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Back to School Jitters

Easing the transition with homeopathy

For kids of all ages, back to school can be a time of great excitement.  For some children, however, the transition can be too taxing and natural excitement turns into unhealthy anxiety.  September is a busy month for Toronto families.  Children can be subtle in sharing their worries and fears around school so it’s important for parents and caregivers to be watchful, and most importantly accessible and encouraging.

Here are some common ‘red flags’ that may be signs your child is seriously struggling with the ‘Back to School’ transition:

● Nail biting or excessive nibbling
● Stomach aches, changes in bowel movements, loss of appetite
● Headaches, difficulty concentrating
● Difficulty falling asleep, frequent waking, nightmares, bed-wetting
● Behavioural shifts such as withdrawal, clinginess or tantrums
● Refusal to go to school, do homework or talk about their day

The simplest solutions can have a big impact on restoring a sense of calm and balance.  Our days are busy and long but saving energy for family meal time and creating soothing bed time rituals is crucial.  Encourage kids to make the connection between how they feel and what they eat, the food equals fuel equation.   As an example, thirst is actually a sign of dehydration and headaches can result.  Refined sugars are known to cause behavioural disturbances in children.  As refined sugars break down, there is a resulting sudden spike in blood sugar levels.  As blood sugar levels fall, adrenaline is released and hyperactivity results.

When lifestyle changes fall short of easing Back to School jitters, homeopathy is a safe and effective natural treatment option.  Homeopathic medicines stimulate the body’s innate healing ability which seeks to restore balance.  Unlike pharmaceuticals, there is no risk of toxicity, addiction or side effects.
Severe or chronic cases of anxiety and nervousness should be assessed by a professional Homeopath, but milder cases can be treated at home.  (For home prescribing, do not exceed 30CH potency.)

Here are two popular homeopathic medicines for easing the Back to School jitters:

Gelsemium Sempervirens (False Yellow Jasmine):

Those who would benefit from homeopathic Gelsemium are timid and apprehensive.  There is a sense of dread related to new situations and a sense of heaviness.  Trembling and weakness are common.  Headaches and stomach cramps are common complaints.  Sleeplessness from mental exhaustion is also characteristic.  Gelsemium has also brought welcome relief to those who are apprehensive and have a debilitating fear of the dentist.

Aconite Napellus (Monkshood):

Those who would benefit from homeopathic Aconite suffer greatly with intense fear and anxiety.  They are restless, fretful and worry.  Aconite can have an immediate calming effect for children who verge on panic-like behaviour at drop off.  They may also suffer from intense nightmares.  The state of Aconite is described as one of ‘a state of fear, anxiety and anguish of mind and body’.

How to take Homeopathic Medicines:

Remember with homeopathy, less is always more.  Stop administering the medicine as soon as there is an improvement in symptoms.  Homeopathic medicines should not be given preventatively, in anticipation of a recurrence.  Only give the remedy as needed to relieve symptoms.  If there is no improvement within a half hour of taking the medicine, the selected medicine is not an appropriate match for the acute condition and a professional homeopath should be consulted.

Since the medicine is actually on the surface of the white pellets, never touch the pellets with your hands.  Toss 2 pellets from the vial cap into the mouth and dissolve under the tongue.  Unlike with pills, do NOT drink water with the homeopathic medicine. 

What is a recommended acute dose? I recommend 2-3 pellets for a single dry dose (dissolved under the tongue).  Homeopathic manufacturers label vials advising a dose of 5 pellets, 3 times daily.  I strongly advise against dosing this amount, especially in children.  Taking too much of a homeopathic medicine, although carrying no risk of toxicity, can potentially cause a temporary aggravation of symptoms.  Remember that you are benefiting from the ‘energy’ of the homeopathic medicine, not the actual ‘material’ substance, so ‘more’ is neither better nor required.

How often should I give the Homeopathic Medicine? In an acute situation, if the correct remedy has been given, you will experience relief as quickly as within a few minutes of dosing. 

How Do Homeopathic Medicines Actually Work?

Homeopathic medicines stimulate the body’s vital force into action.  The body is designed to maintain perfect balance or homeostasis.  When genetic predispositions are triggered by mental, lifestyle and environmental stressors, the body loses this perfect balance and illness results.  The fundamental ‘Law of Similars’ in homeopathy states the symptoms that would be caused in a healthy individual by ingesting large amounts of the crude substance (used in medicine preparation)will, in a safe, diluted homeopathic dose, stimulate healing ( those same symptoms) in an unhealthy individual.  Children are very responsive to homeopathic healing.


Kashka Kril-Atkins is a homeopath and the owner of BLUEPRINT Wholistic Health Clinic, an Integrative Medicine Clinic and Shop located in midtown Toronto.  For more information, please visit her website at blueprintwellness.ca or call 416 932 3433.