I’m going to take a little detour from our scrumptious recipe features and shed light on one of my absolute favorite subjects… natural medicine! So as most of you know, I have had the privilege of not only being Dr. Brown’s patient for the last 8 years, but I’ve also had the opportunity to work closely with him for the past three years building our business. What I didn’t realize is that I would essentially receive an education on homeopathy that most would pay top dollar for! I know there is still A LOT to learn, but I’m so thankful to have come this far that I can hardly keep it to myself! So since we are in the thick of cold and flu season and I get asked a lot about what kinds of remedies we use in our home, I want to take a minute to share a little about what I’ve learned and what seems to work for my family.
(Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor, and I am NOT pretending or claiming to be one by writing this article. I am just a mom who is passionate about natural medicine and will be giving info from my perspective and own experiences and based on standard homeopathic indications from reliable sources found at the end of this page. And of course, you should always consult a licensed healthcare practitioner for actual medical advise — which btw, Dr. Brown is a great one if you are local to DFW! 😉 )
I’m going to start with the basics because I know many of you may be wondering “what the heck is homeopathic medicine” like I was not too long ago. To clear up some confusion, I want to first tell you a few things that it is NOT:
1. Homeopathy is NOT just a fancier way of saying “natural remedies” or “home remedies” (even though the word home is in the word, homeopathic, there is no connection there!)
2. Homeopathic remedies are also NOT the same thing as essential oils or other types of herbal medicine. Although many homeopathics can be made from the same plants used in herbal medicine, they are actually two very different things.
Instead, homeopathy is a very specific type of natural medicine that differs from herbal medicine. While herbal medicine and essential oils (the most potent form of herbal medicine,) are amazing alternatives to pharmaceuticals, they are similar in function because all are used to treat the symptoms themselves for the most part (you can hear more about that from Dr. Brown in this video). On the other hand, homeopathic remedies work in a very different way. They are actually energy medicines that work by triggering your body’s OWN healing abilities against a very specific set of symptoms. This is where it can get pretty mind-blowing and scientific (think quantum physics), so I am going to leave that part up for Dr. Brown to describe in detail in a later video. But bottom line, homeopathic medicine actually STRENGTHENS the innate abilities of the immune system instead of just treating the symptom itself, and that is my main reason for using it as the first line of defense in our home. That and the fact that it is SUPER safe … I like not having to worry about possible side effects, especially when it comes to my children’s developing immune systems!
So now that you know a little about what homeopathic medicine is, let me tell you a few things it has done for us in acute or first-aid situations with a list of my favorite and most frequently-used remedies!
Kristen’s Top Ten
#1 Arnica Montana: What in the world would I do without arnica?! This remedy is without a doubt the one my family uses the MOST often because lets face it… I have THREE boys. And these boys are beyond the typical “rough and tumble” boys you might have come across (especially together… Lord, have mercy!!) The amazing thing about arnica is that it is helpful in speeding the healing process for ANY kind of trauma … I’m talking everything from little Tommy’s nosebleed he got while picking his nose to the whiplash you got when that 18-wheeler cut you off! I keep this remedy in my purse, in my car, in my medicine cabinet, in my travel bag, you name it! We get lots of bumps and bruises in our home with four kids 8 and younger, so arnica is a necessity. It’s honestly unbelievable how many goose-eggs we have avoided just because we had this remedy on hand.
#2 Aconitum Napellus: Aconite is the #1 remedy for general cold and flu symptoms, which is why Dr. Brown included it in the Immune Support System in both the Homeopathic Formula AND the Nasal Spray. It’s just that good. Before we had the kit, I kept this remedy VERY close! Since our go-to for general cold and flu is now the kit in its entirety, I find that we don’t use this as a single remedy quite as much. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be caught without it sitting on my shelf!
#3 Gelsemium Sempervirens: This is my absolute favorite flu remedy. Anytime I’m experiencing fever, headache, AND body aches, I start the Immune Support System PLUS gelsemium. That combo has literally helped me personally kick flu symptoms in 24 hours on 2 occasions in the past 2 years and my 4 year old son in mere hours a few weeks ago. (That coupled with rest and a strict no sugar diet seems to be the winning combo!)
#4 Arsenicum Album: Probably my least favorite mommy duty is caring for my family when the stomach bug hits! While our kit provides the essentials for any viral illness, it will do no good if it is immediately vomited onto the floor. So we often use arsenicum to help us kick GI symptoms since it’s #1 remedy for nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Once we have controlled those symptoms, we then start the Immune Support System until we feel good was new!
#5 Apis Mellifica: Insects absolutely LOVE my daughter. She must be as sweet on the inside as she is on the outside, because she is our one that will come in from playing outdoors during the summer and be covered in mosquito bites! We always rush to give her apis, so the swelling, redness, and itching (the symptoms of most allergic reactions) subside almost immediately!! Thank God my kids don’t have severe allergies (like to tree nuts or something), but if they did, you better believe I would keep high potency apis mellifica on me at ALL times.
#6 Nux Vomica: This remedy is good for A LOT of things, but what we usually use it for in our house is nausea and/or headache brought on by overindulgence in food, coffee, and/or alcohol. Yup, it’s the #1 remedy for hangover (and gluttony!) and also a great remedy for motion sickness… Definitely something I like to have on hand because between the six of us, someone is bound to overdo it once in a while!
# 7: Chamomilla: Oh sweet chamomilla. My fourth child was an AWFUL teether, I mean, AWFUL!!! For several months we dealt with a kid who was angry, irritable, and VERY demanding. He would yell at us A LOT… he’d even ask for things and immediately throw them, which is a very specific symptom that points to chamomilla being a good fit. It was maddening. We found relief in using chamomilla, a common remedy for severely painful teething and/or earache!
#8 Pulsatilla: We mainly use pulsatilla if one of our kiddos is extraordinarily clingy and weepy. This remedy has a huge list of uses including (but not limited to) colds, flu, earaches, coughs, conjunctivitis, and teething, but the tell-tale signs are always that desire for company/being held and the tendency to cry easily. (As you can see both chamomilla and pulsatilla can be used for teething and earache. Both have guiding symptoms that deal with temperament or mood, but they are distinctly different making it easy to choose the best fit. Angry and demanding= chamomilla and weepy and clingy= pulsatilla. Usually its as easy as that!)
#9 Carbo Vegetabilis: My oldest son eats SO fast that he often experiences nausea and indigestion and benefits from this remedy. It is useful for a variety of conditions that result in what is called “air hunger”, but the general symptom profile includes looking/feeling weak, sick, and exhausted and commonly experiencing improvement after belching and fanning. A few months ago, Joshua came downstairs with these symptoms saying his tummy hurt, and so we gave him some carbo. He was laying by me on the couch holding his tummy and absolutely miserable. After about 3 doses, he pops up and says “What happened?” I look at my sweet boy, who is clearly feeling better, and said “your remedy worked!” He smiled and hugged me, and off to bed he went!
#10 Cantharis: This remedy is AWESOME for any kind of burn. I have used it on many occasions like the time a few weeks ago that I grabbed the metal handle to the pot without a pot holder. (Someone please tell me why they make metal handles for containers that are meant for boiling liquids!?!?!?!) The pain immediately subsided after I popped a dose or two of cantharis, and I only ended up with a small blister on my finger that healed within a day or so. I was sure my entire hand would be out of commission for several days… it hurt SO BAD when I did it! The only type of burn that cantharis is not the #1 remedy for is sunburn. Urtica urens, which has worked beautifully for us this past year, is the remedy you would want to keep on hand for that!
So there you have it! My personal top ten! You are probably now wondering where can I get all these remedies? And I am going to tell you, but first I have just a few more fundamentals about homeopathy that you need to know:
1. Homeopathic remedies come in several different potencies. Dr. Brown suggests 30C for mild to moderate severity of symptoms and 200C for moderate to severe.
2. Homeopathic remedies come in a variety of different forms such as creams, liquids, tablets, and pellets. They can be single remedies like the ones listed above or combination remedies. We most usually prefer to use high potency (30C or 200C) single remedies that come in pellet form. There are, however, a few creams that we like to keep on hand including arnica for bruising and trauma and calendula for minor cuts and scrapes, but otherwise most of our homeopathics come in the tiny little tubes!
3. There are some differing opinions on how to take a remedy, but the way Dr. Brown has taught me is to place 3-5 pellets in my mouth and let dissolve. I repeat after 15 minutes. If no improvement is seen after the first two doses, I stop taking it and reevaluate. If any improvement is seen, I repeat the dosage again 15 minutes later. At this point I’m usually experiencing a lot of relief so I back off to taking it as needed for up to 3-4 doses a day for about 3 days or so. Once the symptoms are gone, I discontinue the remedy as it has done its job!
Ok … so where to get these little wonder pills?! Most are available at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Market Street, Central Market and your local health food store, but to tell you the truth, the brands carried at these retailers aren’t my favorite ones out there. They work in a pinch and believe me, I have used them on many occasions with good results. BUT professional-grade remedies are definitely the way to go if possible. You could gain access to those by seeing a health care professional like Dr. Brown OR you could wait about a week and get a kit with ALL of the remedies above (PLUS 12 more essentials) in NatureKits’ brand new Acute Care Kit. Dr. Brown carefully chose all 22 remedies in this kit, and we have been working for NINE long months creating the informational booklet that will accompany it (apparently it takes a long time to write a book!) But honestly it is going to be AWESOME!! If you’d like to preorder one, feel free to contact me and I’ll get you on the list. We are just waiting on the booklets to be printed, and then they will be available for purchase! (Edited to add: The Acute Care Kit is now available for purchase.)
Hope this is helpful to you all. Feel free to reach out with any questions, and I will try to answer them the best I know how! By the way I got most of the remedy information above from the booklet Dr. Brown and I have been writing for our Acute Care Kit, but the resources Dr. Brown used in the writing process are listed below for your reference!
Cummings, Stephen, and Dana Ullman. Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines: Safe and Effective Remedies for You and Your Family. New York: Putnam, 1997. Print.
Murphy, Robin. Homeopathic Remedy Guide: 1,200 Homeopathic and Herbal Remedies. Blacksburg, VA: H.A.N.A., 2000. Print.
Perko, Sandra J. The Homeopathic Treatment of Influenza: Surviving Influenza Epidemics and Pandemics Past, Present and Future with Homeopathy. San Antonio, TX: Benchmark Homeopathic Publications, 1999. Print.
Schmukler, Alan V. Homeopathy: An A to Z Home Handbook. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2006. Print.