Colic & Diarrhoea In Babies

Words: Dr Barbara ETCOVITCH

Classical homeopathy, a highly successful and gentle method of healing, was founded over 200 years ago by the legendary German chemist and physician, Dr Samuel Hahnemann, MD.

This alternative approach to the treatment of acute and chronic health problems is an energy-based therapy founded on the belief that dis-ease can be cured by correcting the imbalances in the body’s guiding energy, or ‘vital force.’ Imbalanced energy is seen as the root of all dis-ease.

Following homeopathy’s basic premise that ‘like cures like,’ [also known as the ‘Law of Similars’], the homeopathic practitioner matches the mental, emotional and physical symptom-picture of a patient to a similar profile which a homeopathic remedy is known to produce in healthy human beings. The ‘like’ remedy stimulates the body’s guiding energy to effecting a cure.

Homeopathy does not view symptoms as the dis-ease, but looks upon them as the attempt of the body’s vital force to make its imbalance known.

Homeopathy can be of benefit to individuals of all ages and has produced startling results in babies and children.

This non-drug therapy will not interfere with the integrity of the organism and is a wise choice for parents who are alarmed by the rampant and indiscriminate use of antibiotics, etc.

The following article is dedicated to colic and diarrhoea, two of the most common acute ailments experienced by new-borns and babies.

Homeopathy For Colic 

Since infants and babies lack verbal skills, it is up to parents to recognise what is disturbing the child through the careful observation of symptoms.

In colic in babies the symptomology may include rumbling and wind in the belly; bending backwards and stretching out, or doubling over with apparent amelioration from hard pressure on the abdomen. There may be a change in the colour of the stools; this may become greenish; and, the abdomen may feel bloated.

Two homeopathic remedies which fit the profile provided above are Colocynthis [Bitter cucumber] and Dioscorea villosa [Wild yam].

Babies, or infants, needing Colocynthis will double up and scream if someone forces them out of this position. The baby may feel relieved from the addition of pressure and may be observed as leaning against something, pushing their fist into the stomach, or lying on the stomach and drawing the legs upward. The baby is restless and irritable and writhes in pain.

Babies needing Dioscorea will have a rumbling, flatulent belly and be better for bending backwards and/or stretching out. This picture is the opposite of Colocynthis and the infant arches backwards and screams.

Chamomilla [German chamomile] is well matched to the baby who is extremely irritable, colicky and often teething at the same time. The stomach may be distended and the baby is not relieved by passing gas. The abdomen is too sensitive to touch and the child kicks, screams and doubles up. Being carried, or rocked, only temporarily ameliorates the symptoms. The baby may retch, vomit, or be covered by cold sweat. There may be green, foul-smelling diarrhoea that may contain undigested food.

Magnesia Phosphoricum [Phosphate of magnesia] is appropriate for babies who lie in the foetal position with legs drawn up and who are better for warm applications. The baby has gas and a distended abdomen that is not relieved by passing wind.

For the colicky baby of a breast-feeding mother whose diet is heavy on fat foods, fruits, ice-cream and pastries Pulsatilla pratensis [Pasque flower] is an appropriate remedy. The baby’s abdomen may rumble, or gurgle; diarrhoea may alternate with constipation.

Homeopathy For Diarrhoea 

Chronic, or long-lasting, diarrhoea can cause dehydration and lead to a serious problem. Therefore, it should be dealt with quickly. If the condition does not resolve, a professional homeopath should be consulted.

Once again, the keen observation of symptoms will lead to successful treatment.

Some of the leading homeopathic remedies for diarrhoea are: Aethusa cynapium, Arsenicum album, Calcarea carbonicum, Chamomilla, Ipecacuanha, Mercurius, and Podophyllum.

Aesthusa [Fool’s parsley]. This remedy is best suited to babies who cannot digest milk resulting in diarrhoea. The child will regurgitate milk [sometimes violently] shortly after eating and produce undigested, thin, greenish stools. The baby is very weak, restless and weepy.

Arsenicum Album [White oxide of arsenic]. The symptoms of Arsenicum are similar to those of food poisoning and include offensive-smelling diarrhoea which is usually painful. Vomiting may accompany the diarrhoea. The stools are burning and may irritate the anus which will become red.

Calcarea Carbonicum [Carbonate of lime]. Calcarea is a remedy used for diarrhoea in teething babies. Stools are usually sour, chalky, pale, or greenish.

Chamomilla [Chamomile]. The remedy is used for infants and babies who have foul-smelling diarrhoea and are highly irritable. The diarrhoea tends to be greenish and contain undigested food. The abdomen is sensitive to the touch and distended. Passing gas does not ease the pains. Chamomilla is often used for diarrhoea in teething babies.

Mercurius Vivus [Mercury]. Stools are burning, watery, slimy and blood-stained. Infants may have green stools. Stools are always accompanied by offensive odour. The anus is raw from the burning stools.

Podophyllum [May-apple]. This remedy works well on profuse and gushing diarrhoea. Symptoms are worse in the morning between 4:00am and 10:00am, especially on hot days. There are gurgling sounds in the abdomen and bowels and diarrhoea occurs shortly after eating. This remedy is also one that can be used in teething children.

Dr BARBARA ETCOVITCH is a Classical Homeopath, Interfaith Minister, freelance writer, and lecturer. She has a BA from Sir George Williams University, a MA in Literature from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and a Diploma in Classical Homeopathy from the School of Homeopathy, Devon, England. She was ordained by the All Faiths Seminary International in New York City in 2004. She has been in homeopathic practice for 30+ years treating human and animals alike, from her office in Montreal, Canada, and worldwide via Skype and WhatsApp.

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