What I would give for a dip in a nice cool pool right now! My weather app is telling me it's 31c (88F) and rising. My dog Sonny is collapsed, exhausted and panting at my feet. I know the feeling, Sonny!
I'm staying cool in the shade by choice, my tan can wait. But what do you do if you've had too much sun or heat and you start to feel really unwell? Firstly you need to do a quick body check for any of the key symptoms of heat exhaustion or even heatstroke. The effects can be really unpleasant:
Signs of heat exhaustion:
dizziness and confusion.
loss of appetite and feeling sick.
excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin.
cramps in the arms, legs and stomach.
fast breathing or pulse.
Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat.
Signs of heatstroke:
cessation of sweating
body temperature of 38C (104F) or higher
rapid and shallow breathing
elevated or lowered blood pressure
confusion and disorientation
fainting, (often the first sign in the elderly)
If you find yourself suffering from a few of these symptoms then head straight for a cool room or the shade and a lie down (with your feet elevated). Then make sure that you seriously rehydrate, adding some electrolytes to ensure your body salts are balanced - think coconut water or aloe vera juice which balance your electrolytes naturally. You can also try adding a few pillules of the homeopathic cell salts Natrum Mur 6x and Ferrum Phos 6x to water. Here are a few more herbal and natural suggestions.
If symptoms persist after the above steps then let someone know how bad you're feeling and have them come round to your place just in case you faint or need medical assistance. Meanwhile have a look through these key symptoms and then choose a remedy - keep going until you find one that works for you.
Muscle cramps & twitches - Cuprum met 30c. Others to try are Belladonna, Natrum mur or China.
Heat Exhaustion - China 30c or Natrum carb, Selenium, Gelsemium or Lachesis.
Sun (heat) stroke - Glonoine 30c or Carbo Veg, Natrum carb, Belladonna, Gelsemium, Lachesis or Veratrum Album.
Here's a more in depth guide with more remedy options to help you find just the right remedy for you:
Belladonna: Skin is flushed, hot and dry, rapid strong pulse, pupils are fixed and dilated. Headache that is better for dark, silence and rest. The headache can have violent shooting pains in the head which come and go suddenly making the patient cry out. Heat about the head with cold feet. Blood shot eyes and visible throbbing of the carotids.
Bryonia: Severe Headache worse for even slight movement. One to think of when the person has an intense unquenchable thirst for water. The person is definitely better for lying completely still and quiet.
Carbo veg: The person will be collapsed from the heat with low energy and offensive breath, sweat or stool with gas in the upper abdomen. Their key symptom is a constant desire to be fanned.
China: Feeling totally wiped out, drained with trembling. Very useful where there has been excessive sweating and severe dehydration is a factor.
Cuprum met: First remedy to think of for heat exhaustion if the main symptom is cramping or the person makes jerking motions of the muscles. There may also be light-headedness, a rapid pulse and a cold sweat.
Gelsemium: Light headed, droopy, drowsy, thirstless despite the heat. Occasional chills running up and down the spine. Useful in sun-stroke where there is a high temperature with drowsiness or tendency to coma.
Glonoine: Throbbing, bursting headache with a hot face and sweaty skin. A great remedy for the effects of sun- stroke, great remedy for congestive headaches, hyperaemia (too much blood) of the brain from excess of heat.
Lachesis: A good remedy for sun-headaches or after being in the sun where there is faintness and dizziness. The key indicator is the person feels worse after a sleep or nap.
Lycopodium: Heat exhaustion with gastric symptoms - flatulence or a heavy stomach immediately after eating and worse 4-8pm. They are generally better for uncovering and getting cooled down.
Natrum carb: One for sensitive people who always seem to get headaches from being in the sun. Great remedy for debility and exhaustion and headache caused by the sun. Also good for the chronic effects of sun-stroke.
Natrum Mur: Good for sunstroke with heat in the head and a red face, nausea and vomiting. A bursting headache or pain like 'tiny hammers' banging. There may be fiery zigzags before the eyes. Very thirsty and a marked desire or aversion to salty food.
Nux Moschata: Likely to faint, or feel very drowsy. Nasal passages, throat and mouth feel incredibly dry yet the person is not thirsty.
Selenium: General exhaustion, drowsiness, and fatigue after being in the sun. Highly recommended for the elderly or babies suffering from the heat.
Veratrum Album: The person may be anxious, fearful and even may be ranting and hysterical or they may actually have collapsed or fainted. They complain of feeling cold (especially hands and feet) and have a pale face with lots of clammy perspiration. Their pulse will be fast and weak.
What's the correct dose?
You should take one dose (one pill) of the 30c and repeat as necessary. If this regime doesn't give prolonged relief then you can try a single dose in the 200c potency if you have it to hand and then wait (unless you are a sensitive person - ie. a tendency to allergies - in which case you should stick with the 30c potency only). Repeat after 20 minutes if necessary. If the person does not feel any relief after two or three doses of a remedy, try the next remedy on the list that appears to fit best to the patient's symptoms.
PS. Put the remedy under the tongue and let it dissolve in the mouth. If possible avoid eating and drinking for 10 minutes before and after taking the remedy, as well as avoiding touching it with your hands - try tipping it into your mouth from the bottle lid, or with a clean spoon.
If you're having trouble choosing the right remedy for you and would like extra help then please do get in touch via email or make an appointment. I work internationally via Zoom video and face-to-face in London, UK.
If I'm away from my desk and you need immediate help then please contact the team at Homeopathy247, a 'walk in' video homeopathy clinic open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Paula Webb BSc Dip IACH RSHom trained in Integrated Health and Homeopathy at the University of Westminster, London and the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy.
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider who it is recommended you consult if you have concerns about your health or before starting any new dietary or supplement regime. Do not use this article as a means to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think that your condition may be serious, or before discontinuing any medication that has been prescribed for you, or before starting any new treatment.