Homeopathy helps Sprinter Usain Bolt Bounce Back from Injury to Win Gold!

At the beginning of July 2016 Usain Bolt withdrew from Olympic trials with a grade-1 tear in his hamstring. He immediately went to Germany for Homeopathic medical treatment. Then he improved so quickly by getting this amazing Homeopathic treatment that he competed just a month later in the Rio 2016 Olympics and won gold three times!

The Olympic sprinter and famed winner of numerous gold medals has been using Homeopathy since the age of 16. He is a patient of German sports doctor Hans-Wilheim Muller-Wohifahrt who uses Homeopathy at his Munich clinic. “I’ve been coming here since I was 16,” the world record holder said at a press conference in Munich. “It’s been a long relationship. Every time I have a problem, he always gives good advice and treatments. He’s the best at what he does. We are very close.”

Bolt was born with scoliosis, a curvature of the lower spine, which makes him more susceptible to back pain and injuries.

There are thousands of trained Homeopathic physicians in Germany and Dr Müller-Wohlfahrt is a world leader in the treatment of sports injuries. “He is well-known for his holistic approach. Though conventionally trained in medicine and orthopedics, his treatment includes manual diagnostics, as well as herbal and Homeopathic remedies and acupuncture.

Other famous patients include Paula Radcliffe, Kelly Holmes, Tyson Gay, Ronaldo, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard and Boris Becker. He is also the team doctor for the German national football team and FC Bayern München.”

 

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Homeopathy for Mother & Baby – The First Year

Why consider Homeopathy for Mother’s and babies? There are at least three good reasons.

The first is that it’s safe. Although many Homeopathic medicines are prepared from plants and other substances which are poisonous in their raw form, by the time they have been prepared as medicines for sale or prescription they are completely non-toxic and they be given safely to breast-feeding Mother’s as well as to children, from the first day of life, onwards.

The second reason is that the Homeopathic remedies work by stimulating the body’s own healing mechanisms. That’s not to say the modern medicine is of no value. Quite the contrary. For example, the technological and scientific breakthroughs in caring for premature babies, have enabled many more such children to survive those difficult first few weeks. Modern methods of care have also made death during childbearing a rarity in our country.

However, health is about more than mere survival and whilst these advances have undoubtedly been life-saving, other, more holistic approaches are needed to promote and maintain a more comprehensive well-being.

This leads me to my third reason – understanding health and understanding people from a Homeopathic perspective, really helps us to make sense of not only our illnesses but the health and development of our children.

Let’s start with Mother, because when you come home with the new baby, everybody is thrilled with the baby and, sometimes, Mom gets a little forgotten. In the first few days there are a couple of problems which might need attention.

Mother

Wound healing
Arnica is probably taken by many women after the baby is born as it is good for helping the body to heal areas of bruising. However, I don’t recommend it routinely because often Bellis perennis (the daisy) is more effective. This has been described as the “gynaecological Arnica”. It certainly seems to help better when most of the bruising is internal. Like Arnica, the bruise is painful and the person doesn’t want the sore bit to be touched. In fact, they are likely to downplay the whole problem and be quite uncomplaining even though they may be feeling quite distressed about it.

Bruising, however, may not be the main problem. Sometimes a more pressing problem is a tear or a cut (an episiotomy). This is more common if there has been a forceps delivery. The wound is acutely painful and the woman will probably be feeling pretty aggrieved at having had the cut done. She will be feeling hard done by, or feeling that she wasn’t treated well by the staff.

The Homeopathic term for this is “indignation” – the feeling that “it shouldn’t have happened to me. It’s not fair!” This state is typical of the remedy Staphysagria and if taken over the next few days, it can promote the healing of the wound as well as begin to settle the woman’s distress. Staphysagria is also a great remedy for healing clean, surgical cuts, so it is also indicated after caesarean section.

Another useful remedy to have to hand is Calendula. Often the damage to the tissues after childbirth is quite superficial. By that, I mean on the surface. There are multiple grazes and superficial lacerations. This kind of wound can be helped with Calendula. I would recommend that the Homeopathic form be used and taken as tablets or powders by mouth because the local applications and creams can sometimes irritate the delicate tissues of the vagina

Breast problems
Mastitis is a common problem. When it occurs suddenly and the breast becomes red, swollen, hot and tender, then Belladonna might speed resolution of the problem, although antibiotics may still be indicated. If the inflammation isn’t caught early enough, and an abscess has formed then Hepar-sulph might be a better-indicated remedy. Usually once the pus has formed, the stage of Belladonna has passed.

Cracked nipples can be very painful and really make breast-feeding difficult, if not impossible. When the cracks are accompanied by sharp, shooting pains in the breast when the baby feeds, then Phytolacca may help, especially if the pains seem to shoot out from the breast to other parts of the body.

Calendula cream is a good application for cracked nipples. Stitching pain in the breast when the baby feeds in the absence of cracks around the nipples can be helped with Kali-carbonicum.

Baby blues
“Baby blues” are very common around the fifth day. You might find yourself becoming very tearful and upset at that time, or, alternatively, irritable and anxious. If you find that having company at this time helps, then you may find Pulsatilla helpful. However, if you find that company and consolation actually make you feel worse, then Natrum-muriaticum might be the more indicated medicine.

Postnatal depression, on the other hand, is far more serious. If your sad or upset feelings continue beyond a few days then it would be a good idea to discuss it with your health visitor, midwife, or GP. Even in the most troublesome postnatal depression, Homeopathic remedies can be useful, but in such a situation it’s harder to self-treat so it would be better to consult a Classical Homeopath.

Baby

Colic
This miserable condition causes enormous distress to babies and their parents. There are no good, safe drugs available, so Homeopathic medicines are a great idea. There are two-main remedies to consider. If the baby settles a bit when held face down with the tummy supported by the parent’s hand, or if they settle when their tummy is pressed against the parent’s shoulder, then there is a good chance that Colocynth will help. If these positions don’t help but rubbing the tummy lightly, or holding a warm hand against the baby’s tummy, helps, then Magnesium-phosphoricum is more likely to help.

Teething
Teething is that other early trial which disrupts the peace of the family sleep. The most typical pattern is the baby with a bright red cheek, screaming with anger, who settles when carried around the room. This is the picture of Chamomilla.

Sleep
Sleep, or rather, lack of it, is a common problem when there is a young baby in the house. It’s important to understand the place of sleep in a baby’s life and not treat this issue as a disease. Initially, babies need a lot of sleep and really only wake for food or drink. They soon start to develop waking periods however, and within a few short weeks are already starting to smile in response to smiles and to have periods of great alertness where they lie with eyes wide open taking in their surroundings. Babies cry for many reasons. The physical reasons include being hungry or thirsty, being physically uncomfortable and feeling insecure or unhappy.

It’s always important to check and see if any of these common factors are playing a part. However, in some children, they continue to cry despite the exclusion of physical factors. Colic and teething are common explanations for sleep disturbance that won’t clear up without help.

What do we do with the babies who just won’t sleep? If underlying reasons of discomfort or pain have been excluded there are a couple of Homeopathic remedies worth trying. Firstly, there is Jalapa. This remedy is indicated in babies who are “good all day and bad all night” particularly in those who have a tendency to diarrhea, or just very loose stools. The other remedy to consider is Cypripedium, which is indicated in infants who are just alert and active. They wake up through the night and just want fun. They are obviously not distressed, unlike the Jalapa babies who are most distressed at night.

We can get other clues about the remedies our children might need by observing them during the night. Do they get hot and sweaty and throw off the covers, which is typical of Sulphur? Do they sweat on their heads at night, making the pillow wet, like Calcarea-phosphoricum? Do they usually sleep in a particular position? (Medorrhinum children sleep on their tummies with their bottoms sticking up in the air. Pulsatilla children sleep on their backs with their arms stretched out above their heads.)

Development
All babies develop at their own rates. However, some babies definitely develop more slowly than others. The slowest ones are usually the rather chubby ones, who sit about without expressing much sense of adventure. These might be kids whose teeth are slow to come through, who are a bit sweaty, and may be constipated. These might be typically Calcarea-carbonica or Baryta-carbonica children. Which of the two they are is hard to tell when they are very young, but as they get a little older other personality characteristics become clearer. They are both quite fearful, the Baryta baby is shyer than the Calc baby and is more likely to have developmental delay. I think it is hard to self treat at this level but some of the child’s characteristics will give the clues your Homeopathic doctor needs to find the right remedy to stimulate maturational growth.

Immunization
This is a very difficult subject for parents. It’s all about trying to choose the path of least risk for you child. I think you need to consider each immunization separately. What is the disease which we are trying to protect the child from? How serious may that disease be for the child if they catch it, and how significant is the risk of catching it? After consideration of those questions, we then ask, what are the risks associated with the immunization? We then try to do the best for our children and choose the lowest risk. When you stop to consider this you will realize that there are no rules, no hard and fast conclusions which are applicable in all children at all times and in all places.

There isn’t a Homeopathic alternative vaccination program. However, this doesn’t mean that Homeopathy has no role to play here. There are two approaches to consider. Firstly, when it is judged that a particular immunization is a preferred choice, and we go ahead and vaccinate a child, sometimes there are obvious short term problems afterwards. Homeopathic medicines can help to treat, what we refer to as, ailments from vaccination. This might be anything from a local reaction at the site of the injection which may be hot, red and painful and need Belladonna, to bruising which might be helped by Arnica, to local pain and discomfort which might be helped by Ledum, which is great for puncture wounds. If there are more long-lasting problems after immunization then a dose of Thuja might help to sort things out.

Secondly, some people advocate giving a child his or her “Constitutional Remedy” to boost his or her immune system. The idea of a “Constitutional” Remedy” is one which is chosen to match the character and characteristics of the person who is going to be treated. When given, it will stimulate the body’s systems of defense and repair. Think of it as a kind of tonic. If it works then the body will be in a more optimal state of health and therefore better placed to defend itself against infections.

Understanding your Baby
Knowing that there is such a wide range of personalities and characteristics described in the Homeopathic literature helps us to accept the uniqueness of our own children. How are they different? Begin to notice when they are most at ease and when they don’t feel secure. This might be different times of day or night. It might be about the social environment, for example, how are they with mom, with dad, with brothers and sisters and with strangers. What kinds of toys do they seem to enjoy most? Are they explorers and adventurers, or do they prefer to occupy themselves with a single toy? What do they seem to be scared of? What do you do to settle them down when they are upset? Noting these kinds of things quickly gives you a sense of their unique character. But Homeopathy doesn’t stop there. The understanding of Homeopathy is that we are unique in our whole beings and express ourselves through our whole beings. It really is a holistic understanding. So, noticing the physical features of your baby will help in finding the best remedies for them too. Are they hot children or chilly children? Are they sweaty? What is their normal sleep pattern and what position are they in when you check them in their cots at night? What foods do they refuse and which, if any, upset them? Do they like to drink, and, if so, what do they like to drink? As you build up the picture of your baby you’ll be struck by how different he or she is from your other children and from other people’s children. That uniqueness is a great thing.

If you are going to use any of the Homeopathic medicines mentioned, unless a specific dose is recommended by your Homeopathic doctor, use a 30c strength and repeat the doses as often as is necessary. For babies crush one granule between two spoons, add to a small amount of expressed breast milk, mineral or distilled water, and give one-teaspoon for a dose. The rule in Homeopathy is to take a dose, experience the improvement, then if the improvement starts to decline, repeat the remedy. If a dose does not produce any improvement, then there is no point in repeating that particular remedy.

 

 

-Bob Leckridge, MBChB, FFHom, graduated from Edinburgh University in 1978 and worked as a GP until 1995 since when he has worked full-time as a Specialist in Homeopathic Medicine at Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital. He teaches Homeopathy internationally and is the author of Homeopathy in Primary Care. He became President of the Faculty of Homeopathy in 1998.

Allergic Rhinitis and Homeopathic Treatment

Do you suffer from bouts of frequent sneezes, itchy and runny nose?

Do you often wake up sneezing in the morning?

Does sneezing and runny nose occur during a particular weather or when there is change of weather?

Or, do you wheeze or do your eyes feel itchy with sneezing and runny nose?

If you have some, or all of these symptoms, then you may be suffering from nasal allergy.

Nasal allergy, also called allergic rhinitis or hay fever or pollinosis, is an allergic reaction of the body (mainly the upper respiratory tract and eyes) to certain substances – allergens – that we breathe in.

The main allergens are pollen’s, molds, animal dander and dust.Allergy is nothing but an over-sensitization of our defense system. This means that our immune system (defense system) starts reacting to a substance which is otherwise harmless to our body. In other words, it is a misdirected immune attack.

Pollen’s are usually the main culprits. Homeopathic treatment is based on the principle of “like cures like.” This means if a substance that in its raw state, produces a disease condition, this substance also has the ability to treat similar symptoms, when given in diluted and activated (potentised) form. Thus, a lot many plants whose pollen’s are the known culprits for this kind of allergy are being used in Homeopathy to treat Allergic Rhinitis. By giving a substance that has similar manifestations, Homeopathy is able to optimize the already over-sensitized immune system.

Two medicines which represent new advance in Homeopathy are Galphimia-Glauca and Histaminum-Hydrochlo-ride.

A US study foundHomeopathic Galphimia-Glauca to be highly effective in treating Allergic Rhinitis.

Many other very effective plant-based Homeopathic medicines have also been introduced during the last few years: Cardiospermum-Halicacabum and Amni-Visnaga, for example. Conventional Homeopathic medicines like Allium-Cepa , Sabadilla , Arundo-Mur, Ambrosia and Aralea are also very effective.

It is important to remember that Homeopathy is a system where the treatment is based on the patient’s individual symptoms. Thus, each medicine has its own important place in treating allergic rhinitis. It may take a season or two to completely eradicate allergic rhinitis. With growing industrialization, our bodies are changing according to the environment.

A BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal) report stated that one-in-six-people in the industrialized world suffer from seasonal pollen allergies. Pollution does not cause allergy directly, but is supposed to increase the sensitivity to pollen’s.

In Japan, it was found that the sensitivity to pollen’s was high, in people living in areas with high levels of diesel exhaust particles in the environment.

Genetic factors are also supposed to play a role in developing nasal allergy.

For proper treatment of your allergies, please see your Classical Homeopath to find they Homeopathic remedy that best matches you!

Homeopathic Medicines for Earaches

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


    Belladonna Essentials

  • 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.

    Ferrum phos.Essentials

  • 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

    Pulsatilla Essentials

  • 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

    ChamomillaEssentials

  • 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

    MercuriusEssentials

  • 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

    SilicaEssentials

  • 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

Homeopathy for Dogs

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.

 

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Lincoln and His Team of Homeopaths

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.[15] 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.[15] 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.[11]

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.[14] Montgomery Blair, Lincoln’s postmaster general, was the head of the National Homeopathic Hospital in Washington, D.C.[12]

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.[13] 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.[8]

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.[19]

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.”[5]

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.[18]

Typhoid fever caused more deaths during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War than the deaths caused by bullets.[20] 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.[3],[5] 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.[18]

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.[6]

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.[2]

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.[7] Further, a wide and multi-disciplinary body of modern scientific evidence has confirmed the biological power of Homeopathic nano-doses.[1],[4]

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.”[18] 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:[17]

[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.

References

[1] Bell, I; Koithan, M. “A model for homeopathic remedy effects: low dose nanoparticles, allostatic cross-adaptation, and time-dependent sensitization in a complex adaptive System.” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:191 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-191.

[2] Bornhoft, Gudrun, and Matthiessen, Peter F. Homeopathy in Healthcare: Effectiveness, Appropriateness, Safety, Costs. Goslar, Germany: Springer, 2011.

[3] Bradford, T. L. The Logic of Figures or Comparative Results of Homoeopathic and Other Treatments. Philadelphia: Boericke and Tafel, 1900.

[4] 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.

[5] 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.

[6] Dearborn, F. M. American Homoeopathy in the World War. Washington, D.C.: American Institute of Homeopathy, 1923.

[7] Eskinazi, D., “Homeopathy Re-revisited: Is Homeopathy Compatible with Biomedical Observations?” Archives in Internal Medicine, 159, Sept 27, 1999:1981-7.

[8] Haller, J. S. The History of American Homeopathy: The Academic Years, 1820-1935. New York: Pharmaceutical Products, 2005. p. 192

[9] Hill, B. L., and Hunt, J. G. Homoeopathic Practice of Surgery and Operative Surgery. Cleveland: J. B. Cobb, 1855.

[10] Hughes, T. A Boy’s Experience in the Civil War, 1860-1865, 1904.

[11] Karst, F. “Homeopathy in Illinois,” Caduceus, Summer 1988, pp. 1-33.

[12] Medical Visitor, Volume 16, 1900, p. 434.

[13] “Other Days,” Homeopathic Recorder, 1887, p. 6.

[14] Niven, John. Salmon P. Chase: A Biography in Paradox. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.p. 126.

[15] 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.

[16] Starr, Paul. The Social Transformation of American Medicine. New York: Basic, 1982.

[17] Twain, M. “A Majestic Literary Fossil,” Harper’s Magazine, February 1890, 80(477):439-444.

[18] Ullman, Dana. The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2007.

[19] 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.

[20] 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

Footnotes:

(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.

Dana Ullman
Evidence Based Homeopath

A NEW study showed that Homeopathic Medicines are as Effective as Antibiotics in the treatment of Coughs in Children

…and the Homeopathic medicines were found to be a lot Safer than Antibiotics.

Abstract

Background

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.

Objectives

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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).

Conclusions

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

Background

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 [1], 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 [46]. Symptomatic treatment is often prescribed after a medical consultation, although its effectiveness it is still a matter of debate [79], and – contrary to recommendations – antibiotics are frequently administered to children with acute persistent cough [1013].

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 [14].

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 [15].

However, parents are rarely satisfied with in the watchful approach, and often have an expectation that antibiotics should be prescribed [16]. 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.

Methods

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 [17]. 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.

Endpoints

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.

Experimental design

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 [18]. 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 [18]. 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.

Patients

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 1. 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).

Table 1

Characteristics of the studied children affected by wet acute cough caused by non-complicated URTI. Data are shown as frequencies or mean ± standard deviation

Ethics

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 [17] (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].

Statistical analysis

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.

Results

Cough severity

Figure 1 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 2).

Fig. 1

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

Table 2

Improvement of cough during the whole observational period in children affected by wet acute cough caused by non-complicated URTI

Cough resolution

The analysis of patients presenting cough (i.e., VCD score greater than 1) on each day of the study is reported in Fig. 2. 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).

Fig. 2

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

Safety

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).

Discussion

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. [17]. 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 [17]. In fact, after 4 days the mean VCD score was a bit more than 2 both in children (present study) and in adults [17] versus a mean VDC score of more than 3 observed in adults treated with placebo [17].

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 2).

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 [3]. 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 [18]. 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 [17].

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.

Conclusion

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 [2327].

Acknowledgements

We thank Boiron SA, Messimy, France for a non-binding financial contribution.

Abbreviations

PC-QoL Parent-compiled quality of life
URTI Upper respiratory tract infection
VCD Verbal category-descriptive

Footnotes

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

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.

References

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3. Thompson M, Vodicka TA, Blair PS, Buckley DI, Heneghan C, Hay AD, et al. Duration of symptoms of respiratory tract infections in children: systematic review. BMJ. 2013;347(Dec11 1):f7027. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f7027. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
4. Shields MD, Thavagnanam S. The difficult coughing child: prolonged acute cough in children. Cough. 2013;9(1):11. doi: 10.1186/1745-9974-9-11. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
5. Hay AD, Heron J, Ness A. The prevalence of symptoms and consultations in pre-school children in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC): a prospective cohort study. Fam Pract. 2005;22(4):367–74. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmi035. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
6. Leonardi GS, Houthuijs D, Nikiforov B, Volf J, Rudnai P, Zejda J, et al. Respiratory symptoms, bronchitis and asthma in children of Central and Eastern Europe. Eur Respir J. 2002;20(4):890–8. doi: 10.1183/09031936.02.00260802. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
7. Smith SM, Schroeder K, Fahey T. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications for acute cough in children and adults in community settings. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;11:CD001831. [PubMed]
8. Blasio FD, Dicpinigaitis PV, Rubin BK, Danieli GD, Lanata L, Zanasi A. An observational study on cough in children: epidemiology, impact on quality of sleep and treatment outcome. Cough. 2012;8(1):1.1. doi: 10.1186/1745-9974-8-1. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
9. Vernacchio L, Kelly JP, Kaufman DW, Mitchell AA. Cough and cold medication use by US children, 1999–2006: Results from the Slone Survey. Pediatrics. 2008;122(2):e323–9.1. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-0498. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
10. Grijalva CG, Nuorti JP, Griffin MR. Antibiotic prescription rates for acute respiratory tract infections in US ambulatory settings. JAMA. 2009;302(7):758–66. doi: 10.1001/jama.2009.1163. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
11. André M, Schwan Å, Odenholt I. Upper respiratory tract infections in general practice: diagnosis, antibiotic prescribing, duration of symptoms and use of diagnostic tests. Scand J Infect Dis. 2002;34(12):880–6. doi: 10.1080/0036554021000026952. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
12. Whaley LE, Businger AC, Dempsey PP, Linder JA. Visit complexity, diagnostic uncertainty, and antibiotic prescribing for acute cough in primary care: a retrospective study. BMC Fam Pract. 2013;14(1):120. doi: 10.1186/1471-2296-14-120. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
13. Panagakou SG, Spyridis N, Papaevangelou V, Theodoridou KM, Goutziana GP, Theodoridou MN, et al. Antibiotic use for upper respiratory tract infections in children: a cross-sectional survey of knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of parents in Greece. BMC Pediatr. 2011;11:60. doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-11-60. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
14. Nyquist AC, Gonzales R, Steiner JF, Sande MA. Antibiotic prescribing for children with colds, upper respiratory tract infections, and bronchitis. JAMA. 1998;279(11):875–7. doi: 10.1001/jama.279.11.875. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
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16. Hay AD, Wilson A, Fahey T, Peters TJ. The duration of acute cough in pre-school children presenting to primary care: a prospective cohort study. Fam Pract. 2003;20(6):696–705. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmg613. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
17. Zanasi A, Mazzolini M, Tursi F, Morselli-Labate AM, Paccapelo A, Lecchi M. Homeopathic medicine for acute cough in upper respiratory tract infections and acute bronchitis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2014;27(1):102–8. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2013.05.007. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
18. Chang AB, Newman RG, Carlin JB, Phelan PD, Robertson CF. Subjective scoring of cough in children: parent-completed vs child-completed diary cards vs an objective method. Eur Respir J. 1998;11(2):462–6. doi: 10.1183/09031936.98.11020462. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
19. Dupont WD, Plummer WD. Power and sample size calculations: a review and computer program. Control Clin Trials. 1990;11:116–28. doi: 10.1016/0197-2456(90)90005-M. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
20. Dupont WD, Plummer WD. Power and sample size calculations for studies involving linear regression. Control Clin Trials. 1998;19:589–601. doi: 10.1016/S0197-2456(98)00037-3. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
21. Newcombe PA, Sheffield JK, Chang AB. Minimally important change in a parent-proxy quality-of-life questionnaire for pediatric chronic cough. Chest. 2011;139(3):576–80. doi: 10.1378/chest.10-1476. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
22. Schmit KM, Coeytaux RR, Goode AP, McCrory DC, Yancy J, William S, Kemper AR, et al. Evaluating cough assessment tools: a systematic review. Chest. 2013;144(6):1819–26. doi: 10.1378/chest.13-0310. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
23. Kenealy T, Arroll B. Antibiotics for the common cold and acute purulent rhinitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;6:CD000247. [PubMed]
24. Zoorob R, Sidani MA, Fremont RD, Kihlberg C. Antibiotic use in acute upper respiratory tract infections. Am Fam Physician. 2012;86(9):817–22. [PubMed]
25. Spurling GKP, Del Mar CB, Dooley L, Foxlee R. Delayed antibiotics for respiratory infections. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007;3:CD004417. [PubMed]
26. Cunha BA. Therapeutic implications of antibacterial resistance in community-acquired respiratory tract infections in children. Infection. 2004;32(2):98–108. doi: 10.1007/s15010-004-3065-5. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
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Articles from Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central

Scientists have found that Memories may be passed down through Generations in our DNA

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 TelegraphDr 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.

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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.

ClassicHomeopath

Call: 1-503-877-HEAL

 

The Lifelong Cost of Burying Traumatic Experiences

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.

Trauma and Homeopathy

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.”

-Patty Smith–Verspoor.

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!

503.877.HEAL