By Dana Ullman MPH, CCH
(Excerpted from Homeopathic Medicine for Children and Infants, Tarcher/Putnam)
NOTE TO READERS: All homeopathic medicines are listed by their Latin names in order for manufacturers and users to be as precise as possible on the original source of the medicine. Please note that homeopathic medicines are legally recognized as drugs (usually "over-the-counter drugs," that is, drug that do not require a doctor's prescription due to their widely recognized safety). Homeopathic medicines are most effective when they are prescribed for the unique syndrome of symptoms the sick person has, not just the name of the disease s/he has. Because of the need for this degree of precision, the more knowledge the user has on how to select the individually determined medicine, the better the results with homeopathic medicines.
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The information provided here is not only applicable to children but to most people with diarrhea.
REMEDIES LISTED IN CAPITAL LETTERS REPRESENT MORE FREQUENTLY INDICATED REMEDIES
Chronic or persistent diarrhea could create dehydration in infants and children and lead to serious health problems. Encourage fluid intake as long as diarrhea continues. Long-lasting or recurrent diarrhea should receive medical supervision, and homeopathic constitutional care should be sought concurrently.
AETHUSA: When children are unable to digest milk, leading to colic, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, this remedy should be considered. The children regurgitate the milk and other food within one hour of eating or drinking, sometimes with violent or projectile vomiting. The vomitus usually contains yellow or green curds. The infant or child sweats, feels very weak, and becomes very restless, anxious, and weepy.
ARSENICUM: When children have symptoms of food poisoning or stomach flu, this remedy should be the first considered. These children experience frequent attacks of offensive smelling diarrhea. There is usually some pain during the diarrhea and some discomfort afterwards. The children tend to be tired and weak, yet also tend to be restless, feeling uncomfortable being in one position for too long. Various digestive symptoms accompany the diarrhea. Vomiting starts in the middle of the night. They may feel burning in their abdomen and will have burning stools which irritate the anus. Despite their burning symptoms, they are chilly, especially their hands and feet, and are aggravated by cold. Warmth and warm drinks provide temporary relief. These children are thirsty but only for sips of water at a time.
CALCAREA CARB: This remedy is particularly common for infants, especially during teething. These children usually have sour stools and similarly sour body odor, sweat, and vomit. They have pale stools that lack bile pigment. They crave eggs, especially soft-boiled, carbohydrates, ice cream, sweets, and salt. They may even crave indigestible items like dirt and chalk. They also desire ice drinks ("the colder, the better"). They are usually averse to hot foods, slimy foods, and mixed foods such as casseroles. They may dislike milk and may be allergic to it, leading to constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, or some other problem.
CHAMOMILLA: Chamomilla is one of the most common remedies for infants who have foul-smelling diarrhea and who are highly irritable. These infants tend to have green diarrhea with undigested food. They tend to have distension of their abdomen. The passing of gas does not ameliorate gas pains, and their abdomen is very sensitive to touch. These children double up, kick, and scream and may become covered in a cold sweat. They experience some relief from external heat. It is commonly given to infants who have diarrhea during teething.
Cinchona: When children experience a painless though debilitating diarrhea, this remedy should be considered. The diarrhea tends to be worse at night and may even be expelled without warning. Typically, their belly is so distended that it may be as tight as a drum. This distention is accompanied by sour and loud belchings which do not provide any relief.
Colocynthis: These children have sharp cramping pains with diarrhea shortly after eating or drinking anything. The pains are relieved by the passing of gas, passing a stool, or bending over. They have frequent urging for a stool.
IPECAC: Diarrhea with persistent nausea is characteristic of this remedy. Also characteristic is the child's clean tongue, despite the nausea. They have frequent salivation and painful urgings to have a stool.
Iris: These children experience a combination of headache with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. They also have colic. Their diarrhea causes burning irritation at the anus (see Headache).
MERCURIUS: This is a common remedy for severe diarrhea or food poisoning. The children have burning watery stools and sometimes slimy blood-stained stools. Infants may have green stools. Whatever the stool looks like, it will have an offensive odor, and the children will experience pain before, during, or after a stool. They have frequent or constant urging and a never-get-done feeling. The anus is raw from burning stools. Their symptoms are worse in the evening and at night. They may feel pinching in the abdomen with chills. Their symptoms cause them to feel exhausted.
Nux vomica: Diarrhea from rich or spicy foods or from food poisoning typifies this remedy. These children feel better for a short period after a stool, but will have diarrhea again immediately after eating or immediately upon waking. They are chilly and irritable.
PODOPHYLLUM: This remedy is known to be effective for profuse, offensive, gushing, sometimes frothy diarrhea that tends to shoot out. These symptoms are worse in the morning (4 am to 10 am) and during hot summer days. The children have gurgling sounds in the abdomen and bowels. They experience diarrhea shortly after eating. They have general weakness with head sweat and coldness of the skin. They become restless at night and tend to grind their teeth. The liver area may be sore and feels better from rubbing or from lying on the abdomen. The child may have an empty, sinking feeling in the abdomen. This is a common remedy for diarrhea in teething infants.
PULSATILLA: This remedy should be considered when treating Pulsatilla children or treating children who have diarrhea after eating too much fruit, greasy or rich foods, cold or iced food or drinks, or after exposure to cold. They usually have diarrhea worse at night. In infants the diarrhea is watery and greenish. When children have diarrhea with changeable stools, consider thithithis remedy.
Silicea: When infants who fit this medicine's General Characteristics get diarrhea from mother's milk, consider this remedy.
Veratrum album: This remedy is for simple acute diarrhea as well as for severe diarrhea. These children usually experience great fatigue and have watery diarrhea with vomiting. They shiver, have cold sweats, and may collapse. Even their belly feels cold. Despite their chilliness, they actually have an unquenchable thirst for iced drinks and may want to suck on an ice cube. If they have an appetite, they will have a great hunger for cold foods and an aversion to warm foods. They will have an intolerance for fruit, due to its tendency to cause diarrhea. They may experience a profuse diarrhea that exhausts them.
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