Balance your health with these plant-based therapies.

Looking for gentle, natural methods of healing for yourself and your family? Consider adding homeopathic remedies and flower essences to your herbal medicine cabinet.

Homeopathic RemediesBased on the principle of "like cures like," the medical system of homeopathy was developed by German physician Samuel Hahneman in the late 1700s. Instead of suppressing symptoms, homeopathy uses infinitesimal amounts of plant, mineral and animal substances to stimulate the body's healing defenses. According to homeopath Dana Ullman, M.P.H., author of several books including Homeopathy A to Z (Hay House), this 200-year-old method of healing can be used at home to safely and effectively treat a wide spectrum of acute health problems. The closer you can match your specific symptoms to the homeopathic remedy, Ullman advises, the more effective it will be.

While homeopathy looks at both the physical symptoms and emotional state of the individual, flower essences concentrate on mental, emotional and spiritual disharmony, explains Stefan Ball, consultant and principal of the Dr. Edward Bach Foundation in Oxfordshire, England, and author of Principles of Bach Flower Remedies (Thorsons). The founder of this system, Edward Bach (1897­1936), believed that physical illness was a manifestation of emotional imbalance. According to Bach, "Flower essences return us to our own path and thus a healthful state, not by attacking the disease, but by flooding our bodies with higher vibrations."

The following charts address a number of homeopathic and flower essence remedies. While it is always advisable to consult your health care practitioner for any chronic or serious health problem, all ages can look to these nontoxic methods of healing to help balance body, mind and spirit.

Vonalda M. Utterback is a certified nutritionist and freelance writer in Erie, Colo.

Photography by: Joe Hancock