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All Better Now: Homeopathy for Colds and Flu: Back to Articles
by Lauren Feder, M.D.

Reprinted from Great Life Magazine

When your child has an earache, cold or cough, try homeopathy before resorting to antibiotics.

An interest in alternative medicine often starts with a parent's concern for their child who is in and out of the pediatrician's office with sickness. Many parents bring their children to my office because they are uncomfortable with the repeated courses of antibiotics prescribed by conventional pediatricians and are seeking gentler alternatives. Homeopathy, which has been used in Europe for generations, fits the bill. In France, for example, the best selling medicine for flu is the homeopathic remedy Oscillococcinum.

As a physician, I feel there is definitely a time and place for antibiotics. But since I began using homeopathic remedies in my practice, I rarely find that I need to resort to antibiotics. In fact, it's rare that I even need to prescribe Children's Tylenol.

As the mother of two boys, I often go to my homeopathic kit to treat many childhood ailments. Recently, when my son Etienne got out of the bath shivering, then later that night woke up with a fever and a croupy cough, I gave him Aconite and his coughing stopped almost immediately, and he went back to sleep. And when my infant Quentin came down with double ear infection, I knew that Pulsatilla was the appropriate remedy for him because he was quite gentle, and he was perfectly happy as long as I held him in my arms. If he had been angry and irritable, I would have turned to Chamomilla. (I know one mother who doesn't leave home without her homeopathic Chamomilla.) The chart below presents other effective homeopathic remedies for childhood ailments.

Gentle Remedies for Wee Ones

Aconitum napellus (Aconite)

Indications: Useful for colds, flu and other ailments with symptoms that come on suddenly (one minute the child is OK, the next minute he or she is not). Use at onset of illness (first 24 hours) Never use at the end of an illness
Symptoms: often come on after a cold, dry, windy day. Very anxious, panicky Sudden onset of fearfulness. Anxious look on the face with perspiration. Feels worse in the cold. Feels better with rest. Thirst for cold drinks One cheek red, the other pale (or both red).
earaches: Painful earache with a high fever
colds: Sudden onset of a runny nose that is watery and hot.
fevers: High fever that comes on suddenly.
cough: Sudden onset of a dry, croupy cough

Belladonna

(Belladonna prepared and sold as a homeopathic remedy is nontoxic and safe)
Indications: Good with intense illness, throbbing pain, when a child is delirious or hallucinating with fever or wakes up saying that his or her right ear hurts. Also useful for early stages of illnesses that come on suddenly.
Symptoms: primarily on right side. Sensitive to noise. Glassy eyed, red-faced with dilated pupils. Pulse in neck is visibly throbbing. Worse in presence of noise or light, when jarred, when lying down and at 3 p.m. or 11 p.m. Feels better when sitting, and when in a dark, quiet room. Wants cold water or lemonade.
earaches: Severe pain in right ear (causing child to cry during sleep.
colds: Painful, red, throbbing sore throat (often worse on right side); may also have nosebleeds.
fevers: High fever, usually 103° F and above; head feels hot, limbs cold; the child can be so hot that he or she radiates heat.
cough: Dry, tickling cough, worse at night.

Chamomilla

Indications:Useful for pain, including teething and colic in babies. A child who is in a "chamomilla state" is obviously unhappy and uncomfortable. Very angry, irritable, impatient, contrary. Also can be inconsolable, crying, screaming and arching his or her back. Asks for something, then refuses it.
Symptoms:Sweaty head One cheek red, the other pale. Thirsty. Green diarrhea. Better when rocked or carried. Worse from 9 p.m. and later.
earaches: Sensitive to cold and noise (feels better with warmth); pain that makes child frantic.
colds: Watery, hot, runny nose that is also stuffed; difficulty sleeping.
fevers: Alternates between feeling chilled and overheated.
cough: Dry, tickling cough; hoarseness; worse from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Mercurius

(Mercurius vivus or Mercurius solubilis can be used)
Indications: A child who can benefit from Mercurius usually smells sick. He or she is hurried and restless.
Symptoms:Foul breath and perspiration. Drooling, sweaty and worse at night. Worse with extremes of hot or cold. Feels hot one minute, cold the next.
earaches: Earaches worse at night; thick yellow or green discharge from the ear.
colds: Raw, burning sore throat; hoarseness; swollen tonsils and glands; thick, runny yellow-green mucus that irritates the nose, making it red and sore.
fevers: Night sweats; easily chilled and overheated.
cough: Dry cough, worse at night.

Pulsatilla

Indications: A child who responds to Pulsatilla may present changeable symptoms and changeable moods. Feels better outside. He or she can be shy, weepy and clingy. Wants attention and company. Cries easily and desires to be carried. Feels warm, and better with fresh air.
Symptoms:: Yellow-green discharge that doesn't irritate the skin. Lack of thirst.
earaches: Worse at night; may have a yellow-green discharge from ears; hearing is muffled.
colds: Yellow-green mucus; nose sometimes runny, sometimes stopped; runny nose is better outside; yellow-green discharge in eye (conjunctivitis).
fevers: Changeable temperature; can feel chilled yet desires open air; fever with no thirst.
cough: Dry cough at night, loose during the day; cough worse in warm, stuffy rooms; feels better sitting up in bed, or with fresh air.

Many patients come to my office looking for a homeopathic remedy that is natural and safe without any side effects. Acute cold and flu symptoms respond well to homeopathic treatment. Homeopathic remedies come in different strengths or potencies. The lower potencies which range in strength from 6X, 6C, 30X and 30C are appropriate for use at home. The correct choice of remedy will work at any strength. In general, remedies in the strengths of 6X and 6C need to be repeated more often than the 30X or 30C..  Homeopathic medicine is safe and effective, without the side effects of standard medicine, and it is useful for adults as well as children.

For chronic conditions, I recommend constitutional homeopathic treatment, in which a homeopathic remedy is chosen by a trained homeopath after a lengthy interview. This method can be very effective for the long-term resolution of chronic conditions.

 
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