This book review is reprinted from The Homoeopath with permission from Nick Churchill of The Society of Homoeopaths.
Homoeopathy for Children
by Gabrielle Pinto and Murray Feldman.
1996, 226 pages, soft cover
Reviewed by Sue Millican
This is a book by two respected and well-loved homeopaths; many of us have benefited from their guidance and teaching. So it was with much interest that I opened it: was it going to live up to my expectations? Was it going to encourage parents to prescribe a cocktail of remedies or even repertorize or convince them that they knew their child's constitutional remedy thereby trivialising the art and science of homoeopathy? There is absolutely no danger of that.
The book opens with an Introduction in which it is stated: "This book is intended primarily as a self-help guide for the treatment of minor ailments." This part also includes instructions on "How to use this book". Thereafter the book is divided into sections:
Section One entitled "What is Homoeopathy?" includes clear, concise instructions on taking a case in an acute illness. It also includes explanations of all the basic principles of homoeopathy, in a way which is straightforward, enjoyable and accessible to the newcomer to homeopathy. Advice on potency is again clear and states that the reader should not go above the 30th potency.
Section Two got down to the nitty-gritty with "Treating your Child with Homoeopathy." This had chapters on treatments for First Aid, Everyday Complaints, Childhood Diseases and the New-born. The acid test for this section was that the information should be readily accessible to a lay person, possibly anxious, using homoeopathy for the first time. This criterion was well satisfied, recommending when to seek further medical advice and including "External and Common- sense Measures." In this Section the authors also tackle the question of vaccination; they neither fudge the issue nor are they dictatorial. As they say "...parents must make the decisions that they feel most comfortable with". I feel this epitomizes the tone of the book: gentle, supportive and encouraging.
Section 3 covers emotional development and how homoeopathy can help a child's emotions. At the outset the authors recommend that the reader seek the advice of an experienced practitioner. Again I liked the way the authors are not afraid to repeat themselves if the advice needed repeating. This section is clear and interesting and advice is given without being patronising.
Section 4 is "Homoeopathic Remedy Pictures", including an outline description of Constitutional Prescribing with some pictures which manages to be clear and interesting without trivialising. No information is given which would tempt the reader to prescribe themselves.
The book finishes with a glossary, a list of useful addresses and suggestions for further reading.
Overall a thoroughly good book. There is only one piece of advice I would like to have seen in such a comprehensive book: throughout the reader is recommended to seek the advice of an experienced practitioner yet nowhere do they suggest how this could be done. Under the entry of 'Homoeopaths' in my Yellow Pages there is a number of practitioners listed with a number of different and possibly bewildering letters after their names. I would have liked to have seen some advice as to what questions a parent could ask when approaching a homoeopath for the first time. This would have fitted in with the general helpful tone.
To sum up: I would warmly recommend this book to my patients and to a parent looking for an alternative treatment to orthodox medicine.
Number 64, Winter 1997