If you’ve ever raised or are raising a colicky baby - you understand what an ordeal that is for the child and the parents. Exhausting is one word that comes to mind. Exasperating is another.
Though colic is as old as mankind, in 1954, Dr. Morris Wessel, a well-known New Haven, Connecticut pediatrician, defined an infant with colic as “one who, otherwise healthy and well-fed, had paroxysms of irritability, fussing, or crying lasting for a total of three hours a day and occurring on more than three days in any one week for a period of three weeks.”
Incredibly - some babies with colic are actually given drugs like Zantac that adults use for their ulcers, heartburn, and the like. Does that sound like a good idea to you?
Well - homeopathy can help. The correct homeopathic remedy will relieve the child quickly, and permanently in a safe, effective and GENTLE fashion.
The key to getting a great outcome with homeopathy comes from matching the characteristic symptoms of the patient to those of the remedy. Characteristic symptoms are often the ones that are particularly intense or peculiar - not common. Be a good detective and you can often do much for your colicky little one and for yourself.
To learn more - there is a great piece on the National Center for Homeopathy website: http://www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/content/exhausted-by-a-colicky-baby-homeopathy-can-help-you-and-the-baby
And here is a link to a video from a series called Homeopathy Works for Me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NchK9w9iHJE&feature=related
ABC News doc - Dr. Albert Levy M.D. just did a story for ABC on stomach viruses. Eli Manning of the New York Giants recently had a bad stomach virus - so ABC wanted to share treatment options with their viewers. In the piece, viewable at the link below, Dr. Albert Levy M.D. recommends homeopathic remedies for these viruses. Good piece. Check it out!
And if you want to learn how to treat stomach bugs and other acute conditions like earaches, sore throats, coughs, flu and more - consider becoming a member of the National Center for Homeopathy. For just $4 a month, you can enjoy easy-to-follow instructional webinars on how to treat yourself and members of your family (http://www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/member-benefits/)
The key to successfully choosing a homeopathic remedy to relieve your son, daughter, husband, or wife lies in carefully questioning your “patient” and observing your patient to find the most characteristic symptoms they are experiencing.
By characteristic - what do we mean?
A characteristic symptom is one that is a departure from the normal state, is intense, and peculiar. Also pay close attention to what makes your “patient’s” symptoms better or worse. Are they better from standing, or cold air, or from drinking, or in the morning, etc. What makes them worse?
With as much information as you can gather - now compare your patient’s characteristic symptoms with those produced by remedies. Match the characteristics of the patient with those of a remedy (”like cures like”) and your patient will enjoy a nice recovery. There a number of books that provide the details of remedy characteristics. More on that later.
A fever is a helpful and necessary part of the process of healing in an acute illness. An increased temperature generally indicates that the body’s defense mechanism is fighting an infection and temperature variations indicate how it is coping. During a fever the healing reactions of the body are speeded up: the heart beats faster, carrying the blood more quickly to all the organs; respiration speeds up, increasing oxygen intake; and perspiration increases, helping the body to cool down naturally.
by Timothy R.Dooley, MD, ND
If you can make simple observations, you can quickly learn enough homeopathy to practice on the home-health level. You don’t need to be an expert in anatomy, physiology, or pharmacology. You do need to be able to observe your child’s symptoms and anychanges in them: thirst, skin color, appetite, mood, discharges, modalities (what makes symptoms better or worse), etc. And you need to be able to match these observations with the symptoms and changes that medicines can cause - and therefore cure when applied homeopathically.
Ear infections: Breaking the antibiotic cycle
One common home health problem that frequently arises is that of middle ear infections, also known by their Latin name, otitis media. Most children experience a few episodes of otitis media, usually associated with a cold or upper respiratory infection. It is well known that antibiotics are overused in the treatment of ear infections. I have treated many patients of all ages over the years for this disorder, using homeopathy almost exclusively and with great success.
In fact, I think it is safe to say that the use of antibiotics in ear infections seems to create a self-perpetuating cycle. It is as if the immune system gets lazy and this results in increasing numbers of such episodes. Using homeopathy seems to break the cycle; the immune system starts functioning on a higher level, resulting in fewer colds and ear infections.
This makes sense when you realize that homeopathic remedies don’t work by killing bacteria. Rather, they stimulate a response in the overall recuperative process, helping your child’s body fight infections naturally.
Pay close attention to the symptoms. How did the problem start? How is the child behaving? What do they want to eat? What do they want to drink?
The trick for good results with homeopathic prescribing is to pay close attention to the symptoms. How did the problem start? How is the child behaving? What do they want to eat? What do they want to drink? How do they appear? Are they chilly or hot? Are they more comfortable indoors or outside in the open air? What is the nature of any discharge they may have? And so on.
Changing symptoms, changing remedies
The remedies listed are not the only remedies that might be indicated in someone with an earache, but just these few will help a surprising number of cases. If none of these seems to fit, check for other remedies in one of the many good homeopathic self-care books available.
Remember when treating your child that their symptoms may change as the days (or even hours) go by, and when the symptoms change, the child will typically need a new remedy. For example, Belladonna or Ferrum phosphoricum might be indicated in the early stages of an earache, but the symptoms may change, calling for Pulsatilla or Hepar sulphuris as the days go by.
Sometimes patients, especially kids, just bounce back after a dose or two of a well-chosen remedy and get better practically overnight. More typically, however, they will improve significantly with a well-chosen remedy and then spend a number of days “clearing up” the remaining, less acute, symptoms. In my experience, if the child is getting better in general, their ears are also recovering.
These remedies are non-toxic and sold over the counter at natural health food stores
Here are some of the common, and truly indispensable, remedies to consider for children with ear infections.
Chamomilla. You can hear the child who needs Chamomilla down the hall and through a closed door. They are uncomfortable and irritable, and they want you to know it. There is something in their cry that puts you on edge; it’s the kind of cry that causes adults to think things like, ‘Would somebody please shut that kid up!?’ The child demands to be carried and screams when put down. They demand this or that, but throw the object of their desire away when they finally get it. A peculiar symptom I have seen many times is that one cheek may be glowing red, while the other is pale.
Pulsatilla. A child needing Pulsatilla is also tearful, but quite different from the Chamomilla patient described above. Here the cry is usually wimpier, creating a reaction in the surrounding adults of, “Oh, the poor thing!” The child clearly wants sympathy and nurturing. Discharges (such as a runny nose) are usually yellow or green, thick, and bland - not irritating. They typically have little thirst or appetite, and they generally feel better in fresh, open air.
Belladonna. In conventional medical school I remember being taught a memory aid for the patient who has been poisoned with Belladonna [in large,non-homeopathic doses]. It went something like: “Red as a beet, dry as a bone, hot as a furnace, blind as a bat, mad as a hatter.” These represent some of the characteristic symptoms for Belladonna and are helpful in recognizing its homeopathic presentation as well. We think of Belladonna for illnesses with sudden, violent onset. The child is typically hot, red, and dry. The pupils are often dilated and the eyes seem very bright. Curiously, the head is often hot but the limbs are cold. The nervous system is affected in such a way that the child often experiences twitching or jerking - perhaps in their sleep - and is sensitive to light and jarring. They are often excited and restless.
Ferrum phosphoricum. Listed in the homeopathic materia medica for Ferrum phosphoricum is the comment, “violent earache, acute otitis media when Belladonna fails.” That is, the child needing Ferrum phosphoricum may at first be mistaken for one needing Belladonna. And this is largely how I have come to think of Ferrum phosphoricum - similar to Belladonna but less intense. The child is often excited, sensitive to light and jarring - but not to the extent of Belladonna. They are often red, but not as intensely red; hot, but not as burning; eyes red, but not so bright. And like Belladonna, Ferrum phosphoricum is commonly indicated in children with earaches.
Hepar sulphuris. Think of Hepar sulphuris when the child is chilly, sweats easily, and often has an accompanying hoarse, barking cough. Discharges are typically thick and yellow, and pains are often sticking (like splinters).
Dosage: These remedies are non-toxic and sold over the counter at natural food storesand some drug stores. The commonly found potencies (such as the 6th, 12th, or 30th) will be fine. Given a choice, I usually recommendthe 30th potency.
At first you might lack confidence in your abilities to take care of your family. Remember, though, that you intuitively know much more about health and disease than you realize, even if you don’t know all the terminology. After a few successes you will start to realize that the body heals itself; we’re just giving it a little help - with homeopathy.
Adapted from “Do-it-yourself learning—Healing ear infections”, by Timothy R. Dooley, MD, ND in Homeopathy Today, April 2004
by Mirand Castro, FSHom,RSHom(NA),CCH
Take Oscillococcinum®or Aconite at the first sign of a bad cold or the flu.Aconiteis especially useful where the symptoms come on suddenly– take it every 2–4 hours for 3 doses. Oscillococcinum®is good when thesymptoms are slower - take it every 4–8 hours for 3 doses.
- The indicated remedy should betaken in a 6C, 30X or 30C potency
- Take according to the severity of thesymptoms: more often (every 1–2hours) if the symptoms are severe,less often (every 3–4 hours) if theyare not too bad.
- Stop and start the remedy as needed:taking the remedy less often as itstarts to help and stopping on signifi-cant improvement. It can be repeatedif the (same) symptoms return.
- If about six to ten doses have beentaken with no response then it’s likelyto be the wrong remedy. Select anotherremedy or seek professional help.
Arsenicum album: great prostration with extreme chilliness and a thirst for frequent sips of warm drinks. The eyes and nose stream with watery, acrid discharges. Feels irritable and anxious.
Baptisia: gastric flu with vomiting and diarrhea. Comes on suddenly. Feels soreand bruised all over. Profuse perspiration with a high fever and extreme thirst. Feels (and looks) dazed and sluggish.
Bryonia: flu comes on slowly. Aching pains in all the joints are worse for the slightest motion. Painful dry cough that makes the head hurt. Extreme thirst at infrequent intervals. Feels intensely irritable and wants to be alone.
Eupatorium perfoliatum: the pains are so severe it feels as if the bones are broken. The muscles ache and feel sore and bruised as well. A bursting headache with sore, aching eyeballs. The nose runs with much sneezing, and the chest feels sore and raw. Thirsty for cold water even though it brings on violent chills in thesmall of the back.
Ferrum phosphoricum: a fever develops, a flu is likely but the symptoms aren’t clearly developed yet (and Aconite didn’t help). Take 3 doses every 2–4 hours.
Gelsemium: flu comes on slowly especially when the weather changes from cold to warm. The muscles feel weak and achy. There’s a great feeling of heaviness everywhere- the head (which aches dully), limbs, eyelids etc. No thirst at all. Fever alternating with chills and shivers that run up and down the spine. Feels (and looks) apathetic, dull and drowsy.
Mercurius solubilis: fever with copious, extremely offensive perspiration which doesn’t provide any relief (unlike most feverish sweats). The breath smells bad, there’s more salivation than normal and an extreme thirst.
Nux vomica: gastric flu with vomiting and diarrhea. The limbs and back ache a great deal. The nose runs during the day and is stopped up at night. Fever with chills and shivering especially after drinking. Very chilly and sensitive to the slightest draught of air or uncovering. Feels extremely impatient and irritable.
Pyrogenium: serious flu with severe pains in the back and the limbs and a terrible, bursting headache. Feels beaten and bruised all over. Very restless and feels better on beginning to move. Chills in the back and the limbs with a thumping heart.
Rhus toxicodendron: flu in cold damp weather. Great restlessness: aching and stiffness in the joints is worse for first motion, it eases with continued motion and then they feel weak and have to rest after which they stiffen and have to move again. Pains are better for warmth. Feels anxious and weepy.
Recovering from the Flu
Kali phosphoricum: weakness after the flu with depression.
China: weakness after a flu with serious fluid loss (through sweating and/or vomiting). Pale, wan and touchy.
Gelsemium: weakness after the flu. The flu symptoms continue with aching and dullness.
Homeopathy is a safe, effective system of medicine,used by millions of people worldwide for over 200 years. Homeopathic medicines are prepared from natural sources and are dispensed in extremely small amounts. They are made in accordance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and The Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States. They are non-toxic and when properly administered, can be safely used with infants, children and adults.
Homeopathy was developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the late 1700s, although the concept dates back to Hippocrates. Homeopathy is based on the principle that “like cures like.” That is, if a substance can cause symptoms in a healthy person, then it can cure similar symptoms in a sick person.
Suppose a person has a cold or hay fever, with watery eyes and a burning nasal discharge. Homeopathy regards these symptoms as the body’s attempt to restore health. Instead of giving an antihistamine to dry up the discharge, a homeopath might prescribe homeopathically prepared onion - because onion is known to cause watery eyes and a burning nasal discharge. Rather than suppressing the symptoms, homeopathy seeks to stimulate them, thereby helping the body heal itself.
Homeopathy is used not only to relieve symptoms but to prevent illness and maintain overall health. Homeopathy treats the whole person - physical, mental, emotional. The exact mechanism by which homeopathy works is unknown, but 200 years of clinical experience along with research published in such medical journals as The Lancet,Pediatrics,and the British Medical Journal have confirmed homeopathy’s effectiveness. Homeopathy has been used to treat people with a wide range of conditions including asthma, earaches, migraine headaches, depression, arthritis, PMS and more.
Extremely safe, most homeopathic remedies are available over-the-counter. There are no known contraindications or drug interactions between homeopathic and conventional medicines. Consumers can learn to treat simple, self-limiting conditions safely athome, but a professional should treat serious or life-threatening conditions.
It is becoming increasingly common to give sick children medication and to encourage them to carry on a normal life. This is wrong. Our bodies need to slow down and rest as much as possible to encourage our inner healer to get to work. The healing activities of the body actually speed up when we sleep. The repair, renewal, and growth of the cells of our bodies work faster when we are resting. It isn’t an old wives’ tale! That is why it is so important to get extra rest and sleep when we are unwell, as this will aid the body’s natural ability to get better.