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 work wonders.

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: nch@igc.apc.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)

DISCLAIMER: This website is intended to provide a forum for the free exchange of information only. The maintainer of this site in no way sponsors, supports or condones any of the advice given herein, nor supports the use of any medication, supplement, herb, substance or program, except pursuant to a licensed medical practitioner's care. In no way does the maintainer of this site advocate the use of any illegal medication, herb, supplement or other substance or the importation, distribution or sale thereof. Persons who have any question about the legality of any action that they are planning to take are advised to consult an attorney.

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