One could be forgiven for finding confusion that results from heel pain. Stress fracture? Arthritis? Tendinitis? Achilles tendon issues? Bursitis? Maybe. A common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis.
Plantar: relating to the sole of the foot. Fasciitis: inflammation of the fascia, the thin, fibrous tissue that surrounds muscles or other organs. The “itis” means it is inflamed.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful experience. Every step. Standing too long. Those first steps when you get up from sitting or get out of bed in the morning. When I was suffering from it, I was seriously contemplating what my life would be like when I could no longer walk. That’s how bad the pain was.
I tried the Banerji protocol for Plantar fasciitis: Symphytum 200c mixed with Rhus tox 30c, taken twice daily until better.
I took it twice daily for a long time. It wasn’t getting better.
Then, I had an x-ray done. Aha! I had heel spurs. The internet will tell you that heel spurs are not (necessarily) what causes the pain, it’s the plantar fasciitis that causes the pain. They figured this out because once upon a time they used to do surgery to remove the bone spur, but I guess that didn’t fix the pain so they decided that heel spurs aren’t painful.
I disagree. Why do I disagree? Because when I took the remedy for bone spurs, Hekla lava 200c, my pain lessened by 80% within about a week. After many, many weeks of taking the plantar fasciitis remedy and getting nothing, and then trying a few other remedies to no avail — this was amazing progress.
Could it have been that the Symphytum/Rhus tox combination finally kicked in and did what it was supposed to do? Maybe. Or, it could be a causal relationship between the two conditions. It could be that the plantar fasciitis causes the bone spurs or it could be that the bone spurs some how causes the plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs (aka plantar calcaneal spurs) are present in 45%-85% of those with plantar fasciitis (Kirkpatrick, Yassaie and Mirjalili, 2017). I don't think they have figured all this out yet.
When you look at the remedy Hekla lava and how it was discovered, I’m going to give it the credit for reducing my pain.
Hekla (sometimes spelled Hecla) lava is named after the Hekla volcano in Iceland. In the 1800s, a London physician noticed that the sheep grazing a short distance from the volcano had bone deformities (exostosis) of the jaws. They surmised that the finer ash from the volcano was actually the culprit. So, like cures like. The ash of the Hekla volcano causes exostosis of the jaws. (Exostosis: benign outgrowth of cartilaginous (made of cartilage) tissue on a bone.) The potentized (the dilution process used to make homeopathic remedies) Hekla lava can assist in removing the exostoses.
I have not had a follow up x-ray to see if the heel spurs are gone. I don’t care, because the pain is gone. But, this story is a good indication of how conventional medicine and homeopathy can work nicely together. According to the Internet, the main answers to these painful foot problems in conventional medicine are: rest, icing the foot, orthotics, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medicines, cortisone injections and surgery. To each their own.
If you are experiencing foot or heel pain, contact me to see if homeopathy might help you.
For more information:
1. on the proving of Heckla lava
2. Kirkpatrick, Yassaie and Mirjalili, 2017: The plantar calcaneal spur: a review of anatomy, histology, etiology and key associations.
Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash
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.
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.
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.