Randall Neustaedter, OMD, Lac, CCH
Homeopathic treatment for children can be separated into two categories: self-limiting, acute conditions such as colds, sore throats, and stomach flu, or persistent, chronic conditions such as allergies and eczema. Homeopathy is successful in both categories.
First, the acutes. For simple illnesses, parents can often learn to treat symptoms at home. Homeopathic treatment will stimulate a healing reaction, encouraging the body to fight off an infection. Several good books exist that instruct parents in finding the correct homeopathic medicine for these illnesses. Most of these books also inform parents about when to seek professional medical care as well.
To find the right homeopathic medicine, parents compare the symptoms of the child to the descriptions in the books. The downside to home treatment is that finding the remedy may not always be a simple process, since the correct prescription is usually based upon discerning subtle differences between one remedy and another. The books may have vague and incomplete descriptions, or babies and even older children may not have clear enough symptom pictures to find the right medicine. Parents without experience in prescribing may be left frustrated in their attempts. However, homeopathy is forgiving, and even a partially correct prescription may help to relieve symptoms.
Parents would do well to purchase a home prescribing kit of homeopathic remedies in 12c or 30c strength. Then get two or more books on home prescribing to compare their descriptions. Homeopathic remedies are also available individually in many health food stores. Single remedies achieve the best results. Combination remedies involve a shotgun approach. Several commonly used remedies are mixed together and labeled Cough or Colic. The manufacturer hopes that the right remedy will be present in this mixture. If it is not, then the treatment will be ineffective.
Now for chronic problems. These require consultation with a well-trained homeopathic practitioner. The most common reasons to consult a homeopath are allergies, asthma, eczema, recurrent respiratory or ear infections, and behavior or attention problems. Homeopathy has earned a tremendous reputation in the treatment of these conditions. The treatment involves at least a one-hour office visit and the prescription of a constitutional homeopathic medicine. The prescription may be a single dose of a high potency or a daily dose of a lower or an LM potency. The homeopath will want to see the child again in 2-4 weeks for follow-up. Constitutional prescribing requires experience and an understanding of homeopathic theory and case management principles. This is not the realm for parental home prescribing.
General Home Prescribing Books
Homeopathy for Children, Gabrielle Pinto and Murray Feldman, C.W. Daniel Company, 2000.
Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines, Stephen Cummings and Dana Ullman, Jeremy P
. Tarcher/Putnam, 1997.
Homeopathic Self-Care, Robert Ullman and Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, Prima Publishing, 1997.
For more detailed descriptions of medicines
The Homeopathic Emergency Guide, Thomas Kruzel, North Atlantic Books, 1992.
To Order Books and Kits
Homeopathic Educational Services, 800 359-9051 (for orders), or 510 649-0294 (for inquiries), or www.homeopathic.com.
Finding a homeopath
Contact the Council for Homeopathic Certification at
www.homeopathy-council.org or call 408-971-5915. The homeopaths listed in their directory have passed a rigorous national certification exam in classical homeopathy.
Dr. Neustaedter has practiced homeopathic medicine for over twenty years, specializing in child health care. An accomplished and well-recognized author, his works include an authoritative text, Homeopathic Pediatrics, and a popular book for parents, The Vaccine Guide: Making an Informed Choice (1996), a revision of his previous book, The Immunization Decision (1990). He has contributed extensively to the journals that comprise the homeopathic medical literature. A licensed acupuncturist with a doctorate in Oriental Medicine, Dr. Neustaedter practices at the Classical Medicine Center in Redwood City, California (650-299-9170).