One man’s meat, another’s poison.
Homeopathy has always been against the concept of a universal diet. After all, something that suits one person may not suit another. Food allergies are a striking example of this. Most people enjoy the nutritional benefits of eating peanuts, but there are a number of people who produce various allergic responses to peanuts and peanut containing foods, including peanut butter. Emotionality also has a role to play in the food habits of an individual. While some people eat more under stress to comfort themselves, others tend to lose their appetite and, therefore, eat less. Even under these circumstances, the cravings would vary from individual to individual. One person might want to eat chocolates when depressed, but another may prefer potato wafers.
Very often, abnormal craving can be an indicator of an underlying disease. For example, a diabetic may be excessively thirsty or a person with anaemia could develop abnormal cravings for mud, chalk or uncooked rice. Immoderate craving for a particular food item can often help the homeopathic physician to select the correct homeopathic remedy for that patient. For example, a restless patient suffering from bronchitis who loves to eat bananas may need Tuberculinum, whereas another person with hammering headaches, constipation, an introverted personality and who tends to consume excessive salt, may require Natrum Mur. Phosphorus may be prescribed to a patient who, in spite of being a chilly person and suffering from a severe sore throat, craves for ice-cream or chilled drinks.
There are no dietary restrictions imposed specifically for homeopathic treatment as such. Changes in the food habits that are usually recommended are in relation with the disease. Thus, a patient with diabetes is asked to reduce his or her intake of carbohydrates and a patient with high blood pressure is advised to consume less salt. No common yardstick can be used in deciding the diet for many people. Individualisation is a must, depending upon the person’s likes and dislikes, health issues, age, gender and socio-economic status. Homeopathy, with its individualistic approach, has always advocated a customised diet for every patient, so that the patient heals comfortably and contentedly.
Article by Dr Mukesh Batra
L.C.E.H., F.H.M.A. (U.K.), F.R.S.H. (Med) P.(Lon), M.D.H. (U.S.A.), F.B.I.H.(U.K.)
Published in Times of India on 30 November 2009