Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Queen, Country and Homeopathy

With the Queen’s Golden Jubilee taking place in early June, marking the 60th Anniversary of her ascension to the throne, it seems highly pertinent that Homeopathy, Healthy Medicine investigates the relationship that the Queen and her family have with homeopathy.

It is well known that the Queen is an advocate of homeopathic treatment which is reflected in her patronage of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital (now re-named the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine). 

It is interesting to note that the relationship between royalty and homeopathy is a long-standing one. The British Royal family has received homeopathic care from 1830, and since then there has always been a royal homeopathic doctor. Dr Peter Fisher currently holds the post.

It began with Queen Adelaide, wife of King William IV, who first made public her interest in this ‘new medicine’ in 1835. Since then, various kings and queens of Great Britain have openly sought medical care from homeopathic physicians.

King George V often used alternative therapies to treat his seasickness, while his wife, Queen Mary, headed the fundraising efforts to move and expand the London Homeopathic Hospital. It is therefore unsurprising that their son, King George VI, who gained world-wide prominence in the recent biopic ‘The Kings Speech’ , continued their good work. 

George VI formally granted the use of the royal title to the London Homeopathic Hospital in 1947. He was known to be an expert user of homeopathic medicine himself and even named one of his prize racehorses ‘Hypericum,’ after a homeopathic medicine often used to treat injuries. Hypericum went on to win the 1,000 guinea race in 1946!

Due to its wide-spread use within the royal, presidential and aristocratic circles, homeopathy was once regarded as a ‘rich man’s therapy’ . The fact that the homeopathic approach is individualised for each person, may have provided the upper classes with a sense that they were being prescribed medicine exclusive to their individual needs. However, individualisation is one of the foundations upon which homeopathy is built, irrespective of who is being treated! 

It is perhaps more interesting to note that royalty and presidents have always had access to the best available medical treatment of their day and, therefore, the number of monarchs and presidents who have chosen homeopathy instead of conventional medicine must reflect the genuine value which they have found in this system of medicine.

Fortunately, homeopathic consultations now generally cost far less than their conventional counterparts, and there are over two thousand qualified, registered homeopaths in the UK. There is even limited availability of homeopathy on the NHS, so homeopathy is no longer a treatment option exclusive for the rich and famous. It can now be used by everyone!

Horses and Homeopathy

Over the summer months, a number of equestrian events will take place across the country ranging from the Derby, Ascot and Badminton Horse Trials, to several polo matches and, of course, the Olympics, where horses will take part alongside their owners in three-day eventing, a gruelling combination of dressage, show-jumping and cross-country jumping.

Despite having an array of medical procedures at their disposal to treat an under performing, or an injured horse, over the years, owners and trainers have found homeopathy to be an effective and natural system of medicine. Homeopathy is of especial benefit to racehorses because it treats the animal’s symptoms as a totality and stimulates the body’s natural healing process, without having the risk of side effects or withdrawal symptoms.

Many horse owners have observed that homeopathic remedies can help horses with physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Furthermore, because the remedies are usually dispensed as tiny pills or drops, they are extremely easy to administer. There are a number of homeopathic remedies suitable for horses. Some of the most useful ones include:

Arnica helps with wounds, tendon and sprain injuries 
Aconite can help reduce stress following an injury 
Arsenicum can help with colic and indigestion
Thuja helps with skin condi- tions such as warts, rain rot, and swelling following vaccination

For more information about treating horses and other animals using homeopathy, please visit the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons website at:

This article was first published as part of Homeopathy Health Medicine - a free promotional newsletter that all homeopaths can use freely.

Homeopathy and Sporting Spectators

If you were fortunate enough to have been successful with the Olympic ticket ballot earlier this year, you are probably looking forward to watching some of the world’s best sportsmen and women take to their respective ‘sporting stages’ later in the summer. And with many of the events taking place outside, spectators are strongly advised to consider the best methods of preventing sunstroke and dehydration before they arrive at the Games.

Watching a sporting event often requires the spectator to sit for long periods of time in the same place, often in direct sunshine with little or no shade to shield them from the heat. With few opportunities to get up, move around and keep the blood flow moving, it is recommended that spectators keep hydrated by drinking fluids regularly (avoiding alcohol), and protect themselves with sun cream, re applying frequently. 

Additionally, to avoid pins and needles and any circulatory problems, small exercises whilst sitting, such as moving ankles or shoulders around in a circular motion, can be extremely helpful.

Despite these preventative measures, if you do happen to find yourself unwell due to the heat and sun that you have experienced, below are a few remedies which may be able to help. Please note, however, that these are only a guideline and so consult with a homeopath for a more specific course of action. 

Alternatively, if you do not have any remedies to hand and are suffering from sunburn, try applying cold tea, cool whole milk or plain yoghurt to the affected areas. To relieve a throbbing headache from excess sun exposure and sunstroke try:

Belladonna 30c 
Glonoinium 30c

To ease sunburn, gently rub the following creams into the areas which have been exposed and are causing discomfort and irritation:
Aloe Vera 

The Homeopathic 'must haves' for any Olympian - or Sportsman or Sportswoman

With a summer packed full of sporting events, from the Euro 2012 to Wimbledon, Ascot, the British Grand Prix, and both the Olympics and Paralympics, sporting prowess will be on show at every turn! 

And if all the media coverage of these events, combined with the offers that many gyms and sporting venues are using to entice new clients, inspires you to take up a new sport, we have compiled a basic list of homeopathic medicines which may come in handy when you’re starting out.

Arnica - eases bruising and soreness
Bryonia - useful for torn/damaged ligaments or tendons, especially if the least movement is excruciating
Ledum - if the injury is purple and feels cold to touch
Rhus Tox helpful for muscle strain, worse on first movement, better for continued movement, better for warmth
Ruta - particularly good for tennis elbow, use when bones feel bruised

In addition to the above remedies, the pain of sprains may either be eased by hot baths and applying warmth to the vulnerable area, or the opposite, by the application of an ice pack to reduce swelling. 

Resting sore muscles and tendons is also advisable. 

In the event of suspected dislocation, seek professional help immediately, though firm bandaging may help to alleviate the pain whilst you wait.

As everyone knows, prevention is always better than cure, so make sure that you warm up before undertaking any exercise and warm down after. Try to gradually build up your tolerance for any new sport by partaking in your chosen exercise in small, short bursts at the beginning and increasing slowly as you go along. 

Although this seems obvious, it is believed that the majority of amateur sporting injuries are because of over exertion too quickly, so take note from the misfortune of others!

How Homeopathy can help with Sports Anxiety

It has long been acknowledged that a competitor’s state of mind plays a large part in the winning of a race or game, and that it is as important as their physical aptitude. This is especially true when competing sportsmen or women have skills and abilities on such a similar par, that there is little to differentiate between them, apart from their mental attitude.

Whether you are the sprinter Usain Bolt, trying to break another world record, or a primary school-child entering your first sports day event, keeping a positive mental attitude can often make the difference between first place or no place at all. Since anxiety is one of the greatest mental hindrances for professionals within the sports industry, below is a list of some useful remedies which may to help keep your nerves under control and abate the understandable anxiety you will probably be feeling before an important race or match. In addition, these homeopathic medicines can also be used on the sidelines by restless, anxious parents!

It is suggested that you take one tablet in the 30C potency every 15 minutes, for up to six doses. If the anxiety symptomes still persist after that time, then you need to consider if another remedy would be more appropriate.

Aconite – you may have a nightmare feeling deep inside, and feel a sense of real terror about the forthcoming event/race/match
Arg Nit – there’s a feeling of anxiousness rather than terror and you have a sense of not being able to go through with the event 
Gelsemium – you have severe anticipatory fears which are often visible in the form of physical shaking and trembling
Lycopodium – there’s a lack of self-confidence and you are constantly worrying
Nat Mur – consolation offered to the anxiety sufferer makes the situation worse, whereas standing out in the open air may help

Why Homeopathy can help our Olympic Athletes

The word homeopathy is derived from a combination of two Greek words ‘homoios’, meaning similar, and ‘pathy’, meaning suffering, and it is based on the principle of ‘treating like with like’. This principle had been applied to the practice of medicine by a number of early civilisations, but it was Hippocrates who developed this into a system of medicine which was used widely in ancient Greece. Much of this early understanding of the healing potential of a homeopathic approach was lost over the centuries, as other ways to practice medicine were developed. It was not until the end of the 18th Century, that homeopathy as we recognise it today was introduced as a system of medicine by the German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann.

As another ‘creation’ inspired by the ancient Greeks takes centre stage in London this summer, Homeopathy Healthy Medicine has decided to take a look at how homeopathy can help the athletes in the sporting arena. With over 10,000 competitors participating in the Olympic Games, it is inevitable that sporting injuries and health issues will be in the forefront of trainers and athletes minds during the event in July and August. If a competitor’s fitness is compromised or misjudged, not only can it be the end of their Olympic dream for another four years, but it can also result in the demise of their career.
It is really important to try to prevent any detrimental physical conditions from developing in the first place, and although conventional medicine is often prescribed for sport-induced ailments, homeopathy brings a number of positive advantages by comparison. These include:

Homeopathic medicines do not produce harmful side effects Homeopathic medicines are highly diluted substances so they are free from ingredients which might contravene any drug bans

Homeopathic medicines cost less than conventional medicine

Homeopathic medicines can be safely stored for many years. Often only a few tablets from a bottle are needed for each episode of treatment 

Homeopathic medicines are not tested on animals. They are tested through systematic trials with healthy human volunteers 

Homeopathic medicines work with, rather than against, the body’s own repair mechanism

Homeopathic medicines appear to speed up the healing process and get you back to training and performing more quickly

In practical terms, these points seem to hold great weight when assessing the best method of looking after professional sportsmen and women. When Dr Jean Marcel Ferret, the doctor to the French football team from 1993-2004 was asked why he had chosen homeopathy, he said ‘I am open to all techniques. As a sports doctor I quickly discovered that, except for anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants, I was very limited in the care of athletes’.

The doctor, who was in charge of the French soccer team during their World Cup win in 1998, continued ‘The greatest value in sports? It’s speed of action. I can use it directly on the soccer field, within seconds of the trauma, and note the results almost immediately. The players are highly trained, a population at risk, with slightly defective immune systems. We have to protect their health. This involves an emphasis on prevention, taking into account the personality of each player. 

I now know that this approach is that of homeopathy’.