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Colic is defined as acute abdominal pain
with intense spasmodic cramping. Infants with colic become upset and
cry as if in pain, at the same time every evening. Abdominal
discomfort appears to be the cause of colicky babies’
suffering—but, since babies are too young to talk, it is hard to
know exactly what distresses them. Homeopathic remedies are often
very soothing, both to babies and adults, during colic episodes. If
symptoms of illness are present (fever, chills, diarrhea, vomiting,
oddly-colored urine or bowel movements) or if pain appears to be
unusually severe, a physician should be consulted.
For dosage information, please read the information at the end of
this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional
Guidance” in What
Belladonna: Sudden onset of
intense, cutting, clutching pain may signal a need for this remedy.
The upper abdomen may look tense and swollen, and jarring or light
touch makes discomfort worse. Some relief may come from pressing
firmly on the area or bending forward. The person may either seem
excitable with dilated eyes, or woozy with discomfort.
Bryonia: Extreme stitching pain in
the abdomen that is worse from the slightest motion suggests a need
for this remedy. The abdomen may seem bloated and tender to touch,
and talking or breathing increases discomfort. Keeping warm and
lying completely still may bring relief.
Carbo vegetabilis: This remedy is
often indicated when a person has a distended abdomen with colicky
pain and belching. The face may look very pale, and the hands and
feet are cold. Faintness, weakness, and a strong desire for moving
air are other indications for Carbo vegetabilis.
Chamomilla: This remedy is
indicated when a person is hypersensitive to pain. It is especially
helpful to colicky babies who desperately scream or shriek and want
to be constantly rocked and carried. The abdomen may be distended
with gas, and pain can be focused in the navel region. Hot
perspiration and facial flushing (sometimes only one cheek) are
other indications for Chamomilla.
Colocynthis: Cramping, cutting pain
that makes the person double over is a strong indication for this
remedy. Pressing hard against the abdomen usually brings relief.
Babies who need this remedy look extremely anxious and often feel
relief when carried tummy-down on someone’s arm. Adults who
experience painful colic after feeling angry or indignant
(especially if suppressing it) may also benefit from Colocynthis.
Cuprum metallicum: If intense
abdominal pain with violent spasms and cramping occurs at intervals,
this remedy may bring relief. The abdomen feels tender, tight, and
hot, and drinking cold water may bring improvement. The person’s
face may look extremely tense, or even contorted, with pain.
Dioscorea: Abdominal pain that
feels better from bending backward often is relieved by this remedy.
Babies may arch their backs and try to stay in that position. Pain
comes in paroxysms, often with gas and burping, or with nausea.
Magnesia phosphorica: Colicky pain
that is relieved by warmth and pressure often responds to this
remedy. Hot water bottles, heating pads, or drinking something warm
can soothe discomfort, and rubbing the abdomen may also help. The
person (often a baby) may seem nervous from the pain, and can be
irritable or fearful.
Nux vomica: This remedy is helpful
for tense and impatient people when colicky pains result from
overeating or from overindulgence in coffee, alcohol, and other
strong or stimulating substances. The abdomen feels tight, and
constricting pains press upward, making breathing difficult. Warm
applications and warm drinks may bring relief. Infants who need this
remedy often arch their backs, and seem impatient and angry.
Select the remedy that
most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where
self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a
physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C)
should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually
printed on the label.
physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one
dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue
to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags
significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be
taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and
the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times
an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a
day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be
If no response is seen
within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.
For more information, including references, see What
is Homeopathy? and Understanding
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The information presented in Healthnotes
Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on
scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical
experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article.
The results reported may not necessarily occur in all
individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment
with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also
available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented
healthcare practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health
problem and before using any supplements or before making
any changes in prescribed medications.
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