Homeopathy Made Simple (Part 2): Treating ‘Family and Friend’ Ailments
Homeopathy 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.
Part 1 of Homeopathy Made Simple discussed how minor first-aid injuries such as cuts, burns, and sprains are ideal complaints on which to first practise when learning homeopathy.
If you missed it, read it at: Homeopathy Made Simple: First Steps to First Aid.
Treatment is often easy with first-aid problems because most experience the same symptoms so only a handful of remedies need to be considered.
Now, in Part 2, we progress to homeopathy for simple acute complaints such as coughs, colds, and headaches where more thought is needed. We have to become ‘super-sleuths’ if treatment is to be successful.
Looking for Differences
Acute complaints produce a two types of symptoms: common symptoms that everyone experiences, and unique or individualising symptoms that differ from person to person.
When a homeopathic remedy covers the common symptoms but is specifically chosen to match the unique symptoms of the sufferer, a self-healing response is stimulated.
Let’s look at the common cold as an example.
Colds come in all shapes and sizes. Most produce a sore throat and a nasal discharge but these common symptoms are of little help in finding the correct remedy.
We have to look at the unique symptoms of the sufferer – those symptoms that are different to what others experience with a cold.
Unique symptoms show how the body is trying to overcome the cold in that person. They are the best guide to which homeopathic remedy will help.
For example, the person who looks drowsy, feels weak, and has chills running up their back during a cold needs the homeopathic remedy Gelsemium as it best suits that combination of symptoms.
Similarly, 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 just looking at symptoms that are the same in all sufferers (the approach used by conventional medicine), those using homeopathy also look for different symptoms.
When a remedy is then matched to common and unique symptoms, self-healing is stimulated and strengthened so that recovery is faster- often within hours for an acute complaint.
Asking the Right Questions
To find that correct remedy for an acute complaint, we have start asking questions and observe the symptoms. For example:
- Was the condition triggered by an event, change in weather, loss of sleep, or an emotional upset?
- Did the complaint have a rapid or slow onset?
- Is the person flushed, pale or ashen, or are they restless, weak or tired?
- Does their nasal discharge, breath or sweat have an unusual odour?
- 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 of food or flavour?
- Is there a discharge and, if so, what is it’s colour, thickness and quantity like?
- What is the person’s mental-emotional state and how well are they coping with their illness? For example, are they active, alert, weak, irritable, dependent, unusually optimistic and happy, or wanting attention and affection?
Many more questions could be asked but ones such as these uncover the distinctive and unusual symptoms for that person which lead to the best remedy.
Remember, we are not looking just for symptoms that would be expected for all sufferers, but what is different and unique.
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 worse for lying down and better for sitting upright. Both of these modifying symptoms are distinctive Belladonna modalities.
Nausea is also treated by many remedies but homeopathic Sepia is especially useful when the nausea is worsened by food odours.
In another example, abdominal cramping relieved by firm pressure but worsened by irritation or anger responds to homeopathic Colocynth as these modalities belong to it.
Modalities are valuable for finding the correct remedy or helping us decide between remedies when symptoms seem similar. Modalities 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 which may cause an aggravation – a temporary intensification of symptoms.
While aggravations are usually mild and not harmful, they are also unnecessary and show that the remedy was taken when not necessary.
How Often Should I Take a Dose of My Remedy has information on when to repeat the remedy dose for first-aid or acute problems. Its instructions are suitable for any age and all remedy preparations – pills, liquids, creams, and even olfaction doses.
Back to the Books
In Part 1 of this article it was suggested that you put together a small kit of remedies, purchase a couple of home-use homeopathy books and practice with any minor injuries that arise.
After reading this article, 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 treated by an even larger range of remedies – depending on their symptoms.
Obviously the treatment for 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.
All that is left to do is to practice because … the more you practice, the more you learn, the better you become.
The next article, Homeopathy Made Simple: How Would You Like Your Remedy? will simplify homeopathy further with information on the benefits and disadvantages of the different preparations of homeopathic remedies, and the best way to use them.