Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes (meninges) that covers the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be caused by viral infections, bacterial infections or fungal infections. Among these, viral infections are the most common cause of meningitis. Bacterial infections and fungal infections rarely cause meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is the most severe and can be life-threatening and fatal if not treated well at the time. Viral meningitis is the most common but is usually mild and clears up on its own. Homeopathic remedies for meningitis play a supportive role in the treatment and should only be used along with conventional treatment.
Homeopathic Remedies for Meningitis
Homeopathy plays a supportive role in treating meningitis. These medicines should be used symptomatically to treat meningitis along with the conventional course treatment. Meningitis can be life-threatening in some cases (depending upon the cause) so a consultation with a specialist is needed prior to taking medicines and self-prescription should be avoided.
1. Belladonna – For Meningitis in the First Stage
Belladonna is a natural medicine for meningitis prepared from a plant called Deadly Nightshade. The natural order of this plant is Solanaceae. Belladonna is well indicated for meningitis in the first stage. There is fever with dry heat. The head feels hot and painful with a throbbing sensation and flushed face. The person may want to bore his head in the pillow. Nausea and drowsiness are also marked.
2. Apis Mellifica – Top Medicine for Meningitis
Apis Mellifica is an effective medicine for meningitis where there is delirium and drowsiness. There is marked irritability, crying and screaming loudly. Confusion, dullness, and dizziness are also present. Intense pain in the back of the head is most prominent. Another important accompanying symptom is an inability to hold the head erect and boring of the head into the pillow. Diplopia and obscuration of vision also appear. Its use is also highly considered in cases of meningitis with hydrocephalus (build-up of fluid in the brain cavities).
3. Stramonium – For Meningitis with a Headache and Nausea
Stramonium is a natural remedy prepared from the plant Thorn-Apple of the natural order Solanaceae. Stramonium is indicated when the pain in head and nausea predominates in cases of meningitis. The eyes are markedly red and inflamed along with delirium. In some cases, there may be irritability with screaming, striking with hand feet, and a tendency to strike/bite others. Convulsive movement of the limbs is also well noted with the above features.
4. Veratrum Viride – For Meningitis with High Fever
Veratrum Viride is prepared from the root of a plant named American Hellebore or Indian Poke. It belongs to the natural order Melanthaceae. Veratrum Viride is helpful for meningitis with a high fever. This is attended with the rolling of the head and frequent vomiting. Pain in the nape of the neck is also present and the person cannot hold the head.
5. Gelsemium – For Meningitis in Initial Stage with Marked Chills
Gelsemium is helpful for meningitis in the initial stage, along with severe chills. There is marked stiffness of the neck. A headache with a sensation of band tightly binding head is present. This is attended with great exhaustion and intense drowsiness. There is a desire to lie still. Vertigo along with a staggering gait may also appear. Jerking of the body, especially of the left side, may occur while falling asleep.
6. Helleborus – For Meningitis with Rigid Neck and Marked Drowsiness
Helleborus is a natural medicine medicine prepared from the root of a plant called Helleborus Niger or Christmas Rose, of the natural order Ranunculaceae. Helleborus is prominently indicated for meningitis when the neck feels rigid and there is marked drowsiness. Fever with chills and vomiting may also occur. The head feels heavy and heated. Frequent convulsions in meningitis are also a guiding feature to use Helleborus. This medicine is also indicated for meningitis with hydrocephalus.
7. Rhus Tox – For Meningitis with Pain and Stiffness of Muscles and Joints
Rhus Tox offers a natural treatment for meningitis with pain and stiffness of muscles and joints. This is accompanied with marked anxiety and restlessness. High fever and pain in the head are present, that extends to the ears. Rash on the body is also present.
8. Zincum Met – For Meningitis with Sharp Pain in Head
Zincum Met is a natural medicine indicated for meningitis with a sharp pain in the head. The person may want to roll and bore the head in the pillow. Automatic motion of hands may appear with the motion of the head. Pulse is small and frequent. It is also useful for hearing loss after meningitis.
9. Kali Bromatum – For Meningitis with Severe Headache
Kali Bromatum is a natural remedy for meningitis where there is a severe headache. The headache is constant along with a feeling of heat in the head. The pulse is rapid and wiry. Dullness and weakness along with a loss of appetite is also present.
10. Arnica – For Traumatic Meningitis following Head Injury
Arnica is prepared from a plant named Arnica Montana of the natural order is Compositae. Arnica is beneficial for traumatic meningitis that follows a head injury like a concussion, falling, blows, or bruising. There may also be a headache and vomiting.
Causes of Meningitis
The bacterial agents that can cause meningitis include Neisseria meningitis, Streptococcus pneumonia, Haemophilus influenza Type B and Listeria monocytogenes (listeria).
The viral agents that can lead to meningitis are herpes simplex virus, enterovirus, influenza, HIV and mumps virus.
Fungal meningitis is rare and usually happens to people who have a weakened immune system. Fungal meningitis can be caused by Histoplasma, Cryptococcus, and Blastomyces.
Meningitis can also be caused by an allergy to certain medications, head injury, brain surgery and certain forms of cancer.
Some risk factors for meningitis include compromised immunity, children under age of 5 years, community living like boarding schools, day care centers, military bases, and pregnancy (pregnant women are at increased risk of listeriosis).
The viruses and bacteria that can cause meningitis can be spread through sneezing, coughing, kissing, sharing utensils and toothbrushes.
Symptoms of Meningitis
The symptoms of meningitis include sudden high fever, feeling sick, severe headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, seizures, confusion, difficult concentration, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, pain in the muscles/joints, lack of energy, lethargy, delirium, hallucinations, skin rash and loss of appetite. Certain signs of meningitis in babies include a refusal of feeds, constant crying (usually a high-pitched crying), irritability, fussiness, aversion to being carried, a stiffness of body and a bulging soft spot on top of the head.
Severe complications can arise in some cases of meningitis, like brain damage, seizures, hearing loss, learning disabilities, coordination problems, balance problems, vision loss, hydrocephalus, arthritis, kidney problems, and death.