We will try in this article to make a brief review of the affections of the digestive apparatus and the troubles of nutrition of children. In order to do that we will have to speak at least in ten chapters about their pathology. But you will see that the number of medicines used for children are very small. We will have to fall back again and again on the same remedies. Among the 7 or 8 columns that we have drawn in our schema we will constantly fall back on Chamomilla, Belladonna etc.
We may say that the homoeopathic treatment of children as regards digestive system, is very simple. Here is our plan of study.
1. First of all some generalities from the point of view of constitution and temperament of the child and from the point of view of the general actions of homoeopathic remedies in children.
2. Then we will study the basic remedies which we will describe in detail always indicating the hereditary taints corresponding to the remedies.
3. Then we will give a list of principal remedies that may be prescribed in the digestive troubles and in the nutritional troubles of the infancy.
Constitution & Temperament.
Let us consider at first a child at birth. If it is quite natural that it carries with it a certain heredity and shows more or less some hereditary taints which will not be quite apparent during its birth but on the contrary these taints will become apparent as the child will grow. If we consider in the light of general homoeopathic philosophy, the child of the first infancy (infants), of the second infancy (pure), the adolescent, the adult with their constitutions, their temperaments, we will see that their hereditary taints become evident only lately.
Even at the birth, the child seems to be healthy in general with a life. It will not show any sign of very ancient hereditary syphilis coming from several generations, or tuberculous or other taints only after many years. This is not naturally exact in habitual pathology as regards here dose in whom we immediately detect clear taints, evident stigmas and also in children born of tuberculous patients. These children are sickly and they cannot live if they are not separated from the familial milieu. And this true as regards the symptoms stamped and more or less recognized by the official school. This will be still more evident when we will study the question of constitution. We may say that the child is born with a vital force which is immense and given during the birth, which will gradually diminish till death or old age.
But if a child has a certain constitution, and if it is possible, during the birth, to foresee what will be its consequences (because it is possible up to a certain point to foresee the diseases from which the child may suffer), which one can do inspite of every-thing, only with great prudence because if the constitution, a Static, is fixed; the temperament the Dynamic, is not fixed. The dynamic behaviour of the patient is completely subject to the vegetative life of the digestive system.
1. The three Osteo-articular constitutions:
Let us then consider rapidly the question of Constitution and Temperament.
The constitutions of children are well studied by Dr. A. Nebel, According to him there are three forms of static constitution: Carbocalcic, Phosphocalcic and Fluorocalcic. He also calls these three constitutions Normocrinic (Carbocalcic, Hypercrinic (Phosphocalcic) and Hypocrinic (Fluorocalcic) according to the endocrinal troubles that may be associated with them, hyper or hypofunction in a general way.
The indications of constitutions of Dr. A. Nebel is very interesting, but it is necessary that we should consider it with care because though it is certainly true from the clinical point of view, yet it is not experimentally proved.
The descriptions of Dr. A. Nebel as it was given to us in his lecture are, that one can distinguish according to the articular laxity the Fluorocalcie whose articular tissues are very lax; the Phosphocalcic has medium laxity of articular tissues and the Carbocalcic has very little laxity. These types correspond to hypophysary troubles.
The three salts of Calcium, specially indicated in children are of the first importance in Homoeopathic therapeutics of children. These three salts help to classify at least clinically the individual patient.
2. Physiological temperament.
It is also necessary to consider here the temperament as studied by Dr. Allendy. You know that the occult writers of the middle ages, the traditionalists, studied with hippocrates the temperaments under the four forms: Lymphatic, Sanguin, Bilious, and Nervous. These terms may actually no more be used from the physiological point of view. They mean nothing precisely. But Dr. Allendy has explained in his book “Les temperaments” that the above classification may again be taken up on a physiological basis. He has described four types: Atonia plastic, Toniplastic, Toniaplastic, Atoniaplastic.
He started from the very fecund idea that to understand any organism, it is necessary to take into account the qualitative element on the one hand and the quantitative on the other: The Tonus and Plasticity.
The child is essentially Atoni-plastic, because it has at the same time the tonus and plasticity. It has tonus only in vitro we may say. It does not use it always in a rapid and clear way. But on the contrary all the diseases from which it suffers are generalised on the whole organism very rapidly. It has no localising tendency.
The Adolescent (young adult) is Toni plastic, because it has at the same time the tonus and the plasticity which it generalises. It does not localise and fixes very little energy on the lesional plan.
In the Adult age, the individual has still the tonus but he begins to localise. He is therefore Toni-aplastic.
Finally the Old has neither the tonus nor the possibility to generalise. His diseases are more or less fixed in time and space. He is atoni-aplastic.
This classification of Allendy is very interesting and very true as regards children.
If we compare the classification of Allendy with that of Claude Sigaud, Digestive, Respiratory, Cerebral and Muscular, we may say that the child is before all a predominantly digestive. In the child who has only a vegetative life, the digestive system naturally plays a role of the first importance. From the pathological point of view as well as from the therapeutic point of view the 4/5th of the affections of the first infancy are related to nutrition, to digestive system and respiratory system i.e. to say to the two important apparatuses of the vegetative life.
3. The Diet.
Because the child is digestive type, there is great importance as regard diet. It would be irrational for a homoeopath to try to cure a child of its vomiting, diarrhoea, anthrepsia, if the Homoeopathic treatment is not followed by good revision of physical hygiene and of the diet of the child. The clinic the hygiene have naturally a step over therapeutics in Homoeopathy as well as in the official treatment. The child is after all a digestive type which can neither walk nor move. The movement, air and sun even, have their place in the question of digestion Therefore it is necessary when you have to treat a child for vomiting or for diarrhoea, that you should begin a good clinic.
4. Rapid and simple action of Homoeopathic remedies.
Inspite of this, the role of Homoeopathy, though very frequently adjuvant in benign cases is however very important for being taken into consideration because it may be the best system of medicine in grave cases. In a child which has digestive troubles of common type, it will be necessary to regularise the diet. When the troubles are serious Homoeopathy steps over diet. The Homoeopathic treatment will then act with some advantages, because the child has no pathological past behind it, because the troubles though serious are not intricated at first as there had not been many diseases that have stepped into one another or succeeded one after the other. There had not been successive morbid metastasis in time and space for which we will not have good results, with our Homoeopathic remedies without a thorough search in the antecedents. When we have to treat an adult we are very often forced to find out the chronological succession of the remedies indicated. As for example a woman is of Natrum muriaticum, then of Sepia, then of Lachesis and finally of Psorinum. In the case of a child we will not have any succession of remedies; there does not exist any pathological past. The child is a new organism. It has come new in the world. Generally we do not find hereditary taints in the child. These taints are there but not in vitro. We must investigate the past in the parents, not in the child. And if you add to these facts the idea that the child is extremely sensitive you will easily understand that Homoeopathy has a definite advantage over the chemotherapic treatment of the official school.
5. The past played by the morbid heredity.
Thus we arrive at the question of morbid heredity in children which leads us to study at first the nosodes from the therapeutic point of view.
The little child has therefore an immense vital force, its hereditary taints are shrouded. The famous hereditary Psora of Hahnemann is a term which suits admirably to children. It is at the end of 4, 5 6, 8 or 10 years and sometimes even later the child will be forced to purge its hereditary taints that it has received. Fortunately its organism will purge them rarely so long as it is a child. The principal means of purge are the eruptive fevers and acute diseases which are special in children: whooping cough, chicken pox, scarlatina, measles etc. The measles is an important infantile disease, which seems to us to be a real collective crisis of the cleansing of entire generation. The measles is an important cleansing disease of tubercular conditions. Scarlatina is related to hereditary psoric, tubercular and syphilitic taints. Similarly the mumps and diphtheria are related to Psoro-tubercular condition, intricated with sycosis and syphilis. The whooping cough is like measles related to tubercular condition. It is great antipsorics of Hahnemann that will be able to prevent them, but in this case there will be a spasmodic element which does not exist in case of measles. In the last case Sulphur will cause rapidly a cutaneous eruption. In whooping cough the most important thing is the localised spasm of the larynx. In this case what becomes of the idea of microbes and specific drugs? The microbe exists and it should not be considered negligible. The germs grow because they have a favourable ground and will play because of its migratory character, the part of sparks that spontaneously spring out of overheated combustibles,. In the actual life, and perhaps since thousands of years that man exist they should necessarily suffer form measles ninety times our to hundred in their childhood. So much so that Psora is so to say, anchored in us in an indefinite manner. Perhaps it had been attracted from the very moment when man began to live in caves or in a house with a roof on it, depriving himself partially of pure open air, of sun and light. Normally when we speak of naturists, about back to the nature, we think of natural food, but none among us will have the idea to live outside like an animal.
But let us not anticipate. What we may say, in reply to the question of heredity-if we admit that its influence does not act only on two or three but on numerous generations-is that the miasms of humanity have fatally left their stamps on the children: tuberculosis, syphilis, gonorrhoea, cancer. Let us not forget other diseases such as Malaria which was for so long a time of the first importance in our countries as well as in the Orient or in other countries having hot climate.
Those which seem to us more important in our region are: The Psora first of all, i.e. to say chronic tuberculinism of Dr. A. Nebel, probably associated with alimentary intoxications. or other.
The Syphilis of which the role is well-known, has surely influence on numerous generations.
The Gonorrhoea, which seems to us very important, though its influence is impossible to prove by the Homoeopathic school that it may hereditary influence the sycotic temperament in children and in adults. But from multiple facts collected from our experience we are inclined to believe that sycosis plays an important part and it is the cause of different troubles.
Finally malaria and all other possible intoxications b y alcohol, meat etc.
For each of these entities we must think of the possibility of human temperamental deviations even though there is no necessity of transmission of germs in children.
The hereditary taints in the child are not evident. They are always veiled. It is only during the second infancy these taints are revealed by means of all sorts of possible affections: eruptive fever, cutaneous troubles, spasmodic troubles and many other diseases that are not possible to enumerate here.
The treatment of the troubles of the digestive apparatus and of nutrition of the first infancy.
1. General therapeutic considerations.
How should we treat the child from Homoeopathic point of view when we compare the Homoeopathic treatment of the child with that of the adult? In children we may take into account the question of heredity and use of Nosodes. But precisely because these hereditary taints are more or less dormant, that become evident later on, and precisely because they should reveal themselves very lately, it becomes necessary that we should not treat the child in a brutal manner with nosodes.
In a general way, we may say that the great antipsorics of Hahnemann, that remedies from plants and minerals are more advantageously used in children than the remedies from the animal kingdom. You will find none of the remedies from animal kingdom on our chart because their actions are very complex. In any case these very rare remedies from the animal kingdom should be used with great care and often in relatively low potency.
As for example we should not treat brutally the child with Tuberculins of Serum of marmoreck, not because of the chance of aggravation in adult (a child generally tolerates better the Homoeopathic medicines), but because we will not get clear and favourable results. The effects of the great classic remedies are generally favourable. Some nosodes, Bacillinum, Medorrhinum
Luesinum may be indicated more often than the habitual tuberculins. On the contrary for a prenatal treatment we may act on the pregnant mother deeply and energetically with all the nosodes specially by T.K., T.R., Luesinum. When the woman is pregnant you may treat her directly for three months for her nausea and vomiting or for her sympathetic troubles. It is only towards the fourth month and up to the end you will treat almost exclusively the child by using alternately Thuja, Natrum Sulphuricum on the one hand and T. R., Medorrhinum or Luesinum on the other hand. This kind of treatment seems to act marvellously as prenatal treatment according to our personal experience.
2. Some Rules Of Prescription We are now going to study the most important basic remedies that are used in children. A clinical classification will follow later on which will serve us as the basis of the study of our homoeopathic remedies in different cases.
Let us give at first some rules of prescription for the treatment of children.
We have just said that the child has no pathological past There is no medicinal aggravation in children. This fact surprises those who come new in Homoeopathy and they are also surprised to see how easy it is to treat the child with homoeopathic medicines. One faces difficulty when one begins to do Homoeopathy with Sulphur, Lycopodium and other such remedies that have centrifugal action. These remedies may in some cases cause aggravation of eczema and liver troubles. In children everything goes well. It is generally easy to select a remedy and the organism of the child responds rapidly. It is curious to note that in children the nature seems to be at our disposal. Subjective symptoms are very much necessary in Homoeopathic treatment but in the case of a child and animals it is different. Here the objective symptoms are more important and they are the real keys that will help us to arrive rapidly to the simillimum.
On this question we may automatically make a justified remark to some of the unicists for whom homoeopathy is valuable only in subjective symptoms. They think that the objective symptoms are less important, while some homoeopaths like Dr. A. Nebel have tried to enrich the Homoeopathic pathogenesis with the fruits of their clinical researches with all the indications that one may find on the tongue, on the lips and on the face. These facts have been described but it is a mistake because numerous objective symptoms have been indicated by Hahnemann himself in his pathogenesis specially in case of a child.
Rules of Posology.
In case of a child use the high dilutions only with care inspite of the fact that the child easily tolerates them because, it is preferable to give the remedies that do not act for a long time. If you apply a very high dilution you will be forced to wait for 3, 4, or 5 months before repeating the medicine according to the general principle of homoeopathy, or you will not be able to use any other remedy and you will not be able to ascertain which of the remedies will have been effective. Or again their action may be very fleeting and you will have the risk to take time. In a child it is necessary to act soon. You should not wait for curing the vomiting of a child or cholera infantile. You should not, like some unicists, turn over the pages of a book for two hours for finding out the good remedy and thus risk the aggravation of the disease. I, however believe that fewer remedies are required for children than for the adult. Generally the cases are simple because there is no pathological past, or if you like the child has his past before it. It is, as it will show the signs of hereditary taints in the form of eruptive fevers or other affections. The affections will appear in their time. They should not be called in earlier with a misunderstood treatment, neither they should be “choked” in their appearances by forcing the eruption to get in i.e. suppressed.
A. The Basic Remedies: These are the great antipsorics of Hahnemann of which the list is somewhat revised but on the whole it is exact.
You will be astonished of the following fact: If you consider these remedies you will find that more than half a dozen of these remedies should never be used in children.
Graphites for example is very rarely a remedy of a child. It will begin to be indicated in the 2nd infancy. It is not absolutely a constitutional remedy.
Causticum will be indicated only in the 2nd infancy, in children who have partial paralysis, strabism, or other troubles like retention of urine, incontinence of urine or some manifestations having a peculiar mental symptom: the fear of darkness. But it is not generally indicated in an infant.
Similarly a child may become a Thuya child after vaccination but some time must elaps before the picture, which the British homoeopath Dr. Burnett has so clearly described to us. It is only after vaccination during the second infancy the child may have warts, brittle nails and other symptoms of Thuya.
Lachesis, Ignatia, Nux vomica, all these remedies of endocrinal imbalance are also to be considered later on. A girl who in her first infancy will require Chamomilla or Belladonna will be come a patient of Ignatia only at puberty. Dr. Nebel sometimes uses Lachesis in children before puberty when they are related to Sulphur.
Natrum sulphuricum, a remedy of hydrogenoids in particular will be indicated only in the second infancy, in asthmatic children who have the attacks during the second infancy. Asthma of a child is generally amenable to Phosphorus and Natrum muriaticum.
Many other ground remedies which are suitable to the adolescents, adults or to the second infancy are not indicated in infants.
The remedies of infants are very simple and less numerous.
First of all the three Calcareas: Calcarea carbonica, Calcarea phosphorica and Calcarea fluorica.
We have said just now that the so fecund and so useful description of Dr. A. Nebel from the clinical point of view of the osteo–articular constitutions should be supported by an experimental basis by quantitative and comparative researches of Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Phosphate and Fluoride of Calcium in the skeleton of numerous individuals of all ages. We know already that in the bones, there is 2/3 of Calcium phosphate for 20/100 of Calcium carbonate and a very small quantity of Fluoride of calcium. This fact shows that while the Carbonica are more numerous, the qualitative question is more important than the quantitative in the bone tissues that always contain these three Calcium salts.
Inspite of the above fact, it is necessary to make quantitative researches and to have physiological criteria. This is not yet done.
It is also necessary, on the basis of the antagonism of Silicate and of Calcium, specially Calcarea carbonica, to find out what is the quantity of Silicate contained in the periarticular tissues because it is said that in the Fluro-calcis, there is a great laxity of the articulations in relation to that laxity if for examples there is greater trouble of Silicate metabolism in Fluorocalcics.