Children’s common respiratory diseases are a worry for many parents. Most of these illnesses are a normal immune system response; however, the physical pathology can be quite acute and troubling to the patient and the carer.
Respiratory tract problems can be divided into lower and upper respiratory tract complications. Upper respiratory tract problems may include:
- Common cold
- Cough & sore throat
- Nasal Polyps.
Mostly these upper respiratory tract infections are caused by a virus and the autoimmune response of the body, and there is no cure in conventional medicines other than alleviating or suppressing the symptoms. This makes patient susceptible to re-occurrences of these illnesses.
A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It is very common and usually clears up on its own within a week or two. The main symptoms of a cold include a sore throat, blocked or runny nose, sneezing, cough etc. These symptoms can also include a high temperature (fever), headache and aching muscles. As expected, in a healthy constitution, these symptoms may appear for couple of days, and then should disappear on their own without any medical intervention. However, sometimes complications arise with copious mucus and/or phlegm discharges debilitating the patient, severe sore throat with great difficulty in swallowing food or drinking water, blood in the phlegm, difficulty in sleep, loss of voice etc. where a patient may need treatment. If treatment isn’t provided, the situation may worsen.
Homeopathic remedies for colds:
Aconite: First sign of a cold, especially sniffles, sneezing or sore throat after a cold wind or exposure to change in weather. The patient may be chilly, thirsty, and possibly anxious. This is marked by the sudden onset of the acute symptoms.
Allium cepa: Profuse, bland, watery discharge from eyes. Nasal discharge is profuse and burning. Warm rooms aggravate, better in open air. Other symptoms may include violent sneezing, mucous burns/corrodes top lip, tickle in larynx, hoarseness.
Arsenicum: Thin, watery discharge from the nostrils and sneezing. Eyes & nose red. Chilly, yet burning pain relieved by heat. Thirsty for sips of cold water. Anxiety and restlessness.
Belladonna: Sudden onset of high fever, red hot face, hot dry skin, hand and feet cold, throbbing headache, sensitive to light & noise, pupils dilated.
Bryonia: A cold slow to develop, painful coughs–patient holds chest when he coughs; worse from slightest movement, dry mucus membranes and very thirsty, worse for company, worse for having to answer questions, very irritable, wants to be alone.
Euphrasia: The opposite of Allium Cepa: Nasal discharge is bland; discharge from the eyes is burning. Cough only in the daytime. At night little pains all over body. Heat/fever descends the body. Worst from warm, windy weather. Better in the open air.
Eupatorium Perf: Very thirsty, sore muscles/bones, headache, worse on movement. Gelsemium: A cold with flu-like symptoms, such as aching, trembling, a heavy, dull head. Cold comes on gradually. Apathetic. Thirstless. The patient feels better in fresh air, movement, after urinating, bending forward, sweating, and drinking alcohol.
Mercury: Patient is sensitive to both heat and cold. There is a great deal of sneezing, especially in sunshine and warm conditions, and this will provoke a profuse burning discharge form the eyes. The nostrils are raw from the burning, profuse discharge, which is likely to be bloodstreaked. As the cold progresses, the discharge becomes greenish, foul tasting and the breath offensive.
Natrum Mur: Streaming eyes and nose with much sneezing. Eyes may be burning, but the discharge from eyes and nose is bland. The copious discharge is clear, like egg-white, for the early stage, but after about three days is superseded by congestion. During the cold, the patient typically loses all sense of taste and smell with tiredness and weakness. They may resent being fussed over and be easily irritated by silly little things. Worse in the morning, from exertion, heat and better for fresh air.
Nux vomica: Headache, pains all over body, irritable, nauseous, nose congested with little or no discharge, chilly – cannot get warm, even in bed. Symptoms are worse in a warm room and better in the open air.
Pulsatilla: Is more indicated in an advanced stage of cold. The discharge is thick, yellow-green, muco-purulent. Usually there may be one nostril blocked, loss of smell and taste, and offensive breath. All symptoms are much worse in a warm room and relieved by fresh air. The patient will either be weepy and clingy or crave sympathy and attention.
Cough & SoreThroat:
Ant Tart: Antimonium Tartaricum is often used for loose coughs. Great rattling of mucus, but very little is expectorated. The patient also alternates between coughing and shortness of breath. Other common symptoms include nausea, vomiting mucus, weakness, drowsiness, hoarseness, rapid, short, difficult breathing, seems as if he would suffocate; must sit up; and the desire to be left alone.
Bryonia: The patient with this cough will have a dry, hard, and irritating cough. May have painful chest and may place their hands on either their chest or head when they cough. They may be extremely irritable and worse in a warm room.
Causticum: Remedy for dry, deep, and hollow coughs. The person will feel as if they can’t cough deep enough to raise mucus. Other symptoms include hoarseness, burning pains, a sore chest, and tightness. Symptoms get better from damp weather and sips of cold water; however, symptoms worsen from drafts, cold air, stooping, talking, lying, sneezing, and bending the head forward.
Drosera: Drosera is used for a dry, deep, barking, hollow, and spasmodic cough that may also produce gagging. It is a remedy for whooping cough when the paroxysms following each other very rapidly, can scarcely breathe and chokes. They will also experience vomiting, suffocative attacks, nosebleeds, & cold sweats. It is helpful for cough’s during Asthma attack.
Hepar Sulph: Hepar Sulph is indicated for a rattling cough (may be dry sometimes) with chilliness and production of yellow phlegm. Exposure to cold wind aggravates. There may be splinter-type sore throat, which is better for hot drinks.
Phosphorus: Phosphorus is a major respiratory remedy, suitable for patients prone to deep coughs and bronchitis. Phosphorus is indicated when larynx is very painful, violent tickling in the larynx while speaking, hoarseness and roughness of voice. Cough is brought on while talking or using voice and is worse from cold wind. Tightness across the chest, whole body trembles, with cough. Sputa is rusty, blood-coloured or purulent.
Pulsatilla: Coughs with thick, yellow-green (but non-irritating) mucus. Other symptoms include a white-coated tongue, sneezing, nose-blocked, loss of smell, taste, and appetite. The person will experience a loose cough in the morning and a dry cough at night; feel better from open air, but worse in heat. Pulsatilla patient is often thirstless and wants someone to console him and be around him.
Rumex: This irritative cough has a dry tickle in the throat with long episodes of a dry, hacking, and fatiguing cough. The patient will get better from warm air and during the daytime; however, things will worsen from cough after eating, talking, touching the throat, deep breathing, and lying down.
Spongia: A dry hacking, croupy cough with a sound as if drawing a saw through wood. Larynx dry, burns, constricted (feeling of a plug in larynx). Cough abates after eating or drinking, especially warm drinks. They are worse from breathing in, cold drinks and better for bending forwards.
Stannum: Stannum is indicated when there is great debility with chronic profuse muco-purulent discharges—copious, green, sweetish, easy expectoration. Worst for talking, singing, laughing, can hardly talk.
The tonsils are the two lymph nodes located on each side of the back of your throat. They function as a defense mechanism. They help prevent your body from infection. When the tonsils become infected, the condition is called tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis can be caused by a virus, such as the common cold, or by a bacterial infection, such as strep throat. Symptoms of tonsillitis include a sore throat, with or without pain to the ears, painful/difficult swallowing, coughing, fever and chills. Tonsillitis is characterized by signs of red, swollen tonsils which may have a purulent coating of white patches (i.e. pus). Other symptoms may include snoring and disturbed sleep in children. These conditions develop as the tonsils enlarge and begin to obstruct other areas of the throat.
Homeopathic remedies for treating tonsillitis include:
Baryta Carb: Most prominent remedy for chronic tonsillitis; it removes the predisposition to recurrent attack. It is of great help when tonsillitis accompanied by sore throat and salivation.
Belladonna: Is an acute remedy for tonsillitis. Tonsils when are red and swollen and marked with a hot sensation in the throat.
Hep. Sulph.: This remedy is indicated when tonsillitis has splinter like throbbing pain extending to ear. The tonsils are infected and filled with pus. Additional symptoms include sore throat with fever.
Merc. Sol: Merc. Sol. is useful in the later stage of tonsillitis when it has become deep and ulcerative. It has other symptoms including tenacious saliva with stinging pain.
Phytolacca.: Phytolacca is especially useful when tonsils are in the follicular form, with pain at the root of the tongue, extending to the ears when swallowing. The tonsils are large and blue, and there is intense dryness, smarting and burning in the throat.
Silica: When tonsillitis has broken with discharge of abscess. This is deep acting remedy to help in recurrent cases. Silica can be combined with Hep. Sulph for quick relief.
Adenoids are small lumps of tissue at the back of the nose, above the roof of the mouth. Adenoids are part of the immune system (lymph node), which help fight infection and protects the body from bacteria and viruses. Only children have adenoids. They start to grow from birth and are at their largest when a child is around three to five years of age. By age seven to eight, the adenoids start to shrink and by the late teens, they’re barely visible. By adulthood, they will have disappeared completely.
Symptoms of enlarged adenoids include breathing through mouth, difficulty in sleeping, snoring, sleep apnoea, recurrent ear infection, glue ear, persistent sinusitis, talking with a ’blocked nose’ sound, inability to pronounce certain consonants, including ’m’ and ’n’, yellow or green mucous coming from the nose etc.
There are great homeopathic remedies for enlarged adenoids:
Baryta Carb: For enlarged adenoids (along with tonsils) with patients’ tendency to catch cold. It is suitable for timid and slow children with delayed physical and mental development, speech or language delay.
Calcarea Carb: Calc. Carb is suitable for children with adenoid problems. The patients are flabby (sometimes lean & thin as well) with a large head. They get tired easily. They have tendency to recurrent sore throat and middle ear infections, enlarged soft lymph nodes, chronic constipation, eczema and they are slow and fearful.
Agraphis Nutans: Homeopathic medicines for enlarged adenoids with prominent ear complaints. Ear complaints such as deafness and ear discharges (otorrhea) can be managed very well with Agraphis Nutans. Nasal blockage may be present. Tonsils may also be enlarged in such cases.
Tuberculinum: One of the best Homeopathic remedy for hypertrophied adenoids with great sensitivity to cold air and low temperatures. There may be a tubercular history in the family. The child may seem to be mentally deficient.
Thuja: Suitable for enlarged Adenoids with greenish discharge. When there is a greenish discharge from the nose and the mucous membranes, Thuja is one of the best homeopathic remedies for adenoid enlargement. There may be a feeling of painful pressure at the root of the nose.
Sanguinaria Nitrica: Remedy for swollen adenoids with sense of obstruction. In cases where there is a constant sense of obstruction, Sanguinaria Nitrica is one of the best homeopathic medicines for swollen adenoids.
Opium: Very effective remedy for enlarged adenoids with intense snoring. Opium is helpful when there is deep snoring during sleep. This is attended with rattling and stertorous breathing. The child may also have brief pauses in breathing during sleep (apnoea). This is most useful in case of central sleep apnea.
Nasal polyps are mostly ignored. However, if a patient has chronic obstruction of the nose, nasal voice, frequent sneezing, they could have nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are a non-cancerous, teardrop shaped growth in the nasal cavity. At times, it forms in the sinuses or at the opening of the sinus into the nasal cavities. The polyp almost looks like a grape that has been peeled.
When the nasal polyp is small, it hardly has any symptoms. A large nasal polyp tends to block the nasal cavity. This causes difficulty in breathing. The nose remains obstructed and one has to breathe through the mouth. The patient is prone to frequent a cough and cold with nasal polyps. At times, there may be bleeding from the nasal polyps. A constant dropping of mucous from the posterior nares is another common symptom in these cases. They may lose their sense of smell and taste. An increased incidence of allergies is often seen in patients with nasal polyps. Difficulty in breathing and wheezing may also be present.
Homeopathic remedies suitable in case of nasal polyps may be:
Calcarea Carb –For nasal polyps with loss of smell.
Lemna Minor –When nasal blockage is very intense from nasal polyp with thick profuse yellow/white yellow discharge. Lemna Minor polyps typically worsen in the wet weather.
Medorrhinum –Nasal polyp with copious green/yellow mucus discharge.
Phsophorus –For nasal polyps with bleeding.
Teucrium Marum varum –For polyps with nasal obstruction.
Conium –For polyps with acute smell.
Hekla Lava –For nasal polyps with distended nose.