Homeopathic remedies reduce outdoor worries

It was early September. As per my usual daily routine, I was dropping my two kids off at their Montessori school. Aysha, my very mature and independent 5-year-old, bounded up the school steps and greeted the teacher at the door confidently. Her younger sister, Sahara, age four, was not as keen as her sister to get to class. Sahara, who is more goofy by nature, was more interested in hanging and climbing on the metal railing outside of the school. As she placed her hand on the metal bars, her silly smile turned into a painful grimace and she let out a bloodcurdling scream. She started crying hysterically. I ran to see what had happened and discovered the source of her distress, a huge wasp on the railing. Her hand was swollen from the sting, and I could tell by the size of the wasp and by her reaction that she was in a lot of pain.

Other parents were giving me advice such as, “Put some baking soda on it,” but I knew exactly what to do. I rushed Sahara home and promptly gave her a couple doses of homeopathic Apis mellifica. Immediately, the swelling went down, and Sahara collected herself and stopped screaming. Half an hour after she was stung, I sent her back to school with a few doses of Apis in her pocket. Later that night, all traces of the bee sting were gone. (Of course, if you are allergic to bee venom or are showing signs of a severe reaction to a sting, go immediately to the nearest emergency room.)

Homeopathy is a system of natural medicine that has been used effectively for chronic and acute health conditions for more than 200 years. It was first pioneered by German doctor Samuel Hahnemann. It is such a versatile form of medicine that it can also be used for first aid. Unfortunately, homeopathy is not very well known in North America. It is, however, very popular in other parts of the world, such as Europe and India. In London, for example, they even have a homeopathic hospital. Prince Charles is a very loyal and vocal advocate for homeopathy.

Homeopathic remedies come in sugar-pill form, and are therefore very pleasant and sweet-tasting. Parents have no problem getting their kids to take homeopathic remedies because of this. Homeopathic remedies should always be taken dry, with no food or drink, dissolved under the tongue. They can be purchased at local health-food stores or at some homeopathic clinics. Most homeopathic products in Canada are distributed by a homeopathic company based in Quebec, called Boiron. Some homeopathic clinics also sell homeopathic first-aid kits, which I strongly believe no household should be without.

I rely solely on my homeopathic first-aid kit for my children’s injuries. Whenever Sahara and Aysha fall down or get injured, I immediately reach for the Arnica bottle after the normal cleaning of any scrapes or cuts. Arnica is a remedy that is good for any type of injury, especially for the prevention of bruising and swelling after a fall or impact. Immediately after taking one dose of Arnica, my children stop crying. Before using Arnica, my children bruised normally just like other children. Now, because I usually use this remedy, they hardly ever bruise. Also, if they have hit themselves on the head and a goose egg appears, I give them a few doses of Arnica and the swelling goes down and the goose egg disappears within a few hours. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. I use it only in a high 1M potency. Because of this strength, only one dose is needed. For more severe impacts, the 1M might have to be repeated a few more times in 15- to 30-minute intervals.

When it comes to injuries, Arnica is unbelievably useful. I cannot say enough good things about this remedy. It is like magic. After any type of injury, whether it be a muscle strain, puncture wound, or bruise, take one dose of Arnica first. After that, give one of the remedies listed below for the specific type of injury that is indicated.

Apis was mentioned at the beginning of this article. It is a very good remedy to have on hand, one that is used to take away the pain, swelling, and redness after a bee sting or insect bite. I like to use this remedy in a 200C potency, repeated every 15 to 30 minutes for a few doses.

To prevent infection, homeopaths use a remedy called Ledum palustre. If your child is running around the beach or park barefoot and steps on glass or a rusty nail that pierces the skin, think of Ledum. If the wound looks serious, you can administer this remedy on your way to the hospital. Common sense is, obviously, your best defence. It is also useful to prevent infection after an animal bite. Ledum works best in the 30C potency. It can be given every 15 to 30 minutes in three doses, then can be given three times a day until the danger of infection has passed. If an infection develops that quickly gets worse or does not respond to this treatment, visit emergency.

We also use Calendula cream topically, which is very good for closing minor open wounds.

Hypericum is a remedy that we use for injuries to nerves. The main indication for Hypericum is shooting pain. In cases where there is a wound that is already infected, Ledum will not help. Once a wound is infected and there is shooting pain, you must use Hypericum. It is also a useful remedy for any kind of nerve pain and spinal injuries. This remedy works best in the 30C or 200C potency, repeated every 15 to 30 minutes until there is relief. Of course, if the injury or infection is serious, use your common sense and also visit the doctor or hospital.

Now we are going to talk about two very common sports-injury remedies: Rhus toxicodendron and Bryonia. Rhus tox and Bryonia are for injuries to the muscles, joints, and tendons. Bryonia is the right medicine if the injury is worse from any kind of motion and better from lying down and not moving the injured part. With a Rhus tox injury, the injury might be worse from starting to move, but once the person gets moving the injury feels better. Generally, with Rhus tox, movement brings relief to the injury. For these remedies, use either the 30C or 200C potency. A few repetitions 15 to 30 minutes apart should bring relief. If the problem is more chronic, a 30C potency repeated three times a day may be necessary.

For injuries of the cartilage, bones, and ligaments, we use Ruta graveolens. It can also be a useful remedy for sprains and strains if Arnica, Rhus tox, or Bryonia have not helped. This remedy has a special affinity for the knees and elbows and can be given in a 30C or 200C potency, like Bryonia or Rhus tox, repeated a few times or daily if needed.

There are more homeopathic first-aid remedies, but these are the basic ones that everyone should have in their first-aid kit. Carry these remedies with you to the great outdoors, and you can play and enjoy your summer worry-free. For more chronic conditions, you may have to consult a classical homeopath.

Sonya McLeod is a classical homeopath practising in her private Vancouver clinic. Further inquiries can be directed to her at 604-677-7742.

Comments (44) Add New Comment
Caroline
I would love to see your first aid kit! I have been slowly making the switch from chemicals and synthetics to natural remedies. We use baking soda in the bath, vinegar to clean the carpets and have recently been using Topricin natural pain cream. They have one for hubby and I and they have one for kids. They work great and I just had to try it out on our daughter's bee sting. Anyway- I love all the info here. Thank you!
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Dr. Mom
Well, good journalism here, folks... From what I have read, homeopathy offers nothing more than an expensive placebo. The National Health Service, American Medical Association and Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology all say that there is no scientific basis for the treatments. So far, it has been shown to be nothing more than sham science. If you are a believer in homeopathy, perhaps you might also consider buying a vial of snake oil...
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Lib
"no scientific basis for the treatments"...is that supposed to be an indictment? How many "proven" products, endorsed by science, have had to be recalled as dangerous over the decades? Like many others, I am sick and tired of the failings of infallible science, and in this age where we see what we're reaped, what we've done to the earth and the human mechanism through science, I for one am open at least to further investigation of natural aids and treatments.
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Coeur Birmingham
Thanks for the information! As mom to a precocious toddler, I have been wanting to try something homeopathic rather than a generic OTC drug in treating the day-to-day lumps & bumps she encounters. I had been concerned about trying homeopathic options with my young child but now will try out your recommendations...thanks again!
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sue22
I used to be a skeptic of homeopathy until I had a condition where nothing else helped. I tried acupuncture, conventional medicine, herbal medicine, and nutrition, and even though they helped temporarily to subdue and ameliorate the symptoms, the condition came back, always reccurring. A friend of mine suggested I see a homeopath, and at the time I just thought it was an alternative kind of herbalism. The remedy my homeopath gave me, I must say, changed my life. I am free of the condition, and now I use homeopathy not only for acute conditions, such as injuries, bites, colds, etc, but also constitutionally.

Homeopathy, when used constitutionally for the totality of your symptoms (mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical), can have transformative power greater than any other kind of medicine (allopathic or alternative) that I have ever seen. While it is true that homeopathy has no scientific evidence supporting it (that is, there is not yet a theory or explanation explaining how it works), there is vast clinical evidence and literature not only supporting but also proving its efficacy.

Before Einstein formulated his theory of relativity, the Newtonian view of the world was purely mechanical. Allopathic as well as some other alternative modalities act on this mechanical basis. Homeopathy, however, acts on a completely different plane, the energetic one. Now, this is uncharted territory not only for the medical person and biologist, but even for the physicist, even though they are covering new ground as far as quantum mechanics goes and the ture structure of the universe. My guess is it will be a while before the scientists will be able to explain how homeopathy works...but I am not going to be the one holding my breath until they find an explanation.

Honestly, I feel sorry for the skeptics that are not open enough, or will never be open enough, to truly experience the transformative and healing properties of the mysterious and intriguing art (and future science) that we call homeopathy. These people will probably be at their death bed still not open to even try homeopathy, while it could help, just because of a limiting belief system and stubborn personality. After all, similar skeptics were holding on so tight to the belief that the Earth was flat (before there was any evidence pointing otherwise) that when the Earth was proved to be round, they still believed the Earth was flat...

Luckily, I will be smiling when the homeopathic medical revolution comes along, and when the true healing art makes its way back to the place where it belongs...in the hearts, minds, and drawers of all cultures of the world. Thank you homeopathy.
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Pragmatist
I have to say, that this so-called distilled water gave me back my wife. She was a severe migraine sufferer since adolescence. When I met her she was bed-ridden a day or two a week. She was on all the prophylactics so-called sicence could offer - under the treatment of the best neurologists. A year after we got married, she was introduced to a homeopath. Her life was turned around in the space of a month and her health has steadily improved since then. My father is a radiologist. I respect medical science. It has its place, but it does not have all the answers. It is easy to dismiss what you cannot understand.
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Hugh
If the time comes when the efficacy of homeopathic treatments is substantiated by tenable scientific evidence, then that will be the day to take such this kind of article seriously. For now, there is absolutely no conclusive proof that homeopathy works more effectively than traditional medicine (if at all). Anecdotal evidence is no evidence at all, especially when it is as subjective as a mother discussing her children's owies.
Ms. McLeod's advice is, at best, quixotically naive; at worst, irresponsible and dangerous. "For more chronic conditions, you may have to consult a classical homeopath." Oh, please. Anyone purporting to give medical advice ought to have actual training; everything else is tantamount to the foolishness of faith healing. This is not skepticism; this is common sense.
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Elena Cecchetto
A Homeopathic First Aid Kit in every household! It is the smart way to a healthy, and 'pain-free' family.
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Jenny Lindstrom
My comment goes to all the naysayers: for the moment change the lens with which you view the world. As a society we value being given choice, we value freedom, and we value our individual uniqueness on this planet. Over the years we have been led to believe that allopathic medicine is the only way to obtain health and wellness. The job of these allopathic organizations are to set and maintain standards for population health, and when the crunch comes these standards are greatly impacted by Olympics, taxes, and the wiley unknown economic forces, leaving families forever stuck within a system of medical care that palliates instead of cures. As a result many families have not sat back and let this happen. Brave families search for alternatives, and sometimes seemingly odd means of restoring health to their loved ones. I am the mom in one such of these families. I am also a nurse. In my experience Canada is far behind the rest of the world in the options that we offer families. Do not get me wrong we have an excellent health care system that tries desperately to look after all people, but we do not have an open mind and we do not very often value individuality, and we are driven to cut costs and we are afraid to take risks. In my experience allopathic medicine can have extremely harmful side effects as well as not even touch patients, let alone palliate, and yet in the name of science we continue with the same prescriptions instead of looking at other modes of healing. So to all the sensitives out there and to those families brave enough to say "I will seek out restorative health" your remedy is waiting.
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Allyson Burden
"It's just placebo effect" is such a tiresome argument.
COUNTLESS numbers of animals and babies have benefited from homeopathy and these organisms are not subject to the placebo effect.
Quantum physics is moving us closer to an understanding of the workings of energetic medical modalities like homeopathy.
If only it was just the sceptics enduring the pharmaceutical side-effects in the interim.
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Open
Although our inclination towards skepticism and critique are very useful intellectual tools, if we are to refrain from coming off as static, un-evolved/evolving beings we must remember that science is equally dynamic and ever developing. We must refrain from confusing science, and everything it has illuminated for us up to this point, with all that we will ever know.
Our existence during this particular time in history is so seeped in scientific advantage that we must excite in the endless possibilities of future human 'truths' and knowledge - not mindlessly down all that is, and will continue to dawn throughout our lifetime. We must remember that we are, and have always been on a continuum.
To many of us, the definition of medicine is whatever works - plain and simple. A few current definitions of medicine include "any substance or substances used in treating disease or illness" and "the art or science of restoring or preserving health or due physical condition". Whether homeopathy succeeds by way of methods that contemporary science can or cannot prove is irrelevant. We cannot conclusively judge a system of medicine that does work, based science alone, we may merely critique it.
T.H. Huxley described science as "organised common sense" (see BC Skeptics webpage). I would maintain that the countless cases of health restored and preserved by homeopathy, or any other system for that matter, should be enough proof for our organised common sense at this point in history.
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Lee Moller
Many of you find me quite disagreeable. To you, I say this:

I can be easily convinced you are right and I am wrong. Can you say the reverse? What experiment, or series of experiments, would satisfiy you you are wrong? If your answer is "none" (i.e.: you *know* you are right), then you are lost.
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Ms Fab
Homeopathy works.
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Johnny Five
Shame on the Georgia Straight for publishing such a biased piece of tripe. Responsible journalism should provide both sides of an argument. This is nothing more than a shameless advertisement for a pseudo-science. Demanding evidence isn't being close minded, it's being responsible.
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Placebo
If you have an injury to a bone, for the sake of your kids, take them to a doctor and stop prescribing unproven placebos to people who apparently have trouble grasping any semblance of good sense.
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kathleen taylor
As a nurse, i see the downward spiral that `modern medicine' has to offer patients - side effects, more pills to counteract the other pills and their side effects, emergency room visitis for minor concerns (because the public has been become incompetant to figure out that they can pull out their own splinters). As a mom, I had my son on antibiotics, just like the Dr. told me to, when he was 10 days old and that went on for another 18 months. Thankfully then, i met a homeopath and it took me 3 years to turn my sons health around. He is now 20years old and doesn't have a Dr. becuase he doesn't need one - he works at a physically demanding job and has his second degree brown belt. My daughter has been to a Dr. once. She 19 years old. If more people weren't afraid to help themselves and their families, if even for minor ailments how healthy could we get? It's not science that tells me homeopathy works - it's seeing my healthy children, year in and year out, getting healthier, mentally and physically.
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Melany Fulgham
What do you call alternative medicine that's been proven to work? Medicine!

There have been many, many, many studies on the efficacy of homeopathy, and they all reach one conclusion. It works no better than placebo. While the treatments are harmless (they are made from water), they become harmful when people substitute them for real medicine.

If your child steps on a rusty nail, don't go to a homeopathist. Rush them to the doctor and get a Tetanus shot.
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Michelle Kotko
When I was in Europe, I was advised to pick up a homeopathic remedy at a regular pharmacy for the flu. The remedy worked; my flu symptoms were reversed within a few hours. I didn't have a clue about homeopathy and its controversy as it was simply sold as an option in a pharmacy. Later, I wanted to know more and found out that 80 percent of French physicians prescribed it. I'm assuming, that this is because they have found it to work. Later, back in Canada, I began to use it with my daughter because antibiotics were not working for her repeated ear infections. Again, it was great to have an option.
Period.
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Alexei Konn
If you ask a skeptic, “What letters can complete the sequence E-X-P-E-R-I-?” they can’t help themselves, even if they’ve read Pavlov they still can’t help themselves, and they shout ”˜-M-E-N-T,’ and look triumphant, and you don’t have the heart to ask, ”˜Is that all?’ or to suggest ”˜-I-E-N-C-E,’ in case they’ve never heard of the word or don’t understand the concept, and so instead you reach for something else to say, like ”˜You’re good at spelling.’
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Jesse Brydle
People, let's not be so open minded our brains fall out! 'Alternative treatment' means one of two things: treatment that has not been proven to work, or treatment that has been proven not to work. Homeopathy fits right into that second category. All this talk about energy and quantum physics is pure nonsense used very deliberately to give this bogus pseudoscience an air of credibility. There is, in fact, a very complex and poorly understood mechanism at play, but it is called the placebo effect, not quantum hocus pocus.

The references in the article to 'concentrations' like 30C, etc refer to the amount of dilution of a treatment. 30C means a dilution of one to 100 to the power of 30. At that level, it's extremely unlikely to find even a single molecule of the original substance in the final solution. Homeopathic pills are nothing more than sugar pills, or sometimes milk powder. As for water retaining a 'memory', there is not a bit of evidence that this is the case, nor is there any known mechanism for it happening. The chemistry of water is something we do understand quite well, and quantum mechanics doesn't even enter into it.
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