Edinburgh Natural Health Centre Homeopathy

Homeopathic Remedies
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homeopathic remedies

homeopathic tablets
homeopathic remedies and tablets



What does the remedy look like and how much does the patient need to take?

The remedy is often in the form of small pills or a drop of a liquid, which the patient may take monthly, weekly, or daily, depending on what the homoeopath thinks the patient needs. The main point to remember is that homoeopathy believes in giving the patient the minimum amount of remedy that is required to bring about cure. Homoeopathy does not believe in overdosing: it is a gentle and non-invasive method.

More on Remedies
‘Remedy’ is the name used for a homeopathic medicine. Remedies are made from substances that have been found to produce a reaction in the body. Most remedies are made from substances that are normally regarded as poisonous, such as Arsenic and bee venom. However, they are administered in such minute quantities that they have a stimulating effect on the body rather than a destructive effect.

Sources of remedies include minerals, (eg calcium) chemicals (Potassium bromide), vegetable (digitalis, from deadly nightshade), and animal (Vespa, from the sting of a wasp.) They also include what we regard as foods, such as Coffea from coffee, and Allium from onion, because these can produce quite strong reactions in susceptible individuals. (For example, peeling an onion produces smarting in the eyes with tears.)

A substance becomes a homeopathic remedy only when it would produce in a healthy person the symptoms being suffered by an ill person. Although it may have been prepared by potentising (see potency), a substance is not homeopathic unless it would produce the symptoms you are trying to cure. This is the basic theory behind homeopathy, that Like Cures Like. (Similia similibus curentur – let similars be cured by similars.)

So it makes no sense to say that a toothpaste is homeopathic. It would be homeopathic only if it produced – in healthy volunteers – bad teeth! However, many toothpastes are sold as ‘homeopathic’ by which is meant that the toothpaste is either compatible (ie will not antidote the remedy you have taken) with homeopathic remedies or that it contains substances thought to have a beneficial effect on the teeth.

It is probably better to avoid the latter kind of toothpaste if you are receiving professional homeopathic treatment as the herbs and other substances in the toothpaste may actually confuse your symptom picture for the homeopath.

Isopathy and Vaccination
Homeopathy is based on the theory that ‘Like Cures Like’. It does not say that ‘Same cures Same’ (Isopathy)!

Isopathy means same suffering, and vaccination is based on Isopathic principles, about which, for homeopaths, there is no generally accepted opinion, except that, when treating an illness, the isopathic substance is not the best approach, compared with a homeopathic remedy.

However, isopathic substances which are based on toxic materials (called ‘nosodes’) taken from diseased individuals are sometimes used in the belief (not a homeopathic belief) that they may be preventative, like a vaccination.

We would urge you not to rely on a nosode to prevent the disease associated with it. Nosodes play an important part in homeopathy, and are frequently used, but mainly for reasons other than to prevent the illnesses associated with them.

It is therefore, strictly speaking, not correct to say that immunisation is homeopathic or that, say, a ‘flu vaccination will always cure, or even prevent, influenza.

Indeed, experience by homeopaths over two centuries has tended to show that vaccination causes as many problems as it appears to prevent.

Storing and keeping Remedies
Remedies should be kept in airtight bottles, preferably opaque or dark glass, and away from sources of electromagnetic energy, such as heat, light, sunlight, high temperatures, microwaves, electric motors, televisions, and also strong smelling substances like perfume, disinfectants, nail-polish, cleansing agents etc.

The bottle should be opened for as short a time as possible when removing a remedy. Do not breathe into the bottle. If an extra pill or tablet falls out other than into the cap of the bottle, do not replace the pill or tablet back in the bottle: instead, discard it. Never put anything else in the bottle. When the bottle is empty, start a new bottle. To store remedies, do not re-use bottles that are empty but have been used for storing other things or substances, even homeopathic remedies, even the same homeopathic remedy!

Taking a remedy
If you are extracting a remedy from a bottle with a top, unscrew or remove the top or cap of the bottle, tip the pill into the cap and from there into you palm or a clean spoon, then into your mouth. (We presume you have clean hands!) Immediately replace the bottle top. Try not to do this where there are strong smells, or chemicals, or cooking odours nearby, because these odours may enter the bottle and contaminate its contents.

Having put the remedy in your mouth, let it dissolve there before swallowing it. Have nothing else in your mouth for at least 15 minutes on either side of taking the remedy. That means, do not take food, drink, tobacco, drugs, herbs, medications or toothpaste – or anything else in your mouth! – for 15 minutes before, and 15 minutes after taking the homeopathic remedy.

Hahnemann considered that, such being the minuteness of the dose used in homeopathic remedies, it was unwise to take anything that might upset its action.

Possibly antidoting substances include...

  • coffee, (whether or not decaffeinated),
  • menthol,
  • camphor,
  • peppermint or other strong mints,
  • eucalyptus, and any strongly smelling or medicinally-active substance.

Nowadays, our general advice is to avoid those substances which are highlighted in the above paragraph for the duration of homeopathic treatment. Remember that your treatment is continuing even when you are taking a remedy only occasionally, such as once a month, or even if your homeopath decides to wait, rather than prescribe another remedy.

However, life being what it is, this is not always possible. People forget the suggestions, and sometimes the remedies work despite this. However, if the action of a remedy has been antidoted or partly antidoted, it can be difficult for the homeopath to choose the next remedy.

Once you are better, by all means take coffee etc, unless you have found that it has a detrimental effect on you.

Keep a note of how you react to the remedy.

Unless the situation is acute, remedies are usually allowed to act for about a month before the follow-up appointment, though we sometimes ask to see you after two weeks to make sure that progress is being made. When keeping notes, get in the habit of noting changes on a daily basis: it is not that we want to see the notes – in fact we don’t: we want the oral, edited version! – but it is easy to forget how you were.

After taking a remedy, you sometimes notice a worsening of some or all of the symptoms you are trying to get rid of, or the return of earlier symptoms which you might even have forgotten about. This happens for some people, and if it happens to you, do please keep careful notes of the order and severity of the symptoms, as this is often an important pointer to future improvement. If you are in doubt, do ring us: one minute's reassurance on the telephone can make all the difference!

Avoid prescribing remedies for yourself if you are having homeopathic treatment from a professional homeopath: and for six months after you stop having treatment for a long-standing condition, as what you give yourself can interfere with the action of a remedy given for the chronic condition.

Otherwise, try it. When you get the right remedy, you will be pleasantly surprised how fast it works.

However, a small warning!
When you are ill, you are not necessarily the best person to take a detached view of your condition. When we are sick, we make sick decisions. So ask a friend. To find the right remedy, you must stand back and look at your situation objectively. And sometimes your emotional state may be as important in choosing the remedy as any of your physical symptoms. You may think you are being objective when everyone round you thinks you are being intolerably objectionable!