Croup

Croup, the barking cough and throat constriction that no one wants to see their child go through.  This year it seems to be running rampant in our neck of the woods.  Many parents I work with have had their children come down with croup this season, some even multiple times.  It is possible to avoid the steroids and calm the croup with Homeopathy, in fact and in my experience, it is one the most successfully treated acute ailments.  The relief in symptoms is vivid and quick. 

Croup is different than a straightforward cough.  It usually afflicts children from the ages of 1 – 4.  This year, in our area, I’ve seen it in children as old as 8.  It is a respiratory infection that is usually followed by laryngitis.  The cough is worse at night and has a sound that is similar to a seals bark.  Many times a child with croup will complain that he/she cannot catch his/her breath or is having trouble breathing because of the cough and thoat constriction. 

Below is a list of the main remedies used for croup. 

Aconitum:  This is the very first remedy to consider.  It must be used within the first 12 – 24 hours of the onset of the illness.  Give Aconitum 30C every hour until there is improvement.  Once some improvement is seen, exend the frequency of the dose to every 2 hours.  When improvement is clear stop giving the remedy completely.  With Homeopathy, sleep is considered a great sign that the remedy is working and improvement is coming, especially in children.  If your child falls asleep after the first or second dose, let him/her sleep.  The event is most likely over.  Other indications for Aconitum include a child who is easily frieghtened, anxiety and restlessness.

Spongia Tosta:  If you did not catch the illness within the 12 – 24 hour period needed for Aconitum or if the Aconitum has no effect on the croup, the next remedy to reach for is Spongia.  This remedy is indicated when the cough sounds like a saw going through wood and/or the typical croup cough that sounds like a seal’s bark.  There may also be wheezing, and changeable moods.  The child may be anxious at one minute and happy the next.  The child may also state that he/she feels suffocated and/or full in the chest and throat.

Hepar Sulphuris:   This remedy can be indicated for croup as well.  The cough will have the same “croupy” sound to it but will sound a little “looser”.  There may be a “whisteling” to the child’s breathing.  The cough will be made worse by cold wind or air.  There may also be choking fits during the cough.

Having these remedies on hand this time of year when you have small children can be a lifesaver.  They can save your child from the uncomfortable cough and, in turn, help you get more sleep on the nights the cough comes out.  Children recover quickly from croup when Homeopathy is used.  If you have a question regarding which remedy to use, contact a certified Homeopathic practitioner.  Most remedies can be found at your local health food store.

The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. If you seek medical advice contact a licensed healthcare provider.

Healthy, Happy Babies

[tweetmeme]Homeopathic remedies are a wonderful choice for babies.  The remedies are safe, easy to use, non-toxic and do not produce any side effects.  Having a home remedy kit on hand can be a lifesaver, especially for those middle of the night ills or upsets.  If you are new to Homeopathy or even new to parenting I also recommend the book Homeopathy for Pregnancy, Birth, and Your Babies First Year by Miranda Castro.

Below are a some of the remedies you may want to consider having on hand.

Arnica: This remedy can be invaluable for babies who are just learning to crawl or walk.  If bumps and bruises occur, Arnica is the first remedy to consider.

Belladonna: This remedy may be indicated if baby is angry and irritable.  When baby gets angry he/she may hit and become very red and hot in the face.  Anger or irritability may progress so that it is difficult to calm him/her down.  It is a main remedy for fevers that come on quickly and are intense but do not last long.  Pupils may be dilated.  Baby may get aggravated by motion.

Borax: This remedy has the interesting indication of “aversion to downward motion”.  This may show in your baby through crying or screaming whenever they are rocked or from the motion of you putting him/her down in the crib.  If your baby is asleep when you try to put her down in the crib he/she will wake up from that downward motion.  Babies needing this remedy may also seem to wake up screaming for no apparent reason.  It is also helpful for babies who are jumpy and nervous.  He or she may be easily startled by loud noises and/or sudden noises, even in sleep.  Another interesting indication for this remedy is that baby may cry before passing a stool and then will be happy afterward.

Calcarea Phosphorica: This is a wonderful remedy for babies or children who are simply worn out after having a growth spurt.  Baby may be irritable, sluggish and hard to please.  It also works well for babies who do not gain weight and are thin and pale.  In addition, this remedy can be considered if baby is miserable while teething and the teeth are slow to come in.  I have used this remedy for my daughter when she was 10 and her canines were not coming down.  Within a couple of weeks of taking this remedy twice daily in 6C potency her teeth emerged and saved us from a visit to the oral surgeon.

Chamomilla: A baby needing this remedy is restless, impatient and angry.  If there is something baby wants he/she wants it NOW and may then reject it once you give it to him/her, making him/her very hard to please.  In addition, your baby may want to be carried all the time, crying or screaming when you try to put him/her down.  If angry, baby may hit anyone who is carrying him/her.  This remedy is also wonderful for teething babies who cry out in pain and are very irritable.  You may also notice that baby will have diarrhea during teething.  One cheek may be red and the other pale.

Lycopodium: You may consider this remedy if your baby is irritable, serious and hard to live with.  Baby will know what he/she wants and will become angry if he/she doesn’t get it.  Baby may be especially irritable right after he/she wakes up, either in the morning and/or after a nap.  Baby may sleep well at night but may cry all day long.  There may be difficulty in digesting milk/food with a lot of gas.  Can be considered as a remedy for colic.

Pulsatilla: I have found this remedy to be invaluable for my own kids.  It is wonderful for babies who are clingy and whiny.  Baby wants to be carried all of the time and loves to be cuddled.  He/she may become anxious or irritable when separated from mom.  Babies needing this remedy will become even more clingy during teething and when sick.  During illness baby may cry and cry, especially when not being held.  If baby has a cold or runny nose with green/yellow mucus this is the remedy to consider.

Rheum: This is one of the main remedies for colic.  Baby will be irritable, difficult and restless.  There will be a lot of crying, especially at night, as baby will not want to go to sleep.  A baby needing this remedy doesn’t sleep much at all.  Stools may smell sour and he/she may look pale.

Rhus Tox: Normally this remedy is not considered one of the main baby remedies but I will mention it here because of the increase in babies I have seen who have childhood eczema.  If this is the case for your baby Rhus Tox can be a lifesaver.  Our daughter’s bout with this came up when she was about 6 months old.  It seemed to appear out of nowhere one day during a bath.  A few days and a couple of doses of Rhus Tox later she was back to having her baby-soft skin and the eczema never returned.  For older babies who are starting to eat solid food, fresh pineapple can also help and the kids love it!

Stramonium: This is a main remedy for babies who are easily frightened.  It may seem as if the birth was especially difficult for baby and as if he/she has not yet recovered from it.  Baby is clingy, restless and easily scared.  One or more of the following fears may become evident:  the dark, dogs, strangers and other animals.  It may also seem as if baby has nightmares, as he/she may wake up screaming.  At times it may also seem as if he/she is screaming in her sleep from a dream.

Most remedies come in pellet form.  Older babies do well with letting the pellets dissolve in their mouths, as they taste sweet.  For younger babies, dissolve a few pellets in a small cup of water.  Once dissolved, stir well and give a teaspoon of the water to your baby.   The potency that should be used is a 6C or 30C.  Most health food stores and remedy kits contain the 30C potency.  If the symptoms are severe and/or come on very rapidly you can give one teaspoon every half hour or hour until the symptoms subside.  If symptoms are mild then one teaspoon two to three times a day is sufficient.  Always stop giving a remedy once the symptoms have improved.  If the symptoms return, continue the remedy until they are again alleviated.  If you are giving a remedy and, after six doses, there is no improvement, consider another remedy or contact a Certified Homeopathic Practitioner for assistance.