The Season of the Flu

As September gets under way we start hearing more and more about the up-and-coming flu season.  This year we seem to be hearing more about it than ever.  The pharmacies have their signs up “Free Flu Shots” or “Only $24.95 for the Flu Shot”, newspapers are printing speculative articles about what the flu season may bring this year, the CDC doing its usual push for vaccination and more and more hospitals across the country are making vaccination mandatory (with very few allowable exemptions) for their employees, dubbing it a patient safety issue, which is a complete farce.  While I understand and am used to the seeing the signs at pharmacies and the CDC is just doing what it’s there to do the mandatory vaccines for hospital employees leaves me a little unsettled, especially when I know there is a better way to fight the flu.  I also believe our health is our choice.  No one should be forced to get a flu shot or lose their job, no one.  But I will leave that rant for another time.

I’ve been researching this subject for over 12 years and, as I stated above, there are better ways to fight the flu than a vaccination.  There are ways that have no side effects (except maybe a healthier body and a stronger immune system).  There are ways that don’t put you at risk for diseases like Guillain-Barré, neurological disorders or auto-immune disorders later in life.

There are ways like these:

Lifestyle:  Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, exercise and find a way that works for you to reduce stress.  Include a good multivitamin/mineral supplement in your daily routine.

Vitamin D:  It’s been studied that most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D.  It’s also been proven that Vitamin D can both help ward off sicknesses like the flu and help you recover from the flu.

Vitamin C:  Start taking it now!  Double up the dose if you get the flu.

Homeopathy:  During the 1918 flu (of which is claimed H1N1 was derived) there were Homeopathic hospitals in the US as well as conventional hospitals.  Homeopathic hospitals saw only a 1% mortality rate for the treatment of the flu.  The conventional hospitals, 30%.  While I was not there back in 1918 to personally witness this, I’ve seen what Homeopathy can do when it comes to the flu and that’s the only proof I really need.  It works.

Prevention

Oscillococcinum:  Can be taken for the prevention of the flu or at the very first sign of getting sick.

Influenzinum:  Most Homeopathic pharmacies and some local health food stores carry this remedy.  It is the best remedy I’ve found to prevent the flu.

Aconite:  This is one of our favorite remedies.  It should be taken at the first sign of a flu.  It works when the onset is very sudden and should be taken within the first few hours of feeling sick, even if no clear symptoms are present.

Ferrum Phos:  This remedy can be thought of as a back up for Aconite.  If you miss taking Aconite within the first few hours of feeling ill, go to Ferrum Phos.

When you know you have the flu

Arsenicum:  There may be a fever with great chilliness.  Profuse and acrid discharge may present from the nose and/or eyes.  There may be some thirst but for small, frequent sips.  A person who needs this remedy will be worse from getting cold and will feel better with warmth (unless there is a headache present).  There may also be irritability and anxiousness.

Baptisia:  Someone who needs this remedy will have a sudden onset of symptoms.  There is generally a high fever with profuse sweating.  The body may feel sore and bruised either all over or in small spots around the body.  A person who requires this remedy may look dull and flushed and there is usually a great thirst.  Vomiting and diarrhea may be present but not always.

Bryonia:  This flu will present itself with a slow onset of symptoms.  A person who fits this remedy will be very hot and very dry, which may cause a great thirst for cold water in large quantities but at infrequent intervals.  The body will ache all over.  There may be a painful cough that causes a headache.  Someone who needs this remedy will not want to move and the headache or body aches will feel better with pressure.  In general this remedy will present for someone who wants to be left alone and wants to lay completely still.

Eupatorium Perfoliatum:  The fever for this remedy will present with the person shivering, who may have chills running up their back.  The body will ache so badly that the person feels as if their bones are broken.  There may be a bursting headache, so bad that even the eyeballs feel sore.  There is a thirst for cold drinks and a desire to lay as still as possible.

Gelsemium:  This is the number one flu remedy.  The onset of this flu is slow.  Fever will present with heat that alternates with chills.  There is usually no sweating with this fever and chills may run up and down the spine.  Body will ache all over.  Muscles may feel very heavy and weak, even the eye lids will feel heavy.  There is generally no thirst.  The three key words for this remedy are “droopy”, “drowsy” and “dull”.

Mercurius Solubilis:  The fever for this remedy will present with a ‘creeping chilliness’.  There may be acrid, smelly, yellow/green mucus discharge from the nose.  There may be an intense thirst and a constant hunger.  A person who needs this remedy will feel worse from temperature changes and feels better with a constant temperature and lots of rest. 

Nux Vomica:  Someone who requires this remedy will have a fever with chilliness and may get the shivers after drinking.  The limbs and back will ache.  There may be a stuffy, stopped up nose that is worse at night.  There is a thirst for hot drinks, such as tea.  A person needing this remedy will feel better with cold and worse with warmth.  This remedy is also indicated when there is a great irritability.

Pyrogen:  This fever will present with creeping chills and a ‘thumping heart’.  It may also present with a rapid heart rate if the fever is low.  There will be severe pain in the limbs and back.  The pain may feel as if the person has been beaten and bruised.  There is usually a headache present and no thirst.  Someone who requires this remedy will be very restless, both with the aching body and the chills.

Rhus Tox:  The fever for this remedy will present with chilliness.  The pain will be centered more around the joints and bones.  There may be a red discoloration at the tip of the tongue and there is a general thirst.  The person who needs this remedy will feel better with gentle motion and warmth and may be very restless.

After the flu

China:  This remedy is for those who have a difficult time recovering from the flu.  There is a great physical weakness and may be a lot of sweating.

Kali Phos:  Depression (mild) after the flu.

Gelsemium:  This remedy is indicated if the weakness and heaviness will not go away after the flu.

Influenzinum:  This remedy is for someone who has never felt well since having the flu.  There is a feeling that the person has never recovered.

The remedies listed above for the flu can be taken in 30C, which is the most common potency found at health food stores.  The frequency of the doses will depend on the severity of the symptoms but generally 2 – 3 times a day is sufficent.  If you have any questions on how to take a remedy or how often contact a Certified Homeopath or your Natural Health Provider.

This flu season, do what is right for you.  Whether it is a natural approach or a vaccination, the choice is still yours.  Make that choice an informed one.  Do your own research of the options that are out there, as that is the best way to make a decision that is best for you and your family.

And I have to add…for those of you who are against vaccines (or who get a vaccine but disagree with a mandate) and  who work at a hospital that is making the flu vaccine mandatory for employment this year (of which I am one of those people, but am not getting the vaccination) keep your chins up.  Work for your freedom of choice, employement and health.  Educate those who need it.  It’s a worthy cause.  Be well.  Stay healthy.

**We do not diagnose or treat disease.  The information provided herein is for educational purposes only.  If you require a diagnoses please consult a licensed medical doctor.

A Simple Shift of Thought

[tweetmeme]Have you ever had a bad day? Monday, for me, was one of those of days. I woke up in a foul mood, I found out my health insurance rates were going up, my brother was angry about a few things and was sending me not-so-pleasant text messages throughout the day and I lost my debt card. It was one of those days that was just one thing after the other. Nothing went smoothly.

That evening my partner called to say goodnight and asked an interesting question. He said, “how is it that your bad days are so much better than my bad days”? This is a great question!

It all has to do with a simple shift of thought.

What is it about a bad day that makes it “bad”. Using an example from my Monday, is it really a bad thing to lose your debt card? All it really meant for me, in my case, was a phone call to the bank and a nice conversation with the owner of the store I left it in when she found it the next day. Is that so bad? It all has to do with what I tell myself about what happened. I could tell myself that it’s aweful to have lost my debt card and that now I have to take time out of my busy day to call the bank, cancel my card and get a new one. It’s such a hassel!!! Or, I just tell myself that I need a new card, I had a nice conversation with the woman at the bank and a nice conversation with the owner of the store. No judgement – good or bad. It’s just what happened. If I struggle with what happened, if I struggle against reality, then I will suffer. If I accept it as what happened, with no judgement – good or bad – I don’t suffer. It’s as simple as that.

The same is true for when we find ourselves in a foul mood. That morning when I woke up and was feeling grumpy and aggitated I could have fought against that mood and told myself that “this mood is bad” and “I need to get rid of it as soon as possible” but I didn’t. Instead I observed my mood, noticed it was on the foul side and accepted it. In fact, I enjoyed it. I didn’t fight against it. I didn’t try and push it away. I enjoyed the energy as it was. Would I generally prefer to be in a happy mood, of course, but I am human. Emotions and moods are going to come and go. Why not enjoy them all instead of labeling certain emotions “good” and others “bad”. It felt good on Monday to allow myself to be in a bad mood. I didn’t fight it. I let it be, knowing it wouldn’t last and enjoying it while it was there. Had I tried to push my foul mood away it would have only made me suffer.

This is what my partner was noticing. I accepted the reality of my day and my mood as they were. I didn’t fight them and I didn’t expect anything to be different than it was. That is why my “bad” day looked better than any “bad” day he had ever had.

Next time you find yourself in a foul mood or having a “bad” day try a simple shift of thought and see how it turns out.

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Ultimately, it’s how you view your moods and your day that makes the difference but if a shift in thought is not something for you (or even if it is) the Homeopath in me feels pulled to recommend a few remedies for irritability and aggitation. They will not, however, stop any of the day’s events – “good” or “bad”.

Chamomile – Irritability with anger.

Pulsatilla – Irritability with sadness and/or weeping. Changeable moods.

Nux Vomica – Irritability with impatience and intollerance of others.

Sepia – Irritability with a feeling of being overworked. May feel hopeless. Sarcastic.

Ignatia – Irritability from grief or loss. Mood swings.

Calc Phos – Irritability and mood swings caused by stress and the “pressures” of life. Fatigue.

Arnica Montana

[tweetmeme] Arnica is probably the best known remedy in Homeopathy.  It is often the first remedy we think of when there is injury or trauma, especially when there is bruising involved.  Below are some of the indications as to when Arnica can be useful.

  • Bruising – This remedy is helpful for just about any bruise.  It is also useful when a muscle simply “feels” bruised but there is no discoloration.
  • Everything feels too hard – It is a useful remedy after an injury or trauma when everything feels too hard, even the bed or pillow.
  • General aggravation from exertion – If your body is sore after anything from running a marathon to gardening this remedy may help.
  • Sprains – This is generally one of the first remedies to consider for a sprained ankle, wrist or knee.
  • Restless in bed – It is an excellent remedy after an injury when you cannot find a comfortable position in bed.
  • “I’m fine” – Arnica is also a wonderful remedy for someone who has been injured but continually insists they are fine and do not want to seek medical attention.
  • Dental extractions – This is a wonderful remedy to use following a dental procedure, either for pain or bleeding.
  • Concussion – Arnica is one of the main remedies for a concussion.  If a concussion occurs seek emergency medical attention, however Arnica is safe and effective to use while waiting for medical help.  There will be marked dizziness and pain.  The injured person may continually say there is nothing wrong with him/her.
  • Back strain – This remedy can be used for sprains and strains of the back when there is marked soreness.

Arnica can be found in oral-pellet form and as a cream.  For bruising and things of that nature both can be used.  When choosing Arnica in pellet form follow the directions on the bottle.

We do not diagnose or treat disease.  If you require a diagnosis contact a licensed medical physician.  This is for educational purposes only.  If your injury is life-threatening seek emergency medical care immediately.

Apis – That Wonderful Honeybee

Apis is a wonderfully versatile remedy that belongs in everyone’s home remedy kit.  Just about everyone knows the effects of a bee sting  – stinging pain, burning, swelling and redness with possible heat radiating from the sting site.  These are the main symptoms of this remedy, wherever they are located, even if not caused by a bee sting.  There is also the widely used saying “busy as a bee”.  This is included in this remedy as well.  One who needs this remedy is usually someone who is always busy; someone who always has to be doing something and cannot sit still.  In addition,  someone needing this may also be someone who is very task oriented and may be a workaholic.  It should also be mentioned that Apis, in Homeopathic form, is safe even for those who are allergic to bee stings.

Here are some of the ways that Apis can be used:

Bee stings: The sting will have the typical symptoms of swelling, redness, stinging or burning pain and will feel better when a cold compress is applied.

Other bug bites or stings: Bites from spiders, wasps, yellow jackets and other insects, if the typical bee sting symptoms are present, can also be alleviated with Apis.  It is also a helpful remedy for those who react strongly to mosquito bites.  If the site of the bite gets swollen, red and hot then this is a good remedy to try.

Hives: I’ve seen this remedy work incredibly well with hives.  Generally hives are red, swollen and hot, which makes them a perfect indicator for Apis.  The hives may also feel better with a cold compress.

Allergies: This can also be a good remedy for some seasonal allergies.  Seasonal allergies needing Apis will most always  involve swollen, red eyes that may burn.

Urinary Tract Infections/Cystitis: This is one of the remedies to consider for a UTI.  This remedy is indicated if there is scalding pain during urination.  Urging to urinate will be frequent but little or no urine will pass.

Eczema: If the eczema has marked swelling and redness and feels better with a cold application then this is a remedy to consider.

Headache: This remedy will be indicated for a headache if the pain goes from behind the left ear to behind the left eye or temple.  The pain will be worse from heat and better when you go outside into the open air.  It may also feel better with a cold application.

Shingles: This remedy can give relief to shingles if the shingles are hot and red with stinging/burning pain.  Generally I don’t recommend topical creams but I have seen success using the Homeopathic remedy, Rhus Tox with a topical application of Apis in quite a few cases of shingles.

Aconitum Napellus

Aconitum Napellus (Aconite for short) is a wonderful remedy to keep on hand for a variety of acute situations.  It is the main remedy to take when you feel a common cold coming on.  If you can catch it within the first 24 hours of onset this remedy will shorten the length and severity of the cold and/or stop it in it’s tracks, especially if it is a cold that comes on after getting chilled or being exposed to a cold, dry wind.  It is also a wonderful remedy for acute panic attacks that come on quickly, which also makes it a wonderful remedy to take after a sudden shock or great fear, such as after an accident or traumatic event.  In addition, it is one of the main remedies for the early stages of Croup.

In general, this remedy may display the following traits:

  • Fear of crowds
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety after fright
  • Restlessness
  • Sudden onset of symptoms (such as cold or cough)
  • Aggravation from cold, dry wind
  • One cheek may be red while the other is pale – this is especially noticeable in children
  • Flushes of heat to the face
  • Bitter taste in mouth
  • Great thirst for cold drinks

Always call 911 if there is a life-threatening emergency!