Homeopathic Remedies and Migraine
(January 10, 1997)
I am concerned that my fellow migraineurs are receiving incomplete facts
about the use of homeopathic remedies for migraine. This message is an attempt
to set the record straight.
There is no homeopathic remedy which cures migraines for everyone, but
there is a homeopathic remedy which can cure your migraine. The proper way
to choose a remedy is for a trained homeopath to repertorize (list) your
symptoms. The symptoms which many migraineurs have (severe pain, sensitivity
to light/noise, nausea) are far less important than their unique symptoms.
A migraineur who has very cold extremities and craves warm drinks would
not necessarily get the same remedy as a migraineur who has a stiff neck
and a pale face. Given the proper remedy, both migraineurs would get relief
during an attack.
The basic premise of homeopathy is the law of similars. Homeopathic remedies
are very small doses of natural substances which, when given in massive
doses to a healthy person, cause the same symptoms you are trying to cure.
A good example is Ipecacuhana - it+s made from the same root used in Ipecac
syrup (which you give to induce vomiting). Ipecacuhana is one homeopathic
remedy used to stop prolonged vomiting.
Homeopathic remedies can be neutralized by exposure to bright light,
heat, strong odors, coffee, tea, mint and many drugs. If you take a remedy,
drink a cup of coffee, take two Excedrin and have a peppermint candy, the
remedy will certainly stop working. On the other hand, if you take a low
dose (6x) or acute dose (30c) of the wrong remedy, it will also do nothing.
If you take the correct remedy and follow homeopathic conventions, it can
There are a growing number of doctors practicing homeopathy in the United
States, and most are covered by health insurance. If you+re reluctant to
try it, check out a study group in your area and ask a lot of questions.
If you want more information, here are a few resources I have used:
National Center for Homeopathy, 801 North Fairfax Street, Suite 306,
Alexandria, VA 22314 (http://www.healthy.net.nch,
phone 703-548-7790, fax 703-548-7792, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
For $7.00 ($15.00 outside US/Canada) you can get an information package
which includes a directory of practitioners (doctors, naturopaths, nurses,
lay persons, study groups, pharmacies), a copy of "Homeopathy Today",
a list of available publications, and more. [Ask for the issue with a story
of a little girl who wanted to eat only cloth. It's fascinating - and yes,
she was cured.
"Homeopathy: An Introduction for Skeptics and Beginners", Richard
Grossinger (1993, North Atlantic Books, ISBN 1-55643-165-1). This book is
a little slow-going, but does explain the basic principles of homeopathy
and lists a number of resources.
"Homeopathic Medicine: First-Aid and Emergency Care", Lyle
W. Morgan, Ph.D., H.M.D. (1989, Healing Arts Press, ISBN 0-89281-249-4).
This book is excellent, and is a preferred resource by many study groups.
It comes in very handy during the middle of the night, or when you feel
so awful that you can+t think straight. However, you should know how to
repertorize symptoms before using this book to select a remedy.
"The Family Guide to Homeopathy", Alain Horvilleur, M.D. (1986,
Health & Homeopathy Publishing, ISBN 0-9616 800-0-8 ). This book does a
good job describing remedies and acute symptoms from A-Z, but I don+t recommend
using it alone to select remedies.
"Gray+s Anatomy", Henry Gray, F.R.S. (First Longmeadow Press,
1991, ISBN 0-681-00421-5). This book has nothing to do with homeopathy,
but is an excellent resource if you want to know how your nervous and circulatory
systems work (or any other part of your body). It+s also a great backup
in case your kids have biology homework and you can+t remember the answers.
Even if you decide that homeopathy is not for you, there are some conventions
that will help all my fellow migraineurs. Eliminate perfumes from everything
you use and go for the unscented formulas - laundry detergent, fabric softener,
soap, moisturizer, hand lotion, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner (this is
a tough one, but you might find a formula that is only lightly scented).
Choose fresh fruits and vegetables over canned juices and wash them carefully.
Avoid drugs/substances which suppress your symptoms and normal body functions
(antihistamine, cough drops, antiperspirant). You already know the rest
- eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise, etc.
Just for the record, I have no formal training in medicine or homeopathy,
although I participated in a study group. My asthmatic son and I have been
treated with homeopathic remedies during the past four years. We still have
flare-ups of old health problems, but they are generally much shorter in
duration and the symptoms are less severe. We were both taking several drugs
every day before starting homeopathy, and now we+re down to one each. Soon
our serious health problems will be a distant memory. Homeopathy has definitely
changed our lives for the better. It can change yours, too.
Here's a toast that 1997 is a healthier year for all of us.
Beth (Boston, MA)
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