With World Homeopathy Week upon us, what better time to learn about this fascinating holistic approach to health management? Homeopathy is notable for providing remedies that match symptoms very accurately, and for initiating the body’s own healing processes. This makes it easy for you to choose the perfect remedy to use at home – because you’re the expert on the nature of your own symptoms. You simply must find the corresponding remedy that addresses those symptoms.
A therapy based upon the Laws of Similars, homeopathy functions on the principle that any substance that can make us ill can also cure us, when given at miniscule doses. When homeopathy was being developed back in late 18th century by Samuel Hahnemann, a wide range of substances were sampled by healthy volunteers. If that substance induced an unpleasant symptom, the specifics of that symptom were noted in great detail. The substance, when diluted down many times was then used to treat those exact symptoms.
Less is More – Diluting Homeopathic Remedies
Understandably, when some people find out just how much a substance is diluted to create a homeopathic remedy, they question how it could possibly exert a therapeutic effect at such a weak strength. After all, we would expect taking two capsules of paracetamol to be more pain-relieving than taking a pin-prick quantity of paracetamol. It is therefore an even greater surprise for the newcomer to homeopathy to learn that the more diluted a remedy is, the stronger it is considered.
Homeopathic remedies can be made from plants, minerals, metals and even animals. Depending upon the substance being used, different methods of preparation are followed. Insoluble substances such as mineral and metals are ground together with lactose at a ratio of 1 part substance to 99 parts lactose. This produces what is known as a 1C remedy. To create the next strength of dilution, 1 part of a 1C remedy is mixed with 99 parts lactose to create a 2C remedy. Further dilutions can then be made following the same pattern. When plants are used to make a homeopathic remedy, they are first made into a mother tincture by steeping the plant matter in alcohol. This is then diluted to a 1C remedy by adding 1 part mother tincture to 99 parts of a water and alcohol mix.
These remedies are commonly added to sugar pills or granules for ease of dosing – with one or two grains or pills being taken per dose.
As you continue to dilute down a homeopathic remedy, its therapeutic potency increases because the physical process of diluting, which involves shaking the remedy a set number of times, is thought to potentise the remedy.
If the idea of using these highly diluted yet therapeutically vibrant natural remedies has caught your interest this World Homeopathy Week, take a look at this useful starter collection of homeopathic remedies for home use.
A great remedy to start with, because many are familiar with this beautiful flower that grows on mountainsides, Arnica is the ideal first aid remedy because it encourages the fast and effective healing of bruises and musculoskeletal injuries. You can also take arnica to help recover after a workout if your muscles are stiff and aching.
Arnica is indicated specifically for the type of person who, when injured, will tell you they’re fine and not to worry.
Beloved by parents who know the secrets of homeopathy, this remedy derived from the fragrant chamomile plant is used to settle an irritable infant or child. Specifically, it can be used when a little one only settles when they’re being held or rocked and who will start crying again once placed back in their cot or bed. Whether they’re upset by colic, teething, an illness or overtiredness, Chamomilla can be called upon.
Made from the seeds of the St Ignatius bean tree, the homeopathic remedy is useful to keep at home for those moments when anxiety strikes. The specific presentation of anxiety that this remedy is helpful for is anxiety where a lump is felt in the throat, there is trembling, and much sighing.
A supportive remedy following the loss of a loved one, a traumatic life event or simply for those living with chronic stress, much relief from both physical symptoms and the intensity of the mental processes linked to anxiety can be gained.
Another super first aid remedy, Apis is made from honeybees and therefore it may come as no surprise that it can be used to treat bee and other insect stings. You could also use Apis for minor urinary tract infections, where there is pain and burning.
The type of person who responds well to Apis when they’re in need of a remedy, are those who seem restless.
5. Allium cepa
Made from onions, if you imagine the symptoms you experience when chopping this vegetable, you’ll have a good idea of the types of things this remedy can manage. From the streaming eyes and nose of hay fever to the common cold, this is a very useful remedy to have in your home year-round to help alleviate bothersome symptoms.
You can also use this remedy for burning sensations in the mouth and throat, and specifically it is for those whose symptoms improve upon getting out into the fresh air.
As a child, you may have been warned to stay clear of the shiny black berries of this poisonous plant, but there are no toxicity risks associated with the homeopathic remedy. When a fever strikes, and specifically one that presents with a lack of sweat, a flushed and hot face and a throbbing headache on the right-hand side, Belladonna can help clear the heat from the body.
It can also be used to relieve the headache we get from spending too much time in the sun and may be helpful for hot, painful swellings.
7. Nux vomica
There is nothing worse than feeling nauseated or even vomiting, so Nux vomica, derived from an evergreen tree, can be a useful ally to keep at home. Nausea from causes such as stomach bugs, travel sickness, hangovers, a heavy meal or pregnancy can be alleviated.
This remedy is particularly useful for those who are irritable when they experience nausea, and whose personality is ambitious and prone to overworking.
8. Magnesia phosphorica
If you’re keen to manage your period pains with fewer pharmaceutical analgesics, you may like to try this natural alternative. Magnesia phosphorica is most effective for the type of menstrual cramps that are helped by the application of warmth and can help those severe enough to cause a woman to double over in pain.
This mineral derived remedy can be used for other muscle cramps too, and for pains (including those associated with the nerves) that are spasmodic, shooting or throbbing in nature, and which are alleviated by pressure and worsened by the cold.
This is a useful home remedy for when itching is driving a member of your household crazy. Perhaps you’re dealing with a case of eczema, or the skin itches because of a nettle or insect sting. Sulphur can help to calm down the intensity of the itch and interrupt the itch-scratch cycle. It is a specific remedy for itchy conditions that are worsened by heat.
You can also use sulphur for sore throats, bloating and childhood diarrhoea.
It can keep us in bed for days and off work for at least a week. The flu can wipe out a household and therefore have a remedy to hand that alleviate symptoms and helps promote recovery is a must. Derived from the beautiful yellow-flowered jasmine plant, Gelsemium should be taken when the muscles start to ache and when the fever kicks in during the flu.
This is also an excellent remedy for exhaustion, whether that be brought on by an illness, physical activity or mental strain. The ideal candidate for this remedy is someone who lacks confidence, who tends to withdraw when ill and who worries before anything has even happened.