Homeopathic Remedies for Colic

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Originally published online in the October 2010 edition of babyvibe (now savvymom)

Colic is defined as excessive crying in newborns related to difficulties with their digestion. There may be distention of the abdomen with excessive flatulence and burping, signs of abdominal pain, and vomiting. There is usually also be more fussiness directly after eating. Many of my clients have had much success using homeopathic remedies for colic of their newborn babies.

Homeopathic Combination Remedies

These are easy to use and can be found in most supplement and health food stores. Examples of good homeopathic combination remedies for colic are “Cocyntal” by Boiron, “Kids 0-9 Colic” by Homeocan, and “Colic Tablets” by Hyland’s.

Single Homeopathic Remedies

These are a lot cheaper than homeopathic combination remedies, but the downside is that parents can get confused if they are not sure which remedy is indicatedfor their child. Single homeopathic remedies are available in sugar pellet form in small vials. They can be found at most major health food stores, pharmacies, or homeopathic clinics but tend to be less widely available than the combination remedies. I recommend using a 30C potency (strength). Some of the more common remedies for colic are:

Chamomilla: This common remedy for teething is also frequently indicated for colic if the baby is extremely irritable. Nothing satisfies this baby though he’s usually better only when he is being carried. The colic is often accompanied by teething and there is often diarrhea with green stools.

Colocynthis: Another common remedy for newborn colic. The baby feels better after the parent puts pressure to the abdomen and the baby will often bring his knees to his abdomen to obtain relief.

Magnesium Phosphoricum: A good remedy to try if Colocynthis seems indicated but does not work. The baby gets relief from warm applications on her abdomen and she is not particularly irritable.

Pulsatilla: Colic after the mother eats rich foods. The baby is mild, timid, weepy, and craves affection.

Dosage of Single Remedies

One dose every hour; one can adjust the frequency depending on severity. Once the pain diminishes the remedy can be given three times per day, then eventually as seldom as once per day. If the baby has no relief from four consecutive doses of the remedy, then you have probably chosen the wrong remedy and it is time to select another or make an appointment with a classical homeopath for professional advice.

Other Precautions

If breastfeeding, the mother should try to avoid foods from the cabbage family, the citrus family, and cow’s milk. With formula-fed babies, parents may want to consider switching to a different type of formula.

If your baby has severe, chronic symptoms of colic that do not seem to improve from homeopathic remedies, it is important to see your doctor and your classical homeopath for professional advice.

By Sonya McLeod
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Homeopathic Treatment for Thrush

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Thrush is the result of a Candida yeast overgrowth in a baby’s mouth. It shows up as white or creamy coloured patches in the mouth. The tongue and the insides of the mouth may swell.

Homeopathic remedies can be very effective for the treatment of thrush. The following are some of the most common homeopathic remedies for this condition:

Borax: The most frequently indicated remedy for thrush. There are raw sores on the mouth and tongue. There is a strong fear of downward motion. Eating is very painful.

Mercurius: The baby’s breath is very offensive and there is lots of drooling. Swollen, spongy gums that bleed easily. The tongue is puffy and flabby.

Sulphur: Try this remedy if Mercurius seems indicated but does not help. The gums are not as spongy and the tongue is not as flabby as a baby needing Mercury.

Chamomilla: A very irritable baby; nothing satisfies. Accompanied by loose stool.

Antimonium Crudum: Useful when the baby has a thick, milky white coating on the tongue.

Kali Muriaticum: Use this remedy if there are no other symptoms to guide you to another remedy. The tongue may be patchy with a grey or white coating on the base.

Dosage: Use a 12C or 30C potency (strength) of the indicated homeopathic remedy every 3 hours for 4-6 doses. Increase the length of time between doses once symptoms start to improve. If there is no improvement after a few doses of the seemingly indicated remedy, try a different remedy.

Mothers of babies who are susceptible to frequent thrush infections should consult a professional classical homeopath in their area.

By Sonya McLeod
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Postpartum Homeopathy

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Originally published in the Autumn 2010 Childbearing Society Newsletter

Common Postpartum Conditions and Remedies

Here is a list of some of the most common conditions as well as the most commonly indicated remedies. If self prescribing does not help, do not hesitate to consult a professional classical homeopath. It is also always best to consult with a professional homeopath and a medical doctor when dealing with serious postpartum conditions.

After Delivery (For the New Mother)

After Labour

A few doses of Arnica 200C given before, during and immediately after labour will often prevent afterpains and postpartum hemorrhage. Arnica is especially useful after a traumatic birth. The dose can be repeated if needed. Also give Arnica to the baby if the head is bruised.

After a Caesarean Section, Tearing, or Episiotomy

The best remedy to take for these conditions is Staphysagria 30C repeated 3 times per day until the pain subsides. Also apply calendula tincture in a topical pump spray or calendula cream to the injured area.

Postpartum Retention of Urine

Causticum 30C is the most common remedy for this condition. Try a few doses spaced 15-30 minutes apart.

Phlebitis (Swelling of the veins of the leg)

Hamamelis 30C is the most common remedy for phlebitis due to injury or trauma to the veins during childbirth. Try a few doses spaced 15-30 minutes apart, then continue taking it up to 3 times per day until the condition improves.

Postpartum Depression

This condition can be treated successfully by a professional homeopath. It is best not to self prescribe for postpartum depression.

After Delivery (For the Newborn)

After a Traumatic Labour

Give Arnica 200C if the baby‘s head is bruised or swollen spaced. Repeat a few times a day for a few days until injuries improve.

Conjunctivitis (Inflammation of the Eye)

Give Aconite 30C a few times per day for a few days, until symptoms subside.

Jaundice

A few doses of Aconite 30C used along with standard treatments should hasten the disappearance of this condition.

Nursing Difficulties

Insufficient Milk Flow

There are a few frequently indicated remedies for insufficient or absent milk flow. Give a 30C potency of the indicated remedy a few times per day until flow is restored:

Chamomilla: Loss of milk flow and anger in the mother.
Urtica Urens: Nonappearance of milk with few other symptoms
Lac Caninum: The flow diminishes in one breast, then the other
Lactuca Virosa: Use if the above remedies don‘t seem indicated.

Mastitis

Frequently indicated remedies for this condition include the following. Give a 30C potency of the indicated remedy a few times per day until the problem resolves.

Phytolacca: the most frequently indicated remedy for mastitis. the breasts are often lumpy and will be caked with hard knots and nodules.
Bryonia: the breast pain is worse after any kind of movement.
Belladonna: mastitis with sudden onset, high fever and throbbing pain
Lac Caninum: the breasts are so sensitive that even the touch of clothing against the breasts is excruciatingly painful
Hepar Sulphuris: the breast is extremely painful and worse if exposed to drafts.
Silica: the breasts have painful cracks in the nipples

Also the topical application of calendula cream will help unblock the milk ducts.

By Sonya McLeod
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Homeopathic Remedies for Teething

Like many parents I’ve talked to, my first introduction to homeopathy was when my youngest daughter started having teething troubles. She would wake up screaming in pain. Tylenol didn’t seem to help with the pain; she and I would be up most of the night. All I wanted was to see her (and I) get some much needed relief and sleep. I then decided to try Boiron’s Camilia. One dose didn’t seem to do much, but by the third dose she had calmed down and was able to get back to sleep. The next night, she woke up screaming again. This time, armed with Camilia, I was again able to get her back to sleep within 45 minutes instead of the usual hellish night of no sleep.

Camilia works, but most mothers who have used it agree that it is expensive. Soon after my experience with Camilia, I started seeing a classical homeopath for constitutional treatment. I bought the book “Homeopathy for Children” at my homeopath’s clinic. It is a very useful and basic book about how to use homeopathy for everyday health complaints. It had a very good, comprehensive section about treating teething with homeopathic remedies.

After reading the children’s book, I discovered that my baby fit the remedy picture of a Chamomilla baby while she was teething. Babies needing Chamomilla are extremely irritable when they are teething. The pain can be so unbearable that they can get extremely angry and strike out. They can be extremely whiny and nothing will satisfy them. One characteristic thing about my child that made me know that she needed Chamomilla was that Chamomilla babies are quiet as long as they are being carried. My husband and I spent many nights pacing the floor carrying our daughter in our arms! Other characteristics which would make one think of giving Chamomilla are the pains are worse at night, there may be loose stools, and the cheek that the tooth is coming in on can be hot and red while the other cheek will be pale.

Chamomilla is by far the most common teething remedy, but it does not work for all children. Aconite, for example, is another common teething remedy. Teething babies who need Aconite have extreme pain with a lot of anxiety and restlessness, and often have inflamed gums. It’s a good second choice if Chamomilla seems indicated but doesn’t work.

Ignatia is another common homeopathic teething remedy. Unlike angry Chamomilla children, the Ignatia children are more weepy and sympathetic when teething. The Ignatia child may sigh, tremble, single body parts may quiver or jerk, and they may wake from sleep with piercing cries.

Kreosote is the indicated remedy if your baby’s gums are severely inflamed and red with a spongy consistency. Teething for these babies is extremely painful, and they will be extremely agitated and wakeful.

Mercurius Vivus is indicated for teething babies who are drooling excessively accompanied by offensive bad breath. The pain is worse at night.

Podophyllum is indicated when the baby’s teething troubles are accompanied by noisy, explosive diarrhea.

Dosage for single homeopathic remedies: One dose can be enough if the teething isn’t too severe. For more severe teething, one dose can be given every half hour for up to 3 doses. If 3 doses doesn’t bring relief, you have chosen the wrong remedy.

Using single homeopathic remedies as opposed to combination remedies (such as Camilia) will save you money. I also find that single remedies can be more effective because in general, single remedy potencies are stronger than the potency of combination remedies, plus you are being more exact with your prescribing by just giving one remedy. Combination remedies contain many different homeopathic remedies in a low potency. Most combination remedies contain enough different types of low potency remedies that the odds are good that one of the the ingredients will help your child.

For those of you who find single remedy selection confusing, I recommend Hyland’s Teething Tablets. I have talked to many satisfied parents who have used Hyland’s Teething Tablets for their children. When using these tablets with very young babies, it is best to put a few of the tablets in a dropper bottle filled with filtered or spring water, then put a few drops of the watery solution into the baby’s mouth.

Some children have a lot of trouble with teething. If your child’s teeth are very slow to come in or are decaying soon after coming in, it is best to consult your local classical homeopath so that your baby can have constitutional homeopathic treatment. Contact the clinic for more information about constitutional homeopathic treatment.

By Sonya McLeod
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