New England School of Homeopathy

Treatment of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder & Hyperactivity

Review of a Seminar by Paul Herscu, ND, DHANP
by Frank W. Gruber, M.D.

Paul Herscu has made quite a reputation as a pediatric prescriber, so I was quite excited to hear what he had to say about children with Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity. I knew, from previous classes with Paul, that he would be teaching practical information which I would be able to use in my own prescribing.

Paul is a very engaging speaker. He’s low key, organized, and humorous. He makes the learning experience fun. Behind the information in his lectures are hundreds of his own cured cases. His materia medica is what he himself has seen. He reviews his cases and pulls the information directly from symptoms that have been cured by the remedies he’s prescribed.

Over years of prescribing he has noticed patterns in the remedies he’s prescribed to hyperactive children. In following these cases, he’s noticed that the remedies he’s used have often fallen within a certain grouping. Moreover, as the patients got well, the follow-up remedies that they needed progressed in a certain order and direction. Paul has constructed a model for the selection of these remedies and how to follow up over time. If homeopathy is a science, one would expect patterns. There should be a certain predictability and reproducibility. Paul is giving us the benefit of years of analysis of his own cases and shows us that indeed our science of homeopathy does have patterns. It is comforting to know that patterns exist, and it is even more practical to know what they are.

Let me give you an example of what the class has meant in my own prescribing. A few months after the class I saw a hyperactive child who needed Hyoscyamus. She did extremely well on that remedy for months. One Saturday morning her mother called. The child was suddenly screaming with a very bad earache. I took the case over the phone and told her to give the child one dose of Stramonium 200 C, and to call me back in half an hour to let me know what was happening. Before Paul’s class I never thought of Stramonium that much as an acute remedy. In the class, Paul discussed in depth the materia medica of Stramonium which filled in the physical symptoms of the remedy for me. He maintains that all of the “hyperactive remedies” while mainly thought of for their mental-emotional components, also have well definable physical symptoms. They are complete remedies.

What really made me consider Stramonium, besides the fact that it was clearly indicated by the symptoms, was that, according to the progression of remedies that Paul presented, Hyoscyamus patients may pass through a Stramonium state as they get healthier.

Paul’s class on hyperactive children has given me a way to think about a whole class of remedies. His schema puts into perspective the way these remedies fit together, with the polychrests, the nosodes, and transitional remedies such as Stramonium and Baryta carbonica. He then discussed two directions the patient can go from there: the true “far out” hyperactive remedies such as Hyoscyamus, Tarentula, Veratrum Album, in contrast with such remedies as Cannabis indica, Opium, Helleborus, and Bufo which are also “far out” but have a more depressed sensorium. He discussed the materia medica of all of these remedies (and more) with liberal video cases to represent them and to let you see his approach in action.

For me, the hyperactive remedies used to be very difficult to differentiate one from the other, because they share so many of the same symptoms. As Paul helped me understand these remedies more fully, I saw that they are all quite different. The reason they look so similar is that since they follow one another, I was very often seeing symptoms of remedies that will be required in the future for the patient. Once I understood the schema and the way the remedies progress during a curative response, it made a world of difference in my prescribing.

Interestingly enough, as I had success with a few hyperactive children, word got around quickly. Parents are very interested in getting help for their children to keep them off of Ritalin. The pediatric segment of my practice has grown by leaps and bounds.

The father of the child with the ear infection did call back a half hour after the remedy. I was surprised it wasn’t the mom who called. He said the patient was playing with her sister and that all symptoms of the earache were gone. The mother felt so confident in the vast improvement that she had gone out shopping! The bottom line is that I’ve been able to confidently use remedies like Hyoscyamus and realize that the next remedy will likely be one of those down the line in the schema.

Oh, and by the way, I’m taking the class again in Washington, D.C. Why? Paul is constantly expanding on his information. The last class helped so much, I want the latest. Does that fit into the rubric common to most Homeopaths: “Mind, Avarice, information, desires more and more”? See you there

Thank you to the National Center of Homeopathy for their permission for us to re-print this article from their June 1995 issue of Homeopathy Today. For more information about membership to the NCH or subscribing to their publication, you can contact them at:

National Center for Homeopathy
801 North Fairfax Street, Suite 306
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 548-7790