Friday, March 27, 2015

Homeopathy and Supplements

I've got a small cache of homeopathic treatments that I've been sitting on.

Some of these products I've been collecting are clearly junk and some of them I used a few times without any obvious results, so I put them away one day and forgot about them completely for months, sometimes years. Much of this collection was part of a care package the lovely Jessica at Painfully Speaking sent to me, so many moons ago. I used some of her gifts immediately and completely, and others... got dusty in the bin. But all that is changing right now. I received a new supplement to sample, and the ingredients list looks no more remarkable than my multivitamin, but I'm going to give it an enthusiastic try because why not. I can't help but doubt that it will do anything miraculous for me, but because that feeling of amused skepticism reminded me of that dusty little homeopathy bin in my nightstand, I'm also going to spend the month using every single one of these until they are gone. Let the woo begin!

Day 1 - I started taking HCF Happy, Calm, Focused pills. (My full review is at the bottom of the post). I used Head Clear on my temples, and three Migraide pills every hour for three hours. Nothing did anything, but it was distracting.

Day 2 - I'm having a lot of muscle tension in my neck and back. I stuck an Aculief on each hand and felt a small amount of relief. I actually like these, but at over $30 with shipping, if I hadn't received mine from Heather at War on Headaches, I never would have tried them. Call me cheap, but I can always squeeze my own hand for free.

Day 3 - Discovered a hot spot on my dog, my ensuing minor freak-out called for a dose of 911 Stress Control Spray. Just moving to get the spray made me feel more in control, which I think is common for *minor* stress and anxiety. Once you make the choice to feel better, you start feeling somewhat better.

Day 5 - Again, used the stress spray and again noted that the very thought of using it calmed me down. This is really useful information and makes me think I need to be better about self-soothing rituals in general. I've been using the supplements for a few days now, and so far, I see no difference, though I do get to practice a pill-swallowing technique I just learned. If it's a tablet, swallow with your chin up, but if it's a capsule - because they float - swallow with your chin down. These are capsules, and I can't tell you how many times I've gagged on them in the past, but now I have no issues!

Day 8 - I've got a stubborn headache; not my worst ever, just persistent. So, I'm using everything today. I've got an aculief on each hand, I'm popping Migraide every hour, spraying anti-stress spray whenever I start feeling anxious or irrationally angry, and I started out with just a little head clear on my temples but cracked the roll-top open and have escalated to smearing it all over my neck and shoulders. Aaaahhh minty. Unfortunately, the aculiefs only lasted five minutes before they became excruciating, a problem I have on my allodynia days. Nothing else seemed to effect the migraine, but again, the process of administering all these treatments to myself was sort of soothing on its own. The migraine lasted a few more days, eventually petering itself out overnight long after I ran out of Migraide.

Day 13 - I still like the aculiefs, but their claim that you can wear them during normal activities is a bit of a stretch. Because these things don't. Stretch. And when they do, they don't relapse quickly enough to keep them from popping off every time I use my hands for anything.

Day 11 - So the headache oil officially does nothing for me, but I'm using it until it's gone because i like the minty-lavender smell.

Day 15 - I can't tolerate the aculiefs at all right now, I'm so tender. I don't normally have trouble sleeping - in fact I'm nodding off at 9 pm every night - so I hadn't had a chance to try these homeopathic lozenges for better sleep called Moon Drops. Oddly, it was the only night all month that I woke up suddenly in the wee hours, feeling physically restless and anxious, though I did fall back to sleep quickly.

Day 18 - My boyfriend was nervous for surgery so I made him use the Stress Control spray and he scoffed, but used it and then stopped complaining about being nervous, so hmmm.

Day 20 - The really nice thing about the Head Clear is that is doesn't make me break out, like so many commercial products do. It's a lovely massage oil, and I'll likely refill it with my own diy version when it's gone because I love the smell. I miss scented products, so I can't help to indulge when I find something I can tolerate.

Day 21 - Used the moon drops again last night, I was amped up from a long day and evening with friends and couldn't relax enough to sleep. Like, it was 2 am and I was scrolling compulsively through tumblr as if I hadn't already absorbed possible every meme and otp into my eyeballs six times. But it finally occurred to me to take one and I forced myself to lay down with Jumbline (an anagram game for smartphones, i love it), and was asleep within half an hour.

Day 25 - I'm disappointed that I'm not feeling a difference with the capsules, and I feel silly for feeling disappointed. Per my limited searching, the amino acids in HCF could be very beneficial to a person, but I think that person needs to be deficient in those amino acids for it to matter.

And the rest of the month was uneventful. Here's the supplement review, which I also posted on Amazon.

HCF Happy, Calm, Focused contains a variety of minerals, B vitamins, and amino acids. The two amino acids, DL-Phenylalanine and L-Glutamine, do reputedly have restorative properties, but have not been proven in clinical settings.

I tried HCF for a month; three pills every morning, half an hour before breakfast. I don't normally have a problem with pills, but these capsules were determined to float and nearly every time I took them I felt like they'd lodged in my chest. It was only after I'd eat (at least half an hour later) that the feeling would go away. I normally take a multivitamin, but I replaced it with HCF for the month, though I still took an iron pill daily, because I'm anemic. I noticed no changes in mood, nor in my concentration. If anything, my chronic migraines have been worse. I do recommend vitamins to anyone who has a vitamin deficiency, or even if they just make you feel more secure in your health, but I can't recommend HCF. It's not a complete multivitamin, it's not USP verified, at 30 bucks per bottle it's more costly than equivalent supplements, and ultimately, I saw no changes in my mood or concentration.

I was given a free bottle of HCF to try, in exchange for this review, and I've been advised that I'll receive another once the review is posted. With that bottle, I'll try a higher dose, and I'll report back any significant findings.

All in all, this was not the worst experiment ever. There were no side effects, and that stress spray actually has a pretty good record! I'll continue to use the products I didn't finish and will update if anything interesting happens.

Ever onward!

As always, my opinions are my own and can never be bought. I've provided links to the products I tried but I don't receive any compensation if you click them or buy the products. I just thought a reference would be helpful since I didn't want to take my own pictures.


C. said...

#1: SURGERY? Is everything ok?

#2: I love homeopathy, even when it doesn't work. Minty lavender is the best combination, except for maybe basil lavender. Ok, they're tied.

#3: The stress control spray sounds great. I use something similar, not for stress, just for everyday immune boost. I totally scoffed when I first started using it, as did Seth, but then it worked and everything was great.

#4: Great post!

steph said...


The surgery went fine, thanks for asking. :) He's got spine issues and this is an ongoing process for him. It's truly bizarre that robotic spine surgery is normalized in our house, but that's what happens after several go-arounds.

I am definitely starting to experiment more with essentials oils and other woo-woo therapies, and it's really fun being a suddenly open-minded cynic!