Surviving The Holidays with Homeopathy
Can anything go wrong with Christmas?
Where to begin… Let’s start with my favorite holiday event: Eating-To-Excess. From there we slide over to the Too-Much-Drinking Marathon, the Suicidal Depression Derby, the Slipping On Ice, Falling Off Ladders and Sleep Deprivation Triathlon… the World Series of Overwork, Tension Headaches, Anxiety About Seeing Your Relatives and… maybe we should just cancel this holiday altogether!
Fortunately, homeopathy can help. Let’s start with…
(Which reminds me that it’s time for my snack.) What are the two kinds of foods most likely to be over-indulged in during the holidays? Sweets and fatty, rich foods! (Mmmm….fatty, rich foooods..!) Your remedy here, is Pulsatilla! (Make a note of it.)
Now, we’ve also got homeopathic Ipecac in the “Fats aggravate” column. Expect nausea to be a big part of the case if it’s Ipecac.
It’s often hard to tell Ipecac and Pulsatilla apart because they’re both better for fresh air, worse in warm stuffy rooms, both are thirstless, but Ipecac however, has a clean tongue — no coating. The Pulsatilla candidate may say, “My stomach feels heavy” or they may say that they feel heavy in general.
Carbo veg. is another one that has ailments from fat. The big tip-off here is the gas and bloating. Burping, which relieves — at least for the moment — is a sign that this could be your remedy.
You can almost never go wrong with Arsenicum in cases of indigestion and food poisoning, especially if there’s diarrhea. Arsenicum is well-known for chilliness, restlessness, anxiety, prostration, thirst for small sips at a time, and the need for company; but sometimes, just having diarrhea is enough to justify it, it’s so famous for that.
Now, what about sweets?
Again, you can go for Ipecac, especially where nausea dominates the case, but far and away, Argent-nit. is the big winner here!
Also in the “Ailments from sweets” rubric are — Lycopodium and Phosphorus. If you see the Phosphorus grand keynote of desire for ice cold drinks, go right for Phosphorus. In fact, whenever you see a grand keynote of a remedy in any case, like Bryonia’s “worse for the least motion”, go for it without pause.
While on the subject of Phosphorus, if you have indigestion from too much salt, that would be Phosphorus too.
If it’s a simple matter of over-eating, try Nux vomica.
I have found personally that Zingiber (homeopathic ginger) will settle a lot of cases of indigestion, even as an herb tea. And speaking of herb teas, nothing in my experience beats Spearmint tea for nausea!
Finally, a probiotics supplement, like Chewable Acidophilus, which I have, really helps to put the digestive tract back in order!
The holidays can be a time of great depression for some people. I’m depressed right now just thinking about all the cleaning I have to do! (The cable company is coming Saturday to install high-speed internet for me and I don’t want them to think I’m a slob!) That means I have to clean the entire house tomorrow! But for others among us, the magic of the season only serves to emphasize what total failures they are. I’ll be too busy cleaning to think about that. What are the remedies for holiday blues?
Ignatia — depression from grief, disappointment, loss; characterized by silent brooding, sighing and changeable moods; laughing and crying, the sensation of a lump in the throat, loss of appetite. They just can’t accept the bad news–whatever it was; they can’t believe it! They’re up and down. No one quite knows how to handle the Ignatia person, the wrong word might really set them off! One interesting aspect of Ignatia is the way they are helped by the opposite of what you’d expect; for instance, stooping helps the headache, eating helps the stomach pain — it’s not logical, maybe that about sums up Ignatia in a nutshell.
When someone is suicidally depressed, you should think of…
Aurum. — Aurum is actually ameliorated by thinking about suicide, it cheers him up — to know he can end it all. The cause could be failure in business, loss of money, loss of a relationship; a fear that he has failed his friends, let down the people who were counting on him, feeling guilty. Worse at night. Aurum is gold. These people feel they are good as gold, they set very high standards for themselves, have a high sense of duty and are very hard on themselves if they believe they have failed.
There are those people who have nursed a grief for years! Ten years have gone by since they’ve spoken to their relatives or best friend, but no matter, they will not be extending the hand of reconciliation to these “betrayers”! Give these spiteful, brooding, vengeful, hardened loners Natrum muriaticum, or Nat-mur, for short. They don’t want sympathy and they don’t want company. They don’t cry — except maybe when they’re alone. They rehash old scenarios over and over again of how they were mistreated and didn’t deserve it!
And then there are those who have just given up. They don’t care anymore; they lie facing the wall; they give one word answers; they’re extremely apathetic and desire refreshing things like soda or fruit drinks. This is Phosphoric acid.
Then there’s Sepia. Sepia feels no joy in life. She’s indifferent to her family; these people feel over-burdened; they’re drained of their energy from over-work and too many demands. They’re chilly. They’re worse for company but afraid of being alone. They may be snappish and easily offended. They’re envious of others, see the negative side of everything, worse for consolation but better for physical exercise, especially dance, and also better for the excitement of thunderstorms. They love lemons and chocolate and they also love sour things, like vinegar/pickles.
If you ever hear anyone say, “I feel like a black cloud follows me everywhere I go,” think of Cimicifuga. They have an unexpected trait in a depressed person: they’re extroverted and love talking! They leap from subject to subject and talk very fast. This is often a woman’s hormonal remedy, so, look for Cimicifuga in post partum depression, menopausal depression and PMS.
Then there’s our dear friend, Pulsatilla. They are gentle and yielding, and they’ll cry openly while talking of their problems. They’re looking for sympathy and reassurance and if they get it they feel better.
Lycopodium. — Christmas isn’t a good time for Lycopodium, not at all; because he doesn’t like change, he doesn’t like public appearances, he doesn’t like having to speak in public, doesn’t want to be noticed, wants to hide and avoid responsibility. They’re self-conscious and uncomfortable around people, they worry about making fools out of themselves…maybe you should just leave Lycopodium at home!
Carcinosin. — This is the person who has taken on too much work, planned too big a party, hasn’t enlisted the help of ANYONE, wants to please, will feel guilty if the party isn’t perfect in every way including the decorations — even the presents have to be wrapped expertly — and with all the demands she has placed upon herself, she is bound to feel unhappy with the final result.
Then there’s the depression that comes after a head injury from falling off a ladder while putting up Christmas lights, or a spinal injury from the same fall and the remedy for that is Natrum sulphuricum or Nat-sulph for short.
Depression following an injury involving the nerves or depression after surgery could be Hypericum.
Drug and Alcohol Overdose
Well, there’s nothing like the party “drunk”! We usually think of Nux vomica right away in these situations. Look for anger, irritability and hyper- sensitivity to light, noise and odors. The person may want to vomit but not be able to. “Wants to but can’t” is a Nux vomica theme, including wants to urinate but can’t, etc. Very chilly and wants to be warm. Tremors, bad taste in the mouth. Think of Agaricus as a back-up for tremors if Nux vomica isn’t working. You can give Nux vomica even while the person is still drunk.
Hyoscyamus. — A party just isn’t a party until Hyoscyamus shows up (with a lampshade on his head shouting, “Where’s the conga line!?”) Also expect him to be laughing excessively and touching people inappropriately; oh, and he may start crying too; just letting you know.
Stramonium! — Stramonium, in his intoxication, may see wild animals coming toward him, may have a look of terror on his face and try to run away. (I say, let him go!) He may have a bright red face and he may be violent in his attempts to get away, even trying to bite. When Stramonium doesn’t work in these cases of terror, think of Aconite and Belladonna as back-ups.
Phosphorus — He sees faces peering at him from every corner of the room. Yeesh!
Gelsemium — He feels very sluggish, heavy, his eyelids are sagging; he feels dizzy, droopy and dull and will seem very lethargic and may answer all of your questions with, “Huh?”
If you see an intoxicated husband at a party accusing his wife of flirting with every man in the room, quick drop a pellet of Lachesis in his drink before he becomes violent! (Great party, isn’t it?)
Arsenicum — He is weak, prostrated, sees “ghosts” and brushes “bugs” off of his body. Charming.
Sulphuric acid — This is another remedy, like Nux vomica, that seems to be a specific for the alcoholic, but this remedy tends to be a habitual drinker of long-standing. Think of it if you see hic-cupping, though Nux vomica does that too. There are hot flashes and sweating on the upper half of the body.
Having to see relatives you haven’t seen in years, having to be with strangers at your husband’s office party…the possible reasons for anxiety at Christmas time are endless! You might as well start with Aconite; which we call “Homeopathic Valium”! I remember the last Christmas family debacle I went to, one dose of Aconite 30C and I was fine! I actually went from an anxiety state to singing Christmas Classics by The Ronettes!
Other remedies for anxiety:
Gelsemium. — With Gelsemium, you may actually feel “sick” as if a virus were starting — weak, trembly. “Oh, I can’t go to the party; sorry, I seem to be coming down with something! I’m chilly, I’m dizzy, I have to lie down; you better go without me.” Nice try! You’re just having an anxiety attack, take some Gelsemium and let’s go, I’m not going alone!
Argent-nit. — Where would we be without Argent-nit, the consummate anxiety remedy? This is the “What if” remedy: “What if the plane crashes? What if I get a headache? What if I don’t like the food? What if I don’t like where I’m staying?” Argent-nit. people are restless, pacing and they may have nervous diarrhea.
Calc-carb. — These people are worried about others — their loved ones, their families. They’re worried the plane will crash while their mom is on it. They worry, worry, worry. They want everything to be perfect and consequently, they take on too much work and too much responsibility. Calc-carb. is a little like his fellow worrier, Argent-nit., but Calc-carb. is chilly and slow, while Arg-n. is quick, hurried and warm and better outside in the cold, where the chilly Calc-carb. would not want to be.
Kali arsenicosum. — Stated simply, Kali arsenicum is afraid he’s going to have a heart attack.
Kali phosphoricum. — This is a great tonic for the nerves! I love Kali phos.! You can take Kali phos. 6X every 15 minutes in an acute anxiety state until you feel better, which shouldn’t take long.
Generalized anxiety is all the justification you need to give it. Nervous dread without cause. Looks on the negative side of everything. Kali phos. 6X, as often as every 15 minutes in severe cases, will brighten the outlook in no time.
Lycopodium — He doesn’t want to go anywhere new or see anyone new, and that about covers it! They’re shy, self-conscious, and fearful of being seen as failures.
Whose biological clock doesn’t take a beating during the holidays? Between jet lag, sleeping in strange beds and long car rides to distant locations, it’s easy to suffer from insomnia.
I ordered Melatonin 30C from Ainsworths.com in London and I’ve found it really works! Cocculus is another old standby for a disrupted sleep schedule, with dizziness and nausea accompanying the loss of sleep. The person needing Gelsemium may be tired, exhausted, but unable to fall asleep. If a person is lying in bed and becomes anguished and agitated, try Arsenicum. If not being able to sleep leads to despair, try Aurum. If you can’t sleep because you’re all keyed up, wired from excitement? The remedy is Coffea. When there is excessive yawning but no sleep, try Ignatia. If the bed feels too hard and you’re over-tired, try Arnica. I have to point out that a friend of mine just flew to London, and she has always suffered horribly from jet lag, and says that Arnica worked wonders for her! She slept on the plane after taking it and had no trouble sleeping that night!
What a shame we have to worry about injuries at a time like this, but take the fear out of Christmas and New Years’s with a tube of Arnica 200C!
This is our main injury remedy, and it saves lives! Think of it especially for head injuries. If the injury is to an area rich in nerves causing pain to shoot upwards, the remedy is Hypericum. Think of Hypericum also for cuts and scrapes. A fracture might require Arnica first and then Bryonia. A sprain could call for Arnica first and then Rhus tox. Be prepared to repeat these remedies as needed, one dose may not be enough! However, a striking improvement means no further dosing is required.
Aloe gel will take care of most of the burns from splattered grease and accidently touching the hot stove.
Nux vomica — This is especially the remedy if the cause is a hangover; but also from over-work (Calc-carb). Also, the indigestion headache and the constipation headache call for Nux vomica. Stooping and coughing aggravate it as does moving the eyes and moving in general. Noise is unbearable, as is light and odors. The Nux vomica person is grouchy, impatient and irritable.
Belladonna — Think of throbbing and right-sided headaches. Light is intolerable and so is being jarred. Can’t lie flat, wants to be propped up.
Gelsemium — Headaches from exhaustion. A typical Gelsemium headache will encompass the left side of the head from the occiput or nape of the neck to the forehead. Dizziness may accompany the headache. There is copious urination and the patient is somewhat relieved by it.
Kali Bichromicum — Headaches in small spots. The person may say, “It hurts right here,” and point to it with his finger. Think of sinus headaches when you think of Kali bich.
Cocculus — Occipital headache that extends to the nape of the neck; it is intense and often associated with vertigo, nausea and loss of sleep.
Natrum muriaticum — Feels as if little hammers are beating in the skull, worse from moving the head or eye balls. May be preceeded by visual disturbances as with Gelsemium.
Ignatia — For the highly nervous or sensitive among us and those suffering from anxiety, grief and worry and emotional disturbances in general. The headache might feel like a nail driven into the head.
Staphysagria — Headaches from anger. The person may be throwing things, yelling or breaking things.
Coffea — Headaches from emotional excitement, joy and good news. (It could happen!)
Pulsatilla — Headaches from fatty food and ice cream.
Argent-nit. — Headaches from sweets.
Zinc — Headaches from wine.
A 30C potency is fine for these conditions, though I would like to have Arnica in a 200C.
One dose is usually sufficient to effect a change, especially if you put a few pellets in a disposable cup of water and take a sip. Water makes the dose stronger. If you need to take a second dose, be sure to stir or shake before sipping again. A sip or swallow is a dose. You can repeat the remedy as needed; but, if you’re strikingly better, stop dosing.
If you have an aggravation, which is unlikely for most people, stop taking the remedy and the aggravation should go away in a short time. If it doesn’t, you can antidote the remedy by taking a small sip of the remedy water WITHOUT first stirring or shaking it.
Oh, and here’s your Christmas music, by Darlene Love: “Walkin’ In A Winter Wonderland!”
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Happy Holidays, Everybody!!!