Information and Homeopathic support for RSV and Bronchiolitis in infants
At the time of the writing of this blog post in November, 2022, pediatric cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) have been inundating emergency rooms across the country.
During my training as a naturopath and homeopath, the instructors in my health science classes (Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, chemistry, biology, etc) were MDs, NDs or PhDs with clinical experience, as well as some also practicing homeopathy, thus offering a unique perspective in cases such as these. As an empathic individual, watching and listening to a child in severe respiratory distress during my training was very challenging and heart-wrenching.....
As a result, the goal of Holistic Harmony Natural Health Counseling is to encourage a strong immune system in children as well as adults before one gets to the point of such extreme illness, as well as to support the immune system when one is seriously ill.
Parents should know the signs of severe respiratory distress in infants (can be found doing an internet or YouTube search), and seek out emergency medical care if those signs are seen in their infant.
RSV is a common seasonal virus, and can be seen in any population group, with most children contracting it at least once before the age of 2. Most people experience it as "cold-like", upper respiratory symptoms (coughs, low fever, sneezing, decrease in appetite), however serious illness can be seen in certain population groups such as: infants born prematurely, infants with congenital heart disease or lung diseases, anyone with suppressed immune systems/immune compromised, infants who are not breastfed, patients living in a home with someone who smokes, the elderly with other health complications.
RSV bronchiolitis is a lower-respiratory infection typically seen in infants under the age of 2 years old. Symptoms begin with nasal coryza (discharge) and fever, and can at times include eye involvement (conjunctivitis) as well as otitis media (middle ear infection). Symptoms then evolve into wheezing (mostly expiratory, sounding like asthma), with wet cough and breathing difficulties that can become extreme.
Although conventional medicine does not have a cure or effective preventative for RSV, homeopathy can be of significant support.
Homeopathy has a strong track-record of being used successfully in historic epidemics/pandemics for infectious diseases. There are many examples (a topic for a later blog post), but one example is in the "Spanish Flu" of 1918. Data was collected from 26,795 cases of influenza in the Philadelphia area. Patients treated by homeopathic physicians in this region had a mortality rate of 1.05%, while treatments by conventional medical physicians had a mortality rate of 30%. (Extracted from article entitled "Homeopathy in Influenza- A Chorus of Fifty in Harmony" by W.A Dewey, MD from the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1921).
French study on using homeopathy for infant bronchiolitis:
The Le Pediatre, July, 2004 study on the management of infant bronchiolitis showed that using homeopathy alongside conventional emergency care shortened the duration of the infection, as well as prevented complications and recurrence.
Note: The following homeopathic remedies are only a few of the most important ones that I recommend that parents have on hand during this season. If using pellets, they are dissolved in water and applied to the infant either via sipping, a dropper, or clean cloth dipped in the medicated solution and applied orally or even rubbed on the skin if needed. Potencies can be 6, 9, or 30 C. I typically use a 30 C in acute cases that are managed according to clinical rather than constitutional case-taking.
I do not recommend home symptom management/"prescribing" as cases become more difficult to manage. Having these remedies on hand will help a professional homeopath to make recommendations to the parent or caregiver.
Remedy #1: Antimonium Tartaricum
One of the most important remedies for respiratory conditions. In infant RSV bronchiolitis, indications include: cough with difficult expectoration, noisy, difficult breathing with thick mucus (rattling chests), as well as great fatigue/drowsiness. This is also an excellent remedy for the elderly population with respiratory infections.
Remedy #2- Ipecacuanha (Homeopathic Ipecac)
Indications include: spasmodic cough to the extent that it invokes nausea/vomiting; mucus in bronchi; can feel asthma-like in difficulty breathing. Rattling cough, bronchiolitis, bronchitis, croup, pertussis. With Ipecac, there is usually a digestive concomitant (as mentioned above with nausea/vomiting).
Remedy #3- Drosera
Violent spasmodic coughing (patient can become blueish/cyanotic due to the severity of not being able to catch his breath); cough can be severe enough to produce epistaxis (nose bleeds); often worse after midnight.
Remedy #4- Blatta orientalis
A remedy that is also useful in asthma; great wheezing; allergy to dust mites; bronchitis; bronchiolitis; accumulation of mucus; rales on auscultation (listening to lungs).
Contact me for more information:
This blog post and the remedy recommendations barely scratch the surface of what can be done via holistic healing modalities, and especially with homeopathic support. A consultation with a professional Homeopath, whether me or someone else can be very helpful in navigating this situation.
Much Love and prayers to those who are experiencing the challenges of RSV during this season!
Copyright Holistic Harmony Natural Health Counseling, LLC, Teresa Glick, ND, CHom