Homeopathy for InfluenzaSoula Kallinis March 1, 2005
Fever, chills, muscle aches and pains, severe headaches, exhaustion — the diagnosis? Flu. These symptoms are familiar to everyone, especially common during the winter months or changing seasons. The flu can wipe you out, sending you to bed for days. There is help available with homeopathy.
With a 200-year history of successfully treating the flu, homeopathy has a proven track record. Based on the principle, “Let like be cured by like,” homeopathic remedies that can cause flu-like symptoms in healthy individuals are used to treat cases of flu where the symptoms match those of the stricken individual. In this way the remedy further stimulates the body’s healing response that has been set into action by the flu to complete the healing process, successfully throwing off the illness.
There are a number of ways homeopathy can be used throughout the flu season. For a flu preventive, homeopathic practitioners have used the remedy Influenzinum (Dolisos’ Dolivaxil). This remedy is a homeopathic preparation of the flu virus. (Homeopathic remedies are diluted so that less and less of the original substance remains in the homeopathic preparation, making them safe and free from drug side effects). The usual recommended dose is once a month in a 9-30ch potency, throughout the flu season. As a result, in about 90% of individuals there will be no occurrences of flu during the season. For those few that do contract the flu, recovery is considerably more rapid and symptoms usually less severe.
FIRST SIGN OF THE FLU
There are two homeopathic preparations that have proven effective in reducing or completely throwing off flu symptoms. Boiron’s Oscillococcinum, and Homeocan’s Homeocoksinum if taken at the very first signs when a flu is coming on, can often prevent a full blown flu from occurring. Treating the flu over 48 hours with these remedies has been shown to significantly reduce the intensity of symptoms and shorten the duration of the flu.
Once there is a fully established flu, homeopathy is effective in boosting the immune system to restore health quickly. Choose a remedy that best matches the symptoms the person is exhibiting, including any emotional and mental changes from their normal state. The remedies help in moving the patient through the flu stages more quickly, shortening the overall duration and severity of symptoms.
Aconite is a good first remedy to choose if the symptoms have developed quickly after getting chilled in a cold wind; if there is sneezing and a fever is developing; and the flu is full blown very quickly.
Bryonia is for a slowly developing flu, with aching all over; when the aching pains are worse for any movement; when they are irritable and wish to be left alone; and when the person has a dry mouth and is very thirsty.
Eupatorium perfoliatum is for the flu that has settled into the bones, making them feel as if they are broken; and the person feels restless and the symptoms are worse at night.
Gelsemium is the remedy of choice for flus that develop when the weather changes from warm to cold. It is the classic flu that develops slowly, and is accompanied by great weakness, trembling and aching muscles; when the person is apathetic, dull, drowsy, and feels heaviness everywhere, the limbs, head, and eyelids; when they have a fever that alternates with chills that run up and down the spine.
Nux Vomica is for the person with a flu that is irritable and impatient; they are very chilly, and cannot stand drafts.
Rhus toxicodendron is for a type of flu that is very restless, the person cannot lie in one spot for long, due to the stiffening up of the aching joints; when the pain and stiffness are worse on first starting to move after having rested for awhile; when this is worse at night in bed, resulting in a night of tossing and turning. These people can be anxious and weepy.
Homeopathic combinations of the most typical flu remedies can be found at most health stores, labeled for treating the flu. These can be chosen when it is hard to get a clear symptom picture that would indicate a single remedy.
There are many more homeopathic remedies for flu symptoms, all with their own unique set of symptoms. These remedies are described in detail in the many books available on homeopathy. However, consulting with a homeopath is the best choice.
• Dosage guidelines: Dosage is decided on the severity of the symptoms. Take a single dose of the remedy in a 30c potency (combination flu remedies don’t vary in potency) every 1-2 hours if the symptoms are severe, every 3-4 hours if the symptoms are mild to moderate. Stop taking the remedy when there is an improvement in the symptoms. Repeat the remedy only if the same symptoms begin to return. If new symptoms occur the person may have moved into a different stage of the flu and may need a new remedy. Check the new symptoms and match to a new remedy. If after a few doses of the remedy there has been no response, then it is most likely the wrong remedy. Select another remedy or consult with a homeopath.
• The best defence: The foremost preventive measure against any illness is a healthy immune system. It will spring into action quickly against any viral infection. Constitutional/chronic homeopathic treatment can be used to strengthen the immune response. Any susceptibility to infections, when treated by a homeopath as a constitutional/chronic condition, will be improved along with overall health, bringing the immune system to a healthier state.
For example, in once case a six-year-old child with a recurring severe flu state, runny nose, fever, weakness and a harsh rattling cough, with shortness of breath on exertion, was brought in for treatment. A full case history was taken of the nature of the flu state, the cough, the shortness of breath, along with any triggers, general habits of the child, food desires, sleep habits. Also examined was the overall mental emotional state of the child (the child was timid, shy, wouldn’t stray far from the mother). A remedy was prescribed, and at the follow up, the child had gotten sick fewer times and the symptoms were less severe. Over a few more months and a repeat of the remedy the child’s immune response had been improved. The recurring flu and rattling coughs were gone along with the shortness of breath on exertion. More importantly the child had grown more secure and became more adventuresome, straying away from the mother to explore his world.
Homeopathy is a useful tool to have readily available. It can be used constitutionally/chronically, preventively and acutely for treating the flu. Its beauty is that it stimulates the healing response that is already in process, further strengthening the body’s own immune system.