Homeopathy for Babies and Children
Homeopathy is ideal for babies and children as it is a gentle yet highly effective system of medicine. The mildly sweet pills, powders or liquids are easy to dispense and are more palatable than many conventional medicines. The highly diluted natural substances that form homeopathic remedies mean that they are safe to use in the very young, including newborn babies. More than that, homeopathy can raise the immunity of your children to help deal with illness throughout their childhood (1).
Homeopathy not only helps when your child is ill. It can also help prevent illness and give support through difficult periods of their life.
What is homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that has been practised all over the world for almost 250 years. Homeopathic remedies are made from plants, animal substances, minerals and salts and are diluted to such a high extent that few or no molecules remain in the medicine. They work at an energetic level, stimulating the body’s own healing abilities – rather like a message to the immune system – and are prescribed on the principle of ‘like cures like’. A good example is where the remedy Allium cepa (onion) is prescribed for hayfever when the eyes are stinging and hot, which is similar to what happens when you cut up an onion!
What complaints can you safely treat at home?
Homeopathy works fast with children because they are usually full of vitality. Acute conditions such as ear infections, tonsillitis and flu, can be resolved rapidly using the right remedies, often avoiding the need for conventional medicines. Babies also tend to respond quickly to homeopathic treatment – there are remedies for colic, teething and nappy rash, for example.
The suggestions below are for minor complaints; if your child’s symptoms are severe or chronic (on-going or recurrent), consult a registered homeopath and/or your GP. If your child is already undergoing homeopathic treatment, it is best to check with their homeopath before prescribing at home.
Teething - Chamomilla 30c – inconsolable and angry child
Colic - Magnesium phos 30c – baby doubles up in pain
Nappy-rash - Calendula 30c and Calendula cream – soothing and antiseptic
Earache - Pulsatilla 30c – clingy child, greenish discharge from ear
Fever - Aconite 30c – sudden fevers after getting chilled
Belladonna 30c – very high temperatures with a red face
Gelsemium 30c – slow fevers with chills, bone pain and fatigue
Coughs and colds - Bryonia 30c – miserable, irritable, better for keeping still
Pulsatilla 30c – plenty of yellow/green mucous; clingy and upset
Vomiting Nux vomica 30c – bilious and bad tempered
Arsenicum album 30c – after bad food, with diarrhoea and restlessness
Bumps and bruises - Arnica 30c – also for shock and exhaustion
The remedies suggested above can be purchased over the counter in most chemists and health shops, as well as some supermarket chains.
Healthy children bounce back from acute illnesses and may even experience a growth spurt or developmental leap immediately after an illness. Homeopathy can help boost your child’s natural immunity. Homeopaths work with a different health model from the bio-medical one, which aims to increase "herd immunity". Every child is special and has their own physical and emotional way of dealing with disease. This knowledge requires individual treatment tailored to your child’s needs, which homeopathy provides.
The Society acknowledges that there is much anecdotal and scientific evidence to support the arguments presented for and against vaccination. Our members aim to support parents in making rational, informed decisions on the short and long-term implications of vaccination. Whether you decide to opt for the jabs or not, homeopathic treatment can improve natural immunity or lessen the chance of side effects from vaccination.
When to consult a professional Homeopath
Complaints that need professional treatment include cradle-cap, recurrent vomiting, sleep problems, digestive trouble, pain, recurrent infections, asthma and eczema, menstrual problems and acne in teenagers, as well as developmental and behavioural problems such as attention deficit disorder, temper tantrums, severe shyness and anxiety. In children with such complaints, a full case history is needed for the homeopath to select an individual treatment for your child.
Homeopaths do work with children who are also on long-term medication. There is no doubt that asthma is on the increase (2). A cough with wheezing that will not go away may be diagnosed as asthma and all too quickly, your child is put on medication. Your homeopath, with the support of your GP, may help your child reduce or come off their conventional drugs.
What will my doctor think?
GPs increasingly welcome the contribution complementary therapies can make – 70% feel they should be freely available on the NHS (3).
In recent years, GPs have been discouraged from overprescribing medicines such as inhaled steroids for asthma and hayfever (4) and are encouraged not to overprescribe antibiotics for colds and coughs. They have been advised not to prescribe certain anti-depressants to the under-18s (5).
Concerns about long-term damage to the growing child, coupled with the worry of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, make homeopathy a safer option.
Homeopaths are keen to work alongside other specialists in the health field. The best way forward for all children is to improve their immune system naturally.
How do I find a qualified homeopath?
To find a homeopath, consult the Register of The Society of Homeopaths. All homeopaths registered with The Society practise in accordance with a strict Code of Ethics and Practice, hold professional insurance and have passed stringent academic and clinical assessments before being admitted to the Register.
Our Register is available free of charge by post or visit www.homeopathy-soh.org
Other leaflets available in this series:
For a copy of any of these leaflets, please contact The Society of Homeopaths.
(1) Belon P, Cumps J, Ennis M, et al, Inhibition of human basophil degranulation by successive histamine dilutions: results of a European multicentre trial, Inflamm Res 1999; 48 & Sainte-Laudy J, Modulation of allergen and anti-IgE induced human basophil activation by serial histamine dilutions. Inflamm Res 2000;49.
(2) Weekly incidence of asthma episodes up 6% in children in last 25yrs. National Asthma Campaign, Audit Sept. 2001, Asthma UK.
(3) GP Magazine, 12 November 2004.
(4) Systemic adverse effects may occur with longterm use of inhaled cortico-steroids. Department of Health website 2005.
(5) Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are not suitable for the under-18’s. Department of Health website 2005.
Nothing contained in this leaflet should be taken as individual medical advice or as a substitute for consulting your homeopath or healthcare practitioner.
The Society of Homeopaths
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