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

Medical Procedures and Anxiety

Many of us have felt anxiety before a doctor’s appointment or dental visit and/or have had difficulty recovering from a procedure. Luckily, this is yet another area where Homeopathy can prove helpful. Here are a few remedies to consider for certain situations.

Aconite: This is a remedy to consider if you are afraid before a doctor visit or procedure. Take one dose of 30C before the visit and it should calm your fears. If you cannot sleep the night before the visit or procedure a dose of 30 C should help. If the anxiety returns in the morning another dose is safe to take.

Arnica: This remedy is used to help heal after surgery. It brings down bruising and swelling and can also prevent excessive bleeding. It is a great remedy for when the pain consists of a soreness and a bruised feeling. Dosing for this situation is generally 3 doses of 30C per day for 3 days. Stop taking the remedy as soon as the pain has subsided.

Gelsemium: If you are feeling jittery and anxious before a doctor visit or procedure this is a wonderful remedy. Just one dose of 30C should help calm your nerves.

Mag Phos: This remedy is specifically for menstrual cramps after a pap smear or other similar procedure. The cramping associated with this remedy will feel better with applied heat and/or hard pressure on the abdomen.

Millefolium: If there is bleeding after a procedure (especially a female procedure) then this is a remedy to consider. The blood may be bright red and come in gushes or a steady flow. 30C three times a day for one day should help.

Staphysagria: This remedy deals more with the emotions present after a procedure. Specifically it is used when feelings are hurt after surgery. It may feel as if the body has been assaulted. Anger against the doctors or anger after an unexpectedly painful procedure is also a keynote of this remedy. If any of the above are present then 30C three times a day for up to three days should help. Stop the remedy when things improve.

Calc Phos: This remedy is specific for mending broken bones.  If you experience a break you can take Calc Phos 6x daily (weekdays only – take Saturday and Sunday off) after the bone has been set and casted.  It will promote a quick healing time.

After a procedure or surgery, always follow the directions of your physician.  Homeopathy will not interfere, in any way, with your physician’s follow-up care.  Time and time again Homeopathy has proven to aid in both anticipatory anxiety and recovery.

Reconnecting

Much of what I’ve been focused on lately has to do with reconnection and I hope to do a few posts on this subject.  In our busy lives it seems we’ve become more and more fragmented.  We move quickly from being a parent, to an employee,  to a cook, to a wife or husband, and on and on.  Very rarely do we take the time to do what is the most important thing for our physical, emotional and spiritual health.  Rarely do we take a moment to connect with our bodies, our emotions, our spirit or the world around us.  Our lack of connection and well-being is manifesting through diseases such as diabetes, cancer, auto-immune disorders, insomnia and a myriad of mental health disorders (to name a few).  Our children are being diagnosed with things such as ADD, ADHD, anxiety disorders and depression.  This disconnection with ourselves and the world around us is not natural.  It’s not how we are wired to live.  Many of us instinctively know this but sometimes it is difficult to put a finger on and even more difficult to change into a more integrated and connected lifestyle.

We encompass many modalities here at our center that help reconnect us with our bodies, minds and spirits such as Homeopathy, meditation, Reiki and various retreats but I’ve felt for a while now that something was missing. In our current busy lifestyles we’ve also become more disconnected from the world around us. Our food comes mostly from the grocery store and far away places, even other countries. Our water comes from a tap. Our eggs and meat from factories where the animals are treated horribly. Luckily, more and more of us have access to local farms and organic food but the majority is still the former. In addition, our communication is coming more and more in the form of e-mails, texts and websites such as FaceBook and while they serve a purpose they also take us farther away from personal face-to face contact with others. We lose the connection of coming together and eating a meal, storytelling around a fire and/or playing games. This isn’t occurring just with friends or distant family members either. It’s happening within our immediate families. The kids are off to school, the parents to work, there are sports to get to, piano lessons to attend or homework to get done. We’re lucky if we get to sit down to dinner for an hour together during the week. These concerns have hung with me through the winter as one thing that we’re missing here in our attempt to offer an array of different modalities that reconnect us. My challenge to myself was to create something that would encompass all of this into something doable. Then, perhaps due to the sunshine and warming Spring temperatures, the answer came. We’ve been busy ordering and preparing seeds to plant in our greenhouse and garden and I started thinking about how my kids won’t willingly eat a carrot when I pull one from a bag in the refrigerator but the minute the carrots are ready in the garden they are out there eating every last one. I started thinking of how I need to plant more snap peas this year because last year my youngest daughter ate them all during play-times outside and we had none left to store for the winter. There was my answer. This summer we’re working to put together a childrens dinner series. It’s time and the fact that my own kids love the idea lets me know it’s a good thing. The children that attend will create the dinner menu, finding recipes and using as much as they can from the garden, the forest and with the eggs from our chickens. They will pick the vegetables and fruits, forage for leeks or other goodies in the forest, collect the eggs and create the dinner. When the feast is ready their family members are invited to come and eat with us. If we can pull it together we may even include a Spring “planting party” where the kids can come and help plant the seeds and dig in the glorious dirt. It’s time we strive to reconnect our kids, who may have never even experienced this type of connection, to where food comes from (or should come from), give them a sense of contribution and to bring all of the family together to reconnect with face-to-face community. We’re excited about this new endeavor and know it’s a good thing. It’s time for us to reconnect with the world around us, one step at a time. We need to for our own health and for the health of our planet.

We can overcome disease and sickness, but we can’t do it without being whole.   To be whole we need balance.  We need to turn back toward our natural state, toward the way we were meant to live.  We need to reconnect with our bodies, our minds, our spirits and our land.  We need to take the time to meditate, nap, relax, play, be outside, pay attention to our bodies, pay attention to our minds, pay attention to spirit, pay attention to the world around us and to reconnect.  It’s the most important thing for our health and the health of our world.

When dates and times are set for these events they will be posted on the calendar page at http://www.fallingleafwellness.com. If you would like to be notified when the dates are set you are welcomed to e-mail us at fallingleafwellness@gmail.com. While these events will be listed through the center they are about our kids and our community and there will be no charge (except maybe a few smiles).