The Top 25 HomeopathicsVitality Magazine November 25, 2011
Homeopathy is a branch of natural medicine that has a long history of success. In the last 20 years, there has been a strong resurfacing of homeopathy. It has become the fastest growing field of integrative medicine in Canada, and is the second most popular form of any medicine worldwide.
Homeopathic medicines are micro doses of plant, mineral and other naturally occurring substances. Homeopathic medicines are regulated by Health Canada and are manufactured by the highest drug safety standards. They carry a drug identification number (DIN), just like any other drug available in local pharmacies. Homeopathic medicines are safe and efficient with no side effects and no drug interactions, allowing people to take conventional medications, if necessary, at the same time as their homeopathic treatment.
Simply defined, Homeopathic medicines trigger the body’s natural defense mechanisms and support systems to manage ailments, as opposed to conventional medicines that use chemicals to eradicate invading pathogens or change your body’s natural chemistry. In this way, homeopathy is able to help the body regain balance by getting it to do better what it is already equipped to do on its own. If necessary, when disease has progressed too far, conventional approaches like drugs and surgery may be prudent to use adjunctively.
Homeopathic medicines work on three basic principles. The first is the law of similars, which states that the same things that cause an illness will ultimately cure it. The second is that infinitesimal doses are all that is needed to trigger the body’s natural defense system. The third is that homeopathic medicines are prescribed in a very individualized way, taking into account not only physical symptoms but also the patient’s behavioural and mental/emotional condition.
The international scientific community is quickly becoming interested in studies on homeopathy, many of which are documented in prestigious scientific journals. Scientific studies have proven beyond a doubt that highly diluted biological products (homeopathic medicines) can have a verifiable effect on humans. Extensive clinical research has shown that homeopathic medicine is effective, particularly at the onset of common disease. Just when you decide it’s time to take preventive measures, whether to self-medicate or seek out optimal care through a practitioner, homeopathy offers a simple, effective, and safe medical therapy free from known side effects.
Old and New Research Studies
Research centres around the world are conducting studies of homeopathic medicines and a growing number of these studies are being published in peer-review journals. One of many such studies that has become very well known was done in 1997, by K. Linde et al. (Munich University) who published the results of a meta-analysis of no less than 135 clinical trials which compared homeopathic drugs with a placebo.
The authors concluded that “the results of this meta-analysis are not compatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homeopathy are completely due to placebo.” (1) Another meta-analysis conducted in 2000 on 24 studies relating to controlled, randomized clinical trials concluded that: “There is some evidence that homeopathic treatments are more effective than placebo.” (2) Oddly enough, these and other studies have not been given sufficient prominence, either within the scientific community or by media. Here, without further ado, are the top 25 most popular and widely used homeopathic medicines.
ALLERGIES (including seasonal, hayfever)
Allium cepa: Indications for this remedy include watery eyes and a clear nasal discharge that irritates the upper lip, along with sneezing and a tickling cough. The person usually is thirsty, and feels worse indoors and when rooms are warm, and is much better in fresh air.
Sabadilla: Frequent and persistent spasms of sneezing, itching in the nose with irritating runny discharge, a feeling of a lump in the throat, and watery eyes will all suggest a need for this remedy. The person may feel nervous during allergy attacks, and trying to concentrate can bring on drowsiness or headache.
Combination Recommendation → Euphorbium Compositum (Nasal Spray) by Heel
Argentum nitricum: This remedy can be helpful when anxiety develops before a big event: an exam, an important interview, a public appearance or social engagement. People who need this remedy tend to be suggestible and impulsive. Often a craving for sweets and salt is high (which usually make their symptoms worse).
Gelsemium: Feelings of weakness, trembling, and mental dullness as if “paralyzed by fear” suggest the need for this remedy. It is often helpful when a person has stage-fright about a public performance or interview, or feels anxious before a test, a visit to the dentist, or any stressful event. Chills, perspiration, diarrhea, and headaches will often occur with nervousness. Fear of crowds, a fear of falling, and even a fear that the heart might stop are giveaways that you need this homeopathic
Combination Recommendation → Sedalia by Boiron
Bryonia: This remedy can be helpful for stiffness and inflammation with tearing or throbbing pain, made worse by even the smallest motion. The condition may have developed gradually, and is worse in cold dry weather. Discomfort is aggravated by being touched or bumped, or from any movement. Pressure brings relief (because it stabilizes the area). Typically, the person wants to stay completely still and not be interfered with.
Rhus toxicodendron: Rheumatoid arthritis, with pain and stiffness that is worse in the morning and worse on first motion, but better from continued movement, is the indication of Rhus-Tox. Hot baths or showers, and warm applications improve the stiffness and relieve the pain. The condition is worse in cold, wet weather. The person may feel extremely restless, unable to find a comfortable position, and need to keep moving constantly.
Combo Recommendation → Zeel by Heel
Chamomilla: This remedy is indicated when a baby is hypersensitive to pain. It is especially helpful when there are desperate screams or shrieks and the child wants to be constantly coddled and carried. The abdomen may be distended with gas, and pain can be focused in the navel region. Facial flushing (often on only one cheek) is a common presentation.
Colocynthis: Cramping, cutting pain that makes the baby curl up is a strong indication for this remedy. Pressing hard against the abdomen usually brings relief. Babies who need this remedy look extremely anxious and often feel relief when carried tummy-down on someone’s arm.
Combination Recommendation → Cocyntal by Boiron
Graphites: This remedy is indicated when large stools look like little round balls. An achy feeling in the anus after the bowels have moved is commonly reported.
Lycopodium: A person who needs this remedy has frequent indigestion with gas and bloating, and many problems involving the bowels. Rubbing the abdomen or drinking something warm may help to relieve the constipation.
Combination Recommendation → Laxative Combination R68 by Reckeweg
Arsenicum album: Diarrhea accompanied by anxiety, restlessness, and exhaustion is the indication for this remedy. Burning pain is felt in the digestive tract, and the person may be thirsty for frequent small sips of tea or water. Simultaneous vomiting is another strong indication. Arsenicum is often useful when diarrhea has been caused by food poisoning.
Podophyllum: Profuse, watery diarrhea typically without pain suggests this remedy will be helpful. The stomach gurgles and grumbles before the diarrhea begins, and frequent urging.
Combination Recommendation → Diarrhea Formula R4 by Reckeweg
Mezereum: This remedy is indicated when there are intense and itchy eruptions that start as blisters, then ooze and form thick crusts, and scratching leads to quickly thickened skin. The person who requires Mezereum is usually very anxious with a strong craving for fat.
Sulphur: This remedy is very useful to those who have repeatedly used cortisone on eczema without success. The picture is one of intensely burning, itching, inflamed eruptions that are worse from warmth and worse from bathing suggest a need for this remedy. Affected areas are red, with scaling or crusted skin.
Combo Recommendation → Calendula Gel by Boiron
Chamomilla: A sudden intolerable outburst of pain suggests a need for this remedy. Children may seem angry and beside themselves, and often become violent. They require being carried constantly and walked around or rocked. Ear pain and other symptoms are worse from heat and wind, and the cheeks (often only one) may be hot and red.
Pulsatilla: This remedy is often indicated for ear infections that accompany a cold. Symptoms include a stuffy nose and yellow or greenish mucous. The ear presents hot and swollen, with a feeling that something is pressing out. Pain is usually a pulsing sensation that gets worse at night.
Combination Recommendation → Earache relief drops by Similasan
Belladonna: Major throbbing or pounding head pain that starts in the back of the skull or upper neck and spreads to the forehead and temple (especially on the right) may indicate a need for this remedy. Pain is worse from jarring, light, and noise. For some reason, headaches that require Belladonna are worse around 3 p.m. Pupils may be dilated, with sensitivity to light, and the person may either feel delirious or drowsy.
Spigelia: Excruciating headaches which usually present on the left side of the head, with violent throbbing, or stitching pains above or through the eyeball, indicate a need for this remedy. Pain extends through the face and is worse from any movement or touch. The person may feel better from lying on the right side with the head supported, and keeping very still.
Combo Recommendation → Antimigren by Pascoe
Lachesis: Intense hot flashes with purple-red flushing, palpitations, and feelings of pressure, congestion, and constriction may indicate a need for this remedy. Tight clothing around the neck and waist may be impossible to tolerate. The unique symptom of this picture is loquacity (extremely talkative), with strong tendency to feel suspicious.
Sepia: This remedy can be helpful if a woman’s periods are sometimes late and scanty; best used during the middle to end of menopause (12-24 months in to missing your period). During the wean-down, menses can be heavy. The uterus feels weak and sagging, there may be cravings for vinegar and sour foods. Women who need this remedy usually feel dragged-out, weary, and emotionally distraught.
Combination Recommendation → PascoeFemin by Pascoe
Arnica montana: This is the most popular remedy in homeopathic literature and is best for recent traumatic injuries. Brilliant for bruises, sprains, and concussions. Arnica can be helpful for soft tissue damage caused by surgery and dental work – given preventively before an anticipated injury (i.e. sports), and used to treat the soreness afterward. It is also helpful in preventing shock.
Bellis perennis: This remedy is useful for deeper tissue injuries from falls, car accidents, and major surgery. Often, the patient has a feeling of stiffness or coldness in the injured area. If Arnica has been given for an injury – especially a strain or bruise – but has not had much effect, Bellis perennis is to be tried next.
Combination Recommendation → Traumeel by Heel
URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS
Berberis vulgaris: This remedy is for severe cutting or burning pain that extends to the urethral opening. The passage may also burn at times when no attempt at urination is being made. After emptying the bladder, the person feels as if some urine still remains inside. Urging and discomfort are often worse from walking.
Cantharis: A strong urging to urinate with cutting pains that are felt before the urine passes is a sign that this remedy is choice. Some describe the cutting as a scalding sensation when only a few drops of urine pass at a time. The person often feels as if the bladder has not been emptied.
Combination Recommendation → Pascosabal by Pascoe
COLD, INFLUENZA, AND COUGH
Gelsemium: Symptoms of fatigue and achiness that come on gradually, increasing over several days, can indicate a need for this remedy. The face feels heavy, with droopy eyes and aching. A headache may begin at the back of the neck and skull, and the person feels chills and heat running up and down the spine. Anxiety, trembling, dizziness, perspiration, and moderate fever are other indications for Gelsemium.
Boiron Oscillococcinum®: Besides eating a healthy diet and frequent hand-washing, all-natural medicines can also help you fight dreaded flu symptoms this winter. Boiron’s Oscillo solution provides relief from flu symptoms such as fever, chills, body aches and headaches. This neutral tasting liquid remedy also gets rid of symptoms effectively and quickly, with randomized clinical trials showing that it improves flu symptoms within 48 hours. Boiron’s Oscillo has no known side effects, does not interfere with other medications, and is safe for both children and adults.
Boiron Coryzalia: With winter well on its way, so is the dreaded cough and cold season. To help tackle symptoms that you and your family may experience this year, Boiron’s Coryzalia is an all-natural solution that provides relief from nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing and eye irritation.
As Health Canada restricts the use of products containing pseudoephedrine or diphenhydramine for children age six and under, this is also a great solution for parents looking to help their youngsters battle their colds this year. It’s also easy to administer, drinkable, sterile and packaged in unbreakable single-dose servings.
Combination Recommendation → Stodal for Coughs. With the dry air that winter brings, many Canadians develop dry coughs, which can often make it difficult to sleep at night. Boiron’s Stodal provides a honey-based formula, which is an ingredient that has been shown in studies to be most effective in reducing the intensity of dry coughs, and making sure you get a good night’s rest. Stodal relieves all types of coughs, dry or productive, in a safe, quick and effective way, with no side effects. It is also approved for the whole family, with Health Canada approval for use in children and adults.
(1) Lancet; Linde K. et Al. – Are clinical effects of homeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials. Lancet 1997
(2) M. Cucherat et al. – Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy. A meta-analysis of clinical trials. Eur. J. Clin. Pharmacol., 2000; 56:27-33).
Cucherat M, Haugh MC, Gooch M, Boissel JP. Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2002; 56: 27–33.
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Note: for a complete list of references, visit: http://vaughanmedical centre.com/evidence_for_homeopathy.php