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.
Our first houseguests in over 2 years have arrived. A lovely thing, I can assure you!
After enduring this enforced time of not traveling, I (happily) forgot how horrible jet lag is, but I am reminded of its nastiness as I watch our over-seas visitors make the adjustment to the new time zone.
Why do we feel so exhausted after getting off a plane? All we do is sit (and eat), watch movies and maybe snooze a little bit for all those hours. We should be refreshed, like we had a day of relaxation! Yet, when finally stepping off that smelly tube with wings, it’s not at all uncommon to feel like you’ve run a marathon and got hit by a truck when you crossed the finish line!
The experts say it’s precisely because we’re sitting for long periods of time in dry air and become dehydrated, etc., etc., etc. Whatever the true pathophysiologic reasons are, jet lag is a miserable feeling.
Mainstream medicine has nothing to offer, really. Melatonin (Cipolla-Neto and Gaspar do Amaral 2018) apparently can help, and you can see how it would work (Herxheimer and Petrie 2002). Though short-term melatonin use is generally regarded as safe, I must admit, I wouldn’t mess with my hormones in this way (because melatonin is indeed a hormone)… especially when homeopathy has some simple answers. For more information on possible side effects of melatonin: (Bauer 2017; American Sleep Association 2022; Drugs.com 2021).
So, what did I do for our tired guests?
In anticipation of their arrival, I left two remedies on the dresser in their room:
JetZone: Jet Lag Prevention & Helios’ Jet Candy
JETZONE, remedy information as listed on the packet:
Arnica: Sleepless and restless when overtired
Cocculus: Constant drowsiness after loss of sleep
Kali phos: Weak and tired from overexertion. Headache from fatigue.
Gelsemium: Insomnia from exhaustion
Nux vomica: Heartburn, anxiety and restlessness
Argentum nitricum: Mental anxiety
Jet Candy, by Helios:
JetCandy doesn’t list their reasonings for including the remedies, but I will fill in the blanks.
Bellis perennis: Another trauma remedy. Some call it a “deeper” Arnica.
Petroleum: I wrote about Petroleum’s role in seasickness here. In short, Petroleum is particularly helpful for nausea.
There are other homeopathic combination remedies for jet lag, these are just the two I happened to have lying around.
No-Jet-Lag, by Miers Labs:
No-Jet-Lag doesn’t list their reasonings for including the remedies, but I will fill in the blanks.
Chamomilla: Oversensitivity, anger and for when falling asleep is difficult.
Ipecac: Nausea, headache
Lycopodium: Gas and bloating; frequent waking and unrefreshing sleep
Jet Lag Relief, by Boiron
Arnica: Relieves muscle pain and stiffness
Cocculus: Relieves nausea associated with jet lag
Nux vomica: Relieves drowsiness and digestive problems associated with travel
What do all of these jet lag combination remedies have in common? Arnica montana. Arnica is a well known homeopathic remedy for injury and trauma. Let’s face it — changing time zones is absolutely an assault on your person. It affects your body, your mind and your emotions. If you are unable to get your hands on one of these combo remedies prior to your trip, bring along a tube of Arnica and half your battle will be won.
Jetlagreview.com (who knew such a thing existed?!), claims to be “the #1 source for helping people find effective ways to effectively combat jet lag.” I have no idea who is behind this site, but I was very intrigued to see 1/2 of the products they review are homeopathic (the others are vitamins and/or herbs).
No-Jet-Lag is jetlagreview’s #2 Silver Award Winner, for whatever that’s worth.
If you find yourself headed overseas, pick up one of these combination remedies and slip it in your carry-on. They’re all slightly different, but basically the same and any one of them will certainly be better than nothing. Or, take along just a tube of Arnica and see if one of these can’t put a little spring in your exhausted tourist step!
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* I have no affiliation with any of these products. I have used Jetzone and No-Jet-Lag, to good effect. Follow the directions listed on the packet.
American Sleep Association, 2022. Melatonin Side Effects [online]. American Sleep Association.
Bauer, B., 2017. Pros and cons of melatonin [online]. Mayo Clinic.
Cipolla-Neto, J. and Gaspar do Amaral, F., 2018. Melatonin as a Hormone: New Physiological and Clinical Insights[online]. academic.oup.com.
Cleveland Clinic, n.d. Jet Lag: What is it, Symptoms, How Long Does it Last & Treatment [online]. Cleveland Clinic.
Drugs.com, 2021. Melatonin Side Effects, Uses, Dosage (Kids/Adults) [online]. Drugs.com.
Herxheimer, A. and Petrie, K. J., 2002. Melatonin for the prevention and treatment of jet lag. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Jet Lag Review, 2022. Top Products [online]. jetlagreport.com.
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].
Downing, M., 2009. Spring forward : the annual madness of daylight saving. Berkeley: Counterpoint.
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.
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.