May 31, 2013

Homeopathy for Sunstroke

As temperatures rise around the world in the Northern Hemisphere, everyone is bracing for a blazing hot summer. Many of us like to be outdoors enjoying the long daylight hours; however, extended exposure to the heat of the sun results in loss of fluids. This causes fatigue and raises the body temperature. These are often the first signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion or sunstroke. 

Young children and elderly people face the maximum risk, but heat exhaustion or sunstroke can affect persons of any age. Even animals are frequently affected by sunstroke so it is equally important to take care of their needs as well.


Symptoms of sunstroke:
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps due to loss of electrolytes
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Raised body temperature with no sweat
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Fainting


Anyone who is affected by sunstroke or heat exhaustion should be taken to the nearest hospital for administration of intravenous electrolytes if required. If immediate removal to a hospital is not possible, first aid measures should be followed until medical help is available.
  • Move the affected person into a shady area
  • Remove any tight clothing
  • Apply ice packs or wet towels
  • Drinking cool fluids helps to lower the body temperature
  • Drink preferably fluids that contain both sugar and salt (coconut water, homemade ORS solution, buttermilk, lemonade)

Complications of sunstroke

In extreme conditions, sunstroke can cause convulsions, hallucinations, brain damage, and death. Since babies, young children, and the elderly are more prone to be affected by heat exhaustion, it is important to take steps to prevent the onset of severe signs and symptoms.


  • Maintain electrolyte levels by drinking fluids that contain both sugar and salt.
  • Avoid extended exposure to the sun.
  • If you are outdoors on hikes or treks, be well-prepared with lots of water and electrolyte drinks.
  • Drink fluids throughout the day even though you are not thirsty. By the time you feel the sensation of thirst, your body is already on the way to dehydration, so it is important to keep drinking fluids all through the day.
  • Wear loose breathable clothing.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol to prevent dehydration.

Homeopathic Remedies for sunstroke:

Remedies like Glonoine, Natrum carb, Gelsemium, Veratrum album, Camphora are important when considering the homeopathic management of sunstroke. Other remedies like Belladonna, Aconite, Lachesis, Carbo veg, Bryonia, etc, may also be indicated according to the symptoms present. The correct remedy and dosage must be determined by a homeopath. It is not recommended to try self-medication without consulting a homeopath. 

Having said that, be assured that homeopathy is the most gentle and also a rapid way to manage emergency conditions or in situations where immediate medical aid is not available. If you are going to go on picnics, hikes, or treks, it might be a good idea to consult your homeopath for a kit of remedies to carry with you in case you need to use them - not only for sunstroke, but also for injuries and insect or animal bites.

Enjoy the outdoors, and have a great summer!

May 22, 2013

Homeopathic Remedies for Common Cold

Common cold affects both adults and children and though it is prevalent all through the year, it is more likely to occur as the seasons change from cold to warm or warm to cold. Common cold is medically diagnosed as upper respiratory tract infection, and symptoms last for seven to ten days. If symptoms last longer than that, it is usually an indication of secondary illness and it is no longer just a cold.

According to homeopathic principles, the real cause of disease is a disturbance in the vital force of the organism (or a disposition to disease) which creates a susceptibility to the virus, resulting in symptoms of disease. This is the reason why not everyone gets a cold at the same time, and also why some people recover faster from illnesses than others. The factors that alter susceptibility could be nutritional, environmental, emotional, genetic etc. 

Some factors that increase susceptibility to cold:

  • Cold weather - reduces the body's ability to resist pathogens
  • Air planes, enclosed areas like childcare centers
  • Smoking
  • Pollution
  • Long-term use of orthodox medical drugs 
  • Corticosteroids
  • Stress
  • Pre-existing illness

Symptoms of common cold:

  • Watery eyes
  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Chills and sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Body ache

Homeopathic remedies for common cold:


1. Aconite: This remedy is useful when a cold starts suddenly and progresses rapidly, accompanied by fever and chills. Symptoms begin after being out in cold dry air or after a shock. Symptoms are very distressing and the patient is anxious about his health and recovery. 

2. Arsenicum album: Arsenicum is the remedy for colds that start in the middle of the night with chilliness and restlessness. The person who needs Arsenicum feels chilly and likes to cover up for warmth.

3. Belladonna: The person who needs Belladonna has a red face, the cheeks or the head feel hot and the hands and feet are cold. The cold symptoms may be accompanied by a throbbing headache.

4. Bryonia: This is the remedy for colds that are accompanied by a dull headache and constipation.

5. Nux vomica: Anyone who needs Nux vomica feels extremely chilly, with a stuffy nose. Symptoms are worse especially in the evenings and may be associated with nausea or other digestive complaints.

6. Merc sol: This remedy is useful for those lingering colds that don't seem to go away, along with constant runny noses. Symptoms may be associated with a sore throat.

These are just some of the remedies that may be indicated for symptoms of common cold. There are many other remedies like Ferrum phos, Hepar sulph, Kali mur, Kali bich, Gelsimium, Dulcamara, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Zincum met etc. which may be indicated based on your symptoms. Your homeopath will be able to suggest the best remedy for you after evaluating your condition.

Image courtesy: jenny downing/Flickr CC

May 8, 2013

Homeopathy for Kidney Stones

In the previous post I wrote about dietary recommendations for people with kidney stones.

This post is about the causes of kidney stones, their signs and symptoms, and the homeopathic remedies that are recommended for kidney stones.

What is commonly known as kidney stones is also called nephrolithiasis in medical terminology. It is condition of formation of stones due to mineral deposits in the kidneys or urinary tract. Stones can form anywhere in the urinary tract but are commonly found in the kidneys. 

Conditions that change the concentration of urine can lead to formation of stones when the mineral balance in the urine is altered.

Causes and risk factors:


  • Reduced water intake - When you don't drink enough water, the concentration of minerals and salts in urine increases. These minerals and salts may clump together forming small sand-like stones. If water intake is not increased, minerals further deposit on these small stones, creating bigger and bigger stones in the process.

  • Recurrent urinary infections - Chronic urinary infections with some bacteria can cause kidney stones. Bacteria like pseudomonas, streptococcus, klebshiella, and proteus produce an enzyme called urease which breaks down urea, which then combines with minerals in the urine to form stones. 

    Other risk factors are:

    • Age: Stones are most commonly seen between ages of 20 and 50.
    • Gender: More common in men
    • Heredity: Kidney stones may run in families
    • Occupation: Jobs that involve working in hot climates or that may cause dehydration may increase the chances of stone formation.
    • Medical conditions: Conditions like gout, hyperparathyroidism (increased parathyroid hormone), some conventional medical drugs, some types of kidney disease are all risk factors for kidney stones.
    Types of stones:

    1. Calcium stones: These are the most common type of stones, also called calcium oxalate stones. Oxalate is found in many foods (list of foods containing oxalate). Calcium stones can also occur as calcium phosphate stones.

    2. Struvite stones: These stones are formed due to chronic urinary infections. Many times, this type of stone becomes very large and is called a 'staghorn' stone due to its shape. This type of stone can form silently with little or no symptoms.

    3.  Uric acid stones: People who have gout are more at risk for this type of stone because of high levels of uric acid in the blood,as well as people on a high protein diet. Reduced water intake and increased urine concentration also factor for formation of uric acid stones.

    4. Cystine stones: This type of stone is common in persons who have a hereditary kidney disease called cystinuria where the kidneys excrete too much cystine (an amino acid). Cystine stones are more commonly seen in children.

    Signs and symptoms:

    • Colicky pain from loin to groin (side of waist or back, moving to hip and groin)
    • Severe pain that comes and goes
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Blood in urine and/or pus in urine
    • Painful urination
    • Increased desire to urinate
    • Fever in case of infection

    Homeopathic management of kidney stones: 

    Homeopathy follows the principles of individualization and every person is recommended a remedy according to the symptoms that they present with.

    Some commonly used homeopathic remedies in the case of kidney stones:

    Belladonna, Berberis vulgaris, Benzoic acid, Calcaria carb, Cantharis, Causticum, Chininum sulph, Dioscorea, Hydrangea, Lycopodium, Millefolium, Natrum phos, Ocimum canum, Pareira brava, Sarsaparilla, Terebinthina, Urtica urens etc.

    Kidney image courtesy: Hey Paul Studios/Flickr CC

    Belladonna image courtesy: wlcutler/Flickr CC