Our children were still young when my husband and I discovered homeopathy, so they were raised on it. Along with healthy food, fresh air and exercise, homeopathy is why our kids were rarely sick and never needed antibiotics or other drugs. If they did develop an illness, it was short-lived.
We were awakened in the middle of the night once by a serious cough coming from our daughter’s room. I grabbed the indicated remedy (Aconite – sudden onset), tossed a dose under her tongue, and went back to bed. She immediately fell back to sleep and was cough-free the rest of the night; completely well the next morning. How easy is that?
Homeopathic medicines are invaluable for first aid and minor illness. They work for any age – birth to over 100 – and are free from harmful side effects. If you give the wrong remedy, nothing happens, but the correct one can often produce spectacular results.
This is an excellent remedy to take for fear and anxiety as a result of an accident (even witnessing an accident) or injury, surgery, or a severe storm – including hurricane, earthquake, tornado. It also helps with nightmares. Aconite has been quite useful for our pets, especially while traveling or during a thunderstorm. Works best in the first 12 to 24-hours of an illness or trauma.
Apis is useful for any allergic reaction, including to a bee or wasp sting. Symptoms include redness, swelling, itching, burning, stinging, and sensitivity to heat – better with cold applications. A severe allergic reaction could result in anaphylactic shock, so take Apis on your way to the ER, not as a replacement for medical care.
Taken immediately after an injury, Arnica lessens shock and promotes recovery by reducing swelling, controlling bleeding, and preventing infection. It is the first remedy to consider for physical trauma to the body, whether past or present – regardless of how long ago it occurred. It can also help with the connected emotional trauma.
Those needing this remedy will feel sore and bruised. Arnica gel or cream may be applied externally for aching muscles, stiffness, and bruises, but avoid open wounds. Other remedies to consider along with Arnica for injury are Bellis and Ledum.
Arsenicum has a wide range of uses. Those needing this remedy are usually chilly, anxious, exhausted, restless, and weak. Burning pain in the stomach, throat or nose often indicates the need for Arsenicum.
Belladonna works best during the early stages of high fever and severe pain that comes on suddenly and violently. Look for a bright red, hot face, glassy eyes and dilated pupils.
Bryonia is called the “grumpy bear” remedy. It is easy to tell when someone needs this because they will want to be left alone. This was my very first remedy, taken for the flu. It made a believer in homeopathy out of me!
Calendula is used externally as a gel, cream or liquid to soothe and promote healing of scrapes and surface cuts. It prevents serious infection, reduces inflammation and suppuration, and controls bleeding. Taken internally in the form of pellets, Calendula promotes healing of existing wound infections.
Symptoms needing Cantharis are burning pains that often come on quickly and progress rapidly. I keep this one in the kitchen for hot water scalds and other burns from cooking!
Chamomilla is more often used for infants and children than adults. The child is oversensitive to pain, angry and very irritable. They may complain or even hit or kick the parent and be inconsolable. One interesting keynote is that one cheek may be red and the other pale.
Hypericum is indicated for fingers crushed in a car door, stubbed toe, torn fingernail or toenail, falls that injure the tailbone, blisters or cuts on the lips, injury with a sharp instrument, etc. Sometimes helpful for sciatica and other pain that “travels” to other parts of the body. Excessive painfulness and extreme sensitivity are guiding symptoms.
Ledum helps prevent infection from any wound or bite that breaks the skin. The injury may be puffy, numb, cold (Apis is hot), sensitive to touch, and feels better with cold applications. This remedy is a must if you have children. We generally use Ledum and Hypericum together. These two remedies are especially helpful after vaccinations and other shots to help prevent complications.
Nux is called the “birthday party” remedy. You know how your kids act after sugar overload and too much excitement – this is the antidote. It is also a good remedy for food poisoning (compare Arsenicum) and hangovers as Nux quickly clears toxins out of the system.
While predominately a remedy for women and children, Pulsatilla works for anyone who is a match to the remedy’s characteristics.
Rhus tox skin eruptions are inflamed, red and itchy. There may be blisters filled with clear fluid or pus. It is also a leading remedy for arthritis. Keynotes of this remedy are stiffness worse initial movement, but better with continued movement.
Silicea causes the body to expel foreign objects and it really works. For splinters and glass (or aluminum toxicity), this is great, but you have to be careful. I gave Silicea to our cat and it caused his implanted chip to move from the back of his neck to under the ear. If you have any kind of implant or artificial component, avoid this remedy.
Silicea is one of my favorites as it cured the painful arthritis in my spine.
Staphysagria pains are typically stitching or shooting. It promotes rapid recovery from the situations listed above, and is also used for victims of assault and rape.
Most health food stores carry books and homeopathic remedies in 30c (recommended) potency for beginners, but kits need to be ordered online. Potency and dosage instructions are below.
I prefer the 30c potency unless working with skin problems or an extremely sensitive person. In that case, 6c or 6x is best. Homeopathic cell salts come in 6x potency.
If the remedy appears to be effective, don’t repeat the dose unless symptoms reappear. If nothing happens, try a different remedy. If still no response, call your doctor!
It is generally advisable not to eat or drink anything for at least 10 to 15 minutes before and after taking the remedy – if possible. Transfer the remedy from the vial to your mouth without touching the remedy.
Boiron brand remedies come in a tube with a clear cap designed for you to turn and release (one or two pellets), with the cap facing down. Pull the cap off and empty the remedy directly into the mouth with head tipped back. If you have a vial with a twist cap, gently tap a pellet into the lid and drop into your mouth with your head tipped back.
Most homeopathic practitioners recommend avoiding aromatic oils (especially camphor and mint) as well as coffee. There are also remedies that can antidote each other. However….It really depends on the particular remedy or person (highly sensitive people are more susceptible to antidoting). If you are seeing a homeopath, follow their advice. For self-care with first-aid and minor illness, though, I wouldn’t be concerned about any of this.
Be careful to store homeopathic remedies away from anything aromatic – essential oils, cleaning products, spices, etc. Also keep them away from electrical appliances, cell phones, TV, computers, etc.
The standard dose of pellets is 1 to 2 large pellets or 3 to 5 if small, but you can’t overdose, so don’t worry if you take more – or less. Instructions on the vial or bottle may tell you to take more pellets, but this is not necessary. It will work regardless of how many pellets you take – 1 or the whole bottle. Remember, homeopathic remedies are nothing like conventional medications.
There is no formula for taking a homeopathic remedy; it is more a matter of observing how you feel. If you have chosen a remedy that is a match, you should notice changes after the first dose. Do not repeat the dose as long as you are improving.
If your symptoms become different, but not improved, wait until they stabilize, and then look through the remedies again. If the original remedy is still the best choice, you can repeat it once more and observe. If it still isn’t the best choice, consider taking the one that now looks more like what you need.
If your symptoms become worse after taking the first dose, wait and see if they improve. Often if a remedy exaggerates the symptoms; it is a very good sign that healing is moving in the right direction. If symptoms do not improve, then look for a different remedy.
Timing of doses. Determining when to repeat the dose depends on the severity of your symptoms. The more intense your symptoms are, the shorter the amount of wait time. It could be as little as 15 minutes in an urgent acute situation. Otherwise, the wait time is generally 3 to 4 hours, but could be up to 8 hours between doses. It really isn’t as complicated as it sounds; you’ll usually have a “feel” for when it needs to be repeated.
This information is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or replace medical care. If symptoms persist, see your health care practitioner.