“Like can cure like.” The core understanding of homeopathy is that by causing the body to produce the symptoms of dis-ease, can actually cancel out and heal the body of the original unwanted dis-ease and symptoms. Many of these remedies by themselves are poisonous, but the method in which they are diluted and prepared assures that no harm is done to the client. The irony here is that these remedies actually work better when they are further diluted to such fractional potencies, to the point that the remedy only remains in trace amounts. This is what seems to be somewhat puzzling to most when they begin to research the field of homeopathy and they seem to always ask, “How can this work?” The theory is that the body’s natural healing powers, or the vital force will keep a person healthy as long as it is not disturbed. When the vital force is disturbed, then the person is more prone to dis-ease and dis-harmony. The purpose of the symptoms are to alert you and bring the body into harmony with the vital force, and therefore, by introducing a remedy, which produces a similar symptom can allow the body to shift back into balance and harmony.
So, how do we decide which remedy will be beneficial? One may need several possible remedies. Typically, for more chronic conditions, a remedy will be selected by assessing the client’s constitutional type. The assessment will include several factors such as physical appearance, personality, fears, food preferences and reaction to stimuli. The following are a brief description of the 15 major constitutional types.
- Argentum Nitricum is a silver compound, poisonous and found in acanthite and is used primarily for nervousness and problems with digestion, and matches best with the following constitutional type: Characteristic types include a prematurely aged body and experiences with nervous sweats; weakness in the nerves, mucous membranes, and on the left side of the body; extroverted and anxious personality; enjoys sweet and salty foods but not cold foods; fears heights, crowds, failure and death; feels better in cool, fresh air and worse in warm conditions and at night.
- Arsenicum Album is arsenic oxide, poisonous and found in arsenopyrite, is used to combat anxiety and fear, as well as digestive disorders, and matches best with the following constitutional type: These types possess a thin body frame with delicate features; weakness in heart, skin, liver, stomach; personality is type “A” perfectionist with intolerance for differing opinions; likes sweet and sour foods, fatty foods, coffee and alcohol; fears poverty, darkness and food poisoning; prefers warm climates and feels worse in cold weather and from cold foods.
- Calcium Carbonicum comes from the calcium carbonate found in oyster shells and is used to alleviate joint and bone pain and to slow bone and teeth development, as well as combating fear and anxiety, and matches best with the following constitutional type: Physically overweight and lacking energy, with thick hair; weak areas include bones, skin, glands, and ear/nose/throat; possessing a quiet, sensitive nature and always trying to avoid receiving attention, they do not sleep well; prefers sweet, sour and starchy foods, ice cream, but not milk or coffee; fears darkness and death, insanity and poverty; feels better late in the morning and in dry weather, and worse in the cold and springtime.
- Graphite is used to aid skin problems, ulcers and imbalances in metabolism and works best with the following type: Pale and dry skin with dark hair, generally overweight; weak areas include skin, mucous membranes, metabolism; the personality traits include irritability, lethargy and self-pity; preferences for sour food and beer, but not for sweet or salty foods; fears death and insanity; they feel better with ample sleep and after eating, and away from brightness, worse in cold weather and in the morning and evening.
- Ignatia is a remedy made from seeds of Ignatia amara, which contain the poison strychnine, is used for emotional problems and grief, as well as coughs, sore throat and headaches, and matches best with the following constitutional type: These types are usually dark-haired women who exhibit frequent yawns and blinking; weakness comes from the nervous system and a difficulty dealing with deep emotions; they are very sensitive but have difficulty expressing emotions; food preferences include dairy and bread and sour foods, but not sweet foods, fruit and alcohol; fears include crowds, loss of control and emotional pain; they feel better after eating and in warm temperatures, worse from cold air, exposure to tobacco and during emotional stress.
- Lachesis comes from the venom of the Bushmaster snake, and is used for circulatory problems, wound repair and menopause symptoms, and matches best with the following constitutional type: Physical tendencies include both medium-built or overweight redheads and slender brunettes, with plenty of energy; weak areas include blood circulation, nervous system and female reproductive organs; personalities tend to exhibit jealousy and have difficulty maintaining relationships and like to disagree with others; foods preferred include sour and starchy foods and alcohol, but not wheat products and hot drinks other than coffee; fears of water, poison and suffocation; they feel better in fresh air, from cold drinks and following a bowel movement, but worse from direct sunlight and heat, hot drinks and from tight clothing.
- Lycopodium is an herb used for digestive disorders, kidney and bladder problems, enlarged prostate and emotional insecurity, and works best with the following type:Physically tall and slender, with premature gray hair or baldness; weakness is in the liver, kidneys and bladder, prostate, brain, skin and lungs, as well as the digestive organs; these types have low self esteem, appear disciplined but have weakness for sweets and infidelity and avoid deep relationships; they enjoy sweet and fatty foods, cabbage and onions and hot foods; fears solitude, crowds, failure and death; they feel better while active, in cool temperatures and fresh air, at nighttime and in loose fitting clothing, worse in the early morning and late afternoon and in tight clothing.
- Mercurius Solubilis is made from mercury found in the stone Cinnabar and is poisonous, is used for throat, mouth and eye conditions, and matches best with the following constitutional type: Generally with light colored hair and a pinched nose, and a facial expression which hides any inner problems; the personality tends to be anxious and needing order and stability, they are cautious with others and are very sensitive to criticism; food preferences include bread, cold drinks and lemon, but not sweet and salty foods, and meat or alcohol; fears include insanity and death and for the health of their family; they feel better after adequate rest and in moderate temperatures, worse during temperature changes and at night.
- Natrium Muriatricum comes from sodium chloride found in rock salt and is used to aid with emotional problems stemming from suppressed feelings, colds and migraine headaches, and works best with the following type: Physically stocky or pear-shaped build with brown hair and shiny skin; weak areas include the blood, muscles, digestive system, skin and mind; their personality is a serious demeanor, honest, idealistic and inflexible by nature; preferred foods include sour food and beer, as well as milk and starchy foods but with a tendency to have difficulty with digesting these foods, but they do not like chicken or coffee; fears include death, emotional pain, crowds, being tardy and failure; they feel better with fresh air and sleeping in a firm bed, worse in the morning, in warm conditions and from overexertion.
- Nux Vomica is extracted from seeds of the tree of the same name and is very poisonous, and is used to help with insomnia and digestive problems, as well as with colds, and works best with the following type: Physically slender and intense, with a sharp fashion sense; weak areas are the stomach, liver, lungs, nerves and bowels; they have type “A” personalities and are energetic and success oriented; preferences are for fatty foods, alcohol and coffee; they fear business failure, death and crowds; feel better in warm conditions and in the evening, worse in cold weather and in around noise.
- Phosphorous is an abundant mineral used naturally in the bones and bodily fluids and is used to help with fear and anxiety, respiratory and digestive problems, and matches best with the following constitutional type: Physically tall and slender with pale skin, they are typified by colorful clothing; weaknesses includes lungs, liver, circulation, nervous system and digestive organs; personalities are generally optimistic and need to be the center of attention; preferred foods include salty, spicy and sweet foods, ice cream and wine, but do not like fish or fruits; fears include darkness and solitude, water and death; they feel better in colder temperatures and when well rested and feel worse in mornings and evenings and when mentally and physically tired.
- Pulsatilla is an herbal remedy used to aid depression, digestive problems and gynecological problems, and works best with the following type: Typically having fair skin and hair with blue eyes and slightly overweight; weaknesses in the stomach, veins, bowels and bladder; they play the peacemaker role, with difficulty expressing anger and not assertive; preference for rich and sweet foods, while disliking spicy and fatty foods; fear the dark, death, solitude and crowds; they feel better in fresh air, but worse in the heat and in the evening.
- Sepia comes from the ink of Cuttlefish, a relative of squid, and is used for exhaustion and gynecological problems, and works best with the following type: Physically tall and slender with dark hair and eyes, usually women but some men fit the type; weaknesses are in the skin, circulation and female reproductive organs; they feel comfortable in public but not in private, and have strong opinions; they enjoy sweet and sour foods and alcohol, but not milk; fears include solitude, poverty and insanity; they feel better in fresh air in a warm environment and with plenty of exercise, but not well in the early morning and evening.
- Silica is found throughout nature and is a remedy used for undernourishment, nervous system and skin problems, and matches best with the following constitutional type: These types are petite with fine hair and have a neat appearance; weaknesses include the nervous system, skin, bones and glands; they are very determined and conscientious about their duties, but lack leadership and strength; foods preferred are cold foods, salads and ice cream, and they dislike meat, cheese and warm foods; they fear sharp objects and physical exertion; they feel better in warm climates and worse in cold.
- Sulfer is a mineral found through the body and is used to aid digestion, stress and skin problems, and matches best with the following constitutional type: Physical characteristics are either overweight and red-faced or lean with bad posture, and with messy appearances; weaknesses exist in the skin, feet, and circulation; personality type is strong willed and eager to argue; they prefer sweet, spicy and sour foods and alcohol, but dislike dairy and hot drinks; they fear heights and business failure; they feel better in dry, warm climates and from exercise, but worse in the late morning and from standing too long.
In acute cases, such as a client who comes to you with a cold or indigestion, homeopathic remedies will work quickly and effectively. In such acute cases, it is not necessary to know the constitutional type. On the other hand, when dealing with chronic illnesses, such as arthritis or other recurrent, long-term, degenerative conditions, a constitutional remedy is most helpful. In both cases, we have to study the whole person in order to find the imbalance, which has triggered the dis-ease. Constitutional remedies ensure that the remedies act as efficiently as possible to allow the client heal on a very deep level.