Robert Ullman; Reichenberg-Ullman, Judyth, November 2006
It is no coincidence that it is often women who introduce their families to homeopathic medicine–moms who have done their homework about natural approaches for their kids, spouses who urge their partners to seek out an alternative to pharmaceuticals for their health complaints, or women who come to homeopathy for menstrual, pregnancy, or peri-menopausal or menopausal problems. There are lots of reasons why homeopathy is a highly compatible approach for women:
• Homeopathy is gentle and natural. In this better-living-through-chemistry world, quick-fix drugs are often touted for whatever ails you or your children. You need to be increasingly alert to side effects from drugs, immunizations, and other conventional procedures and interventions. We are at risk of damaging our health from eating, driving, and even breathing. What a relief to find an effective type of medicine that is completely safe for pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and our beloved pets. We feel so fortunate to work with such a safe type of medicine.
• Homeopathy works well and quickly. As a woman, a mom, and a partner, you want fast results that you can count on. That is why many people pop an aspirin or a Midol. Rest assured that homeopathic medicines provide nearly immediate relief for first-aid conditions and prompt improvement of acute problems. You can count on the right homeopathic medicine relieving your pain from an acute bladder infection within fifteen minutes, your menstrual pain improving within an hour, your morning sickness improving significantly within days to a week (and remaining better), and acute sore throats becoming noticeably better within an hour. Even with chronic conditions such as depression, vaginal infections, and PMS, you should notice a clear improvement within weeks to a month. This is no longer than is needed for a pharmaceutical drug to act, often less.
• Homeopaths spend more time with patients. It is common to wait an hour or more in the waiting room of a conventional physician only to spend five to ten minutes in the treatment room. Homeopaths typically spend an hour and a half to two-and-a-half hours during the initial appointment and a half-hour during return visits. It is not necessary to race through symptoms before the doctor’s hand reaches for the doorknob. The more we know about our patients, the better. Even after spending two-and-a-half hours with a woman during a first visit, we may want additional time to address particular issues or ask for reports between appointments.
• Each woman is unique. There are over 2000 homeopathic medicines available and more being proven and introduced into the homeopathic literature as we speak. A homeopath wants to get to know you in depth–all of your physical, mental, and emotional symptoms in detail; what you think, worry, and dream about; your relationships and childhood and their impact on you; and what we call your “state,” which ties together all of these into one package. Your state is the sensation that unites your body and psyche, your past and present–all of you.
• Homeopathy treats the whole woman. A homeopath doesn’t look at your ovaries or your breasts as separate from the rest of you. You are an integrated whole. Your PMS, postpartum depression, or mood swings are not separate from your painful periods, acute or chronic bladder infections, or uterine fibroids. You are a complete totality, and that is what a homeopath investigates and treats. And, more startling, one single, well-chosen homeopathic medicine will treat all of your symptoms.
The above are all reasons you, as a women, may feel that you simply resonate with the idea of using homeopathic medicine more so than with other more strictly left-brained or mechanical approaches.
An Effective Answer for Acute Women’s Problems
There are several different types of conditions that homeopathy can treat very effectively: first-aid, acute, and chronic. First aid includes falls, sprains and strains, insect bites, lacerations, fractures, burns, sunstroke, and other injuries or conditions in need of immediate attention. You will find homeopathy works within minutes, along with traditional emergency interventions. Acute women’s conditions and problems can often be self-treated with homeopathy very effectively. PMS–as well as hot flashes and menstrual pain–can sometimes be self-treated acutely, but may need constitutional homeopathic care from a professional. Symptoms and complications of labor and delivery can often be managed quite successfully with homeopathy, as can stalled labor and other physical and emotional symptoms during labor.
Self-Treatment of Acute Women’s Problems
• Ease of Use The beauty of homeopathic self-care, and what attracts so many moms with newborns and toddlers, is the ease of prescribing. As compared to the two thousand-plus possibilities in chronic prescribing, you can often choose between four or five commonly prescribed medicines in acute conditions. In our books, Whole Woman Homeopathy and Homeopathic Self-Care: The Quick and Easy Guide for the Whole Family, we spell out as clearly as possible medicines that are most likely to be successful. We use a variety of icons, bold type, italics, and tools to indicate how to choose one medicine over another in each specific case, in order to increase the likelihood of a successful result.
• Gentleness Homeopathy is as close to a harmless medicine as you will find. If you choose the wrong acute remedy, nothing will happen. If you choose the correct one, your symptoms are likely to improve quickly.
• Potencies and Repetitions There is not sufficient space in this article to explain prescribing in detail. In a nutshell, homeopathic medicines vary in strength from 6X (weakest) to CM (strongest). The most common potencies you will find in a health food store or pharmacy are 6x and 30C. You will need to repeat a 6x more frequently to have the same effect. The most practical for self-treatment is a 30C potency, which is what we use in our 50-medicine companion kit to our Homeopathic Self-Care book. You repeat the medicine only if there is no improvement after the first dose, or if you have responded well to the medicine then relapse. We tend to use a single dose of the higher potencies, 200C or 1M, in first-aid and acute conditions, because it is stronger and typically does not need repetition, and because we are very familiar with the medicines, their indications, and actions.
• In emergency situations, we recommend using homeopathy on your way to the emergency room as appropriate. If acute conditions do not respond quickly to homeopathy, such as a bladder infection with excruciating pain or extending to the kidneys, or an infected scratch or cut with red streaks down the extremity, by all means seek out conventional care right away. In many cases, however, you will find that a well-chosen homeopathic medicine, given promptly, is all that you will need.
Bladder Infections (Cystitis)
If you experience chronic or recurrent bladder infections, find an experienced homeopath. For first-aid or the acute conditions we discuss here, you can often successfully help yourself and your family without needing to contact a physician.
For example, the following four medicines are very often lifesavers for those experiencing cystitis. You can expect the bladder symptoms to get significantly better within fifteen to thirty minutes after the right medicine.
• Apis mellifica (honeybee): Think bee sting–hot, red, burning, swollen. If your bladder or urethra feel swollen, and if your urine is hot, scalding, and burning, you can thank that single bee that sacrificed itself for the countless doses of Apis worldwide that have come from that original tincture. It is not surprising that if you need Apis, your pain and swelling will be much relieved by cold applications on the local area, such as the urethra.
• Cantharis (Spanish fly) is the best-known medicine for severe cystitis. Pain can be severe, intense, and of rapid onset to the point of being excruciating. Urinating can be unbearable because of cutting, burning, unrelenting pain. Your urine, as with Apis, can be scalding, but may also be bloody. If you need Cantharis, you probably feel restless, agitated, and compelled to squirm or pace.
• Sarsaparilla (wild licorice) is the medicine we most often use in our practice for women with acute cystitis. The main symptom, very specifically, is pain in the urethra at the end of urinating. We have used this medicine successfully many times, even in the absence of any other symptoms.
• Staphysagria (stavesacre) is a very effective treatment for what is commonly called “honeymoon cystitis,” meaning it occurs after a lot of sexual activity over a short period of time. The other strong indicator that you may need Staphysagria is if your bladder infection comes on right after an experience causing humiliation, indignation, or suppressed anger. Your bladder symptoms may vary with this medicine, but these causative factors are enough to choose it.
Along with the best-indicated medicine above, we recommend guzzling plenty of water and taking cranberry capsules or concentrate and a combination of bladder herbs every one to two hours during the acute pain or discomfort.
There is nothing that can more quickly dampen the joy of prospective motherhood than the misery of morning sickness! The nausea, without or without vomiting, can last weeks or throughout the entire pregnancy. The most dangerous complication of morning sickness is hyperemesis gravidarum, nonstop vomiting leading often to hospitalization. These are the five homeopathics that we use most frequently:
• Colchicum (meadow saffron) is an excellent medicine for women who become nauseated at the sight, smell, or even thought of food. If that is the case with you, and you are particularly repulsed by thinking or smelling about eggs or cooked fish or meat, Colchicum may be your ticket to a happier pregnancy. If you need this medicine, you may also be extremely sensitive to being treated rudely.
• Ipecac (ipecac root), well-known as an over-the-counter syrup to induce vomiting after ingestion of poisons, is used homeopathically to treat vomiting. The nausea with this medicine can be unrelenting and can often be accompanied by vomiting. The odd indication confirming that you may need Ipecac is that, despite vomiting, your tongue will be clear. We tend to use this medicine when vomiting is the primary complaint.
• Sepia (cuttlefish ink): In addition to being disgusted by the thought or smell of food, even your favorites, you will find your sexual desire has gone south, you will likely be constipated, and you may become weepy and cranky. If you want to eat anything at all, it may be pickles and vinegar!
• Tabacum (tobacco) will likely help you with the deathly, face-turns-green, kind of nausea that can occur either during pregnancy or motion sickness. You will feel much sicker if you move at all and better from cold, fresh air if you need Tabacum. As an interesting side note, some smokers find this medicine to be a stop-smoking aid if taken each time the craving for nicotine arises.
• Veratrum album (white hellebore) is a great medicine for intense morning sickness with violent vomiting and diarrhea along with a cold sweat, chills, and a feeling of being totally wiped out. Picture the miserable pregnant mom not knowing whether to sit on the toilet or lean over it to throw up! If you need Veratrum, you will have a strong desire for sour, juicy fruit, pickles, lemons, salt, and ice.
Share this article with other women you know who are suffering from either cystitis or morning sickness. You will be doing them a big favor. Check homeopathic self-guides on internet and use them at home.