When it comes to skincare, there are plenty of terms tossed around, but do we really know what they mean? From all-natural, non-toxic, organic, to allergen-free, we always want to make sure we’re going to straight to the source to get you the most useful information, ever. So, to help explain the basics of homeopathic skin treatments and beauty products, we went straight to the source: Organic Pharmacy’s Margo Marrone.
Margo was an herbal pharmacist with a specialty in nutrition when she discovered homeopathy and it immediately revolutionized her practice and her family life. So much so that in 2002, along with her husband, she founded the Organic Pharmacy in London, a chain of herbal and homeopathic dispensaries and wellness clinics. Now, with a full line of amazing skincare products and their first state-side location (open in Beverly Hills since 2008), the Organic Pharmacy has gone far beyond what you may expect from a clinic, offering everything from homeopathic consultations and health assessments to luxurious body treatments and organic facials. Having built such an impressive brand based on natural and homeopathic methods, we sought out Margo to tell us more about homeopathy in general and the Organic Pharmacy in particular. Here, Margo patiently answers our most basic questions about homeopathy and why it’s something worth making a part of your health and wellness protocols.
The Chalkboard Mag: What is homeopathy?
Margo Marrone: Homeopathy is a complete system of natural medicine which has been around for over 200 years. It aims to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanism, boost the immune system and bring balance to the emotional and physical spheres. It treats the individual targeting the root cause of disease as well as the symptoms.
TCM: What are some of the common conditions or ailments out there that homeopathy is especially useful in remedying?
MM: Homeopathy can treat anything from depression, mood swings, sleep disorders, stress, anxiety to skin conditions such as eczema, acne, allergic conditions, female menstrual problems, infertility and it is also very safe and effective for children treating ADHD, behavioral issues to first aid. It can boost the immune system and restore balance in anything.
TCM: Where did the philosophy/practice of homeopathy come from?
MM: Homeopathy was discovered by Samuel Hahnemann a German Doctor over 200 years ago. Shocked by the practices of the time (blood letting, leeches and other toxic treatments), he gave up medicine and whilst translating Cullen’s Materia Medica he came across what would become the first principle of homeopathy : the Laws of Similars. Hahnemann read in Cullens work that Peruvian Bark (a source of Quinine) was effective against Malaria because it was a bitter. Hahnemann argued that other herbs had bitter properties but were ineffective against Malaria. To prove his point he took several doses of Peruvian Bark and to his surprise he developed symptoms similar to malaria (fever, chills, aches etc). He concluded that if something could cause symptoms in a healthy person it could cure it in sick and the key was to match the right remedy to the right disease. The other two principles are based on the law of dilutions or minimum dose and the effect of the remedy on our internal energy source.
This internal energy source could also be disturbed by:
Inherited Imprints (from parents, grandparents)
Lack of exercise
Emotional or physical shock
TCM: What does a visit with a homeopathic doctor look like?
MM: A typical session is around an hour and includes a detailed questionnaire investigating not only the physical symptoms but also the emotional, eating habits, sleeping habits as well as the medical and family history. This enables the homeopath to collect all the symptoms and not just in one part of the body but as a person and prescribe the right remedy/ remedies to match the symptoms. It’s like a session with the psychoanalyst and a detective but at the end you get a mixture of herbs, homeopathic remedies and supplements to restore balance.
TCM: Tell us about the EIS body scan:
MM: The EIS Body Scan is a Health assessment that combines a homeopathic consultation with an Electro Interstitial Scan (EIS). It’s the latest innovation is Medical Body Scanning which is non- invasive, gives immediate results and gives real time status on major organs and systems such as cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, brain, endocrine, metabolic and neuromuscular. It provides our homeopath with status on Body composition, hormonal balance (DHEA, Testosterone, Oestrogens, Thyroid, Insulin, Cortisol, TSH, FSH, Aldosterone, Adrenal hormones and ADH. It gives further information on ions, minerals, neurotransmitter balance, glucose and cholesterol, pH, Oxygen and bone density. It helps us determine quickly where the weaknesses lie and target our herbal and homeopathic prescription accordingly.
TCM: Organic Pharmacy offers naturopathic, homeopathic and herbal offerings. How do they fit together?
MM: Homeopathy is classed as a holistic form of medicine and uses many naturopathic principles. The homeopath will look at diet and lack of nutrients as well as homeopathic remedies prescribed on several levels (physical and emotional) to restore balance so the whole person and their lifestyle is considered.
In this modern time we are used to fast results and easy systems. I quickly realized by combining homeopathy with herbs and supplements I could restore balance very quickly and efficiently with ease to the client. We prescribe on 3 levels: the nutritional level where imbalances in nutrition can result in disease symptoms (eg lack of magnesium can lead to insomnia), herbs to support the weakest systems (eg Astagalus for the immune system) and homeopathic remedies to address the root cause ( eg Aconite for fear/sudden shocks). We have qualified and brilliant homeopaths and pharmacists that our clients can call or come in and ask any health or skin related questions.
To give you an example one of my early clients was presented with symptoms of anxiety and palpitation. After a thorough investigation it turned out that the anxiety started in childhood and in adulthood got worse due to lack on nutrients (calcium/ magnesium), too much coffee (around 4 cups a day) and poor eating habits. I put her on a 10 day detox to cleanse her body and allow her system to prioritize repair, we cut down on the coffee, prescribed a magnesium and calcium supplement to support her nervous system and the homeopathic remedy Argent Nitricum which fit the personality and anxiety symptoms. We talked about what a healthy diet is and that she should incorporate organic fruit, vegetables and protein into her lifestyle. Within a week she had already improved so much and six months later still had no anxiety attacks.
TCM: How is homeopathic medicine different from conventional medicine?
MM: The three basic principles of homeopathy make it fundamentally different to conventional medicine. In conventional medicine the remedy or drug chosen is based on the opposite of the symptoms of the disease where as in homeopathy it is based on the similar symptoms. For example, to treat seasonal allergic disorders an anti- histamine is prescribed – but in homeopathy a dose of Allium Cepa (onion) can be prescribed which is similar to the disease. If you cut an onion your eyes and nose waters and even sneeze – it creates a similar symptom. The dose in conventional medicine is based on large doses and with them come unwanted side effects and risks. In homeopathy the second principle of minimum dose means it is completely safe and free from side effects but at the same time effective.
The final difference is that homeopathy treats the whole person taking into consideration, emotional, physical and family inherited symptoms. In conventional medicine the whole person is not considered just their local symptom. The patient with anxiety would be prescribed tranquilizers by conventional medicine where as, in homeopathy, we look at the whole person and prescribed against her personality, emotional, lifestyle and nutritional needs.
TCM: How can those who normally utilize conventional medicine make homeopathy and herbal therapies a part of their health protocol?
MM: The great thing is that homeopathy is complimentary so any one can use it even if they are on medication. The first step is to have a homeopathic consultation but many remedy combinations are readily available through health food stores and pharmacies and it’s really good to try them for every day ailments too.
TCM: Describe a typical homeopathic consultation.
MM: A typical homeopathic consultation at Organic Pharmacy consists of a detailed questionnaire which includes current ailments, past medical and family history, emotional and physical symptoms as well questions on lifestyle, eating and sleeping. This allows the homeopath to investigate and pinpoint the root cause of the ailment. In this way the homeopath can peel back the layers of disease that imprint on us from birth to present time. By that I mean that when we are born, we have a certain status dependent on our genetics and our parent’s health. As we grow each person reacts differently to the environment depending on what the weaknesses are in our system and how we recover. For example, if two children have a fall as toddlers and bump their heads, one may be fine but the other may develop headaches several months later. This becomes a layer (like an onion) and no one picks up on the relation between the fall and the headaches. Later on the child may catch a cold and the immune system is not able to fight properly (another layer on the onion) etc until adulthood where most of us have developed multiple layers. At each session the homeopath will peel back and remove the layers of disease and eventually leave an individual healthy and disease free. At the end of each session the individual leaves with a better understanding of their health and a customized programme of herbs, homeopathic remedies and lifestyle changes.
For more information about the Organic Pharmacy, visit their website at http://www.theorganicpharmacy.com/. For a limited time, readers who mention The Chalkboard will receive 25% off all services at any Organic Pharmacy in their clinic or beauty rooms! Give their amazing facials or homeopathic consultation a try!