What can homeopathy do?

I am frequently asked, “Can homeopathy cure this?” or “Can homeopathy work for that?” Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine. However, like allopathic medicine, it has its limitations. I would never guarantee a cure of anything. Only someone’s vital force knows what it is or isn’t capable of.

But I thought it would be interesting to make a little running list of some of the things I have seen homeopathy cure in the past 6 years. Some of the details have been changed to protect identities but all of these are real cases.

It is a shame I cannot practice homeopathy where I now live. But it is my hope someday homeopathy will become a standard integration with allopathic care instead of an unknown and misunderstood alternative.

Cured cases:

1. Depression/bipolar – 36 yo man. Aurum Metallicum, 6c. Infrequent water doses. Family history of bipolar. Mother schizophrenic. All 5 siblings bipolar and medicated. Had started meds but did not like side effects. Extreme anxiety. Took several doses of 6c in water over the course of 1 month. No further need for any medication. Had his best financial year he ever had. Remained well for 2+ years, lost contact.

2. Chronic back pain – 65 yo woman. Nux Vomica – 2 doses of 30c dry. Debilitating pain interrupting daily life. Dry dose – pain traveled down one side and then to the other side. Redosed 2 pellets – pain was completely gone – has not reoccurred in 4+ years.

3. Mitral Regurgitation – valve replacement surgery pending – 60 yo man. Laurocerasus – liquid dosing 30c – 1M. Cured after 6 months – no surgery necessary. Also eliminated need for meds for high blood pressure and high cholesterol which he had been on for 20+ years.

4. Alopecia – 7 yo boy – Lycopodium. Hair began falling out in big patches. Liquid dosing, full head of hair grew back within 4 months. First came in downy and soft, then full and beautiful.

5. Pneumonia – 32 yo man – Lycopodium. Pain was severe in right lung. Was beginning to hepatize (harden) – difficulty breathing, asthmatic symptoms, burning pain and heaviness in chest. Liquid dosing, 30c. Cured in 24 hours – went in for follow up x-ray – lung completely clear.

6. Pneumonia – 4 yo boy – Lycopodium. Nostrils flaring, could not breath, nebulizer treatments every 1-2 hours bringing minimal relief. Chest rales (visible on inspiration). Complete cure within 48 hours.

7. HSP – vasculitis and nephritis – bleeding from intestines, kidneys, and covered in bruises – 10 yo girl – Crotalus Horridus. Kidneys stopped bleeding within 1 week. Full recovery. Also cured of ADD, chronic stomach pain and frequent vomiting. 4 months of LM dosing up to LM6. Continues on remedy as needed. 2 years out.

8. Alzheimers – 82 yo woman. – Nat Sulph, liquid dosing, 30c – 1M. Euphoric response to first dose. Went from lying in fetal position and not knowing her children or grandchildren to full recovery.

9. Stroke – 84 yo woman. Baryta Carb, dry dosing, 30c-1M. Was turned out of rehab because no further progress was thought could be made. Was in wheelchair, could not stand unassisted, no use of right arm, slurred speech. 6 months – walking without walker, full use of arm, speech returned to normal.

10. Autism – 5 yo girl – post DTP vaccine at 5 year booster. Liquid dosing of DTP, 30c. Return to normal until treatment discontinued.

11. Depression – 40 yo man – post tetanus vaccine. Would not get out of bed, no desire to do anything. DTP remedy, 30c. Return to normal self.

12. Pertussis aka Whooping cough – 9 cases – various remedies – Ipecac, Pertussinum nosode, Drosera, Chamomila, Coccus Cacti. All recovered well.

13. Prostate cancer – 64 yo man. PSA measurement was 2.5. gleason score 6/7. After Thuja, LM1 – LM7, measurement was 0.01. Afterwards, decided to do traditional medical treatment of radiation.

14. HSP – vasculitis and nephritis – 32 yo woman. Lachesis, liquid dosing, 30c-200c. From grief following death of mother and sister.

15. Mastitis and thrush – 26 yo woman. Borax and then Silicea, both liquid dosing, 30c potency. Horribly painful nursing. Full cure, went on to very healthy nursing.

16. Pre-term labor contractions, 36 yo woman. Natrum Muriaticum, 30c, 2 pellets dry. Had preterm labor contractions starting at 20 weeks and 21 weeks respectively with first two pregnancies. Did 5-6 months of bedrest for remainder of both pregnancies with contractions throughout. Third pregnancy, contractions began at 21 weeks. Took 2 pellets of Nat Mur dry. Contractions stopped within 24 hours, no further contractions in full term pregnancy. (me!)

17. ADHD – 10 yo boy. Lycopodium, 30c – 1M liquid dosing. Difficulty paying attention in school, difficulty with reading. Timid in groups. School pressuring parents to do meds. 4 months post dosing, improved in all areas, excelling in sports, “a different kid.”

18. Acute ear infection – 9 yo girl. Belladonna, 30c, liquid dosing. Severe pain began suddenly on the way home from swimming at a lake. Face red, crying with pain. 1 tsp dose direct every 15 minutes. Would fall asleep after dose, then wake crying in pain. Dosed 4 times, all pain ameliorated.

19. Post-herpetic neuralgia, 28 yo woman. Natrum Muriaticum, 30c. Severe pain in shoulder, extending up to head, and down arm. Not able to move arm at all. Recently had shingles. Nat Mur, 30c, liquid dosing. Complete amelioration of all pain – and lasting improvement in overall mood – feels “like her old self.”

20. Guillain-Barre – post viral paralysis, 7 yo girl. Natrum Muriaticum, 30c. After flu, awoke one morning and fell out of bed unable to walk. No pain. Could not use legs. Doctor determined Gullain-Barre Syndrome. Nat Mur, 30c, 2 pellets dry, complete amelioration of symptoms within 4 hours.

21. Chronic allergic reaction – 60 yo man. Apis, 200c, liquid dosing. Chronic red, swollen eyes with intense itching. Ongoing for several months, reoccurring for 2 years. Several liquid doses of 1 tsp direct completely cured – 2+ years.

22. Alleged encephalitic reaction to MMR vaccine – 18 mo girl. Screaming fits, becoming rigid and must be left in the crib otherwise would hurt herself. Uncontrollable screaming and thrashing. Began 24 hours after MMR vaccine. 1 dose, MMR remedy, 30c potency – no further fits.

23. Chronic diarrhea – 2 yo boy. Kali Phos, 30c, then LM1, liquid dosing. Chronic stomach aches and diarrhea after eating. Undigested and liquid stool, smells of blood. Irritable behavior. Extremely shy. Liquid dosing for several months, complete cure. No further diarrhea, very talkative, happy child.

24. Sciatica – 61 yo woman. Nux Vomica, 200c. Severe pain traveling down leg. No comfortable position. Liquid dosing – full cure within 12 hours.

25. Worms – 2.5 yo girl. Cina, 1M, liquid dosing. Irritable behavior, scratching others, biting, picking nose, eating nonstop, constipation, dark circles under eyes. 1 tsp dose of Cina, 1M. Passed long worm and several short worms within 30 minutes of dose. Complete cure of behaviors and appetite returned to normal. Became very happy and easy going.

26. Diabetes – 40 yo woman – Heloderma, LM1. 1 week of liquid dosing. Fasting blood glucose 145. Numbness and swelling in hands, arms, feet. Pain in bottom of feet, worse walking. Diplopia (blurry vision), huge swings in blood sugar levels. Follow up fasting blood sugar in 3 months was 80. A1C was 5.3 – non-diabetic. All other symptoms ameliorated. Follow up blood glucose in 6 months was 72, A1C, 5.2. (There is a new allopathic medicine using the toxins from the Heloderma (gila monster). I just went direct to the source because the symptoms fit.) 10+ months out. (again, me!)

Some of the things I was not able to help (please note that this can be my own limitations and not necessarily because homeopathy can’t help it):

1. Lyme disease in 8 yo girl. Lyme can be treated with homeopathy if caught early (read: immediately). However, unfortunately, in this case, it was not known there was Lyme until later. In any event, Lyme is one case I would do immediate antibiotics as this can halt the Lyme if caught early enough. Any residual effects of the antibiotic can be addressed later with homeopathy.

2. Cold sores on the mouth – chronic condition – significantly reduced episodes but still reoccur once per year.

3. Autism – several cases were difficult and continuing homeopathy was not desired by the parents.

4. Shoulder pain – chronic shoulder pain continues to be one of the most difficult symptoms to cure.

5. Migraines – two cases – chronic – very sensitive to remedies – patient not wanting to continue, the other, still trying.

6. Gout – gout is extremely difficult to cure although not impossible.

Homeopathy: Redefining Your “Comfort Zone”

Last year my son developed an acute illness which eventually became chronic and just wouldn’t go away despite trying several different remedies. In the previous three years since beginning homeopathy, the kids rarely required a doctor visit other than an annual checkup. But my son continued to have a fever and his cough just wouldn’t quit. One morning he woke up coughing so hard, he threw up mucus and a small bit of blood. His fever was 103. I called my husband and said, “I’m way past my comfort zone, we need to take him to urgent care.”

The doctor listened to his lungs, looked in his ears, and gave him a very thorough exam. Diagnosis: a no name virus not requiring antibiotics. I was both relieved and disappointed. Of course, I was relieved because my son’s condition wasn’t serious and also because I dread antibiotics given our history of chronic systemic yeast and spectrum issues. On the other hand, I was disappointed but not because I wanted antibiotics to eliminate my son’s health issue. I was disappointed in myself for reverting to allopathic medicine when the going got tough.

At the time I rationalized my son was seriously ill and for whatever reason I thought allopathic medicine was most necessary in the face of serious illness. I must preface this by saying even today if my children are very ill and not recovering the way they should, I will still take them in for a doctor visit. I may not ever fill the script if one is prescribed but I think maintaining my child’s health is far and away more important than maintaining my ego as a homeopath.

But as time went on, I began to realize, perhaps when things become more serious is precisely the time I should be running to homeopathy, not allopathy. History has shown us in serious epidemics such as the 1918 flu pandemic, homeopathy saved more patients than allopathy. In fact, the mortality rate for homeopathic patients was 1% while the rate for conventional medicine patients was over 30%. This realization simply meant I had to re-examine what exactly my “comfort zone” was and why when pushed past it I thought allopathy was the better choice.

I was given this opportunity later in the year when my oldest daughter developed a critical illness called Henoch Schonlein Purpura (HSP), possibly as a latent consequence of vaccine reaction. Starting as just a rash on her lower legs, she eventually became covered in bruises, was bleeding internally from the kidneys and intestines, and paralyzed from the neck down. We rushed her to the hospital when it became clear something was seriously wrong with her. In fact, she made 5 visits to the ER that week for IV fluids. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately) allopathic medicine offers no treatment for HSP. Steroids and chemotherapy are their best offerings and neither result in a quick or permanent cure. In many studies, steroids provided absolutely no benefit but doctors continue to prescribe them.

The kidney specialist we saw told us it would take one to two years for the steroids to stop her kidneys from losing protein and bleeding. We were told without a biopsy and immediate steroids, my daughter’s kidneys would be permanently damaged. I’m not sure how a year or two of steroids would somehow prevent this if the need for treatment was so urgent. However, I do know the right homeopathic remedy stopped the protein within 3 days. She quickly regained her health and has never been better.

The list of side effects for steroids is a mile long. The specialist guaranteed my daughter would experience weight gain, fatigue, a swollen face, stomach pain, nausea, lowered resistance to infections, and mood swings. She spoke for 5 minutes about the various side effects, some of which can be permanent. Worst of all, there was no guarantee the steroids would even work.

Along with unpleasant and perhaps long lasting side effects, allopathic medicine can often make us sicker. Recent studies indicate acetaminophen can deplete glutathione levels decreasing immunity and the body’s ability to detoxify. Depleted glutathione levels have also been implicated in autistic spectrum disorder. Accidental acetaminophen overdose has been identified as the number one cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Ibuprofen has also been cited as creating serious adverse reactions in children who are mildly dehydrated, and can cause two rare but serious disorders.

While many studies show the use of these two over-the-counter medicines as mostly safe, the very act of using them to suppress the illness or fever can have consequences. A series of studies show using acetaminophen during the flu can prolong the illness by up to 3.5 days. And giving these medicines to children to treat a fever, robs the body of its natural defense to fight off the illness at hand.

Usually, allopathic medicines don’t cure illness. They simply suppress symptoms. Antibiotics, steroids, even acetaminophen and ibuprofen can drive an illness deeper so eventually a more serious issue may develop. A prime example of this is children who develop asthma after using corticosteroid crèmes to treat eczema. Instead of using the skin to express dis-ease in the body, the lungs now become the target of this expression. Most of us were never taught the symptoms are not the illness itself, but manifest as the way our bodies attempt to restore health.

Some medicines can even create the need for more medication. This is often seen in the elderly who are put on one medication after the other when each new medication brings new side effects (symptoms). Thus each new “symptom” results in a new medication until they are on 5 or more different medications. In 2005, senior citizens averaged over 27 prescriptions annually!

This is not to say allopathic medicine does no good or there isn’t a need for certain medications. For many people, allopathic medicine is a true lifesaver. But for many others, it creates the ill health it endeavors to appease. I turned away from allopathic medicine for these very reasons. It failed me and it failed my children who experienced severe and long lasting ill effects as a result of their routine infant vaccinations.

As a homeopath, it is very frustrating that it is all too easy to turn away from homeopathy in times of illness and put our trust and faith back in allopathic medicine. As a parent, I completely understand this response and would never criticize another parent for choosing what they think is the best care for their child. In fact, I encourage parents to see a doctor to ensure their child is receiving timely care. Overtime though, my own “comfort zone” has shifted and I now believe homeopathy is the right choice for my children even in times of serious illness, actually, especially in times of serious illness.

The problem is all the moms and dads out there don’t have access to a skilled homeopath for acute treatment. What do they do? Homeopathy takes years of training and acutes are often especially difficult as so many remedies begin to look the same as we search through books with bleary eyes and a spouse in the background yelling at us to just give the kid some ibuprofen or the antibiotic so everyone can get some sleep. For some parents, the ideal situation is to treat our kids the easiest, fastest method possible and then use homeopathy to clean up the fallout. In times of serious illnesses, as a parent, it doesn’t matter what kind of medicine makes our children better, it only matters that it does. But are we trading the quick fix for more serious chronic illness?

At what point will homeopathy not be able to address the suppression of allopathic meds? Many of the chronic illnesses experienced today are a result of suppressed symptoms/illness. Continued suppression makes the homeopathic case that much more complicated and difficult to cure. Additionally, we are already seeing antibiotics fail and more and more virulent illnesses which don’t respond to any allopathic treatment.

Thankfully, homeopathy can frequently treat that which allopathic medicine cannot. Many come to homeopathy as a last resort because all else has failed. This has made many a believer in homeopathy.

Perhaps it is wishful thinking for me to hope some day homeopathy will be the medicine of first choice, not a treatment of last resort.

Erica McPhee