Remedies to use at home

Homeopathy is extremely effective when used to treat acute conditions and the curative effect of taking the correct remedy is often noticed within minutes. Your homeopath will probably have call-in times during which you will be able to contact him or her for advice during an acute episode.

It is useful to maintain a set of basic homeopathic remedies at home so that you have them available for use in first-aid or acute situations. If you do take a remedy, remember to make a note of it so that you can tell your homeopath at your next consultation.

Always carefully consider whether it is really necessary to take any type of medicine. We are used to taking a medicine for every little malady, but very often, in a non-emergency situation, we are able to ‘put up’ with symptoms without taking any medication – homeopathic or conventional. If we allow an illness to run its natural course, we are fully supporting the body’s own intelligence and ability to overcome illness.

There are many first-aid homeopathy books available on the market, and it is advisable to purchase one of these to keep at home. Below is a list of recommended titles:-

Miranda Castro,
"Homeopathic Guides: The Complete Homeopathy Handbook", 1996, £7.99
Andrew Lockie, "The
Family Guide to Homeopathy", 1998, £12.79
Andrew Lockie, "Natural
Care: Encyclopaedia of Homeopathy", 2000, £15.99
Sven Sommer, "The Little
Book of Homeopathy", 2001, £2.50
Don Hamilton,
"Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs: Small Doses for Small Animals", 1999,

All titles available at

Can homeopathy be used on children?

Homeopathic treatment of children at a young age is advantageous and can prevent illness occurring at a later stage. As an individual gets older, outside factors such as stress and medication complicate matters and make it more difficult for the individual’s system to retain a balance and consequent good level of health.

Treating a healthy child with homeopathy is extremely effective, and in many ways is one of the best times to commence treatment. The immune system can be fortified during periods of health, thus warding off any ‘infections’ with which the child may come into contact. You will discover that your child has more positive energy, sleeps better and handles everyday situations more appropriately. These sorts of signals represent a move towards real cure.

Homeopathy can also be wonderfully valuable during pregnancy and childbirth. Always tell your homeopath if you are pregnant as this may influence the choice of the remedy given. During childbirth, homeopathy has been used very effectively and can often negate the need for medication or other interventions. For example,
pulsatilla has been known to turn a baby presenting in the breech position and therefore avoid the need for a caesarean.

caulophyllum may be helpful if the mother is exhausted during labour with no energy to continue pushing and the contractions are intermittent and irregular. Cimicifuga may be helpful when the mother experiences severe pains in the back during a slow labour causing her to draw her legs up, with an increased desire to talk, complain and be tearful.

Birthing kits are available from some homeopathic pharmacies. Check out the website of Helios Homeopathics. Alternatively, your homeopath will be able to advise on remedies to have with you during childbirth, or may even be able to attend the birth in order to prescribe remedies if required.

First aid remedies
From "First Aid and Family Health", A leaflet produced by the Society of Homeopaths for Homeopathy Awareness Week 2001.

Arnica – Every accident, whether great or small, is accompanied by some degree of shock. Arnica 30c is often help in such situations. It is especially useful when the person pushes help away, and insists that they will be all right in a minute. It’s also useful for panic. Arnica will also help bruises and sprains. It is useful for tired, aching, over-worked muscles after too much gardening or unaccustomed exercise. You can also take arnica after dental treatment when there is bruising. Whether it is a fall, an accident or surgery, arnica is the first remedy to think of to reduce bruising and speed up the body’s own healing process. Gentle massage with arnica cream relieves swellings but do not use it on broken skin.

Calendula tincture
made into a lotion (1 teaspoon to a pint of cooled, boiled water) should be used to bathe and clean an open wound. It inhibits the proliferation of germs so sepsis will not form in a wound properly cleaned with calendula. Don’t forget to give arnica internally for shock and bruising while the wound is being cleaned and dressed.

Ledum 6c is invaluable for puncture wounds, from nails or barbed wire for instance. It will quickly reduce the shooting and pricking pains. Use ledum internally every four hours and clean and dress the wound with calendula. Typically, a wound requiring ledum feels numb, is cold to the touch but better for cold applications.

Some injuries are especially painful. Nerve-rich areas of the body such as the spine, fingers and toes will benefit from
hypericum 30c. It’s the remedy to think of for fingers crushed in a car door, a heavy block falling on toes, or a fall affecting the spine or coccyx. It will also soothe pain in the coccyx after childbirth. Apply hypericum tincture to bites and stings and wherever there is pain shooting up the limb from the site of a wound.

One of the most common injuries is a sprain, usually to the wrist or ankle. Usually the joint remains functional but there will be pain and swelling. Rest is important and a support bandage will help to reduce the swelling. To bandage an ankle, start the bandage under the foot and wind it in a figure or eight pattern around the ankle and back around the foot, overlapping the bandage on each turn. Give
arnica for shock and bruising. After that, give rhus tox 6c – a wonderful remedy for stiffness. Use it also for rheumatism, especially where the joint is stiff to begin with and gradually improves with movement.

Burns and scalds are amongst the most common and the most painful of home injuries. Of course, if the burns are extensive, you will need to take the patient straight to your nearest Accident & Emergency unit, but give
arnica first for the shock. For simple burns that can be treated at home, give the patient frequent sips of water to alleviate the shock and to prevent fluid loss. Treat first with arnica 30c (up to 3 doses) for the shock and bathe the burned area of skin with a calendula lotion (one teaspoon to a pint of boiled water) to soothe the pain. It is useful to keep an aloe vera plant in your kitchen for small burns from the iron or oven. The leaves contain a cooling gel, which can be very soothing and healing to burned skin. It also relieves the pain by shutting out the air. Recovery from burns can be assisted by taking extra Vitamin C.

Remedies for acute illnesses

Pulsatilla is a great remedy to have in your first aid box; it’s useful for the family’s coughs and colds, for painful periods and for teething infants. A good clue for prescribing pulsatilla is that the person can seem a bit weepy or clingy but always feels better for being out in the fresh air. Pulsatilla 6c can also help in gastric disturbances especially if the cause is pork, pastry or bad fish or meat. There will be nausea, a bad taste in the mouth and dryness, together with bloating of the stomach and colicky pains. The patient is without thirst, restless and better for having the windows open. Nux vomica 6c is also a splendid remedy for poor digestion, especially when the cause is over-indulgence. It’s also a marvellous hangover remedy.

Quick treatment when a cold threatens can save the whole family a great deal of misery.
Arsenicum 6c taken in half-hour doses at the very first sign of a cold may abort it altogether. Give Aconite 6c instead (hourly for three doses) if the chill is due to waiting around in a cold wind for a late train or a bus. Nux vomica colds also come on after exposure to cold winds with fluent coryza in the morning and blocked flow at night. The patient will be irritable, impatient and unable to get warm. Give nux vomica 6c every two hours. In young children, the early stages of colds or childhood illnesses may be accompanied by a fever for which a parent may think of using Calpol, but the homeopathic remedy Belladonna 30c is a good substitute. The patient will be thirsty, the face will be flushed and red and there may be a headache of a throbbing nature. Giving water with a little lemon juice to drink and gently sponging with tepid water will also help to bring down a temperature.

Gelsemium 6c
is useful for colds or early stages of ‘flu where the person is chilly with heavy, aching limbs. Keep gelsemium handy for anticipatory anxiety and stage fright before exams, interviews or driving tests. The nervous gelsemium patient will be shaking, and having to make frequent trips to the bathroom with diarrhoea and/or frequent urination.

For people who lack confidence but usually perform well once they get into their stride,
Lycopodium is the remedy. They become nervous before making a speech or making a presentation, even though they do it well when the moment comes. They like sweet things and when they are nervous their desire for chocolate may run away with them, so it’s a good thing that lycopodium is also a good remedy for indigestion with flatulence and irritability.

Homeopathy has remedies to treat all sorts of illnesses in the whole family from babyhood to old age. Home prescribing for the family can be very rewarding and usually your local professional homeopath will be happy to give advice over the telephone if you are not sure which remedy to give. But it is important to visit a professional homeopath in the case of more serious or chronic conditions.

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