Treating gastrointestinal diseases in children with homeopathy. Remedies for stomatitis or aphthae, toothache, dentition problems, hiccups, indigestion, vomiting, acute and chronic diarrhoea, anal prolapse, worms, constipation in children, neonatal jaundice….

XLI. Inflammation of the Mouth. (Stomatitis).

SYMPTOMS. Heat, redness, dryness, and ulceration of the mucous membrane of the mouth; foetid breath and salivation may also be present.

REMEDIES. Mercurius. Slight cases; or foetid breath, and abundant flow of saliva.

Kali Chloricum. When mercury has been administered in excess, or when there is great soreness, bad-smelling breath, and ulceration.

Hydrastis. Swelling, dark, redness, and soreness of the tongue, gums, and cheek; ulceration of the lips and tongue; sticky mucus in the mouth.

China. When the acute symptoms have subsided.

ACCESSORY MEANS. The most frequent causes being want of cleanliness and errors in diet, the first care should be to remove these causes. The food should be principally milk, or milk and soda-water. When there is prostration, beef-tea, or good animal broth is requisite.

XLII. Thrush. Sore Mouth (Aphthae)

SYMPTOMS. There is generally some febrile disturbance; the child is fretful, often refuses the breath; there is usually vomiting, and a watery diarrhoea. The local symptoms consist of innumerable white specks, like little bits of curd, which sometimes form a continuous dirty covering over the tongue, gums, palate, and inside of the cheeks and lips. In severe cases the buttocks become roughened and tender by the harsh secretions.

CAUSES. Unhealthy character of, or insufficient breast-milk; unsuitable food in infants fed with the bottle or spoon (especially sour milk, and imperfectly washed feeding-bottles), neglect of general cleanliness, bad drainage, etc. The disease may also occur during the course of Measles, Enteric Fever, and Consumption; it is then generally indicative of a fatal issue.

LOCAL TREATMENT. Borax. The mouth should be washed with a weak solution of Borax (ten grains to one ounce of water), by means of a soft brush. Or Borax and Glycerine may be used, half a drachm of the former to one ounce of the latter. Before using the Borax, the infant’s mouth should be well cleansed.

Sulphurous Acid. This is a valuable local remedy; may be applied by means of the spray-producer, two or three minutes at a time, twice a day; or a solution of Sulphite of Soda (I drachm to I oz. of water): the acid is generated in the mouth, and destroys the minute plants in one or two days.

Kali Permang. A solution of three grains to the ounce of water may be used for bad-smelling breath.

Soothing Fluids. Infusion of Linseed, thin solution of Borax and honey, etc., are grateful and useful. Vinegar, carbolic acid, etc., diluted with water, are also recommended.

When Thrush is associated with constitutional symptoms, one of the following remedies should be administrated:

Mercurius. Diarrhoea, offensive breath, dribbling saliva, etc.

ACCESSORY MEANS. If Thrush be distinctly traceable to any disease in the mother which cannot be quickly cured, the infant should be at once provided with a wet-nurse, or weaned, and fed with Sugar-of-milk, or cow’s milk, diluted with water, till the seventh or eighth month, when the teeth usually begin to appear; at this time some prepared food through the feeding-bottle is the best diet.

But before the above time, every variety of starch-food is unsuitable, and nothing but breast-milk, sugar-of-milk, or cow’s milk mixed with a little warm water, should be used.

Strict cleanliness is necessary. After each meal the mouth should be washed, to prevent the accumulation of milk about the gums. This simple measure will often prevent Thrush. In like manner, the mother’s nipple should be cleansed each time after giving it to the infant.

XLIII. Disorders of Teething.

There are two sets of teeth; the first, the milk-teeth, generally appear in the following order: About the sixth month the two middle front teeth of the lower jaw, followed by the corresponding ones of the upper jaw; next the two outside cutting teeth of the lower jaw, and soon after those of the upper; after another interval, the first four double-teeth, then the eye- teeth, and lastly, four other double teeth. If the teeth are not all cut before eighteen months, or if only one or two appear by that time, there is some constitutional failing which requires attention. (See ” Rickets,” “Struma,” etc.). For feverishness, sleeplessness, etc. during teething, consult the Sections treating of those derangements.

XLIV. Toothache (Odontalgia)

The most frequent causes are sudden changes of temperature, Indigestion, ill-health, and irritation of the bared nerve by food or sweets.

REMEDIES. Aconitum. Toothache brought on by cold, or accompanied by fever-symptoms.

Belladonna. Burning, throbbing pain, extending to the temples, particularly the right.

Chamomilla. Unbearable fits of pain; nightly aggravation; redness of one cheek and paleness of the other.

Mercurius. Pain starting from loose or decayed teeth, occurring in the night; pain extending to the ears.

Kreasotum. Decayed teeth, with red and painful gums, offensive breath, etc.

Pulsatilla. Pain from indigestible food, fat, pastry, etc.; on the left side of the face.

Bryonia. Pain aggravated by hot or cold food, the cheek being tender to the touch.

Arsenicum. Intermittent toothache; burning or cutting pains; general prostration.

ACCESSORY TREATMENT. The application of heat sometimes gives relief; in other cases, when the temple throbs, a small stream of cold water eases the pain. The digestive organs often require attention, and the bowels should be regulated; very hot or very cold food should be avoided.

XLV. Hiccough (Singultus).

This common affection is of no grave import in children, and may therefore be generally left alone. Should it become troublesome, a draught of cold water will frequently stay the annoyance. This falling, recourse may be had to one of the following:

REMEDIES. Ignatia. Simple cases.

Nux vomica or Pulse. When due to Indigestion.

Sambucus. From exposure to cold, and when it appears to cause a momentary suffocation.

Antim tart. Hiccough, with rattling of mucus in the bronchial tubes.

XLVI. Indigestion (Dyspepsia).

SYMPTOMS. Loss of appetite; flatulence; pain and spasm in the stomach; nausea; furred tongue; hiccough, etc. The symptoms vary in different cases, and, unless corrected, are apt to become chronic.

CAUSES. Irregular feeding; unsuitable food; insufficient out-of- door air and exercise; worms, etc.

REMEDIES. Nux Vomica. Pain after eating; sallow skin; constipation.

Pulsatilla. Brownish furred tongue; heartburn; bad taste; mucous Diarrhoea.

Antimonium Crud. Loss of appetite; white furred tongue; pimples on the face.

Bryonia. Diarrhoea and constipation in turns; pain; nausea and eructations after food.

Carbo Veg. Much flatulence.

ACCESSORY MEANS. Regulation of the diet as pointed out in the sections on “Vomiting” and “Diarrhoea,” especially removing any known cause of the disorder. Daily out-of-door recreation and bathing are indispensable.

XLVII. Simple Vomiting.

When the milk is rejected immediately after nursing or feeling, the milk being curdled, it is due either to the too-frequent feeding or over-distension of the stomach. Vomiting of uncurdled milk indicates debility of the stomach, and requires a carefully- regulated diet; smaller quantities of food being given, and at shorter intervals.

CAUSES. Improper, starchy, or badly-prepared food; too early weaning. Wet-nurses have been known to make up a deficiency of breast-milk by arrow-root, baked flour and other indigestible food. The microscope reveals starch particles, and thus enable us to detect the cause of the derangement. Impure air, too little sunlight, want of cleanliness, and other unhealthy surroundings, may be causes. The crowding of a whole family, or of many children in one room, is not an uncommon cause.

REMEDIES. Pulsatilla. Simple Vomiting from indigestible food, or debility of the stomach.

Ipecacuanha. Aversion to food, and Vomiting of mucus; disagreement of the breast-milk.

Antimonium Crudum. Thickly-furred, white tongue; great thirst; painfulness of the stomach to pressure; nausea; eructations.

Nux Vomica. Aversion to food and drink; vomiting of green bilious matter; Constipation.

ACCESSORY TREATMENT. A change of diet is generally the first consideration, and a change of the mother’s diet, or of her habits, in the case of infants fed by the breast. They should be nursed at regular periods, and not permitted to suck too long at one time. In some cases a wet-nurse should be provided, or feeding with Sugar-of-milk, or with cows’ milk and lime-water, given in such quantities as can be retained. In the case of older children much care is often necessary. When a disposition to sickness has been excited, the stomach will only bear small quantities of food at time, while warm food is often much better tolerated than cold. Small pieces of ice ten to allay Vomiting, and are usually very grateful. After some rest, a teaspoonful of cold water may be given, and followed in ten or fifteen minutes by a very little cold milk-and-water, or whatever else may be suitable. During sickness children should not be moved hastily or roughly to administer food; indeed, no more than is just necessary for the purpose. As soon as possible, out-of-door air, sunlight, cold or tepid bathing, etc., will help to bring about great improvement. They should be warmly but no excessively clad, and the feet especially kept warm.

Edward Harris Ruddock
Ruddock, E. H. (Edward Harris), 1822-1875. M.D.

Author of "The Stepping Stone to Homeopathy and Health,"
"Manual of Homoeopathic Treatment". Editor of "The Homoeopathic World."