This article is written for EvolvingWellness.com by guest author Dr. Larry Malerba, DO.
Homeopathic medicine has been an ongoing revelation to me and my patients for almost 30 years. It can help chronic illness, works wonders in first-aid situations, and can head off future complications down the line. Timely administered homeopathic first-aid can, for example, prevent that sprained ankle from turning into an arthritic joint years later.
Unfortunately, homeopathy is also a controversial and confusing topic. Many have seen homeopathic products on their local store shelves, but don’t know where to turn to for guidance as to how to use them. My goal here is to remedy that dilemma.
An online search yields a lot of hits for homeopathy. Sadly, much of it is blatant anti- homeopathy propaganda. And a good bit of it is advanced information for practitioners or those already well acquainted with the topic. Some is just plain bad information written by those who don’t really understand homeopathy, and still others who think they can use homeopathy in a manner similar to conventional drugs.
It’s important to know that “homeopathy” is not just another word for “holistic.” Homeopathic medicines are not the same as nutritionals, or supplements, or herbal medicines. So, I get it. It’s a minefield out there, which is why I think it’s important to have reliable online resources that provide realistic, sensible, and practical information about this perplexing but powerful therapeutic modality.
And that’s why I’ve decided to make it my mission to see to it that there is dependable information available regarding the fundamentals of homeopathy. If you like books, I believe that my Dynamic Medicine is a great place to start. It’s easy to read and is guaranteed to give the newcomer a clear and accurate overview of homeopathy.
However, I soon realized that in this age of the internet many people don’t have the time or patience to read books. So that’s why I decided to produce a continuing series of brief educational videos about homeopathy. Just go to YouTube and search for the All Things Homeopathy channel. There you will find a numbered series of free videos, which, if watched in sequence, provides the viewer with a good solid education about homeopathy, what it is, how it works, how you can use it at home, and much more.
So if you are new to homeopathy and are not sure where to begin, here are some useful tips on how to navigate the minefield of online information:
1. Don’t try to treat a chronic condition without professional help. Always consult a qualified practitioner for serious health problems. Quality homeopathic care for a chronic health condition is a complex task that is best left to a professional. Choose a practitioner who takes at least an hour to ask many questions before deciding upon a remedy. A good practitioner will only prescribe one remedy at a time. The use of multiple remedies or combination remedies is a sign that the practitioner is not fully acquainted with homeopathy.
2. Self-treatment at home should be limited to simple first-aid problems that don’t warrant a visit to the medical clinic. A head cold, a mild flu, bruises, cuts, a strained back, and an ankle sprain are good examples of conditions that can benefit from at-home homeopathic care. Homeopathy is safe and can be very effective in such situations.
3. Getting started at home is as simple as purchasing a couple first-aid homeopathy books and a few remedies. Although this may feel alien to some, it is essentially no different than the average household that stocks a supply of pain pills, cold medicines, antacids, and antihistamines.
There is no perfect first-aid book. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. That’s why it’s best to have two or three on hand as references. Remedies can be purchased as the need arises, but it is also possible to purchase remedy kits that contain anywhere from ten to fifty commonly indicated remedies. It is less expensive in the long run to purchase a kit as opposed to purchasing each remedy individually.
4. Confidence in handling first-aid problems grows with time and experience. It is perfectly normal to feel unsure at first. One can always be assured of doing no harm because homeopathic remedies are famous for their safety and lack of side effects. In time, the use of homeopathy at home becomes as familiar as taking Tylenol for a fever. Of course, homeopathic remedies are far safer than Tylenol, which, in my opinion, makes them the superior choice.
5. A simple rule of thumb is that a well-chosen homeopathic remedy often works quite quickly. If discernible progress is not seen within 12 to 24 hours, it is reasonable to assume that some other, more appropriate remedy is indicated. So don’t hesitate to change remedies if necessary. However, don’t make the opposite mistake of changing a remedy that is already working. Don’t give in to impatience from a desire to speed the recovery process. Slow and steady wins the race.
6. For first-aid purposes, it is best to use lower potency remedies. These commonly include 6x, 6c, 12x, 12c, 30x, and 30c strength remedies. A kit that contains mostly 30x or 30c remedies is ideal. Do not use 200x, 200c, 1M, and 10M potencies unless you have a high level of knowledge and confidence.
7. One of the hardest homeopathic concepts to grasp is that more is not necessarily better. The number of pills taken per dose does not really matter. It’s the frequency of dosing that makes the difference. In other words, assuming Pulsatilla is the correct remedy for my cold symptoms, the results will be far superior if I take three separate doses of Pulsatilla, once every hour, with each dose consisting of one pill, than if I take three pills of Pulsatilla all together at once. Frequency always trumps quantity.
8. As a general rule, the frequency of dosing depends upon the severity of the problem. For example, a minor bruise may require a couple applications of topical Arnica cream, or a single dose of oral Arnica, or maybe two doses taken a few hours apart. A more serious bruise might warrant single doses at 15-minute intervals for the first hour, followed by less frequent doses as time passes and as improvement is observed.
9. It is best not to take any remedy on a repeated basis, day after day, without proper supervision. If a remedy is really working the way it should, it does not need to be taken indefinitely, in the manner that one takes an allopathic drug. If I take a remedy three times per day for a day or two for flu symptoms, and no progress occurs, then taking more of that remedy would be a waste of time. It is reasonable to assume that the remedy chosen is incorrect, and it is preferable to try another, more fitting remedy.
10. Although some may disagree with me, I do not recommend drinking coffee while taking homeopathic remedies. Coffee has a well-known “antidoting” effect on remedies, which is to say that coffee, for some reason that we do not understand, can blunt the effects of a well-chosen remedy. For this reason, in my opinion, it is best to err on the side of caution, especially when dealing with health problems. After all, why sabotage one’s own recovery?
11. And one final tip: When searching online for homeopathic information, never trust Wikipedia. The homeopathy pages on Wikipedia are controlled by a well-known bastion of anti-homeopathy zealots. Of course, Wikipedia denies this, but anyone truly familiar with homeopathy knows otherwise. Similarly, it is best to avoid all websites managed by those who call themselves “skeptics.” Organized skeptics have made it their mission to undermine the credibility of homeopathy, and of anything holistic for that matter.
The telltale sign of a biased article is that it rejects homeopathy outright, often on the grounds that its effects cannot be explained, as if to say that if science can’t explain it then it can’t be true. Furthermore, biased articles consistently fail to quote, consult, or include reputable homeopathic practitioners, homeopathic organizations, and homeopathic patients.
This is why I, and others like myself, have decided to create online resources for those who seek reliable information about homeopathy. A good place to begin is the All Things Homeopathy YouTube channel. Check it out. The videos are short, clear, and easy to understand. You won’t be disappointed. May the vital force be with you!
About the Author
Larry Malerba, DO, DHt is a classical homeopath, osteopathic physician, and the author of three books: Green Medicine, Metaphysics & Medicine, and his newest book, Dynamic Medicine: The World According to Homeopathy. His latest project is a free continuing series of brief educational videos about homeopathy, which can be found at the All Things Homeopathy channel on YouTube. Dr. Malerba is board certified in Homeotherapeutics and past president of the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of New York. To learn more about his work, visit: his website DrMHomeopathy.com or follow Dr. Malerba on Facebook. You can also find All Things Homeopathy on Facebook for new video releases, homeopathy tips, and more.