I’m sure you have noticed that there are some winter illnesses going around. One of them tried sneaking into our house just as we were packing up Christmas. So far, we have been able to foil its plans.
When the first signs struck the other day, I used my go-to remedies to pretty good effect. (See previous articles: Flu Remedies; Ho Ho Ho; Ammonium carb; Calming the Cold; The Crud.) Unusually for me, I had a nasty sinus headache that my normal remedies managed to quiet but not quite subdue.
Then, I saw sitting next to my desk, a little bottle of something I bought on a whim and forgot all about. A cute, little bottle called, “Achoo!*”
Achoo! is a gemmotherapy combination (see here for more information on Gemmos) of Common Alder, Black Currant and Dog Rose. Lauren Hubele’s website* (which is the only place I have been able to find which sells it) says it is a remedy "to support upper respiratory health".
Let’s take a quick look at the ingredients.
Common Alder or Alnus glutinosa is a fluid harmonizer and is useful in case of colds, flu, viruses, headaches and localized inflammation, especially those originating from a mucosa. It is known to support natural defenses and is said to act best if used at the beginning of symptoms of upper respiratory conditions.
Black Currant or Ribes nigrum is also useful for immune system support. It has a high content of vitamin C and can be very useful in any inflamed condition, in particular in the respiratory tract (in my case, sinusitis).
Dog Rose or Rosa canina is another immune support and is particularly useful when the head is involved: adenoids and sinuses.
Today is Saturday and I first felt these symptoms on Wednesday evening. Thursday was a little tough, but thanks to my remedies, it didn't stop me from living my life. Yesterday was mostly fine and today I am completely back to normal with good energy and no sinus pain, whatsoever.
If you are quick on the draw when you first feel symptoms, homeopathy and gemmotherapy can get you right back on track with minimal disruption to your life.
It’s the early days of these winter illnesses. If you haven’t done so yet, pick up a few of the remedies listed in my earlier blogs and a little bottle of Achoo!, too.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* I have no affiliation with this or any other company, I just like their products.
Practicing homeopathy is a lot like doing a puzzle or decoding a mystery — there is a lot of sleuthing to figure out the right remedy. In taking a classical homeopathic case, accurate details are the key — the more, the better!
Practical homeopathy is often much easier — the majority of the puzzle has been worked out already through tried and true symptom/remedy matches and often you just have to fill in the blanks, so to speak.
What both of these homeopathic methods have in common is the gathering of symptoms… which makes sense since homeopathy is a methodology based on symptoms, symptom gathering is very important!
So, though practical or clinical homeopathy has made figuring out the correct homeopathic remedy for a given situation much easier, (especially when it comes to the Banerji Protocols!), details are still very important.
For instance, headaches.
What’s in a headache? An awful lot, as it turns out.
Headaches can be very difficult to treat because no two people experience the same headache pain. What one person calls a sinus headache is often very different to what another person calls a sinus headache. Sometimes people say they have sinus headaches and, yet, their sinuses don’t seem to be involved in the pain … at all. According to the Mayo Clinic, many people (up to 90%!) who claim to have sinus headaches may actually be suffering from migraines (Mayo Clinic 2018). I have come to understand that when someone tells me they suffer "sinus headaches", they just mean that it’s worse than their “normal” headache, or what they interpret to be a "normal" headache.
Regardless of whether it’s a sinus headache or a migraine or a tension headache, getting the details on how a person experiences their headaches can be difficult. In the moment, the pain can be too great to be able to get much detail. After the fact, many people don’t even want to go there — to put themselves back into that pain — to remember what the details were.
A while back, I encountered a young man who asked if I had any headache medicine. He was looking for mainstream over-the-counter meds, but, I being a homeopath, began down the homeopathic road, instead.
He proceeded to tell me about his usual headaches that he has been experiencing for years, which he described as “sinus headaches.” So, I started to question the quality of the pains and the location of the pains, etc.
This was not a formal consultation, just a casual encounter. I tried a headache combo remedy for him, but nothing happened. Then, based on his description, I moved to the Banerji Protocol for “sinus headaches with acute pain,” Sanguinaria 200c mixed with Belladonna 3c, taken every 30 minutes (Banerji and Banerji 2013, p. 118). Well, that did something, but it did the wrong something and he soon began to feel nauseous.*
Then, I learned the all important missing piece to this particular headache puzzle. He had a few too many drinks the night before. It didn’t matter that he thought he was experiencing his “usual” headache pain because on top of that usual pain was sitting a few alcoholic drinks which likely had a causative effect.
More importantly, homeopathically speaking, he left that detail out of the information he provided. If he had included that little nugget, my homeopathic questioning most likely would have stopped abruptly and I would have given him a dose of homeopathic Nux vomica.
The go-to remedy for one who has had “a few too many” is Nux vomica. According to Schroyens Synthesis repertory (2012), there are 102 remedies applicable to symptoms following intoxication, with Nux vomica (and one other) being the most highly indicated homeopathic remedy.
Why? Because Nux vomica is very highly indicated in the following headache symptoms, according to Murphy’s Repertory:
Nux vomica is also one of the largest liver remedies in homeopathy and as the medical literature has taught us, the liver is involved to help you cope with ridding your body of the toxins from the alcohol (Jung and Namkoong 2014).
Homeopathic Nux vomica is very highly indicated in the following liver symptoms, again, according to Murphy: pain in the liver, atrophy of the liver, enlarged liver, a sensation of fullness in the liver; hepatitis infection, jaundice; congestion in the portal system. **If you are experiencing chronic liver issues, please work with a professional homeopath alongside your physician.
What other symptoms does homeopathic Nux vomica address which may be experienced after “tying one on?” — according to Phatak (2005):
These keynote symptoms for Nux vomica sound to me like a pretty comprehensive list of symptoms which follow intoxication (Jung and Namkoong 2014; Mayo Clinic 2017).
Getting an accurate account of one’s symptoms is imperative to getting the best-matched homeopathic remedy. Without the details, well, it’s GIGO (TechTerms.com) — “garbage in, garbage out.”
On that note of garbage, I recommend you keep the garbage out of your body, too, but if you find yourself in this compromised position, Nux vomica may well help set things back in order.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* REMEMBER, when you take a remedy which is not well indicated, the homeopathic remedy can actually cause you to experience some of the symptoms the remedy is intended to treat.
Banerji, P. and Banerji, P., 2013. The Banerji protocols : a new method of treatment with homeopathic medicines. India: Pratip Banerji.
Jung, Y. and Namkoong, K., 2014. Chapter 7 - Alcohol: intoxication and poisoning – diagnosis and treatment [online]. ScienceDirect.
Mayo Clinic, 2017. Hangovers - Symptoms and causes [online]. Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic, 2018. Sinus headaches - Symptoms and causes [online]. Mayo Clinic.
Murphy, R., n.d. Repertory, version 3. Accessed through Radar Opus software.
Phatak, S. R. and C Jeevanandam, 2005. A concise repertory of homoeopathic medicines : alphabetically arranged. New Delhi: B. Jain Pub.
Rozencwajg, J., 2010. Organotherapy Drainage & Detoxification. Emrys Publisher.
Schroyens, F., 2012. Synthesis : repertorium homeopathicum syntheticum. Accessed through Radar Opus software. London: Homeopathic Book Publishers.
TechTerms.com, n.d. GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) Definition [online]. techterms.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.