Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Getting Started with Homeopathy

Homeopathy is an alternative form of medicine that has been used for thousands of years to treat everything from life threatening illnesses to the common cold.  While many people used to modern medicine may find it strange, it is still one of the most used types of medical treatment worldwide and is steadily gaining popularity in the western world.

Homeopathy: An A to Z Home HandbookHomeopathic medicine is based on three basic principles.  The main principle of homeopathy is that like treats like.  Instead of treating based on the disease doctors think you have, treatment is done based on the symptoms you know you have.  This means that you can attain relief from your symptoms immediately rather than first going through tests to find out what is wrong with you.

The second principle is that there is only one treatment, not two or even ten like a traditional doctor might give you.  The third principle is that everything is given in extremely small doses.

To treat yourself homeopathically, you must figure out all the symptoms.  Once you know your symptoms, find a substance that causes the exact same set of symptoms and take a small amount of it.  Because you are only taking a very small amount, the substance not only doesn’t harm you, it’s said to cure you, generally long term or even permanently.

The Complete Homeopathy Handbook: Safe and Effective Ways to Treat Fevers, Coughs, Colds and Sore Throats, Childhood Ailments, Food Poisoning, Flu, and a Wide Range of Everyday ComplaintsWhen most people hear about homeopathy, their initial reaction is scepticism.  Treating symptoms with something that causes your symptoms seems totally counterintuitive, but it’s a concept that’s used in modern medicine as well as more ancient cures.  Shots commonly used to treat allergies contain a small amount of whatever you’re allergic to.  Many vaccines contain a small amount of the disease they’re designed to protect against.

While homeopathic medicine is not only considered effective, it has many benefits over modern medicine.  Like many other natural medical treatments, most homeopathic remedies are totally natural.  While this doesn’t necessarily make them safe, these remedies tend to cause fewer side effects, have little drug interactions, and are generally better for your overall health.

Homeopathic medications are also considered better for your body because they work with it. Many modern medicines work to suppress symptoms like fever or coughing. These symptoms are the body’s natural ways to get rid of disease.  Instead of suppressing symptoms, homeopathic medicine works to cure the problem itself while addressing the specific symptoms.

When the right treatment is found, homeopathy is considered very effective.  The big problem is that just like there are thousands of prescriptions and over the counter drugs, there are also thousands of homeopathic remedies as well.  And if you don’t pick exactly the right one, it won’t work.

While you can buy homeopathic remedies over the counter, just like herbal and other alternative medicines, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to treat yourself.  If you’re serious about this treatment you should speak to a homeopathic specialist or a doctor who has experience in alternative medicine.

Here are some of the usual remedies for common symptoms or ailments. It can be useful and cost effective to have a kit of remedies on hand rather than having to get out to your health store when you are ill. A phone call to your practioner can confirm which remedy to take, even if it is only until you can get an appointment. This Boiron Family Homeopathic Kit contains all the following remedies:

Allium cepa - Runny nose.
Antimonium tartaricum - Wet cough.
Apis mellifica - Swelling from insect bites or allergies.
Arnica montana - Trauma and bruises.
Arsenicum album - Travelers diarrhea.
Belladonna - High Fever.
Bryonia alba - Muscle and joint pains.
Calcarea carbonica - Cradle cap.
Chamomilla - Teething pain with irritability.
Cinchona officinalis - Diarrhea with gas and bloating.
Colocynthis - Abdominal cramps improved by bending over.
Drosera rotundifolia - Spasmodic dry cough.
Dulcamara - Joint pain triggered and worsened by damp weather.
Eupatorium perfoliatum - Stiffness and bone pain associated with flu.
Ferrum phosphoricum - Low or mild fever.
Gelsemium Sempervirens - Stage fright, apprehension.
Hepar sulphuris calcareum - Painful and hoarse dry cough.
Hypericum perforatum - Nerve Pain.
Ignatia amara - Nervousness, hypersensitivity due to everyday stress.
Ipecacuanha - Nausea and vomiting with hypersalivation.
Kali bichromicum - Colds with thick nasal discharge.
Lachesis mutus - Hot flashes associated with menopause.
Ledum palustre - Insect bites.
Magnesia phosphorica - Sudden sharp menstrual and abdominal cramps.
Mercurius solubilis - Sore throat with offensive breath and excessive salivation.
Natrum muriaticum - Runny nose alternating with nasal dryness.
Nux vomica - Heartburn or drowsiness due to excessive eating or drinking.
Pulsatilla - Colds with thick, yellow, non-irritating nasal discharge.
Rhus toxicodendron - Joint pain improved by motion.
Sepia - Mood swings.
Silicea - Fatigue and irritability due to overwork.
Spongia tosta - Croupy cough.
Oscillococcinum - Symptoms of flu.

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