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Homeopathy Essentials: What to Have on Hand
- Homeopathy works around the concept of treating a disease by using small doses of natural substances that could be responsible for causing disease in healthy people.
- Homeopathy has been around since the late 1700s, and can be used to treat a range of conditions using animal, mineral, or plant-based treatments.
- Unlike standard medicine, homeopathy focuses on a “holistic” approach to treatment which considers the emotions of a patient, as well as their personality and background. It is very common for doctors to consider stress and other emotions when determining homeopathic treatments.
- Homeopathic medicine has been used to treat thyroid and autoimmune disorders, as well as allergies, asthma, fatigue, depression, migraines, digestive problems, and arthritis.
- Though the research surrounding homeopathy is somewhat mixed, there are numerous studies that indicate the effectiveness of homeopathic treatments in managing a range of illnesses and diseases.
- Many homeopathy solutions can be purchased from health-food stores, and there are a range of useful first-aid remedies that can be kept on hand for acute and common conditions such as cold and flu.
What Is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is the process of treating a disease by using small doses if natural substances that might otherwise cause illness in a healthy person. Simply put, it’s a form of alternative medicine that uses a small amount of an active ingredient to cure or treat a disease, even though that ingredient could contribute to illness in the first place.
The practice of homeopathy has been around since the late 1700s, and is still practiced in a range of forms around the world today. In fact, the World Health Organization considers Homeopathy to be the second largest therapeutic system in existence, with hundreds of different remedies to choose from.
The creation of homeopathy can be attributed to a man called “Samuel Hahnemann”, who used ideas from Ancient Greek medical practices in 1796 to surround his theory of homeopathic medicine. The practice of Dr. Hahnemann focused on the idea that the body can naturally heal itself, and that the symptoms we experience from illness are a method of showing a patient exactly what’s going on inside of them. Because of this, homeopathy is different to conventional medicine because it considers symptoms to be normal bodily responses used by the human form as it attempts to heal.
Homeopathic medicine is believed to be entirely safe, with practices regulated by the FDA since the late 1980s. Treatments come from a range of natural substances, which can be animal, mineral, or plant-based. Examples of the substances a homeopathic doctor may use to treat patients could include activated charcoal, dried herbs, garlic, vinegar, white arsenic, stinging nettles, and more. These substances can be processed in a variety of ways to create ointments, tablets, creams, gels, and drops. Though there is much controversy surrounding homeopathic medicine, many patients can find relief from a range of illnesses, including insomnia, seasonal allergies, fatigue, and more.
Homeopathy 101: How It Works
The School of Homeopathy centers around one very important belief: “That which a substance is capable of causing, it is also capable of curing”. Perhaps one of the most essential principles of homeopathic treatments is that this form of medicine needs to be customized according to the person that is taking it. In other words, the medicine needs to be tailored to meet a specific history, set of symptoms, and needs. For instance, even if two people were attempting to fight back against the same illness, they might be treated with two completely different solutions from their homeopathic doctors, based on the unique elements of their situation, and how their body might be expected to respond.
Homeopathy is very different from standard medicine, primarily because it begins by considering a patient’s emotions, background, and personality. It’s largely common for many homeopathic doctors to speak about stress levels and emotions with a patient when determining treatment. What’s more, some patients will respond differently to specific medicines, with some needing larger doses than others. Herbs, minerals, animal products and more can be diluted to a precise potency depending on the needs of each patient, and the goal is generally to use the smallest dose possible while still offering a range of crucial benefits.
Alongside interviews with the patient, lab tests may also be carried out to assist the homeopathic doctor in learning about the condition of the patient. However, these tests are always viewed in light of the patient’s self-reported symptoms and experiences. Unlike simply taking samples of urine, blood, hormones, and more – then being prescribed a set of medicines accordingly, the aim of a homeopathic doctor is to learn about the expectations and experiences of a patient and help in the most holistic way possible.
The Benefits of Homeopathy
Homeopathy can be used for a range of different concerns and illnesses. Most commonly, it has been accessed for patients suffering from the following problems or symptoms:
- Autoimmune or thyroid disorders
- Tension headaches and migraines
- Digestive problems such as IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)
- Anxiety disorders
The trials and studies that have been conducted surrounding homeopathic medicine have had somewhat mixed results. However, there is plenty of evidence that suggests these solutions can be effective in helping with a range of conditions and symptoms. For example, approximately 142 different trials have been published across scientific journals in regards to the effectiveness of homeopathy. According to the School of Homeopathy, around 85% of the random controlled trials that have been conducted suggest that homeopathy is more effective than a placebo.
What’s more, to date, there have been five meta-analyses considering the benefits of homeopathy trials, including one which appeared in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Four out of five analyses showed that homeopathy worked better than a placebo.
So, what are some of the factors that make homeopathic medicine so uniquely beneficial?
1. Treatments use low doses of natural substances
One of the most significant benefits of homeopathic medicine, is that its treatments are created without using man-made chemicals or drugs. Instead, these solutions are crafted using things that are found in nature. Usually, these treatments use very low doses of whatever substance is required, and are subtle, gentle, and powerful when it comes to making a difference to patient health. Unlike prescription drugs, these solutions also carry a very low risk of addiction, and very rarely cause negative side effects.\
2. Every aspect of the individual is considered
Unlike other treatment options, homeopathy doesn’t see an illness as a collection of symptoms- but instead regards it as unique according to the situation of a specific patient. Homeopathy is designed to treat all the symptoms a patient experiences, from the physical concerns, to the emotional, mental, and spiritual issues too. In other words, homeopathic treatments consider chronic stress, and other beliefs about the needs a person has to be “well”.
3. Homeopathy can reduce depression and anxiety
Homeopathy has frequently been used alongside various forms of cognitive behavioral and psychotherapy to treat the symptoms of mental disorders – including physical problems. A lot of people struggling with depression or anxiety find that they struggle with problems of insomnia, muscle aches, digestive issues, headaches, and fatigue. A homeopathic doctor would consider these concerns to help a patient recover faster. A meta-analysis conducted in 2006 by the School of Integrated Health in London found that several studies reported positive results regarding patient satisfaction when homeopathy was used to treat anxiety.
4. Homeopathy controls pain
Various pieces of research have found that individuals struggling with chronic pain can benefit from using homeopathic treatments, without the need for medications or risky procedures. A controlled and randomized study involving 43 patients with lower back pain gave patients homeopathic therapy for a trial period. The results found that many patients experienced a significant reduction in pain by the end of the treatment.
5. Homeopathy treats asthma and allergies
Many professionals use homeopathic treatments to help treat asthma and allergies in a manner similar to conventional treatments. In a study conducted by the researchers at the University of Glasgow, around 80% of asthmatic patients who received small and customized homeopathic doses of medicine found relief from their symptoms within a week of treatment. The group receiving the placebo only experienced an improvement 38% of the time.
Creating your Own Homeopathy Kit
Now that we’ve thoroughly considered the benefits of homeopathy, and how it can work to provide a customized and holistic approach to treatment for a range of patients, it might be time to consider what kind of homeopathy solutions you could potentially have on hand at home to help you manage a range of common conditions.
If you look inside your typical first aid kit, you’ll probably find items such as Tylenol, Neosporin, and Band-aids. However, if you want to be prepared to handle a range of illnesses from a homeopathic perspective, then you might want to consider investing in a few alternative solutions too. Though it can be very helpful to seek a homeopathic professional for serious or chronic illnesses that require in-depth customized evaluations, it’s possible to find simple homeopathic remedies for basic illnesses in a range of health food stores. Most of the time, these solutions are inexpensive, and easy to digest for adults and children of almost any age.
Considering the safety of these homeopathic treatments, and the benefits that they can have for children and adults alike, it seems strange that they aren’t more commonly stocked within the average first aid kit. However, one of the reasons why many people might avoid homeopathic remedies for illness is that they simply don’t know where to start when building their kit. With that in mind, we’re going to address some of the simplest and most effective homeopathic remedies that you can have in your kit at all times to help deal with acute situations.
A quick note – before we begin identifying the remedies to have in your homeopathy kit, it’s worth outlining some information regarding dosage. Many of the remedies that we will address will include a “30C” recommendation which is the potency of the remedy. For most people, 30C is the most appropriate solution for self-limiting and acute conditions. However, different potencies may be required for chronic or significant conditions.
The great news about homeopathic medicine is that it’s not possible to overdose, so you shouldn’t be too concerned if you end up taking a little too much!
The First Aid Remedies to Keep on Hand
So, which first aid remedies should you keep in your kit at all times? Being able to figure out the right solution for you and your loved ones can be complicated, but once you understand the different ingredients used for different problems, you should become far more efficient at selecting the ideal remedy.
Again, the good news here is that there’s no possibility for overdose, and holistic first aid remedies – at least the ones we list here – will not be dangerous to you or your family in any way. Here are just some of the options we suggest that you try.
Homeopathy experts absolutely love this remedy! In fact, many suggest that if you’re only going to have a single homeopathic solution in your home, this should be the one that you have. Arnica can be used for any kind of trauma (blunt) to the body, including falls, bruising, or impact, and it’s also effective after surgical procedures like pulled teeth.
In many cases, Arnica can help to reduce the swelling and discomfort caused by a range of accidents and injuries that would otherwise be far worse. You can use it instantly to reduce bruising and discomfort.
Ferrum Phos (6X)
This solution is more of a form of preventative method than a cure to anything in particular. Ferrum Phos can be taken when you start to notice small symptoms that you might be coming down with an illness. You can take two tablets a day to help mitigate the onset of illness. However, once you are actually unwell, then you will need to find a remedy that best matches your specific symptoms.
The universal remedy for children that suffer from a range of illnesses and discomforts, Pulsatilla is ideal for headaches, infections, and stomach aches. It can be used in situations wherein your child might have a small fever but trouble drinking.
Perfect for those severely cold days in winter. Aconite is intended for individuals who find themselves falling victim to a serious chill after the temperatures have dropped and they’ve spent too much time outside. If you get home and start to feel the symptoms of flu, or wake up in the night with congestion, a runny nose, headache, and fatigue, then Aconite could be the best solution. Aconite can also be useful for those who suffer from sudden frights, such as almost being in an accident, as it helps to mitigate the symptoms of shock.
Kali Mur (6X)
This solution helps to re-absorb ear fluids during an ear infection.
Phosphorus is used most commonly as a solution for treating respiratory conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, dry coughs, deep coughs, bronchitis, and tightness in the chest. This treatment is best suited to children who are highly sociable and like interacting with others.
Rhus Tox (30C)
The perfect remedy for the symptoms of arthritis, Rhus Tox is designed for those who suffer with stiff joints that frequently get better after regular movement. Rhus Tox can also be used for those suffering from acute injuries like sprained ankles, cold sores, and poison ivy. In some cases, this solution can also assist with tickly coughs.
This is a left-sided remedy for people who are suffering from purplish discoloration around affected areas as a result of circulation problems. If you are suffering from the symptoms that require Lachesis, you might also find that your issues get worse following the consumption of hot drinks.
Used for children that seem to be constantly upset or dismayed – particularly when they have a sore throat, or are currently teething.
This treatment is ideal for people who feel overwhelmed by fatigue. If you are struggling with the sensations of being drained, or you can barely open your eyes to get ready in a morning, then this could help. Gelsemium is also useful in situations where you’re running a fever with chills, and it can also be a great remedy for anxiety-ridden children who feel nervous about a big test or an upcoming event.
If your nose is running like a faucet and you’re particularly fatigued with feelings of cold or flu, then Arsenicum could help to manage your symptoms and improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
Nux Vomica (30C)
Known by many as the “GI” remedy. Nux Vomica is best used for anything ranging from hemorrhoids to heart burn. This solution can also be used for people suffering with constipation or diarrhea. This is best used for people suffering from the standard symptoms of stomach flu.
This homeopathic remedy is used to treat fevers with a fast onset. These fevers generally come on quickly, and strong, leaving children with a bright-red face.
Known as the bee-sting remedy, Apis is ideal for those suffering with throat problems wherein the uvula and back of the throat is swollen and you feel a constant desire for icy-cold drinks. It’s also useful for people who are suffering from a significant amount of water retention issues.
A right-sided remedy for children who constantly need warm drinks or feel as though they have a lump in their throat.
This remedy is ideal for children who are drooling frequently and experiencing heavy bouts of bad-smelling sweating and bad breath. You may find that your child is waking up with their sheets drenched in sweat.
Kali Bich (30C)
This solution is perfect for children or adults suffering from a cold that includes sticky and thick mucus that is difficult to get out of the throat or nose.