Essentially Homeopathy has a long history in the West – it was started in
in the early 1800’s, just over 200 years ago, by a medical doctor
that re-acquainted with the Hippocratic tradition in Western medicine of respecting
the inherent abilities of what he considered the life-organizing or healing
force that is within every living being. Quick info on Homeopathy founder here:
The phrase that is getting to be commonly associated with Homeopathy “Like Cures Like” is based on the principle of Similia Simillibus Curentur or the Law of Similars. It is what currently differentiates Homeopathy from all other healing traditions…including Western Herbalism and even 2000 year old Chinese Medicine that Homeopathy comes closest to along the lines of operating principles and as a complete system of medicine. None of these come close to Modern Medicine’s use of the Law of Contraries, or “Opposites Cure”. Quick summary on this here:
So, in writing about colds/coughs and flus my purpose is to make it concrete for you by outlining some of our definitions and then giving you the two pronged approach Homeopathy has for your use: i) Prevention Protocols for Influenza that exist and, ii) common Treatment Remedies we use and how to dose them – those white pellets you might of heard of or likely seen – as they are everywhere these days! By the way, what they do have in them is pure energy captured so as to be released once they resonate within a living conscious being like yourself – profoundly elegant those little Quantum things! They pack a big punch as they go to the core of what ails us.
Info on this summed up nicely here and here:
Firstly, I will go a little more into detail on Homeopathy as a medical system, just briefly, so as to lay a foundation for the hard core data you’ll get by reading thru to the end.
Homeopathy is a treatment that is used worldwide by home-prescribers (think parents with teething babies or think first aid for cuts, sprains and bruising – ie – Arnica, etc.). In Europe, the
UK, and nearly every place there
are clinics and hospitals and pharmacies with either medical doctors or
Homeopaths treating hundreds of thousands of patients with a huge number of
remedies, close to 3,000 these days. India
It works with the body and not against it. What you see in modern medical practice is that often the life force is weakened by the end of treatment either in acute situations and especially in chronic conditions as you can unfortunately probably attest to with people you know or with yourselves. This is because the life-organizing force, Vital Force according to our vocabulary, has had an uphill battle instead of an overall strengthening and balancing of the organism when toxic medicines and invasive treatments are used to suppress the expression of illness or imbalance. Imbalance is seen in what we call signs – seen by observer and outwardly obviously with diagnostic tools or naked eye - and symptoms – felt as sensation, pain for example - which are there because we are thrown off kilter and aim, therefore, to correct ourselves, to get back to homeostasis or a place of harmony as referred to in Eastern medicine and Wholistic philosophies.
Take the immune system as an example. Firstly it is seen in many Holistic practices at times as a separate entity but we Homeopaths do not actually compartmentalize it necessarily but acknowledge that biochemical changes do occur with running down our defenses, our organs and our psyches. For us, defenses that we have are part of our whole and are driven by the Vital Force, recall the life force that innately tends towards health or healing when not healthy or sick. But for the sake of simplicity let’s take “it” for now to make clear how Homeopathy can work with you during Flu season.
So, running with this entity the “Immune System”, think along the lines of fevers, which are big in Flus and sometimes even colds (sort of the difference between the 2 but for us we actually do not distinguish between the 2 as this is our approach with diagnosis*). Well, with conventional medicine they say “bring down a fever” as it is seen as the problem whereas homeopaths and in Chinese medicine there is a working understanding that the fever is actually producing a hostile environment for an invading organism, like a bacteria or virus…so, bring it on and shorten the stage of Fever is what Homeopaths say. But, we are not altogether out to lunch and do not enjoy being sick unnecessarily. Especially if there is a lot of discomfort in the young and elderly as there is also when the immune system is not functioning optimally, as the case in these modern times of immense stress we live under. So, in this little article I will start by talking about treatment once you are sick as the concept of suppression is brought up as well as illness as being stuck in life and/or a stage of a particular illness. We’ll end with the prevention piece. Hope that can work for you.
* - See this for our way of defining or diagnosis of illness:
In Homeopathy when treating something like a fever you match a remedy to the state of the sick person overall. If the remedy selected is one that has fever that is like yours along with all the other signs/symptoms that are expressed by you then you are ready to take that remedy to move you through to the next stage of illness. Backtracking here for quick educational on our definition of health and disease as framed by the concept of colds/flus: In all illnesses there are phases, a beginning or onset and then a middle stage or 2 or more and then lastly, an end stage – with acutes you either pull thru or not – and in modern times with sanitation and conditions not as harsh as in olden days one generally can come out of the common cold and not need being blessed (as in sneezing could be sign that you may very well die! And hence, the need for God’s blessing).
Illness, therefore, according to Homeopathy is being stuck in a phase of an illness – cold or cough – and broadly in life it can be in a stage of development or mindset that is disruptive to life enhancing change or adaptation. In the case of Flu for instance, if you have a fever that is not cooking the pathogens effectively and keeps burning but not with enough gusto then you try to match it (along with other signs/symptoms) to the same type of temperature, chills and, say, discharges (perspiration or sweat) in same area of body/head then you are good to go to a correct remedy and take it. Sometimes we Homeopaths say wait out the fever if it is healthy – we only treat illness!) and treat afterwards. As in, if you are weakened d disproportionately by your fever/flu. So, instead of coming out of it and being on the mend but you are, rather, weak and stuck in the cold/flu still – the next phase of it or even the lingering bitter end of it (think older person or younger for that matter that appears worn out and old by their cold/flu -- and coughs do well to get treated when stuck at a stage that can be very bothersome and you can not for instance stop clearing your throat or can not sleep due to an incessant cough)…So, now that that basic piece is done let us get some details of remedies into the act here. I will use one remedy as an example to get you in the know.
One early onset remedy that is common for people to need with either damp warm or cold weather, days that are windy/thunderstorms that give them a chill is Gelsemium (known as Yellow Jasmine). Their temperature is not too high but with fever there is shaking, they are thirstless and have cold feet (notice the details we need)…but there is more. Chills and perspiration run up and down the back. Pulse is slow. Face is hot and flushed, skin in middle of forehead as if contracted. Head feels like a heavy band – really not great situation as you can see…I know feeling as was my onset Autumn cold prior to regular treatment with Homeopathy! It is very unpleasant. Oh, to add to that, the trapezius is stiff. But here is the cincher to nail this nasty one: you need to see in the eyes, heavy, drooping eyelids (and there is blurred vision too to add to the misery). As far as ears, N/A (that is a saving grace for those remedies that have ear pain). Nose: acute coryza. There is a fullness at root of nose, watery discharge (clear)…so lots of snot! Throat: worse swallowing, lump sensation and pain radiates to ear. Cough is dry (as opposed to wet). Spectum (from mouth, throat): N/A – really a head cold this one. Abdomen: no thirst (the stomach is in the abdomen so we classify thirst in this region – just repeating from the literature folks). Tongue: coated and trembling (you really see it do this when the patient sticks out tongue when asked or you look in the mirror). Energy: Dull, without life. Mental (here are the keynotes of this remedy -- all remedies have their known trademark): dumb, dull, dizzy, better alone.
This is not to say the person is a dummy – it is the state of the illness that the person gets into and being droopy and dull is what happens. I recall being at work several times with my nose dripping and speaking with a nasally voice saying, “I thing I’m gedding sick”…and coworkers agreeing when they saw my dumb, droopy and dopy face with eyelids half closed. Now, when I see this face on anyone I think: Gelsemium! Note- a couple more symptoms to round out picture: Modalities: better motion. Peculiars: muscle weakness, as if hit by a truck (but not of the bones – that is another remedy, called Eupatorium perfoliatum, easy to remember as the common name is Thoroughwort or Boneset! One that I also have when I get the Flu – it can not be mistaken as a cold, sorry to confuse but even in our books some onsets are clearly bigger than a cold, Gelsesium can be either).
So, now you have an example of the full blown picture of one remedy for a common way some people get colds/flus. I think at this point I will refer out. I would highly recommend if you are intrigued to get a book by ordering one from your local bookshop or by using books at the library reading up on the other remedies to get a handle on them as you would Gelsesium – there is a pool of approximately 20 remedies that most of you would likely draw from for yourselves and family and friends that you could practice treating. Just by reading about the symptoms (dizzy and band around head, trapezius stiff) and the signs (drooping face and eyelids, trembling for instance) you may come across your normal way of getting sick at the change of seasons, as in Spring and Fall or just whenever you are run down (ie- your immune system is lacking vitality, which is – as you can now predict – your Vital Force calling out for some balance. That is when prevention is the best medicine. Going to bed early, drinking lots of water/herbal teas and using warming or cooling foods, eating well in general and not sweating the small stuff – reading a book in the evenings with a nice cup of tea is always good medicine.
To actually treat colds/coughs and flus here are book titles for your study and practice. They are in the Toronto Public Library System and you can see which one works for you and then get one to use daily….they are fine ones with the first being my personal favourite and go to resource (it comes with a CD Rom and simulates the software professionals use):
The Complete Homeopathic Resource for Common Illnesses by Chernin, Dennis
The Complete Guide to Homeopathy by Lockie, Andrew
The American Institute of Homeopathy Handbook for Parents: a Guide to Healthy Treatment for everything from Colds and Allergies to ADHD, Obesity, and Depression by Shalts, Edward
The Complete Homeopathy Handbook: A Guide to Everyday Health Care by Castro, Miranda.
We are almost ready to move on – but, just to mention now that the instructions for what potency to give of a remedy and when to dose and how often are outlined in all these books, so read carefully the beginnings of the books and get a crasp of how this facet of prescribing works, cause although all natural and supposedly not harmful (as you likely have heard claims about) remedies must be given according to our second principle (after, the old “like cures like” law we operate by) which is “minimum dose”. So, the least amount of medicine is necessary to affect cure as the energetic nudges are not the same thing as drugs or medicines sometimes made of the same substances. They act on the energetic plane of living organisms, and therefore, act at a deeper level (than the biochemical plane – affecting us emotionally, mentally and, yup, physically). So, once we resonate with a remedy we do not need to keep pumping ourselves with the substance as a perfectly matched deep acting remedy is powerful when acting on the higher level of our existence – where illness actually begins. So there you have your complex but actually simple explanation as to why you might only need one or just maybe a couple to upwards of m-a-y-b-e 3 doses of a remedy at a low potency to nip the cold or cough or to move yourself to the next stage of its progression thru your system that is manifesting as, well, a cold or flu.
Shall I now really confuse matters to mention quickly that getting colds and flus are seen Homeopathically as healthy and if you get one or two every year or so is quite alright. In fact, if you never get colds or coughs then it might be that you have a disturbance at a deeper level and you are now beyond getting a healthy dose of the seasonal illnesses that are circulating out there in the general public. So, with this in mind, I would say that taking precautions should be done in moderation as all things are best in moderation.
The 4 Homeopathic options that I would recommend from what we have at our disposal for influenza prevention: a) Ana barbariae hepatis et cordis extractum, b) Influenzinum, c) Thymuline, and d) Schussler Tissue Cell Salts.
a) With the first one you are definitely using our principles of “like cures like” and “minimum dose”. There are different brand names for this substance/remedy. The most well known one being Oscillioccinum made by Boiron of France. We at Karma have the
based pharmacy Homeocan’s called
FluBuster. Same thing. The use of a Nosode here – long story, but we use scrapings
of tissue from human and animals that are either healthy (Sarcodes) or diseased
(Nosode). Once we have the substance and make a mother tincture to dilute and
potencize (leave behind the material plane and get it up to pare energetically,
so as to be a powerful medicine or remedy) there is no further need to harm any
living creature. This is a great aspect of Homeopathy as opposed to many Chinese
medicines that are pushing the status of some animals from being endangered to being
extinct – the Black Rhinoceros is
now officially on Extinction List. This broke news less than a month ago and I
personally was heartbroken and must say that have a personal issue with this
aspect of Chinese Medicine. My family contributed to the tiger parts black
market until informed of how horrifically barbaric this was and then they
stopped – therefore, I know education can make a difference and the illegal
trade in animal parts can be stopped. Montreal
So, back to Ana barbariae as a remedy. It is made from the heart and liver of the Muscovy duck and only one duck was needed for the world’s supply of this remedy. They can harbor the influenza virus and if you have the virus…you’ve harboured it as well…so this is how we do “like cures like”.
See here from Homeocan on this old time remedy: http://www.homeocan.ca/main.cfm?p=03_110&l=en&bulletin=2
Now another principle of Homeopathy is that “there can be only one disease in the body at a time”. Think to anyone with a serious mental illness – you’ll find they never have Cancer or other more physical conditions. It works the other way too. So, next you‘ll get a quick lesson of what this means on the practical level that is not so extreme. The influenza virus, assuming it is the start of flu season and you are carrying the bug along with a lot of others around you…subway cars, workplace water coolers, restroom door handles and even the taps you are using to wash your hands!…then it will be matched to the remedy and the stronger of the two will create real immunity but without you getting the illness – it will just imprint energetically as opposed to running thru your system on the biochemical level (the remedy is given in a potency that will overshadow the strength of what you are harbouring, the real disease that is lurking in the shadows).
Further to the point: I say “real” as your Vital Force will pick up the energy of remedy and then actual trick the body on the physical level into thinking that it was ill with the flu (but without having had it, therefore, why it is tricked). This is the problem we see with either the live attenuated viruses (nasal spray used in
Europe) or the regular inactivated
viruses used in conventional (injectable) vaccines. The person gets sick in the
end and/or not quite but ends up acquiring the bug after all when they might
not have had it in the first place. When they do get run down which ironically
can happen cause they are then fighting the flu they get, surprise, the real
deal...that was introduced into their system in an unnatural way, hence,
causing stress…old habits die hard and we were not set up to have our natural
defenses played around with. If the person has a suppressed or weak immune system
this spells trouble with a capital “T”, as in seniors having complications from
being weak with a flu (think pneumonia and the like).
Here is info on the downside of Flu Shots:
Summed up this is something to consider, as is the next Homeopathic prevention protocol that you have at your disposal.
b) Influenzinum: Generally very beneficial as studies point out from France and other European countries where Boiron Labs and other Homeopathic pharmacies, Nelson’s of the UK and such, make a new seasonal remedy for each flu season. The remedy is made from the sputum of influenza patients that cover the current viral strains that are predicted to be circulating by the World Health Organization. This is also a Nosode – a good little tool for Homeopaths and does the trick as really is favoured by even those that may not use Homeopathy for other areas of their life.
Of the two options so far you can choose which one you prefer – some people swear by one over the other and it really is a matter of trying them both, maybe alternating each year to see which might be more suitable for you.
Here is the scoop on Influenzinum:
note- when purchasing from Health Food Stores ensure you are getting the 2014 Strain. Also note from this site you can use even if you did have a conventional flu shot.
The last 2 options are truly the most preventative in nature of the Homeopathic options. The next one though if taken specifically for flu prevention is recommended by many health professionals in conjunction with Influenzinum. I would also say that if you take the Ana barbariae hepatis that you can also do Thymullium as well.
c) Thymulline is a Sarcode, a remedy made from healthy tissue of a human thymus gland. This gland acts like a thermostat to provide the right balance of immunity, as in it cranks up the heat to help the body fight infection and then goes down when necessary to prevent autoimmune disease. It is good to support thymus function be it flu season or not.
Here is info on this great gland: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thymus
This is a remedy that you take for 5 consecutive weeks with only one dose per week. It energetically stimulates your actual thymus gland, this is called Organ Therapy in Homeopathy but is definitely good target organ for flu prevention. So, as with all the options read carefully package instructions and follow closely cause like antibiotics they do no good unless you finish the whole course as recommended…so, even with energy medicine you gotta follow the prescription.
d) Last but not least is the Bio-chemic Tissue Cell Salts as a way to really operate on the preventative plane…but, ironically, it is not as much of an energetic thing as the above cause although these little white pellets are prepared Homeopathically – diluted and potencized – they are biochemical in nature and treat for deficiencies of essential mineral salts in our cells on the biochemical level…i.e. – they are almost like a supplement but a little bit more so then taking a mineral supplement. Here’s how.
Okay, summed up they are about helping utilize the minerals that are in our bloodstream of which we get from the nutrients but are either depleted or are not able to be absorbed. With the latter the reason not only can be from a predisposing condition you may have but also can be coming from an energetic blockage to the substance. So Homeopathic preparations are deeper (as mentioned previously they are about the core of the substance and are matched to the state of you/your blockage for instance) and so, they get into each cell of our body due to them not just being a biochemical version as are found in supplements….not knocking supplements but when you take ‘em and you still have a depletion then it is time for…Tissue Cell Salts!!
They can be taken at the change of seasons and of the 12 essential ones there are formulations that are particularly good for certain things (note- usually a formulation has about 3 to 6 Cell Salts unless you are really depleted then you may need more than 6 upwards to 8 of the 12 for a period of more than the usual daily dosing for 2 to 3 weeks. Oh, they are easy to take as you can put in water and then drink between meals a few times a day and get your minerals/salts while you are on the go.
Here is a great book that not just tells you what the 12 Cell Salts do for you physically but also gives you a way to diagnose what ones you are needing (I do a formulation for myself and my family a few times a year and what I see is that it is different each time for each of us dependent on stresses, seasons and likely diet as sometimes I get lazy and menu can be improved upon, let’s just say).
See the Reading Excerpt that has the Contents and also the Chapter on Ferrum phosphoricum…totally a good read as well as a good choice to look over as this often is the most common depleted Cell Salt for many of us at various times of the year.
Below is good data on all twelve Cell Salts and what they address in our bodies – you’ll see they can address serious health disorders thru to winter cracked and dry skin along with fatigue from exam study…which depletes anyone that has a lot to cram for and not enough time: http://www.naturalnews.com/024674_salt_tissue_salts_body.html
This is the formulation to make up for cold/flu prevention:
Silica, 3 tablets
Kali-Sulph, 3 tablets
Kali-mur, 3 tablets
Ferrum-phos, 6 tablets
Note- you make this up 3 times a day and do this for at least 7 to 14 days at start of flu season…I recommend making up stock bottle of all doses for the day (in 2 litres of bottle spring water that you drink all day as mentioned above).
So, hope this short little overview has been helpful to either give you an insight into Homeopathy as way to treat yourself when you get sick or if you are trying to prevent yourself from succumbing to a bug that is circulating out there this Winter. To leave you I will give you one more link that will be a portal into a whole world of possibilities – this is where you can self prescribe for Acutes such as colds and coughs. Have fun and hope that if you get into trying Homeopathy out that you will have some success and get a sense of the beauty of this wonderful healthy way to treat yourself, friends and family.
Laura Coramai is a practicing Homeopath in the Karma neighbourhood. She loves to share with free info sessions in the community’s Library, Karma and other places that people gather. Ask her on her workshops on Acute Home Prescribing for adults/children and seniors and how Homeopathy works even for pets and plants. She treats people with Chronic health issues, addressing the root cause on the physical, mental and emotional planes of existence. Contact her for Constitutional Homeopathy.