Barbara Roberts, Homeopath

Gun Powder

This is one of my favourite remedies, excellent for supporting immunity, preventing and treating infection. If you are wanting to avoid antibiotics Gun Powder is an essential remedy to have in your arsenal.

John H Clarke wrote about Gun Powder as a remedy in 1914, an article that caught the interest of many Homeopaths of the time. His booklet (published in 1915) had a history of gun powder as a treatment, including soldiers taking the crude substance to treat wounds, and shepherds dusting gun powder on their cheese and eating daily, to avoid the infections they were otherwise prone to.

Clarke used Gun Powder in a 3x potency (x is the 1 in 10 dilution scale), and found it useful for infections. Cases that he used it in – 100 years ago now – include “blood poisoning” after inhaling dust from an earthquake, abscesses, boils and “poisoned limb” which sounds rather like gangrene. He also notes it is useful for worms, acne, and osteomyelitis (an infection in the bone).

Personally I tend to use it in a 30c, or a 200c for less frequent dosing over a long period. It can be used prophylactically if there is a risk of infection, or for treatment – although I often use it in conjunction with another, indicated remedy. I have used it for wounds, bites, boils, dental infections and also for long term prophylaxis after surgery.

Gun Powder has a long history- the Chinese used it in weapons as early as the 8th century. It contains a combination of Sulphur, potassium nitrate and charcoal, although sugar was also sometimes used in place of some of the charcoal to reduce the amount of smoke produced. Charcoal was usually from willow in Europe, or bamboo in China.

Let’s look at these remedies individually:

Sulphur is an excellent remedy for unhealthy skin where every wound becomes infected. There is itching and burning, and it has a wide range of action and there can be redness and inflammation (early signs of infection) in any part of the body.

Kali Nitricum (potassium nitrate) has swelling, congestion, stitching pains and is useful in severe heart and lung conditions.

Carbo Veg (charcoal- usually from birch) can have carbuncles, and is usually for worn out people who have no energy, are chilly but need fresh air to breathe, and may look blue from a lack of oxygen.

Salix (willow)is also a remedy with boils, ulcerated lesions and fevers alternating with chills.

Bambusa (bamboo) has swelling, congestion and discharges, as well as chills and hot flushes.

Saccharum officinale (sugar) has purulent discharges (purulent is a great word meaning pus filled).

Combining these we can see why Gun powder is useful as a homeopathic remedy for infections, even if we didn’t have over a hundred years of successful cases.

If you would like to read some cases where gunpowder was a useful remedy for injured wildlife- for both prevention and treatment of infection- you can read more here:

Gun powder is an amazing remedy, and a great one to finish off Antibiotic Awareness Week with. I would not travel without it and find it invaluable in my practice.

Photocredit: Wikipedia

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