Post #4 in the Homeopathy 101 series covering the fundamentals of homeopathy so that you can use it effectively for minor issues or even to understand your homeopathic care for chronic issues.
Post #1: How Homeopathy Started
Post #2: How Homeopathic Remedies Are Made
Post #3: Selecting a Remedy, The Tools
Now that you understand the tools that traditionally are used for selecting a remedy, I bet you’re eager to put them to use!
As with many areas in life, there is a spectrum of possibilities in homeopathy. You can keep it simple, get detailed, or even go intuitive like I now do much of the time.
Easy Way: In your homeopathic kit brochure or one of the more compressed / beginner self-care books or websites, simply search for the ailment. Look up cough, cold, acne, hay fever/allergies, flu, bruise, sore throat, vomiting, sunburn … you get the idea.
Once you have the correct ailment category, you need to read the various remedy descriptions to find the one that most closely fits your symptom picture. When you get to this part, recall the Venn Diagram where you are looking for the biggest overlap between the remedy and your symptoms.
It is important when you are first starting to remember that your symptom picture might not be exactly like any one of the remedies listed, so pick the remedy that most closely describes what you are experiencing.
As a reminder, there are a few resources that I find user-friendly for beginners to homeopathy: Gabriel Pinto’s book, Homeopathy for Children, Panos’ book, Homeopathic Medicine at Home, Healing with Homeopathy written by two MD’s if that is your comfort level, Hpathy.com, National Center for Homeopathy Remedy Finder [make sure you click on All at the end of the alphabet before each search.
More Detailed, Still Easy Method: If you are ready for a more involved [and likely more precise] remedy selection process, turn to a repertory-cum-materia medica. The simplest thorough self-care book I know is Miranda Castro’s The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. With a resource like this, you will first use the repertory to find your ailment [termed Internal Repertory and starting on page 165 in Miranda Castro’s book].
Not all of the remedies covered in the more advanced books will be available at your local health food store, so you may wish to purchase Castro’s kit or another pre-assembled kit [like Washington Homeopathic or Helios], or just obtain remedies as you go along.
Most likely, once you find your ailment, you will find additional sub-categories, and maybe even sub-sub categories! For instance, in Castro’s book, under Appetite, there are two sub-categories, Alternating with hunger and Lost. So that category covers a lost appetite [Chin., Ferr-m.] or likely a lost appetite alternating with hunger [Ferr-m.]. The remedy abbreviations are in italics after the category/sub-category title. [You can click on each of these photos to open it to a larger size if you are interested in the details.]
Once again, you’d be looking for the remedy that most completely covered your symptom picture. Here, if you were experiencing both a sense of lost appetite and hunger, you first would consider Ferr-m.
That means taking a look in the materia medica for Ferr-m. So look up remedies beginning with “Ferr,” which is Ferrum [or iron]. Sometimes there are multiple versions, so there might be a Ferr-m and Ferr-p. Make sure you have the right one. Then read the detailed information about that remedy to see if it quite correctly captures your symptom picture. It will include information on the emotional/mental state, possible causes, and general symptoms applying to people needing the remedy for any reason.
You don’t need to have all of the other Ferr-m ailments in order to benefit from Ferr-m for lost appetite!
Just look for your ailment, read that portion, and then reference the general remedy information [general symptoms, emotional/mental symptoms] to confirm your choice or if you remain unsure or curious.
Hopefully, at this point, you feel quite solid that you’ve found the remedy that will most help you. If not, rinse and repeat: Go back to the repertory, check out the other categories/sub-categories, and look up those possible remedies in the materia medica portion.
Remember that you are looking for the closest match, not necessarily an exact match.
The Full Deal: You also can use resources like Boericke, Kent, or Murphy [links in Post #3]. Or a computer repertory like Complete Dynamics. The process is much the same as with the simplified repertory-materia medica, but the books/software are way more detailed and instead of being organized by ailment, it is organized by symptom.
That means you should choose your chief symptom[s], locate them in the repertory. Most of the time, this sounds much easier than it is, though using a computer repertory like Complete Dynamics makes it easier because you can search for your ailment then choose the relevant symptoms to add to your analysis. And the analysis is done for you!
If you are to the point in your use of homeopathy that you want to get this detailed, it’s probably time to start a more formal study course.
Easiest Way: I gotta tell you, if you are in-tune with your intuition or your connection to Spirit, one of the easiest ways to select a remedy is to ask for help from above! You could run through a list of remedies and use your usual method to determine which one is right. I always like to double-check that with published information about the remedy in a materia medica if I can. Some people use muscle-testing to select from a finite number of remedies, too.
Once you have selected the correct remedy, it is time to select a potency and dosing schedule, so stay tuned for that information in the next Homeopathy 101 blog post!
Meanwhile, though, take a look at these Top Remedy lists:
Mine, which is in a printable reference sheet that is approximately wallet-sized
Edward Shalts, in the form of a book
And, from National Center for Homeopathy:
5 Remedies You Must Have in Your Medicine Cabinet!
Arnica – The #1 “accident remedy” for bruises, bumps, and bleeding. Take immediately after injury or surgery. You will be amazed at how quickly you heal! Also helps jet lag.
Aconite – The “fright remedy” relieves states of shock and panic. Also used for colds or flu that come on suddenly after exposure to cold wind.
Ignatia – The “grief remedy” soothes those suffering loss (e.g., death, divorce, relocation), especially if they sigh frequently.
Nux Vomica – The “hangover remedy” for overindulgence in food or drink with irritability. Helps most acute digestive distress.
Chamomilla – The “teething remedy” helps sick kids who are angry, demanding, inconsolable, and want to be carried. Soothes teething, colic and earaches.
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