A story of eczema and its homeopathic treatment
What does a homeopath do when she can’t fix her own child’s eczema? Toby is my third child. When I brought him home from the hospital, I wanted to turn around and go straight back. The food may well be horrendous, but at least someone else makes it for you. There are a lot of jokes going around that once you have three children, you may as well go and have another one because it makes very little difference in the scheme of things. I began to understand exactly what was behind all of those jokes as I did my very best to care for my growing brood. Once you have more children than hands, it’s common to hear about mums losing the plot. No amount of Sepia, Rescue Remedy or B-vitamins are ever going to make up for the fact that you have enough drudgery on the list to keep an army busy, on the same amount of sleep as a twenty year old night clubber….. Except the night clubber normally gets to sleep it off the next day, and people in the army get regular leave.
So being number three, Toby was expected to put up with being poked and prodded by his older siblings, and be happy with whatever attention I had time to give him. Being chronically exhausted looking after so many children, my milk supply didn’t behave as expected and soon I was topping him up with formula. Toby didn’t like the bottle very much, but I explained to him as patiently as I could that I was running out of resources here and if he wanted a full belly he didn’t have much choice.
My baby got eczema and reflux from dairy formula
It wasn’t long before Toby developed symptoms of severe reflux. Even my limited hours of sleep I depended on were now at risk of being poached by Toby’s new little problem. Then the rash started around his mouth. His previously beautiful, soft skin became a wasteland of oozing eczema. Within a matter of weeks the eczema spread and soon he was covered from top to bottom. He learned very quickly how to scratch it with his toes, and he dug great big holes in himself no matter how short I kept his nails. Toby started waking anything up to ten times a night and I became so wired I found I couldn’t fall asleep even during the rare nights when he slept for longer than a couple of hours at a time. (see link for alternatives for baby formula if you are interested) https://deliciouslyorganic.net/baby-formula-bruce-bradley/
Choosing the right homeopathic remedy for eczema
Being a homeopath, I sat down in front of all my books and decided I was going to sort this problem out once and for all. Besides, I’d treated other kids and adults with eczema before, so how hard could it be for a severely sleep-deprived, delusional woman at her wits end, to find the be-all-and-end-all to my son’s (and my own) suffering?
First, like most self-respecting homeopaths would do, I gave Toby a homeopathic potency of Sulphur. Look at any homeopathic website or publication and you’ll find this remedy credited with the most amazing cures of all manner of skin complaints.
Figuring for sure that homeopathic Sulphur would be the answer to all Toby’s problems, I gave him a few doses in a low enough potency to be gentle on his still-very-little body but powerful enough to clear the problem. With great hope I went to bed anticipating a good night’s sleep. By morning I knew it wasn’t going to make a lick of difference.
Eczema and homeopathy
Being the stubborn person I am, I came across a book detailing the homeopathic treatment of eczema and worked my way through the list of suggestions. Over the next few weeks I gave Toby Chamomilla, Calc carb, Nat mur, Psorinum, Medorrhinum, Mezereum, Graphites and a whole lot more besides. http://www.britishhomeopathic.org/bha-charity/how-we-can-help/conditions-a-z/managing-eczema/
Not. One. Worked. My faith in my chosen field of passion began to take a severe beating. Extended family members began strongly suggesting I ease poor Toby’s torment by using steroid creams. The final blow came when he got an infection and ended up in hospital on antibiotics. With much despair I bowed under the pressure and applied cortisone, mingled with my tears, to my baby’s broken skin, feeling I had completely failed him in every single way. The doctor who gave me the prescription for the cortisone told me with complete conviction there was nothing else I could do for Toby’s skin, and that “diet made absolutely no difference to eczema at all. Ever. So don’t bother trying anything other than cortisone cream. Period”.
The next day I woke up with the suspicion that Toby was most probably dairy intolerant. I know I made that the heading a few paragraphs ago, but my addled mind never put it all together until much, much later. Kicking myself for not recognising something so obvious straight away, I ditched the formula and went back to exclusively breastfeeding; no change, aside from my exhaustion getting even worse as I tried to keep up with his appetite. So I paid $300 to see a specialist who gave me a special diet to rid potentially irritating substances from my milk. There was a slight improvement after a couple of weeks, but I decided it really wasn’t worth bursting into tears every time I opened the fridge to be confronted with everything I wasn’t allowed to eat. Swallowing my pain at the thought of weaning so early, as well as my horror at shelling out yet another $300, I went back to the specialist and got a script for a dairy free formula. It took away the immediate anger of the rash very quickly, but the eczema and reflux weren’t going anywhere and I felt quite despairing of Toby ever sleeping through the night. It was time to do something drastic before my limited sanity completely disappeared.
Resigning myself to the fact that Toby may require odd and unusual remedies rather than just the usual ones that work for most people, I took Toby down to the Harbord Homeopathic Clinic where I work in between having children. The homeopath I went to no longer works at the clinic, but she asked me questions I hadn’t even dreamed of asking myself. She came up with a remedy that wasn’t even in my book on homeopathic skin disorders. She even gave me something to help me with my desperate insomnia.
Kicking myself yet again for not coming down to the clinic a whole lot earlier, I got home and gave Toby his first dose of drops. I can’t say I felt overly hopeful after what I had been through with him, but I forced myself to be as positive as I could. After preparing dinner and breaking up fights between the older kids, I looked over at my third child who was, for once, smiling up at me sweetly instead of constantly whining. For once I smiled lovingly back, remarking to myself that the remedy the homeopath had given me must already be starting to help. Looking more closely at his face, I did a double take; no, a triple take at his skin, which was still rough and broken, but the angry, irritated redness had disappeared! I mean, gone! Vanished! His skin was actually skin colour and not a mottled, furious red!
Excuse me while I shed a little tear at the joy and wonder I still feel, that my son’s severe eczema could be impacted on so quickly and so significantly by the new drops. He slept through that whole night and so did I! Oh, miracle of miracles; my faith in homeopathy was restored! Within two weeks not a trace of the eczema remained and he became a fantastic sleeper! I spent hours rubbing my tired, middle aged cheeks against his beautiful baby soft ones, relishing ecstatically in the smooth entirety of his healed skin.
Dealing with dairy intolerance (and other intolerances) in older children
Now, Toby is nearly five years old. His skin is still beautiful. He still has a dairy intolerance and his food staples consist of almond milk on his cereal, coconut oil on his toast and coconut milk yoghurt for a snack (yes it costs a bomb but it’s quite delicious with a little honey, and it’s now available through most major supermarkets). With a little imagination I can usually give him similar food to everyone else, and I no longer feel quite as intimidated as I did when I first started him on solids. He is a little skinnier than I’d like, and I’m wondering if dairy helps to fill children out and give them that gorgeous rounded look they get, but it’s a small price to pay for his health. Sometimes even his diet doesn’t stop Toby from getting a small patch of irritation or a sore tummy, and when that happens I give him his drops, the same remedy prescribed by the homeopath when he was tiny. They still help every time and I am just so grateful to have them on hand. I honestly don’t know what would have happened otherwise. http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/dairyfreebasics/tp/MilkSubstitutes.htm
Read more about: Self-prescribing and when really not to