Colds and Flu

It’s that time of year, once again. The days begin to get shorter.  We start spending less time with sunshine and fresh air. The kids head back to school and bring home an array of different colds and respiratory ailments.  Pharmacies, physicians, and hospitals, push us to get the flu shot, despite it’s lack of effectiveness most years and it’s potential for serious side-effects.

A strong immune system is the best defense we have.  There are ways to naturally boost that system and stay healthy.  At the very least, shorten the length of time an illness hangs around if we do fall sick.

Being a homeopath, I reach for the remedies, but I also incorporate other immune strengtheners.

Lifestyle:  Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, exercise and find a way that works for you to reduce stress.  Drink plenty of water.  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.

Essential Oils:  I generally pull out our essential oils once a cold sets in (aside from diffusing them nearly all year long).  At home we use Thieves from Young Living for colds and illness more than any other oil.  I will us it in the diffuser to kill germs in the air.  For application, we will rub a couple of drops on the bottom of our feet and cover with socks.  If you do this, you need to be sure to let your feet get nice and warm (enough to sweat out the toxins that the oils will help draw out).  It can substantially assist in shortening the length of a cold.  For respiratory illness we will diffuse Rosemary or RC.

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%.   I’ve seen what Homeopathy can do when it comes to the flu (and colds).  It works.

Homeopathy For 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.  Washington Homeopathics is where I order ours.

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 (or a cold)

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 a cold or 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.

If you do decide to get a flu shot this year, and you have a reaction, there are remedies that will aid in the recovery.  The main remedy being Thuja. If it is life threatening, go to the closest emergency room.

If you choose Homeopathy, always consult a Certified Classical Homeopath if you are uncertain which remedy is best for you.

Be well and stay healthy!

Heidi

B and W Leaf

Echinacea Tincture

It’s fall here in Northern Michigan.  The flowers in our garden are fading, the squash is ready to harvest and the Echinacea is ready to be dug up and preserved.

As many of you know, Echinacea is an immune supporter.  It can assist your body in warding off colds and flus and can help in recovery if you do come down with an illness.

We have Echinacea all over our little stretch of the woods and this is the time of year we harvest the roots for tincture.

It is best to harvest the plants when the flowers begin to die off and the stems begin to brown.  The nutrients of the plant begin to receded back down into the roots, making them more potent.

echinacea

To harvest, you only need a few sections of the plant.  A little goes a long way.  Echinacea spreads wonderfully, so using a few plants for their roots shouldn’t deplete your supply, as long as you leave some plants in the ground.  Our garden started out with only 2 plants and now we have close to 50.  Each fall I will gently dig up 3 or 4 for their roots.

  • After you dig up the plants, you can cut off the stem.  You will only use the roots.
  • Gently wash the roots.  I run them under warm water and use a toothbrush to remove the dirt.  Be sure to take the time to remove all of the dirt from the roots.
  • Once all of the dirt is removed and the roots are clean, use a sharp knife to cut the root into small pieces.
  • Fill an amber glass dropper bottle (I use a 4 oz. bottle) 1/4 to 1/2 full with the root.
  • Pour 100 proof vodka into the dropper bottle until full.
  • Let the tincture sit for at least one month in a cool, dry place before using.  Shake the bottle daily during this time.
  • If you choose, you can strain the root out using a funnel and cheesecloth, putting the liquid into a new, clean dropper bottle.
  • To use, put a few drops directly under your tongue daily during cold and flu season.  You can use up to 3 times a day when sick.  You can also add a couple of drops to a cup of hot tea or juice.

If you are opposed to the alcohol content within the tincture you can also dry the roots instead of steeping them in alcohol.  Use a standard or solar dehydrator to dry them.  (We got our dehydrator from www.dryit.com and we love it.  You can also build your own.)  Store the roots, once dried, in an air tight container, such as a mason jar.  To use, steep a few small pieces of the root into some hot tea.  I usually crush them a little too.  I do this for our kids when they have a cold and usually add a little fresh ginger and honey.

Most of what we grow in our garden is either edible or medicinal and out of all of the plants we grow, Echinacea is one of our favorites.

Flu Season

It’s that time of year, once again. Pharmacies, physicians, hospitals, all pushing us to get the flu shot. I’ve done years of research on vaccines and that has led to our choice not to vaccinate, especially the yearly flu vaccine. As much as they are touted by physicians and the media as being safe and effective, I’ve met too many people who would strongly disagree. I’ve met too many people who were adversely affected by vaccines, flu or other.

There is a better and safer way to combat the flu. A natural way. A strong immune system is the best defense.

Being a homeopath, I do reach for the remedies, along with other natural means.

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%.   I’ve seen what Homeopathy can do when it comes to the flu.  It works.

Homeopathy For 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.  Washington Homeopathics is where I order ours.

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.

If you do decide to get a flu shot this year, and you have a reaction, there are remedies that will aid in the recovery.  The main remedy being Thuja.  Consult a Certified Classical Homeopath if you are unsure of your reaction or if you are uncertain which remedy is best for you.  If your reaction to the shot is life threatening, go to your local emergency room.

If you want to learn more about how to use Homeopathy for yourself and your family during this flu season try one of our classes.  We’re have a great special in October!  $25 off our Homeopathy for Acute Care and First Aid course.  The course includes a reference book, with remedy guide  and symptom guide ($25 value), a first aid reference book ($10 value) and all of the class handouts, including the symptoms for 50 of the most widely used remedies.  The class also includes lifetime contact with a Certified Classical Homeopath for any questions that come up after the course.

Be well and stay healthy!

Heidi

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.