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Understanding Homeopathy




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Understanding Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a medical system that uses infinitesimal doses of natural substances to stimulate a person's immune system and body's natural defenses. Homeopathic remedies are named for the plant or animal ingredients they are made from. Homeopathy not only offers relief from temporary disorders but, can provide long term healing of a person due to its individual and "wholistic" approach. This often leads to a complete recovery from the dis-ease, as well as, providing an improved understanding of the patient's situation. This type of healing makes it easier and possible to avoid recurrence or relapses in the future and, homeopathy stimulates the body's natural defense system by reestablishing normal immune system and cell functioning.

Homeopathics are created by taking the remedy: a plant, mineral, chemical, or animal substance, diluting it in water and shaking it vigorously. The more it is sequentially diluted and shaken, the more potent the medicine. This is why minuscule doses are used.

"Like cures Like". Here are some perfect examples:

* A full strength dose of Ipeca will cause vomiting.
In a very diluted dose, it becomes a remedy to control nausea and vomiting.

* Coffee before bed will generally cause a sleepless night.
In an infinitesimal dose, it is used to treat insomnia.

*A large dose of sodium sulfate will characteristically provoke diarrhea.
An infinitesimal or homeopathic dose can cure that same type of diarrhea.

In general, the first session with a homeopath is for him/her to get to know your genetic heritage, lifelong health history, body type, psychological type, and present symptoms. The homeopath will ask many questions which seem out of the norm from a conventional doctor, but you must remember, his job is to consider your "whole" person.

He will ask questions like:
1. What time of day is your energy highest and lowest?
2. What type of weather or temperature do you love, hate?
3. How are you affected by being in the mountains, seashore?
4. What foods do you crave, are averse to, irritated by?
5. What position do you sleep in?
6. What dreams do you remember?
7. How does motion or lying down affect you?

There are hundreds of remedies with homeopathy as well as other modalities that employ the same theory called the Doctrine of Signatures. Start by looking at Avoiding the Antidotes. These are the contraindications when taking homeopathic remedies. Check Determining Dosage to understand how to take homeopathic remedies. Match Signs and Symptoms in order to choose the Best Homeopathic Remedy. Homeopathy is a profound and great integrative therapy that can be used in conjunction with many other forms of health care.

Homeopathic remedies can complement conventional drugs. There are no contraindications and no known side effects.


 Avoiding the Antidotes
Homeopathic remedies are powerful remedies but they work in such small doses that they can easily be compromised! According to Classic Homeopathy, the following antidotes should be avoided:

Avoid heat, light, moisture.
Keep homeopathic remedies tightly sealed in a cool, dark place. The steam in your bathroom may not be a safe place for them. Consider an area outside of the medicine chest.

Refrain from mint.
Mint or peppermint toothpaste, mint in your ice tea or mint chocolate chip ice cream should all be avoided during the time you are using homeopathic remedies.

Avoid Aromatics.
Menthol, camphor, tiger balm and perfume can neutralize homeopathic remedies.

Don't touch.
Pour the remedy pills from the bottle into the cap. Then pour them under your tongue. The oil from your hands can affect them.

Not with meals.
Take one half hour before eating or one to two hours after.

Don't chew or swallow.
Dissolve homeopathic pellets under the tongue. They absorb quickly into the bloodstream this way. Homeopathic drops can be taken the same way or in a glass of water.

Avoid stimulants.
Avoid smoking, coffee and caffeine especially within 30 minutes of taking homeopathic remedies.


Determining Dosage and Dilution

Whenever possible, take a remedy at bedtime, as the body is at rest. During the day try to take the remedy away from meals, at least 1/2 hour before eating, and at least one hour after eating because while the body is busy digesting food there can be a digestive upset with certain remedies. In an acute case, such as an injury, take the remedy immediately no matter when you have eaten. The mouth should also be free of any strong tastes. You may drink liquids shortly before and after taking a remedy. If you are taking a remedy several times a day, try to schedule some of the doses before bed, upon waking and during the day.

Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.

Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.

If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.

Read the recommended dosage for each remedy, which usually is to be taken before meals unless indicated otherwise. Homeopathic remedies are comprised of natural ingredients and will cause no harm if you take too much.

Purposely taking more than the prescribed dosage will not result in an enhanced effect. If you take too little, or miss a dose, just continue on as normal with your next scheduled dose. Missing dosages will only result in the remedy being less effective.

Homeopathic drops should be placed onto the tongue so that they are directly absorbed by the mucous membranes. Should the taste be too strong, a few drops of water may be added.

What is a dilution?

A homeopathic medicine is obtained by using the process of successive dilutions of a mother tincture in order to achieve the maximum benefit for a particular symptom. The mother tincture is created by breaking a substance down and then dissolving it in alcohol or water, depending on the substance.

Homeopathic dilutions are made by dissolving 1 part of an active ingredient, for example Apis, with 9 parts of an inactive ingredient such as water or alcohol. This 1:9 ratio is referred to as a "D" dilution. Each time the mixture is diluted, called a succession, it has to be shaken by hand in a certain way to achieve the desired effect.

By combining one part mother tincture with 9 parts alcohol/water, we reach D1 dilution (expressed as 1x in the product description). Each dilution factor has different properties and affects different symptoms. Homeopathic medicines may have different dilutions of the same mother tincture depending on the desired effects. If you read 'Apis 4x' on our label, it means one part Apis was mixed with 9 parts of alcohol/water, resulting in Apis 1x. One part Apis 1x was then added to 9 parts alcohol/water in order to get Apis 2x (D2) which combined with 9 parts alcohol/water gives us Apis 3x (D3). One more succession brings us to Apis 4x (D4).


Signs and Symptoms

Modalities are the modifying influences and circumstances which either ameliorate (influences, which make the symptoms feel better), or aggravate (influences, which make the symptoms worse). Modalities include many factors and stimuli as perceived by the patient. Modalities may have to do with temperature, weather, climate, movement, activity, time, right and left side, sensations, physical contact, foods, drinks, etc. They are the sensory manner and mode of how the symptoms are felt by the individual, and they are a most important criterion in choosing the right remedy.


Best Homeopathic Remedies

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader.

ABSENTMINDEDNESS

Absentmindedness, poor memory, fatigue and a feeling of being "spaced out " can occur with prolonged stress or overwork. Taking homeopathic Nux Moschata 30X (derived from the common nutmeg) twice a day can sharpen your memory and have you feeling like yourself again.

ANXIETY AFTER UPSETTING EVENTS

Anxiety after an upsetting event may be expected, but we can still seek relief with homeopathy. Anxiety, apprehension and worry can often be relieved by homeopathic Kali Phosphoricum.

ANXIETY DURING LABOR

Feelings of anxiety during labor and delivery can occur with both new and experienced moms. Aconite 30C taken every 30 minutes can have a profoundly calming effect and help to promote a healthy delivery.

ARTHRITIS

Kali Carbonicum is often considered for symptoms of arthritis; pain in the lower back, shoulder blades or knees; wakefulness between 2 and 4 a.m.; sensitivity to cold weather and feelings of anxiety felt in the stomach or solar plexus. Someone needing this remedy may have a conservative nature.

BLISTERS

Blister formation can be caused from heat or repetitive irritation to the skin. Soak the area in Calendula, let it air dry, and take homeopathic Cantharis every few hours.

BREAST FEEDING (Painful)

Arnica will relieve breast pain during nursing, especially if Arnica was not given directly after childbirth. The homeopathic remedy Conium will be helpful, especially if the breast pain goes from left side to right side. Take the 30C potency twice a day as needed.

BRITTLE NAILS

Nails which break or split easily should be protected from harsh detergents and from over washing. Use a good pair of rubber gloves while washing dishes, and take Homeopathic Alumina 30x as the label directs.

BRUISES

A lack of vitamin C or K can make us more prone to easy bruising. Consider Ledum 30c four times a day for bruised areas that feel cold to the touch, or for bruises that seem to last quite a long time. Ledum also speeds the healing of a black eye.

CHEMOTHERAPY SIDE EFFECTS

Chemotherapy for cancer. This medical treatment can result in a variety of side effects, the least of which is fatigue and hair loss. Homeopathic Cadmium Sulphuricum 6C, twice a day, can help to minimize the side effects of potent chemotherapy drugs and so ease the burden on the body.

CHILDREN'S ANXIETY
Children can be excited and anxious for the holiday break from school. Often this makes it hard to keep their minds on homework and exams. Giving Homeopathic Anacardium 30x twice a day will help them stay focused and make the wait a little easier.

COLD SORES

The herpes simplex virus is the infectious cause of cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, so do not touch the eyes or genitals after touching a cold sore. Symptoms may last from three to seven days. To help quickly destroy the virus, use Rhus Tox 12c four times a day for five days. Also helpful is a cream made from the amino acid L-lysine, and the avoidance of peanuts and chocolate.

CONSTIPATION
In homeopathy, longstanding constipation is seen as a continual problem requiring treatment by a homeopathic physician. For temporary or mild symptoms, Nux Vomica 30x taken every few hours can relieve the unproductive urging that can include chilliness, irritability or impatience.

CRAVING SALT

A small amount of salt can be part of a healthy diet, but too much has negative health consequences. Homeopathic Natrum Muriaticum, taken once a day for 7 days, can moderate a strong desire for salt.

DANDRUFF

The flaking and itching of the scalp can be due to eczema, psoriasis or a simple fungal infection. Sulphur 30x twice a day can relieve these symptoms. Use a gentle shampoo without mint, menthol, eucalyptus or tea tree oil.

DENTAL 'DRY SOCKET'

A 'dry socket' is an occasional complication from a tooth extraction. Often painful, this condition is worse for touch or pressure and better for warmth. Homeopathic Hypericum 30C and a liquid tincture of Salvia Officinalis as a mouth rinse can speed healing. If you are having a tooth pulled, be careful about rinsing the mouth too vigorously or sucking too hard on a straw as these things can contribute to the development of dry socket.

DETOXIFICATION

Nux Vomica is a useful homeopathic remedy for the side effects of prescription drugs, and for vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and nausea. It can ease the withdrawal effects from alcohol, tobacco and even sugar.

ERECTILE DISFUNCTION
When considering natural treatment for erectile dysfunction, consider Homeopathic Avena Sativa which can offer help for this condition. In one study, 90% of men in the trial showed evidence of enhanced libido and increased sexual performance.

EXCESSIVE PERSPIRATION

Moderate, odorless perspiration is quite normal, but excessive perspiration can be a nuisance. This condition can occur even in winter, perhaps in extreme quantity, mild odor and/or staining of clothing. Homeopathic Mercurius 30C, taken once a day, can alleviate this problem.

EYE STRAIN

Too much reading, studying or computer work can result in eyes that ache or burn. Difficulty in focusing or headaches can also be present with eye strain. Use Homeopathic Pilocarpus 30c at the first sign of irritation.

FATIGUE AND DOUBLE DUTY
College students work hard. Mental fatigue during studies and then putting in a double shift at work. Homeopathic Carbo Vegetabilis can have a reviving effect on mental and physical energy after long hours of work and study.

FEAR OF NEEDLES
A fear of receiving an injection at a doctor's office is common in children. When this fear is present in an adult, and includes a fear or hyper-awareness of other sharp objects such as acupuncture needles, pins and knives, we can look to homeopathy for assistance. Take homeopathic Silicea as the label indicates.

FEVERS (Periodic)

For weakness and fevers that go up and down with regularity, give Cina 30C every 4 hours. This is also a great remedy for flu symptoms accompanied by cyclic fevers.

FLEA BITES

Whether your a pet owner who may have pets with flea problems or are dealing with a flea problem from another source, you can take Pulex Irritans 30X three times a day for 3 to 5 days.

GRINDING THE TEETH
Grinding the teeth, known as bruxism, may require a dental visit for an adjustment of the bite or even for a bite guard to protect the teeth. Homeopathic Arsenicum Album 30x is used for this condition that occurs during sleep. Give one dose at bedtime for five nights.

HAY FEVER

Hay fever in many areas of the country makes its appearance in late summer and can continue until mid autumn. Sabadilla 30x suits symptoms including burning or red eyelids, spasmodic sneezing and runny nose, watery eyes on going out of doors, and itching or tickling sensation in the ears.

IMPOTENCE/HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE MEDS

Impotence can occur as a side effect of medication taken for high blood pressure. Instead of taking yet another drug with potentially dangerous side effects, take Homeopathic Lycopodium 30C once each day. This will help in treating impotence problems.

INDENTED TONGUE

Early mornings before breakfast are a good time to examine the tongue for general signs of health. If you notice imprints from the teeth on the sides of the tongue, this is a sign often observed in someone who would benefit from the homeopathic remedy Mercurious Solubis.

INTESTINAL FLU

When intestinal flu spreads, we experiences weakness, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Take normal precautions (wash the hands constantly) to prevent the spread to family members, and take Homeopathic Veratrum Album 30X three to four times a day to relieve the symptoms.

IRRITABILITY AND OLDER CHILDREN

We utilize Chamomilla for irritable young children, but what about older children and teenagers? Look for symptoms such as restlessness, wanting to be left alone and feeling worse for comfort. Homeopathic Cina 30X can calm these storms and help older children and teens to feel much better.

KIDNEY STONES

Kidney stones can be made of calcium and other minerals and should be checked by your medical practitioner to prevent future occurrence of this very painful condition. For emergency use, Homeopathic Berberis 12c every 20 minutes can offer relief.

LEG CRAMPS

Sometimes these cramps, or "charley horses," can be caused by a calcium or magnesium deficiency, or may be related to poor circulation. Homeopathic Magnesium Phosphoricum 30x, or Mag Phos for short, can bring quick relief with a few doses taken five or ten minutes apart.

LOWER BACK PAIN
Lower back pain can be caused by a variety of situations such as too much or improper lifting, bending, sports activities and misalignments of the vertebrae of the spine. Homeopathic Bellis Perennis 30X is thought of as "Arnica for the lower back" and can bring relief when taken as the label directs. If relief is only temporary, or if lower back pain keeps recurring, see your chiropractor, osteopath or physical medicine specialist.

MENSTRUAL PAIN

There are many types of menstrual pain. If menses pain extends down into the legs, the most common treatments for pain may not be helpful. Homeopathic Sabina is specific for this type of pain and will also be effective for lower back pain experienced during menses.

MENTAL CONFUSION

Mental confusion can occur along with illness, stress, and advanced age. In early stages, homeopathic Alumina can help reverse this process and restore mental clarity.

NASAL POLYPS
People who suffer with chronic sinus conditions often have nasal polyps as well. These polyps may exacerbate the sinus condition and may or may not lead to bleeding. Homeopathic Phosphorous can be an effective treatment.

NAUSEA DURING PREGNANCY
Morning sickness is most common during the second and third months of pregnancy, and not just in the morning. Homeopathic Ipecac 30x suits symptoms that are worse when lying down, includes watering of the mouth and may include diarrhea or vomiting. Take Ipecac every hour until relief is obtained.

PUFFY EYES

Swelling of the eyelids on waking can occur from a variety of causes - allergy, illness or tearfulness from the night before. Apis Melifica 30X taken every half hour for three to five doses can quickly relieve the swelling.

SENSITIVE SCALP
A sore or sensitive scalp is sometimes a problem for small children. Even combing the hair can be painful for sufferers of sensitive scalps. Homeopathtic Cinchona Officinalis will relieve the sensitivity and discomfort, making it easier to care for your child's hair.

SINUSITIS

Sinusitis with pain that feels worse on the left side may best respond to homeopathic Spigilia. This remedy can relieve pain that may be sharp, that worsens with warmth or with bending the head forward, and that's alleviated with a cold application.

SLEEPWALKING
Sleepwalking is more common in children between the ages of five and ten, and yet can occur in adults and older children. Homeopathic Kali Bromatum 30c can quickly solve this problem when given once before bed for seven consecutive nights.If someone is sleepwalking, gently guide him or her back to bed without attempting to wake him. A gate at the top of stairs can give a parent peace of mind regarding a sleepwalking child.

SPINAL INJURIES

A spinal injury can occur very quickly, for example after a fall on the ice onto the tailbone, or a whiplash injury from a car accident. If you are experiencing sharp pain after a fall, or numbness and tingling after any injury, Homeopathic Hypericum 30X taken twice a day will soothe irritated nerve tissue. In addition, Arnica 30X can be taken for general trauma.

SPLINTERS
If a splinter can't easily be removed with tweezers, or if a small amount is left behind after removal, Silica (Silicea) 30x four times a day for 3-7 days will help. The homeopathic Silicea helps to promote expulsion of foreign bodies through the skin. This remedy should not be given, except by a homeopathic physician, to a person with a pacemaker or other implanted medical device.

STOMACH CRAMPS
Podophyllum 30X taken every 2 hours as needed can relieve cramping abdominal pain that's accompanied by rumbling sounds in the abdomen and feelings of weakness.

SWOLLEN ANKLES

A reader with a heart condition asked what she could take for swollen ankles. Homeopathic Lycopodium 30X, twice a day, can relieve the pain and tightness from this condition.

THRUSH

The same organism that causes vaginal infections is responsible for thrush infection in infants. White patches can be present on the throat or tongue and you might notice drooling or an offensive odor. Homeopathic Borax 30c given twice a day for up to seven days can clear this condition. See your healthcare practitioner if this infection persists or occurs repeatedly.

TOOTHACHE

Tooth pain that radiates to the ears may be relieved by homeopathic Mercurius. This type of pain is often aggravated by cold air, night air, and biting. A great deal of salivation will accompany a Mercurius toothache.

VOMITING AND DIARRHEA

Vomiting along with diarrhea can occur together in cases of abdominal flu or food poisoning. Homeopathic Veratrum Album taken as the label directs will relieve these symptoms and hasten recovery from the cause.

WHIPLASH

Most of us think of taking homeopathic Arnica at any sign of injury. If you should suffer a whiplash injury as a result of a car accident, consider taking Hypericum following your dose of Arnica. Hypericum will assist the healing of nerve tissue that has been damaged and will help to reduce pain and inflammation.


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