By the time I became a teenager I already had a deep and loving connection with herbs as medicine and as friends. I also had a deep kinship with wildcrafted and organic foods and used my herbal and food allies with great love and joy through my teens and college years. As a young mother of daughters and the caretaker of many animals my vision of these being my only needed healing allies began to crumble.
Ancestral health issues and emergencies began to emerge and it was clear that something more was needed. Knowing all too well that our culture’s predominant medical system was not for me, I began searching for an additional medicine path that was non-toxic, truly curative, and that I could practice myself as the healer in the family.
I first met homeopathy in 1985 and began practicing and working with the remedies and philosophy in my own style. I saw it do what it said it would and rejoiced that I had found the path to take when something stronger and more was needed and when at the same time using supplements, stimulants, prescription drugs and the like rubbed against the very grain of my being.
Since those early days I have chosen to engage in six years of formal professional study and have found real meaning and purpose in helping others all around the world who are in a place of desiring to stay well or who live with profound symptoms of imbalance yet who chose not to dance with mainstream philosophies and substances.
As in the world of herbalists and herbs, homeopaths see homeopathy in many different ways. I embody it as a feminine, nourishing, more intuitive form of inspiring a being’s life energy and thus allowing one’s own natural vitality to nourish and to cure. My expression in using homeopathic remedies is one that embodies and complements the Wise Woman Tradition.
The knowledge of homeopathic principles and a sense of how to use homeopathically prepared substances can be a path that (in conjunction with good foods, herbal infusions, and other nourishing and creative practices) leads to empowerment, a deep sense of the interconnectedness of all life, deep transformation, and true nourishment.
Homeopathy is vast in its scope and can be used with many intentions. The remedies can be used to strengthen and inspire underlying vitality. Homeopathics are excellent first aid allies. They are also helpful as a powerful alternative to curing potentially terminal illnesses when it seems that it would otherwise be necessary to employ means outside the natural/holistic world.
Homeopathics are frequently used to safely satisfy the propensity towards chronic disease so that someone with, for example, a strong family history of cancer, can have yet another strong ally with which to alleviate via nourishment the inherited root situation that may cause cancer. I came to love homeopathy for these reasons and it certainly helps strengthen my affection that is also such an inexpensive and portable style of medicine.
Homeopathy first emerged on this planet in the 1800’s thanks to an English physician named Samuel Hahnemann. A popular doctor, he also had a strong conscience. He abhorred the methods being used in medicine and saw them as so harmful that he quit the practice of medicine. He began to make his living translating medical texts from German into English.
One day, puzzled by what he was trying to translate; Hahnemann decided to take some of the substance he was writing about to see if the experience of it would give him more information. He quickly realized through this experiment that a substance taken by a relatively healthy person will cause the exact same symptoms in that healthy person that it will cure in a person with those same symptoms, thus indicating a need for that substance. This is the first important thing to know about homeopathy and is the experience that “like cures like”, the foundation upon which homeopathy arises from.
Let’s imagine this via a meditative visualization. Go inward and know that you are feeling quite fine. It is one of those glorious days when your body just feels yummy, alive and comfortable. Now, you try an experiment and imagine that you have taken a dose of homeopathic arnica in a strong, 1M, potency.
Soon, your body aches. You feel as if you are bruised, sore, hurting all over. Perhaps you are now remembering how it felt the day you fell off that rock, or right after rearranging all the furniture. Ouch.
You are experiencing what Hahnemann experienced as he came to the realization of homeopathic action and the idea that “like cures like”. The arnica has caused the exact symptoms in you, a healthy person; that it would help to cure in someone who does feel sore, bruised, in pain. OK, time to stop the meditation and come back to your yummy comfortable feeling body!
Hahnemann’s next step was in recognition of the fact that that many of the substances being widely used in his day for healing (lead, mercury, arsenic, massive amounts herbs, etc.) were also poisoning people. He made a tincture in alcohol of whatever substance he was working with, took one drop of this tincture, mixed it with 99 drops of water, and potentized or vitalized it by holding it in one hand and hitting it on a firm surface 100 times. In doing this a homeopathic preparation was born. Repeating this process over and over leads to higher and stronger potencies.
Now we have the complement to the foundation of “like cures like” which is “a highly diluted substance, when potentized, contains all of the curative values of the substance and will not cause harm”. Now, as you experienced a few moments ago in the meditation on arnica, it may cause discomfort if improperly taken. But there are no lasting or harmful side effects (except possibly in the grossest of repeated misuses).
Homeopathic preparation is a way of accessing the life force, or chi, of any substance. Homeopathy works because it makes the information available, at the most transcendent level, to our life force and thus gives our inherently intelligent life force the needed reminder so that it becomes more awakened, or more vital, and allows the being to cure itself.
Along with proper nourishing herbs, foods, and lifestyle habits, it is my experience that we now have all we need to embody our basic vitality and to help others whom we might wish to help achieve that as well.
In my own life, except for a child’s fall from a tree that required surgery, the addition of homeopathic knowledge to my medicine bag has meant that every creature in my family has had all that is needed for true well-being, come what may. This includes the cure of deep ancestral chronic disease, cancer or heart disease should it occur (but with the addition of homeopathic preventatives I don’t expect it will), and so on. Humans, four leggeds, feathered, and buzzing friends have all been helped through even the most dire of circumstances with homeopathy in combination with nourishing herbs and foods.
Any and every thing in the universe can be made into a homeopathic remedy. All plants; all minerals and combinations of them; every element on the Periodic Table of the Elements; all animals and parts therein (feathers, milk, saliva, etc); what homeopathy calls imponderables such as color, sound, the rays of the moon, the Berlin Wall, and so on; and nosodes or disease tissue can all be useful medicines.
Ewww…. You may be feeling at this point. Disease tissue??!! Animals??!! I know the feeling. Consider this: One of the most time honored (based on experience, no money to be made in a scientific study of it so none done) methods of direct cancer prevention and treatment in the world utilizes cancer tissues homeopathically prepared.
Based on hospital statistics the killer flu in the early 1900’s most successful and lifesaving treatment was a homeopathic remedy using the tissue from a chicken with TB. The homeopathic remedy made from the saliva of a dog with rabies is an excellent, time tested cure for rabies.
Remember, you are not taking any of the substance when using a potency of 12c or higher. It is the transcendent information that is being taken. And for those animals who did give their lives for homeopathy, we offer gratitude, and recall that it only takes one animal one time to make enough of that homeopathic remedy for the rest of the world for all time.
As homeopathy touches such transcendent levels of our being, so it also is able to touch all symptoms of something that need to come to balance: mental, emotional, physical, spiritual. The symptoms are our beings best way of giving voice to what has gone awry. Here we come to the third pillar of wisdom in homeopathy: “all symptoms are an expression of a deeper imbalance, we honor and thank them for giving us information.”
In homeopathy as I use it, we are experienced as inherently healthy, good, intelligent beings and as such we do not suppress or shut symptoms up, we use them as guideposts for the return to our basic whole state.
The fourth piece of wisdom it is important to call upon when working with homeopathy as an ally is that “anything that goes on in the mind also goes on in the body, and anything that goes on in the body also is reflected in the mind.”
For example, emotional agitation and overwhelm is often expressed also in an agitated and overwhelmed digestive system, or a red, hot, angry blister may often be reflected by a red, hot, angry mood. This is helpful to remember when making a choice between remedies: am I hot or cold? Angry or sad? All of this is reflected even in a simple case of pimples.
I find it important to remind newcomers to homeopathy that, profound as the remedies are as medicine, they are also about truth. The process of working with homeopathic remedies is a process of becoming more connected to yourself, your voice, your own vision.
Homeopathy cannot make you become anything that you are not; it does not act as a drug that can force a state of consciousness upon you. As we become more ourselves and have less need for symptoms (messengers of imbalance) we also become more able to embody our inherent wisdom and more able to nourish ourselves.
Over the next months I will be offering articles which will be speaking of the many profound and simple ways you can call on homeopathic medicine as an ally. Building bone, emergency help, mineral depletion, flu and cold prevention, and grief are some of the conditions that can be easily addressed by even the wee beginner to homeopathy.
Teaching how to treat or prevent more life threatening and chronic diseases with homeopathy is outside the scope what can be transmitted in a newsletter, it may be best in the beginning to walk with a knowledgeable guide if you desire to use homeopathy as an ally in that quest.
When using homeopathic remedies put nothing in your mouth ten minutes before or after taking the remedy. Do your best to avoid strong camphor, mint and eucalyptus as it may antidote the remedy. Personally I enjoy drinking mint tea and hanging out with the occasional eucalyptus tree, I find this does not interfere. However, an essential oil or dosage of camphor filled cream for aching muscles certainly would.
Most of the remedies that will be suggested can usually be purchased at a health food store. If you find that you need to order them I like the mail order pharmacy Homeopathy Overnight, 1-800-ARNICA-3.
Ellen Lanham Dart, D.H.M.