Monday, February 18, 2013

The Difference Between Homeopathic Remedies and other Natural Remedies

Many people ask if there is a difference between homeopathic remedies and other natural remedies (herbs, vitamins, etc). And although they are all in the realm of alternative medicine, homeopathy is very different from other natural remedies.

Homeopathy is its own system of medicine, there are many homeopaths in the world who only prescribe homeopathic remedies, while other practitioners prescribe any combination of natural therapies and/or remedies.

Classical homeopathy is based on the law of similars. This law shows that disease is cured by a medicine that creates symptoms similar to those the patient is experiencing in a healthy person. Every homeopathic medicine is proven - meaning a healthy person takes the medicine and writes down all of the symptoms they experience from that medicine. That remedy will then cure those same symptoms in someone who is ill (like cures like).

An example of this: a person comes into the office and feels restless, nervous, anxious. They can't sleep at night. They experience heart palpitations. Does this state sound familiar? What do you think creates this state in a healthy individual? It's a beverage many know and love so well.


The homeopathic remedy Coffee will help a person that experiences the above symptoms (the same symptoms that coffee causes).

Homeopathy is also based on the principle of a single medicine. A classical homeopath only gives one remedy at a time - a remedy that matches the totality of the patient. A patient doesn't leave the office with a bag full of supplements. The one remedy is considered the person's constitutional remedy. It covers the mental, emotional, and physical state of the patient. A good homeopath won't prescribe one remedy for a headache, another for constipation, but instead, the one remedy covers both of these things.

Minimum dose is another principle of homeopathy. Homeopathic remedies come from the plant, mineral and animal kingdom and very rarely contain the crude substance. Instead, a mother tincture is made from the substance. The remedy is then taken and diluted and succussed (shaken) until there is little to no substance left. This principle is confusing for many people since they can't believe that homeopathic remedies would do anything if they don't contain any crude substance. But, homeopaths have discovered that the effects of homeopathic remedies are strengthened upon dilution and as long as the medicines have been shaken between each dilution. They become very deep acting and powerful medicines (although very safe and non-toxic). This is why they are safe for babies - and everyone for that matter.

Herbal remedies contain the crude substance with active molecules. Many remedies cannot be given to pregnant women, nursing women, or babies because they contain elements that many be harmful.  You have to be very careful in what you give your baby in the herbal realm. This, again, is why we prefer the use of homeopathy for babies.

Vitamins also fall in the realm of natural remedies. Vitamins can be given through breast milk - so they are something that mommy can take. But, if you aren't breastfeeding it's difficult to give a vitamin supplement directly to baby. It's better to give this kind of nourishment through food and diet. Children can eat smoothies that are loaded with nutrients as well as fruits and veggies. Babies, on the other hand, are more difficult to get good nourishment to if they aren't breastfeeding.  This is a topic for another time, but I just wanted to show that homeopathy is also different from vitamin supplementation. Vitamins are given to support the body, but not necessarily to cure chronic ailments.

You can find homeopathic remedies from online pharmacies and local homeopathic pharmacies. Many Whole Food stores carry homeopathic remedies as well as health food stores. This is what a homeopathic remedy may look like:

There are also different potencies for homeopathic remedies. What you take yourself or give to your child depends on how sensitive they are. If you have a question, then consult a homeopath. A good potency to start with is 30C. As you can see in the picture, it says 6C. This is the potency. This is a very low potency.

A couple interesting facts about homeopathy:

  • Samuel Hahnemann is the founder of homeopathy. In Washington D.C. there is a  memorial of Samuel Hahnemann. It is the only non-war statue in Washington D.C. I think that's pretty amazing! Someone was impressed with homeopathy. 

  •  The British Royal Family has publicly used homeopathy for many years. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has her own personal homeopath - Dr. Peter Fisher who is both a medical doctor and homeopath. 
Obviously, I am a strong advocate of homeopathy. To me it has been the most effective medicine - treating many complaints I had with much success.

Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. Her Montreal Natural Fertility site can be found here

Paleo Diet Challenge: Day 3, 4, 5, 6- Not so successful

Day 3:

Omelet with spinach and tomatoes
Salad with olive oil & vinegar

Salad with almonds, carrots, cucumbers, tahini

Salad (whoa I'm eating a lot of salad - but it's good) with chicken
Tahini dressing


Day 3 Cravings: None
Day 3 Report: I ate more often today. I didn't feel any blood sugar dip. I need more of a variety in my diet. I'm eating a lot of salad with the same veggies, but not much variety throughout the day.

Day 4:

Roasted almonds and apple slices

Sunflower patties with salad
veggie soup

Pizza... (cheat meal.... )
Chicken soup

Beverages: Green smoothie, water

Day 4 Cravings: After dinner I was craving...... SUGAR! The pizza (carbs) made me crave sugar around an hour after eating. No surprise there. I also have some womanly monthly cravings at the moment... CHOCOLATE, please?!

Day 4 Report: It's really hard to "diet" when having stressful moments. It's also really hard to eat totally healthy when you don't feel well.  And, I can see how easy it is to 'fall of the bandwagon' for some people. Honestly, dieting is tough business. And that's why lifestyle change is more effective.

Day 5:

Pizza (OOH I'M A BAD GIRL!!!!)
Kale, swiss chard, broccoli soup (does that make up for the pizza? lol)

Salad with meat sauce (tomatoes, organic grass-fed beef) and tahini

Salad with meat sauce
Chicken soup


Day 5 Cravings: Still craving chocolate.... :)

Day 5 Reports: I got a horrible headache after breakfast. Again,  not surprised. The headache subsided after I had lunch and stabilized my blood sugar with protein and veggies. No more pizza for me...

Day 6:

Boiled egg

Lunch: Skipped

Salad with almonds


Day 6 Cravings: None, really (see note below).

Day 6 Report: I spent the night in the emergency room last night helping a loved one. I was awake all night and was exhausted. I slept for most of the day (skipped lunch). I think I was too tired to have any cravings.


Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 1 & 2 of Paleo Diet Challenge

Day 1 was an epic fail on the paleo diet. It was an emotionally stressful day at home and I have to admit - I ate almost an entire box of gluten-free "love" cookies. I was craving carbs and ate grains with every meal. Yup, I failed day one.

So, I'm calling the original day one 1a. The next day was 1b - which I am going to consider the first day of the diet challenge.

Day 1b on the Paleo Diet Challenge:

Spinach/tomato omelet
Garden Salad
Broccoli Soup

Salad with sliced chicken
Dressing: Tahini

Sweet potato (apparently you can eat sweet potatoes but not regular potatoes so I took advantage)
Salad with sliced chicken (leftovers from lunch)
Dressing: Tahini

Snacks throughout the day: apple
Beverages throughout the day: Water

Day 1 Cravings: Not many until nighttime. I started craving sugary snacks - probably from my cookie binge the day before (I often notice if I eat sugar that I crave sugar for 1-2 days after). I was disciplined and didn't indulge though.

Reports from Day 1: I felt good today. No complaints. I realized today that I need to eat more often. When I'm busy I let myself get really hungry before eating. This is not a good habit to get into.

Day 2 of Paleo Diet Challenge

Breakfast: Millet cereal, rice milk and banana. (NOT PALEO! Did I mention that you get 3 cheat meals per week? I already banked on one of mine... not because I love cereal but only because I was staying at someone else's house and it's all they had for breakfast food!)

Lunch: Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, roasted almonds, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice

Dinner: Pea soup with tomatoes.

Snacks: Green smoothie (made with a handful of organic lettuce, 1/2 banana, blueberries and a bit or orange juice), roasted almonds, a banana

Beverages: Water, dandy blend (yummy!)

Day 2 Cravings: none

Reports from Day 2: Same thing as day 1. I felt good today. I didn't eat often enough again. Dieting is difficult when on the road! But, I still feel good. :-)


Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Diet Challenge - Paleo Diet Trial

I am not a big fan of popular diet fads. It seems like they come and they go. A lot of people try them - some with great success and some with little success. I have always been a proponent of eating healthy - having enough protein, plenty of fruits and veggies and limited grains. I always feel good when I eat this way.

But, lately life has been busy and I have found myself eating a lot more grains than usual. I haven't eaten enough protein and I have been able to feel my blood sugar dipping throughout the day. Some of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) are: headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shakiness, weakness, hunger, nausea, inability to focus or concentrate. So, when I began experiencing some of these symptoms, I decided to try a popular diet fad... the Paleo diet.

Yup, I said it - I'm trying a diet fad. Not to lose weight, but to feel better in my body. Over the next two weeks I am going to do the Paleo Diet Challenge here on my blog. I'll report what I'm eating and how I'm feeling.

A little more about the Paleo diet (taken from

The Paleo Dietis based upon eating wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have thrived on during the Paleolithic era, the time period from about 2.6 million years ago to the beginning of the agricultural revolution, about 10,000 years ago. These foods include fresh meats (preferably grass-produced or free-ranging beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and game meat, if you can get it), fish, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils (olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia, walnut and flaxseed). Dairy products, cereal grains, legumes, refined sugars and processed foods were not part of our ancestral menu.

  • What to eat:
  • Grass-produced meats
  • Fish/seafood
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthful oils (Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)

  • What to avoid:
  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils 

I don't think this diet will be so difficult for me. I usually eat MOSTLY this way ... until lately, anyway. The only thing that will be different from what we eat at home is cutting out grains entirely. I still love spelt bread. And potatoes too.

Over the next two weeks check out my diet diaries and updates on the Paleo diet.

Until next time. :-)

Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here.