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Part 4: Keeping Your Child Healthy  >  Homoeopathy: A Gentle Complementary System of Medicine


Guest Article – Dr. Sunil Anand

Dr. Sunil Anand, Hon. Lecturer, D. S. Homoeopathy Medical College, Pune and a former Lecturer at the C. M. P. Homoeopathy Medical College, Mumbai, practises in Pune and Mumbai.

What Are The Principles Of Homoeopathy?
The founder of homoeopathy was Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755 – 1843). Through numerous experiments conducted over several years, he established that any medicine will cure a particular disease if it is capable of producing symptoms of the same disease in a healthy individual. For instance, quinine, which is a derivative of the plant Cinchona, has the ability to produce chills, sweating and rigors if taken by healthy individuals. The same drug is also used in the treatment of malaria, the symptoms of which are the same as above — namely chills, sweat and rigors. “Like cures like” is the foundation of the basic principle of homoeopathy. It is due to this principle that homoeopathy derives its name from the Latin words ‘Homoeo’ (similar) and ‘pathos’ (suffering).

What Are The Sources Of Homoeopathic Remedies?
To make a broad classification, homoeopathic remedies comprise of the 3 natural kingdoms.

  1. The Vegetable kingdom, which includes plants and flowers.

  2. The Animal kingdom, which includes the venom of poisonous snakes and milk from some mammals. It is worth noting that during the extraction of any animal substance in homoeopathy, no animals are endangered or put to cruel laboratory testing. 

  3. The Mineral kingdom, which includes metals, chemicals and essential salts. 

The homoeopath uses various techniques and recent advances to understand remedies that already exist, but are not used to their full potential due to a lack of in-depth understanding of them. Each and every substance, by its own inherent properties and characteristics, comes alive to an observant homoeopath.

What Is Classical Homoeopathy Or Constitutional Prescribing?
A holistic view to a case in which the characteristic emotional behaviour as well as the important physical symptoms are given equal weightage, can be termed as constitutional prescribing or classical homoeopathy. The source of the substance used also offers vital clues to a person for whom it is indicated. For instance, one of the homoeopathic remedies is Coffea cruda, prepared from roasted coffee beans. Caffeine, a constituent of coffee, is known to increase the alertness of mind and to stimulate creative thoughts and ideas. A young girl of 4 years was brought to me for recurrent throat infections. While the mother was relating her complaints to me, I passed the child a few toys to play with. She chose a game that involved fitting blocks of different shapes into their respective compartments. What followed was very interesting. To begin with, she felt a need to time her speed in arranging all the blocks. And she wanted to increase her speed every time. Once she got bored with this, she took the same blocks and started making attractive patterns with  them. She would dismantle themand create a new pattern every time. These two features are important characteristics of the remedy Coffea— firstly, the ability to be quick in actions and secondly, a creative bent of mind and ideas. This was noted in a casual manner just during play. What further confirmed the remedy was the reported excitement in the little girl, whenever she was told that there would be an interesting outing the following day. This would result in increased activity of her mind, leading to sleeplessness. Don’t we know of this ability of coffee? Have we not used it at some time or the other to keep ourselves awake? It surely explains why coffee is such a popularly consumed beverage among the advertising profession in which one is required to come up with new ideas at a rapid pace. The child responded dramatically to this remedy and her throat infections were cured permanently. 

What Are The Recent Advances In Homoeopathy?

A lot of revolutionary ideas and techniques are being used by homoeopaths in order to make prescribing more scientific and accurate. A deeper understanding of substances according to their placement in the periodic table is one such idea. Due to this, the various elements are being understood by homoeopaths in a new light. Let us take the example of the metals. Copper is a metal that is used for a range of illnesses. One of its important aspects is to produce spasms. Toxicological cases of copper poisoning have confirmed the ability of the substance to produce spasms of different types. The theme of all the metals seems to be one of high performance and competition. This is understood by a valuable utility of metals in the manufacture of various industrial components. Copper in the periodic table is placed along with the metals iron, nickel, chromium and zinc. All these metals seem to have a common aspect of attack and defence, as part of their basic temperament, and a neverending reserve to excel and come up on top as victor. This can make them appear very dominating with an attitude of intimidating others. These were the precise features I saw in a 5-year-old boy who had asthma and eczema and was seen by me at a seminar for homoeopaths in Munich. He had scratch marks all over his face, like ‘battle’ scars, received during fights with friends and his siblings in order to assert his dominance. It was noticed that he quickly got fed up of the various toys that were offered to him. Instead, he chose to jump from a chair, above the cord of the mike that was attached to me and he wanted to go higher with every jump. He also knew that the audience was viewing him through a TV monitor and he seemed to relish that they were noticing and applauding his determined and successful performance. Moreover, to clinch the prescription, his mother described the spasmodic way in which he would start coughing continuously, once his asthmatic attacks would begin. These are all features of the remedy Cuprum metallicum prepared from the metal Copper. The mother was in touch with me from Germany and her child recovered completely within a short time. His aggressiveness too came down considerably.

What Is The Efficiency In The Treatment Of Cases With Deeper Pathology Or Metabolic Disorders?
One of the group of remedies used very effectively by homoeopaths is the ophidia group, prepared from snake venom. One of these is Naja, prepared from the venom of the Indian cobra. On studying toxicological cases of cobra bite victims, what is observed is a coldness of the body with gradually increasing drowsiness. The victims eject saliva periodically. The swallowing reflex gets diminished, they lose control of their sphincters due to which they pass urine or faecal matter involuntarily and finally die unless there is timely help in the form of an anti-snake venom.

A 3-year-old child with convulsions, mental retardation, and with a rare metabolic disorder called Citrullinemia was referred to me at the college outpatients department. He presented with just the above picture, but of course without a history of snakebite. In this illness, there is excess ammonia, which proves to be highly toxic to the nervous system. As protein foods produce further ammonia in the body, the child had been advised a strict protein-restricted diet. His health was deteriorating. As part of the detailed history, it was revealed that the mother, during her pregnancy with this child, had felt very let down by her husband when she discovered that he was having an extra-marital relationship. She had felt like terminating her life and that of the foetus that she was carrying. But then there was a conflict within her. She had to stay alive for the sake of her older child. When the child was born and his disease diagnosed, she had felt intense guilt about having those destructive thoughts during her pregnancy. She seemed to believe that her bad state of mind and her unhealthy attitude towards her pregnancy had resulted in her child having such a deep pathology. Though she was very bitter towards her husband, she yet chose to perform all her duties in a noble manner like a dutiful wife. It is worth noting the relevance of the pregnant mother’s predominant state in the selection of the child’s remedy. All these features were confirmed in a proving exercise conducted among a group of homoeopaths and students who took the remedy Naja themselves. Besides various physical symptoms, they shared the common feelings of guilt and a high sense of responsibility towards their duty. Based on all this information, the child was given the remedy. Gradually, his drowsiness got less, he became more conscious, started regaining his lost sphincter control and started taking a few steps by himself. The child is yet under observation and has begun to tolerate protein foods in his diet without any toxic effect and all his anticonvulsant medications have been stopped. As there has been significant brain damage already, the final outcome of the case is obviously limited. But it conclusively points to the definite role of homoeopathy in the management of metabolic disorders with deep pathology. 

How Can You Aid Your Homoeopath?
Homoeopathy is a system that bases its prescription on symptoms. You can help your homoeopath by providing him/her sufficient, accurate and valuable data in the form of good symptom reporting. The entire family, including the children, should be educated to express their symptoms and feelings, describing the same in full detail. 

For instance, telling your homoeopath that your child has high fever is not sufficient. But in addition, telling the doctor that, along with the fever, the child is also talking more than usual, wants to be caressed by either parent, has a total absence of thirst and an increased frequency of urination can provide the true picture of the disease. This will certainly help the homoeopath in finding the right remedy for your child. 

7 March, 2016

Part 4
Keeping Your Child Healthy
Choosing A Paediatrician
Proper Use of Medicines
Home Remedies
A First Aid Kit
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses
Psychological Concerns
Managing A Hospital Stay
Prayer And Your Child's Health
The Role of Nature Cure
Ayurveda and Child Care
Congenital Heart Disease FAQ
Guide to Child Care
1 Pregnancy, Childbirth ...
2 The Growing Years
3 Feeding Infants, ...
4 Keeping Your Child Healthy
5 Keeping Your Child Happy
About Dr. R. K. Anand

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