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I wrote about the Allium Cepa (the onion) Homeopathy back in 2021 from a slightly different angle. Here, as part of an ongoing series, I consider the remedy from a first aid perspective. The origin of the remedy is of course the common oinion. I am sure that you have chopped up some onions and so you know the effect.

Allium Cepa (the onion) as a homeopathic remedy
Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

Homeopathic Principles – a quick recap

Classical homeopathy prescribing follows the natural law of similars.  

This means that you select the remedy by matching its picture to the symptoms of the patient.

Every homeopathic remedy has both mental / emotional and physical characteristics.

The patient will not exhibit every characteristic of the remedy.  Just capture the general theme.

Three Legged Stool

Try to establish three out of the following four:


This remedy is of plant origin.  It is, as I have said, the common onion. 

Allium Cepa Homeopathy First Aid Uses:

This is a remedy for upper respiratory tract infections or allergies which primarily affect the eyes and nose, but can extend into the ears and throat.  It is also a remedy of value in seasonal hay fever (Roger Morrison MD – Doctor / Homeopath in the USA – says it cures up to 30% of cases for a season, but permanent cure requires deeper acting remedies)

The Picture:

Better or worse:

Other points:

The patient may desire onions and – curiously – be averse to cucumber

Injudicious use of this remedy to suppress an inconvenient runny nose in the common cold risks driving the infection deeper (remember discharge is an aspect of the attempt of the body to cure).  So use this remedy when the symptoms are more severe

Can homeopathy help with a cough? Yes it can. If you follow this blog you will know that Classical Homeopathy follows the ‘law of similars’. Simply put this means that the characteristics of the ailment and the remedy must match.

Homeopathy for cough
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Unfortunately many homeopathic remedies have a cough ‘picture’. Fortunately, however, there is considerable overlap between the various remedies such that absolute precision is not required.

Coughs that fail to resolve warrant further investigation by your GP.


Continuing with the series on remedies in a typical home first aid kit, in this blog I am going to focus on kit remedies that have a particular affinity to coughs.

homeopathic first aid kit

Classical homeopathic prescribing for acute complaints considers the following:

  1. Causation (e.g. chill or getting wet)
  2. Location (e.g. chest or throat)
  3. Modalities (things that make the complaint better or worse)
  4. Sensation (describe your cough)
  5. Concomitants (characteristics that may seem unrelated – e.g. your mood)

Put another way, items 2,4,5 on this list are your main symptoms.

So let’s have a look.

Homeopathy for Cough – A Selection of Cough Remedies


This is a dry cough. The characteristic of this remedy is sudden onset. There may be fever or chilliness with shivering. The symptoms are worse around midnight. The cough is hoarse and dry. The patient is thirsty. This is a remedy for the first 24 hours only. If the cough continues then change to another of the remedies below.

Antimonium Tarticum

This is a wet cough. Breathing is difficult because of the phlegm (which is white) and so there is rattling in the chest. Worse in warm stuffy rooms and at night. Better sitting up. A remedy for the very young and elderly. Thirsty for cold drinks

Arsenicum Album

This is a dry asthmatic type of cough with wheezing. There may be a sense of constriction, tightness and / or burning though you may feel chilly (so better in the warmth). There is great restlessness. The symptoms are worse around midnight. Warm drinks help and taken regularly is small sips (rather an Arsenicum keynote)


This is a dry, hard cough. The onset is slow (not like Aconite). Because everything is sore you do not want to move – this is a key characteristic. You are irritable and want to be left alone. Generally better for pressure and long drinks (very thirsty).


This is a dry cough that comes in spasms – you can hardly catch your breath. Consequently the stomach muscles may be painful. The cough is worse when lying down making sleep difficult. Better for slow movement in the open air.

Hepar sulphur

This is a wet cough with thick yellow mucus (infection) – often dry at night and loose in the morning. But it is also useful in croup which has a dry cough. You will be chilly and want to be wrapped up. Worse at night in bed.


Totally dry cough – tickling and comes in paroxysms with choking or gagging, with wretching / vomiting. Worse in the evening and in a warm room and better with warm drinks. The nose may bleed.

Nux Vomica

Dry teasing cough with soreness in chest. Throat raw. Spasmodic with wretching. Feverish – colds go to chest. Irritable and impatient. Better with warmth. Better in the evening but then worse after midnight.


Violent dry cough with irritation in throat, but lungs congested. Laryngitis. Seeks comfort and sympathy. Nervous temperament. Cold drinks may be vomited.


Changeable cough – loose in the morning, dry during the day and then loose in the evening. Thick yellow mucous. Craves attention and sympathy. Better in open air.


Bronchial catarrh with wheezing. Sound like a saw going through board. Alternate with Hepar Sulph in Croup.

Homeopathy for Cough – Dr Saptarshi Banerjea (Calcutta)

India is perhaps the most notable country for the wide practice of Homeopathy. There are pathways for medical students to study both western medicine and homeopathy as well as other traditional forms such as Ayurvedic medicine.

Dr Saptarshi Banerjea in Calcutta (Kolkata) recently posted a video on the subject of coughs and remedy selection. Quite entertaining (unless you have the cough in question!)

Not everyone has the skills of Dr Banerjea, but nonetheless, homeopathy can help shorten the duration of any cough resulting from respiratory infection.

This short article considers first aid with homeopathic ‘Aconite Napellus’, usually just known as the remedy ‘Aconite’. This is a remedy commonly found in homeopathic first aid kits available from pharmacies such as Ainsworths and Helios

Please read my initial article in this series, if you have not already done so

Homeopathic Principles – a quick recap

Classical homeopathy prescribing follows the natural law of similars.  Which means that you select the remedy by matching its picture to the symptoms of the patient.

Every homeopathic remedy has both mental / emotional and physical characteristics. Remember that the patient will not exhibit every characteristic of the remedy.  Just capture the general theme.

Three Legged Stool

Try to establish three out of the following four:


Aconite Napellus Described

a picture of the flowers of aconite, this plant is the source of the homeopathic remedy of the same name.  Useful in first Aid

This remedy is of plant origin.  Its common name is Monkshood, in recognition of the shape of its flowers which resemble a monk’s hood.  It is a poisonous neurotoxic plant, but a very useful remedy for acute conditions when potentised homeopathically.

First Aid Uses of Homeopathic Aconite

the early stages (the first 24h) of feverish illnesses when the patient may be anxious though fear may not be present. 

It is also a remedy for someone who had had a sudden shock or fright (e.g. accident or heart attack or stoke).   

Homeopathic Aconite – the Picture

Causation and symptoms?

Better or worse?


Main remedy in the early stages of croup and also sudden fever – but just in the first 24h and then look to other remedies (which will be described as the series progresses)

Introduction to Homeopathic First Aid

You can care for your family with some basic homeopathy and a homeopathic first aid kit.

Starting mid month I am going to share with you the key characteristics of the homeopathic remedies typically found in a first aid kit. 

Some homeopathic pharmacies sell first aid kits. In the photo you will see two of the best known.

Taken in alphabetic order, the first remedy will be Aconite and the last Sulphur.

Family care with homeopathy using a basic first aid kit

To introduce this series I wish to share the words of the late Dr R A F Jack who was a NHS GP working near Bromsgrove until his retirement in 1980.  

With the advent of the NHS, his practice grew. To help limit the number if night calls, he gave every family with young children four bottles of homeopathic remedies for emergencies (Aconite; Belladonna; Ipecacuanha; Chamomilla).  In time this very basic kit expanded to 22 remedies.

Basic Guidance from Dr Jack

Below, is his introductory guidance:  the words are taken from his book Homeopathy in General Practice (Beaconsfield Publishers 2001 – still available).  

“ I would tell the mother that there were five remarkable features about these remedies:

  1. Each sugar pill contains an infinitesimally small dose of medicine.  But, like splitting the atom, the more you divide a thing in a certain way, the more power is released.
  2. They would not corrupt or decay nor lose their power in half a lifetime.
  3. They work for any age of person (not just children) and if crushed could be given to an hour-old baby.   
  4. They can be given to a sleeping child, only rousing enough to chew the pill, whilst remaining semi-conscious.
  5. Because they are sweet, children love them, but if the child took all the contents tof the bottle there was no fear of poisoning*.

“In deciding which fever pills to use in a doubtful case, I used the analogy of a bunch of keys.  If the first key does not fit the lock, it has harmed neither the key nor the lock, and the next key will probably work….”

*(This, incidentally has happened several times.  I would tell of one occasion when a child fed all four bottles into a goldfish tank, but a week later the fish were none the worse and continued to swim about unperturbed.)

Homeopathy is more Physics than Chemistry

In a society used to biochemical medicine, that is to say what you get from your local chemist (prescribed or over the counter), the concept of the infinitesimal doses is a challenge.  

You need to think in terms of physics and not chemistry.  

Consider the homeopathic remedy as a frequency or pattern.  Poetically put, music for the soul.   

It is a bit like a software download. 

The function of a homeopathic remedy is to stimulate an immune response to overcome the condition causing a problem.

This contrasts most orthodox medicines that interact chemically to kill bacteria or ease symptoms by suppressing the natural immune response (e.g. steroid creams for skin complaints).  

Family Care with Homeopathy: Understanding Potency

Homeopathic remedies are made by a serial process of dilution and agitation (otherwise known as succussion).  

By way of example, if the leaves of the stinging nettle are crushed and filtered in a mixture of alcohol and water, you have a herbal remedy.  One drop of this in 99 drops of alcohol water yields the first centesimal potency labeled 1C.  One drop of the 1C potency in another 99 drops of alcohol water yields the second centesimal potency or 2C and so on.  

Homeopathic remedies found in the kits shown in the photograph are 30C potency. The lower 12C and 6C potencies are also suitable for first aid use.

Family Care with Homeopathy: Remedy Forms

Homeopathic medicines are initially made as liquids (termed ‘medicating potencies’) which are then dropped onto pills or tablets. These are more conventient to carry around.

Typically, first aid kits have 2g bottles containing round sugar pills.

The usual dose is one pill or tablet.

For infants, you can crush a pill or tablet between a folded piece of paper to make a powder.  Or, you can buy the remedy as sugar granules which comes to the same thing (dose say a quarter teaspoon).

Another trick is to dissolve a pill in a little water (stir well) and give a teaspoon.


You can safely give 30C and lower potencies three or four times a day over a few days.  In an urgent give every 15 minutes over an hour or two.  

Some principles:

Do not take Homeopathic remedies over an extended timeframe without professional advice. This would not be first aid.  Similarly only give a remedy every hour or less for over 1-3 hours and then tail off.

Expect to see some improvement in 24 hours and conclude treatment within 5-7 days.

Why is Homeopathy not available on the NHS?

Politics, I am afraid, much has changed since Dr Jack’s time. There has long been tension between different schools of thought.  Dr Jack clearly found value in homeopathy as did the many doctors he taught. 

However, the NHS is wedded to an orthodox western scientific model (which rightly has its place) otherwise known as Allopathy.  Medical schools teach this model to the exclusion of alternatives.  

In an earlier blog you can read about the difference between the Allopathic and Homeopathic approach

Consequently, knowledge of the homeopathic approach has diminished within orthodox Medicine although the Faculty of Homeopathy still exists for Doctors and Nurses.   The Society of Homeopaths and Alliance of Registered Homeopaths are two lay bodies that champion Homeopathy in addition.

Other countries see things differently, especially India.   

society of Homeopaths

Disclaimer: I am a qualified professional homeopath and not a medical doctor. The NHS has many resources, and seeking the opinion of your GP is always of value.

© 2024 Allan Pollock