Homeopathic remedies have been used in healing for centuries. In the very early days of modern medicine, medical schools in this country taught homeopathy. The evolution toward pharmaceuticals (and other factors) slowly removed homeopathy as a pursuit of study in medical schools, but the art form has been far from lost. It is still used all over the world with much success. In this article, we will tell you what homeopathy is (and what it isn’t), how it works, and five homeopathic remedies you’ll want to keep in your medicine cabinet at home.
The Differences Between Homeopathic Remedies and Western Medicine
As said above, the concepts surrounding homeopathy have been used for centuries, but it was organized into an easily-used system in the modern era by the original homeopathic doctor, Dr. Samuel Christian Hahnemann, an 18th-century German physician. Dr. Hahnemann practiced during the time of Napoleon and was famous for curing cholera-ridden soldiers. His version of homeopathy is considered classical homeopathy—the most common form used today.
Homeopathy is governed by the principle, “Like cures like.” This means that a very small dose of a substance that would cause a symptom can also heal the symptom. Homeopathic remedies are created from a wide variety of plant, animal and mineral substances. The original substance is diluted in water and shaken vigorously. This process is done repeatedly, resulting in an extremely dilute, but highly energetic remedy.
You might be wondering how such a dilute substance can have any effect on an illness. This question touches on one of the many ways that homeopathy departs from Western medicine. Western medicine focuses on targeting symptoms with drugs. Homeopathic remedies work on an energetic level, prompting your body to set in motion the healing sequences it needs. You must abandon the allopathic model of treating symptoms to understand how homeopathy works.
Western medical science can safely be said to be operating at the cellular and sub-cellular levels and is slowly working its way to the subatomic level—the physics of medicine, if you will. Homeopathy operates at the subatomic level—with the energy of the body. Admittedly, this generates skepticism about its efficacy; however, hundreds of years of practice has proven that homeopathy works. In fact, we don’t understand precisely how the energetic information is communicated to the body and ignites the healing process. As a result, “the placebo effect” is one way skeptics usually explain away the positive results of homeopathy: if you believe a remedy works, it will—the power of the mind. Yes, the mind is powerful and can influence healing, absolutely! However, homeopathic remedies have been shown to work on babies and animals; it is unlikely that these subjects experience the placebo effect through a belief.
Diagnosis and treatment also differ between homeopathy and Western medicine. A homeopath gathers all of a person’s symptoms, but the interpretation of the symptoms will be evaluated alongside how they present in the patient and other individual factors. Conclusions and courses of action will not be limited to labeling a “disease” and using a homeopathic remedy to attack a specific symptom. Instead, a homeopath researches the physical, emotional and mental symptoms the person is experiencing. The homeopathic remedies given to a person are individualized and holistic, not “one size fits all”.
Homeopathic Remedies for Dr. Mom and Dr. Dad
There are about 4,600 homeopathic remedies to choose from—a staggering amount, right? Only a trained homeopath is equipped to even begin distinguishing them! However, for the home medicine chest, Dr. Mom and Dr. Dad can rely on polycrests. Polycrests are a class of homeopathic remedies that have many uses and are a good first try for home use. There are about 150 of these, which is much more manageable for the DIY homeopath (with some practice!).
Remember, homeopathy does not label people with illnesses. The proper homeopathic remedy is determined by symptoms, but different people experience different symptoms for what we might label as one illness. That’s why having 4,600 different homeopathic remedies is so useful and effective.
When you’re sick, the vital force of your body (Chinese medicine calls this Chi or Qi) is expressing a need. Your body is trying to communicate; symptoms are merely indications that something isn’t in balance. In homeopathy, symptoms can be seen as an opportunity for the body heal on a deeper level.
Chemical medicines suppress symptoms and force illness back into the body; they don’t heal the underlying imbalance. That’s why we see eczema so inextricably linked to asthma as a child grows up. The underlying imbalance causing eczema, if not treated, tends to reappear as asthma later on. This is why integrative doctors seek to treat the underlying or root cause of an illness—and why they turn to homeopathic remedies when it is warranted.
A quick note about dosage: If after 6 doses, a remedy is not showing any impact, stop the remedy and move to the 2nd indicated remedy or call your homeopath or pediatrician.
If a remedy makes a situation slightly worse (meaning the body became a bit overstimulated) or slightly better, this means the remedy has worked, that the body has taken on the energy of the remedy. The body’s vital force (the immune system) has taken on the information and is on its way to healing. Stop dosing then. If you stop dosing, and then the effects slow down, it’s time for another dose.
For help with dosage and frequency, check out this handy chart from Certified Classical Homeopath and Homeopathic Master Clinician, Lise Battaglia: http://homeopathyhealingarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/posology-page-30c-and-200c-etc.pdf
5 Homeopathic Remedies You Can Try at Home
Ferrum Phos 6X: This remedy is technically a cell salt, or a tissue salt. This remedy doesn’t have salt in it. A “salt” is chemistry terminology for an ionic compound which is made up of two groups of oppositely charged ions. Cell salts support the biochemical structure of the human body. Fever is the body’s way of creating enough heat to destroy the invader—a virus or bacteria. When the body has a fever, rather than get rid of the fever, support the body to have a more efficient immune response with this remedy, thereby ridding the body of the invader and the fever, too.
Chamomila 6C or 30C: This remedy can be used for teething and other sources of pain in the head area. Some other symptoms include, teething, green “spinachy” poop in the diaper, cheeks of a different temperature, ear ache and sore throat. Again, homeopathy considers all aspects of a person to choose the best remedy for each situation. Behavior-wise, this remedy may be indicated if a child is contrary, acting as if she doesn’t know what she wants…to be picked up, then put down, etc.
Podophyllum 6C or 30C: Used for explosive diarrhea. We didn’t think this needed further explanation!
Calcaria carbonica 6C or 30C: This is one of the first remedies taught in homeopathy school because it has so many uses. Constipation and stomach ache are two symptoms that benefit from this remedy. The specific type of constipation indicated for this remedy doesn’t seem to bother the person. The type of stomach ache indicated for this remedy includes when eating is uncomfortable, digestion is difficult, or the person bloats or hiccups after eating. This remedy has also been used successfully in cases of whooping cough, or a similar painful cough that happens at night, but is better in the morning. The remedy is indicated if a child is clingy and needy. He or she might have larger head. The child exhibits sensitivity and caring and gets worried if mom is out of sight.
Sulphur 6C or 30C: This remedy is indicated for eczema, topical dermatitis, or any red, dry, burning skin rash. An example of the personality type that goes along with this remedy is a precocious, friendly child. This remedy is also good for excessive, smelly foot perspiration. If you suppress foot sweat, you’re pushing toxins back into the body. Better to try a homeopathic remedy than chemicals!
If you’re concerned about side-effects from chemical medications and also interested in addressing the root cause of illness, homeopathic remedies are a valuable area of study. You can indeed store the knowledge of the centuries in your own bathroom medicine chest!
Special thanks to Lise Battaglia, Certified Classical Homeopath, for her help with the information in this article.
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