Please note that these answers reflect the opinion of Roopali Gupta. Other homeopathic practitioners may have different answers to some of these questions.
Will the homeopathic remedies interact badly with my conventional treatments?
Not usually. As each therapeutic system is working on different levels of the body there is no danger of contraindications. Homeopathic remedies work well alongside most conventional medicines.
It may be important to have your doctor monitor the medications you are taking as your requirements for long-term drugs may change during the course of homeopathic treatment. You should never discontinue your conventional medications without consulting your medical doctors.
Can I continue to take my vitamin and mineral supplements?
It is fine for you to continue to take all-purpose multi-vitamin or mineral supplements. It is recommended that you avoid mega doses (larger than the daily recommended dosage) of any supplement while you are pursuing homeopathic treatment. Please let me know if you are taking any such doses.
What about botanical tinctures or Chinese herbal preparations?
Please advise your homeopath if you are taking these, especially if they have been prescribed by a naturopathic physician or an acupuncturist. Requirements for these can change (as with conventional medications) if homeopathic treatment is effective.
Can I see an acupuncturist while I am taking a homeopathic remedy?
Please advise your homeopath if you are currently having, or are considering having acupuncture treatment as both acupuncture and homeopathy are 'energy' therapies and it may be counterproductive to pursue both at the same time.
What about some of the other alternative therapies?
Many alternative therapies are complementary. Reiki and cranio-sacral osteopathy are two common systems of healing that are complementary to homeopathic treatment. In addition, many people find it beneficial to take various self-healing courses to boost their vitality, not just on a physical level. Yoga, meditation have chi gong are all effective healing tools.
What about non-prescribed substances?
Recreational drugs (like marijuana) have been found to counteract the effect of a homeopathic remedy. They are best avoided during constitutional treatment.
Since strong smells can affect homeopathic treatment what about hair perms?
Some strong chemical beauty treatments including certain hair perms or dyes have a strong (negative) affect on the body and are best avoided. It is sensible (for the sake of your general health and well being) to seek out natural alternatives to some of the more toxic hair and body treatments.
What about antiperspirants?
Although using antiperspirants will not counteract the healing effects of homeopathic treatment it is generally unwise to stop your body from sweating. Suppressing your sweat (whether it is under your arms or on your feet) can cause other problems, as sweating is one of your body's natural ways to eliminate 'toxins'. A deodorant is a safer alternative as it won't prevent your body from sweating, but it will stop the bad smells!
Is there anything else I should avoid?
Magnets and electric blankets (left on all night) have been known to counteract the effects of homeopathic treatment. It is probably best to avoid magnets, and to use an electric blanket to warm the bed, switching it off before getting into bed so the electricity isn't running all night around your body.
I have heard that I can antidote my remedy, is that true?
Generally, you shouldn't worry about 'antidoting' your homeopathic remedies, although there are certain substances which have been shown to counteract the healing effects of a homeopathic remedy and it is sensible to avoid these while you are pursuing homeopathic treatment.
The effects of a homeopathic remedy (even a single dose) can last for several weeks and sometimes several months so it is advisable to stay away from certain substances (like strong aromatic oils) for the duration of your homeopathic treatments, and not just for a short time after you take you take the remedy.
Should I avoid all aromatherapy oils?
No. Some strong aromatic oils, in particular, eucalyptus and camphor (in ointments such as Tiger Balm, Vicks Vapor Rub etc.) have been shown to have a negative effect. Please also avoid the use of undiluted aromatherapy oils such as tee tree oil and menthol during the course of your treatment (i.e. those with especially strong odors). Milder oils such as lavender and rosemary diluted in bath or massage oils are fine, as are colognes and perfumes.
What about peppermint in sweets and toothpaste?
Peppermint in ordinary toothpastes and mouth washes is not a problem, neither is mild chewing gum. The stronger peppermints (like Altoids) are best avoided during homeopathic treatment. Mint in cooking is fine, both as a fresh herb in salads etc., and in teas (on its own or mixed with other herbs).
Can I go to the dentist while I am having homeopathic treatment?
Of course you can! It is important that you keep your teeth cleaned and checked regularly and these visits will not affect your homeopathic treatment. If you are planning a course of dental treatment it is sensible to make sure those appointments are a good couple of weeks away from taking a constitutional remedy if possible.
Can I drink coffee while I am seeing a homeopath?
Many people can tolerate a moderate amount of coffee and have no difficulty with drinking one cup a day. Some people are sensitive to it and find their nervous systems over stimulated by even a moderate amount. In this case their vitality and their general healing responses will be affected. If you fit into this category then you might consider cutting out coffee for the duration of your treatment. Certain remedies are sensitive to the effects of coffee. Please advise your homeopath if you drink coffee, and especially if you drink more than one cup a day
Should I avoid Coca-Cola, tea and chocolate since they all contain caffeine?
If you find that the effect of tea is similar to coffee then it is wise to take only moderate amounts or stop entirely. If you are not sensitive then there is no need to stop altogether but you might want to use them in moderation for the sake of your general health.
Can I drink alcohol or smoke?
Moderate use of alcohol (1-2 units a day) doesn't interfere with homeopathic treatment (unless you are strongly affected by it), nor does tobacco smoking. Both alcohol and tobacco affect your health, especially if you are a pregnant woman and should be avoided.
The constitutional remedy I took helped so I bought another bottle. How should I take it?
You shouldn't take another homeopathic remedy without talking to your homeopath first. Repeating a remedy that has helped can be counter-productive and may actually cause your symptoms to return.
Can I take another homeopathic remedy while I am taking a constitutional remedy?
Homeopathic remedies (including the Scheussler Cell or Tissue Salts) have relationships to one another and it is important that you don't take another homeopathic remedy without checking with your homeopath first. The exception to this is if you are in any kind of emergency situation like an accident, in which case you can take Arnica (or any other indicated remedy)¦ and then call your homeopath as soon as you can.
What should I do if I fall ill with a cough or a cold between visits?
If your acute illness is familiar to you it may be a healing response (a temporary return of old symptoms) and will pass quite quickly. Please call for reassurance if you are at all concerned.
If you do not have a straightforward cold or minor, everyday illness you should check with your primary care doctor to make sure you do not have a serious infection.
If the illness is unrelated to anything you have experienced in the past, and you know others who have a similar illness (there is something going around and you have 'caught' it), then you might be able to use homeopathy to help you through it. You will need to make appointment for an 'acute' consultation. It is always preferable to check with your homeopath before taking an 'acute' homeopathic remedy.
Can I take aspirin for a fever?
It is generally inadvisable to use aspirin or Tylenol to suppress a fever. Fevers are one of the body's self-healing mechanisms and actually help your body to fight infection. As long as your temperature is not too high, and allows you to function normally, it is healthier to let nature take its course. While you are sick it is important to take care of yourself in order to aid your healing process. If you feel quite unwell it is wise to go to bed and stay there! Rest and sleep as much as possible. Drink plenty of fluids (water or fruit juices) and eat only if you feel hungry. A light diet (fruit and vegetable soups etc.) will give your digestion a rest and help your body to recover faster too.