- by Dr Sheetal Bhatia
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- Feb 09 2017
Homeopathy and Migraine
The common cold is caused by a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Symptoms typically appear one to two days after infection and last around a week, varying in type and severity but generally including sneezing, sore throat, runny or blocked nose, cough, headache and sometimes, especially in children, fever. The symptoms will generally resolve themselves and it is usually possible to continue with one’s daily business, especially with the help of allopathic or complementary therapies.
Influenza is also a viral infection and, although a vaccine has become available in recent years, the large number of different strains means that flu is still widespread. It is characterised by sudden onset with fever, extreme fatigue, muscle soreness as well as some or all of the symptoms of a cold. These symptoms can last up to two weeks and usually require the patient to rest completely for several days. Flu is responsible for many deaths each year and can be dangerous in very young or elderly patients and in those with an existing chronic condition such as diabetes or asthma. If flu is suspected in such cases or in any case where there is a prolonged high fever, the doctor should always be consulted.
Colds and flu spread more easily in the winter months due to the cold weather – we tend to spend less time outdoors and turn the heating up indoors. This, together with close contact with others in the home, at school, at work or on public transport creates a perfect environment for the spread of a virus. And the bad news is, there is no cure! So we must concentrate on alleviating the symptoms and strengthening the body’s natural defences.
Common cold is a viral infection characterized by inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the upper respiratory passages and usually accompanied by malaise, fever, chills, coughing, and sneezing.
When the attack comes on suddenly after an exposure to a cold, dry wind, with chilliness, followed by fever, Aconite will be the remedy. It should be administered just as soon as the patient realizes that he is taking cold.
is especially useful in winter colds where there is a thin, watery discharge from the nostrils which excoriates the upper lip, yet in spite of this fluent discharge the nose feels stopped up.
Allium cepa [All-c]
One of our best remedies for cold in the head, indeed, is said by come to be the best, and probably it is when indicated.
Here the upper part only of the respiratory mucous membrane is affected. Like Allium cepa it has a copious, fluent discharge from nose, and copious lachrymation, the latter being most acrid, excoriating the cheeks, and being so profuse as to keep them wet all the time
Arum triphyllum [Arum-t]
Under Arum all of the secretions are acrid, and there is a discharge if ichorous fluid from the nose; the nostrils and lips are sore. There may be a discharge from both nose and eyes which is yellow and acrid.
Nux vomica [Nux-v]
The first stage of ordinary cold in the head may be met by Nux vomica, when it is brought on by damp, cold weather, or from sitting on damp, cold steps; associated with sneezing and stuffed up feeling in the nose.
Remedies may be taken safely by any patient including babies and those taking prescription medication without concerns regarding side-effects or interactions. Because homeopathy takes into account the overall picture – a person’s emotional makeup and general health, the type of illness and specific “modalities” that make the symptoms better or worse – two patients presenting with the same complaint, such as a cold with fever, might very well be given different homeopathic remedies. For example, in treating a fever, Aconite or Belladonna might be recommended in cases of sudden onset, although Ferrum phos or Bryonia may be more appropriate if onset is gradual and depending on the modalities.
However, in a patient who is emotional, weepy and maintains that the symptoms improve outdoors, Pulsatilla may be more useful.
For flu, Gelsemium is often the remedy of choice, especially in symptoms characterised by shaking, chill and sore, aching muscles especially in patients who dislike cold and damp.
The table below summarises the major remedies useful in the acute treatment of cold and flu symptoms.
|First signs especially after a chill, thirsty, possibly anxious.||Aconite|
|Sudden onset, high fever; hot, red, throbbing headache, sensitive to light, noise.||Belladonna|
|Streaming nose (possibly eyes too), sneezing, clear discharge often thicker after 24-48 hours, prefers|
to suffer alone and shuns sympathy.
|Headache, pains all over, irritable, nauseous, (also good for a hangover!). Nose congested with little|
discharge, chilly – cannot get warm, even in bed.
|Established symptoms, headache, shivers, fatigue, aches and pains, alternating hot and cold, sore|
nose, very sleepy.
|Very thirsty, sore muscles/bones, headache, worse on movement.||Eupatorium perf|
|Fever, catarrh, burning nasal discharge, sneezing.||Arsenicum iod|
|Slow onset, mild fever, worse at night, better for cold, nosebleeds.||Ferrum phos|
|Catarrh in nose with thick discharge, ears feel blocked, worse at night, better in fresh air and with attention from loved ones.||Pulsatilla|
|Dry, painful cough, worse at night, thirsty – often most effective as a linctus.||Bryonia|
|A specialised combination remedy for the prevention and treatment of colds and flu. Often prescribed by homeopathic doctors for at risk patients.||Influenzinum/Bacillinum|
However, self-prescribing is often difficult and the advice of a health professional trained in homeopathy will always provide the most appropriate treatment and most effective outcome. This is especially important if receiving other homeopathic treatment from a qualified practitioner.
In Europe and America, a very popular homeopathic product called Oscillococcinum can be bought over the counter for the prevention and treatment of colds and flu. This product is not licensed for general retail sale in the UK, but might be obtained with a doctor’s prescription.
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