The child was thin and pasty-looking, his mouth open, drooling slightly, with a sort of snorting snuffle every few breaths; his dead shape was within the limits of normal and his ears normal. He had no teeth. He could neither stand nor sit without support, nor creep, and his head would wobble if he got off balance. The fingers of his hands were spread widely apart and back and had spatulate tips.

Three months ago a young couple stepped tentatively into my office. The wife looked like a 13th Century Madonna, thin and worn, holding in her arms a little, pallid, slanting-eyed boy of about a year and a half. The father wept quietly as he told me that several clinics and specialists had pronounced their little boy a Mongolian idiot and had said that nothing could be done for him but custodial care in some institution for his ilk. They had heard of Homoeopathy and asked me if I thought anything at all could be done for the boy.

The child was thin and pasty-looking, his mouth open, drooling slightly, with a sort of snorting snuffle every few breaths; his dead shape was within the limits of normal and his ears normal. He had no teeth. He could neither stand nor sit without support, nor creep, and his head would wobble if he got off balance. The fingers of his hands were spread widely apart and back and had spatulate tips.

He was totally unable to grasp anything. The mother said he could neither drink from a cup nor suck at a bottle; she fed him with a spoon. When I picked him up the musculature of his back and limbs was pitifully flabby, like a rag doll. he seemed perfectly formed except for the typical Mongoloid eye-casings. He did not smile or reach for bright jewellery; he frequently put his head back and rolled his eyes toward the ceiling and then flopped his head down on his chest. The parents begged me not to give them any ray of hope, if there was none. A more inexpressive and hopeless trio I have rarely seen. The child had had no colds or childhood disease, no eruption, convulsion, fright or accident.

What to do? All I could see was triple grief. I asked the mother to tell me about her pregnancy and labour. She had experienced a deep grief in the early months of her pregnancy, no nausea, easy labour, no instruments needed. This was the second child, the elder one being, they said, well and normal. No history of syphilis, convulsions, or insanity in the family. Laboratory work under the previous doctors was all negative, including Wassermann, blood count, etc. The boy received one dose of Natrum mur. 10M on the tongue which he made no effort either to swallow or to spit. I explained to the parents what homoeopathic remedies can often do in sub-normal children and asked them to give me a try for at least three months, seeing the child every fortnight. I told them it might take several years to get much of anywhere.

Two weeks later the child looked almost rosy and had a gleam of intelligence. The muscles of the back had better tone, he rolled his head and eye less. He had begun to have a thick catarrh and almost a wheeze. The mother volunteered that he could now roll in bed and that he had taken to doing the queerest thing, sleeping with his little behind, as she called his buttocks, up in the air. The father was not present this time and I asked the mother if she had at any time had a sudden, creamy, profuse discharge from the womb. She said, “Why, yes, the year before this boy was born; but it was soon cleared up at the clinic.” Medorrhinum 1M, one dose.

Two weeks later when I picked the baby up he grasped my hair. The snuffles and snorting were entirely gone, he had cut two teeth without trouble, could sit alone and was trying to pull himself up in his pen. He had a curious symptom of protruding the tongue between the lips and there was a gurgling sound when he drank. The mother told me he had been exposed to chicken pox and I found a few small spots on the abdomen. He had a short, concussive cough. I explained to her that it would do him good to have the chicken pox and have it thoroughly, but that he would need a remedy to help the vitality bring it well out, and gave him Cuprum 1M, one dose.

He skipped the next visit because he blossomed out with a strong chicken pox rash. He himself seemed bright and better than he had ever been during the illness. When he returned at the end of a month he had gained three pounds, no longer stuck out his tongue, grasped my finger so tightly I could hardly extricate it and clutched the paper weight and pencils on my desk, and was beginning to make sounds such as “Dada” (he was by this time two years old). He felt far heavier than before, now had occipital head sweat with sour odor and was starting to cut two more teeth. Calcarea carb., 10M was given, on which he is still riding and gradually improving.

I have had occasion to do the mothers chronic case. Her remedy was Sulphur. I should judge the fathers to be Natrum mur.

How far along toward normalcy will Homoeopathy be able to bring this child?.

Little Miss P., aged three, walked stiff-legged into my office, holding to the nurse with both hands. She had never spoken. She had her quota of teeth but was very under-nourished. She would sit all day on the floor in the corner, not playing with any of her toys. I was unable to see either the father or the mother. Apparently she had been a normal infant until her Daddy, to whom she was devoted, was called into the Service, and she did not improve when he returned a few months ago.

First class clinics had pronounced her “one of those spastics,” although her neurological examination was negative. No history of injury or polio. Natrum mur 10M, one dose. The nurse called back two days later and said she could not understand it, that Miss P. had started to use three or four words, like Mama and spoon, and was walking less stiffly and even for two or three steps alone. When she return in a month she walked about the office picking up things, and played with the handles of the desk. Three months have elapsed, she is gaining weight and making steady progress. No further remedy as yet.

Summoned in the middle of the night to a hotel, I found a boy of four with tense thigh muscles. He was unable to turn in bed, and screamed if you touched the thighs, though otherwise lethargic and drowsy. He had a fever of 103 and some rigidity of the neck. He had recently returned from the West and had been, apparently, perfectly well when he went to bed that night. Throat, chest and abdomen were negative; no twitchings or convulsions; no particular perspiration; stool and urine had been normal the day before. No history of wetting or unusual emotion. The arms could be moved freely and were not tender.

The joints were normal. Gelsemium 1M was given, hot packs to the thighs ordered continuously through the night, and a homoeopathic pediatrician, who is especially interested in poliomyelitis, summoned. He confirmed the diagnosis of acute polio. By the time he arrived there were fibrillary muscle twitchings and the child had urging to stool and urine but could not pass either.

Nux vomica 30., three doses, two hours apart. After about four hours the twitchings and strainings ceased, the muscle tenderness and spasm relaxed and three days later the child was taken in a taxi to the pediatricians office for a check up. He has been active and in excellent health the six months since then and has neither wasting nor any other sequel.

A hurry call to a suburb revealed a boy of 14 with a temperature of 105, lying half on his right side, with a pillow under his left ankle and knee. On entering the room the sour odor, typical of the sweat of rheumatic fever, was strongly perceptible. The left ankle and knee were swollen but not red, exquisitely tender, and the parents said that since calling me, Master B. had complained of pain in the left hip. The bed was a mess, though all the rest of the house most immaculate. The mother apologized, saying the boy kept moving and wriggling as he could not endure the pain lying still, yet the change of position brought only momentary relief.

He was frightened and crying. His pulse was 130, heart racing but no murmurs. The inner throat appeared normal and the family denied any recent sore throat or cold. However the kid said, “I didnt tell you, Mummy, but three weeks ago I had a sore throat and the glands hurt here on the left on my neck.” An electric heating pad was around the boys knee and a hot water bottle propped against his ankle. No time needed to repertorize this case.

I asked one question, “What time of day are you worst?” “In the evening,” responded his father and mother together, “after midnight he seems to quiet down.” You all known the remedy: Rhus tox 10M. Next day the fever was 102 at its highest, no more pain in the joints. Temperature normal the next day, pulse in the 90s. The boy was kept in bed as a precautionary measure, for three weeks, during which time there were no more fever nor sweat, no heart murmur and no discomfort. He has looked and felt better since this illness than ever before.

These few cases are routine to any homoeopath, yet they show how beautifully even “run of the mill” prescribing can help the children fortunate enough to have homoeopathic treatment.



DR. HARVEY FARRINGTON: Madam Chairman, I havent very much to say. I dont think that Dr. Hubbard need apologize for bringing those cases before us. Even eliminating those that were more or less routine, like the Rhus tox. case she presented one or two that often give us a great deal of trouble.

Elizabeth Wright Hubbard
Dr. Elizabeth Wright Hubbard (1896-1967) was born in New York City and later studied with Pierre Schmidt. She subsequently opened a practice in Boston. In 1945 she served as president of the International Hahnemannian Association. From 1959-1961 served at the first woman president of the American Institute of Homeopathy. She also was Editor of the 'Homoeopathic Recorder' the 'Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy' and taught at the AFH postgraduate homeopathic school. She authored A Homeopathy As Art and Science, which included A Brief Study Course in Homeopathy.