How Homeopathic Plant Remedies Reduce Stress

Plant remedies assist in coping with loss, PTSD and substance abuse withdrawal.

Many of us have had the experience of being thrown off balance or stressed by life’s turmoil. The stressors can range from the typical slings and arrows of life — unexpected expense, momentary panic or a real disappointment of some kind — to the more life-changing events such as a death in the family, diagnosis of a serious illness, or betrayal through an affair.

If we pay attention to the nightly news we hear there is a drug for everything. Even though the list of pharmaceutical side effects is hair-raising, Americans consume these prescriptions at an alarming rate. Pain killers, anti-anxiety medications, and meds for sleep and focus are some of the especially worrisome drugs that can lead to another medical condition known as dependence or addiction. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that prescriptions for addictive pain killers and sleeping aids has risen from 5 million annually in 1990 to over 45 million today.

All drugs have both benefits and costs. Being aware of the help a medication can provide as well as its potential risks assists in making the decision to use a pharmaceutical or seek an alternative. One such alternative as a way of addressing many life stresses and health concerns that carries no toxic or addictive side effects is homeopathy.

Blending many concepts of healing from Hippocrates’ time onward, Samuel Hahnemann, a German medical doctor, developed the use of homeopathy in the late 1700s. Using very small doses of natural substances diluted to the sub-molecular level (meaning there is no original substance left in the remedy), homeopaths use what the National Institute of Health describes as “energy medicine.”

Based on the theory that “like cures like,” a substance that creates symptoms in a healthy person is used to treat a person who is sick with those same symptoms. Homeopathic remedies — over 3000 of them — can be used as the primary treatment for many conditions. Because of their sub-molecular dosing, they can also be used as an adjunct to pharmaceuticals. Formulated as sugar pellets, ointments, gels, drops, creams or tablets, homeopathic remedies are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, the FDA does not evaluate these remedies for safety or effectiveness.

Ignatia: Coping with Loss

Some plant-based homeopathic remedies that are especially useful in stressful situations include Ignatia, Aconite and Nux vomica. Ignatia is a wonderful remedy for the losses we experience in life — the death of a loved one, the sudden loss of a job or relationship, the betrayal of a friend. Ignatia is developed homeopathically from the plant ignatia amara (Strychnos ignatii) and was first used as an herbal remedy by Jesuit priests who named it in honor of their founder Ignatius Loyola. This remedy helps one cope with and bear the loss they are experiencing. It does not take away or dull the loss, but rather rallies the energetic system to best cope with the loss.

Nux Vomica: Reduce Cravings During Detox

Nux vomica can be a life-saver for people newly recovering from substance dependence problems. After the traditional treatment of detoxification in a medical facility, the client who has been addicted to painkillers and recreational drugs, including alcohol, leaves the detox with the intent of not returning to drug use. However, most newly sober people experience a difficult condition known as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) for 4-6 weeks post detox. These include symptoms of intense cravings, preoccupation with drugs, sleep disturbance, emotional mood swings and gastric disturbance. Often the severity of the cravings causes a client to relapse into addictive drug use. A small dose of the homeopathic remedy Nux vomica dramatically reduces cravings and preoccupations and allows the body to move forward more quickly to a state of health and balance without psychiatric medications.

Aconite: Severe Fright and PTSD Remedy

Veterans from wars in Viet Nam to Afghanistan have experienced relief from flashbacks, depression and anxiety using homeopathy. Aconite, obtained using a plant known as monkshood or wolf bane, is a useful remedy for severe fright and has been very helpful to many suffering from PTSD. At the Spring 2014 National Center for Homeopathy conference in Long Beach, CA, amazing videos showed the before and after differences in patients using homeopathic remedies, with the vets themselves describing the relief they experienced.

Anyone suffering from long standing conditions like substance abuse and PTSD should consult a professional homeopath rather than self-treat. There are many homeopaths around the country and the world assisting people with their mental and physical conditions using these marvelous “nano” remedies. To learn more or to find a homeopath in your area visit the National Center for Homeopathy website at A good introductory book is The Impossible Cure by Amy Lansky, PhD. Dr. Lansky was a scientist at NASA whose son with autistic symptoms was greatly helped with homeopathy.

Loretta Butehorn, PhD, CCH is a licensed psychologist and nationally certified homeopath who practices homeopathy in Boston, MA. She is a senior faculty member at Teleosis School of Homeopathy in New England and teaches at Boston College. Dr. Butehorn is also a Board Member of the National Center for Homeopathy. She can be contacted at or her website

See also:
Happy Feet: A Simple Soothing Technique
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