Aromatherapy and homeopathy
Can aromatherapy and homeopathy be used together at the same time? This question appears every few months on aromatherapy mailing lists, and there appears to be no definite answer. The problem partly stems from the fact that some homeopaths are stricter than others in what can/cannot be used with homeopathic remedies, but also the answer appears to vary depending on whether you ask a homeopath or an aromatherapist.
All homeopaths appear to agree that eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils should not be used with homeopathy as these are thought to antidote at least some of the homeopathic remedies. Some homeopaths also say that tea tree antidotes remedies. When I became more involved in aromatherapy, my homeopath cautioned me against using essential oils at the same time as homeopathic remedies, but a large part of her reasoning was that she would not be able to tell how the remedies had worked if essential oils were also being used. The same reasoning could apply when using any two forms of healing.On the other hand, I have also found that some aromatherapists will caution a gap of only one hour between using a remedy and an essential oil.
No-one seems to be able to give a justifiable reason for the antidoting of homeopathic remedies. It appears that strong smells may antidote, but in my opinion geranium and ylang ylang have powerful aromas but are not contra-indicated. I have also been told that camphor-containing oils are a problem, but neither eucalyptus nor peppermint contain camphor. Menthol, found in peppermint, is contra-indicated too.
Carol Kovacs is a naturopath/ homeopath who uses aromatherapy in her day-to-day life. In a post to an aromatherapy email list, she wrote: "I find that antidoting of remedies tends to happen when the person is either on a remedy that is not close enough to their similimum, i.e. if the remedy is not quite right or the potency of the homoeopathic remedy is too low/ too high. Alternatively a person may antidote a homoeopathic remedy with EOs if the oil is more suitable than the homoeopathic remedy. Other cases where there may be an antidoting of a remedy is when the person is on a Psoric remedy - this is a class of remedies, e.g. Sulphur and Psorinum, which belong to the Psoric miasm.1 This class of remedies, in my experience, is most susceptible to being antidoted by many things, including coffee, mints and EOs."
Dr Vivian Lunny is an aromatherapist who has also studied homeopathy. She says that she has found for a number of years that oils that come from a certain plant combine synergistically with remedies coming from the same source. Foe instance, if Chamomile homeopathic granules are used with children when they are beginning to cut their teeth, and essential oil of Roman Chamomile is concurrently applied in a blend externally on the cheeks, the effects are far faster then when either is used independently.
As a long-standing user of homeopathic remedies, most of which have been prescribed by my homeopath, I can say that aromatherapy and homeopathy can be used together, but you need to be sensible. I personally do not generally use essential oils at the same time as I am taking a prescribed homeopathic remedy, but as the remedy is taken only for a few days to a week it is no problem to avoid the use of essential oils for such a short period. I remember once, though, that a remedy worked much faster than expected despite the fact that I took one of the tablets on the same day as I attended a course in aromatherapy massage.
Written by: Lowana Veal
1 A miasm is an inherited tendency towards disease.
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