HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES TO FIGHT FLU
If You Get Sick...
In the devastating 1918-1919 flu pandemic, which claimed more US lives than World War I, only 1.05% of those who used homeopathic remedies perished... in contrast to a 28.2% death rate in those who used conventional treatment. Thatís a compelling reason to turn to homeopathy, in my view.
Homeopathic treatments encourage the body to marshal its own healing resources to fight disease. A particular advantage: Because they are so highly diluted, homeopathic preparations are not associated with the adverse effects of conventional medicines. I spoke with Michael Carlston, MD, a physician in private practice in Santa Rosa, California, and principal author of the book, Classical Homeopathy, to get his advice on what homeopathic treatments people can use if they become ill.
Homeopathic medicines come as small pills or drops to be taken under the tongue. Carefully follow instructions on the label for administration and dosage. Always use a spoon (even for pills) because contact with dirt or oil on the skin can potentially inactivate these substances.
With homeopathic treatments, different ones work for different symptoms. Most homeopathic treatments are not flu-strain specific (as flu shots are) but rather are tailored to the needs of the individual. Specific symptoms and characteristics will help determine the homeopathic medicine that is best for you. Dr. Carlstonís favorites:
Gelsemium was the primary homeopathic medicine used successfully during the 1918-1919 flu pandemic. Dr. Carlston recommends gelsemium for flu sufferers with extreme lethargy, fatigue and shakiness.
Flu symptoms appropriate for treatment with gelsemium include...
- Dizziness and weakness
- Dullness, exhaustion, sleepiness and heaviness
- Symptoms that grow worse with movement
- Headache at the back of the head
- Muscular soreness in the neck and shoulders
- Stiff neck
- Chills, including down the spine
- Alternating sensations of hot and cold
Bryonia is best for flu sufferers who are irritable and worried and find themselves saying, in the manner of Greta Garbo... "I want to be alone."
Symptoms that call for treatment with bryonia include...
- Dullness that is accompanied by irritability and worry
- Headache in the forehead that feels better with pressure and worse with motion
- An uncomfortable feeling of warmth with a strong desire for cool air
- Extreme thirst for cool drinks
Eupatorium perfoliatum is for influenza accompanied by deep bone pain, which may actually hurt as badly as if your bones are broken, says Dr. Carlston. This pain is most pronounced just before and after chills. Eupatorium perfoliatum is most appropriate for a bout of influenza characterized by the following symptoms...
- Soreness and aching of the entire body, especially in the bones
- Hoarseness and sore throat
- A severe cough that hurts the head and chest
- Runny nose, inflammation and stinging tears
- Bad digestion, stomach pains, constipation and excessive gas that may lead to vomiting
In contrast to the other homeopathic medicines discussed here, oscillococcinum is a more general flu remedy. Formulated from the liver and heart of the Muscovy duck, it is one of the most widely used homeopathic medicines in the world. It helps reduce symptoms and duration of the flu.
When self-treating flu with homeopathic medicine, you should stop taking it once you begin to feel better.
Side effects of these and other homeopathic remedies are rare, but always be on the lookout for unusual symptoms when you take any new medication or supplement. If you already take medication, consult your health care practitioner before taking any remedy.
To find a homeopathic practitioner in your area, visit the Web site of the National Center for Homeopathy at www.homeopathic.org or the American Institute of Homeopathy at www.homeopathyusa.org. You also can consult the site of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians at www.naturopathic.org, because naturopathic physicians are trained in homeopathy.
Michael Carlston, MD, in private practice, Santa Rosa, California, principal author of Classical Homeopathy (Churchill Livingstone).
Bottom Line's Daily Health News
April 29, 2009