First aid the homeopathic way

Bites, bruises, strains and sprains can quickly spoil an otherwise active summer. Get yourself and your family back out there with a homeopathic first aid kit. Peter Borregard, a certified homeopath at Pharmaca in Berkeley, shares his recommendations for treating common injuries.

"The right remedy can help speed healing for many injuries and acute illnesses," says Peter. He explains that treatments work best when there is a close match between the individual's symptoms and the remedy's tested abilities. A trained homeopath can recommend options, including strengths, based on your specific needs.

Arnica montana is probably the most commonly used homeopathic treatment for soft tissue injuries like muscle or tendon trauma as well as bruising. It can be taken orally or used topically for site specific injuries. While western medicine doesn't offer many treatment options for sprains and the like, Peter says arnica offers at least some benefit in 70-80 percent of soft tissue injuries.

Individual treatment may involve a sequence of remedies or a combination of therapies to ensure proper healing. For example, Peter says that many sprains benefit from arnica initially, and then Rhus toxicodendron if stiffness continues. Additionally, one treatment may work better than another for a particular individual. Our practitioners often recommend combination preparations to cover more bases.

Try Ledum palustre for insect bites, stings and minor puncture wounds. Keep some Calendula gel handy as it is useful for sunburns. Rhus toxicodendron can help with red, swollen and itchy skin associated with poison oak or ivy. Other homeopathic remedies are available based on your specific needs for conditions ranging from cold sores to motion sickness.

Homeopathic treatments are wonderful because they are safe for all ages and generally don't cause unwanted side effects. Peter stresses the importance of giving remedies as soon as possible after an injury with due respect being given to standard lifesaving and first aid principles and procedures.

Visit your local Pharmaca to meet with a licensed practitioner who can help with your summer first aid needs. We'll gladly take care of you.

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