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Diarrhea

Diarrhea is the body’s cleansing response, removing unwanted substances by way of the digestive tract. Looseness of the bowels can be caused by allergens, contaminated food, toxins, viral and bacterial illness, or occur during times of emotional stress. Some babies have diarrhea during teething, and many people experience diarrhea as a physical overreaction to nervousness.

For dosage information, please read the information at the end of this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional Guidance” in What Is Homeopathy?

Argentum nitricum: If a person has diarrhea when anticipating a stressful event (such as giving a speech or a public performance, taking a test, or attending a party) this remedy should come to mind. Bloating and flatulence are usually seen, pain may be felt in the region of the groin, and the diarrhea may look green. Diarrhea that occurs immediately after eating or drinking, or after eating too much sugar, will often respond to Argentum nitricum.

Arsenicum album: Diarrhea accompanied by anxiety, restlessness, and exhaustion suggest a need for this remedy. Burning pain is felt in the digestive tract, and the person may be thirsty for frequent small sips of tea or water. The stools may be watery and have  a putrescent odor. Simultaneous diarrhea and vomiting is another strong indication. Arsenicum is often useful when diarrhea has been caused by spoiled or tainted food.

Bryonia: This remedy is often helpful for diarrhea during flu (especially when the person feels grumpy and wants to lie still and be left alone). It may also be helpful for diarrhea that occurs when a person gets overheated, then drinks a lot of cold water. Symptoms often are worse in the morning. The person’s mouth may be very dry.

Chamomilla: Hot, green, watery diarrhea with abdominal pain and gas suggests a need for this remedy. The person’s face will be red and flushed (sometimes only on one side) and problems may be worse from warmth. Children who need this remedy will often seem extremely angry, and scream or hit. Adults are irritable and hypersensitive.

Colocynthis: Cutting and cramping pains in the abdomen precede the diarrhea when this remedy is indicated. The person feels relief from doubling over, or from putting hard pressure on the abdomen. This remedy is often helpful when diarrhea follows anger (especially if the feelings were not expressed).

Gelsemium: This remedy is often indicated if trembling and weakness accompany diarrhea, especially when nervousness, fear, or emotional upset is the cause. Gelsemium is also useful during flu with diarrhea, droopy lethargy, fever, chills, and headache.

Ipecacuanha: If a person has diarrhea accompanied by extreme or constant nausea, this remedy may bring relief. Cutting, clutching pains are worse around the navel, and the diarrhea looks frothy or green.

Phosphorus: This remedy can be soothing if a person has a weak or empty feeling in the abdomen, followed by diarrhea that runs out “like an open faucet.” People who need this remedy are often thirsty, and may be fearful when ill.

Podophyllum: Profuse, gushing, watery diarrhea that is usually not accompanied by pain suggests the use of this remedy. The abdomen rumbles and gurgles before the diarrhea passes, and urging may soon be felt again. Bouts of diarrhea are often worse in the morning, and also in hot weather.

Pulsatilla: If diarrhea occurs after eating rich and fatty foods, this remedy can be helpful. Queasiness and abdominal pain are likely to occur, and the diarrhea has a changeable appearance. The person usually is not be thirsty, feels worse from being warm or in a stuffy room, and is better in open air. A need for attention, sympathy, and comforting is a strong indication for Pulsatilla (a very useful remedy for children).

Sulphur: Urgent, hot diarrhea that occurs in the early morning, making the person rush to the bathroom, suggests a need for this remedy. Burning is often felt in the digestive tract, and the anus can be itchy, red, and irritated. The person may also have hemorrhoids that burn and itch.

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Homeopathy Dosage Directions

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.

Many homeopathic 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 sufficient.

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 Homeopathic Potencies.

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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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The information contained on this site is general in nature and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other health care professional. None of the statements on this site are an endorsement of any particular product, or a recommendation as to how to treat any particular disease or health-related condition. If you suspect you have a disease or health-related condition of any kind, you should contact your health care professional immediately. Please consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise, supplementation or medication program.