General Information

Homeopathy is pretty solid stuff, but a few things need to be avoided until we know whether or not the remedy will act well.

1. Coffee, even decaf
2. Strong mints (e.g., Altoids)
3. Strong mouthwashes (e.g., Listerine)
4. Street drugs such as marijuana
5. Strong aromatherapy (e.g., peppermint massage oil, eucalyptus, menthol, and camphor)
6. Menthol cigarettes
7. Electric blankets
8. Any other homeopathic remedy

These things may not have to be avoided forever. The restriction is just until we figure out what’s working.

Things that do not need to be avoided, although they may be bad for you in other ways, so use some restraint with these.

1. Caffeine: 1-2cups of tea or 1 soda per day is ok
2. Alcohol: in most studies 1-3 drinks/day may actually improve health
3. Regular, non-menthol tobacco: if you smoke, stop, but if you are trying to quit, non-menthol tobacco doesn’t interfere with homeopathic remedies
4. Mild mints (e.g., tea, Wrigley’s gum, toothpaste)
5. Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
6. Ibuprofen (“Motrin”, “Advil”) or aspirin: use sparingly
7. Regular cough syrups (Robitussin)

Mid-adult Caucasian male doctor wearing eyeglasses holding an oversized medical pill.[/caption]As for medical drugs, discuss with your homeopath. Some common over-the-counter drugs which can interfere with remedies include:

1. Antihistamines (Benadryl, Zyrtec, Claritin), including chlorphenaramine in some cough and allergy preparations
2. Some cough syrups that contain antihistamines (e.g., Delsym”) or cough suppressants (e.g., Robitussin-DM). If in doubt about a cough/cold medication, consult your pharmacist
3. Any steroid (e.g., cortisone, “Cort-aid”, others)

Interestingly, antibiotics do not always interfere with remedies. Although sometimes they create undesirable affects such as gut infections and diarrhea, allergic reactions, and bacterial resistance. Vaccinations may interfere with remedies, or may create imbalances. I suggest you discuss vaccination with your homeopath. Anesthetics may interfere with remedies, and I suggest you discuss elective (non-emergency) dental procedures with your homeopath; emergency dental work should not be avoided–we can fix things later if need be!

Supplements, Vitamins and Herbs

It’s a myth that we all need these, and that they are all safe. I have a saying: “If it’s strong enough to cure you, it’s strong enough to kill you.” I have treated a number of patients who have been harmed by the unrestricted, unsupervised use of such products. However, most such things are safer than the drugs and surgery of traditional medicine, and can be safely tried for short periods. More studies are coming out showing how large doses of certain vitamins actually increase risks of cancer, bone weakness and other degenerative conditions. Some scientists argue (correctly, I think) that mega-dosing with vitamins actually make us weaker because out bodies don’t need to develop efficiency because there is always a plentiful supply of nutrients in the body!

Herbal products and nutritional supplements can sometimes interfere with remedies, and in addition may contain hidden hazards such as foreign substances or drugs, inaccurate doses, non-standardized ingredients, or toxic properties. Herbal products in particular can interact with prescription and non-prescription drugs in ways that homeopathic remedies do not. I generally discourage long term use of herbals. Short periods of experimentation are usually fairly safe, and sometimes people find things that work well for them, but if it’s not working after 30 days, you should stop or seek additional consultation.

I will be happy to review your supplements with you and make recommendations

Homeopathic Remedies

The one thing that will interfere with a homeopathic remedy is another homeopathic remedy. I have one rule: While under my care, you are not to take any other homeopathic remedies for any reason without consulting me first. In general, the gains you will achieve from careful, constitutional homeopathic treatment will far outweigh any minor inconvenience you may suffer from not taking little remedies for bumps and bruises, coughs and colds, and other annoyances.

“Semi-discharge” Instructions

After a period of time in treatment–and this may be after 2 visits or 10–most patients improve significantly, and in nicely-progressing cases, after about 3 visits, I issue what I call “semi-discharge” instructions. Of course, a patient may quit homeopathic treatment at any time, but sticking with the long term plan is meant to give you an edge in your long term health!

When it seems that your health is as good as it can be and you and I feel it’s time to discontinue regular homeopathic visits, these points can serve as a guide to a decision to return in the future:

1. When a new problem arises, such as mental symptoms after a car accident, or problems that arise after a significant infection or other condition
2. When the old problems start creeping back after having been gone for a long time (months or years)
3. When older problems start coming back, and these may be symptoms from much earlier in your life

People generally seek homeopathic treatment because they want to address problems that haven’t been helped by regular medicine. I urge people to consider a more global approach, and hope that people will seek treatment for ordinary conditions before they try regular medicine. A medically-trained homeopath is an ideal source of information on when this is and when it isn’t appropriate.