Updated: Oct 24
By: Kirsty Richards DipHomNZ
Colic what is it and how can Homeopathy help?
Colic is when a baby cries and fusses more than usual without an obvious cause and may be difficult to console. Colic usually resolves on its own with time. However, homeopathy can help to reduce the severity of colic and lessen parental stress.
Colic is common in babies, being estimated to occur in 10 to 40 per cent of infants. It usually starts when a baby is a few weeks old, peaks at about six weeks of age, and usually stops by the time they are three to four months of age. Colic - the homeopathic approach, is a gentle treatment option for babies. Homeopathy is safe for babies of all ages, without any harmful side effects.
All babies cry – it is their way of telling caregivers they are hungry, tired, and/or need a nappy change. Colicky crying is more frequent, intense, higher-pitched, and prolonged than normal crying, and has no obvious cause in otherwise healthy and well-fed infants.
While the excessive crying and fussiness will normally resolve after a number of weeks, managing colic adds stress and frustration for parents because the baby's distress is inconsolable and occurs for no apparent reason.
The cause of colic is unknown, but many factors may play a role, including:
A digestive system that has not yet fully developed
Abdominal pain or discomfort due to gas or indigestion
An imbalance in the digestive tract’s bacterial community (microbiome)
Gastric reflux (i.e., the bringing up of stomach contents)
Food allergies (e.g., cows’ milk protein allergy)
Food intolerances (e.g., milk lactose intolerance)
Overfeeding, underfeeding, or infrequent burping
Parental or family stress or anxiety.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.