Photo by Arno Senoner on Unsplash
Rufus is a big dog and he most likely suffers from the hip joint problems these big fellows are known to endure. He’s been slowing down for a while now and we dare not take him on a long off-road walk because there would be no carrying him back home if he decided to sit down and be done with the walk.
The other day, poor old Rufus couldn’t (or wouldn’t) get up to get his breakfast. He had to have his back end lifted for him to get him on his way. He seemed fine the day before. Fine is relative here. It always seems an effort for him to stand up. There is almost always a groan and a sudden drop when he tries to make himself comfy.
Having no idea what happened to Ruf — did he injure his leg or back or is it just the old age aches of a big dog — I wasn’t sure where to start and he wasn’t helping me figure it out.
After being helped up, he had his breakfast and took himself outside for a bit and plopped back down in his cool room.
I brought him a T-Relief spiked treat*.
T-Relief used to be known as Traumeel and was one of the first homeopathic remedies that I began using on my own. It’s a homeopathic mix which covers a lot of ground:
Arnica — Joint, back, muscle pain
Calendula — pain reliever
Hamamelis — a good remedy to think of when Arnica didn’t act.
Bellis Perennis — joint and muscle soreness
Belladonna — pain reliever
Hypericum — nerve pain (see “Poked by a Branch” blog)
Ruta — tendons and ligaments
And a few more remedies thrown in for good measure.
A lot of homeopaths don’t like the combination remedies. Could an injury or pain be more specifically addressed through a targeted remedy? You bet. But, in a pinch and when you don’t have the working knowledge to guide you to the “correct” remedy, combination remedies can often quickly get you the relief you need.
And, for Rufus, it did just that.
He lounged most of the day, as usual, and he was able to get up for his dinner, albeit slower than usual. A few more doses of T-Relief put him back on track.
[In writing this article, I see Medinatura also offers a line of Pet products. I have not tried them. The ingredients and price appear to be identical to the people version.]
* I crush the tablet with the back of a spoon or the flat part of a knife and pick up the powder on a piece of meat or cheese and give it to him that way. They can also be put directly in the mouth, between the gum and cheek.
** Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Homeopathy: An A to Z Home Handbook by Alan V. Schmukler
This was my first book on homeopathy. All those years ago, this felt like a book of magic spells that I didn’t have the ability to access. I read through it many, many times. I turned down corners and marked up all sorts of pages. I may have even tried a remedy or two, but I’m thinking I probably didn’t. I was too nervous. It felt completely forbidden and a little scary.
In reality, it’s a straight forward book with good, useable information.
Maybe the introduction scared me off. Way back in 2006, Schmukler says, “I call this a handbook for survival, because in the coming years we may find ourselves in survival situations for the following reasons:
1. Natural disasters
3. Antibiotic-resistant infections
[Where he writes, “The medical system could easily be overwhelmed by thousands of cases of untreatable infections.” That sounds familiar now that we have lived through 2020!]
4. Exotic diseases
5. Chemical or drug sensitivity
6. Genetic engineering
7. No medical insurance"
Maybe this list was too heavy for my relatively young and naïve self when I first found this book and homeopathy was completely foreign to me. I’ve made it to 2021 and am a little wiser to the ways of the world now. But, even before the nightmare of the last 18 months I had discovered the full importance of homeopathy in all these potential scenarios as well as every day life.
Chapter 1 is a nice explanation of homeopathy, why you would choose it, what it does and a brief history. Chapter 2 dives right into the rules for using the remedies and taking the case.
Chapter 3 starts the nitty gritty. Beginning with “Abscess” and closing out with “Yellow Fever,” he doesn’t quite make it all the way through the alphabet (that's because Zika wasn't widely known in 2006!) but the ailments he includes are meatier than other, similar books (as one might expect when one is writing a book for survival situations).
For each ailment he includes a brief description, followed immediately by a list of suggested remedies, each described in just a few lines. He keeps it simple and succinct. He also suggests a few starred remedies which are highly indicated for each condition.
Example from Homeopathy: Ailments A to Z, pages 198-199:
A sprain is an injury to the ligament around a joint. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and sometimes bruising.
* Arnica: Immediately after the injury.
* Rhus tox: Stiffness and pain, which is worse after rest and better from continued motion. Must keep shifting position.
Bryonia: Worse from any motion, better from pressure, better from lying on the affected part.
Ruta: Tendons, especially the ankle, heel and wrist. Repetitive motion syndrome. Worse after rest.
Hypericum: When nerves are damaged and there is much pain.”
You can’t get much clearer than those quick descriptions to get you on your way to healing.
Chapter 4 is a nice addition of “Organ Remedies” not often found in most “consumer” homeopathy books. Chapter 5 is “Remedy Description,” also known as a Materia Medica in homeopathy-speak.
“Pregnancy and Birth,” “Preventing Illness with Homeopathy,” “First Aid Remedies for Specific Occupations and Activities,” “Economizing: Making Your Remedies Last Forever” are chapters that definitely separate this book from its neighbors on the book shelf.
Schmukler rounds out the book with “Homeopathy Around the World” and “How to Use a Repertory” (which is basically a book of symptoms) and includes a mini-repertory. He finishes the book up with “Remedies for Your Home Kit,” which of course has a nod to some unusual remedies for when the survival situations get tough.
Schmukler, A.V. (2006). Homeopathy : an A to Z home handbook. Woodbury, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications.
While hiking this weekend, I stepped on a twig. Actually, it was bigger than a twig. Does that make it a small branch? Regardless, it snapped and poked 4 holes into my calf. It was less than pleasant.
I cleaned it out with soap and water and it no longer looked as bad as it did when I was in the woods. Nothing appeared to be stuck in there.
I then applied Boiron's Calendula cream and put a band-aid over it. The pain stopped pretty quickly.
If it had been worse, I would have considered either Ledum palustre or Hypericum perforatum. Both of these remedies are the "go-to" remedies for puncture wounds.
How to decide between them?
Hypericum is particular for nerve rich areas (finger tips, toes, tailbone).
Ledum is greatly relieved by cold.
Hypericum has shooting pains.
Ledum has bruising and swelling.
This is not to say a Hypericum wound can't have bruising, but that would be a secondary consideration after shooting pains and nerve-y pains.
I got off easy with my twig snap, but having a remedy kit with me meant I was prepared for most eventualities.
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 parents have the ability to help their children when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.