Homeopathy has been continuously in use since its founding by Samuel Hahnmann in the late 1700s. Just think about that. This safe, gentle, inexpensive and very powerful medicine has been used all around the world for 225 years and in many circles, this amazing modality is virtually unknown.
Perhaps some of its obscurity lies in the fact that the term “homeopathy” contains the word “home.” In my opinion, this linguistic trickery plays a significant role in the confusion surrounding homeopathy. People assume “homeopathy” is the same thing as a home remedy. Nope. Not the same. Not even close.
“Hom” from Greek homoeos, meaning “one and the same.” As in…Homophone: same pronunciation, different meaning. Homonym: same spelling, different meaning. Homogenous: of the same kind, alike. Homeomorphism: an instance of topological equivalence. Homocentric: having the same center. Not home*, as in home-based or home-made.
Perhaps we should switch to the British spelling, homoeopathy. That may help clear up this little problem.
Homoeopathy broken down is Homoeo: “the same” and pathy: “suffering." Various pathys… Hydropathy: the treatment of illness through the use of water. Naturopathy: a system of medicine that avoids drugs and surgery and relies on natural remedies. Osteopathy: a system of medicine traditionally based on manual therapeutic techniques aimed at restoring physical function through the body’s ability to heal itself.
Homoeopathy is based on the premise of “like cures like.” If nausea is your ailment, a remedy based on a substance which causes nausea in its crude form is the cure. Tobacco when consumed raw causes nausea, vomiting and malaise (Hulzebos et al. 1998 and Trapé-Cardoso et al. 2003). Homoeopathic tobacco known as Tabacum, is one homoeopathic answer to nausea, vomiting and malaise.
Another easy example of like cures like is Allium cepa, red onion. When you chop an onion, what happens? Your eyes burn and water and your nose runs. Thus, Allium cepa is one homoeopathic answer to colds and allergies when you experience these symptoms.
The counterpart to homoeopathy is allopathy. Greek allos, “other” and pathy, “suffering.” Allopathy: treatment of disease by remedies that produce effects opposite to the symptoms. If fever is your ailment, an antipyretic (anti, “against” and pyretic, “feverish”) is the allopathic answer. Antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, beta blockers, proton pump inhibitors.
The point of this article is not to knock home remedies. There is a lot to be said for gargling with salt water for a sore throat; eating probiotic yogurt for tummy issues; sipping homemade chicken soup for a cold. These are all amazingly helpful ways to address symptoms. However, they are NOT homoeopathic medicines.
Homoeopathy works with your body, not against it. Homoeopathy treats the person, not the disease. Homoeopathy uses the symptoms your body provides as a guide to find the correct homoeopathic remedy to gently stimulate your body. Homoeopathy does not force the symptoms away by using something to stop or block a symptom (anti-medications as listed above); homoeopathy uses similar medicines or remedies to nudge your symptoms a little further in the same direction that it is already headed in order to stimulate your immune system to kick in and correct itself.
As Dr. Robin Murphy said recently in one of his last lectures, (and, I paraphrase), “The body knows how to repair itself. Homoeopathy is the vital force repair man.”
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
*If you’re interested, here’s a link to in an in-depth discussion of the etymology of the word “home” by the author of Word Origins and How We Know Them.
Etymonline.com, 2021. homophone | Etymology, origin and meaning of homophone by etymonline [online]. www.etymonline.com.
European Committee for Homeopathy, n.d. Benefits of Homeopathy [online]. The European Committee for Homeopathy.
Hulzebos, C. V., Walhof, C., and de Vries, T. W., 1998. Accidental ingestion of cigarettes by children. Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde [online], 142 (47), 2569–2571.
Liberman, A., 2015. Our habitat: the etymology of “home” [online]. OUPblog.
Trapé-Cardoso, M., Bracker, A., Grey, M., Kaliszewski, M., Oncken, C., Ohannessian, C., Barrera, L. V., and Gould, B., 2003. Shade Tobacco and Green Tobacco Sickness in Connecticut. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine [online], 45 (6), 656–661.
Venes, D., 2017. Taber’s cyclopedic medical dictionary. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.
Remember way back when when we used to routinely exercise our immune system? We would be constantly bombarded by germs that if you weren’t strong enough would result in… [play the ‘duh duh duh’ music here] a cold!
There is/was a school of thought that getting and beating these types of attacks is/was good for your health — taking your immune system for a walk, so to speak.
My family routinely turned to Boiron’s Cold Calm for quick relief almost every time a little “somethin’ somethin’” seemed to be creeping in.
Cold Calm is a combination homeopathic remedy that can certainly save time and energy if the symptoms are just starting to present and are not quite clear enough to choose just one remedy. Or, when you are the person suffering and the inability to think clearly sets in.
Here are the homeopathic remedies included in Cold Calm with a little more information to understand what’s in it and how these individual remedies may help your symptoms.
Allium cepa is the red onion — you know, the thing that makes your eyes itch and burn and tear up and your nose follows streaming along soon after.
Apis mellifica is the honey bee — you know, the thing that stings you and you swell up… like your nose or your eyes if you have a cold.
Belladonna has a reputation as a “virus interrupter.” More specifically to coming down with a cold, Belladonna can be helpful with congestion or when suffering a headache as a result of stuffiness. It’s certainly helpful if any sore throat is involved.
Eupatorium perfoliatum, also known as “Bone-set” is an excellent fever remedy, specifically (wait for it…) when your bones ache, including your facial bones as a result of sinus pain.
Gelsemium sempervirens is one of the great homeopathic influenza remedies. This remedy is taught in the homeopathy schools as the 7 dwarfs remedy: for when someone is Droopy, Drowsy, Dumb, Dizzy, Drained — that’s only 5, but you get the idea. An excellent headache remedy.
Kali bich — for when it’s thick! The old homeopathy books call them “clinkers” — that’s a booger to you and me in modern parlance. Lumps of stuff in the nose or throat. Again, another excellent headache remedy if the symptoms fit.
Nux vomica — good for stuffy nose, but even better for sneezing. Nux vomica is also an excellent remedy for the tummy symptoms which can sometimes accompany a cold/flu. And, it’s really good for the short temper that can sneak in there when you’re feeling crummy.
Phytolacca decandra — swollen glands and sore throats, specifically the sore throats where the pains shoot from the throat into the ears on swallowing.
Pulsatilla — if there is a loss of taste and smell. Stuffy nose; a bad odor in the nose; mucusy, loose cough, bland watering eyes (not burning, that’s Apis mentioned above).
I have heard Cold Calm referred to as "magical" — now you know why. This little mixture covers just about everything one would need at the start of “a little somethin’ somethin’” coming on.
If Cold Calm isn’t quite cutting it for you and you need some further assistance with cold or flu symptoms, book an acute appointment and we’ll see what we can do to get you feeling better quicker.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash
Once upon a time, when somebody sneezed or coughed, we all assumed it was either a cold or allergies and we really didn't think very much about it. Now, if you're in public and you have to sneeze or (heaven forbid!) cough… hold it in -- don't even go there!
Allergy season has returned to our neck of the woods. Headaches. Sneezing. Runny noses. Blocked up sinuses. Tickling in the throat. Yuck.
Let's look at a few homeopathic remedies that might be of assistance.
Allium cepa is a go-to remedy for runny noses which burn and eyes that water blandly and can present with a dull frontal headache.
Arsenicum album -- for burning discharge from the nose and the eyes and eyelids may be puffy. Here's a potentially important piece of the allergy puzzle with this remedy: Complaints return annually. (While this is more of a classical homeopathic approach to allergies, Arsenicum album can certainly be applied in a practical or therapeutic way, as well.)
Euphrasia focuses on the eyes. Opposite to Allium cepa, Euphrasia has a bland runny nose and burning eyes. The eyelids may also itch and burn.
Natrum muriaticum can have a profuse watery discharge from the eyes and the nose and what comes out of the nose may have an egg white consistency. Taste and smelling may be an issue as well as a tickling in the pit of the throat.
Nux vomica -- obnoxious, relentless sneezing as well as irritation in the nose and eyes. Grumpiness might just be a part of this picture, too.
Sanguinaria can be very helpful for sinus issues and facial pain and headaches from the blocked sinuses.
Wyethia also has the runny nose and sneezing, but it also has the peculiar symptom of an itchy palate -- requesting your tongue's assistance in rubbing back and forth trying to scratch that itch.
There are many, many homeopathic remedies to address the many, many allergic symptoms. If you need help deciding what remedies may best suit your symptoms, or if you are prone to allergies in general, homeopathy can help to strengthen your system and lessen this burden.
Contact classicallypractical.com to see if homeopathy can help relieve your seasonal allergies now and in the future.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical Homeopathy
Julia Coyte, CHom
I am passionate about homeopathy and I love sharing this passion. Having a working knowledge of homeopathy shouldn't be kept a secret. If people have the ability to help themselves, their children and their friends when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.