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Keep Kids Healthy with Homeopathy
Keep Kids Healthy with Homeopathy
Children and homeopathy make a perfect pair. Most kids need no encouragement to take the round, chewable homeopathic pellets, which are safe and nontoxic. What’s more, “homeopathy boasts the advantage of having no side effects,” says Nancy Gahles, a homeopath and president of the National Center for Homeopathy. Homeopathy also gives parents the freedom to start treating their children themselves—either by self-diagnosis or with the help of a homeopath—before the symptoms of an illness get full blown.
“Parents learn not to wait until their child is sick,” says Gahles. “They can start to tune into their child’s behavior and notice when they are a little off, cranky, sad or overwhelmed.”
A key aspect of children’s healthy development is a fine-tuning of their immune systems, Gahles notes. She says that while mild acute illnesses, like fevers and earaches, are common, a holistic approach like homeopathy allows you to treat the pain without interrupting the body’s natural immune response. Similar to other forms of energy medicine, homeopathy works not just on a physical level, but also on the mind and emotions. It addresses the child’s vital force—the fundamental source of energy that animates life—and assesses where it has been compromised.
Looking into the deeper forces at play is a crucial aspect of homeopathy, for children and adults alike, says Gahles. With stronger immunity, vitality becomes easier to maintain. The homeopathic ideal is a view of wellness that strives “for balance and completeness,” Gahles says. Homeopathy tries to resolve both the immediate issues at hand and the long-term ability to resist developing symptoms again.
While homeopathy offers more than 2,000 specific remedies, Gahles has three favorites for kids—all to be taken in 30c potencies. “For parents of small children, I recommend keeping these remedies in the car or in your diaper bag at all times,” she says.
Once a child starts crawling, parents can expect a lot of boo-boos. The infant/toddler years are a time for bruising and falling par excellence. Arnica is the go-to remedy of choice for any kind of bruising, swelling or trauma to soft tissues. “What’s great about arnica is you can’t overdose. You can take it internally, apply it in a cream topically or both, depending on the severity of the bruise,” Gahles says. Treating with arnica carries one important caveat—never apply to an open wound as it can irritate the skin.
For the scrapes, rug burns and abrasions common in childhood, calendula is the homeopathic treatment of choice, says Gahles. When applied topically to open wounds, it stimulates healthy skin formation, acts as an antibacterial and is non-scarring. Apply topically as the first line of defense, but note that it can also be taken internally if the intensity of the injury warrants.
Gahles suggests chamomilla for a child feeling very sensitive to pain, or one who exhibits a colicky temperament marked by anger and dissatisfaction. Picture this familiar scenario: a child crying and crying for a particular object, but then throwing it aside once it’s in his hands. That child is a model candidate for chamomilla. Gahles also calls it one of the top teething remedies, noting that it can provide immediate relief.
In fact, all kinds of upsets, including those of the tummy, can benefit from this all-purpose panacea. Use chamomilla when you think frayed nerves need soothing, or an overstimulated child craves calmness. If you have an irritable, cranky or generally wonky child on your hands, chamomilla is worth a try—for both of you.
For more information about homeopathy, visit www.homeopathic.org.
Elizabeth is an award-winning journalist who has written about everything from agave syrup to placebos to zero waste. She writes for the magazines Natural Health, Backpacker and FitPregnancy, among others, as well as a handful of websites, including Gaiam and Natural Medicine Journal. She also has coauthored a 52-card oracle deck with guidebook called The Mother’s Wisdom Deck (Sterling Publishers).
March 22nd, 2012