This is the case where I met a “Conium-child” for the first time. In my mind, this medicine has always been related to glands, nerves, muscles, weakness, suitable to old men and women with glands affections. I had successfully used this remedy on certain types of dry cough with children but never as a constitutional remedy.
The mother of an 11 year old boy consulted me on 4-20-2016 because of his recurrent attacks of spastic bronchitis. (Ever since he was a little child, his mother had noticed certain signs of allergy: occasional sneezing and stuffy nose, dry eyelids and he had bronchitis several times. But the general condition of her son was good.) His complaints first started in December 2015 with an attack of very difficult breathing, acute wheezy bronchitis. The attack was preceded by sneezing, dry eyeballs, completely blocked nose, then progressing within a day to dyspnea, wheezing with a feeling of heaviness and tightness of chest. Constricted feeling in chest, without cough. They turned to a doctor and did an allergy test. The blood test showed an elevated total IgE 1659 and specific IgE antibodies to house dust mites < 122.
He had been treated for 4 months through conventional medicine (Ventolin, Nasal sprays). The therapy was unsuccessful and he also developed many side effects from the drugs: Weight gain, fatigue, drowsiness and dizziness which led to difficulties in school.
- Difficult breathing, especially after getting up
- Physical activity worsened
- Wet weather worsened
- Throat itching
- Very stuffy nose, especially in the morning
- Constant blowing of the nose, but no discharge
- Appetite: good, but no specific cravings or aversions
- Thirst: normal
- Perspiration: normal
- Sleep: good
- Thermal: normal
- Very intelligent boy, he likes especially math, computer science and foreign languages.
- He spends a lot of time at the computer. He spends more time at home than outside. He has friends, but prefers to be alone.
- He is a quiet type, but able to express his opinion.
- The only thing that comes to mind is a kind of melancholy. His mother explained that he inherited it from his father.
- He avoids physical activity.
I chose the following rubrics:
The result of repertorisation was surprising to me: Con. and Sil. covered all rubrics followed by Sep., Kali-c., Phos.…
Sil. and Kali-c. are very interesting because they are often indicated remedy in children in asthmatic complaints. But Conium was interesting for me because this remedy came on the first place with Boenninghausen’s method as well. The case had accurate modalities and was well suitable for this methodological approach. The result of the repertorisation was convincing and was also confirmed in materia medica.
As for Conium, we can read following:
Hahnemann, Materia Medica Pura:
Itching formication in the nose
His breathing, especially inspiration, is very difficult; it feels as if the chest did not expand sufficiently
Tightness of chest
Short, panting respiration
In the morning, pressive pain on the sternum, with dyspnoea, when standing
- Hering, Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica:
Dislike to society and yet a dread to be alone.
Obstruction of nostrils of long standing.
Tickling sensation in throat.
Itching in throat, with irritation to a hacking cough.
Scraping, itching and tingling in throat, causing a continual itching cough.
Nervous bronchial asthma, paroxysmal, coming on in wet weather.
Want of breath on taking least exercise
Constriction of chest, with dyspnoea.
Oppressed breathing in morning when waking.
Asthmatic paroxysms come on in wet weather ;
Asthma in morning when awaking.
Homeopathic Materia Medica by William Boericke:
Want of breath on taking the least exercise; oppressed breathing, constriction of chest.
“Timidity“ and “depressed mind” from Conium suited also well to this case.
Therapy: Conium C200 a single dose.
In the very beginning of our therapy his mother stopped giving Ventolin and nasal sprays to her child on her own. Those were not necessary anymore, because her son was immediately better after the first dose of Conium. Ten days later, however, the mother reported that her son had felt worse again, although the symptoms had not been as pronounced as before.
Therapy: repeated Conium C200
After that episode, everything continuously stabilized. There was another short episode in June after his mother had cleaned his room. She noticed that her son had difficulty breathing during the night. She said that she already had planned to call me next day, but everything had calmed down by itself in the morning.
After three months the blood test was done again and IgE was normalized. This was the first summer which K. spent outside with his friends and not at the computer as usual. He also lost a few pounds. Was this the result of the homeopathy treatment? I do not know, but Conium has worked remarkably at all levels and this was indisputably noticed by both parents and everyone in K.’s environment. He started e.g. to greet his neighbors, which he had previously avoided, because he was very shy.
The case remains stable to this day table, except for brief episodes of difficulty breathing in February 2017, which settled quickly after a single dose of Conium.
With this case I would like to point out the limits of the so-called children’s remedies and children types in homeopathy, in our work with children. There is no doubt that there are many good and useful MMs which describe different types of children in homeopathy. But I think that we also need to be aware of the limits of this concept based on certain types. Not that they are not true, as we sometimes meet these literally in our practice. But I would say that there are potentially as many children or human types as there are medicines. If we have that in mind, then we would be much more accurate in our work because we are unprejudiced and open to our whole MM.