Gentle Winter Remedies for Babies and Children

In my practice, babies and children love sucking on tiny sweet tablets called “tissue salts” or “cell salts”, which are essential minerals prepared with an extra boost of homeopathic energy. I call one of them “Nip It in the Bud” because you can take it before you get sick, to ward off colds and flu. These twelve tissue salts are gentle yet powerful remedies that have been used for generations but almost totally forgotten in an the age of antibiotics.

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Thumbsucking Can Represent an Underlying Problem

Thumbsucking after the age of five or six can turn into a dental problem, especially if your child is actively sucking rather than passively resting her thumb in her mouth. It can change the shape of the palate and cause overbite as the top teeth stick out.

It can also be hard to break the habit at that point, so let’s consider some natural approaches.

First let’s change the way we think about thumbsucking. Instead of considering it as a “bad habit” which we need to “break”, let’s assume that the child is doing it for a reason. If we can understand and resolve the reason, the thumbsucking will automatically stop.

In my practice, the homeopathic remedy Pulsatilla often works for thumbsucking when it’s part of a larger picture: a child who wants to remain babyish and has the typical Pulsatilla personality (clingy, attached to mom, cuddly and affectionate, generally sweet and mild-tempered but can also be whiny and manipulative and suddenly teary). Children may tend to be like this from birth, especially if they experienced abandonment as a newborn (for example from an induced birth or an elective Caesarean – which to a baby is like being evicted from paradise — or from being dropped off at daycare before they are ready to separate from their mother).

Or they may develop regressive tendencies when a new baby sister or brother starts getting all the attention, and somewhere in their little brain they figure out that acting like a baby might get them back in the limelight again. For these kids, thumbsucking might be part of a pattern that includes forgetting their potty training, wanting to drink from a bottle again, and wanting to sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed again. Not to mention clinging like velcro to mom’s leg when dropped off at daycare.

For a child like this, Pulsatilla is not just about fixing the thumbsucking. It’s about relieving the child’s feeling of abandonment, whether from birth, or from losing their special spot in their parents’ affection when a new baby appears.

There might be a totally different reason, though, with a different fix. Thumbsucking stimulates the point in the roof of the mouth between the hard and soft palate. Above that point is the pituitary gland, which releases endorphins, the body’s natural pain-relievers and stress-reducers.

Sometimes the system doesn’t work, though, and the child has found that rubbing the palate releases those innate stress relievers. Take your child to a craniosacral therapist or to a non-force chiropractor for a sphenobasilar adjustment.” I learned about this from my very smart colleagues at the Lydian Center, and I recommend our craniosacral therapist, Eve Kodiak, who specializes in babies (

This was adaped from Burke Lennihan’s Your Natural Medicine Cabinet: A Practical Guide to Drug-Free Remedies for Common Ailments and may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes with attribution and a backlink to this site.


Natural Remedies for Teething


Kids love taking homeopathic remedies.  That even includes babies! You can simply tuck a single pellet or tablet inside your baby’s cheek, or dissolve it in a little water and dab it on your baby’s lips. When your baby is screaming with teething pain, homeopathy can offer instant relief. The following recommendations are based on my experience working as a professional homeopath, and before that, running a health food store.

Hyland’s Teething Tablets are an old favorite for teething, and they were among the most popular products in my health food store. They are a combination of several possible remedies for teething, which increases the chances that at least one of them will work.

Sometimes, though, the single, specific homeopathic medicine works better than a blend:

  • Chamomilla for pain so intense the child is in a raging fit, demanding things then throwing them on the floor. The cheek is likely to turn red on the same side as the tooth that’s erupting.
  • Belladonna is also for dramatic symptoms: sudden onset, high fever, red face, possibly dilated pupils, possibly angry and biting.
  • Calc. carb. if the teething doesn’t seem to hurt so much and especially if the child matches the Calc. carb. type. These ‘Buddha babies’ tend to have a calm, even lethargic temperament and lots of baby fat. They tend to do everything late — walking, talking, teething — because they like to take their own sweet time.

The cell salt Calc. phos. can make the teething process easier by strengthening the teeth and helping them erupt through the gums faster. Cell salts are minerals which are homeopathically energized for better absorption and assimilation. Calc. phos. is also used to strengthen bones, for example to prevent or even reverse osteoporosis. You’ll know it’s the cell salt form when you see “6x” on the label. This refers to the potency or strength and it doesn’t mean to give it six times a day. Cell salts are given two or three times a day (one tablet for babies and small children, two tablets for everyone else.)

Instant Relief for a Teething Baby

I’ve heard many stories from the parents of my little clients about how much their children love taking homeopathic medicines. It’s not unusual for a four- or five-year-old to have mastered the names of the medicines she usually needs and to ask for one by name when she feels sick. (These Latin names! Can you imagine?)

Here’s my favorite story, though. The mother of a 10-month-old infant was already using Hyland’s Teething Tablets when she brought her baby to see me for eczema. His mom told me this remarkable story about how much he liked the Teething Tablets. He seemed to have learned the sound of the pellets rattling in the tube: he would be crying with teething pain, then hear the rattle of the pellets as she got out the tube.

Instantly cries would turn into a big smile as the baby kicked and waved with glee knowing that relief was on the way. This was before she even gave him a dose!

Positive results from babies, pets and even from plants are one way we know that homeopathy does not work by the placebo effect.

This was adaped from Burke Lennihan’s Your Natural Medicine Cabinet: A Practical Guide to Drug-Free Remedies for Common Ailments and may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes with attribution and a backlink to this site.