By Susy Parker Goins
Homeopathy for Tummyaches
Bellyaches, diarrhea, heartburn, constipation -- oof, you name it. It usually happens late at night or just when you’re heading out the door, doesn’t it? Or if your child sleeps with you (like mine), it happens just when you’re getting to the good part of that dream and then it happens all over you!
There’s not much that makes you feel worse all over than any sort of gastric upset. After thoroughly checking into your symptoms, look to homeopathy to help out. Remember to pay close attention to the symptoms. Even seemingly irrelevant minutiae like which side the pain started on or what makes you feel better or worse can make a big difference in which remedy will be most effective. And when you chose the proper remedy, once you administer it, the symptoms will get a bit worse (“Oh great,” I hear you moan) before they get better.
The three heavy hitters
Arsenicum album is your best remedy for vomiting or other problems stemming from tainted food. If you crave cold liquids but then throw them right back up, if you’re exhausted after the least exertion or if your child feels that everything is hopeless, reach for Arsenicum. Other appropriate indicators: improvement after heat, when your head is elevated and with warm drinks (remember, the cold ones make you throw up). Symptoms are aggravated by wet weather, after midnight and from cold, cold drinks or cold food.
Nux vomica (sounds like an “episode,” huh?) is the best remedy for morning-after overindulgence. It can help with not just constipation, morning sickness, nausea, gas, diarrhea, vomiting, but hangovers, too. The symptom picture for Nux sounds like any situation comedy hangover: you feel bloated, cold, queasy, oversensitive and irritable and can’t bear noises, odors or lights. Your symptoms are better from lying down, in the evening and with damp or wet weather. You’re worse in the morning, after a big meal and from dry, cold drafts or mental exertion. Nux’s indigestion brings heartburn and cramping one to two hours after eating. Maybe you want to eat some fat, drink a beer or brandy -- but forget about meat, coffee and tobacco.
Bryonia alba works best for the “I don’t want to move” feeling. Your stools are hard, dry and black. Your mouth, tongue and lips are dry. You thirst for lots of cold water. Bryonia works for diarrhea that is brought about by eating unripe fruit. Those runs are profuse and happen early in the morning. It can help if you have indigestion with heartburn, hiccups and you want lots of warm drinks. (I know, I also said cold drinks, but just look at the other symptoms.)
Pulsatilla, the “whiny” remedy, is good for diarrhea at night caused by cold drinks or nervousness or rich food, like pastry. Also, it helps for indigestion with a lot of bloating or the feeling of “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” two to three hours after you ate the whole thing. Warm rooms and food in the evening make it all feel worse. You are better for a little while from taking cold things.
The second-string remedies
For constipation with lots of urge but little result, check out Sulphur. Sulfur stools are hard, dry and black with lots of pain and burning during passage. If you have no urge to poop (Hey! I still have preschoolers, ok?), think about Alumina. For alumina to be most effective, you find yourself sitting and straining but passing very small ball-like stools or very narrow ones.
And then there’s diarrhea. Ah, yes -- one of my personal favorites, especially as we have only one bathroom in the house. For the runs brought on by fear or exposure to cold, dry winds, look to Aconitum napellus. Aconite is most effective during the first 24 hours of an episode. If you have a “really gotta go” feeling after eating or drinking that is accompanied by colicky pains, Aloe is for you. For symptoms brought on by shock, then it’s Arnica montana. Chamomilla is best for teething babies with slimy, grass green stools with bits of undigested food, mucus or blood and smelling of sulfur. For debilitating but painless diarrhea that has been brought on by overeating fruit or being chilled in summer, consider China.
Finally, we have indigestion. Carbo vegetabilis is for indigestion with pain and tenderness in the pit of your stomach. It comes on half an hour after eating. Even the simplest food makes it worse. You do feel better sitting up and by belching -- lovely. Ipecacuanha works for all-around nausea and vomiting, if none of the others really hit the spot.
It certainly couldn’t hurt to keep a supply of remedies on hand, with holidays coming up. You may be able to help ol’ Uncle Fred after he belches for the 10th time, unbuckles his belt and groans that he may never get out of his chair again. Homeopathy can get him back on his merry way.
© Susy Parker Goins
An informal student of natural health for years, NFO Bookshelf and Natural Beauty Editor Susy Goins received her certificate in homeopathy from the American College of Health Sciences. The self-proclaimed out-of-the-mainstream mama of three is a writer, belly dancer, actress, costumer and cook and will soon be celebrating 20 years of marriage to her husband.