von Elizabeth Adalian
erschienen in Homeopathy in practice Winter/Spring 2013
The Homeopathy Handbook for Children
I had great expectations for this book, having read other texts by the same author. The subtitle Acutes and their Homeopathic Treatment fills a void in the existing literature on children to date. In fact, the contents extend way beyond the boundary of what is perceived as 'acute illness' in the minds of both practitioners and their patients.
As is so often the case with Narayana, the publishers of this book, the cover is very attractive: it shows a bouncy smiling baby lying down with a comforting parental hand on the torso (this conveys the message of love, the key ingredient in healing, which is imparted throughout the text). What detracts from the high quality of this publication, however, is the number of 'typos' in the text.
Not only are the usual physical illnesses covered, but also deeper and more chronic states such as bedwetting, delayed development, trauma, and post-vaccination ailments.
Separate chapters focus on the illnesses of pregnancy, birth and the post-natal period (the latter covering the first 18 months of life). This includes shock to the newborn, breastfeeding issues, weaning, dentition, and goes right up to the time of onset of the more typical childhood illnesses. The symbiosis between the mother and the child is emphasised way back to conception.
I appreciate the emphasis on understanding the greater pathology involved in the states discussed, for example recognising that fever is often a precursor to a later eruptive disease. The author acknowledges the importance of times and progression of fever spikes and coughs. The causative factors of diseases such as bronchitis are explored, which reinforces our concept of the timeline in acute illnesses as much as chronic ones.
The author points out hidden illnesses such as urinary tract infections, lung disease, sinusitis, glandular fever, and malaria. He affirms the importance of referral, if necessary, to a doctor in the case of persistent physical illness and a psychologist in case of mental states.
Grandgeorge suggests different potencies throughout the book according to the different disease states discussed. On the whole, he recommends lower potencies, such as 6, 12 and 30c, than the ones we traditionally use in the UK. However, for nosodes such as Carci-nosin, he advocates 10M.
Each disease category is broken down according to: 1) definition 2) causes 3) consequences (where appropriate) 4) symbolic meaning 5) allopathic treatment (again, where appropriate) 6) optimal remedies 7) repertori-sation. Of these categories, I find the last to be the most useful. This is because, for each particular ailment, he selects very specific and useful rubrics. He also explains how the acute remedy often has affinity for the whole case or leads into a related constitutional picture for future prescribing reference.
It fills a void in the existing literature on children to date
There is a link to Freud's 'oral' and 'anal' stages of development. He explains that the former links to the mother and is represented in diseases such as rubella, measles, mumps and whooping cough. The latter is related to the father and is represented in diseases such as chickenpox and mononucleosis. (We also learn that scarlatina and hepatitis are related to the 'Oedipus complex'.)
My main criticism of the book relates to the layout. The text is repetitive as each remedy state is redefined under different categories of illness. This takes up a considerable amount of space in the book and becomes tedious for the reader to navigate.
Also, I consider the chapters on pregnancy, neonatology, and acute pathology in the newborn would fit better at the beginning of the book rather than at the very end. This would give some chronological continuity and be altogether less confusing. It means the book ends rather abruptly without any natural conclusion.
The esoteric understanding of the symptoms appeals to me and demonstrates years of observation in practice. I enjoy the play on words - often using French (the author's native language) to understand the deeper concept the illness portrays. An example is shown in his understanding of sinusitis - 'si nu' in French implies 'if you are naked, go'. Therefore, the concept is that the illness indicates vulnerability in going forward in life. (One only has to think of a remedy such as Silica to appreciate how this symbolism fits the picture.) At the same time, he breaks down the different pathological categories of sinusitis into 'ethmoidal' (present from birth), 'maxillary' (arising between the ages of two and four years), and 'frontal' (arising after seven years of age). He proceeds to explain the different significance and resulting approaches to each type. This marrying of the esoteric with the pathological gives substance to this book, which is rare to find in any text on the subject of homeopathy, especially in the case of children.
Elizabeth Adalian MARH