Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Feeling the winter blues? Homeopathy and SAD

It is not uncommon to feel rather sombre and despondent once most of the leaves have fallen, and the daylight hours have shortened, heralding the inevitable shift to winter. People often complain of the 'winter blues' when they feel less energised to carry out their daily tasks and have difficulty in getting up in the mornings!

The seasonal changes bring about more extreme symptoms for some individuals, preventing sufferers from functioning normally without some sort of medical treatment. In these cases episodes of depression are experienced during the winter months only lifting in spring – a condition which is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD).

SAD affects half a million people in the UK each year and varies by latitude. Those living further from the equator are more susceptible to the disorder. This means that 10% of the population within Canada suffer from SAD while only 2% of those living in the state of Florida experience this condition. 

The length of seasonal depression is also dependent on latitude where there is a positive correlation between the length of the winter and the length of an episode of depression. In London, for example, the average length of an episode is 5.7 months. 

SAD symptoms vary greatly between individuals but they are generally centred on extreme lethargy, often with a constant desire to sleep, during both day and night. Sufferers tend to be less productive during the winter months with an increased appetite and consequent weight gain.

So what causes SAD? The research into the root of the condition has centred on the hormone melatonin which is produced in the pineal gland in the brain. It is thought melatonin induces sleep - its production and secretion into the bloodstream is closely related to light, with the hormone normally released at night as bright light suppresses it. 

It is, therefore, understandable that its release is increased in those who live further from the equator with shorter daylight hours and less natural light.

Homeopathy has been proven to be very successful at helping sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder and some of the more prominent remedies are listed below. Please note these remedies are only a guideline and for a more individualised therapy please consult your nearest homeopath (www..a-r-h.org then click on ‘Find a homeopath’).

Aurum metallicum – feeling of hopeless- ness, future looks dark, low spirits and lifelessness, lack of hope, feels no pleasure from social or emotional contact, weakness of memory, feeling that something has been neglected, everything seems to take ages to do, doesn’t feel like talking but if they do they grumble.

Chocolate – overcome with sleepiness, their sleep is very deep and there is difficulty in waking, feels open and vulnerable, increase in appetite, strong desire to eat something sweet, feels like they want to hibernate, feels anxious about health matters, concentration becomes difficult, sense of panic concerning their ability to cope, easily feels rejected, averse to company and feels like they don’t belong, depressed and humourless.

Diamond – feeling of despair, disconnection and negative state, reluctant to talk to others, feels they have nothing to offer the world, sense of detachment, isolation and darkness, confused when thinking, has a sense of failure, craves the sun, has a desire for sunlight, ex- ceptional tiredness, strong desire for chocolate.

Frankincense – feelings of dread of the darkness, a sense of being lost, they feel that they are at the end of their tether, low, irritable, sad and grumpy, everything’s a drag.

Platina – morose, sad, feels weary of everything, likes to be alone, low-spirited, feels they have been forgotten by friends and family which manifests in being snappy and sharp-tongued, has contempt for the world, feels ravenously hungry but has an aversion to food due to the depression, constantly tired and often yawns, finds it difficult to wake in the morning, muscles ache and they feel physically and emotionally numb especially at night, Feels better when the sun shines.

If you suffer from SAD, or the winter blues, and would like further advice please contact the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association at www.sada.org.uk.

This article was first published by the ARH in the November 2011 issue of the free newsletter, Homeopathy Healthy Medicine.

The ARH regularly publish these newsletters to provide information about homeopathy to the public. This information is not usually available through our mainstream media. ARH makes the newsletters available to everyone as free downloads (go to www.a-r-h.org), and they can be used for information, marketing and publicity purposes.

Homeopathy successfully treats a case of acute Mastitis

Tiddles, my German Shepherd, gave birth to seven healthy pups without any problems,. Everything seemed fine. So, when on day five after whelping she was reluctant to come out for her ' comfort walk', and refused her food, I was worried.

I immediately rushed her off to the vet, who gave her a thorough examination, and suggested that maybe she was suffering from eclampsia, a condition which results from a shortage of calcium in the blood. Tiddles was certainly feeding her pups well, so I agreed that an injection of calcium was worth a try. 

However, by the next morning Tiddles was in a worse state. She was very reluctant to move, and I suspected that she was in pain. Before rushing off to the vet again I decided to check her over myself, and I then realised that one very full mammary gland on her right hand side was hot, swollen and hard. I immediately concluded that she had mastitis. 

There are a number of homeopathic remedies which can help to treat the symptoms of this unpleasant condition, but I decided to start by trying Apis Melifica, a remedy made from the venom of the honey bee. 

The prescribing symptoms I used to arrive at this remedy were heat, swelling, redness, hardening, and extreme sensitivity to touch (very similar to the symptoms you might experience if you're stung by a bee). 

I gave her one Apis 200. When I checked up on her just one hour later, she leapt out of her whelping bed, demanded that I took her on a walk immediately, and on our return, wolfed down the food I offered her. The swelling in her mammary gland had almost gone completely, it was normal blood temperature, and she was no longer touch sensitive. A little hardness still remained, but since Tiddles seemed to be back to normal, I just kept an eye on the situation, and did not need to prescribe her anything else. This experience just served to remind me that when the correct homeopathic remedy is prescribed, the results can be totally amazing!

The ARH would like to thank Karin Mont for sharing her experience with us. If you have an interesting story which you are happy to contribute, then we would love to hear from you. Please drop us a line by emailing hhm@a-r-h.org.

Do you have an interesting homeopathy story which you would like to share on Homeopathy Health Medicine - or indeed on Homeopathy Pure and Simple?

Homeopathy, Healthy Medicine aims to be a topical newsletter packed with articles that are relevant and helpful to you, as you go about your busy lives. First-hand accounts of how homeopathy has worked for individual people are always interesting and often showcase those less well known remedy options which are are also very productive in treating ailments and illnesses. We are always interested in hearing any stories which you would like to share with other readers, and therefore ask for anyone who would be happy to recount their tale, to contact us at hhm@a-r-h.org. Please do not feel obliged to produce a ‘professional essay’ - which would be more than welcome - a few lines detailing your story would suffice! In addition, if you have any specific comments, have seen an article which may be pertinent for HHM or just have some general feedback about the monthly newsletter, please email us at the same address and let us know. We look forward to hearing from you!

Prepare for the 'flu season

The winter approaches and temperatures lowering, with coughs and colds becoming prevalent within the workplace, schools and on commuter trains! We know that, at this time of year, many people considered ‘more susceptible’ to the ‘flu virus, such as older people, or those with an underlying medical condition, may be contacted by their GP to have a ‘flu vaccination. 

So, with this in mind, we’ve taken a look at the potential side-effects of the vaccination and how homeopathy can help fight ‘flu without the need to vaccinate, whilst building up the immune system to become more resilient for the future.

There has always been a strong case against the influenza vaccination, with new side-effects emerging each season. Indeed,. the evident dangers of the ‘flu vaccination led Australia and Finland into banning the immunization of children. There was, according to reports in Australia, an alarming increase in vomiting, fevers and seizures, caused by the vaccines, which led to the decision. 

Finland is now expressing concern that narcolepsy, (a nervous system disorder characterised by extreme fatigue and daytime sleepiness), is appearing in children immediately following the vaccination. The Finland National Institute for Health (THL) has, consequently, taken the step of suspending the inoculation whilst they investigate further.

In neighboring Sweden, similar investigations are taking place.

The potential adverse reactions for adults are no less severe. If, according to studies undertaken, an individual has five ‘flu shots, during a ten year span, their chances of getting Alzheimers disease would be ten times higher than if they had one, two or none. This is due to the mercury and aluminium content in every ‘flu shot, and most childhood shots. The gradual accumulation of these two elements, within the brain, causes cognitive dysfunction which can result in Alzheimers Disease.

Statistically you are more likely to avoid ‘flu if you took nothing at all! Reports suggest the ‘flu vaccination has a 93.75% failure rate! 

So is it any wonder that, with all this negativity, people look for alternative ways to combat the inevitable annual onslaught of ‘flu. 

You will see below some common homeopathic remedies which have been found to successfully and safely treated colds, coughs and 'flu, without side-effects.

Aconite 30 C – use at beginning of illness, often when the exposure to cold winds have resulted in a chill. Appropriate if you have a fever and are sweaty and thirsty

Arsenicum 30 C – the cold starts in the nose and you sneeze a lot. Sometimes it moves to the chest and you feel chilly and restless but enjoy sips of water 

Belladonna 30 C – you have a high fever, red face and feel like you’re burning up. You often have a throbbing headache but you don’t feel thirsty

Bryonia 30 C – you constantly feel thirsty, your throat burns and you hold your chest when you cough. Any movements are painful and you prefer to be left alone

Eupatorium 30 C – your bones feel very achy and you are thirsty and feel better for sweating although this does not help with the headache

Gelsemium 30 C – you constantly shake and shiver and your limbs feel heavy. You feel tired and weak and you may have a headache at the back of the head

Please note, these remedies are only suggestions. It is advisable to consult your own homeopath for more individualised treatment. 

To find your local practitioner, please visit our website; www.a-r-h.org, then click on ‘Find a Homeopath’.


This article was first published by the ARH in the November 2011 issue of the free newsletter, Homeopathy Healthy Medicine.

The ARH regularly publish these newsletters to provide information about homeopathy to the public. This information is not usually available through our mainstream media. ARH makes the newsletters available to everyone as free downloads (go to www.a-r-h.org), and they can be used for information, marketing and publicity purposes.