Past trauma can mean not feeling fully alive in the present.
The trauma caused by childhood neglect, sexual or domestic abuse and war wreaks havoc in our bodies, says Bessel van der Kolk in The Body Keeps the Score
WHAT has killed more Americans since 2001 than the Afghanistan and Iraq wars? And which serious health issue is twice as likely to affect US women as breast cancer?
The answer, claims psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, lies in what we now understand about trauma and its effects. In his disturbing book, The Body Keeps the Score, he explains how trauma and its resulting stress harms us through physiological changes to body and brain, and that those harms can persist throughout life. Excess stress can predispose us to everything from diabetes to heart disease, maybe even cancer.
Take his two examples. The number of Americans killed by family members exceeds the number that country lost in both wars. But it doesn’t stop there. Imagine the fallout for all who witnessed the murder or likely violence in the years preceding it. And women have double the risk of domestic violence – with the health consequences that brings – as they do of breast cancer.
Van der Kolk draws on 30 years of experience to argue powerfully that trauma is one of the West’s most urgent public health issues. The list of its effects is long: on mental and physical health, employment, education, crime, relationships, domestic or family abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction. “We all want to live in a world that is safe, manageable… predictable, and victims remind us that this is not always the case,” says van der Kolk. When no one wants to hear about a person’s trauma, it finds a way to manifest in their body.
And it is not only extreme experiences that linger. Family disturbance or generalised neglect can wire children to be on high alert, their stressed bodies tuned to fight or flight. Or they may be so “numbed out” by keeping demons at bay they can’t engage with life’s pleasures or protect themselves from future trauma. Even parents who don’t attune with their children can do untold damage, van der Kolk argues.
[box] “Childhood neglect can prime individuals to be on high alert, their bodies tuned to fight or flight.”[/box]
He makes it clear why it’s so important: help parents with their problems, deprivation or social isolation, and you help their kids. “If your parents’ faces never lit up when they looked at you, it’s hard to know what it feels like to be loved and cherished,” he says. Neglect creates mental maps used by children, and their adult selves, to survive. These maps skew their view of themselves and the world.
The book has gut-wrenching stories: about Vietnam veterans who committed war atrocities, incest survivors, broken adults that were terrorised as children or shunted between foster homes. Van der Kolk draws on hundreds of studies to back up his claim that “the body keeps the score”.
We meet a woman who had suppressed the memory of being raped at age 8 by her father, but when she ferociously attacked a new partner for no reason, she signed up for therapy with van der Kolk. Soon after, her eyesight started to fail: an autoimmune disease was eroding her retina. In a study, his team found that female incest survivors had abnormalities in the ratios of immune cells, compared with untraumatised women, exposing them to autoimmune diseases.
In terms of treatments, van der Kolk argues that “integrating” trauma by turning it into a bad memory, rather than reliving it, in therapy, may be key to recovering from trauma. And he criticises dealing with symptoms rather than causes. He has scary stats: half a million US children and teens take antipsychotic drugs, while privately insured 2 to 5-year-olds on antipsychotics have doubled between 2000 and 2007.
Packed with science and human stories, the book is an intense read that can get technical. Stay with it, though: van der Kolk has a lot to say, and the struggle and resilience of his patients is very moving.
Jane was numb. She couldn’t feel love, and she couldn’t feel pain. When blood ran down her arms after she slashed herself with razor blades or pushed pins into her flesh, it truly surprised her. She felt she would like to kill her abusers, but instead focused the anger inward. The only control she felt she had over herself was her food intake. She volunteered that she saw a connection between wanting to hide, to get small, with her rapidly diminishing weight. She couldn’t scrub her skin hard enough for it to ever feel clean.
Jane had been sexually, physically and emotionally abused by her father, whom she called a “rageaholic.” Later her brothers and other men who came into her life did the same. The only safety she found was in being sick, because only then would her mother keep people away from her, saying she was unwell, and treating her kindly.
Rita was married to an emotionally abusive, physically violent and cunningly manipulative man. He would humiliate her in front of her child, and chipped away at his own son’s self esteem with belittling comments. They were part of a small community where everyone knew everyone else, and they all thought her husband was the salt of the earth. No one had any notion of what went on behind closed doors. She wanted to escape with her son, but had been beaten down on many levels, and felt weak, depressed, alone.
In situations like Jane’s and Rita’s, it is commonly assumed there are only two treatments that might help. One is conventional medicine, using drugs, and the other is intensive psychotherapy. However, drugs don’t solve anything, and also produce tremendous side effects, including kidney and liver damage, and can lead to addictions. They don’t get at the cause, but suppress the condition so the patient appears to function normally – but the patient knows the deeper problem isn’t gone.
Psychotherapy is certainly less destructive than drugs, because it gives the patient a way to cope with the trauma or abuse, but it does not have a high success rate and it still doesn’t do anything to cure the underlying cause.
Homeopathic remedies work in a unique way. Catherine, an incest survivor who very successfully sued her father when Ontario changed the statute of limitations in incest cases, explained, “My therapist offered me a great deal of emotional support. She was someone I could talk to about me, about my stuff, once a week. I learned a lot about my issues and why they were there, and I put to rest many family myths. It was valuable, but all on an intellectual level. Now and then there was an emotional release, but on the whole it was a very intellectual process.”
But after talking with the owner of her local health food store, and having successfully used a few Homeopathic remedies in the past, she was intrigued when the owner happened to mention a remedy she had learned could benefit every sexually abused woman. Catherine learned the profound effects of homeopathy.
“It all happened within a half hour,” Catherine recalled. “First there was a numbness on my tongue, and it worked its way down my jaw and into my throat. When it hit my chest I felt the fight that had been going on inside me all these years was gone. And I didn’t even know consciously that the fight was going on, until it left. I think on some intellectual level I understood it, but that was when I truly knew it.”
Catherine’s experience is echoed every day in everyone who takes a correctly-prescribed Homeopathic remedy. Homeopaths understand that dis-ease, the energetic imbalance within us all, is a complex issue, and one that can only be fully cured by using a remedy similar in its energy to that of the shock or trauma that caused the imbalance. By understanding the origins of dis-ease and how the symptoms of the imbalance show themselves to a careful observer, the Homeopath is able to help individuals cure themselves on a profound level.
Homeopathic remedies are like miniature time-space bombs, which go to the blockage or dis-ease and blow it up, thus releasing the stored energy and facilitating a cure. It is able to destroy these dis-eases because it is based on the natural law of cure, which is the application of medicines based on the principle of similars. Essentially Homeopathic medicine is an artificial disease that matches the energetic resonance of the disease of the patient, and the law of resonance states that two similar energies cannot co-exist, so they effectively destroy one another.
The origins of our dis-ease are ancient. At conception we all are given a gift package (whether we want it or not!) that includes a predisposition (called a miasm) to all of the familial tendencies our ancestors have accumulated and exhibited over the years. These can be as simple as eczema or allergies, as serious as cancer, arthritis or heart disease, or as deep as a tendency toward alcoholism, depression, self-mutilation, eating disorders or suicide. They also are the origins of sexual cruelty, aggression and violence.
Whether or not we see these predispositions come to light in our lives has a great deal to do with our lives, the shocks and traumas to our system that, as Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, Homeopathy’s founder, termed it, “…bow down the soul.” These traumas wear on our ability to stay balanced and whole, and make themselves known to us in any number of ways (often called symptoms), which Homeopaths see as an attempt by our life energy to communicate to us that there is something going on inside that needs to be dealt with.
When Woody Allen said, “One of my problems is that I internalize everything. I can’t express anger; I grow a tumor instead,” he hit the nail on the head. Anger, not the tumor, is the dis-ease. The tumor is a symptom of the dis-ease, and cutting out the tumor, while it may temporarily alleviate the situation, will not cure the dis-ease. As J. Compton Burnett – an old-time British Homeopath – once said, cutting off the limb of an apple tree will not prevent the tree from producing more apples.
Psychotherapy on its own seems to allow a release on an emotional level. But because the curing hasn’t been done on an energetic level, we often find in patients we treat who have done extensive therapeutic or intellectual work (and our patients range from many psychotherapists themselves, and their patients, to Buddhists who have worked on the more spiritual levels) that they come to be treated for somatic, or physical complaints. These can include lumps in the breasts, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome – the patient is free on the more deeply important spiritual, mental or emotional level, but their energetic disturbances have not been cured, and so they present on the somatic level.
Amanda, an incest survivor and psychotherapist who has been treated with Homeopathy herself, has seen how profoundly the remedies have removed dis-ease patterns, which were only shifted and partially discharged through psychotherapy alone. “I see a wonderful synergy between using the Homeopathic mental and emotional remedies and psychotherapy. When people have been prepared in psychotherapy for what they will release, and then are given the mental and emotional remedies, they then make a greater connection,” she explained.
Paula, a victim of childhood sexual abuse and a Homeopath who has also been treated with Homeopathy and psychotherapy, explained the power of the Homeopathic remedy, saying “Homeopathy can open areas that have been blocked that individuals have had no access to, like boulders blocking a path. The Homeopathic remedy can blow apart those boulders, allowing the information to flow through. By regulating the potency of the remedies, the information can flow in a safe, controlled way.”
After being treated with Homeopathy, Rita not only divorced her violent husband but also won full custody of her son. They moved into a loving and supportive environment, where they both are flourishing.
Jane has come a long way – she no longer cuts herself under stress, is in a very supportive and loving marriage and has a beautiful daughter (which not only motivates her to continue her healing, but also shifts her focus into loving, sharing and caring for another life). She, too, has moved into a new home, and she was able to cut ties to her parents and brothers without guilt. She even testified on her sister-in-law’s behalf in her divorce case, when it became know that her brother was molesting his own children.
Homeopathic treatment embodies what was expressed long ago in an ancient manuscript well known to Jung, the famous psychotherapist:
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
If you feel that are suffering from the effects of Trauma, call for your free phone consultation to see if Homeopathy may be right for you!
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is an infection of the respiratory system caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis (or B. pertussis). It’s characterized by severe coughing spells that end in a “whooping” sound when the person breathes in.
Symptoms of whooping cough:
The disease begins with a cold and a mild cough. After this, the typical coughing bouts set in. The coughing continues until no air is left in the lungs. After this comes a deep intake of breath that produces a heaving, ‘whooping’ sound when the air passes the larynx (windpipe) that gives rise to the name of the disease.
The patient will eventually cough up some phlegm and these attacks may well be followed by vomiting. The child’s temperature is likely to remain normal.
A bout of Whooping Cough can be very distressing for both the child and the parents who feel unable to help.
Coughing attacks may occur up to 40 times a day and the disease can last for up to eight weeks.
Homeopathic Remedies and Treatment for Pertussis or Whooping Cough:
Homeopathic Remedy Drosera
Drosera is one of the remedies praised by Hahnemann; indeed, he once said that Drosera 30th sufficed to cure nearly every case of whooping cough, a statement which clinical experience has not verified. Drosera, however, will benefit a large number of the cases, if the following indications be present: A barking cough in such frequent paroxysms as to prevent the catching of the breath; worse in the evening. All efforts to raise the phlegm end in retching and vomiting. The attacks are especially worse after midnight; the child holds its epigastrium while coughing. The Drosera child cries a great deal. Arnica has crying before coughing because recollection or previous soreness and pain in present. Bayes says: “Drosera is more useful in whooping cough than any other remedy in our Materia Medica.” Unlike Hahnemann, however, he claims that the higher dilutions are powerless, and he prescribes the first. Drosera acts better in pure, uncomplicated whooping cough, and while it will correspond to some epidemics it will fail in others.
Solanum Carolinense has a good clinical record in explosive and spasmodic coughs, and is recommended by electric physicians as almost specific.
Has also been vaunted as a specific in the 3x dilution.
In whooping cough accompanied with convulsions, or when the paroxysms are long and interrupted, Cuprum will be the remedy. Spasms of the flexor muscles predominate. The cough is very violent and threatens suffocation. This remedy will come in sometimes very nicely after Drosera and do good work. The patient coughs up a tough, gelatinous mucus, there is much rattling in the chest, and the face and lips are bluish. A great characteristic of the remedy is the relief from a swallow of cold water. Hale mentions the usefulness of Cuprum in cases accompanied with spasms, clenched hands, etc.
Homeopathic Remedy Corallium rubrum
This is a very useful remedy in severe cases of whooping cough. Before the cough there is a smothering sensation. The child gaps and becomes black in the face. It is a remedy for that shot, quick, ringing cough known as the “minute gun” cough. The smothering shows itself in the form of gasping, crowing inspirations. After each attack of cough the child sinks back perfectly exhausted. No other drug produces such a violent paroxysm. It is perhaps oftener indicated in the later stages of the affection, but the neurotic element must be present, and also the constriction of the chest before the attacks. The crowing inspiration of whoop is not so pronounced as under Mephitis. Dr. Teste recommended Corallium and Chelidonium as comprising the entire therapeutics or whooping cough, and Dunham praises Corallium in violent cases.
Homeopathic Remedy Coccus Cacti
This remedy has paroxysms of cough with vomiting of clear, ropy mucus, extending in thick, long strings even to the floor. This is sometimes seen in children who cough and cough with this tenacious mucus stringing from mouth and nose, waving to and fro until it finally gives way. The paroxysms come on in the morning, and accompanying them there is often vomiting of a clear, ropy mucus. Eructations of wind following cough are an indication for Ambra grisea. Coccus is a useful remedy for the protracted bronchial catarrhs remaining after whooping cough. The excessive secretion of mucus under Coccus is marked and causes the child to strangle. The choking is most characteristic, even more so than the strangling.
Mephitis is useful in a cough with a well marked laryngeal spasm, a whoop. Cough is worse at night on lying down, there is a suffocated feeling, and the child cannot exhale. Farrington observes that this remedy will often apparently make the patient worse, while it really tends to shorten the course of the disease. The catarrhal symptoms calling Mephitis are slight, but the whoop is prominent. The smothering comes on with cough, while with Corallium rubrum it comes on before the cough, and is followed by great exhaustion. There is not much expectoration with Mephitis. There are many spasmodic symptoms with this remedy, such as cramping of the legs at night. The writer has also seen good results from Naphthalin when the cough is very dry and catarrhal symptoms not pronounced, and the paroxysms of extreme length, and the constriction of the chest are present. It is a remedy that is especially suitable to whooping cough in adults. One of Hahnemann’s therapeutic hints in whooping cough is Ledum, which has a spasmodic racking cough, and should be thought of in connection with this affection.
Homeopathic Remedy Belladonna
In sudden violent paroxysms of whooping cough, without any expectoration, and the symptoms of cerebral congestion, Belladonna will be found useful. Epistaxis may accompany, and the patient is worse at night. Boenninghausen says that it is suitable mostly in the beginning of the disease, or, later, when there is fever. Often in the beginning of the disease it use will shorten and modify the disease. Another indication for belladonna is present when the attacks terminate by sneezing. The cough is excited by a tickling in the throat, as if from down. Retching and vomiting and pain in the stomach are prominent symptoms, but when Belladonna is the remedy the congestive symptoms will be present and active, the onset sudden; the child grasps at the throat and clings to its mother, as if frightened.
Convulsive cough, where the child stiffness out and becomes blue or pale and loses its breath, great nausea and relief from vomiting are prominent symptoms for Ipecac. A “gagging cough” is a good indication for the remedy. The discharge of mucus is copious and tenacious, and the patient is very weak after the attacks. Violent shattering coughs following each other in quick succession, not permitting recovery of breath, indicate Ipecac. he child is limp and weak, and there is free perspiration. Sulphur is an excellent remedy for vomiting after the paroxysmal cough.
With this remedy the child is worse when excited or angry, or when eating; the cough culminates in vomiting of mucus and food. There is much rattling of mucus in the chest, but the expectoration is slight. The child demanding Antimonium tartaricum will be irritable and cross, and will cry, when approached; the tongue will be white and weakness will be present. If diarrhea be present with great debility and depression of vital forces, or if the child vomits its supper shortly after midnight, Antimonium tartaricum will be the remedy. It also has marked aggravation from warm drinks.
This is not always a worm remedy. It is a most excellent remedy in whooping cough. It has the same rigidity as Ipecac, the child stiffness out and there is a clucking sound in the esophagus when the little one comes out of the paroxysm. Grinding of the teeth during sleep will further indicate Cina. It, is of course, specially indicated by symptoms of worms and in children who are predisposed there to.
This is the prominent Schuesslerian remedy for whooping cough, which begins as does common cold. The attacks are convulsive and nervous, ending in a whoop. Clinically, I have found this remedy, used in the 30th potency, to act marvelously in certain epidemics. While associated with Dr. William Boericke, of San Francisco, it was not an uncommon thing for a patient to come to us for “some of our whooping cough remedy,” which was nothing else than Magnesia phosphorica 30th. It seemed especially adapted to the then prevailing epidemic. The indications may be stated as cough in severe paroxysms, with blue or swollen and livid face, with a severe whoop.
Kali sulphuricum will also at times be found useful.
This remedy is useful when there is hoarseness, rawness in the throat and larynx, and headache.
This remedy suits cases where there is a hoarse cough; child breathes superficially and rapidly to prevent attacks of coughing. It is a coarser cough than that of Hepar, worse from eating and on inspiring deeply; there is a general catarrhal involvement of the nose, throat and frontal sinus, and the expectoration is yellow, tough and stringy, differing from that of Coccus cacti in being yellow.
Coqueluchin or Pertussin, a nosode of whooping cough, is advocated by Dr. J. H. Clarke, of London, who claims food results from its use. A spasmodic hacking, deep-sounding, croupy cough with coryza and difficulty in getting the breath seem to be the indications. Cartier and others report success with the remedy. It is better used not lower than the 30th.
Note: The information here is educational only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please see your Homeopath or Health Care Professional if you suspect that you or you child may have Whooping Cough.
The concept of the Inner Child is not new and has been a part of our world for a long time. Carl Jung called it the “Divine Child” which is the essence of who we truly are. We are the Divine Children of The Great Spirit, God, the Creator and therefore the Inner Child is not a separate entity, it is not a different aspect of ourselves, it is the energetic, creative and authentic Self.
We are born into this world knowing. We know who we are, why we have come and our very reason for being. With our first breath we begin our learning, the art of being a Human. We are Spiritual Beings having a Human experience.
From the day of our birth we are considered ignorant. We begin a path of separation, separation from our Creator and a separation from our true self. We are taught that our external world defines who we are, what we shall do and how we shall be. Our inner truth is not validated and we are taught not to trust ourselves, our inner urgings or our knowing; that shows us the true path of our Soul and Spirit.
This separation leads to a place of fear. A place where we are taught that the mind is our master and all we need to know can be learnt from others, our parents, our schools and our communities. We are continually told that we need to prove ourselves and our worth through external avenues. We are shown over and over again to disregard and forget the vital aspect of ourselves, that of our Hearts. This has resulted in us being raised in a shame-based, emotionally dishonest, and spiritually lacking world. This world has created our separations and therefore helped to create the Inner Child.
Can we blame our parents, our societies and our churches? Yes, but that is playing the part of the victim, that is playing the game of separation. We are all part of this world and we are all responsible for its ways, its paths and its separations. Our parents did not know how to truly love themselves or how to be emotionally honest and we have therefore formed our core relationship with ourselves based on these early childhood learnings and then built our relationship with ourselves and others from this foundation. We have lived a life reacting to the wounds of the past and the dysfunctional programs we have been subjected to and have now created our dysfunctional culture.
We have created a world of confusion, desperation and chaotic energy. This world has taken us to a place of co-dependency, suffering and repression. When our True Self is not acknowledged or heard we begin to create situations and relationships that are false and keep us in a place of unresolved emotional trauma. This leads to a life of anxiety, fear, confusion, emptiness and unhappiness.
The Inner Child is our emotional self and it is the place where our feelings live, it is our Heart. When we experience joy, sadness, anger and fear our Inner Child is coming out. When we are being spontaneous, creative, intuitive and playful our True Self is coming out.
It is not our past that affects us; it is the images and memories of it. By accessing our Inner Child and reclaiming this wounded child we begin to uncover any conscious or unconscious beliefs of ourselves and begin to re-evaluate and transform ourselves and our lives. It is through healing our Inner Child that we can begin to change our behavioral patterns and clear up our emotional responses. Once we begin loving, honoring and respecting ourselves internally, we are able to release grief, rage, shame, terror and pain from our hearts and begin transforming our life and our world with spontaneity, creativity, joy and love.
We have the power of choice and we are given the opportunity with our children to begin healing ourselves, our Inner Child and our separations and thereby create a solid foundation based on empowerment, love, honesty and creativity that will help our children to be their True Self.
It is possible to feel feelings without becoming a victim. It is possible to change the way you think so that your mind is no longer your worst enemy. It is possible to become empowered and to make choices in life that are aligned with your True Self. We have the power of choice and we are given the opportunity with our children to begin healing ourselves, our Inner Child and our separations and thereby create a solid foundation based on empowerment, love, honesty and creativity that will help our children to be their True Self.
This where Classical Homeopathy comes in..
Homeopathic remedies can assist people who want to work on their emotional, mental and spiritual growth and development. The remedies can help people who strive to achieve a more positive mindset and a feeling of well being. Negative moods, thoughts and actions can bring about imbalances.
Personality traits, such as impatience, fear, depression, bitterness, lack of self-confidence or motivation affect a person’s vitality and can adversely affect health.
Homeopathic remedies do not profoundly change the personality of the individual. It is individual differences which make life so rich. Homeopathic remedies help to restore balance within the personality. For example, a chronic worrier can become an occasional worrier, a highly critical and judgmental person can become more tolerant, and a person with a poor self-image can gain more self-confidence. The following are some personality imbalances and Homeopathic remedies which address them.
Arrogance: Low self-esteem is usually behind the haughtiness and arrogance of an individual. The person overcompensates for feeling so unworthy. Platina metallicum is a prominent remedy used for this state of mind. Hyperactive children who argue constantly, insist they are always right, are impatient and have contempt for others, soften and lose their edge with Platina.
Fastidiousness: There are certain degrees of perfectionism. Arsenicum album, Ignatia, Nux vomica and Thuya are some of the Homeopathic remedies used to rebalance an overly meticulous personality.
Repetitive Thoughts: When people feel threatened, they can have thoughts that they don’t desire enter their minds. These thoughts go on and on, like a broken record, disturbing their concentration and peace of mind. This phenomenon varies in intensity and duration. Lachesis is one remedy which can help people come to terms with the issues at hand. It also helps to dissipate any anger, irritability or frustration that goes along with the thoughts. Women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome often find that this behavioral pattern becomes more prominent during certain times of the month. Lachesis is often used for women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome or who are menopausal.
Grief and Depression: The loss of a loved one can leave a deep feeling of sadness that can be felt again and again when certain memories or thoughts about that person are triggered. Homeopathic remedies can help the grieving come to terms with the loss and can lessen the impact of the shock.
Ignatia is used for recent bereavement. The person feels nervous and can’t stop shaking. The bereaved has usually identified completely with the lost one and feels that she can’t possibly exist alone.
Natrum muriaticum is commonly used for depression and is especially helpful when the death of a loved one has occurred in the past. The person has never been the same since and has developed a melancholy nature, withdrawing and not living life to its fullest.
For the person who suffers from depression most of his life, is highly responsible and tends to be a workaholic, Aurum metallicum is used. The Aurum metallicum type of personality blames himself when things go wrong in life. The person feels as if a dark cloud is overhead, eliminating all joy and light. Suicidal thoughts and even attempts are characteristic of this deep type of depression. Physical symptoms often involve heart problems such as high blood pressure or palpitations.
Lack of Self-Confidence: Staphasagria is for the person whose poor self-image derives from a past hurt that is followed by suppressed anger. The person feels a need to please everyone and has a fear of how they appear to others. There can also be a deep fear of abandonment and rejection. Staphasagria is a well-indicated remedy for those who have been sexually abused in the past or have been abandoned emotionally by their parents.
Thuja is for the reserved, secretive person whose low self-esteem is rooted in feelings of shame and guilt. These people try not to let anyone get to really know them because they fear they will not be accepted. Given the extent of their secrecy, they can have different degrees of paranoia.
Panic: Life-threatening events, traffic accidents and even nightmares can be shocking to the individual involved. The after-effects of such events can produce feelings of panic, fear, anxiety and restlessness. For example, a person involved in a serious car accident may never feel secure driving again. The individual may insist on becoming a passenger only. As a passenger, she may find herself pressing her foot down on the floor onto an imaginary brake every time she feels uneasy with the driving. The problem with shocking experiences is the uncontrollable and unsubstantiated fear that may follow. Aconite is a prominent remedy used to treat shock. It can be given after the disturbing incident or years later when the panicky behavior can be traced back to the original event.
A qualified and experienced Classical Homeopath can best decide on the correct remedy and potency needed.
Help your Inner Child heal with Classical Homeopathy today.
Tina Louise Buie, CH, IBCLC, RLC
In a class action of importance to producers, marketers, and sellers of Homeopathic products, on Friday, September 18, 2015, a federal jury in the false advertising trial of Allen, et al. v. Hylands, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:12-cv-01150 (“Hylands”) took less than a day to find defendants did not breach any express warranty or violate the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, California Civil Code sections 1750 et seq.
The putative class plaintiffs sued defendants Hylands, Inc. and Standard Homeopathic Company alleging they made false and misleading representations about the effectiveness of the active ingredients in 12 homeopathic products produced, marketed, and sold by the defendants throughout the United States.
Homeopathic products are derived from botanical, mineral or biological substances and are classified as either over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medicines. In contrast to conventional (allopathic) medicines, Homeopathic remedies are predicated in part on the “principle of dilutions” under which active ingredients are thought to be more clinically useful or effective when they are significantly diluted, typically with purified water or an alcohol solution.
Homeopathic remedies and their packaging are not reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). Homeopathic remedies, however, are classified as drugs under, and subject to, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and thus, must comply with the labeling requirements of the Act. The FDA has stated that it is not aware of any scientific evidence that Homeopathic products are effective.
Back in August 2014, a California federal district court judge certified a nationwide class of purchasers of 10 of the products covering February 2008 to the present. The plaintiffs claimed defendants’ 12 Homeopathic products, including some intended for infants and children, did not work as advertised because they were so diluted that the ingredients were “effectively non-existent” and the products were therefore not effective for their intended uses. The plaintiffs also alleged the homeopathic products labeling claims of “100% Natural,” “All Natural,” and “Natural” were untrue as the products purportedly contained synthetic chemicals, synthetically derived or chemically reduced elements, artificially produced elements, and/or dangerous or potentially dangerous ingredients.
The trial in Hylands spanned approximately two weeks and included expert testimony from both sides. Plaintiffs’ expert, Dr. Noel Rose, the director of John Hopkins’ Center of Autoimmune Disease Research testified as a medical expert, having reviewed materials provided by the plaintiffs’ counsel, as well as his own research into clinical and compilation studies, expert reports, published journal reports and the Hyland’s products and their labels. Dr. Rose stated, “[In] my opinion, there is no sound scientific or medical evidence that they provide any benefit to patients with medical conditions, such as those described and indicated on the labels, beyond the placebo effect.”
Defendants kicked off their defense by calling Dr. Iris Bell, a former Harvard psychiatry instructor and holder of a doctorate degree from Stanford University in neuro- and bio-behavioral sciences who has consulted with Highlands, Inc. to design clinical trials. Bell testified about her scientific studies in multiple chemical sensitivity and homeopathy, including how “nanoparticles” and “nanobubbles” can have an effect in biological cells. Dr. Bell opined, “It is very clear that nanoparticles in low doses are capable of capable of creating hermetic effects…similar to vaccine.” Dr. Bell explained how “hormesis” is a medical principle that describes how small doses of a substance can trigger the opposite effect of high doses of the same substance.
Although the plaintiffs initially sought full refunds worth $350 million, plaintiffs’ counsel wrapped up closing arguments with a demand of $255 million for allegedly tricking consumers into purchasing “simple sugar pills” that provide no medical benefit.
The jury of six women and three men did not agree, and needed less than a day to deliberate.
A dental nurse unable to undergo treatment proved an excellent candidate for this remedy.
Recently, a 26 year-old woman with nine years experience in dental nursing joined our practice. After a few weeks working together, it emerged that she was in fact a dental phobic and that she had been suffering with severe toothache on and off for several months, but had been putting off treatment, resorting to painkillers. When I asked her why she felt so frightened, she would reply that she knew what would happen, or that the tooth would break during the procedure (anticipatory anxiety) and that was enough to make her cancel or postpone her appointment at the last minute with her own dentist. She admitted that she had not had any unpleasant experiences but found the whole event very distressing and a daunting ordeal.
Eventually, she let me have a look and I took some x-rays. She had multiple cavities but the severe pain was due to gross unrestorable caries in an upper wisdom tooth which required extraction. However, she declined treatment because she could cope with the pain, even though she knew that the problem would not go away and that action was required.
One morning, she came in to work saying that she had had very little sleep the previous night because of her toothache and that she was ready to have the extraction. Once sat in the dental chair, she felt great anxiety in her tummy and holding her abdomen screamed: “Oh, I’ve got awful butterflies in my tummy just thinking about it.” She then excused herself to go to the toilet. Upon her return, she asked if she could have the treatment in the afternoon as she did not want to miss her lunch having had no breakfast. Come the afternoon, she said the pain had gone. A similar sequence of events happened on several occasions, with the patient using different excuses such as feeling very weak and trembling and that she could not go through with it, or having a bad dull headache.
One day when again I could see the same story unfold, I suggested that I could give her a homeopathic remedy to calm her nerves. She was very sceptical about homeopathic treatment but was desperate to get some help as she could not face another sleepless night. I gave her Gelsemium 30c pillules half-hourly and reassured her that I would not administer the local anaesthetic unless she felt relaxed.
After a few doses, much to her amazement, she had calmed down and I was able to anaesthetise the tooth. Again, she felt the need to use the toilet which made her feel better. The extraction was not quite routine but she managed well and the tooth was delivered whole. I gave her Arnica 30c to use three times daily for the next few days. She was very relieved and admitted that she felt surprised at how much better she felt and how she had coped with the whole situation after taking the Gelsemium. She said that “it felt similar to having laughing gas (nitrous oxide and oxygen) which was given to her during childbirth. She then voluntarily booked herself some more appointments to have the outstanding treatment completed.
Gelsemium the flower
Gelsemium sempervirens is a yellow flowering plant native to North and Central America and found in coastal regions in moist woodlands from Virginia to Mexico. It is a very attractive creeper that can climb up host trees to a great height, often hanging in tresses from one to the other. It is evergreen with a woody, twining stem which contains a milky juice and bears opposite, shining and evergreen lancet shaped leaves and clusters of from one to five large funnel-shaped fragrant yellow flowers in early spring. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects. The fruit is composed of two separable, jointed pods containing numerous, flat winged seeds. The roots form runners, a stem or rhizome that can extend great distances underground before shooting up as another plant.
Gelsemium is also called yellow jasmine, false jasmine, Caroline jasmine and wild woodbine. Its name comes from the Italian word gelsomino, meaning jasmine and is not to be confused with the true yellow jasmine of Madeira which is also known as gelseminum but has only two stamens whereas gelsemium has five.
All parts of the plant contain toxic alkaloids, the two main ones are gelseminime and gelsemine. Gelseminime is a yellowish, bitter amorphous alkaloid that is readily soluble in alcohol to form amorphous salts. Gelsemine is a colourless, odourless, intensely bitter alkaloid that is sparingly soluble in water, forming crystalline salts. The rhizome also contains gelsemic acid, a tasteless, crystalline substance which exhibits an intense bluish-green fluorescence in alkaline solution.
The root of this plant has been used since the days of the early settlers in America as a cure for fevers. During the American Civil War, it was largely used as a substitute for opium as a narcotic. The plant was first described in 1640 by John Parkinson who grew it in his garden from seeds sent by Tradescant from Virginia.
The medical history of this plant is quite recent. It is believed to have gained attention through the mistake of a servant of a Mississippi planter who was afflicted with fever. This servant gave his master a decoction of gelsemium root, instead of the garden plant intended. After partaking of an infusion, serious symptoms arose, but contrary to expectations, he recovered, free from fever which did not recur. It was clear that the attack of bilious fever from which he had been suffering had disappeared.
This accidental error led to the preparation from the plant of a proprietary medicine called the “Electrical Febrifuge”. Later, in 1849, Dr Porcher brought Gelsemium to the notice of the American Medical Association, Dr Henry in 1852, and many others after him, made provings of it; the main one being that of Dr Hale, whose Monograph on Gelsemium was a great help in the knowledge of this drug.
The prominent and universal symptom is paralysis of the motor nerves as it is a powerful spinal depressant, its most marked action being on the anterior columns of the grey matter in the spinal. Poisonous doses produce a sensation of languor, relaxation, muscular weakness and paralysis. The face becomes anxious, the temperature subnormal, the skin cold and clammy and the pulse rapid and feeble. Dropping of the upper eyelid and lower jaw, internal squint, double vision and dilatation of the pupil are prominent symptoms.
Later, the toxic effects cause the sphincters to relax, the anus and urethra stay open. Respiration becomes slow and feeble, shallow and irregular, and death occurs from respiratory failure, the heart stopping almost simultaneously. The drug also acts through the vasomotor nerves to produce passive venous and arterial congestion. Also, the drug has an affinity for the mucous membranes, giving rise to catarrhal inflammation.
In its Homeopathic form, Gelsemium is prepared from the fresh root, which is chopped, soaked in alcohol, drained and diluted/succussed to the required potency.
The keynote of Gelsemium sempervirens is weakness. There is mental and physical paralysis. There is slow and gradual complete prostration with drowsiness, low grade fever and a dull headache. The patient is lethargic and reclusive, preferring to be left alone.
Symptoms are better from bending forward, profuse sweating and urinating, being in the open air, gentle and continual motion and with stimulants.
Symptoms are worse from change of weather, change of season, anticipation of performing, mental exertion, physical exertion, tobacco smoke, damp weather, bad news, before a thunderstorm and from emotions or excitement.
Homeopathy and fear of dentists
Dental anxiety is probably the most common reason for non-attendance at the dental surgery. When assessing anxiety for homeopathic repertorisation, I find it useful to consider the type of anxiety, what triggers the anxiety, when it is felt, where it is felt, any concomittant symptoms, where these are felt and any aggravating/ameliorating factors.
I have used Gelsemium on several occasions to manage acute dental anxiety. Other very effective anxiety remedies, some of which I use, are:
- Aconitum napellus: heart palpitations, sudden panic, dry mouth, dilated pupils, the sensation of sudden shock, the “white knuckle” syndrome patient. The anxiety is very short-lasting and of very quick onset.
- Arsenicum album: chronic anxiety. It is indicated in very chilly and fastidious people who have profound anxieties about their health and may experience burning pains that are better with heat.
- Argentum nitricum: patient is excited, hurried, hyperactive and talkative.
- Coffea cruda: patient is over-enthusiastic, sleepless (mind: full of thoughts), excessively sensitive to pain and to noise, even music.
- Ignatia amara: patient may display hysterical behaviour, twitching of the muscles of the face and lips, is hypersensitive to smells, especially cigarette smoke or coffee, and sometimes has a sensation of a lump in the throat (globus hystericus). It is especially useful in the “have never been well since” cases of emotional trauma.
I find that Arnica montana and Hypericum perforatum are compatible with the above anxiety remedies and I sometimes use them concurrently after a dental procedure.
I used Gelsemium in this case because of the butterflies in stomach description of the anxiety, the weak trembling hands, the nausea and nervous diarrhoea symptoms. Gelsemium is also very useful for influenza sufferers, where there is a gradual low grade fever, and in nervous diarrhoea cases, for example, prior to examinations or public speaking. It is also a very important polychrest and constitutional remedy.
Ludwig Gedah BDS DGDP DPDS MFHom(Dent) is a full time general dental practitioner in a mixed NHS/private practice in Cornwall. He incorporates Homeopathic treatment when appropriate for his patients.
The FDA wrapped up a two-day hearing this week on whether or not Homeopathic remedies should be regulated like drugs. Listening to critics of Homeopathy try to justify why they don’t think the American public should have free access to Homeopathic remedies leaves one wondering just what the real motivation is behind these criticisms.The two dominant criticisms made against Homeopathic remedies are antithetical to each other. Critics complain that due to a lack of regulation Homeopathic remedies are dangerous, but then they turn around and say that homeopathic remedies are simply useless sugar pills with no therapeutic effect whatsoever, and no better than a placebo.
Both cannot be true.
Is this the new standard of scientific scrutiny that federal agencies are using to supposedly protect the public?
Are Homeopathic Remedies Dangerous?
The mainstream media is doing its best to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s desire to paint homeopathic products in a bad light, and doing a very poor job of it. According to the mainstream media, which is obviously being fed statistics from the pharmaceutical industry and the federal government and doing no independent investigations of their own, what is the basis for claiming that Homeopathic remedies are “dangerous”?
Here is the official Associated Press  version:
A top federal drug regulator says that increased safety problems with Homeopathic remedies contributed to the government’s decision to revisit its oversight of the products at a public hearing this week.
In perhaps the most serious case, in 2009 the FDA ordered the maker of Zicam to stop marketing three products that contained zinc gluconate. The agency linked those products to 130 reports from consumers who said they lost their sense of smell.
That was the “most serious case” of “increased safety problems” with Homeopathic remedies which has prompted an FDA review. 130 people claimed they lost their sense of smell, a claim that the manufacturer says was actually never proven .
Contrast this to consumer reports of adverse effects from FDA approved drugs.
Over 1 million FDA-approved drug side effects are reported each year now, including serious side effects such as death (over 100,000 deaths a year). It is admitted that these voluntary reports do not encompass the totality of all prescription drug side effects.
Drugwatch.com, which is hosted by a Washington D.C. law firm, states:
Each year, about 4.5 million Americans visit their doctor’s office or the emergency room because of adverse prescription drug side effects. A startling 2 million other patients who are already hospitalized suffer the ill effects of prescription medications annually. (Source .)
Clearly safety of non-FDA-approved Homeopathic remedies is not the issue here, especially as compared to FDA-approved drug side effects.
FDA approved drugs are dangerous and deadly. Homeopathic remedies are not.
What is the Real Reason the FDA Wants to Eliminate Homeopathic Remedies?
The real reason why the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry want to regulate and eliminate Homeopathic remedies is no secret, and we do not even need to speculate about it. They come right out and tell us the reason:
Still, perhaps the greatest harm caused by Homeopathy is not necessarily caused by the products themselves—which, when properly prepared, rarely contain anything other than water and inactive ingredients such as sugars and binding agents—but by the fact that people often rely on Homeopathic products to the exclusion of proven scientific remedies. (Source .)
Admittedly, Homeopathic remedies are not dangerous. “Proven scientific remedies” of course means “FDA-approved” drugs.
Homeopathic remedies present a threat to the marketing of dangerous drugs (not people), as homeopathic product sales in the U.S. have increased 16% over the past 5 years to $6.4 billion annually, with projections to reach $7.5 billion by 2017. (Source .) If a Homeopathic remedy is marketed for a specific illness where a FDA-approved pharmaceutical drug already exists, the FDA wants you to choose the drug instead.
But if too many people start making the “wrong choice,” they want to take away your freedom to choose. This kind of action is well documented against other health products, particularly competing “unapproved” cancer remedies which historically are always outlawed to protect the huge cancer drug business. (See: Unapproved but Effective Cancer Cures .)
If the FDA does decide to regulate Homeopathic remedies, then only those remedies approved by them will be allowed to be sold, classifying them as drugs. There are only a handful of companies in the United States that the FDA allows to have drugs approved. Homeopathic remedies, and their booming popularity, would become part of Big Pharma.
Worldwide Homeopathy is Growing Rapidly Outside of the U.S.
Homeopathy was one of the most common medical practices in the United States in the 1800s. In 1892, homeopaths in the United Stated controlled about 110 hospitals, 145 dispensaries, 62 orphan asylums and old peoples homes, over 30 nursing homes and sanitaria and 16 insane asylums. However, the pharmaceutical industry did everything it could to stomp out homeopathy, and it is not as widespread in the U.S. today as it once was. (See: American Medical Revolutions: How the AMA Took Over America .)
Worldwide, Homeopathy is the second largest system of health care used behind conventional pharmaceutical-based medicine. Dana Ullman , one of America’s leading authorities on Homeopathy, writes:
According to recent surveys in France, an astounding 40% of the French public have used Homeopathic medicines, and 39% of French physicians have prescribed them. At least six French medical schools offer courses leading to a degree in Homeopathy, and Homeopathy is taught in all pharmacy schools and in four veterinary schools. In a prominent French news magazine President Francois Mitterand and six medical school deans called for more research on Homeopathy.
According to an article in the British Medical Journal, 42% of British physicians surveyed refer patients to Homeopathic physicians. Another survey of British physicians discovered that 80% of recent graduates wanted training in either homeopathy, acupuncture, or hypnosis.
Homeopathic medicine is very popular in Germany as well. One respected author estimated that 20% of German physicians use Homeopathic medicines occasionally. At present, the most popular hay fever remedy in Germany is a Homeopathic medicine, and other Homeopathic medicines for the common cold, sore throats, and circulatory problems are in the top ten of their respective categories.
To further aid the growth of Homeopathy, the late President of Germany, Karl Karstens, and his wife, Dr. Veronica Carstens, who is a medical doctor and a Homeopathic physician, recently started a homeopathic research foundation. Numerous new research efforts in Germany and throughout Europe have begun in the past couple of years.
Despite Homeopathy’s impressive popularity in Europe, it is even more popular in India. Presently, there are over 100,000 Homeopathic doctors and over 100 four- and five-year Homeopathic medical colleges in this country. Homeopathy has achieved such respect that in 1987 the government established Homeopathic drug detox clinics in six different police stations in New Delhi. A recent conference in India which described impressive results in the Homeopathic treatment of drug addiction received accolades from India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare, the Finance Minister, and the Chief Justice. In addition to the Indian government’s support of Homeopathic drug detox clinics, they have also supported various research projects and Homeopathic hospitals and clinics. (Source .)
The FDA is clearly not concerned about Homeopathic remedies because they are a danger to the public. They are a danger to their monopoly on drugs, due to their growing popularity, and so they clearly want to either eliminate the competition, or get in on the action and take over the market.
by Brian Shilhavy
We all suffer from coughs and colds at one time or another. Sometimes the symptoms are mild and sometimes they knock us off of our feet for several days.
Homeopathy can help to shorten the duration and severity of your cold symptoms, as well as improve how you feel during the process.
Below is a list of 20 commonly used remedies for coughs and colds. To choose a remedy, remember that the sick person does not need to have all of the symptoms listed for a particular remedy, but most of the symptoms the person has (including all of the prominent symptoms) should be listed.
- Aconite: sudden onset, often after exposure to cold weather or dry, cold wind; the very beginning of illness, within the first 24 hours; fearfulness, high fever, restlessness, sensitivity to light, thirst; watery runny nose, sneezing, headache; early stages of croup.
- Allium cepa: clear, burning nasal discharge that burns the skin and upper lip; eyes red and burning with profuse bland tearing; tickling in larynx, painful dry cough; thirst.
- Arsenicum: profuse watery nasal discharge that burns the skin, nose feels stopped up; irritation and tickling in the nose, frequent and violent sneezing; nasal discharge may be thick and yellow; dull throbbing frontal headache; cough from tickle in larynx or from deep in chest, may be loose or dry; burning chest pain; chilly, anxious, restless, and fearful.
- Belladonna: sudden onset; high fever, dry flushed hot face, enlarged pupils, “strawberry tongue”; mentally dull but unusually sensitive to light, odors, noise, etc.; anxious; throat raw and sore; headache and/or earache with throbbing pain; painful barking and short cough, producing a little thin mucus.
- Bryonia: when cold has moved into chest; dry, painful, spasmodic cough, worse with deep breathing, eating, drinking, in warm rooms and during the day; better from the open air or a swallow of warm water; pain worse with any movement, so person may hold painful area to prevent movement, lie on painful side, put pressure on painful area, lie perfectly still with shallow, painting respirations; thirsty, irritable, watnts to be left alone; looks sick, tired and heavy; dusky, dark skin color.
- Chamomilla: often used for earache; very irritable and sensitive, child wants to be carried; severe pain; one cheek red and hot, the other cool and pale; thirsty.
- Eupatorium perforliatum: deep ache of back and limbs, bursting headache, eyeballs sore; afraid to move because of pain; very thirsty, then chills and fever; vomiting may follow thirst; great weakness.
- Euphrasia: bland watery discharge from the nose and copious burning tears (opposite of Allium cepa); nasal discharge worse in the morning, in open air, and lying down; loose shallow cough, worse during the day; may cough up large amounts of mucus formed in the upper airways.
- Ferrum phosphoricum: beginning stages of all inflammatory problems; gradual onset; pale with red cheeks; red burning eyes; hoarse, restless sleepless, weak, tired, thirsty, apathetic; better from cold applications.
- Gelsemium: gradual onset; sensation of heaviness throughout the body, drooping eyelids; great fatigue, but feels restless; chills up and down spine, worse slightest draft; headache; sneezing and dry sensation in the nose despite irritating watery nasal drainage; better with continued motion and open air if not chilled; worse from damp weather, anticipation (even of pleasurable events).
- Hepar sulphur: rarely used in the beginning stages; cold may have started with watery, runny nose, but now nasal discharge is thick, yellow and may be bad smelling; sneezing at the slightest exposure to cold; wants to be wrapped up, especially the neck and head, with the ears covered; rattling throat cough possibly with croupy sound, may cough up thick yellow phlegm; cough worse from cold air, cold food, exposure to wind, deep breathing and uncovering; sensation of splinter in throat; earache may begin with sensation of poking pain from throat to ear on swallowing; chilly, hoarse; irritable, sweating with sour odor, extremely sensitive to drafts; worse from slightest touch.
- Kali bichromicum: used during later stages of cold; discharge thick, yellow or greenish, and stringy, difficult to remove from nose; thick post-nasal drip; sinus headache with pressure at root of nose; head or face pain that can be pointed to with one finger; hoarse voice; better from heat and lying down.
- Kali muriaticum: to clear Eustachian tube following earache; snapping noises in the ear, impaired hearing following earache; worse from motion, rich foods, and fats.
- Mercurius: cold begins with creeping chilliness; violent sneezing; thick green or profuse watery nasal discharge, making nose and upper lip sore; raw sore throat, difficult swallowing; coated tongue, heavy salivation, bad mouth odor; ticking ear pain, worse at night; very thirsty, weak and trembling; whole person smells sick; worse at night, lying on right side, with wet and damp weather, sweating, a warm room, or a warm bed.
- Natrum muriaticum: cold begins with much sneezing; nasal discharge like raw egg white or boiled starch, with copious flow, or nose may be stopped up; loss of smell and taste; lips try and cracked, skin split at corners of mouth, may have cold sores around mouth; blue mood, weepy, worse, from or irritated by sympathy or comfort; worse from heat, lying down, noise; better from open air, cold bath, going without regular meals.
- Nux vomica: illness after exposure to cold or cold dry weather; onset not sudden; dry, tickling and scraping sensations in nose; nose stuffy and dry at first, then develops a watery and often irritating discharge with sneezing; nose may alternate between stuffed up and runny; “stuffiness predominates at night and outdoors, runniness in warm rooms and during the day” (Cummings and Ullman); throat raw and rough, tickle in larynx; teasing dry cough leads to soreness in chest; cough worse in morning (especially on waking), from 12AM to sawn, after eating, or mental work and in cold air; cough may end in retching; warm drinks relieve; chilly and unable to get warm despite piles of covers, every little motion causes chills; irritable and easily offended, extremely sensitive to noises and odors; better with warmth, in the evening, lying down, and an uninterrupted nap.
- Phosphorus: laryngitis and hoarseness, violent tickling in throat while speaking, worse in the morning or evening; cough dry or loose, croupy or deep, increases when talking, eating, laughing, or breathing cold air; cough worse lying down, especially on left side; cough aggravated by liquids, especially cold drinks; phlegm of any color or consistency, may be streaked with blood; chest pain, worse from motion, better from pressure; sensation of tightness or constriction, or of a weight in the chest; chilly and craves ice cold drinks; nervous when alone or in the dark.
- Pulsatilla: for a “ripe” cold; thick, creamy, bland yellow to yellow-green nasal discharge, with stuffiness alternating with fluent discharge; nose may run in the open air and the evening, and stuff up in a warm room; lips are chapped and peeling; dry mouth with a lack of thirst; both dry and loose coughs, may be dry in the evening, loose in the morning; sensation of weight on chest; coughing spasms may end in gagging or vomiting; cough worse when lying down, with exertion, a warm room,; better with open air; red, swollen external ear with an earache, with severe throbbing pain, worse at night; feels as if the ears are stopped up; weepy, wants sympathy and attention, feeling its useless to do anything to feel better; craves open air.
- Rumex crispus: for cough provoked by breathing cold air or by minute changes in air temperature from warm to cooler; extremely sensitive to inhaling cold air; variation in air flow may excite cough, so person carefully regulates breathing; cough dry and shallow, set off by tickling in airways or pressing hand to throat; worse evening (11PM) and lying down; may have fluent, watery nasal discharge with sneezing, or tough stringy mucus difficult to cough up; hoarse.
- Spongia: loud, dry, barking cough and hoarse, rasping respirations; breathing sounds like saw being driven through a board; cough worse from excitement, talking, alcohol, lying down, and cold drinks; hoarse, breathing difficult, as if there’s a plug in the throat; wakes with sensation of suffocating from throat constriction; anxious, warm, exhausted after slight exertion; better from eating or drinking, especially warm drinks.
How Often to Take a Remedy
- An acute condition is one that lasts for a short time but can begin quickly and have intense symptoms.
- A chronic disease is persistent. It lasts for a long period of time and might recur.
As mentioned above, most acute conditions treated at home, a 30c potency is ideal. In some cases, such as severe muscle pain from overuse or sports injury, a dose of Arnica 200c, for example, may be appropriate. However, most conditions will resolve quite well using 30c potencies.
Once you have selected the remedy, give one dose ( 3-5 pellets) under the tongue and then WAIT and OBSERVE. If there is no improvement at all within a few hours give another dose. If after 3 doses there is no change then it is likely time to try a different remedy or contact a healthcare professional.
A chronic condition is best treated by a Professional Practitioner, and in these cases, the remedy is most often given only once, at the outset of treatment. This is followed by a period of observation to allow the patient and Homeopath to observe changes that may occur as a result of the remedy.
When to Consult a Professional
Remember – not all illnesses should be treated at home. If you are having difficulties finding the right remedy for an illness at home, it’s a good idea to consult with a Professional Classical Homeopath to help identify the right remedy. Also, chronic illnesses or ailments should always be treated by a trained professional.
Note: The information here is not intended as medical advise. Please see your doctor, Primary Care Physician and/or your Homeopath.
Depression can be a temporary passing experience or a deeply disturbing condition that may lead to suicide. Except in cases of minor depressive states, professional attention is generally recommended to help a person go through this emotional experience in a conscious manner.
The Real Dangers of Conventional Medical Treatment
Recent studies published in leading medical journals have seriously questioned the efficacy of conventional pharmaceutical treatment of people with mild or moderate depression.
In early 2010, major media reported on a significant review of research testing antidepressant medications.(1) What is unique about this review of research is that the researchers evaluated studies that were submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), though the researchers discovered that many studies submitted to the FDA were unpublished (they found that the unpublished research consistently showed negative results of antidepressants).
This meta-analysis of antidepressant medications found only modest benefits over placebo treatment in published research, but when unpublished trial data is included, the benefit falls below accepted criteria for clinical significance.
Perhaps most startling about this research is the fact the FDA only requires drug manufacturers to provide them with two positive studies on depression to attain FDA-approval status, even if these same drug companies submit many more studies with negative results. Such information forces consumers to question the efficacy of “FDA approved drugs,” and it explains why so many conventional medications eventually get withdrawn from marketplace.
At the same time that the above review research was published, another review of research was published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), and they found similar results, “The magnitude of benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo increases with severity of depression symptoms and may be minimal or nonexistent, on average, in patients with mild or moderate symptoms.”(2) These researchers did find benefits from the use of antidepressants in the treatment of severe depression, but because the majority of people taking antidepressants today do not have “severe depression,” it is prudent for many people with depression to talk to their doctors about safer and more effective alternatives.
Sadly (and strangely), when conventional doctors today do not obtain adequately effective results with one drug, they often simply prescribe more drugs in hopes that one of them, or their combination, will be more effective (whether this increased use of drugs is effective or not, there are certain “benefits” that drug companies receive from this strategy). However, increasing research is finding that “polypharmacy” (the use of multiple drugs concurrently) may lead to worse, not better, results. New research has shown that polypharmacy with psychotropic medications in suicidal adolescent inpatients has been linked to a significantly increased risk for early readmission.(3)
Presented at Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the researchers found that suicidal adolescent inpatients receiving three or more different classes of psychotropic medications had a 2.6-fold increased risk of being re-admitted within 30 days of discharge.
Cynthia A Fontanella, PhD, the lead researcher, asserted, “Our finding that polypharmacy was associated with an increased risk of readmission is concerning, although not surprising.” Even though the serious problems with polypharmacy are known and expected, polypharmacy is growing in mental health care, not decreasing.
Other researchers discovered a disturbing trend among the over 13,000 visits of outpatients with mental disorder diagnoses: the number of psychotropic medications prescribed increased in successive years. Visits in which two or more medications were prescribed increased from 42.6 percent in 1996-1997 to 59.8 percent in 2005-2006, and those in which at least 3 medications were prescribed virtually doubled from 16.9 percent to 33.2 percent.(4)
Why Mental Illness is Increasing
There are numerous theories for why the number of people suffering from mental illness is increasing and why it is afflicting people at younger and younger ages. The Homeopathic analysis for this epidemic is unique and may provide additional insight as to why this is occurring.
Like most observers of health and medicine today, Homeopaths do not believe that there is simply one reason for the increase in mental illness, though many Homeopaths assert that iatrogenesis (doctor-induced disease) plays a much greater role than is commonly recognized.
Homeopaths, like modern-day physiologists, understand that symptoms of illness represent the body’s defenses in its efforts to adapt to and respond against infection, environmental assault, or stress of some kind. As discomforting as symptoms can be, they still represent the living organism’s best efforts at the time to try to defend and heal him or herself. Such defenses are an innate part of our evolutionary efforts to survive. The symptoms that a person experiences are a part of the body’s innate wisdom, commonly referred to as “vis mediatrix naturae” (the healing power of nature).
Using conventional medications to inhibit or suppress a symptom may be effective temporarily, but THIS is often the “bad news.” Because symptoms as diverse as fevers, coughs, nasal discharges, or even high blood pressure are recognized by physiologists as adaptations and defenses of the body, drugs that inhibit these symptoms may provide a short-term benefit, but such drugs also reduce the person’s ability to get over the illness. More significantly and more seriously, conventional medications may actually suppress the disease process and the wisdom of the body, thereby creating a deeper and more serious illness.
The irony to “modern scientific medicine” is that the evidence that doctors proudly show that a drug “works” is often actually evidence that the drug is effective in suppressing, not curing, a specific symptom (there are, of course, many exceptions to this general observation, such as antibiotics, but antibiotic drugs create other problems about which this writer and many others have commented already).
For over 200 years Homeopaths have observed the ability of many conventional drugs to suppress acute illness into more deep chronic illness. During this time, Homeopaths have also found that this disease suppression also creates more and greater mental illness. When reviewing the side-effects of many drugs, it is not uncommon to find that drugs are known to lead to various states of mental illness from depression to delusion to suicidal propensities.
Just as suppressing one’s emotions often leads to a later explosion of these emotions to someone who happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, suppressing physical symptoms can lead to a more serious physical disease or a more disturbing mental illness. Using drugs to provide temporary relief does have some type of cost, and the cost is usually a later and more serious ailment.
Homeopathic Treatment of Depression
The Menninger Clinic is world-renowned as one of the leading mental health centers for research and treatment. Most people don’t know it, but the founder of the Menninger Clinic, Charles Frederick Menninger, MD, was originally a Homeopathic physician. He was even the head of his local Homeopathic medicine society and was so frequently impressed with the results that he got from Homeopathic medicines, he once said, “Homeopathy is wholly capable of satisfying the therapeutic demands of this age better than any other system or school of medicine.” (5)
Numerous studies have shown benefits in using the herb, St. Johns wort, to treat mild to moderate depression. However, Homeopaths generally find that it is preferable to prescribe individualized Homeopathic remedies to each patient to attain better long-term sustained results without having to take continual doses of any medicine (natural or otherwise). In fact, a recent study published in a medical journal published by Oxford University Press found that individualized Homeopathic treatment is as effective and is safer than Prozac in the treatment of people with moderate or severe depression.(6)
This study included 91 outpatients with moderate to severe depression who received an individually chosen Homeopathic medicine or fluoxetine (Prozac) 20 mg/day (up to 40 mg/day) in a prospective, randomized, double-blind double-dummy eight week trial. The primary efficacy measure was the mean change in MADRS depression scores (MADRS is a commonly used observer rated depression scale, with a score of 32 representing the “severe depression”). The average MADRS of patients in this study was 29.
The mean MADRS scores differences were not significant on the fourth (p=0.654) and eigth weeks (p=0.965) of treatment, which suggests that the two methods are treatment are equally effective. There were also no significant differences between the percentages of response or remission rates in both groups. The study also found a higher but non-significant percentage of patients treated with Prozac reported troublesome side effects, and there was a trend toward greater treatment interruption for adverse effects in the Prozac group.
Those people who claim to be “skeptics” of Homeopathy will be surprised and impressed to know that two specialty medical journals published a double-blind and placebo controlled study on mice and found that one of the medicines in the above study, Gelsemium sempervirens, had anxiety-related effects.(7)(8)
Jonathan Davidson, MD, a professor of psychiatry at Duke University, conducted a small study of adults with major depression, social phobia, or panic disorder. He found that 60 percent of the patients responded favorably to Homeopathic treatment.(9) When one recognizes the considerable safety of Homeopathic medicines and the benefits that some patients get from this safer method of treatment, it is remarkable that the majority of psychiatrists and psychologists do not yet refer appropriate patients to homeopaths prior to prescribing powerful conventional drugs for them.
A clinical outcome study of interest involved 14 physicians of the United Kingdom’s Faculty of Homeopathy (13 NHS GPs and 3 private practitioners) who treated a wide variety of people with chronic ailments.(10) The outcome scores from 958 individual patient conditions having two or more appointments found that 75.9 percent experienced a “positive outcome,” 14.7 percent had no change, and 4.6 percent experienced deterioration in health. Patients with the highest positive scores (over 50 percent of patients who self-scored a +2 or +3 on a 7 point Likert scale from -3 to +3) were achieved in the treatment of anxiety, catarrh, colic, cystitis, depression, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, and PMS. A total of 63.6 percent of patients with depression self-scored a +2 or +3 result from Homeopathic treatment.
More information on the Homeopathic treatment of mental illness and more scientific evidence verifying its efficacy is contained in a newly published textbook on the subject, Homeopathy and Mental Health Care: Integrative Practice, Principles, and Research .
How NOT to Use Homeopathy for Depression
In early 2010, Alexa Ray Joel, the daughter of singer Billy Joel and actress/model Christy Brinkley, supposedly tried to kill herself by taking a Homeopathic medicine, called Traumeel. Anyone with the simply elementary knowledge of Homeopathy knows that one cannot commit suicide taking Homeopathic medicines due to the extremely small doses in these medicines. Even Homeopathy’s most ardent skeptics must have had a good laugh at this media report.
After the initial media report about Alexa Ray Joel’s suicide attempt, she went public with the fact that she suffered from depression as a result of a break-up in a relationship. And yet, Ms. Joel did not correct the misunderstanding of Homeopathic medicine or the assertions made claiming that she (or anyone) could kill themselves with a Homeopathic remedy. Sympathy is certainly appropriate for anyone who experiences such emotional trauma from the break-up of a love relationship to consider suicide. However, we should be wary of actions that inappropriately seek to tarnish the reputation of good companies or safe medicines.
Why Homeopathy Makes Sense for Depression
Homeopathic medicines are not prescribed based on the person’s diagnosed disease but on the unique way the person experiences his or her disease. In other words, Homeopathic medicines are prescribed based on the SYNDROME of various physical and psychological symptoms, not just a single symptom or disease label. Although the selection of the correct Homeopathic prescribing is more complex than the use of conventional drugs or even many herbal preparations, the system of prescribing that is individualized to the whole person is intellectually sound… and its results are often significant if not substantial.
The premise behind Homeopathy is that symptoms of illness are not just something “wrong” with the person but are actually efforts of their ‘bodymind’ to fight infection and/or to adapt to stress. Instead of using large doses of pharmacological agents to inhibit or suppress symptoms, very small and specially prepared doses of medicinal substances are individually prescribed to a person for their unique ability to cause in overdose the similar symptoms that the sick person is having. By finding a medicine that matches the symptoms of the sick person, the medicine supports and augments the body’s defenses. Ultimately, Homeopathy is what Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, called “medical aikido” because it goes with, rather than against, the force of the disease. It is also a type of “medical biomimicry.”
There is, indeed, much more that could be said about the sophisticated system of healing that Homeopathy embodies and on the historical and scientific evidence that verifies its safety and efficacy, but the above information and insights provide a good introduction to why people with mild to moderate depression might be consider seeking professional Homeopathic care.
Psychiatrist Wants Homeopathy
Dubai: A psychiatrist called upon the mental healthcare community to adopt Homoeopathy as a tool to treat disorders, and move away from conventional medicine that can have severe side effects.
Speaking at the second conference on Integrative Medicine Conference on Thursday, organised by Dubai Healthcare City Authority’s Centre for Healthcare Planning and Quality (CPQ), Dr Vengalis Zafeiriou highlighted the benefits of integrating Homoeopathy in psychiatric health care.
He said Homoeopathy can reduce the duration of hospitalisation, quantity of the medicine needed, number of laboratory examinations, frequency of relapses, and the individual and state health care costs. This form of alternative medicine also improves overall health and helps all chronic diseases, excluding irreversible tissue damage; it has no side effects and can be successfully combined with any other kind of treatment, he said.
The conference, titled ‘Advances in Evidence Based Integrative Medicine, held under the patronage of Princess Haya Bint Hussain, chairperson of Dubai Healthcare City Authority, and wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aimed to bridge the gap between conventional, complementary and alternative medicine through evidence-based integrative medicine case studies.
Dr Zafeiriou, Psychiatrist and President and Director of Education of the Hellenic Association of Homoeopathic Medical Cooperation in Greece, provided case studies of patients suffering from alcoholism and autism.
After his lecture, he spoke to Gulf News about the need to lobby for Homoeopathy in mental health care. “In psychiatry there aren’t any medicines designed to be curative, rather these relieve symptoms. Homeopathy can treat all kinds of disorders from anxiety and phobias to depression and schizophrenia. In mental hospitals, Homoeopathy can treat patients with severe mental disorders, contributing considerably to the therapeutic outcome of conventional psychiatric treatment.”
(1) Kirsch I, Deacon BJ, Huedo-Medina TB, Scoboria A, Moore TJ, et al. (2008) Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. PLoS Med 5(2): e45. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045 http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045
(2) Fournier JC, DeRubeis RJ, Hollon SD, Dimidjian S, Amsterdam JD, Shelton RC, Fawcett J. Antidepressant Drug Effects and Depression Severity: A Patient-Level Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2010;303(1):47-53. http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/303/1/47?home
(3) Fontanella CA, Bridge JA, Campo JV. Psychotropic medication changes, polypharmacy, and the risk of early readmission in suicidal adolescent inpatients. Ann Pharmacother. 2009 Dec;43(12):1939-47.
(4) Mojtabai R, Olfson M. National Trends in Psychotropic Medication Polypharmacy in
Office-Based Psychiatry. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67:26-36.
(5) Menninger, C. F. The Application as Well as the Similar, Transactions of the American Institute of Homeopathy, 1896, pp. 317-324.
(6) Adler UC, Paiva NMP, Cesar AT, Adler MS, Molina A, Padula AE, Calil HM. Homeopathic individualized Q-potencies versus fluoxetine for moderate to severe depression: double-blind, randomized non-inferiority trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Aug 17. http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/nep114v1
(7) Bellavite P, Magnani P, Zanolin E, Conforti A. Homeopathic Doses of Gelsemium sempervirens Improve the Behavior of Mice in Response to Novel Environments. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Sep 14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19752165?dopt=Abstract
(8) Magnani P, Conforti A, Zanolin E, Marzotto M, Bellavite P. Dose-effect study of Gelsemium sempervirens in high dilutions on anxiety-related responses in mice. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Apr 20.
(9) Davidson, J, Morrison, R, Shore, J, et al., Homeopathic Treatment of Depression and Anxiety,” Alternative Therapies, January, 1997,3,1:46-49.
(10) Mathie, RT, Robinson, TW. Outcomes from Homeopathic Practice in Medical Practice: A Prospective, Research-Tarageted, Pilot Study, Homeopathy. 2006,95:199-205.
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