If you’ve explored homeopathy or you have a homeopath, you will probably have heard the words “constitutional remedy”.
Potentially this could be a bit of a minefield if you’re a homeopath yourself and reading this post, because there can be different interpretations of the term amongst professionals.
While I will give my definition of the concept here, I wanted this post to be more about why I’m making the statement and not so much about the definition!
For the purposes of this article, very simply put in layman’s terms, there are two ways of looking at and addressing a case:
Taking the whole case into account, including everything that makes the patient unique, as well as all of the chronic and possibly current acute symptoms, your homeopath will usually pick one remedy which covers all of these elements. This process will also look at what recurrent acute illnesses the patient may have had, in order to balance up the system and settle down the tendency to manifest these illnesses.
This is how you are most likely to look at anything you or your child might get if you are a home prescriber. A one-off, random illness that needs immediate treatment with remedies from your Home Remedy Kit.
Your homeopath, however, would likely see these illnesses, particularly if they are recurrent, as an acute flare up of an underlying chronic state. Obviously this is a bit of a generalisation to illustrate a point.
These acute illnesses are very frequently triggered by something, and I don’t mean you’ve caught it from someone at work.
To become sick you have to have susceptibility in the first place, so it must be something you resonate with in yourself and you must also be in a state at that point to get sick.
I always like to ask the question, “what was happening in the week or two before this”, ie what has been stressing you or your child? Not only is this helpful in seeing what the trigger was, such as a grief, an argument with a parent or partner, or a forthcoming event which causes anxiety, but there are remedies which have “ailments from”! So remedies which might have ailments from anticipation where the patient might get cystitis or cold sores, for example.
Now on top of that we would also have to add our environment, because most of us are well aware of the fact that there are many things in our world now that have impacted our immune systems, creating what we homeopaths call an “obstacle to cure”. That is, something that you can’t remove from your environment or your system and which therefore keeps you sick. That in itself is a whole other blog!
So back to constitutional and acute…
As a home prescriber, if your child suddenly gets a fever you would probably reach for Belladonna and if that progressed to an ear infection you might then go to Pulsatiila and then move on to Hepar Sulph if it became a nasty chesty cough.
You might try a number of remedies over the course of a week, sitting up in the night with the vaporiser and the Vicks and worrying. Finally you decide to check in with your homeopath who gets out the file.
Looking at the child constitutionally, your homeopath may have prescribed Tuberculinum two or three weeks ago which addresses the deeper layer of the family and covers things like coughs, ear infections, asthma, allergies and has particular personality traits.
When your child gets sick you immediately think “this is an acute, I must now give Belladonna” and you stop the Tuberculinum, in favour if what is often a less deep acting remedy.
When you finally go back to your homeopath, they say to you “are you giving the constitutional remedy” and find that you’ve ditched it in favour of Belladonna, Pulsatilla, Hepar Sulph and so on. Their immediate instruction, often without even pulling out the file, is to go back to the Tuberculinum, maybe with different dosage instruction (that’s me anyway) and bingo, within one or two doses your child is improving rapidly.
The Constitutional Remedy is King!
So do you see how this works?
Often your first aid remedies will work well – of course they will! To me this indicates a reasonally robust immune system that only needed a little push to get on with the job itself.
But sometimes when we only give acute remedies, it can be like a bandaid in those more chronic or recurrent cases. We are often just treating superficially, when what we need to do is to treat or support the whole child, not just the symptoms of the acute illness.
There are times, particularly when something is recurring frequently or just not resolving, when those remedies that your homeopath has carefully selected are going to do the best work in what may appear to be “just an acute”.
These constitutional remedies (for the purposes of this article) have been selected on the totality of the symptom picture – that is everything your homeopath has asked and taken into account – and even if they don’t fix everything in one go or at one time because things are a bit complex, they are always going to be supporting you or your child and your immune system, regardless of what’s currently going on.
It’s always good to take a step back before diving in with remedies to ask the question “why am I sick”, because this will often bring an insight as to what was happening before and point to the remedy required.
And if you have had constitutional treatment from your homeopath in the past, I frequently find the last remedy you were given that has done good work, is also going to do the best work now.
Certainly you may also need an acute remedy for the niggles, but my advice to my patients is that if they are having constitutional treatment with me and they get sick contact me for help, but if they don’t feel they need to contact me (because many are seasoned home prescribers) DON’T STOP the constitutional remedy.
The Constitutional Remedy is King – those good remedies which have settled things down for months or years match your vibration – they are “your remedy” maybe forever and that remedy is going to help pick you up and balance your system regardless of what is going on.
So get back on that constitutional remedy if you stopped a recently prescribed remedy in favour of remedies from your first aid kit, and see the difference this can bring.
And if you’re not sure or it’s not helping, definitely get in touch with your homeopath.
And if you don’t have a homeopath yet, let me assure you that it can save you a lot of sleepless nights, multiple doctor appointments (but see your GP if at all concerned and for a fever in a child under 6 months old), expensive online purchases and set yourself and your child up for the future!
You can find a homeopath at the Australian Homoeopathic Association or contact me for my referral list of trusted colleages who offer consultations online.
Melanie Creedy is a Licentiate of the British School of Homeopathy in the UK and holds a Bachelor of Health Science in Homeopathy. She is registered with the Australian Register of Homoeopaths (AROH) and is a member of the Australian Homoeopathic Association. She was Vice President and Professional Development Coordinator of the Australian Homoeopathic Association from 2011 to 2015 and editor of the AHA National Newsletter from 2012 to 2020.
Melanie has used homeopathy since the mid-1980s and has been in practice since 1998. For many years she ran The Children’s Ear Clinic in Western Australia, but since her tree change to Tasmania, has a special interest in helping individuals manage their life and health through looking at a diagnosis or condition in relation to the symbolism of this unique picture. Armed with a range of remedies from the most common to the most unusual and esoteric, Melanie guides people to plumb the depths of their life and spiritual path with homeopathy to help them find insights, to understand and to heal.
For many years Melanie taught people how to use homeopathy in their homes, with their children and with their pets. She has run classes on how to use homeopathy with native animals and taught courses on homeopathy for birthing to doulas. Since moving to Tasmania she has found writing a better forum to reach more people. You will find many posts reaching back over her 25 years in practice here, revised and updated over time.
Homeopathy is a traditional medicine. It may be used in conjunction with other medicines. For any ongoing chronic condition, it is important to be assessed or examined by your healthcare professional or specialist. Always seek medical advice in emergencies. The information provided in this blog does not constitute medical advice but is for information only. If in doubt as to the appropriateness of a suggestion or treatment seek advice from your homeopath.