Eating. Most parents don’t even think about it. They give their children whatever they’ve always eaten and the children eat. Other parents seek out organic foods, prepare meals from scratch, and avoid fast food. They worry about what their children eat, but their children do eat.
And then there are children who can’t eat anything lumpy, smelly, gritty, chewy, or colored. They subsist on chicken nuggets and French fries or all white and smooth foods. No matter how we prepare or hide the fruit and vegetables, our children can’t even look at them without gagging. Putting them in their mouths is unthinkable.
Eating difficulties are among the most common concerns of mothers who contact me and participate in my groups. Parents are deeply concerned about nutritional deficits, growth, and digestion.
A Case of Gagging and Regurgitating Food
During my homeopathy internship, a 13 year old boy named “Cedric” was brought to our clinic by his mother. He had been seen for years by various physicians, including numerous visits to a top-ten university’s medical department.
Cedric’s primary complaint was very severe gagging and regurgitation of food. He suffered from headaches and said that his mouth and tongue itched when eating fresh fruit and vegetables. These kinds of unusual symptoms are very useful to a homeopath. When I looked them up in the reperatory (a book which list symptoms and the substances that have been found to cause and cure them), the remedy that appeared was alumina.
Homeopathic alumina was prescribed and when he returned a month later he reported that the gagging was greatly reduced. He was feeling good and had experienced no incidents of regurgitating food.
Thinking about Cedric, my own children, and the many others who find eating difficult, I began to wonder about alumina. I discovered it has these uses:
- filler for plastics
- common ingredient in sunscreen
- catalyst in the process of converting hydrogen sulfide waste gases into elemental sulfur in refineries
- used to remove water from gas streams
- in toothpaste
- in dentistry, it is used as a polishing agent to remove stains
- in hip replacements
- in vaccines (see also Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal?)
Homeopaths learn what conditions a homeopathic medicine will cure through the use of experiments called drug provings. During a drug proving, healthy individuals take the remedy being tested. They report all physical, mental and emotional symptoms that occur.
This in-depth reporting of a remedy’s action reveals the full scope of a substance’s healing capabilities. The symptoms experienced by the provers are the very symptoms that the remedy will be used to heal.
When healthy individuals proved alumina, these signs and symptoms were noted.
- Can swallow only small morsels
- Sense of constriction from the esophagus down to the stomach every time he swallows a morsel of food
- Violent, pressing pain, as if a portion of the esophagus were contracted or compressed in the middle of the chest
- Spasmodic pain in middle of chest, on swallowing food and drink
- Constipation (no desire for stool, even after a week or two)
- Great difficulty evacuating, even soft stools
- Craves indigestible things (chalk, pencils, earth, etc.)
- Food aversions
- Greatly affected by tobacco smoke
- Rabid hunger OR aversion to food with no desire to eat
- Itching tongue
- Fear of knives, needles and sharp objects
Alumina is particularly indicated for delicate children, especially those who have been artificial baby foods.
Homeopathic Remedies for Eating Challenges
If you are wondering if homeopathic alumina is the remedy that will help your child swallow food, please keep in mind that homeopathic remedies are most effective when they are prescribed for individuals rather than single symptoms.
The homeopathic literature is filled with information on remedies for children who refuse to eat. Specific foods that are desired and refused appear in long lists. Effects on the mouth, tongue, stomach and disposition are noted. Times of day when food is wanted or rejected are relevant. In short, everything matters when selecting a homeopathic remedy.
To read more tips about feeding children with eating challenges, please see When Your Child Won’t Eat.