<![CDATA[CLASSICALLYPRACTICAL.COM - Blog]]>Sun, 03 Jul 2022 15:39:44 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[Things that go boom]]>Sun, 03 Jul 2022 17:21:11 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/things-that-go-boom
I got hooked on watching videos about how things were made way back when … watching Sesame Street (Anon. 2022). (This video is on crayon making, but it’s a good one!) Then, for a while I enjoyed the Canadian show, “How it’s Made”   — here’s a link to their firework segment.

As you can imagine, I enjoyed learning about the firework making process for this article.

What did I learn? Well, not surprisingly, the main ingredient in fireworks is … wait for it … Gunpowder.

Gunpowder originated in China in the 9th century and is made up of three ingredients: saltpeter (potassium nitrate), sulfur and charcoal.

All three of these ingredients are used in both conventional medicine and homeopathy. Saltpeter, known homeopathically as Kalium nitricum; Sulfur, aka Sulphur and charcoal, known as Carbo vegetabilis.

Historically, saltpeter in its crude form (Kali nit) was used in the treatment of asthma (Brown and University of California Libraries 1917) and, today, this ingredient can be found in toothpastes formulated for sensitive teeth. Anecdotally, some people claim this kind of toothpaste has helped their asthma (Graedon and Graedon 2010).

Sulfur, the third most abundant mineral in the human body (Science et al. 2020), is used conventionally in many areas, including: allergic rhinitis, shingles and interstitial cystitis (Mount Sinai 2022).

Charcoal, primarily in the form of “activated charcoal” is used as “a safe, effective, and inexpensive alternative to more invasive treatments for poisoning” (Park 1986). (Note: Before finding homeopathy, I never traveled without activated charcoal and it has proven very useful on many occasions. I still keep it handy, but have not needed it since learning the homeopathic remedies.)

John C. Clarke’s Gunpowder As a War Remedy: A Work of Homeopathy (2016) notes that saltpeter and sulfur both have antiseptic capabilities and that standard black powder (the original gunpowder) can be used on infections, boils, blood poisoning and "other maladies". Additionally, Gunpowder is listed in the homeopathic repertories primarily for: gunshot wounds, wounds that are slow to heal, and anal fistulae.

Knowing the ingredients that make up gunpowder, I’m not surprised people decided to use Gunpowder as a medicine, both crudely and homeopathically.

Gunpowder as a healing agent dates back in literature at least to 1865 with Culpeper’s Last Legacy, in which he wrote, “A little Gun-powder tyed up in a rag, and held in the mouth, that it may touch the aking tooth, instantly easeth the pains of the Teeth” [sic].

John C. Clarke (2016a) talks about soldiers using gunpowder: “taken crude in teaspoonful doses mixed in hot water” and shepherds sprinkling it “on bread and cheese, to cure and prevent wound-poisoning acquired in shearing and handling sheep” as well as using it on the sheep themselves for their ailments.

After experimenting on himself, Clarke used homeopathic Gunpowder in a 3x trituration. The 3x potency* means some of the original substance remains in this version of the remedy but without the taste or smell “and to be in no sort of way explosive” and calls it a “most powerful and efficacious remedy.”

Dr. T. Chatterjee claims Gunpowder in high potencies can cure “obstinate psoriasis” and, in low potency is “an excellent blood purifier” and can be helpful after the extraction of an abscessed tooth.

Gunpowder remains a useful homeopathic remedy today for abscesses, boils and carbuncles and in bold-type, Robin Murphy mentions blood poisoning, also known as sepsis. (Sepsis is a life-threatening condition and needs to be treated immediately by a medical professional.)

Interestingly, historically speaking, the advent of gunpowder on the battlefields was cause for amputations as a result of gunshot wounds and the ensuing sepsis (Stansbury et al. 2007). It appears that gunpowder caused the wounds which, in turn, caused sepsis which, in turn, caused the need for amputation, which, ironically could have been avoided by treating the wound with Gunpowder in the first place and thus avoiding the amputation. A crazy version of not quite “like cures like,” but as "same cures same," which in homeopathy is termed Isopathy.

If you have a pet who has a hard time with the fireworks, try Aconite (rhymes with “fright”) or, put a few drops of Bach Rescue Remedy in their water bowl.

Happy 4th of July and be careful of all those things that go BOOM!

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


​* Potency article

Reference list
Anon., 2022. Sesame Street - How Crayons Are Made [online]. www.youtube.com. 

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopedia, 2003. Gunpowder summary [online]. 

Brown, O. H. and University of California Libraries, 1917. Asthma, presenting an exposition of the nonpassive expiration theory [online]. Internet Archive. St. Louis: C. V. Mosby company. 

Chatterjee, T., n.d. My Random Notes on some Homeopathic Remedies Reprint. accessed through Radar Opus software.

Clarke, J. C., 2016a. Gunpowder As a War Remedy: A Work of Homeopathy. USA.

Compound Interest, 2015. The Chemistry of Fireworks | Compound Interest [online]. Compound Interest. 

Culpeper, N., 1685. Culpeper’s Last Legacy [online]. openlibrary.org. 

Graedon, J. and Graedon, T., 2010. ‘Sensitive’ toothpaste may help asthmaChicago Tribune [online], 15 May 2010.

Mount Sinai, 2022. Sulfur Information | Mount Sinai - New York [online]. Mount Sinai Health System. 

Murphy, R., n.d. Repertory, version 3. Accessed through Radar Opus software.

Park, G. D., 1986. Expanded Role of Charcoal Therapy in the Poisoned and Overdosed PatientArchives of Internal Medicine [online], 146 (5), 969. 

Pray, T. J. W., 1849. The Medicinal Properties of Sulphur. The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal [online], 40 (26), 521–523. 

​Schroyens, F., n.d. Synthesis Adonis. accessed through Radar Opus software.

Science, U. of H. at M. F., Program, H. N. and Program, H. N., 2020. Sulfurpressbooks.oer.hawaii.edu [online]. 

Science Channel, 2020. How It’s Made: FireworksYouTube [online]. YouTube Video. 

Stansbury, L. G., Branstetter, J. G. and Lalliss, S. J., 2007. Amputation in Military Trauma SurgeryThe Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care [online], 63 (4), 940–944. 

Further references — Homeopathy & Medicine
Casey, S., 2011. Gunpowder! Little-Known Remedy Packs a Wallop Against Wounds - Shirley Casey [online]. Hpathy. 

Clarke, J. H., 2016b. Gunpowder. from Materia Medica by John Henry Clarke. Homeopathy. [online]. www.materiamedica.info. 

Rxlist.com, 2021. Sulfur: Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, Dosage & Interactions [online]. RxList. 

The Center for Homeopathy, n.d. The Discovery of the Therapeutic Uses of Gunpowder [online]. Center for Homeopathy. 

Further reference list — Fireworks & Gunpowder
Foxhall, K., 2017. gunpowder – The Recipes Project [online]. Hypotheses.com. 

Jennifer, 2017. Jennifer Evans [online]. Early Modern Medicine.

** This is a fun subscription service of science experiments for kids.
Mel Science, n.d. Magnesium fireworks [online]. MEL Science. 

Science Made Fun, n.d. Fireworks and their Colors [online]. Sciencemadefun.net. 

United States Geological Survey, 2020. What minerals produce the colors in fireworks? [online]. www.usgs.gov. 
<![CDATA[Summer Fun #1: Sun]]>Fri, 24 Jun 2022 21:00:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/summer-fun-1-sun
Summer is now officially in full swing! Whether you are jetting across the world or driving to the coast or just visiting your local water park, I hope you are out and about and enjoying the sunshine … with a nice, big, wide-brimmed hat, of course!

After decades of being told to avoid the sun, at least one group is warning us that we are not getting enough sun (Alfredsson et al. 2020). As a redhead, I know too well it’s a fine line between too little and too much. Finding that sweet spot of sun is tricky. 

Sunburn. I’ve been there, done this and I feel your pain

I was always under the impression the sun reflecting off the water played a part in a beach vacation sunburn, but Diffey and Mobley (2018) say otherwise. They claim it is just a simple lack of shade at the beach that is the culprit. Those passing clouds aren’t going to help much, either! According to Cancer Research UK (2019), 90% of the UV rays can still pass through light clouds. And, it’s not just the sun from above… hot sand can result in “beach feet” (Cohen 2019). (My personal thoughts on the water and the clouds are that you just don't feel the intensity of the sun as much in those conditions so you are less likely to be taking the necessary precautions.)

Years ago, I watched a TV program which said that adding lycopene (via tomato paste, specifically) to your diet can help keep your skin from burning. Apparently, they weren’t wrong: (Stahl et al. 2001Cooperstone et al. 2017). Other carotenoids can also be helpful, too (Stahl and Sies 2012). But, if you haven’t eaten enough tomatoes and carrots and instead you find yourself turning into a sun-dried tomato*, I have some homeopathic remedies for you. 

For each of these sunburn remedy suggestions, repeat a 30c dose, every half hour or so until some relief is felt and then space the doses out.

The first remedy to turn to for any burn, whether from the sun, a chemical or a flame, is Cantharis. Burns, as well as burning pains. Restlessness. Sunburn with blisters. Even burning pains in the eyes.

Belladonna for dry and hot skin with burning sensations. Swollen skin. Throbbing pains. Bright, red skin. “Burning, pungent, steaming, heat” (Murphy 2020).

If your skin is feeling itchy or prickly after a sunburn, Urtica urens is the remedy you’re looking for. Itching, raised, red blotches. (I had a childhood friend who used to get this after any exposure to the sun. I wish I had known then what I know now. Alas.)

If your skin is burning up and you’re sweating but are inexplicably NOT thirsty, Pulsatilla may be in order.

One more idea is Similasan’s Burn Recovery** for some quick, spray-on relief.

That big beautiful glowing thing in the sky not only can be too much on your skin, it can be too much on your entire system. Horrible to experience, but not generally life threatening is a terrible headache resulting from too much sun.

Belladonna or Glonoinum is what you need here.

As mentioned above for the sunburn, the sun-induced Belladonna headache will be throbbing and intense. A Glonoinum headache will, in addition to throbbing, also be bursting with “waves of terrible, pounding pain” (Murphy 2020) with a rush of blood to the head.

The person needing Glonoinum cannot tolerate having heir head laid backward and may also experience twitching or muscle contractions.

​The person needing Belladonna will be more comfortable with their head laid in a backward position and sitting quietly.

This sun headache can be indicative of worse things to come. If you find yourself at this point — get out of the sun now(!) and get some fluids in you. Do whatever you need to do to gently lower your body temperature. 

The Natural First Aid Handbook (Mars 2017) suggests making a spritzer to cool yourself down by filling an 8-ounce spray bottle with water, 2 teaspoons of witch hazel, 10 drops of lavender essential oil and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil and “spray or sprinkle over yourself.”

If you are unsuccessful in regulating your temperature, Heat exhaustion or Heat Prostration is the next step when you’ve been out too long and your body is not able to cool itself. Children are particularly susceptible to this phenomenon (SunSmart 2020). Symptoms of heat exhaustion include confusion, weakness, faintness, headache, muscle cramps, heavy sweating and nausea and/or vomiting.

Dr. Colin B. Lessell (1999) recommends giving either homeopathic Carbo vegetabilis for the exhausted person who seems ready to collapse or Bach Rescue Remedy and notes that expert medical assistance should be sought if the patient does not respond rapidly.

A further ill-effect from the sun is Heat Stroke or Sunstroke which is a serious condition and requires immediate medical attention. Administer Belladonna or Glonoinum while on the way to the hospital or while waiting for the ambulance.

How to tell the difference between Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke? According to Lessell (1999, p. 116):
If you, like me, have a history of sunburns, check out my article on Sol, yet another homeopathic remedy which can help set things right after too much sun.

Now, get a big hat and a bottle of water, grab a friend (or a book) and head to the beach, the pool, the park or your balcony to soak up some (but not too much!) delicious vitamin D! 

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


* Bonus remedy: Consider some China officinalis if you have experienced any dehydration from too much sweating or not drinking enough water. Note: putting a little pinch of salt in your water
(Lessell 1999)​ can help balance your electrolytes … or, grab nature's electrolyte balancer, coconut water. (Clever thing that coconuts are what you find on an otherwise uninhabitable island!)

** I have no affiliation with this company, I just like their products.

Reference list and further reading:

Alfredsson, L., Armstrong, B. K., Butterfield, D. A., Chowdhury, R., de Gruijl, F. R., Feelisch, M., Garland, C. F., Hart, P. H., Hoel, D. G., Jacobsen, R., Lindqvist, P. G., Llewellyn, D. J., Tiemeier, H., Weller, R. B. and Young, A. R., 2020. Insufficient Sun Exposure Has Become a Real Public Health Problem. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health [online], 17 (14). 

Cancer Research UK, 2019. The UV index and sunburn risk [online]. Cancer Research UK. 

Cohen, P. R., 2019. Beach Feet: A Sand-associated Thermal Injury to the Soles of the Feet and the Plantar Aspect of the Toes. Cureus [online]. 

Connolly, S., Bertinetti, M., Teague, W. J., Gabbe, B. J. and Tracy, L. M., 2021. Sunburn Injuries Admitted to Burn Services in Australia and New Zealand. JAMA Dermatology [online], 157 (6), 729. 

Cooperstone, J. L., Tober, K. L., Riedl, K. M., Teegarden, M. D., Cichon, M. J., Francis, D. M., Schwartz, S. J. and Oberyszyn, T. M., 2017. Tomatoes protect against development of UV-induced keratinocyte carcinoma via metabolomic alterations. Scientific Reports [online], 7, 5106. 

Diffey, B. L. and Mobley, C. D., 2018. Sunburn at the seaside. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine [online], 34 (5), 298–301. 

Gauer, R. and Meyers, B. K., 2019. Heat-Related Illnesses. American Family Physician [online], 99 (8), 482–489. 

Glazer, J. L., 2005. Management of Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion. American Family Physician [online], 71 (11), 2133–2140. 

Kenny, G. P., Wilson, T. E., Flouris, A. D. and Fujii, N., 2018. Chapter 31 - Heat exhaustion [online]. ScienceDirect. 

Lau, W. Y., Kato, H. and Nosaka, K., 2019. Water intake after dehydration makes muscles more susceptible to cramp but electrolytes reverse that effect. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine [online], 5 (1), e000478.

Lessell, C. B., 1999. The world travellers’ manual of homoeopathy. Saffron Walden: C.W. Daniel.

Mars, B., 2017. The natural first aid handbook : household remedies, herbal treatments, basic emergency preparedness everyone should know. North Adams, Ma: Storey Publishing.

Murphy, R., 2020. Nature’s materia medica : 1,400 homeopathic and herbal remedies. 4th edition. Blackburg, Va.: Lotus Health Institute, November.

Pirayesh Islamian, J. and Mehrali, H., 2015. Lycopene as A Carotenoid Provides Radioprotectant and Antioxidant Effects by Quenching Radiation-Induced Free Radical Singlet Oxygen: An Overview. Cell Journal (Yakhteh) [online], 16 (4), 386–391.

Stahl, W., Heinrich, U., Wiseman, S., Eichler, O., Sies, H. and Tronnier, H., 2001. Dietary Tomato Paste Protects against Ultraviolet Light–Induced Erythema in Humans. The Journal of Nutrition [online], 131 (5), 1449–1451. 

Stahl, W. and Sies, H., 2012. Photoprotection by dietary carotenoids: concept, mechanisms, evidence and future development. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research [online], 56 (2), 287–295. 

SunSmart, 2020. Alarming number of infants, children and teens presenting at Victorian hospital emergency departments with sunburn - SunSmart [online]. Sunsmart.com.au. 

Tripathi, R., Mazmudar, R. S., Knusel, K. D., Ezaldein, H. H., Bordeaux, J. S. and Scott, J. F., 2021. Trends in emergency department visits due to sunburn and factors associated with severe sunburns in the United States. Archives of Dermatological Research [online], 313 (2), 79–88. 

<![CDATA[What to expect in an acute consultation]]>Mon, 13 Jun 2022 22:00:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/what-to-expect-in-an-acute-consultation
Continuing on from my last article… 

What to expect before your first acute homeopathic consultation

Let’s take the example of an ear ache* as the Chief Complaint.

We homeopaths not only want to hear that you have an ear ache, we want to know which side it’s on. Does the pain radiate anywhere? Are any glands involved? Any fever? Is there any drainage? If so, what color is it? What is the consistency of this drainage? What kind of pain are you experiencing… Stitching? Aching? Burning? Throbbing? Is there a time of day that the pain is worse? What makes the pain better? Is the pain better lying on the painful ear… Heat? Fresh air? Blowing your nose? What makes the pain worse… burping (yes, it’s a thing!) … drinking … blowing your nose … hiccups? Does the person have a history of ear infections?** If so, when did they start and what treatments were given over the years? Did they help? What happened after the treatment?

What else is happening at the same time you are having this ear pain? Is there a headache that goes along with it? Does your left elbow hurt? Are you urinating more or less? Are you thirstier than normal? Any change in appetite? Any change in mental/emotional health?

What was happening before this pain started? Did it start with cold symptoms? Did it come on after swimming? Did it come on after being stuck out in windstorm? Or, do you get an earache every spring when the weather changes?

Some of these questions I know sound ridiculous and seem unrelated, but trust me, everything is relevant and the answers to these questions will help lead the homeopath to the right remedy for you.

Following all these questions and the method in which the homeopath works, the homeopath may have a remedy for you immediately, on the spot, or they may need to take half an hour or so to figure out the best remedy for you. Make sure to ask your homeopath when you can expect to hear from them with remedy suggestions.

The homeopath will then provide you with instructions on how to take the remedy/remedies as well as any further instructions which may be relevant to your situation.

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


* If you are experiencing an ear ache, here are two good remedies to try: Helios' ABC and Similasan Earache Relief or Similasan Kids Earache Relief.

ABC is a combination remedy of
Aconite, Belladonna and Chamomilla and can often set an ear infection right in short order. Note: you don't need to purchase this combo remedy, you can pop a pellet of each remedy into your mouth at the same time; or, you can put a pellet of each remedy into some water and sip it as needed.

** Chronic ear infections will likely require more treatment beyond what helps your ear pain acutely.

I have no financial affiliation with any of these companies -- I just like their products.
<![CDATA[What to expect…]]>Tue, 07 Jun 2022 21:00:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/what-to-expect
Meeting with a homeopath for the first time can be slightly daunting, especially if you have no idea what to expect. What is happening? Is this quackery? Why am I telling my life story to someone? There are a lot of questions on the paperwork! Why are you asking these crazy questions?

The first time I intentionally met with a homeopath, I was nervous. I actually had sweaty palms- nervous. I don’t know why that was, but it was definitely the case. Of course, my anxious thoughts all turned out to be unfounded, but I didn't know that at the time. I really and truly had no idea what to expect.

Let’s walk through the homeopathic consultation process and alleviate any concerns you may have, shall we?

The first thing you need to know is that homeopaths ask a lot of questions. There is (just about) never too much information for a homeopath. Homeopaths ask a lot of questions on paper before you even meet with them. What are we looking for?

We are looking for background information — anything that may be a piece to the very beautiful and complex puzzle that is you.
  • We want to know about your health history.
  • We want to know about your family health history.
  • We want to know about any childhood illnesses.
  • We want to know about any major life events.

We are building a timeline of you to see if there are any patterns — to see what stands out. (If you haven’t done your own health timeline, do yourself a favor, and get one underway. It most likely will never be finished and that’s OK. You’re going to remember things after you think you have completed it. Just plug the information in as you remember it. It’s a fascinating exercise and you will learn a lot about you.)

  • Homeopaths want to know about your childhood diseases and what puberty was like for you.
  • We want to know if you had any recurring illnesses or surgeries.
  • If you are a woman, we want to know all about menses (from the onset to current) as well as  pregnancy, labor and menopause.
  • We want to know if you had any conditions from which you never fully recovered.

Unlike mainstream medicine that seems to just put that information in a file and then leaves it there (but continues to ask you the same questions every visit), homeopaths actually utilize this information. As I said, every bit of information is a piece to the puzzle. 

With all this information comes a lot of time. It is not at all unusual for an initial consultation to last an hour or even longer. And, all this information makes for a lot of note taking: some by hand or some use a computer and some may record the consultation (with your permission, of course). Don’t be surprised or concerned at the amount of frantic scribbling you see. 

  • Homeopaths want to know and understand your current and past treatments (homeopathic or otherwise) and how such treatments helped, or didn’t help.
  • Homeopaths want to know about your sleep habits and your dreams and don’t be surprised if you are asked about your favorite foods and your food aversions as well as other general questions about who you are as a person.
  • Additionally, some “head to toe” questions may be asked -- meaning, a quick run-through of body systems to see how they are all working.

Remember, homeopathy is individualized medicine, and every aspect of you is taken into consideration when choosing the appropriate remedy/remedies.

BUT, before we get to our questions, we want to hear your story. What brought you to seek homeopathic treatment? We call this the Chief Complaint. 

Not surprisingly, a lot of people who seek homeopathic treatment have tried every other possible mode of healthcare: allopathic, nutritional, herbal, chiropractic, naturopathic… you name it. Homeopathy is often a last-ditch resort, which is a shame because homeopathy can often set you on a new and better course when things are treated in a timely manner. Homeopathy can do so much good for little things as well as big things. 

What can you expect from the homeopath?
  • You should expect to be heard.
  • You should expect to be respected. 
  • You should expect to be understood and the homeopath should make themselves understood — a mutual understanding. 

A homeopath should make the process clear to you and should be willing to answer any questions you may have related to homeopathy.

In short, you should expect open and honest communication.

A homeopath should respect your boundaries and should not push you further than your comfort allows. For example, if you are looking for help with only your Plantar Fasciitis, and you are not interested in a complete homeopathic consult at this time, communicate this to your prospective homeopath.

That's the long and the short of what to expect before your first homeopathic consultation. Tune in next week for a quick run down of an acute consult. 

To be continued…

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


For more information: 

Anon., 2022. The Snooks : What happens when you visit a homeopath? [online]. www.youtube.com. 

Society of Homeopaths, n.d. Seeing a homeopath – Society of Homeopaths [online]. Society of Homeopaths. 
<![CDATA[Anger and fear]]>Wed, 01 Jun 2022 17:00:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/anger-and-fear
Photo by Saara Nafici.

​One of the first remedies I gave my (then) young son after beginning to study homeopathy was Stramonium.

He was about 9, I think, and my previously easy-going young fellow had become pretty surly. To paint the picture, he had previously had a good relationship with the after-school tutor who had been helping all 3 of my boys at various times for a few years. They would sit at the dining room table when I was cooking dinner and they chatted nicely and joked as she explained to him how this thing called “math” worked. Then, one day, he just became unpleasant and rude to her. It was not just with the tutor, but that relationship provided the clearest display of what was happening. 

I had learned recently about the homeopathic remedy Stramonium and I ordered a tube because it sounded like a pretty good fit for him. As the days went by, waiting for the remedy to arrive in the mail, I hoped that it was actually just a passing phase and my pleasant son would return. My hopes went unanswered.

As luck would have it, the Stramonium arrived in the middle of a tutoring session. I opened the package and popped a couple of pellets in his mouth. A few minutes later, he said, “what did you just give me? It has made me really angry!”

I have to admit that I panicked for a minute. What had I done? (In hindsight, a lower potency probably would have been better.) But, a few minutes later, he calmed way down after a short-lived aggravation*. I don’t think I ever actually gave him a second dose of Stramonium and his old, pleasant self soon returned.

What is Stramonium and how can it possibly have this effect?

Stramonium is made from jimson weed, a nightshade relative of tomatoes, eggplants and tobacco, and is known to trigger psychosis when ingested (Mental Health Daily 2015). All parts of this plant are toxic and in its raw state can cause convulsions, hallucinations and even death if ingested (Nafici 2016).

The bloom itself is quite striking, but the seedpod (see top photo) is a better depiction of what this plant is all about. Jimson weed, also known as “locoweed,” “mad-apple” “thorn-apple” and “stinkweed” is “UNSAFE [original author's emphasis] when taken by mouth or inhaled” and “contains chemicals such as atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine” which “interfere with one of the chemical messengers (acetylcholine) in the brain and nerves” (Rxlist.com 2021) and can be fatal in high doses (Charmley 2022).

Alrighty then! Message received — keep a safe distance from the plant itself! (If you or your pet do come in contact with this plant, call Poison Control at 1.800.222.1222.)

“Jimson weed poisoning is found primarily among adolescents who seek the hallucinogenic effects of the plant” (Chan 2002) but it can also harm animals (Guthrie 2014) and makes the list of the “10 common poisonous plants” (Charmley 2022). (A quick search of the internet turns up many news articles of teens ending up in trouble from smoking or ingesting this weed.)

Many of homeopathy’s most powerful medicines come from the most poisonous substances on the planet: Belladonna, Hemlock, Aconite… the list goes on because as we know in homeopathy, “Like cures Like.”

What does that even mean? "Like cures like" means the symptoms or conditions which can be created or caused by a substance in its natural state can then be “cured” through the use of the potentized homeopathic version of the same substance. (See also, “Hom, not home”.)

Indeed, one of the ways we find out the healing properties of homeopathic remedies is through historical accounts of poisonings. Take for instance Socrates, the Greek philosopher who was sentenced to death in 399 BC by drinking a hemlock liquid mixture — his symptoms were recorded by Plato in his book Phaedo (Dayan 2009). Plato told of the slowly ascending paralysis which crept up his legs and resulted in death when the paralysis reached the respiratory muscles. Enid Bloch (n.d) researched the veracity of this account and discovered Scottish toxicologists of the 19th century conducted their own experiments and found similar effects. John Harley, author of The Old Vegetable Neurotics, poisoned himself and recorded the physiological effects, again confirming Plato’s account. As a result, we have a good homeopathic picture of what Conium maculatum (Poison Hemlock) can do. (For this article, suffice it to say that homeopathic Conium can help with feelings of constrictions, indurations, nodules and tumors; conditions where the symptoms move upwards; it is highly indicated in a number of coughs, especially when lying down; sensations of heaviness and weakness, and, finally, paralysis.)

Samuel Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy, “found that the more he diluted his medicines, the more the toxic impact of their original substance was washed away. And he found something else that was even more surprising: that the more dilute the medicines became, the more powerful they became in terms of their healing power” (McCabe 2010).

McCabe goes on to speak of the homeopath E.B. Nash (1838-1917) who said, ‘the stronger the poison the stronger the cure.’ “Homeopathic remedies, when given in micro dose, have no toxicity left. But it is also true that they retain their inherent medicinal strength, making the remedies taken from poisonous substances particularly curative.” How these diluted solutions actually work eludes scientists to this day.

Back to jimson weed…

Along with the hallucinations, Charmley lists “aggressive or unusual behavior” as one of the dangers of consuming this plant. Dewitt (et al. 1997) lists “combative” behavior. This is where I found the homeopathic version of this plant useful all those years ago.

Homeopathyonline.org (2013) says “the idea of Stramonium is we have lived through a night of terror … but more commonly the terror is internalized.” A person or a child has seen or experienced something frightening and that fright got stuck inside them.

Morrison (1998) lists a “change of character” and “rages.” “Terror. Night-terrors. Feeling of threat or violence.” Boger (2015) lists “DREADS DARKNESS … Fearful, desires company or wants to escape … talks incessantly … wildly excited … or does all sorts of crazy things. Raving mania … cursing … Awakes in fear or screaming.” 

How do these internal terrors express themselves? Often through rage which shows itself with a red face. Or, rage alternating with laughing; rage with cursing and hitting, even an uncontrollable, violent rage. Stramonium is one of only 5 remedies listed in Murphy’s Repertory for rage and fury in children.

It doesn’t have to get to this level though. Those symptoms listed above are extreme examples. Like all homeopathic remedies and their symptoms, there is a range of expression. Stramonium is also used for plain old anger: those who are easily angered and those who are angry from being frightened. It’s a good remedy for those who get angry as a result of anxiety and for temper tantrums. 

It was the idea of temper tantrums that caught my attention all those years ago. I realized that was what my young son was doing. It wasn't like the temper tantrums of a toddler, this was different, but very much the same -- an unreasonable bout of anger, out of reach of logic.

Where else is Stramonium useful? For those suffering from fear: fear of being alone, (especially children), as well as fear of being alone in the darkness — they want light and company. Fear of animals and dreams of scary creatures. Fears of being attacked or bitten. Claustrophobia, the fear of going to the doctor, fear of ghosts and imaginary things. The fear of being injured, the fear of mirrors in a room, and being afraid of monsters and scary noises. 

As you can see, Stramonium is an excellent homeopathic remedy for frightened and/or angry children.

Was my son exhibiting fearful behavior at this same time? I don't remember now and I didn't have the knowledge to look for such things then. Did my son see some show or read some story that freaked him out and got stuck in his head? Possibly, but I’ll never know for sure. What I do know is homeopathic Stramonium removed that layer of anger from him, regardless of where it originated, and returned to me the sweet young fellow I knew him to be.

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


* Remember, an aggravation is considered a good thing in classical homeopathy. It is an exacerbation of the existing problem. The pendulum swings further in the direction of the problem and then corrects itself soon after, resulting in equilibrium.

Reference list:

Bloch, E., n.d. Hemlock Poisoning and the Death of Socrates: Did Plato Tell the Truth? Academic Paper. [online]. State University of New York at Buffalo, NY, USA. 

Boger, C. M., 2015. Synoptic key of the materia medica : a treatise for homeopathic students. New Delhi: B. Jain.

Chan, K., 2002. Jimson Weed Poisoning—A Case ReportThe Permanente Journal [online], 6 (4), 28–30. 

Charmley, S., 2022. Top 10 most common poisonous plants: How to identify [online]. www.medicalnewstoday.com. 

Dayan, A. D., 2009. What killed Socrates? Toxicological considerations and questions. Postgraduate Medical Journal [online], 85 (999), 34–37. 

Dewitt, M. S., Swain, R. and Gibson, L. B., 1997. The dangers of jimson weed and its abuse by teenagers in the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia. The West Virginia Medical Journal [online], 93 (4), 182–185.

Guthrie, T., 2014. Jimsonweed – a poisonous plant that may be found in or around your horse pasture [online]. MSU Extension. 

Homeopathyonline.org, 2013. Stramonium [online]. homeopathyonline. 

McCabe, V., 2010. From Poison to Medicine: Homeopathic Medicines made from Poisonous Plants. kindle. McBooklets.

Mental Health Daily, 2015. Drug-Induced Psychosis: List Of Causative Agents [online]. Mental Health Daily. 

Morrison, R., 1998. Desktop companion to physical pathology. Nevada City, Calif.: Hahnemann Clinic Publ.

Murphy, R., n.d. Repertory, version 3. Accessed through Radar Opus software.

Mutebi, R. R., Ario, A. R., Nabatanzi, M., Kyamwine, I. B., Wibabara, Y., Muwereza, P., Eurien, D., Kwesiga, B., Bulage, L., Kabwama, S. N., Kadobera, D., Henderson, A., Callahan, J. H., Croley, T. R., Knolhoff, A. M., Mangrum, J. B., Handy, S. M., McFarland, M. A., Sam, J. L. F. and Harris, J. R., 2022. Large outbreak of Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) poisoning due to consumption of contaminated humanitarian relief food: Uganda, March–April 2019. BMC Public Health [online], 22 (1). 

Nafici, S., 2016. Weed of the Month: Jimson Weed [online]. Brooklyn Botanic Garden. 

Rxlist.com, 2021. Jimson Weed: Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, Dosage & Interactions [online]. RxList. 
<![CDATA[Post-crud hair loss]]>Fri, 27 May 2022 21:30:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/post-crud-hair-loss
I scoffed. I actually scoffed when I heard words similar to these during a homeopathic lecture: “Be careful when women tell you they are losing their hair. It is such an emotional issue. Make sure there truly is hair loss.”

Why did I scoff? I scoffed because I never dreamed losing your hair could be an emotional issue.

Ha! I guess this is a little dose of karma for me because I started losing my hair AND I am finding it somewhat of an emotional issue!

So, I had the crud back in January and the beginning of March a friend mentioned he was losing his hair and it was a result of Covid. Hmmm. Maybe that was what was happening every morning in the shower. It was more than ever before, but, still, I didn’t think that much of it.

But the hair kept falling — more every day. Then, it was confirmed by my hair cutter of many years.

Then, it got real and then, yes, I found it terribly depressing. It makes me feel old and it makes me feel like I have zero control cuz I actually have zero control over it.

I have spoken to so many people who had Covid recently and are now in the same position of hair loss. One woman has turned to wigs. Another uses some infrared helmet. The man who originally imparted this knowledge to me wears baseball caps. My hair cutter told me she has seen it in many of her clients who had Covid. Apparently, the good news is that it will stop and it will grow back.

According to Lopez-Leon (et al. 2021), 25% of people who had Covid have suffered hair loss; Thuangtong (et al. 2021) found a similar 23.7% and notes a “female predominance.” He also found that “patients with moderate, severe and critical COVID-19 infections experienced significantly worse hair shedding than those with asymptomatic and mild disease.” Sharquie and Jabbar (2021) found in their evaluation of 39 patients that “all experienced excessive hair loss within 2-3 months after infection.” 

I haven’t dug into the why’s of this phenomenon. I’ve been too busy trying to figure out how to mitigate the problem!

After about a month of consistent, significant hair loss every morning, I acknowledged the problem was real and faced the fact that it was here to stay. I had been hoping that it would just stop on its own. Alas. I was out of town and found myself in my new favorite spot: Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary*. I instantly fell in love with that shop. I felt like a kid in candy store with all the glass jars full of who knows what ingredients. The employees were kind and helpful and I left with a little bag of herbs to make tea to hopefully stem the tide. 

The main ingredient in the tea for hair loss is Equisetum, aka Horsetail. According to The Sunlight Experiment, an interesting website (2018) which claims “Evidence-Based Information On Natural Medicine,” Horsetail is “used for its high silica content to support nail and hair growth.” Note: this site says to “avoid long-term use in therapeutic doses” but it doesn’t state what long-term means nor does it distinguish what a therapeutic dose is.

Matthew Wood, author of The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants, (2008, p. 245) says that Silica “strengthens structural material generally, in the cartilage, bone and skin.” He cites Rudolf Steiner who claimed that silica promotes “the transportation of materials to the periphery of the body” resulting in horsetail being indicated by “weak hair, loss of hair, split ends, weak nails,” etc. He uses 1-3 drops of the tincture, 1-3 times a day.

Additionally, I have upped my intake of delicious and nutritious bone broth and if I miss my daily bone broth (of late, I am using this one*), I dump a sachet of collagen hydrolysate*  into a cup of tea. Collagen is “a strong, fibrous insoluble protein found in connective tissue, including the dermis, tendons, ligaments, deep fascia, bone and cartilage” (Venes and Clarence Wilbur Taber 2013). Direct evidence of collagen to hair is scarce, but if one makes the leap that since hair grows out of skin and that collagen is good for the skin, then collagen can thereby positively affect the hair. To me, it is definitely worth the try. There seems to be some evidence to back it up: Chen et al. 2015 ; Yang and Cotsarelis 2010 ; Matsumura et al. 2016; Proksch et al. 2014

What about homeopathy? I thought you were a homeopath? Why are you talking about herbs and dietary supplements?

Good point. Yes. I did add some homeopathic remedies to my daily routine. I used the first line Banerji Protocol for alopecia. 

Since alopecia has been in the news a little bit recently, (think: Will Smith & Chris Rock), let's learn the definition of it. According to Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (Venes and Clarence Wilbur Taber 2013), alopecia means “absence or loss of hair, esp. [sic] of the head” resulting from "serious illness, drugs, endocrine disorders, dermatitis, hereditary factors, radiation, or physiological changes during aging.” Therefore, alopecia in and of itself does not have to mean that one has a serious disease.

Back to the homeopathic protocol for alopecia.

The Banerjis’ treatment isn’t a quick fix — they say to take the remedies for at least 3 months. I am intentionally not including the remedies, potencies and frequencies in this article as this may not be the right protocol for your situation. If you are experiencing hair loss and are looking for a homeopathic solution, please contact me.

That first noticeable loss of hair for me was in March, a full month after recovering from the crud. I began the herbs the middle of April and the homeopathy the beginning of May. We are on the cusp of June and though my hair is WAY thinner than I would like it to be, the loss seems to be lessening. It is no longer a fistful with every shower and a brush full every morning. It is now some strands every day and every few days a bit more than that.

Was it the herbs? Was it the homeopathy? Was it time? The downside of doing all these different things is that I don’t know what has done what. I do wish I had started them all a little earlier, but, that’s the way that went.

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


* I have no financial affiliation with these companies, I just like them.

Reference list
Banerji, P. and Banerji, P., 2013. The Banerji protocols : a new method of treatment with homeopathic medicines. India: Pratip Banerji.

Chen, P., Cescon, M. and Bonaldo, P., 2015. Lack of Collagen VI Promotes Wound-Induced Hair Growth. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology [online], 135 (10), 2358–2367. 

Lopez-Leon, S., Wegman-Ostrosky, T., Perelman, C., Sepulveda, R., Rebolledo, P. A., Cuapio, A. and Villapol, S., 2021. More than 50 long-term effects of COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Scientific Reports [online], 11 (1), 16144. 

Matsumura, H., Mohri, Y., Binh, N. T., Morinaga, H., Fukuda, M., Ito, M., Kurata, S., Hoeijmakers, J. and Nishimura, E. K., 2016. Hair follicle aging is driven by transepidermal elimination of stem cells via COL17A1 proteolysisScience [online], 351 (6273). 

Proksch, E., Segger, D., Degwert, J., Schunck, M., Zague, V. and Oesser, S., 2014. Oral Supplementation of Specific Collagen Peptides Has Beneficial Effects on Human Skin Physiology: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology [online], 27 (1), 47–55. 

Sharquie, K. E. and Jabbar, R. I., 2021. COVID-19 infection is a major cause of acute telogen effluviumIrish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -).

The Sunlight Experiment, 2018. Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) [online]. The Sunlight Experiment. 

Thuangtong, R., Angkasekwinai, N., Leeyaphan, C., Triwongwaranat, D., Thanomkitti, K., Munprom, K. and Kulthanan, K., 2021. Patient Recovery from COVID-19 Infections: Follow-Up of Hair, Nail, and Cutaneous ManifestationsBioMed Research International [online], 2021, 5595016.

Venes, D. and Clarence Wilbur Taber, 2013. Taber’s cyclopedic medical dictionary. [22nd ed., ISBN: 9780803629776]. Philadelphia, Pa.: F.A. Davis.

Wood, M., 2008. The earthwise herbal, volume 1 : a complete guide to Old World medicinal plants. Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books.

Yang, C.-C. and Cotsarelis, G., 2010. Review of hair follicle dermal cellsJournal of Dermatological Science, 57 (1), 2–11.
<![CDATA[Her ears were 'yuck']]>Sun, 22 May 2022 02:49:32 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/her-ears-were-yuck
Our overseas visitors just left us after a very enjoyable time.

One (dare I say) benefit of staying at the home of an enthusiastic homeopath is that some issues can be addressed in a relaxed fashion. Among other ailments, we addressed a long-standing case of plantar fasciitis; pre-wedding emotions for the mother-of-the-bride were handled nicely with Ignatia; bug bites were avoided and (if we didn’t get the OHM* bug spray on in time) helped; sunburned shoulders were quickly cooled with Similasan’s Burn Recovery*; jangled nerves following an off-road adventure were met with Aconite (remember! Aconite rhymes with Fright!); Nux vomica came in handy the morning after the late night festivities and a custom Bach Flower Remedy blend for the bride herself proved useful for the ubiquitous pre-nuptial butterflies. Did I mention it was a nice, long visit with plenty of time to get the chance to show off what homeopathy can do!?

The day before the return flight, painful ears as a result of flying was brought up. So, I sent along a tube of Kali mur. When she landed, she texted to say that she did not take the remedy for the first flight and her “ears were yuck. Took them for the second flight and for the first time no need to keep moving jaw to pop ears, also when landing.” 

Kali muriaticum is one of Schussler’s 12 original cell salts and is known to help the body clear congestions. (In this case, I gave her the 30c potency, but I’m sure the 6x "cell salt" would have worked just fine, but may have needed to be repeated more frequently.) This remedy is known to be helpful for blocked eustachian tubes, middle ear conditions, swollen glands and when crackling noises are heard when blowing the nose or swallowing. Robin Murphy talks about "snapping, itching, as of a plug in ears". That pretty much sums up the discomfort one can feel in one's ears when flying and Kali mur did the trick for her.

Her husband jokingly asked if I had “anything for the annoying fellow passengers.” Yup. Nux vomica would be worth a try for that because, after all, it’s not necessarily that the fellow passengers are annoying, it’s the fact that one is being annoyed by one's fellow passengers.

Whoo hoo! I love it. Homeopathy works so quickly and so effectively for so very many conditions. I truly wish everybody knew about this amazing medicine!

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


* OHM products are only available to professional homeopaths and their clients.

** I have no affiliation with this company, I just like their products.
I have never used it, but I bet Similasan’s Itch Relief would work well, too!

<![CDATA[Jet Lag]]>Thu, 28 Apr 2022 23:44:15 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/jet-lag
Our first houseguests in over 2 years have arrived. A lovely thing, I can assure you!

After enduring this enforced time of not traveling, I (happily) forgot how horrible jet lag is, but I am reminded of its nastiness as I watch our over-seas visitors make the adjustment to the new time zone.

Why do we feel so exhausted after getting off a plane? All we do is sit (and eat), watch movies and maybe snooze a little bit for all those hours. We should be refreshed, like we had a day of relaxation! Yet, when finally stepping off that smelly tube with wings, it’s not at all uncommon to feel like you’ve run a marathon and got hit by a truck when you crossed the finish line!

The experts say it’s precisely because we’re sitting for long periods of time in dry air and become dehydrated, etc., etc., etc. Whatever the true pathophysiologic reasons are, jet lag is a miserable feeling.

Mainstream medicine has nothing to offer, really. Melatonin (Cipolla-Neto and Gaspar do Amaral 2018) apparently can help, and you can see how it would work (Herxheimer and Petrie 2002). Though short-term melatonin use is generally regarded as safe, I must admit, I wouldn’t mess with my hormones in this way (because melatonin is indeed a hormone), especially when homeopathy has some simple answers. For more information on possible side effects of melatonin: (Bauer 2017American Sleep Association 2022Drugs.com 2021).

So, what did I do for our tired guests?
In anticipation of their arrival, I left two remedies on the dresser in their room:
JetZone: Jet Lag Prevention & Helios’ Jet Candy

JETZONE, remedy information as listed on the packet:
Arnica: Sleepless and restless when overtired
Cocculus: Constant drowsiness after loss of sleep
Kali phos: Weak and tired from overexertion. Headache from fatigue.
Gelsemium: Insomnia from exhaustion
Nux vomica: Heartburn, anxiety and restlessness
Argentum nitricum: Mental anxiety

Jet Candy, by Helios:
JetCandy doesn’t list their reasonings for including the remedies, but I will fill in the blanks.
Bellis perennis: Another trauma remedy. Some call it a “deeper” Arnica.
Petroleum: I wrote about Petroleum’s role in seasickness here. In short, Petroleum is particularly helpful for nausea.

There are other homeopathic combination remedies for jet lag, these are just the two I happened to have lying around. 

No-Jet-Lag, by Miers Labs:
No-Jet-Lag doesn’t list their reasonings for including the remedies, but I will fill in the blanks.
Bellis perennis
Chamomilla: Oversensitivity, anger and for when falling asleep is difficult.
Ipecac: Nausea, headache
Lycopodium: Gas and bloating; frequent waking and unrefreshing sleep

Jet Lag Relief, by Boiron 
Arnica: Relieves muscle pain and stiffness
Cocculus: Relieves nausea associated with jet lag
Nux vomica: Relieves drowsiness and digestive problems associated with travel

What do all of these jet lag combination remedies have in common? Arnica montana. Arnica is a well known homeopathic remedy for injury and trauma. Let’s face it — changing time zones is absolutely an assault on your person. It affects your body, your mind and your emotions. If you are unable to get your hands on one of these combo remedies prior to your trip, bring along a tube of Arnica and half your battle will be won.

Jetlagreview.com (who knew such a thing existed?!), claims to be “the #1 source for helping people find effective ways to effectively combat jet lag.” I have no idea who is behind this site, but I was very intrigued to see 1/2 of the products they review are homeopathic (the others are vitamins and/or herbs).

No-Jet-Lag is jetlagreview’s #2 Silver Award Winner, for whatever that’s worth.

If you find yourself headed overseas, pick up one of these combination remedies and slip it in your carry-on. They’re all slightly different, but basically the same and any one of them will certainly be better than nothing. Or, take along just a tube of Arnica and see if one of these can’t put a little spring in your exhausted tourist step!

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


* I have no affiliation with any of these products. I have used Jetzone and No-Jet-Lag, to good effect. Follow the directions listed on the packet.

Reference list
American Sleep Association, 2022. Melatonin Side Effects [online]. American Sleep Association. 

Bauer, B., 2017. Pros and cons of melatonin [online]. Mayo Clinic. 

Cipolla-Neto, J. and Gaspar do Amaral, F., 2018. Melatonin as a Hormone: New Physiological and Clinical Insights[online]. academic.oup.com. 

Cleveland Clinic, n.d. Jet Lag: What is it, Symptoms, How Long Does it Last & Treatment [online]. Cleveland Clinic.

Drugs.com, 2021. Melatonin Side Effects, Uses, Dosage (Kids/Adults) [online]. Drugs.com. 

Herxheimer, A. and Petrie, K. J., 2002. Melatonin for the prevention and treatment of jet lagCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Jet Lag Review, 2022. Top Products [online]. jetlagreport.com. 
<![CDATA[Recovery from Surgery]]>Wed, 20 Apr 2022 23:02:27 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/recovery-from-surgery
Funny how the world works. I have been thinking of writing a post about recovering from surgery and lo and behold, not long ago, I awakened to a text saying my oldest son was in the ER experiencing terrible stomach pain. 

Yes. You guessed it. Within 12 hours, he had his appendix removed*.

Always remember… the procedure may be simple, but recovering from removing a piece of your anatomy is never simple!

He was prescribed and he filled all of the meds the doctors recommended. Has he used them? Nope. (I take that back. He took one single Tylenol the first morning.)

How did we address this post-surgical pain? With 2 little tubes of homeopathic remedies: homeopathic Nux vomica and Helios’** homeopathic combination remedy, "Surg".

Why Nux vomica following an appendectomy and anesthesia? 

Dr. Ratera (2016, p. 310) lists Nux vomica among a selection of only 11 remedies for use following general anesthesia, including narcosis (“a state of stupor, drowsiness or unconsciousness produced by drugs”). 

Schroyens (2012) lists Nux in the following rubrics in his homeopathic repertory:

• Stomach, nausea, operation on abdomen, after; Including cramping pain.
• Vomiting following an operation.
• General ailments following an operation.

In addition to those “official” symptoms, Nux vomica is the remedy to turn to when you have things in your system that shouldn’t be there — (see:  Garbage in, Garbage out and Too Much!). 

Once upon a time, our Great Pyrenees, Rufus, had a minor procedure and he was not waking up following the anesthesia (see definition of Narcosis above). When I set out to his vet appointment, I didn’t know he was going to be put under, so, I didn’t bring any remedies with me. But, I always have Nux vomica 200c in my purse, (see: My Little Bag of Wellness). I slipped 2 pellets in between his gum and his cheek and he literally popped out of Neverland and was able to stand up and walk to the car. Did I mention he’s a big dog? There was no way I was going to be able to carry him to the car. We got home and he curled up on his bed and was back into a very deep sleep. Another dose of Nux placed between his gum and his cheek and he got up and drank some water. I think we did 1 final dose of Nux later that evening and he was back to his normal self.

My son didn’t want to take the Nux immediately. They told him that having the anesthesia in his system would help him to sleep that night and since it had been a long time since he had any sleep, that’s the route he chose.

The other tube of homeopathy he used was a beautiful mixture of homeopathic remedies from Helios pharmacy they call “Surg.” Surg is a combination of Arnica, Bellis perennis, Calendula, Hypericum and Staphysagria.

Homeopathic Arnica is probably the most researched homeopathic remedy. Below is a good handful of summaries and links to the actual papers.


Anesthesia recovery and Analgesia in dogs -- Arnica & Papaver
“The Arnica group required rescue analgesia later than the others.” (I’m willing to bet the rescue analgesia could be have been avoided all-together if further doses of Arnica were provided.)

Postoperative Sore Throat (This is a case report.)

Knee Surgery
“In all three trials, patients receiving homeopathic arnica showed a trend towards less postoperative swelling compared to patients receiving placebo.”

Post-tonsillectomy analgesia
“The results of this trial suggest that Arnica montana given after tonsillectomy provides a small, but statistically significant, decrease in pain scores compared to placebo.”

​Healing of Wounds following surgery, compared to diclofenac
“After foot operations, Arnica… can be used instead of diclofenac to reduce wound irritation.”

Effectiveness and Safety of Arnica montana in Post-Surgical Setting, Pain and Inflammation. This is a review showing “arnica Montana is more effective than placebo when used for the treatment of several conditions including post-traumatic and postoperative pain, edema, and ecchymosis.”

Varicose vein surgery Varicose vein surgery
“The results of this pilot study showed a trend towards a beneficial effect of Arnica… with regard to reduction of hematoma and pain during the postoperative course.”

Is Homeopathic Arnica Effective for Postoperative Recovery? A Meta-analysis of Placebo-Controlled and Active Comparator Trials
“Homeopathic Arnica has a small effect size over and against placebo in preventing excessive hematoma and other sequelae of surgeries. The effect is comparable to that of anti-inflammatory substances.”

Is there a role for homeopathy in breast cancer surgery?
“A. montana… could reduce post-operative blood and seroma collection in women undergoing unilateral total mastectomy.”

Use of Arnica to relieve pain after carpal-tunnel release surgery
“…there was a significant reduction in pain experienced after 2 weeks in the Arnica-treated group.”

RESEARCH on ARNICA combined with other homeopathic remedies listed in “Surg.”

Healing of Surgical Wounds -- Arnica & Staphysagria
The table provided in this study shows the number of days needed to complete healing of the surgical wound for the control group and the groups assigned either Arnica or Staphysagria.

Homeopathic Mixture Accelerates Wound Closure -- Arnica, Calendula, and Hypericum
“A homeopathic remedy… accelerates in vitro wound scratch closure of NIH 3T3 fibroblasts.”

The effect of the homeopathic remedies Arnica montana and Bellis perennis on mild postpartum bleeding
“Treatment with homeopathic Arnica montana and Bellis perennis may reduce postpartum blood loss, as compared with placebo.

RESEARCH on Arnica and homeopathic remedies not listed in “Surg.”
Perioperative Homeopathic Arnica and Bromelain
"A systematic review of the literature demonstrates the potential for arnica and bromelain to improve perioperative outcomes including edema, ecchymosis, and pain control."

RESEARCH on Hypericum:
Hypericum perforatum to Improve Postoperative Pain Outcome After Monosegmental Spinal Sequestrectomy (HYPOS)
“Although no significant differences between the groups could be shown, we found that patients who took potentiated Hypericum in addition to usual pain management showed lower consumption of analgesics.”

Homeopathic treatment for peripheral nerve regeneration
“Hypericum improves functional recovery of peripheral nerve regeneration in rats.”

Note: Most of the research on Calendula, Hypericum and Bellis perennis  centers on herbal or mother tinctures. 

Historically speaking, in homeopathic terms, these last three remedies have a terrific reputation for post-surgical and wound healing with claims that it can promote healing and reduce risk of infection. Dr. Robin Murphy spoke often in his seminars of the healing qualities of Calendula and names it the number one remedy to use following surgery, noting the homeopathic remedy can be taken internally as well as topically. (Note: to use topically, a pellet of homeopathic Calendula can be added to clean water and used as a compress. Or, “Calendula, mother tincture, 15 drops to a wineglass of boiled water. This will cleanse the abraded surface and prevent sepsis. Calendula 6 given three to four times daily by the mouth will assist the healing process” (Shepherd and Robinson 1995).

Calendula and Hypericum tinctures are often used together following surgery or for wound healing in general. 

Dr. Dorothy Shepherd*** says, “I have never seen a cleaner wound surface or more rapid healing in a torn perineum than those which were treated with Calendula sprays, and it was much more efficacious, and more rapid than the strongest antiseptic, nor was there any rise in temperature after!” (Shephard 1989).

Bellis perennis is the common daisy. When I first learned about this remedy, the story was told about the soldiers in the war marching over fields of daisies. They were tired and they were sore and they were bruised and they didn’t realize the little flowers they were tromping over actually held the key to their ails. “Bellis perennis is long-flowering and surprisingly tough. It is resilient to the damage of mowing and human footfall, bouncing back” (Evans 2020).

The National Center for Homeopathy says it is most often used to speed surgical healing.

In addition to being helpful after surgery, Bellis can be used to assist in the healing from “long-unresolved or repeated trauma from accidents and injuries; physical, emotional or sexual abuse” (Evans 2020). Bellis is “especially useful in soft tissue injuries …. Similar to Arnica, it acts on muscle fibers and blood vessels with intense pain … deep trauma … especially in pelvis and abdomen” (Ratera 2016).

If you or a loved one has a surgery scheduled in the near future, contact Helios for a tube of “Surg” or, grab a tube of each of the remedies included in that combination (Arnica, Bellis perennis Calendula, Hypericum, and Staphysagria) and make your own combo remedy to help speed your recovery along. (Note: A good way to make your own combo remedy is to drop a pellet or two into a bottle of water and take sips as needed. Remember, every sip is a dose, so it's wise to have a water for drinking and a bottle for healing.)

For further research on the potential benefits of homeopathy, see: https://classicallypractical.com/research.html.

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


* Are there homeopathic remedies that can help with an inflamed appendix? Yes, there are, and perhaps I will write about those one day. In the mean time, if you are suffering from appendicitis, or, other severe stomach/abdominal pain, please go to the ER or talk to your physician.

** I have no affiliation with Helios; I just like their products.

*** Dr. Dorothy Shepherd was an orthodox physician who turned to homeopathy, saying, “I must admit that homeopathy has never let me down.” She had a homeopathic clinic in London during the war (Anon. 2009).

Reference list
Anon., 2009. Dorothy Shepherd (1885 - 1952) [online]. www.sueyounghistories.com. 

Anon., 2022. Bellis perennis [online]. National Center for Homeopathy. 

Evans, J., 2020. Asteraceae: remedies of the sunflower family. Harlem, NL: Emryss.

Ratera, Dr. M. M., 2016. First Aid with Homeopathy. Kander, Germany: Narayana Verlag.

Schroyens, F., 2012. Synthesis : repertorium homeopathicum syntheticum. Accessed through Radar Opus software. London: Homeopathic Book Publishers.

Shephard, Dr. D., 1989. The magic of the minimum dose : experiences and cases. Saffron Walden: Health Science Press.

Shepherd, D. and Robinson, G. E., 1995. More magic of the minimum dose : experiences and cases. Saffron Walden, Essex: C.W. Daniel Co.
<![CDATA[Garbage in, Garbage out]]>Mon, 28 Mar 2022 22:01:13 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/garbage-in-garbage-out
Practicing homeopathy is a lot like doing a puzzle or decoding a mystery  — there is a lot of sleuthing to figure out the right remedy. In taking a classical homeopathic case, accurate details are the key — the more, the better!

Practical homeopathy is often much easier — the majority of the puzzle has been worked out already through tried and true symptom/remedy matches and often you just have to fill in the blanks, so to speak.

What both of these homeopathic methods have in common is the gathering of symptoms… which makes sense since homeopathy is a methodology based on symptoms, symptom gathering is very important!

So, though practical or clinical homeopathy has made figuring out the correct homeopathic remedy for a given situation much easier, (especially when it comes to the Banerji Protocols!), details are still very important.

For instance, headaches.

What’s in a headache? An awful lot, as it turns out. 

Headaches can be very difficult to treat because no two people experience the same headache pain. What one person calls a sinus headache is often very different to what another person calls a sinus headache. Sometimes people say they have sinus headaches and, yet, their sinuses don’t seem to be involved in the pain … at all. According to the Mayo Clinic, many people (up to 90%!) who claim to have sinus headaches may actually be suffering from migraines (Mayo Clinic 2018). I have come to understand that when someone tells me they suffer "sinus headaches", they just mean that it’s worse than their “normal” headache, or what they interpret to be a "normal" headache. 

Regardless of whether it’s a sinus headache or a migraine or a tension headache, getting the details on how a person experiences their headaches can be difficult. In the moment, the pain can be too great to be able to get much detail. After the fact, many people don’t even want to go there — to put themselves back into that pain — to remember what the details were. 

A while back I encountered a young man who asked if I had any headache medicine. He was looking for mainstream over-the-counter meds, but, I being a homeopath, began down the homeopathic road, instead.

He proceeded to tell me about his usual headaches that he has been experiencing for years, which he described as “sinus headaches.” So, I started to question the quality of the pains and the location of the pains, etc.

This was not a formal consultation, just a casual encounter. I tried a headache combo remedy for him, but nothing happened. Then, based on his description, I moved to the Banerji Protocol for “sinus headaches with acute pain,” Sanguinaria 200c mixed with Belladonna 3c, taken every 30 minutes (Banerji and Banerji 2013, p. 118). Well, that did something, but it did the wrong something and he soon began to feel nauseous.*

Then, I learned the all important missing piece to this particular headache puzzle. He had a few too many drinks the night before. It didn’t matter that he thought he was experiencing his “usual” headache pain because on top of that usual pain was sitting a few alcoholic drinks which likely had a causative effect. 

More importantly, homeopathically speaking, he left that detail out of the information he provided. If he had included that little nugget, my homeopathic questioning most likely would have stopped abruptly and I would have given him a dose of homeopathic Nux vomica.

The go-to remedy for one who has had “a few too many” is Nux vomica. According to Schroyens Synthesis repertory (2012), there are 102 remedies applicable to symptoms following intoxication, with Nux vomica (and one other) being the most highly indicated homeopathic remedy.

Why? Because Nux vomica is very highly indicated in the following headache symptoms, according to Murphy’s Repertory:

  • A heavy sensation in the head, especially in the morning
  • When your head feels as if you are intoxicated 
  • A pulsing/throbbing sensation on the top of your head.
  • As if your head is being squeezed
  • Pain when shaking your head, particularly a sharp pain in the temples when shaking your head
  • A headache that feels better by wrapping your head
  • A headache with chills
  • Pain in the eye with a headache that is felt in the back of your head 
  • Headache during vomiting

Nux vomica is also one of the largest liver remedies in homeopathy and as the medical literature has taught us, the liver is involved to help you cope with ridding your body of the toxins from the alcohol (Jung and Namkoong 2014).

Homeopathic Nux vomica is very highly indicated in the following liver symptoms, again, according to Murphy: pain in the liver, atrophy of the liver, enlarged liver, a sensation of fullness in the liver; hepatitis infection, jaundice; congestion in the portal system. **If you are experiencing chronic liver issues, please work with a professional homeopath alongside your physician.

What other symptoms does homeopathic Nux vomica address which may be experienced after “tying one on?” — according to Phatak (2005):
  • Stool issues: Diarrhea, constipation, (see also, The Eagle has Landed) or frequent stools
  • Feeling better following bowel movement (after all, you're bound to feel better when you get that poison out of your system!)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Irritability and bad temper — little things irritate
  • Aversion to food
  • Lying in bed makes you feel better, but rolling over in bed makes you feel worse
  • Moving makes everything feel worse — with an inclination to sit
  • Offensive breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • “Dull, beclouded, difficult comprehension, stupefied” — thinking is difficult.
  • Sour burps
  • Gas, and/or noisy guts
  • Heartburn
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Noise makes everything feel worse
  • An acute sense of smell 
  • Feeling worse in the morning
  • Trembling
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Vomiting — (better out than in!)

These keynote symptoms for Nux vomica sound to me like a pretty comprehensive list of symptoms which follow intoxication (Jung and Namkoong 2014; Mayo Clinic 2017).

Getting an accurate account of one’s symptoms is imperative to getting the best-matched homeopathic remedy. Without the details, well, it’s GIGO (TechTerms.com) — “garbage in, garbage out.”

On that note of garbage, I recommend you keep the garbage out of your body, too, but if you find yourself in this compromised position, Nux vomica may well help set things back in order.

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


* REMEMBER, when you take a remedy which is not well indicated, the homeopathic remedy can actually cause you to experience some of the symptoms the remedy is intended to treat.

Reference list
Banerji, P. and Banerji, P., 2013. The Banerji protocols : a new method of treatment with homeopathic medicines. India: Pratip Banerji.

Jung, Y. and Namkoong, K., 2014. Chapter 7 - Alcohol: intoxication and poisoning – diagnosis and treatment [online]. ScienceDirect. 

Mayo Clinic, 2017. Hangovers - Symptoms and causes [online]. Mayo Clinic. 

Mayo Clinic, 2018. Sinus headaches - Symptoms and causes [online]. Mayo Clinic. 

Murphy, R., n.d. Repertory, version 3. Accessed through Radar Opus software.

Phatak, S. R. and C Jeevanandam, 2005. A concise repertory of homoeopathic medicines : alphabetically arranged. New Delhi: B. Jain Pub.

Rozencwajg, J., 2010. Organotherapy Drainage & Detoxification. Emrys Publisher.

Schroyens, F., 2012. Synthesis : repertorium homeopathicum syntheticum. Accessed through Radar Opus software. London: Homeopathic Book Publishers.

TechTerms.com, n.d. GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) Definition [online]. techterms.com.