Children's Remedies

You may note that this section of the site (along with future pages that will be devoted to remedies for pregnancy and your child's first year, pain and trauma remedies, etc.) has no link from the home page. The reason for this is that specific medical information about remedies is relatively useless and misleading if one does not have a basic understanding of how homeopathic remedies are made, how they are selected for a particular patient, and how they work. Congratulations diligent reader! Your arrival at this point suggests that you have found the material presented elsewhere in the site worthy of your interest (at least that is my hope).

So why a section specifically devoted to children's remedies? If one were to choose a topic, say, rheumatoid arthritis; there are hundreds of homeopathic remedies that are appropriate for helping and curing this condition, depending on the constitutional characteristics of any specific patient. A homeopath does not prescribe on the name of a disease. Remedy selection depends on how rheumatoid arthritis manifests in that patient, and that patient alone. Routine prescribing by disease name seldom results in a cure, and improvements in a patient's condition tend to be short-lived.

So again the question: Why children's remedies? I will quote Paul Herscu from his book The Homeopathic Treatment of Children:
"I decided to focus on eight remedies -- Calcarea carbonica, Lycopodium, Medorrhinum, Natrum muriaticum, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Sulphur, and Tuberculinum -- rather than a more extensive or exhaustive selection on the basis of a simple discovery: these eight remedies make up the constitutional similimum for nearly eighty percent of an average pediatric practice [italics mine]... There are at least another thirty remedies that are also deep-acting constitutional remedies in pediatric populations, but all are much less commonly employed that the ones listed here."
In other words, children, especially younger children, are like a newly minted coin. Life has not had the time to tarnish them and, consequently, their symptom pictures tend to be clearer -- more pure.

A few words about what we mean by a "constitutional type" are in order here.
"In homeopathy the expression 'constitutional remedy,' signifies the medicinal substance which encompasses the sum total of the individual's physical, emotional, and mental picture... Physical illnesses (apart from accidents and injuries) have a mental aspect, while mental illnesses have a physical aspect, and the prescription of medicines must be based upon a consideration of both categories of symptoms. A patient is said to be a Phosphorus, a Silica, a Pulsatilla, or some other type, according to the constitutional remedy which most closely approximates his total picture. To find this constitutional remedy the physician not only records painful sensations, symptoms, pathology, and the like, but also how the patient looks and behaves when in health, how he responds, his temperment and disposition, strengths and weaknesses. After collecting, arranging, and evaluating these characteristics, he matches them to the remedy which most expresses this 'wholeness' of the patient... The homeopathic physicial does not seek to change a patient's character with his remedies but rather, by modifying its tone, to enhance it. The notes remain the same, but the piece is now played well instead of badly" (Catherine Coulter, Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines).

The vast majority of the following information is quoted or paraphrased from two sources:
Coulter, Catherine R., Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines, Psychophysical Analysis of Selected         Constitutional Types (Vols. 1 and 2). St. Louis: Quality Medical Publishing, 1998.
Herscu, Paul, The Homeopathic Treatment of Children, Pediatric Constitutional Types. Berkely:        North Atlantic Books, 1991.

Other sources will be cited within the text.

1. Calcarea carbonica (Carbonate of Lime)

reak in pieces a clean, somewhat thick oyster shell, take one grain of the softer, snow-whiteCalcarea carbonica "Lime" calcareous substance found between the outer and the inner shell. This is prepared in all the degrees of potencies... in the manner directed as to the preparation of dry medicinal substances for homeopathic use" (Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, Chronic Diseases).

Physical Characteristics (Herscu):

(a) Head:
In the infant, we find a large, round head due to the late closure of the fontanelles.

The infant may be born with a presistent cradle cap that is moist, tending to crust over. A history commonly told by a parent is that the child now being treated for asthma or chronic sinusitis had this type of eruption as an infant and that the respiratory symptoms came only after the rash was treated and disappeared. It is also common to give the remedy and then to find that the child develops skin disorders as the respiratory symptoms disappear. This response to the remedy should be viewed as positive and should not be interfered with.

The head perspires upon the least exertion and during sleep.

(b) Ears:
The ears are a constant source of illness for the Calcarea carbonica child. The mother commonly reports how an earache began following a bout of bronchitis, tonsillitis, or even a cold, and how quickly the infection found its way to the ears. The discharge tends to be thick, yellow, and very smelly. Ear problems are aggravated by cold wind. These children like to keep their hats on.  The history of fluid in the ears may lead to a chronic hearing loss. Fluid buildup in the eustachian tube in often noted in allergic children who breathe through their mouths and develop one respiratory infection after another.

(c) Nose:
Even in good health these children often have runny noses.

(d) Face:
Typically, the Calcarea carbonica baby has a round face. The skin has the appearance of a great deal of underlying fat.

(e) Mouth;
The oral mucosa is very sensitive to damage in Calcarea carbonica. The child develops canker sores and aphthous ulcers readily with any small puncture of the inner lip or mild trauma to the area.

Dentition tends to be late.

(f) Throat and Neck:
Calcarea carbonica children develop sore throats easily. With these sore throats one is always able to palpate many swollen glands.

(g) Chest;
The chest takes the brunt of the allergies and respiratory infections by producing coughs which have the peculiarity of being dry at night but loose with easy expectoration in the morning.

(h) Food Cravings and Aversions:
Calcarea carbonica youngsters love all the carbohydrates: sweets, ice cream, pasta, bread, and potatoes. They also crave salt and fish. Eggs are the big favorite and serve as a very strong keynote for this remedy. They tend to crave cool or cold water and foods.

They dislike meat in general and fat in particular. They dislike slimy foods. Many do not like or tolerate mild at all.

(i) Stomach;
Children tend to have slow digestion.

Babies tend toward chronic vomiting. Clinically, Calcarea carbonica is to be thought of for babies who nurse and then within five minutes of unsuccessful burping, regurgitate the undigested milk.

While some children may be picky eaters, most wake up hungry and demand to be nursed or to have breakfast.

(j) Abdomen:
These children often have large abdomens that pouch out, a distinctive big belly. The abdomen is soft and has poor tone, thereby leading to the easy development of umbilical hernias.

(k) Rectum:
Constipation is the chief complaint for many of these children, and the stool tends to be large and bulky.

Diarrhea is common with celiac disease or lactose intolerance, and also accompanies many acute ailments such as otitis media, bronchitis, and difficult dentition.

(l) Urogenital:
Boys tend to develop hydroceles. Rashes and eruptions around the genitals caused by the action of strong urine may also occur.

Recurrent vaginitis caused by yeast occurs mostly in obese infant girls. The vaginal discharge is thick and milky yellow, resembling thick breast milk.

(m) Back;
Calcarea carbonica is one of the main remedies for bone problems such as rickets. Although rickets is no longer seen very much in more affluent parts of the world, what is prevalent is a calcium imbalance that shows up as a weakness of the back and/or scoliosis or a more serious spinal anomaly, spina bifida.

(n) Extremities:
Some babies are slow learning to walk and have weak ankles that turn easily. This weakness also affects the long bones and nails; they may grow slowly or break easily.

Another common keynote is the ease with which the hands and feet perspire, even when cold.

(o) Skin:

This remedy type has a propensity for eczema. Many infants are born with it or a heavy cradle cap.

They often develop Candida rashes that are bright red and have a sharp line of demarcation. Rashes may return to the allergic or asthmatic child a few months after the remedy is initially prescribed. The respiratory symptoms disappear but the parents may insist on treatment for the nasty diaper rash the child now has. Do not be coerced! The rash is the body's way of overcoming an imbalance. The eruptive state should absolutely not be interfered with, as the rash will disappear but the respiratory symptoms will surely return. Many a successful case has been destroyed by trying to get rid of a rash.

The other main skin symptom found in some Calcarea carbonica children is warts, usually on the hands.

Something unique to be observed in infants and toddlers is that they often scratch their faces, especially when they eat something to which they are allergic or when they are tired.

Sleep (Herscu):
Calcarea carbonica babies like to be rocked. This is, also, by far, the most common remedy for night terrors.

The children occasionally become overheated in bed. They perspire quite profusely, especially the infants. Perspiration is greatest during dentition and other acute conditions.

A good point in differentiating Calcarea carbonica from some other remedies is that the child wakes up refreshed and in a good mood and is usually the first one up.

Important General Characteristics (Herscu):
(a) Calcarea carbonica is by far the most common remedy for epilepsy, especially if it occurs during dentition.

(b) Calcarea carbonica children show poor assimilation of calcium as well as malfunctions of the thyroid gland, which lead to slow mental and physical development. Illness for these children may begin when either system is stressed, as may be the case during dentition, growth spurts, learning to walk, and bone injuries.

(c) Many symptoms may develop when metabolism changes, such as dentition or learning to walk. The hair, nails, and bones often grow poorly and the glands enlarge and harden easily. Children may become anemic and chilly as they age, and characteristically perspire even though they are cool.

(d) In general, they are aggravated by dentition, exertion, cold and wet weather, a change of weather from warm to cold, and the beverage milk. They are helped by warm, dry air, and love the summertime.

Mental/Emotional Characteristics (Herscu):
One finds in Calcarea carbonica cases a child who is delayed in developing mental as well as physical skills. This is a deliberate, even willful, slowing of development on the part of the child in order to assimilate and understand new information more carefully. There are often problems with memory.

Academically, two types of children need this remedy. Due to mental strain, the first type does not try hard enough in school. The second type of Calcarea carbonica child is brilliant. These children work hard, plod along, and often receive the best grades. Such children need structure and as a result may appear slow. Their learning ability is such that they need to learn step by step. Material is therefore learned solidly and will not soon be forgotten. Slowness of comprehension may be observed, and instructions may have to be repeated two or three times. Parents will report that their child is very bright but has his or her own speed of assimilating new information. These reports are exactly the case. The child may be the most intelligent in the class, but information must come in slowly and systematically.

Calcarea carbonica children discover early in life that they are slower than others their age. To avoid ridicule they may become quiet and withdrawn, children who tend to play by themselves. This can lead to a sense of self-reliance that is illustrated by the child who can be left for an hour to play alone while his mother cleans the house. During illnesses these children become quiet and withdrawn.

The child is cautious and refuses anything new for a length of time until he can assimilate the new information and then structure and categorize it in his mind.

Extra time is also needed to finish tasks the child has begun. Whenever the mother of four-year-old Alan came along and asked him to do something, he would say yes, but continue to plod along, working on his current project. Alan's mother was angered, thinking that he was deliberately disobeying her. In actuality, he simply needed to finish his task before moving on to another. Structure and scheduling are very important for these children.

An inability to change their minds quickly is characteristic of Calcarea carbonica toddlers. They are self-willed and desire to do things at their own pace. When a parent or sibling interferes with the choice made, tantrum-like behaviour can be the child's response, and she can remain steadfast in her outrage and frustration unless distracted with another offering as a substitute for, say, a desired object. Often the child will become engrossed in examining the new object and is satisfied.

Obstinacy is a major clue to the remedy. For many children needing Calcarea carbonica, it seems easier to use all their energy to obstinately get what they want and be done with it than to have "unfinished business" weighing on their mind. Obstinacy is one of the main personality characteristics of the child. It is unfortunate that most parents are unaware of this kind of mental structuring and persist forcefully with their own agendas and schedules for the child. Responses of irritability, crying fits, and tantrums seem disproportionate to the magnitude of the request asked of the child, and come as a complete surprise to the parents.

The nature of the tantrum is also telling. Often these children are unable or refuse to stop their tantrums. Long after other remedy types realize that they will not get what they want and surender, the Calcarea carbonica child is still kicking and pounding the floor with his fists.

At times obstinacy may be observed in other ways. Fifteen-month-old Barry seemed unable to walk, not from physical inability but simply because he did not wish to. Four days after the remedy was given, Barry coincidentally began to walk with ease and was no longer so stubborn. This delay in walking is classic behaviour for the Calcarea carbonica child. What parents say about these children is that they do not try new things easily, but when they do make such an attempt they often show perfect mastery.

Obstinacy is a sign of the basically strong character of the child. The children look directly at the doctor with a strong, serious stare. They are independent by nature.

In an unfamiliar environment, a doctor's office for instance, these children may give in to their natural curiosity and begin to investigate and categorize things. They go about the office touching everything, pulling books off the shelves, and trying to open doors.

The Calcarea carbonica child is independent, has a mind of her own and "sticks up" for herself. This individuality combined with slowness often leads to an ability for deep and lengthy concentration, even in the very young.

The fears are many in this child. Most have fears of the dark and of shadows. These children often want to sleep with a light on because they are susceptible to nightmares in the dark. They fear spiders and insects. They also have a fear of being alone in the dark. They may not wish to go to bed alone, as their fear of ghosts and monsters mandate that a parent tuck them in. Fears are generated by frightening experiences, bad news, scary stories, masks, etc. They are overly sensitive and vulnerable to these experiences. Many chronic fearful behaviours may have their etiology traced to specific frights.

Calcarea carbonica  children are apprehensive when they do not know the plans, or if plans are changed unexpectedly. Because of their apprehension about the future and the need to finish tasks, they do not like breaks or changes in routines. They also want to know everything that might happen in a new situation. They virtually interrogate their parents with questions, trying to flesh out their understanding of unfamiliar places, activities, or guests. In a new classroom or in any new group, the child appears nervous, often to a degree inappropriate to his tender years.

Many Calcarea carbonica children become clingy during illnesses.

The hereafter is a major topic of interest to these children. They ask many questions about God, about heaven and hell, about death and ghosts: about all things that are unknowable. One child asked a series of questions when his aunt died that are typical of the Calcarea carbonica mind. He wanted to know where his aunt had gone after she died. What did it mean to die? Why did she die? How did it happen? Why were all the people crying over her? And why was Uncle not crying? The reason these children seem to get stuck on such weighty questions is that they must categorize this information mentally -- as they must categorize everything -- yet these issues are not readily sorted out or labeled, so they struggle with them.

The Child (Coulter):
Calcarea carbonica is the child's constitutional remedy par excellence. Many children start out life as  Calcarea before they are transformed into other constitutional types by their circumstances and experiences; and most children call for it at some point during their early years.

The child looks fit, with golden curls which later straighten out and become darker, a chubby face, and bright pink cheeks. Yet he lacks energy. The head is large and moist, the torso pear-shaped or pot-bellied. There is a tendency to swollen tonsils and enlarged cervical, mesenteric, axillary and sub-mandibular glands. During winter months these children have an unending series of colds, earaches, and attacks of bronchitis. Their bone development may be poor, irregular formation of the long bones, or poorly developed teeth, and the typical high narrow dental arch indicating a need for future orthodontic work.

Altogether, the picture is one of imperfect calcium metabolism. The potentized lime encourages the healthy growth of bones, teeth, and nerves by promoting the proper assimilation and utilization of calcium and other nutrients.

The infant is frequently a "floppy baby:" soft, fat, lymphatic and muscularly weak, in whom everything operates in low gear. This can be seen physically in delayed fontanelle closure and late or difficult dentition, in slowness to lose his cradle cap, to develop motor skills (especially to walk), and to acquire bladder and bowel control.

Calcarea's slowness in talking may be self-imposed. The knowledge is there, but he simply does not want to be hurried into talking. Sometimes the hitherto inarticulate youngster will start to speak in complete phrases, showing that the words were only waiting to be brought out.

In school the child might be "slow," sometimes in all subjects, sometimes in only one; for instance, he likes math (there is something secure in the predictability of numbers) but is poor in reading. If he does succeed, it is by spending a disproportionate amount of time on his word -- far more than other children. Or he may give up easily; he has too little energy for the effort of concentrating or lacks the drive to complete a distastful task.

This is one of the first medicines to be considered for children who are bright and intelligent but who do not perform up to capacity. Either they dislike the teacher or the mental effort, or they balk at the confinement of rules and regulations.

Calcarea can be recognized in the child who is remarkably self-sufficient. In the physician's office the infant will look around fearlessly, or stare fixedly at some one object or person. If laid down, he will play contentedly with his fingers or toes. The toddler goes his own way, climbing imperturbably over furniture and the knees of adults, exploring the different rooms, placidly but not unimaginatively entertaining himself while his parents talk with the doctor. The older child is capable of occupying himself quietly for hours at a time but tends to keep his enthusiasms to himself. He disappears  into his room to work on some project about which others will hear when he has finished it. But if he loses momentum, he may have trouble getting started again.

He is an autonomous little entity who can grow into an original and independent adult. Both at home and in school, he observed clearly and responds sensitively and appropriately when encouraged to develop at his own placid and deliberate pace -- but within a structured environment. Calcarea, in his own circuitous way, will often come up with a novel contribution, an original twist, revealing that he has understood what is going on, even if taking time to digest it. He is the proverbial tortoise, the plodder who may beat the sprinting hare to the finish line.

The "shadow" side of Calcarea, surprisingly enough, is the terribly difficult and badly behaved child. What is the vulnerable child's principal defence against the adults who surround and govern him? He is slower than they are, less articulate, physically weaker, more dependent -- what can he do to get his own way? One technique is to throw tantrums.

An even-tempered child can also resort to that other technique for getting his way -- obstinacy. Calcarea mulishly insists or he digs in his heels. He will not eat his dinner or get dressed and is impervious to coaxing. If pressured at school, he puts up a quiet but stubborn resistance.

The Calcarea child's sensitivity is expressed in his various fears: of being alone, of the dark, of going to bed. He is subject to "night terrors," waking up screaming.

In these children the effects of frightening experiences can be felt for a long time. One was thrown into convulsions by having a mouse jump out of a drawer at her and was subject to them for years afterwards. Another's four-year history of petit-mal seizures began with the sight of a snake swallowing a frog. Both cases were cured by repeated doses of Calcarea in high potency. Often the child cannot sleep from the lingering impression of some frightening event seen on television, read in a book, or simply overheard in conversation.

Calcarea also cannot handle violence at one remove; even the sight of maimed persons in cartoons, or a book that describes harsh and violent treatment will upset him.

The child is oversensitive to small upsetting incidents of everyday life that offend his sense of justice and propriety. With his solid principles and sound heart, he cannot understand what motivates others to behave irrationally or gratuitously mean. These are the Charlie Browns (hero of the Peanuts cartoon strip) of the world: lovable but slow, unworldly, and hence a bit victimized.

Sensitivity to criticism is another aspect of this child's vulnerability. To the teacher or parent he might seem to take it very well, but at a deeper level he has been affected. He is not immediately devastated and does not burst into fits of indignation or self-justification. He is a slow reactor. But the adult's lack of initiative and fear of failure are later seen to stem directly from such early childhood criticism. The child's manner is not to cry, cling, or seek sympathy but rather to withdraw, bruised and silent, and refuse to try again in the future.

This remedy, however, can strengthen the child's ability to function in a stressful or inimical environment. It inculcates in the indolent one the ability to persevere, in the insecure one a sense of accomplishment, in a fearful one a readiness to venture and to dare. It also helps a child to take criticism without being hurt, ridicule without being devastated, and enables the excessively vulnerable one better to accept the injustices of life. For some children, then, the remedy acts as a shield against the harshness of the world, while for others it provides an irritant to nudge them out of their fears or sensitivities and encourage them to confront challenges, the better to prepare them for adulthood.

2. Lycopodium (Club Moss)

his yellowish powder, smooth to the touch and resembling dust, is obtained toward the end ofLycopodium clavatum "Club Moss" the summer in the forests of Russia and Finland from the spikes of the club-moss (Lycopodium clavatum), which are dried and then beaten.

"It has been used hitherto to make artificial lightning, by blowing it through the flame of a candle, also to sprinkle over pellets which else easily stick together, and also to sprinkle it on excoriated folds in the human body to protect them against painful friction. It floats on liquids without being dissolved, is without taste and smell, and in its ordinary crude state almost without any medicinal effect on the human body.

"But when the pollen of the club-moss is tested in the mode by which the homeopathic art unveils the crude substances of nature, there arises a wonderfully effective medicine in its thirty different degrees of dynamization" (Samuel Hahnemann, Chronic Diseases).

Physical Characteristics (Herscu):

(a) Head:
The scalp develops eczema quite easily, Lycopodium being the main remedy for eruptions appearing on or behind the ears.

(b) Headaches:
Headaches are common to adolescents who crave sugar. If they miss a meal or are late for one, they develop a headache that subsides as soon as they eat.

(c) Ears:
The ears are frequently affected. The child often develops painful cracks behind the ears, as if the ears were trying to detach themselves from the scalp.

The Lycopodium child may also develop middle ear infections. The otitis media tends to be on the right side and often causes the tympanic membrane to rupture and the ear to discharge thick yellow pus that has a strong odor. The common combination of right-sided otitis media with cracks behind the ears will almost always be cured by the remedy Lycopodium.

(d) Nose:
The nose is affected in almost all Lycopodium children. Infants, toddlers, and young adults almost all have obstructed nasal passages. The babies will not be able to nurse properly because they cannot breathe through the nose. Infants must pull off the breast, breathe through the mouth, cry, and then try to nurse again. The mother of such an infant may show the doctor the bulb syringe that she carries around in the diaper bag with which she suctions out the baby's nostrils.

A case of snuffles in infants or children is cured most frequently by the remedy Lycopodium. The nasal obstruction is much worse at night when the child lies down and is aggravated in the morning due to mucus accumulating overnight. The nose may be completely dry and the snuffles described only as "sniffing," but which drive the parents to distraction. They ask the child to blow the nose but no mucus comes out. This chronic, dry snuffling is even more infuriating for parents who compare this child to another of theirs who needs the remedy Calcarea carbonica. This other child "sniffs and blows and mucus pours effortlessly out the nose," so they cannot understand why the Lycopodium child sniffs and sniffs and rubs the nose, but reports that "there is nothing there."

(e) Face:
The face may be quite distinctive, especially in children with malabsorptive syndromes. Those with such conditions tend to lose weight from the head area and upper torso, so that the skin hangs a little more loosely there and begins to wrinkle. What is often seen in the infant who sits on the mother's lap looking right at the prescriber with an anxious look on the face, eyes full of apprehension and the forehead lined with wrinkles proportionate to the anxiety felt.

Babies may be jaundiced at birth and may never lose a yellowish tinge around the nose and cheeks.

(f) Mouth:
A condition found here is the speedy yellowing of teeth, even in children who brush their teeth regularly.

(g) Throat and Neck:

Recurrent sore throats and tonsillitis plague this group. Perhaps eighty percent of those who complain of sore throats that begin on the right side and that are ameliorated by warm drinks, benefit from a dose of Lycopodium. This is especially true if one confirms the time modality that the child worsens upon awakening and during the late afternoon. It is very unusual for a child to desire warm drinks in general, but Lycopodium leads the list in that respect, as it ameliorates the pain in the throat.

Swollen, tender cervical glands develop that coincide with the above modalities of right-sidedness and aggravation in the morning and around four o'clock in the afternoon.

(h) Mononucleosis:
Lycopodium should be one of the first remedies considered for the treatment of mononucleosis. The right side of the throat will be the most affected, and the glands will be more swollen on the right. Offensive-smelling pus produced from the throat and obstructed nasal passages is also present. The child becomes very chilly, weak, and tired. Pains develop in the abdomen and nausea and vomiting follow.

The abdominal pain is ameliorated by bending over and by eating. As the infection progresses, the child begins to lose weight. The skin begins to look translucent with a greenish hue and the face becomes ashen with dark circles under the eyes. One should also think of Lycopodium if the child has a history of frequent upper respiratory tract infections, an obstructed nose, and stomachaches ever since an episode of mononucleosis.

(i) Lower Respiratory System:
The Lycopodium child is susceptible to colds and flu that descent easily into the bronchi, leading to bronchitis or pneumonia.

(j) Food Cravings and Aversions:
By far the most enjoyable foods for Lycopodium children to ear are sweets. This overwhelming desire in a child is a forecast of blood sugar problems in the future. Tendencies toward hypoglycemia or diabetes are also heralded by intense hunger and irritability upon awakening and by headaches that come on after missing a meal and are dissipated by eating.

Some of the following foods they simply dislike; other wreck havoc on their digestive systems, causing gas and colic: beans, onions, fat, oysters, and cabbage.

(k) Stomach:
The stomach and abdomen are the most symptomatically rich areas of the Lycopodium body. The children are often described by the parents as having a sensitive stomach. The Lycopodium child develops stomachaches during all illnesses, from colds to flu to asthma. Children needing Lycopodium feel anxiety in the stomach more than any other remedy type discussed in this book. The stomach becomes affected by frequent stomachaches, nausea, and vomiting with the slightest degree of stress. These children say that they develop such symptoms before any test or performance.

(l) Appetite:
The infant has a huge appetite and screams when it is hungry. The baby may wake up during the night to nurse with a big appetite every hour or two. Lycopodium babies may be voracious nursers and often hiccough after nursing. In the child or teenager, the appetite verges on the voracious.

(m) Rectum:
The child tends to be constipated.

(n) Urogenital System;
There is a great propensity toward birth anomalies involving the urogenital tract. These anomalies include structural problems of the kidneys or ureter, hypospadias or epistadias (where the urethral meatus is not in the proper location), and urethral stricture.

Boys are commonly bed-wetters and/or have to urinate more frequently in the evening. Lycopodium is the most frequently prescribed remedy for infant boys born with undescended testicles. Boys also develop right-sided inguinal hernias.

Premenstrually, the adolescent experiences an increase in her appetite, especially for sweets, as well as an increase in constipation and irritability. The menstrual flow is accompanied by pains that begin in the right lower abdomen and extend to the inner thigh.

(o) Extremities:

A Lycopodium prescription should be considered for rheumatic pains and arthritis in the childhood years when it is worse on the right side. The pains are ameliorated by motion and heat and are aggravated by rest.

A common observation made about Lycopodium children is the restless motion of the legs. In the interview one notices that the legs are in constant motion, going in circles from the knees down.

The keynote of dry, cracked skin covering the heels is observed in teenaged girls.

(p) Skin:
The child is often plagued by eczema from birth. The feet, fingers, and scalp (especially behind the ears) are the most affected areas.

Moles and freckles easily appear on these children.

Lycopodium is often the remedy for the child who develops neurodermatitis. The itching forms vesicles, which may cover a small or large portion of the body. These same children may develop a tendency for hives that is aggravated by anxiety and by eating foods to which they are sensitive.

Sleep (Herscu):
They frequently need the lights on and may need to sleep with others in the room. The children sleep on their right side or on their abdomens. They remain covered, well cocooned under their blankets, even in the summertime.

They awake unrefreshed in an irritable mood and do not bounce out of bed. As well as being ill-tempered, the characteristic strong hunger directly after rising makes Lycopodium the first child to arrive in the kitchen.

Important General Characteristics (Herscu):
(a) Complaints are right-sided or begin on the right side and spread to the left.

(b) Aggravation in the morning and from four to eight o'clock in the evening, especially when both time modalities are present, constitute guiding symptoms noted in any disease state as well as in times of a general drop in energy.

(c) They are often chilly and like to wear hats, and may sleep with their socks on and the windows closed. This is unusual as most children are warm-blooded.

Mental/Emotional Characteristics (Herscu):
Two distinct types of behaviour can be observed in Lycopodium children. In one type, fear and apprehension affect every aspect of the child's life. In the other, the child is bossy to the point of being dictatorial and strives to control those close by, be they parents, siblings, or friends. While these two types may be found in different individuals, they also represent a continuum that may be expressed in one person -- fear and a lack of self confidence followed by the emergence of a desire for power.

Fear is an essential factor in the development of the Lycopodium psyche. Even the babies are apprehensive. Infants need to be near the mother or on a parent's lap, as they become especially afraid when alone and when around strangers. Fear is immediately observable in the facial expression, set off by the distrustful look in the eyes and often a mild frown.

Whereas most children go through a "stranger anxiety" phase at some time within the first couple of years, Lycopodium babies develop this from birth and experience it throughout most of their childhood. Such a strong fear of strangers may often be conjoined with a fear of being alone. The child keeps track of the parents' whereabouts throughout the day. Fear of being alone is greatly accentuated in the dark.

The child may also develop a fear or aversion to new things, not due to stubbornness, as found in Calcarea carbonica, but because he fears the new thing itself. The parent states that in new places and situations and in crowds, the child will be fearful and timid at first. Once the situation is better understood by the child, he becomes more comfortable. The Calcarea carbonica child is obstinate and unyielding, while the Lycopodium child is fearful and anxious. Even though similar behaviour is noted in their dislike of new things, the root causes are radically different for each of these remedy types.

The fear of new situations in Lycopodium is intimately bound to a prominent fear of failure. This pattern grows more and more pronounced as such children mature into adulthood.

For the most part, the fear of failure is felt only before an upcoming event, not during it. They anticipate that something will go wrong, something bad will happen, or that they will be ridiculed in some way. However, once they begin the activity, the fear diminishes and they accomplish the task with ease. It should be noted that this fear is not merely a fear of failure; rather, it is a fear of failing in public. She does not mind trying new things if she is alone, but does not wish to do them in front of others, especially her peers.

This sensitivity to ridicule has a specific flavour. For example, a Natrum muriaticum child can be destroyed emotionally by ridicule. But each constitutional remedy type is affected by the same stresses in different ways. The Lycopodium child will not be so easily crushed emotionally. However, he is sensitive to social ranking and will not wish to lose status. He fears that he will get up in front of the class, make an error, and look foolish.

As a corollary to this concern about what others think, one finds that the Lycopodium child may compromise easily, dress neatly, and maintain a tidy appearance in general. They are preoccupied with their looks. These children may be sloppy in their rooms and messy in the bathroom but they groom themselves well.

Apprehension and anxiety are often felt by Lycopodium children in the stomach and abdomen. They develop frequent stomachaches, nausea, vomiting, and loose stools or diarrhea. I remember a teenager who, along with all the Lycopodium modalities of sore throats, food desires, and skin problems, also described herself as having had a "weak stomach" her entire life. She was a very good student who maintained a high grade average. Her scholastic abilities, however, did not lessen the anxiety she experienced before every test. Whenever she studied for any test she would develop stomachaches so intense she would eventually vomit.

Parents describe their Lycopodium child as a "considerate little girl," or say that she is "nice." Others volunteer that the child does all the right things, and yet it is as if the child has little charisma; as if she lacked personality. In trying to maintain her social rank, she has adbicated anything that sets her apart from others.

A hallmark of the combined lack of self-confidence and insecurity is seen in the child's indecisiveness. In the office, the child often answers in a timid voice that lacks any expression of self-assurance.

To restate the characteristics of the Lycopodium psychology mentioned thus far, we may safely say that the children fear being alone and being around new people and situations. They rarely develop a strong sense of self and remain plagued by a feeling of powerlessness. Since they feel that the parents will take care of them in difficult situations, Lycopodium children try to stay very near them.

Since one never knows how a stranger will react, they are to be avoided. He wants to only be around family members, the ones who can be controlled and will not put up a fuss. A more conscious decision is then made to have only people around who they can control, since this is the first real feeling of power that they have felt.

Because the feeling of power allays insecurities, it becomes addictive to Lycopodium children. In one case, the child whined constantly and ordered his mother around. "Get me this book." "Turn on the television." "Give me that toy." The homeopathic prescription was confirmed by the fact that the same child was also fearful and would not play by himself, always following the mother about the house instead. It is a peculiar combination: a domineering yet needy, fearful person. When these characteristics are found together, it will most often point to Lycopodium.

Lycopodium children grow irritable if not obeyed or if not obeyed quickly enough. The child becomes critical and faultfinding, chastising siblings, and even parents, for doing this or that wrong. What the demanding child says is only part of it. It is the tone in which these commands are spoken and the attitude that it reveals that promp one to first think of Lycopodium. The child speaks irritably to the parent. The child, not the adult, controls the relationship. While eliciting a case history from seven-year-old Janice, the ease with which the girl corrected her mother's responses (in a tone of voice somewhere between good-natured and condescending) helped to confirm the Lycopodium diagnosis.

The "love of power" syndrom will also manifest in the manner in which the child plays. A Lycopodium child with this trait often prefers to play with younger children so that he will be dominant. When the child is forced to play with older children, he tends to be a follower, quieter and more compliant to what others wish. This again shows a painful awareness of social standing and the fear of making mistakes.

In later stages of Lycopodium psychopathology, this love of power leads to a strong intolerance of contradiction. The child is not able to handle the slightest degree of criticism or correction from others, yet with ease he picks on and finds fault with other children and family members, especially those deemed weaker. Many teenaged Lycopodium girls become hypercritical and faultfinding.

Dyslexia (Herscu):
In Lycopodium there can be problems in integrating the left and right sides of the brain. Infants commonly have difficulty mastering the sucking reflex. They likewise have difficulty developing a coordinated pattern of crawling ("cross-crawling") and learn to walk later than their siblings. They are prone to dyslexia, both as children and as adults. Indeed, dyslexia often first indicates a need for this medicine. They make mistakes in reading and writing, inverting or leaving letters out or using the wrong words; and in arithmetic, adding up columns of numbers incorrectly.

Frustration with these disabilities naturally causes apprehension, either at school or when doing homework. In order to avoid being laughed at by their peers or receiving a poor grade from the teacher, the child needing Lycopodium procrastinates instead of doing assignments. This is not laziness. The extent to which such children are "lazy" reflects the degree to which they fear failure and lack self-confidence.

A peculiar behaviour pattern may develop in these children: they hurriedly write their work but cannot bear to read what they have just written. This is seen particularly in those who have a history of making many mistakes. Reviewing the work means having to come to terms with the mistakes made, a task that is anathema to the Lycopodium psyche as it deflates the ego as well as makes the child fear a loss of status.

There are some hyperactive children who respond beautifully to the remedy Lycopodium and who exhibit many of the traits discussed here.

3. Natrum muriaticum (Common salt)

alf an ounce of ordinary kitchen salt is dissolved in an ounce and a half of boiling distilled water,Natrum muriaticum "Common salt" in order to free it from its associated salts, it is filtered through printing paper, and left to crystallize by evaporation at a temperature of 122º Fahrenheit. The crystals, which are allowed to dry off on blotting paper, are of cubical shape with pyramidal indentation on every side. One grain of these crystals is triturated to the one millionth attenuation, and then brought to the decillionth attenuation" (Samuel Hahnemann, Chronic Diseases).

Physical Characteristics (Herscu):

(a) Head:
Skin eruptions often develop around the margins of the hairline and behind the ears, which ooze a thin watery fluid that coagulates to a slightly yellow-tinged scab.

Often Natrum muriaticum children will not wear hats, except when they are out in the full sun. Without a hat in this case, the child is destined for a headache, heat prostration, or sunstroke.

(b) Headaches:
Headaches are a frequent complaint of the Natrum muriaticum child. The headaches may begin, as do migraines, with a visual loss on the contralateral side. They may occur from reading too much or any kind of eye strain, from exposure to the sun and before the menses.

The Natrum muriaticum headache is aggravated by exertion, sharp noise, and bright light. They are often accompanied by a thirst for cold drinks and a desire for cold compresses to be applied to the head. The child becomes nauseated and loses any appetite for food. The face becomes pale and the afflicted person desires to be alone and to lie down flat with cold and pressure against the head.

(c) Eyes:
One can see great sensitivity in the eyes of Natrum muriaticum children. The child may develop dark circles under the eyes, as well as Denny's lines: the creases under the lower eyelids that typify allergies.

They can be quite photophobic and need to wear sunglasses. The photophobia is of graded severity; some have extreme sensitivity to light, while others develop headaches when in the sun. Others just prefer the shade, but all squint in bright light.

The Natrum muriaticum type tends to develop myopia at an early age.

(d) Nose:
The nose is frequently troubled. Natrum muriaticum children often have many allergies, developing hay fever-like symptoms from dust, molds, and pollen. There may also be allergic reactions to foods. The allergies may lead to sinus infections and sinus headaches, especially during a change in weather.

(e) Face:
Adolescent girls can develop a distinctive rash along the jaw line that becomes worse before the menses. Acne and rashes on the face tend to be centered on the forehead. Hives may also be a chief complaint. They may develop from each and every exposure to the sun or may occur only during the first three or four weeks of summer sunshine. The lips are often dry or cracked and frequently develop a fissure in the centre. With colds and fevers, blisters or herpatic sores develop that recur around the lips.

(f) Mouth:
The mouth may feel dry and sore and the tongue may be geographically mapped. With the dry mouth there is thirst for ice-cold drinks, which are consumed by the glassful.

(g) Asthma:
Asthma begins with a dry, hollow cough that is described as sounding like a dog's bark. This is accompanied by shortness of breath that is aggravated by exertion, allergies, evening time, and summer and fall weather in general.

Asthma in this remedy type is often triggered by emotional causes. It is uncanny how often a Natrum muriaticum picture develops in cases where the child must suppress sadness. In one case, a girl would have an asthma attack whenever her divorced mother would come to pick her up for the weekend. The asthma first began when the parents first filed for divorce.

The child may develop allergic coughs that do not progress all the way to asthma. Eight-year-old Frank coughed daily for two years. No reason could be found for the cough by his pediatrician. It was a little cough caused by a tickle in the throat, according to Frank. It was found upon questioning that the cough had started soon after the boy's best friend had moved away. This was a terrible blow for him, although he told no one how he felt. The remedy Natrum muriaticum stopped the cough for good.

(h) Food Cravings and Aversions:
Natrum muriaticum children have strong desires for salt and sweets. They may intensely dislike milk, fat and slimy foods. They dislike dishes that are prepared from many food elements, such as casseroles. One patient called them with disgust, "mixed-up foods."

Many Natrum muriaticum children are lactose intolerant, evidenced by indigestion or a respiratory allergy to milk.

They have a strong thirst for cold drinks and may often be found drinking copious amounts with meals.

(i) Stomach:
A large number of children complain of recurrent stomachaches or abdominal cramps.

A frequent complaint is motion sickness, especially during any long drive. These are the children who cannot be spun around in games due to nausea, and who find no pleasure in riding fast or whirling rides at carnivals.

(j) Abdomen:
Clinically, one finds that the abdominal area cramps easily in the Natrum muriaticum child. The symptoms fit an irritable bowel syndrome very well. The abdomen becomes hard to the touch, cramps up, and is accompanied by severe pain as if the colon were being grasped and squeezed by a tight fist. Those afflicted are compelled to double up with this acute attack.

(k) Rectum:
There is a tendency toward constipation. The stools are dry and the child strains and may cramp before passing a hard stool. This makes the child not want to go to the bathroom, and so habitual constipation develops. With such a history, these children develop many tiny anal fissures as well.

Young children can suffer from chronic diarrhea. The diarrhea occurs first thing in the morning, is odorless, and may be projectile. It is aggravated by the ingestion of milk or wheat and is accompanied by much flatus and cutting pains in the lower abdomen.

(l) Urogenital System:
Boys: The shy child, especially the adolescent boy, will find it difficult to urinate in a public rest room. Bed-wetting is also often reported.

Girls: Nondescript vaginitis in a young girl is not uncommon. The premenstrual syndrom plays a big role for Natrum muriaticum adolescents. Before the menses, sadness and irritability prevail. The actual menses may be painful, with backaches that get better while lying flat on the back on a hard surface. Abdominal pains that come with the menses extend down the thighs to the knees. Localized uterine pain is aggravated by the slightest jarring motion and is lessened with heat, as with the application of a heating pad directly to the lower abdomen.

(m) Extremities:
The toddler may be small and may be slow to walk and talk, learning to walk at seventeen months or later. When they finally do walk, they may turn an ankle frequently.

Clinically, a syndrome that should often bring the remedy Natrum muriaticium to mind is frequent or easily induced tendinitis. The most commonly affected tendons are those of the left shoulder, the knees, the ankles (especially the Achilles tendon, from the heel to the calf), and the fingers. The pains that accompany these inflammations are often sharp and will be amelioriated by cold and pressure.

Rheumatoid arthritis has also been successfully amelioriated by the administration of Natrum muriaticum. The onset may follow grief and may progress through all the joints very quickly. Besides the frighteningly rapid spread of the arthritis, there is usually an abundance of sharp, stitching pains in all the affected joints.

Many Natrum muriaticum children develop very stiff neck muscles. They frequently bite their nails.

(n) Skin:
The skin is often dry, cracked, and predisposed to the development of eczematous rashes. People who have eczema on their hands, elbows, ankles, hairline, or behind the ears; and which is red, raw, cracked and weepy, frequently benefit from a dose of Natrum muriaticum. The eczema itches intensely, especially when the child eats a food that she is allergic to or when she becomes hot.

There often may be a problem with hair loss. In alopecia [loss of hair in patches] cases, the scalp around the hairless patch is dry and flaky and itches a great deal. Alopecia or morphea ["a skin desease marked by the presence of indurated patches of a whitish or yellowish white color surrounded by a pinkish or purplish border," Yasgur's Homeopathic Dictionary] following an emotionally stressful situation may be aided by this remedy.

Natrum muriaticum children often have warts. Hives aggravated by exposure to the sun is another complaint found within this remedy type.

Except during sleep, when sweating can be profuse, the Natrum muriaticum child tends to show scanty or uneven perspiration. It is common for the child to become quite hot while running or playing, yet perspire only lightly, even in the summertime.

(o) Psoriasis:
Psoriasis develops readily on the Natrum muriaticum body. Often there is a specific emotional etiology such as grief that brings on the lesions. Scenarios commonly observed by the doctor include examples such as a girl of ten developing psoriasis after her parents sought a divorce, and a boy of the same age developing this condition after moving away from his friends to a new city.

The psoriasis may be unusual in several respects. It may be extremely painful, burning with each new outbreak, or it may be the rarer form of pustular psoriasis. In general, exacerbation from new grief or emotional trauma is the rule. Pustular psoriasis may have a very rapid spread accompanied by strong chills and headaches. Lastly, the lesion, while it remains curable, may behave paradoxically to all other types of psoriasis lesions. It is characteristic for this disease that the ultraviolet light of the sun ameliorates the rash. In Natrum muriaticum, however, the opposite may be found: the rash becomes aggravated by the sun's rays and the lesions grow on skin surfaces that have been exposed to the sun.

After the child has had the disease for several years, especially if strong medications have been used, this last modality is lost and the rash then becomes ameliorated by exposure to sunlight. This should make the prescriber view the case more cautiously, as the lesion is now less likely to be cured completely. With this change, one understands that the homeostatic mechanism of the individual is no longer concerned with the rash. In a few words, the body is in the process of giving up on the rash and learning to live with it rather than to fight and attempt to vanquish it.

Sleep (Herscu):
The sleep of Natrum muriaticum children is often troubled. Many find it hard to fall asleep in the first place and sometimes lie awake in their beds for several hours before succumbing. Some stay awake to recapitulate the social and emotional encounters of the day. It is as if the emotions that were repressed during the actual exchanges can finally be experienced in their full magnitude.

They usually sleep on the left side or on the back. They can talk and walk in their sleep.

Enuresis in little boys who are shy and fine skinned and who dislike being looked at will often respond to the remedy Natrum muriaticum. It is interesting that the enuresis of this remedy type is marked by the fact that the child, though ostensibly asleep, finds some kind of receptacle in which to urinate. Some children walk up to a plant in the room and urinate into the pot, while other find a sink or wastebasket.

Many Natrum muriaticum children experience anxiety-fraught dreams. They dream of being chased, of disasters, of robbers, that the school has moved and they cannot find it, that they have been abandoned, etc.

Their sleep, even when thus disturbed, is mostly refreshing.

Important General Characteristics (Herscu):
(a) Warm-blooded for the most part, Natrum muriaticum children dislike heat and stuffy rooms.

(b) They prefer the shade and dislike and are aggravated by direct sunshine.

(c) Many children are thin, pale, weak, and anemic.

(d) There is a general aggravation time from three to six o'clock in the afternoon.

Mental/Emotional Characteristics (Herscu):
"Youth is wasted on the young" is a saying that adults, observing young ones at play, often repeat. How sad, then, to find a child who has the seriousness and the heavy burden of the aged upon his young shoulders. And yet this is exactly what one finds in a Natrum muriaticum child.

As a group, Natrum muriaticum children are very well behaved and obedient. During the interview they are reserved and shy. The doctor may find several different behaviours. One child sits up straight with her legs crossed, her hands folded, and all her muscles tensed. Another child, perhaps an adolescent, exhibits how physical distancing can be manifested by slouching with his legs up on the seat, putting those legs and his entire body between the doctor's intrusive questions and himself. Yet another child sprawls on the floor behind the parent's chair, apparently relaxed while reading a book. While this may seem to show a nonchalant attitude, the Natrum muriaticum child acts this way to avoid emotional communication with the doctor. Teenagers may respond grudgingly with monosyllabic yes or no answers, a thin veneer that does not hide the facial expression that conveys another message: "I do not want to be here. I was brought here against my will by my parents. I was brought in for my headaches; why am I being grilled about my friends, my fears, my schoolwork?"

Occasionally it is felt by all in the room that a child is baring his or her soul to the interviewer. Suddenly the mood in the room changes and a very intimate bond begins to form; all joking disappears and the child begins to reveal what becomes the central focus of the case -- the true sensitive, grieved, emotional state.

The first thing that strikes one about a Natrum muriaticum child is how well-groomed he or she is. At an early age, clean clothes, coordinated outfits, and mediculously combed hair are the rule.

Almost all Natrum muriaticum children tend toward perfectionism, which may manifest at a very tender age. They like their rooms neat, their beds made, and their books and toys put away.

They may seem possessive by not letting their friends or siblings touch their special objects, but this is not out of true possessiveness; rather, it is out of the desire to keep their things clean, in order, and unbroken. These children never lose any items of personal value and will categorize, organize, and clean them with enjoyment and great care.

They become depressed or hysterical if they do not receive good grades on exams or report cards. They cry or tear up the offending page if they make a mistake while writing or coloring. They often work on homework assignments until they are absolutely sure there are no mistakes. If they do make a mistake, say on a math problem, they often do not ask for help because they think that they are "bad" people for having made the mistake.

They are very concerned with others' opinions about them. They feel strong emotions and are offended easily, so if they are laughed at or ridiculed in any way, it reinforces the negative self-image that dwells inside.

This degraded self-image mingled with social insecurities is the basis for many obsessive, perfectionistic behaviours. One way to escape the ridicules of childhood is to appear invulnerable or perfect. This "siege mentality" creates great anxiety in the child as he strives to achieve the unachievable -- perfection.

Natrum muriaticum youngsters are very sensitive. They become embarrassed easily. Many do not try anything new if they fear they might fail. This resistance may range from that of a child who refuses to play due to poor physical coordination to the shyness of a child who will not try to make new friends.

It is this tendency toward self-recrimination that pushes these children to perfect any endeavors they take on. Theirs is an inner drive to achieve, the likes of which few other remedy types possess. They may choose music, the visual arts, or sports -- it does not really matter what the vehicle of creative expression is. What is consistent is that they excel at whatever they choose.

This drive to succeed is born out of the child's dissatisfaction with her own performance or creation. The dissatisfaction leads her to push her abilities even further toward perfection, always criticizing any finished piece or performance, never hearing the compliments or applause. They become very sensitive to the slightest criticism.

The overly conscientious nature of Natrum muriaticum may cause anxiety attacks in the youth. One adolescent, Peter, had severe stomachaches and headaches whenever he became anxious about his mathematics class. He had panic attacks before exams from the fear that he would not receive good grades. His fears were not based on reality, as he was an excellent student and his parents had never pushed him to perform.

Natrum muriaticum children experience emotions very profoundly, and are especially predisposed to sadness. A death in the family, separation or divorce, or siblings and friends moving away can all trigger this disposition. Whenever a child develops disease after a severe depression or when depression accompanies an illness, Natrum muriaticum should be considered.

Above all else, Natrum muriaticum at any age is a loner. When relating to others, they like to interact on a one-to-one basis, hating and fearing larger groups. Because they push others away in fear and hypersensitivity, others begin to think of them as aloof and seemingly too serious for such young people.

Their emotionally sensitive and reactive nature combined with great shyness makes the youngster seem closed and emotionless; this could not be further from the truth. Intense and deeply felt emotions pour out onto the pages of diaries, in songs, and the canvases of paintings. Children of this type are shy with people and often have a natural love for and become very close to animals.

They seek any activity that allows them a refuge from ridicule and an opportunity to vent their emotions. The fantasy world waiting for them in books is one reason why they are often voracious readers.

In the alcololic family they often cast themselves as the heroic savior: "It is my responsibility, my fault alone." It is incredible and sometimes tragic that one finds such guilt and remorse in a child of perhaps seven years.

Grudges against and hatred of certain family members may develop, especially after being ridiculed. When hurt, they reexperience indignities, injustices and humiliation over and over again, burning with each fresh revelation and fuming as every nuance of the conflict slaps them in the face.

If they are scolded or if the parents are harsh with them, it may bring on torrents of tears. They are so sensitive to reprimand that they may weep if merely looked at the "wrong way." The child weeps easily and exhibits an aversion to being held, having a desire to be alone rather than consoled. Sometimes, when hearing something sad and moreover when having to tell someone else disheartening news, a smile inappropriately and helplessly comes to the lips. This is very characteristic of this remedy type.

These children have a negative reaction to consolation. They may actually desire consolation from their parents, but they never ask for it. "No one must know that I am needy, that I feel insecure." Attempts to console them precipitate an even greater sadness, making a bad situation worse. With acute disease this close-mouthedness may be absolutely maddening to the attending adults. The child may moan, cry, and groan but not say what is disturbing him.

The picture is sulky. Natrum muriaticum children tend to cling to a certain belief about themselves, such as that every negative event or consequence must be their fault.

A fear of evil or that something awful will happen is common. Anxiety about parents who do not arrive home on time is symptomatic of this type. Typically, there is a partial compensation for this fear in the form of an attempt to control events.

Fears may haunt them: fear of the dark, of being alone, of thunderstorms, of snakes, spiders, insects with large mandibles; fear that the cat will die; or fear that there is something around the corner. They have a great fear of robbers, of being kidnaped. Other fears may include fear of speaking in public, of heights, and of closed in spaces.

Childhood and Family Relations (Coulter):
Natrum muriaticum's grievances often stem from family relations. More often and more graphically than any other type, he exhibits the consequences of a poor relationship with one or both parents which breeds resentment and/or guilt. A classic situation is the child whose emotional problems started when the mother took a job outside the home. But when she is home, he is neither affectionate nor outwardly happy, and, in general, is not easy to have around. The other children in the family are not affected in the same way, accepting the situation and enjoying their mother when she is home. Only Natrum muriaticum so deeply resents her betrayal, and is so sensitive to her rejection or neglect, that he cannot demonstrate the need for her affection. Thus, although these grievances against the parent are sometimes legitimate, he can also be accused of making excessive demands.

The polar opposite, however, is also true. Natrum muriaticum often has a superabundance of sympathy and devotion to his parents and an extra-close relationship with them.

Some of these children feel ill at ease when touched. They do not reach out for physical closeness and have trouble expressing affection. This "don't touch me" syndrome contributes to the young Natrum muriaticum's difficult relationship with his parents. The testily independent child pushes not only any show of affection but also guidance. He rejects it when it is proffered and is angry when consoled. Thus the lessening of emotional rapport between parent and child that frequently occurs in adolescence with reduced physical contact may commence earlier in Natrum muriaticum. He projects a "leave me alone" attitude, and the parents leave him alone.

Yet, it is part of the nature's complexity and perversity to suffer inordinately from deprival of parental affection even when rejecting it. He thereby creates a "no win" situation for his parents and himself.

The "difficult" Natrum muriaticum child may originally have been well-behaved and affectionate but has turned moody and unhappy because of real or imagined parental inattention to his needs. The physician can often recognize him by his determined avoidance of eye contact, reluctance to answer questions, and resentful expression as he looks down at the floor. A prescription of the medicine in high potency, however, can cause extraordinary changes: the child is now willing to look the physician in the eye, has an open instead of a forced smile, and is described by the parents as having a "lighter" nature generally.

At times Natrum muriaticum's pathology stems from early sibling rivalry. The previously bright and happy child starts behaving badly or slackens in speech and intellectual development when he senses that his younger siblings are receiving parental preference. In fact, slow learning to talk is a strong indication for this remedy and a concrete reflection of the type's general inability to express emotion easily.

Other constitutional types in similar circumstances may feel equally jealous and resentful. They will fight for attention, argue, or intrigue; or they will learn to share or to yield; but ultimately they succeed in dealing with the situation. No so Natrum muriaticum. He may confront it by being ultracooperative, obedient and responsible. The child is so sensitive to disapproval, so longing for approbation, so fearful of parental rejection if he does not please, that he will not even tell his parents that he is afraid of the dark and would like a night light, or that he wet his pants in school and would like to change them; and a mere glance from an adult will elicit the desired behaviour. Indeed, when a parent or teacher describes a child as overconscientious, extremely anxious to avoid giving trouble, and "extra" or "unnaturally" good, the first remedy to consider is the potentized salt.

He is deeply affected by quarrels and subliminal hostility and can become actively ill as a result. For this reason, Natrum muriaticum is the remedy most frequently administered to children and adolescents who have undergone the trauma of parental divorce.

A final observation is that a child will be passionately attached to his pet, lavishing on it all the affection he cannot give to humans.

The remedy can disperse the patient's tormenting idées fixes and soften his unbending pillar-or-salt personality, permitting greater subtlety of understanding and opinion; it helps him be less vulnerable, less defensive, and less inclined to self-condemnation.

Every homeopathic constitutional remedy performs psychotherapy while working on the physical level, but in the introverted, repressed, morbidly sensitive or traumatized Natrum muriaticum this unblocking of emotions to allow the "vital force" to flow freely in the body is especially striking. After one dose, or several, of homeopathic sodium chloride, individuals suffering from long-standing dejection or severe mood swings, or who are weighted down with cares, find themselves lighter, more accepting, less judgmental of others -- more hopeful and open to the joyful aspects of life. This remedy can cut through the tangle of depression, insecurity, feelings of unworthiness and excessive self-absorption, making the patient master of himself.

4. Phosphorus

he homeopathic remedy is made from the luminescent element phosphorus, the onlyPhosphorus non-radioactive substance capable of producing its own light. The name originates from the Greek word phos, meaning "light," and a form of phoro, meaning "to bring" or "to bear" -- hence "bringer or bearer of light." Both the etymology and the associations evoked by the element provide fitting keys to the Phosphorus personality" (Coulter).

Physical Characteristics (Herscu):

(a) Head:
The heads of Phosphorus children share three similarities with those of Calcarea carbonica: the head may often be covered with fine, silky, shiny hair; baldness occurs in certain areas when the child is experiencing serious illness such as pneumonia or bronchitis; and finally, the child may perspire profusely from the scalp

(b) Headaches:
These children tend to develop headaches, even to the point of migrains. They may be heralded by many visual changes such as photophobia, flickers, or floating spots.

The headaches are commonly preceded or accompanied by hunger; the child describes an empty feeling in the chest or stomach area. If the child, especially a teenager, misses a meal or eats too much sugar, he will probably develop a headache.

The other common type of Phosphorus headache occurs due to a sensitivity to the environment. This headache may be set off by strong odors such as perfumes, car exhausts, and tobacco smoke.

Amelioration of a headache by cold compresses applied to the head is a big clue to this remedy. During severe headaches of all kinds there may characteristically be nausea and vomiting.

(c) Eyes:
The eyes of infants and children are bright and wide open, shining with a glimmer and brilliance all their own. Phosphorus types have long eyelashes, even from birth. Another feature that may be observed is blue-tinged rings of discoloration around the eyes of a pale-faced child.

While Arnica should be the first remedy considered for subconjunctival hemorrhages in infants and children, Phosphorus should be especially considered if the bleeding recurs often, whenever the children strain during coughing or blowing the nose.

Paralysis of the optic nerve causing gradual blindness is also a complaint that should make one think of Phosphorus. The paralysis may be due to an unexplained degeneration of the nerve or may occur after a brain tumor causes papilledema with loss of visual fields. The child may have in this case many visual distortions such as "floaters."

Finally, the child may complain of eczema or seborrheic dermatitis on the eyebrows, both of which are exfoliative.

(d) Ears:
The ears are not often affected in these children. Phosphorus should come to mind for both infants and children who have had an ear infection with a bloody discharge.

(e) Nose:
The nose is frequently problematic in Phosphorus children and adolescents. Many of these children have a history of nosebleeds. The blood is bright red and profuse

It is common to elicit the fact that the child develops many colds each winter that begin in the nose.

(f) Face:
The Phosphorus face of both infants and older children is often particularly beautiful, with fine features and fine skin. The skin may be almost transparent and pallid at rest, but will flush full of color with embarrassment or excitement.

Children with allergies develop allergic "shiners": dark, often puffy, circles under the eyes.

The lips tend to become red, dry, and cracked, especially in wintertime.

(g) Mouth;
The mouth favors the development of frequent canker sores.

The tongue is long and thin. The shape of the teeth is similar to the shape of the typical Phosphorus body: long and thin.

The gums may show a tendency to bleed easily.

(h) Throat and Neck:
When Phosphorus children develop sore throats (which they do often), they are inevitably accompanied by hoarseness. The throat feels raw, dry, and burning, and the child will especially favor cold drinks for relief. Children tend to develop laryngitis with these infections.

(i) Lower Respiratory System:
The chest is one of the most affected parts of the body in this remedy type. It is noted that, from an early age, any cold quickly drops into the chest to cause a cough, bronchitis, or pneumonia, even in infants.

Since the cough can be quite painful, one may observe the child trying to hold her breath because every time she inhales, she coughs. Sufferers often hold their chests when they cough because coughing causes pain to the rib cage.

(j) Pneumonia:
Phosphorus is one of the main remedies to be considered for pneumonia in infants. An X-ray often confirms that the pneumonia is mostly in the lower lungs.

During these attacks there is also a burning sensation located anywhere in the chest. A strong concomitant feature that will help find the correct remedy is the great craving for ice-cold drinks during these attacks predominant among Phosphorus individuals, young and old alike.

(k) Asthma:
In Phosphorus, asthma is often related to allergies that are prone to be worse in the spring and fall. Other asthma attacks are set off by upper respiratory tract infections that drop into the chest, leading to the spasms. The chest tightens, feeling as if a weight were placed on the sternum. Curiously, with allergic asthmas the sternum may itch as well as feel tight.

(l) Food Cravings and Aversions:
Phosphorus children crave ice-cold foods such as ice cream, cold milk, and often just plain ice cubes. They desire chocolate, and refreshing snacks such as cucumbers. They also love sour foods such as pickles and lemons. Many of these children also love bubble gum.

They dislike eggs and bread.

This is one of the most thirst-prone remedy types in the entire materia medica, drinking many glasses of liquid a day and even waking up at night to drink. Most of the drinks will be cold to ice-cold.

(m) Stomach:
In general, the child has a good appetite. Being acutely sensitive to the blood sugar level, any time the child abstains from eating he or she will develop hypoglycemic symptoms: dizziness may ensue, a headache may develop, or mild irritability may be noted.

The stomach is one of the weakest areas of the Phosphorus constitution. With any acute infection such as influenza the child develops nausea and/or vomiting, retching at the slightest provocation. Such digestive tract problems may also occur from anxiety or stress. The keynote Phosphorus symptom of vomiting is further confirmed if it is aggravated by anything warm and ameliorated by anything cold; in fact, the colder the better. The afflicted youngster will drink ice-cold drinks or eat ice cream for relief, but as soon as the drink warms up in the stomach (in about fifteen minutes) the nausea returns.

(n) Hypoglycemia:
Children who miss meals or fast for holidays may become not only nauseous but also weak, trembly, and susceptible to headaches. Because of a rapid metabolism, the Phosphorus child seems hypoglycemic and needs to eat often. Many of these children will not be able to fall asleep because of hunger, while others will wake up in the middle of the night for want of food. They will be the first one to the breakfast table and will relish the morning meal after having "starved" the night through.

(o) Abdomen;
Many pains are experienced in the lower abdominal area. These pains aften coincide with stress, fear, anxiety, or even just excitement. As with nausea, such problems will be ameliorated by any ice-cold drink.

(p) Rectum:
The Phosphorus child tends to develop diarrhea quite easily. In infants, watch for recurring diarrhea that may accompany any illness and may last for a long time after the illness is resolved.

(q) Urogenital System:
Sometimes the child may lose bladder control when excited while awake during the day as well as when asleep at night in bed.

Quite often in teenaged girls the menstrual flow will be very heavy and consist of a bright red flow throughout the entire period. The flow may be so heavy that the adolescent becomes anemic, pale, and, quite commonly, dizzy while menstruating.

(r) Extremities:
The remedy Phosphorus has cured types of arthritis that are aggravated by first motion and by cold, and are ameliorated by continued motion.

The child tends to acquire plantar warts on either foot. The hands and feet perspire profusely any time the child is anxious or excited.

(s) Skin:
While the skin is not often affected, Phosphorus types sometimes produce the driest skin and flakiest eruptions of all the major remedies. This can range from simple dandruff to extensive ichthyosis, in which the whole skin flakes off constantly and resembles fish scales.

The child will perspire profusely.

Sleep (Herscu):
The children do not like to go to sleep alone. In the dark they fear that the room or the closet has monsters or ghosts, and every changing light and shadow pattern gives them a start. They have strong imaginations. For this reason they often report that they sleep with a light on.

is one of the most common remedies given to the child who, even though eight or ten years old, still sneaks into bed with his or her parents. It is not uncommon to have a thirteen-year-old Phosphorus girl still wanting to be tucked in at night.

The sleep position is often characteristic in Phosphorus children -- either on the right side or on the abdomen.

They tend to talk in their sleep, and many will sleepwalk. Sleep may be restless, as they have many nightmares.

Phosphorus infants and children usually wake up refreshed, though perhaps hungry.

Vertigo (Herscu):
Tall, thin children frequently complain of orthostatic hypotension -- low blood pressure -- when they rise quickly from a reclining position. They feel light-headed and dizzy, as if their feet do not touch the ground.

Older girls may also feel this way when they menstruate heavily.

Important General Characteristics (Herscu):
(a) Phosphorus children are generally tall, thin, and beautiful. They usually have fine-textured skin and refined features.

(b) The Phosphorus remedy type is vulnerable to bleeding problems and hemorrhages of any sort.

(c) Both the mental and physical conditions of Phosphorus children tend to be aggravated by lying on the left side, and at dusk and twilight. Amelioration is from lying on the right side, drinking cold water or eating cold food, by consolation, being rubbed, and sleep.

Mental/Emotional Characteristics (Herscu):
As a group, Phosphorus children are the most enjoyable to treat. They tend to be very communicative, excitable, and expressive. They are generally good-natured and happy from birth. They are warmhearted and like to be picked up and hugged. The children have good manners, so their parents do not hesitate to bring them to public places.

It is the nature of the Phosphorus child to be extroverted. The child is very impressionable as well as warm, outgoing and affectionate; qualities that attract others like iron filings to a magnet.

The Phosphorus child appears bright, answering questions quickly and asking many questions of her own. She extemporizes on anything, often straying from the topic at hand. It is common for the child to simultaneously answer a question and begin a new statement on a separate, though perhaps related, topic.

As a doctor, one can experience the child's openness and observe the ease with which she floats through the world, able to establish rapport easily with just about anyone. The child is very accepting and does not hold grudges. When ill, if not seriously so, the child tends to remain outgoing physically as well as verbally.

It is remarkable how specifically the child will express a desire to be rubbed, tucked in, or sung to. Young Sam, pointing to his forehead, approached me and said, "Paul it hurts here" in a most pathetic tone, reminiscent of high drama. With Phosphorus, health problems are clearly expressed, and thus the parents can greatly empathize with their child.

These bright children are often group leaders when playing games. The affection that the child emits toward others unconsciously draws them closer.

Phosphorus children love being the centre of attention. In one example, all the other children were riding bicycles and having fun. Leon was too young to know how to ride but began to cry foul play, protesting that he was not getting his fair share of the riding. He mounted a bicycle and began to ride and fall, ride and fall, over and over again until he could indeed ride the bicycle! This particular event illustrates another aspect of the Phosphorus personality: they strongly prefer not to be considered "just average."

When praise is earned in situations like these, the recipient relishes the achievements and the glory, enjoying it for all it is worth.

Phosphorus children are very enthusiastic about new environments, people, or activities. They love going to shopping malls, game arcades, and playgrounds. At times the excitement makes them almost uncontrollable. They love to play with all the toys, video machines, and games.

Phosphorus children may be quite restless from sheer excitement. Parents tell the doctor that their child "can't keep still for one minute" and cannot focus on a task long enough to finish it. Although the child is delightful, he or she fidgets all the time.

The children try to bargain with their parents. Statements such as, "I ate all my food, give me a toy," or "I did good in school, let's go to the arcade," if offered in a pleasant manner, are typical pleas of the Phosphorus child.

The child may get up many times during the night to ask for water or go to the bathroom, or anything else that gains an audience with the parents.

The child usually spends all his allowance as soon as he gets it. The parents tell the doctor that the child buys as if there is a fire in his pants pocket; he must spend every penny. If he uses his money on a toy and has a quarter left over, he will buy candy with the remainder.

Excitability is also heightened by upcoming events. Before a team game, a recital, or other event the Phosphorus child becomes anxious and may even become physically ill from anticipation.

The children may, in excitement and/or in sympathy, give away favorite toys and other possessions. This generous giving away of personal possessions is a reflection of the sensitive and giving nature of Phosphorus. The child is deeply caring, taking responsibility for siblings or animals that are in need.

Some Phosphorus children develop the lack of mental focus for which this remedy type is well known. This may be observed in the short attention span and easy distractibility of the child.

Another major aspect of the Phosphorus child is shyness, particularly during the initial interview, blushing easily, looking down at the floor, answering in a timid whisper, and looking to the parents before every response. As the interview continues, one notes that the shyness quickly fades and excitement builds within the child. Once I was treating a family over lunch. One of the three children of the group was nine-year-old Liz. At the beginning of the interview she was very shy, whispering and looking to her father for answers and not ever looking at her questioner. By the second half of the interview she was answering questions herself and beginning to pick at my food. As I watched this girl unfold and finally win my affection as well as my french fries, all I or anyone else present wished to do was hug her. This instant feeling of affection quite often helps me identify and prescribe Phosphorus.

Phosphorus children change moods and cry easily. They need affection and consolation and can cry easily and openly in front of others. They recover more quickly than some other remedy types.

The Phosphorus child becomes terribly fearful with the slightest provocation. As a parent gives an account of the child's fears, one often sees the actual terror consume the child. The eyes open wide while the mother sketches the child's reaction to a thunderstorm, as if the hapless child is reliving the experience.

The strongest and most common fears are of the dark, being alone, ghosts, and thunderstorms. These are similar to the fears of the Natrum muriaticum child. The major difference regarding the shared fears between these two remedy types is that the Phosphorus cannot help but talk about the fears with dramatic expressions that pull the listener right into the experience, whereas the Natrum muriaticum child will largely keep his fears to himself. The former is open, the later closed.

Many of the Phosphorus fears can be distilled down to the single fear that something "bad" will happen. This is experienced as a general foreboding that encompasses many facets of the child's life. The poor Phosphorus child is often left with an overactive imagination with which to fantasize what this threat might be.

If pushed further, this wild imagination makes the child fear the future. When asked what he was afraid of, twelve-year-old Paul said he feared AIDS. Having heard that it killed people and not knowing how one contracted the disease, he became anxious over the prospect of dying from it. Besides the irrationality of assuming he would contract such a disease, the fear of death in one so young is quite unusual and peculiar to this remedy type.

Fears may affect the stomach. Nausea, stomachaches, vomiting, ulcers, or diarrhea may develop with these fears as they become somaticized.

The Eternal Child (Coulter):
Whether actively seeking it or inadvertently attracting it, Phosphorus from an early age manages to capture notice. He is appealing in both looks and manner, and even passers-by exclaim, "What an attractive child!" "Just look at those eyes!" The cry is instinctive, as they gaze with open admiration at a child whose alertness, grace, charm, and bubbling good spirits compel attention.

Phosphorus can be impatient, desiring gratification at the very moment and, if thwarted, throwing impressive tantrums. But he is easily appeased and snaps out of his anger whenever he pleases. He does not allow sadness to last and does not bear resentment. Like a jack-in-the-box he pops up smiling even after being reprimanded. The sensitive nature feels the disgrace but covers it up, all the sooner to reenter others' good graces.

As concerns his studies the young Phosphorus loves anything that captures his imagination, such as having stories told or read to him, but dislikes anything requiring sustained application, anything that is not "fun." At the same time he wants to be the best in everything without really working for it. Whatever he is trying to accomplish, he must "get it" the first time. If unsuccessful or thwarted in his  attempt, he may react hysterically, stamping, shouting, or throwing down his tools in frustration. Because he is quick and absorbs things easily, he often does manage to be a good, but not an excellent, student without studying too hard.

Phosphorus children are seldom mean and do not bully others. They are not necessarily angels, but they gain the upper hand in a diverting, not a disagreeable, way. When they must weasel out of a tricky situation, they look you directly in the eye while fabricating a complete untruth. With their ready imagination, they are adept at twisting the facts or concocting spur-of-the-moment explanations why they didn't do their homework or their chores. In contrast with the Natrum muriaticum child who looks guilty even when he is not, and who always gets caught in the slightest fib, you feel that the Phosphorus child must be telling the truth with those wide eyes gazing straight at you. But by no means! The more innocent Phosphorus looks, the guiltier he usually is.

Their mischievousness comes out in teasing, playing jokes on others, or tricking their elders. Children less than a year old and still unable to walk, may crawl away to hide in a closet; while others are searching and shouting their names in concern, they sit concealed, gurgling with pleasure at their own cleverness.

They are popular without necessarilly being leaders; they are just friendly, vital, and enthusiastic. Friends and strangers alike respond to his expansive charm, and many a dreary life has been brightened by the antics of a lively Phosphorus.

All this excitement and stimulation may undermine his health, however, and the adolescent begins to suffer from headaches, insomnia, and nervousness; or more subtly, he loses his emotional stability and mental cohesion. The younger child may even fall ill from anticipation or excitement: of such happy events as Christmas, participating in a school play, or a birthday party. Or he remains sleepless and overwrought long after an event.

The constitutional type is recognized in the patient who is likable and attractive and displays the warm and extroverted manner of one who wants to be liked and can make himself liked; who has developed and put to good use his wonderfully positive approach to people and life. He may possess a brighter luminescence but will always evince that special Phosphorus sympathy and responsiveness that ranks compassion before justice and generosity before truth.

Yet he may also suffer from a tendency to emotional excess, lack of restraint, confusion of fantasy with reality, and uncertainty about his own identity. His imagination outweighs his understanding, his unstability overrules his judgment; he believes only what he wants to believe, is governed by caprice and cannot see beyond himself. So that for all his promise and fine talents his life falls short of its potential.

More Children's Remedies