Homoeopathy (or the modernised spelling of ‘Homoeopathy’) invented in the late 18th century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, is the art of treating ‘like with like’. Hahnemann believed that by using a very minute amount of a substance, that would ordinarily create a certain reaction within the body, would aid the body to cure itself of the same affliction. Homoeopathy is one of the most popular systems of healthcare in the world today, beloved by many including the UK’s Royal Family. Although it has its critics, its popularity is not waning and used as a complementary addition to modern healthcare, rather than an alternative to it, homoeopathy can prove very useful, particularly in instances where conventional remedies are not advised, such as pregnancy, when many discover homoeopathy for the first time.
It is important to highlight that the remedy suggestions below are not intended to replace conventional medicine or medical advice and at all times if you are concerned about the health and wellbeing of your child you should contact your family physician.
The following are perhaps the ten most useful remedies to include in a family’s ‘homoeopathic first aid’ kit:
Made from onions, this tells us pretty much all we need to know about this remedy. Stinging, itching, teary eyes, a runny nose, sneezing and lots of thin watery mucus are all Allium Cepa indications. The most common scenario therefore that we would use allium cepa is in treating hay fever.
Allium symptoms tend to be worse for being inside in a warm room and better for being outside in the cool air.
The most common potency for Allium Cepa is 30C
Apis Mel, or just Apis, is made from the honey bee. This, therefore, is our go-to remedy for insect bites and stings, particularly when they become very sore, swollen and red.
The most common potency for Apis is 30C
Arnica is perhaps the most famous homoeopathic remedy. Most people know it for its healing effects on bruising, however, it is used for so much more. The chief symptoms to look for when prescribing arnica for a physical complaint are feelings of soreness, lameness and bruising, however, arnica is contraindicated if there is a break to the skin. Arnica can be useful for post birth healing, for both the mother and the baby if the birth has been natural (remember if there are breaks to the skin, as in a C-Section, it is contraindicated), it is especially useful if the baby has been born via ventouse or forceps. For the mother it is a great help for helping to pass urine after the birth, especially if her perineum and urethra are swollen.
Arnica can also be used for many emotional states, particularly shock and emotional trauma. A key indicator here is a child who is upset but conversely wants to be alone.
For physical issues give in either the 200C potency (for anything birth related) or 30C potency (for all other physical issues), for an emotional issue consider the 200C or 1M potency.
Belladonna – otherwise known as ‘Deadly Nightshade’ is all about reddy/purple colouring, great heat and a violent nature of onset – such as a sudden fierce temperature. The child will often have a dusky red hue to their skin that will feel as if it is on fire when you touch it. A key word associated with belladonna is ‘throbbing’ – any pain associated will be a fierce throbbing pain. Belladonna is all about blood – and is therefore a good remedy for nosebleeds, particularly ones with lots of fresh bright red blood, it is also good for ailments relating to the sun, such as a headache brought on by too much sun or sun burn.
Belladonna is also a handy remedy for night terrors, where the child thrashes around and is prone to violent lashing out. It is commonly associated with a hazy glazed look to the eyes, whether during a night terror or a fever.
The potency of choice for Belladonna in most cases is 200C
Bryonia is all about dryness (remember ‘bry’ = ‘dry’). The two most common reasons this may be used as a family remedy are a dry cough and constipation. The key to remember with a bryonia cough is that it is dry and extremely irritating, if the child is mucus or coughing up phlegm look elsewhere.
The most common potency for Bryonia is 30C
Calendula tincture is made from marigold petals. It is the only one of our ten remedies that is used externally on the skin. It is the remedy of choice for wound healing – particularly open cuts and is a great addition to the first aid cabinet in a house with an accident prone toddler who is always grazing their knees. It can also be healing and soothing for nappy rash and is commonly found in commercial nappy rash creams for this reason. It is simple enough to make your own calendula tincture at home for those who are green fingered!
Calendula tincture is best used by placing 3-4 drops in a cup of lukewarm water and then gently dabbing the affected area with cotton wool and leaving to dry naturally.
The two most important words to remember for chamomilla are “calmness contraindicates”. Chamomilla, made from the chamomile flower, is all about whiny, grouchy, clingy, unhappy children. It is particularly suited to teething babies and this is probably why most parents are aware of it. A ‘chamomilla teether’ will often have one red cheek and their nappies will often look like they contain dark green chopped spinach! They are very clingy unhappy teethers, however although they want to be held, the holding often won’t help and although they cry to be picked up they will often push you away again when you hold them.
For a teething baby consider the 200C or 1M potency, use the latter if the baby is a very ’emotional teether’.
Mag Phos tissue salts
Magnesia Phosphorica – or Mag Phos as it is more commonly known – is what homoeopaths call a ’tissue salt’. It is famous for its effects on cramps and colicky feelings and as such is the top homoeopathic remedy for colic. It can also be helpful for post birth after pains and menstrual cramps and for cramps caused by a diarrhoea and vomiting bug.
The most common potency for mag phos is the 6x potency.
Rhus Tox is produced from the ‘Poison Ivy’ plant – which gives us a good clue as to its uses. In a family first aid kit its most common use is to ease the itch of chicken pox. Rhus Tox is particularly indicated for symptoms that are worse at night and negatively impact sleep as a result.
From an adult’s point of view it’s a handy remedy to have if you are suffering from flu or have severe aches and pains that are initially made worse by moving, but then are better for movement.
The most common potency for Rhus Tox is 30C
Walnut Bach Remedy
Not strictly a homoeopathic remedy, Bach remedies are made in a similar context. Walnut is a wonderful remedy for children as it is the chief remedy for ‘change’. It aids in making transitions – such as separation anxiety, starting school, moving through tweendom and approaching puberty. Walnut also seems to help during teething too.
For older children one drop directly under the tongue, for younger children, a drop placed in some water is the dosing of choice.