<![CDATA[CLASSICALLYPRACTICAL.COM - Blog]]>Thu, 25 Apr 2024 07:34:49 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[Combination Remedies: Narayani]]>Wed, 24 Apr 2024 00:30:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/combination-remedies-narayani
​Though my first few experiences with homeopathy were through using single remedies suggested by classical homeopaths, the big wowee moment about homeopathy for me came when I was first treated with the Banerji Protocols. That is when very big changes happened very quickly for me. Those changes were so impressive and occurred in such a short amount of time that I stopped everything I was doing and started studying homeopathy. Those first classes that followed were all about the Banerji Protocols and I was absolutely hooked on the wonders of homeopathy. Banerji Protocols remain near and dear to my heart and I use them every single day. (If you are interested in classes on Banerji Protocols, Joette Calabrese* is the way to go.)

I then went to Homeopathy School International* because at that time, I just wanted to learn more about homeopathy. I had no idea that I actually wanted to become an actual homeopath. Because the only way I could get more knowledge was to take the tests, I did just that and then without any real intention to become one, I was a CHom, a certified homeopath.

When that finished, I was still hungry for more knowledge and I lucked in to a Bachelor of Science (BSc) program that was going to be offered one last time through Centre for Homeopathic Education*, (a.k.a. CHE) in conjunction with Middlesex University in the UK. At this time, I still didn’t think I wanted to be a practicing homeopath, but if I thought I was hooked before — now I was really hooked and just a couple months into this one, I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up! This program focused on the science of homeopathy, learning advanced materia medica, anatomy and physiology as it relates to homeopathy and diving into the research of homeopathy. Don’t let anyone tell you that good research does not exist for the efficacy of homeopathy, because it does! 

I still can’t get enough homeopathic knowledge. I am constantly enrolled in deep dives into many different topics; some because they interest me and some because I have clients with specific issues and I do whatever I can to learn how to further help them.

Last year I embarked on some classes looking into the Narayani Remedies. (If you are interested, Caroline Gaskin* does a good class.) On one hand, the Narayani remedies seem simple and straightforward, yet on the other hand, it’s like learning a whole new dialect of a previously familiar language.

Like the Banerji Protocols (BPs), Narayani Remedies are combination homeopathic remedies but unlike the BPs, the Narayani combinations frequently intermingle. Often, many different Narayani combinations are used at one time resulting in a mind-boggling amount of many different remedies being given/taken all at once. Fully classical homeopaths must balk at these combos (all combos, really), but… I’m going to say that they shouldn’t knock ‘em before they try them!

“The Narayani Remedies were created by Swami Narayani and Swami Ananda in 1968 to simplify their practice treating large numbers of patients in India and South Africa. These homeopathic remedies have been used around the world for over 50 years with great success. The combination remedies are used to manage people with a variety of conditions… a truly wonderful set of combinations” (Narayani Remedies*).

Let me tell you about a particular favorite of mine: a delightful little combination called Narayani Calming Pills Mix 6. I have many clients who have referred to this combination as “a life saver” and I have found it to be very helpful for both clients and caregivers of clients with difficult conditions.

From Davidson’s book, “The name speaks for itself. The pills do just that — they calm the entire system, mentally and physically. There are times when, after taking the first few doses, people want to sleep and sleep. This proves that the nervous system needs to rest — needs to stop for a while. For busy parents with naughty children. Tense business people. After a visit to the dentist. Any grieving family. Any condition of stress or apprehension.”

What’s in it? Again, from Davidson (2005):

Avena sativa for nervous exhaustion and tremors
Coffea for nervous agitation and restlessness
Humulus (Lupulus) for unstrung nervous conditions with nausea
Ignatia for sobbing, sighing, depressed conditions
Kali phos — a great nerve tonic
Passiflora has a quietening effect on the nervous system
Sumbul for hysterical and nervous symptoms
Valeriana for hysterical, over-sensitive nervous affections

When I first looked into these combination remedies, I thought — “but, my client isn’t ‘hysterical’ and isn’t nauseous — this is just too much stuff in here and is not applicable.”

I was wrong. Not every remedy listed in a Narayani combination remedy needs to be “a good fit.” You see, the body is just amazingly intelligent and knows what it needs. And, when it comes to homeopathy, the body is somehow able to sort through what it needs and discards what it doesn’t; this seems particularly true when it comes to using homeopathic combination remedies.

What prompted this article today was an ad in my inbox that got me a little excited…

TapRoots* has announced their new Top 50 Narayani Remedies Kit 1. (That #1 gets me excited that there will be more to follow!) 

From the email:
This kit will begin shipping May 20, 2024.
The Narayani Remedies are an incredibly powerful set of combination remedies that were put together by "classical homeopath", Swami Narayani, in 1968.

These homeopathic remedies have been used around the world for over 50 years with great success and are now being used in 80 countries!

SAVE $30 when you pre-order by April 30, 2024! No coupon needed!

Should you decide to go ahead and make this purchase, I highly recommend purchasing a book to help you navigate your way through these simple but sometimes confusingly named remedies. Robert Davidson’s book (mentioned above) or, Nimisha Parekh’s Narayani Remedies, A Condensed Guide, or, (even better!) Helios Pharmacy has done an updated and revised handbook (2023) which is even a little clearer.

As an example, “Calming Pills” is pretty straightforwardly named; CB 8 Mix 69, not so much. CB 8 Mix 69 is “akin to” a combination of “Calming” and “Shock” (another Narayani combo) but it is different — It is, however, for the nervous and emotional system. (I did mention this was a little like learning a different language!)

“A single remedy is like a solo artist, unique and individual. The combination remedy is like a choir. Each has to be in harmony with all the others, working for a single outcome. Truly harmonious, effective combinations are quite rare and Narayani remedies — they just sweetly sing” (Davidson 2005).

If you would like to learn more about how single or combination homeopathic remedies could help you, click here to book a free 30-minute consultation.

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


* I have no affiliation with this company (or any other, actually) — I just like their products!

​Reference list

Davidson, R., ed. 2005. Narayani’s Materia Medica: Homeopathic Combination Remedies For the 21st Century. 2nd ed. Milton Keynes, U.K.: Robert Davidson.

Narayani Remedies, n.d. NARAYANI REMEDIES [online]. narayaniremedies.com
<![CDATA[Taxing Remedies]]>Sat, 13 Apr 2024 10:30:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/taxing-remedies
Tax day is upon us in the US.

How can homeopathy have anything to do with taxes? 

Well, as an aside, if you look up “tax” in the homeopathic repertory software, you’ll see rubrics for being over-taxed. Two remedies caught my attention for this: Picric acid and Nux moschata.

Picric acid for when mental exertion causes fatigue and headache (excellent for those final exams coming up soon, too!) When I learned this remedy, I associated the phrase "pick your brains" which means, of course, to ask someone for information, which could be a tiring process.

I would definitely begin with Picric acid in this situation, but I just have to share this single remedy rubric for Nux moschata: Mind, muddled, intoxicated, as if. If there is anything that can muddle your mind, it’s taxes! Albert Einstein even apparently said, "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax." 

In addition to one’s poor brain being taxed while computing the money one owes the government, there are a few money rubrics which may be of assistance, especially if you are looking for a backdoor to crack a case.

You see, sometimes it can take just a unique little something about a person that you need to unearth in order to find a way in to getting a really well-suited remedy.

If a person has an particular fixation on money, there are some rubrics which may be useful.

One of my favorite remedies, Bambusa is indicated when one is full of cares and worries over money. To remember this remedy, just think of the substance from which it comes — Bamboo — and think of the support those bamboo stakes lend those vulnerable plants in a garden while they establish themselves and are able to stand strong through their roots alone. That’s the beauty of Bambusa.

Depression about money problems — which has a nuanced difference to cares about money, as noted above. Cares about money would be active — fretting or worrying — constant thoughts about the problem. Depression about money problems would be more of a passive response — a shutting down.

Two big remedies pop up for depression about money problems: Arsenicum album and Aurum metallicum. Now, it could be said that Arsenicum album is more of a restless anxiety or an anxious depression. Arsenicum album may talk about money and they are known to talk about their worries. Thinking further about this, I think it should actually probably be listed in the above rubric with Bambusa. 

Aurum metallicum, on the other hand, is a depressed remedy. A remedy for deep grief or humiliation. Put those two together and we have a perfect match for depression after financial loss. (Note that Aurum is the only bold/underlined remedy in that rubric.)

What is Aurum metallicum? Aurum is made from gold. To remember this remedy, think of the Great Depression — when the financial markets all around the world crumbled and people lost their fortunes and their savings and threw themselves out of windows in their despair. That is a picture perfect description of depression after financial loss. Shock from a loss of wealth or property.

If there is a passion for making money, Aurum and Nux vomica are both highly indicated. Once again for Aurum, think of the Gold Rush. Those were some people passionate about making money — Gold Fever!

Nux vomica is more of the hardworking business person — workaholics. People who work themselves sick. Vomica sounds a little like vomit -- works themselves sick. 

What else can help if you are frantically rushing to get your taxes filed? Try some Bach Flowers. Maybe a little Cherry Plum to keep a cool and collected mind. Or, maybe some Clematis to help you stay focused on the task at hand. Elm if the task just feels too overwhelming. Holly if the whole process makes you angry. And, finally, for all those accountants out there who are working their tails off in these final days to help all of us late filers get the job done, try some Oak to help restore energy.

A fun fact (well, I don’t know if this is factual or not, but it caught my attention): 
The Gettysburg address is 269 words. The Declaration of Independence is 1,337 words. the Bible is only 773,000 words. However, the tax law has grown from 11,400 words in 1913 to 7 millions words today. (Note: I don’t know when “today” was — it could have quadrupled again, for all I know!)

Learning homeopathic remedies shouldn’t be taxing. Making a few connections and word associations can make all these many remedies a little easier to remember.

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath

<![CDATA[Allergic Eyes]]>Sun, 07 Apr 2024 10:00:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/allergic-eyesPicture
I am so not amused. The winds are picking up and I am really missing my Similasan eye drops. The powers that be in the USA have removed the choice of using these eyedrops from us. When they removed them from the store shelves in 2023, they did so without cause, as far as I’m concerned. They didn’t cite any adverse reactions to these eye drops. In fact, they didn’t even cite a single case of anything negative. Not cool.

So, what do we do without access to this really helpful product?

Fortunately, homeopathic remedies work on the entire system — eyes included. The Similasan eye drops may feel delightful when you use them, but the drops are not a required method of delivery for the homeopathic remedies to address the eyes.

There are 5 homeopathic remedies that I think of right off the bat when someone comes to me for help with their allergic eye symptoms:
  • Euphrasia
  • Pulsatilla
  • Natrum muriaticum
  • Apis
  • Allium cepa
Euphrasia is hands down the first homeopathic remedy I turn to for allergic eye discomfort -- actually, for any eye discomfort. In my list of 21 various eye symptoms that I used to compare these remedies for this article, Euphrasia is highly indicated in all but 2: bland tears and the desire to rub the eyes. (All 5 remedies are indicated in 6 of my symptom list: Bloodshot eyes, burning pain, inflammation, lachrymation, and light sensitivity. For the following symptoms, where multiple remedies are indicated for each symptom, I have underlined the remedy which is more highly indicated for each symptom.)

If you are suffering from bland tears — tears that do not burn and bother — your best bet is Allium cepa or Pulsatilla.

If your eyes feel like there is dust or sand in them: Euphrasia or Nat mur.

If your eyes are stuck together or the eyelids are sticky: Euphrasia or Pulsatilla.

If the pain in your eyes is a stinging pain: Apis, Pulsatilla or Euphrasia.

If the pain in your eyes causes you to wink and blink: Euphrasia or Apis. (If the sun causes you to wink and blink, look to Nat mur.)

If your eyes feel filmy: Euphrasia or Pulsatilla.

If your eyes feel dry: Nat mur, Pulsatilla or Euphrasia.

Aching pain in the eyes: Pulsatilla is your best bet. (If you have aching pain above your eyes, try Allium cepa.)

If the removal of homeopathic remedies from the store shelves irks you like it irks me, go to Americans for Homeopathy Choice and use their handy-dandy, easy-to-use form to send a message to congress and let them know you would like to have the option to purchase these safe and effective eyedrops once again.

Until that time, go the old-fashioned homeopathic route and try one of the above mentioned remedies which best match your symptoms.

If you suffer from more than just the occasionally irritated eyes from allergies, I highly recommend contacting a professional homeopath to see how they can help.

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


<![CDATA[A Calendula Quickie… for inner bits (and bites!)]]>Sat, 30 Mar 2024 22:30:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/a-calendula-quickie-for-inner-bits-and-bites
I chomped right down on it. It wasn’t nice. I bit my tongue! (If you are an astute Ruminating on Remedies reader, you will know I have written about biting my tongue before. That time, I had other things going on, warranting a different remedy. This one was a simple slip of the tongue with no other issues.)

If you’re like me, you don’t call it quits after biting your tongue — you go back for more and keep biting that sore spot cuz it’s rearranged the terrain of your mouth and that injured bit keeps getting in the way!

That’s what I did.

So, what did I do?


In this instance, I used some Calendula mouthwash*.  After having it bother me all day long, I slooshed a bit of this mouthwash before bed (because brushing my teeth irritated my tongue!), I had a good night’s sleep and long before I woke up, all the pain (and the bump!) was completely gone.

Calendula tea works, too. I like this one*. Or, if you want just the basic ingredient, Rebeccas’s Herbal Apothecary* is always amazing 

Taking a nibble out of my own tongue got me to thinking about how amazing Calendula truly is. It is the go-to remedy when you have an injury where you need, but are unable, to apply some sort of salve: tongue wounds and cuts… perineum injuries following childbirth… healing surgical wounds, (inside or out)… corneal abrasions… perforated eardrums… phantom pains following amputation… 

It may seem there is no way to apply the lovely soothing qualities of calendula to these inner tissues, but there is.

Homeopathy, of course! I could have taken a pellet of homeopathic Calendula and put it in a bit of water and used that instead of the mouthwash. Taking a dose of Calendula in this way allows your body to go and take care of those unreachable ouchies. Of course, you can just pop the allowed dose of pellets directly in your mouth, too -- you do not need to put it in water.

For outside wounds, put a couple pellets of homeopathic Calendula in some clean water and from there you can use that now "medicated" water to soak some cloth or gauze and apply those topically, as needed. And, as the title of this article implies, Calendula is good for insect bites, too!

If your inner bits (or the bits that are not well suited to ointment) are asking for some attention, try some Calendula in a homeopathic dilution (or, even the herbal form** will do)!

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


* I have no affiliation with any of these companies, I just like their products.

** Like all herbs, there are some contraindications. This website, which I found through a quick internet search, has a nice overview of the herb. I see on there about the scalp, too — I used to use a Calendula shampoo on our dog when we first got him and he had so many skin problems — it appeared to be very soothing on the poor, suffering fellow.
<![CDATA[Caffeine Withdrawal]]>Sun, 18 Feb 2024 05:00:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/caffeine-withdrawal
Quitting coffee can cause one heck of a nasty headache.

I remember hearing years ago that the nasty headache that people encounter following surgery was due, in part, from caffeine withdrawal. 

One familiar with homeopathic remedies might be forgiven if one were to assume that the homeopathic remedy Coffea cruda would be the remedy to turn to for help with this pain. And, to be fair, it may help in this situation. Keep reading…

However, using Coffea for caffeine withdrawal would be more akin to isopathy, or, “same cures same.” See: Buzz on Apis  and Hom, not home.

This is not to say that Coffea doesn’t have a place in helping headaches, it does. Particularly if:
  • Chills during a headache
  • Headache from music
  • Headaches experienced on the sides of the head or a one-sided headache.
  • A cracking sensation on the top of the head

Might there be a better homeopathic remedy to help if you are suffering headaches from caffeine withdrawal? Generally speaking, were I to be suffering from this hellish experience again today, I would start with Chamomilla. But, to be fair, Coffea cruda is also indicated in a number of these symptoms — It’s a matter of degree.

From Roger Morrison’s Desktop Guide:
“Chamomile is characterized by an unsurpassed hypersensitivity to pain and an angry, almost accusatory response to that pain. Often the patient seems to complain of more discomfort than could possibly be felt from the existing condition. Furthermore the complaining is usually hostile and vehement. There is always irritability…”

Yep. That sounds like someone going through caffeine withdrawal.

Caffeine withdrawal symptoms, as noted ffrom Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition:

  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness/sleepiness
  • Yawning
  • Lethargy/fatigue/tiredness/sluggishness
  • Thick head
  • Headache
  • Heavy feeling in arms and legs
  • Hot or cold spells
  • Decreases desire to talk/socialize
  • Flu-like feelings

Chamomilla also has a keynote of being aggravated from coffee, ailments from coffee and headaches from NOT drinking coffee. Once again, Coffea cruda is in some of these rubrics, but not to the degree that is indicated in Chamomilla.

Heck, Chamomilla even has an aggravation at nine AM — just about the stereotypical time the caffeine would have been consumed and had “kicked in!”

Other remedies to consider if you are dealing with this type of headache: Nux vomica and Ignatia. (See Overwhelmed for a bit more information comparing those two remedies.)

It is not at all uncommon for people to use coffee first thing in the morning to get their bowels moving. So, if you are considering ditching the coffee habit, know this is a possible “side effect.” Chamomilla can help with this, but so, too, can Nux vomica. (See The Eagle has Landed).

Is there a reason to quit coffee? Lots of homeopaths recommend to not drink coffee when taking homeopathic remedies. (I don’t agree with this. See HERE for more thoughts on this.)

Sarah Ballantyne*, (I first learned about her when she was known as The Paleo Mom), has now written a book (being published in May) called Nutrivore. Her new system is based on nutrient density. “The Nutrivore Score is an objective measurement of the total amount of nutrients a food contains per calorie. There are 33 nutrients that go into the calculation.” Well, guess what the number one food item is according to this system? That's right… Coffee. Hmmmm.

Having said all that, from someone who has been there, done that — drinking many, many cups of coffee all day, everyday -- I don’t think you’ll regret kicking the coffee habit if you choose that route. It may take a little time, but I bet you’ll be waking more refreshed and feeling much better at being able to function without relying on the coffee crutch.

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


* I have no affiliation with Sarah Ballantyne, I am just intrigued by her new dietary system.

Works Cited:

Ballantyne, Sarah. “Brewed Coffee Nutrients.” Nutrivore, . 

Morrison, Roger. Desktop Guide to Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms. Nevada City, Calif., Hahnemann Clinic Pub, 1993.

Watson, J. “CAFFEINE.” ScienceDirect, Academic Press, 1 Jan. 2003, . 

Weber, Joseph G., et al. “Prophylactic Intravenous Administration of Caffeine and Recovery after Ambulatory Surgical Procedures.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings, vol. 72, no. 7, July 1997, pp. 621–626.
<![CDATA[Chocolate]]>Sun, 11 Feb 2024 05:00:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/chocolate
Chocolate. 😍 Sigh. 

Such a marvelous thing, chocolate. I don’t think I will ever stop being surprised when someone tells me they don’t like chocolate.

When my youngest was turning 3, I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner. “Chocolate. Just chocolate,” he said in his little sing-songy voice.

I happen to agree with him. Chocolate, (100% cacao is my preference), any time of day. (Click here for a link to my current favorite.) 

Just before flying to England last year I read about a study in a Mark Sisson email: “Chocolate for breakfast prevents circadian desynchrony in experimental models of jet-lag and shift-work.” I didn’t even check to see if there is good science behind this study because I am more than happy to do some self-experimentation when it comes to chocolate! Did it help? It seemed to. However, when we crossed the pond again a few months later, I forgot to bring the chocolate and I still did as well as last year on the jet lag front. NOTE: I did use homeopathic remedies on both flights, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say that was the more important factor. But, next time I make that physically painful trip, I shall do both — just in case!😉

As you may (or, may not) know, classical homeopathy loves basic information about a person — their preferred weather; if the person runs hot or cold; if they are aggravated by damp places; early bird or night owl; sensations they may experience and food likes and dislikes as well as how certain foods affect them.

This homeopathic fact-gathering point brings us to chocolate and homeopathy.

There are two main remedies associated with the desire for chocolate: Argentum nitricum and Phosphorus. Today, I shall focus on Argentum nitricum.

Arg-nit, as it is known, is a homeopathic remedy made from silver nitrate. One of Arg-nit’s keynote symptoms is a desire for sugar, which at the same time makes the person feel worse. I have written a few times about Arg-nit: Hoarseness; What goes up; Feel the Fear; Back to School.

Anxiety is a big part of Arg-nit as a homeopathic remedy picture: anxiety for health; anticipatory anxiety; anxiety when alone; anxiety in the morning on waking; anxiety about the future; anxiety when hungry; diarrhea from anxiety. So, I went looking for links to chocolate and anxiety. Turns out there are some interesting studies out there.
  • A tiny little study out of France found that “self-labeled ‘chocoholics’ do not seem to suffer from eating disorders, but may represent a population of psychologically vulnerable and depression—or anxiety—prone people. They seem to use chocolate as a light psychotropic drug able to relieve some of their distress” (Dallard et al. 2001).
  • Jackson (et al. 2019) found that those who consumed chocolate, “particularly dark chocolate, may be associated with reduced odds of clinically relevant depressive symptoms.” 
  • Martin (et al. 2012) found eating a piece of chocolate after a meal decreased anxiety. Note: Arg-nit is also in the rubric for Anxiety while or after eating.
  • Take the chocolate away for 2 weeks, say Moreno-Dominguez (et al. 2012) and the anxiety increased for “high-cravers.” 
  • In rats, Yamada (et al. 2009) concluded that chronic consumption of cacao mass did not show an anxiolytic effect. (See below for further random studies on chocolate.)

Maybe we chocoholics are just self medicating? 🧐

Back to Arg-nit and chocolate…

Homeopathic Argentum nitricum may be helpful for people who suffer abdominal pain or diarrhea after eating chocolate. Additionally, if a pet gets into chocolate, I have been told that giving them some Arg-nit ASAP can be very important!

Those who experience acne as a result of eating chocolate may also benefit from Arg-nit. Note: the chocolate/acne connection is disputed in conventional science. See (Daszkiewicz 2021)(Goh et al. 2011)(Vongraviopap and Asawanonda 2015)Regardless of the scientific controversy, Argentum nitricum may benefit those who suffer ill-effects after eating chocolate, regardless of what those effects are.  

For those who have chocolate cravings, that tendency could be addressed through a number of remedies, but Arg-nit and Phosphorus are particularly well indicated*.

If there is a tendency to become addicted to chocolate, homeopathic Chocolate may be the remedy to turn to.

Chocolate as a homeopathic remedy was proven** by Jeremy Sherr after seeing frequent complaints from patients resulting in adverse effects after eating chocolate as well as “the impressive” number of his patients who were seriously addicted to chocolate.

There’s not a lot in this remedy that stands out in terms of symptoms, actually. In my never-to-be-humble opinion, it’s because they didn’t actually do the proving on the important part of the chocolate. For the proving, Sherr used the “purest form of processed chocolate” (Sherr 2015). That, to me, is like doing a proving on a Starbucks Caffeè Mocha instead of doing a proving on the important ingredient which, in this case would be the coffee bean. (Note: we have good information on Coffea cruda, the raw coffee bean, which was originally proved by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann and again in modern times.)

Similar to Arg-nit, anxiety is also part of the Chocolate remedy picture: anticipatory anxiety as well as anxiety about health and money and anxiety in the morning.

Frans Vermeulen in his Synoptic Reference (2011) notes that homeopathic chocolate has an affinity for the reproductive system, the central nervous system and hormones.

I’ve never used homeopathic Chocolate with a client. Maybe I will have to try it out on myself one day to get a better feel for it. But, I eagerly anticipate reading a full proving on Cacao one day. I have no doubt it would be a much more impressive remedy than Chocolate. (Cacao does appear in "Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica" by T. Allen but all that is stated is about the separating out of theobromine from the butter of cocoa and no actual symptoms are listed.)

So, the good news on chocolate is, according to the above listed studies, it appears we chocoholics have nothing to fear with a daily indulgence of our favored treat. Phew!

“It was like having a box of chocolates shut in the bedroom drawer. Until the box was empty it occupied the mind too much.” --Graham Greene 
Perhaps Mr. Greene could have used a dose of Argentum nitricum? 

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


** for more information on provings, see: The Original Drug Testing.
Provings are a little like a box of chocolates, I suppose … You never know what you’re going to get! 💝

Reference list:

Chocolate Class, 2016. Understanding The Chemical Compound that Confirmed Chocolate was Consumed by the Maya [online]. Chocolate Class. 

Dallard, I., Cathebras, P., Sauron, C. and Massoubre, C., 2001. [Is cocoa a psychotropic drug? Psychopathologic study of a population of subjects self-identified as chocolate addicts]. L’Encephale [online], 27 (2), 181–186.

Daszkiewicz, M., 2021. Associations between diet and acne lesions. Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny [online], 137–143. 

Fusar-Poli, L., Gabbiadini, A., Ciancio, A., Vozza, L., Signorelli, M. S. and Aguglia, E., 2021. The effect of cocoa-rich products on depression, anxiety, and mood: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 62 (28), 1–13.

Goh, W., Kallianpur, K. J., Chow, D., Almeida, P. G., Brown, A. C., Pager, S. and Sil, P., 2011. Chocolate and acne: How valid was the original study? Clinics in Dermatology [online], 29 (4), 459–460. 

Jackson, S. E., Smith, L., Firth, J., Grabovac, I., Soysal, P., Koyanagi, A., Hu, L., Stubbs, B., Demurtas, J., Veronese, N., Zhu, X. and Yang, L., 2019. Is there a relationship between chocolate consumption and symptoms of depression? A cross‐sectional survey of 13,626 US adults. Depression and Anxiety [online], 36 (10), 987–995. 

Martin, F.-P. J., Antille, N., Rezzi, S. and Kochhar, S., 2012. Everyday Eating Experiences of Chocolate and Non-Chocolate Snacks Impact Postprandial Anxiety, Energy and Emotional States. Nutrients [online], 4 (6), 554–567. 

Martin, F.-P. J., Rezzi, S., Peré-Trepat, E., Kamlage, B., Collino, S., Leibold, E., Kastler, J., Rein, D., Fay, L. B. and Kochhar, S., 2009. Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects. Journal of Proteome Research [online], 8 (12), 5568–5579. 

Martinez-Pinilla, E., Oñatibia-Astibia, A. and Franco, R., 2015. The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption. Frontiers in Pharmacology [online], 6. 

Moreno-Dominguez, S., Rodríguez-Ruiz, S., Martín, M. and Warren, C. S., 2012. Experimental effects of chocolate deprivation on cravings, mood, and consumption in high and low chocolate-cravers. Appetite [online], 58 (1), 111–116.

Sathyapalan, T., Beckett, S., Rigby, A. S., Mellor, D. D. and Atkin, S. L., 2010. High cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate may reduce the burden of the symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome. Nutrition Journal [online], 9 (1). 

Sherr, J., 2015. Homoeopathic Proving of Chocolate. B Jain Pub Pvt Limited.

Vermeulen, F., 2011. Synoptic reference. B Jain Publishers Pvt Ltd.

Vongraviopap, S. and Asawanonda, P., 2015. Dark chocolate exacerbates acne. International Journal of Dermatology [online], 55 (5), 587–591.

Yamada, T., Yamada, Y., Okano, Y., Terashima, T. and Hidehiko Yokogoshi, 2009. Anxiolytic effects of short- and long-term administration of cacao mass on rat elevated T-maze test. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry [online], 20 (12), 948–955. 
<![CDATA[Homeopathy Helpers]]>Sun, 04 Feb 2024 05:00:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/homeopathy-helpers
“The greatest triumph of a science is when it becomes the common property of the people and thus contributes to the common wealth.” — motto inscribed in The Homeopathic Domestic Physician
Let’s face it… learning to use homeopathy can be a little overwhelming and daunting. Even once you are an official homeopath, it can still feel overwhelming… especially when you are under the weather like I am today.

It’s hard to think through your symptoms when you’re not feeling your best. It’s times like this it’s very helpful to have a couple homeopath friends, both human and technological!!

Back to learning to use homeopathy…

I have mentioned some books in the past to get you started, and, now, let’s take a look at some software that might be helpful. (I have used Homeopathic Housecall many times but most of the rest of these apps are new to me, unless otherwise noted.)

Homeopathic Housecall has been around for a number of years. Based on Constantine Hering’s The Homeopathic Domestic Physician from 1835, Homeopathic Housecall brings this classic book into the modern world through an internet-based app.

The interface is pretty easy to navigate. You begin each case by searching by Complaints, Locations or Stressors. From there, the program leads you through a series of questions to help you find an appropriate homeopathic remedy. At the end of that, they give you a few remedies (and some basic information for each) for you to parse through to see what looks like the best fit.

Homeopathic Housecall is a subscription based service beginning at $65 per year for a 2-year annual subscription or $11.99 per month. They also offer a 7-day free trial.

I was pleasantly surprised at the surprisingly large number of mobile apps on the iPhone if you search “Homeopathy” in the app store. (If they mention the app being available for Android, I have included that information.) I played around with a few of them so you don’t have to.

Homeopathic Helper is an app for Apple and Android phones ($14.99 at the time of this writing). The app includes a free book which is a nice little introduction to homeopathy with some sample cases and dosage instructions.

Once you have registered an account, you can choose “conditions” or “remedies.” A few of the choices: allergic reactions, bladder infections, earache, impetigo, sciatica, shingles. Each condition has a brief overview followed by a handful of remedies which may be useful.
  • I found the selection of remedies provided for each condition I looked at to be helpful and clear.

Healio Homeopathy is available through Apple and I must confess, I’m a little confused by their pricing, but they appear to offer monthly and annual subscription plans.

For this trial run, I searched for “post-nasal catarrh” and what comes up is a long list of remedies with color coded buttons on the side of “low,” “medium,” and “high” to help you wade through them. Once you click on one of the listed remedies you then get more information on the remedy. The information provided comes from Kent and there is a lot of it. (Note: I did not purchase a subscription and it appears you just have to sit through a momentary ad to get to your information. It looks like you can have the “analysis” feature if you subscribe.)
  • I found this app not quite as easy to use as some of the others but it provides a lot of information.

Boiron’s Medicine Finder appears to be free and when I searched “postnasal drip” only 1 remedy popped up. Of the few conditions I scrolled through, only 1 or 2 remedies ever popped up. There is a “shop” button that takes you to the Boiron website to purchase remedies. They have an electronic version of their “Easy Guide” and a button for their new products. It does, however have a handy dandy video for how to open a Boiron tube, something I found incredibly frustrating when I first used one (click here to read about my first time trying to get into the blasted tube!) Additionally, there is a link to the internet to watch Boiron videos on various remedies.
  • I found this app very basic and not terribly helpful and it froze up on me a number of times.

Biochemic Tissue Salts appears to be free and has a pretty in-depth overview of each of the 12 cell salts: what the substance is, preparation, physicochemical data, what a deficiency of the substance can cause, normal function in the body, general indications and then a nice, long list of symptoms and “particular indications.”
  • This app lives on my phone and I have found it to be a great resource for cell salts. Though there is a lot of information to sift through.

Homeopathy for Everyone also appears to be free and is a little different than the previous listings in that they provide some combination remedy suggestions as well as potency and dosing guidance. Note: A number of the suggested remedies are unusual remedies. When you click on “whiplash” for example, it lists a remedy combo, suggests taking it 3 times a day for a maximum of a week and that’s that. It appears to be just that for every condition clicked.
  • This app is interesting in that it provides combos and some out of the norm remedies.

Homeopathy Clinical Tips asks you to register, but it appears you can use it without doing so. This app isn’t as user friendly as some of the others but they do offer some potency and dosing suggestions. This app offers many little pictures of information under “Useful Tips.” For instance, "Examination Fear" says “Argentum nitricum 200c offers instant relief” and names the author of the suggestion, in this case, Dr. Foubister. Under “Clinical Tips” it shows three remedies for “Abscess” and  provides some more specifics when you click on it. It also offers potency and dosing and again lists the contributing authors.
  • This is kind of a fun little app to play around with but not as helpful as some of the others for new homeopathy users.

Homeopathy Materia Medica is an app that lives on my phone and I do refer to it fairly often and I believe it is free. This is a straightforward materia medica. Choose a letter, find your remedy and read up on it. It has a button where you can add your own notes. I have never used this feature but it also has videos of well known homeopaths discussing remedies. It is not a complete materia medica, but that would be asking a lot.
  • This app is much more than adequate for a quick understanding of common remedies.

MyHomeopath allows you to use a reduced version of the app for free, or, you can choose to subscribe for a low annual fee. The free version only offers “general,” “fever” and “head.” To use this app, choose your condition and then on the right hand side of the screen it has a check list where you can click the symptoms you are experiencing. Once you make your selections and click “remedies,” it provides a ranked choice of possible remedies. It also provides instructions for making a water dose.
  • At least in the free version, it doesn’t appear to provide much information on the suggested remedies. You would need to refer elsewhere for that.

Bach Flower Remedies is another app that lives on my phone… providing a nice overview of each of the Bach Flower Essences. It also offers the “Quick Prescriber” where you can search by symptom. Click your symptom and the app provides the one or two essences appropriate for each symptom.
  • A good way to get to know the Bach Flowers.

Lotus Smart Charts is a neat little app from Robin Murphy and Judith Toscano. Choose from Kids and Babies, First Aid, Furry Friends and Digestion. Once you choose your main category, you then choose the issue. For example, under First Aid, you can choose: Bleeding, Black Eye, Puncture wounds, etc. and when you click on your issue a couple of remedies pop up with a few differentiating features.
  • This app has a nice interface and with the information coming from Drs Murphy and Toscano, you know the remedies suggested are pretty good places to start.

Homeopathic Prescriber teaches how to take a case as well as an A-Z of symptoms. I was randomly clicking around and stumbled on the entry for “screaming children” with further differentiation of symptoms, like: night screaming; piteous crying; before urine passes — followed by the suggested remedy. They have a button for Video News which says the videos will change periodically. Today it showed only one video for Homeopathy for Depression and Anxiety.
  • There is something intriguing about this app. I think I’ll be playing around with this one a little bit more.

There you have my 2 cents on a handful of available homeopathy technology. As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of apps out there and I just took a quick look at a few that were not prohibitively expensive. (I understand there are actually a few apps that are essentially complete repertories but I have not tried any of those.)

As for my current cold? My friend used Homeopathic Housecall, walked me through the questions and came up with a remedy that definitely brought me to a better place. I am now able to function. My appetite has returned. My headache has significantly lessened and my burning throat has dissipated. I was able to enjoy being with my family tonight as well as to get a little work done, and, most importantly, I am now ready for bed and I am looking forward to a good night’s sleep with her suggested remedy in a glass of water sitting next to my bedside in case I wake in the night.

Remember, this is the year to dig into homeopathy! Let technology be your friend on your learning journey.

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath

<![CDATA[Comedo Quickie]]>Sun, 28 Jan 2024 04:30:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/comedo-quickie
A Comedo Quickie…

A few years ago I went to the dermatologist because I had a “thing” on my chest that wouldn’t go away. The dermatologist told me it was a comedo.

Comedones are also known as “blackheads” (blocked pores that have remained open) or “whiteheads” (blocked pores that have closed over) They can be found generally on the face, neck, back and chest and commonly trouble teenagers, but I can attest they can occur at any age.

The internet tells us this is the easiest type of acne to treat. The catch there is, of course, this would be using some chemicals, which I generally wish to avoid: see Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic acid.

Dr. Ramji Gupta, a dermatologist in New Delhi, India, says that “due to fluid leaking in the surrounding tissue or due to the presence of sebum plug, the skin becomes inflamed, red, with painful elevation of the red or black-headed pustule containing white sebum plug inside such elevation, which is called acne.”

That pretty much sounds like what I had going on — it was very irritating and I would find myself sort of picking at it all the time.

So, what did I do? Well, once I learned it wasn’t a life-threatening something-or-other (which is where my poor brain goes whenever something pops up on me), I turned to homeopathic Silicea. I have written before about Silicea’s ability to push things out and so that’s what I took. After having this thing on my chest for many months, it was just a few days before it was all cleared up.

Don’t waste your time picking at these things. Try a few doses of Silicea and see what it can do for your icky little blemishes. *Be sure to get any new skin things checked by a physician!

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


<![CDATA[Betrayal]]>Sun, 14 Jan 2024 06:00:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/betrayal
There is no shortage of books and movies about betrayal. These are the plots that make us gasp out loud at the audacity of the baddies or weep for the wrong that has been done to someone. The Fugitive, Oppenheimer, The Beach (the book was much better), Au Revoir les Enfants, The Kite Runner, Julius Caesar (and many other Shakespeare plays)… spy movies and gangster movies all seem to have some level of betrayal in them. Heck, probably most popular fiction and movies portray  disloyalty, backstabbing, treachery, treason and unfaithfulness. 

There is a reason why betrayals make for great novels and movie plots and that’s because we have all experienced it at some point in time and we can all empathize with what we’re seeing/reading.

In a movie or book, sometimes we can see it coming. In real life… Boom! We never see it coming; even if we saw it coming in hindsight, we never see it before it’s there.

Betrayals are sometimes big and clear cut, like an extramarital affair and sometimes they are little, like promises broken to a child. Even if it seems like “nothing” from the outside, it can sit heavily on the one who feels they were betrayed. It's not unusual to carry that heavy weight along with them for years.

How can homeopathy help? Well, let’s look at the results for someone who feels betrayed.

Children may display their effects through anxiety, depression, anger, nightmares or even physical pain like stomach aches. 

Betrayed adults may suffer from intrusive thoughts or anger or sadness, even deep depression, and, adults, too, may find their feelings translated into physical symptoms like stomach pain or insomnia.

The long and the short of it is, however, these effects can stick around for a long time and homeopathy can help clear out this unpleasantness. (Since the reaction to a betrayal is so individual, I highly suggest working with a professional homeopath so your specific symptoms can be addressed properly.)

Nat mur comes to mind because ultimately what is often experienced after such an experience is sadness. I’ve written a few times about Nat mur and sadness: Happy PillsMusical Resonance, The Big Goodbye.

Pulsatilla is another remedy that sounds about right. Pulsatilla is known for feeling forsaken and being betrayed certainly falls under the definition of forsaken: to be or feel abandoned. 

Calvin Knerr’s Repertory of Hering’s Guiding Symptoms lists: "as if slapped in the face." That sounds about right, too. Pulsatilla is the only remedy listed in that rubric.

Ailments from being alone. Exaggerated anxiety with palpitations or anxiety felt in the stomach. Depression and apathy. Beside oneself. Desires to be carried or caressed. Clinging behavior. A strong need for company and if that company offers consolation, they find that very helpful. (This desire for consolation and company is the opposite to Nat mur, fyi.) Crying makes them feel better and they may feel like crying all the time. Loneliness. Feelings of mourning. 

Ailments from being deceived and feeling dejected. 
Ailments from disappointments.
Ailments from grief.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross talks about the five stages of grief, DABDA: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. Pulsatilla is a bold-type remedy for bargaining. 

The betrayal doesn’t have to be fresh. Homeopathic remedies can help clear out old icky feelings, too.

Life is too short to stay focused on the bad. Try homeopathy and see if it can help you re-focus on the good.

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath

<![CDATA[Ahh - Choo!]]>Sun, 07 Jan 2024 05:00:00 GMThttp://classicallypractical.com/blog/ahh-chooPicture
I’m sure you have noticed that there are some winter illnesses going around. One of them tried sneaking into our house just as we were packing up Christmas. So far, we have been able to foil its plans.

When the first signs struck the other day, I used my go-to remedies to pretty good effect. (See previous articles: Flu Remedies; Ho Ho HoAmmonium carb; Calming the Cold; The Crud.) Unusually for me, I had a nasty sinus headache that my normal remedies managed to quiet but not quite subdue.

Then, I saw sitting next to my desk, a little bottle of something I bought on a whim and forgot all about. A cute, little bottle called, Achoo!* 

Achoo! is a gemmotherapy combination (see here for more information on Gemmos) of Common Alder, Black Currant and Dog Rose. Lauren Hubele’s website* (which is the only place I have been able to find which sells it) says it is a remedy "to support upper respiratory health".

Let’s take a quick look at the ingredients.

Common Alder or Alnus glutinosa is a fluid harmonizer and is useful in case of colds, flu, viruses, headaches and localized inflammation, especially those originating from a mucosa. It is known to support natural defenses and is said to act best if used at the beginning of symptoms of upper respiratory conditions.

Black Currant or Ribes nigrum is also useful for immune system support. It has a high content of vitamin C and can be very useful in any inflamed condition, in particular in the respiratory tract (in my case, sinusitis).

Dog Rose or Rosa canina is another immune support and is particularly useful when the head is involved: adenoids and sinuses.

Today is Saturday and I first felt these symptoms on Wednesday evening. Thursday was a little tough, but thanks to my remedies, it didn't stop me from living my life. Yesterday was mostly fine and today I am completely back to normal with good energy and no sinus pain, whatsoever.

If you are quick on the draw when you first feel symptoms, homeopathy and gemmotherapy can get you right back on track with minimal disruption to your life.

It’s the early days of these winter illnesses. If you haven’t done so yet, pick up a few of the remedies listed in my earlier blogs and a little bottle of Achoo!, too.

Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath


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