Being woken up in the middle of the night by a sick child is no fun for anyone. We want to take away their "ouwies" or make their sniffles go away. For parents looking for natural alternatives for their children, homeopathy maybe a nice option for common childhood ailments. Homeopathy is a system of medicine based on the concept of "like cures like." So in prescribing, we look for key characteristics in the patient that match the remedy. Children respond quite well to homeopathics so it is worth it for parents to learn a few key remedies. Picking the right remedy does take time and practice so it is best done under the supervision of a trained homeopath or licensed naturopath. Although these remedies are often indicated for little ones, they are certainly not small.
When you think of this remedy, you want to think red, hot, pulsating, and angry. This is why Belladonna is the ideal otitis media ( middle ear infection) remedy, especially if the infection comes on quickly. Children needing Belladonna will be violent. Sometimes they will even hit or bite you. They really don't want to be touched or held either. They also can't stand light or loud noises. Although they are usually not thirsty, they may crave lemonade. During Renaissance times, Belladonna was used to widen ladies' eyes, so children will often display dilated pupils.
If your baby is teething, you might want to consider Chamomilla. The child will be unhappy, uncomfortable and unbearable but unlike Belladonna they will want to be held. They are the children who will first ask for a glass of orange juice and then complain that they don't want it. They can take on the strange characteristic of one red and one pale cheek. This remedy is also indicated for middle ear infections that tend to be the left ear. Another key difference with a Chamomilla earache is that it is will feel better with hot compresses.
Buzz. Apis is from bees so it is the go to remedy for bites and stings. Its key feature is tremendous shiny, red, swelling, stinging and itching. There is a lot of irritability and restlessness with Apis. The child will want you to put ice on their bites and will not be happy with anything hot. Like Belladonna, symptoms of this remedy come on quickly. It is also useful for sore throats with big red bulging tonsils. If your child is allergic to bee stings, Apis is not an appropriate replacement for medical attention.
If your child wakes you up in the middle of the night crying with a runny nose with thick yellow/green snot, think Pulsatilla. Their coughs will be worse at night and while lying down. Unlike the other remedies, Pulsatilla is for much gentler children who are easily consoled. They are timid and crave reassurance and lots of hugs. Another sign that this is the remedy is that the child will want you to open the window especially if the room is stuffy.