|Cystitis (Bladder Infection)
Another extremely common condition for which Homeopathic medicines seem to work wonders is cystitis (bladder infection). While professional Homeopathic care and/or medical attention should be sought to treat recurring bladder symptoms and for severe symptoms, an individually chosen Homeopathic medicine can alleviate the pain and discomfort of most acute conditions before the woman reaches the doctor's office.
The two most common remedies for acute cystitis are Cantharis (burning, cutting pain before, during, and after urination, each drop passing as though it were scalding water, frequent urges to urinate) and Sarsaparilla (severe pain at end of urination, burning pain and constant urging; a characteristic but not common symptom is that urine can be passed only while standing). Other remedies to consider are Berberis (pain in the thighs and loins during urination, pain extending from the bladder and/or over the abdomen to the urethra), Pulsatilla (pain during and after urination as well as when lying down, dry mouth but no thirst), Apis (stinging pains with an aggravation of symptoms by warmth of any sort), Belladonna (acute pain aggravated by any motion or simple jarring, a sensation of something moving inside the bladder, restlessness at night with wild dreams), Nux vomica (constant urge to urinate, short relief when passing small quantities and from warm applications or warm bathing), and Causticum (cystitis after surgery, involuntary urination when coughing or sneezing).
Dose: Take the 6, 12, or 30th potency every two hours during intense symptoms and every four hours for less intense symptoms. Stop taking the remedy if symptoms are gone or become mild. If there isn't some type of obvious improvement in 24 hours, try another remedy. The correct remedy may need to be taken for up to three days for an acute urinary tract infection.
Vaginitis refers to an inflammatory condition in the vagina that is primarily the result of infection (i.e., from Candida albicans, Trichomonas vaginalis, Gardnerella vaginalis, or Chlamydia trachomatis) or exposure to an irritant (chemical or allergic). The symptoms of vaginitis generally include an abnormal vaginal discharge and itching or burning pains. To understand how and why Homeopathic medicines are effective, it is useful to learn something about the nature of vaginitis.
One of the most common types of vaginitis is a yeast infection, usually caused by the yeast Candida albicans. The vagina normally is populated by a variety of microorganisms that help to prevent infection. The "good" microorganisms create a chemical environment that inhibits the "bad" microorganisms. They also compete for food with the "bad" infective organisms. If a woman takes antibiotics to treat an infection, whether it is for vaginitis or not, the antibiotics kill both the bad and the good microorganisms, ultimately creating various imbalances in the body, including yeast infections.
The vagina can normally live comfortably with small amounts of yeast, but the killing of good microorganisms by antibiotics allows yeast to grow in significant numbers, creating a yeast infection.
Conventional treatment for yeast conditions is usually antifungal medications or suppositories. While these medicines may temporarily decrease the number of yeast cells, they do not increase the body's good microorganisms, nor do they protect the body from future yeast infections.
Other factors that can disrupt the ecological balance in the vagina are a high sugar diet, birth control pills, and certain hormonal changes, including those caused by pregnancy. Simply getting rid of the yeast, bacteria, or other pathogens growing as a result of the ecological imbalance and leading to vaginitis does not resolve the fundamental stress to the woman's health.
Homeopathic medicines are not antifungal or antibacterial in the conventional sense. Rather, they strengthen a woman's own defenses, which then help her body fight off the fungal infection itself. By this process they do not create the same type of internal ecological disruption that antibiotics cause. Some of the common remedies for vaginitis are Pulsatilla (white, yellow, or greenish bland vaginal discharge with vaginal soreness, a weepy, moody, emotionally-laden state, thirstlessness, aggravated by heat and relieved in the open air; a common remedy for vaginitis in pregnant women), Kreosotum (itching with burning pains, a yellow, putrid vaginal discharge which is acrid and irritates the vaginal lips and surrounding skin; the discharge may stain bedsheets, and is worse in the morning and upon standing), Borax (a burning vaginal discharge which is the color of egg whites; Borax tends to be useful for vaginitis that occurs midway between menstrual periods), Hydrastis (profuse stringy yellow vaginal discharge with great itching, worse after menstruation), Sepia (white, milky, offensive, itchy, and burning discharge which tends to be more profuse in the morning and while walking, sensations of uncomfortable pressure and heaviness in the vaginal area, general fatigue, constipation, irritability, depression), Graphites (premenstrual yeast infection, often in overweight women with thin, white, acrid discharge and who may experience a concurrent backache, increased discharge in the morning and while walking), and Calcarea carb (thick yellow or milky discharge which tends to cause intense itching, usually in overweight, fair-skinned women, worse before menses and on becoming warm, though they tend to be very chilly; a headache and spasmodic cramps may be concurrent). These remedies are effective not only for yeast infections, but also for other types of vaginal infection. In addition, there are numerous Homeopathic formula products in pill or suppository form that can be used to treat the acute vaginal infection effectively.
Chronic or recurrent vaginitis should receive professional Homeopathic care for an appropriate constitutional medicine.
Dose: Take the 6, 12, or 30th potency every two hours during intense symptoms and every four hours for less intense symptoms. Stop taking the remedy if symptoms are gone or have become mild. If there isn't some type of obvious improvement in 48 hours, try another remedy.
Cysts and Fibroids
A cyst is a usually harmless fluid-filled sac of tissue that may be found in the breast, ovaries, or vagina, or simply under the skin. Small cysts are often imperceptible, and even large ones can sometimes be symptomless unless they are large enough to press on certain organs or nerves. Fibroids are noncancerous growths in or on the walls of the uterus which can lead to abnormal uterine bleeding, painful intercourse, and bladder and bowel pressure.
Cysts and fibroids are relatively common symptoms experienced by women. Conventional medical care ranges from the conservative ("Let's leave it alone and let it go away") to the radical ("We need to remove it before it gets worse or causes any other problem"). Homeopathic treatment for these conditions generally requires professional constitutional care. Some Homeopaths have observed that cysts often respond rapidly to the correct Homeopathic medicine, while fibroids tend to take longer. Homeopathic remedies for fibroids will not always completely get rid of them, but they do often at least reduce bleeding or other complications. Homeopathic treatment of fibroids tends to be more effective when they are not too extensive.
In reference to the treatment of cysts, a gynecologist from Barcelona, recently reported on a study she performed evaluating 40 cases of ovarian cysts. After nine months of treatment using individually chosen Homeopathic medicines, 36 of the 40 women had no evidence of a cyst, three had only a right-sided cyst, and one had a cyst on both sides.2
Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus gets displaced and appears in various sites in the body, including the ovaries, the bladder, or the bowel. Although the cause of this condition is unknown, it is sustained by ovarian hormones.
Endometriosis can lead to varying symptoms, including heavy, painful periods, breast swelling, backache before periods, infertility, painful intercourse, dizziness, and depression. Conventional treatments for it are diverse and problematic. The conventional pharmacological treatment is with drugs that inhibit ovarian or pituitary hormones. These drugs produce various masculinizing effects, including increased body hair and irreversible changes in the voice. Some physicians recommend surgical treatment in which the displaced cells are burned out with a laser, or removal of the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries.
Because some women experience great pain with this condition, they are desperate for any relief. These conventional medical treatments sometimes provide relief, but at the cost of new problematic symptoms and sometimes at the cost of the recurrence of the original condition.
Michael Carlston, MD, a Homeopath and assistant clinical professor at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, asserts that Homeopathic medicines can be very helpful at the early and middle stages of endometriosis, though because of severe scarring during advanced stages of the disease, they are not very effective later on. Endometriosis is not an ailment amenable to self-care; professional Homeopathic care is required.
Fertility and Contraception
Because Homeopathic medicines can be effective in reestablishing health in women's reproductive organs, it follows that they can be helpful in reestablishing fertility. Homeopathic constitutional care, rather than self-care, is necessary for treating problems of fertility.
Some women ask if Homeopathic medicines can be used for contraception. The answer to this question is a definitive "No." Homeopathic medicines create healthy people, and in the process of doing so tend to make people more rather than less fertile.
Any pharmacological agent that is strong enough to block conception is also strong enough to cause other physiological disruptions. Birth control pills have been linked to heart disease and to breast cancer, though while some studies have found this latter link, others have not. Various less drastic but still problematic symptoms have also been associated with the use of birth control pills, including increased vaginal bleeding, migraine headaches, bladder infections, depression, and various nutritional deficiencies. Dr. Ronald W. Davey, physician to Queen Elizabeth II, notes that he sometimes uses Homeopathic doses of the Pill to treat women who have suffered from side effects of this drug. To get the best results, however, a woman has to have stopped taking the Pill.
Many women have experienced symptoms from the IUD as well. Chellis Glendinning, in her book When Technology Wounds, describes her traumatic experiences with the ill-famed Dalkon shield IUD.3 Ultimately, professional care from a Homeopathic physician helped restore her health when no other treatment was effective.
Side effects from conventional drugs and from medical devices generally require the attention of a professional Homeopath, unless the symptoms are extremely minor.