List of some special leading acid and alkaline remedies have been brought out by Thomas.C.Duncan to help in treatment of children suffering from excessive acid or alkali in the system….


For children the selection of the remedy is made from the objective symptoms chiefly and these are here emphasized.

Aconite will be indicated in acid children who are feverish, restless and frightened; clings to the nurse and wants to be held and then does not lie quiet, but tosses about.

The Arsenicum child is also restless and wants to change its position, but is not feverish but rather cold; kicks off the covers and has the peculiar thirst for small quantities of water often, which may be vomited or passed as thin, watery stools. The emaciation of the Arsenicum child is extreme and rapid.

Antimonium crudum. The Sulphide of Antimony is classed by Hering as an acid drug, but it has a cracked and crusty nostrils and corners of the mouth” indicating digestive disturbance. “The child cannot bear to be looked at or touched.” This is the spirit of the alkaline child that has become run down in constitution — the hydrogenoid, alkaline.

The Bryonia child is active, nervous, restless in sleep, talks about play. “In hydrocephalus throws left leg about.” The thirst is for large quantities of water. Child usually quiet when sick.

The Benzoic acid child wets the bed. The urine has a strong urinous odor and stains the diaper a dark brown.

The Capsicum child is described as “light, with blue eyes, nervous, but stout and plethoric.” That would place it in the alkaline class. “Children dread open air, always chilly, refractory, clumsy, fat, dirty and disinclined to activity (work or thinking, study). “Inclined to be jovial, but gets angry at trifles.”

The Cepa child suffers with “acute catarrhal inflammation of eyes, nose and mucous membranes,” especially in the spring of the year. “The discharge corrodes nose and upper lip” like any other acrid (acid) discharge from acute coryza.

The Bromine child has “light blue eyes, flaxen hair, light eyebrows, fair, delicate skin, blonde, red-cheeked.” Scrofulous girls, nervo-sanguine. Has croupy symptoms, with hoarseness, with whooping cough. Swelling of glands, stony, hard; lymphatic glands obstructed.

Graphites belongs to the alkaline (or neutral group of Hering) “Eruptions behind the ears, which ooze an albuminous, sticky fluid.” “Children impudent, teasing laugh at reprimand.” “Lymphatic oedema, blonde hair, pale face, low spirits.”

This Iodine child has dark or black eyes and hair–a brunette, bilious temperament. “Has ravenous hunger; eats often and much, but loses flesh all the time from diarrhoea.” In marasmus the child has a brownish face and copious, papescent stools; seems better after eating. Overgrown boys with weak chest. Low, cachectic condition, with profound debility and great emaciation.

The Lactic acid child is intensely acid. Smells sour as a swill barrel. Vomits food after partially digested Diarrhoea thin, watery, acrid, excoriating, later intensely green. Soft cranial bones and great emaciation. Large doses disagree with melancholic, choleric constitutions. Dark hair and eyes, anaemic (nursing) women.

The Mezereum child is light haired, irresolute, of phlegmatic temperament, decidedly alkaline. Eczema of head and face, with thick, leather-like crusts with pus beneath. Child scratches face until it is covered with blood. As Grauvogl notes, this constitution is made worse by cold air (winter), cold washing, and at night.

The Muriatic acid child has dark hair, dark eyes, dark complexion. Is acid, irritable, peevish, restless, disposed to anger from acidity. Fever rapidly takes on severe typhoid type; moaning, sliding down in bed (when not due to brain disease).

The Nitric acid child is acid, decidedly thin and dark complexion, nervous. The urine smells like horse’s urine (hippuric). When sick it runs down rapidly; has sore, cracked lips. Diarrhoea, cries after stool, which excoriates.

The Podophyllum child is a small, nervous, bilious, dark- skinned acid child subject to bilious spells, with yellow meal- like stools that are attended with prolapsus ani. Teethes with difficulty and subject then to attacks of diarrhoea; stools looking like dirty water, and worse in the early morning. The poisonous principle is the irritating podophyllic acid–a coloring principle.

The Phosphorus child is acid, tall and slender (nervo- sanguine), with a feebly developed lymphatic system. It has bright pearly eyes, fair skin, blonde, soft or red hair, delicate eyelashes, precocious and restless. The active brain robs the nutritive system, and hydrocephaloid, or, later, tuberculosis, cuts short a promising career.

The Phosphoric acid child is more intensely acid. Grows rapidly tall. Oblivious to a profuse, white or watery diarrhoea. The urine is profuse, clear, watery or even milky from phosphates. Select for such a child a stupid nurse, whose very stupidity will smooth (hypnotize) and feed. Growing pains.

The Pulsatilla *The acid principle is Anemonin C10H8O4. child may be described as sandy hair, blue eyes, pale face, mild, quiet, yielding disposition, phlegmatic, easily offended, cries easily, due, doubtless, to the malnutrition which changes an alkaline child into an acid one. This may account for the mixed character of the shifting Pulsatilla symptoms.

Rhus. As the active principle of this drug is a volatile acid it will be indicated according to the law of similars among the slightly acid children. Complaints from being caught in the wet while overheated. Rheumatic, but keeps on the go. Restless at night. Like the oxygenoid constitution the Rhus cases are worse before a storm, but also like the hydrogenoid they are worse from cold, wet, rainy weather. They may be in one class or another, depending upon their health.

The Silicea child is sandy, sanguine, nervous and irritability acid. They have fine dry skin, lacking in fat. The face is, of course, pale and fair. It is a weakling with little muscular development, but still active. Has a defective reabsorbent system, hence much transpiration, especially on its active head, and profuse suppurations. Large head, open fontanelles. Large abdomen. The child develops with difficulty, and its symptoms are easily understood.

Staphisagria. The white crystalline, poisonous alkaloid that somewhat resembles Aconite in its action will explain why this is placed in the acid class. It is a parasiticide and a remedy of vigor. Child ill-humored, cries for things and then pushes them away (like Kreosote). The glandular system is inactive, hence flatulence and styes; notwithstanding it seems always hungry, becomes emaciated and pot-bellied.

Teeth turn black and crumble.

Sulphuric acid. Child light-haired, lacking bile. Smells sour in spite of careful washing (Rheum). The acidity produces weakness and exhaustion soon stops the child’s career unless arrested.

Thuja. This remedy is classed by Grauvogl as a remedy for the hydrogenoid constitution. It seems that it properly belongs in the alkaline or neutral group, as warts may be found in both. “It acts very well in lymphatic temperament, in very fleshy, dark complexion, black hair and unhealthy skin.” Sweats only on uncovered parts. Diarrhoea of bright yellow, watery stools expelled with noisy flatus, gurgling as water from a bunghole; worse in the morning. Warts in crops. Naevus. Light hair, lax muscles.

Alumina, it is said, is indicated in “spare, dry, thin subjects of dark complexion.” Cholera infantum, stools green, acidity of primae viae. That would class it among the acid remedies as well as the idea that it is “the aconite of chronic diseases.” But then other symptoms, as morning cough, would class it otherwise, as has Hering.

Ammonium carb. is an alkaline lymphatic remedy. Stoppage of nose, mostly at night, long-lasting, coryza or snuffles. Morning cough (3 to 4 A.M.).

Argentum is said to be indicated for “tall, thin people of irritable temperament.” Would place it on the acid list. This corresponds to the Argentum nitricum child, which “looks like a withered old man.” Guernsey says: “We think of this remedy on seeing a withered and dried up person made so by disease.” It belongs in the acid list, as might be inferred also from “red, painful tip of the tongue,” “stools like chopped spinach.” Irresistible desire for sugar, etc. In low doses it corresponds to the Carbo nitrogenoid (like Sulphur and Cuprum). In the higher it corresponds to the hydrogenoid constitution (Grauvogl).

Aurum with its aggravation from cold air, getting cold and in winter, places it among the alkaline remedies, but not remarkably so. (Carbo nitrogenoid–normal alkaline.)

Baryta carbonica belongs in the alkaline list. It is indicated for dwarfish children who do not grow, and finally become emaciated from obstructed lymphatics. Always cold and chilly. Enlarged glands (tonsils swollen and suppurate), face puffy, abdomen distended.

Belladonna. Adapted to bilious, lymphatic, plethoric children who are lively but always taken suddenly and violently sick, often with delirium. Red face and eyes, starting in sleep. Belladonna is said to be “the acute of Calcarea” and is alkaline.

Thomas C. Duncan
Thomas C.Duncan, M.D., Ph.D., LL.D. Consulting Physician to the Chicago Foundlings' Home.
Editor of The United States Medical Investigator. Member of the Chicago Paedological Society. First President of the American Paedological Society Author of: Diseases of infants and children, with their homoeopathic treatment. Published 1878 and Hand book on the diseases of the heart and their homeopathic treatment. by Thomas C. Duncan, M.D. Published 1898