Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: A repertorial analysis of the homoeopathic remedies indicated in pica in pregnancy
Authors: Kaneza, Nadia 
Keywords: Pica;Homoeopathic remedies;Pregnancy;Pica in pregnancies
Issue Date: 29-Sep-2022
Pica refers to the consumption of non-food items or items with no nutritional
value. This phenomenon is often seen among children, individuals with
developmental disabilities and pregnant women. Pica has been extensively
studied in children, but is understudied in pregnant women. This study focused
on pica occurring during pregnancy, seeking to determine homoeopathic
remedies that can be used in treating pica occurring during pregnancy.
Aim of the study
The aim of this study was to determine by repertorial analysis and explore the
homoeopathic remedies indicated for treating pica during pregnancy.
The study design of this study was two-fold: a qualitative investigation on pica
experiences during pregnancy was carried out through interviews with 12 women
who have experienced pica in their pregnancy. These women were sampled
using the purposive sampling method. The analysis of this qualitative aspect
followed Tesch’s eight step qualitative data analysis method.
The experiences described by the participants were then subjected to a
repertorial analysis using a homoeopathic repertory book called “Synthesis” of
Dr. Frederick Schroyens. Remedies emerging from this repertorisation were then
reviewed by use of materia medicas.
Findings showed that for the majority of the participants, cravings for non-food
items started in their first trimester and worsened in their third trimester as labour
got closer. The results also revealed that geophagia was the most common form
of pica practiced during pregnancy, followed by pagophagia. It was also revealed
that iron deficiency or anaemia of some sort, as well as the smell, taste, texture
and appearance of the craved substances, were highly linked to pica habits during pregnancy. The study also revealed that pica during pregnancy occurred
with other pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache, backache,
etc, and that apart from non-food items, participants also craved food items,
mostly sweet, sour and spicy food. Findings also showed that constipation
(especially for those consuming geophagic items) and a sense of satisfaction,
were the most common physical and emotional effects associated with pica
practice during pregnancy. Still on the emotional plane, findings were that the
most common emotional response that participants had with regards to the
experience of pica during pregnancy was guilt and worry over their health and of
their unborn children. The study also revealed that the majority of participants
responded with anger to their loved ones who advised them against their pica
Finally, the repertorisation of the above experiences as described by the
participants and the review of the emerging remedies revealed that Nux vomica
and Alumina were the most suited remedies for pica occurring in pregnancy,
followed by Sepia officinalis, Natrum muriaticum and Pulsatilla pratensis. Conium
maculatum and Silicea terra were also shown to be good differential remedies for
pica during pregnancy.
Of the homoeopathic remedies already in use for treating pica, some remedies
such as Alumina, Nux vomica and Silicea terra, may also be used to treat pica
specifically occurring in pregnancy.
The study showed that there is a need to educate pregnant women about pica
practice and raise awareness among pregnant women and their families
regarding the harmful consequences that pica practice might have on both
mother and baby.
Dissertation submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master
of Technology in Homoeopathy, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2022.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat
Kaneza_N_2022_Redacted.pdf5.46 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
Show full item record

Google ScholarTM




Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.