Antibiotic Awareness Week 2018: The Problem, A Plan of Action and A Potential Solution

Every year, The World Health Organisation (WHO) designates a week in November (this year 12-18th) to bring awareness to the global problem of antibiotic resistance. A recent article in The Guardian, highlights the ongoing, dangerous issues involved: ‘The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates resistant infections could kill about 2.4 million people in Europe, North America and Australia by 2050 unless more is done to tackle the problem, which it describes as “one of the biggest threats to modern medicine”. This includes about 1.3 million deaths in Europe and 90,000 in Britain.’ (The Guardian, 7thNovember 2018.)

The complex solution to this crisis, is as ever, multi-faceted. A collaborative global approach across all sectors involved in public health is a priority. A major part of any solution would, in my opinion, lie in the education of the public in how to avoid infections in the first place, where ever possible; this will be discussed throughout the article. It is also important to stress that there are actually very few occasions where antibiotics are required. If taken indiscriminately, they will cause far more problems than allowing the body to heal of its own accord, and eventually lead to the resistance discussed above. Taking them only when strongly indicated for severe infections would increase effectiveness and, in most cases, help to avoid resistance. Otherwise, healing through homeopathy is a viable solution; cases of infections being cleared in both people and animals are discussed within the text.

There have been many articles written to highlight the dangers of over prescription but hopefully the following information will summarise concisely and clearly the problem and present sustainable solutions.

The key facts, are as follows:

  • Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.
  • Antibiotic resistance can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.
  • Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.
  • A growing number of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhoea – are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.
  • Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality. (World Health Organisation, October 2016)

Different approaches required

Given these facts, we need to seek suitable, practical and effective alternatives, as the situation is escalating out of control, as witnessed by the frightening statistics above. Lifestyle changes are also a very important and integral part of this. It must be made clear that most homeopaths accept that there is a time and a place for antibiotics. In certain difficult, severe bacterial infections, they are potentially lifesaving. However, this being said, there is undeniable over prescription, which has to be addressed, for the sake of world health. It is important that everyone is aware of this and begins to take their own health management seriously and to stop demanding medications for minor ailments that are self-limiting. Frequent antibiotic usage is potentially dangerous to one’s health and is a huge cause of iatrogenic disease. Take with caution and awareness of this proven fact: ‘Iatrogenic disease is the result of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures undertaken on a patient. With the multitude of drugs prescribed to a single patient adverse drug reaction are bound to occur. The physician should take suitable steps to detect and manage them.’ (Krishnan, NR, Kasthuri, AS, 2011)

Ban Ki Moon, the UN General Secretary, at the United Nations conference on drug resistant bacteria in September 2016, stated:‘ It is estimated that more than 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant infections, though it could be much higher because there is no global system to monitor these deaths. And there has been trouble tracking those deaths in places where they are monitored, like in the US, where tens of thousands of deaths have not been attributed to superbugs.’ He went on to say: ‘If we fail to address this problem quickly and comprehensively, antimicrobial resistance will make providing high-quality universal healthcare coverage more difficult if not impossible antimicrobial resistance is a “fundamental threat” to global health and safety. (UN: 2016)

Plan of action

The problem of resistance has been clearly described and the associated dangers spelled out, in no uncertain terms. It cannot be stressed enough that less is more in terms of antibiotic usage, not only for one’s own health in the short term, but to avoid long term resistance. Save antibiotics, wherever possible, for those times of acute, dangerous infection. This could be one of the most valuable things you do for your own health. Check with your health care provider that their use in your case is essential, or if monitored, is the complaint likely to go away in of its own accord with good self-care. Common viral infections that do not benefit from antibiotic treatment include: (Mayo Clinic: 2012)

  • Colds
  • Flu (influenza
  • Bronchitis
  • Most coughs
  • Most sore throats
  • Some ear infections
  • Some sinus infection
  • Stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis)

Adjunctive advice

  1. Try and avoid illness in the first place by eating a well-balanced diet suitable to you, (taking into account food sensitivities and intolerances.) Exercise and get adequate sleep, supplement with vitamins and minerals and probiotics where necessary. Reduce stress and employ strategies to make this easier (meditation, yoga etc.)
  2. Recognise your health is your responsibility. Prevent disease as much as possible optimising the above approach.
  3. Understand that there are side effects with antibiotics, which can seriously affect your health. Yeast infections, both local and systemic are often the result of indiscriminate antibacterial onslaught which eliminates healthy as well as unhealthy gut flora; this can result in even more prescriptions, creating a cycle which is difficult to break. Avoid wherever possible.
  4. Remove ‘Maintaining Causes (see earlier blog:http://news.findahomeopath.org.uk/2016/07/10/getting-to-the-route-of-sickness-by-removing-maintaining-causes-and-obstacles-to-cure/ ) In other words, as much as possible remove those things that you know make you sick. eg: if you are a smoker with a hacking cough, stop smoking.
  5. Research different approaches should treatment be required, starting with homeopathy, which has been wonderfully beneficial to many. Cases and research links given below.

The Homeopathic Approach/A Solution?

Much of healing witnessed using homeopathy is empirical, in other words, the patient gets better after a consultation and this is easily observed, it simply works; there are numerous examples of this happening in a variety of conditions on this website here. What follows are significantly positive results using homeopathy for animals, in this case using Randomised Control Trials, the current ‘Gold standard’ for measuring efficacy of medications.

Prevention of diarrhoea in piglets

Animals, both domestic and farm, often respond beautifully to homeopathic treatment and destroy any preconceived, limited, judgmental idea that homeopathy is placebo.  The following recent triple blind randomised control trial with piglets is evidence of healing, without the need for antibiotics:

A high-quality placebo-controlled trials identified by Mathie & Clausen was carried out by Wageningen University in the Netherlands: ‘In this triple blind RCT, 52 pregnant sows were treated with either Coli 30K (a homeopathic medicine made from E. coli bacteria) or placebo. The sows gave birth to 525 piglets and those in the group treated with Coli 30K had 6 times less diarrhoea than the piglets in the placebo group. This result was statistically significant (p < 0.0001) meaning that it is extremely unlikely to be a false positive result due to chance alone. The homeopathic medicine used in this study was made from E. colibacteria, alternately diluted and succussed to produce an ultra-high dilution of 10-60, meaning that it should no longer contain any molecules of the original bacteria.

The particular technique used, where the medicine used is made from the same substance which causes the disease being treated, is a sub-type of homeopathy called ‘isopathy’. As the only existing way of preventing this disease in livestock is by using antibiotics, this study should be repeated to confirm its findings, as it may provide an effective way to help reduce overuse of antibiotics. (Veterinary Research: 2015.)

Another trial concerning farm animals (cows) having successful outcomes hails from India:

‘The comparative efficacy of homeopathic and allopathic systems of medicine in the management of Indian dairy cows.’ The results of this study are summarised as follows: ‘We conclude that the combination of phytolacca, calc flour, silica, belladonna, arnica and ipecac is effective and cost effective in the management of fibrotic and non-fibrotic mastitis in lactating dairy cows compared to antibiotics.’ (Varshney, J.P, Naresh, R: 2004)

Thus, it is clear that farm animals respond well to homeopathic treatment and a return to health without resorting to antibiotics.  It is also hugely cost effective. Should you require more research data, in every sphere concerning homeopathy, there are several useful resources, here are 2 sites I highly recommend: http://hpathy.com/scientific-research/database-of-positive-homeopathy-research-studies/and https://www.hri-research.org/

We are an over medicated society, one which has become reliant on doctors to cure our every aliment.  It is time to adopt a strong sense of responsibility for our own health and that of our family that does not include taking medication for minor conditions; consider rather other approaches such as optimum nutrition, lifestyle changes and of course the homeopathic approach, the effectiveness of which has been clearly demonstrated above. We owe it to ourselves, to be as well informed and educated as possible, and not to rely on perceived ‘quick fixes,’ in other words, the presumption that antibiotics are a cure all, when in fact they should only be used in certain potentially dangerous situations. Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, was right and prophetic in his prediction: ‘If the disease is treated with violent allopathic drugs, other graver, more life-threatening ailments are created in its place.’ Aphorism 37 (a), The Organon of Medicine.

As ever, should you wish to consult a homeopath: www.findahomeopath.org.

This is an updated version of a blog written by me in 2016, for Antibiotic Awareness Week.

Gill Graham. www.consultanthomeopath.com

 

References

Data Base of positive research studies (2015) Available at: : http://hpathy.com/scientific-research/database-of-positive-homeopathy-research-studies/

Hahnemann, S. (2003) The Organon of Medicine, London:Orion

Krishnan, NR,(Retd)Kasthuri,AS(Retd):Iatrogenic disorders,(2011). Available at:   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4923397/

Mayo Clinic (2014) Antibiotics misuse puts you and others at risk: Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/antibiotics/art-20045720

The Guardian (2016) UN meeting tackles the ‘fundamental threat’ of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.Available at:  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/20/un-declaration-antibiotic-drug-resistance?CMP=share_btn_tw

The Guardian, (2018) Antibiotic resistant superbugs will kill 90, 000 Britons by 2050.’ Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/07/antibiotic-resistant-superbugs-will-kill-90000-britons-by-2050?CMP=share_btn_fb

Varshney, J.P, Naresh, R (2004)The comparative efficacy of homeopathic and allopathic systems of medicine in the management of Indian dairy cows.’Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1475491604001201

Veterinary research (2015) available at: https://www.hri-research.org/resources/homeopathy-the-debate/essentialevidence/veterinary-research/

World Health Organisation, October 2016.Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/antibiotic-resistance/en/)

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Homeopathy helps animals – five people share their animal health stories

On 2ndNovember, 4 Homeopathy (4H) launched its Homeopathy 4 Animals campaign, ‘Healthy animals, naturally’,which will run for 5 weeks. The campaign features dogs, a cat, a pony and even a chicken, who have all been successfully treated with homeopathic medicine.

The campaign launch stars were Claudine and her rough collie, Jackson and the posts have already reached over 26,000 views via social media channels.

Coming from a variety of backgrounds, included among the people interviewed is a gun dog trainer who regularly exhibits at Crufts and a racehorse yard owner. All had many experiences of homeopathy working in their lives and shared many more stories than were used in the campaign.

What comes across is how down to earth and practical all of them are, sharing their experiences of having tried conventional treatment for their animals but, having no success, how they turned to homeopathy as a last resort. All were all incredibly grateful to have found something that helped their animals.

4H is a collaboration between 10 of the UK’s major homeopathy organisations. It promotes and raises awareness of the benefits homeopathy can offeras a useful treatment method to help keep our animals healthy and well.

Following positive responses to the campaign, the 4H group are looking forward to sharing the rest of the videos and images with the world!

For more about the work of 4H: www.findahomeopath.org

Find a homeopathic vet: www.bahvs.com/find-a-vet-2/

Homeopathy, particularly for animals, has been in the firing line over the past year so any support you can give to the CAM4Animals team would be greatly appreciated – do check out their valuable work here: www.cam4animals.co.uk

You can see the first image here on Facebook: https://bit.ly/2RzzZa0or on Instagram: www.instagram.com/p/BprP0IvFNH3/.To view the first YouTube video, go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8saisPel4U.

More coming soon – watch this space!

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Release The First Report

RTFR Twitter

Do you know that NHMRC carried out its review of Homeopathy TWICE?

Do you know that it BURIED any evidence of the first Report?

The public has a right to know the TRUTH. We need your help!

We need as many people as possible, from as many countries as possible, to sign up to the campaign on releasethefirstreport.com.

· Sign up at www.releasethefirstreport.com/join-the-campaign
· Connect with the campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

‘Release the First Report’ builds on its sister campaign, ‘Your Health Your Choice’, launched last summer which achieved huge success, generating over 87,000 signatures in Australia.

Now it’s time to go global!

The stakes could not be higher.

The recent High Court ruling to uphold a ban on homeopathic prescriptions in the UK, based primarily on the NHMRC report, sets a dangerous precedent.

As the formal investigation into NHMRC’s conduct has been going on for almost two years, it is time to show the Australian Government that the world is watching and demands that NHMRC explain themselves.

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN NOW!

There is the option to opt-in to the Your Health Your Choice campaign at the same time.
It will be of major political significance if we can simultaneously push the original YHYC campaign to reach 100,000 signatures.

Numbers are crucial, so please sign up and share widely.

It’s time to act!

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Magic Pills Premieres in London at Society of Homeopaths Conference

Magic Pills UK Premiere, School of Pharmacy, April 27th, 2018

If you are part of the homeopathic community, either as a homeopath or as a patient, you may be aware that the cutting-edge film, Magic Pills, produced and directed by Ananda More, had its debut performance in London, last Friday evening. Social Media has been flooded with coverage of the event, which was a high-quality, trailblazing start to The Society of Homeopaths conference and AGM; and did, in my opinion, set the tone for an excellent weekend all round, of high quality presentations and a wonderful eclectic gathering of the world wide homeopathic community.

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The event took place in an auditorium at the School of Pharmacy and was attended by over 160 guests. It was clear that many people had made a real effort to attend; it attracted world-wide attention, also, beautifully merging homeopaths from various registering bodies in the UK.Mark Taylor, the Society of Homeopath’s Chief Executive, introduced the event, thanking Ananda for coming and Marcus Christo for helping to facilitate. Having seen the movie many times, I was not prepared for how I would feel seeing it on ‘the big screen.’ In short, I was moved by the atmosphere and impressed by the quality and professionalism of the production, certainly on a par with major film productions anywhere in the world. The content of film has been discussed and reviewed before so if you would like more details and an analysis of the film read the full review here.

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A question and answer session with Dr Alison Fixsen, the Society’s Research Consultant and Ananda followed, which raised interesting points and stimulating discussion. Ananda went on to discuss how to host a screening, and generously donated 20% of the profits for all screenings booked over the Conference weekend, to be given to the Judicial Review Crowd Justice fund.  Cristal Sumner, Chief Executive of the British Homeopathic Association is running this campaign. The Judicial Review began on Tuesday 1st May and if you’d like to donate to this you can here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/save-homeopathy-on-the-nhs2/. Please contribute if you can. We are hoping for a favourable outcome. The news so far (May 2nd, 2018) from the UK High Court is that there was ‘ample evidence that homeopathy worked but the consultation had been “completely one-sided.’ (Richard Clayton QC)

How to host a screening of Magic Pills

Information on how to host a screening can be found here: http://magicpillsmovie.com/host-screening/. The process is really accessible; you can host a screening in your living room (she just asks for a minimum of 10 people), or hire a village hall, community area or cinema, whatever is easiest for you.

Funding and donations urgently required for the following projects.

Other issues of major importance were discussed,given that many homeopaths were in attendance, and could help to bring awareness, as these worldwide issues affect us all, our credibility and our livelihoods; also, our ability to create a heathier world, so please don’t feel overwhelmed by the pleas for support, just do what you can and share where you can.  It is seriously for the greater good.
The Australian Report is crucial, and they desperately need our support, so please sign the petition and circulate! It is vital to us all, as homeopaths and serious health professionals.    https://www.yourhealthyourchoice.com.au/

Funding and support is also needed for Camilla and Jeremy Sherr’s Homeopathy for Health in Africa Project. They are raising money to buy a CD4- and Viral Load machines to be able to do better data-collection for their AIDS-results: http://homeopathyforhealthinafrica.org/donations/

In short, Magic Pills, with its dynamic, compelling​, honest and engaging content, paved the way ​for an inspirational and uplifting weekend. ​The positive ​themes set out in the film are those of unity, integration and respect​; it inspires balance, fairness and justice, overwhelmingly counteracting, in my opinion the predictable negativity and ignorance of the sceptics. The film opens a dialogue and juxtaposes the criticisms of the sceptic community with large scale, real world use and success of homeopathy and presents some of the genuine scientific data.

Ultimately, it exposes ​a system of medicine which must be taken seriously, given the evidence presented​ and which is​, absolutely, at times, ‘magic’ in its healing potential.

Gill Graham

www.consultanthomeopath.com

For more details on the film, go to: http://magicpillsmovie.com/

 

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Homeopathy Awareness Week 2018

Homeopathy Awareness Week is coming soon. The week, starting with the anniversary of Hahnemann’s birthdate runs from the 10th-16th April 2018. To celebrate this year we’ve…

4 things to do:

1. Make a movie – share your homeopathy story
2. Create links – support HAW
3. Join the march – 16th April in London
4. Watch the documentary – live stream Just One Drop

Make a movie

Share your homeopathy story
#HomeopathyWorksForMe

For HAW2018 we invite you to share your homeopathy story – make your movie and spread the word!

The project will be ongoing through the year and to get started we’re celebrating Hahnemann’s birthday and HAW2018 with some mini movies – starring you (or your friends, family, children, babies, animals or pets)! This year World Homeopathy Awareness Week focuses on mothers, babies and pregnancy.

To help inspire new patients, let people know about the benefits of natural health, film yourself talking about how homeopathy helped you, then share and/or send the movie to us to share on the Homeopathy Worked for Me page www.facebook.com/HoWFMe/.

Click to read further guides.
Click to view other Homeopathy Worked for Me movies.
Click to donate to the 4Homeopathy campaigns.

Create a Link

Together we are stronger

Help promote Homeopathy Awareness Week by sharing the HAW websites on social media and by linking your health website to the HAW websites.

www.homeopathyawarenessweek.com
www.homeopathyawarenessweek.co.uk
www.homeopathyawareness.com

Join the VETs march

March4animals

Join the March in London with hundreds of other homeopaths and patients on Monday 16th April 2018 12.30pm.

Demonstration in support of Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM)
Meet 12.30pm Parliament Square Gardens, London
March starts at 1pm – Expected finish 3pm. All are welcome
British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons
For more details please contact us at: www.bahvs.com

Click to find out more about the march.
Click to sign the petition.
Click to donate to the campaign.

Watch Just One Drop

Live stream the 90 min documentary about homeopathy.

Three live streams of the film. Followed by discussion.

As many of you might already have heard, in honor of World Homeopathy Awareness Week, Just one Drop is hosting a live stream events of the film in three continents/time zones: North America, UK/Europe, and Australia. Each stream will be followed by real time Q&A’s with different panelists for each continent.

UK/Europe
Monday, April 9th
RSVP HERE
7pm UK (BST)
2pm EST

Moderator: Laurel Chiten (filmmaker)
Panelists: Rachel Roberts (CEO Homeopathy Research Institute)
Dr. Peter Fisher (MD/Homeopath to the Royal Family)

Click to find out more about the live stream.

Homeopathy Awareness Website

The School of Homeopathy’s awareness website.

Many people today are confused about homeopathy. The School has created a new website in an attempt to address the need for better information, evidence and facts about homeopathy. The Homeopathy Awareness Week website covers four key areas: about homeopathy, homeopathy on the NHS, the evidence and research and how it works.

www.homeopathyawareness.com

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Help Homeopathy – SIGN NOW!

VOTE NOW!

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 16.38.15

We have less than a week left to reach the target and push for a debate in parliament about homeopathy and herbal medicines on the NHS.  The consultation which prompted the petition is being challenged legally and the more signatures the better visibility of the issue by those reviewing the case and MPs.  Importantly this does not just concern current users of NHS facilities, but also everyone who might be in need of these services in the future.

If you believe in free choice in health care and want to see options available for people who can’t be helped by conventional medicine, and could never afford private care,  vote now and please pass the link on as widely as you can.

Petition: Stop NHS England from removing herbal and homeopathic medicines

NB: Your vote will not be counted until you have received an email from the petition organisers and clicked back on their link. It appears that these emails are going in to the junk folders of many people and so the votes are never confirmed. If you do not receive an email within a couple of minutes of voting please check your junk mail.

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‘Serious implications’ in RCVS’ stance on homeopathy – claim

vet times

‘The RCVS’ position statement on homeopathy and other complementary therapies has set a “dangerous precedent” that limits the clinical freedom the veterinary profession has always enjoyed, it has been claimed.’

Recently published in the Vet Times, David Woodmansey shares his, and others’ concerns that the RCVS failed to consult with homeopathic stakeholders before releasing their recent statement on homeopathy.

You can read it in full here:

www.vettimes.co.uk/news/serious-implications-in-rcvs-stance-on-homeopathy-claim/

If you, or your animal has benefitted from homeopathy and you would like to have your voice heard in support of homeopathic vets then please sign and share the petition here:

www.thepetitionsite.com/219/768/240/we-need-to-stop-the-rcvs-from-banning-homeopathic-vets-from-treating-animals

Want to find out more?

The Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) issued a statement on the 2nd November 2017 effectively threatening legal action under the Animal Welfare Act if a vet, and potentially the owner, use homeopathy or other complementary medicines before using conventional pharmaceuticals.

Suspicious?? You should be. The intentions of the Council of the RCVS are clear. After Brexit complementary medicines won’t be protected by EU law and the corporate pharmaceutical industry could reign supreme.

Amazingly the RCVS Council made this statement without consulting any homeopathic vets, academics or researchers. Instead the council were influenced by a group of sceptics, non of whom have ever studied, qualified in and practiced homeopathy. There is poor evidence for much of conventional veterinary practice and procedures. However the basis of this RCVS council statement is that homeopathy does not have a recognised body of evidence. This is totally incorrect.

Do you believe in your right to decide what is best for the welfare of your animal and your right to complementary medicine?

Ultimately do you believe in freedom of choice?

Please join many thousands of others and sign the petition below, share to Facebook and send it to all email contacts.

www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/219/768/240/we-need-to-stop-the-rcvs-from-banning-homeopathic-vets-from-treating-animals/

If you have any expertise or resources and want to help the campaign, please get in touch with the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons (BAHVS) www.bahvs.com/contact-us/

You can view the response of the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons at www.bahvs.com/rcvs-statement/

Join the support group on Facebook – We Support Veterinary Homeopathy and Complementary Therapies

 

 

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Halloween – meanings, significance, remedies and advice

there are many potential situations surrounding the festivities which could be helped by homeopathic remedies, not least, fear, anticipation, anxiety and overindulgence

‘I was born on the night of Samhain, when the barrier between the worlds is whisper-thin and when magic, old magic, sings its heady and sweet song to anyone who cares to hear it.’ ― Carolyn MacCullough, Once a Witch.

Halloween, a much lauded celebration, which has become massively commercialised over the years, particularly in North America, although there is a certain irony here as Halloween’s roots are steeped in Celtic and Gaelic culture. So what are its origins? What makes it real and keeps it so alive and vibrant now? I for one always insist on knowing why I am celebrating any international festival; it gives context and background to ‘special days’ and at times otherwise unaccountable behavior. In this case, why are we dressing up in all manner of weird and wonderful costumes, allowing our children to consume their weight in sweets whilst encouraging them to roam the streets in the dark? Some answers to these questions are briefly discussed in this article, many of which I found fascinating, covering the history and origins, and the reasons for pumpkins, trick or treating and dressing up and why it appears acceptable for boundaries to be pushed to their limits in every sense at this time! Recommendations for the use of homeopathic remedies to heal, before, during or after the festivities are given, should this be necessary, followed by adjunctive advice on how to avoid potentially dangerous behaviours which are known hazards at this time.

Brief History of Halloween, to put things into context

Commonly known as Halloween, it can also be ‘Hallowe’en’ (which is a contraction of All Hallows’ Evening), Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve which is the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day, also known as All Saints’ Day. The Halloween we experience today actually originated in the Celtic fringes of Britain, and was adapted over the decades by Christian traditions, immigrants’ conventions and latterly, an unquenchable desire for confectionaries.

The origin of the festival is disputed. It appears there is ‘no right’ definition’ and as is often the case, people interpret as they wish.  Many people believe it hails from the Celtic pagan festival of Samhain, which literally translates as ‘Summer’s End’ signifying the end of the harvest season. There are no original written accounts of this festival in existence from the ancient Celts, but there is some reference to it in Roman records from when the Romans conquered Celtic lands around AD 43. The Gaels believed that it was a time when the walls between our world and the next became thin and porous, allowing spirits to pass through, come back to life on the day and damage their crops. In order to welcome and calm the spirits, food and drink would be offered by the Gaels and bonfires lit to ward off the evil spirits. Christians who did not want to celebrate pagan festivals honoured the saints and martyrs, which encouraged positive spiritual values.

Trick or treating

Trick or treating is said to have its origins in a tradition called ‘souling.’ This dates back to the 11th century and was adapted from the Celts idea of dressing up with black and white faces during the festival of Samhain to trick the evil spirits they believed to be roaming the earth before All Saints day on Nov 1st. The children would go door-to-door, asking for soul cakes in exchange for praying for the souls of friends and relatives; at this time they dressed up as angels, demons or saints. The soul cakes were sweet, with a cross marked on top and when eaten they represented a soul being freed from purgatory. In the 19th century, ‘souling’ gave way to guising or mumming, when children would offer songs, poetry and jokes, instead of prayer, all in exchange for fruit or money. This gives us a great basis for why we trick or treat, and why sweet foods are involved. The actual phrase was first used in America in 1927, with the traditions brought over to America by immigrants. Guising gave way to threatening pranks in exchange for sweets.

Dressing up – The ‘Mask.’

Most experts believe that the tradition of wearing costumes on Halloween hails from the Celtic festival of Samhain, where participants lit fires and wore costumes which would be ghoulish and terrifying in nature, to scare away the ghosts and evil spirits. Since then, costumes have evolved; a ‘mask’ has become a way of dressing up to take on a different persona, often a way of giving oneself permission to indulge in a look or behavior which would otherwise be taboo or conventionally unacceptable on a ‘normal’ day. This evolution has occurred since Victorian times from the exotic dressing up as Egyptian pharaoh’s, to pop idols and more recently has become sexualized.  Any thing goes, it would appear, to express identity and allow for freedom of expression. Halloween has always been synonymous with the unknown which invites a wonderfully creative, liberating approach.

Why do we carve pumpkins?

The carving of pumpkins once more hails from the Samhain festival, when the Gaels would carve turnips to ward off spirits and stop fairies from settling in houses. With the influx of Irish immigrants in the 1840s to North America, turnips could not be found so they used the more readily available pumpkin into which they carved scary faces.

Remedies

Clearly, from what has been described above, there are many potential situations surrounding the festivities which could be helped by homeopathic remedies, not least, fear, anticipation, anxiety and overindulgence

  • Stramonium is a great remedy for fear and terror. Children in particular can easily be upset and become anxious from being exposed to the dark, with frightening figures or monsters looming ahead of them.  It is also useful in anxious restlessness and any violence, even witnessed in a playful way that affects a person emotionally. Often indicated where a person is literally paralysed by fear.
  • Arsenicum album: Arsenicum is particularly useful at this time, for those who become anxious, particularly at night and alone. It is indicated for those that find their safety and security threatened.
  • Phosphorus: Phosphorous is always indicated for those who are normally sensitive, emotional and friendly. They fear the dark, ghosts and thunderstorms and have vivid imaginations together with being highly suggestible. Loud noises such as thunderstorms and fireworks can be terrifying. Recommended for those who are easily vexed, fear that something is creeping out of every corner and sensitive to external stimulus, with a great tendency to start; meaning Halloween could prove to be overwhelming for them.
  • Aconite: For acute situations when sudden fears overtake us, if we are in shock. Intense fear (or ­presentiment) of death, as well as ­palpitations, shortness of breath, flushed face, and trembling.
  • Carbo veg: For those who already have an aversion to darkness and a fear of ghosts, with a disposition towards being easily frightened.
  • Pulsatilla: Generally, sensitive, easily upset, changeable people who thrive on consolation and reassurance. Children in particular often have over active minds with a fear of ghosts, which can trigger nightmares. Together with the physical symptoms shown in those requiring this remedy such as worse for rich foods, this could easily be an indicated remedy at Halloween.
  • Nux Vomica: For those that have digestive problems caused by overindulgence, whatever the source, but in this case probably sweet foods. It can restore harmony to an irritable bowel and many of the problems associated with a ‘sugar high.’ It is hugely helpful in calming the mind as well as the body thus helping to promote a deep, calm sleep.
  • Sulphur: Where there is abdominal pain following overindulgence, generally worse on the left side, extending to the stomach, chest and back, making breathing difficult. Often worse at night time and better for bending forwards.
  • Lycopodium: People who need lycopodium generally crave sweet foods and suffer the consequences in the form of bloating and indigestion, accompanied frequently by anxiety. There is also dyspepsia due to farinaceous and fermentable food with excessive hunger. Sour eructations are often a feature and the person is easily full, much flatulence and burning sensations in the pharynx and stomach.

Adjunctive advice

Some tips to make for a smoother Halloween experience:

  • Pedestrian deaths. According to statistics in the US, by far the most dangerous day of the year for pedestrians is Halloween. New analysis of U.S. government data shows that 115 pedestrians under 18 were killed on Oct. 31 over a 21 year period from 1990 to 2010. That’s an average of 5.5 deaths each Halloween, compared with an average of 2.6 on other days. Clearly, children need to be highly supervised.
  • Accompany your young child. A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighbourhood rounds
  • Check the route. If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you all.
  • Timings. Agree on a specific time your child should return home.
  • Stranger awareness. Teach your children to never enter a stranger’s home or car.
  • Security in numbers. Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends.
  • Food safety. Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.
  • Fire resistant clothing. All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
  • Be seen. If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks.
  • Non toxic make u When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first.
  • Pumpkins. Use candles with care. Place candlelit pumpkins on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended.

Hopefully, the above advice and information has been helpful in giving a comprehensive guide to a safe and healthy Halloween.  Should you wish to contact a homeopath to discuss homeopathy further for you or your family, search www.findahomeopath.org.uk.

Happy Halloween!

“Tis the night—the night
Of the grave’s delight,
And the warlocks are at their play;
Ye think that without,
The wild winds shout,
But no, it is they—it is they!”
― Arthur Cleveland CoxeHalloween: A Romaunt

Gill Graham: www.consultanthomepath.com

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ACT NOW to Save NHS Homeopathy and Herbal Medicine. Consultation ends 21st October.

As part of our Save Homeopathy and Herbal medicines campaign, we know from feedback that the consultation response portal on NHS England’s website is not very helpful and is actually obstructive in easily providing feedback. Many questions are optional, meaning you can skip to the questions you want to answer or feel confident in responding to.

Once on the website (NHS England: Items which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care):

Page 1: You will be asked for your name and email address, you can choose to remain anonymous but if you feel comfortable it is best to be a named individual or organisation.

Page 2: Is an equalities and health inequalities question—if you feel certain groups of people are at risk or disadvantaged from the cuts proposed, please specify or just move on to the next question.

Page 3: Is a question about evidence for potential impact on health inequalities. Again, answer if you feel you’d like to or skip to next question.

Page 4: Asks about the proposed process for identification of items for removal. If you can provide views please do so or skip to the next question.

Page 5: Select ‘Yes’ in response to “Do you want to provide views on the proposals for CCG commissioning guidance?”, and select homeopathy from the list. You have the opportunity later to add comments on other treatments if you wish.

Page 6: You’re now asked, in two questions, if you agree that there should be no new homeopathy prescriptions, and if you agree that those currently receiving homeopathy should be transferred to a different treatment and the prescription ended.

You can select:
o Agree
o Neither disagree or agree
o Disagree
o Unsure

By selecting disagree you are letting NHS England know you would like to keep homeopathy in the NHS.

You also have the option to provide a further comment on your answer, or on the availability of homeopathy on prescription in general. Remember, some of your comments may be anonymised and published as part of the consultation outcome, so please make sure any comments are respectful and relevant to the consultation.

If you’d like to leave comments on another treatment, you can select it from the list below such a herbal treatments; otherwise, select “I would not like to provide further feedback on any more of these medicines”.

The rest of the questions are self-explanatory and optional.

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 15.08.04

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Morning Sickness: Signs and Symptoms with Holistic and Homeopathic Suggestions

Morning Sickness_ Signs and Symptoms with Holistic and Homeopathic Suggestionsby Dr Muhammed Rafeeque

Almost all pregnant women come across certain common symptoms of pregnancy due to the physiological changes taking place in the body. These symptoms are usually mild in intensity and do not affect the day-to-day activities of the carrying woman. During the first trimester, the most common subjective symptom is morning sickness. Morning sickness refers to nausea and vomiting with mild discomfort that many women get during their pregnancy. Statistics show that on an average 60 to 70% of pregnant women suffer from it. It is considered as a physiological phenomenon. It occurs at any time of the day, but more common in the early morning on waking. Rarely, some women may have nausea and vomiting throughout the their entire pregnancy. In certain cases, persistent and severe vomiting may affect the baby and the mother. It is said that the degree of morning sickness during one pregnancy does not predict the possibility of it in future pregnancies. However, in the first pregnancy the symptoms may be troublesome for many women due to apprehension. In majority of cases, certain factures like emotional stress, traveling, particular food items and odors can initiate or aggravate the vomiting.

Synonyms:

Various terms are used to denote morning sickness. Many consider the term ‘morning sickness’ as a misnomer since it occurs not only in the morning but can occur anytime. The following are certain synonyms.

• Simple vomiting.

• Emesis gravidarum.

• Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP)

• Pregnancy sickness

Facts about morning sickness:

1. Morning sickness is a physiological phenomenon.

2. Usually, it occurs during first trimester of pregnancy.

3. It indicates the normal development of placenta and fetal membranes.

4. The vomiting can occur at any time.

5. Normally, morning sickness won’t cause any harm to the fetes or mother.

6. The severity of morning sickness can be reduced by many precautionary measures.
7. Severe form of morning sickness is called Hyperemesis gravidarum, which may be harmful to the mother or fetus, if not treated properly.

8. By proper treatment, the complications can be prevented and the woman can continue a normal pregnancy.

Symptoms of morning sickness:

Before we diagnose morning sickness, the pregnancy has to be confirmed by several tests such as detection of HCG in the urine, sonography and clinical examination. If a pregnant lady complains of nausea and vomiting, it is usually diagnosed as morning sickness. Morning sickness, as the term indicates doesn’t occur only in the morning. It can occur at any time but more common in the early morning, especially on waking. The vomitus is clear or bile stained and causes a bitter taste, which itself can induce further vomiting. Usually, morning sickness is more common during first pregnancy than the subsequent pregnancies.

Along with nausea and vomiting complaints like fatigue, heartburn, eructation and aversion to certain food article may develop. Most of the women become sensitive to odors, especially to the odor of cooking. They may develop aversion to meat, fish or any other type of food items. They also develop some cravings, especially for sour unripe fruits. Some women may develop aversion to certain food items for which they had cravings earlier. The reverse thing is also noticed in some cases. Common symptoms such as metallic taste in mouth, loss of appetite, anorexia, constipation, tenderness of abdomen, tenderness of breasts, palpitations, breathlessness, giddiness, indigestion, increased sense of smell, sensitive gag reflex, increased salivation, difficult sleep etc. are often associated.

However, these physiological symptoms do not interfere with the day-to-day activities and cause no harm to the mother and the fetus. Once the frequency and severity of vomiting becomes worse then the term morning sickness or emesis gravidarum has to be replaced by another term hyperemesis gravidarum or pernicious vomiting.

What causes morning sickness?

The exact cause of morning sickness is not clearly understood yet. However, it is clear that it is due to some physiological changes in the body as a result of pregnancy. Some causes are discussed here.

1. It is due to some changes in the hormonal levels of the body associated with pregnancy. Sudden rise in the levels of hormones like human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) secreted by the placenta and other hormones like esostrogen and progesterone secreted by the ovaries are responsible. Several studies show that severity of vomiting coincides with the increased levels of HCG in the blood.

2. The increased level of progesterone relaxes the stomach and increases the contraction of the gastro intestinal tract. Both conditions promote vomiting reflex.

3. Some immunological reactions to certain placental secretions may be responsible.

4. During pregnancy all body functions will be accelerated to certain limit. The digestive system also becomes more active and secretes more acids and digestive enzymes that can cause irritation of the stomach.

5. A pregnant lady becomes more sensitive to the external stimuli. The gastrointestinal tract becomes hyperactive. Certain odors, scenes and even thoughts of certain food articles can initiate vomiting reflex.

6. Vitamin B 6 deficiency is said to have close relation with many cases of morning sickness. In many cases of pregnancy vomiting vitamin B 6 supplement has reduced the severity of vomiting. But there are some cases of severe vomiting with normal vitamin B 6 levels in the body.

7. Stress and fear of pregnancy can make the condition worse. Fatigue during pregnancy also plays a role.

8. When the stomach is kept empty the HCL and the digestive juices initiate the vomiting reflex.

9. Sudden distension of stomach can initiate vomiting reflex. Hence fast eating and drinking can make the condition worse.

10. Women who are already having motion sickness or travel sickness get affected seriously during their pregnancy.

11. It is more in twin pregnancies and high multiples due to increased hormone levels.

12. Low sugar level is said to have a link with morning sickness.

13. Many women have given history of severe vomiting in previous pregnancy. However the severity decreases in consecutive pregnancies.

14. Contraceptive pill users and those who had undergone hormone replacement therapy (HRT)usually suffer from severe morning sickness.

15. Iron tablets and some tonics having typical flavor can stimulate vomiting.

16. Odor and type of food can also initiate vomiting reflex. Enhanced sense of smell aggravates the condition.

17. Psychological factors and lack of moral support worsens the condition.

Ill effects of morning sickness:

Morning sickness as such will not cause any ill effects. But, when it leads to severe degree, it can cause several complications like low birth weight, pre-term labor, and small for gestational baby etc. Some women who had miscarriage say that they had no morning sickness during pregnancy that may indicate the possibility of improper development of placenta or fetal membranes. Therefore, vomiting is an indication of normal pregnancy. But, absence of vomiting may be normal and does not always indicate an abnormality in fetal development.

Hyperemesis gravidarum or pernicious vomiting:

It is the severe form of morning sickness resulting in consistent nausea and vomiting that prevents the women from eating and drinking and also affects their day-to-day activities. This condition may be dangerous to health of mother and fetus, if not managed properly. It can cause severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances leading to collapse.

Predisposing causes of hyperemesis gravidarum:
• Increased hormones like progesterone and chorionic gonadotrophin.
• Allergy to products secreted by ovum.
• Psychogenic causes.
• Acid reflux disease and over active thyroid gland can predispose.
• It is more in twin pregnancies, young maternal age and in obese.
• History of hyperemesis gravidarum in the previous pregnancy.

Signs and symptoms:
1. Initially, the symptoms are same as that of morning sickness, but become more severe and persistent with nausea and uncontrollable vomiting.
2. Decreased urine output. Urine becomes dark.
3. Increased thirst.
4. Epigastric pain.
5. Headache.
6. Extreme fatigue.
7. Secondary anxiety.
8. Bloody vomiting.
9. Mental restlessness.
10. Fainting.
11. Sleeplessness.
12. Convulsions.
13. Coma.
14. Psychosis.

Signs:
1. Anxious look.
2. Sunken eyes
3. Low blood pressure.
4. Temperature may be raised.
5. Loss of skin elasticity; pinch remains and snaps back very slowly. Skin becomes pale, dry and waxy.
6. Ketone smell from the mouth.
7. Dry and furred tongue with brown coating.
8. Decreased salivation.
9. Heart rate increased.
10. Pulse weak and imperceptible.

Investigations: Investigations like complete blood count, blood sugar level, routine urine examination, serum electrolyte levels, ECG, opthalmoscopy etc are needed.

Complications of severe vomiting:

Severe and continuous vomiting of pregnancy can affect the fetus resulting in following complications.
• Low birth weight.
• Pre term birth.
• Small for gestational age.

Vomiting can affect the mother resulting in following complications.
• Chronic dehydration.
• Weight loss.
• Mal nutrition.
• Hypokalaemia (Low potassium in the blood)
• Hyponatraemia. (Low sodium in the blood)
• Hypovolumic shock.
• Convulsions.
• Esophageal bleeding.
• Gastric ulcers.
• Aspiration of vomited matter in to the lung results in pneumonia.

Tips to manage morning sickness:

1. Before getting out of bed, take any one of the following eatables you like.
Biscuits, soda crackers, saltine crackers, wheat crackers, salty potato chips, gelatin desserts, frozen desserts, light snacks, dry toast, hard candy, ginger candy etc. Munching these items fifteen minutes before getting out of bed gives good results.

2. Get out of bed slowly so that the stomach won’t get disturbed.

3. Eat little by little without any hurry.

4. Take small meals throughout the day so that stomach is not kept empty. It is generally advised to have at least five to six small meals, rather than two or three large ones.

5. Eat well-cooked food so that digestion will be easier.

6. Fulfilling your food cravings can make you happy and improve the digestion.

7. Chew the food properly so that saliva gets mixed properly and the stomach gets less workload.

8. Do not lie down immediately after eating. After meals, sit in upright position, so that you can reduce the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, thereby reduce the vomiting tendency.

9. A bland food item like white rice, rice cakes, gruel, plan backed potato etc. cause less irritation to the stomach and the digestion is also much easier.

10. Low fat food is recommended during pregnancy. Almont butter is better than other fats.

11. Take fruits and vegetables that are rich in essential nutrients.

12. Plenty of fluids should be taken. The water intake has to be increased in order to maintain the water balance of the body. On an average a pregnant woman with morning sickness should take at least 2 to 5 liters in 24 hours.

13. Tender coconut water is a natural drink rich in electrolytes. Since it is free from harmful substances, its demand is increasing day by day.

14. Cold liquids and cold food items are useful because of less irritation to the stomach.

15. Drinks made of lemon such as lemonades and lemon soda in small sips can be useful.

16. Any fruit juice of your choice is beneficial.

17. If you feel intolerable to water you can try crushed ice or frozen ice pops.

18. Tasting small pieces of ginger can make the stomach calm at least for some time.

19. Diets containing high proteins and complex carbohydrates are known to fight nausea.

20. Fibrous food helps for a regular bowel movement and prevents constipation.

21. There are number of products that are specially made for morning sickness. Many use morning sickness pretzels, lozenges and lollipops.

22. Vegetable salts are available under different brands that can be taken with water. It is known to reduce hyperacidity and eructations.

23. Glucose(Dextrose) is an instant source of energy. Glucose powder dissolved in water can be taken little by little to maintain glucose and water levels in the body.

24. ORS solution is very useful in case of dehydration. Apart from glucose it contains electrolytes essential for the body functions. As a cheap alternative, home made ORS can also be used by mixing sugar, salt and a few drops of lemon juice.

27. If you are not comfortable with the vitamins and iron tablets you are taking, discuss it with your doctor. You may get some relief from vomiting by changing the brand of vitamins, iron and other food supplements.

28. When you feel nauseated you may get some relief by washing your face with icy cold water.

29. If you feel cooking intolerable you may take others help. If at all you cook keep the kitchen ventilated to air out cooking odors using exhaust fans.

30. Maintain personal hygiene and keep the surroundings neat and clean.

31. Keep your room ventilated so that you get fresh air.

32. If no relief from home remedies, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.

Homoeopathic Remedies:

Homoeopathy is a safe and effective mode of therapy for most of the pregnancy related ailments. Compared to other modes of treatments, it is much cheaper and causes no side effects.

The Synthesis Repertory has mentioned 74 drugs for vomiting during pregnancy, ranging from Acetic acid to Zincum met. Homoeopathy is against the selection of a specific drug for a specific condition or disease. The selection of the similimum depends on the totality, hence drugs other than these 74 drugs can be given, if indicated by signs and symptoms. After taking the case, the most suitable drug has to be selected on the basis of individual features. This is the unique feature of homoeopathy, the highest watermark of holistic medicine.

However, a few medicines are worth mentioning:

1. Ant.crud: Eructation with taste of ingesta; belching with bloating; thick white coating on tongue; ailments from sour items, overeating.

2. Ars alb: Intolerance to sight or smell of food; great thirst, drinks in sips; immediate vomiting after eating/drinking; burning pains>warmth; great weakness and fear; ill effects of ice water and watery fruits.

3. Cocculus.I: Vomiting after riding, looking at moving objects; aversion to food and drinks; vomiting

4. Colchicum: Nausea & vomiting from smell of cooking food, especially fish; increased salivation; vomiting

5. Ferrum met: Vomit immediately after eating, but can eat again; intolerance of eggs; flatulent dyspepsia.

6. Ipecac: Nausea and vomiting with clean tongue; nausea continues even after vomiting; salivation; cutting pain in navel.

7. Kali carb: Flatulent dyspepsia; sour eructation; nausea>lying down; feeling asif stomach full of water; backache, stitching pains & sweating.

8. Kreosotum: Putrid odor; bitter taste; vomiting of sweetish water; vomits several hours after eating; fetid stools; feeling of ice water in stomach.

9. Lac acid: Copious salivation and waterbrash; morning sickness in pale anaemic woman; nausea> by eating; dry parched tongue.

10. Lycopodium: Craves sweets; dyspepsia after farinaceous items, cabbage; eating ever so little creates fullness; intolerance to oyster; flatulence; sour eructations; thirst for warm drinks.

11. Nat phos: Dyspepsia with acidity; sour eructations and vomiting; creamy coating at back of roof of mouth &tongue; flatulence.

12. Nux.mos: Drowsiness; fainting; dry mucus membrane & no thirst; cotton like saliva; flatulent dyspepsia; ailments from overeating.

13. Nux.vom: Ailments from seasoned food and stimulants; 1st half of tongue clean and posterior half coated; nausea after eating; weight in stomach

14. Petroleum: Gastralgia>constant eating; aversion to fat, meat; heartburn with sour eructations; emptiness in stomach; vomiting from riding, smell of petrol; day time diarrhea.

15. Phosphorus: Hunger soon after eating; thirst for cold water; water is vomited when it gets warm in stomach; cant drink warm drinks; craves ice, cold drinks; ailments from salt.

16. Psorinum: Very hungry; pregnancy vomiting; fetid stools; eructations like bad eggs.

17. Pulsatilla: Fear of pregnancy; dry mouth without thirst; coated tongue; altered taste; craves tonics, ice cream; aversion to fat, warm food/drinks; bitter taste; eructations; stony feeling in stomach; foul taste in the morning.

18. Sepia: Morning nausea before eating; all gone feeling not> by eating; nausea at smell or sight of food; everything tastes too salty; nausea

19. Tabacum: Incessant nausea< by smell of tobacco/smoke; vomit on least motion; pregnancy vomiting with much spitting; sinking at pit of stomach; fainting; salivation; nausea and vomiting > by uncovering abdomen.

20. Veratrum album: Voracious appetite; thirst for cold water; vomit immediately after drinking; vomiting< drinking, least motion; craves ice, juice, fruits, salt; great prostration; cutting pain in abdomen; cold sweat on forhead.

Some useful Homoeopathic mother tinctures in pregnancy vomiting:

1. Symphorecarpus Q: Persistant vomiting of pregnancy; gastric disturbances; nausea; waterbrash; nausea< by motion; >by lying on back; aversion to food.

2. Zingeber Q: Debility in digestive tract; ailments from melons & impure water; acidity; great thirst; heviness in stomach.

3. Cajuputum Q: Swallowing difficult; flatulence; flatulent colic.

4. Robinia Q: Nausea; sour eructations; profuse sour vomiting; flatulent colic.

References:
1. wikipedia.org
2. Textbook of Obstetrics by Dr Chatterjee
3. All about abdominal pain, Dr Muhammed Rafeeque

©Dr Muhammed Rafeeque
Kerala, India.

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