Posted on

[Free] Homeopathy Academy for Moms

Hyland’s is sponsoring a Homeopathy Academy for Moms this year …. Join in to learn how to use homeopathy to naturally heal your family from a variety of common health issues that every mom faces, such as:

  • Ear and upper respiratory infections
  • Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
  • Colds and flu
  • Pregnancy (pre-and post natal)
  • Urinary tract infections

You can watch past webinars and register [for free] for future webinars via the link above.

To your health!

 

DISCLAIMER:  THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

  • The information on this site is posted for educational purposes only, and not intended to constitute medical advice. As with any important medical matter, you are advised to consult an experienced health care provider concerning your specific health concerns.
  • No doctor-patient relationship is intended, implied or created by the posting or viewing of information on this site; nor is a doctor-patient relationship created by the submission or exchange of questions or information via email or otherwise with Pamela Lialias.
  • Readers are responsible for their use of information provided on this blog or linked to from this site. Pamela Lialias assumes no liability for the same.
  • Pamela Lialias has made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of information on this blog site, but absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.
  • Always check with your health care provider.
Posted on

Homeopathy 101: Dosing Timing

The last installment of the Homeopathy 101 series, describing homeopathy in general and how I typically use homeopathy for self-care.

Previous posts:

#1 – History

#2 – How remedies are made

#3 – Tools for selecting a remedy

#4 – Process for selecting a remedy

#5 – Selecting a potency

#6 – Forms of dosing

Generally speaking, both for constitutional and acute dosing, my goal is to keep as onward and upward a trajectory as possible.

The sooner you start treating homeopathically, the swifter and more complete the cure can be.  However, homeopathy can help even when an ailment is well under way–sometimes it is more palliative in those situations, sometimes it simple stalls progress of the ailment then slowly treats, and sometimes it parts the clouds after days and days of the flu with nausea/diarrhea/fever/mallaise [yes, I have been there, while pregnant; my thanks to Oscillococcinum for clearing the clouds].

So my goal, as in life, is for the progress to be as onward and upward as possible.  That means a trajectory as close to this as possible, where time is on the horizontal axis and wellbeing is on the vertical axis:

DosingOnwardUpward

For acute prescribing, my general guidelines work like this:

Take a dose.  Take a moment to make a note of when you take the dose.

Make note of the improvement–quality, quantity, and length of time.

If the remedy helps, you have the right remedy.

If the remedy doesn’t help at all, you might have the wrong remedy.

If the improvement lasts two hours or longer, stick with that remedy and potency.  You will know when to re-dose if you have a long plateau [time of no improvement] or a dip / regression in your improvement, as shown below.

DosingIllustrationChart

If it helps the teeniest tiniest bit, you probably need a higher potency.  I call this a ping.  A ping is something like, “It took the edge off the pain for a few minutes but that’s it.”  With pings, my experience is that you really will not get significant benefit from the remedy unless you go up one stop in potency [i.e., from 6c to 30c, 30c to 200c, or 200c to 1M].  If you do not have a higher potency, you can either try to palliate or stall progression of the ailment using the potency you have or by using a loading dose [one dose every 10-20 minutes for one hour] or you can try to increase the potency of the remedy by dissolving a dose of the remedy in 2-4 oz. of water and plussing [shaking / pounding] it 10-30 times before each dose-sip.

Here’s an example of a ping:  A friend’s young daughter was ill on Christmas Eve day.  She was just laying on the sofa all day.  She had flushed cheeks and fever.  I suggested homeopathic Belladonna but my friend thought she had only 30c so she tried to work with that, but the only visible benefit was that her daughter sat up for the first time all day.  Locating some 200c in the cabinet, my friend gave that a try, and by the next day, her daughter had recovered and was well enough to fully participate in Christmas Day festivities, attend church, etc.

If the improvement lasts less than two hours, chances are that you could [but do not need to] go up one stop in potency if you have it on-hand [i.e., from 6c to 30c or 30c to 200c].  If you do not have a higher potency, you can continue working with the potency that you have.  It’ll just take a bit longer to get to cure.  I read a story of a beekeeper who had a systemic reaction to a bee sting and pulled out his remedy kit [all in 6X potencies, which is really low] to take with him on the drive to the hospital.  One dose of Apis 6X seemed to last him about 5 minutes, so he took one dose every 5 minutes while they were en route to the hospital.  By the time he arrived at the hospital, he was fine!

On the other hand, here is an example of the relevance of potency in dosing, though in this example the potencies differed by two stops, which is much more dramatic:  I fell down the stairs while carrying my daughter.  Of course, I tried to take the brunt of the fall, but she did hurt her ankle.  I hurt my arm, wrist, ankle, knee, and thigh.  At least I wasn’t pregnant that time.  Sigh.  Anyway, we were each under the care of different homeopaths at the time.

My homeopath advised me to take some Aconite immediately for the fright, then Arnica 1M.  I took a few doses over a few days and was quite fine within a few days, though I made sure not to over-do it either–to make sure that the actual tissue healed as fully as it felt it was healing.  My daughter’s homeopath believed that only 30c remedies should be used in acute situations.  It took my daughter two weeks to regain full functionality.  We both recovered, but at different rates.

In the rare circumstances where you took too high of a potency, your symptoms might get temporarily worse.  This is termed an aggravation.  Typically, aggravations last a short time and are followed by significant improvement.  For this reason, some homeopaths actually seek to aggravate–I do not!  If you don’t want to ride-out the aggravation, you can either take the same remedy one or two stops down [i.e., from 200c to 30c or 6c, from 1M down to 200c or 30c].  If you do not have a lower potency, put a dose of the remedy in 16 oz. of purified water.  Take a sip-dose and wait a smidge [like 10-15 minutes].  If that does not bring down the aggravation, you can dump out the water, refill it [the remedy’s energy remains in the few water droplets that cling to your vessel] to dilute it some more, take a sip.  Keep dumping and diluting then sipping until your aggravation subsides.

So, you can see that you can use the means by which remedies are made to add or reduce potency.  Pretty cool, huh?

DISCLAIMER:  THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

  • The information on this site is posted for educational purposes only, and not intended to constitute medical advice. As with any important medical matter, you are advised to consult an experienced health care provider concerning your specific health concerns.
  • No doctor-patient relationship is intended, implied or created by the posting or viewing of information on this site; nor is a doctor-patient relationship created by the submission or exchange of questions or information via email or otherwise with Pamela Lialias.
  • Readers are responsible for their use of information provided on this blog or linked to from this site. Pamela Lialias assumes no liability for the same.
  • Pamela Lialias has made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of information on this blog site, but absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.
  • Always check with your health care provider.
Posted on

Homeopathy 101: Forms of Dosing

Part of the Homeopathy 101 series, wherein I’m giving the deets on how I typically handle self-care using homeopathy.

Previous posts include

#1 – History

#2 – How remedies are made

#3 – Tools for selecting a remedy

#4 – Process for selecting a remedy

#5 – Selecting a potency

[And, after this one, #7 – Timing for dosing]

Before getting into the nitty gritty on dosing, it’s worthwhile to look at a few mediums for dosing.  To optimize response to the remedy, I choose different methods based on the situation and person [or animal or plant] getting the remedy.  The three most common forms of dosing are dry, wet / water, and olfactory.

Dry Dosing

Foot Injury Remedy WaterThis is the most typical form of dosing — you dump the little pillules into the cap, then into your mouth, and voila, you have a dose.  The homeopathic remedies in the blue vials made by Boiron and sold in most health food stores in the U.S. do contain lactose, so for those with strong allergies, remedies [or kits] from places like Helios are a better choice since they use sucrose in their pillules.

Pro’s:  Dry doses are highly portable and simple.

Water Dosing

Probably the second most common form of dosing, I generally use 1-3 dry doses in a bottle of 4-16 oz. of purified water.  Distilled is ideal, but I just use water as pure as I have handy as long as it isn’t carbonated.  Just drop the pillules into the water, shake or stir, and your remedy water is ready.

Each sip of the remedy water = a dose of remedy.

You can use glass, a glass jar, a glass bottle, or a plastic water bottle.  I wouldn’t use a metal vessel to hold your remedy water.  I always mark the vessel so it is obvious that it is actually remedy, not plain water [in my house I tend to use paper tape around a glass swing top bottle].

Because water transmits energy so well, be especially careful to keep your remedy water out of direct sunlight and, ideally, away from radiation or heat. The remedy water is good as long as the water is good.  In an acute situation, you are not going to be using the water for too long, so you likely can keep it at room temperature.  [Use your best judgment!]

Pro’s:  Flexibility, extendability, and sensitivity.  I’ll explain …

~ In acute situations, you can extend one dose into many doses just by putting it in water.  You also can put multiple remedies into the water for complex acute situations such as recovery from surgery or injury, extending each of those remedy doses and simplifying the administration of multiple remedies.

~ For sensitive people who tend to aggravate from remedies, water dosing reduces the likelihood of aggravation.  As you’ll learn in the next installment on dosing, water dosing also permits a certain amount of flexibility in increasing and decreasing potency.

~ It also makes nighttime dosing simple, even if you’re only using a single remedy.  A lot of people skimp on nighttime dosing during an acute, and that can slow-down your progress.  Sipping remedy water at night is a simple solution.  [Or prepare a dry dose ahead of time by putting a dry dose into a small cup on the nightstand.]

Olfactory Dosing

This is basically just taking a smell of the remedy in its open glass vial.  But it is a little bit more than that.  My sense is that in olfactory dosing, we let the energy of the remedy in through our mucous membranes in the nose.  So the person taking an olfactory dose has to be truly open to receiving it or the whiff won’t be strong enough, etc.  My experience is that it tends to work well with toddlers.  In my experience, it isn’t necessarily as strong or long-lasting as a dry dose, but there are some pro’s.

Pro’s:  Extendability, sensitivity, flexibility.

~ One dose goes a long way when all you need to do is smell it.  However, I think the glass vial is important:  I am not sure how well it would work for most people if the remedy was in a paper envelope or if a single dose was dropped into the cap of a Boiron vial.

~ For highly sensitive people, this is a respectable dosing modality because the person need only let in the amount of remedy truly needed.  That adds to its flexibility as well, particularly for highly sensitive people.

DISCLAIMER:  THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

  • The information on this site is posted for educational purposes only, and not intended to constitute medical advice. As with any important medical matter, you are advised to consult an experienced health care provider concerning your specific health concerns.
  • No doctor-patient relationship is intended, implied or created by the posting or viewing of information on this site; nor is a doctor-patient relationship created by the submission or exchange of questions or information via email or otherwise with Pamela Lialias.
  • Readers are responsible for their use of information provided on this blog or linked to from this site. Pamela Lialias assumes no liability for the same.
  • Pamela Lialias has made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of information on this blog site, but absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.
  • Always check with your health care provider.
Posted on

Homeopathy 101: Selecting a Potency

In the Homeopathy 101 series …

1.  History

2.  How

3.  Tools

4.  Selection

Once you know which remedy best matches your most prominent symptoms, you will be looking at potency.

Matching the potency to the ailment and the person [or animal or plant] can be of the utmost importance.  However, occasionally we can use a less-ideal potency [if it is the only one we have!].  In this post, I’ll explain my general guidelines for how to select a potency.  The next post on dosing will cover how to work with a potency that is too high or too low.  [And, incase you are wondering, while most homeopaths would err on the side of going too low in potency, I would err on the side of stocking higher potencies, mostly because I use remedies only when we really really need them, and those are typically higher potency situations.]

There’s a kind of general belief in homeopathy that the low and middle potencies [6c-200c] are most useful for ailments with a strong physical presentation.  The potencies above 200c [1M, 10M] have been considered potencies for issues of emotional strength.  This applies largely to constitutional prescribing, however.

When you are looking at a bee sting, a bruise, the flu, that kind of thing, these are the guidelines I use for selecting a potency:

It is really minor, maybe just irritating–or it is a delicate situation:  6c

It is an ailment where aggravating it could be problematic:  6c, 12c, or 30c [i.e., reduce what you’d normally select by a level or two, so if you’d normally think 200c, go down to 30c or 12c]

This feels icky but I’ll be okay; relief would be nice though:  30c

Ugh, I’m miserable and nothing seems to help:  200c

200c didn’t help:  1M + a plan to get medical attention

A few centesimal potencies of Arnica
A few centesimal potencies of Arnica

Arnica Montana is probably the most commonly used homeopathic remedy.  By way of illustration, here are a few examples of how I’ve seen or used Arnica in various potencies:

Arnica 6c:  Our babysitter was a champion ballroom dancer, but she was suffering from sore muscles after practice.  She took a single dose of Arnica 6c after practices and no longer suffered from the sore muscles.

Arnica 30c:  My then-3 y.o. son was playing with a racquetball with my husband.  A bouncing ball hit my kiddo in the eye.  I pulled out the Arnica 30c for the first time ever on that day–a friend had given it to me–and gave him a single dose.  I was amazed when my son felt better within minutes and that a black eye never did form.

Arnica 200c:  My son, 1 y.o. at the time, fell and hit his head on a wire rack at a store.  His forehead ballooned, and the cold pack the store brought didn’t help at all.  I gave him Arnica 200c and the swelling went down considerably and quickly, and he was no longer bothered by the injury.  Our possible trip to the ER was cancelled.

Arnica 1M:  We were at a remote farm when my then 10 y.o. son, while holding a carrot, turned his back on a young, male draft horse.  The horse nibbled for the carrot and got my son’s back.  The injury fashioned a fantastic bruise immediately, which was swelling quickly.  I gave him some Arnica 200c, and it barely helped and only for a few minutes [I call that a ‘ping’ by the way–more on that in the next Homeopathy 101 post on dosing].  I gave him Arnica 1M, and he was able to ride home comfortably, the swelling having dissolved.  I checked in with his homeopath and ended up giving him maybe 1-2 more doses of Arnica 1M over the next couple of days before switching to Calendula 200c when the bruise turned yellow.  He then took a couple of doses of Calendula 200c over a couple of days … and that was that.

Getting Prepared

For a first aid kit that is used in urgent situations, you’d be looking at 200c, perhaps one or two 1M remedies [like Arnica for soft tissue trauma and Hypericum for injury to nerve centers].  The Helios accidents & emergencies kit is all 200c potencies.  Other first aid kits are offered at homeopathic pharmacies in 30c.  General use kits often are offered in 30c but you can also find them with some 30c and some 200c where the remedy is provided in its most commonly used potency, and many other combinations.

If you do not have the correct potency, you can sometimes finagle it anyway.  I’ll cover those details in the next post on dosing.

 

DISCLAIMER:  THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

  • The information on this site is posted for educational purposes only, and not intended to constitute medical advice. As with any important medical matter, you are advised to consult an experienced health care provider concerning your specific health concerns.
  • No doctor-patient relationship is intended, implied or created by the posting or viewing of information on this site; nor is a doctor-patient relationship created by the submission or exchange of questions or information via email or otherwise with Pamela Lialias.
  • Readers are responsible for their use of information provided on this blog or linked to from this site. Pamela Lialias assumes no liability for the same.
  • Pamela Lialias has made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of information on this blog site, but absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.
  • Always check with your health care provider.
Posted on

Homeopathy 101: Selecting a Remedy, The Process

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 HomeHealing with Homeopathy written by two MD’s if that is your comfort level, Hpathy.comNational Center for Homeopathy Remedy Finder [make sure you click on All at the end of the alphabet before each search.

Miranda Castro's  Complete Homeopathy Handbook Internal Repertory
Miranda Castro’s Complete Homeopathy Handbook Internal Repertory

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.]

Detail of Simplified Repertory
Detail of Simplified Repertory

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.

Sample of Materia Medica--read about your ailment and any general remedy information
Sample of Materia Medica–read about your ailment and any general remedy information

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.

The first of many pages of results for a simple search of "appetite" using Complete Dynamics.  Each symptom listed is called a "rubric."
The first of many pages of results for a simple search of “appetite” using Complete Dynamics. Each symptom listed is called a “rubric.”
Some of the Appetite Wanting rubrics on Complete Dynamics.  A lot more than the two listed under Appetite in Miranda Castro's repertory!
Some of the Appetite Wanting rubrics on Complete Dynamics. A lot more than the two listed under Appetite in Miranda Castro’s repertory!

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!

A search for "appetite alternating" yields a variety of potential rubrics, including a close match.  The [11] after the highlighted rubric indicates 11 remedy matches for that rubric.
A search for “appetite alternating” yields a variety of potential rubrics, including a close match. The [11] after the highlighted rubric indicates 11 remedy matches for that rubric.
The analysis shows the top remedies  for both rubrics, Waning Appetite and Waning Appetite Alternating with Excessive/Ravenous/Canine Appetite.
The analysis shows the top remedies for both rubrics, Waning Appetite and Waning Appetite Alternating with Excessive/Ravenous/Canine Appetite.

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.

What Next?

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.

 

DISCLAIMER:  THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

  • The information on this site is posted for educational purposes only, and not intended to constitute medical advice. As with any important medical matter, you are advised to consult an experienced health care provider concerning your specific health concerns.
  • No doctor-patient relationship is intended, implied or created by the posting or viewing of information on this site; nor is a doctor-patient relationship created by the submission or exchange of questions or information via email or otherwise with Pamela Lialias.
  • Readers are responsible for their use of information provided on this blog or linked to from this site. Pamela Lialias assumes no liability for the same.
  • Pamela Lialias has made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of information on this blog site, but absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.
  • Always check with your health care provider.
Posted on

Homeopathy 101: Selecting a Remedy, The Tools

Post #3 in the Homeopathy 101 series about homeopathy in general as well as how to use it for self-care.  (1:  How Homeopathy Started, 2:  Potencies & How Remedies Are Made.)

Some Repertory Categories
Some Repertory Categories

Homeopaths traditionally have used two main types of references to select remedies:  repertories and materia medica.

Repertory section on coldness in extremities;  notice the boldface "Bell." [indicating the homeopathic remedy Belladonna] in the subcategory, with convulsions.
Repertory section on coldness in extremities; notice the boldface “Bell.” [indicating the homeopathic remedy Belladonna] in the subcategory, with convulsions.
A repertory is basically a big index organized by category (namely body part or function such as Mind, Sleep, Ears, Extremities) and symptoms within those categories.  Next to the relevant ailment and symptom, a list of potential remedies is given using the abbreviation for each remedy.  There also typically is a means of classifying the remedies–those in capital letters or bold typeface typically are the strongest contenders, then italics, and finally normal typeface.

Numerous repertories have been published, often with older terms for ailments and symptoms.  More commonly today, homeopaths use computerized repertories.  Complete Dynamics offers a free download of their searchable Complete Repertory, which features more contemporary wording.  The free version includes the whole repertory and only a few remedies of materia medica.

 

Materia Medica on Belladonna regarding limbs.  Notice the bold, italicized, "Cold limbs"?
Materia Medica on Belladonna regarding limbs. Notice the bold, italicized, “Cold limbs”?

 

Materia Medica is a more in-depth look at the individual remedies, listing what would be in the repertory for that remedy.  The materia medica typically provides the full name of the remedy, its abbreviation, and often how the remedy was made.  In modern texts you’ll also find more qualitative information, giving you a feel for the remedy and who might benefit from it.

The two references often are compressed in homeopathic self-care books such that one simply searches for an ailment and finds a list of potential remedies with a bit of relevant materia medica after each remedy.  Blogs and websites also offer this kind of resource.  National Center for Homeopathy‘s new website has some good user-friendly information listed by ailment, too.

Combination books also are available, both for self-care and for homeopathic students and professionals.  These have repertories for the more common symptoms as well as materia medica for related remedies.  The National Center for Homeopathy‘s website includes several classic repertories and materia medica accessible to members [$55/year, which also gets you the Homeopathy Today magazine, which is a nice introduction to homeopathy for both acute and chronic issues].

Pages from Healing with Homeopathy by Jonas and Jacobs
Pages from Healing with Homeopathy by Jonas and Jacobs

 

When you start perusing homeopathic texts, you might notice two seemingly inconsistent aspects:  One remedy can be helpful for many different ailments, and one ailment can be helped by many different remedies.

So, for instance, in the above photos, you’ll notice that three different remedies are listed in the repertory for coldness in the extremities with convulsions, Belladonna amongst them.  One symptom, multiple possible remedies.

In the materia medica, Belladonna covers a variety of ailments [typically with a kind of hallmark imprint in both the physical and mental symptoms–in the case of Belladonna, it tends to be flushed, shiny red; violence of attack; sudden onset].  Typically, for each section of the repertory, any given remedy will have some action.  So Belladonna doesn’t help only with cold extremities with convulsions.  It also helps during ear infections where the ears are hot and sensitive [and guess what?  shiny red and inflamed with … sudden onset and such a violence of attack that a child enduring a Belladonna-eligible ear infection might cry out during the night].  One remedy, benefits multiple possible ailments.

The goal when selecting a remedy is to use both the Repertory and the Materia Medica to find the greatest overlap between symptom[s] and remedy.

A variety of remedies may cover the symptom, some remedies will cover the symptom more emphatically, and some will cover more of the symptoms [if there is more than one symptom].
A variety of remedies may cover the symptom, some remedies will cover the symptom more emphatically, and some will cover more of the symptoms [if there is more than one symptom].

I’m going to wait to go into greater detail about how to select a remedy to give you time to familiarize yourself with the tools and absorb all of this!  That will help make the remedy-selection process easier to understand.

There are a few resources that I find really user-friendly for beginners to homeopathy who simply want to use homeopathy for self-care:

Gabriel Pinto’s book, Homeopathy for Children

Panos’ book, Homeopathic Medicine at Home

Healing with Homeopathy, written by two MD’s

Hpathy.com

National Center for Homeopathy Remedy Finder [make sure you click on All at the end of the alphabet before each search]

As well as this blog, of course!

If you want some more detailed, time-honored choices, check these out:

Boericke:  Online, Kindle, or Hardcover

Kent:  Repertory or Materia Medica

Robin Murphy is a big favorite for a more modern repertory and materia medica.  Two practitioners whom I respect have touted Murphy’s work–one as the repertory she keeps on the nightstand incase of midnight phone calls, and the other as the books from which she finally fully understood the remedies’ essences.

 

DISCLAIMER:  THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

  • The information on this site is posted for educational purposes only, and not intended to constitute medical advice. As with any important medical matter, you are advised to consult an experienced health care provider concerning your specific health concerns.
  • No doctor-patient relationship is intended, implied or created by the posting or viewing of information on this site; nor is a doctor-patient relationship created by the submission or exchange of questions or information via email or otherwise with Pamela Lialias.
  • Readers are responsible for their use of information provided on this blog or linked to from this site. Pamela Lialias assumes no liability for the same.
  • Pamela Lialias has made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of information on this blog site, but absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.
  • Always check with your health care provider.
Posted on

Homeopathy 101: Potencies & How Remedies Are Made

Entry 2 in my baby steps blog posts about homeopathy as well as how to use it for self-care.  [Entry 1:  How Homeopathy Started.]    Maybe I should call it my Homeopathic Empowerment Series.

MedicatingPotency
Medicating Potency, Unmedicated Granules, Vial of Remedy

For me, homeopathy is empowering.  Even knowing how remedies are made is empowering:  If you understand how remedies gain potency, you are able to better understand and fine-tune dosing for yourself and your family.

Homeopathic remedies are made by first grinding up a substance, then serially diluting it and succussing it.  Succussing [pounding] also is referred to as “potentizing” because it is here that the remedy gains its potency.

This results in a liquid sometimes called the medicating potency.  The medicating potency is then applied to various kinds of sugar pillules or into a liquid formula.

Tip:  Because there is no additional protective coating [such as one might find on Advil], we typically pour the requisite pillules into the remedy’s vial cap, then directly under the tongue.  This reduces the likelihood that some of the remedy will rub-off on your hand, etc.  It also means that this rule is not rigid–it is only an optimization technique!

More details ….

A mortar and pestle often is used to triturate a remedy.
A mortar and pestle often is used to triturate a remedy.

The grinding process is called trituration, and it’s much like grinding spices or grains with a mortar-and-pestel.

How often a remedy is serially diluted and succussed determines its potency.  The more dilution-succussions a remedy undergoes, the more potent it becomes.  So, the higher a remedy’s potency, the more diluted it is.

Tip:  In a pinch, when you need a higher potency but only have a lower potency, you can recall this information to increase the potency by putting the remedy in water and then pounding it to increase potency.

Potencies are given using a number and a letter [or letters].  The number represents the number of dilution-succussions, and the letter represents the potency scale used.

A few centesimal potencies of Arnica
A few centesimal potencies of Arnica

The potency scale is determined by how much a remedy is diluted in each dilution-succussion.  Three potency scales are employed in homeopathic practice, though the most typical scale is the centesimal scale.  The centesimal scale is represented by potencies that are followed by a c/C, ck/CK, CH, or M [M being 1000C and above]. In the centesimal scale, the dilution is a 1:100 ratio.

Typical potencies in self-care are 6c, 30c, and 200c.

Thus, a remedy such as Arnica 30c would be made by taking the whole Arnica plant, grinding it up [typically with milk sugar], then diluting it 1:100 and pounding 10 times.  This dilution-succussion process would be employed 30 times for a 30c.

A side-note:  although homeopathic remedies reach Avogadro’s Number by the 30c potency [meaning none of the original substance exists in it], newer technology is now able to recognize energetic imprints of the original substance in higher potencies.

So, a little background helps us understand why many people refer to homeopathy as a form of energy medicine–it is essentially the energetic imprint of the original substance which offers itself in a homeopathic remedy and brings our vital force one step closer to full health.

Posted on

Resources

Introductions to Homeopathy

If you are new to the concept of homeopathy, the two books I typically recommend are Beyond Flat Earth Medicine and Impossible Cure.  Beyond Flat Earth Medicine is written by an ND/MD and is a  simple introduction to the idea of homeopathy.  By comparison, Impossible Cure is a detailed introduction to homeopathy and can be especially helpful for those who are seriously interested in pursuing constitutional homeopathic treatment.  I have found both books at the library, too.

The National Center for Homeopathy [NCH] is another resource.  They put out a newsstand magazine called Homeopathy Today, which is aimed at introducing people to homeopathy and providing useful information to those new to homeopathy.  The NCH also is the main contact point in the United States for media, policy engagement, etc.  NCH membership also brings access to the Homeopathy Today archives and a couple of online homeopathic repertories.

Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathic Remedies

Beginners Level Home Treatment

For those interested in self-treatment using homeopathy, I have found the following books and website useful:

Homeopathy for Children is a nice, basic book.  Even though it says it is for children, the indications are essentially the same for all ages.  In fact, I think prescribing for a child is harder, so this book makes it even easier to find a remedy for an adult.  The remedy descriptions are detailed and offered in bullet-point lists.  It also offers a dosing schedule, etc.

Healing with Homeopathy is a nice introductory book written by MD’s who use homeopathy.

Hpathy.com also has [FREE!] detailed descriptions of homeopathic remedies used for common ailments such as cough and injuries.  [A quick tip:  catarrh is basically mucous.]

Helios also makes homeopathic kits that are completely self-contained and compact.  The remedies are in small vials [though each pillule is a dose, so each vial contains 30-some doses].  It also contains a small booklet that describes how to use the kit and homeopathic remedies.

Intermediate Level Home Treatment

A detailed book for homeopathic self-care, Homeopathic Medicine at Home, has remedy options for each ailment, and then each section ends with a comparative table that can be very helpful.

Miranda Castro is a great resource for acute prescribing in homeopathy, and her simplified repertory and materia medica are a great next step.  The Complete Homeopathic Handbook is mainly a materia medica with a repertory at the back.  Materia Medica is the detailed description of each remedy, and the Repertory is essentially a list of symptoms followed by the remedies that can benefit those suffering those symptoms.  [Incidentally, her succinct write-up on cell salts also is of interest to the intermediate home user, and her flu remedies article with summarizing table is a nice resource too.]

Additionally, there are books written to help the home user treat pets, plants and home gardens, livestock, farm animals, horses, and even farm crops.

Homeopathic Courses

There are a number of homeopathy schools around the world, many of which are conforming to standards that allow for certification as a homeopath upon graduation.

If you want to learn more about homeopathy for use with family and friends or to become a lay homeopath, you can do it from home through a variety of courses, including Luminos, which is the online program with which I started.  Luminos has an online foundation course and a more advanced Homeopathic Master Clinician course, which takes place in person.