Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Homeopathic FAIL

This seems a popular topic, so I'll keep it going.

From all accounts, either homeopathic stuff works right away, or it's not going to. On that score, my foray into the homeopathic realm is an utter fail. My veins have not cleared up -- on the contrary, last night I was bent double standing over the sink, trying vainly (pun! ha!) to take some pressure off the area. I foresee appalling support garments and lots of external witch hazel in my future.

For the record, continuing our discussions of bizarre midwife tendencies, I want to say that my midwife is quite competent and very accepting of charting and NFP. The homeopathic recommendation was only one in a raft of suggestions for managing veins -- I was hoping that a "magic" remedy would work for me instead of having to start an ongoing treatment regimen. Guess what? Magic don't work.

When I was first looking into homebirth, three kids ago, I called up the only Catholic midwife I knew of in the area, but she was just getting ready to start with the nearest birthing center. In the intervening years, she's switched from the birthing center to homebirths and back again a few times, stranding a friend of mine either way. So that doesn't work for me. But I like and trust my current midwife, who's seen me through two births and a miscarriage, and I'll put up with one homeopathic recommendation in the five years I've been with her.


the other Sherry said...

My midwife recommended 2 ounces daily of Noni juice (you can drink it straight or mixed with another juice) for varicose veins. I found it quite helpful - and not all that difficult to find - even Walmart had it, though I got mine at a local health food store.

Severe varicose veins run several generations deep on my mom's side of the family, so I always knew that I would rather wear support hose through pregnancy than wear them every day for the rest of my life (as my mom had to after her third pregnancy).

I had some trouble with, um, uncomfortably-placed varicosities last round, too -- the good news is that they almost always resolve (go away) not long after birth.

My sympathies!

mrsdarwin said...


Ah, please email me with sound advice on oddly placed varicosities! Strangely enough, most pregnancy books seem to be written for first-timers, and don't even touch the sorts of problems that crop up later on. (I finally pitched my loathed but battered copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting.)

bearing said...

It is sometimes harmless to throw everything anyone can come up with at a problem (barring dangerous side effects and/or expensive snake oil). There's always the placebo effect, after all.

When a friend of mine, not a fan of homeopathics, had a breech presentation at 37 weeks, she was willing to try pretty much anything on the grounds that a C-section is more expensive and dangerous than any of that. Herbs, moxibustion, homeopathic, various maneuvers involving bags of frozen peas and flashlights, all that stuff. I think the baby turned the day after she had a chiropractic adjustment and the day BEFORE the external version attempt.

I like to bring this up because I happened to be at their house and watched her husband give her the moxibustion treatment. It involves burning an herb stick next to the mother's pinky toe. "I can't believe I'm doing this, don't tell anyone," her husband, who is the same sort of engineer as I am, ordered me. But let me tell you something: I saw with my own eyes the baby jump like crazy in her belly the whole time it was going on. *shrug*

Kate said...

I also had the uncomfortably placed varicosities (plus the H word that Shall Not Be Named) during my last pregnancy, pretty much the most aggravating pregnancy side effect ever. I did witch hazel compresses, pressure, movement/exercises, cranberry juice, raspberry leaf and nettle tea, etc etc. The witch hazel offered immediate (if temporary) relief and I really can't attest to any of the rest of it, except that it was best to be either moving or lying down, but not sitting. But, heck, I would have tried anything!

Anthony said...

Regarding homeopathy, see:

honeybee said...

I'm not surprised to hear about your experience.

With all respect, Mrs. Darwin, you have been given homeopathic treatments by a midwife, not by a practicing homeopath -- there's a big difference.

Homeopaths practice homeopathy. Period. They take about 2 hours to take your case and then prescribe accordingly. It's an art and a science.
Real homeopaths don't give random remedies for a single symptom. Your entire case needs to be considered, as people manifest different diseases and conditions in different ways. Anything else is, indeed, quakery. But please, do not tar homeopathy with such a broad brush; you haven't experienced real homeopathic treatment.

My primary doctor here in Europe is a homeopath. He has a medical degree but he prescribes homeopathic remedies exclusively.
Both my husband and I have had spectacular success with homeopathy with conditions that confounded allopathic doctors.

Practitioners like your midwife give real homeopathy a bad name.

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

When I was in France I bought something homeopathic from the pharmacy when I had really sore cracked lips from a cold/bad weather. It worked like an absolute charm, far better than the kinds of things we can buy here: it soothed and healed quickly. It seemed to be in France that homeopathy was much more accepted.