Traditionally, homeopaths have often asked patients to quit coffee while taking homeopathic remedies, warning that coffee-drinking may antidote their treatment.
At Phoenix, we try not to be too prescriptive about this, reasoning that if the patient’s vital energy has already reacted to the stimulus of the homeopathic remedy, there’s a fair chance that ingesting a material substance like coffee won’t reverse this reaction. Indeed, well-known homeopath Ian Watson jokes about a case in which the patient misheard his homeopath, and put his remedy in his mug of coffee: and the remedy still worked well.
Nevertheless, patients having homeopathy often choose to swap their morning latte for a herbal tea or a mug of hot water with a slice of lemon, and generally feel the benefits of increased and sustained energy through the day. And if you’re someone who gets jittery or overstimulated after drinking coffee, or if you’re trying to detox, coffee’s best avoided.
Latest research on coffee and health
A new study from Finland has shown that coffee drinkers are at increased risk of high blood pressure. The odd thing is that, although the research showed that drinking coffee increased the risk of high blood pressure, there was no link between the amount of coffee consumed and increased risk of high blood pressure. The risk was the same among those who drank one cup daily, and those who drank eight cups or more each day.
According to the National Public Health Institute of Helsinki, the “relationship between coffee consumption and cardiovascular disease risk is complicated, and further studies are needed.”
A related study showed that people who didn’t drink any coffee at all had a lower risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) than those who drank up to three cups each day.
Symptoms that may be associated with drinking coffee
Coffee may interfere with your body’s ability to keep homocysteine and bad cholesterol levels in check, most likely by inhibiting the action of the vitamins folate, B12 or B6.
Studies have shown that caffeine can raise your levels of stress hormones. In large quantities, it can lead to heart palpitations, jitters and nervousness.
Since coffee is a stimulant, it’s likely to worsen anxiety. People with panic or anxiety disorders may be especially sensitive to caffeine and may find that even a small amount of the stimulant exacerbates their problem.
And we all know that caffeine will linger in your body for hours after you drink it, so for some of us it adds to insomnia, keeping us awake at night even if we drink it long before bedtime.
Pregnant women are often advised to avoid coffee, because it’s suspected of increasing the risk of miscarriage.
Homeopathic help for ‘coffee addicts’
If you’d like help to reduce your caffeine intake, ask your homeopath if a few doses of the homeopathic remedy Nux vomica would be helpful. This remedy can help with caffeine withdrawal headaches, make us less dependent on coffee (and other stimulants like cigarettes), and tends to suit ‘liverish’ types, including people who are stressed, bad-tempered or who find it hard to get going in the mornings without their caffeine hit.
Time after time, I’ve had patients report that their morning ‘fog’, grumpiness, nausea or inability to face breakfast resolves after a course of this remedy, and they’ve often found that they naturally and painlessly reduce their coffee intake, too!