A friend texted the other day asking for a remedy suggestion “for work stress and ready to cry — not sad crying, but overwhelmed.”
My general go-to for stress and feelings of overwhelm is Ignatia, but that remedy wasn’t quite right here. I suggested Nux vomica to her.
Surprisingly, these two homeopathic remedies have a lot in common in the mental and emotional realm. It’s not really this simple (because there is a lot of nuance to homeopathic remedies), but to me, the difference comes down to this: Ignatia is a bit sadder and Nux vomica is a bit angrier.
In the homeopathic repertory (the big, marvelous book of symptoms), the remedies are listed on a scale of 1-4, with 4 being the strongest association of the remedy to the symptom. Here is how Ignatia and Nux vomica stack up in a few mental/emotional symptoms:
Where is Nux vomica more highly indicated? Funny you should ask… I have that info right here:
See what I mean? These two remedies are very similar but just ever so slightly different (in the mental & emotional arena, anyway).
Homeopathic Nux vomica has a reputation of being a good remedy for “the businessman.” Picture the old stereotype of the stressed out, overworked, chain smoking, hard drinking, stressed out, short-tempered business man … the characters from Man in the Grey Flannel Suit* or Mad Men, or, heck, even Darren Stevens from Bewitched!
We’re now in a world where the smoking and heavy daytime drinking may have been dropped away from being societally acceptable, but the stress and the resulting grumpiness remains for all the desk jockies (not just the men in the grey flannel suits).
Homeopathic Nux vomica also addresses issues that stem from work, otherwise known in the repertory as the rubric, “ailments from being overworked".
All of this stress and worry can then lead to sleep problems which can be addressed nicely by Nux vomica:
Just because the homeopathic literature speaks of the benefits of Nux vomica to businessmen does not mean it only benefits men or only benefits ailments from work related issues… but, it’s a helpful way to remember the remedy.**
Keep calm and carry a tube of Nux vomica…
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
*Aucoin (2015) has a nice overview of The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit.
**For more information on Nux vomica, see these previous articles: Calming the Cold, My Little Bag of Wellness, The Eagle has Landed!, Too Much!
Sleep is too important to just throw it away, like we do twice a year. Daylight Savings Time affects your health. Period. End of discussion. We think the “fall back” isn’t as hard on the body and mind as the “spring forward,” but it’s still a thing (Harrison 2013). Every year this stupid practice screws me up for days. I instinctively knew this was the case and just a little bit of digging proved me right.
Manfredini (et al. 2019) found a significantly higher risk of heart attack during the two weeks following the clock change.
Poteser and Moshammer (2020) found during the week after the spring transition a significant increase in daily total mortality of about 3% per day was observed.
Even simple things like making it to medical appointments is affected by this arbitrary clock change (Ellis et al. 2018).
People assume falling back gives us an extra hour of sleep and is therefore a bonus, but research shows (Harrison 2013) there is little evidence of getting extra sleep on this night and in fact the early risings for the following days result in a net loss of sleep for the week.
See! I told you Daylight Savings time was a bad idea!
Homeopathy has many ways to address sleep problems, and, like all things homeopathy — choosing the “right” homeopathic remedy can be very specific to the individual and their sleep patterns and habits. But, from a practical homeopathic perspective, Coffea cruda 200c, twice a day, can often do more than an adequate job and may be all that is needed to help you get some good ZZZzzzzs.
Coffea cruda really shines when your mind is keeping you from sleeping. (Think of Twitchy the squirrel from Hoodwinked.) Your mind is going a million miles a minute, flipping from subject to subject … when you just can't turn off your brain.
Sleep that is easily disturbed (like from noises), when falling asleep is difficult and when waking too easily or even when startling in your sleep.
Homeopathic Coffea cruda can also help with full blown insomnia, in general and more specifically insomnia following childbirth, or drinking too much coffee, or after too much excitement or after nursing sick loved ones and even sleeplessness from excessive joy! Do you see the pattern here? Your brain is working overtime in all these situations and keeping you from the elixir of sleep.
Sleepless children, too, can benefit from Coffea cruda, either in general or when there has been too much excitement or even when the pain of teething is keeping them (and you!) awake.
Not your busy mind keeping you up? Coffea cruda can also help to tame the interfering itching (as from a bug bite or eczema) or coughing -- shutting down the physical disturbance and allowing that much needed healing sleep.
Don't underestimate both the power of sleep and the destructive nature of a lack of sleep. Your mind, your heart and your wellbeing depend on those hours of shutdown.
Sleep well and don't let the bed bugs bite. (But, if they do, Coffea cruda can help you sleep through that, too!)
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
For more information on Daylight Savings Time -- how it came about and why it's still around, check out Spring forward : the annual madness of daylight saving by Downing, M., 2009. Berkeley: Counterpoint.*
* I have no affiliation with this book, I just enjoyed reading it.
Daylight Savings Time
Ellis, D. A., Luther, K., and Jenkins, R., 2018. Missed medical appointments during shifts to and from daylight saving time. Chronobiology International [online], 35 (4), 584–588.
Harrison, Y., 2013. The impact of daylight saving time on sleep and related behaviours. Sleep Medicine Reviews [online], 17 (4), 285–292.
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.
Poteser, M. and Moshammer, H., 2020. Daylight Saving Time Transitions: Impact on Total Mortality. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health [online], 17 (5), 1611.pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28679595/
Homeopathy & Insomnia
Harrison, C. C., Solomon, E. M., and Pellow, J., 2013. The effect of a homeopathic complex on psychophysiological onset insomnia in males: a randomized pilot study. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine [online], 19 (5), 38–43.
Hellhammer, J. and Schubert, M., 2013. Effects of a homeopathic combination remedy on the acute stress response, well-being, and sleep: a double-blind, randomized clinical trial. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.) [online], 19 (2), 161–169.
Michael, J., Singh, S., Sadhukhan, S., Nath, A., Kundu, N., Magotra, N., Dutta, S., Parewa, M., Koley, M., and Saha, S., 2019. Efficacy of individualized homeopathic treatment of insomnia: Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine [online], 43, 53–59.
Naudé, D. F., Stephanie Couchman, I. M., and Maharaj, A., 2010. Chronic primary insomnia: Efficacy of homeopathic simillimum. Homeopathy [online], 99 (1), 63–68.
Waldschütz, R. and Klein, P., 2008. The homeopathic preparation Neurexan vs. valerian for the treatment of insomnia: an observational study. TheScientificWorldJournal[online], 8, 411–420.
Sleep & Health
Lyall, L. M., Wyse, C. A., Graham, N., Ferguson, A., Lyall, D. M., Cullen, B., Celis Morales, C. A., Biello, S. M., Mackay, D., Ward, J., Strawbridge, R. J., Gill, J. M. R., Bailey, M. E. S., Pell, J. P., and Smith, D. J., 2018. Association of disrupted circadian rhythmicity with mood disorders, subjective wellbeing, and cognitive function: a cross-sectional study of 91 105 participants from the UK Biobank. The Lancet Psychiatry [online], 5 (6), 507–514.
Minkel, J. D., Banks, S., Htaik, O., Moreta, M. C., Jones, C. W., McGlinchey, E. L., Simpson, N. S., and Dinges, D. F., 2012. Sleep deprivation and stressors: Evidence for elevated negative affect in response to mild stressors when sleep deprived. Emotion [online], 12 (5), 1015–1020.
Pillai, J. A. and Leverenz, J. B., 2017. Sleep and Neurodegeneration. Chest [online], 151 (6), 1375–1386.
Sprecher, K. E., Koscik, R. L., Carlsson, C. M., Zetterberg, H., Blennow, K., Okonkwo, O. C., Sager, M. A., Asthana, S., Johnson, S. C., Benca, R. M., and Bendlin, B. B., 2017. Poor sleep is associated with CSF biomarkers of amyloid pathology in cognitively normal adults. Neurology [online], 89 (5), 445–453.
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.