Feeling faint is a weakness or lack of strength but actual fainting is a temporary loss of consciousness. Generally caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, fainting may also be induced by low blood sugar, toxins in the bloodstream, such as drugs, occasionally food to which the individual is allergic, or shock.

Evolutionary, a faint was a survival mechanism. Lying completely still or feigning death apparently encouraged the predator to ignore the carcass’ in favour of that individual still alive. We are rarely confronted by such life and death situations in modern Western life but we still have the tendency in response to sudden shocks or prolonged anxiety, such as before exams or public speaking.


An occasional faint may just be a characteristic of an individual and, provided that there is an obvious trigger, no further action need be taken.

Frequent or repeated fainting requires investigation by an orthodox medical practitioner. Attention should be paid to hypoglycaemia, arterial occlusion and input of drugs or alcohol.

The homeopathic remedies aconite, Arsenicum album, Sepia and Veretrum album should all be reviewed in a homeopathic manual.

Repeated faints without any obvious pathological cause as defined following full medical investigation should be reviewed by a homeopath, nutritionist and cranial osteopath.