As published in the Dec 2010 – Jan 2011 issue of Vitality Magazine
With increased controversy surrounding the flu vaccine and its efficacy, more people are choosing to stay healthy using natural alternatives. Homeopathy is one outstanding option for safely and effectively preventing and treating the flu. With an impressive track record, homeopathy has been used successfully around the world for over 200 years.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, homeopathy was successful in treating such often fatal infectious diseases as typhus, cholera, yellow fever, and smallpox. In many epidemic cases, homeopaths were able to save the lives of a far greater percentage of patients than conventional doctors.
An estimated 50 million deaths were reported during the Spanish Flu of 1918. In a 1921 article published in the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, Dean Pearson of Philadelphia (Hahnemann College) reported a 1.05% mortality rate in 26,795 influenza cases treated with homeopathic medicine. In comparison, a mortality rate of nearly 30% was noted for those treated with conventional medicine.
Distinguishing influenza (the flu) from the common cold can be difficult because both illnesses share many common symptoms. Cold symptoms are mild and short-lived. A person may recover in days, without medication. Flu symptoms are severe and can last up to two weeks or longer, requiring medical attention.
Symptoms take 48-72 hours to manifest after the initial exposure to the influenza virus. Similar to the common cold, the symptoms of the flu begin with a sore throat, cough, and runny nose. Unlike the common cold, however, influenza can produce high fever, chills, severe exhaustion, and headaches. Aches and pains can be felt in the muscles of the arms, legs, back, and sometimes even deep in the bones.
Flu symptoms may progress to the chest, causing pain under the sternum and a productive, often painful, cough. Severe cases of influenza can rapidly deteriorate into bronchitis and pneumonia, with shortness of breath, bloody sputum, and fluid in the lungs, and can cause death in the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
The leading preventive measure against any illness is a healthy immune system. Good nutrition and lifestyle choices throughout the year are important contributing factors. Constitutional homeopathic treatment is also a great way to improve the immune system and susceptibility to illness – this involves prescribing an individualized remedy to address one’s overall health.
Whether or not one becomes ill when coming in contact with the influenza virus has to do with susceptibility. Susceptibility is the organism’s reaction to outside and inside stimuli. When a person is susceptible to a certain virus or bacteria, they have the same vibrational rate as the organism. Thus, homeopathic application of a remedy is an illustration of meeting the susceptibility and fulfilling the main principle of homeopathy – like cures like.
Some people are inherently more susceptible to certain illnesses. Also, an individual’s susceptibility can vary at different times throughout his or her life. During stressful circumstances, one becomes more susceptible to viruses and other microorganisms.
Influenzinum – a homeopathic remedy prepared from the influenza virus – is one effective way of preventing the flu. Influenzinum is prepared in the same manner as all homeopathic remedies (with sequential dilutions and successions) so as to render it safe and non-toxic. Influenzinum is the only homeopathic flu remedy updated each year based on the flu strains predicted by the World Health Organization. When shopping for this remedy, be sure to ask for the current year’s preparation.
There are two popular ways of taking this remedy preventively:
If you fail to prevent the flu, don’t despair. There are great homeopathic remedies that can help you recover quickly, without side effects.
Finding a suitable homeopathic remedy can be straightforward, since the symptoms of the flu tend to be dramatic and easily characterized.
Most flu seasons (and epidemics) will have common symptoms and will correspond to one or a few homeopathic remedies, such that the majority of people with the flu will benefit from the epidemic medicine. For example, the epidemic medicine for the 1918 Spanish flu was Gelsemium (with Bryonia and Eupatorium as secondary prescriptions). This was also the most suitable medicine for many other flu seasons – such as the Swine flu of 2009.
The remedies Gelsemium and Bryonia have been most indicated for the flu in the past 100 years. They are by no means the only medicines used to treat the flu, but combined they will probably fit the majority of cases.
Below are the top flu remedies in alphabetical order, highlighting the major symptoms for which they are administered. Select the remedy which most closely describes the patient’s symptoms and general state during the flu. The patient need not have all of the symptoms listed under a given remedy to benefit from that remedy.
This all-encompassing remedy is effective in the early stages of all types of flu. Use this remedy when you have difficulty distinguishing the symptoms of the flu or matching them to one of the previously mentioned remedies. Oscillococcinum has undergone several clinical trials since it was formulated in 1925 and has been proven to lessen the duration and severity of the flu.
These remedies are the most prescribed for the flu, but are by no means an exhaustive collection – there are hundreds of homeopathic remedies that can help one overcome the flu. The best defence against the flu, or any other illness, is to strengthen your immune system. This is what homeopathy does.
Whether you consult a trained homeopath for recurring headaches, acne, endometriosis, or the flu, the end result is the same – your organism will become healthier and your immune response stronger. As a result, your susceptibility to all illness will diminish.
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