For a few weeks now I have been really digging into understanding how homeopathic remedies work. This has been a fascinating thing to study, though very overwhelming when coming from using “regular” medicines such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen (these are not things we use anymore as I’ve worked hard to find natural alternatives to treat root cause of pain instead of putting a bandaid on it with pain relivers). There are so many remedies and so many funny names for them that it all kind of got jumbled up at first. It’s slowly starting to make sense for me though, and hopefully this will be a helpful read for you to understand it also.
Homeopathic remedies aren’t medicine. Instead, they work with your body and support your body & immune system through the illness you are experiencing. This was a strange concept to me at first, but the more I study this, the more it makes sense. Homeopathy uses the “like cures like” thought. This means the remedy will trigger an immune response to help the body heal. The remedies used may give a healthy person those same symptoms. You can read more about this from Mary Aspinwall, who is a Homeopath in Canada.
When taking a remedy, you will want to first make sure you find the correct one for the symptoms you are experiencing. If you take the wrong remedy, either nothing will happen or your symptoms will change. You may also experience “proving” which is when you have the side effects the remeedy was supposed to cure(1). At that point you would reevaluate and try a different remedy. Most who use homeopathy prefer single remedies to combinations, however, combinations are often easier to find at drug stores like Walgreen’s.
There are many common myths about homeopathy. One being that it isn’t scientific. Homeopathy is *made in a lab*. It is very scientific! Joette Calabrese, another Homeopath, shares several scientific resources, in a easy to reference format, on her blog.
The wonderful thing about homeopathy is that it is safe for infants, children, pets, adults, elderly. Literally anyone can use homeopathic remedies!
Homeopathy carries no risk of “overdosing”. Dosing is easy too: you would take one pellet for one dose. Taking multiple pellets of the same remedy will not increase it’s effectiveness because it is still one dose. It’s completely different from what we are used to with mainstream things like Tylenol or Ibuprofen where the strength of the medicine is increased by taking multiple pills together. This being said, some do take several pellets (2-5), but is generally not needed if you don’t touch the pellets (the oils from your hand can coat the pellet, making it take longer for your body to asorb). The ones in the Boiron drop bottles -see picture below- are made so you can twist the cap and let a single pellet roll into your mouth where it should dissolve under the tongue. It is recommended to not eat or drink anything except water for 20 minutes before or 20 minutes after taking a remedy. For kids, at least 5 minutes before and after, though it’s most effective if you can do the longer time (2).
When I’ve needed a remedy for acute issues, we take one pellet every 15 minutes for the first hour (total of 4 doses), then take another every few hours as needed or change remedy if symptoms change. (This is what we do and has worked well for us, not meant to give medical advice.)
I also want to touch on the different dilutions you will see on the remedies. You’ll see in the photo below that one remedy is 30x and the other is 6c. This number tells us the dilution and the letter tells us the process that was used to make the remedy. C, X, K, CX, and 200CK, are different processes used to make homeopathic remedies. Borion has a helpful article outlining the different processes. Dilutions are the numbers on the remedy. The lower dilutions (ex. 6c or 6x) being best for symptoms that are clear to pinpoint, medium dilutions (ex. 12x, 9c, 12c) will relieve general symptoms, as in more than one symptom, in more than one location. Higher dilutions (ex 30c or 30x) can be used for more than one symptom or location. This FAQ, also from Boiron, has a helpful dilution chart and explains this further. It will make more sense if you read the first link in this section before reading the FAQ.
Many heath food stores now carry remedies. This is great for quick needs, but if you plan to use homeopathy frequently it would be more cost effective to get a kit. I have the Hyland’s Kids Kit which I bought several years ago and am only just now getting close to replacing one of the remedies. I also have several individual remedies from Borion. These are the two companies I have used remedies from. A friend recommend ABC Homeopathy to me, I have not yet checked into or purchased anything from them. Both of the Homeopath’s I reference above also have kits available on their websites, and there are many kits available on Amazon as well. What kit you get will depend on what your individual family needs are. Having more remedies available will allow you to pinpoint the remedy that will be most helpful for the symptoms you are experiencing.
I thought I would give a few examples of how we use homeopathy. 1) I frequently use Arnicare Pain Relief Gel any time the boys (or myself!) bump their arm, or leg, or head. Arnica is helpful for brusising and pain (arnica should never be applied to an open wound). I have also found it helpful for the sensitive burn scar on my foot, I apply to the area if I start experiencing pain -usually caused by standing too long. 2) Chammomila is one of our favorite go-to’s for teething relief. I have used this one for both of the boys for several years now and found it extremely effective. 3) Most recently we used Nux Vomica to help combat nausea and car sickness for myself and Bear. I was very impressed with the results, especially since the roads we travelled were quite curvy and would have typically made him sick and me nauseated.
I would encourage you to learn more about this amazing healing resource! It has so many uses and applications I couldn’t possibly get into it all. Most recently, I got Miranda Castro’s book “The Complete Homeopathy Handbook”. I have only just begun reading it and have referenced it several times now. It’s definetly proving to be a useful book to have on hand! This Quick Start Guide from Joette Calabrese is also an excellent resource. Her blog is easy to look up information on. I have read her articles for coughs and fevers. I also came across information about fibromyalgia and look forward to studying this a bit more and trying the suggestions for my own health issues.
- Castro, Miranda. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. Page 17.
- Castro, Miranda. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. Page 25.
Thank you to my knowledgeable friends, L, C, & A who helped me make sure this was well put together and easy to understand. ♡