N, born September 11, 2009, (40 weeks gestation);
weight: 3250kg; length: 50cm; head circumference: 34 cm. 'Natural' delivery,
without epidural, in a clinic but with a private ‘ecologist’ midwife, who used
the clinic premises independently. N. was breastfed.
Pregnancy: Second pregnancy after a miscarriage in the 13th week of gestation, cause unknown. Both parents desired this pregnancy BUT the mother was very anxious and had difficulties coping, not with the pregnancy itself but with the physical changes associated with it: weight gain, nausea, vomiting, and exhaustion. Moreover, two very unpleasant symptoms appeared during the eighth month of pregnancy: Pruritus gravidarum (gestational) impossible to relieve (known atopic terrain) and right-sided Sciatica unsuccessfully treated by osteopathy. The father (craftsman) is very present, watchful, and submissive to his partner’s whims, who has fits of anger and displays an odd sexual behaviour; the pregnancy has increased her sexual desire, which she describes as low, but she pushes away her partner: “I cannot bear the idea of him touching me.” The father is from an old family from Brittany, filled with numerous cases of asthma, eczema, hay fever, etc...
The parents arrive in my consultation room with their child, on the 12th of November 2009. The baby has put on nearly 2 kilos in two months. She is tonic, awake, smiling, and very sociable. I notice a slight hypertonia, with an odd stiff back and a discrete left-sided stiff neck. The parents have consulted an osteopath but refuse to continue treatment with him because “he cracked her neck” in a manipulation; I readily agree. N. has had discharging conjunctivitis (after contact with a cousin) successfully treated with a few Homeoptic® eye drops. Her skin is normal but a few marks of atopic dermatitis are visible; lesions in the skin folds and small scruffy patches on the face, calves, and forearms. Besides these issues, all is well.
I receive no news for three months. N. has been hospitalised for four days, at the end of February, in the paediatric ward of the University Hospital Centre in Nantes for superinfection of a generalised eczema, weight loss (nearly a kilo in three weeks), intense pruritus, and severe insomnia. The mother might have had a panaritium, which could have contaminated N.’s eczema.
A very comprehensive check-up is done while in
- presence of Streptococcus A in the skin lesions; mycology negative
- allergy assessment:
- total IgE: 143; specific lactose intolerance IgE F2 <0.1 ku/l
- electrolyte tests normal but protidaemia at 38g/l (Na: 52 to 57)
- haemoglobin: 10.9g; eosinophiles 15%
- chronic malnutrition markers positive (hypo-albuminaemia, disturbances in the gamma zone in the proteins electrophoresis)
Despite a negative lactose intolerance test, the child is put on a lactose-free diet and leaves the hospital with a local steroid treatment.
The parents arrive in my consultation room with N., panic-stricken: what happened?
At the end of January, N.’s eczema worsened and the parents took her to a homeopath geographically closer, who prescribed a dose of Calcarea carbonica 30C. Within a few days, N. refused to eat, barely drinking breast-milk, became prostrate and hypotonic, started to cry ceaselessly, and stopped sleeping (calling out 6 to 12 times a night). She lost 900g in a fortnight.
as though all her energy, all her
strength and even her soul had left her body.”
The mother attributed this ‘evil spell’ to the taking of Calcarea! (see the mother’s observations further down.)
N. is, indeed, undernourished. She is frightened, ‘folded in’ on herself, covered with a foul smelling eczema BUT during the course of the consultation I manage to coax a few smiles out of her, to ‘unfold’ her (she stands up). The parents are surprised to see her re-animate in such a way. I will hear from the hospital paediatrician that she was, in fact, more ‘alive’ when the mother was not present.
The hospital prescriptions have not been followed; the
mother refuses the lactose-free diet and the steroid treatment. The
parents equally decline to see the hospital’s paediatric dermatologist. I
negotiate a temporary diet with them:
- breastfeeding complemented by goat’s milk (they refuse cow’s milk).
- fruits and vegetables, with proteins from organic poultry.
Prescription: Nitricum acidum 9C, 15C, 30C, over three days
Going through my notes on N., I am struck by several points:
- miscarriage of a boy in 2007
- struggling to accept the second pregnancy (due to physical changes)
- pruritus gravidarum
- ambivalent sexual behaviour
- baby hypertonic, ‘cracking neck’
- discharging conjunctivitis
- severe generalised eczema
- severe insomnia
- her energy and ‘even her soul’ have left her body
- ‘evil’ aggravation from Calcarea carbonica 30
- The ‘disembodiment’ of N.: "as if her sould had left her body." It is the second time that I am faced with such a case of major atopy; the first one is now twenty years old, still asthmatic and is studying law.
Nitricum acidum (experience of foetal separation/re-actualisation; death - fear of death - fusion/ rejection phenomenon) has had a fleeting ‘placebo’ effect.
I see N. again, the 1st of March, there has been minimal improvement with the ‘placebo’ and the diet proposed (no weight gain).
I then think of Lac humanum/maternum
Mother: Lac humanum 1M, one dose
N.: Lac maternum 1M, one dose
- Possible psychological dynamic for the mother: sudden ‘break down’ on the anniversary date of the miscarriage in 2007; loss of self-confidence, which provokes a sudden deterioration of the lactation process and the mother’s ‘disconnection’ from her baby, who wastes away rapidly (800g loss)
- Repercussion of the mother’s dynamic on N.: sudden aggravation of the eczema, diverse physical ailments (cutaneous, digestive, disturbed sleep patterns; in other words, a disastrous situation.) In the proving of Lac humanum we find “dreams of disaster”. In N.’s situation, however, it is no longer a dream.
In the following week, spectacular transformations take place: N. recaptures her joyful soul and her appetite for life, and 80% of the eczema disappears. Weight gain is swift: 700g in ten days.
On the 1st of June, I see N. again: she is now a happy, healthy baby with normal growth and an ichthyosis, dry skin without itch. The mother has recovered her self confidence. There will be no need for a repeat of Lac Maternum for N.
Source: human milk, one donor
Proving: by J.Houston and E.Halahan 1993 (Great Britain)
Materia Medica: Murphy, Sankaran
Synthesis: human beings are constantly searching for their individual selves while belonging to a group in which they have to fit. They are the only mammals to experience the fear of death during their whole life and who will use everything in their power to avoid it, or conversely engage in death-defying behaviours.
For Lac humanum it will be: “either me or the others” (Sankaran); one must kill the other in order to survive.
The problematics of adolescence are particularly represented in Lac humanum (self-identity in relation to the group)
Source: mixture of human milk from nine donors at different stages of lactation, including colostrum.
Proving: Tinus Smits (Links 2000)
No classic pathogenesis but
- cured symptoms (clinical experimentation)
- study of induced dreams during proving
movens (first impulse)
The child is incarnated during his intra-uterine life. This ‘incarnation’, however, is incomplete at birth and breastfeeding is a natural continuation of this process, hence the ‘religion’ of breastfeeding, in which a lot of mothers coming to see us participate; la Leche League being the church of this new religion! Parents’ anxiety before the oncoming new responsibilities is directly linked to this situation.
Lac maternum Baby (from Patricia Leroux’s work)
Predominance of cutaneous symptoms: mainly eczema, intense pruritus; “the skin is the physical body’s last boundary; it is in direct contact with the outer world and with the neuro-sensorial and mental inner world.” All pathologies concerning the fusion/de-fusion of the mother/child can express themselves at the skin level.
Pregnancy can be unsettled by strange, unpleasant, and anxious experiences: sensation of depersonalisation, which can lead to a feeling of identity loss, thought process difficulties, exhaustion, and desire for symbiosis with the partner or, conversely, rejection of the partner. Immense desire to be loved, recognised, great craving for sugar, and gestational diabetes, which ironically leads to the deprivation of sugar!
The newborn child is prisoner of the necessity to create his/her ‘ego’ to face the separation from the mother and to brave the outside world.
Allergies are in their rightful place in these
processes since they are defined by the rejection of foreign potentially
- respiratory system: pollens, hair, mites...etc
- digestive system: cow’s milk, various foods and sometimes... even maternal milk, which could be the carrier of diverse food allergies, despite the
fact that prolonged breastfeeding is often proposed as the best defence against allergies.
- immune system: rejecting treatment destined to help fight against ‘foreign germs’; allergies to antibiotics.
Lac humanum and Lac maternum are probably the most basic remedies for all allergic pathologies.
Practical indications in paediatrics
Newborn: eczema, sleep disturbances, situations in which the child is unwanted, breastfeeding failures
Child and adolescent: regressive attitudes, feelings of abandonment, school phobias, slowness+++, difficulties to integrate reality, seeking extreme sensations, such as drugs, high-risk activities, etc...
Adult: loss of ambition, material detachment, dreamer who starts but never finishes.
Tinus Smits. Links 2000
Patricia Leroux. Homéo et Juliette, Publibook, 2003
Frans Vermeulen: Concordant Materia Medica, Emryss Publishers
Keywords: miscarriage, sciatica, pruritus, hypertonic baby, severe eczema, severe insomnia, disaster
Remedies: Lac humanum, Lac maternum