Next up in my series on aging, "It's Never Too Late," is #2, Balance issues.
What causes balance issues? Inner ear disorders, head injuries, neurological conditions and even medical issues such as diabetes, heart disease and thyroid problems, or, medications could be the culprit, too. In other words — it could be hard to find out what is causing these balance issues. There are a lot of avenues to investigate. It could make your head spin! Did I mention vertigo is a common cause of balance issues?
One of the beautiful aspects of homeopathy is we don’t need to know if it’s a thyroid problem or an inner ear disturbance. We only need to know what symptoms play out with these balance issues. Can it help if we know the cause? Sure, but it’s not necessary.
Let me be clear here, though. I am not suggesting to skip the investigation. Definitely figure it out with the help of a medical professional.
Signs and symptoms of balance problems include (Mayo Clinic 2018):
This could become a long article with lots of twists and turns (a little vertigo-causing itself it could be, actually!) but we’re not going there. We’re going to make it simple.
We’re going to look at the top homeopathic remedies for vertigo, dizziness, falling and the sensation of falling.
Calcarea carbonica, Calc carb for short. Clumsy, awkward, falls easily. Feet may turn inward when walking. Get tired from a short walk. There may be a tendency to fall to either side, particularly the left side, or backward. Vertigo can be caused by turning the head, looking upward or going upstairs/uphill. This is an excellent remedy for the elderly in and of itself, regardless of a tendency to fall.
Cocculus indicus has a fear of falling and a tendency to fall to either side. Cocculus has an affinity for the spine, and especially of its motor nerves. “There may be a weakness in the small of the back, as if paralyzed; the small of the back gives out when walking; the soles of the feet feel as if they were asleep; the thighs ache as if they had been pounded; first one hand then the other goes to sleep; sometimes the whole arm falls asleep … These symptoms lie at the foundation of the symptomatology of the whole drug; they all seem to depend upon spinal weakness” (Farrington 2010). In most cases which respond well to Cocculus, there is some component of vertigo at play and may be accompanied by nausea which may be worse in a sitting position or when changing from a reclining to a sitting position.
Natrum muriaticum. Nat-mur has a fear of falling, too. With vertigo, this remedy has a tendency to fall forward or to the left. The vertigo feels as if they are falling and may be worse standing near a window (or looking out of a window) or on closing the eyes and is improved when lying with the head propped high. Vertigo may be worse in the morning, especially when getting out of bed and occasionally the vertigo may be accompanied by nausea or nosebleeds.
Nux vomica fears falling, too, but particularly in the afternoon. (Homeopathy never fails to amaze me with its odd specificities!) With vertigo, a person who may benefit from Nux vomica isn’t so particular which way they fall: forward, backward or to the side. The vertigo of Nux-v feels as if the brain (and other objects) turn in a circle.
Rhus toxicodendron tends to fall backward, forward, or, to the right. It’s a major remedy for the tendency to fall when rising from bed. Or, they may have the sensation as if they would fall over. There may be a fear of death or a weakness of memory during the vertigo. Vertigo may be worse when lying down. Rhus tox is also noted in a form of vertigo common in old age which gives a sensation of confusion and dullness (Choudhuri 2016).
Stramonium popped up in the search as the only remedy listed for the following: tends to fall backward while walking; tends to fall in the dark; tends to fall to the right while sitting or rising from bed from a sitting position. There is also a tendency to hallucinations that they are falling. Vertigo is worse walking in the dark or when the eyes are closed.
A few other remedies with some particular falling tendencies (single remedy rubrics):
Phosphorus for vertigo with a tendency to fall from a chair.
Causticum tends to fall to the left while looking upward.
Spigelia tends to fall while looking down.
Strength and balance training are always a good thing, despite your age. I know nothing about Elderlygym.com, but they had some good, common sense information and some clever exercises to get started on reclaiming your balance. Or, find a well-qualified yoga or pilates teacher who has experience working with people your age.
If you (or a loved one) finds yourself no longer vertical on a regular basis, get it checked out.
“To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better.” Victor Hugo.
Homeopathy can help with both.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
Choudhuri, N. M., 2016. A study on materia medica : an ideal text-book for homoeopathic students. Accessed through Radar Opus software. Noida, U.P., India: B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.
Elderlygym.com, 2019. 12 Best Elderly Balance Exercises For Seniors to Reduce the Risk of Falls [online]. Eldergym® Senior Fitness. Available from: .
Farrington, A., 2010. Lectures on Clinical Materia Medica in Family Order. Accessed through Radar Opus software.
Mayo Clinic, 2018. Balance problems - Symptoms and causes [online]. Mayo Clinic.
Morrison, R., 1998. Desktop companion to physical pathology. Nevada City, Calif.: Hahnemann Clinic Publ.
Murphy, R., n.d. Repertory, version 3. Accessed through Radar Opus software.
I couldn’t come up with a pithy lip quip so I’ll just get to the point — dry lips, chapped lips, cracked lips.
What to do about them? Most people resort to some sort of lip balm but I saw an interesting study on soldiers participating in desert training. They found that “lip protectants appeared to be relatively ineffective in the prevention and treatment of chapped lips” (Shulman et al. 1997).
What does homeopathy have to offer for lips? A little salt, actually.
Salt? Yup, Natrum muriaticum is made from common salt and it is excellent for helping to balance fluids in the body, including ailments from said imbalances.
That about covers it, I think!
My lips aren’t sealed when it comes to singing the praises of homeopathy!
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
The Road Less Traveled
Photo by brut carniollus on Unsplash
Headaches are tough. They’re tough to live through and they can be tough to help homeopathically speaking because there are so many variables in headaches.
I woke up with a cracking headache the other day. This headache was so bad that I, the homeopath who has not had so much as a Tylenol in 10 years, considered for just a brief moment, taking some over the counter (OTC) medicine.
Why not take that route? It’s so easy! What harm can it do?
Let's take a quick look at why OTC meds might not be the best option.
If you take any conventional meds, prescribed or otherwise, I highly recommend you spend a little time at drugs.com. They do a nice job of explaining the “side effects” and other important information that one should know when one is ingesting medicinal substances. (All of the below information comes from drugs.com unless otherwise noted.)
The two most common OTC meds for headaches are acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) and NSAIDs (a.k.a. ibuprofen, e.g. Advil).
Acetaminophen use in the US is shockingly high. 40% of adults reported using it monthly and 23% weekly. Acetaminophen is the most common cause of acute liver failure. Acetaminophen is also the most common cause of both intentional and unintentional poisoning in the US (Dimitropoulos 2014).
Finding statistics on who uses ibuprofen and how often was not so easy. The nearest I came was to find that “approximately 70% of people 65 years or older use NSAIDs at least once per week” (Fine 2013).
NSAIDs and acetaminophen both:
Ibuprofen: Very common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 57%), vomiting (up to 22%), flatulence (up to 16%), diarrhea (up to 10%)
Ibuprofen: Very common (10% or more): Hemorrhage (up to 10%), hypertension (10%), hypotension (10%)
Using these OTC meds frequently for headaches can also result in rebound headaches (Freeland 2020).
For years, doctors have been recommending acetaminophen over NSAIDs during pregnancy, but now we’re learning that exposure to this is linked to higher rates of ADHD and autism (National Institutes of Health 2019; Alemany et al. 2021; Cleveland Clinic 2022).
An added risk of using acetaminophen is that it is commonly added to other drugs (e.g. Theraflu, Alka-Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels, Vicodin, Percocet). If you take a Tylenol in addition to taking one of these other meds, it could result in a fatal overdose (Bates 2016; Harvard Health Publishing 2018).
After just a short while looking into these “safe” OTC medicines, I realized this could become a very long article, so I will stop here. (I really didn’t even look into risks for children (Ogilvie et al. 2012), though I’m sure they are just as bad, if not worse than for adults.) I will say this, though: I am even more pleased with my decision to not take the well trodden OTC painkiller route after my little internet exploration. Risking gastrointestinal bleeding or liver disease to get rid of a headache? No, thank you. I’ll pass.
What route did I take? I took the road less traveled… Homeopathy, of course!
Before I get to the homeopathic remedies for headaches, please note that some headaches definitely warrant medical assistance:
As I mentioned in my article Garbage In, Garbage Out, everybody experiences headaches differently. Your headache is not the same as your neighbor’s headache.
Why do we get headaches? Good question. The reasons are plentiful: Stress and tension can cause headaches. Emotions can cause headaches. Crying can cause headaches. Drinking alcohol can cause headaches. Certain foods for certain people can cause headaches. The weather can cause headaches. Hunger can cause headaches. Physical issues, like sitting at a desk all day, can cause headaches. Dehydration can cause headaches (see, Summer Fun #5: Dehydration). Menses can cause headaches. Homeopathy in all its wisdom takes all of these possible causations into consideration when selecting a remedy. (Some of these conditions are chronic situations and seeking the advice from a professional homeopath may be necessary to help figure your headaches out.)
As in everything homeopathy, the symptoms, or how you experience the headache, are the key to finding the right remedy for you.
NOTE: A 30c potency is a good place to start. If no change occurs, repeat the remedy 15-20 minutes later. If there is any amelioration, stick with the remedy. We are not looking for perfection, we are looking for improvement. If you are NO better after a couple of doses, take another look at the symptoms and try another remedy. As I said earlier, headaches can be very tricky, especially when you are in the middle of one. (If you have somebody nearby who can help you figure it out, all the better.) Don’t get discouraged. The long-term benefits of kicking the OTC habit are worth it. If you have to succumb to an OTC, try and take note of what you were feeling and see if you can match up a remedy for the next time you get a headache.
Please note also that this is not an exhaustive list of headache remedies, nor is it an exhaustive list of symptoms for each remedy listed. This is just a quick look at a few common homeopathic headache remedies which should be readily available in most household homeopathic kits or in your local health food store.
Bryonia is the “grumpy bear” remedy. Grumpy because every movement you make hurts — it even hurts to move your eyes. It hurts to be touched. Every noise somebody else makes hurts. A splitting headache — as if the head would split right open or pain right across the forehead. Thirsty, thirsty, thirsty for big gulps of water. Constipation may be present. Firm pressure on the head can help as can a nice, cool cloth across the forehead. Bryonia is an excellent flu remedy and is also good for injuries and back pains, neck & shoulder pains; too much sun and coughing.
Belladonna — sudden onset. Throbbing, pounding pain. In the temples or extending from temple to temple. Fullness in the head — a congestive headache. Your head may hurt so much that it hurts to touch your scalp. A couple of keynotes for Belladonna in any condition: sudden onset. Hotness. Redness. (See, Summer Fun #1: Sun.) They don’t want any noise or light or anyone to bump that bed you’re on. A Belladonna headache feels better with pressure — pressing on your head can help the pain. Headaches from coughing or sneezing.
Gelsemium: Headache with the sensation as if there were a tight band around the head. A distressing headache. Pain beginning in the neck and extending up and all over the head. A good remedy for headaches with the flu. Can’t keep the eyes open. Headache from nervousness — anticipatory anxiety. Or, a headache that came on after hearing bad news. They feel better when keeping their head raised up when lying down. Their brain may feel sore. A fascinating symptom of Gelsemium is the headache can feel better after urinating. They want to be left alone, but unlike Bryonia, they have no thirst.
Ignatia: Headaches from emotions: shock, sadness, grief, worry or anger. From the outside, they may seem oversensitive to the pain; they may even be hysterical. Pain as if a nail is driven into the side of the head. Or, a headache felt along the sides of the head. A heavy feeling in the head. Pulsating sensation over the eyes. They may have a very focused headache, just in one spot. Strong smells, especially tobacco smoke, can bring on a headache. Wrapping the head up may feel good.
Natrum muriaticum: headaches from grief and disappointed love. Headache as if being hit by dozens of tiny hammers beating on your brain. A bursting headache. A heavy sensation in the back of the head. May feel a band or hoop sensation around head. Headache as if from a blow to the head. Feels as if they must lie down. A headache on one side of the head. Eyes are sensitive to light and there may be visual disturbances. They are worse from the sun.
Nux vomica for headaches from too much (see, Too Much!) — too much alcohol, too much sugar, too much sun, too much work, too much food. Too much can also mean not enough of something else: not enough sleep, not enough emptying of the bowels (constipation). Headaches from toxic substances, street drugs as well as prescription or over the counter medicines. Or, a headache that feels as if it’s from intoxication, without imbibing the toxic substance itself. Unable to raise the head. Head feels swollen. These people can be miffed — angry and frustrated. The pain can be in the back of the head or over the eyes. As if a nail has been driven into the top of the head. Headache all over the head. Splitting headache. Dizziness, especially on rising. The head may be sensitive to cold air or drafts of air. Headache from tooth pain. Nux vomica is also good for colds and stuffed up noses, so if your headache is coming from that, this could be a good choice.
Pulsatilla: Headache from overeating, especially fats. Hormonal headaches. Headaches experienced during puberty. Throbbing. Heavy head — hard to hold it up. A bubbling sensation in the head or noises in the head. Bending the head to one side may feel good. They must lie down while keeping their head raised. A one-sided headache. Oversensitivity, weepiness and craving company and with no thirst — all big keynotes for Pulsatilla. They feel better in open air and while rubbing their head or from wrapping their head. Coughs make it worse. Shooting pains or wandering pains.
Sanguinaria: A “sick headache” with nausea and possibly vomiting. The pain is focused in or around the right eye. It can be a quick pain — a flash of pain on the back of the head. The eyes may feel like they’re being pressed out. Forehead pain, just above the eyes. The pain improves from sleep. Nausea. Dizziness. Vomiting and feeling better from vomiting. Bursting pain.
Silicea. Lingering headaches following an illness. An occipital headache, sitting right there at the back or your head or, starting in the occiput and traveling up and over the head. May feel nauseous and vomit. Cold, clammy sweat on the forehead. Talking makes them feel worse. Constipation and straining can cause this headache. A headache from cold exposure to the head. Head pain resulting from a toothache. May feel better from binding the head. Conversely, a headache that has been brought on from having the head bound may respond well to Silicea. Like Gelsemium, the headache can improve with urination.
Children with headaches may respond well to Calc phos 3x. Older children may respond well to Nat Mur or Ignatia.
So, what did I take for my headache?
Bryonia first, which removed the debilitating pain and I could then focus more clearly on what I was feeling. Almost immediately, I noticed how nauseous I was. Was I nauseous before? Maybe, but it certainly wasn't pronounced enough for me to notice it. Then, sitting by an open window trying to get some work done, the nearby construction noise was absolutely intolerable — really irking me. Aha. Irritability and nausea = Nux vomica. Within an hour, the bulk of the headache was gone and by afternoon I felt absolutely good to go -- as if I never even had a headache.
Was it harder to take homeopathy rather than popping an OTC? Maybe, but only because it required me to think about my symptoms. But, to me, it was absolutely worth it. With homeopathy, there are no side-effects, no rebound headaches, no possibility of long-term damage (Habs and Koller 2021; American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists 2022). And, bonus!, homeopathy has been known to help uproot the underlying cause of the existing condition, thereby lessening the frequency and intensity in the future, especially in chronic conditions.
"I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
Alemany, S., Avella-García, C., Liew, Z., García-Esteban, R., Inoue, K., Cadman, T., López-Vicente, M., González, L., Riaño Galán, I., Andiarena, A., Casas, M., Margetaki, K., Strandberg-Larsen, K., Lawlor, D. A., El Marroun, H., Tiemeier, H., Iñiguez, C., Tardón, A., Santa-Marina, L. and Júlvez, J., 2021. Prenatal and postnatal exposure to acetaminophen in relation to autism spectrum and attention-deficit and hyperactivity symptoms in childhood: Meta-analysis in six European population-based cohorts. European Journal of Epidemiology [online].
American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists, 2022. FAQs [online]. The American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists.
Anderson, L. A., 2022. Pain / Fever Drugs and Alcohol Interactions [online]. Drugs.com. Available from: https://www.drugs.com/article/pain-medications-alcohol.html
Bates, A., 2016. Acetaminophen Intoxication: A Critical-Care Emergency [online]. Uspharmacist.com.
Cleveland Clinic, 2022. Does Acetaminophen Heighten Risk for Autism or ADHD? [online]. Cleveland Clinic.
Dimitropoulos, E., 2014. Acetaminophen Toxicity: What Pharmacists Need to Know [online]. Uspharmacist.com.
Drugs.com, 2018a. Acetaminophen [online]. Drugs.com.
Drugs.com, 2018b. Ibuprofen [online]. Drugs.com.
Fine, M., 2013. Quantifying the Impact of NSAID-Associated Adverse Events [online]. AJMC.
Freeland, M. N., 2020. Migraine Medication Overuse and Rebound Headaches - GoodRx [online]. GoodRx.
Habs, M. and Koller, M., 2021. Material Risks of Homeopathic Medicinal Products: Regulatory Frameworks, Results of Preclinical Toxicology, and Clinical Meta-Analyses and Their Implications. Complementary Medicine Research [online], 28 (1), 64–84.
Harvard Health Publishing, 2018. Acetaminophen safety: Be cautious but not afraid - Harvard Health [online]. Harvard Health.
National Institutes of Health, 2019. NIH-funded study suggests acetaminophen exposure in pregnancy linked to higher risk of ADHD, autism [online]. National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Ogilvie, J. D., Rieder, M. J. and Lim, R., 2012. Acetaminophen overdose in children. Canadian Medical Association Journal [online], 184 (13), 1492–1496.
Kaufman, D. W., Kelly, J. P., Wiholm, B.-E., Laszlo, A., Sheehan, J. E., Koff, R. S. and Shapiro, S., 1999. The Risk of Acute Major Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding Among Users of Aspirin and Ibuprofen at Various Levels of Alcohol Consumption. American Journal of Gastroenterology [online], 94 (11), 3189–3196.
Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018. Taking pills for chronic pain? [online]. Mayo Clinic.
Ullman, D., 2017. Safety Issues and Homeopathic Medicines [online]. Homeopathic.com.
Summer Fun #5: Dehydration
When we don’t drink enough fluids to replace what we have lost… well, just imagine that shriveled up, thirsty plant on your windowsill… Similar things happen to us 2 and 4 legged creatures, too.
Too much sun, not enough shade. A game of beach volleyball, golf or tennis. A mountain hike on a beautiful summer's day. Hot days, in general. Sitting on the beach and your cooler is now empty (on that note, drinking alcohol in the sun). All of these activities can leave you parched.
Don't think you're protected from dehydration because you are keeping yourself cool in the pool. I guess I never really thought about it, but sweating while swimming is a thing. Maughan (et al. 2009) and (Cox et al. 2002) show we do. Sengun (et al. 2012) found dehydration in professional underwater divers. The dehydration experienced in water athletes is less than those doing their thing on land, but it’s still there.
Heat, exertion, fever, breastfeeding, high altitude, diarrhea and vomiting can all lead to dehydration, regardless of the time of year.
There are plenty of recommendations out there for how much and how often to drink water and plenty of counter-recommendations, too. I leave that to you to figure out what is your necessary hydration requirements as there appears to be no “universal consensus” (Armstrong and Johnson 2018). Though far less common, just remember that over-hydration is also a thing (Hew-Butler et al. 2019).
How to know if you’re getting enough liquid?
Mayo Clinic (2020) says you should rarely feel thirsty and your urine should be light in color.
For infants: sunken eyes or the soft spot on their heads is sunken; no tears when crying; dry mouth and not producing much urine (Raab 2021) can indicate they are dehydrated or on their way to being.
Older children may complain of dizziness or headache, extreme thirst or they may be lethargic (The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne 2018). For more information on Pediatric Fluid Management, click here.
I was under the impression that the skin pinch test was a way to determine hydration status, but according to (Goehring et al. 2022), it's not reliable. I'm not convinced, however. It's apparently a decent indicator in dogs (Goucher et al. 2019). I say it's one more easy step to take to keep an eye on things.
For pets, rapid and heavy panting and dry gums are two signs (First Aid for Pets 2018).
Dehydration can be a life threatening condition, especially in children. Do not hesitate to seek immediate medical attention.
What to do about this?
Prevention is key. For mild to moderate dehydration, drink up!
Water, coconut water or even commercially available rehydration supplements — though, I would caution against the chemical concoctions (you know the brightly colored drinks); they come with their own set of yuckiness.
Get Well Soon: A Guide to Homeopathic First Aid (Norland 2016) suggests using a mixture of 1/4 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp honey or sugar in a pint of water and taking a tablespoon every 15 minutes if you are worried about dehydration during sickness.
Similarly, the Drs Banerji recommend: “salty water (1/2 teaspoonful of common salt in half a glass of cold water) to be given frequently — one tablespoonful at a time — and repeated whenever the patient feels very thirsty” (Banerji and Banerji 2013).
Might homeopathy help ward off dehydration?
The Banerjis also recommend Natrum muriaticum 6x and Kali phos 6x (2 tabs each together), taken every 3 hours to combat dehydration.
Now what? I drank some water but I still feel crummy.
For the after-effects of mild to moderate dehydration, consider these remedies:
Whichever remedy you choose, take every 15 minutes until feeling some improvement and then extend the time between doses. If, after a few doses there is zero change, choose another remedy.
For more information on ailments from the sun, see: Summer Fun #1: Sun.
Here's to staying cool, wearing a big hat, seeking the shade and sipping some lemonade (maybe even with a couple of cell salts added to it!) Or, if you want something a little more substantial, here are links to other homemade homeopathic anti-dehydration recipes: here and here.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
Alton, J. and Alton, A., 2021. The survival medicine handbook : the essential guide for when help is NOT on the way : a Doom and Bloom guide. United States? Doom And Bloom Llc.
Anon., 2022. Tea at the Treedome [online]. Encyclopedia SpongeBobia.
Armstrong, L. and Johnson, E., 2018. Water Intake, Water Balance, and the Elusive Daily Water Requirement. Nutrients [online], 10 (12), 1928.
Banerji, P. and Banerji, P., 2013. The Banerji protocols : a new method of treatment with homeopathic medicines. India: Pratip Banerji.
Calabrese, J., 2015. Ditch the Gatorade and Make My Sons’ Homeopathic Electrolyte Drink [online]. joettecalabrese.com.
Cox, G., Broad, E., Riley, M. and Burke, L., 2002. Body mass changes and voluntary fluid intakes of elite level water polo players and swimmers. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport [online], 5 (3), 183–193.
danastore, 2018. USING HOMEOPATHIC CELL SALTS TO HELP PROMOTE FASTER RECOVERY FROM HARMFUL HEALTH PROBLEMS IN ANIMALS by Judy Hoy [online]. Homeopathic.com.
First Aid for Pets, 2018. How to tell if your dog is dehydrated | First Aid for Pets [online]. firstaidforpets.net.
Goehring, M. T., Farran, J., Ingles-Laughlin, C., Benedista-Seelman, S. and Williams, B., 2022. Measures of Skin Turgor in Humans: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Wound Management & Prevention [online], 68 (4), 14–24.
Goucher, T. K., Hartzell, A. M., Seales, T. S., Anmuth, A. S., Zanghi, B. M. and Otto, C. M., 2019. Evaluation of skin turgor and capillary refill time as predictors of dehydration in exercising dogs. American Journal of Veterinary Research [online], 80 (2), 123–128.
Hew-Butler, T., Smith-Hale, V., Pollard-McGrandy, A. and VanSumeren, M., 2019. Of Mice and Men—The Physiology, Psychology, and Pathology of Overhydration. Nutrients [online], 11 (7), 1539.
Kight, B. P. and Waseem, M., 2020. Pediatric Fluid Management [online]. PubMed.
Ma, N., J, P., Ja, M., Jr, M. and M, V., 2006. Acute Mountain Sickness: Influence of Fluid Intake [online]. Wilderness & environmental medicine.
Maughan, R. J., Dargavel, L. A., Hares, R. and Shirreffs, S. M., 2009. Water and Salt Balance of Well-Trained Swimmers in Training. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism [online], 19 (6), 598–606.
Mayo Clinic, 2020. Water: How much should you drink every day? [online]. Mayo Clinic.
Murphy, R., n.d. Repertory, version 3. Accessed through Radar Opus software.
Norland, M., 2016. Get Well Soon -- A Guide to Homeopathic First Aid. Yondercott Press.
Raab, C. P., 2021. Dehydration in Children - Children’s Health Issues [online]. Merck Manuals Consumer Version.
Schmukler, A. V., 2006. Homeopathy : an A to Z home handbook. Woodbury, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications.
Sengun, S., Uslu, A. and Aydin, S., 2012. Application of multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis method for the detection of dehydration status in professional divers. Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania) [online], 48 (4), 203–210.
The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, 2018. Kids Health Information : Dehydration [online]. www.rch.org.au.
Huey, R. B. and Eguskitza, X., 2001. Limits to human performance: elevated risks on high mountains. Journal of Experimental Biology [online], 204 (18), 3115–3119.
Saat, M., Singh, R., Sirisinghe, R. G. and Nawawi, M., 2002. Rehydration after Exercise with Fresh Young Coconut Water, Carbohydrate-Electrolyte Beverage and Plain Water. Journal of PHYSIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY and Applied Human Science [online], 21 (2), 93–104.
Smith, D., 2018. Homeopathy, Tissue Salts & Bach Flowers for Pregnancy, Labour & Post-partum. bubiroo books.
Here we go again. We’re springing forward. Whoo hoo! Enter your own favorite sarcastic noise or eye roll here.
Why do they insist on messing with our body clocks like this? Despite the books (Downing 2009; Prerau 2006) and articles I have read about Daylight Savings Time, I still can’t make heads nor tails of why we are still engaging in this ridiculousness. Alas.
25% of the human population (in more than 70 countries), (Folyovich et al. 2020) endures this nonsense twice a year — resulting in “negative health effects, with 150,000 incidences in the US, and 880,000 globally” (Zhang et al. 2020). Even the American Academy of Sleep Medicine agrees with me, stating, “It is, therefore, the position of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine that these seasonal time changes should be abolished in favor of a fixed, national, year-round standard time (Rishi et al. 2020).
Manfredini (et al. 2019) did a meta-analysis of Acute Myocardial Infarctions (heart attacks) and Daylight Savings and found the risk “increased significantly” after the spring shift. For further sleep deprivation research, see my previous article.
If you’re like me, it doesn’t matter if you attempt to mitigate these effects by going to bed early or sleeping in… it’s when your body tells you it’s one time and you look at your clock and it tells you it’s another time. Yuck.
Well, tomorrow morning (or afternoon — whenever the painful effects of this clock tinkering kick in), I plan on taking a dose of Hyland’s Awaken*: “Natural relief of fatigue, drowsiness and irritability.”
Awaken is a little bottle of relief. Relief after a lousy night’s sleep or after having to wake early for an appointment or after a fun late night out or even as a result of travel between small distances between time zones… as well as from being compliant with this silly clock changing thing. [Is it apparent that I find this a great annoyance?]
What causes this relief?
Let’s look at what is in Hyland's formulation and why they included these homeopathic remedies (all in X potencies):
Known as “one of the greatest nerve remedies” (Murphy n.d.) and is one of the original 12 Schuessler Cell Salts. Cell Salts are composed from the basic minerals that cells require (Cell Salt Tissues 2022). Kali phos is helpful for drowsiness and yawning, forgetfulness and irritability.
Mezereum link to photo
Is a pretty little flower, aka Spurge Olive — this homeopathic remedy is made from a tincture of the fresh bark just before it flowers in the spring. Mezereum can help with mental dullness, irritability, laziness, yawning and sleepiness, in general.
Is simply common salt and is another of the original 12 cell salts. Nat Mur (as it’s known) is notable in terms of sleepiness in the late morning, mental dullness with sleepiness and weakness from loss of sleep. Nat Mur is also an excellent headache remedy — another possible symptom following not getting enough sleep.
As a homeopathic remedy is amazingly helpful in “collapsed states” (Morrison 1993). Waking up is difficult and sleepy by day, gloomy, dull and weakness with the sleepiness.
Great sleepiness during the day as results from an unrefreshing sleep (which is bound to be the case when the powers that be have goofed with our clocks!)
Sleepiness with: difficulty opening your eyes, indigestion and an inclination to lying down. Murphy (n.d.) notes “violent yawning and stretching bring tears to the eye.”
Headaches, even migraines, from a loss of sleep and overpowering sleepiness (specifically while working).
Also addresses headaches and sleepiness as well as restlessness and tossing about during sleep.
Here’s to sweet dreams. Maybe if we all concentrate really hard we can make this clock changing thing disappear!
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
If you suffer regularly from poor sleep, contact me to see if homeopathy may be of help to you.
* I have no affiliation with Hylands, I just like their product.
I usually like to provide a link for remedies, but Hylands.com no longer shows it. I see it is still available on lots of other websites, though. Hmmm. I hope Hyland’s is not taking this remedy away! The good thing about homeopathy, though, is you can make your own mixture based on the remedies and even tailor it to your specific needs.
Cell Salt Tissues, 2022. Buy Schuessler Salts | Cell Salts Tissue Salts World [online].
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Folyovich, A., Biczó, D., Jarecsny, T., Al-Muhanna, N., Jánoska, D., Béres-Molnár, K. A., Dudás, E., and Toldi, G., 2020. Daylight saving time and the incidence of thrombolysis to treat acute ischemic stroke. Revue Neurologique[online], 176 (5), 361–365.
Manfredini, R., Fabbian, F., Cappadona, R., De Giorgi, A., Bravi, F., Carradori, T., Flacco, M., and Manzoli, L., 2019. Daylight Saving Time and Acute Myocardial Infarction: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Clinical Medicine [online], 8 (3), 404.
Morrison, R., 1993. Desktop guide to keynotes and confirmatory symptoms. Accessed through Radar Opus. Nevada City, Calif.: Hahnemann Clinic Pub.
Murphy, R., n.d. Homeopathic Remedy Guide. accessed through Radar Opus.
Prerau, D. S., 2006. Seize the daylight : the curious and contentious story of daylight saving time. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press.
Rishi, M. A., Ahmed, O., Barrantes Perez, J. H., Berneking, M., Dombrowsky, J., Flynn-Evans, E. E., Santiago, V., Sullivan, S. S., Upender, R., Yuen, K., Abbasi-Feinberg, F., Aurora, R. N., Carden, K. A., Kirsch, D. B., Kristo, D. A., Malhotra, R. K., Martin, J. L., Olson, E. J., Ramar, K., and Rosen, C. L., 2020. Daylight saving time: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine [online].
Zhang, H., Dahlén, T., Khan, A., Edgren, G., and Rzhetsky, A., 2020. Measurable health effects associated with the daylight saving time shift. PLOS Computational Biology [online], 16 (6), e1007927.
I mentioned last time that our children always seemed to have made some emotional growth spurts following a big, acute illness and I wondered if that could be the case for me. Here’s what happened…
I could not budge my low-grade fever. No remedy made a dent. Period. I eventually contacted one of my previous instructors asking for help.
Her response: “something is stuck inside. Your symptoms are being too shy.”
She recommended some Sulphur 30c.
Sulphur is an interesting remedy. It is often used to clear up/clean out the remnants of an acute illness. I had considered the idea, but given I was not at the end, I didn’t think it was time for me yet. The Father of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, used to begin every case with Sulphur because it was going to illicit some sort of a response in everybody.
Sulphur definitely pulled a little somethin’ somethin’ out of me. Immediately upon taking it (I mean immediately), I became so weak I had to abandon the shower I had just turned on. Within 5 minutes, I began weeping and the tears simply wouldn’t stop. For the first time since my illness began, I couldn’t get out of bed.
The tears eventually stopped and I was able to get out of bed again, but the fever remained. I wondered and pondered at what could be "stuck." December was a fraught month for me — it could have been any number of emotions that got stuck.
Anger was stuck.
I raged in my mind for hours one morning and I could literally feel the crud breaking up. My temperature dropped a bit but it soon went back up again.
So, I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. I raged and I raged again and I began to understand what was stuck inside of me. Again, I felt the crud breaking up. By the next morning, the fever was gone, for the first time in nearly 2 weeks.
Coincidence? Perhaps. But I had also worked through serious amounts of stagnant emotion and that can only be a good thing.
Was Sulphur the only remedy I needed? Nope.
Sulphur got things going.
Once I recognized anger as the culprit, Nux vomica was suggested and it made good sense, homeopathically speaking. Nux vomica is a major liver remedy and the liver, of course, is where that anger gets processed. But, Nux didn’t do much for me this time around.
Natrum muriaticum was suggested. Nat Mur is a well indicated remedy for ailments from anger. I only took 1 dose and it was abandoned in order to keep chasing the current symptoms.
Chamomilla was suggested and Chamomilla definitely did something. It was as if the Chamomilla opened the door to usher the anger through.
Then, it was suggested to take Bryonia alba in 3 ascending potencies. I took the first dose and the fever continued to improve, so I left it at that.
The next morning was when the fever was gone.
So, what’s left?
Fatigue is what’s left and a little dizziness. Turns out a low-level fever for 2 weeks and very little appetite takes its toll on a person’s energy.
So, was there emotional growth that happened for me?
Why, yes! There was some growth that happened!
Some emotional growth and some good homeopathic education, too!
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
Allergies Are Back!
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
Lions and tigers and bears…
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.