There are about 3,000 homeopathic remedies in general use, of which about 100 are common enough to be included in many household kits. I have several such kits myself, ranging in size from 18 First Aid remedies to 100 tiny tubes of granules nestled in a box small enough to fit in a purse. One of my colleagues is a fourth generation homeopath who proudly displays her great-grandfather’s pocket case of impossibly small vials containing a few doses of the remedies he liked to have with him at all times. What if I had to choose just a few favourites to accompany me to a metaphorical desert island – which are the ones I would never want to be without?
It’s a hard choice, but here is where I would begin:
ARNICA is the remedy that brings most people to homeopathy. Give a pellet or two to a toddler who has just fallen headlong into the corner of a coffee table and watch as the goose-egg magically disappears before your eyes. It is the first choice remedy for most types of physical injury and certainly for most cases of shock. It does a great job of managing pain while awaiting medical attention (I can attest to that myself!) and in some cases can avoid a long wait at the emergency room. Arnica is even known to help in cases of flu where the body aches and the bed feels too hard!
BELLADONNA is the one I recommend most for fevers and other types of inflammation where there is heat, redness and swelling. I choose the 6C potency for fever as it seems to work reliably in most cases. It is also great for sunburn, and for bursting/throbbing headaches such as one gets on a very hot day.
BRYONIA is a remedy characterized by one grand modality – pains are worse from the slightest movement. This is true whether the problem is cracked ribs worse for breathing, or sore throat worse for talking, headache worse for moving the eyes or a wry neck that doesn’t allow you to turn your head. Great for many types of cough and a brilliant flu medicine – where the picture fits!
LEDUM is another great remedy for many types of injury, including all sorts of puncture wounds such as from stepping on something sharp, or getting stung by an insect or bitten by a spider. It helps absorb bruises and resolve injuries from blunt trauma that Arnica doesn’t relieve, like black eyes and sprained ankles.
NUX VOMICA is the premier remedy for a true hangover or anything that feels like one from overindulgence in rich food or drink. It is also good for detoxifying from the effects of medicines that disagree. A great remedy for treating hemorrhoids and relieving constipation.
RHUS TOX is the remedy for treating many types of over-exertion, like the first day on the tennis court or aggressive gardening. It treats pain and stiffness that feels better after a hot shower or after gentle motion to limber up.
OK, that’s my list and I’m sticking to it. If I could include one more thing, it would be a bottle of Calendula tincture to add to water and apply externally for scrapes, cuts, burns and other surface wounds. It makes a great mouthwash to stop bleeding after dental work too!
If you just get these few remedies and try them out as needed on yourself and your family, you will soon be telling all your friends to drop their preconceived notions and give homeopathy a try!