Cruising through the holidays – Nine remedies you should know –
by Luc De Schepper, MD, PhD, LicAc, CHom
Thanksgiving … Christmas … Hanukkah … New Year’s. Oh, what glorious holidays! No matter how bad the year has been, these holidays offer a ray of hope: for hardworking people and students, a winding down time, and for most everyone, a time to reunite with close friends and family.
But what should be a time of happiness and relaxation often turns into a swamp of despair, mental exhaustion, and physical breakdown. This article shows you how homeopathy, your year-around friend, can help you enjoy your well-earned vacation.
Stressed out business people
What about the workaholic businessman or the stressed out career woman, holding their breath just long enough to collapse at the holidays. But what’s this? They then find themselves incapable of unwinding: they wake up at 3:00 a.m., already planning their next day in the office. They toss and turn with an overactive mind until they get thrown out of bed by their fed-up spouse. Nux vomica, a homeopathic remedy made from the “poison chesnut,” may help their nervous system and mind to relax so that sleep can come.
Hangovers and more
Nux vomica may also save your holiday season when food and drink seem to pop up everywhere, and every family member turns into a pusher. “You absolutely have to taste this cake I made for you,” and “Aren’t you going to taste this special liqueur that grandfather saved for you?” Temptations, temptations! But the next day your stomach feels like the sewers of New York! Just the thought of food turns you off, and you have a hangover bigger than the Eiffel Tower.
Before you succumb to a TV ad for the King of Antacids, try Nux vomica—the cheapest and fastest working remedy available, in my experience. It can work wonders on hangovers. The same goes for the effects of overeating, or eating too much rich food.
For those visiting relatives who suffer from travelers’ diarrhea, I recommend Arsenicum. But some people have the opposite problem when they travel. They get constipated the moment they leave home, often with gas, bloating, and burping. If so, Lycopodium may be their lifesaver.
The students among you have just finished a marathon. Do you feel like your brain has been going through the washer/dryer, with no more functioning brain cells left? You may feel that you’ll need the whole holiday just to recuperate for next semester. What’s worse, I’m amazed at the amount of stimulating drugs students take. It’s like playing with fire, because often the body gives up before the final test. And if not, the price you pay for whipping your body like a dead horse is physical collapse.
The real solution, of course, is to study from day one, but the party beasts among you are now facing this uphill battle of physical and mental exhaustion. As in any condition, you will succumb mentally and emotionally first. Not a good thought when you have to cram all that knowledge into your ever-shrinking brain.
Two homeopathic remedies should be part of every student’s medicine chest. Kali phosphoricum is ideal when worry and nervousness bring on mental exhaustion. It’s also useful when overstudying brings on nervous exhaustion and mental and physical depression; the slightest labor seems like a heavy task, causing forgetfulness, loss of memory, and despair about passing tests.
An equally powerful mind-healing remedy is Picric acid. It can help with weakness and tiredness in body and mind, and is especially suited to students who are mentally worn out and use increased sexual activity to relax, which can then lead to physical exhaustion as well. There is no better remedy for the worn-out student with a lack of will power to undertake anything and a dread of failing exams.
One of the greatest problems for students is performance anxiety or anticipation anxiety, that “squeezy stomach” before an exam. You can feel as though you’re about to explode in a stream of diarrhea. Not a good way to start a test! And the anxiety can be so overwhelming that you forget everything you learned. Argentum nitricum may come to the rescue for anticipation, apprehension, and fear, be it stage fright or examination nerves. And for those travelers who are afraid to fly to visit their family for the holidays, this remedy is one of the best remedies for fear of flying.
When sadness clouds the joy
Holidays can also be a depressing time because they bring up sad memories of deceased relatives. Many times I have seen my patients’ existing symptoms exacerbated or new symptoms appear when the memory of their lost loved ones opens the wound in their heart again. Do you know how much that hurts? It is impossible to hide these feelings and yet you are overcome with guilt and remorse because you can’t add to the joyful holiday atmosphere.
Ignatia can give you a calmness, a soothing feeling that your deceased loved ones are smiling above your head and approving of your serene spirit. Besides emotional turmoil, Ignatia may prevent many physical ailments: a stiff neck, painful joints, headaches, and exhaustion. When these symptoms are linked to memories of grief and loss, Ignatia will be your friend in need.
Endless cleaning, cooking, & entertaining
The holiday season has an exhausting effect on those who are engaged in the endless round of cleaning and cooking. Most people’s favorite time of year can turn into a nightmare for the unrewarded woman who guides the family ship through rough waters throughout the year. All that holiday shopping, cooking, and entertaining can lead to burn-out and exhaustion, indifference and apathy, with irritability and snapping at children and loved ones and inexplicable crying spells. Not the right music for the holidays! If you have these symptoms, consult a homeopathic practitioner. Sepia just may be the remedy that will give you the physical and emotional reserves to get through without losing your cookies!
A bad time for bad news
Unfortunately, sometimes the holidays can be a time when you get the phone call everyone dreads the most: one of your children has been injured, or worse, in a travel or skiing accident. Or perhaps you get a call that an elderly relative has been hospitalized. The holidays are the worst time for widows and widowers, the time they are most likely to fall ill.
If you react to bad news like someone hit you on the head with a hammer, if you feel paralyzed with shock, numb, dizzy, and unable to move (not unlike a flu with chills, muscle pains, and fatigue), then Gelsemium may be your knight in shining armor. It can lift you out of this daze and get your mental and physical machinery in motion.
Other people react differently to hearing bad news. Their first thought is “Why me?” Their stomach turns into a knot and they feel like a frog in their throat prevents them from swallowing—although when they try to eat they have no problem! In fact they often react to these circumstances by eating their refrigerator empty. Often they follow the three “S” pattern: they sit, sigh, and sob. Ignatia will come to their rescue!
With the help of this article I hope that your holidays will be smooth sailing.
Take these remedies in the 30C potency. You can find them in most health food stores. Here’s my favorite method for taking them. Just put one pellet in 4 ounces of water. Take one teaspoon of this every 15 to 30 minutes, decreasing the frequency as you are feeling better. Stop when you feel much better. To take a remedy preventively (such as Argentum nitricum for fear of flying or exams), take the 30C potency, 3 pellets dry in the mouth, only one dose.
About the author:
Luc De Schepper, MD, is founder and sole teacher of the Renaissance Institute of Classical Homeopathy, the largest school in the U.S., with classes in Boston and Secaucus, NJ. He is the author of 13 books. Visit his web site www.drluc.com for more information.