Posted by: Chris Maloney | December 12, 2011

Croup at 3 am: Why I Love Homeopathy Even Though I Don’t Believe In It.

WrenchesLet me start by saying I don’t believe in homeopathy.  I also don’t believe in wrenches.  I use them, just as I use homeopathy.

Before you deny the comparison, go to a hardware store and listen to men discuss wrenches.  There are believers in adjustable wrenches, believers in ratcheting wrenches, and men who swear by the extension attachments for their electric drills.  They will swear up and down that their wrenches are the best for any job, and that the other wrenches “just don’t work.”

Then there are the rest of us, who don’t believe in wrenches.  We’ll try one wrench for one job, a different kind of wrench for another.  Mostly it just depends on what comes to hand.  We aren’t believers, we just use what works.

Homeopathy works for me.  I’ve got ideas why, but I don’t really care.  I also am not terribly interested in the advanced torque mechanics of the wrenches I use.  If it takes the nut off, then I’m good with it.

So just keep in mind that the people screaming about how homeopathy doesn’t work are not the ones using it.  I really don’t know what their problem is and I try to cross the street whenever possible.

On to the 3 am Croup.

At three this morning my five-old-son awoke and crawled into bed with us.  He was wheezing and told us he was having trouble breathing.  (Parents note: this is very bad, but not as bad as if he couldn’t tell us he was having trouble breathing.)

We did what all good parents would do and considered calling 911.  But it seemed more like a really sudden viral infection than something that needed immediate intubation.  So we brought him into the bathroom and started running hot water to get enough steam to help him breath.

While my wife did that, I went to get the homeopathic kit.  Being who I am, I have a pretty extensive kit of about four hundred remedies.  Of these, I probably use fifty.  I started with Aconite, followed by Hepar Sulph, Drosera, Spongia.  The Drosera took the cough down a notch within a minute, but it wasn’t until I hit upon Pulsatilla that my son smiled up at me and felt better.  For the next three hours he slept without any cough, then woke up and needed redosing.  As I write, he is happily eating with no cough.

If you’d asked me twenty years ago if that’s how I’d be treating urgent situations, I’d be laughing at you.  I laughed at the homeoheads in my school, who went about avoiding peppermint so they wouldn’t antidote themselves.  When one of them confronted me and told me to put my money where my mouth was, I laughed at him as I chewed up a whole bottle of Silica 30c.  Three days later I still had a headache and wasn’t laughing.  All those things that antidote?  Forget them, none of them worked.  That started a very long journey into learning about why in the heck a sugar pellet dipped in water gave me a three-day headache.  I also had to explain how that headache matched exactly what some old fogey wrote in a book a hundred years before I was born.

So I’m a homeohead.  I consider myself a blue-collar homeopath, one who throws remedies at acute conditions without being terribly concerned about the bigger picture.  But I like my results to occur in 30-60 seconds, which requires a pretty good background in what’s likely to work.

If you tell me that steroids would work as well, I’d say-not in my experience.  There’s nothing I’ve found or heard of within conventional or over-the-counter medicine that works as well, and I’ve looked for years.

So, given I can’t find anything that works as well for croup, maybe I’m becoming a believer.  But moist water is a very close second.  They’ll both stay in my tool kit for croup.




  1. Christopher! This article nailed it with its simplicity, its practicality, and its no-nonsense attitude. Beautifully said!

  2. I would echo what Dana says and offer my experience: my partner at the time’s 6 yr old daughter came down around midnight with a cough and said she didn’t know why she had a cough. ( I later realised this was her way of expressing her anxiety about it)

    I tried all the same remedies (including the steam) as in the article as above but what we realised by then to be croup was not improving and if anything was getting worse and so we were on the verge of calling 999.

    Then it very suddenly got much worse with her thrashing about on the bed gasping for air. At that point I realised what remedy matched those symptoms was and gave it to her.

    She IMMEDIATELY relaxed and fell asleep, (obviously we checked and double checked that she was asleep and hadn’t passed out ) and her breathing was improving rapidly every second. By five minutes she was breathing with only the faintest hint of anything having been wrong and in fifteen mins. she was completely normal; and of course we stayed with her all night just in case but she was fine.

    I am not recommending anyone should treat croup themselves if they don’t have the expertise to do so, in fact I would recommend calling the doctor FIRST before even trying, but this just illustrates how quickly the right remedy can work and how effective homeopathy can be ( also how it wasn’t working as a placebo )

    The remedy was Arsenicum Alb. 30c, one dose.

  3. Homeopathy For Croup. I’m glad it worked well for your son. #Peace of Mind. I added a link to this story on my croup Hubpages.

  4. Most difficalt part in homoeopathy is selection of remedy. If remedy is correct it dose wonder. if not it will not. the chances of giving a correct remedy is remote making it not working at different occasions. So incase it is not working it is simply wrong remedy for that. so people telling homoeopathy useless only because they can not comprahent this fact.

  5. a to the point article on how ‘homeopathy does work’…thank you

  6. […] of his story he uses spanners as an interesting analogy to explain his understanding of homeopathy. Read more | […]

  7. […] of his story he uses spanners as an interesting analogy to explain his understanding of homeopathy. Read more | […]

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