Ear infection is the most common childhood illness other than simple runny nose. Almost every child has had at least one ear infection by the time he or she is six, and for many children and their parents, frequent recurrences of these infections are a major problem. Further, there’s always the worry that the complications of ear infections can impair the child’s hearing and even delay learning to speak. Adults sometimes get ear infections too.
There are two main types of ear infections. Infection of the middle ear and eardrum is called otitis media. It is the more serious illness and is the type most often meant when a health professional diagnoses an “ear infection.” Otitis externa, as its name implies, is infection of the outer ear or of the canal that leads to the eardrum. It is actually a skin infection similar to those occurring elsewhere on the body, but it can cause a great deal of ear pain and discharge. We’ll discuss each type of ear infection separately.
Not all earaches are due to infections. During a cold many people complain that their ears feel stopped up or that they experience twinges of sharp, brief pains. These symptoms are generally mild. They are due to pressure differences on either side of the eardrum caused by the inflammation and fluid secretion that accompanies a cold. Pressure changes also account for earaches that happen in airplanes or in cars driving up or down a mountain. Some people get earaches whenever they are out in a cold wind or swim in cool water.
Otitis Media (Middle Ear Infection)
The middle ear, the space behind the eardrum, becomes infected during an episode of otitis media. The eustachian tube leads from the middle ear forward and downward, connecting the middle ear to the cavity behind the nose. Normally, the tube opens to allow fluids secreted by mucous cells in the ear to drain into the throat, and to allow pressure in the middle ear to become equalized with the pressure of the atmosphere. At other times, the eustachian tube should be closed to prevent fluids in the nose, which are full of microorganisms, from reaching the middle ear.
Ear infections develop when the eustachian tube opens and closes improperly, allowing germ-laden fluids from the nose and throat to enter but not depart from the middle ear. Inflammation resulting from a cold or allergy may cause this improper function, but in young children sometimes the tube is just too small and short to work properly.
As a middle-ear infection progresses, white blood cells and antibodies are secreted into the tissues and the middle-ear area, where they attack and kill infecting bacteria. As dead bacteria and white cells accumulate, pus forms and puts pressure on the ear drum. The thin eardrum membrane bulges outward, and pain increases as it is stretched. Eventually it may tear, allowing pus to drain to the external auditory canal. Don’t be alarmed if this happens (you’ll see pus or blood dripping out of the ear) this is the way the body expels the infected material, and usually a torn eardrum heals rapidly.
The symptoms of acute middle-ear infection are variable. A young child may seem to be in pain, often playing with or pulling at the ears. Older children or adults usually know if something is wrong with the ear, but sometimes even during a severe infection the ear just feels stuffed up. If the eardrum is ruptured, a discharge from the ear may be obvious, or the hair around the affected ear may be sticky or crusty.
Many children with recurrent ear infections have their own characteristic symptom patterns parents learn to recognize early in the illness. Unusual irritability, emotional sensitivity, or clinginess may accompany ear infection, and sometimes a child’s mood changes are the only evidence of the problem. There may be a high fever, but ear infections often occur without any fever at all. Sometimes the child vomits or has diarrhea because of an ear infection, with no sign that something is wrong with the ears. In most cases, if nothing else is responsible, these digestive symptoms clear up rapidly.
The diagnosis of an ear infection depends on accurate visual examination of the eardrum performed with an otoscope, a magnifying lens and light that illuminates the drum and external canal through a small speculum that fits into the canal. A normal eardrum has a pearly gray, slightly shiny appearance and looks delicate and translucent. During an infection the most characteristic change is outward bulging of the eardrum due to buildup of pus inside. The eardrum becomes thickened and more opaque and often looks quite red. Redness of the drum, however, may be caused by fever, crying, or cold, and a diagnosis of otitis media should never be made on the basis of a red eardrum alone.
Traditionally, physicians have held that antibiotics effectively treat ear infections and prevent complications. However, many scientific studies over the past 25 years contradict such beliefs. In one large study of children with acute otitis media, those treated with antibiotics actually recovered at a slightly lower rate than those who were not. (Froom, et al, 1990). Another found that children with chronic otitis maintained on prophylactic (preventative) antibiotics were two to six times more likely to have recurrent acute infections than those on placebos (Catankin, et al, 1991). Recently, John Bailar, M.D., a Harvard professor and editorial board member at the New England Journal of Medicine, comprehensively reviewed the scientific literature on the treatment of otitis with antibiotics. He concluded that the available research, “… seems to demolish the conclusion that antibiotics improve the outcome [in otitis media]” (Bailar, 1995).
In any case, be watchful if otitis media is diagnosed. Serious acute complications of middle-ear infection are rare but do occur. These include mastoiditis, infection of the bony area just behind the ear. Be alert for any redness, tenderness, pain, or swelling in this area and report these symptoms immediately to your health practitioner. Mastoiditis can become a chronic problem and result in hearing loss and erosion of the bone.
Meningitis and other infections of the central nervous system may result from acute otitis media if the infection spreads through the blood stream to bony structures. Symptoms of these problems include severe or persistent headache, stiff neck, persistent vomiting, and marked change in mood or alertness.
The most common complications of middle-ear infections are the chronic ear problems that often follow. Serous otitis media, accumulation of a translucent noninfectious fluid in the middle ear, interferes with normal motion of the eardrum and the tiny middle ear bones so that hearing is reduced.
Homeopathic constitutional treatment is often effective with chronic serous otitis. Antihistamines and decongestants are worthless, though they are often prescribed. Conventional treatment for persistent hearing loss due to serous otitis involves surgical insertion of polyethylene tubes into the eardrum to allow drainage of middle-ear fluid. These tubes seem to improve treated ears’hearing for a few months, and this may be very important to the child who is at a crucial stage of language development. Research has shown, however, that there is no long-term improvement in hearing when tubes are inserted, and eardrums in which tubes have been placed tend to become scarred. We believe that the tubes should be inserted for serous otitis only when there is a significant, documented hearing problem, when the risks of the surgery are clearly understood, and when the goal of treatment is improved hearing within a short period.
General Home Care
General recommendations for any infectious illness apply to people with acute middle-ear infections; they should rest, have plenty of liquids, and be comforted. A heating pad or hot washcloth applied to the ear may help reduce pain.
To help prevent ear infection, avoid nursing or bottle feeding children when they are in a lying position; gravity may allow milk or juice to run into the eustachian tubes, encouraging infection. Allergies may predispose an individual to ear infection by causing inflammation and fluid buildup; identification of the substances that trigger allergic reactions for that person can be helpful.
Beyond Home Care See “Beyond Home Care” that follows “Otitis Externa.”
Otitis Externa (Outer Ear Infection)
External ear infections are essentially skin infections involving the canal that leads from the outer ear to the eardrum, The symptoms of external ear infections often include much ear pain and throbbing due to inflammation. The pain is characteristically aggravated by moving the outer ear, so a helpful way to differentiate between middle ear and external ear infections is to pull on the earlobe. Both types of ear infections can be present at the same time, so you should still use the guidelines in “Beyond Home Care” to decide if medical consultation is needed. Often the ear canal is quite itchy during an external ear infection. If you look into the canal, you can see that it is red and scaly or wet, and a thick discharge may be present. There is usually no fever or general symptoms of illness.
External ear infections do not endanger the organs of hearing, although the discharge and swelling may reduce hearing for a time. As with all skin infections, there is some small danger that the infection will spread aggressively. Rapidly spreading redness or swelling of the outer ear or nearby skin is a danger sign, as is onset of fever.
General Home Care
Gently wash out the accumulated scaling and discharge by placing a piece of cotton soaked in dilute vinegar (half water/half vinegar) or Burow’s solution (available at drug stores) in the ear canal, leaving it there for eight to twelve hours. Make sure you can pull the cotton out easily again. Then briefly rinse the canal with warm water, using a bulb syringe. Let the ear drain after this, but put in a drop or two of the vinegar solution every eight hours or so.
Beyond Home Care
Get Medical Care Immediately:
- if earache is accompanied by severe weakness, loss of alertness, severe headache, or stiffness of the neck.
Get Medical Care Today:
- if a baby begins to pull or rub her ears;
- for any definite earache or any ear discharge in a child under seven years old;
- for anyone with severe earache, especially if it’s accompanied by fever or ear discharge;
- if there is tenderness or redness in the bony area behind the ear;
- if there is sudden, significant decrease in hearing with or without pain.
See Your Practitioner Soon:
- if an older child or adult has had mild ear pain or discharge lasting longer than one or two weeks;
- if mild hearing loss lasts longer than two weeks.
Homeopathic Medicines for All Ear Infections
The following descriptions apply to children with ear infections, but the indications for adults are the same. Most of the descriptions of physical-exam findings (color and shape of the eardrum) apply to otitis media, but all the other symptoms are applicable to those with both middle-ear infections and otitis externa. You can also use these descriptions to treat the person with a earache due to something other than infection.
Many of these medicines share similar symptoms. For example, Silica, Hepar sulph., and Mercurius are all equally indicated by the presence of painfully swollen lymph nodes in the head and neck that commonly occur with ear infections. If no medicine is strongly indicated, start with either Pulsatilla, if the child is more clingy than usual, or Hepar, if the child is somewhat irritable or severe pain is the predominant feature of the illness.
Casetaking Questions for Earaches
Character of the symptoms:
- Does the pain extend into the throat, neck, or behind the ear?
- Describe the color and consistency of any discharge from the ear.Modalities:
- At what time of day is the pain at its worst?
- Is the ear tender or sensitive to touch?
- How does heat and cold affect the pain?
- How is the pain affected by stooping or bending over, motion in general, and lying down? Does it help to lie on the affected ear?
- Does swallowing make the pain worse?Other symptoms:
- What is the color and consistency of any nasal discharge?
- Is perspiration or salivation increased? (See the appropriate articles if the earache is accompanied by runny nose, cough, sore throat, or any other symptoms.)Remedy Summary for Earaches
Give the medicine: every 3-6 hours for 2-3 days, stopping when there is definite improvement; repeat when symptoms begin to get worse again, or if no further improvement has occurred after twelve hours. When to try another medicine: if there is no significant improvement after 12-24 hours
- Earache beginning suddenly with intense pain, with few prior symptoms of a cold (no thick or colored nasal discharge) Confirmatory symptoms
- Bright red outer ear, ear canal, or eardrum without pus formation
- Accompanied by sudden high fever (see chapter 3)
- Ear pain extending down into the neck, or accompanied by sore throat or facial pain.
- Early stages of earaches before pus has formed; symptoms similar to Belladonna but not as sudden or severe
- Alternatively, give if Belladonna seems indicated but hasn’t helped.
Hepar sulph. Essentials
- Sharp, severe earache
- Earache accompanied by thick, colored discharge from nose or ears
- Irritability Confirmatory symptoms
- Chilliness and aversion to the cold or uncovering; desire for warmth
- Earache worse in cold or open air or from cold applications better from warmth; worse at night
- Mild disposition; craves affection and physical contact
- Yellow to green thick discharge from the nose or ears Confirmatory symptoms
- Ear pain worse at night and in a warm room.
- Worse in general from warmth, wants fresh air
- Little or no thirst
- Extreme irritability; the child screams and cries angrily, doesn’t want to be touched or comforted, and may strike out
- Severe ear pain Confirmatory symptoms
- The child calms down when carried
- Earaches during teething
- Symptoms are worse when stooping or bending over and improved by warmth or being wrapped in warm covers
- Clear nasal discharge, usually of watery consistency
- Another common earache remedy after pus has formed in the middle ear Confirmatory symptoms
- Earache worse from warmth and worse at night
- Profuse, bad-smelling perspiration, head sweats
- Increased salivation, bad breath, puffiness of the tongue
- Symptoms are worse when stooping or bending over and improved by warmth or being wrapped in warm covers
- Later stages of an earache
- Physical weakness and tiredness
- Chilliness, desire for warm covering Confirmatory symptoms
- Mild and whimpering disposition but less interested in affection than the
- Pulsatilla patient
- Pain behind the ear in the region of the mastoid
- Sweating about the head or on the hands or feetBelladonna is the most commonly indicated homeopathic medicine during the early stages of an ear infection or earache, especially when the illness begins suddenly with few prior cold symptoms, Within an hour or two the child is in intense pain. He may have had a watery runny nose for a short while, but the mucus isn’t cloudy, colored, or thick. The outer ear, ear canal, or eardrum may be bright red, but pus hasn’t formed and the eardrum is still normally shaped. A sudden high feveroften begins about the same time as the earache. The ear pain may extend down into the neck, and there may be associated sore-throat or facial pain.Ferrum phos. is used in much the same way as Belladonna, in the early stages of suddenly occurring earaches not yet accompanied by pus formation. The onset is not quite as sudden, the fever is not so high, and the overall condition of the child is a little less intense. You can also give Ferrum phos. if you’ve already tried Belladonna and it still seems indicated, but hasn’t worked. Chamomilla is indicated chiefly by the effects of the illness on the child’s mood, and less so by particular symptoms. Children for whom Chamomilla is indicated are extremely irritable. They scream and cry angrily, do not want to be touched, and can’t be comforted. They may ask for things that they then reject, and they are likely to hit you for crossing them at all or for no apparent reason. Sometimes the child can be calmed by being carried. The earache generally doesn’t come on as quickly as in the Belladonna case, but the pain is severe and the child may scream. The symptoms may be made worse by stooping or bending over and improved by warmth or being wrapped in warm covers. A discharge from the ear is less typical of Chamomilla than of other medicines discussed later. There is usually a watery runny nose and, less often, a very thick discharge. As with Belladonna, the nasal mucus is usually not colored. Whatever the particular symptoms, though, be sure to consider Chamomilla for the child who is in severe pain, especially if he is extremely irritable.
Another commonly effective medicine is Pulsatilla. In contrast to Chamomilla, it is indicated for children who are sweet, placid, loving, and mild during the earache. The Pulsatilla child may be irritable, but the irritability is weak and whiny, not violent as is the Chamomilla or Hepar child. Pulsatilla children want to be held and cuddled and are comforted when given affection. They too may scream with the pain but are just as likely to weep piteously. Pulsatilla is more frequently indicated for ear infections that develop after cold symptoms have been persistent for a few days. The nasal discharge has become thick and yellow to green in color. Though pain may be fairly severe, sometimes there seems to be no pain at all. Examination often shows a red, swollen eardrum and a buildup of pus in the middle ear. A thick yellow-green discharge may be seen at the external canal. The pain is typically worse at night and in a warm room. There may be a sensation of pressure in the ear. The child may or may not be feverish but tends to feel uncomfortably warm and wants fresh air. She is noticeably less thirsty than usual, even with a high fever. In any case, the strongest indication for Pulsatilla is the characteristic mildness and clinginess of the child.
Silica is also indicated for the middle and later stages of a cold accompanied by an ear infection. The child who needs Silica also is mild and whimpering but is less loving and less interested in affection than the Pulsatilla child. Also characteristic of children for whom Silica is indicated are marked physical weakness and tiredness. The illness seems to have really worn them out. They are definitely chilly and want warm covering. They may have sweat about the head or on the hands or feet. If there is pain in the ear, it may be intense but usually not as severe as the pain of some of the other medicines. It tends to occur at night and is made worse by cold applications, moving, sitting for a long time, and noise. Silica is the remedy most prominently indicated for pain behind the ear in the region of the mastoid, though many other medicines also cover this complaint. There may be itching in the ear (also symptoms of Hepar sulph. and Mercurius) or a stopped-up sensation. The examination may show inflammation and pus formation, and there may be drainage of pus or watery fluid from the ear. A nasal discharge, of any character, often accompanies the infection.
The physical symptoms indicating Hepar sulph. are similar to those of Silica but more intense. Again, this is a remedy best given during the middle and late stages of colds and ear infections, when a thick, colored nasal discharge often precedes or accompanies the earache and when inflammation in the middle ear has progressed to the point that pus has formed. You should think of Hepar when the child is intensely, even violently irritable about everything. Although this emotional state is similar to that described for Chamomilla, the child is a little less expressive, is less prone to scream constantly or hit, doesn’t have such a strong aversion to being held, and is less likely to throw away things she asked for. But the Hepar child lets you know, in no uncertain terms, that she is angry. Hepar is indicated for children who are very chilly-cold air or coldness of any sort makes them uncomfortable and provokes symptoms. The child wants the heat turned up, and she wants lots of blankets. The earache is usually severe and is worse at night. It is also made worse by cold air, open air, and cold applications and is improved by warmth and bundling up.
Mercurius is also indicated for earaches after pus formation has occurred. The child needing Mercurius is somewhat irritable and may act impulsively or hastily, or he may be less alert than when normal. He may be generally bothered by heat or cold or both, but this particular earache is typically made worse by warmth, especially the warmth of the bed. Pain is worse at night. Characteristic Mercurius symptoms also include profuse and offensive perspiration, head sweats, increased salivation, bad breath, puffiness of the tongue, and trembling or twitching.
The information provided here is not only applicable to children but to most people with earaches.
By Dana Ullman MPH, CCH
Animal Homeopathy, a branch of alternative medicine, is growing in size and popularity as society’s interest in alternative medicine for humans continues to grow. Homeopathy was first devised for humans in the 1790s by a German physician named Samuel Hahnemann.
Its key concept can be found in its name: Homeopathy comes from the Greek word for like or similar, and that’s what Homeopaths believe: “like cures like.”
Homeopathy is founded on the belief that every being (pets as well as humans) has a self-healing response, and that health problems develop when that response is hindered or imbalanced. Homeopathy views the symptoms within the larger context of the affected individual’s overall health, and then tries to stimulate the body’s own healing responses.
Homeopathic remedies, therefore, cause symptoms similar to the ones the sick animal is already showing. For instance, an animal who has diarrhea would be treated with–in incredibly tiny amounts–a plant, mineral, or animal substance that causes diarrhea. The remedy replaces the illness, causing a cure by allowing the animal’s own healing powers to overcome the condition. Thus “like cures like.”
What is Homeopathy?
The substances used in Homeopathy are derived from herbs, minerals, and other natural substances that are diluted beyond the point of actual toxicity. In fact, Homeopaths believe that the more diluted the substance, the higher the potency, and the less frequently it has to be given.
This means that, by and large, Homeopathic medicines are quite safe and produce no side effects, even when they sound a little ominous. Some of the most common compounds include ingredients such as sulfur, bee venom, and even poison ivy.
This is a distinctly different approach than that used by traditional Western veterinary medicine, and there’s a great deal of debate about whether the benefits of Homeopathy are real and provable. The Homeopathic stance against vaccination (which is seen as causing an artificial imbalance of the body’s vital energies) is particularly controversial.
Still, thousands of dog owners around the world believe strongly in its power to heal and maintain health, and a growing number of veterinarians are being trained in Homeopathic as well as Western medicine.
What conditions should I use it for?
There are more than 2,000 Homeopathic remedies available, and they address a wide range of chronic and acute conditions. Basically, for any of the ailments that modern dogs suffer, from viruses to bacterial infections, from respiratory disease to kidney dysfunction, there’s a Homeopathic remedy.
How will the Homeopath treat my dog?
When you first visit a Homeopath, he should do a physical exam and ask a lot of questions. After all, the key to success in Homeopathy is individualization–that is, two dogs who’ve been diagnosed with the same disease may be presenting entirely different symptoms, so they may receive entirely different Homeopathic remedies.
All your dog’s symptoms need to be explored: What is the exact nature of the symptoms? What time of day do they occur? What is your pet’s overall demeanor and behavior? With this information (and more) in hand, the Homeopath will decide which symptom to address first. The method is always to tackle just one symptom at a time, with as little interference from other medications or treatments as possible.
Remember, even its greatest proponents say Homeopathic medicine has its limits. Because it relies on the natural healing properties of the body, if the body is already badly damaged through disease or accident, Homeopathy won’t be effective. If it’s a matter of a traumatic disease or accident, alternatives such as surgery and antibiotics are likely to be necessary.
What to expect when giving your dog Homeopathic medicines.
Just as Homeopathy differs philosophically from conventional medicine, there are differences in how remedies are administered as well. Here are just a few of the things you should keep in mind:
Don’t give the remedies with food. Give Homeopathic medicines at least an hour before or after feeding, so the food and the medicine don’t interfere with each other.
Don’t give your dog any other medications unless your Homeopath has approved them. This includes other Homeopathic remedies as well as conventional medications. And though Homeopathy is often used along with other alternative therapies such as chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, or even magnet therapy, check with your Homeopath before you use them.
Homeopaths believe that vaccination interferes with Homeopathic treatment.
Sometimes symptoms may actually worsen after treatment–but only for a little while. This is known as “Homeopathic aggravation,” and it’s believed to be part of the healing process. Homeopaths will tell you that this will end quickly and be followed by even faster recovery.
There may be “discharges” as part of the healing process. This can include diarrhea, discharges from the eyes, skin, or nasal passages, or even “behavioral discharges,” such as showing new fears or sleeping in a new location. As difficult as this might be to watch, Homeopaths suggest that you interfere with these as little as possible. They’re considered to be good signs, marking the beginning of healing.
How to choose a veterinary Homeopath
The first and best method is always referral. If you have friends or relatives who have been using Homeopathic remedies with their pets for a while, find out who they work with. Even if their practitioners are not in your area, they may know of someone near to you.
Talk with your own vet as well. Though he are she may not be trained in Homeopathy, many of the country’s largest veterinary schools offer classes and certifications in the field, as well as in other holistic practices, so your own doctor may be a better resource than you realize.
You can also learn more about the subject and find referrals online at a variety of sites maintained by groups such as the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy.
Tina treats all creatures, great and small!
Dogs, Cats, and..
There is a wide body of evidence that Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) maintained a special interest in and appreciation for Homeopathic medicine. It is therefore not surprising that many of Lincoln’s advisors were users of and advocates for Homeopathy.
Before Lincoln was elected president, in 1854 he was retained as a Lawyer to prepare a state legislative proposal to charter a Homeopathic Medical College in Chicago. Chicago was the home of the American Medical Association, which had been founded in 1847 in part to stop the growth of Homeopathy, and therefore, Lincoln’s job was no simple effort.
Yet many of Chicago’s most prominent citizens and politicians participated on the board of trustees of the proposed Hahnemann Medical College, including Chicago’s mayor, two congressmen, an Illinois state representative, a Chicago city councilman, the co-founder of Northwestern University, the founder of Chicago Union Railroad, and several medical doctors who were Homeopaths. Despite significant opposition, Lincoln was successful in obtaining a charter for the Homeopathic college.
Today, the Pearson Museum at Southern Illinois University has an exhibit of a 19th-century doctor’s office and drugstore; included in this exhibit is a Homeopathic medicine kit from the Diller Drug Store of Springfield, Ill. The exhibit notes that Abraham Lincoln was a frequent customer of the drug store and a regular user of Homeopathic medicines.
Lincoln’s Cabinet Members
Of special significance, Lincoln surrounded himself with advocates for Homeopathy, among them the postmaster general, the secretary of the treasury and his most trusted adviser and Secretary of State, William Seward. Salmon P. Chase, Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury, may have had his life saved by Homeopathy after being treated for Cholera in the Summer of 1849 when a Cholera epidemic was rampant. Montgomery Blair, Lincoln’s postmaster general, was the head of the National Homeopathic Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Ultimately, what befell William Seward is a classic story to illustrate conventional medicine’s attitude toward and actions against unconventional medical treatments and the physicians who provide them. It is first important to realize that the American Medical Association in the 19th century was so threatened by Homeopathic medicine that the AMA created and enforced an ethics code that barred AMA members from consulting with Homeopathic doctors or Homeopathic patients.
On the famed night that Lincoln was assassinated, Seward was stabbed in a multi-person assassination plot against the Union. The assassin gained entrance to Seward’s home and to his personal bedroom by claiming to have a delivery of medicines from his Homeopathic doctor, Tullio S. Verdi, M.D. Thanks to the medical care provided by U.S. Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes, M.D., Seward survived. However, according to John S. Haller, some members of the AMA wanted to censure Dr. Barnes for associating with Verdi, a Homeopath, in providing Seward’s medical care.
Lincoln’s Leader of the Union Army
On Nov. 1, 1861, Lincoln appointed Major General George Brinton McClellan (1826-1885) to command the Union army during the Civil War. However, in late December McClellan contracted typhoid fever, which left him unable to go to his office to conduct business. According to military historian Ethan S. Rafuse:
During the first week of McClellan’s illness, two Homeopathic doctors arrived from New York to tend the ill general and his father-in-law and chief-of-staff, Randolph B. Marcy, who was also ill. McClellan’s employment of Homeopathic treatments is one of the more interesting sidelights of this episode, particularly in light of the fact that the general came from a family of prominent physicians.
Despite this serious illness, General McClellan remained active, giving regular orders to his subordinates, arranging for troop movement and supply transport, meeting with the president on a weekly basis, issuing court martial orders, and even providing commendations to officers. By January 2, he seemed to be much better and shortly afterwards had no noticeable physical limitations. McClellan lived another 23 years.
Despite the success of Homeopathic treatment on the military leader of the Union army, that very month, January 1862, according to Rafuse, “The Army Medical Board rejected requests by Homeopathic doctors to serve in military hospitals, arguing that to grant this request would invite applications from all types of ‘quacks’ and ‘charlatans’ claiming medical expertise.” The problem with this false critique is that Homeopathic doctors at that time graduated from various leading conventional medical schools or select Homeopathic Medical Schools, such as Boston University, Hahnemann Medical School (in Philadelphia), or the New York Homeopathic Medical College (many famous medical schools today started off as Homeopathic medical colleges).
Reasons for the Animosity
The public today does not adequately understand the degree of animosity that conventional doctors had toward Homeopathic physicians. The reasoning for this animosity is probably best described in the words of one doctor to an AMA meeting:
“Too many wives of conventional physicians are going to Homeopathic physicians. And to make it worse,” he added, “they are taking their children to Homeopaths too.”
Homeopathic physicians were not simply competitors to conventional physicians; Homeopaths were medically trained and could not be considered “uneducated” or under-educated. Further, inherent in Homeopathy is a profound respect for the “wisdom of the body,” and therefore, Homeopaths tend to maintain a significant skepticism of and criticism for using powerful drug treatments that tend to suppress symptoms and push a person’s disease deeper into his/her body and mind.
The conventional medical community was also threatened by the fact that Homeopathy was attracting so many U.S. cultural leaders. The strongest advocates for Homeopathy tended to be educated classes and wealthy Americans as well as the abolitionists, the literary greats (including virtually all of the leading American transcendentalist authors), and the suffragists (Homeopaths admitted women into their medical schools and associations several decades before the conventional doctors did).
In the 19th century, the AMA did not enforce the many ethical code or professional health care violations of its members, therefore allowing physicians to prescribe mercury in dangerously high doses, enabling physicians to blood-let their patients to death, and even engage in treatment while inebriated. And yet, the AMA was ridiculously strict in their enforcement of their ethical code against any interaction with Homeopathic doctors or their patients.
One AMA member got kicked out of his local medical society for consulting with a Homeopath who also happened to be his wife.
Typhoid fever caused more deaths during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War than the deaths caused by bullets. History shows that Homeopathy gained widespread popularity in the United States and Europe from its successes in treating various infectious disease epidemics of the mid- and late-1800s, including typhoid epidemics., Despite these good results, the AMA’s influence on governmental regulations led to stipulation that graduates of Homeopathic Medical Colleges could not receive a military commission.
Thankfully, the antagonism toward Homeopaths was not as severe during World War I; almost 2,000 Homeopathic physicians were commissioned as medical officers. Even the American Red Cross authorized a Homeopathic hospital unit.
Recent research has confirmed the clinical efficacy of Homeopathic medicines and the cost-effectiveness of Homeopathic treatment, as determined by what is widely recognized as the most comprehensive report ever conducted on Homeopathy — and this report was commissioned by the government of Switzerland.
A detailed article in the famed Archives in Internal Medicine has verified that the small doses used in Homeopathic medicines are no smaller than many hormones and cell-signaling agents, which are widely recognized to have profound biological effects on daily human functioning. Further, a wide and multi-disciplinary body of modern scientific evidence has confirmed the biological power of Homeopathic nano-doses.,
In a Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Social Transformation of American Medicine, Dr. Paul Starr wrote about Homeopathy in the 19th century, asserting, “Because Homeopathy was simultaneously philosophical and experimental, it seemed to many people to be more rather than less scientific than orthodox medicine.” Although Lincoln surrounded himself with advocates for Homeopathy, that didn’t protect the medical science from his famous wit. He described Homeopathy once as “medicine of a shadow of a pigeon’s wing.” This exaggerated metaphor is reference to the very small doses sometimes used.
Considering the honored place accorded Homeopathy by many cultural heroes and the growing body of basic science research and clinical evidence, it is unsurprising that Homeopathic medicine is more popular today than at any other time worldwide.
And it seems appropriate to end this article on Lincoln’s association with Homeopathy by citing U.S. writer and friend to many presidents, Mark Twain. In an article for Harper’s Weekly, he warned others of the dangers of conventional medicine (“allopathy”) and thanked the advocates of Homeopathy:
[box] When you reflect that your own father had to take such medicines as the above, and that you would be taking them today yourself but for the introduction of Homeopathy, which forced the old-school doctor to stir around and learn something of a rational nature about his business; you may honestly feel grateful that Homoeopathy survived the attempts of the allopathists [conventional physicians] to destroy it, even though you may never employ any physician but an allopathist while you live.[/box]
Part two of this article will provide more information about Abraham Lincoln and his team of Homeopaths.
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 Bornhoft, Gudrun, and Matthiessen, Peter F. Homeopathy in Healthcare: Effectiveness, Appropriateness, Safety, Costs. Goslar, Germany: Springer, 2011.
 Bradford, T. L. The Logic of Figures or Comparative Results of Homoeopathic and Other Treatments. Philadelphia: Boericke and Tafel, 1900.
 Chikramane PS, Kalita D, Suresh AK, Kane SG, Bellare JR. “Why Extreme Dilutions Reach Non-zero Asymptotes: A Nanoparticulate Hypothesis Based on Froth Flotation.” Langmuir. 2012 Nov 13;28(45):15864-75. doi: 10.1021/la303477s. Epub 2012 Nov 1.
 Coulter, H. L. Divided Legacy: A History of the Schism in Medical Thought. Volume I: The Patterns Emerge-Hippocrates to Paracelsus. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 1973.
 Dearborn, F. M. American Homoeopathy in the World War. Washington, D.C.: American Institute of Homeopathy, 1923.
 Eskinazi, D., “Homeopathy Re-revisited: Is Homeopathy Compatible with Biomedical Observations?” Archives in Internal Medicine, 159, Sept 27, 1999:1981-7.
 Haller, J. S. The History of American Homeopathy: The Academic Years, 1820-1935. New York: Pharmaceutical Products, 2005. p. 192
 Hill, B. L., and Hunt, J. G. Homoeopathic Practice of Surgery and Operative Surgery. Cleveland: J. B. Cobb, 1855.
 Hughes, T. A Boy’s Experience in the Civil War, 1860-1865, 1904.
 Karst, F. “Homeopathy in Illinois,” Caduceus, Summer 1988, pp. 1-33.
 Medical Visitor, Volume 16, 1900, p. 434.
 “Other Days,” Homeopathic Recorder, 1887, p. 6.
 Niven, John. Salmon P. Chase: A Biography in Paradox. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.p. 126.
 Spiegel, A. D., and Kavaler, F. “The Role of Abraham Lincoln in Securing a Charter for a Homeopathic Medical College,” Journal of Community Health, 2002, 27(5):357-380.
 Starr, Paul. The Social Transformation of American Medicine. New York: Basic, 1982.
 Twain, M. “A Majestic Literary Fossil,” Harper’s Magazine, February 1890, 80(477):439-444.
 Ullman, Dana. The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2007.
 Rafuse, Ethan S. “Typhoid and Tumult: Lincoln’s Response to General McClellan’s Bout with Typhoid Fever during the Winter of 1861-62.” Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Vol. 18 Issue 2, Summer 1997.
 Wershub, Leonard Paul. One Hundred Years of Medical Progress: A History of the New York Medical College Flower and Fifth Avenue Hospitals. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas, 1967. p 175
(1) Other members of the Homeopathic hospital’s board of trustees included Morrison R. Waite, Chief Justice (from 1874-1888), and Hon. Thomas F. Bayard, Secretary of State (under Grover Cleveland) and Ambassador to England.
(2) McClellan’s father was a prominent surgeon, author, and educator, and his uncle and older brother were highly respected members of the regular medical profession. McClellan’s use of Homeopathic treatments can be attributed to his wife, Ellen Marcy McClellan. One doctor who treated the general was Ellen’s uncle, Erastus E. Marcy, the founder and editor of the North American Homeopathic Journal, who was a leading advocate during the 1840s and 1850s.
(3) The story of Hughes, however, is very interesting because he practiced in Richmond, Virginia, where many leading Union officers became his patients, including General Peter Michie, the federal quartermaster general in charge of all supplies for the Union army. Another Homeopathic doctor who served soldiers of the Confederacy was Samuel Hunt, MD, of Georgia.
Evidence Based Homeopath
…and the Homeopathic medicines were found to be a lot Safer than Antibiotics.
The effectiveness of a Homeopathic syrup on cough has been demonstrated in an adult population in a previous double-blind randomized study. The present prospective observational study investigated children affected by wet acute cough caused by non-complicated URTIs, comparing those who received the Homeopathic syrup versus those treated with the Homeopathic syrup plus antibiotic.
The aims were: 1) to assess whether the addition of antibiotics to a symptomatic treatment had a role in reducing the severity and duration of acute cough in a pediatric population, as well as in improving cough resolution; 2) to verify the safety of the two treatments.
Eighty-five children were enrolled in an open study: 46 children received Homeopathic syrup alone for 10 days and 39 children received Homeopathic syrup for 10 days plus oral antibiotic treatment (amoxicillin/clavulanate, clarithromycin, and erythromycin) for 7 days. To assess cough severity we used a subjective verbal category-descriptive (VCD) scale.
Cough VCD score was significantly (P < 0.001) reduced in both groups starting from the second day of treatment (−0.52 ± 0.66 in the Homeopathic syrup group and −0.56 ± 0.55 in children receiving Homeopathic syrup plus oral antibiotic treatment). No significant differences in cough severity or resolution were found between the two groups of children in any of the 28 days of the study. After the first week (day 8) cough was completely resolved in more than one-half of patients in both groups. Two children (4.3 %) reported adverse effects in the group treated with the Homeopathic syrup alone, versus 9 children (23.1 %) in the group treated with the Homeopathic syrup plus antibiotics (P = 0.020).
Our data confirm that the Homeopathic treatment in question has potential benefits for cough in children as well, and highlight the strong safety profile of this treatment. Additional antibiotic prescription was not associated with a greater cough reduction, and presented more adverse events than the Homeopathic syrup alone.
Keywords: Anti-bacterial agents, Antitussive agents, Cough, Homeopathy, Respiratory tract infections
Acute cough is a very common problem for children; the majority of them have up to five viral upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) with cough every year , usually self-limiting within 3 weeks [2, 3]. Generally, such frequency of cough is more applicable to young children than to childhood and adolescence [2, 3]. Acute cough in children may last over 20 days and become worrying for the young patients and their parents [4–6]. Symptomatic treatment is often prescribed after a medical consultation, although its effectiveness it is still a matter of debate [7–9], and – contrary to recommendations – antibiotics are frequently administered to children with acute persistent cough [10–13].
A survey in the United States found that antibiotics were prescribed to 44 % of patients with common cold, to 46 % with upper respiratory tract infections and to 75 % with bronchitis. Children aged 0 to four years received 53 % of all antibiotics prescribed to the pediatric population .
A Cochrane review of antibiotic use for cough and common cold concluded that there was not enough evidence of important benefits in the treatment of URTI, whereas there was a significant increase in adverse effects associated with antibiotic use .
However, parents are rarely satisfied with in the watchful approach, and often have an expectation that antibiotics should be prescribed . The aim of this preliminary study was to evaluate if the addition of antibiotics to a symptomatic treatment (Homeopathic syrup) improves cough resolution in pediatric patients with acute cough due to uncomplicated URTI.
We conducted an open prospective analysis of acute cough visits in four ambulatory settings of pediatric practitioners over a one-year period from December 2013 to December 2014. The study considered only patients affected by wet acute cough caused by non-complicated URTIs who either received a Homeopathic syrup alone (Stodal® 200 mL, Boiron SA, Messimy, France) or were treated with the same Homeopathic syrup plus antibiotic. The Homeopathic syrup was composed of: Anemone pulsatilla 6 CH, Rumex crispus 6 CH, Bryonia dioica 3 CH, Ipecacuanha 3 CH, Spongia tosta 3 CH, Sticta pulmonaria 3 CH, Antimonium tartaricum 6 CH, Myocarde 6 CH, Coccus cacti 3 CH, Drosera MT. The effectiveness of this Homeopathic syrup on cough was investigated in our previous double-blind randomized study . The syrup’s dosage was 5 mL 4 times per day. Choices of antibiotic use, as well as antibiotic type and dosage, were left to the discretion of the physician for each individual patient.
The first endpoint was to assess whether the addition of antibiotics to a symptomatic treatment had a role in reducing the severity and duration of acute cough in a pediatric population, as well as in improving cough resolution. The second goal was to verify the safety of the two treatments.
Study assessment was carried out through an analysis of medical records (including patients’ history, clinical examination and therapy). All participants filled in a validated standardized pediatric cough diary (verbal category-descriptive scale: VCD) to grade the severity of their cough . The VCD was compiled daily by the patients, assisted by their parents, for 28 consecutive days starting from the first visit. This cough-scoring diary had been previously validated against an objective cough meter measure, and changes in this subjective cough rating were shown to reflect changes in cough counts . The VCD score we used consisted of 6 discrete values: 0 – no cough; 1 – one short period of mild cough without hardship; 2 – some short periods of cough without much hardship; 3 – frequent coughing that does not affect normal daily life or sleep; 4 – serious coughing that is very frequent and interferes with normal daily life or sleep; 5 – distressing continuous coughing that did not stop for 24 h. Cough was considered resolved when a score of less than 2 was reached.
Patients were re-examined at the end of the study and any adverse events were also reported.
Eighty-five children were found eligible to be enrolled in the study. Forty-six patients received homeopathic syrup alone for 10 days (Group 1) and thirty-nine children received homeopathic syrup for 10 days plus oral antibiotic treatment (amoxicillin/clavulanate, clarithromycin, and erythromycin) for 7 days (Group 2).
The inclusion criteria were: age between 4 and 15 years, and cough induced by URTIs lasting 5 days or less. Children with pre-existing respiratory problems and/or who had antibiotic treatment or any other medication that might affect the cough symptom within 5 days were excluded from the study.
The baseline characteristics of the two studied groups are shown in Table . The two groups proved comparable with respect to sex, age and time from onset of cough. No significant differences in baseline severity of cough were found between male and female patients both in the overall population (P = 0.366) and within the two groups (P = 0.719 in Group 1 and P = 0.322 in Group 2).
Characteristics of the studied children affected by wet acute cough caused by non-complicated URTI. Data are shown as frequencies or mean ± standard deviation
The research was promoted by the Italian Association for Cough Study (AIST) and was conducted according to the Helsinki declaration. The protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board and the informed consent was obtained by the legal guardians of the enrolled children.
Sample size and power analysis
To evaluate sample size, we hypothesized–for this study performed on children–the same results obtained previously in adults after 7 days of administering the same homeopathic syrup  (i.e., a difference between groups of VCD equal to 0.7 and a within-group standard deviation of 1.0). Based on these values, we needed to study a total of at least 76 subjects (i.e., 38 subjects in each group, hypothesizing an equal distribution of patients among the two groups) to be able to reject the null hypothesis with probability (power) equal to 0.90 at a significance level of 0.05. The sample size was estimated by means of the “PS Power and Sample Size Calculations” software (Version 3.0.43; Department of Statistics of the Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA; http://biostat.mc.vanderbilt.edu/wiki/Main/PowerSampleSize) according to the Dupont and Plummer procedure [19, 20].
Frequencies and mean values ± standard deviation were used as descriptive statistics. The two groups of children were compared by means of the Fisher’s exact and the Kruskal-Wallis tests, while the Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test was used to test the changes of the VCD scale observed versus the basal values. The IBM SPSS Statistics package (Version 21; IBM Co., Armonk, NY, USA) was used to analyze the data. Two-tailed P values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Figure shows the behavior of the verbal category-descriptive (VCD) scale of cough during the entire observational period. Cough severity was comparable between the two groups at baseline (Day 1; P = 0.763) as well as on all other days of the study. We found a highly significant (P < 0.001) improvement in cough during the whole observational period from day 2 to day 28, both in children treated with syrup alone and in those treated with syrup plus antibiotics, with a non-significant difference in progressive reduction of cough severity between the two groups (Table ).
Behavior of verbal category-descriptive (VCD) scale of cough during the whole observational period in children affected by wet acute cough caused by non-complicated URTI. Data are shown as mean ± standard deviation and the Kruskal-Wallis …
Improvement of cough during the whole observational period in children affected by wet acute cough caused by non-complicated URTI
The analysis of patients presenting cough (i.e., VCD score greater than 1) on each day of the study is reported in Fig. . Cough resolution began on Day 4 (8.7 % in Group 1 and 5.1 % in Group 2) and continued progressively through the entire study period. In particular, after the first week (Day 8) cough was completely resolved in more than one-half of patients in both groups (58.7 % in Group 1 and 53.8 % in Group 2), while 22 % of patients in Group 1 and 17.9 % of patients in Group 2 were still coughing at Day 21. Cough was still reported in 8 patients of Group 1 (17.4 %) and in 5 patients of Group 2 (12.8 %) at the end of the observation, although the cough in those patients did not interfere with daily activities and sleep (i.e., VCD score equal to 2 or 3).
Cough resolution during the whole observational period in children affected by wet acute cough caused by non-complicated URTI. The Fisher’s exact test was applied
We observed a total of 11 adverse events with a significantly (P = 0.020) higher frequency in patients who received syrup plus antibiotic treatment than in those who took syrup alone. In fact, two patients in Group 1 (4.3 %) reported insomnia (n = 1) and vomit (n = 1) while nine patients in Group 2 (23.1 %) reported diarrhea (n = 4), vomit (n = 3) and skin rash (n = 2).
Our group recently published a controlled randomized trial demonstrating the favorable effect of a homeopathic syrup on the resolution of acute cough in adults compared to placebo. . Our data suggest an antitussive efficacy of this homeopathic syrup in children since the time-courses of the VCD severity score in the syrup treated children of this study resulted overlapping to that obtained in syrup treated adults in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trail . In fact, after 4 days the mean VCD score was a bit more than 2 both in children (present study) and in adults  versus a mean VDC score of more than 3 observed in adults treated with placebo .
The data of the present study also indicate that adding antimicrobial agents to the homeopathic syrup does not in any way benefit the symptomatic treatment–so adding to the weight of evidence against prescribing antibiotics to patients with acute cough due to uncomplicated URTI. The differences in VCD scale between the homeopathic syrup group and the group that also received antibiotics are not statistically significant on any observation day, and the cough resolution trend was comparable week after week for both groups (Table ).
At the end of the second week of observation, cough was resolved in 74 % of children treated with syrup alone and in 72 % of children who received syrup plus antibiotic, while at the end of the 28-day observation period about 10–20 % of children still presented cough, without any significant difference between the two treatment groups. These data are consistent with a recent review on the duration of symptoms of respiratory tract infections in children . The percentage of children still presenting cough at the end of the study confirms that acute cough associated with URTI continues for several weeks, thus suggesting that it is necessary to educate people and the medical community about this natural history.
For the assessment of cough severity we did not use a complete parent-compiled quality of life quality (PC-QoL) questionnaire but instead we adopted a subjective verbal category-descriptive (VCD) scale . Although this scale was validated against an objective cough meter measure in children slightly older (6–17 year-old) than our population (4–15 year-old), it can be considered reliable also for our study since it is a parent-assisted card. The VCD was found to be easier to use than the PC-QoL and so assures better compliance; in fact, we have made a preliminary test on the correct compilation of the VCD scale and the PC-QoL questionnaire, conducted on 20 patients for 28 consecutive days, and we obtained a compliance of 95 % for VCD but just 35 % for PC-QoL. It should also be pointed out that VCD has been proven to have a high correlation with domain variations of the PC-QoL questionnaire in children [21, 22]. Furthermore, since the VCD scale was used in our previous study on the same homeopathic syrup in adults, applying the same validated assessment tool in this study on a child population enabled us to obtain standardized and comparable data between children and adults .
As far as safety is concerned, it is worth noting that a significant difference was found between the two groups of children: only two children in the group treated with syrup alone reported adverse effects, versus nine children in the group treated with the syrup plus antibiotics.
As far as the limitations of the research are concerned, a major weakness of our study arises from the observational design that we applied in this appraisal. Thus we did not considered a placebo group since the main goal of our research was not the effectiveness of homeopatic syrup but it was to evaluate the role of additional antibiotic. It should be pointed out that this research was a pilot study conducted before starting a larger trial on the role of antitussive and mucolytic drugs in children; however, the results of this preliminary study can provide valuable information for the sizing of future rigorous controlled studies, to be planned with a random allocation of patients to study groups.
In conclusion, our data confirm that the studied homeopathic treatment has potential benefits on cough in children, as well as highlighting the good safety profile of this treatment. Supplementing the syrup with antibiotics did not improve cough resolution and was associated with more adverse events than the homeopathic syrup alone. These results indicate that antibiotics should not be routinely prescribed for uncomplicated acute cough secondary to URTI, as they are inappropriate for this condition and might be even dangerous– leading to increased antimicrobial resistances and adverse events, without evidence of benefit [23–27].
We thank Boiron SA, Messimy, France for a non-binding financial contribution.
||Parent-compiled quality of life
||Upper respiratory tract infection
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
AZ contributed to conception, design and interpretation of data, as well as in drafting and revising the manuscript. SC supported the pediatric practitioners in the management of patients and in drafting the manuscript. MM made the acquisition of data and supported the pediatric practitioners in themanagement of patients. CMSI made the acquisition of data and supported the pediatric practitioners in the management of patients. MM contributed to the interpretation of data, helped to draft the manuscript and revised the manuscript critically. EN performed the statistical analysis. AMML contributed to the design, analysis and interpretation of data, as well as in drafting and revising the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
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Articles from Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central
New research from Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta, has shown that it is possible for some information to be inherited biologically through chemical changes that occur in DNA. During the tests they learned that that mice can pass on learned information about traumatic or stressful experiences – in this case a fear of the smell of cherry blossom – to subsequent generations.
According to the Telegraph, Dr Brian Dias, from the department of psychiatry at Emory University, said: ”From a translational perspective, our results allow us to appreciate how the experiences of a parent, before even conceiving offspring, markedly influence both structure and function in the nervous system of subsequent generations.
“Such a phenomenon may contribute to the etiology and potential inter-generational transmission of risk for neuro-psychiatric disorders such as phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.”
This suggests that experiences are somehow transferred from the brain into the genome, allowing them to be passed on to later generations.
The researchers now hope to carry out further work to understand how the information comes to be stored on the DNA in the first place. They also want to explore whether similar effects can be seen in the genes of humans.
Professor Marcus Pembrey, a pediatric geneticist at University College London, said the work provided“compelling evidence” for the biological transmission of memory.
He added: “It addresses constitutional fearfulness that is highly relevant to phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders, plus the controversial subject of transmission of the ‘memory’ of ancestral experience down the generations.
“It is high time public health researchers took human trans-generational responses seriously.”
“I suspect we will not understand the rise in neuro-psychiatric disorders or obesity, diabetes and metabolic disruptions generally without taking a multi-generational approach.”
Professor Wolf Reik, head of epi-genetics at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, said, however, further work was needed before such results could be applied to humans.
He said: “These types of results are encouraging as they suggest that trans-generational inheritance exists and is mediated by epi-genetics, but more careful mechanistic study of animal models is needed before extrapolating such findings to humans.”
May our DNA Carrying also spiritual and cosmic memories passed down in genes from our ancestors?
This is where Homeopathy comes in!
Why is my Homeopath asking me about my childhood? I came here for chronic migraines!
Answer: It is all connected!
It is all one thing.
And yes, even your Genetic History can play a role in why you are ‘sick’ or have a dis-ease, and which Homeopathic Remedy can heal you.
On all levels; Mental, Emotional, Physical, and yes…even Generational!
Contact a qualified Classical Homeopath to see how your can feel better with Homeopathy, today.
Past trauma can mean not feeling fully alive in the present.
The trauma caused by childhood neglect, sexual or domestic abuse and war wreaks havoc in our bodies, says Bessel van der Kolk in The Body Keeps the Score
WHAT has killed more Americans since 2001 than the Afghanistan and Iraq wars? And which serious health issue is twice as likely to affect US women as breast cancer?
The answer, claims psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, lies in what we now understand about trauma and its effects. In his disturbing book, The Body Keeps the Score, he explains how trauma and its resulting stress harms us through physiological changes to body and brain, and that those harms can persist throughout life. Excess stress can predispose us to everything from diabetes to heart disease, maybe even cancer.
Take his two examples. The number of Americans killed by family members exceeds the number that country lost in both wars. But it doesn’t stop there. Imagine the fallout for all who witnessed the murder or likely violence in the years preceding it. And women have double the risk of domestic violence – with the health consequences that brings – as they do of breast cancer.
Van der Kolk draws on 30 years of experience to argue powerfully that trauma is one of the West’s most urgent public health issues. The list of its effects is long: on mental and physical health, employment, education, crime, relationships, domestic or family abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction. “We all want to live in a world that is safe, manageable… predictable, and victims remind us that this is not always the case,” says van der Kolk. When no one wants to hear about a person’s trauma, it finds a way to manifest in their body.
And it is not only extreme experiences that linger. Family disturbance or generalised neglect can wire children to be on high alert, their stressed bodies tuned to fight or flight. Or they may be so “numbed out” by keeping demons at bay they can’t engage with life’s pleasures or protect themselves from future trauma. Even parents who don’t attune with their children can do untold damage, van der Kolk argues.
[box] “Childhood neglect can prime individuals to be on high alert, their bodies tuned to fight or flight.”[/box]
He makes it clear why it’s so important: help parents with their problems, deprivation or social isolation, and you help their kids. “If your parents’ faces never lit up when they looked at you, it’s hard to know what it feels like to be loved and cherished,” he says. Neglect creates mental maps used by children, and their adult selves, to survive. These maps skew their view of themselves and the world.
The book has gut-wrenching stories: about Vietnam veterans who committed war atrocities, incest survivors, broken adults that were terrorised as children or shunted between foster homes. Van der Kolk draws on hundreds of studies to back up his claim that “the body keeps the score”.
We meet a woman who had suppressed the memory of being raped at age 8 by her father, but when she ferociously attacked a new partner for no reason, she signed up for therapy with van der Kolk. Soon after, her eyesight started to fail: an autoimmune disease was eroding her retina. In a study, his team found that female incest survivors had abnormalities in the ratios of immune cells, compared with untraumatised women, exposing them to autoimmune diseases.
In terms of treatments, van der Kolk argues that “integrating” trauma by turning it into a bad memory, rather than reliving it, in therapy, may be key to recovering from trauma. And he criticises dealing with symptoms rather than causes. He has scary stats: half a million US children and teens take antipsychotic drugs, while privately insured 2 to 5-year-olds on antipsychotics have doubled between 2000 and 2007.
Packed with science and human stories, the book is an intense read that can get technical. Stay with it, though: van der Kolk has a lot to say, and the struggle and resilience of his patients is very moving.
Jane was numb. She couldn’t feel love, and she couldn’t feel pain. When blood ran down her arms after she slashed herself with razor blades or pushed pins into her flesh, it truly surprised her. She felt she would like to kill her abusers, but instead focused the anger inward. The only control she felt she had over herself was her food intake. She volunteered that she saw a connection between wanting to hide, to get small, with her rapidly diminishing weight. She couldn’t scrub her skin hard enough for it to ever feel clean.
Jane had been sexually, physically and emotionally abused by her father, whom she called a “rageaholic.” Later her brothers and other men who came into her life did the same. The only safety she found was in being sick, because only then would her mother keep people away from her, saying she was unwell, and treating her kindly.
Rita was married to an emotionally abusive, physically violent and cunningly manipulative man. He would humiliate her in front of her child, and chipped away at his own son’s self esteem with belittling comments. They were part of a small community where everyone knew everyone else, and they all thought her husband was the salt of the earth. No one had any notion of what went on behind closed doors. She wanted to escape with her son, but had been beaten down on many levels, and felt weak, depressed, alone.
In situations like Jane’s and Rita’s, it is commonly assumed there are only two treatments that might help. One is conventional medicine, using drugs, and the other is intensive psychotherapy. However, drugs don’t solve anything, and also produce tremendous side effects, including kidney and liver damage, and can lead to addictions. They don’t get at the cause, but suppress the condition so the patient appears to function normally – but the patient knows the deeper problem isn’t gone.
Psychotherapy is certainly less destructive than drugs, because it gives the patient a way to cope with the trauma or abuse, but it does not have a high success rate and it still doesn’t do anything to cure the underlying cause.
Homeopathic remedies work in a unique way. Catherine, an incest survivor who very successfully sued her father when Ontario changed the statute of limitations in incest cases, explained, “My therapist offered me a great deal of emotional support. She was someone I could talk to about me, about my stuff, once a week. I learned a lot about my issues and why they were there, and I put to rest many family myths. It was valuable, but all on an intellectual level. Now and then there was an emotional release, but on the whole it was a very intellectual process.”
But after talking with the owner of her local health food store, and having successfully used a few Homeopathic remedies in the past, she was intrigued when the owner happened to mention a remedy she had learned could benefit every sexually abused woman. Catherine learned the profound effects of homeopathy.
“It all happened within a half hour,” Catherine recalled. “First there was a numbness on my tongue, and it worked its way down my jaw and into my throat. When it hit my chest I felt the fight that had been going on inside me all these years was gone. And I didn’t even know consciously that the fight was going on, until it left. I think on some intellectual level I understood it, but that was when I truly knew it.”
Catherine’s experience is echoed every day in everyone who takes a correctly-prescribed Homeopathic remedy. Homeopaths understand that dis-ease, the energetic imbalance within us all, is a complex issue, and one that can only be fully cured by using a remedy similar in its energy to that of the shock or trauma that caused the imbalance. By understanding the origins of dis-ease and how the symptoms of the imbalance show themselves to a careful observer, the Homeopath is able to help individuals cure themselves on a profound level.
Homeopathic remedies are like miniature time-space bombs, which go to the blockage or dis-ease and blow it up, thus releasing the stored energy and facilitating a cure. It is able to destroy these dis-eases because it is based on the natural law of cure, which is the application of medicines based on the principle of similars. Essentially Homeopathic medicine is an artificial disease that matches the energetic resonance of the disease of the patient, and the law of resonance states that two similar energies cannot co-exist, so they effectively destroy one another.
The origins of our dis-ease are ancient. At conception we all are given a gift package (whether we want it or not!) that includes a predisposition (called a miasm) to all of the familial tendencies our ancestors have accumulated and exhibited over the years. These can be as simple as eczema or allergies, as serious as cancer, arthritis or heart disease, or as deep as a tendency toward alcoholism, depression, self-mutilation, eating disorders or suicide. They also are the origins of sexual cruelty, aggression and violence.
Whether or not we see these predispositions come to light in our lives has a great deal to do with our lives, the shocks and traumas to our system that, as Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, Homeopathy’s founder, termed it, “…bow down the soul.” These traumas wear on our ability to stay balanced and whole, and make themselves known to us in any number of ways (often called symptoms), which Homeopaths see as an attempt by our life energy to communicate to us that there is something going on inside that needs to be dealt with.
When Woody Allen said, “One of my problems is that I internalize everything. I can’t express anger; I grow a tumor instead,” he hit the nail on the head. Anger, not the tumor, is the dis-ease. The tumor is a symptom of the dis-ease, and cutting out the tumor, while it may temporarily alleviate the situation, will not cure the dis-ease. As J. Compton Burnett – an old-time British Homeopath – once said, cutting off the limb of an apple tree will not prevent the tree from producing more apples.
Psychotherapy on its own seems to allow a release on an emotional level. But because the curing hasn’t been done on an energetic level, we often find in patients we treat who have done extensive therapeutic or intellectual work (and our patients range from many psychotherapists themselves, and their patients, to Buddhists who have worked on the more spiritual levels) that they come to be treated for somatic, or physical complaints. These can include lumps in the breasts, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome – the patient is free on the more deeply important spiritual, mental or emotional level, but their energetic disturbances have not been cured, and so they present on the somatic level.
Amanda, an incest survivor and psychotherapist who has been treated with Homeopathy herself, has seen how profoundly the remedies have removed dis-ease patterns, which were only shifted and partially discharged through psychotherapy alone. “I see a wonderful synergy between using the Homeopathic mental and emotional remedies and psychotherapy. When people have been prepared in psychotherapy for what they will release, and then are given the mental and emotional remedies, they then make a greater connection,” she explained.
Paula, a victim of childhood sexual abuse and a Homeopath who has also been treated with Homeopathy and psychotherapy, explained the power of the Homeopathic remedy, saying “Homeopathy can open areas that have been blocked that individuals have had no access to, like boulders blocking a path. The Homeopathic remedy can blow apart those boulders, allowing the information to flow through. By regulating the potency of the remedies, the information can flow in a safe, controlled way.”
After being treated with Homeopathy, Rita not only divorced her violent husband but also won full custody of her son. They moved into a loving and supportive environment, where they both are flourishing.
Jane has come a long way – she no longer cuts herself under stress, is in a very supportive and loving marriage and has a beautiful daughter (which not only motivates her to continue her healing, but also shifts her focus into loving, sharing and caring for another life). She, too, has moved into a new home, and she was able to cut ties to her parents and brothers without guilt. She even testified on her sister-in-law’s behalf in her divorce case, when it became know that her brother was molesting his own children.
Homeopathic treatment embodies what was expressed long ago in an ancient manuscript well known to Jung, the famous psychotherapist:
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
If you feel that are suffering from the effects of Trauma, call for your free phone consultation to see if Homeopathy may be right for you!
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is an infection of the respiratory system caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis (or B. pertussis). It’s characterized by severe coughing spells that end in a “whooping” sound when the person breathes in.
Symptoms of whooping cough:
The disease begins with a cold and a mild cough. After this, the typical coughing bouts set in. The coughing continues until no air is left in the lungs. After this comes a deep intake of breath that produces a heaving, ‘whooping’ sound when the air passes the larynx (windpipe) that gives rise to the name of the disease.
The patient will eventually cough up some phlegm and these attacks may well be followed by vomiting. The child’s temperature is likely to remain normal.
A bout of Whooping Cough can be very distressing for both the child and the parents who feel unable to help.
Coughing attacks may occur up to 40 times a day and the disease can last for up to eight weeks.
Homeopathic Remedies and Treatment for Pertussis or Whooping Cough:
Homeopathic Remedy Drosera
Drosera is one of the remedies praised by Hahnemann; indeed, he once said that Drosera 30th sufficed to cure nearly every case of whooping cough, a statement which clinical experience has not verified. Drosera, however, will benefit a large number of the cases, if the following indications be present: A barking cough in such frequent paroxysms as to prevent the catching of the breath; worse in the evening. All efforts to raise the phlegm end in retching and vomiting. The attacks are especially worse after midnight; the child holds its epigastrium while coughing. The Drosera child cries a great deal. Arnica has crying before coughing because recollection or previous soreness and pain in present. Bayes says: “Drosera is more useful in whooping cough than any other remedy in our Materia Medica.” Unlike Hahnemann, however, he claims that the higher dilutions are powerless, and he prescribes the first. Drosera acts better in pure, uncomplicated whooping cough, and while it will correspond to some epidemics it will fail in others.
Solanum Carolinense has a good clinical record in explosive and spasmodic coughs, and is recommended by electric physicians as almost specific.
Has also been vaunted as a specific in the 3x dilution.
In whooping cough accompanied with convulsions, or when the paroxysms are long and interrupted, Cuprum will be the remedy. Spasms of the flexor muscles predominate. The cough is very violent and threatens suffocation. This remedy will come in sometimes very nicely after Drosera and do good work. The patient coughs up a tough, gelatinous mucus, there is much rattling in the chest, and the face and lips are bluish. A great characteristic of the remedy is the relief from a swallow of cold water. Hale mentions the usefulness of Cuprum in cases accompanied with spasms, clenched hands, etc.
Homeopathic Remedy Corallium rubrum
This is a very useful remedy in severe cases of whooping cough. Before the cough there is a smothering sensation. The child gaps and becomes black in the face. It is a remedy for that shot, quick, ringing cough known as the “minute gun” cough. The smothering shows itself in the form of gasping, crowing inspirations. After each attack of cough the child sinks back perfectly exhausted. No other drug produces such a violent paroxysm. It is perhaps oftener indicated in the later stages of the affection, but the neurotic element must be present, and also the constriction of the chest before the attacks. The crowing inspiration of whoop is not so pronounced as under Mephitis. Dr. Teste recommended Corallium and Chelidonium as comprising the entire therapeutics or whooping cough, and Dunham praises Corallium in violent cases.
Homeopathic Remedy Coccus Cacti
This remedy has paroxysms of cough with vomiting of clear, ropy mucus, extending in thick, long strings even to the floor. This is sometimes seen in children who cough and cough with this tenacious mucus stringing from mouth and nose, waving to and fro until it finally gives way. The paroxysms come on in the morning, and accompanying them there is often vomiting of a clear, ropy mucus. Eructations of wind following cough are an indication for Ambra grisea. Coccus is a useful remedy for the protracted bronchial catarrhs remaining after whooping cough. The excessive secretion of mucus under Coccus is marked and causes the child to strangle. The choking is most characteristic, even more so than the strangling.
Mephitis is useful in a cough with a well marked laryngeal spasm, a whoop. Cough is worse at night on lying down, there is a suffocated feeling, and the child cannot exhale. Farrington observes that this remedy will often apparently make the patient worse, while it really tends to shorten the course of the disease. The catarrhal symptoms calling Mephitis are slight, but the whoop is prominent. The smothering comes on with cough, while with Corallium rubrum it comes on before the cough, and is followed by great exhaustion. There is not much expectoration with Mephitis. There are many spasmodic symptoms with this remedy, such as cramping of the legs at night. The writer has also seen good results from Naphthalin when the cough is very dry and catarrhal symptoms not pronounced, and the paroxysms of extreme length, and the constriction of the chest are present. It is a remedy that is especially suitable to whooping cough in adults. One of Hahnemann’s therapeutic hints in whooping cough is Ledum, which has a spasmodic racking cough, and should be thought of in connection with this affection.
Homeopathic Remedy Belladonna
In sudden violent paroxysms of whooping cough, without any expectoration, and the symptoms of cerebral congestion, Belladonna will be found useful. Epistaxis may accompany, and the patient is worse at night. Boenninghausen says that it is suitable mostly in the beginning of the disease, or, later, when there is fever. Often in the beginning of the disease it use will shorten and modify the disease. Another indication for belladonna is present when the attacks terminate by sneezing. The cough is excited by a tickling in the throat, as if from down. Retching and vomiting and pain in the stomach are prominent symptoms, but when Belladonna is the remedy the congestive symptoms will be present and active, the onset sudden; the child grasps at the throat and clings to its mother, as if frightened.
Convulsive cough, where the child stiffness out and becomes blue or pale and loses its breath, great nausea and relief from vomiting are prominent symptoms for Ipecac. A “gagging cough” is a good indication for the remedy. The discharge of mucus is copious and tenacious, and the patient is very weak after the attacks. Violent shattering coughs following each other in quick succession, not permitting recovery of breath, indicate Ipecac. he child is limp and weak, and there is free perspiration. Sulphur is an excellent remedy for vomiting after the paroxysmal cough.
With this remedy the child is worse when excited or angry, or when eating; the cough culminates in vomiting of mucus and food. There is much rattling of mucus in the chest, but the expectoration is slight. The child demanding Antimonium tartaricum will be irritable and cross, and will cry, when approached; the tongue will be white and weakness will be present. If diarrhea be present with great debility and depression of vital forces, or if the child vomits its supper shortly after midnight, Antimonium tartaricum will be the remedy. It also has marked aggravation from warm drinks.
This is not always a worm remedy. It is a most excellent remedy in whooping cough. It has the same rigidity as Ipecac, the child stiffness out and there is a clucking sound in the esophagus when the little one comes out of the paroxysm. Grinding of the teeth during sleep will further indicate Cina. It, is of course, specially indicated by symptoms of worms and in children who are predisposed there to.
This is the prominent Schuesslerian remedy for whooping cough, which begins as does common cold. The attacks are convulsive and nervous, ending in a whoop. Clinically, I have found this remedy, used in the 30th potency, to act marvelously in certain epidemics. While associated with Dr. William Boericke, of San Francisco, it was not an uncommon thing for a patient to come to us for “some of our whooping cough remedy,” which was nothing else than Magnesia phosphorica 30th. It seemed especially adapted to the then prevailing epidemic. The indications may be stated as cough in severe paroxysms, with blue or swollen and livid face, with a severe whoop.
Kali sulphuricum will also at times be found useful.
This remedy is useful when there is hoarseness, rawness in the throat and larynx, and headache.
This remedy suits cases where there is a hoarse cough; child breathes superficially and rapidly to prevent attacks of coughing. It is a coarser cough than that of Hepar, worse from eating and on inspiring deeply; there is a general catarrhal involvement of the nose, throat and frontal sinus, and the expectoration is yellow, tough and stringy, differing from that of Coccus cacti in being yellow.
Coqueluchin or Pertussin, a nosode of whooping cough, is advocated by Dr. J. H. Clarke, of London, who claims food results from its use. A spasmodic hacking, deep-sounding, croupy cough with coryza and difficulty in getting the breath seem to be the indications. Cartier and others report success with the remedy. It is better used not lower than the 30th.
Note: The information here is educational only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please see your Homeopath or Health Care Professional if you suspect that you or you child may have Whooping Cough.
The concept of the Inner Child is not new and has been a part of our world for a long time. Carl Jung called it the “Divine Child” which is the essence of who we truly are. We are the Divine Children of The Great Spirit, God, the Creator and therefore the Inner Child is not a separate entity, it is not a different aspect of ourselves, it is the energetic, creative and authentic Self.
We are born into this world knowing. We know who we are, why we have come and our very reason for being. With our first breath we begin our learning, the art of being a Human. We are Spiritual Beings having a Human experience.
From the day of our birth we are considered ignorant. We begin a path of separation, separation from our Creator and a separation from our true self. We are taught that our external world defines who we are, what we shall do and how we shall be. Our inner truth is not validated and we are taught not to trust ourselves, our inner urgings or our knowing; that shows us the true path of our Soul and Spirit.
This separation leads to a place of fear. A place where we are taught that the mind is our master and all we need to know can be learnt from others, our parents, our schools and our communities. We are continually told that we need to prove ourselves and our worth through external avenues. We are shown over and over again to disregard and forget the vital aspect of ourselves, that of our Hearts. This has resulted in us being raised in a shame-based, emotionally dishonest, and spiritually lacking world. This world has created our separations and therefore helped to create the Inner Child.
Can we blame our parents, our societies and our churches? Yes, but that is playing the part of the victim, that is playing the game of separation. We are all part of this world and we are all responsible for its ways, its paths and its separations. Our parents did not know how to truly love themselves or how to be emotionally honest and we have therefore formed our core relationship with ourselves based on these early childhood learnings and then built our relationship with ourselves and others from this foundation. We have lived a life reacting to the wounds of the past and the dysfunctional programs we have been subjected to and have now created our dysfunctional culture.
We have created a world of confusion, desperation and chaotic energy. This world has taken us to a place of co-dependency, suffering and repression. When our True Self is not acknowledged or heard we begin to create situations and relationships that are false and keep us in a place of unresolved emotional trauma. This leads to a life of anxiety, fear, confusion, emptiness and unhappiness.
The Inner Child is our emotional self and it is the place where our feelings live, it is our Heart. When we experience joy, sadness, anger and fear our Inner Child is coming out. When we are being spontaneous, creative, intuitive and playful our True Self is coming out.
It is not our past that affects us; it is the images and memories of it. By accessing our Inner Child and reclaiming this wounded child we begin to uncover any conscious or unconscious beliefs of ourselves and begin to re-evaluate and transform ourselves and our lives. It is through healing our Inner Child that we can begin to change our behavioral patterns and clear up our emotional responses. Once we begin loving, honoring and respecting ourselves internally, we are able to release grief, rage, shame, terror and pain from our hearts and begin transforming our life and our world with spontaneity, creativity, joy and love.
We have the power of choice and we are given the opportunity with our children to begin healing ourselves, our Inner Child and our separations and thereby create a solid foundation based on empowerment, love, honesty and creativity that will help our children to be their True Self.
It is possible to feel feelings without becoming a victim. It is possible to change the way you think so that your mind is no longer your worst enemy. It is possible to become empowered and to make choices in life that are aligned with your True Self. We have the power of choice and we are given the opportunity with our children to begin healing ourselves, our Inner Child and our separations and thereby create a solid foundation based on empowerment, love, honesty and creativity that will help our children to be their True Self.
This where Classical Homeopathy comes in..
Homeopathic remedies can assist people who want to work on their emotional, mental and spiritual growth and development. The remedies can help people who strive to achieve a more positive mindset and a feeling of well being. Negative moods, thoughts and actions can bring about imbalances.
Personality traits, such as impatience, fear, depression, bitterness, lack of self-confidence or motivation affect a person’s vitality and can adversely affect health.
Homeopathic remedies do not profoundly change the personality of the individual. It is individual differences which make life so rich. Homeopathic remedies help to restore balance within the personality. For example, a chronic worrier can become an occasional worrier, a highly critical and judgmental person can become more tolerant, and a person with a poor self-image can gain more self-confidence. The following are some personality imbalances and Homeopathic remedies which address them.
Arrogance: Low self-esteem is usually behind the haughtiness and arrogance of an individual. The person overcompensates for feeling so unworthy. Platina metallicum is a prominent remedy used for this state of mind. Hyperactive children who argue constantly, insist they are always right, are impatient and have contempt for others, soften and lose their edge with Platina.
Fastidiousness: There are certain degrees of perfectionism. Arsenicum album, Ignatia, Nux vomica and Thuya are some of the Homeopathic remedies used to rebalance an overly meticulous personality.
Repetitive Thoughts: When people feel threatened, they can have thoughts that they don’t desire enter their minds. These thoughts go on and on, like a broken record, disturbing their concentration and peace of mind. This phenomenon varies in intensity and duration. Lachesis is one remedy which can help people come to terms with the issues at hand. It also helps to dissipate any anger, irritability or frustration that goes along with the thoughts. Women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome often find that this behavioral pattern becomes more prominent during certain times of the month. Lachesis is often used for women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome or who are menopausal.
Grief and Depression: The loss of a loved one can leave a deep feeling of sadness that can be felt again and again when certain memories or thoughts about that person are triggered. Homeopathic remedies can help the grieving come to terms with the loss and can lessen the impact of the shock.
Ignatia is used for recent bereavement. The person feels nervous and can’t stop shaking. The bereaved has usually identified completely with the lost one and feels that she can’t possibly exist alone.
Natrum muriaticum is commonly used for depression and is especially helpful when the death of a loved one has occurred in the past. The person has never been the same since and has developed a melancholy nature, withdrawing and not living life to its fullest.
For the person who suffers from depression most of his life, is highly responsible and tends to be a workaholic, Aurum metallicum is used. The Aurum metallicum type of personality blames himself when things go wrong in life. The person feels as if a dark cloud is overhead, eliminating all joy and light. Suicidal thoughts and even attempts are characteristic of this deep type of depression. Physical symptoms often involve heart problems such as high blood pressure or palpitations.
Lack of Self-Confidence: Staphasagria is for the person whose poor self-image derives from a past hurt that is followed by suppressed anger. The person feels a need to please everyone and has a fear of how they appear to others. There can also be a deep fear of abandonment and rejection. Staphasagria is a well-indicated remedy for those who have been sexually abused in the past or have been abandoned emotionally by their parents.
Thuja is for the reserved, secretive person whose low self-esteem is rooted in feelings of shame and guilt. These people try not to let anyone get to really know them because they fear they will not be accepted. Given the extent of their secrecy, they can have different degrees of paranoia.
Panic: Life-threatening events, traffic accidents and even nightmares can be shocking to the individual involved. The after-effects of such events can produce feelings of panic, fear, anxiety and restlessness. For example, a person involved in a serious car accident may never feel secure driving again. The individual may insist on becoming a passenger only. As a passenger, she may find herself pressing her foot down on the floor onto an imaginary brake every time she feels uneasy with the driving. The problem with shocking experiences is the uncontrollable and unsubstantiated fear that may follow. Aconite is a prominent remedy used to treat shock. It can be given after the disturbing incident or years later when the panicky behavior can be traced back to the original event.
A qualified and experienced Classical Homeopath can best decide on the correct remedy and potency needed.
Help your Inner Child heal with Classical Homeopathy today.
Tina Louise Buie, CH, IBCLC, RLC
In a class action of importance to producers, marketers, and sellers of Homeopathic products, on Friday, September 18, 2015, a federal jury in the false advertising trial of Allen, et al. v. Hylands, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:12-cv-01150 (“Hylands”) took less than a day to find defendants did not breach any express warranty or violate the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, California Civil Code sections 1750 et seq.
The putative class plaintiffs sued defendants Hylands, Inc. and Standard Homeopathic Company alleging they made false and misleading representations about the effectiveness of the active ingredients in 12 homeopathic products produced, marketed, and sold by the defendants throughout the United States.
Homeopathic products are derived from botanical, mineral or biological substances and are classified as either over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medicines. In contrast to conventional (allopathic) medicines, Homeopathic remedies are predicated in part on the “principle of dilutions” under which active ingredients are thought to be more clinically useful or effective when they are significantly diluted, typically with purified water or an alcohol solution.
Homeopathic remedies and their packaging are not reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). Homeopathic remedies, however, are classified as drugs under, and subject to, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and thus, must comply with the labeling requirements of the Act. The FDA has stated that it is not aware of any scientific evidence that Homeopathic products are effective.
Back in August 2014, a California federal district court judge certified a nationwide class of purchasers of 10 of the products covering February 2008 to the present. The plaintiffs claimed defendants’ 12 Homeopathic products, including some intended for infants and children, did not work as advertised because they were so diluted that the ingredients were “effectively non-existent” and the products were therefore not effective for their intended uses. The plaintiffs also alleged the homeopathic products labeling claims of “100% Natural,” “All Natural,” and “Natural” were untrue as the products purportedly contained synthetic chemicals, synthetically derived or chemically reduced elements, artificially produced elements, and/or dangerous or potentially dangerous ingredients.
The trial in Hylands spanned approximately two weeks and included expert testimony from both sides. Plaintiffs’ expert, Dr. Noel Rose, the director of John Hopkins’ Center of Autoimmune Disease Research testified as a medical expert, having reviewed materials provided by the plaintiffs’ counsel, as well as his own research into clinical and compilation studies, expert reports, published journal reports and the Hyland’s products and their labels. Dr. Rose stated, “[In] my opinion, there is no sound scientific or medical evidence that they provide any benefit to patients with medical conditions, such as those described and indicated on the labels, beyond the placebo effect.”
Defendants kicked off their defense by calling Dr. Iris Bell, a former Harvard psychiatry instructor and holder of a doctorate degree from Stanford University in neuro- and bio-behavioral sciences who has consulted with Highlands, Inc. to design clinical trials. Bell testified about her scientific studies in multiple chemical sensitivity and homeopathy, including how “nanoparticles” and “nanobubbles” can have an effect in biological cells. Dr. Bell opined, “It is very clear that nanoparticles in low doses are capable of capable of creating hermetic effects…similar to vaccine.” Dr. Bell explained how “hormesis” is a medical principle that describes how small doses of a substance can trigger the opposite effect of high doses of the same substance.
Although the plaintiffs initially sought full refunds worth $350 million, plaintiffs’ counsel wrapped up closing arguments with a demand of $255 million for allegedly tricking consumers into purchasing “simple sugar pills” that provide no medical benefit.
The jury of six women and three men did not agree, and needed less than a day to deliberate.