Any backpacker knows that constructing a good first aid kit is an exercise in practicality. The kit must be both effective and portable. If you want to be uber safe, you can carry traction splints, but you might not have room left in your pack for food.
Likewise, a homeopathic acute-care tool must be effective for the common presentations of disease and, at the same time, be user-friendly enough to benefit the general population. It cannot be too bulky, the remedies should be available to buy, and people need to be able to tell the remedies apart to prescribe them effectively.
When we began to design Homeopathic HouseCall, one of the first things we did was consider what criteria we would use to include remedies.
We decided, first, that it was important to cover the most common presentations of each acute condition and that, in doing so, we would be more likely to address a greater proportion of cases. We calculated that by covering the commonest symptoms with our remedy selection, we should end up with enough remedies in Homeopathic HouseCall to cover 80 percent of cases.
Second, we wanted Homeopathic HouseCall to be most useful for household prescribers. So, we didn't want to require people to buy hundreds of remedies or to make rare remedy orders from around the globe. Considering that Dr. Constantine Hering's pioneer remedy kit of the 1800s contained only 66 remedies, we set a goal to keep the total number around 100 and to use only widely available remedies.
For example, one remedy that our team has used successfully in diaper rash is Medorrhinum. However, this homeopathic remedy is made from a bacteria-laden substance and is unavailable to non-practitioners in many areas. (It's still carefully produced in professional laboratories, perfectly safe and FDA approved but, alas, many people cannot buy it.) Similarly, it is pointless to include a great concussion remedy like Opium when you need a medical license even to buy the homeopathic remedy.
Our third criterion was to ask only questions that could be easily answered by someone without a medical or homeopathic background. We hope that medical professionals without extensive homeopathic backgrounds will use Homeopathic HouseCall, but regular people need to use it, too. We decided to base our content on the clinical experience of Drs. Joe Kellerstein and Maryann Ivons, who between them have practiced for more than 60 years. We also brought in the advice of seasoned practitioners and leaders in the the community, homeopaths like Dr. Farokh Master and Kim Elia.
Using easily observed symptoms most frequently seen in practice, we constructed simple algorithms (guided questions) that would yield the most effective remedies for each condition.
This distillation process resulted in several conditions having rather few remedies, but it was not that we limited the remedy selection. This was instead the result of searching out only the most effective remedies for the commonest presentations of each condition.
To give another example, we did not include Aconitum napellus as a remedy for influenza. The reason is simple: Usually an influenza develops more slowly than an Aconitum complaint, and by the time you figure out that you're dealing with influenza, the time to give Aconitum napellus has passed. From their years of prescribing, our homeopaths knew that Aconitum was a fairly rare prescription for the flu.
Likewise, Sulphur sometimes comes in at the end of a flu when the patient is not recovering fully. Since this is a chronic issue (failing to recover fully), not an acute one, Sulphur was not included in our influenza section.
In some cases, we also included remedies that, in our experts' opinions, are just uncommonly good at one thing. So, we have Paeonia officinalis listed for hemorrhoids, and we have Symphoricarpus racemosus listed for the nausea of pregnancy.
If you have suggestions for complaints and remedies that you feel are glaring omissions, we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us using our web form.