Tis the Season for… Sore Throats
Tis the season for… Sore Throats.
Sore throat complaints are keeping me busy this month! Some have the dreaded Covid, some have the flu, some may have strep throat and some people just have a sore throat.
What to do about this pharyngitis? (Pharynx is the part of the throat behind the mouth and nasal cavity and “itis” for inflammation.)
Well, at the first sign of feeling unwell, I like the Banerji protocol of Aconite 200c mixed with Bryonia 30c. Taking this right away can often nip things in the bud and send the yucks away before they can settle in.
Another option for those who are quick on the draw is Ferrum phos 6x. This, too, can often turn things around in short order.
Once the yucks have made themselves at home and one is definitively feeling unwell, let’s look at a few homeopathic remedies which may help. (Note: There are many remedies which can be helpful for sore throats, these are just a few of my favorites.) See also: Calming the Cold; Some Flu Remedies to Consider and Tis the season for the crud.
Extremely painful, dark red throat, where swallowing liquids is the only option and even that is very difficult, despite being thirsty; tiny bites of food gags them. They may have swollen glands and/or bad breath.
The sore throat appears suddenly and generally hurts more on the right side with burning or throbbing pain. The throat and the tip of the tongue may be red. Pain is worse from turning the head, touching the throat and swallowing, especially liquids. Face will often be red and hot but the hands and feet tend to be cold.
Burning and rough sore throat with pain that extends from the throat to the ear. May feel like there’s a painful lump in the throat that cannot be swallowed. Pain in the sternocleidomastoid — the long muscles on either side of your neck. Paralysis of the vocal cords. Swallowing solid foods is difficult.
Homeopathic Hepar is known for a sticking sensation in the throat, like a splinter or a bone. Pain extends to the ear on yawning and swallowing. May hawk up thick, yellow, sticky mucus. Wrapping up the external throat feels good. Cold drinks or becoming cold makes them feel worse but warmth in general and warm drinks can help. There may be a pulsation felt in the throat and they may feel worse in the evening and at night. Very sensitive to the pain and sensitive to everything else, too, actually and they may be irritable and impatient.
A purple throat, often on the left side (or starts on the left and moves to the right) and feels worse when swallowing liquids — even saliva is difficult — empty swallowing makes the throat hurt even worse (though they may have a constant desire to swallow). Swallowing solids may be easier. May have a disturbing constricting sensation, causing them to loosen clothes around the throat. Ear pain with sore throat. There may be a sensation of breadcrumbs or a painful sensation of a lump or plug which is not relieved by swallowing. They may choke easily, especially on falling to sleep and may have a suffocative feeling. Often feel worse on waking.
Often on the right side with a dryness in the throat and they may not be very thirsty. A stitching pain on swallowing which is better with warm drinks and worse with cold drinks. Choking on swallowing. They may feel like there is a lump or a plug in the throat. They are chilly but they also want fresh air but are worse becoming cold or eating/drinking cold things. May have digestive issues at the same time as the sore throat.
Lots of saliva and a raw, rough and burning feeling in the throat. Lots of slime gets stuck in the throat and there may be drooling while sleeping. Swollen glands. A bad or metallic taste in the mouth and may have bad breath. The throat may be copper colored. Throat pain on coughing. The throat may be worse at night and they may also experience night sweats. Finding the right temperature is often difficult.
Body aches and restlessness may accompany the sore throat. The tip of the tongue may be red. The throat becomes irritated and the voice becomes hoarse and is often worse from talking. The pain is worse from swallowing at first, but improves with more swallowing. Warmth is helpful and moving around may help, too — feeling worse when they are resting. Like the swallowing, they may feel worse when first moving around but better as they keep moving.
When to see a doctor?
According to the Mayo Clinic, see a doctor if:
A few quick notes relating to tonsillitis. (Note on type: Most highly indicated, highly indicated and indicated.) Again, there are many homeopathic remedies for tonsillitis and I am just focusing on the throat remedies already mentioned.
Tonsillitis, in general — in order of importance: Belladonna, Ferrum phos and Mercurius. Hepar & Lachesis. Baptisia and Lycopodium.
Tonsillitis with pus: Hepar, Mercurius. Belladonna, Lycopodium, Lachesis
Hardness of hearing with tonsillitis: Hepar, Lycopodium and Mercurius
Chronic, recurring tonsillitis: Hepar, Lachesis and Lycopodium
Painless tonsillitis: Baptisia
Burning pain in tonsils: Belladonna and Mercurius
Purple tonsils: Hepar and Lachesis
Bright red tonsils: Belladonna and Ferrum phos
Dark red tonsils: Baptisia and Lachesis
Tonsillitis in children: Ferr-phos, Lachesis, Lycopodium and Mercury
Sharp pain in tonsils: Belladonna, Lachesis, Lycopodium and Mercury
Tearing pain in tonsils: Belladonna
Throbbing pain in tonsils: Belladonna
Strep throat is another possibility and can lead to long term problems in rare cases. Unlike most sore throats, strep is caused by bacteria. Strep A is big in the news this year, especially in the UK, but there are other strains of strep which can cause throat problems, too (A, C & G are the primary throat culprits).
I never messed around with strep throats when my kids were little because I know two people who suffered terribly as a result of untreated strep. “Untreated strep throat can cause an autoimmune reaction in which the body attacks its own tissues and may lead to rheumatic fever, chorea and kidney damage” (Berkow et al. 1995).
How can you tell the difference between a sore throat and Strep throat?
Ultimately, for a full diagnosis of strep throat, you need to see a doctor and get a throat culture.
According the the Merck Manual and the Mayo Clinic, strep throat symptoms typically appear suddenly and include:
In very young children (under 4), the only symptom may be a runny nose. (When my kids were little, I learned that strep infections in littles may present with only stomach problems, so keep that in mind.)
“People with strep throat generally get better in 2 weeks, even without treatment. … antibiotics can shorten the duration of symptoms in young children and prevent serious complications such as rheumatic fever” (Berkow et al. 1995). (Note: There are homeopathic remedies which can be helpful in strep throat, but that is beyond the scope of this article.)
If you are suffering from a sore throat, try one of these homeopathic remedies so you can get back to some painless Fa La La-ing before the festive season is behind us.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
Berkow, R., Beers, M. and Fletcher, A., 1995. The Merck Manual Home Edition. Merck Research Laboratories.
Mayo Clinic, 2018. Strep throat - symptoms and causes [online]. Mayo Clinic.
Some Flu Remedies to Consider
In my last post, I mentioned 7 remedies which may be good to have around as the cold & flu season approaches.
Here’s a quick rundown of why they’re good to have nearby, focusing especially on fevers.
Baptisia for fevers with profuse sweat, intense thirst; fevers with lethargy — no energy. Those who may benefit from homeopathic Baptisia may be suffering from bad breath or other foul smelling discharges. The bed may feel too hard and going outside and getting some fresh air does not sound like a good plan to them. There may be some mental confusion or they may even feel as if they are intoxicated. There may be copious, (often) smelly stool. Throat may appear dark red.
Bryonia. Homeopathic Bryonia may be an excellent remedy for a flu that creeps up on you… when you haven’t quite been feeling yourself but you wouldn’t necessarily call yourself “sick” yet, either. A dry fever with a great thirst for a lot of liquid; chills are more likely not a part of this picture. Dryness, however, is a key part of Bryonia… you may see constipation or a dry cough or dry eyes, dry skin, dry mouth. Someone benefitting from Bryonia may prefer to be still and quiet with movement resulting in discomfort, including when moving their eyes. They may prefer to be by their grumpy selves.
Eupatorium feverish people may find themselves shivering, especially after drinking any liquids. Aching pain anywhere in the body, but specifically pains in the legs - terrible pains in the bones themselves and may even feel as if one is broken. Big chills. Unquenchable thirst. Pulsating pain in the back of the head.
Gelsemium has little or no thirst at all and the 4 Ds: Droopy, drowsy, dizzy and dull. They feel their eyelids are too heavy to keep them open. Shivering and weak with coldness down the back. May feel faint. They may feel a dull, bruised pain all over and are worse from physical exertion. There may be a headache, beginning in the neck and moving up to the top of the head and feel as if there were a band or hoop around the head. Headaches may be relieved to some degree when urinating.
Mercurius sol is often worse in the night, where a fever may drive them from their bed. There may be shivering and shuddering with this fever. There may be bone pains, but more so at night. Discharges from the ears and the eyes. Fevers with profuse perspiration, again, worse at night or diarrhea at night. Headaches may be worse on the sides of the head and extend to the ears and the teeth.
Nux vomica flus may have pain in the lower back during fever. Shivering with perspiration. Thirsty but not wanting to drink anything. Very chilly and worse for cold air or drafts and may have a cough which starts when becoming cold. Nux vomica is well known for its digestive issues and may experience stomach pains during fever. They may find themselves oversensitive and emotional during a fever.
Rhus tox is most likely mentally restless during a fever. Chill plays a big part in a Rhus tox fever: chill, followed by heat and perspiration; thirsty during the chill; they feel worse when chilled and may develop a tickling cough during the chill. Drinking cold drinks may bring on stomach pains. They may feel they have a lump or plug in their throat and swallowing may feel good on the throat. They may feel better lying on their back and worse lying on the sides.
Here's wishing you have a happy and healthy winter season!
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 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.
Watch your step!
A scary morning!
My teenage son stepped outside the patio door, hit some ice and was promptly on the ground. I heard the crash from the other room. We knew he banged his knee up pretty good. We didn’t know if he hit his head on the flower pot next to the door.
With some help, he hobbled back in the house and sat down in a chair. Almost immediately, he “disappeared.” He was staring (and, breathing!) but completely unresponsive. Concussion? Seizure? It was a very spooky few seconds. Then, nausea and retching set in and he started shaking; his face (lips in particular) were absolutely colorless. Now, we added shock to the list of possibilities.*
Immediately, I gave him Arnica 200c.
Why 200c? Because it was the one that was the nearest. In an emergency, the best potency is the one you have! (I did move to Arnica 1M shortly thereafter.)
Homeopathic Arnica is the go-to for injuries in general.
Arnica is the go-to for head injuries, too.
Arnica is indicated in traumatic shock and shock from fractures.
Arnica is also indicated in, as the homeopathic repertory says, “fainting, injury from shock in.”
Cleveland Clinic (n.d.) says, “Fainting, also called passing out or syncope, is a temporary loss of consciousness. It is caused by a sudden decrease of blood flow to the brain. An episode typically lasts a few seconds or minutes. Most fainting spells are not a cause for concern. But if you faint often or have other symptoms, you should seek medical attention.”
(I have seen 2 of my boys faint now on more than one occasion and it certainly does not feel like it’s not a cause for concern!)
Mayo Clinic (2018) describes: pale skin, lightheadedness, nausea and jerky, abnormal movements. “Recovery after a vasovagal episode generally begins in less than a minute. However, if you stand up too soon after fainting — waiting about 15-30 minutes — you’re at risk of fainting again.” I wish I had read that earlier today because he did try to stand up and he did “disappear” again.
One theory of why this happens, according to Alboni and Alboni (2017), is the body is trying to “take on a gravitationally neutral position” — to get the head lowered to get some blood flow back to the brain. It turns out sitting in a chair was probably not the best position for him; we should have had him lying down with his head slightly raised on a pillow.
Is Arnica the only remedy I used? Nope. Aconite for shock. Ipecac for the nausea. Bryonia for the knee stiffness.
I also used homeopathic Carbo vegetabilis.
We were discussing going to the emergency room and he commented that putting a mask over his face "felt like a very bad idea." When taking a homeopathic case, the patient’s words are very important, so his mentioning this with no prompting gave me reason to pay attention.
Why did I care about this statement? It is Carbo veg’s association with the want of air that tipped me off. “The patient faints easily, is worn out, and must have fresh air” (Boericke 2007).
Homeopathic Carbo veg is known to be helpful for the following breathing issues:
• Difficult breathing
• Wants to be fanned
• Gasping for air
• Desires air
• Breathing stopped
Carbo veg is also useful for: shaking with chills, unconsciousness or semi-consciousness, traumatic shock, physical anxiety, and it is very highly indicated in hypotension or low blood pressure, which, of course also makes it a good remedy for fainting, thus making it a good fit for my son this morning.
I am happy to report that after a couple of hours of taking it easy and getting some good food and plenty of water in him, he is nearly back to his old self. His knee is still a little tender, but it’s getting him where he needs to go and it doesn't appear to be broken. (Phew!)
Any other remedies used? Yep. Ignatia 200c for me. As my mother-in-law used to say about raising children, “it’s not the work, it’s the worry.” Stressful stuff to watch your son “disappear.”
Watch your step!
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* I am fortunate to have an excellent and kind MD who answers my texts on a panicked Saturday morning. We also spoke with an ER doctor. We did not go this alone. If we had not had these resources, we definitely would have taken him to the ER.
Alboni, P. and Alboni, M., 2017. Typical vasovagal syncope as a “defense mechanism” for the heart by contrasting sympathetic overactivity. Clinical Autonomic Research: Official Journal of the Clinical Autonomic Research Society [online], 27 (4), 253–261.
Boericke, W., 2007. Pocket manual of homeopathic materia medica & repertory : comprising of the characteristic and guiding symptoms of all remedies clinical and pathogenetic including Indian drugs. Accessed through Radar Opus software. New Delhi, India: B. Jain.
Cleveland Clinic, n.d. Fainting: Causes, Symptoms & Prevention [online]. Cleveland Clinic.
Mayo Clinic, 2018. Vasovagal syncope - Symptoms and causes [online]. Mayo Clinic.
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
Perfect is the enemy of good
I learned this trick from Pinterest years ago.
The crud has hit my house. It entered surreptitiously on New Years Day and didn’t let itself be known for a few days after that. I helped my son through it, homeopathically speaking, and then it was my turn.
In general, it is much harder to help yourself, homeopathically speaking, than it is to help someone else. When you are helping someone else, you are logically interpreting symptoms. When you are trying to interpret your own symptoms when you’re not feeling your best, you’re lucky to have logic still involved in the process at all!
Anyway, I am unofficially on day 8, though I didn't test positive until 2 days ago. I don’t feel terrible, but I don’t feel great. I certainly have felt much worse in my life. The low-grade fever doesn’t want to budge. I have a terrible smell/taste in my nose. (I didn’t lose my sense of smell/taste — in fact, they have become highly sensitized.) I do not love the lack of energy, mental or physical. I know people who currently have “it” or just had “it” and they took the Ivermectin or the HCQ and some felt better immediately and some are still struggling to feel better.
It was this last piece of information that made me realize that I’m doing pretty well with my remedies. I have not had the “painful shivers” or the loss of smell; I have been sleeping like a baby. I don't have a painful, rib-breaking cough. Aches have been minimal and are now completely gone. I have a lot of snot but I don’t have that bursting headache that some people are getting. (My left eyeball was tender when I moved it for a couple of days, but it was annoying, not unbearable.) I am now coughing a bit, but it feels like a forward movement — clearing that stuff out. I can breathe just fine and my lungs aren’t involved. (I did turn into a mouth breather for a couple of days, but that’s gone now, too.) Everything has stayed from the neck up and I appreciate that fact!
What remedies have I used?
I’ll be completely honest — everything! If a symptom appeared, I tried a remedy. Sometimes the remedies felt futile (like for the fever that won’t budge) and sometimes they seemed to help pretty quickly.
To keep this article brief — and so I can get back to the business of getting well and kicking this garbage to the curb! — I will list a few remedies that have been very helpful for me and for my son and friends.
My son started out with extreme restlessness and low/mid back pain: Nux vomica. (In hindsight, Rhus tox could have been helpful here, too, but it wasn't presenting that way at first.)
He had the painful shivers and very painful skin. Fortunately, his skin wasn’t so painful that he couldn’t have anything touch it (Krajewski et al. 2020), but it was uncomfortable for him. He found great relief from hot water: Rhus toxicodendron.
He had some dizziness for a quick minute but an old bottle of Heel’s “Lightheadedness” quickly cleared that up.
We used a few other remedies for him here and there, but these were the big movers for him.
That’s the thing with acute diseases — you have to chase the symptoms. A symptom shows up, a remedy helps it and another symptom moves in to take its place. It’s not like clearing up a chronic condition where you want to stick with A remedy or a group of remedies for a while. You have to react quickly with the changing symptoms of an acute.
My yucks started out with severe dizziness and nausea and vomiting: Ipecac.
After 2 days, everything was very much improved and I thought I was good to go and then the new version of symptoms set in a few days later.
Oscillococcinum — the Flu remedy.
I literally have not yet figured out the low grade fever thing. (Very frustrating!) But, it’s not terrible and I guess I have to let my body do what it’s doing and trust that it knows what it’s doing. Generally speaking, though, Ferrum phos is an excellent remedy for low-grade fevers. I have also tried fever combination remedies, to no avail.
Eyeball that hurts when moving it: Bryonia. Bryonia on its own wasn’t doing the trick, but mixing Aconite with the Bryonia did do the trick. [Aconite/Bryonia is a Banerji Protocol to ward off the yucks of any kind, but homeopathic legend has it that when you add Aconite to a remedy that should be working, but isn’t, it’s like a power boost and it certainly seemed to be for my painful eyeball.]
That moment when the bed felt too hard to get comfortable: Arnica. This, too, can be Bryonia, but given that I wasn’t having the eyeball luck with that remedy, I moved on to Arnica.
Last night, when the coughing started in the middle of the night: Boiron’s Chestal Cold and Cough. I haven’t had to repeat it yet, so that must have done the trick. [note: having combination remedies available are extremely helpful in the middle of the night when you can’t get your brain to figure it out!]
Nux vomica helped with my stuffy nose and gas.
Arsenicum album helped early on with a burning sensation deep in my nose.
For the most part, however, I have now accepted that perfection really is the enemy of the good. I don’t feel great, but I am thankful that I have a lovely husband and sons who are keeping the home fires burning, literally and figuratively.
On that note, my husband has yet to succumb. Hopefully, he is that rare breed that is not susceptible to this virus. Or, it could be that he has religiously stepped up his supplement routine — he said he feels better than he has in a while as a result! — and, at any little hint of anything, he turns to his tried and true: Boiron’s Cold Calm.
Who knows? They say children experience positive growth after an illness — we certainly noticed that when our little fellows got sick — maybe that can be true for old homeopaths, too! I have come to the conclusion that my body just needs to experience this sickness for whatever reason. I’m not sick in bed. I can even still beat my husband in gin rummy, and he's no slouch at the game! I am tired and don’t feel great, but I am not down for the count and I believe it is homeopathy that is responsible for this small blessing. It just is what it is. I haven’t been sick in many years! I guess it was just my time!
It was Voltaire who proclaimed, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” It has been so very many years now that I have avoided getting really sick. My remedies have always stepped in and fixed everything right up for me in very short order. I now expect perfection and that’s not a reasonable goal.
I will keep on keeping on and I know one day soon, this will all be behind me and I can get back to the business of life!
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
Krajewski, P. K., Szepietowski, J. C., and Maj, J., 2020. Cutaneous hyperesthesia: A novel manifestation of COVID-19. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity [online], 87, 188.
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 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.