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…
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…
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.
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.
‘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:
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:
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.
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
‘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.
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
Some tips to make for a smoother Halloween experience:
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.
“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 Coxe, Halloween: A Romaunt
Gill Graham: www.consultanthomepath.com
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 Neither disagree or agree
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.
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.
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.
6. Extreme fatigue.
7. Secondary anxiety.
8. Bloody vomiting.
9. Mental restlessness.
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.
• 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.
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.
2. Textbook of Obstetrics by Dr Chatterjee
3. All about abdominal pain, Dr Muhammed Rafeeque
©Dr Muhammed Rafeeque
It is worldwide Alzheimer’s day, today September 21st. Every year organisations focus on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia. This short article explores the condition, from possible causes, through to both homeopathic and conventional treatment. In addition, adjunctive advice is given on lifestyle and other possible routes to healing. Alzheimer’s disease is currently at epidemic proportions, with 5.4 million Americans — including one in eight people aged 65 and over — living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.
Alzheimer’s is a cruel, insidious, degenerative disease, the most common form of dementia. It most commonly affects those over the age of 65, but it is not uncommon for it to occur in younger people. As women’s life expectancy Is longer, there is a greater prevalence statistically in women, and those who have a close relative with the disease have three times the risk. For every additional five years, the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s doubles.
According to Alzheimers UK, the exact cause is unknown, ‘but ‘plaques and tangles’ form in the brain due to two proteins called amyloid (plaques) and tau (tangles). Amyloid is a naturally occurring protein which for a reason that is not yet understood begins to malfunction, creating beta amyloid which is toxic to the brain cells. Plaques form consisting of dead cells and amyloid protein. Tau protein naturally occurs in the brain and helps brain cells communicate with each other but for a reason that is not yet understood it can become abnormal and “clump together” leading to death of the brain cells affected.
People diagnosed with Alzheimer’s may additionally have a reduction of a chemical in the brain (called acetylcholine). This functions as a chemical messenger to take information to and from brain cells (neurons), so a reduction in this chemical leads to information not being transmitted.’
Also, potentially implicated are lifestyle habits such as lack of exercise, smoking, poorly controlled diabetes, and a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables. Research is ongoing into the affects that glyphosphates, GMO’s and other modern day pollutants such as amalgam fillings, the adjuvants in vaccines and the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs are having. This is an article in itself and will be explored fully at a later date with a view to possibly exposing the links with degenerative illness. Conversely, a stimulating job, mentally challenging leisure activities, such as reading, playing games or playing a musical instrument, and frequent social interactions are known to play a role in prevention.
Research suggests that changes in the brain can occur up to 10 years before specific, obvious symptoms are noticed by the patient. The Mayo Clinic, in consultation with the Alzheimer’s Association, highlights the following list of 10 symptoms that give an indicator that dementia/Alzheimer’s is taking hold, and in each case, the question ‘what is different from typical behaviour?’ needs to be asked. The list is basic, but highlights what needs to be investigated further.
The conventional approach
In addition to pharmaceutical drugs, lifestyle changes are suggested, including take advantage of ‘well-person health checks’ at the GP surgery so that blood pressure, weight and cholesterol levels are well managed. Smoking cessation programs are recommended as is keeping as physically fit as possible. Social interaction and the maintaining or development of new hobbies encouraged.
Medications called cholinesterase inhibitors, are most like to be prescribed, these are Donepezil, Rivastigmine and Galantamine.
‘These medications can delay worsening of memory, thinking, language and thought processes for six – 12 months although there is now some evidence showing that they can benefit a person for much longer. They support the communication between the nerve cells in the brain by stimulating the production of acetylcholine. Memantine can also be prescribed in the moderate to severe stage of Alzheimer’s disease alongside one of the above medications. This medication blocks the effects of excess glutamate in the brain. Memantine can assist memory, reasoning, language and attention.’
(Dementia UK /Alzheimer’s)
The Homeopathic approach
There are several problems and symptoms under the dementia heading that can be gently and effectively treated homeopathically. Confusion, restlessness, agitation, poor sleep can all potentially be improved, and if treatment begins early in the disease, progression may be preventable. A homeopath would take a full consultation and prescribe the simillimum, the remedy that reflects the unique presentation of the patient in every sphere, physically, mentally and emotionally and what is ‘peculiar to them.’ Consultations would be on a regular basis and prescriptions tailored to symptoms and hopefully addressing the underlying susceptibilities.
There are obviously many remedies that could be prescribed, as there are so many aspects to the disease. I have highlighted below a few remedies that resonate well with many of the symptoms outlined above; this list is not exclusive. A fully qualified, registered homeopath should be consulted: www.findahomeopath.org.uk
Alumina is an excellent remedy for patients who have difficulty expressing their ideas and thoughts, make mistakes when speaking and writing, are easily panicked and suffer mental confusion with reference to their identity. In other words, they forget who they are and can also forget where they are. They are often depressed and are afraid of losing their minds.
Baryta Carb helps those who have often regressed back to behavior which is childish. They may be fearful, timid and shy and lack confidence. There is loss of memory and some patients may suffer from chronic glandular disorders.
Baryta Carb is used to treat those suffering from dementia and degenerative conditions of the circulatory system, such as atherosclerosis, which affects blood flow to the brain. It is effective in treating memory loss, mental impairment, timidity, childish reactions to various circumstances, indecision and physical and mental fatigue.
Conium is used to treat symptoms such as of depression, shyness and fear of being alone, particularly in the elderly. It treats memory loss, as well as mental confusion and loss of cognitive function that sets in as a result of grief over the loss of a spouse. Conium often helps people regain the ability to concentrate and focus.
Where a patient is in very low spirits; often despondent; perhaps worried about his salvation; about being able to perform his duties; about passing in examination, fretful, irritable, morose, very vehement and angry. Constipation, eructations of sour food. Makes errors when speaking, reading and writing and generally lacking confidence, confused and frustrated. This makes them angry to the point of tyrannical behavior.
Nux Vomica patients are often angry, quarrelsome and irritable, faultfinding and insensitive to other’s feelings, invariably vindictive; however, they themselves are extremely sensitive to everything, becoming easily hurt and insulted.
Because phosphorus helps improve the circulation in people with atherosclerosis increasing blood flow to the brain, it can be a very useful remedy for those with Alzheimer’s. It’s used to stimulate cognitive function, reduce memory loss and help a person overcome the fear of death. It helps with absent-mindedness, confusion, daydreaming and anguish over being alone.
Where a patient has difficulty sleeping, feels shame and disgust, humiliated doe whatever reason, often leading to despair. Cowardly with a desire for solitude.
A wonderful remedy when the patient goes into rages, and throws anything they can get their hands on. Hitting people, particularly those that have offended him is not unusual, particularly when contradicted.
Due to the complexity of the disease, there are many other treatments coming to light that could ease symptoms
Ashwagandha is a small evergreen perennial herb that grows up to nearly 5 feet tall. It is what is known as an adaptogen, common names include winter cherry, withania somnifera and Indian Ginseng to name a few. It is part of India’s Ayurvedic medical system and has been for thousands of years. It has always been known for its ability to help reduce the symptoms of stress, and to improve energy and vitality. Recent research suggests it could now help to stave off many of the distressing effects of Alzheimer’s. In short , studies on mice suggest ashwaganda extract may reverse memory loss and improve cognitive abilities in those with Alzheimer’s disease. ‘Ashwaganda works by boosting a protein in the liver, which enters the bloodstream and helps clear amyloid from the brain. Past research also revealed ashwaganda may help manage cell damage in the brain, offering even more potent antioxidant activity than vitamins A, C, and E. Other strategies that are protective against Alzheimer’s disease include dietary changes, optimizing vitamin D levels and exercise.’ (Mercola, 2012)
Curcumin, which is found in the spice turmeric, is another notable herb for brain health. It has recently been revealed as effective in helping to stop the protein clumping that is the first step in diseases such as Parkinson’s. Curcumin may help inhibit the accumulation of destructive beta amyloids in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, as well as break up existing plaques.Research has found that: ‘Curcumin is more effective in inhibiting the formation of the protein fragments than many other potential Alzheimer’s treatments.’ (Mercola, 2012.)
There is ongoing research about how effective Vitamin D is in the treatment of Alzheimers. Large doses in trials have suggested that cognitive function is dramatically improved in those that were seen to have a deficiency. Optimal vitamin D levels may enhance the amount of important biomolecules in your brain and protect brain cells.
Basically, maintain a healthy diet, supplement where necessary with vitamins, specifically D and B. (Very high doses of B vitamins have also been found to treat Alzheimer’s disease and reduce memory loss.) In addition a high intake of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA helps by preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, thereby slowing down its progression, and lowering your risk of developing the disorder. More than anything it is imperative to reduce sugar and fructose consumption, which can be beyond detrimental to health, including that of the brain.
Clearly, there is much that can be done to help, the above just scratches the surface, but is a comprehensive guide to treatment. To find a homeopath in your area, please search www.findahomeopath.org. I leave you with this poem written by Owen Darnell, for his wife, who suffered from the disease. It is a moving tribute which sensitively captures how someone affected must feel.
‘Do not ask me to remember,
or try to make me understand,
Let me rest and know you’re with me,
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand,
I’m confused beyond your concept,
I am sad and sick and lost,
All I know is that I need you to be with me at all cost,
Do not lose your patience with me,
Do not scold or shun my cry,
I can’t help the way I’m living,
Can’t be different though I try,
Just remember that I need you,
That the best of me is gone,
Please don’t fail to stand beside me,
Love me till my life is done.
Gill Graham, BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) RSHom, DHMHS
Alzheimer’s Association 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s: available at:
Dementia UK, Alzheimers Disease, available at:
Ashwaganda: Ancient Herb Proven to be a Potential Cure for Alzheimer’s, available at:
NHS England is currently holding a public consultation on homeopathic medicines, until 21st October.
Unopposed, this could see the NHS abolish prescriptions of all Homeopathic and Herbal medicines.
Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder. In most cases this inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection and is considered an infection of the urinary tract. Cystitis most often occurs in women, due to anatomical differences. However, in middle-aged men, a swollen prostrate is the typical cause of urine retention, which can then cause an infection.
Approximately 20-40% of women get cystitis during their lives. Underlying causes include nutritional deficiencies and immune susceptibility, as well as often the more obvious irritations from intercourse, tight clothing, hot spices, coffee, tea, alcohol or high sugar in the urine. Food allergies may be a significant factor, especially in children. Medication, particularly drugs used for chemotherapy, can cause inflammation of the bladder. Also, long-term use of a catheter may cause inflammation of the bladder.
Symptoms of cystitis can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. Symptoms include pain or burning (before, during or after urination), cloudy urine that can be smelly, a strong urge to urinate which is difficult to resist, frequently passing small amounts of urine, and a discomfort or pressure in the lower pelvic area.
Cystitis is conventionally treated with antibiotics. However, cystitis can be treated successfully with homeopathy, although in some cases antibiotic treatment may be necessary. If this happens, homeopathic remedies can be used as well, and the need for prolonged antibiotic treatment may be reduced or eliminated. Repeated and prolonged use of antibiotics suppresses the immune system and there is a high risk of developing a resistance to antibiotics which might become a problem if antibiotics are needed in emergencies and more serious conditions. We need to remember that our body has an innate ability to heal itself, thus the correct homeopathic remedy can easily tackle the discomfort and pain .
*Note: There can be other causes for these symptoms. The patient with more than one episode of acute cystitis must consult their GP as to fully investigate the urinary tract as a whole. Provided that serious disease has been excluded by the appropriate medical tests, homeopathic medicine may be more beneficial than some orthodox medical treatments.
General advice: Drink plenty of water to flush out the infection. Avoid coffee, tea and alcohol as these acidify the body. As germs come from the anal area wipe from front to back with toilet paper. Don’t use soaps, shower gels & bath lotions contain chemicals. Empty bladder after intercourse. Avoid tight clothing and wear cotton pants. Taking regular probiotics such as Acidophilus helps to keep the gut replenished with healthy bacteria which reduces chances of infections.
Homeopathy for Cystitis
Herbs for Cystitis
Herbs for the urinary tract generally have diuretic effects, to flush out microorganisms and inflammation by-products. Many are also anti-microbial, either destroying microorganisms or stimulating the body to do so. Here are a few herbs that might be helpful to combat bladder infections:
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider. First aid situations may require medical or hospital care. Do not use this article as a means to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think that your condition may be serious, before discontinuing any medication that has been prescribed for you, or before starting any new treatment.
If you cannot decide which homeopathic remedy to select or if you have recurring or chronic cystitis, then please book an appointment for a full consultation with a professional homeopath.
Ulrike Holzer LSECH MSCH MARH RHom
NHS Bristol CCG is currently conducting a consultation on whether to stop funding for a number of services including homeopathy. Doctors who deliver these services were not formally notified that the consultation was taking place, and we, the homeopathic community, have only just been made aware of it. Consequently, there are only a few days to respond as the closing date is 15th August.
The points to make in your response are listed below, and you can help defend NHS homeopathy in Bristol by taking part in the consultation which can be found here(https://www.bristolccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/nhs-service-proposals/decommissioning-homeopathy/).