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Homeopathy Made Simple (Part 2): Treating ‘Family and Friend’ Ailments

12240234_1145352688827838_337532304111590932_oHomeopathy is fun to use and easy to learn – with just a handful of remedies even a beginner can make a big difference to everyday health problems.

In part 1 of Homeopathy Made Simple,  I discussed how minor first-aid injuries such as cuts, burns, and sprains are ideal complaints on which to practise when first learning homeopathy. If you missed it, read it at: Homeopathy Made Simple: First Steps to First Aid.

In this Part 2, we progress to using homeopathy for simple acute complaints such as coughs, colds, and headaches that affect family and friends.

Because everyone experiences these complaints differently, and because the remedies needed by each will also be different, more thought is required for these problems than what is necessary for first-aid injuries. Let’s look at the common cold as an example.

Looking for Differences

Colds come in all shapes and sizes. While most produce a sore throat and a nasal discharge, these common symptoms – symptoms that everyone has – are of little help in finding the needed remedy.

Instead, we have to look for the unique symptoms of the sufferer – those symptoms that are different to ones others experience and which show exactly how their body is trying to overcome their cold.

For example, the person who looks drowsy, feels weak, and has chills running up their back needs the homeopathic remedy Gelsemium as this remedy matches those symptoms best.

A person with restlessness, anxiety and an excoriating nasal discharge needs Arsenicum, and someone with a bland nasal discharge but watering eyes in which the tears burn and sting will do well with Euphrasia.

So, rather than looking for symptoms that are the same in all sufferers (as conventional medicine does) we have to pay attention to the differences if we want to help each person with homeopathy – and that is true for other health complaints as well, not just the common cold.

Asking the Right Questions

A person’s unique symptoms show exactly how they are struggling to overcome a disease or infection. When these symptoms are matched with the correct remedy we stimulate and strengthen their body’s self-healing efforts so that recovery is much faster – often within hours for an acute problem.

To find that correct remedy we have become super-sleuths and start asking questions. For example:

  • Was the condition triggered by an event, a sudden change of weather, loss of sleep, or an emotional upset?
  • Did the complaint have a sudden or slow onset?
  • Is the person flushed, pale or ashen and are they restless or weak and tired?
  • Does their nasal discharge, breathe or sweat have an unusual odour and if there is pain, what is it like? Is it stabbing, throbbing, aching, burning, or some other type of sensation?
  • Have there been changes to appetite or thirst since the person became sick? Do they drink in sips or gulps? Do they want hot or cold food and drinks or any particular type and flavour?
  • Is there a discharge and, if so, what is it’s colour, thickness and quantity like?
  • How well is the person coping with their illness and what is their mental and emotional state? For example, are they active, alert, weak, irritable, dependent, or wanting lots of attention and affection?

Many more questions could be asked but ones such as these uncover the distinctive and unusual symptoms that lead to the best remedy. Remember, we are not looking for what would be the same for all sufferers but what is different with our individual.

Understanding Modalities

In addition to symptoms, it is important to look for “modalities” as these make it even easier to choose the correct remedy. Modalities are factors or situations that improve or worsen a symptom.

For example, many remedies help a throbbing headache but homeopathic Belladonna is one of the few that cures when the headache is also worse for lying down and improves when sitting upright, as these symptoms are distinctive Belladonna modalities.

Nausea is also treated by many remedies but homoeopathic Sepia is especially useful if the nausea is worsened by food odours while abdominal cramping that is relieved by firm pressure but worsened by irritation or anger responds to homeopathic Colocynth as these modalities belong to it.

Modalities are not only valuable for finding the correct remedy but also help us decide between those remedies that seem very similar. They should not be overlooked.

How Often to Give the Remedies

The frequency with which a remedy is given depends on the intensity of the complaint – the more intense the symptoms, the more frequent the dose.

The golden rule of homeopathy is that once symptoms start to improve, stop taking the remedy. Only re-dose if improvement slows or symptoms start to return.

This approach avoids too-frequent doses of the remedy that may cause an aggravation – a temporary intensification of symptoms. While aggravations are usually mild and not harmful, they are also unnecessary and show that too much of the remedy has been taken.

The following link provides a guide on how often to dose for the intensity of your first-aid or acute problems. Its instructions are suitable for any remedy preparation – pills, liquids, creams, and even olfaction doses: How Often Should I Take a Dose of My Remedy.

Back to the Books

In Part 1 of this article I suggested you put together a small kit of remedies, purchase a couple of home-use homeopathy books and practice with any minor injuries that arise.

In this article I want you to go back to those books and look at how different acute problems (cold sores, colic, earaches, hay fever, headaches, nausea, sciatica, sinusitis, and so on) are each treated by an even larger range of remedies – depending on their symptoms.

Obviously the treatment for these acute complaints requires more thought than what was needed for the first-aid problems of Part 1 but the information in this article, combined with that already present in your books, will have you off to a good start in dealing with them. All that is left to do is to practice because … the more you practice, the more you learn, the better you become.

In the next article, Homeopathy Made Simple: How Would You Like Your Remedy? I will simplify homeopathy further with information on the benefits and disadvantages of the different ways in which homeopathic remedies are prepared, and the best way in which to use them.

Fran Sheffield
Homeopathic Consultant and Educator

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