Accidents, Injuries, Trauma
It is important to pay attention to any injury and treat it accordingly. Homeopathic remedies have an affinity for various types of injuries, whether a blow or a cut and also to certain types of tissues and areas of the body. It is useful to know which remedies address the different tissues of the body and the nature of injuries they cover. It is always important to pay close attention to any injury in case of shock or damage to internal parts of the body and bleeding. What may seem superficial may in fact be a more serious injury. More than one remedy may be needed to affect a cure. Always treat the physical and or mental shock first before going to other remedies. Most likely this will be Arnica in physical shock and Aconite in mental shock. Please look at the various subsections below for more information.
Accidents and Injury
This is a catch all phrase to cover the variety of situations which need to be treated due to a trauma to the body, including injuries to bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. It is amazing how effective homeopathic remedies can be in treating all forms of trauma, including sporting injuries and also just the physical stress from over exertion. Prevention is better than cure and taking necessary precautions before strenuous exercise is important. Try not to overdo things at the beginning of any physical exertion. Be prepared, drink and eat enough and don’t put your body through too much stress. It can take days to recover and limit your enjoyment and ability to enjoy your experience. Take homeopathic Arnica to help prevent stiffness and exhaustion from too much exertion. If you know you are going to over-exert yourself, e.g., competing in a long run or cycle ride, take Arnica, one tablet a day for up to three days before the event.
If you get wet through from walking through rivers, lakes or due to any other factors, have another set of clothes to change into. Don’t stay too long in wet clothes. Be prepared. If you get really chilled, get warm as soon as possible. If you get seriously chilled and can’t get warm, take homeopathic Aconite (see below).
Even when an injury is more serious and muscles, tendons, ligaments or bones are damaged, homeopathic remedies can facilitate their healing and speed recovery. Different types of injuries are given their own subsection below, but as you will see, many of the same remedies are indicated for different injuries. It is worth reading the whole section to get a good idea of the images for each remedy and the types of injuries covered.
B Homeopathic Care
In the beginning of any injury, Arnica is the first remedy to give. It is the best remedy for any physical shock or blow, especially with bruising. If you are trekking, it is useful to take it during the first day of hiking when it is easy to overdo it. Take one tablet two to three times that day. Often people walk much further than they should and suffer the consequences. Arnica will help here. If you feel any soreness and bruised feeling with any injury, especially to soft tissues, take Arnica first. It is also the first remedy for any concussion. Often you can think things are OK and you may say everything is fine when it is not. If you are around any injury in which a person says they are fine, give Arnica and wait and observe. If, after an injury there is more emotional shock, with residual fright, Aconite is the first remedy to give, one tablet hourly for four hours, before considering other remedies for the physical injury.
If bruising and swelling does not go away after a few days or only is partly helped, Ledum should be given, especially in cases of a black eye with residual swelling or bruised feeling, or in injuries to soft tissue, joints and muscles. It is the first remedy to give for punctured wounds and swelling, whether a bite from an insect or a penetrating wound like a nail. It helps prevent tetanus. It is also good for sprains to joints, with puffy swelling and a cold feeling of the injured part. In penetrating punctured wounds, if the pains are extreme and shooting from the injured part, then Hypericum should be given. Hypericum is excellent for injuries to nerve rich areas where the pains are shooting, sharp and very intense, e.g., injuries to fingers and lacerations to nerve rich areas as well as injuries to the spine, especially the coccyx and the back of the head (occipital).
When the injury is more to the muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints, then Rhus tox and Rutagrav are remedies to consider. If you have any kind of joint or muscle sprain, whether a hamstring, or injury to the elbow, shoulder, ankle or knee, then these two remedies are important. There can often be a sore, bruised, stiffness in the injured part, which is better through moving it for a while, but then becomes worse from overuse. There can be swelling in the injured area but often the pain improves with warmth. Ruta is the first remedy for tennis elbow and simple eyestrain from too much reading and is indicated in injuries to smaller joints, like wrists and ankles. Rhus tox is indicated for larger joints and muscles, e.g., shoulder joints and hamstrings.
Bryoniais useful for injuries involving joints and bones and often is used in alternation with Rhus tox. In Bryonia, initially you do not want to move the injured part at all. Everything is made worse from any motion and you want to keep it totally still. Later, as stiffness becomes stronger, then movement may make it feel better, indicating Rhus tox. Bryonia can be given when there is a broken bone when any movement is unbearable.
Symphytumis excellent for broken bones. Commonly known as knit bone, it helps unite bones once they have been set. It is good for fractures of the cheek bone.
Calendulais a remedy applied locally in a tincture and/or cream as well as an internal remedy. It is useful for any wounds, especially cuts, lacerations and punctured wounds.It is a great healing agent and antiseptic. Some tincture should be put into warm water and the injured area cleaned thoroughly. Internally it is given in a tablet form when lacerations are very painful.
Note Often more than one remedy can be needed and often it begins with Arnica and then moves to another remedy, depending on the nature of the symptoms and the exact tissues most affected.
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Calendula cream and comfrey cream are used for open wounds. If wounds are deep though, a tincture of calendula should be used instead. Lavender, eucalyptus and tea treeoils also can be used.
Burns need to be treated seriously and with great care. It is important to know the degree of severity of the burn, whether it is a first, second or third degree burn. Second and third degree burns often need urgent medical care, especially if a larger area of the body is affected. Any burn which is larger than the size of a hand should have professional medical care. All burns need to be kept clean and free from infection.
A General care
Simple first and second degree burns, affecting a small, local area
Remove any clothing or material that is burning the skin but leave any material that has already been totally burnt. Also leave any dead skin on the burn. Do not peel off. Do not pierce any blisters on second degree burns. Use cool or even slightly warm water to cool the area down. Do not use cold water. (The application of slightly warm water or warm heat may seem contradictory but if done in small frequent applications, it will relieve the burning pain. This is applying the homeopathic law of similars, Like cures Like). If the burn is a second degree, try and soak the burnt part in cool water. Apply homeopathic burn cream or any burn cream once it is dry but not too much to make it too moist. If possible keep the burnt area as still as possible. Ideally do not cover the burn unless there is a risk of infection due to the need to move, travel etc. If so, then place appropriate gauze bandage (non adhesive) loosely to the burnt area and keep in place with a loose bandage. Do not tie too tightly, obstructing the air getting to the burn, which will help it dry and heal. Use the cream frequently to aid the healing process. Also Vitamin E or Aloe vera cream can be used, in conjunction with the burn cream as needed. Egg whites applied to the burn may also be an effective treatment. For sunburn, you can put avocado on the skin to help soothe it. Also coconut oil can be used on the skin, both as a slight sunscreen and also to soothe the skin after the sun. You can also rub coconut meat onto the skin after being in the sun. The sap from an unripe papaya can be used if the burn looks infected, 5 drops of sap and one tablespoon of salt in one liter of boiled water, left to cool.
Second degree burn of a larger area or third degree burn.
Seek medical advice and also use homeopathic remedies as described below. Do not interfere with the burn in any way. Use cool water on the burn area and keep the person still. Using a spray bottle, spray diluted Calendula tincture over the burn. Cover the burn with appropriate sterile padding if available or use cling-film or a plastic bag. Do not let the sterile padding or any clothing become dry on the burn area. The plastic helps avoid this and you can wrap moist cloth in plastic if that is what you have. Keep moist (with clean water) until medical attention is found or if in more remote situations and there is no help, then keep a moist padding on the burn area while the pain is intense. Eventually you will have to let the area dry and treat as above for first degree burns. Use damp clothing if no padding is available but again keep it moist to avoid sticking to the burn area.
B Homeopathic Care
First degree and simple Second degree burns
Initially Arnica can be given for at least two hours (one time every thirty minutes) to address the shock of the burn. Then Arsenicum album, Cantharis or Urtica urens can be given to address the burn. Cantharis is the first remedy to consider when you feel intense, burning, scalding pains, and where blisters are forming on the burn. You may feel in an agitated, frenzied state. Arsenicum album is needed when you have great anxiety and restlessness with the burning pain. Urtica urens is useful in simple first degree burns with little other symptoms.
Second degree (larger area) and Third degree burns.
Aconite is needed immediately after a more serious burn, to address the mental shock. The remedy should be given every five to ten minutes while medical attention is being sought. Once the shock has died down, then Cantharis should be given and repeated every thirty minutes for six to eight hours and then less frequently until the pain is under some control. This may take a while. If there are any chronic affects of a more serious burn, especially with feelings of great rawness still in the burnt area, then Causticum should be given, once daily for a week. Radium bromatum can be considered for burns due to X-rays and other radiation exposure.
C Herbal Care
Use some honey with a little lavender oil. Spread liberally over the burn area. Rescue remedy (a Bach flower remedy) can also be taken for the shock. Aloe veragel is excellent to help relieve sunburn.
Try to avoid getting sunburn. When initially in the sun, pace yourself. Only stay in the sun for short periods at a time. Be aware that you often don’t know you are burnt until it is too late. Areas where there is little fat on the body get burnt more quickly. Use good quality sunscreen until you are brown. If you are have pale skin and/or many moles on your body, pay close attention and do not let yourself get burnt. If you notice a mole changing shape, becoming irregular, getting bigger or changing color, get it checked by a doctor.
If you are burnt, get out of the sun. Cool off under a shower but do not use cold water. Use cool water to the burnt part. Once dry, use homeopathic burn cream and/or after-sun lotion. Keep cool and hydrated. If more serious, then treat as for normal burns.
Concussion is due to a blow to the head, resulting in some level of confusion and/or temporary unconsciousness. What may seem like a light blow can in fact be concussion. It is important to check to see if there is a possibility for concussion and get medical advice if in doubt. Many people who strike their head say they are fine when they are not.
A General care
If no medical advice is immediately available then sit the person down. Assess if they are confused or not. Look into their eyes. Check to see if one pupil is larger than the other (there may be fluid in the cranial cavity), whether they can follow your finger with their eyes and if they can stand OK. Give them time to recover. Check for headaches, nausea or vomiting, change of pulse or respiration, mental dullness or confusion.
B Homeopathic Care
Arnica is the first remedy to give for any concussion. Give one tablet every 30 minutes for at least three hours and wait. If after concussion, there is still some dizziness, confusion and heaviness in the body and the head feels too heavy to hold up, give Cocculus. If that doesn’t work and there is much trembling of the body and heaviness of the eyelids, give Gelsemium.
For chronic complications of a head injury, even years ago, especially if it is chronic headaches or mental depression and anxiety, give Natrum sulphuricum, one tablet a day for three days.
Emergencies and Disasters
There are times when some situations become very extreme and out of control and in such intense times, using homeopathic and other natural remedies may literally be a lifesaver. Even when living in fairly safe places, one never knows when something extreme can occur, for example, natural disasters such as tsunamis, floods, fires, earthquakes, volcanoes etc. Or, if witness and exposed to other forms of emergency disasters, e.g., car, boat or plane accidents, extreme violence in war situations, or exposed to toxic chemicals or air pollution e.g., radiation, fire fumes, oil, chemicals in water or the air etc. There are many situations that are out of our control which if we are in the wrong place at the wrong time can profoundly affect us. Knowing which remedies that can be used can be crucial in these times.
B Homeopathic Care
For the initial stage of any trauma, two remedies are mostly indicated: Aconite and Arnica. Aconite is for acute mental shock, See Shock section and Chapter Five: Emotional Conditions, and Arnica is for physical shock, See Accident and Injuries, Concussion, Fractures etc. Both these remedies can be given very frequently, (one tablet dissolved into a glass of water and one sip taken every one to ten minutes) as necessary in acute situations. The more intense the situation, the more frequently the remedy can be taken.
When in a situation where extreme violence is being observed or if one has been threatened by violence, then the same remedies will be used. In extreme situations of intense fear and terror, Aconite may often be used with Stramonium, See Chapter Five: Emotional Conditions, Fright section. The remedies in the Shock section are also good to know and can also be thought of in any emotional trauma.
In the event of experiencing and surviving a natural disaster like an earthquake, Aconite and Gelsemium are the two main remedies used for the fear that can remain. If there is a state of collapse or unconsciousness, both from shock or from some physical trauma, Arnica is the first remedy but also Arsenicum album, Camphor and Carbo veg are important remedies. See Fainting and Shock section.
If you are feeling anxious, angry or any other emotional stress, breathing slowly and deeply can help. Often we forget to do this and it can greatly relieve anxiety by using breathing to calm down. There is a type of breathing in yoga where you contract the back of the throat, narrowing the passages for air, allowing more control of both inhalation and exhalation. It is called ujjayi breath and it can greatly help when emotions of all sorts threaten to overwhelm. You can use this method to breathe slowly but deeply for a few minutes but the main thing is to use the breath to calm down and to gain control of strong emotions.
Strong emotional feelings can come up at any time and for many reasons and in homeopathy it can be an important part of understanding what remedy may be useful, both for physical conditions and also to deal with intense emotional states that may arise, whether traveling or simply in one’s daily life.
Anger that exists out of proportion to a situation is something to be very aware of. In cultures where anger is not appropriate or when faced with situations that are very stressful, one has to cultivate great restraint. Homeopathic treatment should be given if this is a common occurrence or when there are physical and/or emotional consequences from becoming angry. If anger is a common reaction to situations, then constitutional homeopathic care or some form of therapy should be taken.
B Homeopathic Care
If anger comes after an experience of being humiliated or treated badly and you feel indignant, frustrated and feel unable to express these feelings, then two remedies are often indicated, Colocynthis and Staphysagria. With Staphysagria, you often feel very oversensitive, even weepy, and often very humiliated. You may not even feel angry, more simply upset, or you can feel a great anger with a desire to throw things or break things. You feel very frustrated. InColocynthis, similar feelings are also experienced, often along with great cramping, especially in the abdomen, the pains even doubling you up and you want to press deeply into the abdomen for relief. With both remedies, the initial anger is suppressed and then other symptoms arise, both physical and psychological. Anger may come up later, along with great indignation.
Nux vomica is needed if you have feelings of pent up wrath, feeling extremely touchy and sensitive to all impressions, including noises, smells etc. You feel very intolerant and impatient and it takes a lot of energy to contain your anger. Chamomilla is needed when capriciousness and rage are felt and you just don’t know what you want to do. You feel really frustrated, touchy, impatient and intolerant, but not so full of rage as when you need Nux vomica. Chamomilla is great for angry children who throw everything they are given and cannot be placated in anyway.
Anxiety exists for many reasons and may often be utterly appropriate to the situation. Anticipatory anxiety is also common when traveling or before exams. It should not be treated unless it does not go away or seems extreme for the situation at hand.
B Homeopathic Care
If anxiety is felt as a result of an extreme shock or fright, then Aconite is the first remedy to consider. If you have felt any deep shock, even as extreme as feeling as if you could die, e.g., being in or even watching an accident, then take Aconite. If you feel more anticipatory anxiety or have experienced a shock which makes you tremble and very apprehensive, as if you are waiting to experience the same thing again, then Gelsemium is the remedy. Gelsemium is the first remedy for all kinds of anticipatory anxiety, even to having diarrhea. This is a great remedy to have for all kinds of travel based anxiety.
If you feel anxiety as if you are wired up on coffee and you feel oversensitive to everything, including noises, smells and any stimulus then homeopathic Coffea is the remedy. This is an example of how homeopathy works. Like Cures Like. Coffea is an excellent remedy for anxiety states, especially when you feel very tense, agitated or impatient and your mind is racing very fast.
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Valeriana can be taken for nervous anxiety and sleeplessness. Rescue remedy (A Bach Flower Remedy) can also be taken for any kind of shock and anxiety. It can be used along with a homeopathic remedy and you can take it as often as feels needed when anxiety arises.
Acute fright can be experienced at any time. Unpredictable events can occur at any time and the shock involved can leave a lasting effect.
See Chapter Four: Accidents, Injuries and Trauma, Anxiety and Shock sections.
A General care
If you experience or see a person experiencing a fright do nothing until you feel the shock diminish. Sit down and breathe deeply. If the fright continues then take one of the homeopathic remedies.
B Homeopathic Care
Aconite and Gelsemium are the two main remedies to consider, similar to anxiety, and their symptom picture is described above in the anxiety section and elsewhere. Both Gelsemium and Aconite are good after experiencing an earthquake or similar type of trauma. Stramonium is a very good remedy for ailments from fright when great fear and terror remain, and also has a strong fear of the dark, of being alone at night and of dogs. It is one of the main remedies when extreme fear is due to any violence seen or experienced. Opium is needed when great fear remains after experiencing or witnessing a terrible event, e.g., accident, war trauma. In Opium you feel as if frozen in the fear, a ‘fear of fear’ and the only escape is to become emotionally numb, cut off from your feelings. You need Cocculus when you feel weak, dizzy and dull after a fright. There is great heaviness and similar to Gelsemium, the head can feel too heavy to hold up. You can also take Rescue Remedy, 3 drops, every 15-60 minutes until you feel relief. Take it as necessary along with a homeopathic remedy.
Grief is a normal reaction to emotional trauma but at times it is hard to overcome. Taking homeopathic remedies is useful to help any state of grief.
B Homeopathic Care
Ignatia is the first remedy to think of for any grief, be it romantic loss, or the death of a close friend or family member. The feeling is one of shock and an inability to reconcile the grief. Emotionally you can feel as if you want to cry but can’t, or can’t stop crying. Sobbing may be uncontrollable with much sighing and even cramping in parts of the body. You may feel a lump in the throat and a choking feeling, making it difficult to swallow. Your moods are changing all the time. Natrum muriaticum often follows Ignatia and is needed when there is a feeling of sadness and grief but with no weeping. You feel you want to weep but simply can’t express the feelings. Everything is held in. You want to be alone and think of the grief, but that doesn’t help. You may listen to sad music which makes the sadness worse but you don’t want to share it with anybody.
Cocculus is needed when there is great sadness, heaviness and weakness. You may feel like you can’t sleep at night and in the day you feel just dazed and unable to focus on anything else. It is as if you are in your own world. Pulsatilla is needed if you feel deserted, forsaken and lost. You can have much weepiness and feel unable to control your emotions. Your moods change all the time and there is a great desire for company and consolation, or where at times you really want to be alone and then later really want to be in company. Your moods are very changeable.