Essential oils, like all strong-smelling substances, will antidote homoeopathic remedies, and for this reason it is not always wise to try to combine these two modes of treatment.

Homoeopaths recommend that no strongly scented substances in particular peppermint, camphor and coffee - should be consumed, or used, within a certain time of using a homoeopathic remedy. The time that must elapse to avoid antidoting the remedy varies according to the speed with which the remedy is expected to take effect. Standard homoeopathic remedies sold in chemists and healthfood shops generally state ha!f-an-hour, but many homoeopaths would disagree with this. Three hours is often given as a minimum, and if the remedy being used is a very slow-working one, it may be necessary to avoid scented substances for weeks, or even months.

Should you wish to use aromatic baths, or receive massage with essential oils, for example, while taking a homoeopathic remedy, it is important to find out which of these categories your remedy falls into. If you take Nux Vomica for a stomach upset and your stomach is relieved quickly, there is no reason why you should not safely have a comforting massage later in the same day, but if you are receiving treatment for a long-standing condition which is expected to respond only gradually to the remedy, then you should talk with your homoeopathic doctor before using essential oils in any form.

Obviously; essential oils should be stored far away from homoeopathic remedies. A few essential oils (or the plants from which they are obtained) have a reputation since ancient times as antidotes to various poisons. Fennel is the most noted of these, and is certainly a valuable aid to eliminating toxins from the body, though whether it will really counteract poisoning from snake bites, poisonous plants or mushrooms as claimed in the old herbals, nobody has put to the test in modern times.

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