It is not very infrequent that a crying child in the dispensary disturbs me in my work and I have to attend him first before I can do anything else. The parents cannot pacify the kid although they do their best and being unable to narrate the case due to the violent cry they look bewildered. In such cases it is my practice, and I think it is so with every physician, to quieten the child first to enable the parents to narrate the case.
A homoeopath puts two globules of the indicated medicine in the childs mouth and immediately it becomes quiet. Thus the homoeopath cures the disease before hearing the description of the complaints from the parents. It no doubt, astonishes everyone present at the time. Here are the secrets of a homoeopath to quieten a child at sight which sometimes appears like a miracle.
Chamomilla is the most commonly indicated medicine for the violent cry of an infant. The child is most uncivil, ill-humour, cross and troublesome; nothing can please her except carrying her to and fro, which alone can quieten her at least partially. It is an excellent remedy for earache and colic of infants.
No words of consolation will pacify the child, the more you console her the more she is raged. If you give her a doll to play she will throw it away on your face. These modalities are very characteristic of this medicine. In addition you may have green diarrhoea with colic, fluent coryza and one cheek red and hot while the other pale and cold. Constipation is contraindicated in Chamomilla.
Cina: It is very similar to Chamomilla. Cina child is also very cross and ugly; desires many things but only to reject them when offered. It too has some definite indications to distinguish from Chamomilla. Cina child has always some worm symptoms viz. immoderate appetite, picking the nose or playing with finger tips; grinding of teeth, sudden screams and violent jerkings of hands and feet; particularly during sleep. Does not like to be touched or even looked at (Ant. cr). Bluish rings around eyes. All these are very reliable symptoms of Cina.
Belladonna: Plethora; congestions, red face and suddenness are the very characteristics of this medicine. The child cries violently from some violent pain (ear-ache, headache etc.) which appears suddenly and disappears suddenly; the sudden appearance of the pains is clearly indicated by the sudden and violent outcry of the child. Perspiration while crying.
Once while I was dressing myself in an adjacent room I heard a childs cry in my dispensary. When I came there I saw that the attention of everyone in the room was on the child and some of them were also suggesting this and that to silence the tiny out- law. The father, a clerk in the office of the Superintendent or Police, was trying to pacify the child in every way but all endeavours were in vain. Needless to say that I took this case first as soon as I entered into the room but could not find out any symptom from this crying child, my thorough examination failed to reveal any indication except that the cry was violent and incessant, and the boy was corpulent.
The father was so much confused that he could not talk and it was apparent from his face that when I have finished the examination he wanted to take him home first and then to come again to describe the details. I put a few globules of Belladonna 3 in the childs mouth and advised the father to wait a while on the dispensary verandah so that I myself could observe the result.
He waited for about five minutes and as the child did not stop crying he wanted to take him home. So I gave him there more doses of Belladonna 3 and explained to him that when reaction starts the child would sleep and they should not wake him up even to give the medicine. He deposited a rupee with me and said he would take back the balance when he comes to take medicine next morning again. Thus he departed and it was over a month when he turned up to take the balance and it was then only that I could learn the history of the case.
The child had been crying so for some eight or ten days before coming to me. It might be called an incessant cry as the boy could not even sleep for more than half an hour at a time in the nights. During this period he was kept under the treatments of several orthodox physicians of the city but to no good. After leaving my dispensary the father could hardly go half a furlong when the child fell fast asleep and he slept for about eight hours at a stretch; and when he woke up he was perfectly all right.
Aconite nap: Suitable in the first stage of almost all inflammatory diseases, more particularly if it is after exposure to a dry cold wind or weather. Aconite cry is always associated with restlessness, unquenchable thirst, dry skin and a rise of temperature. It has some similarity with Belladonna. With the former dry skin, thirst, fear and restlessness are more marked while in Belladonna congestion, red-face, perspiration and suddenness are more prominent symptoms.
Coffea Cruda:- It has similarity with Aconite which it follows well. It is a great pain-killer in our hands and it has a mental irritability similar to Chamomilla. It is a great soother in pains with inflammatory and febrile symptoms of Aconite and irritability of Chamomilla. Sleeplessness with itching of skin is its another characteristic.
Arsenicum Album: Restlessness, anguish, intense thirst for small quantity of ice-cold water and prostration. Its cry is a distinct revelation of the childs anguish. Vomiting immediately after drinking or feeding and aggravation after mid-day or mid-night are some of its leading features.
Nux Vomica: It is occasionally helpful to quieten a kid especially if the cry is associated with indigestion. Its patient is always very peevish. The child may have several motions in the day but the stools are scanty every time. Nux has snuffles of children at night (Ammon-c., Lyco; Samb.) and in a warm room, hence the child has to breathe through the mouth. She cannot suck the breast as that causes suffocation and hence the child cries. It has fluent nasal catarrh during the day but the catarrh dries and the nose is stuffed up at night.
Once a little boy, about a year old, of a European Manager of the Jwala Bank was crying almost the whole night every day and the parents had to pass the nights without sleep to quieten the child. More than a month passed in this way when one day a neighbour, an engineer, enquired him of the childs troubles. The manager woefully replied that it was beyond what he knew and gave him a list of patent medicines that had already been tried and of physicians who had already been consulted with.
The engineer friend thereon suggested to the parents to try homoeopathy as it is often very agreeable with the kiddies. The parents had no objections to homoeopathic medicines but said that they had no acquaintance with any homoeopath of this place. So the engineer himself came to one of his homoeopath friends, Dr. P.B. Mukherji, B. Sc. L.L.B. but could not present any symptom except that if was over a month that the child was so crying every night. “When you dont know what to give, give Nux”.
Dr. Mukherji followed this old maxim, especially because the history gave a long list of patent medicines. It is needless to mention here that a few doses of Nux-vomica did in one day what a number of patent medicines failed to do in one month.
The above few are the medicines to quieten immediately a child raving with cry. They have been shown in order of frequency in use. Besides the above list the following few medicines are also occasionally useful in ailments with crying as a principal symptom.
Bryonia child also cannot suck the breast on account of dryness of mouth and hence it cries. It has thirst for large quantity of water at long intervals. Aggravation on movement and hence the child does not like to be fondled or to be carried. It wants to remain on the bed undisturbed and cries if moved or raised. The child is constipated.
Borax child also cries for its inability to suck the breast but this time it is due to aphthous condition of the mouth. The child startles, screams or clings to the nurse in terror when she lays it down in a cradle. When Borax is indicated in stomatitis the child usually suffers from diarrhoea. Screaming, jumping and crying of children before micturition is another strong indication of Borax (Lyco., Sars).
Crying and whining of children in marasmus with diarrhoea and aphthae will be greatly benefited by this remedy. The Borax child suddenly wakes from sleep, and screams and cries in fear. This and dread of downward motions are its key-notes.
Pulsatilla: It is one of the lachrymose medicines in our Materia Medica (Nat-m., Sep, Sil.). The child is of mild and gentle disposition and so every one likes her. But she cries easily and at trifles. All its troubles aggravate in the evening, twilight, night and in a stuffy room. Better in open air. Phlegmatic constitution Want of thirst is a peculiarity of this medicine, as its mouth is always dry.
Natrum Muriaticum: This is another lachrymose remedy. But contrary to Pulsatilla consolation does not quieten the Natrum child, it will greatly aggravate her crying, even to convulsions. The more the mother consoles the baby the more she cries and becomes more and more wild in rage.
The best way to tackle a Natrum kid is to let her be alone. Thirst, constipation and progressive emaciation, the emaciation more marked about the neck, these few symptoms will determine the choice of Natrum Mur. Craving for salt and salty foods, and dislike for bread and fat.
Jalapa: The child may or may not cry during the day but sure to cry at night. Jalapa will be more indicated if this type of nocturnal cry is associated with diarrhoea (Psor).
Psorinum child, when sick, does not sleep day or night, and whines and cries all the time, more at night (Jal.) It has also another type of crying, the child becomes very hungry at night and will cry pitifully till she is fed. Excessively offensive stools and dislike for washing will help further in the selection of this remedy.
Iodium child has ravenous hunger. The child wants to be fed all the time which freshens her up. But she will again cry soon after for some more food. Feeding alone can silence an Iodium Kid. The child constantly loses flesh inspite of good appetite and nourishing foods.
Antim Crudum: Child will cry when touched, looked at or spoken to (Cina). Great sleepiness and a thick white coating all over the tongue will determine its administration. The child cries also when bathed or washed in cold water while she finds warm water quite agreeable.
Apis has sudden shrill or scream of children in sleep. Scanty urine, want of thirst and amelioration from cold applications are some of its leaders.
Lac Caninum: The child is cross and irritable; she cries and screams all the time, especially at night (Jal., Nux-v., Psor).
Lycopodium kids cry all the day long but sleep at night. They become cross, ugly and irritable on waking from sleep when they kick the mother and scream.