Here are the most commonly indicated remedies to relieve an excruciating toothache
Shobha came to visit my clinic with a complaint that for her was quite funny to narrate. She felt that though she gets good sleep at night, the legs do not. She had an unpleasant tingling sensation in the legs, especially in the calf muscles, which made her to move around or apply bandage tightly. She felt better by stretching the leg out, but still the uncomfortable pain did persist for some time. The intensity of the pain also prevented her to fall asleep or getting continuous refreshing sleep.
Shobha was suffering with nothing but ‘restless legs syndrome (RLS)’. In this condition, one or both legs can get affected. Though the name suggests it being a disease of the lower limbs, some patients also complain of similar symptoms in the arms as well. Apart from the sleep, the symptoms can get precipitated while being in a prolonged position like sitting at a desk, driving a car, watching a movie. The symptoms appear abruptly and can have a pulse-wave pattern of recurrence, making it more troublesome.
The prevalence of this disease increases with the age and it is believed that almost 10-15 per cent of the population is affected by RLS. It has been reported to be one of the leading causes of sleep-loss or insomnia in elderly population. It is seen more often in women than men. Though rare, children too can get affected with it, but the diagnosis is made difficult and can lead to various hyperactivity disorders or growing pains.
It is believed that RLS runs in the family; and is triggered or aggravated by epochs like Pregnancy, or systemic illnesses like kidney failure, and anemia related to iron or vitamin deficiency. The insufficient iron, which is a common manifestation of the above conditions, can be the reason to have the basic lack of dopamine. The brain uses dopamine to control limb movements. The diagnosis is usually made according to the symptomatology and clinical presentation. There is an opinion to check the levels of iron in the blood, although many people who have RLS can have perfectly normal levels of iron but abnormal levels of iron in the cerebro-spinal fluid that bathes their brain.
The treatment primarily includes dopamine-like drugs, sedatives along with behavioral strategies that include stretching, taking a hot bath, or massaging the legs before bedtime. The patients of RLS are often asked to avoid caffeinated beverages to reduce symptoms. If required and documented by the blood level tests, one can be given iron, vitamin B12, or folate supplements. Some patients may even require mild doses of anti-convulsive therapy, while some do feel relieved with analgesics.
Homeopathic medications have found more effective in relieving the symptoms of RLS without causing any unwanted side effects that are seen with any of the above treatments. A constitutional medicine approach along with the acute remedial prescription based on the symptom-similarity is the best approach to deal with this ailment.
Rohini, a television anchor and a news reader by profession, visited my clinic with a very strange complaint, she had never even heard about before. For the last few months, she was observing patchy white areas of yellowish white coat on her tongue. She first ignored it thinking it just due to the disturbed gastric schedule, but within a couple of months, she started getting burning or soreness in the tongue area on eating any citrus fruits like oranges or lemon. These areas were getting resolved spontaneously, but a new patch used to appear on the other region of the tongue, thus not letting the lesions resolve completely.
She had been to her local physician for the same, who first prescribed her local mouth wash, but instead of relieving the complaints, it aggravated the irritation further. She was then treated with antihistamines and topical steroids, without any significant improvement in the lesions. She was thus asked to continue a dose of multi-vitamin tablet, especially of b-complex vitamins.
Apart from the soreness, the major concern for Rohini was the dirty appearance of the tongue, which was prominently hampering her screen-image. She was once asked by the cameraman not to laugh with mouth wide open, since it made the appearance of the tongue much obvious. One of her friends then suggested her to take a homeopathic treatment and thus she came to me. Rohini suffered with what is called ‘Benign migratory glossitis’ or ‘Geographic tongue’.
As the name suggests, the condition is benign [possessing very less morbidity and no mortality] affecting almost 4% of the human population across the world. It is mostly asymptomatic but patients can experience burning, irritation or soreness that gets aggravated by certain food items and astringent flavored items. Many patients also get swelling of the tongue along with the appearance of deep fissures on the tongue surface.
It is believed that it is more common in patients suffering from psoriasis, but it is insignificant to link the two ailments since geographic tongue is seen commonly in non-psoriatic patients as well. It is also linked with hormonal changes withing the body, diabetes, smoking and spicy diet. It can be seen running in the family, but it is attributed more to the diet pattern than the genetic predominance. Females are seen getting affected more than males.
Ideally, there is no particular treatment for this ailment. Mostly the lesions can resolve without any treatment, giving undue credit to the multi-vitamin or local steroidal preparations prescribed empirically.
Homeopathic approach towards this ailment is that of a constitutional disorder. Rohini was interviewed in detail for the constitutional assessment and was prescribed Natrum mur, which not only resolved her tongue patches but also relieved her recurrent migraine attacks.
Other significant remedies that can be useful are – Nitric acid, Rhus tox, Taraxicum, Arsenic, Kali bich and Mercurius.
“Doctor, please do something for these white patches that appear on his cheeks I have started giving him oral calcium supplements but it didn’t help. Do you think it is because of worms?” a mother was asking me anxiously. She was worried about the light-colored circular patches that had appeared on the cheeks of her son. This is a very common complaint encountered in pediatric patients. Mostly parents connect it with either a deficiency of calcium or due to worm infestation; while some go to the extent of considering it a pre-vitiligo stage. The worried mothers empirically start treating the child with some OTC drugs, without knowing what is it actually?
What Is It:
Pityriasis alba, is a common skin disease, predominantly affecting children of 3-16 years of age [boys affected more than girls] and affects almost 8-10% of children at least once in their lifetime. The word ‘pityriasis’ denotes the finely scaled appearance while the word ‘alba’ is Latin for white, the color of the patches. The patches are definitely not permanent and the condition is known to be self-limiting, resolving on its own after a certain period. There is no evidence that it progresses to vitiligo in future, since pathophysiologically, both are completely different entities.
Pityriasis alba falls under idiopathic dermatosis, which means the cause is yet unknown.
It is considered as superficial dermatitis, that is usually seen in atopic [prone to allergy] children and presents with dry-scaled, light colored patches on the face – especially around the mouth. Due to its color, it seems accentuated during the summer. It might itch during the early stage of appearance.
It is most likely to be mistaken with vitiligo or leucoderma, where there is a complete absence of the dark pigmentation. The pityriasis alba lesions do not usually have a well-defined border [like in vitiligo] and they do not coalesce [as in tinea versicolor].
Ideally, treatment is not necessary for pityriasis alba, but one should consult a physician to rule out the other causes of hypopigmentation, which might need treatment. Antifungal ointments have shown improvement in some patients.
Homeopathy can help these patients with its constitutional treatment approach as per the assessment of individual psycho-somatic disposition.
An occurrence of syncope needs to be differentiated from a seizure episode since it mimics the later very closely. A recurrent and unexplained episodes of syncope need to be examined for possible structural cardiac pathologies since it can lead to death if not attended in time. Most of the times, syncope occurs suddenly without any warning, but few patients can experience pre-syncope manifestations like light-headedness, dizziness, a feeling of warmth, nausea, and visual blurring.
The transient reduction in the cerebral blood flow is mostly due to three basic causes
1. Disturbance in the vascular tone or blood volume
2. Obstructive cardiovascular disorders and rhythm abnormalities
3. Cerebrovascular diseases
The disturbance of vascular tone or blood volume can be due to situations like cough, micturition, defecation or valsalva maneuver as well as due to carotid sinus hypersensitivity. Also due to orthostatic hypotension because of some vasodilator drugs, pure autonomic failure, peripheral neuropathy, and decreased blood volume. Cardiac rhythm abnormalities like sinus bradicardia, sinus arrest, atrioventricular block or atril flutter and fibrillation can also lead to syncope. Vetebrobasilar insufficiency or basilar artery migraine are one of the cerebrovascular diseases causing syncope.
Disorders that can mimic syncope are few metabolic disorders like hypoxia, hypoglycemia, anemia or hyperventilation or some psychogenic events due to anxiety attacks or hysterical fainting.
Neurocardiogenic or vasovagal syncope is usually associated with both sympathetic withdrawal [vasodilatation] and increased parasympathetic activity causing bradicardia. These are precipitated by alcohol consumption, severe pain, extreme fatigue, hunger, prolonged standing, exposure to hot or crowded environment, and during emotional situation.
The above mentioned pathologies should be ruled out by conducting diagnostic tests after a thorough clinical history – including serum electrolytes, glucose and blood counts. Electrocardiogram, cardiac enzymes need to be checked in case of cardiac causes. An electroencephalogram will rule out the possibility of a seizure activity.
Sporadically occurring syncope attacks do not need any treatment if they are of vasovagal origin. Remedies like gelsemium, belladonna, conium and phosphorus have been most effective in treating recurrent episodes of syncope. The totality should be based on the precipitating factors like exposure to direct sunlight [as in belladonna and gelsemium] as well as the factors that modify the episodes such as getting aggravated on sudden rising, looking up, etc.
Symptoms that follow the syncopal attack too play a significant role in remedy selection. Gelsemium patient will have a drowsy and dull look with reduced thirst. Belladonna will show marked congestion of eyes along with throbbing headache after the episode. Arsenic album will have anxiety with frequent thirst for small quantities of water. Phosphorus patient will have intolerance of light, especially the artificial one. Of course, these symptoms will help to select a remedy for preventing the future attacks.
A well-selected deep-acting constitutional remedy will always have its role to restore the vital force back to normal, so as to treat the basic pattern.
“ The symptoms that you are talking about are nothing but an indication that you are suffering from Parkinson’s disease”. Almost all patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease have heard this statement at least once from their physician, and have not been able to forget it.
Almost all patients suffer a major setback when they try to accept the harsh reality of getting diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). That is usually the beginning of a life-long fight with an irreversible ailment that makes one more and more dependent on the environment with every rising day. Each and every patient (and most of their care-takers) experience an episode of depression at least once in their lifetime, and at least 50% of them have to take a treatment for it.
The ever-increasing dependency, not being able to do small and easy day to day jobs, unaffordable cost of treatment, failure of the current medical world not only to cure but even to control the growth of the ailment,… everything leads to a state of anguish and vexation, which itself can hinder the efficacy of the medication given for the disease.
The most commonly occurring emotional changes are:
Bach Flower Therapy: a simple yet effective therapy for emotional ailments
Bach flower therapy comprise a therapeutic system that uses dilutions of flower essences developed from 38 naturally occurring flowers, to balance physical and emotional disturbances. This therapy was developed and introduced by Dr Edward Bach, a Harley street physician, in 1936, who believed that the right essence can nullify the ‘predominant, persistent negative mental states’ to bring back the patient to a positive mental state. These essences interact with the subtle bodies and so can help people by addressing the emotional responses of patients towards oneself and the disease.
There are 38 original Bach flower remedies, each prescribed for certain mental and emotional problem, together forming a complete therapeutic system of healing. The remedies are prepared by picking fresh flowers, still wet with dew, placing them in a clear glass bowl of spring water and leaving them in sunlight for several hours during the early–morning.
Dr Bach believed that the remedies contained small amounts of the plant’s life-force energy which enabled them to provide vibration patterns needed to either neutralize or serve as an antidote to negative emotional, behavioral, or cognitive states. Each one of the 38 remedies corresponds to a precise psychological imbalance and is suitable for treating an extensive series of symptoms. There is no standard remedy for any disorder as the same problem experienced by different individuals can produce quite varied psychological reactions. Each individual requires a unique treatment. Depending on the symptoms, the remedies can be used singly or in combinations to a maximum of 7. The remedies are taken on the tongue, under the tongue, or at the pulse point of the wrist a minimum of 4 times per day.
Commonly prescribed Bach flower remedies for PD patients:
Very useful to treat the hopeless and depressed state where the patient has lost hope and denies any kind of treatment. These patients literally need to be carried to the doctor. These patients will concentrate more on the intractable nature of the ailment, to feel utterly low.
2. Mimulus & Larch:
These remedies can be prescribed for specific fears and the lack of confidence, respectively. These patients always have got a fear of falling while walking, which can be relieved with Mimulus. The addition of Larch to it will boost the self-confidence.
This remedy is useful treating the state of marked prostration resulting due to the unfailing tremor, loss of appetite, digestive complaints, and recurrent negative thoughts. The patient feels completely drained and exhausted. There is a significant lack of vitality. The remedy Olive can help these patients to regain their strength. Also is useful for the care-taker.
4. White chestnut:
A good remedy for loss of sleep due to recurrent negative thoughts, leading to a state of irritation or agitation.
Advantages of Bach flower therapy:
In patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, these remedies can help the patient (and the caretaker) to get relief from the negative emotions like fear, anxiety, depression and hopelessness. Once the emotional balance is achieved, one can deal with the physical ailment in a better shape and can face life more positively.
Love, Affection, Sympathy, Care and Homage, we use flowers in all situations of life. Bach flower therapy has proved that flowers not only represent our emotions but can also help to heal them, naturally!
Have you noticed small moving spots that appear in your visual field when you look at some bright object like a blue sky or a plain paper? These spots can be very annoying once you become aware of them and are usually referred as ‘Eye Floaters’ or ‘muscae volitantes’ which in Latin means ‘flying flies’.
Although these floaters are quite annoying, they seldom interfere with your vision. In rare conditions they can cast subtle shadows over the vision but only in certain types of light.
The more you accept them, ignore them or learn to live with these dark transparent objects, you will be able to live with them comfortably. If you can achieve that, these common visual foes will not become bothersome any more.
They usually take various shapes and sizes like black or gray dots, cobwebs, rings, thread like strands that are semi-transparent or squiggly lines. Although they can develop overnight, they do not resolve so fast.
The more you try to focus on them, more they will dart away from you. Most of them are caused by little flecks of collagen, a kind of protein. They are often seen as a sign of ageing, eye injury or diabetic retinopathy. People with diabetes are more prone to getting eye-floaters.
Although most of the times these objects are benign (meaning harmless) in nature, one must consult an ophthalmologist if they are accompanied by flashes of light, pain or any loss of visual power. Serious causes include retinal detachment, retinal tear and bleeding within the eye.
There is no drug-treatment available for this ailment. In case they become really bothersome, a surgical procedure called vitrectomy can be performed, but it can lead to retinal detachment or tears or early cataract in few patients.
Homeopathic medicines do not remove eye-floaters completely but can reduce their size, number and shapes significantly, as seen with numerous cases treated till now.
The primary aim of homeopathic treatment is targeted towards restoring the constitutional balance within, to aid in setting the body-equilibrium. It is achieved by carefully selecting an appropriately suited remedy for an individual patient, considering the various characteristics at the physical, emotional and intellectual sphere. A professional is trained in ascertaining these qualities and analysing them to arrive at the most-similar remedy selection.
For homeopathic students: the local remedies that have given good results in eye-floaters are Aesculus hippo, Caust, Cocculus, Natrum mur, Nitric Acid, Phosphorus, Physostigma and Silica.