Why Homeopathy Is the Preferred Method Of Torture By The Fourth Horseman Of The Apocalypse

You will probably remember a while back that I wrote about my chronic eczema and the itch – the never-ending, motherf**king itch.

I went down the orthodox medicine route – dermatologist, cortisone (internally and externally) – you name it, I did it. Only thing was it wasn’t working. I was starting to get desperate – there are only so many layers of the epidermis one can scratch off in a lifetime – so a friend of mine suggested a homeopath. I was dubious and a little apprehensive because I know that homeopaths make you drink gross-looking, foul-smelling stuff that looks like it just came out of the drain and I am really fussy about my drain-harvested food – I only like it mixed with rainwater, definitely no storm water and there must be no PVC piping involved – and as I know that not everyone adheres to the same standards as me I was naturally worried.

But I went along to see the homeopath, anyway.

I liked her. She had a friendly manner and was very clean. Her entire table was covered with little glass bottles with stoppers, which she would hold up to the light every now and then. She wore these big, red glasses which she would occasionally push up on to her head as she perused the label on one of her bottles. She looked like she would have been perfectly at home in a Tim Burton film.

Drink this, she said, thrusting a small glass of odious looking liquid towards me. It was dark green, thick and had bits in it that looked like grass. What is it? I asked, my throat suddenly dry. Trust me, she said. It’ll help. I was reminded of the bit in the first Terminator movie where Kyle says to Sarah: Come with me if you want to live; so I swallowed it down. It tasted as bad as it looked but was amazingly smooth on the palate.

The homeopath then asked me about a hundred questions about all sorts of things, including, oddly enough, what kind of underwear I favoured, except that she referred to them as undergarments (very Tim Burtonesque). I hedged around and hedged around wondering if it was OK to admit that the occasional pair of granny panties lodged themselves in my underwear drawer until she lowered her glasses, looked at me almost disparagingly and said : I just want to know if they’re cotton or synthetic.

Chastened, I put on my what-you-are-saying-is-incredibly-interesting-and-I-have-the-utmost-faith-in-you expression as she launched into a spiel about the pros and cons of homeopathic treatment. I was listening, really I was, but she had a crystal mobile hanging near the window and it sent these amazing colours throughout the room. The rays of crystal light joined the muted greens and browns of the bottles on the table cascading up and out until the room resembled a forest wonderland.

I was besotted by the light but there was one thing I didn’t miss. I am like that. My mind will be wandering but I will hone in on the one crucial point at just the right time so that it looks like I’ve been paying attention all along. It’s a gift, I know.

And this crucial point is where the fourth horseman of the apocalypse comes in, thundering forward on his pale horse, threatening death and devastation, plagues and pestilence with every glance.

It will probably get worse before it gets better.

Come again?

Apparently, a common side effect of some homeopathic treatments is that they cause the condition they are treating to flare up momentarily due to what is known as the law of similars. Perhaps I was temporarily blinded by the lightshow in the room or by the foul breath of horseman number four slipping under the door but I didn’t think it would be a problem.

Didn’t think it would be a problem.

The words of a naive fool.

For the past two weeks I have been undergoing my own little mini-apocalypse. There have been boils, pustullations, welts, rashes and dry, peeling skin even Goldmember would be envious of. All washed down with the most disgusting drain juice I have ever tasted.

At night I have been lying in bed, my skin ablaze, my mind racing, hearing hooves on the roof, knowing that the fourth Horseman is laughing at me, pointing his skeletal finger, twisting and turning it this way and that way, so that I writhe around like his very own puppet or voodoo doll.

Hooves on the roof. Pounding all night long. The eczema flared up so much it felt like it was in my brain.

And then the law of similars gave way to differences and a change began to come.

My skin is getting better. I can feel it. Others can see it. Sleep is coming more easily. The itch is almost a distant (but still terrifying) memory. I can’t quite believe it. At night I hear the other three horseman whistling for their comrade. He has no choice but to relinquish his sway over me and return to them.

I haven’t been a huge advocate of natural medicine in the past but I can see that if you stick with the treatment and in particular, ride out the side effects, the results can be quite striking.

So I will continue drinking my drain juice until I am all better.

29 thoughts on “Why Homeopathy Is the Preferred Method Of Torture By The Fourth Horseman Of The Apocalypse

  1. Oh I hope it works! You poor thing; you’ve gone through the wringer on this. But you are wicked for making me laugh at your expense; I’m sitting here trying so hard not to giggle. Oh, no, there I’ve just had one of Terry Pratchett’s characters pop into my head (you know the one with the bony fingers and cool cloak and the pet mouse…)


  2. Did she say how long it would get worse before it gets better? If she did, you could sue. Eastern medicine, western justice…


  3. Hilarious, especially the title – who could not not read that post after reading that title. I don’t believe in homeopathy but I really want it to work for you because you really need a break and something very good to happen to you.


  4. Hi DAOINE:
    I think it’s important to laugh about things like this. Part of the reason it’s taken me so long to get rid of this is because I am stressed. But I am stressed because of the eczema. I don’t know if the stress is causing the eczema or the eczema is causing the stress. It’s like the age old question – which came first, the chicken or the egg? I love the Terry Pratchett reference. His characters are pure gold!

    Hi LIBBY:
    I love it. She did say it would start to improve after the 12th day which coincidentally, is today. There is a noticeable improvement today which I find very odd. And unsettling. Great to hear from you.

    You are a true sweetie. I think I’m on the home stretch now. Or maybe I’ll waken up in the morning with a plague of locusts in my bedroom. I am ready for anything at this point.


  5. I would definitely try homeopathy if I was as desperate as your eczema has made you Selma. I felt your head spin like Reagan in that exorcist movie when the homeopathy woman told you it would get worse, before it improved. Glad to hear there has been improvement – it sounds like you have suffered torture during the recovery process.


  6. I have heard of others who have had such success with homeopathy, although it seems incredible that it works. Did you hear/see over the past few weeks that the UK government is calling for an end to all homeopathic treatments on the NHS because they can’t verify how it works quantitatively? I’m so glad you’re getting some relief, though!


  7. That’s awful that you got a worse flare from this! YUK! I was hoping to read a Green post of a different variety (whether or not you celebrate St. Patty’s day). Oh dear, I suffer from eczema, too or mysterious awfu, unrelenting rashes that I won’t describe here. At times, the only med that works is a very strong one called Prednisone… and, obviously, that is only given to me in small doses for a short time because it is much too strong and prescribed only rarely due to side effects.

    Feel better soon. I know I’d rather hear my Gem snore than itch.


  8. Thank goodness you are over the worst of it you poor little leprechaun. It sounds like you’ve been to hell and back but if the awful green potion works, I guess you can momentarily suspend the thought of what ingredients it may contain.

    Hope you feel even better tomorrow.


  9. Ooh, lady. I don’t know if I would have been able to stand it. Although my skin issues are such that I’m hoping you’ll report back that everything is better now. Then I’ll have to track down a homeopath around Dingleberry–which might be harder than dealing with the crazy skin.

    Any. Way.

    I’m glad you’re seeing some relief, love.


  10. Sounds like you’ve been through hell and back Sel. Soooo sorry. 😦 As you know, I am a strong advocate for natural and holistic remedies but as with allopathic medicines, not all practising these arts are created equal. Same goes for the remedies recommended. I hope this vile concoction does the trick. I haven’t had a lot of experience with homoepathy but I do know people who swear by it (in a good way!) Rescue Remedy is a homoepathic treatment I believe and that I KNOW works. When I was having panic attacks on a regular basis, this stuff really, really calmed me down, when nothing else would.

    Hang in there Sel, bask in some sunshine soon and keep thinking healing, positive thoughts. It’s all good, it all helps. Hugs, G 🙂


  11. OH MY GOD!!! You poor thing! I feel SO badly for you! But you definitely turned a terrible, AWFUL, horrible, situation into a comical read! You’re awesome! I sincerely hope you are 100% better SOON!


  12. Glad to hear things might be on the mend Selma 🙂

    A year ago I had a horrible, irritating condition that conventional medicine had given up on and I, too, went in desperation to a homeopath. I’ve never heard of smelly green liquids (must be an Australian thing!) but instead I got a little white pill (just the one) in the post a couple of days after I saw her with the instruction to take it at bedtime. I felt like Alice in Wonderland!

    I too had incredible reactions to the treatment – I got flu-like symptoms twice a week for about six weeks. Gentle remedy my eye! BUT…either homeopathy has an effect or it doesn’t and I had to face the fact that something was making me feel like this. My homeopath was delighted when I told her how grotty I was feeling and said that that meant she had selected the right remedy for me!

    I’m still not sure if I absolutely believe in homeopathy but I am reading up on it and trying to learn more about it. Glad you are through the worst. I am absolutely sure that the remedy has worked for you!


  13. Hi ROWE:
    I really thought she was joking but sadly, no. I am definitely on the mend but it was a bit of a spectacular way to get there. Not for the faint-hearted at all.

    Hi SUE:
    I didn’t know that, although I’m not surprised about it being difficult to prove in a quantitative sense because it all seems so hit and miss. It is not for everyone, that is for sure. By the way, it’s great to hear from you!

    Hi GEL:
    I had a Saint Paddy’s post ready to go and got distracted but I may put it up today, anyway. I have used prednisone in the past but it gives me serious heart palpitations so I am always reluctant to take it. Rashes really are awful things. Not that serious in the scheme of things but definitely an irritant.

    Hi GYPSY:
    I am turning the corner but I must admit I am exhausted from the whole thing. At times it has seemed never-ending. Looking forward to finding the non-itching pot of gold at the end of the rainbow soon!

    I hope you manage to find a homeopath in your neck of the woods although to be perfectly honest I am not sure at this stage if they are my cup of tea. I think I’ll have a better perspective on it in a few weeks!

    That’s the problem, isn’t it? There are varying degrees of regulation in the industry which brings with it varying levels of skill among the practioners. I have heard Rescue Remedy is good. I feel like being rescued. Might have to try it!

    Hi MELEAH:
    I have to say that I learnt that from you. You have been through some awful times with your health and throughout it all you kept laughing. You have inspired me many a time. I am so grateful!

    Hi TEX:
    That email made my day. FUNNIEST EMAIL EVER. I haven’t laughed so much in ages 😆

    That’s homeopaths for you. When I told mine I was feeling worse under the treatment she said that meant it was working properly. You think? I am still on the fence myself. Only time will tell!


  14. I’m glad you’re starting to get relief from your eczema… how’s your herpes?

    Huh? You mean you didn’t make the connection with the underwear question? (I too prefer to refer to them as undergarments). But actually she wasn’t really interested in whether they were cotton or synthetic. Let me explain.

    Under the ‘Law of similars’ the homeopathic remedy for eczema is based on Poison Ivy. Poison Ivy because it causes redness, intense itching, burning, blistering and sometimes stiff muscles. Homeopathically, Poison Ivy has been used for everything from burns to eczema and arthritis… including herpes!

    Just saying.


  15. Hi BEAR:
    Oh no, my secret is out. Now everyone will know I use eczema as a euphemism for herpes 😆

    Actually, you might be closer to the mark than you think with the poison ivy because OOH AAAHH GREAT BALLS OF FIRE with the remedies.

    You are a naughty little bear but I love you, any way. Thanks for a great laugh XXX


  16. Aw. OMG. Your comment to me – just made my WHOLE day. No. It made my WHOLE week. I am SO happy and touched, and thrilled, and all kinds of emotions right now knowing that some how I have helped YOU learn how to find the ‘funny’ in dealing with medical conditions. And, you did a GREAT JOB of finding the funny. Because seriously, LAUGHTER really IS the best medicine!


  17. Selma,I am glad to hear you have found a solution that works. I hope you stay well and wish you all the best. As for me , I feel like a zombie…neither dead or alive. 7 more days of antibiotics to go…I have never been this sick and lived. At least from what I can recall genetically. During the high fevers, I actually hallucinate…so it’s kinda cool. Yes I’m drinking lots of water with honey…and lemon…and codeine : )


  18. This? Is awesome! Not the mini-apocalypse part, of course, but the fact that you’re getting better! And the part about it being much more natural than the cortisone and all that! I’m so happy for you!


  19. Hi MELEAH:
    I meant that comment. Sincerely. You often put things into perspective for me. You are very dear to me. Thank you XXX

    Hi BEAR:
    You are on a roll today, my friend. It’s great to see!


  20. Hi PUNATIK:
    I am praying you get better soon, hon. I hope you have someone who can stop by and bring you supplies and stuff. Please keep us posted regarding how you’re feeling. XXX

    I’ve been having a chuckle. There is an element of funny about the whole thing. I am definitely on the mend.

    Hi KATE:
    You are lovely. I really appreciate your kindness!


  21. That was a good way of putting a very humorous spin on an uncomfortable situation. I guess sometimes, we have to go down before we can move back up! In this case, I am very happy to hear that the homeopathic treatments are working for you, and that you feel better than you have before! It sounds like you have banished the four horsemen, but for the life of me I can’t get an image out of my head now – it’s not Kyle saying those words to Sarah Connor, but rather Arnold as the Terminator in T2 saying them to Sarah in the mental hospital! Same words, but such a different effect on her!
    With regards to your drain juice, a long time ago, I underwent some homeopathic treatment that involved chewing down some very bitter leaves. The way to overcome the disgust that I felt every morning was by drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice (thank you mum!) right after it! Maybe if you took something sweet that had a strong taste right after, your taste buds wouldn’t have to wallow in it! Why don’t you start a competition amongst your readers to come up with an alternative to “Drain Juice”. How about “Toxic Triumph”, or “Debatable Delight” ? ;o)


  22. Best blog title I’ve read in a very long time…

    I had such a bad experience with a homoepath (who seemed fixated on The Man’s income) that I swore I would never go back. (And haven’t.) But if it works…


  23. Hi MANOJ:
    That is one of my favourite movie scenes ever. The tension is unbelievable where Arnie comes in as the Terminator (except he’s a good terminator now) and says that to Sarah. OMG, I just about died. Loved it!

    You’re right about drinking something sweet afterwards. Orange juice is probably the best because it’s quite zesty. I like ‘Toxic Triumph’ myself. Sums the whole thing up perfectly!

    Hi NAT:
    It’s a bit of a crazy title, I must admit. I was partly out of my mind when I wrote it. I have heard so many dodgy stories about homeopaths. It is quite worrying. Even though the treatment seems to have worked for me (eventually) it has taken nearly three weeks and at times has been unbearable. I would be reluctant to recommend it to anyone else. Next time I want traditional drugs and lots of ’em 😆


  24. I hope u get better soon. But….I can’t stop laughing at the underwear bit. I can imagine the scene right in front of my eyes when she peers at you and sets the question straight.


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