A Homeopathy World Trio Pack is the perfect companion to the Exploring Homeopathy Course.

Module 1

In this module you will:
– Look at the history and philosophy behind Homeopathy
– Learn about the Law of Similars
– Learn about the Law of the Minimum Dose
– Look at two example cases to see how these two laws are used in real situations
– Do a short quiz to review what you have learnt

1. A brief History of Homeopathy

Hippocrates, over 2000 years ago wrote that there were two approaches to healing:
the use of contraries or opposites (Antipathic medicine) or similars (Homeopathic medicine)
Antipathy uses the opposite suffering to try to restore the body to balance.

Here are some examples:
A laxative is given to ease constipation.
An anti-inflammatory is given to reduce inflammation.
An antacid is given to reduce stomach acidity.

One of the reasons that Hippocrates was not keen on using opposites was because he noticed that the original problem tended to get worse and so more and more of the opposite medicine had to be given to get the same result.

Homoeopathy uses substances that can cause similar suffering to restore health. That is to say substances that have been found to cause particular problems in a healthy person are used to treat those same problems in an unhealthy person.
Here are some examples:

man-chopping-onion

Homeopathy uses like to cure like

One common hay fever remedy is prepared from Alium Cepa (onion) because a healthy person chopping an onion will often get a runny nose and streaming eyes.

Angry red swellings (however caused) may be treated with Apis (made from bee sting).
Blood poisoning may be treated with Lachesis (bushmaster snake venom), or other snake venom remedies.

Although homeopathy is about 200 years old, treating with similars has been a common approach in traditional herbal medicine throughout the world for thousands of years.

Conventional medicine is sometimes referred to as allopathic (meaning literally, ‘other suffering’) this means there is no direct correlation between what you are suffering from and the treatment you are given, but for some unknown reason it alleviates the symptoms. In fact, strictly-speaking, the majority of orthodox medicine tends to be more ‘antipathic’ than ‘allopathic’.

In the early 16th century a German doctor named Paracelsus, now known as the father of chemistry, strongly criticized the use of contraries and stressed his belief that ‘like cures like’.

However, it was not until the late 18th century that Homoeopathy as it is known today emerged. It came about when another German doctor, called Hahnemann, began to have trouble with his conscience. The following is an excerpt from his diary:

“I cannot reckon on much income from practice… I am too conscientious to prolong illness or make it appear more dangerous than it is…It was agony for me to walk always in darkness, when I had to heal the sick, and to prescribe according to such and such an hypothesis concerning diseases, substances which owed their place in the Materia Medica to an arbitrary decision…Soon after my marriage, I renounced the practice of medicine, that I may no longer incur the risk of doing injury and I engaged exclusively in chemistry and in literary occupations.

Samuel Hahnemann Monument

Samuel Hahnemann Monument, Washington, DC

2. Hahnemann and the first proving.

So Hahnemann gave up his practice and because he had a wife and large brood of children to support he took on work as a translator. Whilst translating a book by the Scottish doctor Cullen, Hahnemann became irritated and dissatisfied with Cullen’s explanation that quinine (also known as Cinchona bark or China) was effective against malaria because of its bitterness. He decided to take some himself to see what would happen.

“My feet, finger ends etc., at first became quite cold; I grew languid and drowsy; then my heart began to palpitate, and my pulse grew hard and small; intolerable anxiety, trembling, prostration throughout my limbs; then pulsation in the head, redness of my cheeks, thirst, and, in short, all these symptoms that are ordinarily characteristic of intermittent fever, made their appearance, one after the other… Briefly even those symptoms which are of regular occurrence and especially characteristic – as the stupidity of mind, the kind of rigidity in all the limbs, but above all the numb, disagreeable sensation, which seems to have its seat in the periosteum (bone surface), over every bone in the whole body – all these made their appearance. The paroxysm lasted two or three hours each time, and recurred, if I repeated this dose, not otherwise; I discontinued it and was in good health.”

Not surprisingly Hahnemann was very excited by this discovery because it provided a sound, logical basis for the selection of medicines. Those substances that could cause symptoms in a healthy person could be used to cure the same symptoms in an unhealthy person.This brings us to the most important and fundamental law of Homeopathy

3. The Law of Similars

Hahnemann had had one of those Eureka moments. He realized that if healthy people took a particular substance and recorded their symptoms, then somebody suffering from similar symptoms could be cured using that substance. This is often neatly summarised by the phrase:

Like cures like

As you can imagine Hahnemann wanted to pursue this by testing other substances and he began with those he knew could make a healthy person sick…poisons. Of course, this presented problems for those who were kind enough to test the substances on themselves. The provers (testers) often became extremely ill and this is what lead to the discovery of the other fundamental law in Homeopathy, namely…

4. The Law of the Minimum Dose

drop-of-water

Dilution + Succussion = Potentization

Hahnemann began diluting the substances he wished to test, often to the point where there wasn’t a single molecule of the original substance left, although at the time nobody knew that.Unfortunately these substances had no effect. So it was back to the drawing board.

There is a story ( probably apocryphal but none the less charming !) that Hahnemann was holding a test tube of a diluted substance in his hand and was so frustrated at this point that he began to hit it against a leather-bound Bible and discovered that the process of shaking and bashing somehow imprinted the energy of the original substance into the liquid /dilutant so that it continued to have a medicinal effect, but, happily, the toxic effects disappeared during the dilution process. Others say he discovered this because the medicines that he carried with him in his bag were more effective than those he did not, because of all the jiggling they experienced.

However he actually came by the idea the important thing is that it worked and this combination of diluting and succussing is called potentisation.

5. Potency

You may have noticed you can get homeopathic medicines in many different potencies (e.g..3x, 6x, 12x, 6c, 12c, 30c, 200c, 1M, 10M). The roman numerals are used to denote the factor by which the substance has been diluted ( x=process of dilution by a factor of 1:9; c=process of dilution by a factor of 1:99; M = process of dilution by a factor of 1:999) Strangely, provided succussion has taken place, the more diluted a substance is the more potent and far-reaching its effects appear to be. Therefore a 200c, having been diluted and succussed more frequently is more potent than a 30c, which in turn is more potent than a 6x. In Homeopathy less is more.

If I wanted to prepare a substance homeopathically to a 6x potency I would start with the original substance (what is known as a mother tinture) and put one drop into nine drops of dilutant (usually ethanol alcohol). These ten drops would then be succussed (shaken and bashed against a leather-bound bible, just as in days of old) and then only one drop placed into a fresh test tube containing a further 9 drops of alcohol and the process of succussion repeated .At this stage the medicine would be a 2x potency. Only after I had repeated this same process four more times would it become a 6x. To make a 6c the process would be identical, except that I would have 99 drops of alcohol to my one drop of the mother tincture and all subsequent dilutions. As you can imagine making a 200c is a long process and most pharmacies make the higher potencies with a machine, rather than by hand.

pregnant_woman_partner

Homeopathy is safe for everyone

One of the reasons Homeopathy enjoys such an excellent reputation is because it is given in such minute doses that it can be safely used to treat anyone (including pregnant women, new born babies, children, weak or elderly people and small animals) without dangerous side effects.

30c is a safe potency for anyone to use and it’s great for first aid and minor illnesses. 200c is used during childbirth and in emergencies.

The single dose is a very important aspect of the Law of the Minimum Dose.

Classical homeopaths, who follow the teachings of Hahnemann closely, apply the Law of the Minimum Dose not only by using potentized medicines, but by administering them according to the same principle.

A single dose of the medicine is given and then its action is assessed some time later. If it is working no more medicine is given unless the improvements experienced either stop completely or are reversed.

Currently there is a lot of misinformation relating to dosage and repetition of homeopathic medicines, both on the medicine containers and in magazine articles and self-help books. Ignore any instructions that asks you to routinely repeat a homeopathic medicine at set intervals. Instead remember this simple common-sense rule:
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

 

Case 1

When my daughter was 4 years old we attended a street festival in our little town. We were dancing quite happily when she was suddenly stung by a wasp. I picked her up and ran to my office to get her an Apis. This normally gives almost instant relief and so I was very perplexed when she was still howling in pain a few minutes later. I asked her to describe the pain to me and she managed to explain that the pain was shooting up her arm. Then I realised that the medicine I had given was not ‘homeopathic’. By that I mean Apis cannot produce a ‘similar suffering’ to the type of shooting nerve pain Martha was experiencing. Apis can produce large red burning fluid-filled swellings that often accompany bites and stings but my routinist approach was wrong.

To be truly homeopathic a medicine must accurately match the symptom picture.
I had ignored the fundamental law of what makes a medicine ‘homeopathic’ – the ability to produce ‘similar suffering’. I immediately changed my prescription to Hypericum, a superb remedy for exactly this type of shooting nerve pain and as soon as she put the pillule in her mouth the pain stopped. The sting had actually hit a nerve in her arm and that was what needed to be cured. It is more accurate to say that medicines prepared using dilution and succussion are potentised (rather than homeopathic) because it is only the accuracy of the prescription that makes a medicine become homeopathic (i.e. able to effectively treat ‘similar suffering’).

You can buy Apis over the counter in many health food stores and pharmacies and sadly many will be labelled with misleading information telling you to repeat the dose every three or four hours.

Following the Law of the minimum dose, I put a small bottle of Hypericum in my pocket and we went back to dance some more. About two hours later the same pains returned and I repeated the dose by giving Martha another pillule. She did not need any more after that.

Case 2

Another story from the ‘summer of the wasps’. At the very end of the summer the wasps were getting very sleepy and I had the misfortune to stand on one whilst I was bare-foot. The sting went deep into the fleshy part of my heel. The pain was excrutiating, but there was no redness and swelling because the sting was so deep, so Apis was unlikely to help. There is a remedy called Ledum that is used for these deep wounds to the palms and soles and this was what I took. It worked beautifully. The pain returned about every half hour for three hours and whenever they did I repeated the dose. Once the pain stopped I did not take any more.

Quiz

See if you can answer these questions. If you are unsure about anything all the answers can be found in the text. The answers are below. No peeking! Good Luck…

1. Sleeplessness can be treated conventionally with sleeping pills, but why might this approach cause further problems?

2. A homeopathic medicine called Coffea tosta (coffee) is sometimes used to treat sleeplessness. Why coffee?

3. What two processes are used to create a potentised medicine?

4. What is the difference (in preparation) between a 6x and a 12x?

5. What is the difference (in preparation) between a 6x and a 6c?

6. What makes a medicine truly homeopathic?

7. A self help book explains you should take homeopathic medicine ‘A’ three times a day for an acute complaint. What law does this advice ignore?

8. Your child is teething. You study the symptoms and correctly prescribe Chamomilla and the child calms down and goes back to sleep. When do you give the next dose?

9. In the cases Apis, Hypericum and Ledum are mentioned. Name one symptom you would associate with each.

10.Which two fundamental laws are needed to practise Homeopathy safely and effectively? Briefly describe them.

Answers to Quiz/ Module 1

1. Sleeplessness can be treated conventionally with sleeping pills, but why might this approach cause further problems?

Sleeplessness is a red light telling you that you are experiencing a deeper dis-ease. Perhaps, for some reason, you are anxious or over-excited and this is leading to sleeplessness. If you do not treat the underlying dis-ease the problem will persist.

In order for sleeping pills to be able to over-ride this warning sign it is likely you will have to increase the number of pills you take over time to maintain the same effect. Sleeping pills have effects you want – they make you sleepy, but they also have many effects you don’t want. These are usually termed ‘side effects’. The more you take the stronger these side effects will be. You may then wish to stop taking the sleeping pills. If the underlying dis-ease remains, the sleeplessness will return and you may also suffer further dis-ease as a result of the effects of withdrawal.

2. A homeopathic medicine called Coffea tosta (coffee) is sometimes used to treat sleeplessness. Why coffee?

Coffee produces feelings of exhilaration and artificially high energy levels making sleep difficult or impossible. Because it is able to produce these effects in a healthy person it can also be used to cure them. It certainly will not work in all cases of insomnia. The suffering has to be similar for it to work. It may be indicated where someone is over-excited and over-joyed about something, perhaps a forthcoming event, and unable to sleep because of it.

3. What two processes are used to create a potentised medicine?

Dilution and succussion.

4. What is the difference (in preparation) between a 6x and a 12x?

Both are prepared using 9 drops of dilutant to one drop of the medicinal liquid. At the end of each dilution and succussion only one drop (of the medicinal liquid at the new potency) is added to the next nine drops. This makes ten drops in all (hence the roman numeral X). A 6x will have been diluted and succussed six times, whereas a 12x will have been diluted and sucussed twelve times.

5. What is the difference (in preparation) between a 6x and a 6c?

One, the 6x, is prepared using nine drops of dilutant. The other, the 6c, uses 99 drops. Both have been through the process of dilution and succussion six times.

6. What makes a medicine truly homeopathic?

It is capable of producing similar suffering in a healthy person. Most homeopathic medicines are also diluted and succussed.

7. A self help book explains you should take homeopathic medicine ‘A’ three times a day for an acute complaint. What law does this advice ignore?

The Law of the Minimum Dose.

8. Your child is teething. You study the symptoms and correctly prescribe Chamomilla and the child calms down and goes back to sleep. When do you give the next dose?

The fact that the child’s symptoms improve confirms that Chamomilla was the correct choice. You need only repeat if the same symptoms return or if improvement stops before a complete return to a state of health and well-being. In the case of teething remedies may need to be repeated frequently.

9. In the cases, Apis, Hypericum and Ledum are mentioned. Name one symptom you would associate with each.

Apis – red hot angry swellings better for cold applications.
Ledum – injuries to deep tissue (e.g. palms and soles) with blueness, not hot to the touch, but better for cold applications.
Hypericum – shooting pains travelling along injured nerves.

10. Which two fundamental laws are needed to practise Homeopathy safely and effectively? Briefly describe them.

The Law of Similars – If a substance can cause suffering and symptoms in a healthy person it is capable of also curing a similar suffering or symptom. Like cures like.

The Law of the Minimum Dose – The best results are obtained by giving the minimum amount of medicinal stimulus to get a reaction from the individual’s own healing powers. A single dose of the medicine is given and then its action is assessed some time later. If it is working no more medicine is given unless the improvements experienced either stop completely or are reversed. Less is more.

a-marigold-flower

Thank you for Exploring Homeopathy

Module 2

In this module you will:
Be taught danger signs that mean you must seek professional help
Study the materia medica of the major first aid remedies
Look at example cases and suggest a suitable remedy
Do a short quiz to review what you have learnt

First Aid

The good news is that first aid prescribing is relatively straight forward and even absolute newcomers to Homeopathy can get wonderful results. The reason is that if a person walks straight into a wall and gives themselves a nasty bash in 99% of cases this will result in a bruise. Similarly if a person picks up a very hot pan in 99% of cases a burn will result. In other words we all tend to respond to external injuries in very predictable ways. This means it is usually possible to equate a particular homeopathic medicine to a particular injury. This is often not the case with acute illnesses. Even if we catch the same cold as our neighbour our symptom picture may be quite different from theirs and so we will each need different homeopathic medicines.

If you are completely new to homeopathy and in any way skeptical about its healing powers then prescribing for first aid situations is a great way to test it out and judge it by results. Most of you will have experienced similar injuries in the past and will have some idea of how long these injuries generally take to heal. You will be amazed at how much quicker you, or your family and friends, will recover with the help of a well-selected homeopathic medicine.

I had a friend who used to be very dubious about Homeopathy and although I had given him and his family a kit as a gift they never used it. Once, whilst I was visiting, his daughter fell heavily and caught her forehead on the corner of a coffee table. She was very distressed and we watched as this cartoon-style lump came up on her forehead. I asked if he would mind if I gave her an Arnica and she was so upset he agreed. I found the kit tucked away in the bathroom, completely unused, and gave her an Arnica. The tears stopped almost instantly and she started to play again. Even I was surprised to see that the small egg of a lump immediately started to go down and within half an hour it had completely disappeared. This convinced my friend in a way words never could have.

To prescribe for first aid emergencies you need to either know what medicines generally help in each type of emergency or, if not, know where to look it up, but more importantly you need to have the medicines to hand. Keep a kit with you at all times in your purse, in your glove compartment or in a large pocket and be prepared. This is especially true if you are accident prone or have young children. Another very useful product to keep handy is Rescue Remedy.

SAFETY FIRST

Serious injuries and illnesses should never be treated without seeking expert advice. Use your instincts and common sense, if you are worried call for help first, then give the appropriate homeopathic medicine whilst you are waiting for help to arrive. If in any doubt check for these…

Warning Signs

If the person you are treating has any of the following seek expert medical help immediately:

  • backache, or fever, with urinary infection
  • bleeding, heavy or unexplained
  • breathing, rapid shallow or difficult
  • burns, severe or larger than your hand
  • chest pain, severe
  • confusion, following trauma or over-exposure to sun
  • consciousness, lost or impaired
  • convulsions
  • delirium
  • dehydration, especially in babies, small children and elderly
  • drowsiness, unexplained or unexpected
  • headache, severe
  • fever, above 103.5F / 40C or persistent or with stiff neck
  • fits
  • fluid, watery / bloody, from ears or nose following head injury
  • movement, full range, lost or impaired
  • puncture wounds, near vital organs
  • speech, lost or impaired
  • stool, pale or white
  • streaks, red running towards body
  • swelling, rapid or severe (especially of mouth or throat)
  • thirstlessness, prolonged with fever or diarrhoea or vomiting
  • urine, profuse or scanty or bloody
  • vision, lost or impaired
  • vomiting, unexpected and repeated
  • wheezing, severe
  • yellowness, of skin or eyes

Materia medica

Let’s take a more in depth look at 8 homeopathic medicines that are frequently needed in First Aid prescribing and then we’ll look at some real cases and see how we might treat them using these homeopathic medicines.

1. Arnica
More people have probably converted to Homeopathy because of Arnica than any other medicine. It really is the most wonderful medicine. Having said that, I know people who give Arnica for literally every ill and then wonder why it doesn’t work!

Arnica only works beautifully provided it is used homeopathically, in other words to treat similar suffering. So let us start by looking at what healthy people would experience if they took Arnica in a homeopathic proving (a test on human volunteers to see what symptoms and suffering it is capable of producing).

Provers said that they felt bruised and sore. Their heads felt hot but their bodies were cold. They felt worse for the slightest jar or touch and in fact had a fear of being touched. They tended to say they were fine even though they clearly weren’t. They would answer a question but then fall back into stupor. This is why Arnica is an excellent remedy to treat physical trauma and shock, because the symptom pictures of Arnica and that of an accident victim are so similar. Aconite can also help if there has been a near death situation that leaves the person in a state of terror. Provers of Arnica also experienced terrible nosebleeds. This meant that it could be used not only to treat nosebleeds but to treat haemorrhaging after injury or childbirth as well.

Arnica montana, as its name suggests, is a daisy (Compositae family) that grows in the mountains. The homeopathic medicine is made from a tincture of the whole fresh plant and the root. Its other names are Leopard’s-bane and (appropriately) Fallkraut. It was proven homeopathically because it was already a well-established herbal medicine for treating injury. It is particularly useful for treating soft tissue injuries with bruising and soreness, sprains, head injuries (or seizures after head injury) and shock resulting from physical trauma.
If someone has had an accident and you are trying to work out the exact nature of their injuries you can always give Arnica initially. It will certainly help.

You can then consider what other homeopathic medicines may also be needed. It is possible to buy Arnica creams and ointments, but they should not be used on open wounds as they cause suppuration. To keep wounds clean and pus free the most frequently needed homeopathic medicine is …

2. Calendula
Calendula is a fine antiseptic made from a tincture of the leaves and flowers of the marigold, another Compositae. It can be used externally as a cream, ointment or tincture or taken internally in pill form. It is useful for open wounds even if they are not painful because it prevents sepsis and gangrene from setting in and promotes healthy re-growth of the skin. Calendula also has a great healing effect on open, torn, cut, lacerated, ragged or suppurating (pus-filled) wounds, particularly where the pain seems excessive and out of all proportion to the injury. The wound is often raw and inflamed with stinging.

It can be used to treat haemorrhages after tooth extraction or scalp wounds; injuries to eyes (see also Symphytum) which tend to suppuration and also exhaustion from loss of blood and excessive pain.

Calendula given early usually stops sepsis. However if sepsis does set in and Calendula doesn’t help consider:
Belladonna – for hot, red, throbbing wounds with little or no pus
Hepar sulph – for very painful, pus-filled wounds
Silica – for painless pus-filled wounds

3. Cantharis
Cantharis is made from Spanish fly, which was once used as a very ill-conceived aphrodisiac. It created a terrible raging burning and itching that was, only temporarily, relieved during intercourse. It was proved as a homeopathic medicine just because it was capable of producing such terrible suffering. Provers experienced inflammations that were incredibly violent, with a raw sensation. Pains were cutting, smarting, burning and itching. For this reason it is a valuable remedy for burns and scalds. If possible give it before blisters form, but if given later it will help blisters to heal. Like Calendula it can reduce the risks of sepsis and gangrene. Cantharis may also be helpful in cases of sunburn (but consider Belladonna too).

There are some excellent combination burn ointments on the market and it is a great idea to have a tube in the kitchen in case of mishaps. Burns that benefit from Calendula will be better for cold applications. Very occasionally burns feel better for warm applications in which case they respond better to Arsenicum. Urtica urens (made from nettles) is also an excellent burns medicine. Where the burn is deeper and there is nerve damage consider Kali bich and Hypericum.

4. Hypericum
Hypericum (or St. John’s Wort) has been in the news lately as a number of people have been using it in tincture or herbal doses to treat depression. Personally, I think it is inadvisable to treat something as serious as depression with an over the counter remedy of any sort.

Hypericum is included in our homeopathic kits because it is the number one remedy for healing nerve damage. So when is nerve damage likely to occur? You remember the story of Martha’s wasp sting in Module 1. The sting hit a nerve and caused excruciating pain. Similar injuries can occur with other animal bites and stings or from gun shot wounds, injections, epidurals and surgical procedures. The most common way to injure a nerve, though, is to trap your fingers or toes, bang your elbow or to land on your tail bone (coccyx). Always think of it for injuries of the fingers, toes and nails, especially crushed fingers tips. All of these areas are very rich in nerve endings and if you’ve ever done any of these things you’ll probably still recall the pain. It goes shooting along the nerves and causes indescribable agony. Intolerable, violent, shooting, lancinating pain away from the injured area always means nerves are severely involved. For this reason it can help in cases of whiplash. It will often relieve pain after operations.

So don’t forget Hypericum …Arnica of the nerves!
Hypericum is also reputed to give protection against tetanus lockjaw) and so too is

5. Ledum
Think of Ledum palustre (Wild Rosemary) for very deep wounds or stings to the palms of the hands or soles of the feet. These types of injury are especially dangerous as these anaerobic conditions are ideal for tetanus to take hold. In my experience Ledum works well in any situation where the inflammation or damage can’t express itself on the surface, but is somehow stuck (deep) below the surface, for this reason it works well on damaged nails. The sufferer can feel the pain and inflammation and wants cold applications to soothe it, but the surface appears bluish, swollen, cold and feels chilly. Ledum is also great for black eyes. If you take Ledum daily for 7 days before your holiday it will make you less attractive to biting insects, including mosquitoes.

6. Rhus tox
A very useful homeopathic medicine for sprains and strains. The injury usually feels worse when the person first moves and then feels better for motion after a time, although if they exert themselves too much the pain returns. The injury will often make them feel very restless with a strong desire to change position. They will be stiff and want to stretch out. They will not want to get cold or wet, but will want warmth and warm or hot applications to soothe the pain. Lifting and straining makes matters worse.
Rhus tox is made from poison ivy and can be used to treat actual cases of poison ivy or any similar hive-like eruption with burning and itching (see also Urtica urens)

7. Ruta
Ruta and Rhus tox are both indicated for strains and sprains and so it helps to know how they differ. Someone needing Ruta would be less restless and not get as much relief from warmth. Unlike Rhus tox mild exertion does not help loosen things up and ease the pain. Parts lain on will feel uncomfortable, bruised and lame. It is useful for treating wrist injuries, other repetitive strains (even eye strain) and injuries to the bone surface (periosteum) e.g. shin. The sprain or stiffness will be worst in the tendons and especially on first movement. Bryonia is useful in more extreme cases where the slightest movement causes terrible pain. It is useful after fractures and broken bones.

8. Silica
As we’ve already said Silica is a great medicine for painless, suppurating wounds that are very slow to heal. It is also renowned for being able to force out foreign bodies, such as splinters. For this reason it is not wise to use Silica if someone has an artificial hip, breast implants or a pacemaker (etc). It can also reduce the tendency to ingrown toenails.

Casework

In Module 1 we spoke about classical homeopathy and the importance of finding exactly the right homeopathic medicine for each individual case and just giving that one medicine to get the best result. However, in these cases it may be necessary to give more than one homeopathic medicine. This is because we are not treating one internal dis-ease but external injuries that may be of different types, for examples cuts and bruises or shock and burns. It is alright to give these medicines one after the other and then to repeat them as needed depending on the symptoms or the nature of the pain that returns. In other words if the symptoms of shock return you give Arnica again, but if the burn starts to hurt again you give Cantharis. These are all real cases. Think which homeopathic medicines you would give and why.

Case 1

Not exactly first aid but more like eventual aid … Valerie, aged thirty two, had an injection that unfortunately hit a nerve in her leg. She had excruciating shooting pains in her legs for many months after that. She took painkillers, but the pain returned as soon as they wore off.

Case 2

Martina, aged four, fell and put her hand out to save herself. The flat of her left palm touched the wood-burning stove. She was screaming in agony, wanted to run her hand under the cold tap and blisters started to form very quickly.

Case 3

Ella, aged three, got her finger tips caught in a door. She had terrible shooting pains and later blue swollen fingertips that felt very hot and painful under the fingernails.

Case 4

Helen, aged thirty, was cooking on a barbecue when she burnt her hand. Running it under the cold tap didn’t help, she wanted to put a warm washcloth on it.

Case 5

Myra had a very nasty near miss in her car. She was shaken and bruised with terrible whiplash.

Case 6

James was pulled out to sea by strong currents whilst surfing. He had thought he would die and was very frightened, shocked and bruised by the time he got back to shore. He also had a number of cuts on his legs from scrambling over rocks.

Case 7

Victoria was eating oysters when she got a small cut at the base of her thumb. It quickly went septic and was, surprisingly, extremely painful for such a small wound.

Case 8

Rose spent too long working on the computer and had very sore eyes and wrists.

To see what was successfully prescribed in each case go to the end of the page.

Quiz/ Module 2

All the answers can be found in the text, but see how much you can remember (or guess). Good Luck! The answers will be given at the start of Module 3.

1. Which two homeopathic first aid medicines are said to help prevent tetanus?

2. Which homeopathic medicine is considered to be the Arnica of the nerves?

3. What aspects of shock are similar to the symptom picture of Arnica?

4. If you were treating a painless, pus-filled wound what homeopathic medicine might be most similar?

5. Apart from Arnica what other homeopathic medicine could be used to treat a black eye?

6. If a wound needed Ledum what would it look like?

7. Which homeopathic medicine can be used to force out splinters?

8. Why is it ok to give more than one homeopathic medicine at a time when treating a first aid case?

9. What homeopathic medicines may be helpful in treating sunburn?

10. What homeopathic medicine can ease the pain of fractures and broken bones?

Casework Answers

Case 1:
Hypericum worked beautifully.

Case 2:
Had Arnica and Rescue Remedy for shock and Cantharis for the burn. Cantharis was repeated often, as needed.

Case 3:
Had Arnica and Rescue Remedy for shock. Hypericum for nerve pain and Ledum for trapped swelling under her nails. Hypericum was given twice and Ledum was given more often. Prescriptions were based on how she described the pain.

Case 4:
An unusual response to the burn indicated Arsenicum and that worked very well.

Case 5:
Had Arnica and Rescue Remedy for shock. The shock returned often and Arnica was given often. She also needed frequent doses of Hypericum.

Case 6:
Had Arnica for shock and Calendula for the cuts, but remained very frightened and this was finally helped by Aconite.

Case 7:
Calendula didn’t seem to help much, perhaps it was given too late, so we changed to Hepar sulph this worked beautifully.

Case 8:
Ruta worked well, but don’t let that be an excuse to over do it at the keyboard!

 

a-marigold-flower

Thank you for Exploring Homeopathy

Module 3

In this module you will:
Receive the answers to the Quiz in Module 2.
Learn the difference between acute and chronic illness.
Get helpful hints on taking an acute case.
Use a repertorising chart to find the most similar homeopathic medicine.
You will need Acrobat Reader® for this part.
Do a short quiz to review what you have learnt.

Answers to Quiz/ Module 2

1. Which two homeopathic first aid medicines are said to help prevent tetanus?
Hypericum and Ledum.

2. Which homeopathic medicine is considered to be the Arnica of the nerves?
Hypericum.

3. What aspects of shock are similar to the symptom picture of Arnica?
People say they are alright when they very obviously aren’t. They don’t want to be touched. They may also be chilly.

4. If you were treating a painless, pus-filled wound what homeopathic medicine might be most similar?
Silica.

5. Apart from Arnica what other homeopathic medicine could be used to treat a black eye?
Ledum. Sympytum is also good for injuries to the eyeball itself.

6. If a wound needed Ledum what would it look like?
Often a puncture wound or a black eye. The area would be cold, bluish and swollen. Despite this the sufferer would feel heat in the wound and want cold applications.

7. Which homeopathic medicine can be used to force out splinters?
Silica.

8. Why is it O.K. to give more than one homeopathic medicine at a time when treating a first aid case?
In the case of external injuries many homeopathic medicines may be needed to cover different aspects such as bruising, nerve damage, flesh wounds, sepsis. Whereas if symptoms are coming from an internal ‘dis-ease’, as in an acute illness, it is better to find one homeopathic medicine that covers the whole picture.

9. What homeopathic medicines may be helpful in treating sunburn?
Cantharis, Belladonna and Urtica urens.

10. What homeopathic medicine can ease the pain of fractures and broken bones?
Bryonia. Once the bone has been set Symphytum (also known as Comfrey or Knitbone) and Calc phos can help the bone to heal more quickly.

Acute or chronic? To treat or not to treat…?

Homeopathy World kits and our website aim to promote the safe and effective use of self-prescribed homeopathic medicines. To be a safe prescriber you need to know your limits. In the last module we studied first aid and first of all looked at certain warning signs that mean you must seek professional medical advice, please always bear these in mind.

An important distinction also needs to be made between chronic and acute illness. Chronic illness should not be treated by the home prescriber. A qualified, experienced homeopath is much better able to prescribe for these conditions because they will take into account factors such as medical history, susceptibility, family tendencies, past traumas, dreams, mental or emotional disturbance and any conventional medication being taken. They will also be working with a much larger selection of homeopathic medicines than are usually available to the home prescriber and with a more in depth knowledge understanding of them.

Having said that, as with first aid prescribing, the home prescriber can get fantastic results when treating acute illnesses.
The definition of an acute illness is one where you have:

i) a prodromal (or warning) period where you just don’t feel right and know that you are coming down with something, then
ii) intensified and clear symptoms develop
iii) you recover

These stages take place over a matter of days.
Examples of typical acute illnesses are:
the common cold; coughs; flu; food poisoning; cystitis; infectious childhood illnesses (mumps, measles, chicken pox etc).

Acute illnesses over and over?

If acute illnesses recur frequently, this points to an underlying susceptibility that could develop into a more chronic pattern and means you should seek constitutional treatment with a professional homeopath. Think of these episodes as helpful and friendly red warning lights. Nipping things in the bud by treating the underlying dis-ease can save a lot of unnecessary suffering later. To find a professional homeopath near you just go to our home page and click on ‘Finding a practitioner’.

Treating acute illnesses

If you, or a friend or family member, has an acute illness then by working on developing your powers of observation and case-taking skills you will greatly increase you chances of finding ‘the simillimum’ (a Latin word that means the most similar homeopathic medicine). So let’s look at:

THE SECRETS OF TAKING A GOOD CASE

What do you need to ask in order to prescribe accurately for an injury or acute illness?

The first rule is not to ask leading questions (i.e.. those that can be answered with a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’). Try to leave your questions as open as possible. Use ‘Wh -‘ questions beginning with What? Where? Why? When? How? as these always have to be answered with information and will also avoid the risk of you ‘leading the witness’.

The second rule is to observe carefully any changes you notice from the person’s normal state. This is especial important when treating children or animals, as they are usually less forthcoming.

Thirdly, some homoeopaths use the word CLAMS to help them remember to ask all the important questions:

C is for concomitants
This means any symptoms they have in addition to the main complaint.
Example questions:
“What other changes have you noticed in yourself since you got the flu?”
For example a terrible thirst (or any other changes in temperature, appetite, mood etc) since the onset of the complaint.
“What else can you tell me about the headache?”
For example headache (main problem) with blurred vision (additional symptom).

L is for location
Example questions:
“Where exactly is the pain?”
“Does it go from there to anywhere else? ”
(For example sore throat on the right-hand side with pain extending up into the ear.)

A is for aetiology
Quite simply: the cause. In the case of an injury this may be obvious, but in acute illnesses you may need to prompt a little to find out if anything out of the ordinary happened before the symptoms set in.
Example questions:
“What was going on immediately before you got ill?”
“Can you think of any reason why you may have got ill?”
For example they may have received some bad news or got their feet wet; these are all clues that will lead you to the right remedy.

M is for modalities
Example questions:
“What makes you feel better or worse?”
For example a person my feel better for fresh air or having a warm drink.
“What makes your complaint feel better or worse?”
For example a person’s dizziness can be worse for lying down or their stomach pain may be better for firm pressure.

S is for sensations
These can relate to the pain, or to any other sensations, they have with the complaint.
Example questions:
“What is the pain like exactly?”
Remember people are not used to describing pain in specific terms, so if they get stuck offer a wide range of adjectives to choose from (e.g. throbbing, shooting, piercing, aching, stabbing etc).
“What else are you feeling?”
People may have other sensations besides pain, such as weakness, tingling etc.

Many, many years ago when I first became interested in Homeopathy I was introduced to a wonderful book called “The Complete Homeopathy Handbook : A Guide to Everyday Health Care” by Miranda Castro.

This book encourages the home prescriber to work as a homeopath works. Once you have taken the case it asks you to find the symptoms in the ‘Repertory’ section of the book. A ‘Repertory’ is a book that lists symptoms with their location, aetiology, concomitants, modalities and sensations (see above) and then lists any homeopathic medicines that are capable of producing ‘similar suffering’ in a healthy person.

Once you have found the symptoms, the book provides you with a ‘repertorisation chart’. You write the symptoms to the left of the chart and then tick off any homeopathic medicines listed for that particular symptom in a grid to the right. Once you have completed the chart certain homeopathic medicines will usually have more ticks than other.

The book then directs you to the ‘Materia Medica’ section of the book. ‘Materia Medica’ means, very simply a description of the medicines in detail. You then read up any medicines that scored a lot of ticks and compare the descriptions to find the one that has the most similar suffering picture to the person you are treating.

The book outlines 90 frequently-needed homeopathic medicines and covers a huge range of first aid situations and acute illnesses. I think I am right in saying that, to this day, it is still the only book aimed at the home prescriber to take such an authentic approach. Many self help books over-simplify Homeopathy by saying: ” If you are suffering from condition ‘x’ then take homeopathic medicine ‘y’.” Knowing what you now know about the Law of Similars, you can see why this approach often brings disappointing results. Homeopathy is founded on a natural law that always works. If a particular prescription doesn’t work it is because it was not truly homeopathic i.e. capable of producing similar suffering in a healthy person.

If you want to get the most from Homeopathy as a home prescriber then I really can’t recommend this book highly enough.”The Complete Homeopathy Handbook” by Miranda Castro is available on Amazon.

Printing our Basic 36 Repertory Chart.

The information in our kits is also laid out to encourage you to work as a homeopath would. You look firstly at the ‘Complaints’ section of our leaflet with your particular symptom picture in mind and then check possible medicines in the ‘Mini Materia Medica’ section. If you would like to tick off possible medicines using our Basic 36 Repertorisation chart just download this PDF file and print off some charts to keep with your kit. This is particularly helpful in cases where a lot of possible medicines are listed, as it really helps you to keep track of which seem to be the most similar. Remember to always consult the Materia Medica before making your final choice.

Click here for our Repertorising PDF file.

You can of course use any reliable additional information sources with the kit leaflet to fill in your chart, but Miranda’s Handbook is particularly good and all 36 medicines in our Basic 36 kit are written up in great detail in her Materia Medica section.

Using our Basic 36 Repertory Chart.
Let’s see how you would use the chart in a typical acute case.

Case 1

Your friend calls to ask if you have anything in your kit for flu. You go over and take his case. You are able to get a lot of clues just by observing. You find him in bed, he is weak with chills and shivering. You ask if he can think of anything that could have made him ill and he tells you he got caught in a rain shower the day before and got quite cold. You notice he is not moving much and has hardly touched the glass of water by his bedside. His eyelids seem heavy. You ask what else he is feeling. He says he can feel a sore throat coming on too, but he can’t tell you much about it. You check his tongue, but it seems normal.

Your repertorisation chart looks something like this:
(
Click here to see the chart larger in pdf form)

repchart1Symptoms:
Flu (all possible choices): Ars, Bry, Gels, Nux, Rhus, Ipecac
Flu with chills/shivering: Ars, Gels, Nux
Flu, lying still: Bry, Gels
Sore throat: Aco, Apis, Arg nit, Bell, Bry, Gels, Hepar sulph, Kali bich, Lach, Lyc Merc, Sil

So when you count up your ticks Bryonia and Gelsemium come top with 3 and 4 ticks respectively. You turn to the Mini Materia Medica and read the descriptions for both medicines.

Bryonia you note tends to lie still, which fits, but they also tend to be thirsty and irritable, which doesn’t. Gelsemium also lies still, because of weakness, and has heavy drooping eyelids. It also has sore throat and shivering with flu symptoms.
You decide to double check in another homeopathic book and find Gelsemium also has problems that come on after getting wet and can be thirstless. You go ahead and prescribe Gelsemium as it seems capable of producing the most similar suffering.
Click here to see the chart larger in pdf form

Case 2

Your child has chickenpox and is quite distressed with it. You read somewhere in a book that Rhus tox is the remedy for chickenpox, but you want to be sure it is really the most similar thing, so you work on the case. You notice she is more anxious and clingy than usual and gets upset, almost scared, if you leave the room. She has a bit of a fever and seem restless, but doesn’t like you mopping her brow. You are pleased to see she is drinking and refuses lemonade in favour of cold water. You try to ask her some questions but she can’t or won’t answer you. There is nothing really remarkable about the spots, they are just itchy and uncomfortable. Her tongue seems normal, maybe a bit white.

Your repertorisation chart looks something like this:
(Click here to see the chart larger in pdf form.)

repchart2Chickenpox (all possible choices): Aco, Ant tart, Bell, Merc, Puls, Rhus
Chickenpox, with fever and fearful: Aco
Chickenpox, with clinginess: Puls
Chickenpox, with itchy rash, restlessness: Rhus
Anxiety, with fever: Aco, Ars

You decide to read up Aconite (3 ticks) and Rhus tox (2 ticks) and choose the most similar. Aconite looks good because it has restlessness, fear, fever, desire for cold water and is worse for being touched. Rhus tox also has itching and restlessness and is supposed to be great for chickenpox, but a couple of things don’t fit. It isn’t fearful and craves cold milk rather than water. Also your child doesn’t have a red triangular tip to her tongue. So you opt to give Aconite first and will only give Rhus tox if the Aconite fails to do anything.

Click here to see the chart larger in pdf form.

Case 3

Try filling out a repertorisation chart for this case on your own.
Then go to the Mini Materia Medica and choose what you think would be the most similar homeopathic medicine.

Your son has had a cough for a week or so and up until now it hasn’t bothered him much. Tonight is much worse though. It might be your imagination but he seems a bit blue in the face and he asked you to open his window even thought it is quite chilly outside. Not only that but every time he coughs he vomits and although at first you thought this was a good thing as it seemed to bring up some mucus, he has vomited several times now and just doesn’t seem to be getting any better and still feels nauseous even after vomiting. You decide to just try one homeopathic medicine and if that doesn’t help to get professional help immediately.

What would your repertorisation chart look like?
From the results of the chart what medicines would you study?
Which would you choose and why do you prefer it to the other possible choices?
My answer is just before the Quiz section.

Waiting for a response

Once you have found the most similar medicine to the case, give one dose and wait to see what the response is. As a general rule the more intense the symptoms are, the quicker the medicine tends to act. I have seen acute illnesses respond in literally seconds. However, unless the situation is very extreme I suggest you wait between 15 -30 minutes to assess if there has been any improvement.

Possible responses to your prescription

1. The remedy works
If there has been a distinct improvement, even if it is slight, do nothing until the symptoms start to worsen again. Provided the symptom picture hasn’t changed you can give the same medicine again as soon as there is a relapse or any improvement comes to a complete standstill. If in any doubt remember the Law of the Minimum Dose and wait.

2. The remedy doesn’t work
Do not keep repeating a particular homeopathic medicine if it has not helped at all. By giving repeated doses of a medicine that is not homeopathic (i.e. is incapable of causing similar suffering) it is possible to bring on new symptoms. If there is absolutely no improvement, or symptoms worsen, you will need to check that your case-taking was adequate and then represcribe.

3.The symptom picture changes
If symptoms change dramatically, and this can often happen in acute episodes, you will also need to retake the case and represcribe.

Last word
Last but not least, keep calm and don’t be too hurried, either in taking the case or selecting the homeopathic medicine. If you jump in too fast and give the wrong medicine it will have no effect at all. This is a reassuring thought, but you will still have to allow time to see if it does work and it will really be a case of more haste less speed if you don’t take the time to make the very best selection you can at the outset.

Answer to Case 3

(Click here to see the chart I filled in for this case in pdf form)

repchart3

Coughs all possible choices): Aco, Ant tart, Bry, Dros, Hepar, Ipecac, Kali bich, Puls
Coughs, with vomiting: Ant tart, Dros, Ipecac
Coughs, with vomiting mucus: Dros
Coughs with blueness: Dros, Ipecac
Vomiting with coughs: Ant tart, Dros, Ipecac
Vomiting with unrelieved nausea: Ipecac

Ant tart got 3 ticks and Drosera and Ipecac both got five. So I read up on these two. Drosera covers a lot of the symptoms well. It has cough with vomiting (with mucus in the vomit). It has blueness too. It likes warmth though and your son specifically wanted the window open. Ipecac covers desire for open air and also covers the vomiting and blueness.

The other thing in its favour is that your son has nausea that is not relieved by vomiting. This is a keynote of Ipecac. So that was my first choice.
Click here to see the chart I filled in for this case in pdf form

Quiz/ Module 3

All the answers can be found in the text, but see how much you can remember (or guess). Good Luck! The answers will be given at the end of this module.

1. Describe the three distinct stages of a typical acute illness.

2. How long do these stages take to unfold:
a) days b) weeks or months c) years

3. Give three examples of acute illnesses.

4. In case-taking why is it helpful to ask questions beginning with “Why?” “Where?” “What?” “How?”.

5. What does the mnemonic C-L-A-M-S stand for?

6. If the homeopathic medicine you selected worked, would you give a second dose and if so when?

7. If the homeopathic medicine you selected definitely didn’t work why would it be inadvisable to repeat it?

8. What would you do if the symptom picture you had been treating radically altered?
answers

Click here for our Repertorising PDF file.

Click here for Mini Materia Medica.

Answers to Quiz/ Module 3

1. Describe the three distinct stages of a typical acute illness.

Firstly there is a prodromal (or warning) stage, where you don’t feel quite right, secondly there is stage with clearly defined symptoms and thirdly there is a recovery stage.

2. How long do these stages take to unfold:

a) days

3. Give three examples of acute illnesses.

Any of the following provided they have the three phases mentioned above (warning period, clear symptoms, recovery within days). For example coughs, colds, flu, ear infections, chest infections, croup, cystitis, gastric flu, food poisoning, sinusitus, sore throats. If someone frequently suffers from acute illnesses they will greatly benefit from constitutional treatment with a professional homeopath.

4. In case-taking why is it helpful to ask questions beginning with “Why?” “Where?” “What?” “How?”.

They have to be answered with information, not just a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. This information can them be used to accurately match the symptom picture to the most similar remedy.

5. What does the mnemonic C-L-A-M-S stand for?

Concomitants – symptoms that come with the main complaint

Location – the area affected

Aetiology – the cause of the illness

Modalities – anything that makes either the sufferer or the symptom feel better or worse

Sensations – the type of pain experienced (throbbing, aching, burning, stinging, shooting etc.) and any sensations other than painful ones (such as itching, tickling, crawling, butterflies in the stomach etc.)

6. If the homeopathic medicine you selected worked, would you give a second dose and if so when?

Not necessarily, only if and when the same symptoms returned. This is in accordance with the Law of the Minimum Dose.

7. If the homeopathic medicine you selected definitely didn’t work why would it be inadvisable to repeat it?

It is possible this would cause a ‘proving’ where the person you were trying to treat might begin to get symptoms from the medicine.

8. What would you do if the symptom picture you had been treating radically altered?

Retake the case and prescribe a homeopathic medicine that was similar to the new situation.

A Homeopathy World Trio Pack is the perfect companion to the Exploring Homeopathy Course.

I hope you have enjoyed Exploring Homeopathy with me.If you have a question that can’t wait feel free to contact me now.

Wishing you well,
Mary

© Mary Aspinwall

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