Under Strain? Reach for Ruta!

Welcome to the latest installment of practical applications at The Big At Large – Learning to Home Prescribe. Today we will cover another readily available remedy: Ruta graveolens.

Anyone with passing familiarity with homeopathy knows the remedy Arnica. The white and green tubes of Arnica gel are a first line of response whenever there is a trauma to the body, even the stress of exercise. If there is only one remedy around, it’s likely to be Arnica, and I promise I’ll write about it soon. But today I want to talk about a remedy that is as useful, and often overlooked, by the casual home prescriber.

Ruta graveolens, commonly Rue and native to the Balkans, deserves as much of a place in the gym bag and desk drawer as Arnica.

In the acute use of homeopathy, we are fortunate to be able to refer to what are called “keynotes.” Instead of conventional allopathic use of a diagnosis, or named condition, we have the most important dynamics and symptoms of the remedy. When we examined Ledum, we kept two important words in mind – “puncture,” and “cold.”

In studying Ruta, we must remember the following:

·      Strain

·      Connective Tissue

Have you ever developed pain in your eyes from looking too long at a computer or phone? You have strained your eyes.

Have you ever developed a headache from studying? You have strained your mind.

Have you ever developed overall pain in your body from prolonged anxious tension? You have strained your nervous system.

Have you ever rolled an ankle or felt pain in a shoulder from a workout? You have strained your tendons. (Another remedy we will talk about, Rhus-tox, is better indicated when the issue is muscle fatigue – save that question!).

What might indicate the need for Ruta?

·      Has there been a physical or emotional strain?

·      Is the body stiff in a way that does not loosen up and recover with warmth and movement, but can also be worse for lack of movement?

·      Has there been an injury to the connective tissues, the tendons or the covering of the bone, called the periosteum?

As you might imagine, there can be an application for this remedy in chronic presentations of arthritis or repetitive stress injury, but, as always, working with chronic issues requires more nuance and attention, learning and practice. I have included the footnote on this topic.*

In homeopathy, the selection of the potency and the manner of the dosing is called “posology.” When you go to the health food store, you will probably see this:

I recommend that everyone have a home kit; these have been difficult to get lately due to high demand but Washington Homeopathic makes one with 25 remedies and Mary Aspinwall sells Helios’ 36 remedy kit. These are a good start, although I prefer a 50 or 100 remedy kit for home prescribers and one of these days I’ll have one made to my specifications!

The blue tubes in the health food store are the most common because Boiron has jumped through the hoops necessary to sell over the counter to the consumer in this way, but the indications on the vials are incomplete and the recommendation of 5 pellets is not necessary. Treat the blue tubes the same way you would treat a home or even professional kit; make your remedy selection and dosing decisions based on your knowledge, and not the labels on the tubes.

30c is the most common potency to use in acutes and perfectly good for most situations. If you can’t get 30c, the next best choice is usually 200c. In every post I will include my basic instructions for acute dosing:

The last piece of housekeeping is how to dose remedies in an acute. Less is more with homeopathy. Here’s how I always start:

I do a water dose in the following way:

o   One pellet dissolved in four ounces of pure water. I will use bottled or well water, but not chemically-treated water. Don’t touch the pellet with your fingers.

o   Once dissolved, swirl or stir gently with a non-metallic spoon.

o   Give one tsp.

o   Wait 15 min, give another tsp.

o   Wait 15 min, give another tsp.

o   WAIT.

o   If symptoms do not improve, repeat the three doses after an hour.

o   If symptoms DO improve, wait until they relapse or stop improving to redose.

o   Always wait a couple hours between rounds and don’t do more than 3-4 rounds

in 24 hours unless the situation is emergent, in which case it is wise to get a professional on the phone to offer some support (that’s me!)

If you are venturing into home prescribing, or experienced but occasionally at sea, don’t forget that I offer acute consultations and that all my chronic clients receive complementary acute support. My goal with all clients is to help them learn to manage acutes on their own, because this is such a powerful way to take responsibility and control when there is a concern of illness or injury in the household.

Thank you for joining me for this discussion of Ruta. I hope that you will feel confident to pick some up and keep it handy for pain from strain or damage to connective tissues.

Keep your eyes on Substack for more philosophical meanderings and practical applications!

*The following paragraphs are going to be footnoted in all these posts because they are VERY important:

All homeopathic remedies have both acute and chronic applications. An acute ailment is something self-limiting (that means short term that’s going to run a course to recovery or death). A chronic condition can drag on for years.

In both acute and chronic illness, the remedy is there to reflect and assist in the process of the healing through the unwinding dynamic. It’s never intended as a quick fix or a suppressive measure. In truly acute situations, when the vital force is strong, the response can be so rapid to a well-chosen remedy that it can feel magical. Often, though, it can take multiple doses, mild temporary intensification, patience, and even additional remedies to get all the way to the other side. So when you are learning to manage acutes at home, remember:

Slow is always good, patience is always part of healing. Don’t panic if you aren’t getting immediate results.

Home prescribing should be used for acutes, not chronics. Homeopathic remedies are safe, but the vital response is complex and chronic prescribing relies on extensive study of case-taking and analysis, remedy selection, posology (what potency and in what dose), materia medica (the medicinal properties of the remedy), and remedy reactions. It is possible to mess it up in a way that can make it difficult for the person to heal fully. Don’t be afraid, but do ask for help!

In The Arena