What to Avoid While Under Homeopathic Treatment:

1. Coffee: This is the one substance which is most often responsible for homeopathic antidotion. Even one sip of coffee or a small amount of coffee ice cream, kahlua, or coffee bean candy may antidote a homeopathic remedy. It appears to be the oils in coffee rather than the caffeine alone which is the culprit. Although caffeinated tea is not a problem with homeopathy, strongly caffeinated substances like Zoom or No-doz should also be avoided as well as guarana and mate (caffeinated beverages from South America).

2. Electric blankets: They affect remedies by altering your body's electromagnetic field.

3. Aromatic substances: Avoid camphor, eucalyptus, menthol, and any products which contain them including Vick's, Noxema, Tiger Balm, Ben Gay, Calamine lotion, and cough drops and lozenges containing these substances. This includes menthol and other aromatic mouthwashes; and Vicco Ayurvedic toothpaste.

4. Citronella oil, pennyroyal, and other aromatic herbal mosquito repellants, all thuja and tea tree (melaleuca) products, peppermint oil, and lavender oil may antidote remedies due to their aromaticity. Chapstick, Blistex, and other aromatic lip balms should also be avoided. Strong fumes from oil-based paint, turpentine, paint thinner and certain household cleaning agents such as Pine Sol, Lysol, and strong-smelling industrial chemicals may also interfere with remedies.

5. Medications: Homeopathic medicines will not prevent prescription drugs from working, but prescription drugs may interfere with homeopathic remedies. These include antibiotics, cortisone, and antifungals, whether topical or oral. Consult with your practitioner about any drugs which you are taking. If you experience severe pain, aspirin or Tylenol usually do not interfere with homeopathic remedies.

6. Immunizations: Immunizations may interfere with remedies. Whether you take them or not is your personal choice, however you may want to discuss their effects with your practitioner.

7. Dental work: Homeopathic remedies are often antidoted by dental drilling and the use of novocaine. It is preferable, if possible, to wait at least three or four months after taking a remedy to have dental work done. In the case of emergency dental work, have it done and call your practitioner afterwards. In many cases, homeopathic remedies will relieve dental pain until you have a chance to visit your dentist.

8. Drugs: Avoid all recreational drugs including marijuana, cocaine, LSD, barbituates, amphetamines and prescription pain medications. Alcohol in moderation will not interfere with homeopathic remedies.

9. Other homeopathic remedies: Do not use Bach Flower remedies, cell salts, or other homeopathic remedies without discussing them with your homeopath first.

10. Herbs: Check with your homeopath before using herbs for specific medicinal purposes while you are under homeopathic treatment. Herb teas for beverage use, when varied from day, to day are fine as are culinary herbs. Chinese herbs and moxa may antidote remedies. If you've been given Natrum muriaticum, you will be advised to avoid peppermint in all forms, including tea. The remedy Sulphur may be antidoted by chamomile tea and Sepia by vinegar.

11. Vitamins: Let your homeopath know which vitamins you are taking. Taking a particular vitamin to eliminate a particular symptom may make it difficult for your homeopath to evaluate your symptoms. Multivitamins and minerals do not disturb homeopathic treatment.

12. Beauty treatments: Permanent waves often antidote remedies because of the harsh and aromatic chemicals. Some skin products and facial treatments will antidote remedies if they contain aromatic substances.

13. Other therapies: Acupuncture and therapeutic ultrasound have been found to often antidote homeopathic treatment. Some homeopaths have found certain forms of bodywork, including shiatsu and rolfing, to antidote their patients' remedies in some cases.

Dr Darius H Umrigar MD(AM)

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