Barbara Roberts, Homeopath

Complex Remedies

When I post about remedies, I talk about single remedies. Yet you may notice when you go to a health shop or pharmacy there is a range of homeopathic remedies with a number of different remedies in them with names like “coughmed.”

In homeopathy these are called Complex remedies, and contain a number of remedies, sometimes also of different potencies. They are often packaged and labelled with a condition, with a number of remedies for coughs or allergies or other conditions all together.

Complex remedies have a number of benefits. They are safe and easy to self prescribe. Complex remedies contain low potencies, usually no more than 30c. Unlike allopathic medicine if a remedy is not indicated and used once or twice it is unlikely to have an effect and no harm will come from it. They are a good introduction to homeopathy for people who are used to allopathic medicine, where you take a drug for a condition, not based on the symptoms you have. Also, for young children (and animals) it can be difficult to differentiate between remedies – especially late at night or in the early hours of the morning! A remedy such as ABC (Aconite, Belladonna and Chamomilla), or Naturopharm Colicmed (Bryonia, Carbo Veg, Colocynthis and Mag Phos) is quick and easy when you have a small child that is crying and you can’t think straight or take the time to decide on a single remedy!

However, complex remedies can also have drawbacks. The remedies in our materia medicas have been proved as single remedies, therefore we know the symptoms they cause and cure on their own. We do not know if the same characteristics are present when used as a complex remedy, or whether they work synergistically together. If the remedy does work we also won’t know which component was the effective remedy. Which can make it more difficult in the future.

Despite those drawbacks I believe the benefits outweigh the risks. The practice of homeopathy requires a fair amount of time and learning, the use of complex remedies opens our philosophy to people who would not otherwise be exposed to it, and is far less intimidating than a large wall of remedies with names you can’t pronounce!

I sometimes recommend AGE (Arsenicum Iodatum, Gelsemium and Eupatorium Perforatum) as one to have on hand in case of flu. Arsenicum Iodatum has the fever and chills, Gelsemium the fatigue and just can’t do anything lethargy and heaviness, and Eupatorium Perforatum the deep bone aches.

Do you have any complex remedies in your kit?

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