While an extensive dictionary of homeopathic remedies would be the size of an encyclopedia, a brief list of several common remedies, along with their attributes, can be a great help to anyone seeking information about homeopathy.
Like Cures Like
If you think medicine was always the way it is in modern times, with prescription pills and injections to treat every ill, think again. Before the 20th century, herbal and homeopathic medicine reigned. Before we embark on the dictionary of homeopathic remedies, a brief history of homeopathy is in order.
The founder of modern homeopathy was a German physician named Samuel Christian Hahnemann. Hahnemann, a chemist and physician, worked as a doctor and supplemented his income by writing books on medicine and chemistry. Hahnemann was one of the few voices protesting the practice of bloodletting and recommended such radical concepts as a healthy diet, fresh air, good hygiene and sanitation, and exercise. Hahnemann's development of what we now know as the modern system of homeopathy took years to create, but the result is a powerful set of elements to treat most common conditions. His first cure was the discovery of quinine to fight malaria. Quinine produced the same symptoms as malaria, including fevers and chills. Through trial and error, he came up with the system of 'like cures like.'
Homeopathy uses plant-based elements, such as herbs, and extracts from insects and minerals. Companies or doctors mix them into a base to create homeopathic remedies. Modern homeopathic remedies are usually packaged in little bottles, with the contents resembling tiny seed pearls. Companies mix the homeopathic remedy with a sugar base to form tiny candy-like pellets. Patients dissolve the tablets under the tongue, sometimes several tiny pills a time. Homeopathic remedies should be taken at least a half-hour after eating, on an empty stomach, and you should avoid drinking coffee, using mouthwash, or taking homeopathic remedies right after brushing your teeth. A Doctor_of_Naturopathy, or an herbalist or chiropractor who has received special training in homeopathy can prescribe the proper dose, based on your state of health and the issue you wish to treat. He or she will provide guidelines on the best way to take each remedy.
If you are taking any prescription medications or herbs, please be sure to tell all the physicians you consult with what remedies you're taking, both holistic and traditional. While homeopathic remedies are generally considered very safe, your doctor needs to know all medications, herbs, supplements and natural remedies you are taking to avoid interactions among the medications and to ensure you are getting the best treatment.
A Brief Dictionary of Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathic remedies are prescribed not just according to the illness, but also according to the time of onset, when they worsen, and the main personality type of the patient. Thus a skilled homeopathic physician needs to deeply understand the physical and psychological makeup of the patient first, and the disease, second.
Below is a sample list of remedies mainly taken from The Complete Guide to Homeopathy by Dr. Andrew Lockie and Dr. Nicola Geddes. Dr. Lockie is one of the leading medically-qualified homeopathic physicians in the United Kingdom. Dr. Lockie is also the author of the Encyclopedia of Homeopathy, a book recommended by Bastyr University. This list provides a glimpse into the wonderful world of homeopathy, but there is much more to learn about each remedy, its use, and function. Please keep in mind that there are many, many other remedies. This is only a tiny sample of the wide world of homeopathic medicine. Each homeopathic practitioner will recommend different ones if asked for his or her favorites for the family medicine chest.
- Aconite : shock, influenza, fevers
- Apis : stinging pain, rashes and hives
- Arnica: shock and bruising
- Graphite: skin complaints such as eczema.
- Nux Vomica: nausea, common digestive complaints such as a stomach virus
- Pulsatilla: ailments that include yellow or green discharge accompanied by hysteria; many other common ailments.
- Sepia: (women) gynecological complaints, such as PMS and menopausal symptoms, (men and women) exhaustion
- Sulphur: eczema, skin complaints, and digestive disorders
Homeopathic medicine requires years of study to understand all the nuances of each cure and matching remedies with symptoms and constitutional types. The short list above provides a very brief dictionary of homeopathic remedies, but there's a lot more to each one, and many other remedies to understand. Visit one of the many resources below to learn more.
- The American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists includes an extensive list of recommended reference books for both those new to homeopathy and those experienced with its practices and principles.
- The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health provides a comprehensive, unbiased and scientific examination of homeopathy written for the layperson.
- ABC Homeopathy has an online remedy finder where you can enter your symptoms and the site matches it with a remedy. Although they're selling homeopathic medicines, you can use the site as a resource to learn more about each remedy too.