Much is made of the issue of antidotes in homeopathy. This is important in single dose (“c” potency) prescribing, where doses are conveniently very infrequent. More and more, I am altering my style of practice to liquid doses given daily for 20 days, then single doses as needed for relapse or new acute illness –(called “LM” or “c” potencies), which renders antidotes meaningless.

Even in patients using LM potencies, “antidotes” can still be considered interferences, much like leaving a parking brake on in the car.


“Kissy” drawing by VL Gray

Antidotes

Coffee

Coffee beans very frequently — almost universally — antidote remedies. Caffeine itself is not the culprit, since tea, Coke, chocolate, and even NoDoz don’t antidote remedies. Andrew Weil once said that there are 150 medically-active substances in coffee beans, so it is probably one or more of them. We do know that even Decaf Coffee antidotes.

The amount needed to antidote varies from person to person, and there is no way to know in advance who is susceptible. A high percentage of people are antidoted by even an accidental sip at Starbucks, so the risk is too great to take!

Coffee cake, coffee ice cream, coffee candies, tiramisu, Irish coffee, Kahlua — all contain coffee beans and can antidote. Small amounts of cheap commercial flavoring, however, are probably safe.

Camphor

Even skin or mucous membrfane application of camphor can antidote remedies. Avoid anything that has  significant amounts of camphor, such as deep heat rubs, liniments, Tiger Balm, Vicks, BenGay, Noxzema   products, some Calamines (though “unmedicated” Calamine is generally safe), Caladryl, Campho-Phenique,   some massage oils (smell them), and some lip balms (but not all — look at the label). Develop the habit of    reading labels, since camphor is a quite common antidote.

Massage therapists and chiropractors frequently apply a camphorated oil at the end of their treatment, even  when asked in advance. Be vigilant!

Hindu temples and ceremonies frequently involve “cone” incense, which is made with camphor. Although smelling camphor alone is not usually enough to antidote, it is a common complication when exposed for hours in a poorly ventilated situation with cone incense. Stick incense is no problem

Also, camphor in holy water and celebratory sweets can antidote remedies.

Australian Tea Tree (Melalucca) Oil

Often used to heal skin or gums in a variety of ways, skin exposure can antidote just like camphor. This applies only to concentrated extracts, no merely fragrance added low in the ingredients list.

Antibiotics

It is a frequent story for someone to be doing well for a chronic disease to catch a cold or infection or bladder infection, go to a doctor for diagnosis, and then thoughtlessly take antibiotics. Within days, all the chronic symptoms come back full force. The best thing to do in this situation is to call the office to get our advice. If necessary, I will agree and we will pick up the pieces later. Once the antibiotics course is finished (and … it is important to take the full course in order to prevent secondary infection), take a dose of your remedy.

One interesting situation is the use of antibiotics during gum surgery or dental cleaning in people with heart valve problems. Antibiotics do not usually antidote in that setting. Also, when given for viral complaints, they tend not to antidote. Therefore, it seems the antidotive action of antibiotics arises out of interfering with the body’s ability to fight infection rather than the drug itself. If antibiotics prevent an infection from happening, the body suffers no interference and is not antidoted.

Antibiotics are the most common drug antidote. Other allopathic drugs don’t generally antidote, but they might slow down the cure — like running the car with the parking brake on. Oral steroids often have such an inhibiting effect, though not strictly an antidote.

Over-the-counter medicines are safe. They do not antidote. People worry about aspirin or Tylenol interfering, but they do not.

Dental Drilling

Drilling on teeth with medium and low-speed drills consistently antidotes remedies. High-speed drilling (with a light touch) is safe.

Routine procedures at the dentist are not a problem. Manual teeth cleaning is fine, X-rays are fine. Teeth cleaning is fine, but the ultrasonic cleaner (called a Cavitron, which is not used so often anymore) will antidote. Otherwise, using hand tools and a rubber polisher is fine.

Sonicaire toothbrushes do not antidote remedies.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture, whether with needles or moxa, frequently antidotes remedies. Because it is a powerfully curative system in its own right, acupuncture can be an extremely good choice for chronic disease — but a choice it must be, because both systems interfere with each other.

Acupressure, however, does not antidote.

Chinese herbs do not antidote in my experience.

Mothballs

Brief inhalation, even for a few hours, may not be a problem. But sleeping overnight in the midst of mothball odors often antidotes.

Electric blankets

Sleeping under an electric blanket covering most of the body seems to inhibit flows of electromagnetic energy in the body, preventing adjustments crucial to healing and balance.

Using the blanket to warm the bed beforehand and then turning it off once in bed is no problem.

Heating pads are no problem because the body’s energy flows can adjust around it.

TENS units do not antidote.

Geothermal Hot Springs

Water activated by minerals coming up from deep in the Earth apparently interfere with remedies.

Being around the baths, sunning by the side, etc., do not antidote. But full immersion, even in the side-tubs, will likely antidote.

Minerals added to the bath at home do not antidote.

Safe Interactions

Cigarettes do not antidote.

Alcohol Safe, except Kahlua, Irish coffee, anything with coffee beans.

Tea Any amount.

Recreational Drugs
This is variable. Some people are hypersensitive to many
chemicals and could be easily antidoted. General recreational use is not a problem for most people. Chronic habitual use, however, can eventually antidote.

Allopathic Medications
Do not stop medications without advice. Most patients begin homeopathy on medication, then gradually wean off as many as possible over time.

Medications are not instant antidotes, except antibiotics and steroids. Most others eventually shorten the action of remedies within 2 to 9 months, depending on the situation.

The issue with allopathic drugs is their suppressive nature. Aimed to relieve symptoms, which are attempts to heal, they convert acute to chronic and delay cure in chronic disease. Thus, if nothing else, they act like a “parking break” on remedies.