Healing with Homeopathy

Based on the principle of “like cures like,” these remedies for five common ailments are effective and safe.

Healing with Homeopathy
Pin it Carin Krasner

Millions of Americans swear by homeopathic remedies to treat almost any ailment, and it’s easy to see why. This 200-year-old holistic healing system is inexpensive, completely natural and rarely has side effects. It’s said to work according to the principle of “like cures like.” For example, a remedy made from highly diluted coffee may cure your insomnia, and barely perceptible traces of onion can ease allergic, watery eyes. “Giving a person a remedy that matches her symptoms slightly magnifies the existing disease process and encourages the body to react to this stimulus by activating its own power to heal,” explains Kathy Thorpe, M.A., a certified homeopath in Boulder, Colo.

Quite a few studies back up Thorpe’s views, including one published in 2010 that might put to rest Western medicine’s biggest criticism of homeopathy: How can it work when the remedies appear to have nothing of substance in them? Using an EEG to measure electrical activity in the brain, researchers in Germany showed that the brain responds strongly to homeopathic treatments. Ironically, the more diluted the remedy, the greater the impact. And in a double-blind 2004 study published in the journal Rheumatology, homeopathic remedies for fibromyalgia outperformed a placebo.

Choose a remedy that addresses your most intense symptom(s) as well as your emotional state, advises Dana Ullman, M.P.H., co-author of Everyone’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicine (Tarcher). If it doesn’t work within the prescribed time, simply try a different one. The idea, he says, “is to give as few doses of the remedy as possible, but as many as necessary.” Some people like single-ingredient, under-the-tongue dissolvable pills; others prefer combination remedies. Here are several options.

Mary Aspinwall, author of A Basic Guide to Homeopathy (Helios Homeopathics, Ltd.) and founder of Homeopathy World (, suggests taking one dose and repeating it if the same symptoms return.
Arsenicum album Violent sneezing; watery, burning eyes and nose; you feel anxious about being unable to breathe.
Nux vomica Violent sneezing; your nose may run during the day but be stuffed up at night; you may feel irritable, headachy, chilled and sensitive to noises.
Sabadilla Sneezing; red, watery eyes; itchy eyes, nose, ears, throat and roof of mouth; your ears may be blocked.
Combination solutions Hyland’s Seasonal Allergy Relief ($7; amazon .com); Similasan allergy relief formulas ($11;