Mentals: Anger, great irritability
Irritable infants or children
Must be carried; cries angrily if put down and parents
must walk up and down to quiet him.
Inconsolable children and infants
Aversion to being touched. Shies angrily away
from being touched.
Capricious; demands something then throws it away
(often at someone) no sooner than he receives it.
Fear of wind.
Abnormally sensitive to pain
Weeping in the sleep
(rubrics copied from Roger Morrison’s Desktop Guide 1993)
Sound familiar? Most parents would agree this description fit their child at one point or another. If the irritability is centered around painful, difficult teething with ear infection and/or diarrhea, Chamomilla is the remedy of choice. One homeopathic pillule of Chamomilla 30c dissolved in a bottle of milk or tinctured and given with a glass dropper is all it takes – you will be amazed at how quickly it works. Within minutes your child will be calmer, her eyes will become clear and bright, and (usually) she will drift off into a deep and peaceful sleep.
I can vouch for Chamomilla because I’ve seen it work again and again. When I first started learning about homeopathy, I was living in a dormitory-style building at a Buddhist retreat center in Colorado. During the summer months people were constantly coming and going for group retreats, including families with children. I will never forget the mother with a small child who started crying at 2 am. The crying echoed through the building, and continued to get louder. I’m sure the crying had woken up everyone there. My first thought was, “Chamomilla!” since that was one of the first remedies I had learned about and among the first remedies in my ‘kit’. “If it couldn’t hurt, and might help, why not?” So I walked down the hall, knocked on the door and handed the mother a small packet of Chamomilla 30c. I instructed her to put one pillule in her baby’s bottle, to let it dissolve, pound the bottle ten times on a hard surface and give it to the child. Five minutes later the crying stopped, and early the next morning the mother came knocking on my door asking for “more of those little white pills.”
When irritability and anger are accompanied by colic, ear infection, diarrhea or teething, may your first thought be “Chamomilla!” And what mother has never seen her child in such a state? Remember those sleepless nights when nothing you do will make your sweet little baby happy? You’ve changed him, you’ve fed him, you’ve burped him, you’ve picked him up and put him down, you checked and re-checked his temperature, changed his diaper again…that’s a night to have Chamomilla close by.
“Camilia” is a more common and more user-friendly homeopathic remedy made by Boiron. I recommend Camilia if you are new to homeopathy, or if you are self-prescribing without the advice of a trained homeopath. Camilia combines Chamomilla 9c with two other ‘teething’ remedies: Rhus 5c and Phytolacca 5c. Individually, Rhus would be indicated in cases where “sour smelling” diarrhea is the main complaint, and Phytolacca is more appropriate in cases of swollen tonsils. Boiron has packaged Camilia in easily administered plastic tubes so you don’t have to wait for a little white pillule to dissolve – just twist off the cap and give it directly to your child. For general teething complaints, this is an excellent remedy that works fast. Although I am not usually a fan of ‘combination remedies’ (in my practice I prefer to work with simple, singular substances) I am for what works – and Camilia really does work.
My own sweet little angel is a textbook Chamomilla – he can be quite irritable and ‘colicky’, he must be carried constantly, he even has the keynote symptom of “one cheek red, one cheek pale.” With children who fit the Chamomilla picture so perfectly, give homeopathic Chamomilla in the 12th or 30th potency. Camilia may work, but then only very briefly and may need to be repeated several times. (Some practitioners prefer to use ‘lower’ potencies with small children, starting with “x” potencies or a 6c for example; however, I have found the intensity of pain some children experience requires a 30c immediately, which quickly resolves all the complaints including uncharacteristic anger and irritability. One mother said, “I feel like I have my sweet child back again!”)
If you’ve tried Camilia and Chamomilla with no results, a more appropriate and specific homeopathic remedy can be given by your friendly neighborhood homeopath. I will continue to post remedy highlights in my new column, “Dr. Mom” so you can continue building and using your own Family Remedy Kit. In the meantime, if there is ever only one remedy to have for small children that is natural, completely safe and effective for irritability and teething, it’s Chamomilla!