For the first time in history an American medical journal has published research on homeopathic medicine. The journal, Pediatrics, has published important research on the homeopathic treatment of acute diarrhea in children, a condition which is considered the most serious public health problem in many developing countries.
Although various European medical and scientific journals have published research on homeopathy in the past, including The Lancet, British Medical Journal, and European Journal of Pharmacology, this new article represents a breakthrough for both homeopathic medicine and for American medicine.
The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on the treatment of Nicaraguan children. Conducted by physicians at the University of Washington and University of Guadalajara, the study included 81 children, ages six months to five years.
All the children in the study received oral rehydration fluids to prevent dehydration. While these fluids significantly reduce fatalities from dehydration, they do not treat the underlying infection which is causing the diarrhea.
Those children given an individually chosen homeopathic medicine recovered from the diarrhea approximately 20% faster than those children given a placebo.
Homeopathic Medicines for Acute Diarrhea
Although acute diarrhea is not as serious a public health problem in developed countries, it is still a common and discomforting problem to both children and adults. Fortunately, homeopathic medicines can be very effective in treating people with symptoms of diarrhea.
People with diarrhea who may benefit from Arsenicum have stools that are acrid and tend to burn the anus. Most typically, people who need Arsenicum develop symptoms as the result of eating spoiled or tainted food or eating too much fruit. They usually feel exhausted, yet are restless in bed, unable to find a comfortable position. They are also very anxious and tend to feel fearful about being alone. Their worst symptoms are at and after midnight, and they are very thirsty but for sips only of fluids at a time. They are extremely chilly, and cold drinks tend to irritate them, while warm drinks provide some relief. They tend to break out in a cold sweat, and feel better when covered.
People who need Podophyllum usually experience gurgling in the abdomen with a very sudden urge to have a stool. The stools are profuse and offensive smelling, and are usually expelled with great force and little pain, followed by great exhaustion after each stool. These people may experience severe weakness in the anal sphincter, causing a sensation that they cannot hold anything inside the rectum. Their diarrhea is aggravated by eating, drinking, and moving around and may alternate with a headache. They may gag and have empty retching, they have a great thirst for cold fluids, and they may experience painful cramps in their feet, calves, and/or thighs. This diarrhea is sometimes experienced in teething infants and in children who have eaten a lot of fruit.
Chamomilla is indicated primarily in infants and children, especially when they are extremely irritable, quarrelsome, fitful, and inconsolable. Typically, they ask for something and then reject it once it is offered. Only rocking and being carried provide temporary relief of their discomfort. They are aggravated by heat, worse in the evening until midnight, and better from cold drinks. Teething or colicky infants who experience diarrhea tend to need this remedy. Their diarrhea tends to be offensive, green, and slimy, like chopped grass, and it smells like rotten eggs.
Mercurius is known to be most effective in treating people with diarrhea who have the “never completely done” sensation–that is, no matter how many times they have diarrhea, they still feel that they have more left. Typically, they experience much retching during release of the stool, and the stool may have some blood in it. This retching tends to exhaust them. They are sensitive to extremes of temperature and may at one time feel chilly and at another time feel feverish. In any case, their symptoms are worse at night. They sweat profusely, have offensive breath, usually salivate onto the pillow, and tend to be quite slow and weak both physically and mentally. They commonly have a strong thirst for cold fluids.
Sulphur is a remedy for people who experience a sudden, involuntary expulsion of their diarrhea, including when they think they are passing gas. The diarrhea is thin, watery, offensive, acrid, and smells of rotten eggs. It tends to be painlessly expelled, and the most frequent problems are at 5am and at night. Cold sweat on the face and feet are common, and these people are very thirsty for cold drinks and have little appetite. Emotionally, they are irritable and weepy with indifference to their appearance and to their bodily odors.
Veratrum album is indicated when people have diarrhea and vomiting and are very chilly and weak. Despite being chilly, they tend to crave ice cold drinks. They may also have bloated abdomens and experience stomach cramps.
Dose: Take the 6, 12, or 30th potency after each time you have a stool that is not normally firm. If symptoms are strong and no changes have occurred in twelve hours, consider another remedy. If symptoms are mild, wait for at least 24 hours before changing remedies. Stop taking any medicine if obvious improvement is experienced.
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