Dr. Batra’s Positive Health Clinic™

A review of Dr. Batras’ Positive Health Clinic web site.

Grade D

To quote from the home page (see update, below),

Dr. Batras’ [sic] Positive Health Clinic is the brainchild of India’s internationally acclaimed Homeopath, Dr. Mukesh Batra.

Dr. Batra’s qualifications appear to be solely in the homeopathic field, which may explain some of the shortcomings in his discussions of psoriasis.

To start, Dr. Batra says that “Modern day research shows that psoriasis is linked to the state of your body’s immune system.” This is only partially true. Psoriasis is a disease which is caused by a “malfunctioning” (to some extent) immune system. Dr. Batra, however, later claims that lowered immunity leads to psoriasis, in which case immune system suppressants like cyclosporine would make psoriasis worse, when, in reality, they often eliminate symptoms.

Dr. Batra shows his ignorance most when discussing “conventional” medications. His blanket statment about how topical drugs are greasy (which supposedly inhibits penetration) is simply wrong, since the formulations vary from ointments to lotions to creams, with varying degrees of greasiness for each. And his claim that “[o]ral medication consists of corticosteroids” is laughable. Dr. Batra has obviously never heard of methotrexate, cyclosporine, or fumaric acid (for examples), nor does he understand that most “conventional” doctors would avoid prescribing oral steroids for psoriasis, because of the side effects Dr. Batra himself lists.

Dr. Batra goes on to claim that homeopathy can cure psoriasis, but offers no evidence to support such a claim. He claims that homeopathy cures psoriasis by “raising your body’s immunity,” which, if true, could theoretically exacerbate psoriasis symptoms, rather than eliminate them.

Dr. Batra claims that homeopathy is side-effect-free, which is the main reason that here in the U.S.A., there isn’t a big push to regulate homeopathic treatment — it’s generally recognized that there is such a small amount of any substance in the potions and pills (if any at all), the only place they’ll hurt you is in the wallet. And he also claims that since homeopathy “treats you in totality,” it will effect an “actual cure” instead of simply treating the symptoms. He offers no supporting evidence for this claim.

Dr. Batra writes about what will happen during his homeopathic treatment of psoriasis, which is all fine and dandy, if true. However, it strikes me as odd that he should mention moist discharges on a page discussing psoriasis, since psoriasis is dry (which is one part of the differential diagnosis with eczemas). Can Dr. Batra not tell the difference between psoriasis and other skin diseases?

In the end, Dr. Batra says, “your skin will be free from eruptions and scales will revert to its original condition without any blemish.” This is immediately shown to be false by the before-and-after photos of a patient, who clearly has blemishes where he once had psoriasis. Blemishes much like the discoloration which can occur after psoriasis patches have gone into remission.

It is important to note that the ‘after’ photo was taken two-and-a-half years after the ‘before’ photo, so there was plenty of opportunity for this patient’s psoriasis to go into remission spontaneously, or for any number of reasons which have nothing to do with homeopathic treatment.

In Dr. Batra’s August, 1999, Newsletter, he speaks more about psoriasis, including unsupported claims that the longer a person has used “suppressive therapies,” the lower the odds that his therapy will effect a permanent cure. This is, of course, a convenient “out” for him, since any failures can simply be blamed on a patient’s previous use of “conventional” medicine. And, par for the course, he offers no supporting evidence for this claim.

The newsletter also contains Dr. Batra’s definition of a “cure” for psoriasis. He considers a person to be cured if they remain psoriasis-free for five years after treatment. If you take into account the fact that one testimonial writer mentions that he/she would be under Dr. Batra’s care for five years (but most take between one and three years, according to the doctor), then a “cure” using his therapy can take upwards of ten years, allowing even more time for psoriasis to vanish by itself, without any help from homeopathy. Spontaneous remissions of psoriasis aren’t rare, or even uncommon.

That newsletter also includes facts which appear to have been taken directly from the National Psoriasis Foundation’s FAQ, which is specifically referring to psoriasis statistics in the United States of America, so the validity of the numbers to people in India, the United Kingdom, and any other countries in which Dr. Batra has clinics is questionable, to say the least.

April 20, 2009, Update: The positivehealthclinic.com Web domain is no longer functional. Dr. Batra’s Web presence has moved to drbatra.com, and has undergone many changes. Highly annoying ones, what with the floating tool-tip text and blinking text. It is difficult (especially without a site search) to re-find the information I wrote about, above.