This article briefly covers 7 of the most frequently used homeopathic remedies for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders during the hot summer months.
During their vacation, travelling and especially when staying at the seaside people often buy food from the streets and drink water, which could be contaminated. The most probable causes for stomach and intestines infections in the summer is the food poisoning; sometimes the stomach viruses.
Most endangered are the children between 1 – 5 years old. The disease is acute, violent and not to be underestimated. The picture of summer gastroenteritis is usually manifested by painful vomiting, diarrhea, spasms, high fever and marasmus, ending with serious dehydration and lack of vital strength. Summertime is also the period during which Salmonella enteriditis and dysenteric bacilli spread their pathogenic action fast. Nevertheless the cause for them, the gastrointestinal infections, they could lead to abdominal complications. One day is the most you can afford for self-help, especially in children affections.
For acute cases, which are very violent and develop within a few hours, Arsenicum album, Carbo vegetabilis and Veratrum album are the three homeopathic remedies to be considered first. Camphora officinalis, Cuprum metallicum, Lycopodium clavatum and Phosphoricum acidum may be prescribed in more slowly developing gastrointestinal infections, or in some complicated or neglected cases. All these remedies are briefly described below, with emphasis on the signs for differentiation between them. With a good knowledge of these remedies, most acute cases of intensive diarrhea can be fast and successfully treated.
When Ars is the remedy, the affected person feels violent vomiting and has a diarrhea; purging and vomiting at the same time. These patients have constant little gushes of diarrhea which seldom stop, and are accompanied with violent burning pains in the rectum. There is constant retching with burning pain in the stomach, and extreme exhaustion. At first people are extremely restless; they are suffering from violent distressing tenesmus after the bowels act. As the condition progresses, they get more and more prostrated, they become very cold, look very anxious, and have marked tenderness all over the abdomen. Between the vomiting attacks, patients very often get relief from little sips of hot water, and the abdominal distress is relieved by hot external applications.
People feel their mouth very dry and wish to cold drink water by taking sips of it often; however this will be vomited at once, whereas a sip of warm water often seems to sooth the stomach temporarily. Patients cannot lie still in bed, tormented by the diarrhea, constantly moving about, and liable to have an involuntary stool. The stool is in small quantity, very frequent, rather watery and very offensive.
Ars is the typical food poisoning remedy. The attacks may be induced by any impure food, such as rancid meat, bad sausages, unwashed fruits or spoiled milk. Occasionally the diarrhea will be brought on by too much ice cream in warm weather – from chilling the stomach when the patient is hot. Similar to Ars is Carb-v.
Patients in need of Carb-v do not have such severe vomiting as the Arsenicum Alb. patients, but there is a very violent, exhausting diarrhea, with marked tenesmus and the passage of small stools, usually liquid, brown and offensive. The patients have none of the restlessness of Ars. They look ill, the face is pinched, drawn and pale, and they are covered with cold, clammy sweat upon the face, hands and feet. They feel intensely cold, especially the legs and feet, which are icy cold; and yet have a marked hunger for fresh air and cannot bear a close, stuffy room. This is a key symptom for Carb-v. They like to feel a movement of air, even want someone to fan them.
There is also burning in the abdomen, similar to Ars, but not so marked and there is none of the Ars dryness and thirst. The abdomen is felt distended, with passing of much flatus. The air goes also the other way round, up from the stomach, causing patients to eructate frequently, which gives marked relief. Here an important distinction must be made from Lycopodium, where in spite of eructating the patients still feel distended and there is no relief. It is important to remember that Carb-v as well as Lycopodium may be needed in shellfish poisoning, although Lycopodium is the main remedy for oyster poisoning.