Homoeopathy and haute couture… and ducks…

Vera Resnick

Don’t you find it frustrating when you try something on which is labelled One Size – and it’s not Your Size?  But really, why should you expect One Size to fit everyone? or to suit everyone – an entirely different matter.

You could call homeopathy the “haute couture” of the alternative medicine world.  There is really only one time when one size possibly fits all, and that’s in the use of oral Arnica as a first remedy in accidents, falls, bumps, breaks, etc.  (oral Arnica, not the creams, gels, potions and their ilk, as I have explained here).

I recently started working with a patient.  His first response to the remedy I gave was quite good, and it looked as if we could move ahead.  But then he wrote he was feeling much worse.

What happened? I asked, concerned.

Oh, I felt like I was coming down with flu and started taking Oscillococcinum. (It’s an over-the-counter Boiron flu remedy, a highly diluted preparation based on duck liver extract, well you did want to know).

Ahuh, I responded, grimacing at the Whatsapp screen

I put a few grains in a bottle of water, he continued enthusiastically, and sip it throughout the day.

Brace yourselves, I’m about to go into capitals.  PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS.  NOT AT HOME.  NOT IN THE OFFICE.  NOT ANYWHERE…

Please stop the Oscillo, I requested gently.

Of course, came the response, I’ll just finish this bottle.

Sigh…

Many people are helped by lemon tea with honey for a sore throat or a cold, by coffee when they need a pick-me-up, by chicken soup if they aren’t vegetarian.  But apart from use of Arnica in injuries, as a rule homoeopathic remedies must be tailored to the needs of the patient.  This was particularly true for this young man, who was already taking a remedy.  The symptoms he was experiencing may have been part of his ongoing treatment process.

Several years ago, I was teaching in a program for pensioners, and one of the students came up to me with a question.

My doctor told me to take a homeopathic medicine for my menopause symptoms, she said, a worried look on her face.  Since I started taking it, I’ve been getting the most terrible headaches.

I looked at the package.  Homoeopathic remedies are very much the dual-edged sword as they can cause symptoms as well as heal symptoms.  The symptoms caused by remedies usually go away within a day or two of stopping, but that doesn’t make them less uncomfortable when you’re going through them.  Sure enough, one of the remedies listed on the package was a superb headache producer – and a remedy that is wonderful for a particular kind of headache, which this lady had not been suffering from before she took the remedy.   She stopped taking the remedy and the headache went away.

Most people buy over-the-counter homoeopathy remedies at some point or other.  Just be aware that any new symptom you may be having is very possibly because of the remedy you used.  And never use another homoeopathic remedy when you’re in treatment with a homoeopath without discussing it first with your practitioner.

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