Homeopathic Alternatives to the Influenza VaccineTamara Der-Ohanian December 1, 2011
With increased controversy surrounding the flu vaccine and its efficacy, more people are choosing to stay healthy using natural alternatives. Homeopathy is one outstanding option for safely and effectively preventing and treating the flu. With an impressive track record, homeopathy has been used successfully around the world for over 200 years.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, homeopathy was successful in treating such often fatal infectious diseases as typhus, cholera, yellow fever, and smallpox. In many epidemic cases, homeopaths were able to save the lives of a far greater percentage of patients than conventional doctors.
An estimated 50 million deaths were reported during the Spanish Flu of 1918. In a 1921 article published in the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, Dean Pearson of Philadelphia (Hahnemann College) reported a 1.05% mortality rate in 26,795 influenza cases treated with homeopathic medicine. In comparison, a mortality rate of nearly 30% was noted for those treated with conventional medicine.
IS IT COLD OR FLU?
Distinguishing influenza (the flu) from the common cold can be difficult because both illnesses share many common symptoms.
Cold symptoms are mild and short-lived. A person may recover in days, without medication. Flu symptoms are severe and can last up to two weeks or longer, requiring medical attention.
Symptoms take 48-72 hours to manifest after the initial exposure to the influenza virus. Similar to the common cold, the symptoms of the flu begin with a sore throat, cough, and runny nose. Unlike the common cold, however, influenza can produce high fever, chills, severe exhaustion, and headaches. Aches and pains can be felt in the muscles of the arms, legs, back, and sometimes even deep in the bones.
Flu symptoms may progress to the chest, causing pain under the sternum and a productive, often painful, cough. Severe cases of influenza can rapidly deteriorate into bronchitis and pneumonia, with shortness of breath, bloody sputum, and fluid in the lungs, and can cause death in the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
PREVENTION IS THE BEST CURE
The leading preventive measure against any illness is a healthy immune system. Good nutrition and lifestyle choices throughout the year are important contributing factors. Constitutional homeopathic treatment is also a great way to improve the immune system and susceptibility to illness – this involves prescribing an individualized remedy to address one’s overall health.
Whether or not one becomes ill when coming in contact with the influenza virus has to do with susceptibility. Susceptibility is the organism’s reaction to outside and inside stimuli. When a person is susceptible to a certain virus or bacteria, they have the same vibrational rate as the organism. Thus, homeopathic application of a remedy is an illustration of meeting the susceptibility and fulfilling the main principle of homeopathy – like cures like.
Some people are inherently more susceptible to certain illnesses. Also, an individual’s susceptibility can vary at different times throughout his or her life. During stressful circumstances, one becomes more susceptible to viruses and other microorganisms.
Influenzinum – a homeopathic remedy prepared from the influenza virus – is one effective way of preventing the flu. Influenzinum is prepared in the same manner as all homeopathic remedies (with sequential dilutions and successions) so as to render it safe and non-toxic. Influenzinum is the only homeopathic flu remedy updated each year based on the flu strains predicted by the World Health Organization. When shopping for this remedy, be sure to ask for the current year’s preparation.
There are two popular ways of taking this remedy preventively:
1. Influenzinum 9C – once a week during the flu season.
2. Influenzinum 200C (or 30C) – once a month during the flu season.
If you fail to prevent the flu, don’t despair. There are great homeopathic remedies that can help you recover quickly, without side effects.
HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES FOR INFLUENZA
Finding a suitable homeopathic remedy can be straightforward, since the symptoms of the flu tend to be dramatic and easily characterized.
Most flu seasons (and epidemics) will have common symptoms and will correspond to one or a few homeopathic remedies, such that the majority of people with the flu will benefit from the epidemic medicine. For example, the epidemic medicine for the 1918 Spanish flu was Gelsemium (with Bryonia and Eupatorium as secondary prescriptions). This was also the most suitable medicine for many other flu seasons – such as the Swine flu of 2009.
The remedies Gelsemium and Bryonia have been most indicated for the flu in the past 100 years. They are by no means the only medicines used to treat the flu, but combined they will probably fit the majority of cases.
Below are the top flu remedies in alphabetical order, highlighting the major symptoms for which they are administered. Select the remedy which most closely describes the patient’s symptoms and general state during the flu. The patient need not have all of the symptoms listed under a given remedy to benefit from that remedy.
– High fever
– Thin, watery, and excoriating discharges (from nose, eyes, ears, etc.)
– Burning pains, with restlessness and anxiety
– Patient is prostrated, yet restless, with the desire to move around
– Patient is very cold, but needs fresh air
– Great thirst – drinks often, in small sips
– Watery diarrhea, vomiting, and other digestive disturbances
– Symptoms begin with sudden high fever and dry mouth
– Achy muscles with sore, bruised pain
– The bed feels too hard
– Brain or eyeballs feel sore
– Chills up and down back
– May have rheumatic pains
– Patient is mentally dull and sleepy
– Symptoms develop slowly and often start with sneezing
– Patient feels worse from the slightest movement – even moving the eyes can be painful
– Symptoms develop in chest (can cause hoarseness and escalate to bronchitis)
– All mucus membranes are dry, with excessive thirst
– Dry, hacking, painful cough shakes up whole body
– Patient may hold chest or head when coughing (to ease pain)
– Cough when entering warm room and with motion
– Patient wants to lie on painful side (pressure relieves pain)
– May have watery nasal discharge and red, watery eyes
– Great soreness of muscles and bones (so painful, bones may feel broken)
– Aching pain in back and bones of legs and arms
– Aching and soreness in eyeballs
– Hoarseness and cough, with soreness in chest
– Chronic loose cough
– Throbbing headache with occipital pain and pressure
– Great thirst, followed by chills
– Fever, with great weakness and prostration
– Burning heat and sweating
– Sweating ameliorates many symptoms except headache
– Delayed onset of flu after exposure to cold weather or from change of weather
– Patient feels achy, shaky, dizzy, and drowsy
– Chills up and down spine while patient feels hot
– Pain extending from throat to ear (or pain in temple extending to ear)
– Trembling and weakness of limbs with great prostration
– Dizziness and blurred vision
– Symptoms begin with creeping chilliness, worse in the evening and at night
– Violent sneezing; swelling of glands; sinusitis
– Nasal discharges are fluent, corrosive, greenish, and offensive
– Nostrils are ulcerated and raw
– Inflamed, raw, burning sore throat
– Pains extend from teeth to ear
– Profuse, offensive sweats – patient feels better after sweating
– Increased saliva (may drool in sleep)
– Tongue is swollen, bearing imprints of teeth
– Colds begin in throat and quickly descend into chest
– Sneezing causes pain in chest
– Tightness in chest, with racking cough
– Cough dry at first, then may become loose
– May have hoarseness
– May have bloody sputum with cough
– Cold may escalate to bronchitis
– Patient feels chilly, but craves ice cold drinks
– Throws up soon after drinking cold water
– Stiffness and soreness of joints
– Patient is very restless, with continued need to change position
– Patient is restless due to pain in the joints
– Joint pains feel worse at beginning of movement and better with continued movement
– Cold, with chills down spine
– Dry, teasing cough
– Hoarseness from using voice
– Patient feels better with heat and worse with cold and damp
This all-encompassing remedy is effective in the early stages of all types of flu. Use this remedy when you have difficulty distinguishing the symptoms of the flu or matching them to one of the previously mentioned remedies. Oscillococcinum has undergone several clinical trials since it was formulated in 1925 and has been proven to lessen the duration and severity of the flu.
These remedies are the most prescribed for the flu, but are by no means an exhaustive collection – there are hundreds of homeopathic remedies that can help one overcome the flu. The best defence against the flu, or any other illness, is to strengthen your immune system. This is what homeopathy does.
Whether you consult a trained homeopath for recurring headaches, acne, endometriosis, or the flu, the end result is the same – your organism will become healthier and your immune response stronger. As a result, your susceptibility to all illness will diminish.
Tamara Der-Ohanian is a Homeopath registered with the College of Homeopaths of Ontario. She is the creator of Homeopathic First Aid Kits (www.Homeokits.com). Tamara has her own practice and is accepting new patients. Call her at (416) 385-1001 or visit her website: www.TamaraDer-Ohanian.com