Friday, May 21, 2010


Today after my workout, I got a great massage from Sarah, who has an office at the YMCA and with whom I schedule a massage every two or three weeks, whatever I can afford. While I was on my hike yesterday, I slipped while climbing over a wet log and sprained my thumb. It's not a bad one, I've had worse, but I decided to tape it so I wouldn't forget to treat it with care.

Before the massage starts, Sarah always asks if I've got any issues I'd like her to deal with, so I told her about my thumb and showed her the taped digit. She asked, "are you taking Arnica?"

Well, if I had a dollar for every time somebody suggested I take arnica for a bruise, I'd have enough money to open a bank account. Apparently Arnica is used by many people to treat bruises and swelling, usually in a homeopathic formula. I remember years ago when I had a pretty good bruise, I used something called "Traumeel," a homeopathic topical cream, but other than that, I've never used any homeopathic remedies. I'm not sure I believe in them.

But just to be on the safe side, I stopped by the Co-op to get a bottle of Arnica tablets and started taking them. For what it's worth, after two doses, my thumb does feel better. I believe that the placebo effect could be responsible, or that it would have been better anyway (I don't have any way to test the theory). So I thought, well, maybe I can get some feedback from my blogging buddies about what they think about Homeopathy. (This link will take you to Wikipedia, which gives information about what it is and what the traditional medical community thinks of it, which is not much.)

But I remember very well when allopathic medical doctors dismissed acupuncture, which is based on body meridians, as hocus-pocus. That is, until they were shown unequivocally that it works. I went to an acupuncturist in Boulder for awhile and was amazed at how I could feel the energy moving between needles placed in my thigh. I became a believer when he cured my chronic knee pain and hot flashes.

Do YOU use homeopathic medicine? Do you believe it works or not? I'm really wondering if I've been missing out all these years on something I could have been using to heal up faster.


  1. I don't use homeopathic medicine. I've never been to a chiropractor, acupuncturist, or had a massage. I wouldn't say I don't believe in them I just don't ever think about them as an option.

  2. Can't say I know anything about it, DJan...But I don't think it could hurt...Now, I think I'll be investigating this...very interesting. You ALWAYS make me think! Wonderful! Have a terrific weekend, dear DJan...and please do take care of that sorry to hear it! Love, Janine XO

  3. We are believers and users! If you think about it like this: Diseases are from nature. For everything you find in nature, you'll find an opposing point or product. If nature makes it, nature can cure it. As for the toxins and stress related diseases, why would you pile on more toxins?
    You are very careful about your food, way more so than us. Have you done much research on what they make the drugs from? And how about all that animal testing?
    We aren't fanatics, but strength and prevention and things that don't contain artificial stuff are good things in our house.
    Yes, I still get my nails done and we sure do like eating out, but take a pill from nature, or one from a factory? Huh! Get a massage or chiropractic treatment or take pain pills? Eat out your stomach muscles with muscle relaxants or take a pill made from nature's products and not feel anything but relief?
    All I can say is try it... you might like it!

  4. My dentist recommended this remedy - as a cure all for, well, practically everything, at least in her book. I go homeopathic first.

  5. Never have but would be willing to try them!!

  6. Well for and homeopathy are what I've lived with for the last 20 years as my medicine. I'm finding more people are using these methods due to lack of insurance. I worked in an alternative health care office and a local vitamin/health food store for enough time to see many people using homeopathy and finding results. It's a shame so much stigma of quackery has been attached to it. Many of the patients we treated were Amish, and they new as much or more than the doctor. It is an amazing way to great health as well as Oriental medicine. I'm starting to see more integration of these medicines in western medicine, but there are still doctors that laugh at it.
    I recently had some dental work done, and my dentist practically laughed me out of the office when I mentioned to him that each of our teeth is related to a specific organ in the body. I did have to have an extraction...and he thought it funny to give me my tooth in a plastic container thinking I might want to bury it. I felt sorry for his lack of understanding.
    If you go to a homeopathic doctor...they usually give out the tincture form of arnica which I think is much more effective than the over the counter type tablets/pellets. But finding these doctors is difficult because they have to fly under the radar so to speak because they are thought of as quacks.
    I'm also finding more people interested in learning more about the cause of their symptoms and treating it, than the masking of symptoms with a drug. I have a feeling the drug companies are seeing a decline in profits. Did you see the parody on SNL last Saturday night poking fun at the Sally Field (Boniva) drug commercial? Things are changing....

  7. wow sorry....didn't mean to go off like that!

  8. I'm big on using natural and or home remedies. Never used arnica, but I'll pick some up the next time I'm near a health food co-op. I keep pure essential oils, particularly lavender and tea tree, on hand to use for various ailments or injuries. Most of the time it works; if it doesn't and need a doctor, I go.

    Lavender is great for burns and stings; tea tree is great for infection or a fungus; Vicks salve rubbed on the soles of feet will quiet a cough; take a steam bath by closing a shower curtain, add 15-20 drops of eucalyptus and lavender oil to the water and there is give new life if suffering from a cold or virus; thyme oil in an infuser is picked up by a/c or the heating system and kills flu and cold germs, i.e., stopping others in the home from catching the illness. Apple cider vinegar has all kinds of medicinal uses.

    Burns heal almost overnight after splashing it with lavender. I had the beginnings of toe fungus on my big toe; rubbed tea tree directly around the cuticle. It took a couple of months but the fungus was killed and the nail grew out normally. Lavender and tea tree are the ONLY two pure essential oils that can be applied directly to the skin. Otherwise, all other essential oils MUST be diluted with a carrier oil of which olive oil is excellent.

    Sorry, got carried away. :D

  9. Wow, this is all great information! Please, dear friends, don't apologize for giving me just what I hoped for! I have always used lavender oil on my wrists to help me sleep, I didn't know it had other uses.

    I am also going to go talk to a homeopathic practitioner they have on staff at the Co-op and see what more I can learn.

  10. That's really funny, we were just talking about Arnica last night at girls night, trying to help Holly's ear swelling since her surgery. I wholeheartedly believe in homeopathy, God-created natural remedies are so much better than man-made chemicals!

    Hope your thumb heals quickly!

  11. DJan, I found the info everyone gave you very informative. I have lavender and tea tree oil in my house as well, I used the tea tree for cuts, and lavender for relaxation. Loved this post and comments.......:-)Hugs

  12. I don't really do Homeopathy as such but I use a lot of herbs when needed. My very large aloe plant is always handy for burns and skin irritations. I do have a bottle of tea oil that I use sometimes.

    Other than antihistamine (I can't find a natural remedy that works) and an occasional ibuprofen everything else is natural. I don't take any prescription drugs at all.

  13. Well, isn't THIS coincidental? Yesterday, I had to take TWM to the doctor for something and while we were in there I asked her to look at his ankle where he had taken a baseball to it two weeks ago. SHE asked, "Are you putting Arnica on it?" Not aspercreme, not Ben-Gay, ARNICA. Me? I said, "What's Arnica?" She explained and spelled it for me and told me to get it at the local health food store. My son's MAINSTREAM physician.

    Now I find out from you I can get the tablets, too. And that's good for ME because I can't take many meds and my left elbow has become nearly unuseable in the last six months. The joints on both sides are really painful and completely prevent me from lifting. I haven't gone to the doctor because I have ENOUGH wrong with me and hate to add to the list. Pain makes me feel guilty! I'm going to get Arnica - yours and the topical one - TOMORROW!

    I do take vitamins and SWEAR by N.A.C., a precursor to glutathione, which builds the immune system. I would try homeopathy for just about anything. And I'm really hoping to try acupuncture for the nerve/muscle damage. Can't work it in to the budget right now but when I can, I WILL.

    You come up with THE most interesting topics, DJan.

  14. Very interesting post and great comments. I use herbs and natural products most of the time. I don't want to take meds but I do take meds for blood pressure. I think it my responsibility to research my own symptoms and be proactive if I go to a doctor. When I disagree with a doctor I say so and do what I believe is right for me. My first choice is always a natural product.

  15. One we use everyday is Lakota for arthritis and I take vitamin D all winter or I get the pookies!

  16. It's kinda funny, but the first comment, by the other linda, also fits me perfectly!

  17. I don't use homeopathy, although I do believe it can be beneficial if used correctly. I have seen some adverse reactions - mostly blood dyscrasias - in people who went overboard in treating themselves.

  18. Although I am a nurse, I do believe some of these work..and have no problems with people trying them...but I do caution that they check to make sure they don't interact with something one might already be taking (medicines) or that they won't exacerbate another chronic disease status....which can be fatal or harmful in some situations.
    I have fibromyalagia and I am open to any new homeo remedy I can find as traditional medicine is pretty much useless to help my condition...!

  19. I typically go to the doctor but am not opposed to other methods...
    All of this has been fascinating; I got a lot out of all the comments!

  20. I don't know, my parents go to a Natural Doctor..I don't think much of all their bottles of pills and potions that they take..they both have a bowl full of pills..but they are in their eighties too and reasonably healthy..maybe it has made a difference.
    I only take my blood pressure med..and vitamins:)


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