Immune System

Immune System

As a child grows and develops, and reaches its mile stones, the immune system is also in the process of maturing and adapting to the changing environments.

The first major challenge usually comes at the time when the child goes into childcare or preschool where the immune system has to deal with exposure to new viruses and bacteria. At the same time the child has to adapt emotionally to new caregivers or teachers along with being away from the security of the familiar home environment.

It is usually at this point, when the recurring coughs, colds, ear infections and glue ear begin. Very often it is the beginning of an endless cycle of antibiotics, antihistamines, grommets and lots of Pamol in between, to help parents and child get through sleepless nights.

At the Homeopathy centre we have seen great results from treating these children with specific remedies that are chosen on the common symptoms as well as the individual characteristics of a child. Homeopathic treatment is understood to work by strengthening the immune system, so that the child stops picking up every infection that goes around. Homeopathic remedies help to clear the mucus, the child’s normal sleep pattern returns and usually the whole family can get back to normal.

Allergies and Food Intolerance

Understanding the difference between food intolerance and other types of food reaction is an important starting point because the approach to dealing with them is quite different.

Whereas allergies and coeliac disease are immune reactions to food proteins, food intolerances don’t involve the immune system in the same way. They are triggered by food chemicals which cause reactions by irritating nerve endings in different parts of the body, a bit like certain drugs can cause side effects in sensitive people.

The chemicals involved in food intolerances are found in many different foods, so the approach involves identifying them and reducing the intake of groups of foods which contain the same offending substances. In contrast, protein allergens are specific to each food (eg. eggs, milk and peanuts) so when a food allergy is suspected it is advised as a first step to avoid all traces of that particular food. Hence gluten, the protein involved in celiac disease is found in certain grains (wheat, barley, rye) so elimination of them is the basis of a gluten free diet.

It is common to see a variety of food intolerances that are not allergies. Fructose intolerance from excessive ingestion of fruit juices and soft drinks. Lactase deficiency from milk, Histamine-related reactions from strawberries or tomatoes. Chemical triggers in Aspirin and other salicylates, preservatives and colourings.

Foods that are high in natural salicylates like dried fruits, pineapple, apricots, oranges, cucumbers, grapes, honey, olives, tomato sauce, wines, tea, herbs.

Foods that may contain tartrazine (food colouring), bottled sauces, cakes (not homemade), fizzy drinks, cordial, custard, coloured sweets, jams, lollies.

The symptoms may vary but you could see irritability, behavioural problems, hyperactivity, gastrointestinal disturbance (infant colic, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome), or respiratory problems i.e. asthma, runny nose and headache or migraine.


Children seem to be particularly susceptible to catching bugs from each other, usually due to day care centres and kindergartens which have a quick pass on effect of common illnesses. If a child has diarrhoea for more than 24 hours then there needs to be investigation into the causation. It could be from food poisoning, medication the child has been given or new foods that have been introduced. Some children cannot assimilate milk products or certain grains. It is very common today for children to develop problems with their digestive system at a young age and factors that contribute to the changes may be eliminated before further treatment is sought.
It is quite common for the Homeopath to see a direct correlation between the introduction of a new food, or an emotionally stressful situation that has arisen in the home or outside environment, at the time when digestive problems started. Children are very good at assessing their environment and whether they outwardly react to situations or not, their bodies may respond with symptoms. Homeopathic treatment is always directed at both the emotional and physical symptoms.


Nausea and vomiting have a wide range of potential causes: Acute gastroenteritis (tummy bugs), motion sickness, drugs, acute anxiety or emotional distress.

Upper Respiratory Problems

These include coughs, colds, ear infections, glue ear or strep throats. We do usually see the children once they have had several courses of antibiotics and yet the cycle of sickness continues. This is where Homeopathic remedies which work on an individual, constitutional level are so helpful. We see the children get stronger and more resistant to the bacteria and viruses they get exposed to at preschool and later at school.

Glandular Fever

This is a common condition in young girls between ages 12–16. The symptoms of weakness and fatigue can continue for a long time, as antibiotics are usually not succeeding in treating the lack of energy associated with this condition. On the other hand we have seen a great improvement in energy when the accurate Homeopathic medicines are prescribed on an individual basis.

Find out if Homeopathy can help your child.

You are welcome to schedule an appointment or ask Elisabeth a question.

Homeopathy Centre

We are a Christchurch, New Zealand based team of professional Homeopaths working together to provide effective and affordable health care in a friendly caring environment.

Get In Touch

232 Fitzgerald Avenue

Christchurch 8011

Phone: 03 379 3177


Clinic Hours

During the Covid-19 lockdown period, I am available for phone consultations.

Monday to Friday: 9.00am to 5.00pm

After hours or Saturday by arrangement