If you ever wanted reconfirmation, here is a living proof that faith can take you where modern-day physicians would fear to tread. Meet Dr S Mohanambal, a gynaecologist from Bangalore who is running a busy trade of treating cancer and other dreaded diseases through ‘holistic healing’ in faraway Barcelona. For making up her own medicines, Dr Mohanambal mixes her knowledge of allopathy with that of homeopathy, ayurveda and naturopathy. When needed, she can also call upon her expertise in aromatherapy, su-jok and acupuncture.
Even with such a strong arsenal, one would think that plying such treatments in Europe, the backyard of well-entrenched giants of allopathic medicine, would be tough. It is, indeed. And that’s why the good doctor’s Bangalore-to-Barcelona tale becomes all the more laudable.
Her first flight westwards, however, was not to Spain — it was to Boston in the US, for studying the gynaecology of menopause. Then she practiced for a while in North Carolina before heading back to where her brother and his family were. Then, 15 years ago, she headed to Sapin.
One of the planks on which Dr Mohanambal stands apart from the rest of the Western wellness industry is her espousal of both allopathic and alternative treatments. “I believe allopathic medicine is very important,” she says. “But there are many diseases that I have cured by natural treatments. I have worked with people with cancer and I gave them natural therapy... . Even those who had been put on (the palliative care of) morphine and chemotherapy. They left all that to heal themselves the natural way.”
She cites the example of one Pilar from Lerida, a province near Barcelona, who has been her patient. “She was suffering from stomach, intestine and colon cancer, and was operated on in 1997. Her doctors told her she was going to die. She told me that she had come to me to prepare herself spiritually to die. I told her that I could only prepare her to live. Her son thought I was joking, but I told her not to take morphine.”
“I gave her natural treatment, homeopathy, ayurvedic treatments, oil massages, plus my salts — and she is alive. In November 2006, her doctors told her that she should go and congratulate me and buy me a cake.”
Much of her treatment “to clear the toxins” revolves around the use of her own healing salts. In a forthcoming book, Ma’s Healing Salts, she has stressed the curative merits of her formulations. “It is actually a scientific invention,” she claims, “because I always work with all the natural ingredients, something to help people in a simple but scientific way.” Her 12 ‘tissue salts’ come from some 19th century formulae forged by Dr Willhelm Heinrich Schüssler of Germany, the person credited with the coinage of the term ‘biochemistry’. She says, “I have taken the idea from there, but they’re my own invention.”
How do they work? “The salts have all the vitamins in them,” she says. “Instead of common salt, I advise people to use these salts — to take especially in the morning on empty stomach, with lemon and warm water.”
Why did she shift base from Bangalore to Barcelona? “When I learnt about (Antonio) Gaudi, the architect, there was an attraction that made me come to Barcelona. I love Shakti, the mother part — I worship mother Muthyalamma. Here, in Catalonia, there is (the Black Madonna of) Montserrat.”
As with her salty formulations, Dr Mohanambal has managed to blend the East and the West on the sacred feminine, too.