Feel the Fear
Delagran, L., 2012. Impact of Fear and Anxiety | Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing [online]. Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing.
Jeffers, S., 2023. Feel the Fear... and Do It Anyway. Harvest.
LeDoux, J., 1998. Fear and the brain: where have we been, and wwww.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(98)00282-0/fulltexthere are we going? Biological Psychiatry [online], 44 (12), 1229–1238.
Mcintyre, A., 1996. Flower power : flower remedies for healing body and soul through herbalism, homeopathy, aromatherapy, and flower essences. Holt.
Schroyens, F., n.d. Synthesis Adonis. (accessed through Radar Opus software).
Steimer, T., 2002. The biology of fear- and anxiety-related behaviors. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience [online], 4 (3), 231–49.
Rooty Toot Toots
Let’s take a look at toots — you know, gas… bottom burps… farts… stink bombs… fluffer-doodles. While there certainly can be some instances which may indicate a serious medical problem for which medical treatment should be sought*, for the sake of this article, we’re going to just stick to common, everyday gas.
If you go to a conventional medical practitioner for your gas problem, they will most likely offer you one of the following:
*According to Mayo Clinic, if you have chronic or unusual abdominal pain, severe heartburn, persistent vomiting or nausea, chronic diarrhea, bloody or black stool, weight loss and loss of appetite, severe bloating, constipation or difficulty emptying your bowels, seek medical attention.
All of these conventional treatments may help now and again and in the moment, but, to my knowledge, they don’t help get rid of the underlying problem.
Homeopathy, on the other hand, has many remedies for many kinds of toots. When I enter “flatulence” into my homeopathic software, Dr. Robin Murphy’s repertory comes back with 849 “different” rubrics. (I put different in quotes because there are overlaps, to be sure, but it’s a clear indication of how homeopathy differs from conventional medicine.) Remedies for specific complaints stemming from gas. How cool is that? Tailored toot remedies, you might say!
What kinds of flatus are there? Here are just a few descriptions from Dr. Murphy:
One of the most beautiful aspects of homeopathy is that it can not only help in the moment by relieving symptoms, it can help to lessen the problem altogether.
When you are using homeopathy, you should be looking for overall improvement: the problem should be less intense and less frequent. In short, you should be looking for the problem to be getting better in general, not just in the moment. For instance, if you suffer severe gas and bloating every evening, once you are taking the “right” remedy (there are many remedies which can help with many given symptoms), the amount of gas should be less and the abdominal pressure should be less and the rumbling should quieten. Soon, it won’t be happening every night, it will be every other night and then every few nights and then only once in a while. That’s what we’re looking for -- overall improvement in the complaint.
So, what are some go-to remedies for common gas?
My first thought when somebody is suffering from gas and bloating is Lycopodium.
Homeopathic Lycopodium is a very highly indicated remedy for gas and bloating, especially when said toots are a result of eating offending foods. Where else might Lycopodium be helpful in gaseous complaints? Abdominal pain; back pain stemming from gas; flatulence in the elderly; wind accompanying stool; evening flatus, and, rumbling guts which improve when you are able to release some air.
How about that “incarcerated flatus”? Trapped wind causing cramping pain might be Lycopodium, but it might also be Carbo vegetablis (which is actually made from charcoal). If all that trapped gas makes your belly so full it can be difficult to breathe, Carbo veg is probably gonna' be your new favorite remedy. Gas during diarrhea; offensive gas; so much trapped gas that the abdomen feels hard and maybe even tender.
Those poor little babies, scrunching up their legs trying to get some relief? Mag phos would be my first thought.
Toots which smell like spoiled eggs? Sulphur, or, even Arnica.
Another good gas remedy is Nux vomica for flatulence from anxiety; flatulence after eating or even while eating and toots which accompany coughing.
If you have a potent, musical bottom, give some homeopathic remedies a try. Your loved ones will thank you!
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
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.
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.
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.