Sammie was nearly two when he was first brought to our office by his
mother for a second opinion about his febrile seizures. He was a very active
child who could be extremely obstinate (3). He often threw tantrums if he did
not get his own way. He was blonde with a slight build. His allergic shiners
stood out at first glance. Sammie suffered from recurrent colds for the past
year. These upper respiratory infections, sometimes with ear involvement, were often accompanied by a fever. During the seizure he would flex his arms, clench his fists, arch his head back and roll his eyes upward. The seizures would last about 2 minutes. After the seizure he had a distension from swallowed air and he would burp or vomit. He tended to have nausea and vomiting after the seizure for a couple of days. A rectal temperature of 101 degrees would bring on a seizure. If he just had a runny nose with no fever, he would not have a seizure. This is an unusually low temperature to induce febrile convulsions. He never had seizures without a fever.
Sammie liked to stay up late, until 11 PM or 12 A.M. Sammie would scream
in the first hour of sleep (3). He stiffened as if in pain (2) around 2 to 3
A.M., then would awaken and ask for a bottle. His sleep had improved in the
past for a few weeks after he was given Ignatia. He talked in his sleep. He
tended to sleep on the left side. He kicked off the covers at night, and would
wake instantly from being covered (3).
When he asked for things, he would sometimes throw them (2). He was
really demanding and insistent (3). He could get really upset over little
things and throw a tantrum (2). If really tired and cranky he could bite his
mother (1). He liked to be touched. He also liked to gently pinch the backs of
people’s hands. He played well with other kids. He had excessive wax in his L
ear (2) and would bore his finger in his ear (3).
Sammie had a neurologic workup with two normal EEG’s. The neurologist
diagnosed him as having febrile seizures and prescribed an anticonvulsant
medication to no avail. His mother resorted to constant Tylenol to try to keep
the fever below the trigger point whenever Sammie had a URI. Before he was
treated in our office, he had had 16 seizures in 18 months. Sammie was treated unsuccessfully by another homeopathic physician without any lasting effect on the seizures. He occasionally received antibiotics, but not in the past year while he was under homeopathic treatment.
With the current URI, he presented with a fever of 101.6 degrees, a
severe cough (3) and a thick, greenish nasal discharge (2). The cough was
loose, and he would cough a couple of times every few minutes. He sneezed
frequently (2). The cough was worse from lying down (2). He was teething and
drooling at the same time. He did not complain of any pain. The anterior
cervical lymph nodes were enlarged on the left side. He wanted to be carried
(3), and he would cry whenever his mother put him down . He even cried in his
sleep. He had a tendency to bore his thumb into his ears (3), even when he
didn’t have an ear infection. His last episode of otitis media had been four
He had had diarrhea and loose stools (2), which ranged in color from
dark or light brown to greenish. If he ate cheese, he would get large amounts
of mucus in the stool (2). He desired to eat fruit, but not other sweets. His
appetite was very good. Sammie had been weaned at 14 months. His mother avoided giving him cow’s milk, but he did get some yogurt. He desired fruit and had a great appetite.
Sammie’s sleep was disturbed and restless (3).. His mother slept in the
same room with him, and reported that he awakened frequently and wanted to be carried. She was afraid that he would have seizures during the night if his fever got too high. He tended to uncover himself in bed. Sammie achieved the normal developmental milestones and there was no signi-ficant family medical history.
Sammie was given a single dose of Cina 200c. He was not seen for nine months after this initial prescription. On follow-up at at that time, his mother reported that he was completely well within 3 days of the remedy and suffered from no more febrile seizures or colds for seven months. At that time,
he had two seizures during an URI and was treated by the original homeopath. The mother had not attributed his long-term improvement to the Cina, because she had not brought Sammie in for adequate follow-up visits as recommended.
At this point we gave Sammie another dose of Cina 200C. We assessed that
the first dose of Cina had lasted for seven months, then he had relapsed. His
mother reported that he had had no seizures after the second dose of Cina.
After the remedy, a cough appeared for one day. His bowel movements, which had been loose, firmed up. His sleep was much less restless, for 3 weeks, then a little restless again in the last week. He crawled on his hands and knees in his sleep once, a typical Cina symptom. He had fears of monsters and bad guys for a few days after the remedy.
He was a lot less demanding and less dependent. He would play by himself more. He had not had any colds, even though he had been exposed. He still talked and occasionally screamed in his sleep. He woke between 2 and 4 A.M. He would sleep with covers now. He drooled in his sleep. He had a desire for vegetables and oranges and was averse sausage. He had a fever of 100.8 once one month after the second dose of Cina, but no seizures.
At this follow-up it appeared that the Cina had definitely worked. He had
some emotional aggravation and a slight cough, then improved dramatically, with no further seizures. While on vacation one month later, his mother gave him one more dose of the Cina prophylactically. We would not have advised her to do this, since he had received the previous dose only one month before. Giving two doses so closely can, at times, cause a disruption in the homeopathic treatment. It doesn’t seem to have interfered in this case. He continued to do well, and now, one year after the original prescription, he has had no more seizures and only an occasional cold. The boring in his ears is much less and his temperament has improved markedly. He is no longer obstinate and has no temper tantrums. He has learned to say “please” and is much less demanding.
Sammie’s case brings out several key points of the remedy Cina (worm-seed). Cina children (and it is pre-eminently a children’s remedy) are cross, obstinate and willful. They like to be carried and are very demanding. If they are given what they ask for, they sometimes throw it away, like children needing homeopathic Chamomilla. Cina children are also prone to sleep disturbances, scream in their sleep and have nightmares (commonly called night terrors among homeopaths). Children needing Cina are prone to colds and severe,
spasmodic coughs. Cina can be an effective remedy for whooping cough in some children. Cina is indicated in high fevers when the child has a clear tongue. They often have ear problems, like Chamomilla, and tend to bore in their ears, as Sammie did. They also inveterately rub, pick and bore into their noses. Cina children can have worms, and Cina has also been used herbally for worms.
In addition, Sammie’s chief complaint of febrile seizures is well covered
by Cina. Cina is a convulsive remedy and is also useful in cases of seizures
during teething, after coughing and from infestation with worms. The
convulsions are often at night and accompanied by jerking of the body and
In this case, the combination of Sammie’s difficult disposition, his
tendency to coughs and febrile seizures, his screaming and stiffening during
sleep, and his boring in the ears led to a prescription of Cina.
There are many other remedies which should be considered differentially
for febrile seizures in children. The most common ones are Stramonium, Cicuta, and Belladonna. Here are some indications for each:
Stramonium- a major remedy for febrile seizures. The whole picture of
Stramonium is one of violence, strong fears and convulsions. Stramonium
children can be very destructive, violent or aggressive. Sometimes they are
timid with a strong fear of violence. Fears of death, the dark, water, shining
objects and monsters are prominent. They have night terrors with a wild look in
the eye. They may scream. They often stutter violently and frequently have
facial grimaces and twitches. They may have convulsions of isolated muscle
groups, such as just the upper extremities. They can be delirious with a fever.
They want light and company, which makes them feel better.
Cicuta- dramatic seizures in which the whole body is arched and the head
drawn extremely back (“opisthotonos”, listed under the “Back” section in
Kent’s Repertory ) The seizures can be quite violent and often occur
after a head injury. The child may be delirious and sing, dance, make funny
gestures and act silly. It is an important remedy for seizures which accompany cerebrospinal meningitis, which typically has a high fever. The pupils are dilated. There may be a hemorrhage from the ears. The children often have a red face and grind their teeth. They are worse from touch, drafts and tobacco smoke. Cicuta children often eat chalk, charcoal, and other indigestible things.
Belladonna- a very common remedy for high fevers which come on quickly
and violently. There is a great sensitivity to light, to noise and to jar, and
better from lying quitely in the dark. The child’s face is red and hot. There
can be violent delirium with hallucinations during a high fever.
Belladonna children tend to be worse from the sun and heat, but thirstless.
They often get severe, throbbing headaches with the fever, often on the right
side. There is commonly a severe, right-sided sore throat or ear ache. They can get generalized grand mal seizures or local seizures of the right side of the face.
These are a few of the more dramatic remedies that could be given for febrile seizures. Others include Opium, Hyoscyamus and Nux Vomica. Always remember to individualize the patient’s symptoms in order to choose a remedy. The remedy that matches the symptoms that are most unusual or peculiar in the case is the one most likely to work.
Dr. Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Dr. Robert Ullman are licensed
naturopathic physicians and are board certified in homeopathy. They are
President and Vice President of the International Foundation for Homeopathy
where they teach homeopathy to licensed health care professionals. They
practice in Edmonds, WA at 131 3rd Ave., N., Edmonds, WA 98020 and can be
reached at (206) 774-5599. Their book, The Patient’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicine, is now available.