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Congestive Heart Failure | Calling A Spade A Spade


Allopathy is a scientific therapeutic of Palliation; and Homeopathy is philosophico-scientific therapeutic of curing diseases. Homeopathy has added advantage also of palliating diseases. When a disease is incurable, the prescription on the basis of Law of Similars, will palliate the symptoms on the basis of which the prescription was made. But the homeopathic palliation is not scientific, nor is it made on scientific basis. It will only be a sort of symptoms killing (or covering), which have been done in the infancy of homeopathy, when one or two symptoms or a small group of symptoms, belonging to one organ or one function were prescribed on. The classic case of the washer woman’s knee, where Hahnemann prescribed ‘a drop of strong tincture of Bryonia,’ and nothing else. This was a case of palliation. We can’t say that she was cured of her arthritis, if she had had such a chronic basis; or other possible ailments as, e.g. diabetes or hypertension. I have given many such examples, (happened at the beginning of Homeopathy), from the Appendix to the Organon, from the first few editions of the Organon.

Refer my article: The Concept of Medicine: What is Homeopathic Remedy? or Scribd
Homeopathy has no organized system of palliation, nor does it have any intention thereto; while modern Allopathy is a superb system of palliation, from the alpha to the omega of its therapeutic. It has very elaborated, and scientifically based methodology, for very serious and well-nigh incurable diseases. It has two explicit aims, viz. to ease the patient, and the prolongation of his life. This approach has sterling merit of its own. The currency in therapeutics, at this time, is palliation. No body thinks beyond this. But this is a separate subject.

My concern in this article is to talk about incurable cases, with specific mention of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), on which I had a lot of firsthand experience lately, and left nothing without reading, the available literature that I could lay my hand on. Then I invited the homeopathic fraternity, and my colleagues, for their firsthand or literary knowledge on the subject. Nobody came out with such a gem in his or her hand. One colleague of mine told me that he had cured his own father, but he could not supply me any details so far, in spite of my request. In homeopathic literature I find only bookish humdrum knowledge. Mostly the black lettered and italic medicines, mentioned under heart rubrics, are gathered together as germane to CHF.

For discussion I’ll take the case that I alluded to in my last article: “Herbs: Bane or Boon” or Scribd

I’m the family physician of the referred lady, with two specialists: one for her diabetes, from which she suffers from, not less than, 15 years; and the other to take care of her heart, hypertension and related problems; perhaps caused by diabetes. From me she eked out two minions of the homeopathic physicians:, viz. Craetegus Oxyacantha (MT), and Stropahanthus Hispidus (MT); drop doses of which she had been taking regularly for the last few years. But my apportionment for her services was to take care of her day to day ailments as cold, coryza, coughs and some episodes of anguish, which she is very much prone to. For many years (say, for a decade), in every warm-wet spell of our country’s weather, from late July to September, she would suffer from severe sort of oppressive dyspnoea, with gasping for breath. For this her cardiologist would prescribe some sorts of medicine, which are usually given to asthmatics. From me she would sometimes take Carbo Veg. or Natrum Sulph. She would partially feel better with these.

Lately she started feeling bad. A cough started which no medicine could cure, even influence. I tried my best, and repertorised her case, at least, for four or five times, by changing or rearranging the sets of symptoms. But to no avail. She could not lie down at night: cough and breathing both got aggravated. So much so that she started feeling apprehension from the onset of night. No homeopathic medicine seemed to touch her. I came to the conclusion that perhaps her cough was the result of some allopathic drugs, which she had to take daily. Most of the beta-blockers, everybody knows, create coughs.

One day I was urgently called, and on reaching I found her in very bad shape. Anguish and apprehension were large written on her countenance. I asked to immediately shift her to Cardiology. The remaining story I’ve related in the above mentioned article. ECG, oxygen and two injections of diuretic Lasix were given. She was discharged with the tag of CHF attached to her case; and a billet of standard CHF prescription.

• Diuretics;
• Anti-hypertensive;
• Anti-coagulant, and anti-thrombotic
• Anti-platelets
• Anti-anginal, vasodilators;
• Hypolipodaemics;
• Hypoglycemics, to be continued.
And, of course, some sort of anti-anxiety and hypnotics.

The diagnosis was corroborated by Electrocardiogram and pulmonary edema was confirmed by X-rays. Her right lung had basal fluid.

Under the above medication she started improving, though very slowly, but definitely. Her dyspnoea and cough is now the story of the past. Her tiredness and palpitation on exertion is pretty better. Lasix and rest (avoidance of exertion) has seeped out the fluid from the base of the lung (as the last X-rays revealed). As the lungs got clear, she was totally free from cough. No cough syrup or suppressant was given. Energy and vigor is being restored without any adjuvant, as vitamins and tonics.

My concern in this article, as I’ve told earlier, is to talk about incurable cases, with specific mention of CHF, with which I had a frustrating experience lately. To cut the story short: I’m taking this case, this disease, as incurable, homeopathically speaking, because I could not find any single remedy or a similimum to the symptoms of the case,(nor anybody can, I aver). This is, to my mind, no disease, but a sort of ailment caused by a weakened heart, whose pumping force has lessened or weakened by one or the other cause, from among the few possible causes, or without any cause except the wreckage of the age. Reckoning of mere symptoms won’t take us to any medicine, homeopathically. This is among those situations or cases where one has to search the pathology of the case, and must act accordingly. And when you base your therapeutic on pathology only, then, ipso facto, you would be dealing with the solid pathologic facts, and then you have to act for managing the case (in contradistinction to curing), and when you find no possibility of rectifying the defect you naturally act palliatively.
For the continuous flagging of the working of the heart, one has to devise methods for either energizing the heart or lightening the burden on its working. For the first option some remedy has to be sought to increase the force of the heart. Historically Digitalis (plant: Foxglove) was successfully used; but discarded as it was found that the drug had cumulative harmful effects, and also shorten life, or even caused sudden death. The criterion of good or successful therapeutic is:


  1. That the patient must feel comfortable and less downtrodden day by day; 
  2. That it should prolong the life of the patient. 

These things are admirably performed by allopathic palliation. When there is no question of curing, one should seek the best methods of palliating: sure and scientific. Such cases are kept under constant vigilance, periodic monitoring as to the improvement of the force of heart’s pumping, kidneys’ function as revealed in the reports of BUN and Serum creatinine; and the ratio of electrolytes in the blood.
The search for the prolongation of life is not an elusive goal. Leaving all other fields, in the field of CHF, there is a constant search for medicines that improve the force of the heart’s working and, at the same time, the drug has effect for the prolongation of life. It is owing to this fact, and this effort on the part of the profession, that ‘CHFers’ now are found living a useful and active life, though with less physical exertion, for a decade or even longer after the discovery of CHF. Merit should be affirmed where it is found.

Now the question remains for the massive drugging. Theoretically we may think whatever we like. As homeopaths our foreboding is very intense as we are single medicine and single dose prescribers. But I’m witness to myriad of such cases where the patient, in allopathic treatment, is taking some 10 to 12 medicine in a day, for many years at end. Countless bureaucrats, retired officers, e.g. bankers, or business barons and industrial magnates, and their wives come to me for a small part of their disease, for example, for the arthritis of the knee, or degeneration of the spine, or cervical or lumbar spondylosis, or spondylitis, or other minor or major ailments. They do not intend to discard or discontinue their wonted medicines, nor do I ask them to do so. It is never that they may not be benefited by my treatment. They have no apprehension of adding one or two more nostrums of medicines to the already surfeiting regimen of drugs. Living a life with stomach-full of medicines and being octogenarian, and feeling quite comfortable, belies our hullabaloo and bogies that we homeopaths create (or raise) about drugging and drug effects. In the past I used to think that massive drugging should kill people prematurely. I used to marvel when I used to see people, who had never been to a homeopath, and taking allopathic drugs their whole life, and finding them agile and going, at the ages of 70 or 80.

The palliation is as valid and effective therapeutic tool, in case of many-faceted and non-curable diseases, as a curative treatment when a disease can be cured. Freedom from pains and useful long life is not the bequest only from the curative treatment. 

But for a homeopath the first choice should always be the homeopathic curative treatment, next, the homeopathic palliation, if possible; but relinquish the incurable or multi-faceted cases for the well-regimented palliative treatment of the allopaths; especially the cases that have already gone the allopathic way for few years to a decade or so. Don’t create false hopes in these people and destabilize them thereby.

Usmani Resource Page

Copyright 2011-12/All rights reserved © Dr Usmani
Contact author for permission to use

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Comment by Dr. M. A. Usmani on July 25, 2011 at 9:58pm

Thank you Debby, I always seek your comments.


Comment by Debby Bruck on July 19, 2011 at 11:58pm
Very thoughtful, Dr Usmani. I simply love your writing style and words of hope.

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