Parents particularly are looking for alternatives to conventional drugs, as in the last few years an increasing number of over-the-counter medications have become off limits for children.
Homeopathy is a system of medicine which is based on treating the individual with highly diluted substances given mainly in tablet form, which triggers the body’s natural system of healing. Based on their experience of their symptoms, a homeopath will match the most appropriate medicine to the patient.
Homeopathic medicines, known as remedies, are non-toxic and safe for use in babies and children(1), and research has shown that homeopathic remedies can be effective in the treatment of people with respiratory tract infections (2, 3), otitis media infection and inflammation of the middle ear – commonly referred to as an ear infection (4) and sinusitis (5).
I am finding parents have become increasingly concerned about giving their children medications such as paracetamol and cough medicines, and many are looking for an alternative approach.
Recurrent coughs and infections should been seen by a professional homeopath but homeopathic remedies can be used at home in acute short-lived conditions.
There are many remedies available over the counter that could be useful in winter ailments, each having its own specific characteristics.”
Remedies commonly used in winter illnesses include:
Gelsemium: the number one “flu” remedy, with symptoms slow to come on, where there is much heaviness and drooping, fatigue, clammy skin, flushes of hot and cold, dizziness and congestion.
Belladonna:indicated where the symptoms have come on suddenly and there is heat, throbbing and pain, irritability, and symptoms worse from jarring. Children can be obstinate and may bite or hit.
Pulsatilla: has blocked painful sinuses, sticky mucus, feels better in the fresh air and has a changeable, clingy mood, tearful and children will want to be carried.
Bryonia: the symptoms are slow to come on, there is much dryness and pains are worse from even the slightest movement. Firm pressure on the affected area is helpful. They are irritable and want to be left alone. Children may reject what they just asked for.
Phosphorus: this is a hacking, tickling cough, often with sweating. The patient is worse at night and might ask for icy drinks or ice cream, which may be vomited up immediately. They may be hoarse, and are better for affection and massage, and worse for cold air.
Rhus tox: slow onset with high temperature and great restlessness, constantly changing position, muscles stiff and painful. Any draft or cold air will aggravate. There is a feeling of heat inside, but skin is cold to the touch. There is a desire to sip water.
Nux Vom: throat feels roughand scraped, extending into the ear, with constricted feeling and hoarseness. Heavy feeling in stomach with nausea and vomiting. This patient is irritable and can’t bear noises, light or odours.
* Any ongoing health concerns should be discussed with a GP. Anyone worried about swine flu should look on the NHS direct website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pandemic-flu/pages/symptoms.aspx
The Society of Homeopaths is currently pursuing statutory regulation for homeopaths, to replace the voluntary system it has run for the last 30 years.
· Homeopathy has been available on the NHS since its inception in 1948
· There are four NHS homeopathic hospitals
· Interest in homeopathy is growing – a Mintel report (July 2007) reported that the sale of homeopathic treatments had seen a 24 per cent growth since 2002.
The Society of Homeopaths is the largest body of professional homeopaths in Europe. Established in 1978, it has 1,500 registered members.
Registered members of The Society of Homeopaths are fully insured and have agreed to practise and abide by a strict Code of Ethics & Practice. A copy of the Society’s Code of Ethics & Practice plus the register is available on www.homeopathy-soh.org.
1. Endrizzi C, Rossi E, Crudeli L, Garibaldi D. Harm in homeopathy: aggravations, adverse drug events or medication errors? Homeopathy, 2005; 94 (4): 233-40
2. Riley D, Fischer M, Singh B, Haidvogl M, Heger M. Homeopathy and conventional medicine: an outcomes study comparing effectiveness in a primary care setting. J Altern Complement Med 2001; 7: 149–159.
3. de Lange de Klerk, ESM, Blommers, J, Kuik, DJ, et al., “Effect of Homoeopathic Medicines on Daily Burden of Symptoms in Children with Recurrent Upper Respiratory Tract Infections,” BMJ, November 19, 1994;309:1329-1332.; Steinsbekk, A, Fønnebø, V, Lewith, G, and Bentzen, N. Homeopathic care for the prevention of upper respiratory tract infections in children: A pragmatic, randomised, controlled trial comparing individualised homeopathic care and waiting-list controls. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Volume 13, Issue 4 , December 2005, Pages 231-238.
4..Jacobs J, Springer DA, Crothers D. Homeopathic treatment of acute otitis media in children: a preliminary randomized placebo-controlled trial. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2001; 20: 177–183/ Frei H, Thurneysen A. Homeopathy in acute otitis media in children: treatment effect or spontaneous resolution? Br Homeopath J 2001; 90: 180–182/ Friese K-H, Kruse S, Ludtke R, Moeller H "Homeopathic treatment of otitis media in children: comparisons with conventional therapy". Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1997; 35: 296-301.
5. Adler M. Efficacy, safety of a fixed-combination homeopathic therapy for sinusitis. Adv Ther 1999; 16: 103–111.