I had always been kind of familiar with homeopathy but it wasn't until our first child was born and we decided to support natural immunity instead of vaccination (see here and here) that I began to really study and understand homeopathy. I rely on homeopathy as much as I do herbs now and can't imagine even leaving the house without a few remedies stuffed in my handbag for those unavoidable 'just in cases' that always accompany any activity with young children!
Occasionally someone asks me to make a list my home remedies but it wasn't until this past week when my husband asked me to put a list up somewhere for his own benefit that finally inspired me to write it all down.
So, here are the homeopathic remedies in my healing cupboard. Please note that I am not a qualified homeopath (I say this as a disclaimer) and even though many of these remedies are quite common for treating the ailments for which I use them, I have just listed the remedies that I have personally used and seen work. Which means, for example, that I have nothing listed for coughs simply because our constitutions never seem to get anything in the lungs first and I have always been able to catch an illness in its tracks before it settles in the lungs - we haven't needed a cough remedy. There are of course, many, many remedies for coughs (many herbal remedies as well) but for this post I am only including remedies that I have seen first hand!
Apis - This remedy is good for bug stings, especially bee stings since it is made form the venom of the honey bee. I literally used this remedy yesterday after I stepped on a bee and was stung between my toes (ouch!). I took two doses of Apis 30 about ten minutes a part and swelling, pain and all red inflammation disappeared almost immediately.
Allium Cepa - This is one of the most common remedies for hay fever. Made from the Red Onion it treats hay fever symptoms similar to the irritation you have when cutting an onion, streaming eyes and nose. I occasionally suffer quite badly from hay fever and if I take this regularly throughout the day I experience great relief. This year I had a miserable case of hay fever but it honestly lasted two days. After taking this (and Euphrasia - see below) it completely cleared up, phew!
Aconite - This is one of the first remedies to take if you have a cold or flu coming on. Taken within the first 24 hours of such symptoms it can nip a cold in the bud. This is also one of the main fever remedies and is also one of the main remedies for shock following pain. I have used this alongside Arnica whenever any of my children have had a crash or fall that leaves them frightened and screaming.
Arnica - This is the remedy that goes with me everywhere. I honestly feel completely vulnerable if I discover that we are out - without it! This is the remedy for injury, bruising from injury, shock from injury and even jet-lag. I have used it for all of these and have literally seen it work miracles in front of my eyes. I use it in three different strengths; Arnica 30, 200 and 10M. Arnica 30 is for the basic bump or bruise. It is useful to take right after a hard physical work out or birth or anything strenuous. Arnica 200 is good for a serious injury to the head or any other injury that is more than the basic bump or bruise. Arnica 10M is very, very strong. Our homeopath recommended it especially for my husband who often suffers from intense muscular back pain where his neck and shoulder will seize for days. Leaving my husbands ailment specifics for a different post (!) if he takes Arnica 10M when he feels his neck begin to seize he almost immediately feels relief - amazing...
Arsenicum - The remedy for a drippy nose and sneezy cold and also the remedy for vomiting. Perfect to take directly after vomiting. I saw a young boy in a shop the other day who had just been sick all over the floor. I sighed in disappointment because I didn't have Arsenicum in my handbag to offer.
Belladonna - This is another of those miracle remedies, perfect, perfect for a hot, high fever. I don't actually think it is useful to fight a fever (see here) but I give Belladonna to give the body that extra boost when a fever is hot and miserable, and (I am not exaggerating) usually withing seconds the fever begins to cool. I would never, ever - even if I wasn't a believer in holistic healing - use an over the counter medicine for fever after I have seen Belladonna work. It really is a beautiful thing to witness.
Calendula - we usually think of using Calendula as a herbal cream, and it is very useful this way, but when used as a homeopathic remedy for open wounds it is amazing. I have seen skin that is literally split open, stitch itself closed seemingly before my eyes. For these types of injuries I immediately start giving Arnica 200 alternating with Calendula 30 - one every 30 minutes until I see that the wound is passed the worst. I think this type of treatment also helps prevent scarring.
Chamomilla - How could a parent live without this remedy? This is really the most common remedy for teething pain if the teething pain manifests with green bowels, one red cheek and extreme grouchiness. This is also the Temper Tantrum remedy and I have had many sighs of relief after giving a Chamomilla during an angry, screaming, inconsolable tantrum. (note: it does seem to be, that the tantrum has to have the correct characteristics for this to work but when it hits the nail on the head it is brilliant at calming a raging child).
Euphrasia - This remedy is made from the plant Eyebright and as its name implies it is for anything to do with the eyes. Euphrasia is a brilliant hay fever remedy for irritated eyes and in general is good for any eye irritations.
Gelsenium - This is the flu remedy, perhaps you can imagine the symptoms? They seem to be the most miserable symptoms to experience; achy, chilly, feverish. This remedy is for when your entire body aches with flu and you can be piled high with blankets but are still freezing... Gelsenium works a charm for this.
Ignatia - The remedy for grief. I am very sorry to be able to include this remedy in the list of remedies I have used (here), but it is really useful if you are grieving, either from the loss of a loved one, a lost pet or a jilted love. Ignatia is appropriate to use when your sadness makes you sigh often. In fact, you sigh so much that your chest begins to ache. You want to cry alone and seek out spaces where you can be away from people. Ignatia really helps maintain health and balance when you are experiencing this kind of pain. I hope you never need to use it.
Nat Mur. - This remedy is not included in the Helios Basic Remedy Kit which is a shame because I use it for so many things. It is a wonderful common cold remedy with blocked nose, nasal catarrh that drips down the back of the throat and watery eyes. It is also wonderful for cold sores (fantastic for this infact) and is really good at treating Thrush.
Nux Vom - The 'hang over' remedy. This is the remedy to use for any 'hang over-y' type symptoms; headache, nausea from over indulgence, bloated feeling, indigestion.
Pulsatilla - Oh, the Queen of all remedies. Pulsatilla is a major teething remedy - sort of opposite to Chamomilla. Instead of rage, the child is clingy and wants to be held, they feel better outside. Pulsatilla is good for earaches, colds where the nasal catarrh is thick, yellow or green, and measles symptoms. I add the measles to the list because our Joseph had a cold a few weeks ago which then suddenly three days after the first cold symptoms, broke out in a violent rash all over his body. With all the measles outbreaks we thought for sure he had the measles. Our homeopath said to give him Pulstilla a few times through the night (it was evening when we phoned him). The next morning his skin was completely clear. we don't know if he indeed had the measles or just an allergic reaction to something. our homeopath said either way Pulsatilla was at work to cover all bases.
Rhus Tox - This is a remedy to go into the emergency injury box, along with Arnica. It is useful for strains and sprains, stiff neck and back ache. It is also another good remedy for cold sores, headaches and hives.
Ruta - Alongside Rhus Tox and Arnica, this is another injury remedy. This one though, is more specific for tendon damage.
I am always adding to this list of remedies as I learn more and as we experience illness differently. I promise to share whatever comes up. This list doesn't, of course, include any constitutional treatment, which needs to be done by a certified homeopath. I do recommend seeing a homeopath regularly. I have watched things like eczema flare ups clear withing hours when treated constitutionally. It is amazing but also refreshing and comforting to know that healing can occur so effectively outside of modern medicine and chemicals.I can't imagine using medicines when Nature provides every ingredient we need to maintain wellness.
(I know there are many books out there for homeopathy reference but I use and am quite happy with "Miranda Castro's Homeopathic Guides, The Complete Homeopathy Handbook") I purchase remedies from Helios Homeopathics in London. I *think* they ship over seas.