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Sanguinarium Nitricum: Homeopathic Medicine – Its Use, Indications And Dosage

Homeopathic medicine Sanguinarium Nitricum is derived from nitrate of sanguinarin. The nitrate of sanguinarin undergoes potentization (a process in which medicinal properties from a crude substance are extracted). As a result, we get homeopathic medicine Sanguinarium Nitricum which is of great clinical significance. It is a prominently indicated homeopathic medicine to treat various nasal complaints especially nasal polyps and turbinate hypertrophy.

Turbinate hypertrophy

Turbinate hypertrophy

Drug Action

It is a great remedy and helps cure the mucus membrane of the nose. It also acts well on the throat, respiratory system, the eyes and the head.

Clinical Indications

Nasal polyps, cold, allergies, hay fever, post nasal drip, cough, bronchitis, asthma, sore throat, quinsy, pharyngitis, laryngitis and headache.

Scope As A Homeopathic Remedy

1. Nasal Complaints (Polyps, Turbinate Hypertrophy, Cold, Post Nasal Discharge, Hay Fever)

Sanguinarium Nitricum acts well on the mucus membrane of the nose and proves effective in resolving various nasal-related issues. The first and foremost complaint where it is used is nasal polyps. It gives magnificent results in cases of nasal polyps (soft, painless, non-cancerous growths that may develop on the lining of nasal passage or the paranasal sinuses). Sanguinarium helps to dissolve the polyp’s growth in the nose as well as helps relieve nasal blockage. Secondly, it can be administered in case of cold with copious watery discharge from the nose accompanied by pain in the nostrils, burning in nature. Also, an accompanying factor is  ‘pressure-feeling’ at the base of the nose. Sneezing also occurs along with this. Profuse eye-watering (lachrymation) accompanies too. Soreness and rawness is felt in the nostrils. It can be used in cases of hay fever (nasal allergy / allergic rhinitis). It refers to a condition characterized by symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, nasal stuffiness and itchy, watery and red eyes arising from an allergic response to allergens for eg, dust mites, pollen.

Another prominent indication for its use is hypertrophy of the nasal turbinates (nasal turbinates are tiny structures inside the nose formed of bone covered with spongy mucus membrane). It offers help in the beginning of turbinate hypertrophy. Another important complaint in which it proves beneficial is stuffing of nose with mucus that is thick, yellow, and blood-stained. There may be little crust formation in the nostrils as well. Upon removing the crusts, bleeding follows. This medicine can prove to be extremely useful in cases of post-nasal discharge (mucus dripping from the back of nose into the throat). Those needing it in this complaint have excessive difficulty in dislodging the mucus that seems to be stuck behind the nose.

Key Indicating Features

Nasal polyps with nasal blockage

Cold with copious watery nasal discharge with burning pain and sneezing

Hypertrophy of the nasal turbinates in the beginning

Nasal stuffiness with thick, yellow, blood-stained mucus

Post nasal discharge with difficulty in dislodging the mucus

2. Throat Complaints (Sore Throat, Tonsillitis, Quinsy, Laryngitis)

Sanguinarium Nitricum acts well on the throat. Here it is mainly indicated to manage sore throat and tonsillitis. The throat feels rough, dry, constricted. Burning in the throat is also felt alongside. There is redness, roughness, soreness, rawness on the right tonsil. It is accompanied by pain. Swallowing becomes difficult. Excessive mucus is accumulated in throat. There is expectoration of thick, yellow mucus which tastes close to being sweet. Its use in managing quinsy (also called peritonsillar abscess refers to accumulation of pus behind the tonsil) is also recommended. It can be administered in cases of laryngitis. In such cases, there is deep, hoarse, changed voice.

Key Indicating Features

Rough, dry, constricted sensation in throat along with burning sensation

Redness, roughness, soreness, rawness on the right tonsil

Laryngitis with deep, hoarse, altered voice

3. Respiratory issues (cough, asthma, bronchitis)

Its action on respiratory system is also indicated. It is mainly helpful for managing cough. It is given when there is short, tickling cough with expectoration of thick yellow mucus having sweet taste. It is well indicated for asthma and bronchitis (inflammation of bronchial tubes that carry air to and from the lungs) cases. Persons who need this medicine feel as if thick mucus lines the air passages. Sense of suffocation also occurs. Tightness and burning sensation in chest is another symptom that is present. Pressure and mucus accumulation behind sternum (T-shaped bone that forms the front portion of the chest wall) is also present.

Key Indicating Feature

Short, tickling cough with expectoration of thick yellow sweetish mucus

4. Eyes (Watering, Pain, Redness)

Sanguinarium Nitricum helps manage eye redness, excessive eye watering and eye pain. It is useful for sore, aching and pressing pain in the eyes. Burning in the eyes is also present. The eyelids and conjunctiva is red. Excessive eye watering (lachrymation) is accompanied. Lastly, eye dimness as if a mucus film is spread oversight is an indication for its use.

Key Indicating Features

Sore, aching, burning, pressing pain in eyes

Eeye dimness with sensation as if a mucus film is spread over sight

5. Head (Headache)

By acting on head, Sanguinarium Nitricum works wonderfully for managing headache. Main indication for its use is burning pain in forehead and root of nose. It is attended with aching in eyeballs.  It can also be used when there is pain above eyes (supraorbital region) that extends to forehead. A characteristic indication guiding its use is feeling of fullness in head that gets better when there is expectoration of thick, yellow sweetish mucus. A very unique feature that can be there is heat in forehead relieved by bathing in warm water. Soreness and aching all over the head can also be present.

Key Indicating Features

Burning pain in forehead and root of nose

Pain above eyes (supraorbital region) extending to forehead

Fullness in head better from expectoration of thick, yellow sweetish mucus


Worsening factors: Complaints get worse at night and touch, eye soreness is worse from pressure.

Relieving factors: There is relief in headache by expelling mucus from the nose.


The dose and potency of this medicine varies from low to high as per the case details. In low potency, it can be used often but in high potency frequent repetition is not advised.

Relationship with Other Remedies

It can be compared with some other remedies including Arum Triphyllum, Kali Bichrome and Psorinum



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Top 10 Homeopathic Medicines for Hydrocele  

Hydrocele refers to swelling in the scrotum that holds the testicles. It arises from collection of excessive fluid in the sheath (tunica vaginalis) surrounding a testicle. Hydrocele can be congenital i.e. a child may be born with hydrocele or it may develop later in life. The causes of hydrocele developing late in life are inflammation or injury within the scrotum. Homeopathic medicines for hydrocele, if started well in time, can save a person from surgery and its related side-effects.

homeopathic medicines for hydrocele

Homeopathic Treatment

Hydrocele, which is considered a surgical condition in the conventional mode of treatment, can be treated effectively with homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic medicines for hydrocele are of natural origin, making them safe for use on children as well as adults. They do not carry any toxic side effects. Homeopathic medicines help reduce swelling in the scrotum as well as any associated symptoms such as pain or dragging sensation.

Homeopathic Medicines for Hydrocele

The top recommended homeopathic medicines for hydrocele include Rhododendron, Clematis, Arnica, Apis Mellifica, Abrotanum and Digitalis.

1. Rhododendron – Top Grade Medicine For Hydrocele

Rhododendron is a natural medicine prepared from fresh leaves of plant ‘yellow snow rose’. It has shown great clinical improvements in cases of hydrocele. This medicine brings natural recovery, it works well in almost all cases of hydrocele, especially if arising from orchitis or epididymitis. In cases needing it, there is marked swelling of scrotum. It may be hard and painful to touch. Though rhododendron can be helpful for hydrocele on either side but is more prominently indicated for cases of left-sided hydrocele.

When and How to use Rhododendron?

Rhododendron is the most widely used medicine for hydrocele. It can be used as a first line of treatment in hydrocele. Though it can be used in and high potencies, it is usually preferred in 30C potency. Rhododendron 30C can be taken twice a day, once in morning and once in evening.

2. Clematis – For Right Sided Hydrocele

Clematis is the next well-indicated medicine for hydrocele. It is also a natural remedy prepared from leaves and stems of plant ‘virgin’s bower’. It is a highly suitable medicine for cases of right-sided hydrocele. Those needing it have a drawing pain in testicle. The scrotum is swollen. At times the testicle may be painful to touch. It is also very helpful for cases of hydrocele arising from orchitis.

When and How to use Clematis?

This medicine can be used in cases of right-sided hydrocele that may be painful. This medicine is mainly recommended in 30C potency. Clematis 30C can be taken twice a day.

3. Arnica – For Hydrocele After An Injury

Sourced from a plant ‘leopard’s bane’, Arnica is a herbal medicine of great importance in treating hydrocele that follows an injury. It gives promising results in hydrocele cases occurring after an injury. In cases needing it there is swelling of scrotum attended with sore, bruised pain. This medicine along with healing injury helps to reduce swelling of scrotum and manages any associated pain.

When and How to use Arnica?

Arnica should be considered as the first choice of medicine for cases of hydrocele that occurs after an injury. Arnica 30 C can be taken two times a day for good results.

4. Apis Mellifica – For Hydrocele With marked Swelling

Apis Mellifica is the next most effective medicine for managing hydrocele. It is beneficial when there is excessive swelling of scrotum. This medicine helps to absorb fluid that is collected around the testicle. Inflammation of testicles may be present in cases needing it along with stinging pain.

When and How to use Apis Mellifica?

This medicine can be used in cases where there is intense swelling of scrotum. It will aid fluid absorption and bring great relief. Its use is preferred in 30C potency. Apis Mellifica can be taken twice a day in 30C potency.

5. Abrotanum – For Congenital Hydrocele

Abrotanum is the most wonderful medicine for hydrocele where the condition is present from birth. It is of natural origin prepared from leaves and stem of plant ‘southernwood’ and entirely safe for use among children.

When and How to use Abrotanum?

Its use is particularly considered in newborn boys having hydrocele. It is advised to consult a homeopathic physician before using this medicine for the correct potency and repetition that varies from case to case.

6. Digitalis – For Left Sided Hydrocele

Digitalis is also a natural remedy of plant origin for treating hydrocele. It is prepared from leaves of plant named ‘foxglove’ and is very helpful for left-sided hydrocele with marked swelling of scrotum. The scrotum seems like a bladder filled with water. Bruised pain may accompany the condition in such cases which will respond well to Digitalis.

When and How to use Digitalis?

Digitalis is well-indicated for left-sided hydrocele. Digitalis 30C twice a day is an ideal dose to start with.

Note Any of the above homeopathic medicines can be taken for about one month. If no relief sets in, kindly consult a homeopathic physician for further case evaluation and change in prescription.

Causes of Hydrocele

Though hydrocele can occur at any age but is most common in newborns and in males over 40 yrs of age.

A). In Infants (Babies Less Than One Year Age)

During development of male baby, the testicles descend from their abdominal cavity into the scrotum shortly before birth. There is a natural sac (containing fluid) surrounding the testicles. This sac closes and fluid absorption occurs during first year of baby. But if this sac does not close, it results in hydrocele results which is termed communicating hydrocele. If the sac closes but some fluid remains behind around the testicle, it is termed non-communicating hydrocele.

B). In adults

Hydrocele may occur when the sac (tunica vaginalis) produces excessive fluid or when the fluid is not properly absorbed, it results in build-up of fluid around testicle. Hydrocele may arise from:

1.Injury or inflammation of scrotum

2. Infection/inflammation of testicles (orchitis) or epididymis(epididymitis)

3. Sexually transmitted infections

4. Inguinal hernia, which is rare

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hydrocele?

In most cases swelling in the scrotum is the only sign. It may be on one side or both sides. The swelling may be less in the morning and more in the evening.

Other than this, it may cause discomfort, dragging sensation in the scrotum along with heaviness. In some cases, pain, redness of scrotum may also be present.

If there occurs sudden intense pain in the scrotum or swelling mainly after scrotal injury, immediate medical help should be taken. This could be due to blocked blood flow from twisted testicle (testicular torsion) that needs urgent treatment to prevent permanent damage to testicle.


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Chronic Fatigue And Extreme Tiredness Making Life Miserable ? Try Homeopathy

Homeopathic remedies for chronic fatigue syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, as the name suggests, refers to a constant feeling of being tired physically and mentally, almost like the body’s vital systems are switched off or are working on a low battery. It is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis. Recently a new term has been introduced to denote this syndrome called Systemic Exertional Intolerance Disease (SEID). It is diagnosed when extreme tiredness remains for minimum six months that decreases the ability to do daily routine activities and is unexplained by any underlying medical condition.

Homeopathic Treatment

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can be very effectively treated with natural homeopathic remedies. Homeopathic medicines are completely safe with zero side effects. Sourced from natural substances, homeopathic medicines help the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients by increasing their body stamina and threshold for bearing fatigue against a particular level of exertion. They also help in energising the body’s immune system to come out of extreme physical or mental weakness and rejuvenate the person.

Top Homeopathic Remedies For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The top-grade medicines for chronic fatigue syndrome are Kali Phos, Arsenic album, Coffea Cruda, Gelsemium, Rhus Tox, Belladonna and Ignatia.

1. Kali Phos – Top Remedy For CFS

Kali Phos leads the chart of homeopathic medicines for treating cases of CFS. It is recommended to manage multiple concerns in persons having this syndrome. To begin with, it is marvellous medicine to manage fatigue. It can be given when the slightest mental or physical exertion leads to extreme fatigue. Even a little work seems like a Herculean task. The person feels worn out with no energy. Secondly, it can be given to manage sleep issues. It is very effective to manage sleeplessness and restless sleep. Its use is indicated to manage weak memory, forgetfulness and impaired memory. Forgetfulness is noticeable while speaking or writing. Lastly, it can be used for persons having stressed mind, worries, sadness and depression.

When and How to use Kali Phos?

Kali Phos can be used as a first remedy in CFS cases. It works wonders in managing tiredness, sleep issues, memory problems and depressive feeling in such cases. Though Kali Phos can be used in different potencies, the best results have been witnessed from 6X potency that comes in tablet form. Kali Phos can be taken in 6X potency three to four times a day (4 tablets at a time makes one dose of this medicine).

2. Arsenic Album – For Extreme Tiredness

Arsenic Album is highly effective to manage extreme tiredness. It suits well those who feel like lying down all the time due to excessive fatigue. Even a little exertion leads to utmost lack of strength and weakness. Standing, walking and the slightest exertion result in fatigue. Such persons also hesitate to do anything due to fear of exertion because they anticipate exhaustion. Apart from disabling fatigue, Arsenic Album can also treat extreme anxiety.

When and How to use Arsenic Album?

Arsenic Album is an ideal choice of remedy to manage extreme tiredness in cases of CFS. It is available in different potenices from low (like 30C) to high (like 200C, 1M). To begin with it is advised to take this medicine in 30C potency once or twice a day. Kindly consult a homeopathic doctor to use its high potencies.

 3. Coffea Cruda – For Sleep Issues

Coffea Cruda is a natural medicine to manage sleep issues. It is a top remedy to manage sleeplessness. Persons needing it have a lot of thoughts and ideas in mind at night that keeps them awake. It is also indicated for restless sleep and frequent waking from sleep. Its use is also considered when a person is able to sleep only specifically till 3:00 am after which no sleep occurs.

When and How to use Coffea Cruda?

Coffea Cruda can be used in cases of sleeplessness and restless sleep. This medicine works wonders in 30C potency. Coffea Cruda 30C can be taken two times a day.

 4. Gelsemium – For Weakness, Dizziness, Muscle Pain, Poor Concentration

Gelsemium is a herbal medicine to manage weakness and dizziness. Persons needing Gelsemium have marked weakness and sleepiness throughout the day. Heaviness in head may also be felt. Dizziness and vertigo are also marked. It gets worse when walking and from head movement. Muscle weakness and pain also show their impact on them. The muscle pain is mostly present in neck, shoulders, back, hips and legs. The patient may also experience trembling and weakness in limbs. Besides above indications, it is also useful when there is dullness of mind and poor concentration.

When and How to use Gelsemium?

A person having weakness, dizziness, muscle pain, concentration issues can find this medicine highly effective. Its use is usually recommended in 30C power that can be taken twice a day.

5. Rhus Tox – For Muscle Or Joint Pain

Rhus Tox is the most widely used homeopathic medicine for muscle or joint pain. It is usually the first choice of medicine of most physicians to manage muscle or joint pain. The key indication for its use is worsening of pains from rest and relief from movement. There may also occur relief in joint pain from massage or warm applications.

When and How to use Rhus Tox?

Rhus Tox can be given in any case of muscle or joint pain in any of the body part. It brings tremendous relief in pains in a very effective manner. This medicine can be used in different potencies like 30C, 200C, 1M. In the beginning,  Rhus Tox 30C can be used two to three times a day. When pain decreases, its dosage can be reduced. Do not self – medicate with its high potencies like 200C, 1M.

6. Belladonna – To Manage Headaches

To treat headaches though there are numerous medicines in homeopathy, but Belladonna tops the list. It is most commonly used medicine for managing headache. In most cases that need it, headache is throbbing, pulsating type. It may get worse from noise and light exposure. Binding head tightly brings relief.

When and How to use Belladonna?

Use of Belladonna should be preferred to manage headache in cases of CFS. It is usually used in 30C potency. This medicine can be taken in 30C potency two to three times a day as per severity of complaint.

7. Ignatia For Managing Depression

Ignatia is a prominent natural homeopathic remedy to deal with depression  in chronic fatigue syndrome. It is best suited when there is sadness along with weeping spells. Consolation worsens the complaint. Next there may be desire to remain alone, aversion to meet people and go out of home. At times there are mood swings.

When and How to use Ignatia?

This medicine can be given to persons who feel sad and depressed from CFS. This medicine can be used in 30C potency twice a day.

What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

1. Fatigue: It is the main symptom. Fatigue is marked to such an extent that it hinders daily routine work and taking resting does not bring much relief. It gets worse from activity, either physical or mental.

2. Sleep issues: Sleeplessness or unrefreshing sleep

3. Pain:There may occur pain in muscles or joints. Headache can also occur

4. Poor memory, difficulty thinking, indecisiveness, confusion or poor and difficult concentrating power

5. Sore throat

6. Depressed feelings and mood swings

7. Dizziness

8. Enlarged lymph nodes in neck or axillae (armpits)

What Are Causes/ Contributory Factors Behind It?

The exact cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not clear, but various factors have been linked to it though not confirmed. These contributory factors include:

1. Viral infection (Epstein Barr virus, herpes simplex virus1 and 2, human herpes virus 6, measles virus, cytomegalovirus)

2. Dysfunction of immune system

3. Genetic predisposition toward Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

4. Hormonal imbalance: Imbalance of hormones produced by pituitary glands, adrenal glands is suspected

5. Stress: It may include either mental stress or physical stress as caused by some injury or surgery


Some complications of CFS include depression, anxiety, social isolation and restricted lifestyle.


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Save your Kid from Adenoid Surgery – Homeopathic Medicines are the Best Bet

Enlarged Adenoids

Homeopathic Medicines for Enlarged Adenoids

If your child constantly has a blocked nose, breathes from the mouth or snores, chances are there that he/ she might have enlarged adenoids. Adenoid enlargement is a problem affecting children, those in the 3-10 years age group are the most vulnerable. But what does enlarged adenoids mean? It refers to the enlargement of adenoids i.e. the lymphoid tissue located at the junction of the back of the nose and throat. Like tonsils, they are a part of the body’s immune system and play a major role in fighting infections in children. Adenoids help fight the bacteria and virus entering the body via the nose. They normally grow up till  5-7 years of age and thereafter, they start shrinking and finally disappear around teenage. This is the physiological growth and regression pattern of adenoids, which are needed only until the child becomes a teenager. By that time, the other immune systems get mature enough to fight infections and disease. The adenoids, which are no longer needed, regress and disappear.

Homeopathic Treatment Of Enlarged Adenoids

Homeopathic medicines are a natural and safe alternative to surgery in children with enlarged adenoids. Adenoids, when surgically removed, have the tendency to regrow, it has been noted. Homeopathic medicines, on the other hand, focus on strengthening the child’s immune system. Once the immunity is strong, the child becomes less susceptible to recurrent respiratory infections. Once this key factor leading to enlarged adenoids is treated, the adenoids get the time to shrink and go back to their normal size.

Homeopathy treats adenoids in two phases. In the first phase, homeopathic medicines treat the ongoing infection, which is recurrent and generally acute and has caused the condition in the present moment. In the second phase, these medicines build immunity to prevent chronic respiratory infections. Homeopathic medicines are safe and do not have any adverse side effects. They treat the condition of enlarged adenoids in a very gentle and natural way.

Homeopathic Medicines To Treat Enlarged Adenoids

Homeopathic medicines that work wonders in treating enlarged adenoids include Agraphis Nutans, Baryta Carb, Calcarea Carb, Sambucus, Ammonium Carb, Kali Sulphuricum, Nux Vomica and Tuberculinum

1. Agraphic Nutans – Top-Grade Medicine

Agraphis Nutans is one of the best homeopathic medicines for treating enlarged adenoids. It is a natural medicine prepared from plant Bluebell, also known as ‘wild hyacinth’. This medicine is mainly prescribed based on its two important indications. First is nasal blockage due to enlarged adenoids where it proves very effective. Next is ear complaints mainly deafness, resulting from adenoids growing big in size. Apart from these, Agraphis Nutans is also very effective when enlargement of adenoids and tonsils is present together at the same time.

When and How to use Agraphis Nutans?

Agraphis Nutans can be given in any case of enlarged adenoids once diagnosis is confirmed. It will help in managing nasal blockage which is the foremost complaint a child faces from enlarged adenoids. Side by side it will help in shrinking the size of the adenoids. Also never forget its use for ear complaints, especially deafness resulting from enlarged adenoids. A child having enlarged adenoids can be given this medicine twice or thrice a day as per the intensity of the complaint.

2. Baryta Carb – For Managing Recurrent Tendency To Get Cold And Sore Throat

Baryta Carb is a homeopathic medicine of great help in treating numerous health concerns in kids among which enlarged adenoids is a prominent one.  It is mainly prescribed where a child has tendency to have colds and recurrent throat infections. Both adenoids and tonsils may have enlarged together simultaneously. In acute phase of URTI (upper respiratory tract infection), pain in the throat on swallowing, sneezing and thick yellow nasal discharge may also be seen. The mouth gives off an offensive odour. The child may be physically inactive and sluggish.

When and How to use Baryta Carb?

Baryta Carb is considered in cases where the tendency to have recurrent cold and sore throat is present. This medicine can also be used when adenoids and tonsils, both are enlarged. Its use is recommended in the phase when acute URTI has not set in.  This medicine will help build up immunity to prevent frequent infections. Its use can be done from low (like 30C) to high potencies (like 200C and 1M) but not in very frequent doses. To begin with, one can take Baryta Carb 30C twice a week only. To increase dose or potency, kindly consult a homeopathic doctor.

3. Calcarea Carb – To Manage Disposition To Take Cold Easily

Calcarea Carb is the top most medicine for kids who are highly susceptible to cold and fall sick after every such exposure. They get repetitive cold with clear watery nasal discharge or yellow foul discharge. Besides, nasal blockage is very prominent which is the most troublesome at night.  The chronic tendency to infections results in enlarged adenoids or tonsils. Such children also tend to perspire excessively on the scalp.

When and How to use Calcarea Carb?

Calcarea Carb is used in kids who are inclined to get recurrent colds from even slight exposure to cold weather. Like Baryta Carb, this medicine is also used when no active infection is present to strengthen a child’s immunity making him/ her less prone to catching cold frequently. Its use varies from low (30C) to high potencies (200C, 1M) varying from case to case. Initially, Calcarea Carb 30C can be given twice a week or 200C be given once a week. For changing its dose or moving to higher potencies, advice from homeopathic expert is a must.

4. Sambucus – To Relieve Nasal Blockage

Sambucus is a natural remedy sourced from plant Sambucus Nigra commonly known as ‘elder’. Its use is highly considered to manage blocked nose at night with thick mucus in nostrils. The mucus is also very sticky. Mouth breathing due to a blocked nose is pronounced.

When and How to use Sambucus?

This medicine is best to relieve nasal blockage in kids. This medicine acts for a short period of time and bears repetition well. Sambucus 30C can be used two or three times a day as per severity of the problem.

5. Ammonium Carb – For Intense Nasal Blockage

Ammonium Carb is a very suitable medicine to manage nasal blockage. The blockage is intense causing the child to breathe through mouth. The child may jerk several times during sleep due to obstructed breathing.

When and How to use Ammonium Carb?

Ammonium Carb can be given when there is nasal blockage along with mouth breathing. Ammonium Carb 30C given three times a day gives great relief in nasal blockage.

6. Kali Sulphuricum – When Symptoms Still Trouble Even After Surgery Of Adenoids

Kali Sulphuricum is a specific medicine for managing symptoms that persist even after surgery of enlarged adenoids. This medicine can be used to manage symptoms including nasal blockage, mouth breathing and snoring.  It can also be given when yellow nasal discharge accompanies these symptoms.

When and How to use Kali Sulphuricum?

If symptoms like nasal blockage, mouth breathing and snoring are still disturbing your child inspite of adenoids surgery, this medicine is an ideal prescription. It is majorly used in biochemic form in 6X potency that comes in tablet form. Kali Sulphuricum 6X can be used three to four times a day at a three-hour gap. Number of tablets to be given at a time varies from 2 to 4 as per age of child.

7. Nux Vomica For Managing Snoring

This medicine works wonders in managing snoring. It is helpful for kids who snore and have nose congestion/ stuffiness at night. During the day, there may be watery discharge from nose but at night no discharge occurs.

When and How to use Nux Vomica?

Use of Nux Vomica is highly suggested in cases where snoring is well marked. Though it works well in various potencies, it is mostly used in 30C power. Nux Vomica 30C can be taken one to three times a day based on severity of the complaint.

8. Tuberculinum – Homeopathic Medicines To Treat Recurrent Infections Causing Enlarged Adenoids

Tuberculinum is a very effective homeopathic medicine to help build a child’s immunity so that he does not catch infections repeatedly. Children needing it are very sensitive to weather changes and highly susceptible to infections. They frequently suffer from sore throat, colds and upper respiratory tract infections. These medicines are given in chronic cases and when no active infection is present. They strengthen the body’s immune system.

When and How to use Tuberculinum?

Tuberculinum is mainly used as a medicine to boost a child’s immunity that will make a child less susceptible to catch frequent infections. It is mainly used in 200C or higher potencies. The dose varies from just one dose in 15 days or in a month depending on the age of the child and severity of problem. It is advised not to self-medicate with this medicine as it is a strong remedy. Always use this medicine only after consulting a homeopathic physician.

Note Use of these medicines is recommended only in mild to moderate cases. They can be used for about a month or two in recommended potency and dose. For further continuation of these medicines or for increasing dose or potency, kindly consult a homeopathic physician. In severe cases (for example, sleep apnea, mouth breathing even during daytime, recurrent ear infections or retarded overall growth of child), kindly take help from conventional mode of treatment as homeopathy has its limitations in treating severe cases of enlarged adenoids.

Cause Behind Adenoids Enlargement

Adenoids are present in every child that act as the first line of defense in the body along with tonsils. However, this does not mean that adenoids will get enlarged in every child. Recurrent upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and nasal allergies put a child at risk and cause adenoids to enlarge. As soon as the germs enter via the nose, adenoids trap them and fight them. In this process, the adenoids get temporarily swollen. With time, this swelling reduces and they come back to their original size. However, if the infections are recurrent, the adenoids, due to constant swelling, are unable to return to normal size and get permanently enlarged even in the absence of any acute URTI.

Signs And Symptoms Of Enlarged Adenoids

1. Nasal blockage causing mouth breathing, noisy breathing and snoring

2. Dry mouth, dry cracked lips, offensive breath due to breathing from mouth

3. Disturbed, restless sleep; drowsiness and sleepiness during the day; difficulty in concentration

4. Nasal voice, enlarged glands in the neck, frequent colds, sore throat and difficult swallowing. Appetite may also be poor. A child having enlarged adenoids has a blocked nose and breathes through the mouth. Chewing and breathing at the same time are difficult, therefore these children avoid eating at all.

5. Adenoid facies: The term facies refers to a set of specific facial features in a person suffering from a particular disease. The typical set of facial features noted in a child having enlarged adenoids is known as adenoid facies. The features of adenoid facies include a long face, open mouth, high arched palate, prominent incisors, short upper lip and a pinched nose.

Complications Of Enlarged Adenoids

1. Sleep apnea (momentary pauses in breathing arise during sleep) in severe cases. Sleep apnea leads to poor sleep, fatigue and difficulty concentrating in studies at school.

2. Ear-related complaints such as difficulty in hearing, deafness and ear infections. The eustachian tube connects the throat to the middle ear. When the adenoids get enormously enlarged, they may block these eustachian tubes, leading to deafness or middle ear infection.

3. In fact, persistently enlarged adenoids retard the overall development of the child. The retarded growth in such cases is attributed to two main factors – poor appetite leading to nutritional deficiencies, and improper sleep. The growth hormone required in children is primarily secreted during sleep. A child who lacks sound sleep will have lower levels of this growth hormone and hence, suffer poor growth and development.

Frequently Asked Questions

My child has a persistently blocked nose, are enlarged adenoids to blame?

Blocked nose is a key feature of enlarged adenoids and is attended with symptoms like mouth breathing and snoring. However, nasal allergies and nasal polyps may also cause a blocked nose. So a diagnosis and X-ray of soft tissue of the neck are needed before enlarged adenoids can be established as the cause.

Can enlarged adenoids and enlarged tonsils appear at the same time?

Yes. Tonsils are located in the back of the throat, one on either side, and are a part of the child’s defense mechanism along with adenoids. Both adenoids and tonsils are masses of lymphoid tissue. There are high chances for both adenoids and tonsils to get enlarged at the same time.

Our ENT specialist has advised adenoid surgery for my son. Is it wise to try homeopathic medicines at this stage?

Yes, it is. Why put the child through the trauma of surgery? Even though conventional medicine treats enlarged adenoids as a case for surgical intervention, proper homeopathic medicines can treat the condition in a safe and natural way. Homeopathic medicines do not take very long to show positive results in some measure. How much they can help and for how long they need to be taken depends on the severity of the condition.

Can adenoids grow back after surgery?

Yes, there is a fair chance they will. This is because even though the adenoids have been incised, the root cause behind their enlargement remains. Homeopathy first attacks and fixes the root cause, for example recurrent respiratory infections, and then helps the adenoids shrink back to normal size.




Call Dr. Sharma's Clinic - From United States and Canada call 703-659-0873. Patients From rest of the world and India call +91-6283487321

Natural Homeopathic Medicine for Balanitis

Balanitis is a condition where there is an inflammation of the head (glans) of the penis and the foreskin (flap of skin covering the glans). Balanitis can be painful but is not usually a serious condition. It is most common in uncircumcised men having foreskin around the head of the penis. Balanitis can be caused by infections from overgrowth of yeast and bacteria under the foreskin. Poor hygiene is the main contributing factor. Homeopathic medicines help in reducing the inflammation, swelling, redness of the glans penis and the foreskin very effectively. Apis Mellifica, Caladium, and Merc Sol are the top homeopathic medicines for balanitis.

balanitis homeopathy

Homeopathic medicines for Balanitis.

Other factors that predispose a male to balanitis include not completely rinsing the soap from the penis while washing, irritation of the glans from chemicals present in perfumed soaps, lotions, shower gels, condoms or lubricants, uncontrolled diabetes, and reactive arthritis. Too much cleansing or over washing can also irritate the glans and contribute to balanitis. STI’s (sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea, syphilis), skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and some medicines like tetracycline can also lead to balanitis.

Homeopathic Treatment of Balanitis

Balanitis can be effectively treated with natural homeopathic remedies. Symptoms of balanitis including pain, itching on glans and painful urination can be treated effectively with the help of homeopathic remedies. Homeopathic medicines are selected individually for every case of balanitis based on the symptom picture and should be taken only under the consultation of a homeopathic physician.

Homeopathic Medicines for Balanitis

Apis Mellifica – For Balanitis with Burning, Stinging Pains

Apis Mellifica is a natural medicine for balanitis. In cases needing Apis Mellifica, there is marked inflammation and swelling of glans. The foreskin is also inflamed. This inflammation is attended with an intense burning and stinging pains. A thin discharge may be present under the foreskin. Painful urination is frequently present along with the above symptoms.

Caladium – For Balanitis with Marked Redness of the Glans

Homeopathic medicine Caladium is prepared from a plant called Caladium Seguinum or Arum Seguinum. The natural order of this plant is Araceae. Caladium is useful for cases of balanitis with marked redness of glans. The glans is covered with reddish spots, and there is marked dryness. The foreskin is also swollen and sore, especially along the margins. Biting pain while urinating is a marked feature in cases needing Caladium.

Merc Sol – For Balanitis with Marked Swelling and Painful Sensitivity

Merc Sol is a natural remedy for balanitis where there is marked swelling and painful sensitivity of the glans and the prepuce. Small vesicles may be present on the glans and prepuce. There may be oozing of fluid from these vesicles along with a burning sensation. Thin milk-like discharge may be present under the glans penis. Severe burning on urination may also be felt.

Rhus Tox – For Balanitis with Dark Red Swelling and Pain

Rhus Tox offers a natural cure for balanitis where there is dark red swelling of the glans and prepuce. It is attended with a lot of pain, itching and stinging sensation on the prepuce. Moist vesicles may also appear on the glans in few cases where Rhus Tox is indicated.

Cinnabaris – For Balanitis with Itching

Cinnabaris offers a natural treatment for Balanitis where there is itching attended with redness and swelling of the glans and prepuce. Fetid, yellow-green discharge may be present under the prepuce. An attending complaint of phimosis may also be present in some cases.

Sulphur – For Balanitis with Marked Itching and Burning

Sulphur is a natural remedy for balanitis where there is marked itching and burning on the glans and prepuce. The glans and prepuce become swollen and red. Offensive sweat is present around the genitals in most cases. Copious secretion of fetid smegma may be present. Sulphur is also indicated for cases of phimosis when attended with a discharge of fetid pus.

Nitric Acid – For Balanitis with Reddish Spots on Glans with Offensive Moisture

Nitric Acid is an effective homeopathic medicine for balanitis where reddish spots appear on the glans along with moisture. The moisture is foul smelling, and small pimples may appear on the glans penis. The foreskin is also inflamed and swollen along with soreness. Burning, sticking or tearing pains may appear in the foreskin along with the presence of itchy vesicles. Nitric Acid is also indicated for cases of phimosis and paraphimosis along with sharp and stitching pains in prepuce.

Rhododendron – For Balanitis with Throbbing, Shooting Pain under Glans

Homeopathic medicine Rhododendron is prepared from the fresh leaves of a plant Rhododendron Chrysanthum or Yellow Snow-Rose. The natural order of this plant is Ericaceae. Rhododendron is well-indicated for cases of balanitis along with throbbing and shooting pain under the glans. Sometimes there is crushing pain felt in glans penis. The prepuce is swollen and enormously distended like a bladder. Slight discharge from the glans may be present with the above symptoms.

Thuja – For Balanitis linked to Gonorrhoea Infection

Homeopathic medicine Thuja is prepared from fresh green twigs of plant Thuja occidentalis commonly named as Arbor Vitae. This plant belongs to natural order Coniferae. Thuja is prominently indicated for balanitis that arises due to a gonorrhea infection. In cases needing Thuja, the glans is very sensitive and has red sores. Burning between the prepuce and glans penis is also marked. There is yellow-green discharge and scalding pain while urinating.

Cantharis – For Balanitis with Painful Urination

Cantharis is a natural medicine for painful urination in cases of balanitis. The glans is intensely swollen and is very painful to pressure. There is severe pain, burning, smarting on passing urine that may continue even after urination. Sometimes cutting pains appear on urinating. Urine may be scanty with frequent urging. Violent pain in the glans may precede urination.

Symptoms of Balanitis

The main signs of balanitis include redness and swelling of the glans and foreskin. The symptoms include soreness, pain and irritation or itching of glans, pain while urinating, bad smell on the glans and discharge under the foreskin. Some of the main complications of balanitis include phimosis (inability to retract foreskin from the head of the penis) in chronic balanitis, decreased blood supply to glans and scarring or narrowing of the penis opening.

Call Dr. Sharma's Clinic - From United States and Canada call 703-659-0873. Patients From rest of the world and India call +91-6283487321

Insomnia treatment With Homeopathy

insomnia-homeopathyInsomnia (sleeplessness) is a common sleep disorder in which a person experiences difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep or wakes up too early. Insomnia can lead to long periods of wakefulness and difficulty initiating sleep. It can also cause a person to wake up early, and not be able to fall back asleep or maintain sleep. Tossing, turning in bed and restlessness are common signs of insomnia. HomeopathY for insomnia works by treating the underlying physical and psychological conditions that may be causing the disorder. The top medicines recommended for insomnia include Kali Phos, Coffea Cruda and Ignatia Amara.

Every person tends to experience sleeplessness occasionally, and usually, it gets resolved on its own with a good night’s sleep. Diagnosis of insomnia is made when a person faces difficulty sleeping for three nights in the span of a week for a minimum of three months, and it is causing significant distress in everyday life.

What Happens if a Person Doesn’t Get Enough Sleep?

Not getting enough sleep can lead to the following effects:

– waking up unrefreshed, tired in the morning

– feeling sleepy in the daytime

– feeling weak, tired, fatigue during daytime

– remaining irritable during the day

– having low mood

– depressed feeling

– mood swings

– having difficulty concentrating during daytime

– reduced alertness

poor performance at job or school

– high risk of accidents

– chronic insomnia may lead to weight gain. It does so by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates

– Chronic insomnia is a risk factor to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, heart disease and stroke

Homeopathy for Insomnia

Conventional treatment for insomnia employs the use of sleeping pills or ‘sedative hypnotics’ to induce or maintain sleep. The different types of sleeping pills include specific hypnotics, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates.
Common benzodiazepines like Valium, Xanax, Librium, and Ativan increase drowsiness, thereby enabling sleep. Most of these drugs are potentially addictive and are known to cause memory and attention problems. In most cases, they are not recommended for long-term treatment of sleeping problems.
Some new drugs are now replacing benzodiazepines, which are not as habit-forming, but still can cause physical dependencies.
Some common side effects of sleeping pills are:

– changes in appetite
– diarrhea
– constipation
– headache
– gas
– drowsiness during daytime
– dry mouth/throat
– tingling sensation in limbs
– difficulty maintaining balance
– heartburn
– memory and attention problems
– weakness
– stomach-related issues

Another serious, potential side effect of sleeping pills is parasomnia. Parasomnias are involuntary behaviors and movements like sleepwalking, over which an individual has no control. During an attack of parasomnia, the person is asleep and unaware. Sleeping pills are usually prescribed on a short-term basis since they tend to stop working once the body builds a tolerance to the drugs with time.

No Side-Effects
Natural medicines for insomnia have no side effects since they are made of natural substances. They work at a psychosomatic level to treat the root cause of insomnia. Kali Phos, for example, is a highly effective medicine for insomnia that occurs due to stress.

These Remedies are Natural
As an ancient 200-year-old medical science, these remedies are derived from nature to help restore the natural healing processes of the body. While conventional medicines affect the chemical or hormonal levels in the body,  medicines work in harmony with the body to naturally restore the sleep cycle.

Holistic Approach to Treat Insomnia
Homeopathy treats the problem internally, by understanding the cause of different symptoms instead of suppressing them. Often, Insomnia is the result of an underlying problem, and homeopathy works cohesively to treat the psychological and physical symptoms that may be causing the disorder.

Homeopathy offers Individual Treatment
Homeopathy works by analyzing the possible individual causes of insomnia in a person. Every person is treated according to the particular symptoms. Insomnia can be of different kinds; while some people find it difficult to fall asleep, others may find it difficult to stay asleep. These distinctions are important, and homeopathy treats these unique problems.

These Medicines are Safe
Homeopathy remedies for insomnia do not cause any psychological or physical dependency. Once the problem has been resolved, one can gradually stop the medication, or take it intermittently (if required). Homeopathy also works especially well for chronic sleep issues and can help resolve the problem for good.

Top Homeopathic Medicines for Insomnia

1. Kali Phos – For Insomnia due to Stress/Worries

Kali Phos is a very useful medicine for insomnia. Insomnia from stress and worries, sleeplessness (mainly during the latter part of the night), excessive yawning, a sad, gloomy disposition, extreme fatigue both on mental and physical level and sudden waking from sleep in children due to night terrors are the common symptoms that indicate the need for a dosage of Kali Phos for insomnia.

Key indications for using Kali Phos for Insomnia:

– Insomnia from stress/worries

– Sleeplessness during the latter part of the night

– Night terrors in children causing disturbed sleep

2. Coffea Cruda – For Insomnia due to Constant Thoughts

Coffea Cruda is a beneficial medicine for insomnia arising from constant thoughts in mind. During bedtime, many ideas crowd the mind. The person remains restless at night and experiences sleeplessness, tossing from side to side. Palpitations and nervousness may attend. This medicine is also helpful in children who are playful at night and are sleepless. Coffea Cruda is also well indicated for early waking from sleep (usually around 3:00 am) with difficulty in falling asleep again. Insomnia during the phase of convalescence (i.e., during recovery from some illness) is also treated with Coffea Cruda. This remedy also offers help in cases of disturbed sleep from excessive dreams.

Key indications for using Coffea Cruda for Insomnia:

– insomnia from constant thoughts in mind

– early waking from sleep with difficulty to fall asleep again

– disturbed sleep from excessive dreams

3. Ignatia Amara – For Insomnia from Grief, Depression

Ignatia Amara is a medicine for insomnia arising from grief and depression. The person needing Ignatia Amara is depressed and full of cares and worries. He/She may get entirely absorbed in profound grief that leads to sleeplessness. Other attending features are a desire to be alone, tearfulness, and sadness with deep sighs. The person keeps thinking about the sad occurrences in the past. Excessive brooding, moaning, and an indifferent behavior to everything may also be present.

Key indications for using Ignatia Amara for Insomnia:

– insomnia from grief, depression

– Cares and worries

– Sadness, weeping, brooding

Other Important Medicines for Insomnia

4. Pulsatilla Nigricans – For Insomnia during First Half of Night

Pulsatilla Nigricans is prepared from the plant named ‘windflower’ of the natural order Ranunculaceae.
Pulsatilla Nigricans is a medicine for insomnia appearing during the first half of night. The person stays awake and restless during the first half of the night. A fixed thought keeps revolving in the mind that prevents sleeping. An extreme restlessness is present along with sleeplessness. The person eventually falls asleep during the late hours (towards dawn). The person wakes up feeling tired and may experience excessive yawning and sleepiness during the daytime.

5. Nux Vomica – For Insomnia during Latter Half of Night

Nux Vomica is a valuable medicine for insomnia when sleeplessness occurs during the second half of the night. A person requiring Nux Vomica have no trouble falling asleep, but wakes up around 3:00 am – 4:00 am after which sleep becomes difficult. During daytime, intense drowsiness, tiredness and weakness appear. Nux Vomica also works in cases where sleep is not sound, and the person often wakes from sleep. It also treats sleeplessness linked with an excessive intake of coffee or alcoholic stimulants or tobacco. Sleeplessness due to gastric troubles is also an indication for using homeopathic medicine Nux Vomica.

6. Arsenic Album – For Insomnia Linked with Anxiety

Arsenic Album is a useful  medicine for insomnia linked with anxiety. There is anxiety about issues like health, future and or the family’s well being. The anxiety is mostly worse after midnight. Along with anxiety, an extreme restlessness may be present. The person continually tosses and turns in the bed at night. The restlessness also prevails during daytime with continual movement from one place to another, with a feeling of weariness of the eyes.

7. Chamomilla Vulgaris – For Disturbed Sleep from Frightful Dreams

Chamomilla Vulgaris is a natural medicine prepared from the plant ‘German Chamomile.’ It belongs to the plant family Composite. Chamomilla Vulgaris is an important medicine for disturbed sleep resulting from frightful dreams. The person wakes suddenly with a start; and be weeping or fearful. These episodes occur several times at night resulting in disturbed sleep. The person is sleepless till about 2:00 am. Sleeplessness from illusions of sight and hearing is another indication for using homeopathic medicine Chamomilla Vulgaris. The person may be highly irritable and sleepy during the day.

8. Opium – For Insomnia where Person is Sleepy but Unable to Sleep

Opium is a medicine for insomnia where a person feels sleepy but is unable to sleep. He/She may remain awake for long, there is restless at night with constant tossing and tumbling in bed. The person may have acuteness of hearing, and small noises may disturb the person and cause sleeplessness.

9. Calcarea Carb – For Sleeplessness at Night with Daytime Drowsiness

Calcarea Carb is another excellent medicine for the treatment of insomnia. The individual requiring Calcarea Carb is sleepless at night and very drowsy during the daytime. He/She may sleep for a short duration, and experience sleeplessness post 2 am. At night, a heated sensation, agitation and pulsating in the head appears due to insomnia. The person often feels exhausted in the morning with a desire to sleep, and the head may feel heavy.

10. Robinia – For Insomnia due to GERD

Robinia is prepared from the plant known as ‘yellow locust.’ The natural order of this plant is Leguminosae. A person needing Robinia suffers from GERD and experiences worsening of symptoms at night, which disturbs sleep. Symptoms like heartburn and sour belchings become worse at night, disturbing the sleep. Homeopathic medicine Robinia treats GERD and its acid reflux symptoms, and this usually resolves the problem of disturbed sleep.

11. Rhus Tox – For Disturbed Sleep from Chronic Pain

Rhus Tox is a useful medicine to treat disturbed sleep that results from chronic pain. The person needing Rhus Tox suffers from chronic pain in the joints or back (mostly during rest time). Worsening of pain during rest interferes with sleep, and the person keeps on tossing in bed with restlessness from pain.

12. Zincum Met – For Insomnia due to Restless Leg Syndrome

Zincum Met is a medicine for restless legs syndrome that leads to troubled sleep. The person needing this medicine experiences restlessness of the feet or lower limbs. They keep on moving them constantly, and this uneasiness is worse at night. The lower limbs also feel heavy. In some cases drawing pain and cramping in legs arises. Formication (sensation like insects crawling over the skin) of feet at night may also attend.

13. Passiflora Incarnata – Homeopathic Medicine for Insomnia in Elderly People

Passiflora Incarnata is a prominently indicated medicine for treating insomnia in older persons. This medicine is prepared from a plant named ‘passion flower’ belonging to natural order Passifloraceae. The person needing Passiflora Incarnata remains wakeful and restless at night. Mental worries may also be present with insomnia. This medicine is also indicated for insomnia in infants.

14. Cina – For Insomnia in Children

Cina is a medicine prepared from a plant named ‘Artemisia maritime’ belonging to family Composite. Cina works well to treat insomnia in children. Its use is considered when the child cannot sleep and tends to scream and kick off bedclothes. The child is cranky, irritable and restless. Cina is also indicated in children who sleep for a very short time, or in cases where a child experiences night terrors and wakes up screaming and frightened.

The Causes and Triggers of Insomnia

Insomnia is usually the symptom of an underlying health condition or an erratic, unhealthy lifestyle. A person’s lifestyle habits have a direct impact on the sleep patterns and overall health. Unhealthy lifestyle practices usually trigger insomnia and making amendments usually helps resolve the problem fairly quickly.

Some common triggers relate to lifestyle habits that can cause insomnia include:

Poor Sleep Habits

– People who work at home in the evenings often find it difficult to unwind and relax before bedtime. This can cause increased brain activity and stress, apart from affecting the working of the sleep hormones. The mind becomes preoccupied with the details of work when it is time to sleep.

Afternoon naps can also disrupt night sleep by confusing the body’s internal clock. While some people feel refreshed after a quick afternoon nap, others may find it difficult to sleep at night if they have a nap in the afternoon.

Small, Constant Stress Triggers 

While major stressful events naturally can cause insomnia, modern lifestyle has small, but constant stress triggers that can become a chronic problem. In case of a perceived threat, the stress response in the body gets triggered and leads to a chain of physical reactions like shallow breathing and the release of chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline for energy. The triggering of this response to everyday stressors like relationship conflicts, traffic, and commute, being on time, etc. leads to chronic stress, especially if it is not resolved through relaxation.

Blue Light from Screens

– Using laptops and mobile phones right before bedtime has been scientifically proven to cause sleep problems. The blue light emitted from these gadgets makes the brain more alert and disturbs the functioning of sleep hormones like melatonin.

Working in Irregular Shifts

– People who work in shifts with irregular hours often find it difficult to fall asleep at all. Periodically changing schedules, late night shifts and irregular sleeping hours disturbs the body’s natural rhythm and can lead to insomnia.

Noise and Environmental Disturbances

– People living in the city or near places where there is noise pollution find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Loud noises from the television or other activities, bad odors in the air from garbage dumps or industrial plants in the vicinity can also disturb sleep.

Medications for Other Health Issues 

– Certain medicines that are used to treat a variety of health issues can contribute to insomnia. These include:

– Anti-arrhythmics for heart problems
– Beta blockers for angina and high blood pressure
– Corticosteroids for asthma and inflammation
– Medications containing coffee
– Medications for cold, flu and cough that contain alcohol
– Antihistamines
– serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for anxiety and depression
– Substances to replace nicotine

The Effect of Smoking on Sleep 

– Smoking affects sleep quality in a variety of ways. The main ingredient in tobacco is nicotine, which is both a drug and a stimulant. Consumed too close to bedtime in high quantities, it can affect the sleep physiology. Smokers also tend to experience disruptive sleep, and may not be getting the adequate hours of deep, restorative sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea is another condition experienced by smokers, caused by smoke that irritates the nose and throat tissues and causes swelling that can restrict air flow.

Stimulating Effects of Caffeine

– Caffeine is a stimulant and temporarily increases alertness by increasing the production of adrenaline. This interferes with the production and action of sleep-inducing chemicals. Further, caffeine is absorbed by the system within 15 minutes, and its effects can last for over 6 hours.

Insomnia usually starts as an occasional problem, but gradually becomes a long-term problem if it is not addressed. People tend to adopt unhealthy sleeping habits after a few sleepless nights, by working late, drinking alcohol to fall asleep or resorting to sleeping pills.

Medical Conditions that can lead to Insomnia and Disturbed Sleep


Hyperthyroidism (or a hyperactive thyroid) can lead to insomnia. This disorder tends to over-stimulate the nervous system, making it difficult to fall asleep. An overactive thyroid can also cause a person to wake up frequently during the night.

GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) / Acid Reflux

GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) refers to a condition that causes heartburn (burning behind the sternum), chest pain, sour belching/vomiting due to reflux of stomach acid from a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
This condition usually gets worse at night because upon laying down, it is easier for the stomach acid to rise in the food pipe and resist gravity. Additionally, stomach acid is highly concentrated at night as compared to daytime.

Acid reflux tends to get worse at night, and its symptoms can lead to disturbed sleep. These symptoms include:

1. waking up from sleep due to heartburn or chest pain

2. sleep apnea (that is common with GERD). Sleep apnea refers to repeated momentary stoppage of breathing during sleep that leads to frequent waking at night.

3. a coughing episode or choked sensation if the stomach acid finds a way to the larynx.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS)

Restless Leg Syndrome is a condition in which a person has an irresistible urge to move the legs to relieve the discomforting sensation felt in the legs. In a recent study, it was found that the neurotransmitter glutamate is found to be high in people having RLS. This hormone is linked with arousal.

Sleep Apnea

People with sleep apnea are also at risk of disturbed sleep and insomnia. Sleep apnea is the conditions where a person experiences momentary pauses in breathing. It leads to a drop in oxygen levels. These factors cause a person to wake up briefly many times throughout the night causing disturbed sleep.

Chronic Pain due to Other Conditions 

People dealing with chronic pain due to conditions like arthritis, backache, fibromyalgia also tend to suffer from insomnia or disturbed sleep.

Other conditions that can lead to insomnia include asthma, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

The mental health disorders related to insomnia include depression, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and anxiety disorders.

Why Do We Need Sleep?

A good night’s sleep is equally important for maintaining overall health as is eating well. Sleep is required to give rest to the body and prepare it to work the next day. During sleep, our brain processes and stores information gathered throughout the day. Sleep is also needed to help in muscle growth, tissue repair, regulation of metabolism and replenishment of energy.

In addition to this release of certain hormones is at peak during sleep like growth hormone ( that spurs growth in children and adolescents). Proper rest helps in improving memory, improves concentration, sharpens attention, lowers stress, and improves immune function. Sleep helps keep the heart and blood vessels healthy.

The Phases of Sleep

Sleep is a relaxed state of mind and body, with reduced awareness, reduced perception of environmental stimuli and reduced responsiveness.

There are two phases of sleep:

1. Non – REM (Non – rapid eye movement) /slow wave sleep

2. REM (rapid eye movement sleep)

Non-REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep

The first phase is non-REM sleep, which is followed by the phase of REM sleep. This cycle gets repeated about 4 to 6 times a night, depending on the duration of sleep.

Non-REM sleep is divided into three stages (of 5 to 15 minutes):

Stage 1 – During this stage the eyes get drowsy, but the person can be easily awakened.
Stage 2 – It is a light stage of sleep, where the heart rate slows, and body temperature falls.
Stage 3 – This is the stage of deep sleep, and it is difficult to wake a person up from this phase.

REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep

This phase arises approx one and a half hour after a person falls asleep. During this phase, rapid movement of the eye in different directions occurs, and the heart rate and breathing quicken. A person tends to dream in this phase, and there is high brain activity.

Body’s Natural Circadian Rhythm

Physiological changes that occur on roughly a 24-hour cycle in the body are together referred to as the circadian rhythm or body clock. It is this clock that tells our bodies when to sleep, rise, eat food and more. A part of the hypothalamus controls the circadian rhythm. Factors like light, darkness, and temperature can also affect it.
When it’s dark at night, a signal is sent to the brain to release the hormone melatonin, which induces sleep. Circadian rhythm works best when a person has a regular sleep pattern. Disruption in the circadian rhythm leads to irregularity in the sleeping pattern. For example, people who work during night shifts often have sleeping troubles due to a disrupted circadian rhythm.

Melatonin and Sleeplessness

The pineal gland produces the hormone Melatonin in the body which regulates sleep and wakefulness. This gland is inactive during the daytime. When it grows dark, the pineal gland activates and starts producing melatonin to release it in the blood. Following its release, a person begins to feel less alert and sleepy. Detection of light and dark by the retina of eyes influences the production of melatonin.
When the retina detects light, the melatonin production is stopped.
When the retina detects darkness, melatonin production is stimulated. Melatonin production during the night promotes sleep.

Serotonin and Sleeplessness

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (brain chemical). It is the chemical that creates a state of wellbeing and happiness; it regulates emotions, mood, social behavior, appetite, and digestion. It is the precursor for melatonin and plays an important role in regulating sleep cycles. Low serotonin levels are linked to sleep disorders, including insomnia. In case of stress, low serotonin levels are seen that further leads to disrupted sleep. In addition to causing sleep disturbance, low serotonin also leads to a depressed mood, poor memory, poor self-esteem, and anxiety.

Dopamine and Sleeplessness

Dopamine has a role to play in sleeplessness by stopping the effects of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a hormone that is involved in controlling the making and release of melatonin. The dopamine’s inhibiting effects on norepinephrine leads to decrease making and release of melatonin effects. Low melatonin keeps the person awake.

Insomnia in Older Adults

Insomnia becomes more common with age due to physiological changes in the body. For most people, their sleep patterns change, and sleep tends to become less restful. Getting tired earlier in the day means that older people are more likely to sleep early and wake up earlier.
Also, chronic health conditions like arthritis, depression, bladder problems (and more) that are common in older adults tend to disrupt sleep. Increased use of medications for health issues can also affect the sleep patterns.

Insomnia in Younger Adults

Children, teenagers, and younger adults usually have delayed internal clocks, which makes them want to sleep late and wake up late.

Insomnia in Women

Women experience hormonal changes in the body during their menstrual cycle and during menopause, which can disrupt sleep.
Women going through menopause may experience hot flashes and night sweats which can also disturb sleep.
Pregnancy can also cause insomnia.

How Much Sleep is Ideal?

Depending on the age group, the National Sleep Foundation recommends the following number of hours of restful sleep:

School-going children (ages 6-12 years): 9 to 11 hours
Teenagers (ages 13-19 years): 8 to 10 hours
Young adults (age 18-25 years): 7-9 hours
Adults (age 26-64): 7-9 hours
Older adults (above 65 years of age ): 7-8 hours

Managing Insomnia with Diet and Lifestyle Changes

Some measures one can take to ensure a good night’s sleep, and reduce the chances of developing insomnia over time are:

Changing Lifestyle Habits to accommodate better sleep:

A Regular Schedule:

A regular schedule which dictates a specific window for sleeping and waking up trains the body to be energized or in a restful state during particular times of the day.

Avoid oversleeping (more than 9 hours a day for adults) on some days (like weekends) which can throw off the sleep schedule. Consistency is key.

Sleeping Environment:

Keep the bedroom dark with the help of blinds and shades, and remove any light-emitting devices.

A slightly cool temperature helps aid sleep. One can turn down the heat and use a light blanket if necessary.

The bed you sleep on can directly affect your sleep. A firm mattress with no bulges or dips is ideal.

Smoking just before bedtime can disturb hormone production and mess up sleep since (nicotine is a stimulant).

Exercising too close to bedtime can increase the levels of cortisol as well as the heart rate, making it difficult to wind down.

Use of Electronics:

Avoid watching television, working on the computer or even browsing your phone just before bedtime. The blue light emitted from these electronics stimulates the pineal gland in the brain, making it difficult to fall asleep. If you must use electronics before bedtime, try switching to the ‘night-mode’ on the device, which reduces the amount of blue light emitted.

Ensuring Regular Exercise

Exercise creates endorphins or ‘happy hormones’ in the body, and it helps tire out the body and prepares it for rest. Picking the right time to exercise is important, and is a very personal choice.
If exercising in the evening tires you out and makes you want to sleep, then an evening workout might be good. If exercise recharges your system and makes you feel energized, a morning workout is better.

Foods to Eat

The food we eat affects our entire system; it normalizes the production of hormones and other neurotransmitters. Also, what time you eat matters, since eating too close to bedtime can stimulate the system, while eating the last meal of the day too early can cause disturbed sleep due to low blood sugar levels. Eating 2-3 hours before bedtime suits most people.

Tryptophan for Production of Serotonin

Tryptophan is an amino acid that stimulates the production of serotonin, a hormone that promotes relaxation. Foods that are high in protein usually include animal protein like turkey and tuna. These should be supplemented with fats and complex carbohydrates.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbs, like those found in starchy vegetables, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash help release serotonin in the system. However, simple carbs and sugar should be strictly avoided as they tend to spike energy levels at night.

Foods that Contain Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that promotes relaxation in the body and decreases the incidence of muscle cramps and headaches. Oats, green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and fermented dairy products are good sources of magnesium.

The Vitamin B Group

B vitamins help optimize the working of the nervous system and are found in foods like green leafy vegetables, brewer’s yeast and organic meat. Also, B-complex vitamins are proven to reduce the incidence of insomnia.

Foods to Avoid

Too Much Caffeine

Caffeine is a popular stimulant and can stay in the body for over 6 hours. Therefore, it is not advisable to drink caffeine-infused drinks like coffee and energy drinks post noon. Green tea serves as a great alternative to coffee.

That Evening Drink

Alcohol should not be taken too close to bedtime (ideally at least 2 hours before bedtime), and should always be consumed in moderation.

Mind the Allergens

Any potential food allergens that can lead to digestive issues and restlessness should be monitored and avoided.

Sugar and Carbohydrates

Consuming too many carbs and sugars in the evening mean that the body will be working to process them, and this activity can warm up the body and make it difficult to fall asleep. Also, too much variation in the blood sugar levels lead to anxiety and discomfort and make it difficult to fall asleep.

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