Barbara Roberts, Homeopath

First Aid

I attended my first aid refresher yesterday. It’s important to go along and practice my CPR, just in case I ever need to use it or come across more than the minor injuries I am more familiar with.

It did make me reflect on homeopathic remedies that are appropriate in these circumstances. Important to note that you would not be giving a remedy to an unconscious person, but with permission in other circumstances you can give a remedy while they are waiting for Fire and Emergency or the Ambulance to come. If it is a stranger you may not be able to get permission to give a remedy, but certainly with your own family, and close friends it is appropriate.

With intense first aid situations you may need to use a higher potency and/or repeat more often. If this means you are giving 30c every 5 minutes that is fine – but if there is no improvement on any level and you’re not sure the remedy is helping then stop after 4-6 doses – you will quickly see if they need the remedy because they will start to deteriorate. 200c May be needed less often.

Reminder: Homeopathy is IN ADDITION to first aid measures, and DOES NOT replace medical care.

Some of the scenarios we had to discuss included:

Anaphylaxis – one from food, another from wasp stings. The first remedy I usually think of is Apis- red, heat and oedematous swelling. Remember homeopathy is about finding a remedy with similar symptoms, it does not need to be the same substance that caused the reaction. In case of a wasp sting, vespa is often useful as it has more intense symptoms than Apis, like a wasp sting, but Apis will work it may just need to be used more frequently.

Chemical burns – if you can give them a remedy while the wound is still being washed, Causticum was my first thought, however it’s not one that I have in my handbag first aid kit. I do have Apis, Cantharis and Arsenicum, all of which can be helpful for burns, and my first pick of these would be Cantharis for the intense, burning pains, with excruciating pain when the burn is removed from the water.

Concussion – I was very impressed that the Red Cross has incorporated a much more comprehensive look at concussions and causes. First remedy here is Arnica, as our standout trauma and bruising remedy. If there is any risk then give Arnica early after the injury or accident, as concussion symptoms can take up to 12 hours or longer to manifest.

Heart Attack – Aspirin is the standard medical treatment to give if suspected, and I would add Arnica to that. Arnica works to normalise bleeding whether it is clotting too much or not clotting enough. Please note, do not continue giving Arnica on an ongoing basis without discussing this first with your Homeopath.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke – I have a few favourites here – Sol is one I will likely have on me if we are out in the sun. Belladonna is another useful remedy, red, dry and hot, and while Belladonna is often thirsty, they are not necessarily during a fever, or during heat stroke! Glonoine is a less common remedy that will probably not be in your first aid kit.

Hypothermia – in homeopathy remedies can often be used for the polar opposite of their normal indication, and so Belladonna could be a useful remedy in hypothermia- it is listed for a lack of vital heat and is appropriate particularly when they get to the delusional state. Other remedies to consider (for a “lack of vital heat” include Arsenicum and Aconite, and Carbo Veg which you are less likely to have in your first aid kit. Arsenicum will be exhausted but restless, anxious, and feel chilly, Aconite will also be restless but panicky with it, and Carbo Veg will feel cold but really want fresh air.

Shock – there are a number of shock remedies but the two that were well indicated were Aconite for shock with hyperventilation, panic and fear of death, and Opium for the withdrawn, drowsy “what even happened” out of it type of shock. Arnica is also excellent if they have the “I’m fine” attitude even when clearly they are not ok.

Choking – while the physical treatment of back blows and chest thrusts is what you need to do at the time, remember afterwards that shock may set in. If this comes with a feeling that they were going to die then Aconite is an appropriate remedy to use.

Severe bleeding and injuries – Arnica is going to be first line for bleeding and for any injuries. Hypericum also for intensely painful conditions, especially if hands or nerve rich areas are involved, or grazes which have taken off a lot of skin so a large area of nerves are exposed.

Spinal injuries – Hypericum is definitely indicated here, it has a strong affinity with the nerves including the spine.

The only thing to be aware of is that sometimes homeopathy can be so effective for the pain and inflammation that the severity of injury can be underestimated – make sure that a full assessment is given, and investigations based on the original severity of pain, not any reduction since the remedies have been given. All of the conditions above need to be assessed by a Doctor even if they improve with homeopathic treatment.

Stay safe, and I hope these suggestions will be helpful if you do come across these situations in the future.

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