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Nux Vomica - This homeopathic remedy has really fired our enthusiasm. We were told by our pharmacist that we could use it for Richard (13 years old, about 10 stone (140lbs) at the time of writing in 1997) in conjunction with Ritalin, with no adverse effect. Nux Vomica is a tree that grows in China, Burma, Thailand and Australia. The fruit contains seeds which are bitter because of the poison, strychnine (no it doesn't work because it kills off the patient!!).

We tried Richard on strength 6, with some really excellent results. Infact he had a Ritalin holiday over a school half term week, when he had nothing but Nux Vomica, one three times a day, dissolved on the tongue. He was a lot more lively than when on Ritalin, infact more like the old Richard, but without flying off into a stress/tantrum every five minutes. We didn't have one tantrum all week. Now, we do still administer Ritalin, in conjunction with the occasional Nux Vomica tablet, but only when he needs it i.e. sometimes when he's getting too 'high' at school, which is becoming less often these days. We're beginning to wonder if he can infact learn, as he seems to be doing, to do without Ritalin altogether and channel this wonderful extra energy into positive tasks. He seems to be more able to do this now that he's got his self esteem and confidence back to a much higher level.

Other members of our group have recorded similar results with their children and Nux Vomica. Several swear by it. One mum gave it to her two lads who were both awaiting diagnosis, both in their late teens, one of whom was very much a handful. The results were so dramatic, now that they have both been diagnosed, she's not stopping the use of Nux Vomica. Since we told her about Nux, she's been telling us how it's changed her and their lives and she can finally see the light a the end of a long and particularly dark tunnel. Other mums have told us similar stories. Don't get the idea that we are pushing or promoting the use of this remedy, we just told these parents who were particularly desperate and at the end of their tether, about the effect it had had on our Richard and that it might be worth considering as an option.

It is important to note that homeopathic remedies are not intended for long term use and seem to work best with people of certain metabolisms i.e. in harmony with your particular body make up, so that whilst one type of remedy might work well with a small dark haired person, it might not work so well with a large red head and so forth. Also, as with all medications, you should check with your medical practitioner before taking anything not prescribed for you. It may also be of benefit to seek the help of a qualified homeopathic practitioner who may advise alternative teatments. If you are in the UK, we have been advised that The British Homeopathic Association at 15 Clerkenwell Close London, EC1R 0AA, Tel: 020 7566 7800, can provide a national list of medical doctors who have a post-graduate training in homeopathy through the Faculty of Homeopathy (apparently the only recognised training in the UK), as well as details of NHS treatment. Alternatively, The Society of Homeopaths, 2 Artizan Road, Northampton NN1 4HU, Tel: 01604 621400 have a register of non-medically qualified homeopaths.

One last point, the suggested dose of two tablets to be dissolved on the tongue made Richard feel a bit sick so he only has one. Also, don't be put off by the claim on the pack that Nux is just for the treatment of hangovers, it's not!

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