February 27, 2013

Pregnancy protocol for biochemic cell salts

Pregnancy is related to increased nutritional requirements due to the demands of the developing baby. Proper maternal nutrition, therefore, is very important to keep up with the physiological changes and for the health of both the mother and the baby. 

Micro-nutrients are a part of this increased nutritional requirement, and supplementation with multivitamins that include folic acid and iron is recommended by doctors all over the world today. Mineral deficiencies can still occur when the multivitamin supplements are not absorbed properly, and the needs are not met with dietary changes. 

The biochemic cell salts pregnancy protocol helps to meet the increased requirement of micro-nutrients and maintains the balance of these minerals in the mother's body. The cell salts are easily assimilated because they are diluted micro-doses. Many women also experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and are unable to take their prenatal multivitamins. Biochemic cell salts can help at these times because they are easy to take and they do not cause unwanted side effects like nausea or constipation.

The protocol is as follows:


Months 2 and 6 - Calcarea flour, Ferrum phos, Mag phos
Months 3 and 7 - Calcarea flour, Mag phos, Natrum mur
Months 4 and 8 - Calcarea flour, Natrum mur, Silicea
Months 5 and 9 - Calcarea flour, Ferrum phos, Silicea

Take 1 pill of each remedy in 6x potency two times a day. The pills can also be dissolved in 4 oz (50 ml) of water and a sip of this water can be taken two times a day. 

How do these salts help?


Calcarea flour - Helps in development of bones, and maintains elasticity of connective tissue. This is very important for the mother since the pelvic bones and muscles stretch and need to be supple.

Ferrum phos - Helps in building hemoglobin and maintains iron levels.

Mag phos - Acts on nerves and prevents cramps.

Nat mur - Maintains water content in the body and prevents foot swelling, high blood pressure, and edema.

Silicea - It is the main constituent in the hair, nails, and connective tissue. It helps to maintain overall health of the mother and baby. 

Additional reading


1. Micronutrient needs during pregnancy and lactation - Linus Pauling Institute OSU 

2. Effects of prenatal micro-nutrient supplementation - A JAMA study

February 25, 2013

Complementary therapies - Biochemic cell salts

In continuation with the current series of posts on pregnancy and childbirth, this week on Monday's health tip, I will introduce you to another therapy used complementarily with homeopathy - Schussler's 12 cell salts.

Rudolf Virchow (Cell theory - 1855) said that disease is an altered state of the cell, therefore the normal state of the cell defines health. The basis of biochemic salts is that all tissues in the human body are made of 12 essential mineral components, the deficiency of which results in disease. This deficiency can be rectified by supplementation with homeopathically prepared microdoses of these 12 minerals. This theory was developed by Dr. Wilhelm Schussler in 1880, and he prepared the 12 cell salts by homeopathic dilution to a 6x potency. Every biochemic remedy is diluted in this manner because a minimum dose at a molecular level is sufficient to initiate healing, and raw doses cause further damage. Similar to homeopathic principles, each salt is prescribed by taking all the symptoms of the diseased person into consideration.

The twelve cell salts: 

1. Calcarea flourica - Responsible for tissue elasticity and health of blood vessels, bones, and teeth. Useful in strained ligaments, varicose veins, dental caries etc.

2. Calcarea phosphorica - Remedy in convalescence, for bones and nerves. Useful in osteoporosis, poor nutrition, anemia, depression, fractures.

3. Calcarea sulphurica - A cleansing remedy. Useful in acne, boils, ulcers, rheumatism, gout.

4. Ferrum phosphoricum - A wonderful remedy for any inflammation or infection, it helps to build hemoglobin. Useful in anemia, colds, nose bleed.

5. Kali muriaticum - Useful in the 2nd stage of inflammation, ear infections, croup, pneumonia. There is a tendency to chronic infections.

6. Kali phosphoricum - Remedy for nervous exhaustion, overworked students, night terrors in children, post-partum depression, stress-related ailments.

7. Kali sulphuricum - Useful in 3rd stage of inflammation, with yellowish discharges. Caries of teeth, gingivitis, conjunctivitis, ear infections, eczema.

8. Magnesium phosphoricum - Acts on the muscles and nerves. Useful in spasmodic cramps, paralysis, migraine, colic.

9. Natrum muriaticum - It regulates the water content in the body. It is a remedy for 'runny' colds, rheumatism, water retention, dehydration.

10. Natrum phosphoricum - Its main action is on fat and acid metabolism. Useful in obesity, gout, heartburn, GERD.

11. Natrum sulphuricum - Regulates water elimination and carbohydrate metabolism. Useful in diabetes, jaundice, asthma, gout.

12. Silicea - It builds connective tissue. Useful when hair has split ends, in brittle nails, pimples, rheumatism, cataract.

Image source Amazon

Apart from the single cell salts, there are many versions of combination salts, one of which is Hyland's Biochemic Phosphates remedy which combines the five phosphate salts. It can be used as a general supplement remedy for stress, fatigue, anemia, nervous weakness, in overworked students and women.

How to use cell salts for acute ailments:

Since there are only 12 cell salts (as opposed to thousands of homeopathic remedies), it is easier to use them at home for minor ailments. Additionally, since these are salts that are required by the body at any stage, and their dose is very minute, there are less chances of side-effects. They are completely safe to take for infants, little children, as well as elderly people. For home use, it is recommended that you use a simple chart like this one by Homeopathic Laboratories

Dosage: For adults, 4 tablets can be taken at a time. For children over 2 years, 2 tablets can be taken at a time. Infant dose is 1 tablet, it can be given by slightly crushing the tablet between two clean spoons. Repetition of dose depends on the severity of the condition. Doses can be repeated up to 4 times a day for up to 4 days. If there is no improvement in symptoms after this time, it is better to consult a homeopath for further advice. 

Now that you know about the cell salts, in our next post, we will see how to use cell salts in pregnancy.


February 22, 2013

Homeopathy in pregnancy and childbirth - Part 2

Second Trimester
The second trimester is the golden period of pregnancy when a woman feels her best. She is complimented for her glowing skin, she has more energy and is able to eat better. If any complaints arise during this time, a full evaluation is recommended so that the homeopath can suggest a constitutional remedy which will work on all levels (physical, mental, emotional) at a time and prevent future complications.

Third Trimester

Some discomfort is common in this period. As the spine supports the growing fetus and the pelvic ligaments stretch, back pain is frequent. Symptoms of heart burn, indigestion, constipation, foot swelling are also observed. 

Aesculus, Kali carb, and Rhus tox are important remedies to consider in back pain. In Aesculus, there is dull pain in the lower back, and it is associated with hemorrhoids. In Kali carb, the lower back pain is of a darting or stitching nature, moving down the leg. In Rhus tox, the patient is restless and cannot keep still because of the pain, she feels better by walking around.

Posture plays a very important role in back pain. It is essential to maintain good posture, to sit up straight, and to sleep on a firm bed. Many times women cannot find a comfortable position to sleep, and some are able to sleep while sitting up. It is also important to stretch the muscles of the back with some exercise like yoga. The cat and cow poses are helpful, as well as squats, which open up the pelvis. Do whatever makes you comfortable without causing any further issues.

For heartburn, Natrum phos 6x is known as the homeopathic antacid. It is especially useful in heartburn a few hours after meals. Dosage is 2 tablets taken after meals, up to 4 times a day. This can be continued for up to 4 days and if symptoms persist, it is better to consult a homeopath for further advice or a change of remedy.

Constipation in pregnancy is caused due to pressure on the intestines. It is important to stay hydrated (though it is a pain to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes!) Exercise is also important for digestive health.

Some remedies for constipation:

Bryonia: The stool is large, hard, dry, and difficult to pass. Constipation accompanied by headache that is worse on movement, wants to lie still. Thirst is increased.

Nux vomica: Constipation associated with indigestion and heartburn. Itching and bleeding with stools.

Sulphur: Constipation with itching and bleeding piles, worse from heat. 

Other things that you can do to ease constipation:

1. Fiber supplement: Try to find a supplement that has 100% psyllium husk (isabgol in India). It is a natural laxative that is safe to use in pregnancy. Drink at least 8 oz (100 ml) of water along with one tablespoon of psyllium husk.

2. Probiotics: Remember how your mother and grandmother told you to eat yogurt or curds with every meal? This age-old practice is now scientifically proven, with results showing that supplementation with probiotics leads to better digestive health. Traditionally home-made Indian curds contain live bacteria which help in digestion and elimination, as well as relieve symptoms of gas and bloating. Yogurt is safe to take for most people, however, use due diligence before using supplements.

Coming up in Part - 3, homeopathy for the post-partum period! Watch this space! 

 And do leave your comments and questions in the comments section below!

February 20, 2013

Homeopathy in pregnancy and childbirth - Part 1

Like I said in a previous post where I wrote about the top 10 reasons why you should choose homeopathy, homeopathy is safe to use during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum period. This is one of the most important phases of a woman's life, where many changes happen, and sometimes a woman needs some kind of support to relieve minor discomforts or in case of any difficulties. Homeopathy can offer a lot of assistance to a woman in all the stages of pregnancy, including pre- and post-natal periods. I will cover this topic in a series of posts. In this post, let's see how homeopathy can help morning sickness in the first trimester.

First Trimester

In the first trimester, nausea is a common symptom of pregnancy, accompanied by loss of appetite. In most cases, it is mild and does not cause any problems (morning sickness). However, some women experience severe nausea and vomiting that is very distressing. It is called hyperemesis gravidarum. Some remedies that can help both mild and severe conditions are:

Colchicum: The woman has extreme nausea from smell of food, even thoughts of food produce nausea. She is especially sensitive to cooking eggs and fish, craves many things but feels sick on eating anything. Her nausea is worse from movement.

Colchicum autumnale

Ipecac: She has severe and persistent nausea not relieved by vomiting, accompanied by increased salivation.

Pulsatilla: She is weepy and wants company always. She feels better in cool, open air and her nausea is worse in a warm room. She has frequent headaches. She wants to eat sweets and foods rich in fat but they make her nausea worse.

Nux vomica: Her nausea is somewhat relieved by vomiting, but is worse a few hours after eating. Nausea in the morning on waking up, with indigestion. She is irritable, angry, and impatient.

These are just a few remedies that can be used for nausea in pregnancy.

Some other things that you can do to relieve nausea are:

1. Eat a small breakfast in bed. (Here's a chance for your SO to pamper you!) Snack on some dry toast or crackers and have a few sips of juice before getting out of bed. If you like to drink water, add some lemon juice to it. Water is an emetic and drinking it straight first thing in the morning may increase your nausea.

2. Keep snacking through the day on healthy snacks like fresh fruit and vegetables, peanut butter, hummus, boiled eggs, etc. Nausea is worsened on an empty stomach, so keep snacking often.

3. Stay hydrated. Add a few drops of lemon juice to your water and keep sipping it through the day. Dehydration worsens nausea.

4. Chew on a piece of crystallized ginger or fennel (saunf) or carom seeds (ajwain). You can also make teas with ginger, fennel, and carom.

5. Stay stress free, rest and relax. When you feel a bout of nausea, get up and go for a walk in open air if possible. 

In part-2, we will see how homeopathy can help in the second and third trimesters.

Disclaimer: Do not attempt to self-medicate. Always consult a homeopath who will guide you and help you find the correct remedy for your symptoms.
Image courtesy Carsten aus Bonn

February 18, 2013

Complementary therapies - Bach flower remedies

Monday's health tip for this week is a short introduction to Bach flower remedies which is a complementary therapy used alongside homeopathy.

Bach flower remedies are 38 flower essences that were originally discovered as a natural method of healing by Dr. Edward Bach, around 1930, in England. These remedies are made from wildflowers. The essence is extracted either by boiling in water or by steeping in sunlight. Bach flower remedies work by removing negative emotions and they are mostly used for emotional issues like fear, nervousness, panic attacks, grief, stress, worry, indecision etc, which disturb the equilibrium of the vital energy in the body. Once the equilibrium is maintained, the vital energy is able to take care of itself and progress into healing. Bach flower remedies are safe to take at any stage of life, including pregnancy and delivery, when a woman goes through many emotions at once. They are also useful for children, who often express fear of new things, shyness, tantrums, or difficulty with adjusting to a new sibling or a new school. Animals also express many emotions, and Bach flower remedies are useful with animals too. They fall into three groups:

1. The 12 healers - These are the remedies that describe the kind of person you are.The remedies are - Agrimony, Centaury, Cerato, Chicory, Clematis, Gentian, Impatiens, Mimulus, Rock rose, Scleranthus, Vervain, Water violet.

 2. The 7 helpers - These are remedies for chronic conditions, which describe how you have become accustomed to dealing with life. Gorse, Heather, Oak, Olive, Rock water, Vine, Wild oat.

3. The 2nd 19 - These remedies correspond to emotional issues of everyday life, and each remedy has a positive and negative aspect. The natural vibrations of the flowers are the positive state, and in illness, the negative state is seen. An ill person is given a particular flower remedy by matching his symptoms with that of the flower. This concept is very similar to the homeopathic concept of 'Like cures like', but one or up to five flower remedies may be used (unlike in homeopathy where only a single remedy is recommended at one time). Remedies in the 2nd 19 are Aspen, Beech, Cherry plum, Chestnut bud, Crab apple, Elm, Holly, Honeysuckle, Hornbeam, Larch, Mustard, Pine, Red chestnut, Star of Bethlehem, Sweet chestnut, Walnut, White chestnut, Wild rose, Willow. 

4. First aid - A combination of five flower remedies is called Rescue Remedy and is useful in any kind of stressful situation ranging from nervousness before an exam to shock upon hearing bad news. The five remedies used are Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, Rock rose, and Star of Bethlehem. This is a very good remedy to have on hand for everyday stressful situations. It can also be given to children when they have slight anxiety like on the first day of school or to help them adjust to a new place.

Update - I'm updating this post because a reader sent me a question - "How are Bach flower remedies given?' It is a very good question and I'm sorry I did not post that information here earlier.

Bach flower remedies are available as liquids. They do not have any potency number next to their names, like homeopathic remedies have. Bach flower remedies are taken by mixing 4 drops of the liquid in 4 oz (around 100 ml) water and sipping this water 4-6 times a day. The solution is to be discarded at the end of the day and a new solution has to be made for the next day. Repetition of the doses depends on the person's response to a remedy. In general, when a positive response is observed, the remedy is to be stopped. If symptoms return, the same procedure is followed until a positive change is seen.

Image courtesy: ggalice CC license


February 16, 2013

Homeopathy for first aid

It is a common misconception that homeopathic remedies work slowly and therefore are good only to be used for chronic illnesses. However, this belief is just that - a misconception. Homeopathic remedies act as fast or as slow as their prescriber wants them to, because the expert homeopath is carefully able to adjust dosage according to the condition of the diseased person.

That was a short introduction to explain how homeopathy can be useful in first aid - including bumps and bruises, concussions, sprains, fractures, insect bites and stings, burns, poison ivy, etc. Let us now look at some remedies that can be used in some of these conditions.

Arnica is very popular and commonly used in many households as the first remedy after a fall or a bruise, especially when the skin is not broken and there is a blue-black blood clot under the skin. It is also useful in concussion of the brain, which is a common sports injury. Arnica is available as pills to take internally, as well as creams and gels, for external application.

Calendula is to be considered when the skin is broken and there is some bleeding. It is also available in the form pills and ointments. Calendula tincture can be used to clean wounds, as well as Echinacea tincture.

Ledum palustre is useful in punctured wounds where there is much bleeding, as from a needle or a nail. It is also the remedy for tetanus.

Cantharis is the first remedy for burns and scalds with blistered skin, and also in the case of sunburn. 

We will look at remedies for sprains in a separate post, but the main remedies to think of are Arnica, Bellis perennis, Ruta, and Rhus tox.

Insect bites and stings also needs a separate post in detail. Some remedies to consider are Apis, Carbolic acid, Urtica urens, and Hypericum.

Rhus tox is useful in hives produced by poison ivy, especially when the person feels the itching is better by bathing with hot water.

In the case of fractures, remedies like Calcarea phos, Calcarea flourica, Ruta, and Symphytum are useful. Calcarea phos 6x can be used routinely in fractures to promote rapid healing of bones.

As you can see, homeopathy can benefit many kinds of 'diseases', both acute as well as chronic ailments. It is always a good idea to consult a homeopath first before trying any kind of self-medication.

February 14, 2013

Top 10 Reasons to Choose Homeopathy

These are the top 10 reasons why you should choose homeopathy for yourself and your whole family.  

 1.  Homeopathy is safe for everyone. There are not many kinds of therapies which are safe to use in pregnant and breast-feeding women, newborns, and infants; but there is homeopathy.  

2. It is not habit forming or addictive. 

3. It can be used alongside all conventional methods of treatment including fractures and surgeries. Homeopathic remedies cause no interactions with conventional drugs, when used correctly. If in doubt, ask your homeopath.

4. Homeopathy can be used for all acute and chronic illnesses, ranging from skin problems to emotional issues, and more. 

5. Homeopathy does not need a diagnosis because remedies are given based on the symptom picture. I have seen many times that people go from one doctor to another only looking for a diagnosis. This is because conventional medicine has no treatment protocol without a diagnosis, so if your disease does not have a name, doctors of modern medicine can do nothing. That is not the case with homeopathy. 

6. Homeopathic remedies are easy to take - you can take the pills dry on your tongue or in water. Little children love to take them because they are sweet and don't leave a bitter aftertaste. 

7. As we have already seen in this post, homeopathy is completely natural and holistic. It might surprise you when a homeopath asks what makes you feel better or how your general mood is when you complain of a headache. This is important because a homeopath wants to know the 'whole' you, and not just the type of headache you have. 

8. It is cost effective. One small bottle of homeopathic pills will go a long way because you only need to use 2 pills, and sometimes the quantity is even less when you mix the pills in water. Different conditions require different methods of dosing, your homeopath will be able to tell you which method will suit you the best.

9. Homeopathic remedies are never recalled. Unlike conventional medicines, there is no history of recalls of homeopathic remedies.

10. I've left the best for the last, and that is - Homeopathy works! Millions of people around the world use homeopathy, and see results. When you have tried anything and everything for years without success and with adverse effects, and when you find relief after using homeopathy for a few months, that means a lot! However, don't wait until the last moment to try Homeopathy, it works best when used as soon as possible. 

So now you know why you should choose Homeopathy, get in touch with your Homeopath!

Image credit: www.freeimages.co.uk

February 13, 2013

Homeopathy for Seasonal Affective Disorder

We're in the middle of winter, and even though Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring, many of us are recovering from the effects of the recent snow storms. 

Cold weather, lack of light, and generally stressful conditions all contribute to a form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder. 

Symptoms of SAD are common in the months of January to March, in the peak of winter (and after all the festivities of the holiday season!). Symptoms vary in severity, and men, women, children, and pets are all affected.

The main symptoms of SAD are:
  • Lethargy and fatigue, sometimes making it difficult to carry out normal routines
  • Mood changes, irritability, restlessness, headaches.
  • Cravings for sweet, salty, or 'comfort' food that is high in carbohydrates, leading to weight gain
  • Feelings of despair and hopelessness, avoidance of social contact

The homeopathic treatment for SAD is through an individualized approach, by taking into consideration all the symptoms of the person at that point in time. This allows the practitioner to come up with a customized remedy which is more effective in providing relief than something that is all-purpose. There are thousands of remedies in homeopathy and any one of them may be the right fit for someone, but some remedies that are over-sensitive to cold weather are considered first. 

Remedies like Causticum, Phosphorus, Rhus tox, and Sepia are all worse from cold weather. While a Phosphorus person needs sunlight to feel lively and happy again, a Rhus tox faces rigidity at both physical and mental levels, leading to stiff joints and compulsive behavior.  Other remedies are Aurum metallicum, Phosphoric acid, Pulsatilla, etc. 

[The remedies described are just examples with some pointers, and they may or may not be the right ones for you. Do not attempt to use homeopathic remedies for chronic illnesses without the guidance of a homeopath.  A homeopath has the expertise to choose the correct remedy and dosage to suit your needs.]

Other ways to support healing from SAD are:
  • Go for a walk in the middle of the day and get some sunlight. Open the curtains and blinds on your windows and let the sun come into your home.
  • Exercise! If you can't go out of your home, exercise at home. Stretch, run, skip rope, dance - do whatever you enjoy to get your heart pumping a little harder. Exercise releases endorphins which are your body's natural mood enhancers.
  • Bach flower essences are very useful for healing emotional issues. Mustard is used for depression.

Stay warm, and stay healthy!

February 12, 2013

How to buy homeopathic remedies?

We've seen where homeopathic remedies are available in the US, and as I said in that post, not all remedies in the market that are marked 'homeopathic' are truly homeopathic. There are many products out there sitting in pharmacy aisles that a lay person would buy just by seeing the 'homeopathic' mark on them. One example is Zicam. Zicam is not homeopathic. If you google Zicam, all the top results will be articles about how Zicam does not work or has numerous side-effects, and therefore homeopathy does not work or is dangerous.

The ingredients label on Zicam is misleading. For example, the active ingredients in Zicam RapidMelts are listed as Zincum aceticum 2x and Zincum gluconicum 1x. The list of inactive ingredients is longer, with artificial colors, flavors, and sucralose! No homeopathic remedy will ever have these artificial ingredients. Homeopathic remedies are made from various sources, and apart from the source of the drug, the only other ingredients should be either alcohol and/or water (if in liquid form) or lactose and sucrose (if in tablet or pellet form).

Another common confusion is with herbal remedies. Many homeopathic remedies are made from commonly used herbal remedies. For example, Echinacea is a popular herb that is used to boost the immune system. Homeopathic Echinacea is used for a lot of things, including boils, ulcers, snake bites, septic conditions etc. To differentiate herb with homeopathic remedy, we need to understand the meaning of 'homeopathic'.

 Herbal remedies are used in the crude state, much like Ayurvedic remedies, and they are administered as teas, tablets, capsules, external poultices etc. Homeopathic remedies are made from the herb, but the method of preparation according to certain principles of dilution and succusion is what makes them 'homeopathic'. When a remedy is not prepared by the principles of homeopathy, it is not homeopathic.

Let's take another example. Gold is used in homeopathy as Aurum metallicum. The crude form of gold as a metal does not have any medicinal value, but when prepared according to homeopathic principles, it's intrinsic healing properties are activated and then it is used as a homeopathic remedy.

I hope this article answers some questions and clears the air about what is truly homeopathic. Please leave your comments and feedback, or ask if  you have any questions.

Image courtesy Anna Strumillo CC license

Lincoln and homeopathy

Abraham Lincoln was a big supporter of homeopathy. Today, on his birthday, let us look at some more history related to homeopathy.

When Abraham Lincoln worked as a lawyer, in 1854, he prepared a state legislative proposal for the allotment of a homeopathic medical college in Chicago. This was not easy because of the dislike of the conventional medical doctors of that time, along with the antagonism of the newly formed American Medical Association. Lincoln and some other influential people persisted, and the Hahnemann Homeopathic Medical College opened in Chicago in 1860. It is interesting to note that the AMA campaigned against homeopaths because they were getting all the business!

Image courtesy Believe Creative CC license

February 11, 2013

Where to buy homeopathic remedies?

This is a question that I'm asked very frequently. In the US, awareness about homeopathy is picking up, but  many people still don't know about it because it is not advertised in the common media, unlike pharmaceutical drugs. If you are from India, I'm sure you know that there is at least one homeopathic pharmacy for every few streets even in the small towns, and the count is larger in the case of big cities.

Homeopathic remedies in the US are available at all health food stores. You can even find some common remedies like Oscillococcinum or Arnica in the pharmacy section of some stores like Target, or at regular pharmacies like CVS.
Chain stores like Whole Foods, Wegmans, GNC, and Vitamin Shoppe all have them, as do most local health food stores and co-ops. You can find your local stores by just searching online.

Remedies are also available at online stores like Amazon,
ABC homeopathy,

as well as directly from the manufacturers websites like
and Washington Homeopathic Products.

All true homeopathic products are safe to take as long as they are taken according to the homeopathic principles. Apart from that, all true homeopathic products are manufactured under strict guidelines. Every region in the world has laws and regulations for this, and there is a government body in every country that controls these regulations. In India, the guidelines for manufacture of homeopathic remedies are outlined in a document called the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India (HPI). All homeopathic remedies in India need to conform to the standards in the HPI. In the US, that standard is set by the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS). This means that whenever you buy a remedy, look on the package for a HPI or HPUS mark, depending on your location. Similarly, there is a British Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia, which is adopted by Australia and Canada as well.

Now that's a lot of talk about 'true' homeopathic remedies, and that is because there are actually products in the market that are sold as 'homeopathic' when they are not. As a consumer, you need to be able to differentiate one from the other. How? That's coming up in the next post!

Image courtesy wikimedia

February 10, 2013


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Monday health tip - Quinoa masala burgers

Every Monday, I'll post a health tip related to diet, exercise, or complementary therapies. Today, we'll look at a very healthy and easy recipe for vegetarian quinoa masala burgers, and they're tasty to boot! It's always been difficult for me to find a veggie burger that suits my taste; I have never really liked the taste of the TVP or soy burgers.

This recipe by Food Babe is just what I have been looking for! I did make some changes to the original recipe, but the result was still so good that this is going to be a keeper in my recipe log, and I look forward to making it often. So let's get on with the recipe, shall we?


1 cup quinoa, cooked according to instructions on package
1 big sweet potato ( or use 2 if they are small)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
A handful of cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
1 tbsp garam masala
Butter or oil, to brush on the burgers


Preheat the oven to 400 F while you cook the quinoa and do all the chopping. Poke the sweet potato in a few places with a fork and put it on a baking tray, and bake it at 400 F for 45-60 minutes. You will know it is done when it is soft when poked with a fork. Then remove it from the oven and let it cool. Meanwhile, take all the other ingredients except butter in a bowl and mix well. When the sweet potato is cool enough for you to handle, mix that in as well. Make patties and put on a greased baking tray. Brush them gently with butter or oil. Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes and then flip, brush with butter again, and bake the other side for about 10 minutes. Keep a close watch in the last 5 minutes, don't let them burn. Some of them may crack when you flip them so be gentle.

I got 14 burgers with this recipe. They are so good that we could have eaten half of them the day they were made, but I saved some for later and put them in the freezer. They freeze well too! This is a kid-friendly, healthy recipe that is packed with proteins from the quinoa and beta-carotene from the sweet potato. It's also very flexible, so even if you make a few changes here and there, I'm sure they will still turn out great! Enjoy!

Edited to add: A reader said that her burgers cracked when she baked them. Here's my tip to prevent that.

If the burgers crack after baking, or if you are not able to make a patty without breaking it, then try adding 1 egg white or 2 tablespoons of boiled potato to the recipe. Try not to make the mixture too watery or you won't be able to form patties. Also try not to make the patties too thin or they will crack after cooking.

Image courtesy Nerissa's ring/Flickr CC

February 9, 2013

February 7, 2013

Homeopathy for Flu or Influenza

All this while we've done a lot of serious deep-delving into history and the origins of homeopathy, let's now look at some homeopathic remedies. The one illness on everyone's mind this season is the flu or influenza.

Firstly, what kind of treatments are available for the flu? Believe it or not, modern medicine does not have a cure for the flu, which means the fever reducers, cough medicines, decongestants, and antihistamines can only relieve your symptoms, but you will need to go through the course of the disease. However, if you are taking all or some of these drugs, then you are not helping your immune system at all. Rather, you are making your immune system work harder by suppressing fever and other symptoms. This will only increase the duration of the illness and the flu will last longer. 

Don't forget to take into account the toxicity of chemical drugs on your system, especially the liver and kidneys. When your body is already working hard to fight the illness and you take these drugs, you will only make your organs work harder to eliminate all these toxins from your body. It takes a long time for over-worked organs to go back to a healthy state, after detoxification. After all this has passed, your immune system is still not healthy because you used drugs to suppress disease symptoms, not allowing the body to fight and produce antibodies naturally, and so, you will need to work on improving your immune system separately. Why go through all this when there are better methods available?

Homeopathy is both gentle and effective and there lies its specialty. Homeopathic remedies help the body fight an illness by boosting its own immune system. It is the immune system that destroys the illness and the homeopathic remedy acts as a catalyst. Let's look at some remedies that can help when you have the flu.

Oscillococcinum: This is the most popular remedy in the US for flu. It is sold by Boiron and can be found in the pharmacy aisles of many grocery stores as well as in pharmacies. This can be the first remedy to take as soon as you start feeling sick with flu-like symptoms - headache, bouts of sneezing, tiredness, body aches. The package has single-dose tubes which are easy to take. Take one dose every 2-3 hours for 3-4 days. This is most often the only remedy needed to overcome the flu.

Aconite: This is the remedy for the early stages of the illness, when symptoms develop suddenly and rapidly. It's almost as if one moment you are fine and the other you have a red face, progressive tiredness, high fever and sore throat. Symptoms often come on after an exposure to dry cold wind.

Arsenicum album: The arsenicum patient is chilly and wants to be bundled up, but cannot get warm enough. The nasal discharge is clear and burns the tip of their nose and upper lip. They are thirsty, drinking only small sips of water at a time.

Belladonna: This has a throbbing headache with bright red cheeks, fever comes on suddenly with a sore throat. The patient is worse from noise or light and feels better by lying down still.The hands and feet are cold and the face is flushed and hot.

Bryonia: This has a lot of body aches and pains, the patient wants to lie still all the time because movement increases the pains, wants to be in a quiet dark room and does not want to be disturbed. Very thirsty and drinks large quantities of water at a time. Dryness of nose and mouth with fever. Cough is dry and croupy. All the symptoms come on slowly and gradually.

Eupatorium: Pain is the main symptom, pain as if bones were broken - it is so severe, along with intermittent fever, chills, thirst, and dryness. This remedy is useful for the most severe symptoms of flu. The patient is unable to move from the bed because of the pains.

Gelsemium: The symptoms start slowly as opposed to suddenly as in Aconite or Belladonna.The patient feels very weak and is chilly. Splitting headaches at the back of the head, drowsiness, shivers go up and down the spine. Sore throat and hoarseness of voice.They are fatigued and just want to lie in bed all the time. It is often one of the first remedies to be thought of for flu.

This is just a small list of remedies that can help. There are hundreds of other remedies that can be considered depending on the patient's condition and their symptoms.

Choose a remedy that best matches your set of symptoms at that time. With acute diseases that last just a few days, it is common that more than 1 or 2 remedies are needed because symptoms change frequently. It is important to select the right remedy each time when symptoms change. Many common remedies are available at health food stores and also online. Take the 30C potency.

General Dosing Instructions:  Take 2-3 pellets in 4-5 oz of water. Do not stir, just let the pellets dissolve on their own. Take 1 tsp of this water every 2-3 hours. If you don't see a change for the better after 3 doses, consider changing the remedy. It is also important to continue general management measures like hydration, rest, warmth, and light diet.

Additional reading:

Oscillococcinum for flu-like illness, a placebo-controlled, double-blind evaluation, published in British Homeopathic Journal