I believe that mothers are born natural healers. Intuition led us for millions of years to care for our young and look after their health. That’s why we are normally the first to notice when one of our family is off colour.
I once had a relatively conscious GP – a rare breed in South Africa.
He told me long ago:
“The most important thing a medical student can learn in medical school is to listen to the mother. But this doesn’t happen. Many children and other family members have lost their lives, as mother’s intuition is not taken seriously.”
Pity this dear man died shortly afterwards in a car accident.
It’s one of the consequences of the patriarchy. Likewise it has cost the earth. Yet I trust that we are now healing this self-destructive deafness, albeit very, very slowly. It was on this note that I started my interview with Eugenie Rowson, a homeopath from Johannesburg, who is committed to sharing her knowledge with mothers across the country to take better care of their families. Both of us found homeopathy as mothers looking for natural cures. In my case it was 25 years ago.
In conversation with Eugenie Rowson
Elma: It would be interesting to know how you got to where you are now. How did you end up going into homeopathy?
Eugenie: Well, I did work in a medical lab originally, but for the most part it came from being a mother. As a young mother I couldn’t believe that every time my children would go to the doctor they’d get the same medication. And I had this old fashioned idea that when you go to the doctor, you get cured and you don’t get the same sickness over, and over again.
Elma: I had the same frustrations as a young mother. My first baby had repeated ear infections and the local doctor would simply prescribe more antibiotics. I soon realised there was something fundamentally wrong – my child was not really being healed.
Eugenie: Yes, when our first child was repeatedly sick with tonsillitis, he was given one antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine and cortisone medication after the other! I felt that the psychological contact between the doctor and me was completely confused. I wanted him to heal our ailments, but he said because the same tonsillitis kept recurring that it must be incurable! It didn’t make any sense to me. Thank God this cycle of events changed forever with one providential holiday to Zimbabwe. James had another bout of severe tonsillitis and we could only get a doctor’s appointment a few days later, so we stopped in at a chemist for medication to tide him over until then. A very friendly lady behind the counter couldn’t give me an antibiotic but suggested cheerfully, ‘why don’t you try this – it’s homoeopathic’. The remedy she recommended cost very little and quite honestly, we had nothing to lose. James chewed on the little white sugary tablets half hourly and he seemed to love the taste! On the evening of the second day – he promptly announced, ‘My sore throat has gone, Mom!’ and it was true. The bottle of homoeopathic stuff had worked and the visit to the doctor the following morning confirmed this! From then on our lives changed. I used self-help homeopathy for every imaginable ailment and for a family of seven of us, that kept me busy over the years and my learning went from “zero to a hundred” in a few short years!
Elma: I have spoken to so many people in the green/natural world and without fail their entry point into this world came as a result of some or other illness, and a disappointment with the route they were expected to follow. You know your child should be naturally well and you should be able to maintain his health. So you look into natural alternative approaches. When the current thinking system leads to frustration, we need to climb out of that box.
Eugenie: Absolutely! And take back our power.
Elma: I think if you listen to your gut, you will know that something’s wrong.
Eugenie: I think mothers should be able to treat their children with natural medicine. And back then no-one I spoke to really knew about homeopathy, but I found some old books and studied up on it. Of course they didn’t really explain it to me the way I understand it today and this lead me to creating a book. It was a simple self-help guide to the use of homeopathic medicine for common, everyday ailments. The most important turning point in my understanding of the application of homeopathic medicine is that our symptoms are not the body’s mistakes but, rather, the body’s deliberate activities to bring about healing and balance. They are the body’s actual healing mechanisms and must therefore be encouraged not suppressed! That is exactly what homeopathy is about. Stimulating the healing mechanisms to achieve restoration of health. For example, fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, pain, inflammation, coughing, sneezing etc. are all necessary healing mechanisms …. And any suppression or interference of these will result in the body having to produce these again and a repetition of one’s “illness” occurs. Homeopathy is a system of medicine that uses an infinitely small dose to act as a catalyst in encouraging these healing mechanisms.
Elma: So we should not be fearing the symptoms?
Elma: So then you started using that with your children. At what point did you go and study?
Eugenie: When we were in Zimbabwe, we spent a lot of time in the bush, and with 5 children. Children get sick, you know! I had many homeopathic remedies with me. And I realised that homeopathy is an absolutely brilliant system of medicine, and so I changed my career. I went overseas and I studied homeopathy with the British Institute of Homeopathy. But the most important thing was that I developed immeasurable, hands-on knowledge.
Elma: The practical application.
Eugenie: Yes, absolutely. I had already been “living” homeopathy before I went on to help others. On our return to South Africa I started my practice under the banner of Ethno medicine. I have had a busy practice in Johannesburg for 9 years now and absolutely love what I do.
Shortly after my arrival back in SA, I went into a ‘health shop’ and asked why they had no homeopathic remedies. They responded “oh no, we don’t sell those. We heard people pray over them!” (This is a very popular health shop near Joburg, which still doesn’t sell many homeopathic remedies.) I was beginning to realise that people just don’t know enough about this scientifically proven system of medicine. That’s it, I thought, I’m going to write a book. It took me four years – and I created it from a mother’s perspective and made it as practical as possible. I didn’t want all the habitats of plants and pictures of leaves … busy, desperate mothers don’t have time for all that! My family insisted that I call it: “There’s a remedy for that!” after a saying that they have heard me utter thousands of times over the years and it and was published in 2008. Over 2000 copies were sold in the first year.
Elma: It comes back to a belief in nature really. As opposed to believing in the helpless human that can’t fix things.
Eugenie: Absolutely. We can fly to the moon, but we can’t even fix our health! It’s ridiculous.
Elma: Indeed. But at the same time ‘we’ don’t need to fix it. It’ll fix itself.
Eugenie: Yes, if we can just stimulate it enough. With a little bit of help from nature.
Elma: And also if we just stop ‘stopping’ the cure really, hey?
Eugenie: Yes, stop interfering with it.
Elma: So in the end you just need to find out where the imbalance is. The symptom indicates how the body is trying to put itself back into order, right?
Eugenie: Yes, the symptom is the fight going on; what the body is doing to fight back. What makes us sick are not germs, bacteria and viruses etc. What makes us sick and gives us health disorders are negative influences such as lack of sleep, poor diet, environmental stressors and emotional dis-ease such as anger, fear, anxiety, trust issues, self-esteem problems, jealousy and despair. Also, excessive hard mental or physical work, boredom, lack of purpose and other stressors such as high toxicity, lack of exercise, temperature change, environmental changes and high altitude make us sick. The germ theory is an old dinosaur! Germs only thrive in the body after a weakness or disorder has occurred.
Elma: So suppressive medicine is like ‘shooting the soldiers’ or killing the alarm system.
I then developed a range of self-help remedies, opened an e-shop and outlet in Johannesburg called The Remedy Shoppe, aimed at making self-help homeopathy accessible, affordable, easy to choose and effective. We offer two ranges of remedies, the Maestro range which is an A –Z range and the Symphony range, which comprises of over a hundred combination formulas that I have developed to treat common, everyday ailments, such as Ear Infection, Colic, Cold, Flu, nausea, vomiting etc.
Elma: So the A – Z range are the individual remedies?
Eugenie: Yes, the single remedies.
Elma: I find people can be quite intimidated because for every symptom there are many remedies. Is that correct?
Eugenie: Yes, very much so. That’s why in my book I narrowed it down. For a particular disorder, such an ear infection, I have listed five or so of the best remedies for this disorder, which the reader will easily be able to choose from and say “those are my symptoms… That’s my remedy”. The good thing about homeopathy is that we’ve got about 10 000 remedies. So, there is really a remedy from nature for every imaginable disorder! All we need to do is find it.
Elma: OK, so you’ve got your single remedies and the combinations, which are organised around symptoms. And that makes it much easier for people to say ‘I want a bladder remedy’ or whatever.
Eugenie: Exactly Elma, we don’t need a complicated name like Diverticulitis to choose a remedy. All you need is a description of physical symptoms such as Abdominal cramps and spasms formula or Digestion disorder formula. I mean, if we rather called it cystitis, it’s more intimidating. But rather say where the pain is, if it’s worse after eating, etc. Is it a stabbing pain, a cramp, a shooting pain or a throbbing pain? We are very specific in homeopathy. Everyone needs to describe their symptoms in their own words.
Elma: Yes. And I’ve found we’ve been so cut off from our feelings and bodies, often it takes a while for one to reconnect and describe it. Because we’re so used to just passing this responsibility to a man in a white coat.
Eugenie: Yes! [loud laughter]
Elma: …who doesn’t listen to you anyway, so you stop listening too and lose the connection.
Eugenie: “Yes. You know, in homeopathy, it’s really quite simple. However, clinical or bio medicine are always pressing the fear button! They use that fear to get people to spend a lot of money on drugs that aren’t improving but are merely providing temporary relief or even damaging a person’s health. With self-help homeopathy, our mission is to give people back the power to heal themselves and manage their own health. There are only 3 things you need to figure out to find the right remedy:
- Where is the problem?
- What does it feel like in your own words?
- What makes it feel better or worse?
Let’s take a headache for example: where is your headache? Is it always on the left side, or is it at the back, or in my eye? When I ask what it feels like, people often say, well it’s… pain. Yes, but what kind of pain? Is it shooting, is it tearing, does it feel like its exploding? Is it cold on top, is it pulling at the back? Everybody’s got a different description. Same for the solution. What makes it feel better? Some may say lying down in a quiet dark place; others might say they can’t lie down because it makes their head throb. Another might say they mustn’t do any of those; as long as they keep busy it’s not as bad. And for each one of those, we’ll find a different remedy.
Elma: Some people want to have people with them and some people need to be alone.
Eugenie: Indeed, people are individuals. And the same goes for homeopathy. When a substance is tested, it is given in very strong dose to group of healthy people and these people will describe their reaction to the remedy ie they will describe what symptoms (healing mechanisms) they each developed after taking the strong substance. These are then the same healing mechanisms that the substance can stimulate when the remedy is given in an infinitely small dose (ie highly diluted form). We then match the remedy’s healing stimulating properties to that of the sick person to bring about healing.
Elma: This whole concept came courtesy of 18th century German physician Samuel Hahnemann?
Eugenie: Yes. He found that the medicines of his time were harsh and barbaric and involved purging mainly. Like, if you had a sore tummy they would give you a poison that made you vomit. Which is all very well, but then you have to deal with poisoning too. So he said, can’t we dilute it a bit? Can’t we make it gentler? And he started to dilute the medicines of the time. Because of this, he was ostracized by the medical community. But he continued his research. To this day, most homeopathic remedies are originally made from poisons. Which can sound scary, but the point is this: poisons have the greatest power. When you take a poison you get an instant response. He also found that many of these initial symptoms where brought about by poisoning in the first place! He realised that a person’s response to poisoning is generic; everyone will have the same response to a given poison. So he gave 100 people a diluted poison and they all had produced the same symptoms. For example, fever and vomiting. And we know that symptoms are what the body needs to do to overcome the poisoning ie they are the body’s healing mechanisms. So Hahnemann realised that we can use the same poison in a highly diluted dose, to stimulate the same healing mechanisms (such as fever and vomiting) and thus bring about healing and restoration of balance and order. Hahnemann called this the ‘law of similars.’ A poison that has been diluted many, many times with water no longer contains any of the original poison – only the vibration of that substance remains. This is the second law of homeopathy – using the ‘infinitely small dose’ which cannot harm – only encourage healing.
Elma: That’s wonderful! And what are some of the poisons that are used for homeopathy?
Eugenie: They can be anything from plants, metals or minerals to biological substances. These things could never be used as medicines in their original form, but one can use them safely and effectively to treat disorders once they’ve been diluted hundreds and even thousands of times and ultimately hold the vibration of a powerful substance.
Elma: One in particular that my daughter grew up with was Belladonna. And she got to know it quite well.
Eugenie: Absolutely, the children get to know the names and they become almost like part of the family.
Elma: Indeed, I’ve often thought I had better create a family remedy book, so that my children will know what works for what symptoms in themselves, should I not be here. These would only be the couple of remedies we got to rely on over the years. This knowledge is something that can even be passed down through generations.
Eugenie: Yes Elma, that’s exactly what I had in mind when writing my book. You’ll see I created some space so that it becomes a journal where remedies used can be recorded. i.e this remedy worked for Johnny’s cough, and that one worked for Jane’s tummy cramps, etc.’ And after ten years you’ve got a book full of experience that you can use to treat future problems, for any generation.
Elma: So you’ve been taking notes all along?
Eugenie: I have kept my own notes over the years, yes. I’ve got a little book that I’ve scribbled hundreds of notes in and stuck pages into and articles etc. It’s very important to learn and gain confidence with self-help homeopathy. It’s very empowering.
Elma: And then you started a range of remedies?
Eugenie: I created a remedy range, yes, which are made electromagnetically.
Elma: How does this work?
Eugenie: Well, we have already discussed the old fashioned way of making a remedy – where a solution containing a little of an original substance is diluted over, and over again. Homeopathy most often uses the more powerful (and poisonous) substances in nature. A substance is crushed, soaked in alcohol and water for some time and then diluted many times, repeatedly, and shaken vigorously between dilutions to produce a remedy. The medical world has been looking at these homeopathic remedies under their a microscope and saying there’s nothing there. There’s nothing but water and alcohol left in the ‘remedy’ and if there’s nothing there to see … it can’t work! And this is why we still hear from clinical medicine today that homeopathy is load of nonsense… it’s just a placebo.
Homeopaths attributed the efficacy of a remedy to the vital force of the original substance but couldn’t really explain or prove anything beyond that. It was hard even for them to understand or explain how it could possibly work, but the fact is, homeopathic medicine has been curing millions of people of hundreds of disorders, worldwide for hundreds of years. The results speak for themselves!
This dilemma has gone on up until the last 20 or 30 years. Fortunately, technology has advanced to the point where we can accurately measure the vibration of thousands of different homeopathic remedies and it has been found that each one has a unique vibration. No two are the same. And the vibration of a homeopathic remedy matches the vibration of the original substance that was used. It is understood that if you take anything and put it into water, the water will start to resonate with that substance. So that’s why homeopathic medicine is now recognised as being electro-magnetic by nature; they are not chemical, physiological, material or molecular.
We now have technology that can electro-magnetically imprint / charge a water and alcohol solution with the vibration of a particular substance to produce a remedy. You could say that this represents the infinitely small dose, made electro-magnetically, to stimulate healing.
Elma: So, one can call it ‘energy medicine’ in a sense?
Eugenie: Yes. And it’s very specific. We can be very accurate with it. And they’re very powerful, because remember they are made from poison. We retain the power of the substance, but not the physiological poisoning material. Homeopathic medicines are powerful electromagnetic solutions.