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Homeopathy – Children and Homeopathy

by June Sayer(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 291 - January 2024

A few days ago, I was invited to meet up with a lovely friend of mine. As we walked around the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) gardens taking in the beauty of the surroundings I was reminded of how we first met.

 

Clinical Repertory + Materia Medica

 

Over 20 years ago her mother contacted me for homeopathy to address her own health issues and later introduced me to the rest of her family. Her daughter (who ultimately became my friend) came along with her young boys. When the daughter’s third child was born, she became acutely aware that something was wrong with his digestive system due to the fact that he was unable to retain his feed (he was bottle fed) and was not thriving. I was contacted and asked if I could help. Armed with the knowledge I had gained from talking to the baby’s mother and confirming my choice of remedy from my trusted Homeopathic Repertory[1] and Materia Medica[2] I went along to visit them. The remedy chosen was Aethusa, derived from Fools Parsley. The remedy was given prior to the baby having his bottle and to their astonishment he did not regurgitate the milk as he had been doing at every previous feed. This remedy is one that can be selected for people who are unable to digest milk or where there is diarrhoea and aggravation from drinking milk. Crying, restlessness, anxiety and the vomiting after his feed were the signs this baby expressed in order to let his mother know he was in discomfort.

Whilst giving the homeopathic remedy proved invaluable and eased his distress, it is not something that I wanted for the child on a regular basis as we needed to know the underlying cause. When he was seen by a paediatrician and it was accepted that he had a dairy allergy, alternative milks were prescribed, the child settled and began to thrive.

Treating children with homeopathy can be extremely rewarding as they do not have as many ‘layers’ to deal with as their parents who have lived through a range of situations. Very young children will find it difficult to explain their symptoms and/or express their emotions in a way that a homeopath will be able to interpret in order to select the most appropriate remedy. What is needed is for the homeopath to be able to carefully observe the child and confirm their findings with the parent.

When treating babies and very young children, naturally the homeopath will rely on the information given by the parent. In this instance remedies such as Chamomilla will be prescribed for a child who is having problems with teething accompanied by pain, one cheek hot and red, the other cool and also watery, green diarrhoea. Chamomilla will suit the child who is irritable, fussy, whining and moaning. Then tend to not be easily satisfied and ‘want this and want that’, have a desire to be carried and can kick out and become stiff making it difficult for the carer to hold them as they try to make them feel more comfortable. It is also a remedy for earaches and colicky pains.

It is not just suited for a baby while teething, it makes an excellent remedy for anyone cutting a tooth suffering with toothache that drives them to distraction. Ladies experiencing bad labour pains or menstrual cramps may find relief from this remedy.

Chamomilla is one of the ABC of remedies that are commonly prescribed by homeopaths, the other two are Aconite and Belladonna.

Aconite is a remedy that is used for ailments that come on suddenly, symptoms include sore throat, short dry cough, etc. Their cough is hoarse, dry and croupy, short even suffocating and tobacco smoke makes it worse. The cough tends to be worse at night and after midnight. Now that vaping is very common, I wonder if the cloud emitted from vapes could aggravate the cough. Personally, I am very sensitive to tobacco smoke and experienced a vape cloud that caused me to cough for a short while until the vape cloud had evaporated.

When Aconite is indicated, fear and restlessness accompany their symptoms. Ear problems especially brought on by being out in a cold wind, particularly noticeable late autumn/winter times/spring when the wind can be warm and then turn cold suddenly. They are sensitive to noise and are upset when hearing music. Children tend to cry and complain, have anxious dreams and nightmares and are sleepless. With ailments that affect them more in the late evening and after midnight, it is no wonder that it has been used very successfully as a remedy for babies and young children.

Belladonna is what I term the homeopathic alternative to a conventional analgesic such as Calpol especially when there is a fever, particularly where the pupils are dilated and there is a steaming hot, pungent heat but the limbs feel cold. There are throbbing pains in the head, facial redness, an aversion to talk but continually groaning. It might not be possible for a child to explain their pain in detail, but the fact that they put their hand on their head to make it feel better is an indication worth noting. With their fever there can be delirium and a fear of monsters – how many times has a parent been woken by their child crying out during the night that they can see monsters.

Among many other symptoms that Belladonna would be helpful for are earache, tickly short, dry cough, conjunctivitis, colicky pains swollen glands, inflamed tonsils where swallowing is very sensitive with a feeling of a lump in the throat, teeth grinding is common. Anxious and fearful, argumentative when unwell with changeable moods.

Belladonna can be useful when a child reaches puberty and begins menses accompanied by painful menstrual cramps and violent bearing down pains. Acute urinary infections where there is profuse and frequent urination.

 

Homeopathic Remedies

https://www.homeopathinessex.co.uk/phdi/p1.nsf/supppages/1240?opendocument&part=2

 

As children develop and are more able to express their feelings and emotions it may be noticeable that the child has some behavioural issues, this could be difficulty in adhering to general boundaries, i.e. running around when they have been asked to sit still for a short time while stories are being read at pre-school. Appear that they are not listening but can become absorbed in something that appeals to them. Developing patterns of behaviour that may lead the parent to wonder if their child needs extra educational support. There are a number of children who are diagnosed as being hyperactive or having attention deficit, or autism. If the school notice issues and the parent is aware, then it may be possible to obtain additional support for the child while he/she is in school to help them develop at their own pace.

I have worked with a few young children who have either been diagnosed as autistic or whose parent has brought them along to see if there is any homeopathic remedy that could help them. It is not about just giving a remedy for a named condition; my aim is and always has been to support the child in whatever way I can and certain remedies have been extremely beneficial in helping them to adjust.

Being the unprejudiced observer; a homeopath can elicit much information from the child’s behaviour and can select a remedy accordingly. I recall watching a non-verbal child in my consulting room spend time looking upwards and turning around in circles. This information, coupled with what I had obtained from the parents enabled me to select the remedy Thuja which ultimately helped him.

One thing that I have noted is that if the child and/or person is prone to infections, homeopathic remedies can help to improve their overall wellbeing especially when they can be particular about foods they will or will not eat.

Children are like sponges, absorbing both positive and negative feelings they may come into contact with. Such sensitivity could cause the young child to be clingy and cry easily, especially when they are attending nursery/pre-school for the first time, or when they change from a familiar environment into a newer one, such as changing class/teacher. Remedies such as Gelsemium can help with what we term ‘butterflies in the tummy’ when the person wants to keep running to the bathroom to pass urine.

Pulsatilla is helpful to the child who is shy, sensitive and clingy. Often this behaviour will become noticeable when the child is ‘run down’ and in the early stages of an illness. As a mother of two sons, I recall my youngest being very clingy prior to developing measles. It is a remedy that suits the person who is like sunshine and showers, smiling one minute and then can cry easily. They tend to be such sweet natured people but can also be extremely stubborn, hence the clinginess when they are unwell.

As the child reaches puberty, Pulsatilla is a remedy that could be chosen if the menstrual cycle is delayed or is irregular of painful. This remedy can help to balance the hormonal changes. Changeability is a keyword when this remedy is indicated as no two symptoms tend to be the same. Example the nasal discharge can be bland and pale or become thick and yellowish. Pulsatilla types feel so much better in the open air.

Lycopodium suits the person who dislikes change and seems to be lacking in confidence. Children who are termed ‘dyslexic’ or find it difficult to concentrate. They can be indecisive and anxious, particularly if they are of an age to be alone in their house. They prefer to have company, even if that person is in another room as it gives them reassurance. Food intolerances that cause discomfort and fermentation in the intestines can be helped with this remedy. When they eat, although they are hungry, they tend to feel full quickly and hence can appear fussy or picky eaters. They have a tendency to like sugary foods but bread or fermentable foods upset them.

Coughs and colds at the beginning of the new school term can be rife as the seasons change from the summer to the autumn. Aconite is helpful when the ailment comes on suddenly, particularly after being a cold, dry wind. Hepar Sulph also can be useful if the cough is from being out in a cold, dry wind. The cough is hoarse and, croupy sounding and there can be a feeling of a splinter in the throat.  Accompanying the cough can be thick, nasal discharge. The person is highly sensitive to others and also extremely irritable.

Spongia is a remedy, along with Aconite and Hepar Sulph when a child presents with croupy type coughs. The difference between Hepar Sulph and Spongia is that the croupy cough tends to be worse during inspiration and before midnight and the cough is eased by drinking warm drinks. The homeopathic Materia Medica says of Spongia that the ‘cough is as dry as a bone’

Bryonia will be more suited to the cough that is dry and harsh and will hold their chest when they cough because it hurts them. Coming into a warm room from a cooler atmosphere can make the cough worse.  Bryonia can help a splitting migraine type headache that is so much worse for movement and this can make them be very irritable. When a child is unwell as a general rule they want to be comforted and cossetted, this is not so with the person needing Bryonia, they do not want to be carried or even touched.   

Moving house, the loss of a beloved pet or a family member, family upsets or sibling rivalry, a situation with school friends can all lead to emotional upsets – as an adult we would term it grieving but a child may not be able to express it so eloquently and then behavioural issues occur. One way to interpret the need for the remedy Ignatia is when you hear the person sighing, breaking down into a tearful state. They might say that they feel as if there is a lump in their throat and that swallowing is difficult, yet there is nothing to indicate any reason for that sensation.

Returning to the first paragraph of my article, I mentioned being with a friend enjoying the beauty of the flowers and shrubs in bloom at that time.  I am then reminded that so many homeopathic remedies are made from flowers or parts of them and how wonderful nature is that it has given us the ability to not only enjoy its beauty but how fascinating it is that the founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann decided to spend years discovering the benefits of these remarkable remedies. Even back in the days of Hippocrates (‘by similar things a disease is produced and through the application of the like it is cured’) Galen (‘natural cure by the likes’) and Paracelsus (‘same must be cured by sames’) they opined that cures could be found in nature and that likes should be treated by likes,[3] as expressed by Hahnemann ‘similia similibus curentur’.[4]

As a homeopath we are taught to observe the patient’s behaviour. That does not mean that we are all qualified as clinical psychologists or counsellors but rather that we are trained to be the unprejudiced observer and it is our powers of observation that helps us to determine the most appropriate remedy as needed.

Homeopathy is a natural medicine and one can add today that it is eco-friendly that can safely be given to people of all ages

Homeopathic remedies are obtainable from homeopathic pharmacies or from health shops.  I would always recommend that anyone looking to use homeopathic remedies seek guidance so that they feel confident in selecting the most appropriate remedies. Chronic ailments should be referred to a qualified homeopath and if in any doubt do not hesitate to consult your GP.

The remedies quoted above are listed in the homeopathic Repertory[1]and Materia Medica.[2]  New provings are continually being undertaken thereby expanding the range of homeopathic remedies a homeopath has to choose from.

References

  1. Murphy, Robin ND, Homeopathic Clinical Repertory 3rd Edition
  2. Murphy, Robin ND, Nature’s Materia Medica 3rd Edition
  3. Cook, Trevor, M, Homeopathic Medicine Today A Modern Course of Study
  4. Hahnemann, Samuel, Organon of Medicine 6th Edition

 

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About June Sayer

June Sayer DHom (Med) MARH MRHom DNTh DIridol Homeopath Nutritionist Reiki Master/Teacher became fascinated by homeopathy after seeking treatment for her children and herself some 23 years ago; this dramatic change in their overall health led her to train as a homoeopathic practitioner. She qualified from the Hahnemann College in 1992 and has been in practice since that date. She is one of the founding directors of the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths and has a practice in Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex where she enjoys training individuals in the art and practice of homoeopathy. She may be contacted on Tel: 01621 730664;  june@betterhealthnow.co.uk  www.betterhealthnow.co.uk   www.homeopathinessex.co.uk   

 

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