The contribution of Homeopathic Medicine to the treatment of children’s wintertime infections
by Spiros A. Kivellos
A large percentage of patients that present to homeopathic practices throughout the country are children and infants. More and more parents entrust the medical prevention and treatment of their children with Homeopathy, and most of them are referred by other parents who have already seen the beneficial effect of this wondrous therapeutic approach on their own children. Lately, based on such referrals and the information delivered from the mass media and the internet, many parents visit a homeopathic doctor in order to have their child’s medical history recorded; this, they correctly realize, will enable a holistic preventive approach for their child, always of course in collaboration with a classically trained pediatrician.
In recent years, many pediatricians with no homeopathic training are beginning to grasp the beneficial preventive and therapeutic capacities of Homeopathy. Parents are increasingly willing to admit to their good, classically-trained pediatrician that their children are also being treated by a colleague trained in Homeopathy. This willingness is encouraged by the fact that the use of chemical drugs – especially antibiotics and inhaled bronchodilators and corticosteroids – is statistically significantly decreased among groups of children who have been shielded by means of a homeopathic treatment.
Homeopathic Medicine can be used at any age: in neonates, infants, children, even during pregnancy. Homeopathic medicines are not addictive and they have no side effects. The expert pediatrician’s advice is always sought if the ailment requires specialized knowledge from some pediatric sub-specialty. Indeed it is a happy state of affairs that, in recent years, classically-trained pediatricians have been participating in the educational program of the Hellenic Society for Homeopathic Medicine and the Master of Science Course in Homeopathy offered by the University of the Aegean (in Syros, Greece); these pediatricians are ready and willing to delve into the wealth of knowledge provided by Homeopathy, and to learn to use it as a potent therapeutic tool in their everyday practice.
One decisive contribution of Homeopathy to the health of neonates and infants is in the treatment of the baby’s first wintertime infections. At this point it has to be said that in Greece there is a long-term “tradition” of prescribing antibiotics rather carelessly; the ignorance and fear of parents, combined with the need for an immediate intervention, have frequently contributed to an over-prescribing of antibiotics even in cases that ought to be treated differently. What is ignored is that what really ensures the health of the child in the long run is the maintenance of a healthy microbial flora. The way in which these first infections are treated, will drastically determine the required treatment for any infections that may follow. A child who was given antibiotics for his first viral otitis, is exponentially likelier to develop more otitis infections in the future, because his microbial flora has now been up heaved; what is more, the otitis episodes that will follow will probably necessitate the use of antibiotics. Likewise with the use of corticosteroids for the child’s first viral laryngitis: the second laryngitis will be more severe and more difficult to treat without antibiotics; as for the laryngitis infections that will follow, an immediate antibiotic intervention will be unavoidable. Going down this road can be avoided if, starting with the very first infection, the child is given the appropriate homeopathic remedy. The shielding and training of the baby’s (and the child’s) immune system, that are achieved with Homeopathy, lead to the long-term avoidance of recurrent infections. The effective handling of the child’s first infections by means of homeopathic treatment decreases dramatically any chance of them reappearing in the future.
It is crucial to comprehend that during infancy and childhood the brain and the immune system require “training”. Depending on the kind of information that is made available to them, they learn how to react in the future. None of us would expect a child who is trying to grasp the concepts of mathematics, to ever succeed in doing so if we kept serving the solution to the arithmetic problem he was trying to solve. Mucosal secretions and the child’s first fever-accompanied infections are indications that the primeval type of immunity known as “cellular immunity” is being mobilized in the right direction. In a therapeutic system that makes sense, this immunity is encouraged to move in the right direction, which is the “same” direction as that of the symptom; in Homeopathy, this is achieved by means of similimum. Symptoms must not suppressed. For example, a great number of pathological and physiological indications point out that, in an immunologically healthy organism, fever must not drop suddenly and especially not as while is still rising. It is said anecdotally that during the German Occupation of Greece, those children who had much “snotty discharge” from the nose were the ones who actually survived pneumonia and tuberculosis. The organism does nothing by chance; quite the contrary: it fights for its survival by producing symptoms. Indeed, symptoms are best defined as the clinical indications of the organism’s agonizing efforts to avoid having to produce even more severe manifestations.
It is hardly coincidental that modern children, who are being subjected to multiple vaccinations and have a long-term history of antibiotic use, frequently develop “post-viral asthma” which is nothing else other than a sign that the organism is powerless to fight the virus entering the upper respiratory tract; the organism is therefore forced to fight the virus in the lower respiratory canal – at the rear of the battlefield, so to speak. The more severe the post-viral asthma, the less capable is the child to produce nasal discharges and a high fever. During the homeopathic treatment of such a case, the aforementioned process takes place in reverse and the child is soon producing mucous and fighting the virus in the upper respiratory tract; meanwhile, the asthma goes away. With the continuation of the treatment, the child’s immune system grows even stronger. Thus begins a long-term resilience on the part of the organism and, as treatment is continued, the immune system is strengthened even further. Eventually a chronic resilience is built against infections; a fact well known to all parents who use Homeopathy as the preventive and therapeutic method of choice for their children.
The place of Homeopathy in everyday clinical pediatric practice is proving to be exceptional and definitive, both for prevention and for the effective treatment of children.