Spring rains are making everything green here in Calgary. But after three days of rain, you start thinking thoughts like, I wonder if the rivers will flood? I wonder if the mountain snow melt along with the rain will affect homes near the riverbanks? I wonder if my little annuals are going to drown?
You spend time longing for the spring rain to get everything growing after a long dry winter and then…you find yourself asking, “When is the rain going to stop? Enough already!” Some rain is very good, but too much rain is just plain old soggy…for plants, pets, and people.
Which brings me to today’s topic: when is enough homeopathic remedy enough? Like spring rains, a good homeopathic remedy—when needed and well indicated—brings health and healing. But what happens when you take or give your child ‘too much’? Is that possible with homeopathy? Yes…it is possible. Is it like being poisoned? Not really…and yet you must know what is happening when you or your child has had ‘enough’ of a remedy. How will you know when enough is enough? Read on!
A CASE OF ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’
A very savvy mom recently sent me this link from a Facebook post. Thank you, BJ! (I love and appreciate when folks send me an article or question that works well for a newsletter post. Please feel free to send me your questions, comments, or stories for future newsletters…with my thanks!)
In this article from Snopes.com (“the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation”), a mom claimed in an email that a combination teething product from Hyland’s caused her 7-month-old to have seizures. The mom’s letter also states that she won a lawsuit with the claim.
I could not find documentation to support the claim this mother made (re: remedy causing seizures) nor anything about a lawsuit. There is no name in the email letter, which leaves me wondering if this ‘letter’ with instructions to copy and forward as warning to other parents is from a real parent.
There is truth in the fact that the Hyland’s product was recalled. Just follow the links in the article on Snopes and you can see that the original formulation was recalled (contained Belladonna 3CH). It has just recently been reintroduced back on the market (containing Belladonna 12X).
WHAT’S UP WITH A 12CH?
What a substance can create in terms of symptoms (including plant poisonings), a potentized (diluted and shaken or ground) homeopathic remedy can cure…that’s homeopathy. The dilutions in the original Hyland teething combination remedy were in the 3CH-9CH ranges and these potencies still have a measurable amount of the substance in it. And Belladonna (a plant) below a 12CH potency (strength) is like an herbal—and Belladonna is a poisonous herbal.
You can get symptoms with an herbal: some people using St. John’s wort for depression can get numbness of fingertips and toes. In homeopathy we use Hypericum, which is St. John’s wort,* for minor first aid injuries like crushed fingers and toes. With Belladonna below a 12CH, you can get poisoning-like symptoms (rarely convulsions) if it is taken for too long.
A 12CH potency or strength in homeopathy means that the original substance (in this case, Belladonna) has been diluted 1 part Belladonna to 99 parts of alcohol or milk sugar 12 times. At this point, there is NO molecule of Belladonna in the remedy…only the energetic signature of Belladonna as a substance. Science calls this Avogadro’s number.
“Eventually, in 1810, Hahnemann developed a method for creating effective doses that were so dilute that not even a molecule of the original substance would likely be present. This point is reached when the ratio of water to substance is in excess of Avogadro’s number (approximately 10 to the 23rd)…Avogadro’s first hypothesis about molecular weight was first made soon thereafter, in 1811. …it is only in the past 20 years that physicists and medical researchers have confirmed that succussion (shaking) may be the essential step necessary for transmitting the signature of a substance into an ultradilution [Beneviste88, Ennis].”
~ Amy Lansky, Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy
(This is a great beginning book if you want to understand homeopathic philosophy in ordinary modern day language. Amy has amazing credentials and a personal story that is remarkable. With homeopathic support and other therapies, her son recovered from autism.)
A SEIZURE? FROM A HOMEOPATHIC REMEDY? IS IT POSSIBLE?
While highly unlikely, it is possible that—if a combination homeopathic remedy (especially below a 12CH) is given for too long, there can be what are called ‘proving symptoms.’ These are the symptoms you get from herbal Belladonna as well:
“…fast heart rate, increased body temperature, dry skin and dry mouth, skin flushing, constipation, decreased urination, agitation, disorientation, hallucinations, and dilated pupils. Drowsiness may also be seen in infants.”
For those readers who have the handout on fever, you will recognize these symptoms! Belladonna is an exceptional remedy for fever when the symptom picture matches and can be very useful for easing the pain and discomfort if your baby/child has a fever with teething.
And, of course, you can always call your homeopath!
The child in this sample letter on Snopes was given the remedy for two weeks. Maybe a case of more than enough? Enough to create proving symptoms? Maybe a different formulation needed? I really cannot answer that with any certainty. Hopefully, if the letter is legitimate, the child is fine (many children are not with overdoses on brand name fever medications).
As for the homeopathic pharmacy? Hyland’s changed the formulation:
Calcarea Phosphorica 6X HPUS
Chamomilla 6X HPUS
Coffea Cruda 6X HPUS
Belladonna 12X HPUS (0.0000000000003% Alkaloids)
In a base of Lactose (milk sugar) NF
To confuse matters a little more, this potency is still NOT a 12CH. An ‘x’ potency is a 1 part in 9 dilution, not a 1 part in 99 dilution. A 12X is the equivalent of a 6CH so the formulation is still below the 12CH.
The instructions now say to give only for one week. This will likely decrease any possibility of proving symptoms even though the combination remedy is below 12CH potency.
WHAT TO DO SO THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN TO YOU
If you have given a remedy for too long, the symptoms will go away once you stop the remedy. It is important to remember that you give a homeopathic remedy only when the symptoms are present. No symptoms, no remedy. No improvement with a remedy after a day? It’s not the right remedy, so stop giving it. Slight improvement? Repeat for another day.
If you are in any doubt AT ALL, please contact your homeopath or a reputable store that sells homeopathic remedies (such as Xerion Homoeopathie) to make sure that you are giving an over-the-counter homeopathic remedy correctly.
There is so much you can do with homeopathy as a home prescriber but do access a professional homeopath or homeopathic remedy provider if you want to avoid unnecessary and unwanted aggravations.
Xerion Homoeopathie also has courses for Acute Care and Home Prescribing. Check it out today!
*Herbal St. John’s wort should NOT be taken if you are on prescription antidepressants. Please speak to your pharmacist or doctor if you think you want to take an herbal for depression. Homeopathic St. John’s wort (Hypericum) above a 12CH could be taken, but please consult with your homeopath before using.