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Homeopathic remedies for influenza

by Rebecca R. Word ND

There are many ways to boost one’s immunity to avoid catching viruses and other contagious illnesses.  The most important are eating healthy foods, avoiding refined sugar and dairy products, and of course, adequate rest.  Most importantly, try not to fret — fear and stress do more to smack the immune system than almost anything.

aconiteKatherine Willow provided a great guide in last month’s posts on how to best prepare for flu season.  And we also carry a homeopathic flu prevention kit here at the clinic which alternates two remedies that strengthen the body’s defenses. That being said, we all have stressful days and times when we don’t or can’t take the best care of ourselves.  So what can be done if we do start to come down with flu symptoms?

Homeopathy provides several classic remedies that are amazing for the flu if accurately matched to symptoms. Not every symptom must be present, but you should be able to identify the best match.  Most of these remedies are easily found in 30 CH potency at places that carry homeopathic medicines.

8 FLU REMEDIES (based on a person’s symptoms):

Aconite:  Sudden onset after shock or exposure; very high fever and flushed face; small pupils; restless; thirsty for cold drinks; anxiety, excitement, fear or panic may be marked; this remedy is usually only helpful if used right at the beginning, so having it on hand makes all the difference.

Baptisia: sore, aching, heavy muscles; exhausted and weak; feel extremely ill; very smelly breath, sweat, or any discharge; heavy, numb head, sore eyes; dusky complexion; falls asleep mid-sentence; confused, delirious, restless; feels as if in pieces.

Made worse by: fresh air, cold, indoors, humidity, pressure, awaking from sleep.

Bryonia: flu progresses slowly, severe aching; high fever with excess sweating; dry lips, dry nose, dry mouth with extreme thirst for gulps; thick white tongue coat with bitter taste; bursting headache especially in forehead or back of head; dry cough; very irritable, business-minded people, desire to be at home and left alone.

Made worse by: any movement at all, right sided complaints (except headache often worse left side), warm room, evening (esp. around 9 pm)

Made better by: quiet, rest, being left alone

Belladonnarapid onset of symptoms with very high fever; red, flushed face; dilation of pupils; eyes glassy; face and body hot to touch, hands and feet may be cold; no thirst even with heat of fever; possible severe throbbing headache (often right sided), possible sore throat; delirious even to point of hallucinations with fever.

Made worse by: any motion, even moving the bed, around 3 pm may be time of aggravation

Eupatorium perfoliatum (not to be confused with Eupatorium purpureum): Very thirsty for cold drinks; first and key symptom is usually aching (deep in bones) before chills or fever sets in; aching can be so severe in muscles or bones, as if broken (patient will moan with pain); aching eyes, back, limbs, head (also feels heavy); nausea can be pronounced; restlessness but aggravated by movement; scraping, sore cough so that must hold chest to cough; watery mucus.

Made worse by:  movement, cold air, 7-9 am time period

Gelsemium: Slower onset of fever (1-3 days) with dizziness; very weak, drowsy; trembling; dull, no energy; chills esp. up and down spine; chills alternate with heat flushes; achy muscles (not to same degree as Eupatorium); heavy eyelids (half open) with blurred vision; dull, heavy headache in back of head radiates to forehead; flushed face; yellow coat on tongue; lots of sneezing in morning hours; nose congested with watery mucus; no thirst

Made worse by: movement, around 10 am time period

Made better by: sweating, peeing

Keywords to remember when using Gelsemium: dull, dopey, dizzy, drowsy

Nux vomica: (a very famous East Coast homeopath considers Nux 200 CH to be the key remedy for this year’s swine flu. . . symptoms should still closely match)

Very sensitive to everything — air drafts, light, noise, odors, even skin is sensitive; rapid onset of high fever, must keep covers on because especially sensitive to cold and drafts of air even from movement under the covers; chilly — better with warmth, desires warm drinks or food; severe headache; raw sore throat; body aches — better with warmth; nausea better after vomiting; usually quite irritable because of oversensitivity; sleepless and preoccupied with work or tasks

Rhus toxicodendron: very restless, anxiety, aching; moderate to high fever often starts after becoming chilled after overheating or getting wet (very sensitive to cold air like Nux), may have sensation of cold water thrown upon; tremendous stiffness relieved by movement; chilly better with warm drinks and baths; thirsty for small amounts; sore throat; tickly cough with sneezing and thick yellow-green foul mucus; may have cold sores on lips with fever; dry coated tongue with red tip; tip of nose red; all aches worse with cold temps and better heat and movement.

Made worse by: cold, resting, evening period

Made better by: warm drinks, heat, motion

Dosage for remedies:
Try a 30 CH of the chosen remedy up to once every hour if symptoms are severe; with improvement you can taper to 3 times per day; and during recovery continue taking once per day for 3 days to prevent recurrence.  If a person shows great improvement with a remedy and then relapses, try a 200 CH of the same remedy.