged and so she would not be able to conceive. She was on homeopathy for about 3 months and she conceived. Her baby shower and delivery were proud moments for me. Another case of repeated abortions was able to carry her pregnancy to term. All those great results I had in treating OB/GYN conditions in India are being replicated now in the US. I have also been trying to educate people about homeopathy by writing articles for my blog Homeopathy- Modern Medicine (http://homeopathicure.wordpress.com).
Leela: Thank you dear Daxa for this interview and your inspired responses. I agree with your views on homeopathic education and I hope every homeopathic teacher out there holds dear their responsibility to the Scientific System of Homeopathic Medicine. I wish you success in your future plans in treating infertility with the gentle and hope filled principles of classical homeopathic treatment!