Homeopathic medicines (also called remedies) can be a wonderful addition to any first aid cabinet. For years before I trained as a homeopath I used the Helios and Ainsworth’s kits (I’m UK based) and travelled many miles with these. During my time in Australia I remember handing out remedies for hangovers (Nux Vomica), splinters (Silica) and bruising (Arnica) to name a few. There were things outside of my remit – I didn’t know how to help a friend with severe tinnitus, and I would have loved to – but I was pleased to be able to help others with minor ailments.
As with any home-based health advice, if the issue is serious, seek help from a medical professional. The following suggestions are only intended to help in minor ailments and also if you feel you need more homeopathic assistance we strongly recommend working with a practitioner.
So without further ado (do refer back to Remedies A-J if you’d like a longer introduction and more info on earlier alphabetical remedies here), here goes:
Kali Carb is often a remedy that can help people with lower backache and tension in this area. People needing it for what we call a constitutional remedy (which covers a bigger picture of them as a person), can find rules and doing things right an important part of their lives. Duty to family, to work can also be part of what makes them tick. However here as a first aid, minor ailment remedy you’re likely to see weakness of muscles and stabbing pains, also they’re often worse from cold.
Ledum is something of a marvellous remedy for insect bites, especially if the area is cold to the touch and swollen (compare to Apis for the heat and swelling after being bitten). It’s said in the old texts that if you give Ledum immediately after a puncture wound you prevent tetanus. I definitely feel that you should seek medical attention if this happens, but I’d also be taking the Ledum in the meantime.
Mercurius can be great for mouth ulcers, a remedy for burning especially where there may be inflammation too. Tonsils covered with ulcers for example (aside from seeking professional help from a medic) I’d give Merc-cor as one of the first remedies. As a slight tangent, my daughter told me that she felt she had a mouth ulcer and I gave merc – within 48 hours a verucca she had had dropped out. I’d not have thought of it at the time for that, though looking in the repertory now (the repertory is found in a book or computer program is a collection of symptoms and the medicines that have been found to help in those symptoms) I see in warts in children has just two remedies listed, one of which is Merc. There are, of course many other remedies for warts too, not just two but I found that interesting to discover.
Natrum Mur, our remedy from common salt, is far from ordinary in its scope. A wonderful medicine for colds where the nose is streaming and sneezing is frequent. I’ve seen someone take it at a tutorial I was at once and within minutes they were feeling much better. It may well have needed repeating but that relief was brilliant to witness. It can be a very ‘British’ remedy – think ‘I’m fine’ and ‘let’s push that under the carpet’ type of mentality as a bigger picture remedy. For here as an acute medicine, think headaches from the sun, hay-fever causing sneezing and watery catarrh.
Nux Vomica should be at hand for the morning after the night before. If you take a Nux Vom before bed often you can minimise or get rid of the hangover, but if it’s been a wild night on the tiles you may need to repeat it the next morning too.
Phosphorus is, as so many are, a remedy with such a wide scope of effects. In the acute setting it can be useful for nosebleeds, profuse bleeding (obviously and hopefully no longer needs saying but seek medical attention where needed and prescribe whilst you wait/on the way to hospital settings as appropriate).
Pulsatilla, a beautiful delicate purple flower, can be clingy, weepy and emotional. First aid complaints accompanied by this state of mind can direct you towards this remedy. It can be great in colds in children, especially where there is profuse bland, nasal catarrh (often can be green or yellow where Pulsatilla is needed.
Quercus Ruber is a remedy I wanted to put in there, partly to include something lesser known but also to break up the list of remedies with a story of my own experience. We had a horse who had done brilliantly with homeopathy, and it saved us from thinking we may have to take her eye out (which was the conventional vet thinking at the time we explored the homeopathic option). Years passed and she started to get symptoms of Cushing’s Disease and we started her (don’t ask me why, these things happen) on a conventional treatment. Well, she didn’t respond well to it and I remember her staggering around the field as if she was drunk. On the last ditch attempt to help, we phoned a homeopathic vet. I thought that was it and game over to be honest at this stage. Action plan – to take her off the conventional treatment which was clearly not working out for her, start her on a homeopathic combination of – you’ve got it – quercus ruber (which is the oak) and ACTH, a hormone. And? It worked. It worked brilliantly, addressed her Cushing’s symptoms and had no side effects. There’s more on that one here if you want to explore a bigger trial of it from the veterinary world. https://www.bahvs.com/menu-items-parent/research/cushings-2/.
So after that tangent, back on track, with Rhus Tox. Rhus, within homeopathic circles, is sometimes known as ‘the rusty gate’ remedy and this can help to remember where it can be useful. Think of the rusty gate, hard to get moving, but when you’ve loosened up the joints it’s happy enough. Same with people needing Rhus Tox. Often for joints/ligaments and that hard to get started but once you’re away it’s a much easier feeling.
Ruta Grav is sometimes talked about as the chronic remedy of Rhus tox If the patient is not better for movement it will help more than Rhus tox. Ruta helps with ligaments and tendon injuries, where Rhus tox can often be more muscular. Pains needing Ruta can feel sore, aching and bruised with a feeling of intense weariness.
Silica, I mentioned in my introduction as having handed it out whilst travelling in Australia for splinters. I still do! It can be great, especially where my daughter doesn’t allow me to do that thing my mum did with a needle and got my splinters out that way. It can also be helpful, for example I gave to my partner, for cysts that need to discharge. A combination of Hepar Sulph and Silica in alternation helped where two rounds of antibiotics had failed. That was his introduction to homeopathy and he’s still amazed he didn’t have to go the route his Dr described where he’d take the antibiotics, then she’d lance it and try to extract the material inside. Amazed and relieved.
Staphysagria in a first aid kit can be so great for cystitis. It’s known for its use in ‘honeymoon cystitis’ or cystitis following sex. It can also be great for indignation where someone thinks they’ve been taken advantage of, and in the first aid setting, for lacerated wounds.
Urtica Urens, the nettle, can be great for hives, skin rashes – and nettle stings. Prickly heat and allergic skin reactions – think what the nettle does in nature and where you see that response, the remedy may be able to help.
Zinc isn’t a remedy I often think of in first aid settings, but of course I wanted to finish with a remedy beginning with ‘z’! It can be wonderful in restlessness, restless legs, crying out in sleep or jerking awake in children – where, as ever, the other symptoms fit.
As discussed at the end of the last article on the A-J of remedies, the remedies mentioned all have a far bigger scope than just in the first aid cupboard, and likewise the ailments mentioned all have more homeopathic medicines that can help. However as an introduction to the topic, as a first go-to remedy you may find there are things you can work with you couldn’t earlier. Hopefully, it’s been an insight into some of the things homeopathic medicines can help with in minor ailments.
Where you need it, I always recommend you seek medical assistance and give the remedy whilst you wait for help/travel to get help, and I’d also suggest that where you feel you need more homeopathic help definitely look to work with a practitioner. The benefits can be huge.