Professor B M Hegde is one of India’s pre-eminent physicians. I admire his monumental work, writings, books, and memorable lectures, organised by Moneylife Foundation and others — all of which are dotted by serious, riveting thoughts, witty sonority, and anecdotes. Well, I may not always agree with him — but, there is something special with him that makes us think, while separating the chaff from the grain and vice versa.
I was fortunate to attend one of his fascinating impromptu talks. It illustrated, in detail, the downside of modern medicine and his refreshing experience in treating patients using complementary and alternative medicine [CAM]. In so doing, he emphasised how people were ill-advised about various medicines and treatments, because our minds have been ‘schooled’ to think in the ‘conventional medical way.’ He also highlighted that ‘popping a pill for every ill’ is just grist to every pill mill. “Most people think that swallowing a pill gives them instant relief. Rather, one should remember that behind every ill, there is a pill.” Not the other way around.
“Wellness,” Dr Hegde noted, “happens from within.”
Dr Hegde illustrated the importance of alternative systems, such as Ayurveda, aside from homeopathy, for common illnesses. He observed, “There are all kinds of tactics used to suppress homeopathy, for instance, as a form of treatment. Homeopathy is one of the best medical systems available. It defies certain norms, or ‘accepted’ wisdom, all right; but, it is much more scientific than one acquiesces to think.”
He lambasted the Flexner Report, a commentary on the condition of medical education in the early 1900s, in the US, which ‘catapulted’ modern medical education — funded by business tycoons. He observed that Abraham Flexner was not a doctor, but a secondary school teacher for 19 years. His Report obviously had a sturdy ‘elitist’ bias and mandate. It led to the closure of medical schools, where homeopathy, for one, was taught… among other alternative practices.
“Modern medicine,” Dr Hegde outlined, “claims to be based on science, but research has found that the majority of health problems stem from the mind — and, modern drugs offer but temporary relief.” “If one has a happy mind, their body is largely free of illness, or disease.” He suggested that walking a mile is one of best mantras to leading a healthy, disease-free life.
He observed that Ayurveda, for instance, recommends a list of seasonal foods — like eating additional spices, for one, during winter. He emphasised that one would do well to follow a diet, consisting of primarily organic food. He advised people to switch over to a vegetarian diet — this was, and is, he explained, the best natural approach.
To cull another example. “For a long time people were told that coconut oil was dangerous, nay bad. Now, American researchers say ‘sorry’ — ‘We were wrong.’” This is simply because, in reality, coconut oil is one of the best natural remedies, for a host of disorders — from skin ulcers to Alzheimer’s disease. The coconut tree is called Kalpavriksha. “There is no other tree more useful than the coconut tree — all of its parts are useable and biodegradable.”
Dr Hegde pulled the ‘plug’ on conventional medical research and clinical trials too. He observed how ‘research’ to find the ‘factual’ cause of common cold in the UK, to cull just one example, among others, went kaput. Worse still, is the story of how the research centre was closed down after forty years — to pave the path for AIDS research, within the same premises. He observed, “In fact, people in Britain were told to eat curry in Indian restaurants as a cure for common cold — after the Great Common Cold-£10-Billion Research Saga ‘flopped’ in finding a treatment for the illness.”
Through his writings and during the course of his enthralling lectures, Dr Hegde provides a host of references — to lend substance to the politics of modern medicine. This includes several landmark books, written by the ‘best minds,’ that not only ‘bust’ the ‘myths’ of modern medicine, but also random clinical trials [RCTs], ‘funded’ by ‘pharma-groups’ and ‘doctored research.’
He amusingly calls evidence-based medicine, ‘evidence-based surrogate medicine.’
His prescription for good health and wellness — aim to be healthy till death. Eat natural food, eat them in moderation, sleep well, and try to be a happy person — always.