IN THIS PODCAST, WE COVER:
01:23 Everything we do has meaning
04:22 Stop spending your good health
15:24 Classical background, stocking up on remedies, and organizing notes
20:08 Homeopathy for all conditions
22:08 Make your bed
23:37 Combination remedies
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:
You are listening to a podcast from practicalhomeopathy.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.
Joette: We always think when we’re young, “Oh, that will never happen to me,” the proverbial, “I’ll just flit through life almost like a magpie, ‘Oh, something shiny. I think I’ll chase after that for a while.’” That’s why I felt, when I looked back, it feels as though my life was like a magpie.
Kate: You are listening to Podcast Number 47 at practicalhomeopathy.com with Joette Calabrese. In today’s podcast, Joette takes a look back at her life as a mother and homeopath. She will share with us the wisdom that she has gained from her many years of experience. If you’re like me, you love to learn and would love to sit with Joette for just 30 minutes and pick her brain. Well, we will do just that. So, grab a pen and some paper and let’s hear from Joette.
Hi. I’m Kate and I’m here with Joette today. I was thinking to myself, what would I ask Joette if I had the opportunity to sit down and just chat with her for say, half an hour or an hour. What pressing question … or how would I narrow it down to one burning question? Joette, this is what I came up with: Looking back now with all of your experience with homeopathy in your family, your life’s experience, what would you tell your younger self?
Everything we do has meaning
Joette: I think I would say, “Stop it! Just stop that! Stop acting like that way, like that, stop thinking that way.” Really, if I could — oh — if I could just undo my mistakes. I made so many stupid mistakes. So, if I could get myself, I would shake her. I would tell her to … I would slap her across the face and say, “Get a grip, girl. It’s not about this or that. It’s about this.” So, what is “this?” “This” is that everything we do is meaningful. I don’t want to put a guilt trip on everyone but, you know, we’ve all made mistakes. But, everything we do has meaning. And not only does it have meaning for us, but it has meaning and rippling effects into the world around us. Our parents are affected by our behavior. Our children are affected by our decisions, our grandchildren, even our great-grandchildren.
I mean, my grandparents came to this country from Sicily. That decision — both sides — that decision that they both made has rippled through hundreds of people’s lives, hundreds (because they had large families on both sides, and now their children — who are my parents — and their grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren). So, think about that one decision to leave a horrible place, such as Sicily. It was horrible for them: grinding poverty, heavy government hand on them in addition to the grinding — well, that’s the reason there was grinding poverty, as far as I’m concerned. And, they decided to come as young adults and make a whole new life. My goodness! What a difference it made in so many people’s lives.
So, we think that every day when we think of doing this or that, we think it has no consequence. Everything we do has a consequence. Everything goes out there, good or bad, whether it’s called a consequence or an advantage. So, I wish I had been more mindful of that. I wish I had had more wisdom. Of course, wisdom doesn’t come with youth, it comes with age. We always think when we’re young, “Oh, that will never happen to me,” the proverbial, “I’ll just flit through life almost like a magpie, ‘Oh, something shiny. I think I’ll chase after that for a while.’”
That’s why I felt, when I looked back, it feels as though my life was like a magpie. I was too influenced by shiny objects. I don’t mean literally, although, I like jewelry, too. But I mean, I was too influenced by the first thing that came to my mind or the first thing that came before me. So, that’s what youth is. It’s a misguided understanding of what’s important. The hierarchies of importance are not there. Parents tell the children, but we don’t listen. I didn’t. I didn’t listen. I made a lot of really stupid mistakes. So, that’s one thing.
Stop spending your good health
I guess I would say stop spending. Stop spending money. Stop spending your good health because it may not always be there. We want to save for that rainy day because it’s inevitable. Life has its twists and turns.
Kate: So, what does that mean exactly to you, Joette, when you say, “Stop spending your good health?” What does that mean?
Joette: Well, when I was a young woman, everyone smoked cigarettes. So, that was really foolish of me. We drank alcohol. I would never say that I went into an alcoholic binging. I wasn’t like that. But, that’s part of it. And not worrying about eating properly. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that the youth should be worried about eating the proper foods. But, there should be a baseline that preparing your own meals is a very important part of being an adult and eating foods that are made from scratch as much as possible.
Also, when you have a cold or flu, you don’t run to the doctor and get a drug. I mean I used to get urinary tract infections here and there and I would just take an antibiotic. I never gave it a thought. Why would I put anything in my body without knowing what the consequences might be? That’s spending your health without realizing. To this day, I still am amazed at how many people I meet with … and again, I am not slapping people on the back of the hand because many folks have just not thought about this. So, here’s an opportunity for us to discuss it. But, I’m surprised at how many people take drugs and have several conditions. We look up the drug and look up the side effects, and there’s the condition that they have.
Joette: It’s a secondary condition or the tertiary condition. I said, “Did you know that the drug that you’ve been taking for 10 years has been known to cause the condition that you are now suffering from for the last five years?”
Kate: I think you mentioned that with inhalers for asthma, right?
Kate: What’s the medication that’s commonly used?
Joette: Steroids, certainly … steroid inhalers.
Kate: I remember you saying that about steroid inhalers, that they can actually cause asthma. And that’s what doctors prescribe for asthma!
Joette: Yes. It’s uncanny how drugs cause such trouble, but people don’t think twice about it. They just believe what they’re told and accept it. There should come a time in all of our lives when we say, “Enough! That’s enough. I now have to do my homework.” And in today’s world, with the access to information that we have, there really is almost no excuse for not looking up what the side effects of drugs are.
I would never expect someone to read all the side effects because that’s longer than a Russian novel. And you know how you can’t pronounce those Russian names in War and Peace, that’s sort of the same idea. You can’t pronounce those words! You’ll never get through all. So instead, you’ll look up online. Does this condition that I have … is it caused by that drug, or does this drug cause this condition (any condition you might have)? You might have asthma, but my hair is falling out for goodness’ sakes. Is alopecia the result of taking this inhaler? Find out.
But. I also caution you that now, the industry is smart enough to have picked up on this. The first page, they will give you a lead to saying that, indeed, it can cause asthma. You open it up, and then there’s nothing. I mean there’s information, but it has nothing to do with the title of the lead of the article. And they expect people just to give up after page one, two, or three. So, you have to dig further. You’ve got to keep looking.
Or, I got an idea, how about asking the pharmacist? He’s the guy who knows! The doctors don’t know. Doctors do not — excuse me, I know this is a blanket sweeping statement — doctors do not know their medicines like they should. The medicines change too quickly.
Kate: Right, how can they know everything about every medicine?
Joette: Well, not only that but the last medicine that they’ve been using, you know, Tylenol, whatever it might be was just yanked from the market. Now, they’ve got a new one to replace it. Their drug rep comes in — in tall, 3-inched stiletto heels, and a short skirt, bearing donuts and chicken wings — and showing him the new drug that replaces that old drug. So, as long as people understand, it’s not that the doctors are bad guys. It’s that they couldn’t possibly keep up! It’s up to you to keep up!
So, if I could speak to my younger self, I would say, “Hello, it’s your life. Not the doctor’s life, not your parents’ life, it’s your life.” So, what we put into it is what we get out of it. You don’t get to this point in learning about health as I have learned. You don’t get here at once; you get here at last!
So, when someone you love (an aunt, or a cousin, or something), comes to you and says, “You know, I’m really sick. I’ve got this, this, and this.” And you’re trying to direct them — especially in severe illnesses like cancer or something — and you want them to learn about homeopathy, find a doctor who treats cancer with homeopathy, et cetera. The path that you have been following is your path. Their path is brand new. Suddenly, bam! Now, they’ve got this terrible diagnosis.
You can’t expect them to shorten it and tighten it up to suit your time schedule. Because as I said: You don’t get here at once, you get here at last. It takes a long time to get to the point where you say, “Okay, I don’t like that drug. I don’t like what that did to me. Or you know what? It’s not really working! Or it might be working on this, but it’s causing that.” And you do it again and again and again. After a while, we get slapped upside the head by the drug, and we realize this was a mistake. That’s how we come to this. No one comes to homeopathy at first glance. They’re not born and then suddenly say, “Okay mom, here’s the deal. I want homeopathy.” You have to suffer. You have to suffer at the hand of drugs and ill-treatment through certain conventional medical methods.
Kate: So, you would say to your younger self maybe make informed choices? Don’t just trust someone else with the decisions that affect your life? Really do your research, your homework, right?
Joette: Yes, it’s like getting a mortgage. I mean do you just go to the bank and they say, “Okay, the rate is 12%.” You say, “Okay, I’ll pay 12%. Over 30 years? Sure.” “And there are 5 points?” “Okay.” Then five years later, you find out, 12%! What are you doing? This is 2018! It should have been 3% with no points. Whoops! You didn’t do your homework.
Now, that’s not going to happen in a free market, generally speaking. They know they’re not going to get away with 12% if it’s 3%. But I’m being a little fictitious in the exaggeration, but what if they charge 3.5% when you could have gotten 3%? That would make a huge difference in your lifestyle. So, think of this as buying a house. How about buying a car? At least if nothing else when it comes to your health, kick the tires. Hold still, Doc!
Kate: Let me see what shakes out.
Joette: I mean, at least go to the blue book. Check out the value for goodness’ sakes.
Joette: If you don’t do that then, unfortunately, we end up on this long trail of drug-after-drug-after-drug-after-procedure-after-drug. It’s a freight train. It’s a freight train. Once you step on, it will zoom you away. You will be so caught up in the world of drug-after-drug.
I had an aunt who was not that sickly, but she had a urination problem. It was really becoming bothersome. She was in her early 80s when this was happening. She went to the doctor, and she got a drug. Then that caused trouble with her throat and her eyes. They got very dry. Then she would cough. She’d go into coughing fits. Her eyes would burn and hurt. It felt like sand in her eyes.
Then she went back and got another drug for that and then drug after that. I finally said, “Why are you going to the doctor for this? Why don’t you be more hands-on here? Let’s figure out why you’re urinating so frequently.” Well, I knew why she was urinating so frequently. She was drinking — and I know you’re not going to believe this. I’ve talked about this before. She made a big coffee pot of coffee every day, and the coffee pot held 20 cups. She drank all but two, every day!
Kate: Oh wow!
Joette: She drank EIGHTEEN cups of coffee daily. I said, “Aunt Mary, that might have something to do with your kidneys, your bladder, your ureter, your urethra. I think you need to back off of that coffee. That’s what’s causing the trouble.” Now, why did that urologist not tell her that? Why didn’t he say, “How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?” I knew that. I’m not a doctor. And this was long ago. How come I knew that? Because it’s common sense! It’s just common sense.
It draws out the fluids from the body. That’s why when people drink coffee, they often have a bowel movement shortly after — besides the stimulation of it — it’s a diuretic. So, this diuretic was playing on her body for all these years causing urination trouble. Instead of saying, “Let’s just be logical.” No, he said, “Here, take this drug. And then take this one for that, and that one for this.” And her answer was, “Yeah, but Joette … it’s free! I don’t have to pay for this.” I said, “Aunt Mary, that’s why you shouldn’t go — because it’s free.”
Joette: Because if you have no skin in the game, so to speak, if you’re not paying for this information, you’re not going to really value it as much as you ought to. You need to do your homework. That’s not a good reason to go to a doctor – because it’s free. In fact, it’s the worst.
Kate: So, did she stop drinking the coffee?
Joette: Yes, she did. She did, and then she started to get terrible headaches. Of course, her first thought was to go to the doctor and get pain reliever. But instead, I gave her Coffea and Nux vomica, and it helped with the headaches a great deal. So finally, she didn’t stop coffee completely, but she stopped it enough. I believe she went down to about five cups a day. Now, let me also explain this: She was 4’11 and probably weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. So, it amazes me that she was even able to get that much down. But, 18 cups of coffee in a 4-foot-11 person is pretty intense.
Classical background, stocking up on remedies, and organizing notes
Kate: Okay, so let’s talk now about looking back at your younger self when you started getting into homeopathy, and you were on the right track … away from the medications. What advice would you give yourself about how to go about healing your family using homeopathy now with the information that you have?
Joette: Well, I wish I had had the Banerji Protocols back then. I was craving them. I wanted protocols. On the other hand, having studied classical homeopathy to the degree that I did — and I spent years studying it — it was very beneficial. So, from the time that I learned homeopathy, I would say I did it right. I’ll be honest with you, I think I did it right. If I had had the Banerji Protocols, I would have still studied classical homeopathy because it’s so valuable as an underpinning for someone who eventually goes into practice or starts writing or teaching. But for a mom who has no intention of doing that, these practical applications of homeopathy are so golden that someone could easily skip right over classical and get right to the meat of the problem.
Kate: If your intention is not to go into practice …
Joette: Right. If you’re planning on going into practice or teaching, then you really ought to have a classical background because this is all based on classical.
Kate: So, what about purchasing remedies. I know you often say purchase as much as you can, as often as you can. Stock up! So, looking back, would you have anything to say to your younger self about the remedies … about getting remedies?
Joette: I can just say that whenever I could afford more, I bought more. But, I did do this: Mother’s Day, birthdays, Christmas … I asked for homeopathy, homeopathy books, homeopathy classes, remedies, homeopathy kits. My focus was homeopathy, homeopathy, homeopathy because it was the essence of how I was raising my family and treating my husband and my parents and our livestock and our pets. So, I couldn’t get enough. I still can’t get enough. I still go to India every year. This year, I’m not going because of some family losses that we’ve had, and my family needs me here. But it’s something that will never disappear in my life. I must always keep learning. We must do that, all of us.
Kate: So, here’s another question. If you could only take one book with you, what book would you take with you? What homeopathic book?
Joette: Oh, homeopathic book … because I would say the Bible would be first to be honest because there is all the wisdom. Aside from something that would protect me spiritually, one book. Well, when I was younger, it would have been my repertory, so the Synthesis. Yes, I would take the Synthesis.
Kate: So, when you say the Synthesis, is that the name of a repertory? Is it an author?
Joette: Yes, it is the name of the repertory. As I matured in my homeopathic knowledge, it would probably be my notebook, the notes that I’ve kept for years.
Kate: Yes, I agree with you. After having studied with you for many years and taking your classes and just learned about homeopathy in general, my notes — having those organized in one place that I can easily refer to them is invaluable to me.
Joette: Well, and organizing our notes is not a job. It’s actually total pleasure because while you’re organizing them, you’re learning more. You’re memorizing more. You can’t help it but to do it 2, 3, 4, 20 times. Organize, organize, organize! I love doing that. It’s my dessert at the end of the day.
Now, we’ve just moved, and I’ve just organized my remedies and some of my papers. I look forward to it. We have dinner. We go for a walk. We sit down in the living room, and I start at it and I love it. It’s total pleasure to me. Now, if it’s not total pleasure to you, that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be that way for everyone. But that just happens to be mine. And of course, if you have young children? Yeah. Right. Because it’s bedtime, and there’s a lot of work to be done.
Kate: Maybe midnight, you’ll get to organizing them, right?
Joette: Right, right, right. When my children were young, I would do it while they were playing, or when they were sleeping. Whatever they were doing, I was doing it right alongside them so that they saw their mother doing purposeful work. What was she doing? She was organizing remedies. She was folding clothes. She was making meals. She was cleaning the house. She was tending to the other child. That’s part of mothering is for children to see this purposeful work. I can’t think of anything more purposeful than planning for the eventuality of someone’s illness.
Homeopathy for all conditions
Kate: Okay, so you talk to a lot of people, every day a lot of people over the course of a year. You sort of having a pulse on what these people who are hungry for healing their families naturally using homeopathy, what they’re going through. So, pretend you’re speaking to a wide audience of them. What advice, knowing the kinds of questions, the kinds of things that they come to you with, what kind of advice do you have for them?
Joette: Well, one of the questions that I see repeatedly asked is, “What about my case? What about my child’s case? Does homeopathy uproot eczema? Can homeopathy help my husband with GERD? Can I be helped with …?” and then fill in the blank. And everyone believes that their illness or their child’s illness is the one exception, and perhaps homeopathy can’t help with. But I’ve yet to see where homeopathy hasn’t been invaluable in just about every condition there is.
Now, if someone’s in an automobile accident, obviously you’re going to get care from an emergency room. But that doesn’t mean you don’t use homeopathy, too, to help with the shockiness, and hemorrhaging, and hematomas, et cetera. If you could use both, that would be great. A friend of mine’s son just had surgery, and of course, he had surgery. He needed surgery on the shoulder. Homeopathy can take it so far, and then there can a time when surgery is needed. I love that there’s surgery available to us. I think it’s used too often, but it is invaluable when it’s necessary.
So, for the pain, he could have been given oxycodone or those kinds of drugs, and his mom is using homeopathy. Wow! Can you imagine that? I mean this is a young man. And so, we don’t want a young man taking oxycodone every day for pain. We all know how serious the consequences are to something like that. I’m not saying he should never take it. But until she got the right remedy, she had to administer it a couple of times. But, we want to back off as soon as possible.
Make your bed
Kate: So, is there anything else that you can think of that when people …as you’re talking to people all the time … it’s something that generally you want to say?
Joette: I would also say to most moms or to moms in general that this is their one opportunity. You only get one. This is it. You’ve got it right now. I just talked to a young woman who was pregnant the other day. I said this is it. You have nine months. At the end of the nine months, that baby is out of your body. What you eat, what you think, what you do everyday matters. If you pray everyday, that unborn baby will get that. If you watch pornography everyday, that baby will get that. If you eat good quality, pasture-raised eggs or just good quality eggs and good quality cheese, that baby will get that. The baby will also get the alcohol or the diet soda.
So, we have to be intentional. We need to be practically militaristic. Get up in the morning. Make your bed. I don’t mean that specifically. I mean figuratively. Make your bed. That means okay, this is done now. We finish that task. We go to the next task. You have to be intentional about your life. If you want to learn homeopathy and that’s your intention, you’ll get it. You’ll do it. I know because I’ve done it, and there’s nothing different about me.
Kate: So, one of the things, Joette, that I hear often as long as we’re talking about what kind of advice, tell us what your advice would be about using a combination remedy that has maybe five to ten ingredients in it. You know, they vary widely as to the number of ingredients. Along with say … you are taking … you’ve taken one of your courses and now you’re taking two remedies for say, allergies. What kind of advice would you give people about using those combination remedies in addition to say, two, three, four other remedies that they’re using?
Joette: Well, years ago when I was classical, and I was classical for many years where I was trained that you use one remedy at a time, I would become squeamish over the thought of using a combination remedy. I may even have some old information on my blog regarding that. Actually, I’ve thought about taking it off, but then that doesn’t show my growth in all of this.
But, through the years, I’ve learned through my own experiences and those of my clients and students and friends, et cetera, that they still work even if you’re using several remedies. So why not? Why would you allow someone to suffer, when you can give them something that will help? Now having said that, we don’t want to go over the top either. And there is a tipping point where we can become so worried about our health or our children’s health that we just throw remedies at them or ourselves. That’s not prudent.
So, it is important to stay with those remedies that you know are correct, that you’ve got a good rationale and you’re seeing, perhaps, you’re seeing results already. And then if someone gets the flu, you use a combination medicine, for example. Or there’s an ear infection, you use that combination ear infection medicine, and you add that in there as well. I don’t have any trouble with that. So, if there are five remedies in one combination, and you’re already taking three for a chronic condition, I think that’s perfectly acceptable.
Kate: Okay. So, some of them have upwards of eight, nine different medicines.
Joette: I know there are some. I’m not up on all of them. But the ones that Boiron make, and the ones that Hyland's make, and the pharmacies that I’m most familiar with generally have about four to five. Now, if you find the some that have 20 in them, now I would think twice. That’s too much potshot. Now, they’re just throwing it up against the wall to see if it sticks. That’s not tight enough.
What I like about those pharmacies, Washington Homeopathics, and Hahnemann Pharmacy, and Boiron, of course, and Hyland’s, and OHM for my students and clients, what I love about … Helios … about them is that they know their stuff. They’ve been around a long time, and they’re not just throwing stuff together and coming up with a potential combo. They know what their product is. They’ve had it out for a long time, and their pharmacists are quite sophisticated.
Kate: So, I think there are two sides to this, right? I remember you talking to a group of our Gateway students and telling them to make some choices. That perhaps if they’re looking at taking a combination remedy for weight loss, say, right, and they’re dealing with some chronic issues — well, maybe the weight loss isn’t as important as the chronic issues.
Joette: Well, that’s a good point. And I like that you brought that up because oftentimes, when you’re taking a homeopathic schedule for chronic conditions, the weight just falls away — or whatever it might be, alopecia, or chronic conjunctivitis. Those things will often fall to the wayside when you treat the chronic anyway, so, don’t address it specifically. Allow the remedies to act most fully and see where you go with that. You might be very surprised to find out that that’s resolved seemingly on its own, but it’s because you were using the correct medicines for those chronic conditions.
Kate: Yes, don’t you see that over and over in talking with people?
Joette: Yes, all the time, all the time. So, what I hear is, “Oh my gosh! We were dealing with my arthritis, but I’m sleeping better. And not only that, but I don’t have the burping anymore. In addition to that, my libido is back.” What do you know? It’s all connected.
Kate: I know. Isn’t that exciting when you find remedies, and it just helps everything.
Joette: Yes, yes, the shoulder bone’s connected to the elbow bone, there’s no doubt about it. The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone. The hip bone’s connected to the backbone.
Kate: Oh yes!
Joette: The backbone’s connected to the shoulder bone. The shoulder bone’s connected to the neck bone. The neck bone’s connected to the head bone. Now hear the word of the Lord. I love that song, DEM Bones.
Kate: DEM Bones! Maybe that should be your theme song.
Joette: Yes, if I could leave with any words, I would say don’t follow someone else’s rules. Unless you’re young, then follow your parent’s rules. But by the time you’re a mother or grandmother, don’t follow someone else’s rules. You have to find out for yourself. I urge you to determine who it is you hold in highest esteem and follow that — potentially — that person for a while, and then go to another person and follow …
I mean, I follow a lot of political pundits who I hold in high regard, and I listen to many of them. I try to synthesize what I think is most valuable in how it relates to my life and the life of my family and my clients and students. But, I don’t follow their rules. I listen to their information because they’ve done more research. So, it forces us all to be independent thinkers. Take this on. It’s your life. It’s your child’s life. This is where the rubber meets the road!
Kate: You just listened to a podcast from practicalhomeopathy.com where nationally certified homeopath, public speaker, and author, Joette Calabrese shares her passion for helping families stay strong through homeopathy and nutrient-dense nutrition. Joette’s podcasts are available on iTunes, Google Play, Blueberry, Stitcher, and TuneIn radio.
Thank you for listening to this podcast with Joette Calabrese. To learn more and find out if homeopathy is a good fit for your health strategy, visit practicalhomeopathy.com.