The following blog is extracted from an article by Dr. Mercola titled "The Chemicals Behind the Shrinking of Boy's Genitals". I encourage you to educate yourself on the subject of environmental toxicity and its impact on your health and the health of your loved ones. There are a variety of resources on my website on this subject for your education. As a rule, I highly recommend a seasonal cleanse/detoxification program for everyone, regardless of one's health status.
Here are Dr. Mercola's suggestions on how to protect yourself in a chemically driven world:
"No one knows what health consequences to this toxic chemical cocktail will cause to an adult, let alone a developing baby. Unfortunately, it is our future generations, and possibly the species as a whole, who will likely pay the heftiest price for this lack of safety concern, as an embryo and fetus develop at a much faster rate than adults.
While this development occurs, cell division and growth is rapid -- and these rapid changes provide many opportunities for mistakes to occur. It’s clear that boys appear to be at particular risk but, really, no one is safe. I encourage everyone with children or grandchildren to review Theo Colburn's Our Stolen Future, which is one of the BEST resources on this topic. Further, while you make the switch to remove and reduce chemicals around your home, remember that one of the ways to significantly reduce your toxic load is to pay careful attention to what you eat.
Organically-grown, biodynamic whole foods are really the key to success here, and, as an added bonus, when you eat right, you're also optimizing your body's natural detoxification system, which can help eliminate toxins your body encounters from other sources. Rather than compile an endless list of what you should avoid, it's far easier to focus on what you should do to lead a healthy lifestyle with as minimal a chemical exposure as possible:
1.As much as possible, buy and eat organic produce and organic free-range foods to reduce your exposure to pesticides and fertilizers.
2.Rather than eating conventional or farm-raised fish, which are often heavily contaminated with PCBs and mercury, supplement with a high-quality purified krill oil, or eat fish that is wild-caught and lab tested for purity.
3.Eat mostly raw, fresh foods, steering clear of processed, prepackaged foods of all kinds. This way you automatically avoid artificial food additives, including dangerous artificial sweeteners, food coloring and MSG.
4.Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap and canned foods (which are often lined with BPA-containing liners).
5.Have your tap water tested and, if contaminants are found, install an appropriate water filter on all your faucets (even those in your shower or bath).
6.Only use natural cleaning products in your home.
7.Switch over to natural brands of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics. The Environmental Working Group has a great database7 to help you find personal care products that are free of phthalates and other potentially dangerous chemicals. I also offer one of the highest quality organic skin care lines, shampoo and conditioner, and body butter that are completely natural and safe.
8.Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners or other synthetic fragrances.
9.Replace your non-stick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware.
10.When redoing your home, look for "green," toxin-free alternatives in lieu of regular paint and vinyl floor coverings.
11.Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric, or install a glass shower door. Most all flexible plastics, like shower curtains, contain dangerous plasticizers like phthalates.
12.Limit your use of drugs (prescription and over-the-counter) as much as possible. Drugs are chemicals too, and they will leave residues and accumulate in your body over time.
13.Avoid spraying pesticides around your home or insect repellants that contain DEET on your body. There are safe, effective and natural alternatives out there."
By far the majority of skin conditions are caused by either poor diet and/or poor internal organ health. The main exceptions are skin conditions that are caused by direct contact to irritating substances (such as poison ivy), hazardous substances (such as various industrial chemicals), infectious agents (such as fungi), too much heat (causing skin burns), or even too much sunlight. In other words, unless your skin is exposed to some agent that damages it directly, you should not be developing a rash or a lesion.
The effect of diet on skin health is of paramount importance. Not drinking sufficient amounts of water on a daily basis, eating foods that negatively impact our health (i.e. allergenic foods, processed or junk foods, and genetically modified foods), overeating, not eating sufficient amounts of healthy foods (including vegetables and fruits), eating hastily, drinking too much liquid with meals (which can disturb digestion by diluting the digestive juices in our stomach), consuming excessive amounts of unhealthy drinks such as alcohol, soda pop, or coffee can all be detrimental to our skin health. Put differently, we don't develop a skin rash due to cortisone cream deficiency! However, we might develop a rash due to deficiency of a nutrient(s) which could have been brought on by either a poor diet and/or poor digestion.
Even though there are pharmaceutical creams and drugs that can alleviate various skin conditions, such unnatural therapies are hardly ever curative in nature. In other words, you often become dependent on the use of such therapies indefinitely, and the rash returns soon after you stop using them.
To truly cure a skin condition, patients often need to make some dietary changes (for example eliminating one or a few food allergens or drinking more water) and/or take up a naturopathic detoxification/cleansing program to optimize the function of the main internal organs, namely, liver, intestines, and kidneys.
It’s noteworthy that some patients are told that their rash (namely acne) is caused by hormonal imbalance, and are put on birth control pills. Even if that may be true, the real cause of hormonal imbalances can still be found in the person’s poor diet and/or poor internal organ health, most specifically their liver.
There is yet one more aspect to healing skin conditions. There are often times when the patient’s deep and inherent “tendency to develop skin problems” needs to be directly addressed using homeopathic remedies. We all have a different make up which in homeopathy is called ”constitution”. Some constitutions are more prone to various skin conditions. For example, the Nat mur (Natrum muriaticum) constitution is more prone to dry skin conditions such as eczema. Or, the Thuja constitution is more prone to warts. Yet, individuals with the homeopathic Pulsatilla constitution often tend to suffer from a dry mouth. To address these deep tendencies, patients will need to take their “constitutional” homeopathic remedy which can be identified by a skilled homeopath. In many cases, I find that homeopathy is the single most effective therapy in treating skin conditions. In other words, even if patients make the required dietary changes and go through a comprehensive detoxification program, they might still suffer from skin conditions UNLESS they use homeopathic remedies.
At Whole Health Clinic, we specialize in homeopathy, naturopathic detoxification (i.e. organ health optimization) as well as food allergy testing and nutritional counseling. Using the above therapies/approaches, satisfactory results can be achieved in treating nearly all skin conditions including acne, eczema, psoriasis, warts, and various other rashes that are not diagnosable by dermatologists. It’s noteworthy that rashes that are often difficult to diagnose and/or treat by conventional pharmaceutical treatments are often the easiest to treat by natural therapies.
Note: The following information is not meant to replace medical advice from a homeopathic practitioner, and is meant to be educational only.
This year I have found that what I used to consider a person’s “constitutional” homeopathic remedy does NOT appear to treat the person’s acute conditions (such as the flu, cough, sinusitis, vertigo, etc.) as effectively as it did in the past. Fortunately, instead, I have used the remedies that are commonly considered “acute” remedies such as Baptisia, Belladonna, Bryonia, Drosera, Gelsemium, Hepar Sulph, and Mercurius with much success. Clearly, these acute conditions are displacing people from their usual constitution/state into new ones, the ones that are often considered “acute” constitutions/states. Once patients are relieved of their acute illnesses (the flu, cough, sinusitis, vertigo, etc.), they seem to shift back into their usual “constitution”, whatever that may be. Although I have seen cases where the patient did not shift back into her usual constitution and needed a re-dose of the new remedy for her acute constitution before she was able to shift back into her usual constitution.
Recently I seem to be witnessing a sort of epidemic of sinusitis in my practice here in Kent, Washington. Just today, I treated 3 cases of sinusitis that had been going on for different lengths of time, one for a week, one for two weeks, and one for over a month. I have had much success treating acute sinusitis cases with Hepar sulph 200C, over the last month. Patients with various typical constitutions of Calc carb, Nat mur, or Phosphorus are finding themselves in a Hepar sulph state. The remedy helped every single one of them within 5-10 minutes, nearly complete recovery in less than an hour. It’s noteworthy that these same patients had already tried their previous constitutional remedy (Calc carb, Nat mur and Phosphorus) without significant improvements with their sinusitis symptoms, although some other symptoms had indeed improved. All of these patients were very content with Hepar sulph 200C within minutes, however. (Note: Key symptoms of Hepar sulph were present in all these cases: On a mental/emotional level, irritable and moody, angry in some cases and acting out in an angry way (out of character for many of these patients), chilly (or chillier than usual if already a chilly person), swollen submandibular and/or cervical lymph nodes, stitching or splinter-like pains somewhere in the body (in the head, sinuses, or anywhere else totally unrelated to the head/sinuses), ear symptoms, sore throat, and cough. Not all of the above symptoms must be present for the person to be able to benefit from Hepar sulph, but the majority of my sinusitis patients so far this year have demonstrated most of these symptoms. It’s interesting that the above symptoms are typically NOT associated with most patients’ usual constitutions, namely Calc carb, Nat mur or Phosphorus.)
I have also been seeing a large number of cough cases, and used the various “acute” remedies listed above with rather impressive results. For example, severe relentless cough that had lasted a few weeks ended within 1-2 hours in several cases with Drosera 200C. (Note: Key symptoms of the constitution Drosera were present in all these cases: Violent paroxysm of coughing, worse at nights, particularly worse upon lying at night, either vomiting from coughing or feeling as if they could, and dry throat.)
Regarding vertigo, I would like to point out that we seem to have had an epidemic of vertigo (which appears to be getting progressively worse) over the last year or so. Homeopathic remedies are probably one of the most effective methods of treating vertigo. Although, sadly, I have seen cases that are rather challenging to treat even using homeopathic remedies.
However, that being said, sometimes a person’s own usual good old constitution seems to fit the symptoms of the acute illness rather well. For instance I had a cough case last week which after much deliberation, I decided that her own usual constitution/state, Sepia, had indeed not changed into a new one (as a result of the stress from the acute condition). She was still in a Sepia state. The remedy helped her severe cough that had been going on for nearly two weeks within hours. Coincidentally, the next day she developed a rash on her chest, what is referred to as a “healing reaction”, totally desirable, homeopathically speaking.
In summary, if you are ill with an acute illness this season, it’s quite likely you may need a homeopathic remedy different from your usual one. To find out what the correct remedy may be at this time, I would have to investigate each case, one by one.
In this blog I’d like to address the subject of gastrointestinal disorders and how homeopathy is often a critical therapy for such patients, although not always completely sufficient by itself. I say “critical” because if a patient who suffers from digestive problems does not take their “constitutional” homeopathic remedy (refer to the article on this site, titled “constitutional homeopathy”), it is either significantly more difficult or, in many cases, impossible to obtain a satisfactory level of healing. On the contrary, if the same patient is treated with homeopathic remedies along with other natural therapies CONCURRENTLY, the possibility of healing their digestive distress is significantly higher. In fact, it is quite rare for me to see a patient with digestive problems who does not respond quite well to the therapies recommended. And, they usually do so in a short period of time, usually a few weeks.
In homeopathy, we categorize people to various “constitutions”, depending upon their physical as well as mental/emotional characteristics. People can fit into any of the hundreds of different “constitutions”, but there are nearly 50 common constitutions that I deal with on a day-to-day basis in my practice. The homeopathic remedy that is used to treat a particular constitution has the same name as the constitution itself. For example, a person who has the “constitution” Pulsatilla is treated with the remedy called Pulsatilla. People typically need to take their “constitutional” remedy once a month, on average. The remedy is not to be taken daily like most other medicines such as drugs or supplements.
A patient’s prognosis or recovery depends greatly on the person’s constitution. This is, in fact, one of the most useful aspects of being a homeopathic practitioner. I can often predict how a patient might respond to various factors, including lifestyle/dietary changes or even drugs/supplements, depending on their constitution. For example, a person with the constitution called Carcinosin is much more likely to suffer from birth control pills than a person with the constitution called Sulphur. (The details of this subject are beyond the scope of this blog, but as a rule, Sulphur individuals are much healthier than Carcinosin individuals.)
Although homeopathic remedies are considered natural, most NDs (naturopathic doctors) do not specialize or prescribe homeopathic remedies since they do not have sufficient training to do so. In order to be able to effectively practice homeopathy, a naturopath needs (although not required by law) to take extra training in the field of homeopathy. The length of training should ideally be at least 1-2 years beyond a doctorate degree in naturopathic medicine. Naturopaths typically offer lifestyle/dietary recommendations, and prescribe natural therapies including vitamins, minerals, herbs, natural hormones, and numerous other “natural” medicines. It is rare for a naturopath to prescribe homeopathic remedies, and if they do, it is often not the patient’s “constitutional” remedy - although it may be a well indicated remedy to address the symptom at hand, but not the remedy that matches the person’s entire profile (i.e. physical as well as mental/emotional symptoms and/or traits, otherwise known as the person’s “constitution”).
Below, I would like to discuss the most common constitutions that are likely to suffer with digestive complaints, and mention specifically what digestive complaints these constitutions are each likely to present with, and a few miscellaneous issues surrounding homeopathy and digestive problems.
Among the most common homeopathic constitutions, I find that Carcinosin, Silica, Nux vomica, and Lycopodium are the top four constitutions that, nearly 100% of the time, suffer from significant digestive problems.
Note that the Nux vomica or Lycopodium constitutions are known by homeopathic practitioners to have poor liver function, and these remedies are used even by non-homeopathic practitioners to help improve liver function. For instance Lycopodium 4X can be found in both UNDA #243 and UNDA #1, two of the main UNDA compounds used for “draining” or detoxifying the liver. Therefore, individuals with either these constitutions suffer from various digestive symptoms (such as gas, bloating, acid reflux, abnormal bowel movements, abdominal discomfort/pain, etc.) and/or signs (such as abnormal liver blood test results).
(Note: UNDA numbers are made in Belgium by the company UNDA, and distributed in North America by Seroyal. UNDAs are combination, low potency, homeopathic remedies that are organ/tissue specific. For example, UNDA #243 helps optimize liver function, and UNDA #45 helps optimize kidney function. I have found UNDAs to be highly effective in cleansing/detoxifying and optimizing the function of the main organs of metabolism and detoxification, namely liver and kidneys. Although constitutional homeopathy is, in my view, far superior in many ways to such combination remedies as UNDAs, I find that patients often also need UNDA numbers to help focus on and optimize the function of their internal organs.)
I have never seen a constitutional Carcinosin patient without significant digestive problems. I have noticed that many earlier authors have not written about Carcinosin at all. The reason is that this remedy was not even “proven” (i.e. put through rigorous homeopathic tests and trials) until the late 19th century. Furthermore, for reasons unknown to me, the more recent authors who have happened to write about this remedy are not speaking to the fact that Carcinosin individuals have significant digestive problems.
Carcinosin is a “phase 2” remedy (out of the four possible phases) in the Map of Hierarchy devised by Dr. Paul Herscu, ND, world-renowned homeopath who practices in Boston. I have talked about Dr. Herscu’s Map of Hierarchy in my book titled Visual Homeopathy. My understanding of this illustration is that you can’t be “healthy” as long as you are in any phase other than in phase 1. Of course, even phase 1 constitutions have their own health challenges, but phases 2, 3 and 4 most definitely do not present in a healthy version. In the eyes of homeopaths, Carcinosin individuals are unfortunately at risk for cancer due to various reasons, such as family history of cancer, history of suppression of emotions as well as rather significant digestive dysfunction which could have come about as a result of all the emotional suppression.
In my opinion, taking birth control pills or the use of other hormonal interventions such as hormonal IUDs definitely puts Carcinosin patients at risk for cancer. (Refer to my blog titled “what I wish gastroenterologists would recognize” on this site for more information on how female hormones can negatively impact the digestive system.)
Similarly to Carcinosin, individuals with the Silica constitution also have numerous digestive problems. In contrast to Carcinosin, however, Silica’s digestive problems, are talked about in all homeopathy texts. In fact, Silica is known for its constipation, in particular. I’d like to point out, however, that I have seen far more Carcinosin patients with constipation than Silica patients even though, as mentioned in the previous paragraphs, you may not read much about Carcinosin individuals having digestive problems, in general, and constipation, in particular.
In the list of the top most common constitutions, I find that there are a few other constitutions that may complain of GI problems, but their GI disturbance is significantly milder in nature than the four constitutions listed above. For instance, most Natrum muriaticum (or Nat mur) individuals have constipation as well, but otherwise, I find that Nat mur’s digestive health is rather normal. (I have found, however, that Nat murs often mask their constipation by exercising and taking good care of themselves in other ways such as with diet and supplements.) Note that the constipation in Nat mur makes sense since dryness throughout the body (and even on the personality level, as manifested by a strong tendency towards being introverted) is the central theme in this constitution.
I often find that Sulphurs complain of acid reflux as their only digestive concern. Sepia has constipation which makes sense since the central theme in Sepia is stasis and stagnation. Finally, it’s not too uncommon for me to see a Pulsatilla patient with digestive disturbance. However, treating the digestive complaints of these constitutions is much easier than the other four constitutions in the previous paragraphs, namely Carcinosin, Silica, Nux vomica and Lycopodium who have much more significant imbalance in their digestive system.
A healing reaction/crisis can occur sometimes with homeopathic remedies. (The symptoms of a healing reaction can vary from person to person, but it often tends to manifest as flu-like symptoms, or general malaise with headache and fatigue.) In my experience, patients who are more likely to experience a healing reaction upon taking their constitutional homeopathic remedy tend to be the ones with significant digestive problems. Since I also specialize in naturopathic cleansing/detoxification, I have learned that a person is not likely at all to mount a healing reaction/crisis if her organs of elimination or the vital organs are not overly congested or toxic. A single dose of a high potency (such as 200C or 1M) remedy is powerful enough that it can stimulate numerous chemical reactions in the body, specifically in the vital organs/tissues such as in the liver, kidneys, and intestines. Sometimes, this act of biochemical stimulation can cause the toxins to return into the body, instead of move out of the body, if the person’s organs of elimination are “backed up” or “congested” already. I believe this is what a healing reaction is about. Therefore, a “healing reaction/crisis” is not truly a desirable phenomenon if the practitioner indeed knows how to prepare the patient for the arrival of this most potent medicine, the high potency “constitutional” remedy. The preparation can be done by an effective cleansing program first, BEFORE the person takes her constitutional remedy. (Note: This is exactly why I have listed detoxification/cleansing as step 2 in the Seven Steps to Healing, and homeopathy as step 3. Refer to the Seven Steps to Healing article on this website under Educational Articles. Often, I choose to do both in the same visit if I feel that the patient can tolerate it.) Specifically, if a person suffers from chronic constipation (refer to my blog on constipation on this site), she is far more likely to experience a healing reaction by taking the constitutional homeopathic remedy. Therefore, I often try to effectively treat constipation before I offer the patient her constitutional homeopathic remedy. (In some cases, in addition to assuring regular BMs, a thorough liver cleanse is necessary as well to assure effective detoxification so that the patient does not mount a healing reaction.) For instance if a Carcinosin patient has one BM every two weeks, and you offer her Carcinosin 200C or 1M, there is nearly a 100% chance that she will mount a “healing” reaction and become ill with flu-like symptoms for a few days. Therefore, in many such cases of constipation in any constitutional type, I treat the constipation so that the patient has AT LEAST one BM a day BEFORE I offer her the constitutional remedy.
To make matters more complicated, note that sometimes you cannot treat the constipation with your conventional naturopathic therapies (such as bitters, magnesium, castor oil packs, laxative teas, etc.) UNLESS you offer the patient her constitutional homeopathic remedy. In such rare cases, the practitioner has to offer the patient her homeopathic remedy despite the possibility of a healing reaction. For instance, I had a constitutional Aluminum case whose constipation became worsened by magnesium which is an extremely unusual reaction. In fact, this patient’s constipation was not responding well to other natural therapies either. I had to offer her a dose of homeopathic Aluminum 200C in order to effectively treat the constipation. (Refer to her video under Patient Videos section on this website, her video is titled “Homeopathic Aluminum reverses Aluminum Toxicity”. Her chronic constipation was effectively treated overnight.)
Note that often patients with digestive problems require various other natural therapies/approaches in addition to homeopathic remedies. Proper lifestyle and diet, and various natural supplements such as DGL, digestive enzymes, bitters, probiotics, and liver/intestinal detox or cleansing can be critical as well.
In light of the extremely sad and heartbreaking news of the recent school shooting in Connecticut, I would like to write a brief note about how homeopathy may be of help in preventing such unbelievable atrocities in the world.
In homeopathy, there are people with a healthy “constitution” (with a descent level of mental/emotional/physical health), and then there are people with a rather unhealthy constitution. Fortunately, most people in society tend to have what we homeopaths would consider a “healthy” constitution (such as Calc carb, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Sulphur, etc.) Unfortunately, on the other hand, there are some of us who are not very healthy, and are in fact, either fully or borderline insane. People with these unhealthier constitutions live in every society on the planet, and picking them out among the general population tends to require great medical knowledge and skill. They can go under the radar of most people except for perhaps highly qualified mental health practitioners (therapists and doctors) and/or homeopaths. In homeopathic medicine, we are trained to look for extremely subtle clues to find out about the level of mental health in an individual. The more unhealthy constitutions include Mercurius, Syphilinum, Hyoscyamus, Veratrum album, etc. Some such “constitutions” indeed have homicidal tendencies. They may in fact be very nice people, but the tendency to hurt others is present deep in their mind (despite their own possible dislike of the presence of such tendencies in themselves). In fact, they may at times readily admit to such tendencies in order to receive help. I have at times had the fortune of helping such individuals, and have witnessed how homeopathy can alleviate these unhealthy tendencies very effectively.
Treating individuals with psycho-emotional complaints/disorders who have a “healthy” constitution is often doable without homeopathy. Unfortunately, however, effectively treating individuals with the “unhealthy” constitutions with psycho-emotional disturbances is, to my knowledge, significantly more difficult, if not impossible in some cases, without homeopathic treatment. In other words, conventional approaches to treating psycho-emotional disorders which often involve psychotherapy and/or pharmaceutical medications may not be effective in treating individuals who have these “unhealthy” constitutions.
I heard on the news that scientists are now looking more in-depth into genetic markers for mental disorders. Although genes do play a role in our mental/physical health, homeopaths believe that there is another entity which we inherit from our parents and bring into the world with us at birth called “miasm”, predisposing us to various physical and/or mental-emotional imbalances or disorders. There are three main miasms: psora, sycosis (not to be confused with “psychosis” which is a term used in psychology to refer to mental “illness”), and syphilis. There are various homeopathic remedies that are predominantly used for the treatment of each miasm. For example, the remedies Calc carb and Sulphur are both psoric remedies (meaning they can be used to treat the psoric miasm in us). Medorrhinum and Thuja are sycotic remedies (meaning they can be used to treat the sycotic miasm in us). And, Mercurius and Syphilinum are syphilitic remedies (meaning they can be used to treat the syphilitic miasm in us). There are many other remedies in each category, but the aforementioned remedies are the classical ones that are often associated with their perspective miasms listed above. We all have all the three miasms in us. The question is which miasm has a grip on us, and how much? If we have inherited more of the syphilitic miasm from our parents, we are much more likely to have a destructive nature. In other words, homeopathically speaking, the criminally minded people tend to be much more “syphilitic” in nature. Health is a state where the three miasms are in balance in a person. To bring the miasms in balance, homeopathic treatment is absolutely necessary. Therefore, to treat a person with homicidal and destructive tendencies, he would most likely need to be treated with a “syphilitic” remedy. Although drugs can suppress such tendencies, I am not certain if they are indeed curative. Homeopathic remedies, on the other hand, are designed to be curative, and I have personally seen them be highly effective in improving very deep-seated mental/emotional imbalances (including destructive tendencies) in my patients.
Therefore, as a doctor who specializes in homeopathy, I wish our society could be aware enough so that everyone would have an annual visit to their homeopath to make certain their mental/emotional health is satisfactory. If the homeopath finds any imbalances or unhealthy tendencies (such as the tendency to hurt others) in the patient, then the patient could be treated homeopathically before he actually acts upon such tendencies.
May God help us all develop the awareness necessary to make this shift as well as other positive shifts possible on our planet.