Friday, February 13, 2015

The Homeopathic First-Aid Kit in My Purse

Whether we are going to the library, hiking, or at a homeschool park day, I like to bring along a small kit of homeopathic remedies and first-aid items. Although my first-aid kit is used only infrequently, it is invaluable when it is needed.

Homeopathy and First-Aid


In her book, Homoeopathy for the First Aider, Dr Dorothy Shepherd wrote,
"For years I followed obediently the recognized, well-trodden paths of antiseptic and aseptic wound treatment, with little or no medicinal aid... I had opportunity to study and apply first-aid methods in surgical outpatients, private practice and a munition factory in the First World War and later a minor ailment clinic. For some years now I have given up entirely the old methods and with the help of a devoted staff I have applied these comparatively new [homeopathic] ideas which have proved not only successful, but even superior to the old ones.
"...I suggest that every household, school, factory, and all first-aid posts should be stocked with the [homeopathic] lotions and medicines described, so as to prevent a simple emergency from becoming a serious casualty..."
In most acute and chronic conditions, the selection of the correct homeopathic remedy is individualized based on a person's specific symptoms; however when it comes to first-aid, there are some very well-established homeopathic remedies that can help. 

Which Remedies Do I Carry In My Purse?


Note that there are also other remedies that can be used for each condition, but these are the ones that are most frequently indicated.

Arnica Montana
If I were to carry only one remedy with me, it would be homeopathic Arnica Montana. This is the first-aid remedy that gets used the most frequently in my family. Arnica excels at treating bumps, bruises, and blunt traumas of all kinds. It is also the first remedy I use if there is shock following any injury. [There is also a more-detailed article about Arnica's many uses here (including pre- and post-surgery, concussions, after birth, and more)].

I carry two potencies of Arnica in my purse: 6c and 200c. I use the 6c potency for typical child injuries, such as falling down. (My family is hypersensitive to medicines and homeopathic remedies, so 6c is a good potency for us.  For people with a more normal sensitivity level, 30x or 30c may be a better choice to have on-hand.) For more severe injuries, such as sprains, I would start with the 200c potency

Calendula Salve
For surface scratches and wounds, I use Calendula salve.  According to Dr. Dorothy Shepherd,
"Calendula officinalis is not an antiseptic in the true meaning of the word, but germs do not thrive in its presence. It inhibits their growth I find, and even when wounds are already badly infected I have seen offensive purulent discharges become clean and sweet smelling in a day or two... Calendula ointment is extremely soothing and heals rapidly when applied to all kinds of cuts, cracks, chapped hands and legs..."
The Calendula salve I buy is made by a local herbalist, but this one looks similar. Calendula salve is not actually "homeopathic" because it is more of a typical herbal preparation, but it does work well.

Note: for deep wounds and punctures, it is best to NOT use Calendula salve. Calendula promotes healing so much that, if the wound is deep, the surface could end up healing faster than the deeper part of the wound.  For deeper wounds, I use homeopathic Hypericum spray (but I don't carry that one with me in my purse). A liquid preparation of calendula would also work well for deep wounds (since it would be able to penetrate to the depth of the wound, whereas the salve stays mostly on the surface).

Apis Mellifica
image from http://www.docteurclic.com
Homeopathic Apis Mellifica is made from the honeybee. In true homeopathic fashion of like-cures-like, Apis Mell is one of the best remedies for treating insect stings and bites. Stings/bites that respond well to Apis Mell tend to have burning pain and rosy puffiness (rather than hard, red swelling).  I have used this remedy successfully in 30x potency for treating my children's bee stings and ant bites that fit those characteristics.

Ledum Palustre
Homeopathic Ledum Palustre is a great remedy for puncture wounds as well as mosquito bites.  Insect bites/stings that respond well to Ledum tend to have a white center with redness around, and may be numb or cold. I have used Ledum 30x successfully to treat mosquito bites both internally and externally. If I am treating only one or two bites, I will often dissolve a pellet of ledum in some filtered water and then dab it directly on the bites.  At other times when I have treated numerous mosquito bites, I have more often used Ledum internally.

Antimonium Tartaricum
Homeopathic Antimonium Tartaricum is known as the most-often indicated remedy for drowning. I have not used this remedy in a first-aid situation, but nonetheless I carry it in my purse in case it is needed. According to Homeopathic Medicine at Home by Maesimund Panos,
"As soon as possible, give Antimonium tartaricum... [this remedy] is indicated when the patient is cold and blue, is covered with clammy sweat, has rattling respiration, and is drowning in the body's own secretions, whether from actual drowning or from respiratory or cardiac failure. Dosage: Every ten to fifteen minutes, or until improvement is evident." [Note: normal drowning measures such as CPR should also be used in conjunction with the remedy.]
Storage and Dosage Guidelines
To make sure that the remedies in my homeopathic first-aid kit will last a long time, I make sure to never leave the kit in a hot car nor in bright sunlight.So that I may have the same remedies on-hand both at home and in my purse, I store the least-often-used remedies in small amber bottles in my purse kit.


Homeopathic remedies are typically given 4-6 times a day for many ailments, but for severe injuries they can be given more often (up to once every 15 minutes).  A general rule of thumb is that higher potencies will last for longer, so I give 200c potencies much less frequently than 30x or 6c potencies. With minor first-aid ailments, I commonly only need to give one dose of homeopathic remedy. 
As with all homeopathic remedies, the least number of doses is always the best. Anytime there is a noticeable improvement happening, no more doses should be given. Homeopathic remedies work by stimulating the body to heal itself; once the body has started healing itself no more remedy is needed unless the symptoms start to regress (or unless there is a plateau, where the symptoms get better to a point but then stop improving over a period of time).

The few remedies listed here are just the ones I carry in my purse. I keep many others on-hand at home for other first-aid ailments. Let me know if you are interested in learning more about homeopathy and first-aid in general, including the remedies I keep on-hand at home. 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or licensed healthcare professional. I am a homeopathic practitioner whose services are considered complementary and alternative by the state of New Mexico. The uses of homeopathic remedies described herein are provided for educational use only.  

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4 comments :

Colleen said...

I am definitely interested in learning more about homeopathy. I just completed a course with www.joettecalabrese.com for chronic remedies, but still want to learn more about acutes. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Definitely interested in learning more about homeopathy! Thanks for this helpful post.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see more on homeopathy. Would you recommend this book by Dorothy Shepherd or any of her other books? Thank you for sharing!

Sarah Smith said...

Yes, I would recommend Dorothy Shepherd's book. She talks about using homeopathic first-aid in rather severe situations (such as war wounds), and it really helps in trusting that it can work in our more common injuries! Her stories are amazing and enlightening, and she gives very good guidelines for using the remedies.