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Guidelines for Self-Application of Homeopathic Remedies

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Homeopathic practice is based on the close observation of the symptoms of an illness or injury. The clearer and more individual the symptoms are, the easier choosing the remedy will be and the better it will work.

Recognizing Symptoms

Homeopathic practice is based on the close observation of the symptoms of an illness or injury. The clearer and more individual the symptoms are, the easier choosing the remedy will be and the better it will work.

Observe carefully all the symptoms the person exhibits mental, emotional and physical. Remember that you are treating the whole person, not just the disease or injury. Establish which symptoms are clear and most pronounced, and write these down. This will simplify the choosing process. The questions below are examples of the types of things to ask yourself and/or the affected person.

Appearance: Is the person pale or flushed, clingy or distant, doubled over, restless?
Pain: Where is it exactly? Describe it (throbbing, burning or stabbing). Does the pain seem to move around?
Characteristics: When did the problem start? Does it seem better or worse at any time of day or night? What seems to improve the condition (bending over, cold, heat, pressure, movement or rest)? What seems to aggravate it?
Mental and emotional signs: Is the person irritated, anxious or absent-minded? Is the child more clingy, whiny or fiery than usual?
Overall: Is the person hot or chilly, sleepy or awake, hungry or thirsty?

Guidelines for Remedy Selection

Use the materia medica at the end of this section on homeopathy to learn more about a remedy or to confirm your selection. The closer you are to matching all of the symptoms, the better the remedy will work.

  1. Give only one remedy at a time. If you are unsure, first try the one that seems to fit the closest with the symptoms and see if it works. If there is no change after a half hour, you may repeat the dose. If the symptoms remain unchanged, then the remedy was likely the wrong one, or was ineffective due to drug interference or nutritional imbalances. Try another remedy that fits closely with the symptoms, changing remedies, up to three times, until the correct treatment is found. In rare cases, new symptoms may appear, but these will disappear once you stop the dosage.
  2. There are two rules for repeating a remedy:
    a)The more intense the symptoms, the more frequently you will need to repeat it.
    b) Once the remedy works, stop taking it. Homeopathic remedies stimulate the body's defense and healing systems. Once these systems are triggered, it is best to allow them to do their healing work. If the remedy seems to be working the fever is lowering, the pain is better, the person falls asleep, or the mood is improved reduce the number of repetitions or stop the remedy altogether. If the same symptoms return, repeat the remedy.
  3. If symptoms remain, and worsen, stop taking the remedy.
  4. Most ailments can be treated with the 6c strength, giving two to five tablets on or under the tongue three to six times daily, depending on the condition. It is the gentlest treatment and is still highly effective. A 30c potency can be given once a day for three days, then every two days for eight days.
  5. Particularly intense problems such as severe headaches or high fevers usually need a higher potency to be effective more quickly. Use the higher-potency 30c strength, giving two to five tablets on or under the tongue for three doses. This can be repeated whenever necessary. If only a lower-potency 6c is available, give it often, every ten to fifteen minutes for up to six doses.

How to Choose a Homeopathic Remedy for Two Different Sprained Ankles

Homeopathic remedies are good for injuries like sprained ankles because the symptoms tend to be clear from the outset. Let us suppose that two people have just sprained their ankles. According to modern medicine, the diagnosis for both people is simply a sprained ankle. A painkiller or anti-inflammatory drug might be prescribed by a conventional doctor, but this is not ideal treatment.

Sprained ankles often have very different symptoms. To select a homeopathic remedy, these symptoms need to be described and observed. The first person complains of an aching, sore, bruised pain. Upon observation, the ankle is noticeably bruised and there is some swelling. Walking on it hurts considerably and resting it feels best. After observing these symptoms and verifying them in the materia medica, you determine that this person needs the homeopathic remedy called Arnica.

The second person's ankle has become stiff after sitting down to rest it. In fact, this person barely notices the ankle when moving about, though it is particularly painful and stiff when first getting up to move. Sleeping at night is difficult and restless, but heat wraps seem to bring some relief. After observing the symptoms and looking up the appropriate remedy, you determine that the second person needs the homeopathic remedy called Rhus toxicodendron. The homeopathic treatment will work faster and relieve the ailment more permanently because the remedies are individualized.

Taking Your Homeopathic Remedy

Allow the remedy to dissolve on or under the tongue, as it is best absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth. To ensure effectiveness, refrain from drinking, eating, chewing gum or brushing your teeth fifteen to twenty minutes before and after taking the remedy. For an infant, the pills can be dissolved in a little water give just a sip or teaspoonful. Homeopathic remedies often react to metal, so when giving or taking a dose, use glass or plastic. Take the remedy straight from the container if possible. In this way, any substance on the hands will not interfere with the remedy's action. Other substances like coffee, strong mints and drugs also interfere with homeopathic remedies. Avoid strong-smelling ointments, creams and cough drops containing camphor and menthol during homeopathic treatment. Refrain from using aromatherapy during homeopathic treatment.

Unlike orthodox medications, homeopathic remedies are not determined by a person's weight. Their strengths increase with frequency of repetition or by selecting a higher potency. As the pill size varies with companies, it is recommended that you follow the instructions on the package as to the number of pills to take. As a general rule, enough pills must be taken to ensure contact with the mucous membranes.

What to Expect

Homeopathic remedies work quickly the more severe the illness, the faster the remedies work. The longer the disease lasts, the longer it takes for a remedy to cure. In the first stage of a flu, a remedy will cure quickly; in the very midst of it, the flu will probably take a few days or a week to resolve. Especially in chronic cases, any alleviation of symptoms is a good sign and the remedy should not be changed. Homeopathy cannot be used to reverse permanent physical problems, though it can help many long-standing ailments. Sometimes what was initially thought to be a permanent problem does improve with homeopathic treatment. A constitutional remedy, matched to your physical, emotional and intellectual make-up, will work well regardless of your illness

Chronic Problems

Problems that are long-standing or recurring indicate an imbalance which is more imbedded or at a deeper level than a short-term concern. For instance, a chronic, painful migraine can be treated successfully with a homeopathic remedy when it occurs, and then still continue to reappear on a regular basis. If a remedy can be found to remove the underlying susceptibility and strengthen the body's resistance to migraines, the problem will resolve. This requires constitutional treatment, or looking for symptoms in the bigger picture. If stress is a trigger, the type of stress must be determined. The stress may be from anxiety, overwork or family or financial problems, for example. Since the entire person is treated at the same time as the migraine, all other symptoms and problems should also be established, including any digestive upsets, sleep difficulties or bladder problems. The information in this encyclopedia will give you a better understanding of your own health, and help you to make more informed decisions. An extensive evaluation of symptoms requires the experience and guidance of a homeopathic practitioner. The result is better overall health for the longterm. You can find a homeopath by asking a friend, inquiring in a health food store or checking with your local homeopathic society. As with any treatment, poor nutrition must be corrected if the person's long-term health is to improve.

Homeopathy and Modern Medications

Homeopathic remedies do not conflict with the effects of drugs, but the effects of the homeopathic remedy can be weakened by drugs. Furthermore, many drugs mask symptoms that are important in choosing a homeopathic remedy. Avoid using any over-the-counter or prescription drugs whenever possible

Buying Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathic remedies are available in pill and liquid form from your physician, health food stores, pharmacies and specialty shops. The pills come in a sugar base. The liquids are normally bottled in alcohol to preserve the medicine, though distilled water is sometimes available in higher strengths. There is no difference in effectiveness between the pill and liquid form, though the pills are more commonly used because they are much easier to carry and dispense. The availability of different remedies and strengths depends on where you live.

If you have to order a remedy, it can take anywhere from twenty-four hours to an entire week or longer. Have a few remedies on hand for minor accidents at home or to avert colds or flus in the early stages. The following materia medica provides a list of some of the more common remedies. If the option of buying the same remedy in a different potency is available, you may want to buy the remedy and repeat the dosage more often if the potency is lower, or less often if the potency is higher.

Buy the exact homeopathic remedy that is recommended in the materia medica. Check the label to verify the remedy name and potency. Misunderstandings of the names of remedies and potencies are common. There are so many remedies that salespeople are rarely familiar with all of them. To add to the confusion, the Latin names are sometimes used. Nux vomica is very different from Nux moschata. Phosphorus is very different from Phosphoric acid. Some remedies have alternate names, and as regulations change, sometimes the names of remedies are required to change with them. If you are unsure, verify the name of the remedy with a knowledgeable staff member.

Storing Remedies

Store remedies in their original container and keep the lid tightly closed. Keep all remedies away from extreme heat or cold, strong-smelling substances, and from electric devices that emit strong electromagnetic fields, such as computers, microwaves or electrical appliances.

Homeopathic Healing in History

Homeopathy gained its greatest popularity in the United States and Europe during the 1800s because of its success in treating the terrible infectious disease epidemics of that time including typhoid, pneumonia, cholera and scarlet fever. Death rates in homeopathic hospitals were one-half to one-eighth of those in conventional hospitals.

Did You Know?

Homeopathic medicines are used by thirty-two percent of the French public. In Germany,
twenty percent of physicians use homeopathic medicines in their practice.

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