Our friend Claire wrote to me and said this would be a good time to do an article on food poisoning, what with all the recalls we’ve been having on ground beef, not to mention romaine lettuce. Well, I’ll see what I can do.
In one of my earliest homeopathy classes–where Alan Schmukler was the teacher–I raised my hand and asked, “What’s the remedy for when you’re eating something and suddenly you realize, “Uh-oh! I think I’m starting to get sick!” Unfortunately, I can’t remember what Alan said… But here, basically, is the answer: Arsenicum alb!
Arsenicum is to food poisoning what Arnica is to injury. It’s our go-to remedy! Here is a basic over-view of …
1. Diarrhea, which may also include nausea and possibly vomiting as well. And it’s even possible that vomiting and diarrhea can be occurring at the same time!
2. Patient is very weak, prostrated.
3. Patient is very worried, restless, afraid to be alone, calling friends, wishing someone would come over.
4. Thirsty but only takes a sip and puts the glass down. Soon after, takes another sip and puts the glass down.
5. Cold. The patient is cold and desires warmth and maybe a hot cup of tea; however, they may desire cold water too.
6. There may be burning pains.
7. He may be worse between midnight and 2 a.m.
8. Moaning, restlessness, anguish, desperation
But, I have to tell you, if you don’t feel well after eating something, don’t wait around for all these symptoms to show up, just take Arsenicum, take it now, don’t put it off! And by the way, I would order Arsenicum 200C if I were you!
You know what? This is another “go-to” remedy! For years, this was the only remedy I ever took for diarrhea! You don’t always need to have the full-blown picture of a remedy in order to take it; but, if you should find yourself in a full-blown remedy state, you have to take the remedy that matches it! Here’s the remedy state of Veratrum alb.
1. Prostrated, like Arsenicum.
2. Cold, like Arsenicum and desiring warmth but not hot drinks like tea.
3. NOT thirsty for sips, but VERY thirsty for gulps of ice water!
4. Cold sweat, especially on forehead.
5. Just like Arsenicum, there may be vomiting and diarrhea at the same time.
6. There’s not the fear that Arsenicum has. They just feel wasted.
This is very simple for me. When the diarrhea is yellow, I give Podophyllum, end of story! Other indications for Podophyllum are…
1. Aggravation time: 4 to 5 a.m.
2. Weak, feels like fainting.
3. Diarrhea burning and offensive.
4. Desires cold water.
5. Explosive diarrhea.
When you think of Nux vomica, think of “wants to, but can’t”. This is true regardless of what the illness is. For instance, in the Nux vomica bladder infection, there are strong urges to urinate but nothing, or very little, comes out.
1. Patient is cold, desires warmth
2. Irritable and impatient; over-sensitive to light, noise and odors
3. Strong urges but little or nothing comes out. After he goes, he has to go again! Nux vomica is a big remedy in constipation.
4. Cramping, painful diarrhea with desire to go again soon after.
5. The cause might be too much alcohol, too much rich food or spicy food, too much coffee or coffee disagrees or is too strong, and late hours.
6. Another cause might be side-effects of prescription drugs.
The thing that’s going to lead you to Argent-nit is very loud belching.
1. Diarrhea with rumbling and gas and bloating.
2. Patient is hot.
3. Belching ameliorates.
4. Ailments from sweets and chocolate.
The thing you look for in any Bryonia case is severe pain or severe nausea. Sharp pains, stitching pains. The person with Bryonia food poisoning will be complaining of very severe pains, and he’ll say that he can’t move in any direction, every movement makes him worse, rubbing the abdomen doesn’t help and he just feels like there’s nothing he can do. If he has nausea, it will be very severe nausea and every movement makes him worse, he can’t even lift his head off the pillow.
1. Constipation is more likely to be their problem than diarrhea.
2. Dry mucus membranes.
3. The dryness causes great thirst, but because they hate to move, they may not ask for water very often but when they do they will drink it all down.
4. Look for a very bad headache to be part of the case.
5. Bitter taste in the mouth.
6. No desire for company, unlike Arsenicum who desperately wants company.
Also called Cinchona, just to confuse everybody. So here’s the thing with China–
1. Very cold! Shivering, teeth chattering!
2. Gas; but, passing gas does not ameliorate.
3. Very weak
4. Diarrhea, nausea.
5. Fish may be the cause as well as loss of vital fluids.
You may be surprised to see Pulsatilla here, but, it’s our main remedy for ailments from fatty, rich foods! Too much ice cream? Pulsatilla! Ordered a double-cheese pizza? Pulsatilla! A fatty, rich, double-cheeseburger? Pulsatilla! Other things you might find in a Pulsatilla case are:
1. Soft, pathetic crying, especially in children.
2. Desire for fresh air.
3. Worse warm rooms.
5. Better walking slowly outside in the fresh air.
Any illness where nausea and vomiting are the prime features, give Ipecac. If you feel nauseous, and there are no indications for another remedy, just try a dose of Ipecac 30C.
The main feature of Phosphorus is the intense thirst for great amounts of ice cold water. You may also be thinking of Veratrum alb for this symptom but Veratrum is much sicker than Phosphorus. Phosphorus can still be cheerful in his illness. What might bring on the Phosphorus state is over-indulgence in salty foods like pretzels.
Many of you have never heard of this remedy, but, it is homeopathic ginger and should especially be thought of in Ailments From Bad Water. As a general rule, I would say if you don’t know what to do, and Arsenicum didn’t work, try a dose of Zingiber 30C.
Think of Carbo veg. when there’s a lot of burping and stomach bloating such that you have to unbuckle your belt and loosen your pants.
Gas and bloating would be the main feature. Plus, ailments from shellfish, ailments from sweets and ailments from chocolate. Lycopodium will most likely not want cold drinks but rather hot tea.
Ginger Tea and Spearmint Tea
Excellent for nausea!!!!! If you don’t got it, get it!
I thought I’d add this at the end, knowing probably no one has it but, maybe you should order it. This remedy is in BOLD/underlined for “vomiting” along with Ipecac and Nux vomica. The patient is very cold. The stool may be black or greenish. There is much weakness, prostration. Nausea and vomiting is intense. It’s a lot like Arsenicum but also like Bryonia in being worse for movement. Think of this remedy in stomach cancer and poisonings; and, needless to say, radiation and chemotherapy. Cadmium sulph. is a “2” under “extreme thirst”.
Make Your Own Remedy Out of the Food!
See my article “How To Make Your Own Remedy”:
You can also try spitting into an ounce of water and making a remedy out of that. Again, see article for directions. And listen, you can make your remedy stronger by putting a few pellets into a half-filled bottle of water and succussing 10 times before each dose–a dose being a sip or swallow. Succuss means pound or bang the bottom of the bottle into your opposite palm.
And that about wraps up another exciting edition of Tidbits!
Bye-bye, see ya next year!
Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine takes online cases and animal cases too!
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