Using Homeopathic Solutions for the Family

Are you enjoying this month of natural remedies and illness prevention? If you’ve missed any of the posts, you can find them all here.

I was just wondering what you use for your children in place of tylenol and motrin. We typically don’t bother treating our kids fevers until they get over 101, and fortunately that rarely occurs. But we have been struggling with managing our children and infants pain for both teething and leg aches/growing pains. Do you have any natural pain killers that you have had success with? We try to use massage and heat for the leg aches and cold wash cloth/ teethers for teething, but they don’t always seem to help enough, especially in the middle of the night. Thanks for your advice.

Sarah

Thanks for the excellent question, Sarah! As moms concerned about health, I think that we all want to find natural but effective solutions for treating our little ones aches, pains and owies. Band-aids and kisses are a mama’s best tools, but even they aren’t enough all the time.

When it comes to these types of situations, we generally turn to homeopathic remedies for safe and simple treatment. Although they are growing in popularity in recent years, homepathics are still generally unknown and poorly understood.

What Exactly are Homepathic Remedies?

Here is a definition from the Society of Homeopaths website:

Homeopathy is a system of medicine which is based on treating the individual with highly diluted substances given in mainly tablet form, which triggers the body’s natural system of healing. Based on their experience of their symptoms, a homeopath will match the most appropriate medicine to the patient.

It works on the principle of “like cures like” – that is, a substance that would cause symptoms in a healthy person is used to cure those same symptoms in illness. For example, one remedy which might be used in a person suffering from insomnia is coffea, a remedy made from coffee.

Make sense? The idea is that by giving a small dose of the very thing that could trigger the types of symptoms that a person is experiencing, you can actually bring about a natural healing response that will help to relieve those symptoms.

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Homeopathics is actually a complex system of understanding exactly which remedy (and there are many different ones!) to prescribe for which types of symptoms. For instance, if you have morning sickness, you need to determine whether the nausea is constant, only when standing or sitting, involves retching, is aggravated by sights and smells, involves cravings, if the woman still has an appetite, etc. Depending on which symptoms are present, you would choose a different homeopathic remedy to treat the sickness.

Using homeopathics to treat more long-term or serious illness is best done with the help of a certified homeopath, naturopathic doctor or other qualified professional. If you don’t know how to select the correct remedy, you will not find the relief that you are looking for.

However, using homeopathics for simple, first-aid type treatments is something that anyone can learn to do and offers a wonderful alternative to conventional over-the-counter medications!

Simple Homeopathic Use at Home

To get back to Sarah’s question, here are remedies that can easily be used for the usual types of childhood complaints:

Fevers

Like Sarah, our family does not treat fever unless they are particularly high and/or prolonged. I usually do not treat fever in my children until they go above 102 (or 101 in a baby), or when the fever begins to affect their appetite enough that I am worried about dehydration. I believe that a fever is the body’s natural response to illness, a part of the healing process that God created, and shouldn’t be messed with until it becomes dangerous (and not just uncomfortable).

When we do have fevers that we feel need to be treated, we have used Ferrum Phosphoricum with great success. More on choosing a remedy for treating fevers.

Teething

For the past 5 years, I have been happily using Hyland’s Homeopathic Teething Tablets. I love these tablets and can’t imagine going without them. They include 4 different remedies combined: Calcarea Phosphorica (supports dentition), Chamomilla (for irritability), Coffea Cruda (for wakefulness and diuresis), Belladonna (for redness and inflammation).

They come in the form of small tablets that quickly dissolve, either in water or directly in baby’s mouth. They must taste good because my babies eyes light up when they see me shaking the little bottle. I use them to help take the edge off on particularly bad days, or give two doses (15 minutes apart) before putting them to bed on days when their teeth have been giving them trouble.

Anxiety and restlessness

A simple remedy to keep on hand for soothing an upset child, or one that is restless and having a hard time relaxing or sleeping, is Chamomilia. It works very well at calming and soothing children, helping fussy babies, or even could even be used for a distraught and anxious mama.

Image by lindsayshaver

Bumps and bruises

Arnica is the perfect solution for all kinds of owies! Useful for pain, swelling, bruising and general soreness, it is ideal to give to a screaming child to take the edge off of an injury.

I would consider either Arnica and/or Chamomilia for aches and pains at night. There may be more specific remedies to try, depending on their exact symptoms, but we have not needed to delve into anything beyond that.

A Word on Dosages

Carefully read the instructions on the particular brand and remedy that you are using. When giving a homeopathic remedy to a child, you will generally want to consider their weight and give them an appropriate dose compared to an average adult dose. For example, if the adult dose is 5 tablets, consider that the average adult may weigh 150 lbs. If your child weighs 30 lbs or less, you would give them 1 tablet.

It really all depends on the strength of the remedy, and who the remedy was made for. Boiron and Hyland’s make many child-specific remedies, for instance, and their doses are tailored to children. If using an adult remedy, you will want to ask your own natural practitioner, or seek advice from the store or pharmacy where you purchase your products, or even google the specific remedy that you are using for advice on how to use it safely.

Generally speaking, it isn’t easy to overdose on these remedies, and you can usually give a second dose about 15 minutes later if the first dose hasn’t been effective enough. Nonetheless, common sense, a bit of research and leaning towards being on the conservative side will go a long way towards safe use of any alternative remedy.

Naturokits: A Simple First-Aid Solution

One of my sponsors this month is a wonderful product called Naturokits, created by two moms, who are also naturopathic doctors. These kits include 9 different remedies (homeopathic, botanical/herbal, floral essences, and activated charcoal).

I’m currently test-driving a kit of my own and I am just in love with it! Each kit comes with an extensive list of various types of injuries, sicknesses or symptoms that you might want to treat, and then tells you which of the 9 remedies to use to treat it.

Rather than needing to research and purchase a whole range of different remedies yourself, these moms have done the work for you, and all you have to do it open up your kit, find the treatment you need and feel confident as you tend to your child or family member.

I had been eager to set up a natural first-aid kit of my own this year, but discovering this kit has totally solved that for me. Having all of these remedies that cover a wide range of symptoms in one place is such a good solution. I would really recommend looking into getting a kit for your own family. Right now Keeper of the Home readers can purchase a Naturokit and get $5 off with the code “DCKEEPER”.

Do you use homeopathic remedies? Which ones and what do you use them for?

Disclaimer and Disclosure: I am not a certified medical professional of any kind and am not qualified to give you medical advice (yada, yada, yada…). My goal is to help to educate and inspire you to take responsibility for your own family’s health and make informed choices of your own, not to consult you on medical treatment. As well, I did receive a Naturokit for the purpose of review, but all the nice things I’ve said are my real opinions and I was not paid to say them. There are also some referral links in this post, on which I make a small kickback when you make a purchase, which helps to support this site (thank you!).

Top image by gemsling

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. My classical homeopath has always told me that a dose is a dose. doesn’t really matter the size, or the size of the person being treated. This is a GREAT thing when it comes to children- if they get into them, and take a whole bottle, it’s the same as if they took 1 pellet. Because a dose is a dose. On 2 different occasions, my kids got into the teething tablets and took the entire bottle. (had put them up, but apparently, not up far enough) I wasn’t concerned at all, and was more upset that I had to go buy another bottle. lol Mind you, had they been conventional meds, they’d have safety caps and been up IN the cupboard, but I wasn’t too worried knowing it wasn’t a concern.

  2. Thanks for your reply Stephanie! I love Hyland’s teething tablets and truly wondered if there was any real reason to stop using them!

    • I know this is a long shot, but does anyone have any ideas or websites I can check for natural healing for psychiatric disorders? My son is 26 and gravely disabled with the toxic psych meds. I am willing to give anything a try. The anti-psychotics cause obesity. He has gained over 100 lbs. It causes metabolic syndrome with an increase in cardiovascular disease and diabetes. He has to take cojentin which is a parkison’s side effect med for his anti-psychoitc med.
      We are on a tight budget and would like to know the best place to purchase tinctures online. thanks in advance. A new Mom to this wonderful site..

  3. Are you aware of the recall on Hyland’s teething tablets? Does this change your decision about using them as a teething relief alternative?

    • @Gina, An earlier commenter on this post left the press release from the FDA on the recall of the tablets (thank you for that link!). Good question, for sure!

      I personally do not feel worried about it. I have been using the Hyland’s brand for 5 years, on all 3 of my children. I have many, many friends who use them as well and none of them have ever experiencd problems with them either.

      I think that any “natural” remedy poses a risk if it is used improperly. I would venture a guess that the instances where children have had adverse effects would have to do with the improper use of the tablets, too many at once, too frequently, too many in one day, etc. When using alternative solutions, we have to be just as cautious and vigilant as we would be with any pharmaceutical, as anything we put into our body has an effect of some sort.

      I wanted to understand a little more about the Belladonna issue and toxicity levels, and I found this on the Hylands site, speaking specifically to the use and safety of Belladonna.
      http://www.hylands.com/news/teethinginfo.php

      I do agree with the FDA about the caps that are too easy for kids to open. But again, the onus is on the parents to be responsible, as it is with any other medicine, supplement, cleaning product, etc.

      I tend not to respect the opinions of the FDA very much, when I consider some of the insane pharmaceuticals that they approve, and then their general, ignorant statements like “the FDA…is not aware of any proven clinical benefit offered by the product.”. Hmmm, really? Maybe because you don’t consider alternative products worth testing. Ever.

      Sorry, you’re getting a bit of an earful (that you probably didn’t expect!), and it’s entirely directed against the FDA, and absolutely not against you, Gina! Thanks for the question- it is definitely worth talking about! :)

  4. It seems to me that the argument for why homeopathy works is the same as the argument for why vaccines work. A small amount of the adverse substance makes the body produce endorphins or antibodies or something to make the problem go away. Any thoughts on this?

  5. i saw someone else metioned the amber teething necklace and just wanted to say that i’m a big fan. (in fact, i have an amber bracelet as well that really helps my tendonitis.) my son is 16 months and has been wearing his amber necklace everyday for several weeks and i’ve noticed a difference. it works because amber will give off trace amounts of oils when next to baby’s warm skin and is absorbed by the skin. the oils help with inflamtion and pain, making everyone a less on edge. He still gets some of his other syptoms (runny diapers, a little less of an appitite) and he can still be a little grumpy, but we no longer struggle though the days of bauling & crying and wanting to be held all day. i would say that i try to put it on him even if he’s not activly teething that day. the more consistantly he wears it, the better off he is when the teeth kick it into high gear because he’s already got it in his system.
    side note: i’ve gotten all kinds of “how cute!” comments about him wearing it, even though he’s a boy. :) you can get all sizes and shades (deep dark brown to light creamy yellow) and different clasps and lengths.

  6. I wanted to clarify and say that when we put the remedy in the two ounce bottle we fill it with water to dissolve the pill, then shake it ten times before giving five drops under the tongue. Sorry if that was confusing!

    Kerri

  7. To all skeptics of homeopathy:
    We humans do NOT know everything there is to know about this universe and how it works. There, that sums it up :-)
    Ok, seriously. My family has been using homeopathy for the past two years, mostly under the care of a homeopath. A previous poster is correct to say that homeopathy is more physics than chemistry. Homeopathy does indeed work in what I would say is an ‘energy field’. Pick up a copy called Body Electric. Fascinating stuff. It’s not on homeopathy in particular, but energy being used for healing (electrical energy). Anyways, I am sure that if you asked anyone a couple hundred years ago if using magnets to take pictures of the inside of your body was possible that they would laugh at you!
    Our personal experience with homeopathy started when our fith child, first son, failed to grow as expected. At seven months old he spent two weeks at Duke Hospital undergoing multiple testing (MRI, CAT scan, x-rays, swallow tests with barium, spinal tap and a ton of blood work, etc.). They couldn’t find anything wrong and sent us home with a feeding tube. He was put on reflux medication with the suspicion that he might have silent reflux. This child, the one who wasn’t growing, then started to throw up multiple times a day. I can assure you that is not a good thing when you can’t gain weight with the food you are already taking in, let alone throwing it up!!! Ok, so more doctors, more tests. Guess what? Nothing. We tried supplements, and allergy free this and that. I spent hours and hours and hours researching possible causes and cures. Then one day, an aquaintence handed me a card to a homeopathic practitioner. One of the first things this practitioner wanted me to do was to take him off of his reflux meds. I told him we tried that in the past but he just throws up more. He assured me that he was going to send us a remedy to take care of any of those episodes. I can assure you my husband thought this was all baloney!!! But we didn’t have any other avenues open to us, with a son still not growing. Basically my son did three things that signaled an impending vomitting episode. That would give us about 30 seconds notice to get him a towel, or to the sink, etc. That also gave me 30 seconds to give him the remedy. He was two years old at the time and he has NOT vomitted since!!! (with the small exception of the tummy bug a year later that all his other siblings had) Placebo? I don’t think so. If anything, assuming it was a placebo effect he would have just thrown up all the more. He had extreme senstivities, and just touching his mouth would produce vomitting. Not to mention that all the other medications/ supplements NEVER stopped him from throwing up, including his reflux medications (which is why I wanted him off since it wasn’t helping). So from my son’s experienc, putting things in his mouth = throwing up. Instead it stopped any and all of his future vomitting episodes in it’s tracks.
    That is just ONE of MANY stories I can share with our walk with homeopathy. I also have used homeopathy with a sick goat. Again, I’ve never heard of the placebo affect working on animals. Yet this goat, which had been coughing, and losts its voice, plus other symtoms was totally fine by evening. Yes, homeopathy does indeed work that quickly, IF you have the correct remedy. Homeopathy has it’s own ‘language’. There is nothing wrong with their dilutions, their dilutions are consistent within their own language. They are not being deceptive. However the ever so lovely FDA mandates that certain information be put on labels. I am not implying that is a bad thing, however with homeopathy they have thier own language and dosages.
    Talking about dilutions and dosages and the Hyland recall. I read most of the article, but didn’t see anything specific about the recal, as to why it is happening other than they are being recalled for their practices or some such thing. I can’t vouch of Hylands itself, but homeopathy in general. If you have a 6X remedy there may indeed be some, very, very miniscul amount of the original substance left in the remedy. But by 30C (or X) there isn’t anything left of the original substance in the remedy so it is completely safe. THat being said, some people (like myself and my son) are sensitive to the remedies. This is good and ‘bad’ at the same time. If you take a remedy for pain, or allergies and you end up getting worse then that means you have the correct remedy, but it is too strong for you. If you all think taking three little homeopathic pills seems crazy, we actually take one pill, put it in a two ounce dropper bottle, shake ten times and take about five drops under the tounge. It works the same. However when my son or I are sensitive to a remedy we actually take that same two once bottle with the remedy in it, shake it and SNIFF the contents of it so we don’t have a ‘reaction’. Again, the reaction is good, it means you got the correct remedy. It’s only ‘bad’ in the sence that your body is not using the remedy to heal at that very moment.
    Sorry to have written a novel. I hate to see homeopathy get a bad name because of the lack of knowledge and myths out there. I am very passionate about this topic as it has totally transformed my son, who by the way is now TUBE FREE and eating on his own, with no vomitting in sight :-)

    Blessings,
    Kerri

  8. Do you know anything about the recall on Hyland’s Teething Tablets?

    http://www.hylandsteething.com/recall/teething-tablet-recall.html

    I’m not sure what to think.

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