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The best thing you can do for a cold or flu is prevent it! Check out Cold & Flu Season - Part 1: Prevention for the 5 Things You Can Do To Survive The Cold & Flu Season.
If you do start to feel the beginning of a cold or flu drop everything and rest ASAP – lots of sleep/rest now may save you 5-10 days of dragging yourself around at ½ speed. In the first 24-48 hours of the onset of a cold/flu try taking 3 doses (2 pellets) at 4 hour intervals of either:
Oscillococcinum (Anas barbariae): effective in treating the first stages (first 48 hours) of influenza (fever, chills, body aches & pains, etc.)
Aconite 30c or 200c: great for acute illness with sudden onset, especially after a shock or exposure. Symptoms include: excitement, anxiety & fear; restless; a dry cough; and burning heat with a flushed face.
If the 'prevention' and 'nip-it-in-the-bud' ships have sailed and you are now SICK a great place to start is by following the recommendations provided in Cold & Flu Season - Part 2 Treatment. With colds and flus I generally only recommend homeopathic intervention if:
- If there is either no improvement or a worsening of symptoms
- If the symptoms are intense (headache, fever, etc.) or unbearable (aches & pains, sleeplessness, etc.)
1. You are sick.
Homeopathy can reduce the intensity and duration of an acute illness, but you are still sick and you will have to rest and nourish your body while it finishes fights the cold & flu pathogens. Business as usual will result in a prolonged illness.
2. Convalescence is key
It is not uncommon to take the right homeopathic remedy, fall into a deep sleep and then wake up feeling better. Try to resist the urge to ‘get back at it’ right away – your body is still actively fighting the pathogen, it is winning, but give it at least a little more time to finish the job.
3. Match the remedy to the symptoms
There are lots of homeopathic remedies that lessen the duration and intensity of colds & flus. I have listed some of the more commonly required ones below. If none of these sound like they are right please contact me and we can figure out the best remedy. Follow these dosing instructions.
Allium Cepa: profuse, watery, burning, irritating nasal discharge; worse in a warm room and better in open air; red, watery eyes.
Arsenicum Album: completely obstructed nose with acrid water nasal discharge; burning pains; restless, anxious and very chilly; worse for cold, better for warmth; thirsty for sips of water.
Bryonia: irritability with desire to be alone; aching pains; gradual onset; dry chesty cough – painful; dryness – cough, mouth, throat, skin, very thirsty; headache; worse in a warm room.
Belladonna: sudden intense onset; throbbing pains; hot & red, flushed & sweating; oversensitivity to noise & light; dilated pupils & glassy eyes; violent - delirium, striking, biting, kicking; cold hands & feet with hot face & body.
Eupatorium Perfoliatum: unbearable aching - as if bones broken; high fever; thirst for cold drinks even during a chill; weakness, chills & shivering.
Euphrasia: extremely irritated, inflamed eyes with burning, itching and lots of watering; tickling cough; worse in the open air; sneezing.
Gelsemium: weakness & debility; heaviness of limbs, eyelids (droopy) & head; shivering, shaking & trembling; inflamed eyes; difficulty swallowing; fearful.
Kali Bichromicum: violent sneezing; stubborn congestion; ropy, stringy or sticky discharge; better for heat; worse by exposure to cold or in the open air.
Natrum Muriaticum: profuse eggwhite-like nasal discharge; worse in open air; nasal obstruction; frequent sneezing; dry and cracked lips or a cold sores.
Nux Vomica: sensitive to all stimuli; irritability; watery nasal discharge in a warm room and obstructed nose in open air; headache; chills from any uncovering.
Pulsatilla: thick, yellow or greenish mucus; nasal congestion, often blocking one nostril; worse in a warm room and better in open air; eyes may be itching and burning or stuck together; weepy, clingy, crave sympathy and attention.