Homeopathic remedies will provide
an effective, natural support for children of various constitutional types.
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The following are based on
Dr. Paul Hercus' Descriptions 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
-- 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."
What Is A Constitutional Remedy?
The Constitutional Suvey Online Here!
A constitutional remedy is
a homeopathic remedy that represents the overall pattern of an
individual on the mental, emotional and physical states. This
includes attitudes, fears, beliefs and past traumas as well as physical
characteristics such as sleep, body thermals, perspiration, food likes
and dislikes, digestion, bowels, urination, etc. In
Classical Homeopathy, the constitutional remedy
is the one that most closely
approximates the person's total picture. To determine this constitutional remedy
we look at sensations, symptoms, any pathology and how the person looks and behaves
in health, responds to their environment, as well as their
strengths and weaknesses. The
homeopathic remedy helps to improve a person's experience in life.
The following information is quoted or paraphrased
from two sources:
Coulter, Catherine R.,
Homeopathic Medicines, Psychophysical Analysis of Selected
Constitutional Types (Vols. 1 and 2). St. Louis: Quality
Medical Publishing, 1998.
The Homeopathic Treatment
of Children, Pediatric Constitutional Types. Berkely:
North Atlantic Books, 1991.
Break in pieces a
clean, somewhat thick
take one grain of the softer, snow-white 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.
Physical Characteristics (Herscu):
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
Typically, the Calcarea
carbonica baby 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 late.
(f) Throat and Neck:
children develop sore throats
easily. With these sore throats one is always able to
palpate many swollen glands.
The chest takes the brunt of the allergies and respiratory
infections by producing coughs
which have the peculiarity of being dry at night but loose with
easy expectoration in the morning.
(h) Food Cravings and
youngsters love all the
carbohydrates: sweets, ice cream, pasta, bread, and
potatoes. They also crave salt
Eggs are the big favorite
and serve as a very strong keynote for this remedy. They tend to
crave cool or cold water and
They dislike meat in
general and fat in
particular. They dislike slimy
foods. Many do not like
or tolerate mild at all.
Children tend to have slow
Babies tend toward chronic
Calcarea carbonica is to be thought of for babies who
nurse and then within five minutes of unsuccessful burping,
regurgitate the undigested milk.
While some children may be picky eaters, most
wake up hungry and demand
to be nursed or to have breakfast.
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
Constipation is the chief
complaint for many of these children, and the stool tends to be
large and bulky.
Diarrhea is common with
celiac disease or lactose intolerance, and also
accompanies many acute ailments
such as otitis media, bronchitis, and difficult dentition.
Boys tend to develop hydroceles.
Rashes and eruptions
around the genitals caused by the action of strong urine may
caused by yeast occurs mostly in obese infant girls. The vaginal
discharge is thick and milky yellow, resembling thick breast
Calcarea carbonica is
one of the main remedies for bone problems such as rickets.
Although rickets is no longer seen very much in more affluent
parts of the world, what is prevalent is a calcium imbalance
that shows up as a weakness of
the back and/or scoliosis or a more serious spinal
anomaly, spina bifida.
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
rashes that are bright red and have a sharp line of
demarcation. Rashes may return to the allergic or asthmatic
child a few months after the remedy is initially prescribed. The
respiratory symptoms disappear but the parents may insist on
treatment for the nasty diaper rash the child now has. Do not be
coerced! The rash is the body's way of overcoming an imbalance.
The eruptive state should absolutely not be interfered with, as
the rash will disappear but the respiratory symptoms will surely
return. Many a successful case has been destroyed by trying to
get rid of a rash.
The other main skin symptom found in some
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.
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
A good point in differentiating
Calcarea carbonica from some other remedies is that the
child wakes up refreshed
and in a good mood and is usually the first one up.
Important General Characteristics (Herscu):
(a) Calcarea carbonica
is by far the most common remedy for
epilepsy, especially if
it occurs during dentition.
(b) Calcarea carbonica
children show poor assimilation
of calcium as well as malfunctions of the thyroid gland,
which lead to slow mental and physical development. Illness for
these children may begin when either system is stressed, as may
be the case during dentition, growth spurts, learning to walk,
and bone injuries.
(c) Many symptoms may develop
when metabolism changes, such as dentition or learning to
walk. The hair, nails, and bones often grow poorly and the
glands enlarge and harden easily. Children may become anemic and
chilly as they age, and characteristically perspire even though
they are cool.
(d) In general, they are
aggravated by dentition, exertion,
cold and wet weather, a
change of weather from
warm to cold, and the beverage
milk. They are helped by warm, dry air, and love the
Mental/Emotional Characteristics (Herscu):
One finds in Calcarea carbonica
cases a child who is delayed in
developing mental as well as physical skills. This is a
deliberate, even willful,
slowing of development on the part of the child in order
to assimilate and understand new information more carefully.
There are often problems with
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
children discover early in life that they are slower than others
their age. To avoid ridicule
they may become quiet and withdrawn, children who tend to play
by themselves. This can lead to a sense of self-reliance that is
illustrated by the child who can be left for an hour to play
alone while his mother cleans the house. During illnesses these
children become quiet and withdrawn.
The child is cautious and
refuses anything new for a length of time until he can
assimilate the new information and then structure and categorize
it in his mind.
Extra time is also
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
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 behavior
can be the child's response, and she can remain steadfast in her
outrage and frustration unless distracted with another offering
as a substitute for, say, a desired object. Often the child will
become engrossed in examining the new object and is satisfied.
Obstinacy is a major clue
to the remedy. For many children needing
Calcarea carbonica, it
seems easier to use all their energy to obstinately get what
they want and be done with it than to have "unfinished business"
weighing on their mind. Obstinacy is one of the main personality
characteristics of the child. It is unfortunate that most
parents are unaware of this kind of mental structuring and
persist forcefully with their own agendas and schedules for the
child. Responses of irritability, crying fits, and tantrums seem
disproportionate to the magnitude of the request asked of the
child, and come as a complete surprise to the parents.
The nature of the tantrum
is also telling. Often these children are unable or refuse to
stop their tantrums. Long after other remedy types realize that
they will not get what they want and surrender, 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 behavior for the
Calcarea carbonica child. What parents say about these
children is that they do not try new things easily, but when
they do make such an attempt they often show perfect mastery.
Obstinacy is a sign of the basically strong character of the
child. The children look directly at the doctor with a
strong, serious stare.
They are independent by nature.
In an unfamiliar environment, a doctor's office for instance,
these children may give in to their
natural curiosity and
begin to investigate and
categorize things. They go about the office touching
everything, pulling books off the shelves, and trying to open
The Calcarea carbonica
child is independent, has
a mind of her own and
"sticks up" for herself.
This individuality combined with slowness often leads to an
ability for deep and lengthy
concentration, even in the very young.
The fears are many in
this child. Most have fears of
the dark and of shadows.
These children often want to sleep with a light on because they
are susceptible to nightmares
in the dark. They fear spiders
and insects. They also
have a fear of being alone in
the dark. They may not wish to go to bed alone, as their
fear of ghosts and
monsters mandate that a
parent tuck them in. Fears are generated by frightening
experiences, bad news, scary stories, masks, etc. They are
overly sensitive and vulnerable to these experiences. Many
chronic fearful behaviors may have their etiology traced to
children are apprehensive when they do not know the plans, or
if plans are changed unexpectedly. Because of their
apprehension about the future
and the need to finish tasks, they do not like breaks or changes
in routines. They also want to
know everything that might happen in a new situation.
They virtually interrogate their parents with questions, trying
to flesh out their understanding of unfamiliar places,
activities, or guests. In a new classroom or in any
new group, the child
appears nervous, often to
a degree inappropriate to his tender years.
Many Calcarea carbonica
children become clingy during
The hereafter is a major topic of interest to these children.
They ask many questions about God, about heaven and hell, about
death and ghosts: about all
things that are unknowable. One child asked a series of
questions when his aunt died that are typical of the
Calcarea carbonica mind.
He wanted to know where his aunt had gone after she died. What
did it mean to die? Why did she die? How did it happen? Why were
all the people crying over her? And why was Uncle not crying?
The reason these children seem to get stuck on such weighty
questions is that they must
categorize this information mentally -- as they must
categorize everything -- yet these issues are not readily sorted
out or labeled, so they struggle with them.
Calcarea carbonica is
the child's constitutional remedy
par excellence. Many
children start out life as
Calcarea before they are transformed into other
constitutional types by their circumstances and experiences; and
most children call for it at some point during their early
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
Altogether, the picture is one of imperfect calcium metabolism.
The potentized lime encourages the healthy growth of bones,
teeth, and nerves by promoting the proper assimilation and
utilization of calcium and other nutrients.
The infant is frequently a "floppy baby:" soft, fat, lymphatic
and muscularly weak, in whom everything operates in low gear.
This can be seen physically in delayed fontanelle closure and
late or difficult dentition, in slowness to lose his cradle cap,
to develop motor skills (especially to walk), and to acquire
bladder and bowel control.
Calcarea's slowness in
talking may be self-imposed. The knowledge is there, but he
simply does not want to be
hurried into talking. Sometimes the hitherto inarticulate
youngster will start to speak in complete phrases, showing that
the words were only waiting to be brought out.
In school the child might be "slow," sometimes in all subjects,
sometimes in only one; for instance, he likes math (there is
something secure in the predictability of numbers) but is poor
in reading. If he does succeed, it is by spending a
disproportionate amount of time on his word -- far more than
other children. Or he may give up easily; he has too little
energy for the effort of concentrating or lacks the drive to
complete a distasteful task.
This is one of the first medicines to be considered for children
who are bright and intelligent but who do not perform up to
capacity. Either they dislike the teacher or the mental effort,
or they balk at the confinement of rules and regulations.
Calcarea can be
recognized in the child who is remarkably self-sufficient. In
the physician's office the infant will look around fearlessly,
or stare fixedly at some one object or person. If laid down, he
will play contentedly with his fingers or toes. The toddler goes
his own way, climbing imperturbably over furniture and the knees
of adults, exploring the different rooms, placidly but not
unimaginatively entertaining himself while his parents talk with
the doctor. The older child is capable of occupying himself
quietly for hours at a time but tends to keep his enthusiasms to
himself. He disappears into his room to work on some project
about which others will hear when he has finished it. But if he
loses momentum, he may have trouble getting started again.
He is an autonomous little entity who can grow into an original
and independent adult. Both at home and in school, he observed
clearly and responds sensitively and appropriately when
encouraged to develop at his own placid and deliberate pace --
but within a structured
in his own circuitous way, will often come up with a novel
contribution, an original twist, revealing that he has
understood what is going on, even if taking time to digest it.
He is the proverbial tortoise, the plodder who may beat the
sprinting hare to the finish line.
The "shadow" side of Calcarea,
surprisingly enough, is the terribly difficult and badly behaved
child. What is the vulnerable child's principal defense 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
An even-tempered child can also resort to that other technique
for getting his way -- obstinacy.
insists or he digs in his heels. He will not eat his dinner or
get dressed and is impervious to coaxing. If pressured at
school, he puts up a quiet but stubborn resistance.
The Calcarea child's
sensitivity is expressed in his various fears: of being alone,
of the dark, of going to bed. He is subject to "night terrors,"
waking up screaming.
In these children the effects of frightening experiences can be
felt for a long time. One was thrown into convulsions by having
a mouse jump out of a drawer at her and was subject to them for
years afterwards. Another's four-year history of petit-mal
seizures began with the sight of a snake swallowing a frog. Both
cases were cured by repeated doses of
Calcarea in high
potency. Often the child cannot sleep from the lingering
impression of some frightening event seen on television, read in
a book, or simply overheard in conversation.
Calcarea also cannot
handle violence at one remove; even the sight of maimed persons
in cartoons, or a book that describes harsh and violent
treatment will upset him.
The child is oversensitive to small upsetting incidents of
everyday life that offend his sense of justice and propriety.
With his solid principles and sound heart, he cannot understand
what motivates others to behave irrationally or gratuitously
mean. These are the Charlie Browns (hero of the
Peanuts cartoon strip)
of the world: lovable but slow, unworldly, and hence a bit
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
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.
Physical Characteristics (Herscu):
The scalp develops eczema
quite easily, Lycopodium
being the main remedy for eruptions appearing on or behind the
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
The ears are frequently affected.
The child often develops painful
cracks behind the ears, as if the ears were trying to
detach themselves from the scalp.
The Lycopodium child may
also develop middle ear infections. The
otitis media tends to be
on the right side and often causes the tympanic membrane to
rupture and the ear to discharge thick yellow pus that has a
strong odor. The common combination of right-sided otitis media
with cracks behind the ears will almost always be cured by the
The nose is affected in almost
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 Neck:
Recurrent sore throats and
tonsillitis plague this group. Perhaps eighty percent of
those who complain of sore throats that begin on the right side
and that are ameliorated by warm drinks, benefit from a dose of
Lycopodium. This is
especially true if one confirms the time modality that the child
worsens upon awakening and during the late afternoon. It is very
unusual for a child to desire
warm drinks in general, but
Lycopodium leads the
list in that respect, as it ameliorates the pain in the throat.
Swollen, tender cervical glands
develop that coincide with the above modalities of
right-sidedness and aggravation in the morning and around four
o'clock in the afternoon.
Lycopodium should be one
of the first remedies considered for the treatment of
mononucleosis. The right side of the throat will be the most
affected, and the glands will be more swollen on the right.
Offensive-smelling pus produced from the throat and obstructed
nasal passages is also present. The child becomes very chilly,
weak, and tired. Pains develop in the abdomen and nausea and
The abdominal pain is ameliorated by bending over and by eating.
As the infection progresses, the child begins to lose weight.
The skin begins to look translucent with a greenish hue and the
face becomes ashen with dark circles under the eyes. One should
also think of Lycopodium
if the child has a history of frequent upper respiratory tract
infections, an obstructed nose, and stomachaches ever since an
episode of mononucleosis.
(i) Lower Respiratory
The Lycopodium child is
susceptible to colds and flu that descent easily into the
bronchi, leading to bronchitis
(j) Food Cravings and
By far the most enjoyable
foods for Lycopodium
children to ear are sweets.
This overwhelming desire in a child is a forecast of blood sugar
problems in the future. Tendencies toward hypoglycemia or
diabetes are also heralded by intense hunger and irritability
upon awakening and by headaches that come on after missing a
meal and are dissipated by eating.
Some of the following foods they simply dislike; other wreck
havoc on their digestive systems, causing gas and colic:
beans, onions, fat, oysters,
The stomach and abdomen are the
most symptomatically rich areas of the
Lycopodium body. The
children are often described by the parents as having a
sensitive stomach. The
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
(n) Urogenital System;
There is a great propensity toward
birth anomalies involving
the urogenital tract. These anomalies include structural
problems of the kidneys or ureter, hypospadias or epistadias
(where the urethral meatus is not in the proper location), and
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
Boys also develop right-sided
adolescent experiences an increase in her appetite, especially
for sweets, as well as an increase in constipation and
irritability. The menstrual flow is accompanied by pains that
begin in the right lower abdomen and extend to the inner thigh.
prescription should be considered for
rheumatic pains and arthritis
in the childhood years when it is worse on the
right side. The pains are
ameliorated by motion and heat and are aggravated by rest.
A common observation made about
Lycopodium children is the
restless motion of the legs.
In the interview one notices that the legs are in constant
motion, going in circles from the knees down.
The keynote of dry, cracked skin
covering the heels is observed in teenaged girls.
The child is often plagued by
eczema from birth. The feet, fingers, and scalp
(especially behind the ears) are the most affected areas.
Moles and freckles easily
appear on these children.
Lycopodium is often the
remedy for the child who develops
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 in
an irritable mood and do not bounce out of bed. As well as being
ill-tempered, the characteristic strong hunger directly after
rising makes Lycopodium
the first child to arrive in the kitchen.
Important General Characteristics (Herscu):
(a) Complaints are right-sided
or begin on the right side and spread to the left.
(b) Aggravation in the morning
and from four to eight o'clock in the evening, especially
when both time modalities are present, constitute guiding
symptoms noted in any disease state as well as in times of a
general drop in energy.
(c) They are often chilly
and like to wear hats, and may sleep with their socks on and the
windows closed. This is unusual as most children are
Mental/Emotional Characteristics (Herscu):
Two distinct types of
behaviour can be observed in
Lycopodium children. In one type,
fear and apprehension
affect every aspect of the child's life. In the other, the child
is bossy to the point of
being dictatorial and strives to control those close by, be they
parents, siblings, or friends. While these two types may be
found in different individuals, they also represent a continuum
that may be expressed in one person -- fear and a lack of self
confidence followed by the emergence of a desire for power.
Fear is an essential factor
in the development of the
Lycopodium psyche. Even the
babies are apprehensive.
Infants need to be near the mother or on a parent's lap, as they
become especially afraid when alone and when around strangers.
Fear is immediately observable in the facial expression, set off
by the distrustful look in the eyes and often a mild
Whereas most children go through a
"stranger anxiety" phase
at some time within the first couple of years,
develop this from birth and experience it throughout most of
their childhood. Such a strong fear of strangers may often be
conjoined with a fear of being
alone. The child keeps track of the parents' whereabouts
throughout the day. Fear of being alone is greatly
accentuated in the dark.
The child may also develop a fear or aversion to new things, not
due to stubbornness, as found in
Calcarea carbonica, but
because he fears the new thing itself. The parent states that in
new places and situations and in crowds, the child will be
fearful and timid at first. Once the situation is better
understood by the child, he becomes more comfortable. The
Calcarea carbonica child
is obstinate and unyielding, while the
Lycopodium child is
fearful and anxious. Even though similar behavior is noted in
their dislike of new things, the root causes are radically
different for each of these remedy types.
The fear of new situations in
Lycopodium is intimately bound to a prominent fear of
failure. This pattern grows more and more pronounced as such
children mature into adulthood.
For the most part, the fear of failure is felt only before an
upcoming event, not during it. They
anticipate that something
will go wrong, something bad will happen, or that they will be
ridiculed in some way. However, once they begin the activity,
the fear diminishes and they accomplish the task with ease. It
should be noted that this fear is not merely a fear of failure;
rather, it is a fear of failing in public. She does not mind
trying new things if she is alone, but does not wish to do them
in front of others, especially her peers.
This sensitivity to ridicule
has a specific flavor. For example, a
Natrum muriaticum child
can be destroyed emotionally by ridicule. But each
constitutional remedy type is affected by the same stresses in
different ways. The Lycopodium
child will not be so easily crushed emotionally. However, he is
sensitive to social ranking
and will not wish to lose status. He fears that he will get up
in front of the class, make an error, and look foolish.
As a corollary to this concern about what others think, one
finds that the Lycopodium
child may compromise easily,
dress neatly, and maintain a tidy appearance in general. They
are preoccupied with their looks.
These children may be sloppy in their rooms and messy in the
bathroom but they groom themselves well.
Apprehension and anxiety are often felt by
Lycopodium children in
the stomach and abdomen.
They develop frequent stomachaches, nausea, vomiting, and loose
stools or diarrhea. I remember a teenager who, along with all
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
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
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
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" syndrome 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
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
Lycopodium girls become
hypercritical and faultfinding.
In Lycopodium there can
be problems in integrating the left and right sides of the
brain. Infants commonly have difficulty mastering the sucking
reflex. They likewise have difficulty
developing a coordinated pattern
of crawling ("cross-crawling") and learn to walk later
than their siblings. They are prone to dyslexia, both as
children and as adults. Indeed, dyslexia often first indicates a
need for this medicine. They make
mistakes in reading and writing,
inverting or leaving letters out or using the wrong words; and
in arithmetic, adding up columns of numbers incorrectly.
Frustration with these disabilities naturally causes
apprehension, either at
school or when doing homework. In order to avoid being laughed
at by their peers or receiving a poor grade from the teacher,
the child needing Lycopodium
procrastinates instead of doing assignments. This is not
laziness. The extent to which such children are "lazy" reflects
the degree to which they fear failure and lack self-confidence.
A peculiar behavior 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
There are some hyperactive children who respond beautifully to
the remedy Lycopodium
and who exhibit many of the traits discussed here.
Muriaticum - Children's Constitutional Type
The scalp lacks oils in an inverse proportion to that
which the face produces, resulting in dry hair and a
dandruffy, flaking scalp.
Infants may develop
conjunctivitis ["inflammation of the mucous
membrane covering the anterior surface of the eyeball
and lining the eyelids,"
[inflammation of the eyelids] with much swelling and
redness. The pus that is exuded is thick, green, and
excoriates the entire area of the eye.
Older children may report these eye inflammations as
something that occurred in the past, or complain of
blepharitis as the chief complaint. The
sensations that they mention -- eyelashes falling out
and a sensation of sand in the eyes -- are similar to
children have frequent
colds. If these colds are repeatedly treated with
antibiotics, sequelae develop in the ears. The most
common sequela is a great amount of fluid in the middle
ear that causes impaired hearing. If the eardrum
ruptures, one finds that the fluid pours out of the ear
for a long time, not soon resolving as it does in
children of other types.
Since the immune system in
children is damaged from birth, problems such as
eczema, asthma, and hay
fever abound. The infant or child will
catch colds very
easily and it may seem as if he always has mucus either
running from or stuffing up the nose. The parents
remember that from the first few months of life the
child sneezed often and developed crusts surrounding the
outside of the nostrils and was plagued by thick,
yellow-green mucus that had to be suctioned out of the
nose. This condition may be quite intractable and
obstinate, not yielding to orthodox treatment or the
more common homeopathic remedies. The state of the nose
should be considered a major confirmatory clue in the
Occasionally a child complains of tiny blisters in the
mouth that recur, especially after drinking citrus
The faces of these children are often graced with very
The skin may be pale or
Medorrhinum is especially indicated if the child
has a greenish, shiny
look to the skin. The skin looks as if it were polished
with wax. This is due to the
produced by overzealous sebaceous glands.
The amount of facial
hair is minimal. This may be noted as a thinness
of the beard of teenaged boys. What may be observed in
children is pencil-thin, narrow eyebrows.
Occasionally, the face bears a keynote of this remedy
and of this inherited
Medorrhinum tendency in general:
The reddish-blue, spidery-looking spots made up of
dilated capillaries under the surface of the skin can be
seen in infants as well as children and adults.
Younger children develop
easily, especially on and around the lips.
(g) Throat and
The child tends to get colds that lead to a postnasal
drip with copious, thick mucus. The child hawks or
coughs up phlem, almost choking on it at times. Often
there is a raw pain in the throat and the tonsils are
child is susceptible to
chest colds and/or asthma from birth.
described as "tightness," may be felt high up in the
chest as opposed to lower in the chest, where most other
asthmatics describe the location of this sensation. The
cough that accompanies the asthma as well as shortness
of breath are both
ameliorated by lying down, especially on the
abdomen. Some children exhibit the keynote that when
they begin to cough, they throw themselves onto the bed
and bury their heads in the pillows. They either lie in
the knee-to-chest position, on their knees at the side
of the bed with the abdomen and head pressed on the bed,
or on the abdomen. The remedy
at times be prescribed on these signs alone.
Chronic chest colds also plague the
child. There is a deep,
rattling cough. No matter how hard they try, they
cannot dislodge the mucus. The constant cough is severe
and seems to tear the throat apart. It may be
ameliorated by lying on the abdomen.
A one-year-old girl was brought in for chronic upper
respiratory infections. The worst complaint for the
mother was the child's incessant wet cough. She carried
the sleeping child into the office and put her down on
the floor and the child promptly rolled up into the
knee-to-chest position, burying her face in the carpet
and thrusting her seat up into the air. This was the
first clue to the remedy which was given to the great
benefit of the tiny patient.
Cravings and Aversions:
The food cravings
are quite unique.
The strongest cravings are for
salt, fat, sweets, and
unripe fruit, especially the
sour, tart, or
green varieties. Many times the favorite is
grapefruit, and even lemons. Babies often like
juice in general
and orange juice in particular. They can eat many pieces
of citrus fruit at one sitting: "As many as there are in
the house," tells one mother.
These children strongly dislike any foods that tend to
be slimy, as
well as onions, beans,
They have a great
thirst for cold drinks and especially love to
chew on ice.
one of the main remedies for the infantile condition
commonly known as
failure to thrive. Although the child has a large
appetite, due to the vomiting and diarrhea that
constantly arise he will be slow to develop. Mothers
notice that after the baby nurses he vomits not only
milk but also yellow mucus along with the milk.
In older children, they eat but do not gain weight as
they should. After the remedy is given the children
usually begin to quickly put on weight and height. Many
complain of bloated,
distended abdomens after eating.
The infants usually have a characteristic
fiery red rash around
the genitals and anus. This is such an intense
and persistent eruption that it is remembered by the
parent and reported even when the child is seen much
later in life after the rash has disappeared. The
parents report that they went from one doctor to
another, yet no matter what treatment was tried, the
rash would not go away.
The child may have
diarrhea from birth along with the other symptoms
of failure to thrive previously described. This diarrhea
in infants is yellow-green, excoriates the anus and
surrounding area, and has an offensive odor.
Many children have
chronic constipation from birth. The child
strains and strains, only to pass very hard, round
children are plagued by
bed wetting. The urine is acid with a very strong
odor, and may cause or exacerbate the fiery red rash
Boys may develop
an acute phimosis
(inflammation of the foreskin of the penis). They may
also have rashes and
warts on the penis. In an infant or young child
such a history reveals that a parent or grandparent at
one time had contracted gonorrhea. Many boys awaken with
if in the same bed, like to rub against the parents or
develop a variety of vaginal infections very early. Even
infant girls may develop a vaginal discharge. Older
girls may likewise develop vaginitis and, what is more
unusual in sexually inactive girls,
The menstrual flow
in adolescents is also often affected. The cycle tends
to be irregular. The blood may be dark and clotted, and
gives off an offensive odor. The flow may arrive with
ovarian pains so intense that the girl doubles over with
them. An acccurate keynote, if one can ask and confirm
it, is that the adolescent feels chilly before the flow,
especially in the breast area. Also before the flow,
girls may become sad, weepy, and occasionally suicidal.
Both sexes engage in
early sexual experimentation, and both tend to
masturbate as children.
Two clues to the prescription of
persistent, nervous up
and down movements of the child's feet, and
uncommon warmth of the
feet. The child wants her shoes and socks off and
often walks barefoot through the house, even in the
wintertime or on cold cement. In the evening these two
characteristics combine and fidgety, hot feet can be
seen protruding from the covers during sleep.
Older children may complain of
pain and swelling of
the soles and ankles.
should be the first remedy considered for painful soles,
making the child favor the sides or edges of the feet as
a walking surface.
Teens may complain of a
painful stiffness in the joints, an arthritis
that often begins in the ankles or knees. Arthritis is
aggravated at night, in damp weather, and ameliorated by
motion. What stands out most in
cases is the degree of
swelling of the joints, most especially of the
swelling is a good guiding symptom for the remedy.
Some children describe a feeling as if their joints are
tightening up and that they must
"pop" them to
loosen them up and get relief.
Another common keynote of
that children bite
their nails to the quick.
The skin of
Medorrhinum children is susceptible to
growths such as moles
The infants often have very
bad rashes in the
Medorrhinum should be one of the first remedies
considered for infants who have eczema from birth,
especially if the eczema alternates with bouts of
asthma. The alternation
of eczema and asthma or eczema and allergies is
very consistent with this remedy type. Also consistent
is the ease with which the eczema is suppressed by
strong medications and thereafter the child develops
respiratory problems or bone disease in response.
The child may develop
neurodermatitis and hives from drinking citrus juice or
should be among the first remedies contemplated for
lipomas or fat cysts.
Quite a few
Medorrhinum children have
consisting of large, circular patches of pale
discoloration on the face and abdomen. After the remedy
is given, one may find the patches becoming pigmented
and fading away.
The skin may appear
oily all over the body, especially on the face.
It is peculiar, but these children also tend to get many
insect bites and allergic reactions to these bites.
child tends to be a
"night person," finding it difficult to fall
asleep until late at night. Their sleep is restless,
with much tossing and turning. Most especially commented
upon is the thrashing of the legs throughout the night.
The child is very hot
and will often sleep naked and uncovered, especially the
Even though their sleep is
favor sleeping on the
abdomen or in the
position with the buttocks in the air.
nightmares. Being chased, bitten by animals,
etc., are common themes.
The child may either wake up with much
or wake up tired and
(a) The remedy
Medorrhinum is frequently prescribed after the
case has been treated first with another remedy. A
common scenario follows: After prescribing the first
remedy, the child does very well. Yet after a time the
case stalls. Simultaneously, a few
Medorrhinum is prescribed and the child
progresses nicely again. The original prescription may
have matched the case perfectly. It is as if there were
a genetic flaw that undermined the child's vital
defenses and made them too weak to react properly to the
well-chosen remedy in order to reestablish homeostasis.
should be considered for children who appear stunted in
physical, emotional, or mental development.
(c) A detailed family history is of the utmost
Medorrhinum child's family history may contain
diseases common to this remedy type: gonorrhea, asthma,
arthritis, angina, and heart disease. The family tree
may begin with diseases of the skin, which progress from
there to the respiratory tract, then to the bones and
joints, and then to the heart, either in one person or
across a family lineage.
(d) These are
hot-blooded children who like the cool, open air
and dislike heat.
(e) All their discharges are offensive smelling, acrid,
(f) Health complaints are ameliorated by lying on the
abdomen, especially respiratory symptoms.
children are among those who are frequently ill from
birth, carrying as they do a
constitutional weakness. There is a general unability to
shake acute illnesses quickly or totally.
child has a number of distinctive characteristics in the
psychological and mental spheres.
Extreme extroversion or
extreme introversion may be reported, although
the former is much more
common. Most children of this type are very
extroverted and vital.
For some, this vitality is amplified to the point of
irritating those around them. They usually play hard and
enthusiastically. This "open" type of
easily approach total strangers and begin a conversation
on almost any subject. They enjoy socializing and
usually have many friends.
A directness, at times extreme,
may first offer a clue
to the probability of a
layer existing in the child. An older patient in a
wheelchair and wearing an eye patch was waiting in the
reception area. A
Medorrhinum child, Howard, burst into the office,
and before his huffing mother could catch up, he lunged
at the patient and yelled, "Hey, what do you have under
that thing?" and tore the patch off the astonished man's
This overly-exuberant nature often leads to
with drugs and other experience-altering substances such
as model airplane glue fumes, cough medicine, pain
killers, and even car exhaust.
There is a great deal of
sexual acting out at an
early age as well. With some embarrassment,
parents report of their young children such behaviours
as erections, kissing and playing erotically with both
adults and other children, masturbating, and repeatedly
being found naked with young neighbor children. I once
treated a six-year-old girl who showed violent
tendencies in general and who liked to "pick" at her
vagina all the time. The child would coerce her mother
to dress her in the tightest possible clothes and
Evidence of greater than normal vitality may be observed
in their hurried
behaviour. The parents confirm that the child
does everything quickly, always seeming to be in a big
rush. Like many symptoms of this remedy, the exact
opposite may be true: there may be
Such energy may over time lead to a true
state. At school they may become
restless to the point
of wildness. Hyperactive
concentrate very well, especially when tired.
They are messy
by nature and may be confused with hyperactive
children because of this.
Another negative attribute commonly found in these
children is meanness
and cruelty; coupled with high energy, it can lead to
frequent quarrels, screaming matches, and out-and-out
fighting, especially when the child is contradicted or
reprimanded. When this happens, the child wants his own
way even more and seems to develop superhuman strength.
In this state, he can fight everyone around him, even
parents and bigger, stronger siblings with great
tenacity. The child becomes
throwing things and
striking their parents, siblings, and friends
Parents state that during these "mean" times, the child
can become totally out of control, where meaningful
discipline or punishments are impossible. The situation
can quickly degenerate into a struggle for control in
which the parents have to physically overpower the child
in order to stop a tantrum or other violent behaviour.
The child may even wait for his chance and take
against the parents. This meanness can help to
Medorrhinum from other remedies sharing similar
physical symptoms, and a prescription has, time and time
again, ameliorated fits of anger, brought more emotional
balance, and helped whatever physical complaint brought
the child to the homeopath in the first place.
An episodic cruelty or
rudeness, the fitful, changeable nature of the
child, when times of great aggressiveness alternate with
times of introversion and playful coyness, most often
indicates a need for this remedy. The parents report
extreme polarity of
behavior, swinging from very sweet and charming
to very nasty and destructive, without apparent cause.
tendencies born of hot tempers and mindless fitfulness,
and without thought of the pain it might impose on the
child himself, are characteristics of this remedy. One
troubled teenager, who suddenly became angry, punched
his fist into a door, breaking three bones in his hand.
These fitful children may become very
obstinate and bossy.
Parents bemoan the constant struggle to determine who is
in control, even in the case of a three-year-old. The
child yells, "I want this!" while tugging at the
doctor's stethoscope and screams and carries on until
the object is handed over. The parents assert that it is
no use to try and reason with the child once his mind is
made up. They have found that attempts to discipline the
child in this state only have a deleterious or
Another was to guage the depth of the obstinacy is to
see how long children hold
length of time can be amazing, even in small children.
They blurt out angrily, "I'm gonna get him back." These
little ones remember everyone else's perceived
transgressions and desire to mete out appropriate
retribution while forgetting their own substantial
meanness and trespasses against others.
children exhibit temper
tantrums that are often rooted in a great
contradiction. Explosive violence and other
behavior is reported upon the slightest
The child may nag and confront a parent until getting an
emotional rise out of him or her. It is as if she wants,
needs, and almost longs
for a reprimand and punishment. I remember
nine-year-old Sally, who would provoke a fight whenever
possible. If her mother told her not to make noise at
the theater, it was guaranteed that she would yell so
her mother would be moved to swat her. It was as if the
contact that she made with her parent in that fashion
was desirable. As soon as a parent became angry with
her, she would become cooperative and sweet. Loving
attention by a parent may go unheeded or even be
rejected by such a child.
In addition to behaving violently themselves, these
children like to
observe violence as well. They love to watch
scary or violent movies with lots of blood and gore.
children are often caught
often begins with the relatively innocuous and common
excuse, "It's not my
In the office a careful listener will frequently hear
this type of lying: the parents describe a negative
trait, like temper tantrums or cursing, and the child
will exclaim over and over with the utmost conviction,
"No I don't! No I don't!" in response to every point. If
the doctor finally turns to the child and asks, "What
didn't happen?" the child will say "That didn't happen
"That didn't happen on
Thursday like Mom said." This
lying by omission
in children can evolve into an adult behavior.
Another form of lying by omission is noted in children
who do not wish to have
anything "bad" said about them. No one does, but
their reactions speak loudly of the remedy itself. They
scream, "No! No! Stop!" at the parents as they describe
ordinary symptoms to the doctor. Others hide behind the
parent's chair or behind a plant and yell, "I'm not
telling!" in answer to any question asked of them.
Some lying is evoked by
jealousy of siblings. Since some children appear
not to comprehend parental love, they may measure love
by getting equal shares of objects, toys, and food. I
know a boy who wanted a duplicate of everything that his
brother had. He would steal and hide his brother's toy
because he did not one also. He would even hide his own
toys and blame his brother for stealing them just to get
him into trouble. He seemed not to know of affection at
all, desiring only the outer manifestations, the
physical trappings of love.
There is a thoughtless
selfishness. Behavior can reflect a complete
disregard for the wishes of others. This is also
manipulativeness. The child may tattle on other
siblings so that he will receive more attention, even
lying to get a sibling into trouble.
The child needing
Medorrhinum may have one of two main problems in
the ability to think clearly. The first problem is an
inborn mental and
physical dwarfing, as though from a minor
chromosomal defect. The second is only a
functional problem with
the ability to concentrate.
The former difficulties include a
memory weak from
babyhood on, especially for conceptual thought.
They are usually poor spellers and forget the meaning of
words. The child is easily confused by more abstract
information. They can have difficulty expressing
Anomalies in gross or
fine motor skills abound. A child may not be able
to use scissors or demonstrate good penmanship. He may
also walk with a jerky gait.
For the second type of child, the
short attention span
often leads doctors to diagnose an attention deficit
disorder. Parents are often told that the child requires
Ritalin. This type of child begins to
lose the thread of
is seen most commonly in school-related learning. Their
fragile concentration is easily broken by any noise.
mistakes in speech, and poor recall are not due to
mental dullness so much as to confusion. As
over time, abstract theoretical knowledge is easily
lost. While the child may forget what was heard or read,
she can still remember concepts that have visual,
experiential clues. There can be a chronic mental
disconnectedness symptomatic of both the remedy and the
inherited susceptibility, the slow dissipation of
attention that takes place over a period of years and is
replaced by growing confusion.
Many children who require the remedy
It is not that they are equally able to use either hand
as a true ambidextrous person can, but rather that they
do not have a dominant hand. Because of this, they may
switch hands during activities and never quite master a
skill with either one.
child who is a slow learner is perfectionistic, spending
a long time trying to fashion letters correctly. As the
confused state worsens over months and years, the child
begins to procrastinate
and to hate being pushed to read, write, or do homework.
There is a subgroup of
Medorrhinum children that is shy and timid. An
inferiority complex is observed in their demeanor during
the interview. They can become mentally dull and develop
increased anxiety about
upcoming events, especially those revolving
around school projects. This is due to
decreased confidence in
his own mental capabilities. In general, they are
either intermittently or consistently bashful and
introverted. The boys
of this subgroup are
softhearted and sensitive to an extreme degree.
The mother may state that the child has been
psychologically tested and found to have very low
self-esteem. These unfortunates have
no confidence or pride
As these children grow up they become increasingly more
introverted. Many become
their depression they begin to act out, just as more
Medorrhinum children do. They start to take drugs
and smoke cigarettes. This
taking of drugs
is not done with the relish and enjoyment found in their
outgoing counterparts, but instead with a sense of
despondency. They become gloomy, feeling that all around
them is blackness and depression.
In such a severe emotional condition, some girls may
develop anorexic or
bulimic behavior. There is one major clue that
will make one consider
Medorrhinum over other remedies for anorexia: the
adolescent may not eat for days, starving herself so
that she emaciates, but
when she finally forces herself to eat, she will eat
mainly fruit. This is a major indication for the
She blames herself for anything that goes wrong in her
life as a way of justifying her self-destructive
self-blame can lead to more extreme
self-destructive behavior. Some girls even begin to
physically punish themselves, cutting their arms with
razors. The two most common stressors that make the girl
more vulnerable to suicidal impulses are drug use and
One final comment on
eating disorders: while homeopathic remedies can
be very effective in helping to rebuild the body as well
as the mind, they should never be the sole treatment. A
homeopath's success rate with these disorders will rise
dramatically if treatment is combined with
family-centered counseling and skill-oriented therapies
that work on developing new methods of relating to food.
A common fear of
Medorrhinum children is the fear of
being alone, especially
in the dark. The reason behind this fear is
really a deeper fear of an
something eerie in the house lurking in the dark. Fear
of large bodies of
water is the other well-known fear of this remedy
type. This fear is related to the fear of
eerie, unseen things;
something under the water may come up and snatch them.
On the other hand, a love of bathing in the ocean is
also sometimes characteristic of this remedy.
Another fear that about one in five
children has is the fear of
Any time the child wrestles and becomes pinned down, he
aggressively punches his way out, completely losing all
reason in doing so.
One final note on the mind: if the doctor is very
attentive to his or her own feelings about and reactions
to the patient, this alone may provide a strong clue as
to whether or not this remedy is needed. Some of these
children elicit a
feeling of disgust in others. It is not that they
do or say anything that could be considered repulsive;
it is just a general feeling in the observer of
something repellent that seems to exude from the child.
Even if Medorrhinum
starts out to behave moderately and methodically,
somehow his actions take on a non-systematic, exuberant
coloration. He takes the second step before the first,
into any chosen endeavor: "When my mind is on a
particular point, I act as if it were the only thing in
the world, sometimes to my own detriment," an adult
Exuberance, enthusiasm, even excess, can be positive
traits, encouraging high productivity and nourishing
talent. But when unmanageable or misdirected, as seen
most clearly in hyperactive children with uncontrolled
exuberance, they become serious handicaps.
one of the most effective remedies for the unruly or
undisciplined youngster who is constantly touching
things, breaking them, tripping over himself, and rashly
lurching to do everything hastily -- as likely to hurt
himself as others.
Such behaviour actually reflects a deeper stratum of the
makeup -- the general way in which he processes
knowledge and experience. He must act out a situation
before it is credible, or even comprehensible, to him;
knowledge is born of action, or must first be
experienced in action. The child does not learn from
being told that the stove is hot but must burn himself
more than once before anticipating the consequences of
Medorrhinum symptom is a
deranged sense of time.
Time seems to move too slowly. This contributes to his
is always in a great hurry. Yet, while
accomplish everything that is on his agenda, he is a
procrastinator. A methodical approach tries his patience
(at best, never a distinguishing feature). He puts
everything off until the last moment and must then
operate in haste and under pressure.
The hurried quality is often exhibited in
very speech. He talks hastily, eruptively, in a
compulsive rush of words, at times in garbled phrases,
beginning in mid thought, repeating himself frequently as
if fearful of being misunderstood. Thus even in speech
habits, this nosode's overall pattern is encountered --
an internal welling up
that finds urgent release in an eruptive and exuberant
perform in spurts of haste because he fears that
otherwise he will not only lose his thread of thought
but also his rush of inspiration. In fact, when the
energy-generating pressure, or the focus supplying
intensity are missing, the individual might be unable to
collect his thoughts, have difficulty concentrating his
mind on abstract subjects, and may be even hard put to
express himself, at a loss for words or breaking off in
the midst of a sentence.
As mentioned previously,
usually prescribed as an intercurrent remedy when
well-selected remedies, that match the case very well,
fail to act. The following cases will help to illustrate
The case of a brain-damaged boy of six is an example.
The condition had commenced at the age of eight months
when he suddenly stopped breathing and had to be rushed
to the emergency room. His life was saved, but the brain
had been impaired, and soon afterwards the parents
noticed signs of inadequate mental development. When
first seen by the homeopath he was mentally retarded,
living isolated in his own autistic world, emitting
peculiar noises, talking disconnectedly and off topic,
and with a two-year old's sense of responsibility for
his behavior and actions. He attended a special school
where he learned little and could not relate to his
He was primarily
Sulphur, which he received regularly during years
of homeopathic treatment. His progress in developing
mental strength was heartening, and, at length, although
still in school for the learning disabled, he was able
to take his place as a well-functioning member of his
class and family. Certain intellectual disabilities
remained, especially in mathematics, and his reading
skills were below age level. In many other developmental
areas, however, he was well within the normal range of
normality. Although he still went off on a tangent
occasionally, he could carry on thoughtful conversations
most of the time and displayed a well-developed moral
sense. He was as controlled and responsible as any other
But his progress was not uniform. Especially in the
early stages of treatment he occasionally relapsed and
seemed to lose ground. As is typical of such cases, his
behavior degenerated, he would make loud noises, and
retreated into his autistic world. When
Lycopodium, Natrum muriaticum, or
which are generally the most useful remedies for
treating mental retardation (also the less severe
dyslexia's, etc.), failed to act, he was given a dose of
or 50M, and the case once again jumped forward;
furthermore, he now responded to the indicated remedy.
This illustrates what might be called the nosode's
"tugboat role" of assisting other remedies to do their
Another case was a ten-year-old boy with nocturnal
enuresis [bed wetting].
carbonica, Natrum muriaticum, and
helped only marginally, so the physician resolved to
address a probable underlying level. Although
the classic nosode for this condition, the boy's study
habits provided the guiding symptoms to the curative
was a notorious procrastinator, putting off all the
weekend homework until Sunday night, then working in
haste until very late. He generally succeeded in
completing the assignments on time and, despite the
unnecessary pressure, or possibly
due to it, got
A final case was a twelve-year-old girl suffering from
asthma. While Natrum
sulphuricum, a prime remedy for children's
asthma, had helped in the past, its effect did not hold;
the same was true for
Sulphur, Psorinum, and
There were several suggestive symptoms, but above all,
in severe asthma attacks she breathed better from lying
draped over a chair with her head down -- an interesting
variant of Medorrhinum's
better in the knee-chest position. In fact, a
patient's preferred lying or sleeping position can be
crucial for choosing a remedy.
was prescribed every week for a month, then less
frequently in ascending potencies. Over the course of a
year it was the girl's principal asthma remedy and
proved wonderfully curative.
The obvious question is whether the nosodes should not
have been administered at the start. Did it break
through some impediment to cure and help resolve the
case because its way had been paved by the earlier
remedies or was it the simillimum from the start? Since
every case is unique, one can only speculate. But
like any nosode, often acts especially well when held in
reserve, and is then brought out with a dramatic
Physical Characteristics (Herscu):
often develop around the margins of the hairline and
behind the ears, which ooze a thin watery fluid that
coagulates to a slightly yellow-tinged scab.
Often Natrum muriaticum
children will not wear
hats, except when they are out in the full sun.
Without a hat in this case, the child is destined for a
headache, heat prostration, or sunstroke.
Headaches are a frequent
complaint of the
Natrum muriaticum child. The headaches may begin,
as do migraines, with a visual loss on the contra
side. They may occur from
reading too much
or any kind of eye strain, from exposure to the
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
children. The child may develop dark circles under the
eyes, as well as Denny's lines: the
creases under the lower
eyelids that typify allergies.
They can be quite
photophobic and need to wear sunglasses. The
photophobia is of graded severity; some have extreme
sensitivity to light, while others develop headaches
when in the sun. Others just prefer the shade, but all
squint in bright light.
The Natrum muriaticum
type tends to develop
myopia at an early age.
The nose is frequently
muriaticum children often have many
developing hay fever-like
symptoms from dust,
molds, and pollen. There may also be
allergic reactions to
foods. The allergies may lead to
and sinus headaches, especially during a change in
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
Hives may also be
a chief complaint. They may develop from each and every
exposure to the sun or may occur only during the first
three or four weeks of summer sunshine. The
lips are often
dry or cracked
and frequently develop a fissure in the centre. With
colds and fevers, blisters or herpatic
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.
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
It is uncanny how often a
picture develops in cases where the child must suppress
sadness. In one case, a girl would have an asthma attack
whenever her divorced mother would come to pick her up
for the weekend. The asthma first began when the parents
first filed for divorce.
The child may develop
allergic coughs that do not progress all the way
to asthma. Eight-year-old Frank coughed daily for two
years. No reason could be found for the cough by his
pediatrician. It was a little cough caused by a tickle
in the throat, according to Frank. It was found upon
questioning that the cough had started soon after the
boy's best friend had moved away. This was a terrible
blow for him, although he told no one how he felt. The
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
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
or abdominal cramps.
A frequent complaint is
motion sickness, especially during any long
drive. These are the children who cannot be spun around
in games due to nausea, and who find no pleasure in
riding fast or whirling rides at carnivals.
Clinically, one finds that the abdominal area
cramps easily in
the Natrum muriaticum
child. The symptoms fit an
irritable bowel syndrome
very well. The abdomen becomes hard to the touch, cramps
up, and is accompanied by severe pain as if the colon
were being grasped and squeezed by a tight fist. Those
afflicted are compelled to double up with this acute
There is a tendency toward
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
Young children can suffer from
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
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
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
Clinically, a syndrome that should often bring the
muriaticium to mind is frequent or easily induced
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
Natrum muriaticum. The onset may follow grief and
may progress through all the joints very quickly.
Besides the frighteningly rapid spread of the arthritis,
there is usually an abundance of sharp, stitching pains
in all the affected joints.
Many Natrum muriaticum
children develop very
stiff neck muscles. They frequently
bite their nails.
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
The eczema itches intensely, especially when the child
eats a food that she is allergic to or when she becomes
There often may be a problem with
hair loss. In
alopecia [loss of
hair in patches] cases, the scalp around the hairless
patch is dry and flaky and itches a great deal. Alopecia
or morphea ["a
skin desease marked by the presence of indurated patches
of a whitish or yellowish white color surrounded by a
pinkish or purplish border,"
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
little boys who
are shy and fine skinned and who dislike being looked at
will often respond to the remedy
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
Many Natrum muriaticum
anxiety-fraught dreams. They dream of being
chased, of disasters, of robbers, that the school has
moved and they cannot find it, that they have been
Their sleep, even when thus disturbed, is mostly
Important General Characteristics (Herscu):
for the most part,
Natrum muriaticum children dislike heat and
(b) They prefer the shade and dislike
and are aggravated
by direct sunshine.
(c) Many children are thin, pale, weak, and anemic.
(d) There is a general aggravation time from three to
six o'clock in the afternoon.
Mental/Emotional Characteristics (Herscu):
"Youth is wasted on the young" is a saying that adults,
observing young ones at play, often repeat. How sad,
then, to find a child who has the seriousness and the
heavy burden of the aged upon his young shoulders. And
yet this is exactly what one finds in a
As a group, Natrum
muriaticum children are very
well behaved and
obedient. During the interview they are
reserved and shy.
The doctor may find several different behaviours. One
child sits up straight with her legs crossed, her hands
folded, and all her muscles tensed. Another child,
perhaps an adolescent, exhibits how physical distancing
can be manifested by slouching with his legs up on the
seat, putting those legs and his entire body between the
doctor's intrusive questions and himself. Yet another
child sprawls on the floor behind the parent's chair,
apparently relaxed while reading a book. While this may
seem to show a nonchalant attitude, the
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
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
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
which may manifest at a very tender age. They
like their rooms neat,
their beds made, and their books and toys put away.
They may seem possessive
by not letting their friends or siblings touch their
special objects, but this is not out of true
possessiveness; rather, it is out of the desire to keep
their things clean, in order, and unbroken. These
children never lose any items of personal value and will
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
that dwells inside.
This degraded self-image mingled with social
insecurities is the basis for many
perfectionistic behaviours. One way to escape the
ridicules of childhood is to appear invulnerable or
perfect. This "siege mentality" creates great anxiety in
the child as he strives to achieve the unachievable --
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
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
This drive to succeed is born out of the child's
dissatisfaction with her
own performance or creation. The dissatisfaction
leads her to push her abilities even further toward
perfection, always criticizing any finished piece or
performance, never hearing the compliments or applause.
They become very
sensitive to the slightest criticism.
The overly conscientious nature of
may cause anxiety
attacks in the youth. One adolescent, Peter, had
severe stomachaches and headaches whenever he became
anxious about his mathematics class. He had panic
attacks before exams from the fear that he would not
receive good grades. His fears were not based on
reality, as he was an excellent student and his parents
had never pushed him to perform.
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,
should be considered.
Above all else, Natrum
muriaticum at any age is a
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
ridicule and an opportunity to vent their emotions. The
fantasy world waiting for them in books is one reason
why they are often voracious readers.
In the alcololic family they often cast themselves as
the heroic savior: "It is my responsibility, my fault
alone." It is incredible and sometimes tragic that one
finds such guilt and
remorse in a child of perhaps seven years.
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
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
may be absolutely maddening to the attending adults. The
child may moan, cry, and groan but not say what is
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 or
that something awful will happen is common. Anxiety
about parents who do not arrive home on time is
symptomatic of this type. Typically, there is a partial
compensation for this fear in the form of an
attempt to control
Fears may haunt them:
fear of the dark, of being alone, of thunderstorms, of
snakes, spiders, insects with large mandibles; fear that
the cat will die; or fear that there is something around
the corner. They have a great fear of
robbers, of being
fears may include fear
of speaking in public, of heights, and
of closed in spaces.
Childhood and Family Relations (Coulter):
grievances often stem from family relations. More often
and more graphically than any other type, he exhibits
the consequences of a poor relationship with one or both
parents which breeds resentment and/or guilt. A classic
situation is the child whose emotional problems started
when the mother took a job outside the home. But when
she is home, he is neither affectionate nor outwardly
happy, and, in general, is not easy to have around. The
other children in the family are not affected in the
same way, accepting the situation and enjoying their
mother when she is
home. Only Natrum
muriaticum so deeply resents her betrayal, and is
so sensitive to her rejection or neglect, that he cannot
demonstrate the need for her affection. Thus, although
these grievances against the parent are sometimes
legitimate, he can also be accused of making excessive
The polar opposite, however, is also true.
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
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
He projects a "leave me alone" attitude, and the parents
leave him alone.
Yet, it is part of the nature's complexity and
perversity to suffer inordinately from deprival of
parental affection even when rejecting it. He thereby
creates a "no win" situation for his parents and
The "difficult" Natrum
muriaticum child may originally have been
well-behaved and affectionate but has turned moody and
unhappy because of real or imagined parental inattention
to his needs. The physician can often recognize him by
his determined avoidance of eye contact, reluctance to
answer questions, and resentful expression as he looks
down at the floor. A prescription of the medicine in
high potency, however, can cause extraordinary changes:
the child is now willing to look the physician in the
eye, has an open instead of a forced smile, and is
described by the parents as having a "lighter" nature
At times Natrum
muriaticum's pathology stems from early sibling
rivalry. The previously bright and happy child starts
behaving badly or slackens in speech and intellectual
development when he senses that his younger siblings are
receiving parental preference. In fact, slow learning to
talk is a strong indication for this remedy and a
concrete reflection of the type's general inability to
express emotion easily.
Other constitutional types in similar circumstances may
feel equally jealous and resentful. They will fight for
attention, argue, or intrigue; or they will learn to
share or to yield; but ultimately they succeed in
dealing with the situation. No so
He may confront it by being ultracooperative, obedient
and responsible. The child is so sensitive to
disapproval, so longing for approbation, so fearful of
parental rejection if he does not please, that he will
not even tell his parents that he is afraid of the dark
and would like a night light, or that he wet his pants
in school and would like to change them; and a mere
glance from an adult will elicit the desired behaviour.
Indeed, when a parent or teacher describes a child as
overconscientious, extremely anxious to avoid giving
trouble, and "extra" or "unnaturally" good, the first
remedy to consider is the potentized salt.
He is deeply affected by quarrels and subliminal
hostility and can become actively ill as a result. For
this reason, Natrum
muriaticum is the remedy most frequently
administered to children and adolescents who have
undergone the trauma of parental divorce.
A final observation is that a child will be passionately
attached to his pet, lavishing on it all the affection
he cannot give to humans.
The remedy can disperse the patient's tormenting
idées fixes and
soften his unbending pillar-or-salt personality,
permitting greater subtlety of understanding and
opinion; it helps him be less vulnerable, less
defensive, and less inclined to self-condemnation.
Every homeopathic constitutional remedy performs
psychotherapy while working on the physical level, but
in the introverted, repressed, morbidly sensitive or
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.
The heads of Phosphorus
children share three
similarities with those of
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
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
The other common type of
headache occurs due to a
sensitivity to the environment. This headache may
be set off by strong odors such as perfumes, car
exhausts, and tobacco smoke.
Amelioration of a
headache by cold
compresses applied to the head is a big clue to this
remedy. During severe headaches of all kinds there may
nausea and vomiting.
The eyes of infants and children are
bright and wide open,
shining with a glimmer and brilliance all their own.
have long eyelashes,
even from birth. Another feature that may be observed is
of discoloration around the eyes of a pale-faced child.
should be the first remedy considered for
hemorrhages in infants and children,
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
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.
should come to mind for both infants and children who
have had an ear infection with a
The nose is frequently
Phosphorus children and adolescents. Many of
these children have a history of
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
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
The tongue is
long and thin.
The shape of the teeth is similar to the shape of the
body: long and thin.
The gums may show
a tendency to bleed
(h) Throat and
children develop sore
throats (which they do often), they are
inevitably accompanied by
throat feels raw, dry, and burning, and the child will
especially favor cold drinks for relief. Children tend
to develop laryngitis
with these infections.
The chest is one of the
most affected parts of the body in this remedy
type. It is noted that, from an early age,
any cold quickly drops
into the chest to cause a cough, bronchitis, or
pneumonia, even in infants.
Since the cough can be
quite painful, one may observe the child trying
to hold her breath because every time she inhales, she
coughs. Sufferers often hold their chests when they
cough because coughing causes pain to the rib cage.
one of the main remedies to be considered for pneumonia
in infants. An
X-ray often confirms that the pneumonia is mostly in the
During these attacks there is also a
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
individuals, young and old alike.
asthma is often related to
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
such as cucumbers. They also love
sour foods such
as pickles and lemons. Many of these children also love
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
Being acutely sensitive to the blood sugar level, any
time the child abstains from eating he or she will
symptoms: dizziness may ensue, a headache may
develop, or mild irritability may be noted.
The stomach is one of
the weakest areas of the
constitution. With any acute infection such as influenza
the child develops
nausea and/or vomiting, retching at the slightest
provocation. Such digestive tract problems may also
occur from anxiety or stress. The keynote
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
Children who miss meals or fast for holidays may become
not only nauseous but also weak, trembly, and
susceptible to headaches. Because of a
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.
Many pains are
experienced in the lower
abdominal area. These pains aften coincide with
stress, fear, anxiety, or even just excitement. As with
nausea, such problems will be
ameliorated by any
child tends to develop
diarrhea quite easily. In
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
while awake during the day as well as when asleep at
night in bed.
Quite often in teenaged girls the menstrual flow will be
very heavy and consist of a bright red flow throughout
the entire period. The flow may be so
heavy that the
adolescent becomes anemic, pale, and, quite commonly,
dizzy while menstruating.
The remedy Phosphorus
has cured types of
arthritis that are aggravated by first motion and
by cold, and are ameliorated by continued motion.
The child tends to acquire
plantar warts on
either foot. The hands
and feet perspire profusely any time the child is
anxious or excited.
While the skin is not often affected,
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.
is one of the most common remedies given to the child
who, even though eight or ten years old, still sneaks
into bed with his or her parents. It is not uncommon to
have a thirteen-year-old
still wanting to be tucked in at night.
The sleep position
is often characteristic in
children -- either on the right side or on the abdomen.
They tend to talk in their sleep, and many will
may be restless,
as they have many
infants and children usually
wake up refreshed,
though perhaps hungry.
Tall, thin children frequently complain of
-- 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
Important General Characteristics (Herscu):
children are generally tall, thin, and beautiful. They
usually have fine-textured skin and refined features.
(b) The Phosphorus
remedy type is vulnerable to
and hemorrhages of any sort.
(c) Both the mental and physical conditions of
children tend to be aggravated by lying on the
left side, and at
Amelioration is from lying on the right side,
drinking cold water
or eating cold food, by
consolation, being rubbed, and sleep.
Mental/Emotional Characteristics (Herscu):
As a group, Phosphorus
children are the most enjoyable to treat. They tend to
be very communicative,
excitable, and expressive. They are generally
happy from birth. They are
like to be picked up and hugged. The children have
good manners, so
their parents do not hesitate to bring them to public
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
like iron filings to a magnet.
child appears bright, answering questions quickly and
asking many questions of her own. She
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
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
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
health problems are clearly expressed, and thus
the parents can greatly empathize with their child.
These bright children are often
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
strongly prefer not to be considered "just average."
When praise is earned in situations like these, the
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 time.
The children try to
bargain with their parents. Statements such as,
"I ate all my food, give me a toy," or "I did good in
school, let's go to the arcade," if offered in a
pleasant manner, are typical pleas of the
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
becomes anxious and may even become
physically ill from
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
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
particularly during the initial interview, blushing
easily, looking down at the floor, answering in a timid
whisper, and looking to the parents before every
response. As the interview continues, one notes that the
shyness quickly fades
and excitement builds within the child. Once I was
treating a family over lunch. One of the three children
of the group was nine-year-old Liz. At the beginning of
the interview she was very shy, whispering and looking
to her father for answers and not ever looking at her
questioner. By the second half of the interview she was
answering questions herself and beginning to pick at my
food. As I watched this girl unfold and finally win my
affection as well as my french fries, all I or anyone
else present wished to do was hug her. This
instant feeling of
affection quite often helps me identify and
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
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
cannot help but talk about the fears with dramatic
expressions that pull the listener right into the
experience, whereas the
Natrum muriaticum child will largely keep his
fears to himself. The former is open, the later closed.
Many of the Phosphorus
fears can be distilled down to the single fear that
something "bad" will
happen. This is experienced as a general
foreboding that encompasses many facets of the child's
life. The poor
Phosphorus child is often left with an overactive
imagination with which to fantasize what this threat
If pushed further, this
wild imagination makes the child fear the
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
The Eternal Child (Coulter):
Whether actively seeking it or inadvertently attracting
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.
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
anything that captures his imagination, such as having
stories told or read to him, but dislikes anything
requiring sustained application, anything that is not
"fun." At the same time he wants to be the best in
everything without really working for it. Whatever he is
trying to accomplish, he must "get it" the first time.
If unsuccessful or thwarted in his attempt, he may
react hysterically, stamping, shouting, or throwing down
his tools in frustration. Because he is quick and
absorbs things easily, he often does manage to be a
good, but not an excellent, student without studying too
children are seldom mean and do not bully others. They
are not necessarily angels, but they gain the upper hand
in a diverting, not a disagreeable, way. When they must
weasel out of a tricky situation, they look you directly
in the eye while fabricating a complete untruth. With
their ready imagination, they are adept at twisting the
facts or concocting spur-of-the-moment explanations why
they didn't do their homework or their chores. In
contrast with the
Natrum muriaticum child who looks guilty even
when he is not, and who always gets caught in the
slightest fib, you feel that the
must be telling
the truth with those wide eyes gazing straight at you.
But by no means! The more innocent
looks, the guiltier he usually is.
Their mischievousness comes out in teasing, playing
jokes on others, or tricking their elders. Children less
than a year old and still unable to walk, may crawl away
to hide in a closet; while others are searching and
shouting their names in concern, they sit concealed,
gurgling with pleasure at their own cleverness.
They are popular without necessarilly being leaders;
they are just friendly, vital, and enthusiastic. Friends
and strangers alike respond to his expansive charm, and
many a dreary life has been brightened by the antics of
a lively Phosphorus.
All this excitement and stimulation may undermine his
health, however, and the adolescent begins to suffer
from headaches, insomnia, and nervousness; or more
subtly, he loses his emotional stability and mental
cohesion. The younger child may even fall ill from
anticipation or excitement: of such happy events as
Christmas, participating in a school play, or a birthday
party. Or he remains sleepless and overwrought long
after an event.
The constitutional type is recognized in the patient who
is likable and attractive and displays the warm and
extroverted manner of one who wants to be liked and can
make himself liked; who has developed and put to good
use his wonderfully positive approach to people and
life. He may possess a brighter luminescence but will
always evince that special
sympathy and responsiveness that ranks compassion before
justice and generosity before truth.
Yet he may also suffer from a tendency to emotional
excess, lack of restraint, confusion of fantasy with
reality, and uncertainty about his own identity. His
imagination outweighs his understanding, his unstability
overrules his judgment; he believes only what he wants
to believe, is governed by caprice and cannot see beyond
himself. So that for all his promise and fine talents
his life falls short of its potential.
Physical Characteristics (Herscu):
Girls may develop
schooltime headaches accompanied by digestive
upsets, aggravated by eating too much ice cream,
meat or fats; by watching television, reading, or
becoming overheated in a
may complain of
headaches associated with the menses. The
pain will be felt on one side or temple and be
congestive in nature; the adolescent feels a
constant throbbing. The hot head is relieved by cold
packs, pressure, and sitting up. Aggravation is from
quick motion and stooping. The face becomes red
during the congestive headache and the eyes feel
engorged, as if there is pressure pushing them
children sometimes have headaches that are
upper respiratory tract infections such as
sinusitis. The headache may be
aggravated by lying
down and ameliorated by outdoor activity.
Parents state that the child always
takes the hat off,
even in the coldest weather.
The eyes are
frequently affected by various problems in
child. During any
disease, especially of the upper respiratory
tract, the child may develop either
dacryocystitis ["inflammation of the lacrimal
sac of the eye,"
Yasgur's Homeopathic Dictionary], or
belpharitis ["inflammation of the hair
follicles and sebaceous glands along the margins of
Yasgur]. The eyes become
inflamed, even in
the newborn. Children rub their eyes
continuously, which they say
burn and itch,
especially at night, with the sensation that
there is sand in the eyes.
Colds can settle in
the eyes and produce a thick, purulent,
discharge. Agglutination of the eyelids
during the night is common. When the child awakens
in the morning, the lids must be moistened with
water to loosen the dry, crusty mucus away.
Some children develop
styes that recur
over and over again. All
eye symptoms are
aggravated in a warm room or
bathing, and are tremendously amiliorated
by cold air,
bathing the eye in cold water, or applying cold
compresses. Even small babies will push away a warm
cloth if it approaches the troubled eye. The
temperature modality is very important to ask about
because the answer will help to differentiate
from other homeopathic medicines that alleviate eye
cures many ear symptoms as well. It is one of
the prime remedies for
The external ear may be red, hot, and swollen.
Severe throbbing pains in the ears become worse at
night and with the warmth of bed, and feel better
outdoors and with cool applications.
The nose is
involved in almost every upper respiratory tract
Pulsatilla children develop
accompanied by much sneezing and which are
aggravated at night.
Six-year-old Sally was typical in her infection,
which began with frequent sneezing. Her conjunctiva
became red and her eyes began to itch. Her lips
dried out quickly and began to crack and bleed over
the next few days. She then started to have sharp,
pressing pains in the ears accompanied by a high
fever. During the inflammation she also developed
vaginitis and became lethargic, wanting to be held
much of the time by her mother.
prevented this girl from developing any further
infections and stopped her cycle of upper
respiratory tract breakdowns.
is one of the most useful remedies for curing hay
fever. It begins with
itching of the
upper palate, causing those afflicted to make
clucking sounds with their tongues while trying to
scratch the upper palate. The eyes then begin to
itch and lacrimate greatly. The nose also itches,
discharging a clear, bland mucus. All hay fever
symptoms are aggravated out of doors on hot days, at
night, and by the change of seasons. The attacks are
ameliorated by cool days and by splashing cold water
on the face.
the face becomes
flushed. Occasionally only
becomes flushed while the other becomes pale.
While quite rare in these times of antibiotic use,
one may find a patient with
which the face is
very flushed and the inflammation has
metastasized to the
breasts or testes and is accompanied by much
swelling and pain.
A dry mouth yet
lack of thirst is a classic keynote for
can be quite foul
when the children get up in the morning, even in the
very young. While examining
children, one can often see a thin, white or lacy
coating on the tongue just as they open their
The chest is the
site of many problems for the
child, both acute and chronic. There may be a
bronchitis or pneumonia.
or croup may begin with a dry, raw throat. This may
develop after or along with a rash that is
suppressed by ointments and does not fully develop.
The cough is caused by a dry tickle in the throat,
which is worse when the child lies down at night or
becomes warm or overheated. The cough usually
subsides when the child walks in the cool, open air;
or sits up.
A keynote of
as well as of
Calcarea carbonica, is the common complaint
of a dry cough
throughout the entire day and night and a loose,
wet cough only upon
awakening, accompanied by much expectoration
at that time.
child is often very
allergic to the environment, developing
any bark dust or pollen in the air. At first the
child only manifests
Eventually, the hay fever stops and the child
progresses to asthma.
Cravings and Aversions:
It is interesting to note that
many of the foods
children crave aggravate problems of their digestive
desire cheese, ice cream, eggs, butter, pastry and
cakes, peanut butter and sweets. They are
pastry, ice cream, lemons and very sour foods, fats,
and meat (especially pork). Many of these
foods cause vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches. They
are averse to
eating milk, bread, fats, warm foods, and fatty
A commonly confirmed keynote is that the child is
even though he may have a fever or a very dry mouth.
The stomach is troubled as often as the respiratory
tract in the
is accompanied by severe abdominal cramps.
The stomach of
digests both food and emotional interactions slowly.
Any time there is a strong emotional stress, the
child develops stomachaches, nausea and/or vomiting,
similar in this regard to
The child may also develop
the stomach from strong emotions that remain
The stomach is easily
upset by eating
rich foods, and unfortunately, by foods
children enjoy immensely, such as ice cream, cake,
and cheese. One parent described her daughter's
sensitive stomach as
One last distinctive digestive symptom, often
infants, is that most will
hiccough after they
Infants with colic
often respond well to the remedy
The abdomen distends and there is audible rumbling
diarrhea or the diarrhea may
constipation, conforming to the adage "No
two stools alike." While this is a bit of an
exaggeration, what one does find is that there is
as to what type of stool will emerge next.
Very often a homeopath will observe symptoms and
Pulsatilla only to find that it does not work
-- but that
Calcarea carbonica will. Likewise, many times
will not work and
Pulsatilla will; as usual, the general
symptoms lead and must prevail in the selection of
the remedy, as the local symptoms often overlap
is a key remedy to consider for children who develop
increased frequency of urination and/or
that is aggravated by lying down,
[inflammation of the bladder], and for those who may
have a history of
Little Mary developed a bladder infection two weeks
after her sister Susan was born. When it started,
she became very droopy and weak and began to cry
more than usual. She then developed a fever along
with more regressive behaviour. The next day she had
increased urinary frequency accompanied by blood in
the urine. The case was clearly
as illustrated by the regression, the sibling
rivalry, and the clinginess. Her mother reported
that even when the child urinated more frequentlly,
her thirst decreased instead of increased. This
modality, contrary to what would seem to make sense
physiologically, pointed especially to
as an effective remedy, which it proved to be.
Even at an early age, girls may develop a thick,
creamy, offensive smelling
This is often associated with an upper respiratory
conditions tend to
develop more fully during puberty or at the
menarche. Along with the emotional changes that
first emerge during this time are some specific
menstrual problems that are commonly seen.
The first year's menses can be irregular for girls
of all types, with cycles commencing from every
twenty-odd days to every six months as the hormonal
system "gets into gear." For
irregularity is particularly pronounced and
may last for several years.
Before the menses,
girls become weepy
and morose. Everything seems to be fine when
suddenly the thought arises in them that there is no
purpose in living.
The menses are accompanied by much
causing the girls to double over, toss and turn in
bed, or pace the floor. A special keynote is that
the pain may be aggravated by hot applications and
ameliorated by cold ones; an unusual finding, as
most girls report amelioration of menstrual pain by
The most common
Pulsatilla symptom in the extremities is the
there. The children want to walk around barefoot
even in the wintertime. They often stick their feet
out of the covers at night.
may be used to treat juvenile
arthritis with wandering joint pains that are
aggravated in the morning, by warmth, and by lying
in bed. The pains are ameliorated by motion and by
cool air. The joints are swollen, red, and hot.
Nodules develop during the early stages of the
disease. Of course, the mental picture must also be
Pulsatilla before it is assumed to be the
a characteristic feature of the skin: it takes on a
mottled appearance most of the time,
especially in a cool room. This remedy type also
develops large hives, especially from strong
emotional stresses, but also from aggravating foods.
is a valuable remedy in many childhood
such as measles, chickenpox, and roseola. The rash
will commonly be accompanied by otitis media,
conjunctivitis, or bronchitis. All skin problems are
aggravated by warmth (especially at night in bed)
and by contact with wool. These problems are
ameliorated in cool, open air.
Sleep offers many
keynotes to the remedy. One finds that
babies need to be
rocked and nursed in order to fall asleep.
Every time the infant awakens, it cries for the
mother who must rock, caress, or nurse the child
back to sleep. Finally the baby falls asleep, but as
the mother puts the child down again, the crying
Older children may have
asleep. Fourteen-year-old Anna started to
weep as she described her nights: she worried for
hours if she had studied enough for the next day's
test; would she do well, and would her parents think
less of her if she did not? The thoughts keeping
these children up are rooted in the
fear of losing the
love of their parents.
When the child becomes old enough to walk, waking up
and finding the way
to the parents' bed will be common. Likewise,
when a parent announces bedtime and time to be
tucked in, the child often
sleep separates him or her from the parent.
Such children pretend that they need a glass of
water, need to urinate, need yet another bedtime
story, or that they are scared.
They generally fall asleep on their backs, possibly
with their hands
above their heads, or on the
covering up and will kick off the covers.
High fevers may
accompany any acute disease and, during
sleep, the children may become slightly
dreaming and talking of
black cats or large
dark animals, or just of ominous, amorphous
children who dress lightly even in the wintertime,
and hate to wear hats.
weaknesses are aggravated by becoming
Problems become more evident from the time of
(c) Symptoms tend to change often; they may be
experienced only on one side of the body, may wander
from place to place or change in character from time
(d) Pains and illnesses are ameliorated by
being carried or gently rocked, in the
and by weeping.
At a glance, one can see the
clingy, fearful nature. The first
characteristic noticed about these children is how
close they sit to their parents in the doctor's
office. In a waiting room full of toys and other
Pulsatilla child chooses the chair closest to
the parent and then leans toward the mother or
father. The sicker the child is, the closer she
leans -- until she finally sits on or lies across
her parent's lap.
The child must
remain close to the parent. If a
toddler is on the floor at the parent's feet and the
parent stands up to get a glass of water, the child
begins to cry. Parental cuddling and rocking almost
always manages to staunch the flow of tears, which
begins again as soon as the mother tries to put the
child down. The mother's story is that she goes
through this sort of thing all day long. She is
unable to shop, cook, or do housework because
she has to hold the
child in order to prevent continuous crying.
During the interview,
bashfulness are very evident. The child may
before every answer, look at the mother or father
to see if they have answered correctly -- the
"right" answer, or promptly head for the parent's
lap and not respond at all.
In a new classroom or playground situation,
children will want to be liked but often
lack the initiative
to begin a dialogue or interaction themselves. They
tend to bashfully wait until a
comes along and scoops them up into the fun --
a follower, not a
leader. According to the parents, at home
where the child is relaxed, he "yaks away" with
family members all day long.
The only time
Pulsatilla children are not talkative at home
is when they have taken offense at something and are
upset. Similarly, if a coach is unfair to a child
and will not let her play, she often
pouting and cries.
The ability to challenge unfair practices does not
belong to the
affectionate, yielding, and submissive --
behaviour it takes to win the attention and security
The child likes to be
neat and tidy;
the hair is combed perfectly, as it is in
The mother reports that her
child is easy to
handle, mild, and quickly persuaded to do his chores.
He helps around the house, makes his bed, and cleans
his room. In contrast, the
child cannot help but clean his room; the desire
comes from within. In
children, it is an action for which they seek an
emotional reward. They want the parents to praise
them again and again. "Is this how you want it?"
"Watch me dance." "How do you like the triangle I
drew?" They need
constant attention and affection, without which they
wilt into feelings of worthlessness.
The fear of abandonment can become very strong as
the children grow up. This can take several forms,
such as feigning
illness to get attention. What I find amazing
is the fact that if they feel that no one is paying
attention to them, they may actually produce a
fever. Another very common manifestation of this
insecurity is the
refusal to go to bed alone. Occasionally one
finds a Pulsatilla
child of very strict parents sitting during the
interview with hands folded, perfectly dressed and
not moving in the slightest. This unusual behaviour
in a child is indicative of the
intense desire for
acceptance by the parents and the equally
intense fear of alienating them.
One major shock that frequently pushes this fear
into an acute state
is the birth of a sibling. The child may
become extremely jealous of the newborn. Every time
the parent wants to change the baby's diapers, the
asks for something
from the parent: "Can you draw me a cat?" "I
want a drink." They become
about their parents' attention and their toys and
material possessions. The child becomes
manipulative; learning early how to "turn on the
tears" to satisfy a
constant desire for attention.
Due to this jealousy, irritability and anger
develop, which promote
the younger sibling. The child, however,
maintains her typical
sweetness with others.
children may become
obstinate in order to secure the desired attention.
This is particularly true of
a phenomenon that only
angers most parents
further. The boy demands attention so strongly and
for so long that the parent finally become annoyed
and pushes him away, and may even hit the
"pestering" child. This causes the child to feel
even more abandoned and misunderstood.
Another peculiarity often noticed within the first
two months of a sibling being born, is that the
child will develop "real" physical illnesses,
usually of the
respiratory variety. An older child or an
may present with a health history revealing that the
which they have suffered for so many years began
soon after the birth of a sibling.
Regression is particularly acute in
children when they experience a
such as the birth of a sibling. There is a
growth and the attainment of maturity: they
will wet the bed after being "dry" for years.
Another child will begin to suck a thumb or exhibit
basic babylike behaviours.
The reaction to intense grief in the
adolescent may render them
They just sit in their rooms or mope around the
house. They respond monosyllabically: "Is something
wrong?" the parents ask. "No." "What happened?"
"Nothing." Self-pity engulfs them. This very
deep, morose state
can be especially
dangerous for a
Pulsatilla teenager. One must be
careful here that the child does not entertain
thoughts of suicide.
School is a big cause of stress for
children. They become
sad and forlorn
when an older sibling goes away to school.
Even so, when it comes time for them to go to
school, they are
afraid. When left off at school in the
morning by a parent, the children cry nonstop for
the first few days. This is followed by a
period of shyness
after which the teacher receives
compliance. If, however, a parent is late to
pick her up after school, she
fears that she has
been forgotten and begins to cry.
Although she may not be the most popular child in
the class, the
friends will be close to her. If
the child feels
emotionally destroyed. If for some reason she
believes a friend has slighted her, she will arrive
home with a tearstained face and near hysterics.
freely in the
child, especially in the form of sadness and tears,
which are expressed openly and with ease. Equally
striking is the ease with which these children,
boys and girls
alike, talk about their weeping. "I cry
because my feelings are hurt," said Alan without
hesitation or inhibition, as though weeping were a
natural language with which he communicated. It is
interesting to find
weeping in older boys, given that our society
has such strong mores prohibiting it.
The tears that so easily flow help the child both
physically and emotionally. The sympathy and
that he receives from
re-establishes the bonds of love so critical to his
These children are very
sensitive to pain,
and cry continuously when hurt until an adult picks
them up. Eight-year-old Betty was seen for recurrent
earaches and sinus infections. When ill she would
cry dramatically, running to her father to be picked
up. While the otitis media symptoms did not give any
special clues to the remedy, the intense sensitivity
to pain -- expressed in the form of
-- pointed to
Pulsatilla. After the remedy was given,
Betty's next earache was her last.
Six-year-old Tommy had gastroenteritis accompanied
by vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. The
symptoms of the case weighed equally between
The symptom that sent the verdict to
was that Tommy was ultrasensitive to the pain. He
had to be held and rocked to ameliorate the hurt. If
his mother left the room while his stomach was
hurting, he would yell for her until she returned.
It seems that the
emotions rule this child.
she becomes irresolute and
unable to make any
decision, trivial or important. When she goes
to a restaurant, she cannot decide what she wants to
eat, and the parents must make the choice for her.
She cannot make up her mind what to wear, may change
her clothing several times or ask the mother to pick
something out for her.
This irresoluteness, when pronounced in a boy, may
make him seem
effeminate and softer than his peers. He
gives in on most issues if there are differing or
louder opinions. The other boys at school may pick
on him. When teased at school he, more often than
not, will burst into tears, which only eggs on the
taunting children more.
Ten-year-old Nathan was seen for recurrent diarrhea.
When probed about his feelings, his mother
volunteered that he wept easily. Asked if this was
true, Nathan burst into tears, becoming
uncontrollable with loud, racking sobs. It was easy
to see that he had been told he was too old for this
type of behaviour, because he tried to cover his
mouth so that no one would see him crying
hysterically. "It is because my sister hurts my
feelings on purpose, calling me a sissy," he finally
managed to say.
What a dilemma in which the
boy finds himself, placed in our society and having
to stifle these
natural inclinations in order to conform to a sex
role. The basic psychology is that the
children act as they do from an insecure nature, the
fear of abandonment, indecisiveness, and easy,
Pulsatilla children have a sweet manner,
observable in their facial features, smiles and
gestures, of soft and pleasing voice. In many cases
there is a corresponding sweetness of heart.
Delicacy of feeling, consideration of others, and a
gentleness that restrains her from making any
comment likely to wound another's sensibilities all
The type is encountered in the "good," obliging
child who seeks approval and affection. She is not
prone to argue, nor does she anger easily, being
basically unaggressive. She helps out in the home
and is eager to be "mother's little helper" in
return for love and caresses.
The child also knows how to
affection. She comes up with hugs and kisses, climbs
in your lap, cuddles there and sits quitely without
wriggling and squirming. In her need to be
physically close to those she loved, she
instinctively assumes a sweet, acceptible manner.
She also possesses strong peacemaking instincts.
Both child and adult are inherently conciliatory and
will avoid a quarrel whenever possible. If a rupture
Pulsatilla will bend over backward to restore
harmony and even shoulder the blame, since she
relies on others' moods to be happy. Her apologies
are sincere and she yearns to be forgiven so as not
to suffer withdrawl of the affection she craves.
Pulsatilla characteristic is
In the young this dependence is manifested in actual
clinging: the child hangs on to her mother's skirt
in public. Even at home she may not venture two
steps away from the mother. And she cries when her
mother has to leave her. Carried to the extreme
(when ill) she may be virtually
boys may appear girlish in their behaviour: fearful
of the dark or of being left alone, whining and
crying easily. Although they usually outgrow this
stage, they may retain a certain softness throughout
life. These attributes, of course, are not always
A five-year-old boy came to the physician for
chronic earaches. He was a rambunctious, husky
little fellow with nothing of
in his looks or outward manner -- these boys being
usually fair, slender and gentle. So we are
surprised to hear from the mother that he defended
the very young children at the playground, being
known as their "guardian angel" and performing these
duties between turns at bat or during pauses in
games of kick-ball. If any youngster was teased or
mistreated, tears would well up in the boy's eyes
and, though he would not fight (Pulsatilla
children avoid physical skirmishes), he would hover
protectively over the offended party, guarding him
from future harm. This symptom suggested
which successfully cleared up his ear condition.
This boy was in no way soft or girlish. He just had
desire to care for smaller, weaker creatures. While
this trait is, understandably, found more frequently
in girls, many a boy doubtless suppresses this
aspect of his nature for fear of being considered a
dependence does at times, prevent her from maturing.
She may retain the characteristics of a child of
rather infantile character.
An important symptom is: "first serious impairment
of health begins at puberty" which is not surprising
in view of the nature's dependence. Puberty is the
first stage of true psychological emancipation from
the family, which
Pulsatilla does not seek. She does not fight
against her parents to assert her independence.
In her resistence to maturation, she acquires a host
of unexplained little aches and pains: last week in
the knee, yesterday in the head, tomorrow in the
abdomen. In this way she remains reliant on her
Like the meadow anemone which is swayed by every
passing breeze, the individual is blown one way and
another, revealing a habitual inability to make up
her mind on matters both large and small. In
choosing which flavor of ice cream, which Matchbox
car, or which doll to buy, the child goes through
agonies of indecision.
irresoluteness is also seen in the child who cannot
get down to the next day's homework, less from
laziness than from extreme hesitancy: which subject
should be done first -- math or history, English or
French? She sees reasons for and against each one
and ends up studying none of them unless firmly
directed, "Begin with the math." Then she starts
work obediently, almost gratefully.
emotionalism can be manifested in a tendency
to self pity.
The self-pitying note can even be detected in the
tone of a baby's cry. It is distinctly plaintive and
differs from the yell of a
baby. The snarling cry of a
baby makes one want to spank the child, while the
pitiful cry of
Pulsatilla makes one want to comfort and
Later the child may become a crybaby who whimpers
and whines a lot, or wails piteously from the
smallest scratch -- not so much from pain as from a
desire to be bandaged, kissed, and fussed over. The
slightly older child is easily discouraged, feels
insufficiently liked, is woulded by teasing, and
resorts to gentle tears whenever crossed or
reprimanded. The self pity is seen in the touchiness
of adolescents who are offended in a situation where
another would laugh.
Pulsatilla has a prepossessing and pleasing
nature, and when its softness and malleability are
combined with stronger qualities, they fulfill a
nice balancing function. Although mild and
Pulsatilla is by no means weak. There is
strength in a sociable and civilized disposition, a
sympathetic and sensitive attitude, and even in a
yielding and adaptable nature. After all, the
massive oak was laid low by the North Wind, not the
delicate but resilient Wind Flower.
Sulphur - Children's Constitutional Type
The head is often the site of skin eruptions
such as cradle cap or eczema. The rash turns
red any time the child is washed, and
the child screams from the irritation of the
There are definite
such eruptions. Soon after it
commences, the eruption begins to discharge
a yellow, watery pus that later crusts over.
The skin easily becomes infected, causing
pimples with the above-mentioned symptoms.
The head is quite
and the child often refuses to wear a hat.
profusely from the head.
A chief presenting complaint is often that
of frequent headaches. Migraines are
visual disturbances such as
flickering lights and halos around objects.
A common cause of headaches is
exertion. Some children say that they
get headaches from school. The headache
tends to throb and lying down in a darkened
room with the head slightly elevated on a
pillow will offer some relief.
influences the eyes, causing
dacryocystitis ["inflammation of the
lacrimal sac of the eye,"
conjunctivitis ["inflammation of the
mucous membrane covering the anterion
surface of the eyeball and lining the
Yasgur]. Dried, thick, yellow pus
coagulates and prevents the eyes from
opening in the morning, much like that found
Calcarea carbonica. There are,
however, a few differences. The inflammatory
Sulphur is very destructive to the
mucous membranes of the eye, whereas that of
carbonica tends to be more benign. In
become red, especially at the edge.
The eyes may feel or actually be extremely
and during infections are almost always
itchy. If the child is old enough, he
may report that it feels as if someone had
thrown sand in his eyes. With all this
sticky mucus and irritated, dry, hot eyes,
one would naturally assume that the child
would wish to cover the eyes with a damp
cloth. Not so. The
youngster screams and kicks as a warm or
cool wash cloth nears the eyes. Instead of
soothing the itch, water irritates every
little cut; instead of helping the burning
and stinging, the water brings as much
relief as applying tiny daggers might,
causing much additional pain.
A common time to observe this symptom
complex is during
types may also be similarly affected, but
the eyes will not be as irritated as they
Sulphur individuals, and the
eye complaints will be categorically
ameliorated by cold water applications.
One usually notices the
of the ears within the first few seconds of
Occasionally one prescribes
media. The following case describes
otitis. Ricky, a
child under chronic treatment, developed an
otitis with a thick, yellow,
offensive-smelling discharge that was
streaked with blood. After trying
to no effect, the intense redness of the ear
was noticed and the remedy
was prescribed, successfully ridding Ricky
of the problem.
Finally, the ears are often plagued by
either on them or behind them.
The nose may be affected in a similar manner
to the eyes, with discharges that
and redden the tip.
There is one very unusual thing about
that should be mentioned here. Occasionally
I meet a child who
his or her nose, even at eight or
nine years old. This is not because the nose
is blocked, but because of a lack of the
coordination needed to blow the nose; the
hapless youngster huffs and puffs and
tightens the chest, but can only manage to
pass a little air through the nose. This is
a very strange clue to
children to tuck away in the back of your
There are so
to the remedy written on the face of a
that it is often tempting not to elicit a
full case history at all and just give the
The first and most striking feature of the
face is the
redness of the eyes, ears, and lips.
At times the face may be pale, but as soon
as the child begins to laugh, cry, or become
excited, the red, ruddy glow suddenly
optimistic, happy nature of the child
can often be read on the face.
The next trait one notices is the
eruptions, such as acne, blackheads,
or eczema, that crop up easily in
patients, especially during
The acne becomes bright red or purplish when
the teenager exercises or after taking a hot
shower. These are not little eruptions, but
resemble angry red boils.
Babies may be prone to
[canker sores] that become bright red, the
color spreading much further than the actual
ulcer. In reaction to what is happening
inside the mouth, the lips become red,
chapped, and cracked, and may feel as if
they are on fire. The mouth is extremely
sore, making the child cry out in pain.
children, along with
clucking sounds when trying to
scratch an itchy upper palate with the
tongue, especially during bouts of hay
may guide us to the remedy as well, having a
bright red tip in some, while in others, red
edges join the red tip.
Throat and Neck:
It is not uncommon to have to
carbonica with regard to the
throat. The child may have
tonsillitis, with huge tonsils,
swollen glands, much post-nasal catarrh, and
stuffy sinuses. Since both remedies share
all these symptoms, a mistake may easily be
made here. The easiest way to tell a
is by how
bad the breath smells. There is a
decaying, rotting odor inside the
throat and tonsils have a
The bronchi and lungs are
involved; many parents of
offspring bring their children for the
treatment of asthma. When these children are
having breathing problems, there is a great
deal of perspiration on the face and extreme
fatigue. The asthma may alternate with or
follow a skin eruption, or follow a cold
that has dropped into the chest. The asthma
may also be triggered by household
allergies, especially exposure to mold or
is one of the most frequently
prescribed remedies for pneumonia, either
current or residual. The child becomes hot,
uncovering the legs or the whole body,
panting, and needing ventilation from an
open window to ease his or her breathing.
The fever attending the infection rises as
the day goes on. The child seems to cough
incessantly, bringing up green mucus as if
there is no end to the supply. A common
story is that the
child had pneumonia of the left lung and
then recovered slowly, but never totally
lost the cough.
There is a hard, dry, racking cough, which
finally yields a white or yellowish
expectoration. The cough is aggravated by
lying on the back,
being in a
warm room, or getting warm at night.
It is ameliorated in the open air.
Food Cravings and Aversions:
desire sweets, spicy foods like
dislike milk, having the same sorts
of reactions to it that
muriaticum does. The reaction can be
anything from gas, bloating, and
regurgitation to vomiting or diarrhea after
drinking the slightest amount of it. They
sour foods, and they strongly dislike
This helps to differentiate them from
carbonica, who love eggs.
children tend to be very
drinking large quantities of
water or soda pop. In fact, the
child with any health complaint will remain
thirsty, especially for ice-cold drinks.
Lack of appetite combined with much thirst
is a symptom frequently observed in many of
the child's acute illnesses and should be
remembered as a
Stomach symptoms found in practice belong to
groups of children. The first group
consists of those who are
hungry all the time. While they may
not like to eat breakfast, they eat
voraciously the rest of the day. Because
they often skip their morning meal, they are
particularly hungry from eleven o'clock
until noon. If the child is in school, by
ten or eleven o'clock she is feeling faint
and finding it hard to concentrate. She
hypoglycemic and hyperactive and,
therefore, more difficult to control.
group does not wish to eat much at
all. These children eat little snacks
throughout the day and then merely pick at
The rectum is the most
ill-affected portion of the digestive
tract. The healthy
child has very regular bowel movements,
sometimes having two or three (or more)
movements a day. The parents state that when
the child becomes ill, even with a
respiratory tract infection,
ensues. Diarrhea also develops quite easily
every time the child is on antibiotics.
The diarrhea is usually painless in itself
except for the excoriated anus it produces.
It is so
acrid as to redden the anus and make
the skin raw. The parents of some children
report that the child's buttocks are
red to the point that sleeping,
walking, and sitting are extremely
uncomfortable. This rawness can make the
child very irritable and peevish. The child
is very cross and cries, and does not wish
to be talked to, touched or held.
One may find
constipation rather than diarrhea.
The hard stools that are passed with
difficulty cause burning, stinging, and
itching of the anus. In
carbonica children the constipation
may be painless, whereas in
it tends to be so painful that the child
refuses to move his bowels for fear of the
pain it will bring.
A final observation is that the entire area
around the anus, as well as the underwear,
can be messy and
even in older children. Personal hygiene is
not high on the list of
Boys: The history elicited may contain many
inflammation of the penis. The
genitals, like the anus, may smell bad on
examination due to
personal hygiene. The mother states
that the child tends to develop
all over the area.
Girls, likewise, tend to develop
mild infections of the vaginal area.
Improper wiping after stool is the most
common causative factor. They must always be
reminded to wipe front to back, not back to
front, which so easily spreads bacteria to
the vaginal area.
The extremities are quite
The children walk about barefoot even in the
winter and stick their feet out of the
covers at night. Parents often complain of
foot sweats in their little ones.
Sulphur complaint is
the hands, palms, soles, elbows, and knees
that is red and itchy.
may also be thought of as one of the four
main remedies for
the ankles. This weakness causes
turning of the ankles or "pigeon-toed"
The skin is perhaps the
affected body part in
eruption can be of any type from scales,
hives, boils and pustules to vesicles and
scabs. The eruption is almost always
wet. If the child gets a scratch or cut, or
is bitten by an insect, the skin locally
turns purple and aften develops an
There is a poor recuperative and
regenerative ability of the skin that makes
both eruptions and surface injuries slow to
heal, and leads the child from one skin
infection to another.
All these eruptions have some common
characteristics. They all
intensely, especially when the child
becomes heated. Burning is also common,
especially after scratching or bathing.
eruptions do not do well after bathing.
is the main remedy to think of for
eruptions. For example, if the child
had an acute or chronic rash to which a
salve or drug was applied, and the eruption
disappeared shortly before the onset of
asthma, bronchitis, diarrhea, or mood
changes, a suppression of the disease has
probably been accomplished. This is such a
common occurrence that many parents will not
remember it without persistent questioning.
Treating diaper rash, eczema, and psoriasis
with strong topical medications is the norm
these days, so such histories must be
Finally, the remedy
should be considered for
neonate will have the typical diarrhea
described above as well as skin that itches
intensely. As they cannot yet scratch
themselves, they love to have a parent run a
hand up and down the body.
They may have a great amounts of
night and do not wish to sleep at
all. They will be up running around, jumping
and doing acrobatics to burn off the last
stores of that day's energy.
Sleeping positions on
side or abdomen are usually
preferred. They sleep
tossing and turning, and may awaken every
hour or so after one or two o'clock in the
Most of the children will be the "early
birds" in the family, waking up at
dawn to read or watch television.
after eating lunch.
General Characteristics (Herscu):
(a) The child is extremely
warm-blooded. They like to play
outside and dislike remaining in a warm
house all day.
(b) The next strong
sign is the body type. While some resemble
Calcarea carbonica type, being round
and plump, they will be much more robust and
ruddy than the typical
carbonica. Most of the children,
however, become taller and thinner than the
rest of their age group, stretching out from
the chubby toddler they once were.
(c) These children hate to get into the
bath, screaming and kicking all the way to
(d) Another situation where the remedy
can be invaluable is
vaccinations. There are some patients
who improve quite nicely with a remedy until
vaccinated. Then the case begins to unravel.
If one elicits keynotes of
in such cases, if will often as not put
things back in order.
(e) Skin eruptions accompanied by intense
itching and burning pains, as well as
offensive-smelling discharges from
practically anywhere on the body are
Mental/Emotional Characteristics (Herscu):
In the waiting room the
child is typically
the office exploring everything,
touching the pictures, pulling toys off the
shelves, and generally making a mess of the
reception area. If the child has any fear,
it is easily overwhelmed by this
curiosity. Upon entering the
reception area, the doctor may find the
child speaking to the secretary, asking
about the telephone or the computer, wanting
to know how it works and what all the wires
Sulphur child is on the floor playing
with other children, it can be observed that
he is in
charge of the play. It is also
evident from the interaction with these new
children that the
no fear, but is rather good at clear,
Looking at the child, one can see that he is
not accustomed to being personally neat, as
his clothes are
his shirttails are hanging out, and his hair
is flying in all directions.
Already the doctor has formed certain
conclusions about this child and, by
children in general. They are curious and
without fear of strangers. They can make
contact with others quickly and gain their
trust. They are messy; but what is more,
they do not care a bit about their
appearance. Along similar lines, they do not
care about the doctor's property. The child
may have to be forced by a parent to put all
the toys away. When the child finally does
comply, he simply picks up a pile of toys
and dumps them in a heap in the closest
children tend to fall into one of
categories of temperaments:
happy-go-lucky, irritable, hyperactive, or
Most common is the
happy-go-lucky, smiling type. I
remember eight-year-old Melinda slouching in
her chair, chewing gum and swinging her legs
back and forth vigorously, as her legs were
not long enough to touch the ground. She
seemed very relaxed even though it was her
first visit to my office. When I asked who
the patient was, the girl volunteered, "Meeeeee!
I am the patient," before her mother could
answer. Melinda's mother stated that the
child was happy and easygoing.
With a smile and a winsome personality, and
questions that are thought-provoking even
for adults, the child leaves a
positive impression. The
energy, on the verge of exuberance, always
It is this
exuberance coupled with a strong sense of
self-centeredness that allows a
to both wish to and truly be able to impress
others. This is observed in many ways, from
informing the receptionist all about a new
toy she just got, to telling the doctor she
won an award at school, to directing the
attention of other waiting patients to the
blocks she just stacked.
being the center of attention. Even
is he is not the actual patient but rather
the sibling of one, he may come up and pull
at the sleeve of the doctor and say, "You
know what?" He just
wish to be left out.
The second type of
type, have a
attitude toward practically
everything. They complain about household
chores, that nobody appreciates them; they
seem dissatisfied with everything. Toddlers
peevish and irritable, screaming so
long and loudly that it is difficult to
quiet them down.
Children may become quite
and may slap, hit, bite or pull the hair of
the mother, or abuse animals when upset. It
should be stressed that this irritable type
rarest form of
hyperactive child is commonly cured
with a prescription of
The child has a great amount of
unstoppable by parents and teachers alike.
all the rules of home and school,
becoming more unruly and disobedient before
the blood sugar level drops.
They nag to be let out to play, crying
louder and louder, their faces quickly
becoming crimson, pestering the mother
nonstop until she hits them or until they
win the struggle. It is amazing how quickly
the crying stops as soon as he has what he
wanted. He immediately becomes his lovable
self again and
hold any resentment. The fact that
the parent is now in a rage or distraught is
meaningless; he has his candy or toy, which
is all that counts.
child can be quite different from other
muriaticum. Such children are very
answering questions with well-thought-out,
intellectually oriented youngsters
tend to have few close friends, unlike the
gregariousness of other
types. They may love to read about faraway
places, indulge in endless science fiction
books and movies, or even pore over
technical manuals on computers, farm
equipment, or airplane mechanics. Boys
commonly spend time making airplane models
and meticulously arranging baseball card
When they become upset they may wish to be
not be consoled. All of these traits
often mislead one to think of
muriaticum, especially since most of
the physical general symptoms are the same
for both remedies. However, as the patient
talks, the doctor may notice
posture. Then the doctor elicits the
information that the child is
instead of neat. As one delves deeper into
the case, another differentiating point to
look for is that these children are not
overly sensitive to any grief in their lives
and that they do not hold grudges at all,
forgiving and forgetting easily. The
Sulphur is also more
and condescending than one would find in a
muriaticum, and is able to
directly at the doctor for longer
periods of time.
children are usually born with a
natural intelligence: an ability to
quickly and integrate new information. With
this innate intelligence comes the
and desire to explore new situations.
As a result, the child appears very bright
in comparison to other children who, due to
shyness, reservation, or the fear of new
situations, are slower to experiment and
This intelligent youth often assumes the
position in a group. While other children
may wish to be leaders, it is
children who glide effortlessly into such
roles. They love the position and feel
secure in it.
There is a strong degree of
self-determination in these children.
They are strongly
and have the audacity to tell any adult what
their wishes are in no uncertain terms.
children then, are
independent. One finds four-year-olds
who demand to wash and dress themselves.
They like to do everything by following
their own schedules and on their own terms.
A three-year-old girl was the only child who
talked back to her parents out of a family
of four children.
The child touches everything. It is this
inquisitiveness that is partially
responsible for the "messiness"
of the child, who quickly figures out the
workings of a toy, object, or game and them
goes on to the next one. There is a degree
abandon in this disorder as opposed
to other remedy types who can be wantonly
destructive. One feels almost guilty for
child's exploration of the office. This
little demolition expert makes the doctor
feel like a "stick in the mud" for
curtailing the happy child's fun.
children, however, do tend to have a dirty
and messy appearance. Their clothes, hair,
and their rooms are typically dirty,
unkempt, and disordered, and they
do not mind.
It is as if the grooming impulse and
personal hygiene gene is missing from these
If one looks past the cuteness, past the
curiosity, one can discern a
self-centered child who
care about others' feelings or possessions.
The messiness in these children is just one
facet of the personality that reflects an
attitude that others do not really count --
that other's opinions about their habits do
not count. The child tracks mud into the
house, puts dirty shoes on the furniture,
and seems immune to repeated reprimands.
They devour the last piece of cake, drain
the orange juice pitcher, or snitch the last
candy bar from the cupboard. They do not do
this out of meanness but rather out of only
thinking of their own needs.
Thus far we have seen the sharpness of the
mental processes. Some children who need the
Sulphur can also enter into the
opposite state of
lethargy, and lack of concentration.
It appears to be a sort of
breakdown that often first begins
just before lunchtime and then gradually
generalizes to the entire day. The teacher
tells the parents that at eleven o'clock in
the morning the child begins to prop her
head up in her hands with the elbows on the
desk, gazing out blankly with almost crossed
eyes due to weakness and lack of
They then begin to daydream frequently and
stop doing well in school. They come home
from school and lie around, listen to music
or watch television. Instead of their
previous top grades, they now seem not to
care. Since they have an innate mental
agility, they easily take tests without
studying and receive adequate marks. As they
enter the higher grades, the information
becomes too complex to pass tests without
studying. They no longer do their homework,
and instead will try to "cram"
for the test the night before or to
outright. Anything goes for these once
precocious children as long as they do not
have to strain their mental faculties.
Parents report that their children have poor
concentration, lack ambition, and never
finish chores. The children may try to bluff
their way through life with a keen sense of
humor. They no longer care about external
demands on their mentality, since it has
become more difficult to concentrate.
Instead, more time is spent on
activity. It is important to think of
this laziness not as a conscious choice to
slack off, but as an actual dulling of the
mind. A prescription of the remedy
can do wonderful work here.
The most common fear is of
These children may also have the well-known
members. If a parent does not come
home on time, they begin to imagine the
worst and will fret and worry.
child's aggressive unwillingness to
cooperate, attributed to selfishness, is
actually generated more by an extreme
independence and resentment of outside
interference. "I want to do it my own way!"
he insists. "By myself, by myself!" he cries
angrily, pushing away help as he struggles
to tie his shoe laces or attempts some other
can also be materialistic. "What's mine is
mine, and what's yours is negotiable." At an
early age the child can be quite ferocious
in snatching away toys from others while
protecting his own tenaciously. "It's
mine!... Don't touch!" The remedy was once
successfully prescribed for this reason to
an eighteen-month-old boy with a complicated
respiratory tract infection: while sitting
in his mother's lap he tugged at her
earrings and shouted "Mine... mine" with an
angry and determined expression on his face.
At times, however, the reverse is
encountered. Instead of grabbing, babies
will insistently thrust a toy or rattle into
another's hand. An older child will approach
whomever he had taken a fancy to and
generously hand over his book or stuffed
animal in the same assertive manner. Thus,
the extremes of selfishness and generosity
are strangely encountered in this remedy.
grows older, he or she begins to
things: rocks, shells, stamps, matchboxes,
baseball cards, dolls, or tiny china
animals. They are by instinct pack rats.
The child is extremely pleased with his
possessions. He is proud of them, talks of
them, displays them. However cluttered and
messy his room, he knows exactly where
everything is and cannot bear having
anything moved. The pockets of a younger
boy will be stuffed with his favorite
A vivid illustration was the eczematous
three-year-old who walked into the
physician's office with five -- not one, but
five -- pacifiers in his possession: one in
his mouth, one tightly clenched in each
fist, and the remaining two dangling from
each arm where he could see them. If any of
the five disappeared, he would fly into a
passion. This situation called for
Soon after receiving a course of the remedy
his eczema started to resolve and he decided
to give "all"
the pacifiers away to Santa Claus. "Will he
come [it was July] to get them?" However,
Sulphur, he wanted an electric train
During his boyhood stage
loves swapping his goods and seldom emerges
the loser in these transactions. The child
may have an astonishing money sense, having
a sharp eye for bargains and insisting that
his parents shop accordingly. Here again,
however, the reverse is encountered in the
child who will happily trade a camera or a
new BB gun for an irresistible sack of
worthless old toys and feel proud about it.
The child hates to part with any object,
even the most useless because, "Who knows?
-- some day it might come in handy." He
resents lending even the most easily
replacable things. This need for tactile
contact with his possessions, keeping them
on his person or within reaching distance,
is a particular
The "heated" or eruptive nature of
can be seen clearly in both the physical and
mental spheres. The infant is active,
restless, and colicky. He is always hungry
and continually on the go, fussing against
whatever holds him back or holds him still.
He may lie awake crying at night, wanting to
be fed and amused, then sleep most of the
day. One of these night-time babies, a
five-month-old boy, was brought to the
homeopath for a severe case of diaper rash.
The skin on his buttocks and groin was not
only raw, raised, bright red and
shiny-tight, but also cracked and so
inflamed that the heat could be felt a foot
away. How the baby could stand this was a
mystery, but he was a tough little fellow
Sulphur often is) with a demanding
but basically sanguine disposition. He
received three doses of the remedy at
twelve-hour intervals. Not only did the rash
begin to subside immediately, disappearing
completely in a few days, but his inner
clock was also changed. Thereafter, he began
to sleep at night and do his playing and
nursing during the day.
hates being washed, dressed, put to bed, or
seated at the table. They may not be able to
sit through a meal. Later in school they
cannot sit quietly at their desks. Sitting
still, and especially
still, are intolerable.
As the boy grows older, noise-making and
movement continue to be intrinsic to his
nature: slamming doors, tumbling downstairs,
loud shouting, fidgeting about, and making
noise for its own sake. Adults are
constantly telling him, "Keep quiet! Be
still! Sit down!" or "Stop it!" But
needs to be active. He loves to be
outside playing ball, riding his bicycle,
and engaging in various strenuous
Some boys must always be talking. Often they
are only quiet when listening to music. Even
here, however, the music must be stimulating
and loud. He also likes his books, movies,
and television programs to be full of
excitement, fast action, and lively
The disposition can be fiery and pugnacious.
They are not necessarily obnoxious -- just
obstreperous and constantly asserting
themselves. In fact, they may be remarkably
uncomplaining, possessing the positive,
buoyant outlook of those two charming
immortals, Tom Sawyer and Dennis the Menace.
They emanate heat, but, like fire, also
The maturing lively boy may turn his
creative energies to troublemaking, with a
most disruptive influence on the class. In
contrast, the boy who is the social core of
the class is also frequently a
He is still making waves, but in a
constructive way, by manifesting his
Given the heat-emitting and
commotion-causing qualities of this remedy,
it is hardly surprising that
is the "ace of spades" of homeopathic
The head provides a number of
clues to this prescription. The
first clue is that these
children are often born with
a large amount of long hair on
the scalp and on the back.
Most parents remember this hair,
as it is not very common for
babies to be so hirsute,
especially down the center of
These children develop
ringworm of the scalp very
easily. The eruption causes
circular patches of hair to fall
The third clue is that these
children often strike their
heads. Some strike their
heads against a wall or the
floor when they are mad. Others
do it during a headache. The
most common time, however, is
during attempts to sleep, when
they burrow their heads into the
pillow or hit their heads
against the pillow or mattress
as a way to relax.
Headaches can be caused by
studying or by reading or
watching television for too
long. The headache may begin
with visual disturbances
like those found in Natrum
muriaticum, Sulphur, and
zigzags, and lights.
Occasionally, the child notices
that everything he looks at just
before a headache strikes has a
blue tinge to it. This is
very confirmatory of
Tuberculinum. Also, as in
Phosphorus and Lycopodium,
the headache may be preceded by
a feeling of severe emptiness of
the stomach and an intense
The headaches are severe,
with so much pain that it
typically leaves the little
patient ravaged for days
An interesting, though rare,
observation is that these
children sometimes sweat
profusely, especially from
the scalp and forehead, during a
headache. This is only peculiar
to a few remedy types and so may
be used to confirm the remedy.
Just as these children are often
born with long hair on the head,
they are also born with long,
full, beautiful eyelashes.
The child has a twinkle
or brightness in the eyes like
that found in Phosphorus.
The sclera [the white of
the eye] may have a blue
hue. These children are often
born with strabismus,
astigmatism, or weak eye
muscles that give rise to
weakness of accommodation such
as myopia, all of which cause
the child to develop headaches
Eczema may occur on the
eyelids. The children who
develop upper respiratory
infections also develop blue
allergic "shiners" around
The adenoids enlarge easily,
children to develop chronic
fluid in the ears. These
children develop recurrent
ear infections in which the
ear becomes red and painful,
making the victims cry before
the eardrum finally and
inevitably ruptures. The ear
then discharges thick, yellow
pus. Sometimes this discharge
develops into a chronic
condition with a thin, white
discharge that lasts for months.
The nose is affected in two
ways. Nosebleeds occur
from overheating, exertion,
fevers, sleep, or from the
slightest blow to the nose. The
other problem is the ease with
children contract colds. These
frequent colds begin when cold,
wet weather passes through the
area. Others develop chronic
coryza after they drink milk
The child who has allergies
wakes up with a stuffy nose that
stays stuffy until he goes
outside to play. Then the nose
begins to run with a clear
mucus, just as it does in
Authentic coryza begin with the
production of thick, yellow
mucus that extends to the ears,
sinuses, and lungs.
The face is often pale,
or pale with patches of
ruddiness, especially on the
The face may have terrible
acne in the teenager, almost
to the point of boils. The
central line of the face (the
nose, chin, and central
forehead) is most affected.
perspires quite easily on
the face, noted most during
exertion or sleep.
The child may be born with
anomalies, such as cleft
palate or a small dental arch.
The teeth are greatly
affected. First is the
curious fact that the child may
be born with too many sets
of teeth. In most, the teeth are
too crowded and will not
align properly along the dental
line, so that some of the teeth
will lay in front of or behind
the others. Commonly seen are
teeth that are severely
These children grind their
teeth in their sleep; if a
child is old enough to have
worked at it for a while, the
teeth may be ground down and
(h) Throat and Neck:
The throat may show large
tonsils from repeated or chronic
tonsillitis or any respiratory
infection (even if the child
does not currently have an
infection but tends to contract
them), one will be able to
palpate all the cervical lymph
nodes, as they will be large and
indurated. The nodes of the neck
will feel like a chain of
The chest is greatly affected
in these children, just as might
be expected from the remedy's
namesake. Afflictions vary from
physical deformities to acute or
chronic infections. The chest
may be narrow and long or take
the form of a pigeon chest or a
funnel chest. The shape
of the chest and rapid growth
during adolescence often lead to
chest pains, felt as stitches
whenever there is exertion.
(j) Weak Lungs:
Lung problems may begin from the
first day of life. Some of these
children are born with fluid
in the lungs. Most catch
colds frequently that drop into
the lungs and settle into a
persistent cough. The health
history commonly reveals
repeated and frequent bouts of
bronchitis, croup, whooping
cough, pleurisy, or
bronchopneumonia. A child
seems to recover from one
attack, retaining perhaps only a
lingering cough, only to
suddenly develop a new
There are a few symptoms
common to all these
respiratory infections. The
child has a high fever in the
evening that is accompanied by a
red face, profuse perspiration,
and very swollen, hard cervical
develop chronic coughs
due to a little tickle in
the back of the throat. Weakness
of the lungs precludes the
ability to recuperate
completely, and so the children
maintain this cough. Parents
might add that it is always
there but that sometimes it gets
worse. Such a cough becomes more
noticeable after playing outside
in cold air. Once an acute cough
is fully developed, however, it
is aggravated in a warm room and
eased somewhat in the fresh,
Tuberculinum is one of
the best remedies to give during
pneumonia with chills,
nausea, vomiting, and high
fevers that recur in the
afternoon, and where there is a
distinctly red face. The
coughing fits that accompany the
pneumonia typically begin in the
afternoon and consist of dry,
painful coughs that make the
child cry. Headaches also
prevail at these times.
The lungs of the pneumonia
patient are full of mucus
that makes breathing difficult,
causing shortness of breath and
wheezing. This is especially the
case when lying down at night.
While much mucus can be heard in
the rattling breathing, the
child may not be able to bring
it up. Sufferers cough and
cough, moaning with the pain of
They perspire profusely all over
with this illness, most
especially on the face. They
constantly grind their teeth.
They desire cold water during
coughing fits. Diarrhea
develops, as well as bone aches
throughout the body.
The remedy Tuberculinum
is also helpful for children who
have had pneumonia that never
fully resolved and left them
with the type of ongoing cough
described here and a tendency
for recurring bouts of
These children may also develop
asthma quite easily. It may be
the allergic variety, set off by
animal fur or by pollen and
grasses. It may follow an acute
infection such as pneumonia or
come on during a simple cold.
(m) Food Cravings and
They strongly crave cold milk
and spicy meats such as
ham, bacon, sausages, and
salami, especially if these are
smoked. Many have a
strong desire for sweets,
salt, spices, eggs, butter,
peanut butter, yogurt, and
macaroni and cheese.
About a third to a half of
Tuberculinum children are
averse to eating meat as well as
In Tuberculinum cases the
main clue is the strong
desire for cold milk,
some children drinking gallons a
day. They also have a high
thirst for cold water, even if
they themselves are chilly.
Children tend toward poor
nutrient absorption or a fast
metabolic rate. This can be
recognized by the fact that they
can eat as much as an adult but
not gain any weight.
Like Phosphorus and
Tuberculinum youngsters may
have an increased appetite
before or during a headache,
feeling an emptiness in the
stomach that must be filled with
If present, constipation
is usually quite severe, with
the stools becoming very hard
and consisting of little balls.
It is accompanied by colic.
The more common complaint,
though, is diarrhea. The
thin Tuberculinum child
may suffer from lactase
deficiency, causing profuse
diarrhea every time milk
is taken. In other children,
there may appear to be no reason
for the diarrhea. The common
history elicited from the
parents is that the child has
recurrent bouts of diarrhea that
last for one, two, or even three
months; for some children this
type of stool gets to be the
norm. Diarrhea may accompany any
illness, but especially
respiratory disease and fevers.
The loose stools often persist
long after the illness has
The specific symptoms of the
diarrhea may remind one of
Sulphur. It occurs mainly in
the morning when the
child wakes up, forcing the
child to run to the bathroom.
The stool is painlessly and
explosively expelled without
effort. This is common with
Sulphur and may lead the
doctor to mistakenly prescribe
it. After the remedy does not
work and the case is reanalyzed,
it will be realized that the
stools do not have the
Sulphur odor, nor do they
excoriate the anus as one would
expect to find with that remedy.
(p) Urogenital System:
Enuresis: The remedy
Tuberculinum is the best
friend that the parents of a bed
wetter can have. This remedy has
cured more children of the
than any other remedy in the
materia medica. The problem may
be lifelong or have only begun
after an acute illness.
For most children the cause of
the problem is that they
cannot rouse themselves from a
deep sleep to get up and go
to the bathroom. It is commonly
found that after the remedy has
acted the sleep is not as
profound and the child will
awaken if needed.
Boys tend to
masturbate from the early
age of four or five years.
Embarrassed parents mention that
the child either masturbates or
is always touching his genitals
and can maintain an erection.
Girls: Even from menarche
the girls develop
dysmenorrhea before the
period, complaining of severe
cramps, backaches, and swelling
of the breasts. It is
interesting to note that the
pains increase with the flow.
This is unusual as most women
experience relief as the flow
Some thin, emaciated-looking
girls do not begin to menstruate
at the normal age. They can
get to be fourteen or fifteen
years and still not show any
sign of approaching menarche.
These girls begin to lose weight
in their teens, have slow
comprehension, and develop one
respiratory disease after
another. The problem is not so
much the menstrual cycle or the
lack of it, but rather a deep
constitutional disorder that may
first make itself known at the
expected time of menarche.
Along with pigeon or funnel
chest, there may also be
scoliosis. Teenagers may
complain that their backs hurt
whenever they stand for too long
and feel better if they walk
about or play.
One may observe out of the
corner of an eye that the feet
and legs are restless during the
interview. The child kicks
the legs vigorously from the
The child may have
deformities of the limbs.
The children may be bowlegged or
have weak ankles that frequently
turn. Looking at the fingers and
toes, one may notice that they
are deformed and crooked, turned
medially or laterally. It is
incredible to watch these
crippled digits straighten out
over a period of months with the
prescription of Tuberculinum.
There may be abnormally slow
bone growth. There may be no
apparent problem during the
first few years. However, as the
child continues to grow older,
X-ray examination will reveal
that the child is falling behind
in bone development.
Alternately, the child may
undergo rapid bone growth
accompanied by many problems in
overall health. With every
growth spurt, the tall, thin
person grows weaker and more
lethargic, with problems such as
a runny nose, swollen glands,
tonsillitis, and aching joints.
The child just lies around
watching television until the
growth reaches a plateau.
toenails may split or peel
easily, be plagued by hangnails,
or become ingrown.
The child perspires from the
feet, especially at night.
Tuberculinum is one of
the common remedies for
juvenile arthritis. The
pains and stiffness are
aggravated by damp weather, a
change of weather, sitting or
standing for too long, rest, and
first motion after rest. They
are ameliorated by continued
motion and heat. Children with
arthritis wake up stiff and
feeling crippled until they move
The pains wander and are
accompanied by swelling, heat
and redness. After the
inflammation stops, the joint
remains large and becomes
externally pale looking. This
apparent cessation of the
arthritic process only seems to
prompt another joint to go
through the same sequence of
As mentioned before, the health
history may contain the fact
that the child was born
hirsute. This is a big
keynote for the remedy.
Looking at the child's skin, one
finds it is pale, thin,
delicate, and has a translucent
This type of skin is very
susceptible to ringworm,
making Tuberculinum the
main remedy for this condition.
The overall allergic
predisposition of the child
may show itself on the skin as
well as in the respiratory
system. The child may develop
Eczema also readily
develops. Some Tuberculinum
children have eczema from birth.
The eczema and hives have common
modalities: the itching is
intense at night, as it is in
cold air or during cold, wet
weather, and is especially
intense when the child is
undressing for the night. The
most beneficial palliative is
In general, the Tuberculinum
child perspires easily.
These children develop fevers
very easily. Tuberculinum
is the main remedy to consider
for a fever of unknown origin.
The fevers usually begin to rise
at three or four o'clock
in the afternoon and continue
into the night, dropping in the
morning and rising once again in
the afternoon. Perspiration
is evident all over the body,
but especially on the head. The
face becomes very red. A great
thirst for cold water is
Even though the child is tired
he may find it hard to fall
asleep both from physical
restlessness and an inability to
calm the mind. He may need to
rock to sleep or bang his head
rhythmically on the pillow until
he fades away.
children do fall asleep, they
usually sleep quite deeply -- so
deeply, in fact, that they often
lose the inhibition against
wetting the bed and urinate.
This is a common symptom for
Tuberculinum. The sleep may
be so deep that the child does
not wake up when a parent
carries him to the bathroom or
even while urinating there.
Almost all of these youngsters
grind their teeth during
sleep. Many also experience
severe night sweats.
often wake up slowly and
unrefreshed, but eventually
they feel okay. However, of one
wakes them up or if they are
pushed in the slightest in the
morning, one will find their
tempers very difficult to
handle. If the child is allowed
to approach the parent, then
everything is fine.
(a) Tuberculinum may be
called for in the case of a
child exhibiting only a few
keynote symptoms of the remedy,
plus a family history of
tuberculosis. This remedy may
also be considered for cases in
which a disease recurs over and
over again. There is a weakness
that not only prevents acute
conditions from ending quickly
but also brings out
constitutional symptoms with
every acute attack. It is this
underlying weakness that forms
the basis for understanding this
remedy type, similar to that
discussed in the chapter on
(b) The child is negatively
affected by changes in weather
such as those coming before a
storm, at the onset of cold, wet
weather, and in fog and drafts.
Ironically, the child tends to
be chilly yet prefers the cool,
fresh air even though it may
aggravate the physical
complaints. Their ideal,
preferred environment is cool,
dry, mountain air.
(c) Complaints often change
location from one body
system to another, and are never
completely eradicated from the
(d) Tuberculinum should
also come to mind for the
congenital anomalies and
illnesses that seem to be
plaguing humanity ever more
(e) One commonly finds retarded
with large heads, swollen
glands, and bone anomalies who
have constant upper respiratory
problems. After taking the
remedy, they seem to brighten up
and become healthier.
Mental and emotional states
are often the leading
qualities that lead to a
prescription of the remedy
Tuberculinum. As with all
remedy types, the state of the
mental faculties will often be
the first clue that the child
needs this particular remedy,
although this may not be the
reason that the parents bring
the child in for a consultation.
A proportion of these children
may be born with mental
handicaps ranging from mild
learning difficulties to severe
mental retardation. Mental or
emotional retardation is often
accompanied by many other
disorders or physical
Within the wide range of
mental difficulties, on the
less affected side of the
spectrum we find children who
merely find it exhausting to
apply themselves to a lesson
or project. Though the mental
aptitude to work at a certain
level may be there, the child
has a weak ability to
concentrate on the task at hand.
The strain of focusing on the
task, of sitting and doing the
work, is too great.
Some develop headaches from
studying or concentrating
for too long. Because study can
easily lead to physical
aggravation, the child becomes
averse to taking on mental
activities. Homework is an
agonizing topic for many
Tuberculinum children. The
parents may state that the child
absolutely cannot, or will not,
sit still long enough to do an
Another common scenario of the
Tuberculinum child who
excels in school until befallen
with a severe illness. Then the
spark with which she studied and
concentrated flickers out. The
parental description is that
"ever since she had pneumonia,
she just cannot study,
concentrate or comprehend the
way she used to."
The memory becomes affected,
forcing them to read a chapter
or learn numbers or letters over
and over again. After taking the
proper remedy, the child will be
able to concentrate and learn
much more easily. The degree
and depth of amelioration varies
greatly, so parental
optimism needs to be tempered
with actual class reports from
teachers who, unaware of the
homeopathic treatment, have
noticed significant academic
Restlessness is an
important feature of the
behaviour. There is an odd
dissatisfaction with whatever he
is currently doing, which
manifests in a desire to move,
to change positions, to ramble
from room to room and from toy
to toy. In church, the parents
must struggle to keep the child
These hyperactive children are
noisy, screaming when upset or
when they want someone's
immediate attention. They are
also loud in general, repeating
things over and over.
the main group of hyperactive
children that responds to
changes in the diet. Like
Lycopodium and Sulphur
types, they react intensely
to sugar. But for
Tuberculinum children, it is
especially dairy products
that trigger impulsive,
restless, and malicious
behaviour. After eating cheese
or drinking milk they often end
up breaking things and hitting
Many parents can tell the moment
offspring is at all under the
weather because the amount and
intensity of basic energy
expended is greatly reduced.
During a respiratory illness she
will become lethargic and weak.
She will need to sleep long
hours or lie in bed all day --
almost the opposite energy
expression of her usual self.
These restless juveniles, like
Tuberculinum adults, may
love to travel. The
parents of such a child state
that he likes to go to new
places all the time. The most
common way to elicit this is by
asking about car rides. A
usually nasty, irritable
Tuberculinum child may
become quite agreeable,
attentive, and playful during a
ride in the car. The ride
fulfills an inner desire for
Many Tuberculinum babies
seem to be born irritable
and angry, crying and being very
fussy, especially on first
awakening. The children exhibit
or destructive tendencies early
and to an extreme degree.
These strong negative tendencies
may remain hidden until the
child has an acute illness. The
child with a high fever may
become totally uncontrollable in
the office: kicking, screaming,
hitting, and pushing the mother
or father away. "This is
unusual," apologizes the parent
for a usually well-behaved
They have fits of irritability
that lead to temper tantrums.
During these tantrums it is
common for the child to pound
his fists and feet on the floor
or strike his head on the floor
or wall. This "head thumping"
is very characteristic of this
remedy, as is the strong
aversion the child has to being
touched when having one of these
Contrariness is also
noted with great regularity; the
child is negative. "Let's
have supper." "No!" "Let's go
There is an intolerance to
contradiction that makes the
child violently angry. The
contrariness and quarrelsome
nature, for which this remedy is
well known, leads to the
aggressive fighting behaviour
often seen in these children.
When corrected, the
Tuberculinum child may
tighten his lips, clench his
fists, and then explode. This
type of child opposes another's
every decision. This is the
child who disobeys for no
apparent reason, deliberately
doing what is not allowed.
Parents may complain that it is
a constant power struggle over
every issue at home. "It does no
good to punish him. If is spank
him, he slaps me back." Or, "If
I punish him, he seems to be
unaware of it and continues to
act the same way. He is so
Mood and behaviour can change
quickly. A parent often
describes the child as
unpredictable, expressing a
wide range of responses, even is
very similar situations. One
time the child will comply with
a request. The same request on
another day may trigger a temper
tantrum. This unpredictability
can drive parents to
distraction. The child suffers
internally, not really
knowing what she wants. Yet
she knows that she needs
something, something other than
what she has.
violence should always make one
think of Tuberculinum.
One finds both self-destructive
behaviour and disruptiveness
This violence may begin
after a bout with an
acute illness. "Now," one
mother reported, "my son Nate is
whiny and nothing seems to
please him. He has become strong
willed, wanting everything his
way. If he does not get it, he
quickly becomes angry, making
fists and hitting people for
little reason." Such dramatic
changes in the ability to deal
with authority, especially after
an illness, should always make
one consider the remedy
Lodged deeply within the psyche
of these children is an eye
for an eye mentality. If
they are hit, they hit back as a
matter of course. If thwarted,
they lash out at the offending
person directly or indirectly.
For example, the child may wait
on purpose, dillydally, and
waste time dressing just to
perturb the parents by ruining
their plans. Another method of
irritating offending persons is
by intentionally ruining their
belongings. They destroy books,
presents, favorite plants -- in
short, anything that is
cherished by the other.
These children break things
easily, repeatedly, and with
enjoyment. Breaking things is
one way to release tension.
Younger children love to sit and
destroy a magazine or newspaper
in the middle of the floor of
the waiting room. If a sibling
builds a model, the
Tuberculinum child will
break it. It is as if they are
relieved of some mental anguish
when they demolish something.
The family pet commonly takes
the brunt of a Tuberculinum
child's temperament. It is very
common to hear that the child
enjoys choking the animal,
pulling the tail, pulling the
hair a little too roughly while
petting, dragging the pet on the
ground, etc. There is a
malicious character to this
remedy type. The parents often
fear for their child's future.
"What will he be like when he is
sixteen?" is a frequent anxious
The children may also enjoy
teasing others in a
mischievous way. Their
pranks can be playful or have an
edge of destructiveness. For
example, the child may hide toys
of books that a sibling wants.
He then watches with pleasure as
the sibling frantically searches
for the object.
Tuberculinum children who
are not aggressive or mentally
slow, tend to be leaders.
This type of child is
extroverted and easily
communicative. She looks all
around the office, like
Sulphur. The child is an
"up" person -- active, wriggling
about in her chair, asking,
"What's an MD? What's an ND?
What's this thing for?" She
shares with others and has many
friends. With her
individualistic manner she
usually gets what she wants. She
tends to be quite competitive,
never giving up or quitting when
The strongest fear of
Tuberculinum is a fear of
animals, especially cats and
dogs and all their wild
derivatives such as lions,
tigers, wolves, and bears.
Unlike other remedy types who
have a fear of animals, the
Tuberculinum child may try
to bluff by ascribing negative
attributes to these animals.
They state that they are gross,
ugly, and disgusting. I recall
the case of John, a child who
had always loved animals. During
an acute episode of pneumonia,
he developed a strong fear that
his own pet dog would bite him.
Fear of being alone is
often found in developmentally
children. They feel that
something bad will happen to
them if a parent is not around,
similar to that of Lycopodium.
Notes on Tuberculinum
Children who have been
repeatedly given antibiotics for
respiratory tract infections,
who can't get rid of one cold
before another comes, will
benefit especially from a dose
of this medicine in high potency
at the beginning of the school
year. If fact, its value as a
preventive as well as its
efficacy in chronic ear
infections, enlarged glands,
tonsils, and adenoids, epistaxis
[nose bleeds], enuresis [bed
wetting], eczemas, ringworm and
other skin conditions, its
service in young persons who
grow too tall too fast without
Tuberculinum to be
prescribed for children and
adolescents more frequently than
any other nosode.
The mental instability of
Tuberculinum is not the
suddenly contradictory mood of
some other remedy types, but a
chronic, inherent tendency:
alternates with disruptiveness,
tenderness with violence,
restlessness with passivity,
anger with indifference,
reliability with capriciousness,
cheerfulness with negativity,
febrile activity with lethargy,
need for security and support
with the desire for
independence, a desire for
seclusion with eagerness for
intense experience -- making the
individual a constant fountain
of emotional upheavals.
The alternating moods can be
observed from an early age. The
normally attractive and
affectionate child periodically
becomes ornery and disobedient,
exhibiting violent fits of
temper that upset the whole
family dynamic. He constantly
wants attention but at the same
time desires to be let alone. He
is quick to strike out at
others, will bite at a
restraining hand, or hurls
objects with a desire to break
things and to injure. The child
hurls not only objects but also
words, the most offensive,
preferably scatological, ones he
can muster, and certainly the
frequent tantrums of the
"terrible twos" -- the violent
outbursts of peevishness and
fury from little apparent cause
-- yield to Tuberculinum
as to no other remedy.
Misbehavior may take other forms
than destructive behavior: this
remedy ranks high for excessive
stubbornness and willfulness in
a child. The principal
distinction is that many other
remedy types are content when
the object has been gained,
while Tuberculinum soon
desires something else.
This type can also be
mischievous. In fact, a
mischievous streak in children
often signifies an underlying
One three-year-old with
chronically runny ears was not
disagreeable. He was, however,
unmanageable in an impish way.
For instance, discovering the
potential of a really sharp pair
of scissors, he began to cut
tiny, almost unnoticeable, holes
in the backs of upholstered
Confronted with these misdeeds
and reprimanded, he stoutly
denied his guilt and blamed the
family dog, Patches. He realized
that no one believed him but was
sufficiently shrewd to sense
that, unless caught in the act,
he could not be proven guilty.
No threats or punishment could
induce him to change his story.
And, to make it more credible,
in the presence of other family
members he solemnly delivered
upbraiding homilies to poor dumb
A pleasing attribute of this
type is a lively sense of humor.
A ten-year-old girl cured of
enuresis by periodic doses of
Tuberculinum 1M used to warn
her father that smoking, coffee,
and alcohol would hasten his
aging. One day he parried, "I'm
not aging any faster than you,
young lady. You are growing
older every day yourself!" "Not
so," was the ready reply. "Once
you're over the hill you start
picking up speed!"
Incidentally, this child who so
fearlessly confronted adults --
parents, teachers, and anyone
else with whom she could match
wits -- was extremely fearful of
dogs and when younger became
quite hysterical if approached
by one. This fear is a key to
the remedy. When the drowning
physician finds himself in a sea
of non-specific symptoms, it may
prove a sturdy plank.
The Tuberculinum dilemma
consists in the need to fulfill
both the civilized and primitive
sides of one's nature. The
conflict occurs largely at the
subconscious level and, when
thwarted, is expressed in
tantrums on the slightest
restlessness, and alternating
moods and modes of conduct.
But the homeopathic remedies are
directed precisely at the
unconscious level. And the
potentized tuberculin virus,
like the other deep-acting
nosodes, achieves its profound
cures by addressing our
archetypal conflicts and helping
to resolve them.