In this podcast, we cover:
03:20 Starting Homeopathy
09:06 Success stories with Arnica, Ruta, Symphytum, and Nux vomica
15:36 Implementing Joette’s teachings & protocols into the practice of proper nutrition
24:49 Using moderate diet with the remedies
You are listening to a podcast from joettecalabrese.com where nationally certified American homeopath, public speaker, and author, Joette Calabrese, shares her passion for helping families stay healthy through homeopathy and nutrient-dense nutrition.
Paola: It’s podcast number 32 at JoetteCalabrese.com. Today, we’ve got a new episode for the Moms with Moxie miniseries.
Joette: All the way from my desk in New York, I get to see how homeopathy is transforming lives all over the globe. Some of my students have really caught my eye. Some of you have done all you can to learn how to cure those around you using homeopathic medicines. Your successes inspire me. They’re glorious and powerful. I can’t keep your successes a secret any longer. So, with help from my roving reporter, Paola, we bring you this mini podcast series that I call Moms with Moxie. It’s actually grandmoms, too. But it’s Moms with Moxie. See how regular mothers and others, average people who want to cure those around them have gone from freaking to fabulous with homeopathy.
Paola: I’m very much looking forward to who I’m interviewing today. I have Sheryl Shenefelt with me and she’s an interesting gal. She has been in the holistic alternative health world for quite a while now. I think you were saying, Sheryl, since before you had your own kids, which is every girl’s dream I feel like. Well, every seasoned mom’s dream. I mean, I wish I was down that road before I had kids, too. So, you’re awesome.
Sheryl: Oh, thank you.
Paola: You’re welcome. So, tell us a little bit about yourself. I know you’re a mom of two.
Sheryl: Yes. I have two kids. My daughter is 15 and my son is 11. I’m also an author and a nutritionist. I’ve been working in the nutrition world really since when I was pregnant with my daughter. I’ve also written five nutrition books with a holistic medical doctor, Dr. David Brownstein, mostly on nutrition. We teamed up because I was really into eating real food, more of a holistic lifestyle. I had been studying a lot with the Weston A. Price Foundation. So, we just thought eye to eye as far as how real food could really help people heal along with his holistic treatment.
Paola: Now, I know Joette is on the board. She’s an honorary board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation. But you were telling me that you were involved in one of the first chapters of the Weston A. Price Foundation?
Sheryl: Yes. Actually, the first chapter was here in Detroit, Michigan. They had only been around for a couple of years and I found them. I actually ended up being on the board of the local chapter and getting really involved, and helping people to find local farmers, and get connected with food. It really just fit right into my practice as a nutritionist. Now, I also use homeopathy. That was the basis of what I do even now. I did a lot more then.
Paola: That’s awesome. Yes. We’re going to get into that in how you combined nutrition with homeopathy. But let’s start at the beginning of your journey with homeopathy. I know that you’ve told me you would much rather have homeopathy in your life than not. Tell me about your early experiences with homeopathy and what situations you used at work.
Sheryl: I connected with a homeopath while I was pregnant actually. She taught me a little bit about homeopathy. I was already on the page that I wanted to have a natural childbirth but she said that I could do it without any pain meds if I just used homeopathy. So, I ended up using Arnica throughout my whole birth process and it worked. It was amazing. I mean, I can’t say I was pain-free. But I guess I didn’t use any pain meds or do epidural or anything like that. So, I was very happy to have my daughter naturally, the way I had planned.
Paola: Oh, that’s awesome. Good old Arnica to the rescue.
Sheryl: I know and I still…Arnica is my favorite remedy ever. I use it a lot with my kids, for myself and just for pain or injuries. So, I love it. It’s my go-to.
Paola: I know. I always tell people like, “What do you do if you know someone who’s skeptical with homeopathy? I just wait for them to have an accident and use Arnica. Then it’s going to be fine. Then no.”
Sheryl: No, no, no.
Paola: Yes, then no, no. Arnica – yes, exactly. I mean, if homeopathy were a high school and all the remedies were people, Arnica would be class president, very popular, very successful, easy to use. So that’s awesome. You started working with a homeopath. Did you just pretty much go to your homeopathy appointment every time you got sick or did you ever start trying to transition into using it yourself without the assistance?
Sheryl: I did. I really was drawn to homeopathy. Its power gave me a lot of incentive to find out more about it. Then having my children, really, I wanted to raise them drug-free, so I wanted to know what options were out there. So, I really started studying homeopathy more. I did see a classical homeopath who directed us in that route. But like acute situations and things like that, I started to learn on my own. So that I could, if my daughter or son has a cough or sniffles or something, that I could just go to my resources and my homeopathy kit and pick something to use rather than medication.
Paola: Right. I think that’s pretty standard. Joette has said that among classical homeopaths, they do encourage moms to learn homeopathy for acute prescription of their own families and themselves. That’s good. So, you started dabbling into that. Have you ever happened to give say, antibiotics to your kids?
Sheryl: Actually, one time. I’m still kicking myself for doing that because I know now, obviously, I didn’t know then. So, I have to give myself a break that I didn’t know then about the choices at that time. So definitely I’ve been working on using probiotics and rebuilding, and now just learning more about homeopathy. I can use that as my medicines.
Paola: What was it for, that antibiotic?
Sheryl: For strep throat. We got too far along on the strep throat that I just didn’t know enough about the homeopathy that it was going to take care of it.
Paola: Right. Yes. You are not allowed to mom-guilt yourself for doing that because I did not have any natural childbirth and too old as to have had antibiotics and what not. So, you’re doing pretty good giving your son the one.
Sheryl: He ended up actually getting strep throat again. That time, I was able to use Hepar sulph and that took care of it. Now, he hasn’t had it since.
Paola: Yehey! That’s the way we like it. It sounds like the first time he has strep was pre-Joette because, with classical homeopathy, you have to repertorize and find exactly, is it the right side, the left side? What kind of strep throat are we dealing with? Then when he got strep throat the second time, was that with Joette’s information available to you?
Sheryl: Yes. I had just met her. So, I didn’t know everything about it yet and I hadn’t been through her classes and whatnot yet. So that’s why I didn’t feel comfortable, b ut yes. Then the second time, I had been through her class. I had talked to her more. I felt really comfortable sticking with it. And so, that’s what pushed me along.
Paola: So really before, you were hesitant with homeopathy and Joette kind of gave you permission? Is that right?
Sheryl: Yes, yes. Definitely her classes, I love her classes. I’ve done all of them. One of them, just the Survivalist, I’m still working to get through.
Paola: Oh, yes. That’s a good one.
Sheryl: But the Good Gut, Bad Gut, the Skin, the Allergies, so it just really opened my eyes up to, even more, uses for homeopathy that just made it so exciting and also gave me more confidence to say, “Hey! This remedy is for this. Here’s what’s happening.” I feel good about giving it.”
Paola: I find that that’s typical among people who did homeopathy before they met Joette. Then after Joette, it’s like their view of homeopathy broadens because you realize with her practical approach that there’s so much more you just could work for.
Paola: Well, I can relate to that because my mom did raise me using a lot of homeopathic remedies. We were immigrants and didn’t have health insurance right away when we moved here on my dad’s student visa. She used homeopathy. But then it’s like as soon as we got health insurance, she stopped using it because she thought, “Oh well, now this is better.” But knowing what I know now, knowing what my mom knows now, she’s like, “Oh, boy! I wish I had realized how deep this stuff was and I would have just stuck with it.”
Sheryl: Wow! Right.
Paola: It’s kind of a shame. Okay. Why don’t you tell us some of your acute successes with homeopathy?
Success stories with Arnica, Ruta, Symphytum, and Nux vomica
Sheryl: Some of the other ways that I’ve used homeopathy is when my daughter sprained her ankle. I gave her Arnica right away for the pain. Then I started her on the Ruta for the sprain. She really felt like, after no time at all, I was almost like, “Doesn’t your ankle hurt?” She was like, “No. I feel fine.” She was like in two days walking on it. She was like, “It doesn’t hurt.” But it was purple and black and blue, but it didn’t hurt.
Paola: Oh, wow! It looked bad but it felt great.
Sheryl: That was amazing. Yes, it looked terrible. But it helped so fast for her. It was amazing because you could see where she was hurt. I would press on it and she was like, “Oh, don’t touch it.” But she was able to walk and do everything she needs. She went to school after only a couple of days on the remedy.
Paola: That’s incredible. Tell our listeners what Ruta is good for. I know it’s for deep tissue sprains.
Sheryl: I mainly had always thought in my head like Ruta, I knew it was for sprains and strain.
Sheryl: So I guess, as soon as she sprained it, it popped in my head. I’m like, “Oh, that’s right.” I learned that Ruta is for sprains and strain. That’s what made me reach for that. But then I also knew Arnica is the thing that you go first when you first have an injury. You want to give the Arnica for the shock, the trauma, and then also the pain. I actually alternated Arnica with Ruta because Arnica helped with the pain and then the Ruta was to heal.
Paola: I think that’s fine. I think it’s really good to have these little keynotes memorized so they’re part of your muscle memory. When something happens, you’re like, “Oh, yes, Ruta, Arnica, done. You don’t really need to overthink it especially in acutes being like this.
Sheryl: Right. That’s where I’ve gone. That’s why I love Joette’s stuff because if you have this issue, here’s what you use. If you have this issue, here’s what you use. It just sticks in my head. So, it has made it easier to select remedies when I need them. Actually, a couple of weeks ago, I had bronchitis. I did not want to go on any medication. I actually searched. I Googled it. I was reading some stuff about Kali carb and I started it and it helped immediately. I was having trouble breathing and I took it. I was like, “Oh, I can breathe again,” like it was night and day. That helped so fast. That was mind-blowing because I hadn’t really used it in a severe — to me, bronchitis was getting a little more severe because I didn’t want to get pneumonia or have it get worse.
Paola: Good for you. I am always amazed by homeopathy. But then when you get sick again or something bad happens, you have an accident or something and you’re really depressed about it, right, because you don’t feel good. And then when the homeopathy works, it’s like, “Oh, why do I keep getting impressed and surprised with this when I know it works.” But when it works, you’re like, “Yes, it worked.”
Sheryl: I know.
Paola: This is so great. And you broke your foot as well, right?
Sheryl: Yes, I did. I broke my foot and actually sprained my ankle a couple of years back. Again, I used Arnica like I did with my daughter. Then I did use some Ruta because I knew for the sprain and again I was just starting to learn about Joette. Then I was reading that for the broken bone part, I was supposed to use Symphytum. So, I waited a little bit because she mentioned that you’re not supposed to use it until you know the bone is in place because it works so quickly. So, I did wait about a week until the doctor said everything was healing properly. Then I went ahead and used the Symphytum as well.
Paola: Yes, because I think she says, this is rough to even think about, but if your bone is not set properly in the right position and you started the Symphytum, it will fuse together in the wrong position. I mean, ultimately the doctor has to re-break the bone to fix it.
Sheryl: Right. That would not be fun. Yes.
Paola: That would be terrible.
Sheryl: Insult to injury for sure.
Paola: We do know homeopathy is wonderful and that we would never want to live without it. But I do want to gain a real picture. Has everything been easy and you just sailed through it with homeopathy or have there been some struggles?
Sheryl: I can’t say that homeopathy isn’t like a magic bullet in our household and we’re not all 100% health and the perfect human beings. I mean, we’re still real-life humans. We live in society. We don’t eat everything perfectly. My daughter actually has some food allergies. She’s had peanut allergy since she was really little and a couple of other food allergies and just some environmental allergies. And so, that’s something that we’re still working on. It’s like a process as we go. But I love homeopathy for a lot of the acute things like we’re talking about like injuries and my bronchitis and things like that that are coming up. Then I’m finding that I can reach for homeopathy and definitely not have any drugs in the house is really amazing.
Paola: Well, I feel like when it comes to chronic issues, we know that those things are going to be slower to uproot. Sometimes it’s slower even because you’re finding the right protocol and not just the situation. What’s really important about homeopathy, because the more distance you put from that last antibiotic, I guess this doesn’t account for you guys except for when your son had the antibiotic, but for me who’s had lots of antibiotics, the more distance I put between me and that last round which is years ago, the healthier I’m going to get.
Paola: It buys you time as you figure things out.
Sheryl: Yes. That’s why I love it so much. So now, we have things that we’re working on and we are going to still order out sometimes.
Sheryl: Yes. Sometimes we’ll either go to a party or go out to eat. I’ve learned from Joette the Nux vomica is great in those situations for say, overindulgence or maybe eating poor food choices. So, I do keep that one in my back pocket as well.
Paola: Oh, that’s good. So, you find success using Nux vomica when you party, so to speak.
Sheryl: Yes, exactly.
Paola: Let’s go back to what you do for work. You said you’re a nutritionist, which I think is so interesting and that you have started recently implementing homeopathic protocols that Joette teaches into your practice and you like that. Tell us about that.
Implementing Joette’s teachings & protocols into the practice of proper nutrition
Sheryl: Yes, you know what? I really have enjoyed using some of the protocols. Before I met Joette, I was just really working more with the Weston A. Price principle and helping people to change their diet so they’re eating more real food. I connect people with local farmers. I teach them how to make broths and things to help them health-wise. But now that I have the protocols with the homeopathy, I feel like I’m starting to give those to clients and they’re noticing shifts. Sometimes the diet changes take a little longer to see the shift. But with the homeopathy, and there’s a few of them that I actually use quite a bit, one being Lycopodium, Arsenicum.
Paola: Lycopodium 200 mixed with Arsenicum 200.
Sheryl: Right. Yes.
Sheryl: That’s one of the Banerji Protocols that Joette teaches in her Good Gut, Bad Gut class.
Sheryl: I’ve used that one probably the most out of all of them because so many people come in with bloating, and gas, and indigestion, and stomach aches, and whatnot. So, that’s been my go-to because I see so many people with digestive complaints that I really have been using that a lot. People seem to get relief very quickly. Then they’re more up to make more of the diet changes.
Paola: Right, because it’s like, “If I’m going to spend all this time boiling bones or making fermented stuff and still feel bloated, I might as well just eat my pizza that I like and feel bloated.”
Sheryl: Right, exactly. Yes, so it just helps because they work hand in hand so that they feel some relief. But then they’re also making their lifestyle changes that are necessary for ongoing health.
Paola: Right. I think Joette, her slogan used to be homeopathy where nutrition meets homeopathy. But now, she just feels like she wants to really laser-focus on the homeopathy. It is such a broad subject that she’s spending less time educating on the diet especially because I feel like there are so many people like you out there and different bloggers who are educating people on diet and so, she felt like that wasn’t as needed. But you’re right. I do think that it can help speed what the diet does for people.
Sheryl: Right, right. Yes. I mean, I think that’s like a missing piece that really helps accelerate the healing.
Paola: I was speaking with a Weston A. Price chapter leader. Joette is working on a project for Weston A. Price chapter leaders, a presentation. One of the things that we got out of the meeting is that when Joette taught her Good Gut, Bad Gut course several years ago (I mean what was it, like four years ago), she said that a healthy diet — like you were saying the Weston A. Price principles of bone broth, raw milk, and all that stuff — takes care of 70% of the symptoms. What you’re left with is a 30% illness. But what Joette has witnessed in her practice and what other chapter leaders are seeing is that people are becoming sicker and sicker. Joette is seeing the reversal where diet is getting them 30% better and they’re left with 70% which is really concerning. Have you seen some of that? Is that a growing trend that you’ve witnessed anecdotally with your clients?
Sheryl: I do feel similar in that respect. I feel like there’s a lot more digestive issues coming out and autoimmune conditions and things that I just don’t always feel like diet is enough. Although I do think it’s huge and definitely has to be addressed but not always enough to give people relief really from what they’re feeling or to see healing. That’s where I think the homeopathy helps so much because I think people feel a shift.
Paola: Yes. Yes, because it is like you said, deflating when you’ve done all the work for the diet and you’re not feeling better yet.
Paola: Would you be willing to share with us a few of your other favorite protocols that you’ve been using with your nutrition clients?
Sheryl: Yes. One of the other ones is actually the Lycopodium 200 with the Plumbum 200, mixed. That one actually is amazing for constipation.
Sheryl: I seriously doubted it. I was like, “Okay, is this even going to work?” I actually had to use it on myself because I was struggling with that, just being open and honest here.
Sheryl: So, I took it. Literally, I swear, it worked overnight.
Sheryl: I mean, I don’t want to be graphic or anything but it was just like, “Okay. I am sold. This is the remedy I’m going to start using.” So, I started using it with some clients too. I have to say that they agree with me. Maybe not everybody overnight but if they stick with it, they notice the change.
Paola: Right. I can relate, too because the day after Thanksgiving, leading up to Thanksgiving, I was preparing food for the week of Thanksgiving. I’m snacking on stuff. I feel like we have pretty healthy Thanksgiving. But I’m probably overindulging and I, myself got constipated. The day after Thanksgiving, we were going to this fair where we were going to be walking around all day outside. I took the Lyco Plumbum before we left. I was like, “Oh, shoot! I shouldn’t have done that,” because I just had, and again I don’t want to be graphic, but just nice, healthy bowel movements all day. I was like, “I got to go to the bathroom again. You guys, I’m so sorry.” I was like, “Okay. Next time, I’m going to wait until after the fair to do the protocol.”
Sheryl: Right, right.
Paola: Good. Any other protocols that you think our listeners might enjoy knowing about? I mean, these are all protocols that Joette has talked about on the blog and in her courses but it’s nice to have them all in one place here on this podcast.
Sheryl: Right, right. Yes. You know what? Actually, I had a client who probably she was on vacation. They have gone out to dinner. She felt horrible after dinner. We pretty much narrowed it down. It sounded like a food poisoning type thing. So, I actually gave her the Arsenicum.
Paola: Okay. Do you remember what potency?
Sheryl: You know what? She could only get the 30.
Sheryl: She had to get it locally at the store. So, I told her to take the Arsenicum 30. I told her to take it actually every 15 minutes.
Paola: Okay, yes. So, it was pretty severe.
Sheryl: Yes. She couldn’t move. She was in horrible pain. She said she felt better within an hour.
Paola: Wow! That’s an improvement. Wow!
Sheryl: Yes. So that was one. Now, I actually sometimes use that even for people if they say they’ve gone out to dinner and then they have a stomachache. I’ve used it with a couple of other people and they’ve had relief, even if they don’t know for sure if it’s food poisoning.
Paola: Right, it’s just that stomach pain.
Sheryl: But if they’re having issues after eating out, then I found out that one just works really well. Again, I use the Nux vomica if people go a party or overindulge or maybe drink too much. Then I recommended to that to people with success.
Paola: Interesting. Then the Arsenicum for that stomach pain when they’ve gone out, is that Arsenicum 6?
Sheryl: You know what? I’ve used both.
Sheryl: I’ve used actually Arsenicum 6 for some congestion and Arsenicum 30 more for the stomach pain. But I know she suggests some different ways at different times.
Paola: [0:23:18 crosstalk]
Paola: I know for us, before Joette, we did the full GAPS. We started Intro to GAPS and did all the steps. My four kids, they still refer to like, “Mom, remember that one time we went to the park?” I’m like, “I don’t remember.” It was before we ate soup. I’m like, “Oh, boy.”
Paola: I know. It traumatized them. I know. That’s how they remember. It’s like this key time in our life when we ate a lot of soup. Anyway, as we transitioned out of the GAPS diet, my middle little boy, he was having lots of stomach pain. He was like, “Mom, my tummy hurts. Mom, my tummy hurts.” We’re drinking raw milk. We have a Jersey in the backyard. So, we’re eating well. We’re having lots of the good foods like you’re talking about. But he would still have this nagging tummy pain. So, we did do the Bovista protocol that you learn in the Good Gut, Bad Gut course with food intolerances. But also in addition to that, not mixed, but we did Colocynthis 30 twice a day. That helped tremendously. That was tremendously helpful for stomach pains for him. I think if you take the course, you can learn about the Arsenicum for stomach pain and the Colocynthis and differentiate between the two and what situations they’d be best served.
Sheryl: Yes, for sure. Yes, they’re both great remedies.
Paola: In closing, since we’ve been talking about diet and homeopathy, you used to be extreme with your Weston A. Price principles of diet. You’ve shifted from that. I think homeopathy has helped you do that. So, why don’t you tell us a little bit about that angle?
Using moderate diet with the remedies
Sheryl: Yes. I would say definitely with help from Joette in teaching me about how much the homeopathy can help as well as still eating some of the foods that we want to eat or that are available to us, it helped me lighten up a little bit as far as how strict I am on diet. Maybe everything doesn’t have to be home-made or sprouted or cooked in broth or raw every second. So, I guess I’ve just lightened up a little bit and yet, I’m using the remedies regularly. Like I said, my daughter has some food allergies so I am using the Bovista and some of the other food intolerance remedies that she suggests in the course. And so, hopefully, my goal is to be able to feel that without having to be so extreme on the diet.
Paola: Right, exactly. I think that’s the way to do it. I mean Joette says, and this is like blasphemy for a nutritionist, but she says, “You should be able to have McDonald’s.” Not that you ought to, but you should be able to do that.
Sheryl: Yes, not that I would ever want that.
Paola: I know. That’s gross. But yes. Remember what she said in the Good Gut, Bad Gut course? Do you remember this where she said, “I had an Egg McMuffin this week.”? And I was just like, “Oh, my goodness! This is like blasphemy.”
Paola: But I remember she was leaving town for an emergency with a family member. It’s nice to not have to pack the whole cooler full of specialized food and just be where your family needs you.
Sheryl: Yes, and even my client who travels a lot, now she just carries the Arsenicum with her. She now uses that when she has the stomach pain after eating out. She just can’t even believe it.
Paola: That’s awesome.
Sheryl: So, she’s still able to eat out and yet has some relief either with that or Nux vomica. She found what works for her now. It’s pretty amazing.
Paola: You remind me of the moms with moxie who have a lot of children, like Gaylyn, I think she has seven or eight children because you have all these clients. So, you get to see the homeopathy working for so many people on a regular basis.
Sheryl: Right, right. That’s interesting. I always have such gratitude to those mothers out there who have so many. I’m always in awe of them.
Paola: Yes, for sure. I know it. Well, Sheryl, thank you so much for letting me pick your brain on all things homeopathy and for being willing to chat with us. I think that your message is valuable. I love the combination that you brought in, that angle of diet with homeopathy. I think that’s wonderful. Thank you so much.
Sheryl: Well, thank you. I really appreciate you having me.
Joette: Are you or someone you know a mom with moxie? Well, we’re on the hunt for you. Of course, we don’t want to hear just from moms but from anyone who uses and loves homeopathy. Reach out to my podcast team and let us know why you’re a mom with moxie. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for listening to this podcast with Joette Calabrese. If you liked it, please share it with your friends. To learn more and find out if homeopathy is a good fit in your health strategy, visit joettecalabrese.com.
These Moms with Moxie podcasts are designed to be inspirational, not specifically educational. No Remedy Card is provided.