An Excerpt From Homeopathic Treatment of Children: Pediatric Constitutional Types

Homeopathy is a system of medicine that treats the entire pattern of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics of children and adults who are ill. This book describes eight of the most common patterns of illness that children experience and the corresponding homeopathic medicine for them. It is the intent of this book to demonstrate the extent to which homeopathy can significantly help in the prevention and treatment of illness in children.

I find several reasons why parents should know about homeopathic constitutional types described in this book. The primary reason is to find out what your child's constitution is at present. This information is most important, as it will tell you what your child's susceptibilities are. It can show you what stresses are most likely to bring about illness. Avoiding these stresses comprises what we term "primary prevention" in health care, and these avoidances will help keep your child healthy.

Learning the child's constitution will also help you to know the parts of the body that are weakest. These areas can be protected, again helping the child to stave off illnesses.

Understanding the child's constitution aids in identifying the ailment from which the child is complaining, thereby helping you and your physician understand the disease more quickly than before. For instance, if you know that your child has a Phosphorus constitution, you know that the pancreas is commonly a weak organ for that constitutional type. Then when the child complains of pain in the head, trembling, weakness, and hunger, you may be able to help the doctor diagnose hypoglycemia.

There is yet another reason to know these types. Different remedy types respond differently to various methods of parenting, disciplining, and communication in general. Better understanding of your child through homeopathy should enhance your relationship with him or her and create the most fertile environment in which the child, as well as you the parent, can blossom. As an example, some children need "time outs" while others need only a parental glance to understand that they are misbehaving and in this second type, time outs can cause emotional scarring. Likewise, some children have strong fears of animals, others of abandonment, while others have unmentioned fears for the parents' welfare. Knowing your child's constitutional type can help you build up the child's self-confidence and dispel the child's fears.

It has become increasingly popular for parents to treat their children at home for a wide range of common acute problems. This is to be encouraged. However, if your child is suffering from a chronic ailment -a frequently recurrent problem or a deeper emotional or mental imbalance - then homeopathic care is best left to someone who is trained in classical homeopathy, as well as someone who has more objectivity in perceiving your child's condition.

This is not a self-help book; rather, it is a reference guide for parent and doctor alike. It is hoped that by reading this book you will better be able to report recognizable symptoms and personality traits to your homeopath, so that he or she in conjunction with you will be better able to find the remedy that will help your child.

Paul Herscu, ND