Guest Article: Homeopathy and Preparedness
Nurse Amy and I are conventionally trained medical professionals that incorporate an integrative philosophy into our writings. We don’t know everything, however (far from it), and sometimes find writers on specific topics that are outside of our wheelhouse and cannot speak to authoritatively. Here’s an article by Becky Rupert, a board-certified homeopath, to introduce you to her field:
When preparing for any emergency, we all know it is a good idea to have basic things on hand such as first aid kits, bandages, extra medications, analgesics, essential oils, herbs, wraps, blood stop powder, and all of those things to help us when we have minor injuries or emergencies. It is also a good idea to have extra skills such as how to make tinctures, or herbal products, or the many wonderful first aid skills taught at organizations such as the Red Cross. Suturing skills are a plus, as well as classes in nursing or EMT classes. These are wonderful adjuncts to your preparedness portfolio!
However, I think there is one more thing that is incredibly useful to add to your “tool kit”.
What I am going to teach you about today is a form of alternative medicine that is easy, safe and very effective in an emergency when you have no access to standard medical care. You can use this method with little cost input to start, and you can use it right now for your family in acute situations such as:
You can start learning now to give remedies in acute situations so that you can understand how to give remedies in situations where there is a dire need, so you can help family and friends with a safe, holistic healing method. It is not difficult to do, and it is very rewarding. It can require a shift in how you think about healthcare. Homeopathy is quite different from what you may be used to.
First, some background:
Let’s first talk a bit about what homeopathy is, what it is not, and how it can help your family! Homeopathy is a 200 year old system of medicine created by a physician and chemist, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. In his time, physicians used toxic crude substances which had many side effects and harmed more than healed. Dr. Hahnemann devised a way of using dilutions of substances to help the body heal without the toxic effects, even if the original substance was toxic.
Homeopathy means “similar suffering”. Remedies are made from just about anything from plants, to animals, to minerals and each has a specific pattern of symptoms associated with it. Right now there are about 5,000 remedies and more are being made every day. They are sustainably sourced and they are “FDA approved drugs”. Some are over the counter, and some are prescription based. In fact, Samuel Hahnemann wrote the good manufacturing practices that are still in use today.
Homeopathy is not herbalism, although we may start with an herbal “mother” tincture at the base of the remedy, we often use the entire plant, something that herbalists rarely do because at times the parts of a plant may not have therapeutic value or may be toxic. In the homeopathic remedy, there are no molecules of the original substance left once you go above 12c (explained below), which renders them non toxic and safe for infants, animals, or the elderly.
Homeopaths don’t use machines, muscle testing, herbs or supplements. We (generally) don’t make remedies ourselves (there are special pharmacies for that). Constitutional Homeopaths also don’t give you more than one remedy at a time, and we don’t use machines to figure out what remedies you need (with the exception of a computer program to go through all of your symptoms). The pellets we use are small, pleasant tasting and dissolve under the tongue. Children readily take them and usually respond quickly, as do animals.
What do the numbers and letters mean on a homeopathic remedy package?
The remedies all have latin names, such as apis mellifica (honey bee) and the number tells you how many times the remedy was diluted, the “C” stands for the amount of water it was diluted in, in this case, 99:1=100 (99 parts alcohol and water to one part mother tincture). If you remember your roman numerals, you will see they are common in homeopathy. There are also “X” potencies, that is 1 in 9=10.
C potencies last longer than X potencies, but all you really need to know is to stick with 12c or 30c if you can, for best results. There are situations that 6c, or 200c is much more preferred, and if that’s the case, I will let you know. Generally, you can’t go wrong with a 12 or 30c. That is a great potency for beginners and they are readily available, and in the common remedy kits for home use.
How does it work?
We don’t know the exact mechanism of action of the remedies. We know they are not placebo, because they work on infants and animals very well. If you have the wrong remedy, nothing happens and there are no side effects or unwanted symptoms. There are instances when people can be sensitive to remedies and if you are the type that is very sensitive to everything around you, then I would consider having someone walk you through the process so you know how to take remedies. Sensitive folks can aggravate which means that the symptoms they already have get worse before they get better. This is rather unusual but does happen on occasion, and usually sensitive people are sensitive to so many other things such as medications, perfumes, everything sets them off. This is not to say that chemically sensitive people shouldn’t use homeopathy, I have lots of clients who are environmentally sensitive and they are often fine with remedies. We often need to dilute them a bit in about 4 oz of water.
The wonderful thing about homeopathy is that it works to heal the entire person, mentally, emotionally, physically, all at the same time. We do not have one remedy for asthma and one for headaches, and one for eczema and one for autism, we see the person as a whole and give a remedy and potency based on that person’s unique set of symptoms. Homeopathy is so safe, you can give it during labor and delivery.
We recommend that home prescribers use remedies for acute situations (self limiting situations such as colds, flu, injuries, sunburn), and leave the chronic situations to the professionals. Chronic symptoms are symptoms such as PMS, fatigue, headache, asthma, autism, eczema, etc.
My clients come from all over the US and abroad and I teach them to be able to care for themselves during acute situations. I see people for acute situations and chronic ones and some people want to learn everything they can and some just want me to fix it! Either way is fine, but here we’ll get your feet wet so you can learn more. Even if the only thing you do is use arnica for bumps and bruises, that’s a step in the right direction. Carry arnica with you wherever you go and you’ll be amazed at how it stops pain fast! Learn to give some remedies in a few situations and soon you’ll be learning more and more.
Homeopathy is a wonderful addition to your medical kit or bug out bag. Remedies are easy to use and pretty forgiving. Dosing depends on the individual, the amount of pellets is not based on body weight or age. In homeopathy, frequency of dose is what is important.
The most important thing to remember is:
- Give the remedy as needed, not on a schedule. If you have an aggravation from a remedy DO NOT REPEAT, wait and watch, usually this is minor and improvement will follow; then repeat as needed by putting a pellet in 4 oz of water and sip only as needed.
- Give the remedy 2 doses before moving on to the next remedy if nothing happens… unless you are very sensitive.
- Most people in an acute situation will know how often to take the dose, their symptoms relapse after improvement. If you have hit yourself with a hammer, and you take hypericum, the pain will come back and you will know when to repeat, more is not better!
- In a situation like a cold, you may need 3 doses in one day to determine if you should switch to another remedy.
- Remedies come in different pellet sizes, large pellets like the decorating balls for cookies – you can use one at a time, tiny, poppy-seed sized pellets, the dose is about 5 pellets. Generally, the amount of pellets is not important, the frequency of dose is.
- In critical situations such as shock, you may need a stronger dose or the remedy may be needed more frequently then you expect, don’t be surprised if the remedy lasts for minutes or a half hour and you need to repeat. The doses should start lasting longer and longer until the problem resolves or you get help
- Try to get help if the situation is beyond your skills or training
- If there is a very high fever (104 or above), you may need to seek out care or diagnosis. Obviously, use your judgement, but some of the scenarios in this article are for those who can’t get to medical care. Medical care is important in a critical situation, if you are having a heart attack, get help if you are able. It sounds silly but people have called me in the middle of a heart attack!
Bumps, Bruises, Head injuries, Fractures, etc.
Everyone should have arnica on hand for emergencies, it a wonderful first aid remedy and often the one that people pick up whenever there is an injury. Especially useful for bruising and head injuries, I use 200c for head injuries and 30c for minor bruising. This remedy is often useful to help heal damage from surgery.
(Dr. Bones says: I don’t have a lot of experience with some of the substances mentioned in Becky’s article, but can vouch, from personal experience, for the effectiveness of Arnica in alleviating pain from injuries.)
Bellis is in the same family as arnica and is useful for deep muscle trauma, deep incisions or heav blows when arnica doesn’t offer much help. I use 6c three times a day until it is no longer needed.
Ruta is wonderful for ligament and tendon injuries or sprains and strains. I use 200c followed by 6c three times a day until unnecessary. I found that sprains heal in half the time with ruta.
The best remedy for fractures, It is used after being set to knit bones quickly. I use 200c for pain if arnica doesn’t help and then 6c three times daily for 3-6 weeks. Also very useful for eye injuries at the same potencies.
Useful for healing cuts and knife wounds after stitching or approximating wounds. For a deep wound may need 200c one dose or 30c three times a day for 2 days.
Used in tincture or potency this is excellent for skin abrasions and can also be used diluted 1:10 parts water in eye infections, abrasions, or as eyewash. This can be also used as an antibacterial for wounds or lacerations, but some homeopaths also like Echinacea tincture for this purpose as well.
This remedy is often used to expel splinters or foreign material embedded in skin. I use 6c or 30c three times a day for 2 days.
This remedy (like all others) has many uses, but is very useful for burns and scalds, and can also be used for urinary tract infections with a great amount of burning with urination. I use 30c as needed for pain control. For sunburn I prefer sol 30, but it can also be used for sunburn.
One of the best remedies for bee or wasp stings or even anaphylactic shock, apis has redness, edematous swelling and heat. It is also used for cellulitis. If you have severe allergies it is a good idea to have epi pen around but if you don’t have one, apis may be a lifesaver. It is always a good idea to have other alternatives such as Benadryl just in case! A 30c of apis may not be strong enough of a dose, so I recommend having a 30c and 200 on hand.
I have used pyrogen 1M potency for tooth infections with great results, it is also generally used for septicemia. At this high of a dose, it is given only as needed for fever or pain control.
The most used homeopathic remedy for fever, it is useful in high fevers of many kinds. The skin is usually hot and dry, and it has been used for decades for scarlet fever. Useful in situations where there are delusions or hallucinations with fever. Belladonna is very violent and sudden and is also used in heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Symptoms tend to be hot red and violent and tend to be right sided. Aggravation time is often 3 AM or PM and can be used for childhood ear infections of sudden onset when these symptoms match.
Often useful in situations where there are mild symptoms and you aren’t sure which remedy to give, ferrum phos has vague symptoms and is often given at the beginning of an illness to stop it before it starts.
Aconite is incredibly useful in shock and there can be fright or anxiety and restlessness. There is a sudden onset of symptoms like in belladonna.
This is a remedy that is often useful in hemorrhaging, and nosebleeds, which are often left sided. I usually use 30c in minor cases and would use 200c in severe cases.
(Dr. Bones says: With regards to significant hemorrhage, it’s always important to know appropriate first aid techniques like you’ll find in many of my articles on this website.)
I hope this helps you get your feet wet with what homeopathy can do. I recommend that people use Homeopathy in every day acute illness such as colds, flu, or minor injuries to see how remedies are used. Don’t keep them on a shelf, becoming proficient with their use helps so when you really need them you will know how to use them. A side benefit is that they last forever unless they are exposed to extreme heat so you can store them long term without expiration. These are the remedies that are very useful for a bug out bag or emergency kit and can be used for the barnyard or home. We offer kits with 40 remedies for those who are interested. I hope you never have to use a kit in an extreme emergency, but I personally feel better knowing they are around if I need them!
I wish you good fortune on your journey to health…
Becky Rupert, ND, CCH
Board Certified Homeopath
Becky has been homesteading for 20 years while practicing and teaching homeopathy to laypeople to help themselves, their families and their animals. She consults with people all over the US and abroad and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone EST at (419) 853-3805. Please address any of your questions to Becky.