Homeopathy is a useful therapeutic tool for all members of the family but it is not a complete medical system which can totally replace the conventional approach. homeopathic remedies can however act as holistic stimuli which are capable of triggering a healing response in the body.
In any given situation a decision must be made to decide what type of treatment is in the best interest of the patient. In life-threatening conditions such as appendicitis and meningitis, there is simply no alternative to orthodox scientific medicine. In addition where there is any risk at all of irreversible damage, we are obliged to use surgery or orthodox drugs immediately.
However most conditions seen in general practice do not fall into the above categories, and therefore homeopathy has a place in the following:
- most chronic diseases (migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, skin conditions, arthritides and many others.)
- a disposition to recurrent attacks of acute illnesses (tonsillitis, otitis media, frequent colds and ‘flu)
- acute conditions which are not treatable by conventional medication or where the patient or his/her parent would prefer if possible to avoid drugs (colic, teething, colds and ‘flu, gastroenteritis)
The School Child
Most homeopathic doctors agree that children seem to respond particularly well to this form of treatment. The homeopathic doctor takes a careful history of the main complaint but also asks many questions about the personality of the child as well as what their favourite foods are, what weather they prefer and many other factors. Parents and relatives can provide further information (with the patient’s permission of course!) Finally a remedy is chosen not only for the illness but to suit the child as a “whole person”.
Children may be wary of doctors and during the homeopathic consultation the child has the opportunity to develop a relationship with the doctor, to ask many questions and will also be encouraged to talk about him or herself. In this way the homeopathic doctor can build an objective detailed physical and psychological profile of the patient and identify the best remedy for that person. The powders themselves are sweet tasting and do not have the clinical look sometimes associated with conventional medicines.
In all illnesses it is preferable to have the remedy chosen by an expert homeopath, but it is possible to treat some conditions at home with the help of homeopathic books and the advice of an homeopathic doctor. (See later).
Adults and the Elderly
Homeopathy is an excellent therapeutic tool for people of all ages. Most patients appreciate the comprehensive history taken by homeopathic doctors. The first visit may take an hour, but when one is ill, one may feel vulnerable, anxious and even very scared. In a homeopathic interview one is given the space and time to describe one’s symptoms in great detail. Importance is given to the psychological reaction to being ill. All this information is essential in finding the appropriate remedy but the whole process of the interview is often therapeutic as the patient really feels listened to. Cynics and critics often say that this is how homeopathy works, but this by implication suggests that all doctors should take histories like homeopaths do!
Homeopathic doctors are convinced that the remedies themselves are powerful therapeutic tools and more and more double blind clinical trials are beginning to demonstrate this.
Obviously a consultation with a homeopathic doctor is the most reliable way of getting the best treatment for yourself but it is possible to treat yourself at home in selected conditions. We will discuss ten useful homeopathic remedies to have in your medical chest but homeopathic books can be useful in selecting remedies for yourself.
The following books are recommended:
- Gemmel, Dr David: Everyday homeopathy. A Safe Guide for Self Treatment. pub. Beaconsfield 1987.
- Lockie, Dr Andrew: The Family Guide to Homoepathy. The Safe Form of Medicine for the Future. Hamish Hamilton 1990.
- Herscu, Paul. homeopathic Treatment of Children Pediatric constitutional types. North Atlantic books 1991. This book describes eight of the most useful remedies prescribed for the ‘whole child’ in fascinating detail.
- Lockie, Dr Andrew and Geddes, Dr Nicola: The Woman’s Guide to homeopathy. The Natural Way to a Healthier Life for Women. Hamish Hamilton, 1992.
Making a home kit of Homeopathic remedies.
Most of the above remedies are available at most chemists and health food shops. However they are sold in quite large bottles which may not be convenient for travel. A homeopathic pharmacist will be able to make you a very neat kit of these medicines which can easily be slipped into a briefcase or handbag. For a list of homeopathic pharmacies and homeopathic doctors one should contact:
The British Homeopathic Association
27a Devonshire Street
+44 207 935 2163
How to take Homeopathic Remedies
The most appropriate potency for homeopathic remedies in the home is the sixth centesimal strength i.e.: 6c. Conveniently, most homeopathic remedies sold over the counter in pharmacies and health food shops will be the 6c strength. They will be in the form of white tablets which should be taken according to the following rules.
- Empty one tablet into the lid of the container and pop into the mouth without handling the tablet. Suck or chew the tablet and swallow.
- Try to take the remedies on a clean mouth which means at least 10 minutes away from eating, drinking or brushing the teeth.
- Coffee, menthol, eucalyptus and camphor can antidote homeopathic remedies and should be avoided if possible when taking the medicine.
- The medicines should be kept in the same container with the lid firmly shut and kept out of the sun. With this care, they will remain active for decades.
- There is no harm in taking a homeopathic remedy at the same time as conventional medicine. They will not ‘clash’ with each other, but it is always preferable and courteous to let your doctor know that you are doing so