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
"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
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.
(Carbonate of Lime)
reak in pieces a
clean, somewhat thick oyster shell, take one grain of the softer,
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).
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.
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
Even in good health these children often have runny noses.
Typically, the Calcarea
has a round face. The skin has the appearance of a great
deal of underlying fat.
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
(f) Throat and
children develop sore
throats easily. With these sore throats one is always able
to palpate many swollen
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.
Cravings and Aversions:
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
do not like or tolerate mild at all.
Children tend to have slow
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
While some children may be picky eaters, most wake up hungry and
demand to be nursed or to have breakfast.
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
is the chief complaint for many of these children, and the stool tends
to be large and bulky.
common with celiac disease or lactose intolerance, and also accompanies many
acute ailments such as otitis media, bronchitis,
and difficult dentition.
Boys tend to develop hydroceles.
Rashes and eruptions
around the genitals caused by the action of strong urine may also occur.
yeast occurs mostly in obese infant girls. The vaginal discharge is
thick and milky yellow, resembling thick breast milk.
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.
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.
This remedy type has a propensity for eczema. Many infants
are born with it or a heavy cradle
They often develop Candida
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.
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
(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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
often to a degree inappropriate to his tender years.
Many Calcarea carbonica
children become clingy
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
mentally -- as they must categorize everything -- yet these issues are
not readily sorted out or labeled, so they struggle with them.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Lycopodium (Club Moss)
yellowish powder, smooth to the touch and resembling dust, is obtained
toward the end of the summer in the forests of Russia and Finland
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
"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):
The scalp develops eczema
quite easily, Lycopodium
being the main remedy for eruptions appearing on or behind the ears.
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.
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.
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.
The nose is affected in
almost all Lycopodium
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
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.
A condition found here is the speedy yellowing of teeth,
even in children who brush their teeth regularly.
(g) Throat and
Recurrent sore throats
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
develop that coincide with the above modalities of right-sidedness and
aggravation in the morning and around four o'clock in the afternoon.
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
child is susceptible to colds and flu that descent easily into the
bronchi, leading to bronchitis
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
Some of the following foods they simply dislike; other wreck havoc on
their digestive systems, causing gas and colic: beans, onions, fat, oysters,
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.
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.
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.
The child tends to be constipated.
There is a great propensity toward birth
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
irritable mood and do not bounce out of bed. As well as being
ill-tempered, the characteristic strong hunger directly after rising
the first child to arrive in the kitchen.
Important General Characteristics
(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
like to wear hats, and may sleep with their socks on and the windows
closed. This is unusual as most children are warm-blooded.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
and who exhibit many of the traits discussed here.
3. Natrum muriaticum (Common
an ounce of ordinary kitchen salt is dissolved in an ounce and a half
of boiling distilled water,
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
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).
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
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.
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.
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
The Natrum muriaticum
type tends to develop myopia
at an early age.
The nose is frequently
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Cravings and Aversions:
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.
A large number of children complain of recurrent stomachaches or
A frequent complaint is motion
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.
Clinically, one finds that the abdominal area cramps easily in the
child. The symptoms fit an irritable
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Many Natrum muriaticum
children develop very stiff
neck muscles. They frequently bite their nails.
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
Homeopathic Dictionary] following an emotionally stressful
situation may be aided by this remedy.
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.
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
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
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.
The sleep of Natrum
muriaticum children is often
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.
who are shy and fine skinned and who dislike being looked at will often
respond to the remedy Natrum
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
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
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
"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
As a group, Natrum
muriaticum children are very well behaved and obedient.
During the interview they are reserved
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
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,
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.
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
The overly conscientious nature of Natrum
muriaticum may cause anxiety
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
home. Only Natrum
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
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
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
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
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.
he homeopathic remedy is made
from the luminescent element phosphorus, the only 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The mouth favors the development of frequent canker sores.
is long and thin.
The shape of the teeth is similar to the shape of the typical Phosphorus body: long and thin.
may show a tendency to bleed
(h) Throat and
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
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
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.
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.
Cravings and Aversions:
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
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.
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
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
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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
The remedy Phosphorus
has cured types of arthritis
that are aggravated by first motion and by cold, and are ameliorated by
The child tends to acquire plantar
warts on either foot. The hands and feet perspire profusely
any time the child is anxious or excited.
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
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.
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
as they have many nightmares.
infants and children usually wake
up refreshed, though perhaps hungry.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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,
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.
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.
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
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
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