A sprained ankle on the soccer field, a bruise after football practice, a pulled muscle from jogging, or overexertion in a yoga class; sports related or not, injuries happen to us all.
If there are children at your home, you know this all to well! According to the CDC, each year in the U.S. more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger are treated for playground-related injuries alone.
If your first-aid kit contains only a box of bandages and a bottle of aspirin, you may want to consider adding some homeopathic remedies for the bumps, bruises, sprains and strains that can happen in a moment.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a system of medicines that originated over 200 years ago by a German doctor. Samuel Hahnemann was shocked with the harsh medical practices of his day, like blood-letting and the use of poisons such as arsenic. He began to look for a different way to treat patients and practice medicine, and homeopathy was born.
Homeopathic medicine is still practiced today, with the aim of triggering the body's natural system of healing. Homeopathic remedies are highly diluted substances, prepared by a careful process of dilution and agitation. Patients are treated with the theory of "Like Cures Like". This means that a substance that has a specific symptom in a person who is well, can be used to treat those same symptoms in someone who is unwell.
The ABC's of Treating Injuries with Homeopathy
Most homeopathic remedies for minor injuries, like bumps, bruises, sprains, and pain, include one or more of the following substances. Homeopathic remedies are often found in pill and liquid form to take orally, but many of these are also available as a topical ointment or cream as well.
A is for Arnica- the most well known and often used of homeopathic remedies. Arnica montana is used in homeopathy for most types of injuries: bruises, sprains, muscle injuries, and falls. Arnica is used to reduce pain and to speed the healing process. "No sports bag should be allowed in the locker room without homeopathic Arnica (mountain daisy) inside," writes Stephen Malthouse, MD., a homeopathic practitioner and teacher in Victoria, BC.
B is for Belladonna- also known as "deadly nightshade". Belladonna's name means "beautiful lady". Belladonna is found in topical applications only, as it can be a toxic herb if swallowed. In homeopathic practice, Belladonna is used to treat insect stings, injuries or accidents from a sudden jar or impact, when every movement or turn of the body increases pain. When movement makes the pain worse, and stillness makes it better, Belladonna is usually the homeopathic recommendation.
That's not all, B is also for Bellis and Bryonia...
Bellis Perennis is a member of the daisy family, just like its cousin Arnica. Bellis perennis is often used to treat muscular soreness, for injuries to soft tissues, and injuries to the abdomen and chest. Much like its cousin Arnica, Bellis Perennis is often used for sprains and bruises as well.
Bryonia is a member of the cucumber family that is used for pain relief and to promote healing in the muscles, connective tissues, joints, and tendons. Bryonia is considered particularly useful as a remedy for swelling that is associated with redness.
C is for Calendula- commonly called Marigold. This ornamental flower is used to treat minor cuts, lacerations of the skin, scrapes, and burns. It is also used for injuries of muscles and tendons with intense inflammation. Calendula is available in topical and oral applications, and it can also be added to bathwater for muscle soreness.
C is also for...
Chamomilla may already be a homeopathic remedy in your home, if you have a box of chamomile tea in your kitchen! The calming effects of German Chamomile, or Chamomilla, may be responsible for its use in individuals experiencing pain. Chamomilla is often givent to infants for teething pain. It is used in homeopathic remedies for bruises, injuries to soft tissues, and is used for "violent" pain that is accompanied by numbness. If pain is eased by movement, then Chamomilla may be used.
Last but not least,
gets an honorable mention in our ABCs of homeopathic injury treatment. Hypericum is used to treat injuries to hypersensitive areas, such as nerve-rich areas of the body like fingers, toes, the back, and the neck. You may know Hypericum a bit better by its common name, St. John's Wort. Hypericum can be kept on hand for bumped tailbones, or for the terrible times when a finger gets slammed in the door. (Or to setlle your nerves after the inevitable screaming that happens after the finger slamming!)
The easiest way to experience the injury benefits of these homeopathic remedies? Look for a topical cream, gel, or ointment that contains one or more of those listed above. Many formulas are available that have been designed specifically to help you recover quickly from bumps, bruises, falls, sprains, and other injuries. A homeopathic injury cream may be the starring member of your first-aid kit, in your gym bag, and at sports practice!
Homeopathic remedies are regulated by the U.S Food and Drug Adminsistration (FDA), however it should be mentioned that the FDA does not evaluate the remedies for safety or efficacy. Be sure to let your medical professional know about all supplements or herbal medicines that you are taking.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): Homeopathy, an Introduction; http://nccam.nih.gov/health/homeopathy
Malthouse, Stephen. "Treating Sports Injuries with Homeopathy"; Alive; http://www.alive.com/articles/view/17666/treating_sports_injuries_with_homeopathy
Aspinwall, Mary. "Homeopathy and Sports Injuries"; Homeopathy World; June 5, 2012; http://www.homeopathyworld.com/blog/homeopathy-and-sports-injuries/
The Society of Homeopaths: About Homeopathy; http://www.homeopathy-soh.org/about-homeopathy/