“Do you have anything to help with my love life?” “What do you have in the way of ‘happy pills?’” “Do you have something for…” Fill in the blank. Not uncommon questions to a homeopath as people are looking for a quick fix for what ails them.
The short answer is “sort of.” If someone is looking for a quick fix there are some possible quick answers that don’t involve working with a homeopath (though I highly recommend doing just that). I’ll get to those in a minute.
The longer, more complete answer is homeopathy addresses the whole person and therefore it can help with these bigger issues which are asked about in a throw away question… like happiness.
Happiness. Joy. Joie de vivre. Such a hugely important thing.
Interestingly, some people looking for a quick fix for happiness may not have even considered that they are actually sad. To them, they are just "not happy." But, that's how homeopathy would look at it. A lack of happiness/sadness can stem from a vast variety of reasons… Illness. Anxiety. Chronic pain. Fear. Problems at home. Problems at work. Stress. Poor sleep. Broken heart. The list is practically endless.
One of my favorite aspects of homeopathic remedies is when a remedy hits home, the emotions, the mood, is one of the first things to be affected. This is particularly apparent in an acute situation.
What do I mean by that?
So many times have I heard from clients that when they have given the appropriate acute homeopathic remedy to their unwell loved one that shortly thereafter the loved one still has the symptoms of illness, but they are now cheerier. When you see this change occurring, know that the physical symptoms will most likely follow behind pretty quickly.
What does this look like?
Children are still coughing and sneezing, but they are off the couch and now playing. The adult is still complaining of a stomach ache but they are now able to read a book or watch TV and engage with the world again.
Where would I begin to help someone on a generic level who has lost their joy? With this question, I am attempting to answer generically, meaning, without hearing the details of their symptoms. A practical homeopathic solution to sadness, if you will.
I would begin with some well chosen Bach Flowers. A few Bachs to consider:
Mustard can help with gloom. (I have previously written about Mustard’s marvelous effects HERE.
Honeysuckle can help the person see the happiness in today, rather than thinking the good old days held the secret to their happiness.
Conversely, if the person is dreaming of the happiness that might one day be, Clematis may be a better fit.
Wild Rose can help to reignite a passion for life for those who have become apathetic and resigned.
There are other Bach Flowers which may be more suited to your situation. If you are interested in a Bach-only consultation, click HERE.
Are there homeopathic remedies that are able to address a lack of joy?
There are indeed!
Robin Murphy lists 457 remedies in his rubric for sadness*!
In his rubric for acute sadness, he lists only 3 remedies… One of which makes complete sense to me.
Natrum muriaticum. (For previous articles on Nat Mur: The Big Goodbye; Springing Forward; Dehydration; Balance; Salty Lips.)
Homeopathic Nat mur is made from salt. What else is made of salt? Tears are made of salt, making this an easy remedy to remember to address sadness.
There are many different kinds of sadness — something I never really thought about until I started studying homeopathy. To me, back then, someone was either happy or sad. (That’s such an unbelievably strange way of thinking to me now!)
What kinds of sadness are addressed by Nat mur?
Of course with all things homeopathy, the best way to choose a remedy is based on the compilation of a person’s symptoms. Though Nat mur may be a good place to start, a better fitting remedy may be found in one of those other 457 remedies.
This life we have been given is short. If you are having a hard time finding joy, give homeopathy a try.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* Murphy, R., n.d. Repertory, version 3. Accessed through Radar Opus software.
It’s a musical night around my house tonight.
Not an unusual occurrence — friendly banter about what is “good” music. Who was better, Simon or Garfunkel? (Or, were they each only any good as a pair?) What would protest music look like in today’s current climate? A sharing of playlists. It’s a good thing. (I have found a bunch of my favorite tunes from my boys.)
Some people are greatly affected by music. Sound as a healing modality is such a cool idea — Tibetan singing bowls? Amazing. Never heard of them? Here are a couple links about the singing bowls: HERE* and HERE*
Some alternative healing practitioners use tuning forks, something I’ve never tried, but I sure would like to give it a whirl! See here.*
Music affects me strongly — but, I have to like what I’m listening to or else there’s no point in having it playing, (or, I’m ok with leaving the room, too.) I really need to like what music is playing. I’m a B-side kind of a gal, and, happy music only for me, please! It’s a good thing I like a large and eclectic assortment of tunes, or life would be difficult for me.
If music plays an important or unusual role in your life, one of these rubrics may help you find a remedy that really resonates with you.
Let’s look at a few of these rubrics — they’re kind of fun, and quite specific and give us a little different insight into a couple of homeopathic remedies.
Tarantula hispanica, the Spanish tarantula has some interesting associations to music.
It shouldn’t be a big surprise after reading that list to learn that homeopathic Tarentula hispanica is a remedy for over-stimulation of the nervous system.
Another creature connected with music is the whale, or, more specifically, Ambra grisea, the highly prized substance from the secretion from the intestine of the sperm whale. For a little more info on this interesting stuff: here and here.
What musical symptoms may send you in the direction of homeopathic Ambra grisea, a remedy often associated with introversion and shyness?
A bigger remedy for the music causing the tears to flow is Nat mur, a homeopathic remedy which often has deep grief and sorrow at its core. Other salty (Nat mur) music symptoms:
All three of these remedies are indicated for those who are oversensitive and emotional to music, but especially Nat mur and Tarentula, but on opposite sides of the [musical] scale.
In the words of Aldous Huxley, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* I have no affiliation with any of these — just grabbed them off the internet after a quick search.
“I haven’t understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it.” – Igor Stravinsky
Anon., 2023. Ambra Grisea – NutraWiki [online]. nutrawiki.org.
Cherry, K., 2019. Can Tibetan Singing Bowls Help Lessen Stress? [online]. Verywell Mind.
Sound Healing Tools, 2023. What Is A Tuning Fork For Used For In Medicine * Ohm Therapeutics Tools [online].
Store, T. O., n.d. How And Why To Use A Tibetan Singing Bowl [online]. The Ohm Store.
Vithoulkas, G., 2019. Ambra Grisea – Homeopathic Remedy – Materia Medica Viva George Vithoulkas [online]. Hussain Kaisrani - Psychotherapist & Homeopathic Consultant.
I may be a little late on the uptake with this one, but it’s still early days of summer and I’m sure this information may come in handy for someone.
Those crazy photos of the apocalyptic skies in New York in the last couple weeks reminded me of being in Minnesota a couple of years ago during some other Canadian fires. The smoke was thick and unpleasant.
I stopped in a natural foods store and picked up some Nat Mur. I was looking for a 6x cell salt, but all they had was a 30c.
Nat Mur might not be THE remedy to choose for each individual symptom of smoke inhalation, but it’s a big remedy that covers symptoms wide and far and it worked so beautifully that should I find myself in another smoky situation, Nat Mur 30c is what I am going to grab.
Let’s take a look at what the repertories have to say about this remedy and smoke.
Nat Mur is a remedy for the sore throats of smokers, particularly for a rawness in the throat from smoking. Burning eyes. Watering eyes with a cough. Aggravations from smoke inhalation. Toxicity following smoke inhalation. Nat mur is also a good headache remedy as well as nausea during a headache. Difficult breathing with a cough. Coughing with an irritation in the air passages.
A couple of other remedies to consider…
Euphrasia would be another excellent choice for the burning, stinging eyes.
Carbo veg is the go-to remedy if it feels like there is not enough oxygen getting into the lungs.
Next week I will be writing all about coughing, but just a quick mention here for Ipecac — for a nagging, gagging, choking cough. Ipecac is also very good for nausea during a cough, which breathing in smoky air can certainly cause.
Here’s to clear blue skies.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
“Homeopathic treatment is always worthwhile, even in individuals who are seriously ill and in need of care where there is no hope of complete recovery of health” (Teut and Doppler 2019).
This topic is near and dear to me… Arthritis (this article focuses on osteoarthritis). Every time I have had an x-ray done over the last 10 or so years, they came back and said there is arthritis in there. Why would I have so many xrays? Cuz I had pain, that’s why. I have x-ray evidence of arthritis in my hands, (fingers and wrists), feet, ankles, knees and following an injury as a teenager, I was told the left side of my jaw was “bone on bone.” I’m pretty sure that were I to have further imaging on my hips and low back and neck that arthritis would be seen in those places, too.
Now, I would like to point out that in that last paragraph I used the past tense. Since using homeopathy to address my arthritis, my pain levels have absolutely plummeted. It’s a rare day when my hands ache. I walk about 3 miles a day and while I do sometimes have some stiffness afterward, it is short-lived and soon forgotten. I’m not going to say all my joints are in perfect working order, but compared to where I was (and, definitely as compared to where I was headed), I have very few complaints at the age of 55. I had way more pain and discomfort 10-20 years ago.
(I credit homeopathy for the bulk of my relief, but in addition to exercising regularly, I also eat a good, healthy whole foods diet, including plenty of bone broth and I also credit rolfing, too.)
Once we hit age 65, nearly half (47.4%) of Americans have been diagnosed by a doctor as having arthritis (Brooks et al. 2018). If we want to add in people who have not bothered to get an official diagnosis, I’m willing to bet that number is considerably higher. Dr. Andrew Lockie (1993) estimates that 90% of people over the age of 40 have some degree of osteoarthritis in one or more joints.
Along with the physical discomfort, osteoarthritis and all its limitations can lead to depression and sleep disturbances (Brooks et al. 2018). Additionally, anxiety and depression can lower your pain threshold and then the chronic pain aggravates the anxiety and depression — resulting in a vicious circle. See? It’s a good thing to try and get a handle on as soon as possible!
What exactly is arthritis and who gets it?
“Arthritis” is painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. (Joints, as a reminder, are places where two bones meet.) Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. Degeneration is structural or functional breakdown. Common symptoms include pain, redness, heat and swelling. The most commonly affected joints are: hands, knees, hips, neck and lower back. In addition to the breakdown, small bone growths (osteophytes or bone spurs see also: The Importance of a Proper Diagnosis) may grow on the edges of the joint. Or, a bit can break off and float inside the joint space. (I had this as a kid when I chipped my patella). Did I mention that I have had more than my fair share of injuries? I was a busy kid, playing hard and getting hurt! The receptionist at the orthopedist’s office once said to me, “you really do love us, don’t you?”
Anyone can get it, though generally speaking, it’s not a problem until we age — especially women when it develops after menopause. Though young people can get it as a result of an injury or a genetic defect.
Why is osteoarthritis so common? Joint injury, obesity, genetics and anatomical factors affect joint mechanics (Shane Anderson and Loeser 2010). But, wear and tear takes its toll and “age remains the single greatest risk factor for the development of OA in susceptible joints.”
So, how can homeopathy help arthritis?
It’s very important to remember that conventional medicine doesn’t have a lot to offer in terms of helping osteoarthritis. The first line treatments are pain relievers, according to Mayo Clinic: Tylenol, Advil and Duloxetine (Cymbalta). (I highly recommend looking into the side effects of any medicines you plan on putting in your body. Drugs.com is a quick way to do this.) Other therapies which may be helpful include: physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the joint; occupational therapy, and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS*) — low-voltage current to relieve pain. Beyond these, then we’re looking at more serious interventions, including cortisone injections and surgery to replace damaged joints.
Homeopathy is not the absolute answer to every problem (though I think it's pretty close!) What homeopathy can do is to assist your body to wellness. When I began using homeopathy to treat my arthritis, as much as I was wanting an overnight success, that’s not how it works. The first few remedies I used went a long way at relieving my immediate discomfort, taking the edge off, so to speak. There is a lot to undo after a lifetime of wear and tear. It wasn't until I got into some deeper remedies that the daily pain disappeared.
Let’s start with some support remedies: cell salts, (also known as tissue salts/remedies or biochemical medicine or Schüssler’s tissue salts). Cell salts are derived from substances that are naturally present in the human body, intended to nourish and balance our bodies; they are our building blocks. Dr. Schüssler “worked by the theory of deficiency. The idea of deficiency is that, if we can ascertain exactly which mineral salt or salt the body’s cells are starving for, and if we can give the body those salts in a manner in which it can absorb and digest them, then the cells will be nourished and the balance needed for function, form and good health will result.” “The cell salts are, therefore, a strange balance between allopathy and homeopathy, or, better put, a balance between homeopathy and nutritional medicine.” (McCabe 2009).
Dr. Carey (1894) recommends three cell salts** for arthritis:
Ferrum phos for an acute attack with very painful joints which are worse on movement. Tenalgia crepitans, (inflammation of a tendon sheath in which movement of the tendon is accompanied by a cracking sound).
Natrum phos “is indicated in all cases of rheumatism of the joints.”
Natrum sulph should be given alternately with Ferr phos in acute cases, but in chronic cases, Nat sulph alone may be helpful; especially in joints of the fingers.
Other cell salts which may be helpful:
Kali mur: in acute arthritis may be alternated with Ferr phos. Movement makes the pains worse; tenalgia crepitans.
Natrum mur: for chronic arthritis; the joints crack; synovitis; rheumatic arthritis, especially of finger joints; hot, painful swellings of the knee joint.
Mag phos is useful for the (violent) pains; excruciating pains which are spasmodic in character.
Kali sulph: for pains which shift from one joint to another and are worse by heat. Shifting and wandering rheumatic pains in the joints.
Calc phos for bone health, in general.
Calc fluor for enlargements of the finger joints.
Cell salts are generally given in a 6x potency and they can be combined in the mouth at one time as one dose and taken twice daily.
(Martin & Pleasance*** makes a Comb M for rheumatism with equal parts Calc phos, Kali mur, Nat phos and Nat sulph.)
On to homeopathy itself.
For dealing with the acute pain of arthritis, a quick go-to remedy is T-Relief*** or T-Relief Arthritis***, both are available in either a cream or a tablet. Medinatura*** also makes/sells BHI Arthritis Pain Relief***. All three of these combos are made of slightly different remedies.
The individual remedies which are shared between these combinations are worth investigating.
Arnica for soreness all over the body. Worse for touch, pressure, cold or cold, damp weather. Worse for motion.
Bryonia for excruciating, often stitching pains. Worse for the slightest motion (they just want to be still) and heat. Even though they are worse for moving, they feel restless. Better for pressure and warmth on the painful part, lying still, especially lying on the painful side. Joints may be hot and swollen. May seem irritable.
Dulcamera is worse especially in damp weather, and cold damp autumn and the change of weather in general. Better for motion and warmth.
Ledum may have some swelling and coldness in the affected joint. Worse for heat or becoming over-heated and motion. Though they may be chilly, they feel better for cold applications or cold bathing. Pain in the small joints, especially the toes and joint pains seem to progress up the body. Ledum is particularly good for the feet and lower legs. The soles of the feet may be painful. Ledum can also be helpful for the after-effects of steroid injections.
Rhus tox (see also: Rhymes with Box) is a good remedy for all forms of rheumatism. Worse in the morning on waking, cold, sitting still (resting) and when first moving. Better after getting up and going, continued motion and hot baths or showers. They may be restless and feel better if they keep moving.
All of these remedies listed are primarily to address the acute pain of osteoarthritis. Alan Schmukler (2006) mentions that Bryonia or Rhus tox will bring relief in a majority of cases.
This is just a small sampling of the most common (and readily available) remedies which may help arthritis pain. I could keep writing on homeopathic arthritis remedies for hours! There's a lot to say and a lot of individual remedies which may be further tailored to specific arthritic symptoms.
I highly recommend working with a professional homeopath to try and get to the root of the issue. In the meantime, try one of these above listed remedies and see if you can get a little relief.
Life is just way too short to be in constant pain and discomfort. Try some homeopathy and see if you can get back to doing things you love.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* I have and am very pleased with ireliev’s wireless TENS unit (though, I must say, I really don’t use it very often any more). Again, I have no affiliation with this company, I just like their product.
** It is possible to purchase a mixture of all 12 cell salts. However, I have found better results when choosing just the best indicated cell salts rather than using the full complement.
***I have no affiliation with this company, I just like their products.
Anon., 2023. tenalgia crepitans [online]. TheFreeDictionary.com.
Arthritis Foundation, 2016. Arthritis and Mental Health [online]. Arthritis.org.
Brooks, J. M., Titus, A. J., Polenick, C. A., Orzechowski, N. M., Reid, M. C., MacKenzie, T. A., Bartels, S. J. and Batsis, J. A., 2018. Prevalence rates of arthritis among US older adults with varying degrees of depression: Findings from the 2011 to 2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry [online], 33 (12), 1671–1679.
Carey, G. W., 1894. The Biochemic System of Medicine. F. August Luyties.
Kansal, K. and Kaushal, R., 2015. Textbook of practice of medicine with homeopathic therapeutics. New Delhi: B. Jain.
Lockie, A., 1993. The family guide to homeopathy : symptoms and natural solutions. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Mayo Clinic, 2021. Osteoarthritis - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic [online]. Mayoclinic.org.
McCabe, V., 2009. The Healing Echo. ReadHowYouWant.com.
Morrison, R., 1998. Desktop companion to physical pathology. Nevada City, Calif.: Hahnemann Clinic Publ.
NIAMS, 2019. NIAMS Health Information on Arthritis [online]. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
Rath, L., 2022. What Is Arthritis? [online]. www.arthritis.org.
Schmukler, A. V., 2006. Homeopathy : an A to Z home handbook. Woodbury, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications.
Schüssler, W. H., 2003. Schüssler’s twelve tissue remedies : comprising the theory, therapeutic applications, materia medica and a complete repertory of tissue remedies. Sittingbourne, Kent: Homæopathic Book Service.
Shane Anderson, A. and Loeser, R. F., 2010. Why is osteoarthritis an age-related disease? Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology, 24 (1), 15–26.
Teut, M. and Doppler, C., eds. 2019. Homeopathy in Dementia: Materia Medica and Case Studies. Emryss.
Thornton, P., 2022. Duloxetine: Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, Warnings [online]. Drugs.com.
“Getting long in the tooth” is a funny way of saying someone (or something) is getting old. Horses’ teeth apparently continue to grow with age. Age also wears the teeth down and makes it hard to determine the horse’s age (Martin 2023). So, I guess it stands to reason that someone who is getting long in the tooth may also have some issues with their teeth.
According to the American Dental Association, dry mouth, cavities and periodontitis can be problems as we age. Additionally, 19% of seniors no longer have any natural teeth. Conventional medication use can cause dry mouth, which, in turn, raises the risk of oral disease (Raphael 2017). Homeopathy can't help bring your teeth back after you've lost them but for other oral issues, like dry mouth, it can be very helpful.
One of my favorite homeopathic remedies for dry anything is Natrum muriaticum. (See: Salty Lips.) Nat Mur can be helpful, particularly if there is a dry mouth WITH thirst. It’s a very helpful remedy for all sorts of mouth issues, actually. Mouth sores and ulcers; bleeding gums; offensive breath; a bluish discoloration to the lips during a chill and gingivitis (the precursor to periodontitis (Ubertalli 2022). Contrary to all the dryness, Nat Mur may be helpful for mucus or slime in the mouth or excess salivation, even causing them to spit constantly at night. Sore pain in the mouth. Toothaches from chewing or from cold anything and they may be sensitive to touch. (I’ll just throw this one in here since we’re talking about dryness and Natrum muriaticum: Women with dry lady parts may find Nat Mur helpful, too.)
Other generally dry remedies (homeopathically speaking) to consider for dental issues are Bryonia and Nux moschata.
Homeopathic Bryonia may have dry, cracked lips and the person may have a tendency to lick them or pick them. The person may make a chewing motion with their jaws. Toothaches may seem to go from one tooth to another and the pain may be worse when lying down. The tooth pain may be sharp and there may be swelling cheeks with the toothache.
Homeopathic Nux moschata has a dry mouth WITHOUT thirst. Slimy mucus may be found in this remedy, too. The palate is so dry that the tongue may get stuck up there. Or, the tongue may seem dry itself. Toothaches which are better from warmth.
All three of these remedies may show other signs of dryness common in old age, like: dry stool (or constipation), dry skin, dry eyes, dryness inside the nose.
To help combat cavities at any age, see “Smile On!”
If you suffer from gingivitis and/or periodontitis, I suggest working with a professional homeopath.
Here's to keeping your pearly whites for when you arrive at the pearly gates!
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
American Dental Association, 2012. Aging and Dental Health | American Dental Association [online]. Ada.org.
Harvard Health Publishing, 2010. The aging mouth - and how to keep it younger - Harvard Health [online]. Harvard Health.
Martin, G., 2023. ‘Long in the tooth’ - the meaning and origin of this phrase [online]. Phrasefinder.
Murphy, R., n.d. Repertory, version 3. Accessed through Radar Opus software.
Raphael, C., 2017. Oral Health and Aging. American Journal of Public Health [online], 107 (S1), S44–S45.
Ubertalli, J. T., 2022. Periodontitis - Dental Disorders [online]. Merck Manuals Professional Edition.
It doesn’t look like a scary place, does it? But it is! This beautiful blue sky, well, what was under that beautiful blue sky, filled my head with some dastardly little things that gave me a stonking headache and made it difficult to breathe and sleep. I was up many times in the night blowing my nose. The light frost in the morning didn’t do anything to make those bad things go away the next night, either!
I guess it’s that time of year… Hayfever season.
All my life, everybody around me has suffered miserably from hayfever. It’s a new thing for me and I don’t find the number of tissues I have been blasting my way through very amusing. I have a new-found sympathy for all allergy sufferers, I can tell you that!
I felt better on the drive home with the windows up and the A/C on, but it all returned again once I unpacked the truck.
I had a shower to get those nasty little allergens off of me and I also had a chewable tablet that I am now going to keep a little closer to me until a good, hard frost comes in.
“Combination H”: Schuessler Tissue Salts Hayfever combination.* (This page also has a nice FAQ list about tissue/cell salts.)
Uh-huh, that’s what I’m talking about! Headache gone. I slept all night without having to blow my nose. Good stuff!
Made in Australia by Martin & Pleasance*, they have a whole range of combination tissue salts, (or cell salts, if you prefer) for a couple of dozen common conditions.
The tablets are handy, that’s for sure. But, if you don’t have this combo remedy easily at hand, you can have a dose each of Mag phos, Nat Mur and Silicea (all 6x potency) and achieve the same blessedly wonderful effect.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* I have no affiliation with this company, I just like their products.
Summer athletes, take heed! ER visits shoot up in
the warmer months as the seasonal warriors take on
the bats, balls and trails.
This one hits home right now as my husband is in week 3 of his really nasty sprain. Click here for an 18-second visual of what’s involved in an ankle sprain. (For the record, he wasn’t being a weekend warrior, it was just an unfortunate happenstance.)
We were hours from medical care, his ankle was huge and looked very wrong. I gave him Arnica 1m immediately, to great effect. Ice. Rest. Elevation. More Arnica repeated as needed. The ER took X-rays and sent him on his way with 2 Ace bandages and told him to take ibuprofen for the pain. That was helpful. Not. The next day we were able to see a proper orthopedist who took more X-rays and this time sent him on his way with a walking/air boot and the same instructions for pain. He never resorted to the over-the-counter painkillers, I am happy to say.
What to do after that? Well, some people say the X-rays can be a problem. If you’re worried about that, Nat Mur 6x, (twice daily the day of the X-ray and a few days following) is said to help.
Back to sprained ankles…
The number one remedy to turn to for any accident or injury is Arnica. Give it early and repeat as needed. As a general rule of thumb, the worse the injury, the higher the potency and then back off the repetition and lower the potency as the pain dictates.
The next remedy to consider is Aconite to help reduce the shock which often follows a bad injury. Remember! Aconite rhymes with fright. Any situation that has been a shock to your system can benefit from Aconite. And, in this case, it can benefit not only the person who had the accident, but the person who witnessed the accident.
The traditional, much accepted treatment for injuries is RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Some injuries respond to cold, some respond to heat. Ice restricts blood flow and blood flow is what you need to heal your parts. That same blood flow is also what can cause all the swelling. I am not a physician but I have certainly had more than my fair share of injuries in my lifetime. Some of my injuries felt better with rest and elevation and ice and some felt better getting moving right away. To my mind, your pain (in addition to the input from your physician) needs to be your guide as to what is right for you.
What else can help? Here are a few homeopathic suggestions and their symptoms which may help you choose the best homeopathic remedy for your injury.
Arnica: Start here. “It is safe to say that 98% of patients who have suffered traumatic injury, however caused, need a dose of Arnica to begin their recovery” (Thomas 2000).
A typical Arnica patient does not want anyone to touch their injured area. Sore, they may feel “beaten up” with swelling, bruising and inflammation. Topical Arnica is an option if the skin is intact. Do NOT apply Arnica to open injuries.
Rhus tox: for an injury that is better for heat and continued motion. Worse on first moving. Rhus tox is better suited to simple sprains.
Ruta: for an injury that is worse for motion and worse for cold application. Bruised, crushed, weak feeling. A remedy for tendons and ligaments, similar to Rhus in its pain. May feel hot to touch. Follows Arnica well to help aid in recovery.
Bellis perennis: Think of this remedy if Arnica is not helping as much as you think it should be helping. Bruised pain. Like Rhus tox, a Bellis pain hurts when starting to move but gets better as you keep moving the injured area and is better from heat. A Bellis pain, though, may have the sensation of a band squeezing the injured joint. “Complicated sprains involving tendons, ligaments and soft tissue with swelling, edema and pain” (Ratera 2016).
Bryonia: worse for the slightest movement of any kind. Better for rest and immobility. This person might be a little grumpy as a result of their injury.
Ledum: when the injured area feels better from cold applications. Ankle feels dislocated and is worse by walking, to the point of being intolerable. The skin may be cold to the touch.
Symphytum for tears at the point of tendon insertion into the bone (Ratera 2016). This remedy has been known to speed along recovery. CAUTION: do NOT use Symphytum until you are certain there is no break or fracture.
Cell Salts which may be of help for sprains (Weintraub 1999):
Again, let your pain be your guide as to how long and how often you taking the remedies.
According to American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, a sprain is a stretch and/or tear of a ligament and a strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. Sprains generally occur in ankles, knees and wrists and strains generally occur in the back or leg, particularly the hamstring. Both injuries can range in severity and neither is necessarily worse than the other — it depends on the person and the injury.
Conventional medicine again recommends RICE for strains (see above).
Homeopathically, Arnica is the best place to start and may be all that you need. “Forcing, twisting, wrenching strains and tears are most likely to respond to Arnica if it is prescribed within 24 hours of the trauma” (Thomas 2000).
The above list of remedies can also be applied to muscle strains with these notations:
Rhus tox may be especially helpful in injuries due to lifting or over-exertion.
Bryonia is especially well suited to intercostal and rib injuries.
Ruta is also useful for injuries due to over-exertion. Follows Arnica well to help aid in recovery.
Cell Salts which may be of help for strains (Weintraub 1999):
In addition to the above listed cell salts:
Number one: wear a helmet. Høye (2018) found helmet use reduced serious head injury by 60%.
We just watched an interesting documentary called Bikes of Wrath where 5 young guys re-created the journey from Steinbeck’s novel of a similar name, but this time on bikes. None of them had any head injuries, but they did indeed have some strains and perhaps a sprain — in his case, it was his elbow. They certainly could have benefitted from carrying a little remedy kit with them, that's for sure!
Sprains and strains are covered above, let's move on to cuts, scrapes and contusions.
Once again, Arnica is the first stop for any injury. If the fall was big enough, take a dose of Aconite for any shock.
ROAD RASH (see this link for more information)
Ooof! It’s been a long time since I’ve had to pick gravel out of my knee, but I can still remember how unpleasant that is!
In this case, an oral dose of Arnica may be helpful because there is probably some element of bruising that will accompany the road rash, but remember DO NOT to apply Arnica to broken skin.
I have no idea who this group is, but they have some clear images indicating whether hospital treatment should be sought following a skinned knee.
Assuming the wound is not too bad and does not need professional medical care, clean the area and remove any debris. The Wound Care Society has some nice instructions.
Calendula is where you want to start homeopathically for this injury — after the wound has been sufficiently cleaned out, that is. Calendula can be taken orally, or a Calendula tincture or cream can be applied. If you have the homeopathic pellet, but not a tincture, dissolve the Calendula pellet in some clean water and apply that to the wound. Hypericum can be used in this way, as well.
Ledum is useful if the wound is deeper. It may be cool to the touch and very painful.
Hypericum: like Calendula, Hypericum is very good and soothing to use topically. In fact, they can work very well together. Helios offers a lovely combination cream*. A Hypericum wound is very sensitive and is definitely indicated if any nerves are involved, like fingertips or toes.
Hamamelis is very good if the wound continues to bleed. Arnica, too, can help with bleeding, but Hamamelis would be the next stop. Also very good for hematomas which may form as a result of the injury.
Cell Salts which may be of help for cuts and abrasions (Weintraub 1999):
Guess what the first remedy is for bruising? You’re so clever! Yes, it’s Arnica! The bruise is painful and they don’t want anybody to touch it!
Bellis perennis if the bruising is deeper, and especially if the bruising is in the abdominal area or breast tissue.
Ledum shows up again here, too -- if the area feels better with cold application.
Ruta or Symphytum if the bone is bruised or the periosteum is affected (the tissues between the bones and the skin — think of the shins or cheekbones).
Cell Salts which may be of help for bruising (Weintraub 1999):
First off — consult a physician if you have hit your head, whether you were wearing a helmet, or not.
Once again, Arnica is the place to start. Not only because it’s the go-to first remedy for any accident or injury, but in this case because Arnica is the first choice homeopathic remedy for head injury, period.
Bonus! One of my favorite homeopathic books for injuries, First Aid with Homeopathy by Dr. Manuel Mateu Ratera, has a PDF of his Head Injury pages available online.
The next-in-line remedy for head injuries is Nat sulph (see cell salts below). Like Arnica, Nat sulph can be used for residual effects from old head injuries.
Why choose one over the other? Arnica has the general trauma/injury element to it.
When to choose Nat sulph? Nat sulph has a slight edge in terms of residual effects from head injuries: concussions afterward, migraines afterward. However, Nat sulph is more clearly indicated when there is vertigo following a head injury or depression or mental dullness sets in after a head injury.
Cell Salts which may be of help for head injuries (Weintraub 1999):
For some research on mild traumatic brain injuries and homeopathy, see Chapman et al. (1999).
These remedies, Arnica in particular, should accompany you when you set out for any physical activities this summer. Or, better yet, purchase a little kit to throw in your bag. Taproots has nice one*.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* Just because NSAIDs are available over the counter does not mean they are without risks. There are plenty of studies out there talking about the downside of taking NSAIDs. Below are just a few of these studies.
** I have no affiliation with these companies, I just like their products.
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, n.d. Sprains, Strains and Other Soft-Tissue Injuries - OrthoInfo - AAOS [online]. www.orthoinfo.org.
Helios Homoeopathy, n.d. Hypericum/Calendula cream: helios-frontend [online]. www.helios.co.uk.
Høye, A., 2018. Bicycle helmets – To wear or not to wear? A meta-analyses of the effects of bicycle helmets on injuries. Accident Analysis & Prevention [online], 117, 85–97.
Mayo Clinic, 2018. Sprained ankle - Symptoms and causes [online]. Mayo Clinic.
Ratera, Dr. M. M., 2016. First Aid with Homeopathy. Kander, Germany: Narayana Verlag.
Sonnenschmidt, R., Sankaran, R., Vithoulkas, G., Borland, D., Scholten, J., Kusse, F., Mangialavori, M., Birch, K., Das Kaviraj, V., Perko, S., Welte, U., Le Roux, P., Hahnemann, S., Jus, S. and Chauhan, D., n.d. Manuel Mateu i Ratera First Aid with Homeopathy Reading excerpt First Aid with Homeopathy of Manuel Mateu i Ratera Publisher: Hahnemann Institut [online].
Summers, S., 2022. How can I take care of a scraped knee? [online]. www.truthaboutnursing.org.
TapRoots, 2022. SUMMER On-the-Go Portable Homeopathic Kit Including Hard-covered Case, Holds 8 Kit-sized Remedies [online]. TapRoots.
Temple ReadyCare, 2021. 6 Reasons for Summer ER Visits and How to Avoid Common Injuries and Illness [online]. Temple Health.
Thomas, E., 2000. Homoeopathy for sports, exercise, and dance. Beaconsfield, Bucks, Uk: Beaconsfield Publishers.
Weintraub, S., 1999. Natural healing with cell salts. Pleasant Grove, Ut: Woodland Pub.
woundcaresociety, 2016. How to heal skinned knee quickly? [online]. Wound Care Society.
woundcaresociety, 2019. How Long Does Road Rash Take To Heal [online]. Wound Care Society.
Research links - Arnica:
Marzotto, M., Arruda-Silva, F. and Bellavite, P., 2020. Fibronectin Gene Up-regulation by Arnica montana in Human Macrophages: Validation by Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay. Homeopathy [online], 109 (03), 140–145.
Research links Homeopathy & Head Injury:
Chapman, E. H., Weintraub, R. J., Milburn, M. A., Pirozzi, T. O. and Woo, E., 1999. Homeopathic Treatment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation [online], 14 (6), 521–542.
Research links: Traumeel:
Birnesser, H., Oberbaum, M., Klein, P. and Weiser, M., 2004. THE HOMEOPATHIC PREPARATION TRAUMEEL® S COMPARED WITH NSAIDS FOR SYMPTOMATIC TREATMENT OF EPICONDYLITIS. Journal of Musculoskeletal Research [online], 08 (02n03), 119–128.
Conforti, A., Bertani, S., Metelmann, H., Chirumbolo, S., Lussignoli, S. and Bellavite, P., 1997. Experimental studies of the anti-inflammatory activity of a homeopathic preparation. [online].
Lussignoli, S., Bertani, S., Metelmann, H., Bellavite, P. and Conforti, A., 1999. Effect of Traumeel S, a homeopathic formulation, on blood-induced inflammation in rats. Complementary Therapies in Medicine [online], 7 (4), 225–230.
Porozov, S., Cahalon, L., Weiser, M., Branski, D., Lider, O. and Oberbaum, M., 2004. Inhibition of IL-1β and TNF-α Secretion from Resting and Activated Human Immunocytes by the Homeopathic Medication Traumeel® S. Clinical and Developmental Immunology [online], 11 (2), 143–149.
Schneider, C., Klein, P., Stolt, P. and Oberbaum, M., 2005. A Homeopathic Ointment Preparation Compared With 1% Diclofenac Gel for Acute Symptomatic Treatment of Tendinopathy. EXPLORE [online], 1 (6), 446–452.
* Research links: NSAIDs:
Allison, M. C., Howatson, A. G., Torrance, C. J., Lee, F. D. and Russell, R. I., 1992. Gastrointestinal Damage Associated with the Use of Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs. New England Journal of Medicine [online], 327 (11), 749–754.
Bindu, S., Mazumder, S. and Bandyopadhyay, U., 2020. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and organ damage: A current perspective. Biochemical Pharmacology [online], 180, 114147.
Graham, D. Y., Opekun, A. R., Willingham, F. F. and Qureshi, W. A., 2005. Visible small-intestinal mucosal injury in chronic NSAID users. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology [online], 3 (1), 55–59.
Risser, A., Donovan, D., Heintzman, J. and Page, T., 2009. NSAID Prescribing Precautions. American Family Physician [online], 80 (12), 1371–1378.
My latest read arrived in the mail today. “Pigs: The Homeopathic Approach to the Treatment and Prevention of Diseases.” Once I have read it, it will sit on the shelf next to “Homeopathy for the Heard: A Farmer’s Guide to Low-Cost, Non-Toxic Veterinary Care of Cattle” and the “Practical Handbook of Veterinary Homeopathy: Healing Our Companion Animals from the Inside Out.” I have more like this on the shelf, but that’s not the point of this article.
The purpose of this article is to point out how marvelously well homeopathy works for all creatures. I have recently written about Rufus and his troubles ["An insecure rectum"& "What Hurts?"], but homeopathy has in the past helped our chickens and our peacock, too.
Now, let's take a look at our imaginary creatures from the title of this article.
I have no doubt this powerful medicine would be able to help “The Lion in Love.” That’s the Aesop’s Fable where the poor lion, in love with the woodsman’s daughter, was de-fanged and de-clawed and still denied the woodsman’s daughter anyway. This poor fellow most certainly could have been helped by Natrum muriaticum, the preeminent remedy for unrequited love.
Though tiger balm isn’t made from any part of a tiger (at least not that I can find!), and can be useful for straining injuries — the mechanism behind the active ingredient is to numb and block nerve sensations to make the area feel temporarily less painful. Now, if our imaginary tiger from an Aesop’s fable was in need of tiger balm, I’m not certain it would do him much good due to his thick coat and skin. BUT, homeopathy could help him. Helios pharmacy makes a lovely remedy they call “Helios Injury.” This is a combination of Arnica, Rhus tox and Ruta grav which will bring relief to strains and sprains and bruises (oh, my! — sorry, I couldn’t resist). If you are not near a Helios (located in the UK), you can make your own combination remedy by putting a couple of pellets of each of the 3 remedies in your mouth at one time and letting them dissolve together to create this powerful remedy.
The bear in Aesop's “The Bear and The Bees,” who was stung so terribly by the whole hive from whom he was trying to steal their honey… Apis mellifica is the remedy needed if the area is warm, red and swollen. But, if the sting area feels cold and it is relieved by cold, then Ledum palustre is the better choice.
Whether it’s a chicken or a peacock or a dog or a pig or a whole herd of cows… homeopathy can help clear up what ails them quickly, safely and non-toxically.
If you are interested in setting an appointment for your lion, tiger or bear, I'm willing to give it a try! Contact me at classicallypractical.com.
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.