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Care for the Caregiver

Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH

October 17th, 2021  |  36 Comments

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Joette Calabrese

We expend a great deal of energy attending to those who need care. It’s only natural.

But who provides care for the caregiver?

As we engage in these homeopathy lessons regarding our loved ones’ health conditions, the bulk of our attention is obviously focused on the sufferers. But more often than not, we lose awareness that we are also suffering.

Caregiving is physically, mentally and emotionally challenging. I’ve been there with my children, of course, and later, with my parents. I would sit by my mother’s side and watch her. I’d vigilantly observe her to detect changes in her condition or simply to be on the lookout to anticipate her needs. As I sat, perhaps I’d read to her or pray or quietly tend to her comfort.

Meanwhile, the world was passing me by.

As I sat beside my mother — watching — one moment, I would feel tremendous worry, then suddenly, a change for the positive would make me hopeful, only to have my hopes later dashed back into resignation.

Back and forth between conflicting emotions, I bounced like a Super Ball in a tiny room. I was all over the place.

And that all-encompassing emotional rollercoaster takes its toll on even the most stalwart caregiver.

Exhaustion ensues, but homeopathy, as always, offers a solution.

Cocculus is a gentle, polite medicine to nudge the caregiver’s body and mind into a more well-adjusted space — a perfect fit for the rubric described as “night-watching.” I love that expression because it is so explicit. We caregivers can viscerally identify with the term (although, unfortunately, 24/7-watching might often be more accurate).

Let me quote from A Materia Medica: Practical Homeopathy® for Busy Families:

“Cocculus indicus is an excellent remedy for those who have been feeling weary and burned out for a long time but won’t admit their exhaustion. In many cases, they are people who care for others and remain awake for long hours, ignoring their own needs in favor of those they care for. It is therefore an excellent remedy for overworked doctors, nurses, midwives, rescue workers and mothers.”

I have used both Cocculus 30 and 200 with equal success. Generally, the use of Cocculus (whichever potency is on hand) twice a day for a few days is enough to restore the caregiver’s vitality. Then, when the weariness hits again, the medicine may be resumed for another few days, until very much better.

As they say on airline flights, “In case of emergency, put your oxygen mask on first and then assist others.” That’s an industry-specific way of saying that you can’t do anybody else any good if you don’t take care of yourself. But when most of us become caregivers, we throw that wisdom out the window. Instead, we hurl ourselves full force into caretaking and abandon our own needs.

It seems like the righteous thing to do, but that degree of self-deprivation can’t last long. We’re only human.

Put your oxygen mask on first, and then assist others.

As a caregiver, I considered Cocculus 30 or 200 to be my oxygen mask.

I can assure you, from experience, that caretaking is one of the most demanding jobs you will ever do. But it is also one of the most rewarding. Now that my parents are gone, I don’t remember the exhaustion and difficulties as much as I treasure the precious memories of spending their last months with them, intimately involved in their care.

Caregiving is a beautiful gift that we initially believe we are giving to others — but in fact, the gift is ours as well.

So, pass on the good news of homeopathy — to sufferers and caregivers alike!


Joette Calabrese

 P.S. Cocculus is not limited to palliative or hospice caregivers. Caring for suffering children, spouses or even unwell pets can be a call for Cocculus. It’s up to you to employ your education and determine if it is a good match. To that end, I encourage all devoted students of homeopathy to own a good materia medica. There are several available online for free, but most of those were published decades ago and written quite technically. Their information may be difficult to absorb at a glance, especially with a weary mind.

I wrote A Materia Medica: Practical Homeopathy® for Busy Families in plain English — my English, my voice. It’s easy to use as a reference when you are choosing between several potential medicines. Even if you don’t have an emergent need, it’s quite illuminating to acquaint yourself with homeopathic medicines you may not already know. Plus, it’s a fun read (even if I do say so myself) with lots of illustrations and explanatory stories from my personal and professional experience. I hope you’ll add it to your homeopathy library.



I am a homeopath with a worldwide practice working with families and individuals via Zoom. I'm also a teacher and most importantly, a mom who raised my now-adult children depending on homeopathy over the last 31 years. I lived decades of my life with food intolerances, allergies, and chemical sensitivities until I was cured with homeopathy, so I understand pain, anxiety, and suffering. You may feel that your issues are more severe or different than anyone else’s, but I have seen it all in my practice and in my work in India. My opinion is that nothing has come close to the reproducible, safe and effective results that my clients, students and I have achieved with homeopathy.

Call today and learn how homeopathy might just be the missing piece in your health strategy.

Joette is not a physician and the relationship between Joette and her clients is not of prescriber and patient, but as educator and client. It is fully the client's choice whether or not to take advantage of the information Joette presents. Homeopathy doesn't "treat" an illness; it addresses the entire person as a matter of wholeness that is an educational process, not a medical one. Joette believes that the advice and diagnosis of a physician is often in order.

We've provided links for your convenience but we do not receive any remuneration nor affiliation in payment from your purchase.

The Author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


36 thoughts on “Care for the Caregiver”

  1. Jillian says:

    What a precious picture, Joette.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Thanks. I miss her a ton.

  2. T. H. says:

    This is so timely. Going through this right now with my 86 year old father. Dementia set in quickly after the modern cookies. So sad and exhausting. Looking for my Cocculus now!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      I hope it helps you.

  3. Christiane Beeler says:

    How wonderful that you helped your mother that way! Merci mille fois for all you do for so many. Thanks to you I am able to help people in Hungary and Serbia even though the numbers are different as far as the potency. We praise God for you.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      I’m encouraged to hear how these medicines help those across the globe. Pls share some of your successes here with all of us.

      1. Christiane Beeler says:

        A young Hungarian friend, mother of five, that I have been counseling on Skype for a while has had panic attacks, anxiety and insomnia. She finally found a Hungarian Homeopathic pharmacie online. It’s called http://homeopatika.hu/ What is great about it is that you can enter the name in English and it shows up in Hungarian, for example: Aconitum nappelus golyócskák C 1000 – the Hungarian word means pellets 3,239 Ft (forint). I also sent her some samples of Calm sleep which have really helped her so she will be looking for it as well. In Serbia, a US missionary I counseled is looking to see if she can find a Homeopathic pharmacie. I have referred her to several of your websites and blogs. My niece in France is now interested as well. This doesn’t include our family here in the US. Again, merci, merci.

        1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

          And thanks for the tip on the Hungarian pharmacy.

  4. Cynthia says:

    Great post, thank you, I needed this
    Hope it works after months of exhaustion, physical and emotional. I slept for almost 2 months following improvement with mom’s health but I still feel fatigued and worn out. I am trying to pick up new motivation in life as i felt emptied at first
    Powerful photo, Joette, thank you for sharing
    Sending big hugs

  5. Cynthia says:

    Does this work if the caregiving lasted 7-8 months following a surgery? I am still doing it, but not as intensively. I am dealing with an elderly person who can get very agitated when i change diapers and i have to avoid some blows on and off. I find myself watching a lot of TV, trying to « forget » and need to ficus on getting back to work eventually, but it’s taking me a long time to do so as it’s not so simple.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      The length of time doesn’t matter as long as the symptoms remain.

  6. Julie Gordon says:

    Thank you once again Joette! I’m caregiving for my dad and this is one I hasn’t looked into but I will now!!

  7. Atiya says:

    I cared for my parents in their last years all by myself. I was 30 years old living in India, my husband was in Europe pursuing his higher studies and I also had a 3 year old daughter to take care of. It was overwhelming, challenging, frustrating and traumatic. The pain of losing them and the guilt of the mistakes that I made with them traumatized me no end. I was in a great mental mess throughout my pregnancy and post pregnancy too. Today my 2nd baby is 2 years old and I still carry the remnants of the trauma ,guilt and pain. I still grieve over losing my parents so young. Would this remedy help me to overcome all this ??

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Use the word “grief” and my name in your browser and it will help you find a homeopathic that will be more closely suited to what you’re presently suffering.

  8. R Viswanathan says:

    Thanks for this nice article.

    I am just wondering whether the medicine you suggested in a previous article for the patient is useful for the care-giver as well, if the care-giver is not physically tired but mentally yes with anxiety. Similarly, is the medicine you suggested in this article for a care-giver is useful otherwise also for those who
    feel exhausted physically and mentally, but, don’t know it or admit it?

  9. Elizabeth Dunning says:

    Would this work as well for a brand new mother, that is a “new caregiver” to a baby?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      We have better choices for new mothers. Read Maniac Mom on my blog. It discusses overwhelmed mothers even if there’s no anger.

  10. petronella says:

    I wish I knew about this earlier! After caring for my elderly parents for 6 years I crashed and burned 2 months ago. One day to the next I had no energy, totally flat battery but not able to sleep, and lots of anxiety. Is it too late to use the cocculus now? Should I be taking anxiety and insomnia remedies instead? Thankyou for the useful information!!

  11. Pamela says:

    Hi Joette,
    How I wish I knew this info a few years back, when caring for my mom! Yet, I have a few friends who need this remedy now. Thank you for all the wonderful info you share!!——————-

    Is there a remedy for the WORRY WART, especially in regard to worrying not so mich about one’s own health, BUT worrying about the health of their family/loved ones? —————–

    I know so many who esp now are VERY stressed out with the “WHAT IFs” in regard to the C virus and if their elderly parents, or spouse, or kids, will fall victim to it. Despite taking precautions, they still worry because there are so many unknowns and so much contradicting info on the news, etc. Interestingly enough, the concern is always about “family memebers”, but rarely about themselves!

  12. Olympia says:

    Aww what a beautiful picture. Thank you Joette for posting this. It came in God’s perfecting timing. My sister and I truly needed this post and the Cocculus. Thank you again. God bless you in Jesus Christ’s Almighty and Holy Name amen and amen.

  13. Rachel says:

    Mrs. Calabrese.

    Thank you for another excellent post.

    You mentioned midwives in the list of people to whom Cocculus can be useful. Obviously, midwives are often staying up all hours of the night, watching & giving of themselves, but I thought that Cocculus had to have a tremendous emotional worry and anxiety associated with the night watching. My midwife is so serene and laid-back, would it still be a consideration for someone like her, who stays up night-watching but does not display the emotional ups and downs?

    Thank you & blessings!
    ~ Rachel

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      We don’t treat someone who is not suffering. Homeopathy is used for pathology.

      1. Rachel says:

        Thank you Mrs. Calabrese.

        Am I then understanding correctly, spending all your physical strength in the care of someone else is only part of the picture of Cocculus, but the element of emotional strain is needed to make it actual pathology?

        Thank you again.
        ~ Rachel

        1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

          Spending all one’s physical strength is connected to emotional debility.

          1. Rachel says:

            Very true. Thank you for teaching us to see things through Homeopathic eyes.

            ~ Rachel

  14. Nicole says:

    Great article! Would this be a good fit for post partum care taking as well? For moms who are getting run down with sleep deprivation, and trying to adapt to the rigorous demands of a newborn?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      There are better-chosen remedies for that concern. Postpartum is a distinct and separate category.

  15. bg says:

    what a touching photograph, y.o.u.r. mother in y.o.u.r. embrace, y.o.u.r. love locked on her balance, and her core and soul gently receiving y.o.u.r. ballast. tear jerking for me, your moment to moment effort, encouragement. thanks for sharing, et al.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      I know. It brings me to tears when I look at that photo.
      I loved taking care of her.

  16. Sara says:

    Aww, bless you, Joette!! Tears sreaming seeing this photo of your dear mom and her amazing loving daughter, you <3

    Thank you for teaching us from your heart and experience. God bless and comfort you always! Please know you're not forgotten during the upcoming holiday season and the anniversary of your mom's passing.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Sara. MAy your Christmas be blessed as well.

  17. Nurjahan says:

    Thank you for all of your teaching. Is this good for any other professional who needs to wake at night and have diabetes?

  18. Tamarra Oliver says:

    A friend directed me to this article as I am a caregiver for a friend dying of cancer. I am concerned about interaction with seizure medication and any possible effects on seizures.

  19. Andrea Farrell says:

    Thank you Joette, I have been a care giver for my Mum for a long time. Previously it was just dressing changes and comfort and support. Now God Bless her, its full on care, we decided we didn’t need carers they didn’t come when I needed them. Since Mum was miraculously no longer requiring a hoist and was able to get herself out of bed. I knew that we could let them go. I am not saying thats the right decisions for everyone it was our decision. Our doctor says we are a team. Sometimes I am shattered and the team is tearing at the seams. When she has a UTI God help me. She is fiercely independent and confined to a wheel chair, stoic one minutue, frustrated the next. We are getting help with the house, adaptations to make her life more independent, back up the stairs is our goal. But thank you Joette I have Cocculus and I will take it twice a day and hopefully it will recharge my batteries and help me to help her and my self. God Bless Joette. You have no idea how your advice has helped me and Mum. Andrea

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      It’s a big job and sometimes awful but more often it’s the most rewarding work known to mankind.
      God bless you and your mom.
      You’ll be rewarded, if not here, in this world, but in the next.

      1. Andrea Farrell says:

        Thank you Joette, it has its rewards and its moments but thank God for homeopathy it helps us both. Your advice on Ignatia for the temper, and Hellebore Niger has been a blessing in disguise now I have Cocculus for me xxx

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