Colds and Flu

It’s that time of year, once again. The days are shorter. We spend less time in sunshine and out in the fresh air. The kids are in 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.

Be well and stay healthy!

Heidi

Muscle, Joint and Sports Injuries

Whether you garden, take morning jogs, participate on the high school basketball team, or (like my kids) love to ski, injuries can happen. The following remedies and oils can help.

Homeopathic Remedies: (Potency is determined by the nature/severity of the injury. If you are unsure which potency to use, contact a Certified Homeopath. However, 30C is the most widely used and is found in most health food stores.)

Arnica:  is one of the most widely used remedies for an injury. It is predominantly indicated when there is bruising, even if the area just feels bruised, without any discoloration. It can stop a bruise from forming if taken soon enough. It can also bring down swelling. The pain in this remedy is worse touch, pressure and with any jarring motion.

Bellis Perennis: This remedy is generally used if Arnica provides little or no help. It is used for sore muscles or bruising with deep, intense pain. The pain is worse from cold and better from heat.

Bryonia: This remedy is indicated for injured joints that are worse from even the slightest movement. The pain is so intense it cannot bear any touch yet it feels better with applied pressure or if the joint/injury is wrapped in a tight bandage. The pain tends to be stitching and hot. Injured area may be very red in color.

Ledum: Someone needing this remedy will have joints that are cold to the touch and look bruised. The pain feels better with a cold application.

Hypericum: This remedy is most helpful when an injury happens to a nerve. There will usually be numbness, tingling or a tickling feeling with sharp, shooting pain.

Rhus Tox: This remedy will present with stiff and sore joints upon rising in the morning. The pain is better after moving around. Massage and warmth will also help with the pain. Restlessness may also be present. It can also be used for joint pain that comes on during or just before damp weather.

Ruta:  Injuries requiring this remedy are those that happen to a ligament or tendon. There may be stiffness, nerve pain and sensitivity to touch at the injury site. Pain is better with rest, warmth and some light movement.

Phytolacca: This remedy is used for joint pain that occurs during cold and damp weather. The pain is better with rest and worse with motion. It is often used for tendon sheaths, Achilles heel and injuries to the ankle joint.

Rhododendron: The pain that accompanies this remedy is worse before storms (especially cold and wet) and is worse with rest. Motion helps, but only small amounts.

Calcarea Carbonica or Calcarea Phos: Help mend and strengthen broken bones. Can help prevent re-injury.

Essential Oils (Unless otherwise indicated, mix a few drops of the essential oil with a base oil, such as organic olive oil or organic almond oil and gently massage into injured site.)

PanAway (Young Living Blend): This blend was specifically designed to assist with trauma, injury, irritation and bruising. It includes wintergreen, helichrysum, clove and peppermint oils.

Chamomile: Used as an anti-inflammatory. Can help muscle pain and spasms.

Lavender: This oil is wonderful for relaxation. Like Chamomile, it also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help relieve muscle tension.

Peppermint: Especially helpful with head pain/injury.

Yarrow: This oil is used as an analgesic pain reliever. It can help muscle and joint pain and is also an anti-inflammatory.

Tylor Race

**We do not diagnose or treat disease. The information provided herein is for educational purposes only. If you require a diagnosis or if your situation is emergent and life-threatening, please consult a licensed medical doctor.

Croup

Croup, the barking cough and throat constriction that no one wants to see their child go through.  This year it seems to be running rampant in our neck of the woods.  Many parents I work with have had their children come down with croup this season, some even multiple times.  It is possible to avoid the steroids and calm the croup with Homeopathy, in fact and in my experience, it is one the most successfully treated acute ailments.  The relief in symptoms is vivid and quick. 

Croup is different than a straightforward cough.  It usually afflicts children from the ages of 1 – 4.  This year, in our area, I’ve seen it in children as old as 8.  It is a respiratory infection that is usually followed by laryngitis.  The cough is worse at night and has a sound that is similar to a seals bark.  Many times a child with croup will complain that he/she cannot catch his/her breath or is having trouble breathing because of the cough and thoat constriction. 

Below is a list of the main remedies used for croup. 

Aconitum:  This is the very first remedy to consider.  It must be used within the first 12 – 24 hours of the onset of the illness.  Give Aconitum 30C every hour until there is improvement.  Once some improvement is seen, exend the frequency of the dose to every 2 hours.  When improvement is clear stop giving the remedy completely.  With Homeopathy, sleep is considered a great sign that the remedy is working and improvement is coming, especially in children.  If your child falls asleep after the first or second dose, let him/her sleep.  The event is most likely over.  Other indications for Aconitum include a child who is easily frieghtened, anxiety and restlessness.

Spongia Tosta:  If you did not catch the illness within the 12 – 24 hour period needed for Aconitum or if the Aconitum has no effect on the croup, the next remedy to reach for is Spongia.  This remedy is indicated when the cough sounds like a saw going through wood and/or the typical croup cough that sounds like a seal’s bark.  There may also be wheezing, and changeable moods.  The child may be anxious at one minute and happy the next.  The child may also state that he/she feels suffocated and/or full in the chest and throat.

Hepar Sulphuris:   This remedy can be indicated for croup as well.  The cough will have the same “croupy” sound to it but will sound a little “looser”.  There may be a “whisteling” to the child’s breathing.  The cough will be made worse by cold wind or air.  There may also be choking fits during the cough.

Having these remedies on hand this time of year when you have small children can be a lifesaver.  They can save your child from the uncomfortable cough and, in turn, help you get more sleep on the nights the cough comes out.  Children recover quickly from croup when Homeopathy is used.  If you have a question regarding which remedy to use, contact a certified Homeopathic practitioner.  Most remedies can be found at your local health food store.

The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. If you seek medical advice contact a licensed healthcare provider.

Chamomilla

Just about anyone with children who uses Homeopathy for their family is familiar with this remedy.  It assists with everything from teething to colic. It is certainly a remedy to have on hand, whether you have children or not.

Below are a few of its most prominent indications for use:

  • This remedy almost always contains anger and/or great irritability, especially in children.  Child may strike out or kick at others.
  • Colic.  When baby just wants to be carried everywhere and cries angrily, this remedy is indicated, especially when the child is inconsolable, wants to be held, yet acts like he/she doesn’t want to be touched.
  • Incredible sensitivity to pain.  Reactions to pain may show great anger.  The pain is exaggerated much beyond what would be expected from the ailment.
  • Number one remedy for teething.  It may include diarrhea from teething and be indicated for children who have a difficult time breaking new teeth through the gum.
  • Complaints come on after a bout of anger.
  • Indicated for ear infections/pain when the pain is worse from touch and from the wind.
  • Some general indications for this remedy include one cheek being red and the other pale, symptoms are worse around 9am and at night, there is a general aggravation from the wind and feet are hot, needing to be uncovered at night.

Chamomilla is a remedy to keep on hand, whether you have children or not.

If you have any doubts or concerns about which remedy to choose, contact a Certified Homeopath.  Giving the wrong remedy will cause no harm, but nor with it help!

Ipecacuanha (Ipecac)

This is one Homeopathic remedy I always keep in stock, both for clients and for my family.  It is a blessing whenever constant nausea and/or vomiting are a leading aspect of an illness. 

Just this past holiday season both my girls and I were living with constant nausea.  There was never any vomiting but the constant nausea had the potential of causing us to miss out on a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.  I broke out the Ipecacuanha and within 24 – 36 hours we all felt better and enjoyed all of the delicious foods of the season!

Even though nausea and vomiting are the main indications for this remedy there are a few others for which Ipecacuanha works particularly well:

  • Migraine headache with severe nausea and/or vomiting
  • Bronchitis and coughs especially in children
  • Coughs that lead to nausea and/or vomiting
  • Rattling cough that comes in warm/humid weather
  • Pertussis or severe cough with stiffness and/or vomiting
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Croup
  • Nausea and/or vomiting with a loathing for the smell of food or the thought of eating food
  • Constant nausea that is unrelieved by vomiting
  • Nausea and vomiting with great irritability
  • Aching in the thigh and/or leg bones

A must have in my practice and my home!

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.

But That Is Poisonous Isn’t It?

One of the common questions people have about Homeopathy has to do with the remedies that are made from substances that are poisonous in their original state.  Some examples of these remedies include mercury (Mercurius), deadly nightshade (Belladonna), foxglove (Digitalis) and Cobra venom (Naja).  In their original state all of them are poisonous yet all of them can be taken safely when taken Homeopathically.  How?  The answer is that there are no molecules of the original substance left in the Homeopathic remedy beyond the potency of 12C.  Remedies below a 12C have a few molecules in them, however they are so diluted that the molecules render no harm.

Here is how remedies in the C potency are created:

To produce a 1c potency of a remedy, for example, one drop of the mother tincture is added to 99 drops of an alcohol/water mixture and succussed (shaken by hitting the bottle on the palm of your hand from about 1 foot). To produce a 2c potency, one drop of the 1c mixture is added to 99 drops of an alcohol/water mixture and succussed. The number of a homeopathic remedy shows how many times it has been diluted and succussed, for example, a 30c has been diluted and succussed 30 times.

In general, most people use a potency higher than a 12C, 30C being the most commonly used potency for home prescribing and acute conditions.  Times when remedies are used in the lower potencies, such as 6c, are times when we are looking for more of an effect on tissue, such as teeth (cavity prevention), bones (osteoporosis), nails (strengthening) etc. Scheussler’s Tissue Salts are designed specifically for this use.

The next question that usually follows this is, “If there are no molecules left then how does Homeopathy work”?  This is the question that has eluded scientists for over 200 years and is one of the biggest weapons used against Homeopathy today.  The answer, however, is simple.  Even though the molecules are no longer present in higher potencies the “memory” of the molecules remain.  The energy of the remedy remains.  When we match the energy of a remedy to the overall energy of a person it results in rapid, gentle and lasting cure.  Sound unbelievable?  It may, but only to those who have never seen Homeopathy work wonders on everything from colds to depression.

Luckily, for the Homeopathic community, science is finally catching up with why and how Homeopathy works.  New studies are currently being completed that prove that water can retain a “memory” of substances that were once dissolved in it.  With these findings we will finally have scientific proof of something that Homeopaths have known for 200 years.  Homeopathy works.