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Understanding Homeopathy


It’s been a great night out on the town, but you drank too much. No longer enjoying the giddiness, you instead feel heavy, dizzy, sweaty, disoriented, shaky, weak and nauseous. Vomiting or a bout of diarrhea may be happening as well. The next day, your head is pounding and bright lights, loud noise and conversation are intolerable.

With the ingestion of any poisonous substance, including alcohol, the symptoms are pretty much the same. You initially feel relaxed and happy, but that soon turns around and you feel like you’re dying. In fact, if you kept drinking beyond your body’s ability to adapt to the alcohol, you could indeed die.

While these symptoms are uncomfortable, they are also important and demonstrate how the body attempts to heal itself. In order to remove the poison, it is thrown off through the channels of elimination. Sweating, vomiting and diarrhea are the quickest ways to accomplish this.

Healing the Body with Homeopathy

If we want to assist the body in its efforts to rid itself of the poison, we can take a homeopathic remedy. In order to be effective, though, the remedy picture (based on “provings”) must be similar to symptoms the person is experiencing.  While there are several remedies that may work for alcohol poisoning, one that closely matches is Nux vomica (Poison Nut).

Yes, this remedy originates from a poisonous substance! However, once (highly) diluted, there is no poison – or really anything – in the remedy. It is pure energy that works through the central nervous system rather than the physical body. No one understands how this works, so we have to rely on how it makes us feel.

An Interesting Experiment

Years ago, my husband and I decided to throw a party to test homeopathy’s ability to detoxify alcohol. Once everyone was feeling the effects, we administered the homeopathic remedy Nux vomica.

It was fun to watch the participants’ reactions to getting sober in a matter of minutes. This remedy should be sold at every bar!

Nux is also frequently used for cold and flu, liver disorders, headaches and other symptoms of toxicity. I gave it to my young children after birthday parties when they came home hyper and cranky from an overload of sugar and excitement.

If Nux doesn’t work, there are other remedies that may be a better match. The rule of thumb with homeopathy is that a remedy will only work if mimics the person’s characteristic symptoms (law of similars).

More examples of the Law of Similars, or like cures like:

Bryonia. This is called the” grumpy bear” remedy because those needing it just want to be left alone. Bright lights, noise, and well-meaning caretakers make them worse, as does the slightest movement. I know this feeling well as Bryonia was my first homeopathic remedy, taken for a bad case of the flu.

Bryonia is commonly used for illness, injuries and pain: the flu, racking coughs, bruised or broken ribs, headaches, hangovers, etc. – any condition that is better being still and quiet; worse from movement and noise.

Rhus tox.  Poison ivy causes redness, intense itching, burning and blistering, and can cause stiffness. Homeopathically it is used for conditions that have the same characteristic symptoms such as herpes, eczema and poison oak or ivy. Symptoms of arthritis, injuries and over-exertion also frequently respond to Rhus tox due to its characteristic stiffness.

Allium cepa. Peeling an onion will cause watery eyes and burning nose. Allium cepa is one of the leading homeopathic remedies for hay-fever or a cold, when the characteristic symptoms of the remedy provings mimic those the person is experiencing.

Apis. Bee stings cause burning, stinging pain and swelling, and feel better with a cold compress. If you have a sore throat (or any inflammatory condition) with burning, stinging pain improved by cold and worse with heat, Apis may be the remedy you need. It is also quite effective, of course, for insect bites and stings.

Confused? You’re not Alone!

When I first discovered homeopathic medicine in the 1980s, few people in the U.S. had heard of it, so I did a lot of explaining. This wasn’t easy since the system is difficult to grasp.

How could a medicine so dilute be effective, and why would 6 people with a cold each need a different remedy? While no one understands exactly HOW homeopathy works, it does indeed work.

To summarize:

  • Homeopathy is a system of natural medicine that uses substances found in nature to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms.
  • It treats people, not disease, and cures illness by increasing health.
  • Founded on the law of similars (like-cures-like), homeopathy views symptoms as valuable signs produced by the body during its efforts to heal.
  • The selection of a homeopathic remedy is based on the totality of these symptoms (mental, emotional and physical) rather than the illness itself.

That makes perfect sense, right? If not, read the following posts:

The Story of Homeopathy 

The Birth of Homeopathy 

Homeopathy Doesn’t Work


Please Note: The information contained in this post is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat disease or other conditions that may require medical diagnosis and treatment.


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