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combinations are not so bad...

Scientific Evidence for Homeopathic Medicine ©1995, Dana Ullman, M.P.H. (Excepted from Consumer's Guide to Homeopathy, Tarcher/Putnam)

WHEN I FIRST got involved in the field of homeopathic medicine in 1972, anyone who used or advocated the use of homeopathic 'combination medicines' was considered to be committing blasphemy. Because the classical traditions of homeopathy emphasized strict individualization of the total person and prescribed a single remedy based on the totality of his or her physical and psychological symptoms, any method that oversimplified this arduous task was viewed with varying degrees of contempt and disdain.
At that time many of us were also taught that those who used lower- potency medicines (3, 6, 9, or 12th potencies) were 'wimps' who were either afraid to use the powerful higher potencies or not educated to know how to use them. The 'real medicines,' we thought, were the high potencies (200, 1M, 10M, 50M and higher).

Since those early days, I have grown beyond this homeopathic chauvinism and microdose machismo which pervaded the first dozen years of my involvement in the field.

As someone who regularly lectures to thousands of laypeople and health professionals every year, I have had the opportunity to share my knowledge and to hear theirs. Initially, I was defensive about the classical method, until too many people told me of their successes with various non-classical forms of homeopathy. I ultimately found that my own dogmatism somewhat resembled the dogmatism many physicians had toward homeopathy as a whole.

As much as I still honor the classical method and consider it the most effective way to change a person's health in a truly profound way, I also recognize and appreciate the various non-classical methods that help improve health in perhaps less profound but still significant ways.

It is important to recognize the value of individualization that single remedy homeopathy brings to healing. On the other hand, homeopathic formulas provide a user-friendly approach which helps provide easy access to some of the benefits that homeopathic medicines offer. Combination homeopathic remedies are considerably safer than conventional drugs, and people with access to these simple-to-use natural remedies will certainly be healthier for it.

It is helpful to note that Chinese medicine and virtually all herbal traditions commonly incorporate the use of formulas of two to eight ingredients. The use of these mixtures has consistently shown that there is a synergistic action when certain ingredients are mixed together which creates greater benefit than the use of single herbs. The herbalist may not know which individual ingredient was most significant in stimulating a healing response or if it was the unique combination of ingredients that provided the healing. However, it is not always as important to know which specific remedy was most useful in healing as it is to do everything possible to encourage healing to happen.

One can only wonder if the beneficial synergy that is created by mixing together three or more Chinese herbs might also be experienced by mixing together homeopathic medicines. Because of this possible synergy, homeopathic combinations may, in fact, be more effective than single remedies in relieving certain acute conditions (I particularly believe this is true for treating serious injuries because it is often necessary to given Arnica, Hypericum, and Ruta together). Only further research will determine this.

The results of using combination remedies are not just empirical. There are now several controlled trials which have shown the efficacy of homeopathic formulas, including for the treatment of hayfever, sprains, labor and delivery, post-surgical treatment, and varicose veins [I give these references in my book].

I have personally found that combination medicines are valuable remedies for many acute, non-life threatening conditions. Their use makes sense to me particularly when the correct single medicine is not immediately available or when the person cannot determine with confidence which single medicine to take. Because it is not always easy to determine the correct homeopathic remedy in acute situations and because single homeopathic remedies are not as easily accessible as homeopathic formula products, there is a place for combination remedies in healing.

Steven Subotnick, a homeopath, podiatrist, and sports physician from Hayward, California, commonly prescribes homeopathic medicines for people who injure themselves. He has found consistently that a single remedy is rarely as effective as a mixture of remedies for the treatment of injuries. Arnica 30, for instance, may be effective in treating the shock that a person experiences from an injury, and it can help to heal injury to soft tissue, but if nerve tissue is also injured, Hypericum 30 will be helpful, and if bone tissue is also injured, Symphytum 30 or Ruta 30 will be indicated too. Dr. Subotnick commonly prescribes single remedies in his own formulas as well as formulas made by homeopathic manufacturers.

Even though combination medicines do not 'cure' a person deeply, neither do the vast majority of single medicines taken for relief of acute conditions. For instance, Euphrasia 30 may ease allergy symptoms, but it will not cure the underlying allergic state. Thus, combination remedies and single remedies for acute conditions have a similar range of benefit.

Some classical homeopaths are the most vocal against the use of combination medicines. It must be noted that the term 'classical homeopathy' originally referred to the type of homeopathy practiced by its founder, Samuel Hahnemann. In part as a reaction to physicians of his day who commonly prescribed several powerful drugs concurrently, Hahnemann insisted on using extremely small doses of only a single remedy at a time. However, recent evidence from an Oxford-trained scholar, Rima Handley, has confirmed that during the last ten years of Hahnemann's life, he gave most of his patients two different medicines to take daily, one in the morning and one at night [See Handley's A Homeopathic Love Story, Berkeley: North Atlantic/Homeopathic Educational Services].

While combination remedies may have a place in one's medicine chest, the power of the individually chosen single homeopathic medicine should never be underestimated. The correctly chosen homeopathic medicine can effectively heal a person's chronic or even hereditary condition. The correct medicine can also raise the individual's overall level of health so that he or she is more resistant to physical and psychological ailments, acute and chronic.
There is a place in healing for both single ingredient medicines and combination formula products. Combination formulas provide a convenient and dependable source of homeopathic care which complements the use of single ingredient homeopathic medicines.
  asimattar on 2006-11-18
This is just a forum. Assume posts are not from medical professionals.
When potentized, each substance creates one single 'energy field'. In combinations these energy fields do NOT merge, they remain single, therefore one is affected by a multitude. The vital force is simply not designed to react to more than one field at a time, and the reults of this can be quite disasterous.

Chinese herbal medicines are indeed prescribed in combinations, sometimes up to 15 at a time, but the end result is made up of the combined PHYSICAL constituents of each herb, creating a 'tailor made' prescription.

This is very much NOT the same thing as combining remedies.

Combinations should never under any circumstances be prescribed or taken.
This is NOT Homoeopathy.

Hahnemania last decade
Dana Ullman is a very well respected homeopath in North America.

Pankaj Varma
PANKAJ VARMA last decade
Dana Ullman, M.P.H. (Masters in Public Health, U.C. Berkeley) is 'homeopathicXXXX' and is widely recognized as the foremost spokesperson for homeopathic medicine in the U.S. Dana Ullman co-authored Americas most popular homeopathic guidebook, Everybody's Guide to Homeopathic Medicines (Jeremy Tarcher/Putnam, revised 2004), updated four times since its initial publication in 1984 (and published in eight languages).
PANKAJ VARMA last decade
Dana Ullman co-taught a ten-week course on homeopathy at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine from 1993 to 1995 and again in 1998. He also has served or has been asked to serve as an advisory board member to alternative medicine institutes at Harvard, Columbia, and University of Alaska schools of medicine. Dr. Andrew Weil's Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona asked Dana to develop their curriculum in homeopathy for their physician associate fellows.

Since 1986, he has served as chairperson for the National Center for Homeopathy's Annual Conference, America's leading non-profit organization.
PANKAJ VARMA last decade
Source: http://www.homeopathic.com/hes/bio_dana.php
PANKAJ VARMA last decade
Can you guys name some combinateion remedies that have worked for you and do you mix the liquid or give a different single remedy at different times.
yrpnet1210 last decade
I lost a long post for the first time.

any way, I will try again, but will be brief.

the combination medicines are famous for palliation, not for cure. even the manufacturers say this.

Continuous palliation for years togrther creates problems in chronic cases, in any therapy.

gavinimurthy last decade
I thought I would post here what I learnt from another homeopath re. combinations.
I have been asking for experiences using combinations and the consensus seems to be pretty much what I felt anyway - okay for acute, absolutely useless or harmful long-term.
A 25 year old girl had severe mentrual problems and was eventually diagnosed with cysts. Someone (I don't know whether layman or doctor )advised her to take some combination remedy (if I'm not mistaken, R35 or R38 or some such). The 'medicine was taken for months on end. Finally, condition aggravated enough (I'm not saying this was due to the remedy - I think that just had no effect)and she had to have surgery. The sad thing is that this experience made the family believe homeopathy was useless and they did not seek any help when the condition recurred. It took a great deal of persuasion on the part of a family friend to make them agree to try my fellow homeopath who is now treating her. Even sadder is the fact that this is a textbook case and the true remedy was immediately apparent, and would have probably been effective way back and avoided all the problems she's had in her marriage - if you know Indian families, you can imagine what(this all started some 10 years ago).
ripas last decade
hi all
as far as combinations are concerend i am using combinations from the last two years and my family offcourse and we all are getting good results.
i am not saying that single remedy is wrong because single remedy is a basic treatment no doubt,but for those who say that combinations are bad and they should not be taken so i have my personal experience that i mostly use combinations and i get positive result.
so we can not say that combinations are bad...
much thanks
asimattar last decade
Single Remedies, Combination Remedies
Options for Homeopathic Self-Care

Richard Moskowitz M.D.

As a homeopathic physician I am often asked about the safety and efficacy of the so-called 'combination remedies,' containing mixtures of several homeopathic medicines and marketed for common complaints such as colds, flu, indigestion, and the like. These are probably the best known homeopathic preparations on the market today, and are available in neighborhood pharmacies as well a~ health food stores. Virtually every homeopathic manufacturer produces them, and has produced them for generations.

Such preparations are generally very safe, if used judiciously. On the other hand, although the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS) is protected by Federal law, some allegedly 'homeopathic' preparations may contain substances not included in it, or may not have been made according to its standards. Both the industry and the FDA are even more concerned about some newer preparations marketed for obviously chronic and dubious indications, such as weight loss, 'sexual rejuvenation,' and the like.

For all of these reasons, the public is well advised to avoid products in which the ingredients are not specified and the manufacturer does not explicitly adhere to the HPUS rules. All inquiries regarding remedies and preparations should be reported to the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists, P. O. Box 2273, Falls Church, VA 22042.

In any case, the standard cold, flu, and other acute preparations are generally reliable and quite safe for occasional use. Under most circumstances they should not be used for more than a few days at a time without professional supervision; and persistence, worsening, or frequent recurrence of any complaint usually indicates the need for professional help, i.e., diagnosis and perhaps treatment.

Prolonged or repeated use of combination remedies for symptomatic relief also favors the conditions in which adverse effects are more likely. Homeopathy teaches that all medicines have the power either to provoke or to relieve the same symptoms, depending on the dosage and the sensitivity of the patient.

A simple rule of thumb is that a medicine will be more likely to produce symptoms, not just relieve them, 1) the more sensitive the patient is to it, 2) the larger the dose, and 3) the more times it is repeated. This common-sense warning of course applies equally to single remedies, herbs, and above all to conventional drugs, whose habituating and addictive powers are directly proportional to their tendency in large material doses to reproduce much the same symptoms that at first they seemed to cure.

The risk of adverse reactions to combination remedies is also proportional to the number of separate ingredients to which a sensitive patient could respond. Nor are these sensitivities readily predictable without detailed study of the ingredients, i.e., exactly the circumstances under which single remedies would do as well or better with far smaller and fewer doses.

In general, then, the combinations are rather more subject to abuse than the single remedies, which are usually taken only for short periods, and only after individualized study. But they are still far safer than the comparable OTC pharmaceuticals, such as anti-histamine cold preparations, which contain much larger doses of potent chemical drugs.

How effective are the combination remedies? For some people, they are very effective indeed. I have always had patients who swore by this or that 'teething' combination or cold remedy. Among the newer ones, OSCILLOCOCCINUM and its equivalents have become justly popular in a short time, and I know of many instances in which it saved my patients or their friends a visit to a doctor and a considerable expense, and, above all, helped them to heal themselves without a doctor. I'm all for that, in whatever shape or form -- and the more, the better. In these cases, and many others like them, combination remedies are often effective in just a few doses, and need not be repeated again for a long time. Not a bad 'bottom-line' criterion.

Nor can it be held against the combination remedies that they don't always work. Single remedies don't work all the time either, even in hands far more skilled than mine. Like worsening, healing is always possible, never certain: it is a property of individuals, not disease categories. So let me repeat: there is nothing wrong with the acute care combinations, as long as a few simple and obvious precautions are observed, and temporary symptomatic relief is all that is required. But homeopathy is capable of vastly more than that.

Combination remedies palliate because of a crude correspondence between a common symptom or illness category (colds, flu, cough, etc.) and its various ingredients. But homeopathy teaches that each single remedy produces a characteristic totality of responses that is different from that of every other substance. When a remedy can be found that approximates the picture of the illness as a whole, genuinely and profoundly curative responses are often possible, even in obstinate chronic diseases.

Experiences of this kind suggest that falling ill and recovering from illness are concerted responses of the organism as a whole, and cannot simply be programmed or manipulated through temporary relief of a symptom or technological control of an abnormality. This is the best reason for studying and using single remedies, which are distinctive and recognizable totalities that can match and therefore help us understand and work with the unique individuality of living patients.

When patients are truly cured of an illness, they take with them the immunological 'memory' of the healing process: their bodies recognize (and their minds often remember) which groups of symptoms traveled together, which separately, what causal factors were operating, and the like. The proof of course is that next time the picture is clearer and the response more rapid and effective. Using remedies effectively for self-healing is essentially a methodology for training this kind of psychophysical awareness, and homeopathy does so chiefly through the discipline of studying and using single remedies.

This study is by no means a simple one. I have been immersed in lt for fifteen years, and have only just begun. Yet the method is wonderfully accessible to lay people, who may study and use remedies at their own pace, as a guide to their experience, not infrequently with results at least as good as mine. The remedies are archetypes of falling ill and getting well again that are profoundly satisfying and worthy of study for their own sake, because they exist in real life -- a most improbable coincidence that partly explains the art and skill and excitement that are given to those who are willing to make the effort.

I know of no other way to explain the equally improbable revival of homeopathic self-care in our recent history, which is almost wholly attributable to the single remedy method. By the 1960's, homeopathic medicine had almost died out as a profession in this country, and survived only because of the dedication of the lay public and a few dozen physicians who clung to the old ways, i.e., to the single remedy. Now it is rising again, thanks largely to the impetus of the self-care movement: groups of interested lay people are springing up everywhere, and are studying and using single remedies with an intensity that leaves the principal manufacturers scrambling to overtake the demand.

So I have no quarrel with the combination remedies They're quite safe, and they work well enough for what they're designed to do. But they are as far from what homeopathy is capable of as is applying a band-aid, or taking a drug to control an abnormality, from learning how to heal ourselves.
asimattar last decade
The article above more or less supports support our view point.

They do palliate sometimes, should not be repeated often.

the concluding sentence is worth reading more than once.


' But they are as far from what homeopathy is capable of as is applying a band-aid, or taking a drug to control an abnormality, from learning how to heal ourselves.'


So, if you want continuous palliation go for combination remedies, but beware that they will harm you if used continuously.

If you want cure of the problem, single medicine approach is the only answer.

Thanks for reading.

gavinimurthy last decade
yah i admit that single remedy is usefull no doubt i was just asking cos i am new to this and used combinations
i cant understand single remedy dosage and no body helps me regarding this
nobody is even ready to tell me that what is the difference between 3x and 30c and which one is more effective
thanks again
asimattar last decade
Daisy clearly explained you the difference in this thread.


Anyway, I will again tell you.

Whether you need a 3X or 30c, depends on the problem,your vitality,the history of disease, it's severity and many other factors.

Your physician is the best one to decide it.

If you want to know a simple answer 30C is more powerful than 3X.

Which one will be more effective for you is a different matter, altogether, to be decided by your physician.

gavinimurthy last decade
thankyou so much sir
i am really thankful to you
asimattar last decade

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