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Homeopathic Remedies for Colic

Also indexed as: Enteralgia

Illustration

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 Is Homeopathy?

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.

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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