Homeopathy and urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common in women, much more common than in men. Women’s anatomy is partially to blame – shorter urethra-to-anus distance allows bacteria to easily travel and infect the urinary system. Cystitis (bladder infection) represents the majority of these infections.  According to the study from the National Center for Health Statistics  in American emergency rooms only pneumonia is treated more often than UTIs.1  Around 50–60% of women will develop UTIs in their lifetimes.2

Escherichia coli is the organism that causes UTIs in most women. Conventional approach is to treat every UTI with antibiotics, but very often UTI returns. Antibiotics resistant E. coli strains are one of the reasons. “Ampicillin, amoxicillin, and sulfonamides are no longer the drugs of choice for empirical treatment because of the widespread emergence of resistance in 15–20% of E. coli in several areas of the USA and other countries.”2  Some E. coli strains are already resistant even to a new strong class of antibiotics, fluoroquinolones, there is a “recognition of what has been described “stealth pandemic” of Escherichia coli sequence type 131 (ST131) that is resistant to both fluoroquinolones and extended spectrum beta-lactamases.”4

According to FDA fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs can have serious permanent  side effects that involve the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and central nervous system.3 Imagine taking such an antibiotic, risk side effects and still have the UTI.

Many women get yeast overgrowth after even one course of antibiotics. Antibiotics change the gut bacteria leading to gut dysbiosis which in turn causes digestive issues, food intolerances and recurrent infections like UTIs. That leads to more courses of antibiotics, which change gut bacteria balance even more. Homeopathic remedies help to break that vicious cycle.

In some cases  bacteria are not found in urine culture, despite symptoms of discomfort. Homeopathic remedies address the urinary tract discomfort whether bacteria is found in urine or not. Homeopathic remedies are used to relieve acute discomfort of UTIs  or along antibiotics to improve the outcome. Some of my favorite homeopathic remedies to relieve acute discomfort are listed  below.  Drinking cranberry extract with water as many glasses as possible during the day is also helpful.

Prevention is always the most important for any condition. When the acute phase is over, homeopathic remedies help restore gut and vaginal flora, improve overall health to prevent UTIs in the future. You have to consult a professional homeopath to find such remedies.

Here are some of my favorite remedies to relieve acute discomfort of UTI:

Arnica montana – this is an excellent remedy for injuries and trauma in general, including trauma of the perineum. It is very useful in cystitis that follows a bruising injury to the perineum after the birth of a baby.  There is inability to empty the bladder and some involuntary dribbling of urine.

Cantharis – is the most frequently used homeopathic remedy for UTIs. There is frequency and urgency of urination but very little urine is produced on urination attempt. The urine may feel hot as it comes out, usually drop by drop. Cutting or burning pain before, during and after urination. The pain is excruciating, each drop feels like scalding acid, and it may be easier to pass urine in a hot bath. The urine may have some blood in it. Feels irritable, increased sex drive. Better warmth and rest.

Sarsaparilla – this is the remedy to use when the pain is the worst at the end of urination. It is easier to pass urine while standing up. Worse at night and when cold.

Staphysagria  – is helpful for UTIs that come up after sexual activity, pelvic examination, operation,  labor or emotional or physical abuse. Frequent urging to urinate but urine comes in thin stream or by drops. Burning pain during urination. Feels angry, offended. Worse walking, riding. Better urinating.

Homeopathic remedies above can safely be used in 30C potency.  If you have tried 3-6 doses of a remedy and do not see any improvement, consult your homeopath for a more specific remedy for you.

If you have severe pain in kidney area or you have a substantial amount of blood in urine, go to Emergency room or see your doctor immediately.

REFERENCES:

  1. ” How many women are affected or at risk for UTIs & UI?” , NIH, https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/urinary/conditioninfo/Pages/affected.aspx
  1. “Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Management in Women”, Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2013 Aug; 13(3): 359–367. Published online 2013 Jun 25, Ahmed Al-Badr1,* and Ghadeer Al-Shaikh2                                                                                                        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3749018/
  1. “FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA advises restricting fluoroquinolone antibiotic use for certain uncomplicated infections; warns about disabling side effects that can occur together”                                                                                                                https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm500143.htm
  1. “Prevention of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)”                                                                                     https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2040239-overview

 

 

 

 

What is Homeoprophylaxis?

“Homeoprophylaxis (HP) is the use of potentized substances in a systematic manner to prevent the development of the characteristic symptoms of disease.”- Dr. Golden

Homeoprophylaxis (HP) is a safe way to “educate” the immune system against infectious and contagious diseases, and it has been successfully used for more than 200 years. HP is based on homeopathic approach and addresses the whole person to promote health and prevent diseases.

Homeopathic remedies used in HP are ultra-high dilutions, they do not contain molecules of the original substances, and are non-toxic. HP remedies are made from plant, mineral or animal sources or disease products, and are given before encountering a disease to “educate” the immune system. HP remedy works on energetic level of the body and serves as an information message to the immune system.

Law of Similars is used in homeopathy to choose correct remedies, and is also applied for prevention. A remedy that produces symptoms similar to those of the disease will cure an individual that has that disease.  The same remedy that will cure an infectious disease will prevent or reduce the severity of that infection if the remedy is given before exposure to the disease.

Regular vaccines contain small amounts of infectious organisms or disease products. In addition to the disease causing microbes, conventional vaccines contain multiple adjuvants and preservatives and can cause serious side effects.  Conventional vaccines are injected directly into the blood stream bypassing the body’s natural early defense mechanisms. The goal of conventional vaccines is to produce antibodies. The expectation is that the person who is given a vaccine for a specific disease will develop antibodies to that disease and thus be protected. Dr. Merrill W. Chase made a discovery in 1940s (1) that antibodies or humoral immunity alone do not provide immunity, non-specific, cell medicated immunity that involves action of different types of T-cells is important as well to protect the body from infections.

In contrast with conventional vaccines, HP remedies have no dangerous additives, preservatives, toxins, antibiotics, and no molecules of the infecting virus remain. HP remedies contain only the information frequency of the disease. This frequency is delivered on tiny sugar pellets, by mouth, one disease at a time. HP remedy “educates” the immune system about a specific virus. HP does not rely on antibody production, but on changing the susceptibility of the person to the disease. Microbes are not seen as the main cause of diseases, rather terrain, or individual’s predisposition to a disease is important – absence of the predisposition to a specific disease makes the person immune to it. Homeopathic remedies are able to remove these predispositions.

Homeopathy has a 200 years history of high success rate in healing and providing protection in epidemic diseases. Dr. Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, used homeopathic remedy Belladonna to treat patients with scarlet fever. He noticed that those who took the same remedy Belladonna before developing the symptoms of scarlet fever, remained healthy even when coming into contact with the disease. (2) Homeoprophylaxis has been used by many well known homeopathic practitioners like Hering, Boenninghausen, Kent, Allen and Boger, and many other homeopathic practitioners since then.

In recent years large-scale observational studies for homeoprophylactic intervention have been conducted in Cuba for Leptospirosis in 2.3 million persons (3), in Brazil for meningitis in 85,000 people (5),  in India for Japanese encephalitis in more than 20 million people (6).

Dr. Isaac Golden from Australia is the world authority on homeoprophylaxis. In 2004 he completed a research on homeoprophylaxis at the Swinburne University, Melbourne. It was a 20 years Homeoprophylactic Program for disease prevention from 1985 to 2004 where 2,342 responses were collected.  According to the research, the effectiveness of homeoprophylaxis  is 90.4% (95% confidence limits 87.6% – 93.2%). Using national attack rates as a control, HP efficacy for three diseases was:  whooping cough – 86.2%; measles – 90.0%; mumps – 91.6%. (7)

No method of disease prevention can guarantee 100% protection from any infectious disease. When you are considering any aspect of your health and health of your children, it is important to research and review all factors and information. Conventional vaccines do have risks, and can be contraindicated to people with severe illness, suppressed immune system, or history of previous vaccine reactions. Some people have religious or philosophical objections to conventional vaccines. Homeoprophylaxis offers a safe alternative for those groups of people.

Vaccinations are a personal choice and require thoughtful considerations. I do not recommend or discourage regular vaccinations. I recommend clients to do as much research as possible to make sure they feel satisfied with the choice they make. Clients make decisions on their own, and some chose conventional vaccines, and others do not. I respect everyone’s decision. If conventional vaccines are being used, specific homeopathic remedies might be suggested to mitigate negative side effects of traditional vaccinations.

HP remedies are suitable for infants, children and adults. HP remedies can be used for people who travel to countries where they may be exposed to infectious diseases not present in their home country. HP is based on sound homeopathic principals, is safe and effective, and has been used successfully by many people around the world.

If you are considering homeoprophylaxis for yourself or your children, please contact Vera.

REFERENCES:

  1. “Merrill W. Chase, 98, Scientist Who Advanced Immunology”,By Anahad O’Connor, Jan 22, 2004, NY Times,  http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/22/nyregion/merrill-w-chase-98-scientist-who-advanced-immunology.html?_r=2
  1. Hahnemann S. 1801. “The Cure and Prevention of Scarlet Fever”, p. 369-384, The Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann, republished by B. Jain Publishers, 1993, New Dehli.
  2. Bracho, G, Varela, E, Fernandez, R, et al. “Large-scale application of highly-diluted bacteria for Leptospirosis epidemic control.” Homeopathy. 99 (2010): 156-166.,            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20674839
  1. Dr. Golden, Isaac. “Homeoprophylaxis-A Fifteen Year Clinical Study: A Statistical Review of Efficacy and Safety of Long Term Homeoprophylaxis.” Gisborne. Vic. 2004
  2. Mroninski, Adriano, Mattos. Homeopathic Links, Winter 2001, Vol 14(4)), Influenza (International Journal of High Dilution Research 2011; 10(36):174-176
  3. Srinivasulu, G. “An Open Observational Study on the prevention of Japanese Encephalitis through Miasmatic Prescription”, Journal of Homoeopathy, January 2014 Volume 103, Issue 1, Pages 78–79,  http://www.homeopathyjournal.net/article/S1475-4916(13)00125-2/abstract
  1. Dr. Golden, Isaac http://immunizationalternatives.com/clinical-research/

BOOKS

REFERENCES FOR FURTHER STUDY

Copyright © 2016 –, Vera Volfson, CCH

History of Homeoprophylaxis

General and historical review of the long term and historical use of homeoprophylaxis over the last 200+ years

  • 1799: Scarlatina epidemic in Germany was managed successfully by Belladonna.
  • 1801: Hahnemann wrote an article, “The prevention and cure of scarlet fever” in his lesser writings. Also published a pamphlet called ‘Cure and Prevention of Scarlet Fever’, along with each pamphlet, a vial containing Belladonna was distributed. In his footnote to § 73, he wrote, “scarlet fever founds its preventive and curative means in Belladonna.”
  • 1808: In the subsequent scarlatina epidemic in Germany, Aconite was proved effective.
  • 1808: Published a paper, “Observation on the scarlet fever,” in which he described the individual features of the two previous epidemics.
  • 1813: Hahnemann mentioned in his ‘Chronic Diseases’ about Bryonia and Rhus tox for the acute miasm of typhus.
  • 1831: Hahnemann selected Camphor, Cuprum and Veratrum album for the prevention and cure of Asiatic cholera.
  • 1849:  Boenninghausen  successfully used preventives during the cholera epidemic in Europe. The mortality rate was 54-90% in conventional medicine, whereas homeopathy had only 5–16% mortality. In his lesser writings, he had mentioned about his experience on Thuja for the prevention of small pox. Once he said, “Variolinum 200 is far supreme to crude vaccinations and absolutely safe.”
  • 1833, Constantine Hering: He  suggested Psorinum to prevent an infection of itch miasm.
  • 1884, J C Burnet: He suggested Vaccinum 30 as a preventive for small pox.
  • Dr. H. C. Allen: He used Diptherinum for 25 years as a preventive
    of Diptheria.
  • William Boericke: In his Materia Medica, under Baptisia, he writes, “Baptisia in lower dilutions produces a form of antibodies to the bacillus typhosus. It raises the natural body resistance to the invasion of bacillary intoxication.”
  • Dorothy Shepherd: Confirmed the effectiveness of Pertussin in the prevention of whooping cough.
  • Francisco X. Eizayaga. His protocol of homeopathic prophylaxis was successfully used for four decades in Buenos Aires.
  • 1820 – 1904, Dr. Dudgeon: He reported that 10 allopathic doctors  used homeopathic doses of Belladonna on 1646 children as a preventive for scarlet fever, and only 123 cases had the infection. At the same time, 90% of people who had not taken Belladonna got the infection.
  • 1838, Dr. Hufeland: He supported the use of Belladonna as a preventive against scarlet fever, hence, the government of Prussia made its use mandatory in 1838 during an epidemic of scarlet fever.
  • 1907, Dr. Eaton: In 1907, he collated the results of several doctors in Iowa during a smallpox epidemic. As a prophylaxis to small pox, 2806 persons were given Variolinum 30. Out of these 2806 people, 547 persons had definite exposure to small pox. The response was very encouraging. Only 14 cases got the infection, which means the prophylaxis was 97% effective.
  • 1918, W. A. Pearson:  W. A. Pearson of Philadelphia collected 26795 cases of influenza treated with Gelsemium by various homeopathic physicians. The mortality was only 1.05%, but the mortality of cases treated by conventional medicine was 30%.
  • 1988 – 1994, Dr. Isaac Golden:  Conducted a survey among the customers who had purchased his prophylactic kit against diseases like pertussis, diphtheria, mumps, measles, influenza, tetanus, and poliomyelitis. He then conducted a follow-up survey by sending a questionnaire between 1988 to 1994 to each of the parents. He received 879 replies, out of which, only 2% of the children got the infection. Out of 188 children who had definite exposure, only 20 got infected, that too with fewer troubles. There were no adverse effects from the program. The repeated doses actually helped for the long-term prevention.
  • 1974, Brazil: Guarantingueta in Brazil had faced an epidemic of meningitis. As a prophylaxis, Meningococcinum 10C was given to 18640 children. At the same time another group of 6,340 children did not receive the nosode, hence used as control. Out of 18,640, only 4 cases developed meningitis. And, among 6,340 children, 43 cases developed the disease.
  • USA: The homeopaths who worked for the public health departments in USA gained great experience by using the nosodes against smallpox epidemics.
  • 2007, Cuba: In October – November 2007, researchers at Finlay institute, Cuba, reported on their successful use of homeopathic remedy for the prevention of Leptospirosis. They prepared a 200C nosode from various strains of the organism, which was given to 2.4 million people. There was a dramatic decrease in morbidity and reached to zero mortality of hospitalized patients.
  • India: In almost all states in India, homeopathic preventive medicines were distributed during the epidemics of Japanese encephalitis, Swine flu, Chinkungunya, Chickenpox, Conjunctivitis, Dengue fever, etc. The responses from the various sources are quite favorable. The success story of prophylaxis from Andhra Pradesh was a much-discussed topic in the public media. The Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH) is always vigilant on the outbreak of epidemic. They have special research centers to conduct studies on prophylaxis. CCRH also conducted studies on the efficacy of prevention of Japanese Encephalitis in states like UP,  WB, AP, Assam (1986-1999). The result was excellent. In India, homeopathic preventives are also distributed by NRHM, State Government departments, Homeopathic colleges, organizations and practitioners. The Government of Kerala has got a special body called RAECH (Rapid Action Epidemic Control cell Homeopathy), which is under the control of the department of homeopathy. It includes medical officers, members from various organizations and also private practitioners in each area. The RAECH has conducted many studies on the efficacy of HP.

Adapted from an article on Homeoprophylaxis by Dr. Muhammed Rafeeque, BHMS, India, Presented for the first time at LIGA 1st – 4th December 2011
Article Published in the March 2012 issue of Homeopathic Heritage, http://californiahomeopath.com/issue/the-california-homeopath-volume-17-3/article/an-attempt-to-solve-the-controversies-in-homoeopathic-prophylaxis1

 

Natural Approach to Flu

How long would you like to be sick with flu? The answer is probably not at all, no one likes having a flu. Or cold, or sore throat,  or cough. We feel interrupted in our busy lives by the illness, we have so many better things to do. On the other hand, having a runny nose or a flu once in a while is part of our life cycle, not to be annoyed with but rather viewed as a message to receive and process.

Have you been naughty or nice? Have you been eating your vegetables, exercising and spending time with your supportive friends and family, or have you been working 60 hours every week, living on coffee and fast food?

If you have overextended yourself, your health will catch up with you and make you take a long break. If you had plenty of sunshine and rest in summer, good food and regular physical activities, your nose might run for a day or two but not many other symptoms will appear when the weather changes to colder temperatures.

How we address our illnesses is often as important as the illness itself. Treat it naturally, with soup, tea, and natural homeopathic remedies, and your health improves. Immune system gets training, some toxins are cleared, and a much needed break gives you time to think about Gym membership that is about to expire.

Treat your acute illness with harsh chemicals and you might get a short term relief, but your microbiome balance (the balance of microorganisms that live on and inside the human body) will be disrupted. Imbalance of the microbiome  predisposes us to chronic diseases and has to be avoided as much as possible.  (1) Read more about human microbiome

Homeopathic remedies have been used by millions of people for hundreds of years to address colds, flu and upper respiratory conditions. Homeopathy has proved to be very effective in epidemics like 1918 flu pandemics (2), for shortening flu course (3), cold symptoms in children (4) and many other flu related conditions.

What homeopathic remedies should you try if you get a flu? If you have just started to feel unwell with flu-like symptoms, try Oscillococcinum.

Oscillococcinum – first line of defense.

As soon as you feel a little bit under the weather, a little scratchy throat, a little itching in the nose or a bit of head heaviness, take a dose of Oscillococcinum. If you took 2-3 doses and that did not help, you might have missed the beginning of flu and/or you need a different remedy.

If you already have a full blown flu with runny nose or cough or sore throat, try to find a specific homeopathic remedy that matches your current symptoms the best.

Here are a couple of my favorite homeopathic remedies for flu and colds:

Gelsemium – gradual onset of flu.

If the flu came on gradually with low fever and is accompanied by weakness, try Gelsemium. Droopy and heavy eyelids, feeling dull and sleepy. Pain on the back of the head. Muscle aches, chills running up and down the spine. No thirst.

Aconitum Napellus – sudden onset of flu.

If the flu came on suddenly with high fever, especially after exposure to cold, dry wind or fright, try Aconitum Napellus. Fever and heat alternate with chills. Severe headache, ears bright red, flushes of heat in the face. Very thirsty for cold drinks.

If you have prepared a steak, give it to your friends and family. Have some chicken broth, eat light foods, vegetables, drink ginger tea with lemon and honey. It is very important to get plenty of rest to give your body the best chance to recover. Reading a boring book, napping or thinking about future vacation are all helpful during flu. When you feel better after taking a dose of the remedy, try not to run errands right away, wait for at least one more day to resume your usual activities.

If you have tried 3-6 doses of the best matching homeopathic remedy and you do not see expected results, call your practitioner for more specific remedy suggestions.

Have a wonderful healthy cold season!

REFERENCES:

  1. Acute and chronic illness: similarities, differences and challenges.Murrow EJ, Oglesby FM. Orthop Nurs. 1996 Sep-Oct;15(5):47-51.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8954463
  1. William Osler. The Principles and Practice of Medicine. 8th ed. New York and London: D. Appleton and Company, 1912, 96Wade Hampton Frost. The epidemiology of influenza. Public Health Reports 1919; 34 (33): 1823-1836
  1. Vickers AJ, Smith C, Homoeopathic Oscillococcinum for preventing and treating influenza and influenza-like syndromes (Cochrane Review) The Cochrane Library, Issue 4, 2005.
  1. “A randomized controlled trial of a homeopathic syrup in the treatment of cold symptoms in young children”. Jennifer Jacobs, James A. Taylor; http://www.complementarytherapiesinmedicine.com/article/S0965-2299(16)30277-1/references

Homeopathy and Microbiome

” The human microbiome (all of our microbes’ genes) can be considered a counterpart to the human genome (all of our genes). The genes in our microbiome outnumber the genes in our genome by about 100 to 1.”  University of Utah Health Sciences (4)

How healthy are you? Do you get acute conditions like cold/flu once in a while, manage them with chicken soup and feel well again a week later, or you have a chronic condition like asthma, allergies, Lyme, chronic inflammation or simply tired all the time? If you have a chronic condition, you are not alone, the rate of chronic diseases has been steadily growing over the recent years. According to CDC, “As of 2012, about half of all adults—117 million people—had one or more chronic health conditions. One of four adults had two or more chronic health conditions”. (6) The rates of some diseases are so incredibly high that we cannot attribute it to genetics alone, autism – 1 in 68, breast cancer  – 1 in 8, asthma  – 1 in 12. You do not have to be a scientist to figure out that increase in chronic diseases is not genetic but rather environmental and iatrogenic. Our lifestyle plays a role as well.

Acute illnesses are given us for a reason. They train our immune system to be ready to react to something that is harmful, and not to react to something that is benign. Cholera bacterium? Have to fight it. Peanut butter? No need to overreact. Discovery and use of antibiotics have allowed us to suppress acute diseases but caused events that we have not predicted. Even one round of antibiotics disrupts our normal gut flora balance, and it takes long time and efforts to restore that balance. Antibiotics resistance is on the rise and so are antibiotics side effects. Other toxic substances affect our microbiome as well. Healthy gut flora not only helps to process foods you eat but also provides protection from not so friendly bacteria and viruses you might encounter throughout your life.

“The commensal bacteria in the microbiome are part of the human ecosystem and function in a complementary relationship with each other and with the immune system. The interplay between these microorganisms and the immune system helps regulate, stimulate and inhibit immune activity, through a system of checks and balances. The community of organisms (within the microbiome) involved in this regulatory process is integral to the immune system, and when disrupted, leads to a host of complications ranging from short-term nutritional deficiencies and behavioral problems to long-term allergic, inflammatory and autoimmune illnesses.”, states Dr. Whitmont (7)

The ratio of microorganisms in our body to our own cells is 10:1. Each cell in our body has the same genes, the genes that we got from our parents. Each of microorganisms also has genes. Since it is more of them (microorganisms), than our own cells, it is more of our microbiome genes, than the ones we inherited. The ratio of our microbes genes to our own is 100:1. If all bacteria in your body is friendly and doing what they are supposed to do, digesting food, producing nutrients and modulating your immunity, you are a good shape. Create a dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) in your body and you increase your chances to develop chronic diseases. For example, a research has shown that early childhood use of antibiotics increases the chances of asthma (1). “Similar research has suggested that the destruction of bacteria may contribute to Crohn’s disease, obesity, asthma, and many other chronic illnesses.” (2) Most microbes reside within the gut but microorganisms, that make our lives possible, are also located in respiratory system, brain, skin and other organs and tissues as well. Different microbes colonize different organs. We are not a single organism, we are walking ecosystems.

You might have dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) if you
– have taken antibiotics, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic, steroids or pH altering medications
– eat processed foods or meats from animals that had antibiotics
– use anti-bacterial products like bleaches or sanitizers
– have been exposed to heavy metals and other toxic substances (5)

Specific homeopathic remedies restore microbial balance and promote health and general wellness. “Homeopathic potencies are capable of completely altering the bacterial flora of the bowel, and this fact has been demonstrated in many hundreds of cases”, wrote Dr. Patterson in 1936. (3) That is the most likely mechanism of action that allows homeopathic remedies to be effective in chronic conditions. If you suspect that you might have dysbiosis, call your homeopath to discuss how homeopathic remedies can help you to restore your health.

References:

1. Chest. 2007 Jun;131(6):1753-9. Epub 2007 Apr 5. Increased risk of childhood asthma from antibiotic use in early life.Kozyrskyj AL1, Ernst P, Becker AB.
2. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/10/22/germs-are-us
3. Patterson J. “The Potentised Drug and its Action on the Bowel Flora”; Br. Hom. J., 1936, Vol 26:163-188
4. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/
5. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/spl/
6. http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/
7. “Chronic Illness and the Human Microbiome”, Dr. Ron Whitmont, http://www.homeopathicmd.com/2015/09/chronic-illness-and-the-human-microbiome/

Homeopathy and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

“A sad tale’s best for winter.” — William Shakespeare

Some people love cold weather, snow and winter sports, weather challenges energize them. Others feel very differently about winter. As the days get colder, shorter and darker, some people get low-spirited. They feel dissatisfied, sad, tired all the time, and cannot motivate themselves to do activities they used to enjoy. They feel that winter is here forever, and summer is an unobtainable dream. Alfred de Musset, a 19th-century French poet, wrote “Winter is a disease”, and I am sure many people who suffer from SAD will agree. The effect seasons have on all of us has been known for long time, but only relatively recently the suffering from absence of sunlight has been acknowledged. “Such diseases that increase in the winter ought to cease in the summer…”, wrote Hippocrates in fifth century B.C. He stated that gradual change in weather is better for health than sudden one, and made lifestyle and dietary suggestions for each season. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects millions of Americans, it is a form of depression that comes in winter, sometimes as early as October, and disappears in Spring. Since most of the symptoms of SAD are triggered by lack of sunlight, it is helpful to get as much exposure to sunlight as possible – dress up warmly and spend time outside during day time, travel to a sunny location, even a little break from dark winter might make a difference, use a full spectrum light in your office and home. There are many homeopathic remedies that have aggravation from winter and amelioration from sunshine as part of their symptoms picture. If you have a chronic (many years) SAD that occurs every year, you have to consult a homeopath for the remedy. If you have an occasional episode of SAD that was brought by high level of stress or a very long period without sunshine, try a homeopathic remedy that matches your symptoms the best. Are you chilly and sensitive to change to cold, dry weather and feel better during mild, wet weather? Try homeopathic remedy Causticum. If you are restless and miserable in cold, wet and cloudy weather that makes your back and joints to stiffen up, and you feel better in a hot shower, homeopathic remedy Rhus toxicodendron will be helpful. People who are deeply affected by cloudy weather and changes in weather in general, who feel much better after speaking with friends or eating chocolate ice cream, will benefit from homeopathic remedy Phosphorus.

If you have tried 3-6 doses of the best matching homeopathic remedy and you do not see expected results, call your practitioner for more specific remedy suggestions.

Stay warm and happy!

Holiday Remedies

It is a wonderful time of the year. Streets and houses are bright with decorations and stores are full of busy shoppers. Cards and presents, cleaning and food preparation, memories from the past holidays and events, could be joyous and sad at the same time. Holidays are here and the stress sometimes follows. Feeling overwhelmed? Take Rescue remedy. Have you eaten more than you should have, overindulged on favorite foods or drinks? Take Nux Vomica. That dish was so tasty but fatty, and now you feel uneasy? Take Pulsatilla. Have to make a toast and feel paralyzed? Gelsemium will help you to impress your loved ones. It is time to sleep but you are so excited about the presents you are going to get tomorrow that you’re lying wide awake, and there is no way you are going to fall asleep – take Coffea cruda and rest. Homeopathic remedies are natural, safe, effective, no side effects and come very handy during holiday season.

If you have tried 3-6 doses of a homeopathic remedy and you do not see expected results, call your practitioner for more specific remedy suggestions.

Happy Holidays!

Winter Remedies

The weather in New England has been unusually warm this fall, but the cold weather is coming. Soon there will be snow banks, icy roads and cold wind. For many people colder temperatures bring health problems like common cold and flu, bronchitis and cough, joint pains, chilblains and overly cold extremities. Homeopathic remedies are natural, effective and easy to use.

If you suddenly feel unwell after being exposed to cold dry wind, your fever is high and you feel anxious and worse at night, try homeopathic remedy Aconitum Napellus. Is your nose running like a faucet, your eyes crying, your throat raw and your head hurts when you close your eyes? It is time to take Allium Cepa for your common cold. Flu symptoms are usually more severe than common cold, body aches, fever and weakness might be present. If you got the flu and all you want to do is to lie motionless in bed because every movement increases your suffering, even if you move your eyes, your mouth is dry, you feel irritable and worse in the morning, try Bryonia. You might also find Bryonia very useful for stitching joints pain where joints are red, swollen and pain is worse with slightest motion. Did the flu came on slowly, you feel exhausted, drowsy, dull and chills are running up and down your spine? Try homeopathic remedy Gelsemium. Cough can be a minor annoyance at first but if it continues, it gets tiring and can cause chest muscles pain and even a headache. Homeopathic remedy Pulsatilla is very helpful if you have lose cough in the morning but dry cough at night and so severe, it interferes with sleep. There is a lot of greenish mucus through the day, you feel weepy and better in a cool room.

If you have occasional joints pain from weather changes, you can try the following homeopathic remedies to get relief. Pulsatilla will be helpful if you have wondering pains and pain intensity varies from time to time. You feel worse with first movement but better with gentle motion and cold compresses. Try Apis if you have stinging and burning joints pain with great swelling around joints. You feel restless and worse from heat and pressure.

Some people always have cold hands and feet but in warm weather it is not that noticeable. When you have to shovel snow or go for a walk with your pet in cold weather, and your hands and feet get cold fast, it might make your time outside not very enjoyable. If you bruise easily, feel chilly, your limbs are icy cold and you crave fresh air, try homeopathic remedy Carbo vegetabilis. Try Lachesis if you have icy cold feet or chilblains, your limbs often fall asleep, you have flushes of heat and feel worse after sleep and least touch.

Winter can be a challenging time of the year. Eating healthy foods, exercising at least 2-3 times per week, staying socially active and enjoying your work and activities will help you to stay well. If you need extra support, try homeopathic remedies. If you have tried 3-6 doses of a homeopathic remedy and you do not see expected results, call your practitioner for more specific remedy suggestions.

Stay well!

Arnica or Calendula?

Homeopathic remedies come in different forms – pellets, tablets, liquid and topical applications like gels, creams and lotions. Most of the remedies are taken orally but the following two homeopathic remedies are very useful when applied topically – Arnica Montana and Calendula. What is the difference between those two popular remedies?

Arnica Montana is one of everybody’s favorites, it has so many applications. Arnica is one of those remedies that each of us has to use once in a while because each of us might get a trauma or injury or some kind. It is also very easy to demonstrate homeopathy in action by using Arnica, just put some Arnica gel on your bruise and it will go away much faster than usual. You can also put it on right away after trauma to the soft tissue and the bruise might never even appear. Sore muscles, sprains, bruises, surgical trauma, pain or soreness after labor and delivery, all can be helped by little pellets of Arnica. Arnica is used topically for pain, sprains, arthritic pain, overworked muscles and bruises. It is important to note that practitioners usually do not recommend using Arnica topically on open skin, only on the skin that is intact.

Calendula is another remedy that we use for trauma where there are cuts, scrapes, incisions or burns. Calendula lotion can be used topically to soothe many skin conditions. Use Calendula gel for mild burns, cuts, scrapes and Calendula cream or lotion for mild Sun burns. Calendula gel can be applied topically on open skin where the cut or scrape has been cleaned well.

If you have tried 2-4 topical applications of a homeopathic remedy and you do not see expected results, call your practitioner for a more specific remedy suggestions.

Heal fast with those two amazing remedies!

Pushkin and Homeopathy

“Oh, beautiful summer! I would have loved you, If it was not for the heat, the dust, mosquitoes and flies.”, wrote A.S. Pushkin, a great Russian poet for whom summer was clearly not a favorite season. I wonder if he would have felt differently if he only knew homeopathy. Pushkin was born in 1799, only 3 years after Dr. Hahnemann first announced main principle of homeopathy ‘like cures like’, and died in1837, only 4 years after homeopathy was established in Russia by the State Council on September 26, 1833.

In winter we dream about summer heat but when the sun is shining brightly we sometimes do not feel that well. Homeopathic remedy Belladonna is often used for headaches from the sun exposure. Belladonna is a very useful remedy in summer and is good to have in winter as well for a sudden high fever from flu or strep throat. Look for the common symptoms of Belladonna – flushed face, dilated pupils, pounding headache. Listen for key words like sudden, pulsating, restless and give Belladonna a try. When the headache is gone, it might be time to address those pesky mosquitoes. What a nuisance they are, they annoy us by buzzing, bite us, make the skin look reddish and raised, and on top of it, they can carry diseases. Have you noticed that some people are more attractive to mosquitoes than others? Homeopathic remedy Staphysagria is known to reduce that fatal attraction in many cases. The person who might be helped by Staphysagria is usually gentle, sensitive, calm but gets very angry when bitten. Use homeopathic Calendula cream topically to cool off skin irritated by mosquito bites. Calendula cream might repel flies as it is made from Marigold flowers that repel insects. Plant some Marigolds in your garden for great view and less bugs. If dust bothers you in summer or otherwise, it could be an allergy to dust or you might be a fastidious person. Homeopathic remedy Arsenicum album can help you with both. If in the presence of dust you experience excoriating watery nasal discharge, violent sneezing, as if tickled by a feather, burning eyes with photophobia, and feel restless and overly concerned about cleanliness, that remedy is for you. As always, if you have tried one or two remedies and did not see the desired result, call you homeopath for more specific remedies suggestions.

Enjoy your summer!