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A Guide to Homeopathic Remedies The complete modern handbook for home use

by Paul Houghton

listed in homeopathy

[Image: A Guide to Homeopathic Remedies The complete modern handbook for home use]

When I was first asked to review this book I expected it to be a run of the mill 'conditions and remedies' book many of which already sit on bookshop shelves. However, I was wrong; Paul Houghton is an experienced homeopath, who has put together a self-help book that is very clearly written and one which will prove extremely useful in the home.

In his introduction he explains the basis of homeopathic philosophy covering the Law of Similars and the process of potentisation of remedies in a way that many students of homeopathy would be grateful for. He also tries to address the age-old question of what potency of remedy to use and how often to repeat the remedy. This is a question that even the most experienced practitioners have to review often and one that the person in the home will have difficulty with. Houghton explains the process via a rather confusing 46 different dosage regimens, which I fear will baffle the reader more than it will help. It is an admirable attempt, but one that should perhaps have been greatly simplified.

A particular aspect in the introduction I like is that he debunks some of the myths about homeopathy such as avoiding mint-flavoured toothpaste and never drinking coffee whilst on a remedy. I assume that Houghton, like myself, has never found these substances to antidote remedies and patients often find such directions far too restrictive even to the point of putting them off the therapy!

Many patients often ask about their constitutional remedy and Paul Houghton provides a discussion of this, describing its basis and providing a checklist of questions so that the reader can try to determine their own constitutional remedy. The questions are a little vague and the result will not be 100% accurate, but should give the reader an idea of the family of remedies they need to look at in order to prescribe.

The majority of the book is split between an A-Z of common conditions and a materia medica of the remedies. In the A-Z of common conditions Houghton very clearly describes the indications for several different remedies that may be useful, leaving the reader in no doubt as to which remedy may help. He then provides a useful account of which remedies may prove useful if the condition becomes chronic, taking the reader into the realms of constitutional prescribing. However, as a practitioner myself I cannot help feeling that this deeper prescribing is perhaps something that should be left to the qualified practitioner. Another concern I have about this section is that it gives self-help advice on how to treat some conditions that should really only be handled by professional homeopaths. Included in this area are conditions such as diabetes, genital herpes, thyroid problems and peptic ulcers, although the author does err on the side of caution and advises seeking professional help if the remedies do not seem to produce a result.

The materia medica of remedies is excellent. The author gives a review of many remedies (127 in total), including some of the more obscure, but useful remedies such as Chimaphila, Cineraria and Myristica, which are often missing from books of this type. Houghton also introduces the use of the nosodes as remedies and for each of the major nosodes such as Psorinum, Medorrhinum, Syphilinum and Tuberculinum he discusses the miasmatic type associated with the remedy. This is perhaps a little too heavy going for people using the book for home prescribing, but is an excellent introduction for the new student of homeopathy.

Another informative aspect to this book is an appendix of useful homeopathic addresses covering homeopathic pharmacies and organizations in six different countries.

All in all, this book is an extremely well written and easy to read instruction to home prescribing. Many readers will benefit greatly from the information contained within it.

It is also a book that will benefit students of homeopathy, providing a well-rounded introduction to philosophy and a good grounding in therapeutic prescribing. I would strongly recommend it.

Dr Neil Slade
Souvenir Press

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