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 Homeopathic Pediatrics - Safer, Saner Medicines for Our Children 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Understanding Homeopathy by . View all columns in series

Although some parents may be frightened to give some of these substances to their infant or child, the exceedingly small doses used in homeopathic medicine are known not only to be safe but to be effective in treating many common ailments.

For numerous infant and childhood conditions it may often be more appropriate to treat the parent's anxiety than the pediatric complaint. The fever-phobia that parents have and the fear that any symptom requires immediate treatment is a common, though "curable," state of mind. Although there are certainly conditions that require medical attention, the vast majority of infant and childhood symptoms are nothing to worry about. Pediatrician Robert Mendelsohn has noted that 95% of pediatric ailments heal themselves and do not require medical care. One important recommendation for parents who want to try to treat their children is to remember to avoid treatments that suppress symptoms. Treatments that try to counteract the body's natural defensive tendencies are generally suppressive. One example of a common home treatment for infants' colic (or sometimes for children's digestive problems, too) is the use of baking soda. Although baking soda may neutralize the stomach acids, it causes what is called a "rebound effect," in which the body reacts to the baking soda by secreting even more stomach acids.

The homeopathic alternative to treating infants' colic and children's digestive problems is an individually chosen homeopathic medicine. Chamomilla is one of the common medicines for colic when the infant has the typically hyperirritable state that is normally associated with this medicine, as described earlier. Pulsatilla is another common medicine for colic, but the infants for whom it is prescribed are generally very affectionate and desirous of attention and sympathy; although they may be irritable from the pain they experience, they are still basically friendly. Some of the other commonly used homeopathic medicines for colicky infants are Arsenicum, Nux vomica, Natrum sulphuricum, Bryonia, Magnesia phosphorica, Colocynthis, Lycopodium, and Sulphur. There are numerous other homeopathic medicines (too many to list here) that are occasionally given to colicky infants.

Some people theorize that the reason for colic is that the infant is allergic to milk or to some other food. The homeopathic view of food allergies is basically that the food is not "the problem." Rather, it is the individual's underlying state of health. The disease process produces poor assimilation and utilization of the food, which then ultimately creates symptoms. Homeopaths have found that the homeopathic medicines are effective in reestablishing health and thereby reducing food allergies.

Homeopathic medicines have wide applications for pediatric complaints. Since conventional medications, taken singlularly or in combination with other drugs, have known and unknown complications in infants and children, it is generally worthwhile to seek safe, effective alternatives to pediatric problems first. Homeopathic medicines may not only help to improve the health of infants and children, but will probably also help them to become healthy adults.

In addition to the various individual homeopathic medicines, there are numerous homeopathic formulas readily available in health food stores. The Medicine From Nature line of homeopathic products include a special line of children's products, including Teething, Colic, Child Fever and Earache. There are also 15 homeopathic formulas available, including four for women, four for sports injuries, and 20 for common ailments of anyone.

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 About The Author
DANA ULLMAN, MPH, is one of America's leading advocates for homeopathy. He has authored 10 books, including ...moreDana Ullman, MPH
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