Homeopathy is a safe and natural form of medicine that uses plant, animal, and mineral substances in miniscule, diluted doses to stimulate the body’s innate ability to heal.
Its use is so common in some European countries that it’s no longer considered “alternative.”
Regulated by the US Food & Drug Administration as drugs, homeopathic medicines are both prescribed (usually as single remedies, specific to your situation) and sold over the counter (as singles or combination formulas, designed to address the most common symptoms).
Homeopathic formulations can help with acute and even chronic ailments. One UK study found that homeopathic treatment produced positive results for a large number of patients with chronic ailments over a six-year period. Approximately 70 percent of patients reported some degree of improvement, and 50 percent described their condition as better or much better.
Allium cepa for burning, stinging, and swelling eyes. You may also have thin, watery discharge from the nose.
Ambrosia for allergies to ragweed.
Sabadilla for frequent, spasmodic sneezing.
Solidago for goldenrod allergies.
If you’re not sure which individual remedy to use, try a homeopathic combination product for allergies.
Aesculus for lower back or pelvic pain that’s worse when sitting.
Bryonia for back pain and stiffness that’s aggravated by motion.
Calcarea carbonica for chronic lower back pain and weakness.
Hypericum for shooting pains that are the result of injury.
Magnesia phosphorica for muscle spasms that respond to warmth.
Chronic back pain may also be improved by acupuncture, chiropractic care, exercise, physical therapy, or massage.
Ignatia for acute grief, particularly after the loss of a loved one, job, or relationship.
Pulsatilla for those who weep easily and are openly emotional.
Natrum murlaticum helps a person who is stoic. When alone, you may sob uncontrollably.
Homeopathic remedies can aid passage through a depressive state. However, it’s essential to see a professional if depression continues or worsens or if there are thoughts of suicide.
Arnica, the first choice for deep tenderness, especially after exertion.
Causticum for sore, stiff muscles and joints, especially from cold.
Rhus tox for pain and stiffness in early morning or after resting.
Homeopathy can be a helpful complementary treatment along with a holistic approach; one study found that 42 percent of those with fibromyalgia experienced short-term relief when using Rhus tox.
Argentum nit for those with vivid imaginations and anxiety.
Bryonia when business and everyday problems keep you awake.
Calcarea carb, useful for light sleepers who have trouble waking in the morning.
Coffea for overstimulation, often with waking in the wee hours.
Up to two-thirds of Americans suffer from insomnia. The two basic manifestations are problems falling asleep or awakening too early. Develop regular bedtime routines and eat lightly in the evening.
The Complete Homeopathic Resource for Common Illnesses by Dennis Chernin, MD, MPH ($29.95, North Atlantic Books, 2006)
“A Homeopathic Perspective on Allergies (Respiratory)” by Dana Ullman, MPH, www.homepathic.com
“Homeopathic Treatment for Chronic Disease: A 6-year, University-Hospital Outpatient Observational Study” by D. S. Spence et al., J Alt Complement Med, 10/05
Homeopathy A-Z by Dana Ullman, MPH ($19.95, Hay House, 2006)
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