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Reality Check: Homeopathy for Recovery

Posted: Health & Wellness » Homeopathy for Health » Medicine Chest | June 1st, 2004



By Susy Goins

Anyone trying to beat alcoholism needs support. Homeopathy can give you support — it can’t cure you, but it can help you through rough spots.

A professional homeopath will sit down with you and talk to you about you. She will ask you a multitude of questions about your fears, likes/dislikes, patterns of behavior, and so on. A homeopath looks at not just your alcoholism but at the whole you.

Recommendations for remedies are based on the symptoms you are currently experiencing. As your symptoms change, so will the remedies.

There are no recent books about treating alcoholism with homeopathy. The only one I have found mention of was written in the nineteenth century and may be available in reprint.

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Remedies for support

After you make the decision to loosen alcohol’s grip on you, you can expect to go through three different stages: withdrawal, detoxification and recovery. Each stage has its own symptoms and each will have its own remedies.


The symptoms associated with withdrawal can be serious. See a professional homeopath (I know I’m repeating myself, and I probably will again). Roller coasters come to mind, with all their ups, downs, thrills and terrors.

Aconitum napellus helps with fear, anxiety and restlessness. Fear of death or of the dark, fear of not being able to beat alcohol can be palliated with Aconite. Consider Aconite when you get bent out of shape about having to stop.

Maybe your body has an all-over bruised feeling. In steps Arnica montana. Your whole body is acutely sensitive, you don’t want anyone touching you or near you, you want to be left alone. That’s when Arnica can help.

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Chamomilla is useful for babies who are only improved when they are rocked. Chamomilla clients headed for recovery will frequently rock themselves for comfort. How frustrating is it to want something and then refuse it when that thing is offered? Over-sensitivity to light, noise, touch, the least draft or pain are classic Chamomilla symptoms.

Aurum metallica (gold) is used for depression — extreme despair, suicidal tendencies, “nothing is worth it,” self-denigration.

Can’t settle down? Restless and agitated? Terrified that recovery will never happen? Look to Arsenicum album to help out. Arsenicum people need to have someone with them lest they do something to harm themselves. Obsessed with tidiness and order? Yup, check out Arsenicum.

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Can’t stop talking? Don’t wan to be left alone for fear of the coming darkness? Stramonium is quite effective for alcoholics going through withdrawal. A pendulum of emotional outbursts of laughing or crying, singing or swearing are symptoms fit for Stramonium. Don’t forget about hallucinations involving insects or animals. Alcoholics in terror of water or shiny objects can benefit from Stramonium also.

Another excellent hallucination remedy is Belladonna. These hallucinations are the stuff nightmares are made of, with monsters and horrors galore. Belladonna clients may sing, dance, laugh and often moan. They are not connected to reality. A high fever, flushed face, dilated pupils and throbbing pain are the physical symptoms.

Nux vomica is for nervous, irritable, angry or impatient clients. During withdrawal they experience muscle spasms, the shakes and tics.

Extremely angry people who have suppressed their feelings can get help from Staphysagria. These are the people who have been abused in a number of ways and are now enraged. They are acting out their anger in an explosive manner: throwing, breaking, slamming. Either women or men who have been abused may benefit from this remedy.

The symptoms of withdrawal are intense, to say the least. If a proper remedy is chosen, count on the symptoms getting worse before they get better. Therefore, higher potencies should be the domain of a professional homeopath. If higher potencies are used (200C, 1M or more), fewer doses are needed. If lower potencies are used, then they may be administered more frequently.

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Once you have fought and beaten the cravings for alcohol, your body must continue the healing process by detoxifying itself. Your liver has been working overtime during your addiction; now you need to help it return to a higher level of functioning. Herbs like Dandelion and Milk Thistle are great for general liver support. Homeopathic remedies, though, are more specific in their targets.

While Nux vomica is helpful during withdrawal, it can also help during the detox stage. Digestive problems, abdominal cramps and the need to move bowels that don’t happen are symptoms here. These are the Type A folks who have drive and are competitive and highly sensitive. Sometimes they are violent but are always sorry afterwards.

Staphysagria can have a tremendous healing power on liver and neurological function.

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Arsenicum album works best for an enlarged liver. Dry heaves, morning vomiting, drinking cold drinks then vomiting, burning sensation in the belly and head and overall weakness and skepticism that anything will work are Arsenicum’s symptoms.

Lycopdium, a simple club moss, is for bloating and gas. Your appetite is on the roller coaster: sometimes you could eat everything in sight, other times the least amount is satisfying. Symptoms are worse from four to eight in the evening and after midnight.

The liver, especially if jaundice is involved, loves Chelidonium. If your liver pain extends up into the right shoulder blade, if your belly ache is better after eating or drinking scalding drink or by lying down on your left side with your legs pulled up, then consider Chelidonium.

Carduus marianus is indicated if lying on your left side aggravates your liver pain. Also if breathing deeply or any other motion bothers you, then look at Carduus.

Zincum focuses more on the nervous aspects of detox. Restlessness, the shakes, even convulsions can be helped. Look to Zincum if irritability, dullness, or depression are symptoms.

Ignatia is best for women who suffered some sort of love disaster that starting them drinking. Their depression will continue during the detox stage with lots of sighing. Ignatia women are emotionally very sensitive, offend easily and brood often.


I have no fast and sure remedies for recovery. Once an addict makes it this far into the healing process, he must work with a homeopath to finish up the healing process through constitutional or transformational healing.

Homeopathy looks at the individual as on individual who is the sum of his or her total experience. Everything that has happened to you affects you. Homeopathy looks at you as you are now, helps you to resolve what’s bothering you — and then moves on to the next challenge, and then the next one and so on. This is representative of one of the fundamental laws of homeopathy, “Direction of Cure.” (See the archives for my article about the Four Laws of Homeopathy).

Briefly, the direction of cure with homeopathy is 1) from head to toe, 2) inside to outside, 3) major organ to minor organ and 4) from last to first. So during alcohol recovery, you have dealt with the last issue to affect you: alcoholism. Now it’s time to deal with the second to last thing, the third to last and so on.

My best to you on your path of recovery. May you find yourself whole and joyful!

© Susy Parker Goins

An informal student of natural health for years, Susy Goins received her certificate in homeopathy from the American College of Health Sciences. The self-proclaimed out-of-the-mainstream mama of three is a writer, belly dancer, actress, costumer and cook has been married more than 20 years.

One Response to “Reality Check: Homeopathy for Recovery”

1 Anne Brown says:


I am doing a course in Homeopathy and to know the possible remedy that would assist an alcoholic who has damaged his brian from to heavy a drinking over a long period of time.

Also I have one other query regarding a remedy for a man that works adn plays hard and still likes to party all night. What sort of remedy do you think would assist this guy.

Your assistance is much appreciated and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Warm Regards

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