Before examining the use of Homoeopathy in practical situations it is important to clear up one common misconception – the accusation by some scientists that Homoeopathy works simply by the power of suggestion or by a placebo action.
Firstly, the successful use of homoeopathic medicine to treat babies, young children and animals is well established. For example, many mothers (of the human kind!) have had cause to be grateful to the dramatic effects of Chamomilla for teething, fractious or colic ridden infants, which has proven its worth time after time – and far more quickly compared to Calpol!
Secondly, in some more difficult cases, it is often found that there is no response to the first remedy – or even the second or third – yet the “correct” remedy (called the Simillimum) produces a significant improvement in the state of the patient.
Thirdly, although Homoeopathy is considered a safe, gentle and effective form of medicine, it is well known amongst Homoeopaths that too high a potency of a remedy can cause a severe aggravation in certain cases, often when treating skin eruptions such as eczema. This is due to an initial flare up of the condition before a gradual but sustained improvement takes place, and is often welcomed by the Homoeopath (but not by the patient!) as a sign that the remedy chosen was correct.
In all the above instances it cannot possibly be a placebo – working by the power of suggestion – that has had an effect.
Simple Homoeopathy at work or at home
Here then are a few tips for simple Homoeopathy at work or at home. These are simple First Aid situations where in depth knowledge is not required – yet the remedy effectiveness and speed of relief can be quite dramatic. As a pharmacist, I would happily recommend these remedies if asked as opposed to their “conventional” pharmaceutical counterparts.
Unless otherwise mentioned, a good potency in an acute situation is a 30C, taken every hour for 6 doses then twice a day until relief is obtained.
The top two remedies in any First Aid Kit should be Aconite and Arnica.
Aconite (Monkshood) is a great remedy at the first sign of a cold or chill, especially where the person has been out in the cold or become chilled. Strong keynotes (remedy characteristics) are fear, anxiety, prostration, restlessness or fright, which can be acute and sudden. In essence there is a mental turmoil (unlike the other great fever remedy, Belladonna, which has a circulatory turmoil). This remedy is brilliant for sudden shocks, such as bereavements or road traffic accidents, when the person goes into a state of shock or collapse.
Arnica (Leopard’s Bane) is the first remedy to think of when there has been any traumatic injury to tissues, especially resulting in pooling of blood. Parts lain on feel sore and bruised, and the bed feels too hard. A great remedy for any over exertion, such as too vigorous tackling of the garden at the first sign of Spring, and for preventing jet lag (use in the 200C potency). Arnica is also available as a cream, ointment or lotion, all of which are invaluable when applied externally for bruising, or pre exercise.
Calendula (Marigold) is a remarkable healing agent when applied locally (cream, ointment or lotion) but can also be taken homoeopathically in a 30C potency. This natural antiseptic is far superior to Savlon, Dettol, etc, and has been shown to be extremely effective at healing septic wounds or ulcers and promotes healthy granulation (laying down of new tissue). As a mouthwash (obtained by diluting 10 drops of mother tincture in half a glass of water) it is excellent after tooth extractions (along with Arnica).
Hypericum (St John’s Wort) complements Arnica as another great healer but has an affinity for nerves, especially those of fingers, toes and nails. Think of Hypericum for cuts or crushing injuries to these parts. Not unexpectedly there is often great pain because of the nerve involvement, classically a shooting pain, so this remedy is a “must” if there is a risk of tetanus developing. Like Calendula, with which it is often combined (as Hypercal cream), Hypericum is available separately as a cream, ointment, mother tincture or as homoeopathic tablets.
Ledum (Marsh-Tea) is the great remedy for puncture wounds, such as from stepping on a nail. The main (and peculiar) keynote is that affected parts are cold and yet feel better from the cold!
Symphytum (Comfrey – Knitbone) is, as its name suggests, excellent for fractures (only after the injured part has been set!), and is a top remedy for both blows to the eye (“black eye”) along with Arnica or for blows to a hard surface such as the ribs.
Remedies mentioned can usually be obtained at pharmacies or Health Food Shops.
Lawrence Collin, M.R.Pharm.S, L.C.Hom, Pharmacist and Homoeopath.