Thursday, April 17, 2008

Research: Homeopathy I

And it's been another week! This week I have been so incredibly busy that I almost forgot I had a blog at all! Seriously. Caleb's had a cold, and I've been working like mad on a cake for a friend's baby shower. I always forget how labor-intensive one little cake can be! And it's all going to be EATEN within an hour of showing it! Aaahhhh!!! Well, I'd better head away from that subject... it is that way that insanity lies. :) But seriously, I'm having a blast and have learned some new techniques. Oh, and we also put a bid on yet another house (this is #3). It's at the beginning of a short sale process, so it will truly be an act of an omnipotent God if we ever get our bid accepted.

Anyway, it's been forever since I posted any hyperemesis gravidarum research - ever since I blew myself out with that big essay on herbal remedies (which needs to be updated). I thought (assuming C. gives me time) that I'd write for a few minutes on homeopathic remedies for morning sickness.

Homeopathy is a healing modality that is not currently recognized by Western medicine. It is based on the "law of similars," that is, that a substance which causes a certain set of symptoms, will, properly prepared in minute amounts, cure the same set of symptoms. So, for example, onion causes itchy, burning eyes. A homeopathic preparation of onion would be used to cure conditions which included itchy, burning eyes (allergies, etc.). Make sense?

I too would reject homeopathy, as most western doctors do, except for one small problem - it works. I've seen it work on many occasions. Most notably, I have witnessed the power of Zicam, a homeopathic preparation of zinc, to prevent and mitigate head colds. I also know many people who use it regularly with great results. Many midwives carry homeopathics, and homebirth midwives are the last people in the world to use remedies that don't work. Further proof of homeopathy is that it works beautifully on children and animals, two classes of beings who are not open to the placebo effect.

The problem with homeopathy is that the remedies are not particularly easy to prescribe. The remedy will be based on the patient, as well as the malady. Therefore, two people suffering from the same condition may need entirely different remedies based on their personal constitutions. That's where a homeopath comes in handy, although careful self-prescription is possible.

Another lovely thing about homeopathics is that they are pretty much side-effect free, unless you want to go into the stronger doses (200C).

So.... homeopathy and hyperemesis gravidarum! There is one amazing story of a woman who was able to control her HG with homeopathics - I can't copy the hyperlink properly, but go to this website, click on "homeopathy" on the side bar, and read Kerry's guide to homeopathy and the story of her second pregnancy:

This website is a great resource, and this story was a very exciting find. The OB with whom I have signed up for baby #2 (assumed) shares an office with a naturopath who will be able to prescribe homeopathics, and I'm definitely interested in trying this out.

Well, I have a whole folder full of photocopies of info on homeopathy for morning sickness, but I don't think I will start there now. Our baby has now slept almost three hours (he's sick - normally he only sleeps 1.5 hours), and I know he'll be up any second. I don't want to be interrupted in the middle! So now, having given an introduction to homeopathy, I will continue next time to go straight into the research. Till then!


  1. Hi! Have you had the opportunity to try homeopathy in a pregnancy of your own yet? I contacted a homebirth midwife to interview for birth and she told me homeopathy, naturopaths and acupuncture "will all work" for severe HG. This is my third time around and I have tried plenty of natural methods including naturopaths and acupuncture, so I was rather offended by her assurance. She also tried to tell me it should be easing up by the end of this, my thirteenth week. Even though it has lasted until 26 weeks and beyond in the past (nausea and some vomiting throughout). I felt it was dismissive. But I am always open to new things, I just don't like the being presented as THE cure by someone who has never had HG and I think her approach was really just thinly guised "mind over matter, it is all in your head." I don't want to waste any more money on a potential waste of time and money although I am always keen to try new things. I only want to try things that are really promising though, that a multipara mama recommends

    1. Barefoot in the Kitchen -

      Hello! Welcome, and thanks for visiting!

      I have not seriously used homeopathy for hyperemesis. I did try sepia once; it did nothing. From what I understand, homeopathy is something that oftentimes requires a real expert to do well. In other words, one would probably have to see a professional, experienced homeopath rather than just looking it up on the web.

      I have heard several women's experiences with HG and homeopathy. One woman said that it worked very well. Her testimony was on the UK hyperemesis site, but unfortunately I cannot find that site again. Another woman said that it worked well for one pregnancy, but not another.

      I do believe that homeopathy and naturopathy could be very helpful for HG (as well as other naturopathic modalities like acupuncture). However, it would require professionals who knew pregnancy and HG well, which not all naturopaths/homeopaths do. For example, when I was trying to find answers for HG, I started going to a naturopath - but quit when I finally realized that I knew more about pregnancy than she did. Different physicians have different strengths!

      Also, I would be - as you seem to be - somewhat alarmed about the views expressed by your potential midwife. Firstly, there are no guarantees that ANYTHING will work for HG. Secondly, it is extremely rare that hyperemesis stops by the 13th week. Most women are sick for much longer than that. It sounds like she may just not have very much experience with hyperemetic mothers.

      I am an enthusiastic homebirther myself, but if the natural birth community has a weakness, it is a tendency to dismiss serious pregnancy conditions or to insist that they can be treated with simple natural remedies. In one of my birth groups, when hyperemesis came up, the suggestions that came in were anything from "try ginger/crackers" to "take a brisk walk." The last one was from a respected and experienced midwife. There is sometimes just a deep ignorance of serious conditions such as hyperemesis. Of course, that ignorance is not limited to the natural birth community - it's also very common within the obstetric community. But I would be concerned that this midwife does not take hyperemesis seriously, or considers that it is a condition with an easy fix (or a mind-over-matter fix).

      It's always worth while trying new things, and I definitely hope that you can find what works for you! For me, the very-low-carb high-fat diet worked to keep me out of hyperemesis. You can read about that here:

      Best wishes to you!!


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