Homeopathy at Home: Children's Ear Infections

Homeopathy at Home: Children's Ear Infections

The most common problem I see in children in my practice is ear infection (Otitis media). Not only is this a concern because of its prevalence, but the pain and discomfort experienced can be quite severe and distressing -- to both child and parent!

Although a course of antibiotics may eliminate the infection in a manner of days, these drugs cause no change on the level of susceptibility to infections in the future. Homeopathic medicine can be extremely effective in treating ear infections, often relieving discomfort in minutes and also reducing a child's susceptibility. Sound too good to be true? Read on!

The Homeopathic Paradox Samuel Hahnemann, founder of homeopathy, discovered that quinine produced symptoms in healthy people similar to malaria -- which quinine is used to cure. He extrapolated from this observation that "medicines will produce in healthy individuals similar symptoms to what they cure in the sick." For example, coffee will produce insomnia; yet its homeopathic form Coffea is used to cure insomnia from mental hyperactivity. For another example, cutting an onion will make your eyes burn and tear: yet Allium cepa (a homeopathic remedy made from onion) is a common hay fever remedy.

Symptoms: Looking Deeper

In each case of disease, the presenting symptoms vary. For the homeopathic practitioner, 10 children with ear infections may all receive different remedies based on their individual presenting symptoms which represent differences in their overall states. Although there will be common symptoms for all (ie, a painful ear), many other symptoms are individual.

The most important symptoms are those which characterize the person as opposed to the disease itself -- changes in mood, sensitivity to heat or cold, thirst, perspiration and sleep patterns. The remedy Hepar sulf is indicated for children with severe, splinter-like pain and sensitivity to cold and drafts. The child will often ask for the ear to be wrapped in a towel or blanket, to avoid having any draft of air reach it. The child is often quite irritable, and may have increased cravings for sour food.

The most revealing characteristic for a child requiring Chamomilla is the emotional state. The degree of discomfort is overwhelming to the child. Thus the child screams loudly, cries and moans, and constantly wants to be carried. The child refuses everything asked for. The best word to describe this child is "inconsolable." Parents are indeed grateful to observe the serenity that follows a dose of Chamomilla when their child is in such a state. Often the infection occurs during teething. One cheek may be red, while the other is pale.

Pulsatilla is another common Otitis remedy. Pulsatilla children will be weepy and want to be carried ("clingy"). They differ from children needing other remedies in that they are mild and yielding, not overbearing and demanding. These children have painful ears, which may be worse in the evening or night, and also worse in a warm room. They will be thirstless.

The difference in indications for each of the various remedies is dependent not so much on the ear symptoms themselves, but on other, more general characterizing symptoms. With practice, some study, and good reference books, many parents learn to deal effectively with acute situations at home.

Recommended Reading:

Homeopathy and Your Child by L. Morgan 116pp (sc) $14.95

Encyclopedia of Natural Health and Healing for Children by M. Weber 273pp (sc) $20.95

Everybody's Guide to Homeopathic Medicines by S. Cummings & D. Ullman 376pp (sc) $14.95

Canadian Health Reform Products Ltd.

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By Terry Vanderheyden

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