Donna Draper

Homeopath & Holistic Healthcare Practitioner

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Beautiful Day! Amazing healing plants! Homeopathic spotlight ….

What a great weekend it’s been for getting some jobs done in the garden!! Clearing up the debris from the recent bad weather, has giveme the opportunity, yet again, to marvel at Mother Nature’s fortitude and resilience. I have been privileged to be joined by bumble bees, ladybirds Jackdawand I’ve had fleeting glances of some butterflies. I have been visited by a wonderful array of birds. A pair of Jackdaw’s building their nest in a neighbours chimney and were quite noisy during their construction work! In stark contrast a Robin serenaded me from the trees above where I was working. I believe he was frustrated that I was turning over lots of tasty bugs and he couldn’t get them while I was in the way! Even a (not so) shy Jay made an appearance at one point. I have a regular pair of visiting ducks whoJay dropped in briefly on their way to the village pond  and a coot who decided that there was too much activity in the garden for his liking. Blackbirds, sparrows, dunnocks, tits of various types, doves, pigeons, magpies, seagulls and some starlings were amongst others who passed by. 

Not only do many of our plants offer so much in the way of nutrition for us and other species, they also possess astounding healing properties, many of which have, sadly, been forgotten or overlooked by mainstream allopathic medicine. Plants and trees have been used curatively by our forebears to great effect, both in their natural state or prepared into other forms,  maybe as essential oils, tinctures or creams and, of course, they have been prepared for use homeopathically.  It shouldn’t be forgotten that plants and trees also possess great spiritual healing powers, too.

The main focus of my commentary today is about the Homeopathic use of some of these plants. Whilst appreciating the wonderful abundance in my garden, (both planned and unplanned) I have been thinking about how some of the plants are used medicinally from a holistic homeopathic viewpoint. I don’t want to go into the actual process involved in making homeopathic remedies or explain in great detail how homeopathy works – that may be a topic for another day! I simply wish to highlight some of the healing properties of some of our more common garden plants that are contained in the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

2014-03-09 14.00.01I have some beautiful Hellebores plants in full flower. Hellebores (sometimes known as the Christmas or Lenten rose) are perennial garden plants that enjoy shady spots and flower in late winter and early spring.  

Homeopathic preparations of this plant are made from its root and have been used effectively for a range of conditions, primarily affecting the brain. These include coma, concussion, meningitis, night-blindness, epilepsy, depression and headaches. I would not suggest that this is a ‘First Aid’ homeopathic remedy for home prescribing but under the guidance of a professional homeopath, it can be very effective in alleviating symptoms in these often serious and debilitating conditions.

As I surveyed the grass that was once a lawn and contemplated getting the lawn mower out, I marvelled at the numerous daisies and wild violets that were intermingled amongst the grass and moss. The vibrant display of colour and their almost palpable energy made it impossible for me the cut them down in their prime. The lawn mower stayed in the barn!!

The common Daisy, better known to homeopaths as the remedy Bellis Perennis, is a widely known and well used remedy with many, 2014-03-09 14.01.25many healing properties. It is often regarded as a deeper acting Arnica and complementary to Calendula. The old name for the daisy is ‘Ground-wort’ or ‘Bruise-wort’.  The daisy is a flower that is repeatedly trodden on but always comes up ‘smiling’!! Deep bruising is one of the most common reasons it is prescribed.

Bellis Perennis is very useful in helping with deep bruising to soft tissue, including damage caused from surgical interventions. The clinical uses include; aches perhaps from overworked muscles, sprains and strains, swellings, tumours and cysts, varicose veins, giddiness in elderly people, gout and boils.

2014-03-09 14.00.30The wild Violet, that is prolific at this time of year, also has some wonderful healing properties. It is part of the Viola family which, when homeopathically prepared, is used for a range of conditions including  ear problems, headaches especially those caused from tension, worms in children, carpal tunnel of the wrists and rheumatism.

There are so many plants that I could mention, but for today, I will conclude with a comment about the majestic2014-03-09 14.02.40 yet dazzling spring flower, the Daffodil which is known homeopathically as Narcissus Poeticus. The word comes from the Greek ‘Narkao’ – ‘to be numb’ and this plant has amazing narcotic properties. This remedy is particularly useful for chronic coughs, especially of a nervous origin. It is useful for bronchitis, convulsive whooping cough, headaches. Be warned that it is not advisable to eat this plant, particularly the bulbs, as they can be poisonous in their raw state and can cause a nasty reactions.

It has been fun to pick out a few garden plants and share a brief insight with you about their homeopathic uses.  There are so many to explore and learn about but right now, it’s time to enjoy some more of the glorious sunshine. Adieu until next time.

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Feeling anxious? Feeling low? Feeling stressed? Homeopathy can help.

imagesI’m sure many of us has been troubled by stress, anxiety or perhaps depression at some point in our lives. Maybe you feel you are in that place right now and don’t know how to change things or you know and care for someone who is stressed or anxious.  I hope I can offer a little help in this blog. I speak from experience, not only as someone who knows what it feels like to be stressed and anxious but also, nowadays, as a therapist who has successfully helped many people deal with this condition.                                      .

Anxiety or stress is a response triggered in the body as a reaction to a perceived or real threat – the threat can be physical, mental and / or emotional. Stress in certain situations is actually beneficial, as it gives the body the extra resources it needs to deal with the presenting problem. For example, feeling anxious about an upcoming interview or exam can actually heighten brain function and awareness and keep us alert and functioning at our best. However, if the response is out of balance with intensity of the situation, then our performance can actually be hindered. Getting the balance right is therefore important. If stress or anxiety becomes chronic, i.e. it becomes abnormally severe or prolonged and it impedes normal functioning, then finding some help is a good idea.

Mental health conditions have, in the past, been sensitive issues not always openly recognised or discussed. There used to be a stigma attached to owning up to depression and anxiety, but things, fortunately, are changing. Mental health and physical health are inextricably linked because our bodies work as a single interconnecting unit. Taking care of one is equally as important as taking care of the other. As a down side to the greater acknowledgement of the problems associated with stress and anxiety, is the increase in the number of people being prescribed anti-depressants, sleeping pills, sedatives and anti-histamines. These medications can affect some people adversely and cause problems in themselves. It is often difficult to stop taking these drugs.

Anxiety can show itself in a combination of any of these symptoms: Lack of energy and general apathy; Nervousness, fear and apprehension; Irritability; Nausea; Insomnia or disturbed sleep; Restlessness – mentally or physically; Lack of concentration; Over sensitivity; Increased perspiration; Palpitations; Loss of or increase in appetite; Diarrhoea; Faintness; Breathlessness; Loss of libido; Difficulty in swallowing; Numbness and tingling; Dizziness.

A holistic approach to dealing with Anxiety, Stress or Depression is the safest and most effective way of bringing the body back into balance and relieving the distressing symptoms. Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat the anxiety or stress but to help the patient address the underlying causes. This might seem like an impossible task if you are the one actually suffering from the symptoms, but homeopathy can gently nudge your whole system back into balance and give you the energy, clarity and strength to tackle whatever it is that needs sorting out.  I would advise seeking the help of qualified homeopath, who not only can work out an individualised treatment plan and appropriate remedies tailored to individual needs, but can also offer support and guidance throughout the whole process back to health.

There are many Homeopathic remedies that can be used to help the symptoms of Anxiety and Stress, some of which can be used for acute or emergency situations. I see no value in listing these remedies here but I am more than happy to advise or help with remedy selection. Just get in touch by any of my contact methods that best suits you.

In addition to Homeopathic treatment, some other beneficial therapies include Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Hydrotherapy, Relaxation therapy, Massage therapy, Acupressure, Psycho therapy and Yoga.

I would highly recommend Meditation, as it is a very calming and healing practice that can be simply learnt. Having a few minutes a day, in a state of quiet reflection helps to recharge the batteries and to give some insight into how to move forward. Guided visualisations can also offer this release and bring a sense of peace to an otherwise depleted energy. Even just setting aside a short time (longer if at all possible) to listen to some relaxing music can help you to ‘de-stress’.

freeimage-1010293-highA good healthy diet is essential. The food we eat is the fuel that out body runs on. Poor quality food results in poor performance and lack of energy. Try and eat as much raw food as possible – fruit, salads and vegetables. Source organically grown food where possible and avoid processed and refined foods. Limit sugary foods – they can fuel feelings of depression and anxiety. Try to drink plenty of water – filtered is the best option; if water isn’t your ‘thing’, try and drink herbal, fruit and/or green teas. Water helps the body to detox and eliminate unwanted substances. These increase and intensify during periods of stress and anxiety.

Maybe consider some supplements. I can only suggest things that I know have helped me and others I have worked with. Advice from a suitably qualified nutritionist is a good idea. Think about Vitamin B supplements, organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Probiotics, Ginseng, Ginkgo and Spirulina to name but a few. There are also many very useful essential oils that can help relaxation and sleep. My favourites include Frankincense, Lavender, Bergamot, Patchouli, Wild Orange and Sandalwood.

And last but not least – is exercise. I don’t mean you’ve got to go out running every day, not unless that is what you feel like doing. Getting out into the fresh air is very therapeutic, particularly is you can go to somewhere where there is some wildlife, some trees or grass, some water like a lake, a river or the sea. Go for a walk and appreciate nature wherever she appears. Perhaps try some Yoga, go swimming, a gentle cycle ride and some ‘rebounding’ (very good for circulating the lymph in the body). Whatever you choose to do will have an uplifting effect – try it and see!!

I hope that my thoughts and advice on this has given you some positive ideas about where to start to change things or how to help and encourage someone else to a better space.

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Relaunch of my website

I have been busy over the summer, recreating my website. If you have got to this blog from anywhere apart from my website – have a look at !!

Although I have learnt a tremendous amount about computers over the years, the world of websites and how to maximise their usefulness and appeal is a new area of learning for me.

I am keen to reach out with the ‘homeopathic’ message to anyone who is receptive to or is seeking the information.

I am yet to be convinced how social networking can enhance my life (or business) – but, as always, I am willing to learn and be convinced!

I am going to try and keep this blog reasonably up to date and post some items that you may find interesting or informative.

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Why Homeopathy?

You may be reading this because you are already interested in homeopathy and want to learn a bit more about me and my views or you may have found this post because you want to find out a bit more about the subject – either way, I hope that you will leave this page knowing  a bit more about one or both! Many, many years ago I had a young Labrador dog who was diagnosed with cervical spondylosis (damage to the vertebrae of the neck) – with a prognosis that he would be totally immobile within a few months. I felt that there must be another way than the inevitable termination of his life at a rather premature age. To cut a longish story short; under the care and attention of a marvellous homeopathic vet, Christopher Day,  my dog, Ben was given a new lease of life and lived on until he was 16 years old. He received homeopathy, acupuncture and treatment using hopi ear candles (used today as a treatment to ease the stresses of our Western culture and to address various problems relating to the ear, neck and face.) It was his response to the homeopathic treatment that really consolidated my interest in the power of the remedies and spurred me to learn more, and indeed,  I have learnt so much, not only through my own studies but through the treatment and response of my patients throughout the years. I possess an enduring belief in this system of medicine and an enthusiasm and passion to share its message with as many folk as are willing to listen! You don’t have to be a ‘believer’ for homeopathic remedies to work – I have seen homeopathy help so many people, be they old, young or babes in arms. Animals respond well, as do plants! Homeopathy is a safe and effective method of medicine that regards health and illness as processes rather than states. As a practitioner, I will make use of all the symptoms of a patient and select a  remedy to match the specific requirements of that individual – a truly ‘holistic’ method of prescribing. Symptoms are seen as the body’s attempt to deal with problems and to restore health  and generally that process should not be opposed but assisted so as to more rapidly return the body to normal function. Common examples of the curative nature of acute symptoms include fever in influenza (which kills the virus), and vomiting and diarrhoea in food poisoning (which expel the toxic material). Sometimes, symptoms persist and become ‘chronic’ – that’s when a qualified homeopath should be sought to help find the right treatment.Very often, it is not possible to do anything about the external environment that may be exacerbating the condition or to replace organs that have atrophied or been removed, but generally homeopathy can help the body to repair itself more quickly and maximise healing potential. By using the body’s own remarkable ability to heal itself and understanding that ‘symptoms’ are an expression of some inbalance, homeopathy can (and does!) really make a difference. There is no limit to the types of condition that homeopathy can help – everything from First Aid situations to chronic, debilitating illnesses and so much in between. I believe that allopathic medicine has much to offer but I don’t believe that it should have exclusivity. There are many conditions that the main stream practioners have very little to offer in way of treatment, cure or even simply lessening the symptoms. I speak from experience – the conditions I see that conventional medicine has not helped include eczema and other skin conditions, asthma, menopause, migraines, stress, anxiety & panic attacks – the list is actually infinite! We need to see our bodies as a ‘whole’ – not as individual sections that are dealt with by particular department; we are not a ‘cardiac’ case or a ‘gastro’ case or a ‘oncology’ case or an ‘ophthalmic’ case or even a ‘mental’ case – we are vital, energetic beings with all our parts linked together – that’s why in homeopathic treatment it is important to understand and listen to  what  our body’s telling us about its ‘dis’-ease on a mental, emotional and physical level. ……….. that’s why I think Homeopathy is so important ……… more next time!