Winter Home Treatments Using Gentle Homeopathy
By Mary English DSH
Short History and Principles of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a safe and effective system of medicine that helps the body's efforts to heal itself by dosing it with minute "potentised" quantities of the plant, mineral or animal by-product capable of creating similar symptoms to those presented by the patient.
Dr Samuel Hahnemann qualified as a medical practitioner in Germany in 1779. During his years as a general physician he grew disillusioned with the profession. He was appalled by the inhumanity and barbarism displayed by the medical practice of his day which consisted largely of blood letting, either by knife or leeches, and which was augmented with massive purgatives and large doses of medicines, many of which caused serious side-effects. His life’s mission was to establish a more humane and natural system of treatment, and by his pioneering efforts in the face of prejudice and resistance to change he brought into being a system of medicine that swept the world and continues to prove effective today.
What is treatable at home
To treat safely at home, you need to first consider if the condition is First Aid : bumps, bruises, cuts etc, Acute or Chronic.
A chronic complaint is something that has been around for more than a few weeks/months, develops slowly, gets worse and worse and/or comes back frequently. Chronic diseases show no tendency to go away of their own accord, like acutes ones do. They are far more complicated to treat and definitely require the skills of a professional Homeopath and/or your GP.
Acute complaints start quickly, have a definite beginning and end and happen only occasionally. Simple acute diseases can often be treated at home quite effectively with Homeopathic remedies. Acute diseases usually disappear of their own accord over a period of time, but the proper Homeopathic treatment will help ease suffering and prevent complications.
Some acute diseases such as pneumonia (fever, chill, unusual rapid breathing, vomiting, too breathless to speak) or meningitis (symptoms include vague flu-like feelings, fever, stiff neck, photophobia and drowsiness) can be life-threatening and we DO NOT recommend home-treatment.
A general rule of thumb is, if the patient is conscious and able to communicate, then go ahead and use home-treatment. If, however, they lapse into unconsciousness, develop chest pain (of any sort), have great difficulty breathing, vomit blood or pass blood in the stool, PLEASE DIAL 999.
Dosage and Frequency
It is always important to wait to see what effect the remedy has.
The frequency of the dose depends on the severity of attack, i.e. in severe fevers, vomiting etc. It may be necessary to repeat the remedy every half hour. Otherwise, remedies in lower potency can be repeated 2 hourly for up to 6 doses. If using 30C repeat every 4-6 hours with a maximum of 3 doses. If there is some improvement, you have the right remedy. Repeat the remedy until improvement is maintained. If the improvement stops, or the symptoms changes, take the case again and match the new symptoms with the indicated remedy.
If there is no improvement, but you feel sure that the remedy is correct, try once more. If there is still no improvement, change remedy.
How to take a remedy
Do not take or give a remedy for the sake of it. Homeopathic remedies are non-toxic, but they DO have a strong effect on your system and should not be taken lightly. If you simply feel a bit headachy and under the weather, perhaps because you have done too much and are tired, and you know that it will go away, don’t take any remedies, and just use sensible measures such as resting.
When you have your chosen remedy, place one pill in the mouth, touching it as little as possible and let it dissolve by sucking it or slowly chewing it. Food, drinks and smoking should be avoided for 15 minutes before and after taking the remedy.
Has the ability to benefit dry mucus membranes, from the mouth to the trachea, that lead to dry, barking, croupy coughs with intense spasmodic hacking, burning sore throats, hoarseness, difficult breathing and eventually exhaustion with great heaviness and a fear of suffocation. Spongia conditions improve when lying with the head low, with humidity, a warm hot shower, and warm food and drink; they grow worse from dry, cold wind and exertion.
Applies to violent, suffocating, painful coughs that may cause wretching or vomiting of yellow mucus, as well as hoarseness, difficult breathing and chest pain. All other symptoms - its heavy pressing headache, hoarseness, sore throat, restlessness, nausea and abdominal pain - usually relate to Drosera's relentless cough. Though Drosera's cough may seem bad enough during the day (particularly when laughing, singing or drinking), as soon as you get nice and cozy in a warm bed (just after midnight), it gets worse forcing you to sit up and cough until you can barely breathe.
Ipecac is particularly helpful with nausea that cannot seem to vomit but wants to, or that is not relieved by vomiting. It can also help stop the pattern of vomiting after everything that needed out is out. Ipecac is also helpful in coughs with nausea. Cases needing Ipecac are marked by constant nausea, a clean tongue, thirstlessness, constant salivation, empty belching and the tendency to feel worse with movement or after eating or just from the smell of food.
For chilly flu or cold with rattling, croupy cough, throat irritation, hoarseness, yellow mucus, fever and possibly ear pain. The Hepar Sulph patient becomes very sensitive, easily irritated and even depressed, especially if cold dry wind is very aggravating.
Mercurius cases are very sensitive to temperature changes and often take cold or become discouraged, weary and restless when the weather is too hot, too cold, too cloudy or too damp. Mercurius colds have a very sore throat and thick yellow discharges that leave nose, eyes and even ears raw and may trigger Mercurius' typical mouth problems like gumboils, a metallic taste and very, very bad breath.
Its useful for slow moving flu and colds, often triggered by cold air, have a dry, hacking cough with stitching pains, chill-ridden fever, great thirst, dry throat and a "don't touch me, leave me alone" attitude. Its 'keynote' symptom 'pain worse from slightest movement.
Useful for swellings especially if the area is red and burns. In some people, the area swells up many times its size and nearby joints become puffy and red. People experience great inflammation on membranes throughout the system especially the throat, urinary tract and around the eyes. Thus Apis has applications in swollen sore throats, the area should be red, hot and swollen with burning, stinging pains which feel better with cold air or compresses. Other symptoms include: fevers without thirst, sleep problems and general irritability.
One of the most passionate, intense and remarkable remedies especially for women's ailments. Its complaints, which are many and varied, usually begin at night or on waking and may move from the left side to the right. Its left sided splinter-like sore throat is worse with empty swallowing and better with solids. Its heavy, bursting headache may start left and then move to the top of the head. Lachesis symptoms almost always improve with the beginning of any discharge including mucus from the sinuses or the start of a woman's period.
Belladonna is a key fever remedy that aids sudden eruptive fevers and inflammatory conditions marked by great redness, heat, throbbing and a thirst for cold water. Its cold or flu has a sudden fever, hot dry sore throat, dry cough and red face. Sun exposure may contribute to symptoms needing Bella, as can light, noise or sudden movement.
A great remedy for heavy tired flu with trembling weariness. Gelsemium is good for weak, heavy, yet restless flu marked by aching fever and chills. Its dull headaches are heavy and exhausting, too.
Dry membranes cause thick mucus (like egg white), as in Nat mur colds or hayfever related profuse runny nose, watery eyes, post nasal drip, dry throat and dry tickling cough. Blinding headaches, cold sores, cracked lips, fever blisters, insomnia, constipation and a desire for salty foods can all find relief in Nat mur, when the picture fits. Its complaints tend to improve with fresh air and deep breathing and worsen with consolation, more emotion, puberty, hormonal changes and sunlight.
Sore throats, sinus and ear congestion can move out quickly under its influence. Silica can also benefit constipation, diarrhea related to teething, weak hair and nails, and coughs with thick yellow mucus. Its works best for patients who are concerned about what people think ; they have a cheesy smelling perspiration, though they are naturally chilly. Silica complaints tend to feel better in a warm room with a warm hat on, and much worse in a cold draft.
If symptoms persist, it is important to consult a qualified homeopath practitioner. At any time, if you are worried, it is important to seek professional help - get in touch with your homeopath or GP.
You can buy remedies from Helios http://www.helios.co.uk/
©Mary English 2010