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Homeopathy

The following remedies may be of benefit in decreasing nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. They are inexpensive and often easily found at health food stores or online. The patient characteristics to assess are listed next to the remedy. (See also our Pregnancy and Parenting Links for info on using homeopathics and herbs for postpartum recovery and breastfeeding problem-solving.)

Remedy Patient Characteristics
Asarum This remedy is indicated when a woman feels very ill, with constant nausea and retching. She is extremely sensitive to everything—especially noise, which can aggravate the nauseous feelings. She feels best when lying down and resting. Cool drinks or food may help, but it is hard for her to even think of eating.
Bryonia A person needing this remedy usually wants to stay completely still and not be talked to or touched. Nausea and vomiting, with pain and pressure in the stomach, can be worse from even minor movements. The person may have a dry mouth and want cold drinks. This remedy can also help with constipation.
Cocculus Indications for this remedy include nausea or motion sickness, dizziness, palpitations, headache, numbness, and an empty or hollow feeling in various parts of the body. The person may talk nervously, yawn, or tremble, and is likely to feel extremely weak.
Colchicum Horrible nausea that is worse from the sight and smell of food (especially eggs or fish) often indicates this remedy. The woman retches and vomits, and has a sore and bloated feeling in the abdomen. She has trouble eating anything — although she often craves things, when she tries to eat them they make her sick. She is likely to feel ill from many smells that others don’t even notice.
Ipecacuanha This remedy is indicated for intense and constant nausea that is felt all day (not only in the morning) with retching, belching, and excessive salivation. The woman may feel worse from lying down, but also worse from motion. Even after the woman vomits, she remains nauseous.
Kreosotum When this remedy is indicated, the woman may salivate so much that she constantly swallows it, becoming nauseous. She may also vomit up food that looks undigested, several hours after eating.
Lacticum acidum This remedy is indicated for "classic morning sickness": nausea worse immediately on waking in the morning and on opening the eyes. The woman may salivate a lot and have burning stomach pain. She usually has a decent appetite and feels better after eating.
Nux vomica Nausea, especially in the morning and after eating, may respond to this remedy—especially if the woman is irritable, impatient, and chilly. She may retch a lot and have the urge to vomit, often without success. Her stomach feels sensitive and crampy, and she may be constipated. This remedy can also help with constipation.
Pulsatilla This remedy can be helpful if nausea is worse in the afternoon and evening (often in the morning, as well). The woman is not very thirsty, although she may feel better from drinking something cool. She can crave many different foods, but feels sick from many things (including foods she craves). Creamy foods or desserts may be appealing, but can cause discomfort and burping or bring on vomiting. A woman who needs this remedy usually is affectionate, insecure, and weepy—wanting a lot of attention and comforting.
Sepia Gnawing, intermittent nausea with an empty feeling in the stomach suggests a need for this remedy. It is especially indicated for a woman who is feeling irritable, sad, worn out, and indifferent to her family. She feels worst in the morning before she eats, but is not improved by eating and may vomit afterward. Nausea can be worse when she is lying on her side. Odors of any kind may aggravate the symptoms. Food often tastes too salty. She may lose her taste for many foods, but may still crave vinegar and sour things. This remedy can also help with constipation.
Tabacum This remedy can be helpful to a woman who feels a ghastly nausea with a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. She looks extremely pale, feels very cold and faint, and needs to lie very still and keep her eyes closed. If she moves at all, she may vomit violently—or break out in cold sweat and feel terrible.

Chart adapted from Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Homeopathic remedies should be taken on an empty stomach. This includes liquids as well as food. The remedies should be taken fifteen minutes before or 2 to 3 hours after a meal or beverage, usually in the morning or at bedtime. Do not swallow the remedy, allow it to dissolve under the tongue.

Your homeopathic remedies should be stored at room temperature, out of direct sun light. Always keep homeopathic remedies distant from any aromatic substances such as perfumes, paint or any household (aromatic) contaminants.

NOTE: It is recommended to avoid alcoholic beverages, mint and caffeine containing substances including coffee, tea and chocolate and toothpaste when using homeopathic remedies.

 

What is Homeopathy?

Excerpted from: www.healthnotes.com.

Homeopathy is a non-toxic system of medicine used to treat illness and relieve discomfort of a wide variety of health conditions. It is practiced by licensed physicians and other qualified prescribers in many regions of the world, including Europe, Asia, the U.K., and the U.S. Information on the use of several hundred remedies has been collected for nearly two centuries by homeopathic practitioners, through research studies known as "provings," as well as documented clinical cases and recent scientific trials.1 2 3 (Sources and documentation for information included in this database will be found in "References" below.)

The Law of Similars and Potentization

Two important ideas on which the science of homeopathy is based are the Law of Similars and potentization. Simply expressed, the Law of Similars states that since exposure to a substance can cause specific symptoms in a healthy person, that substance—when correctly prepared as a homeopathic remedy—can stimulate the body's curative powers to overcome similar symptoms during illness.

For example: A person who chops an onion can develop watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and throat irritation from exposure to the onion’s active substances. The homeopathic remedy, Allium cepa, made of potentized red onion, can help the body overcome a cold or allergy attack in which the person has similar symptoms (watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, or throat irritation.) The actual symptoms of the illness were not caused by exposure to an onion, but the remedy made from the onion can help the body overcome them, because the symptoms are similar.

Potentization is a process that involves a series of precise dilutions and succussions (succussion is a vigorous shaking action). A substance has to undergo this process to be useful as a homeopathic remedy. Potentization is very important, because the repeated process of dilution and succussion brings about an energetic change that gives the substance a deeper curative effect. Repeated dilution removes all chance of chemical toxicity, allowing the homeopathic use of many substances that would otherwise not be safe to take as medicine.

The safety and non-toxicity of homeopathic remedies is reassuring; however, they still must be chosen carefully on the basis of specific information—and used correctly—or they may affect the symptoms only superficially, or have no effect at all. Homeopathic remedies are not selected simply to treat an isolated symptom or a named disease. To work correctly, they must be chosen to match the way an individual's system expresses its unique response to the current stress and illness. Even within the same diagnosis, different people respond to different remedies.

How to Use Homeopathic Remedies

Self-care with homeopathy for moderate, short-term illnesses and injuries can be rewarding. A correctly-chosen remedy can work gently and efficiently to relieve discomfort and help the body heal itself without toxicity or side-effects. If an illness or condition is chronic or serious, it is best to consult an experienced prescriber for a remedy that more deeply suits the person’s needs. (See "Constitutional Remedies," below.)

Observe the person, taking special note of the strongest and most unusual symptoms, as well as the way the individual responds to the stress of illness, such as things that relieve or aggravate the symptoms (motion, temperature, light, noise) or the person's emotional and mental state.

Choose the remedy whose description most closely matches the symptoms the person is expressing. When a remedy's pattern of action is similar to the person's response to the stress or illness, it can help the natural defenses more efficiently overcome the problems and return the person to a better state of health.

Take one dose of the selected remedy, then wait for a response to show. If relief of important symptoms is noted—or if the person starts to improve in general—the remedy is acting. Continue to wait and let it do its work. Do not give another dose unless improvement stops. (Unnecessary repetitions can interfere with or slow down a remedy's action.)

Further doses of the remedy should be given according to how the person is responding, not on a pre-set schedule. Intense or painful situations may require more frequent repetitions. For instance, in severe discomfort (as with a burn or throbbing headache) a dose may be needed every few minutes to an hour. In moderate conditions, such as flu or indigestion, a dose once every few hours may be indicated. In many situations, one dose of a correctly-chosen remedy will be enough to stimulate the body to heal itself.

If no response is evident after a reasonable amount of waiting, give another dose and wait again. If no response is seen after several repetitions, review the important symptoms and choose another closely-indicated remedy.

Lower potencies (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, 30C) are the most appropriate for non-professional self-care situations. A 30 will often act more quickly and deeply than a 6 and need fewer repetitions—but, the higher the potency, the more precise the remedy choice must be to bring results. High potencies (past 30C) should only be used by those with formal homeopathic training, as a more developed knowledge of the remedies is needed to make an accurate prescription and to monitor results.

Using Homeopathy with Professional Guidance

Homeopathic remedies can also be helpful in complex or even serious conditions—although self-prescribing is not appropriate in such cases. To correctly select the remedy and monitor the healing process, an experienced physician who is trained in homeopathy should be involved, for the following reasons:

  • Medical knowledge is needed to assess complex or serious conditions. Professional diagnostic tests may be necessary, as well.
  • Using a remedy that covers isolated symptoms superficially, but does not fit the person on deeper levels, may change or suppress the symptoms, yet not be deeply curative.
  • Even with a correctly-chosen remedy, a temporary aggravation of symptoms may occur as part of the healing process. Training and experience are required to distinguish a helpful aggravation from an intensification of symptoms that occurs because a remedy has not acted and the illness is progressing.
  • An inexperienced or impatient person might be tempted to repeat the remedy unnecessarily, or change to other remedies at times when waiting is appropriate.

If an illness or condition is chronic or deep-seated, it is best to consult an experienced homeopathic practitioner, for a "constitutional" remedy that fits the characteristic symptoms of the case and considers the person’s physical condition and individual nature in a more comprehensive way. At at typical first visit, a homeopath interviews a patient for at least an hour—to take a careful history and elicit information about many aspects of the person’s state of health—before choosing a remedy.

How Does Homeopathy Work?

Within the limitations of available scientific funding, interesting research is being undertaken to understand how and why such highly-diluted remedies have profound and curative effects. Formal studies published in current medical journals show that homeopathic remedies, when used correctly, are significantly more effective than placebo.1 Researchers theorize that, during potentization, an energetic change occurs in the remedy substance and its medium of dilution (usually water), enabling them to stimulate a person's system to deal with stress and illness more efficiently. Homeopathic remedies do not have chemical action in the body, and thus work differently than nutrients or drugs—which has made it difficult for some researchers accustomed to assessing drugs to adequately consider them. Since the body is clearly affected by many forces that have no chemical content (electricity, radiation, thermal energy, etc.), it is reasonable to think that research designed to observe non-chemical effects will yield more useful information.

The following articles published in medical journals analyze results of over 100 clinical studies assessing effects of homeopathic medicines:

  1. Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez G, et al. Are the clinical effects of homeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials. Lancet 1997;250:834–43.
    Analysis of 186 studies; concludes that positive results in subjects taking homeopathic medicines are 2.4 times more likely than with placebo.
     
  2. Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G. Clinical trials of homeopathy. Br Med J 1991;302:316–23.
    Review of 107 studies, 81 of which (77%) showed positive effects from homeopathic medicines; researchers concluded: "The evidence presented in this review would probably be sufficient for establishing homeopathy as a regular treatment for certain indications."
     
  3. Summary and review of other recent homeopathic research studies, and other references, may be found in the following books:
    1. Jonas WB, Jacobs J. Healing with Homeopathy. New York: Warner Books, 1996.
    2. Hulman D. The Consumer’s Guide to Homeopathy. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1995.

References and Resources: Professional

  • Allen HC. Keynotes and Characteristics of the Materia Medica. New Delhi: B. Jain (reprint), 1988.
  • Boericke W. Materia Medica with Repertory. Santa Rosa: Boericke and Tafel (reprint) 1988.
  • Borland D. Homeopathy for Mother and Infant. New Delhi: World Homeopathic Links (reprint).
  • Boyd H. Introduction to Homeopathic Medicine. Beaconsfield, England: Beaconsfield, 1981.
  • Hering C. Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica. New Delhi: B. Jain (reprint), 1988,, (Vol 1–10).
  • Herscu P. The Homeopathic Treatment of Children. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1991.
  • Kent JT. Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica. New Delhi: B. Jain (reprint), 1980.
  • Kent, JT. Repertory of Homeopathic Materia Medica. New Delhi: B. Jain (reprint), 1988.
  • Nash EB. Leaders in Homeopathic Therapeutics. New Delhi: B. Jain (reprint), 1988.
  • Perko S. Homeopathy for the modern Pregnant Woman and Her Infant. San Antonio: Benchmark Homeopathic Publications, 1997.
  • Schroyens F. Synthesis/Repertorium Homeopathicum Syntheticum. London: Homeopathic Book Publishers, 1993.
  • Tyler M. Drug Pictures. Saffron Walden, Essex: CW Daniel, 1982.
  • Vithoulkas G. Materia Medica Viva. London: Homeopathic Book Publishers, 1992, 1995.

References and Resources: General

  • Castro M. Complete Homeopathy Handbook. New York: St. Martin’s, 1991.
  • Castro M. Homeopathy for Pregnancy, Birth, and Your Child’s First Year. New York: St. Martin’s, 1993.
  • Cummings S, Ullman D. Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines. Los Angeles: Tarcher, 1991.
  • Lockie A. Family Guide to Homeopathy. New York: Fireside, 1993.
  • Panos M, Heimlich J. Homeopathic Medicine at Home. Los Angeles: Tarcher, 1980.
  • Ullman D. Consumer’s Guide to Homeopathy. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1995.
  • Vithoulkas G. Homeopathy: Medicine of the New Man. New York: Avon, 1971.
  • Homeopathic History and Theory
  • Coulter HL. Homeopathic Science and Modern Medicine: The Physics of Healing With Microdoses. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1987.
  • Coulter HL. Divided Legacy: A History of the Schism in Medical Thought. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1975; 1977; 1981; 1994.
  • Hahnemann S. The Organon of Medicine, 5th Edition; 6th Edition.
  • Kent JT. Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1979 (reprint).
  • Vithoulkas G. The Science of Homeopathy. New York: Grove, 1980.

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Updated on: Apr. 18, 2013

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