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Cold? Flu? Pt. 5 Keepin’ It Simple with Herbs

ACHOO!  Herbs for Colds and Flu!

 © Kelli Armes, Herbalist

 

The best medicine is preventive medicine, but if/when you do come down with a cold or flu you may want to know about some herbs that could be helpful! These are herbs you may want to consider planting in your garden or allow to grow wild if they already grow near you! (Cold and Flu are different dis-eases, but since everyone lumps them in together, I will try to address both here)

Prevention:

2 ounces of sugar will suppress your immune system for 4 hours! Stay away from sugar(s) if you can.

Get plenty of rest!  Sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system! Eat real food! (not food like substances).

Stress: Keep your stress levels down and add adaptogenic herbs if you are in a high stress lifestyle.

Cold Verses Flu:

It is important to remember that a cold is (in most cases) a benign harmless infection, but Influenza is a potential fatal disease! It is responsible for deaths in the US especially among those with compromised immune system.  It is important to know the difference so you can deal with them properly (if a person is going downhill and has the flu you may need to get medical attention!) Common cold can be caused by several different viruses, while the flu is cause by the Influenza virus.

Treatments:

Hot Teas and Soups!  It is not an ole wives tale, hot tea, and soups are good for you when you are feeling chilled!   Inhale your hot tea fumes while you sip! Eat hot soups (chicken soup is the folk remedy for a cold or flu! )

During a fever it is best to have warm or room temperature liquids (avoid any sugary drinks like juices, pop, etc.)  drink herbal teas, have soups, room temperature Filtered water avoid heavy foods.  Fast on foods (continue with liquids) failure to fast will lengthen recovery time. Keep your ‘patient’ in bed and do not overmedicate them simply support the body in doing what it needs to do!

I recommend against taking cold medicine.  Cold medicine can actually prolong the cold by suppressing the antibodies and can actually (according to studies) make your cold worse (it can drive it deeper into your system)

Steam inhalations are great at the onset of a cold or flu (or prevention) you can add a little rosemary essential oil, eucalyptus, Peppermint oil, Juniper essential oil or thyme essential oil (use small amounts of an essential oil and only those you know you tolerate).  Vaporizer is a great item to have on hand.

Flu-Rest is essential (going back to work too soon if you feel better, can make you susceptible to worsening symptoms or even possibly getting pneumonia).

Neti pot- use a salt solution to rinse the nasal passages to kill microorganism (you can add a few drops of ethically wildcrafted Goldenseal to your neti pot). Breathing in a little vinegar in warm water can also help.

Wet sock therapy is great for colds or bronchitis (not recommended when you have a fever, diabetes, or poor circulation)

Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)  Very easy plant to grow (propagates by rhizomes)  Used for fevers, colds, flu, digestive upset.  Antibacterial, anti-tussive. Chop up stem and leaf and in a cup of water and use as a steam inhalation.  A little peppermint essential oil in vinegar makes a great disinfectant. Generally Leaf is used.

Energetics: spicy, bitter, and slightly cool

Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water on a heaped tsp of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink as desired.

Tincture: Take 1-2ml 3 times a day.

Boneset (Eupatorium Perfoliatum). The name comes from ‘break bone fever’ a mosquito borne illness. Also was used for malaria, cholera, typhoid (any illness that produced a fever). This herb was used during the 1918 Spanish Flu and was very effective. The flower is the part used. Great for viral infections (combines well with elder) colds, flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia.  Great for lingering viral infections.

Energetics: Bitter, pungent, astringent, cold and dry

 

Dosage: For an infusion, use 1-2 teaspoons of dried leaves per cup of boiling water. Steep 10-20 minutes. Drink up to 3 cups a day. Add sugar or honey and lemon to improve taste.

For tinctures, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to 3 times a day. Should not be given to children under age 2. Use small doses in tea (1-3 ounces at a time every few hours until desired effect).

 

 

Elder (Sambucus Nigra): Berries and flowers are used.  Some herbalists use the flowers and berries interchangeably, and some use the berry syrup for preventive (colds and flu) and other viral infections. Flowers  are great for flu treatment, fevers lung and sinus issues. Studies have shown that elder has stopped mutating flu virus and show to kill the virus.

Energetics: bitter, drying, cool, slightly sweet

Dosages: For children (1-6 years of age) 1 teaspoon (5ml) per day and can be increased to 1.5-2 teaspoons (10ml) per day, for use during winter months. For adults the recommended dose is 2 teaspoons (10ml) per day. Other forms can be dosed as follows: Dried flowers can be used as an infusion for adults, 3 to 5 grams, three times daily. Liquid Extract, for adults, use 1:1 in 25% alcohol, (3 to 5 ml) three times daily

 

 

Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) A weed growing freely in this area, touted at the ‘smart blood herb’ because it knows when to stop bleeding, yet can also help break up blood like in bruises.  it is also used to treat fevers and help them to be more productive, circulation issues, hypertension, diarrhea and female issues.

Energetics: bitter, spicy, neutral

Dosages: 1 teaspoon infused as a tea three times daily. Tincture: 1-2 ml three times daily

 

Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris). Antibacterial, antiviral, great for lung congestion, coughs, flu, COPD, bronchitis, and allergic rhinitis.  Great to coughs especially in tea form where you can get the aromatics of the plant. Do not use the kind in your spice cabinet, they are generally very old. Get a supply from an herb store.

Energetics: Spicy and warm

Dosages: Infusion: Pour a cup of boiling water on 2 tsp of the dried herb and let infuse for 10 minutes. Drink 3 times a day. Tincture: take 2-4ml 3 times a day.

 

Flu remedy recipe:   1 part peppermint; 1 part yarrow; 1 part boneset; 1 part elder flower; Mix equal part tinctures and take 1-2 ml 3 times daily.

Note: I like to start with small dosages, and if they work I do not use the ‘recommended dosage’, it is your choice, use your judgment, but remember more is not always better, sometimes less is more! None of the information is designed to diagnose treat, or cure any disease. Always seek medical attention when needed!

 

Thanks to the people I have studied with (formally or informally) for this giving me the knowledge to write this article (for their wisdom, knowledge and kindness). They are (in no particular order): Demetria Clark, Paul Bergner, David Winston, Kiva Rose, Jim McDonald, Susun Weed and www.herbmentor.com ( Recipe and dosages from herbalpedia).   There are a lot of herbs/Alternative things you can use, but these plants are the ones I chose because most of these plants grow wild in my area or are easily cultivated! The above information has been gleaned from listening to seminars, Audio courses, taking formal courses. conferences, Webinars, and my own personal research and experiences.  Thanks!

Kelli Armes aka Maw-Maw Kelli!  I can be contacted at kelliarmes@gmail.com or on Facebook Maw-Maw Kelli (Herb classes and More)!

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December 12, 2011 Posted by | Guidelines, Herbs, Medical Conditions, Self-Help | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cold? Flu? Allergies? Pt.4 Help for the Flu Using Homeopathics

Homeopathics for the flu are very specific in their nature and require that you pay attention to signs and symptoms in order to select the BEST remedy for you or yours. In fact, you may select several remedies, and that is okay, select remedies based upon symptoms. Read the descriptions carefully and select the one(s) that most closely match the signs and symptoms. And again, follow these directions after selecting the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms:

 

Depending upon what symptoms you are displaying you may want either one of the single remedies or a combination remedy. Typically a homeopathic remedy is a pellet, liquid or soft tablet. Directions on ‘how much’ to take come on the package. What I will suggest however is disregarding the ‘how often’.

 

Acute/Active Symptoms: 3-5 pellets (2-3 tabs or 3-5 drops) every 15mins for the first hour or until symptoms begin to clear up. If after 4 doses in the first hour you aren’t noticing any benefit, reassess your symptoms and try something else.

 

Onset/Not Too Bad/Just Beginning: 2-3 pellets (1-2 tabs or 2-3 drops) every 20-30 minutes until you notice the symptoms are gone.

 

In both cases once you get your symptoms under control (in otherwords, symptom relief)

back off dosing to every ½ hour. If you symptoms begin to return within that half hour time frame continue to take the remedy every half hour. As time progresses you will notice a greater period of time between displaying of symptoms…you will have to pay attention to this. If at the half hour mark you still have no symptoms wait until the one hour mark before taking another dose and then pay attention as to when the symptoms begin to return so that you are gradually decreasing your dosing schedule to 2-3 times per day, increasing length of time between doses by a ½ hour each time. Once you have reached this 2-3 times per day for 1-2 days you can then stop taking the remedy and you are ‘cured’. With children I always recommend to stop after being symptom free for 1 day.

Infants dosing should be ½ of that of an adults dose, however, as I have learned, sometimes with a young child the adult dose is appropriate to initially relieve symptoms so do not be afraid to use more in a infant or young child.

AGAIN…the trick is watch for symptom reduction! If you aren’t seeing a reduction in symptoms with the first hour of use (2-4 doses) then move onto another homeopathic!! I have increased the amount taken in children in very stubborn or acute symptoms just to ‘tamp’ it down quickly and then reduce the amount taken once I have reduced symptoms.

 

I would first like to suggest the following for prevention of the flu OR to take as soon as you believe you might be coming down with the flu:

 

Oscillococcinum Flu Remedy

 

This can often be found in many drug stores and is well worth keeping on hand ‘just in case’ and should be used as a ‘first defense’.

 

With that said, you don’t have to take the whole vial at one time as they instruct. I truly believe that this is a marketing ploy to make money. Instead, I suggest the following which has worked for me over many years.

 

1)      To prevent the common flu…take 3-5 pellets at one time, every other day for one week. The following week, take 3-5 pellets 2 times that week and finally, the following week and every week there after, take 3-5 pellets once a week. Do this for the duration of the ‘flu’ season. Actually, I would take starting in September and then end in March.

2)      If you feel like you are getting the flu…follow the standard dosing instructions above. Now, with that said, if you don’t start feeling better within 2-3 hours (in otherwords the symptoms don’t go away) you are most likely NOT getting the flu, but a cold. Try a different remedy that can be found on the Cold Part 3 blog page.

 

Common Flu Remedies

The number one flu homeopathic remedy is GELSEMIUM . The flu has a slow onset and is associated with chills, tiredness and paralytic weakness. The chills begin in the hands and feet, and run up and down the spine.
These patients feel as if run over by a truck. Aching pain is felt in the muscles and they experience trembing of the limbs with lack of mucular co-ordination. Want to lie down and be left alone.
The patient is generally worse in the early morning and last thing at night. They feel better after urination and in fresh air. Please see below for more information on Gelsemium.

 

Aconite: Sudden onset of the flu with great anxiety and fear. She thinks she is about to die.

Better: in fresh air
Worse: in a warm room, in the evening or at night, lying on the left side, hearing music, when exposed to tobacco smoke.
Other uses: any situation where the person is scared, such if they just witnessed something horrible, were just involved in an accident, etc

Arnica: Flu with a feeling of soreness, as if bruised internally and externally.

Symptoms come on very suddenly, especially after exposure to a dry, cold wind or from an emotional shock or fright.

High fever, dry cough, sore throat and feeling of great worry and fear.

The individual is very restless.

Fear of death with anxiety, tossing and trembling.

Croupy cough, early stages of croup.

Pneumonia with sudden onset.

Coughing up of blood.

Other uses: This is the main initial remedy for acute trauma, injuries and accidents. Bumps, bruises, sprains, strains, cuts, etc. It is commonly given to patients before and after surgery to improve outcome, decrease bleeding and bruising and promote healing. You will find Arnica in all homeopathic emergency kits.

 

Aconitum napellus: This remedy is useful for a flu that comes on suddenly and intensely accompanied by fever, anxiety, constricted pupils, and strong thirst. The person may feel fearful or agitated, and the fever can alternate with chills. Symptoms are often worst around midnight. Exposure to cold wind or a shock of some kind often precedes the illness.

 

Apis mellifica: If a person has dry fever that alternates with sweating, facial flushing, and a very sore throat with swollen tonsils , then this homeopathic remedy may be prescribed. Pain may extend to the ears, and the eyelids may be swollen. Exposure to cool air and cold applications may bring relief. Despite the fever, thirst usually is low. The person can be very irritable, disliking interference.

 

Arsenicum Album: Influenza in children with sudden onset and much prostration.

Extremely restless, oversensitive, anxious and weak.

Fear of death.

Extreme prostration, out of proportion to the disease.

Very restless, can’t stay in one place.

Does not want to be left alone.

Chilly.

Pale face with an anxious expression.

Burning pains that are better with warm applications.

Thirsty, drinks in small sips often.

Worse between 1 and 2 a.m.

Vomiting and diarrhea are common.

Diarrhea with acrid, offensive, watery stools.

Too neat, upset by clutter.

Desires fatty and sour things, especially lemon.

Other uses: Food poisonings, stomach flues.

 

Baptisia: Looks drowsy and drunk. Flu with high fever and a feeling of being bruised all over.

Flu that comes on suddenly.

Sensation of being bruised and sore all over, the body and limbs feel as if they are scattered.

Profuse sweating with a high fever and an intense thirst.

Dull red face, looks dazed and sluggish as if they may fall asleep at any time.

The bed feels hard (Compare with Pyrogenium and Arnica)

Stupefying headache, with confusion.

Delirium with strange sensations, like as if there is somebody else in bed with him, parts of her body are separated, etc.

Patient smells bad.

 

Belladonna: Flu with a high fever, red face and dilated pupils. Dryness and burning heat. Everything is intense and concentrated in the head.

High fever that comes on suddenly, often as a result of a change in temperature (e.g. becoming chilled or overheated, washing the hair).

Flushed face, sore throat, eyes wide and staring, pupils dilated, bright red tongue, red throat with white spots on the tonsils.

Constriction on attempting to swallow

Ejection of food and drink through the nose and mouth from spasm.

There may be confusion, delirium or vivid hallucinations.

Twitching and starting.

Headache.

Symptoms tend to affect the right side of the body.

Craving for lemon or lemonade.

General aggravation at 3 p.m.

Better: standing, sitting upright, in a warm room.
Worse: any noise, bright light, movement, lying down, night.
Other uses: strep throat, meningitis, abdominal cramps, menstrual cramps, etc, when the overall picture fits.

 

Bryonia: Extremely irritable, talks about business. Bryonia is good if symptoms include a headache, cough, constipation, thirst, and irritability
Flu with a severe, throbbing headache, body pains. All symptoms are worse from any motion.

Slow onset.

Thirst for large amounts infrequently, preferably cold.

Pains (headache, body pains) better by pressure. Lies on the painful part.

Dryness everywhere, dry tongue, with generally a white coating

Nose bleed

Pneumonia, especially of the right side; pleurisy (pain on breathing and coughing).

Business: worries, talks and dreams about it.

Wants to go home. May be confused and not realize she is at home.

Better: pressure, rest
Worse: any excitement, noise, touch, movement, bright light, from eating and coughing and at around 3am and 9pm.Other uses: Pain in joints, sprains, strains, when symptoms are worse from movement.

Specific Symptoms for Bryonia:

Grumpy and feels miserable with the flu

Wanting only to lie still and be left alone

Headache, muscle aches, and cough or stomach pain

Everything feels worse from even the slightest motion.

Dry mouth, with a thirst for long cold drinks

 

Eupatorium – perfoliatum: Flu with body pains so severe, that the bones feel broken.

Feels as if run over by a truck, with pain deep in the bones.

Bursting headache and sore eyes.

Thirsty for ice cold water (opposite to Gelsemium, which is not thirsty).

Chills running up and down the back.

High fever preceded by chills, especially from 7 – 9am.

Worse: movement

Ferrum Phos: Flu without any localizing or characteristic symptoms.

High fever, usually 102 degrees or higher.

Right sided complaints – Pneumonia.

Flushes or redness or pallor.

Hemorrhage [Nose or Chest]

Specific symptoms for Eupatorium:
Deep ache in the bones and muscles
Eyeballs hurt
Exhaustion
Desires cold food and drinks, which are vomited as soon as they warm in the stomach
Painful cough
Yellow tongue
Tremendous aching, as if bones are broken
Fever preceded by chills, especially from 7:00 to 9:00 A.M.

 

Ferrum phosphoricum: This remedy may be helpful during flu associated with the following symptoms:

 

Fever

Headache

Rosy cheeks

A feeling of weariness

Sensitive eyes

A short hard cough

Strong thirst

Vomiting after eating

 

This remedy is also prescribed in early stages of flu or fever, even if symptoms are not especially clear.

 

Gelsemium: Flu with chills and paralytic weakness. They feel as if run over by a truck.

This tends to be the number 1 flu remedy. Take Gelsemium if you have heavy, droopy eyes; feel weak and tired, with aches and chills up and down your back; and want to be alone.

Slow onset

After worrying about a forthcoming task or event such as a public speaking engagement.

Sore throat.

Bursting headache beginning in the neck and which may extend over the head to the eyes and forehead; relieved by copious urination.

Double vision often before or during the headache. Eyelids are heavy and droopy, can’t keep them open.

Fatigue, heaviness and dullness. The legs feel weak and shaky and they just want to lie in bed.

Pain is felt in the muscles.

No thirst.

Aching muscles.

Chills begin in the hands and feet, and run up and down the spine.

Worse: early morning and last thing at night, in the sun, and when exposed to tobacco smoke.
Better: urination, fresh air
Comparisons:

Bryonia also has pains, but they are much worse from any movement. Gelsemium patient does not want to move due to fatigue and heaviness, not aggravation from movement.

Eupatorium perfoliatum patient also feels as if run over by a truck, but the pains are more severe, and they are felt in the bones. In addition, Eup-per patient is thirsty, and Gels patient is not.

Other uses: Anxiety anticipating an important engagement.

Specific symptoms for Gelsemium:

hot head and face, but with chills that go up and down the back; burning headache without any real sense of thirst, etc. are symptoms for which this remedy is often prescribed. Other symptoms:

Fatigue and achiness that come on gradually, increasing over several days

The face feels heavy, with droopy eyes and aching.

A headache may begin at the back of the neck and skull

Chills and heat running up and down the spine.

Anxiety

Dizziness

Moderate fever

Trembling

Perspiration

 

 

Kali sulphuricum: Yellow, slimy

Fever with easy sweating

Yellow slimy tongue, nasal discharge, ear discharge, diarrhea.

Cough with easily expelled yellow slimy sputum.

Thirsty. Averse to hot drinks.

Wants to lie down, but it makes her worse, so she must walk for relief.

Mercurius solubilis: Dirty, smelly, drooling.

Increased salivation, offensive breath, profuse offensive sweat.

Filthy tongue, large, flabby, tooth – notched

Thirsty

Craves bread and butter.

Worse: night, heat of bed

 

Nux Vomica: Flu with great irritability and over sensitivity. Easily offended, angry, cold.

Irritable, impatient, angry and easily offended.

Very chilly. Chilliness on the slightest movement. On the slightest exposure to the open air, shivering and chilliness for an hour; dreads to go out into the open air. By the slightest draught he gets chilled. He cannot get warm. Great coldness not removed by heat, or by bed coverings. Wants to be completely covered.

Very sensitive to light, noise and odors.

Shivering and chilliness immediately after drinking.

Fastidious. Wants everything just so.

Collapse and fatigue states from overwork.

Other uses: Ailments from overdoing: overeating, overwork, etc. Hangover.

Specific symptoms for Nux Vomica:

Nux Vomica is often prescribed for flu associated with thoroughly chilled feelings, cannot get warm at all, limbs and back are aching, stomach upset. Other indications are:

high fever

violent chills

strong nausea

cramping in the digestive tract (or a painful cough and constricted breathing if the flu is respiratory)

headache

oversensitivity to sound, bright light, and odors

often very irritable

feels worse from exertion

Feels worse from being cold in any way

 

Phosphorus: The flu quickly affects the lungs, especially the base of the right lung. Lots of cough. Bleeding.

Bloody sputum, bright red.

Craves cold drinks, which may be vomited when they become warm in the stomach.

Burning, ressure and constriction in the chest; worse lying on the left side; worse lying on the painful side (patient and the cough).

Nose bleed, bright red.

Cough, worse talking and laughing.

Specific symptoms for Phosphorus:

This remedy is indicated for flu when it is accompanied by:

fever with an easily-flushing face

feels very weak and dizzy

headache

hoarseness

sore throat

cough

stomach pain and nausea or vomiting

strong anxiety

wanting others to be around to offer company and reassurance

strong thirst, with a tendency to vomit when liquids warm up in the stomach

 

Pulsatilla: Clingy and weepy when sick.

Flitting chilliness; chills in spots. Chilly in a warm room.

One sided chilliness – heat – sweat. One cheek red, the other white.

Palpitations with anxiety: must throw off the clothes.

Dry cough at night, better sitting up, worse on lying down again.

Thick yellow-green discharge from nose. Yellow-green expectoration.

Craves butter, cream, pastries.

Thirstless.

Tearful, craves company and sympathy.

Worse: external warmth, closed room
Better: open air, outside, slow motionOther uses: This is one of the most commonly used remedies in children. Whatever the problem (ear infection, teething, cold, etc), when the child is weepy, wants the caregiver next to him all the time and gets better only when held. This is opposite to Chamomilla children, who are often angry and reject kindness.

 

Pyrogenium: Septic states.

Extremely restless. Has to keep on moving, rocking, wringing, for momentary relief.

The bed feels too hard, aching everywhere, feels beaten and bruised.

Everything is offensive: sweat, breath, discharges, stool, etc.

The pulse is abnormally rapid for the temperature. High temperature with slow pulse, or the reverse.

Creeping chills in the back, with a thumping heart.

Bursting headache.

Rapid bed sores.

Feels as if someone else is in his bed.

Consciousness of the heart beating.

Rhus toxicodendron: Stiff and restless, better with movement.

Restlessness. Wants to move all the time.

Aching and stiffness in the joints, worse on first starting to move and better with continued movement.

Red triangle on the tip of the tongue.

Intense fever: thirsty: great prostration: weeps without knowing why.

Severe aching in the bones.

Fear of poisoning. She may refuse taking medicine feeling it is poison.

Anxiety and fear which are worse at night.

Other uses: Sprains, strains, when the pain is better with movement (opposite of Bryonia).

 

Rhus toxicodendron: A person who needs this remedy during flu feels extremely restless and complain of achy, stiff muscles. Other indications:

fever is often accompanied by bone and muscle aches

teasing cough

sore throat

red tongue

nausea and bloating

soreness and stiffness may be felt all over,

feels better from hot showers or from getting up and pacing.

feels worse when waking up, after lying in bed, or from keeping still too long.

symptoms are often relieved by rubbing and stretching, but especially warmth and movement.

Sulphur

Hot, burning sensations. This is a well known remedy for skin irritation.

Partially recovers and then relapses.

Very sensitive to the open air and drafts (opposite to Pulsatilla); worse from washing and taking a bath.

The crown of the head is very hot but the feet are cold.

The soles of the feet burn at night; they must be put out of the bed.

Hungry and starving at 11am, but not before then.

Often left-sided

Specific symptoms for Sulphur:

This remedy is often prescribed if a flu is very long-lasting or has some lingering symptoms such as the case when people have neglected to take good care of themselves. The person may feel hot and sweaty, with low fever and reddish mucous membranes. Symptoms, either digestive or respiratory, will often have a hot or burning quality. Heat aggravates the symptoms, and the person often feels worse after bathing.

 

Other remedies that may be used but are often used in ‘worst case’ flu situations and, if at all possible, professional medical attention should be sought out.

 

Camphora: Flu with laborious, asthmatic breathing, accumultion of phlegm in the air tubes, cold, dry skin.

Profound prostration/collapse.

Coldness and shivering.

Cold to touch, yet cannot bear to be covered.

Very sensitive to cold air

Face is pale and blue, lips are livid.

Pulse is weak and scarcely perceptible.

Pneumonia or bronchitis with collapse. Irritability

Worse: Cold

 

Carbo –vegetalis: “Corpse reviver”

Desperate cases.

Cold; even the breath and tongue are cold; very pale, air – hunger, asks for the windows to be opened, to be fanned.

Shortness of breath. Must sit up in bed.

Bloating, indigestion, and tremendous amount of gas.

This is a frequent ICU remedy, when life seems to be draining away.

 

China (Cinchona officinalis): Ailment from loss of fluids: blood loss, vomiting, diarrhea.

Desperate cases.

Debility with chilliness.

Anemic; pallid; weak. Sensitive to touch: motion: to cold air.

Worse at regular period: alternate days, every third day, every seven days, etc.

Weariness of the limbs, with desire to stretch, move or change position.

Painless diarrhea with a lot of gas.

Other uses: A very common remedy for diarrhea

 

Other possible remedies that may help:

 

Antimonium tartaricum: pneumonia with rattling of mucus in the chest.

Profuse mucus in bronchi with drowsiness. Loose, coarse rattling but scanty expectoration. Suffocative shortness of breath; alternating with cough. Chest seems full, yet less and less is raised, followed by vomiting or sleep.

Nausea; in waves; with weakness and cold sweat.

Forcible vomiting, followed by exhaustion and sleep

Tongue coated thick white with reddened papillae and edges.

Vomiting better lying on right side.

Desire for acids, apples.

Anxiety, aversion to being looked at; wants to be left alone.

Sleepy, weak, sweaty.

Worse: heat; warm room.

 

Asclepias tuberosa

Influenza with marked weakness on walking.

Shooting pleuritic pains (pains with inspiration) during and lingering after influenza.

Bleeding from gums, coughing up blood, bleeding from nose.

Worse: Lying, especially on left side. Motion of arms. Deep inspiration.
Better: Bending forward.

Euphorbium resinifera: Flu with burning pains in the bones.

Intense burning pains as if a live coal were on, or in the part.

Pharyngitis with a sensation as if expired air was a burning flame.

Worse: Touch; rest; sitting; beginning of motion.
Better: Continued motion; cold applications (compare with Arsenicum, which has burning pains better from hot applications).

Euphrasia: Flu with eye symptoms.

Acrid tears and bland nasal discharge.

Burning, smarting eyes and aversion to light and constant winking.

Cough with large quantities of mucus.

 

Ipecacuanha: She coughs till she vomits.

Dry, spasmodic cough ending in choking, gagging and vomiting. Person stiffens and becomes pale or blue; gasps for breath.

Constant nausea not relieved by vomiting.

Clean tongue.

Profuse salivation with the nausea.

No thirst.

Worse: Heat.
Other uses: Any ailments or pains attended with constant nausea and clean tongue. Whooping cough.

 

Sanguinaria: Flu with burning in various parts and headache.

Right-sided remedy.

Burning in various parts: eyeballs, cheeks, tongue, throat, chest, stomach, palms and soles.

Headaches, especially right sided, spreading from shoulder over the head to the eye.

Spasmodic cough with expectoration of rust-colored sputum.

Runny or stopped-up nose, followed by diarrhea.

Dryness of mucous membranes.

Desire for spicy and pungent food.

Warm-blooded.

 

The following information was taken from an article in Homeopathy World Community and was written by Bente Ødegård. It may be found at: http://www.homeopathyworldcommunity.com/profiles/blogs/influenza-pandemics-and-long

 

Influenza pandemics have for centuries posed the greatest threat of a worldwide calamity caused by infectious disease. Over the past 300 years, ten influenza pandemics have occurred among humans. According to recent analysis, the 1918-19 pandemic killed 50 to 100 million people globally. Today, even a “mild” pandemic could kill many millions of people.

Influenza manifests in the respiratory system and produces generalized aches and pain, especially in the limbs and back. It produces malaise; prostration; fever; coryza, headache; with photophobia and retrobulbar aching; and inflamed respiratory mucous membranes. The incubation period is around 48 hours.

The symptoms begin with sore throat with substernal burning; nonproductive cough; and coryza. Cough usually becomes severe and productive and causes pain in the chest. The soft palate, posterior hard palate, tonsils and throat become reddened and painful. The eyes water easily and the conjunctiva may be mildly inflamed. Sweating and weakness may continue for weeks. Complications include bronchitis; pneumonia; breathlessness; spitting of blood; pulmonary edema; encephalitis; and death.Old people; babies; those confined to bed; or with chronic pulmonary or heart disease are the most at risk.

During the 1918 influenza pandemic it was young people, 25 -34 years of age, which were most severely affected. They appeared to have no immunity and succumbed to a pneumonia that would kill within days. It was not uncommon for someone physically strong and in good health to get up feeling well in the morning and by bedtime they would be dead. During this flu pandemic large numbers of people sought homeopathic care and were restored to good health; in numerous cases their lives were saved

An article published in the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy in May 1921 states that Dean W.A.Pearson of Philadelphia collected 26,795 cases of influenza treated by homeopathic physicians with only a mortality rate of 1.05%, while the average conventional medical approach had a mortality rate of 30%.

During this time there were many Medical Doctors practicing homeopathic medicine throughout Europe and in America, much to the chagrin of non-homeopathic doctors and pharmacists. While conventional hospitals in the US had an 80-90% loss of life during the scarlet fever, Cholera and Flu epidemics around 1919, Homeopathic Hospitals had only a 2-5% loss.

There is however a possibility that some of these high numbers of positive effects of homeopathic treatment can be subscribed to the ill effects of the conventional treatment. Many homeopaths reported a decrease in chance of survival in those that had, previously to homeopathic treatment, been taking Aspirin. A.F. Stevens, M.D. in St.Louis said about the patients undergoing conventional treatment: “They died like flies around a plate of poison although ‘science’ did all that could be done to ‘save’ them”.

There has been at least three large scale double-blind placebo- controlled trials to treat people with flu or influenza – like syndrome. Each of these large scale studies were conducted by independent researchers, and a treatment is considered proven when at least three independent studies verify positive results.

Several studies have suggested that the homeopathic remedy oscillococcinum, which is prepared from a duck liver, is a very effective treatment for influenza. One study found that the remedy significantly increased the rate of cure within two days of diagnosis. This was a high- quality trial, published in an important, non- homeopathic journal and involving large numbers of patients (237 treated and 241 on placebo).

It is generally impossible in homeopathy to pinpoint a few remedies that would help in general against the flu. But, what is fascinating is that during an influenza epidemic, a remedy or two will work marvellously. This remedy is sometimes referred to as genus epidemicus. The homeopathic Materia Medica has well over 3,500 remedies. There is no one remedy that is specific to the flu because individuals will manifest symptoms in different ways that are unique to them. The most important point to remember about homeopathy is that it treats the individual.

 

If you are interested in more information or purchasing a homeopathic flu kit for yourself please visit:

http://flusolution.net/remedies.htm

December 8, 2011 Posted by | Homeopathics, Medical Conditions, Self-Help | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cold? Flu? Allergies? Pt.3 Help for the Cold Using Homeopathics

So, we have looked at how to tell the difference between colds, flues and allergies and ways to prevent ‘catching’ something…but we are human with human bodies and now we turn our attention to ‘what to do if’ you are not so fortunate in fending off a virus or bacteria and get a cold or flu. This part will concentrate upon homeopathic remedies for a cold/cough and these remedies would make a great addition to any preparedness minded individuals first aid kit or for anyone trying to help themselves.

 

What is a homeopathic? Homeopathy is a holistic health practice that is a part of alternative medicine. Homeopathic remedies are made from plants and other substances found in nature. They are highly diluted from original tinctures, or extracts with a long history of safe use. The Homeopathic Materia Medica lists thousands of remedies that can be used for a variety of conditions.

 

My own personal favorite websites to buy these remedies from are:

http://abchomeopathy.com

http://elixirs.com

 

They WORK. They are safe, natural and easily obtained right now. They are generally very specific in what they ‘treat’ but work on the principle of ‘like cures like’. Homeopathy goes back to the time Aristotle and has proven very effective in short-term or acute illnesses. The trick is to be able to identify your symptoms correctly and to remember to take them repeatedly…its not just pop the pill and go on about your business. You also need to pay attention to see if ‘it’ (the remedy) is working for you. If after 2 doses it is not helping the symptoms then you need to select a different remedy. You do not need a lot of the said remedy to in order to see results, just the correct one. Homeopathy is safe for EVERYONE including infants, the elderly and those on medications. They do not interfere with OTC’s but can be interrupted by foods and drinks that we commonly take such as coffee, alcohol, vinegar, toothpaste and certain essential oils and tobacco products. (Though through personal use I have found that if the remedy is going to work, it will work regardless).

Something nice about homeopathic remedies…they don’t go ‘bad’ when properly stored. Cool and dark place with low moisture. A few years ago the FDA forced homeopathic companies to put ‘expiration’ dates on their products, but this I believe was misguided as

Rule of thumb when using a homeopathic…have a ‘clean mouth’. In otherwords, no food or drink for 20 minutes before or after dosing with a homeopathic. Another rule of thumb that cannot be repeated too often, if you are not getting symptom relief, stop taking it! If after 2-3 doses over a 1 hour time period you are not seeing results you can induce the symptoms of the remedy that you are trying to cure…it is called proving and can make symptoms you didn’t have appear. IF YOU DON’T SEE A REDUCTION IN SYMPTOMS THEN STOP TAKING THE REMEDY.

 

Depending upon what symptoms you are displaying you may want either one of the single remedies or a combination remedy. Typically a homeopathic remedy is a pellet, liquid or soft tablet. Directions on ‘how much’ to take come on the package. What I will suggest however is disregarding the ‘how often’.

 

Acute/Active Symptoms: 3-5 pellets (2-3 tabs or 3-5 drops) every 15mins for the first hour or until symptoms begin to clear up. If after 4 doses in the first hour you aren’t noticing any benefit, reassess your symptoms and try something else.

Onset/Not Too Bad/Just Beginning: 2-3 pellets (1-2 tabs or 2-3 drops) every 20-30 minutes until you notice the symptoms are gone.

In both cases once you get your symptoms under control (in otherwords, symptom relief)

back off dosing to every ½ hour. If you symptoms begin to return within that half hour time frame continue to take the remedy every half hour. As time progresses you will notice a greater period of time between displaying of symptoms…you will have to pay attention to this. If at the half hour mark you still have no symptoms wait until the one hour mark before taking another dose and then pay attention as to when the symptoms begin to return so that you are gradually decreasing your dosing schedule to 2-3 times per day, increasing length of time between doses by a ½ hour each time. Once you have reached this 2-3 times per day for 1-2 days you can then stop taking the remedy and you are ‘cured’. With children I always recommend to stop after being symptom free for 1 day.

Infants dosing should be ½ of that of an adults dose, however, as I have learned, sometimes with a young child the adult dose is appropriate to initially relieve symptoms so do not be afraid to use more in a infant or young child.

AGAIN…the trick is watch for symptom reduction! If you aren’t seeing a reduction in symptoms with the first hour of use (2-4 doses) then move onto another homeopathic!! I have increased the amount taken in children in very stubborn or acute symptoms just to ‘tamp’ it down quickly and then reduce the amount taken once I have reduced symptoms.

Homeopathics for Cold Symptoms:

 

Remedies are chosen based on the symptoms for which each one is indicated.

 

Aconite Napellus

This homeopathic remedy is often indicated during the beginning signs of a cold. If you feel anxious and agitated as well as thirsty, aconite may be needed. Symptoms that point to the use of this remedy include a dry, stuffy nose with a thin nasal discharge. A choking cough may be present, along with a scratchy throat. This remedy is recommended for children who are visibly chilled during a cold.

 

Allium Cepa

Allium Cepa may be needed when a cold coincides with a teasing cough. A clear discharge may come from the runny nose that is very irritating to the nostrils and upper lip. Open air can often stop the runny nose, but being inside can make symptoms worse.

 

Baryta Carbonica

When an individual has recurrent colds that seem to appear after being chilled, baryta carb may be indicated. A runny nose may be accompanied by swollen lymph nodes, tonsils or adenoids when this remedy is needed.

 

Bryonia Alba

Bryonia alba, also called bryony is a common homeopathic remedy for congestion (nasal and chest), it is considered most appropriate for people who tend towards irritability and perfectionism, and who become demanding and critical when ill. If symptoms are aggravated by movement, cold and dampness, but relieved by warmth and rest, this is another indication for bryonia.

Euphrasia

When the eyes are red, irritated and watery from a cold, Euphrasia is a commonly indicated remedy. A cough may result from an irritated throat with a collection of phlegm. Nighttime can cause an increase in symptoms, though lying down may offer some relief for the person in need of this homeopathic remedy.

 

Gelsemium

If your head cold leaves you feeling lethargic and achy, gelsemium may be indicated. This remedy is often helpful if the cold is accompanied by a headache, fever and chills along the spine. You may also feel heat or pressure on the face and nose. If you are trembling or shaky, this may be the remedy of choice.

 

Hepar Sulph

When you suffer from a very loose, rattling cough with gagging that produces a yellow mucus, hepar sulph may be indicated. An extreme sensitivity to cold may also suggest the need for this homeopathic remedy. Cold foods or beverages may induce a coughing fit and make you feel even worse. Emotional vulnerability, irritability and touchiness may all indicate this as the remedy of choice. Hepar sulph is often used in cases of bronchitis and croup.

 

Kali Bichromicum

May be used for the chest congestion and cough of bronchitis, particularly when coughing causes pain behind the breastbone. A homeopath is even more likely to prescribe kali bichromicum if symptoms are worse in the cold and early in the morning, but improve with warmth.

Natrum Muriaticum

Natrum is often indicated when a head cold produces a clear nasal discharge and sneezing that is worse in the morning. Chapped or cracked lips may be present, as well as cold sores around the mouth. You may experience a headache along with a dampened sense of smell or taste when in need of this homeopathic remedy.

Nux Vomica

Those who suffer from nasal congestion that becomes much worse at night, yet turns into running in the day time, may need Nux Vomica. A burning sensation may accompany the runny nose. Irritability and impatience are also common when Nux Vomica is needed for a cold. The remedy may be administered every

Phosphorus

If hoarseness is present with a tickly cough hurting the throat, this remedy may be needed. Phosphorus is also indicated when a cold travels to the chest quickly. Talking or laughing may aggravate the cough. This homeopathic remedy is often indicated in cases of laryngitis.

Pulsatilla

This homeopathic remedy is one of the best for colds that result in thick yellow or green mucus. A stuffy nose may occur while indoors, but become runny when outside in open air. An increase in congestion and high fever may take place in the evening. If coughs are dry in the evening, yet become loose in the morning, this remedy may be needed. Children who need Pulsatilla often wish to be held or comforted, and respond well to the remedy.
Most Indicated Homeopathic Remedies for Infants and Toddlers

Aconite

Aconite is often needed when the symptoms of a cold first appear. The child may appear to be chilled with the onset of symptoms taking place after exposure to cold air. Symptoms may worsen after midnight in the child who needs aconite. Anxiousness and thirst may also be present. Aconite should be used when a cold comes on suddenly accompanied by chills, sweats and a fever. According to Dr. Ellen Feingold, the remedy should be taken every 30 minutes to two hours until symptoms resolve.

Allium Cepa

When a child has a cold that causes a burning discharge from the eyes and nose along with excessive sneezing, Dr. Carolyn Dean recommends Allium Cepa. This homeopathic cold remedy should be given every 30 minutes to two hours. When improvement is seen in the discharge, the frequency may be decreased. The remedy may be stopped once the inflammation of the eyes and nose has resolved.

Gelsemium

Colds that come on slowly in a fatigued child with vague muscle aches, headaches and chills up the spine, indicate that Gelsemium may be the homeopathic remedy of choice. A fever is often present, but the child does not appear thirsty. Administer the remedy every 30 minutes to two hours, slowly reducing the frequency as the symptoms abate.

Nux Vomica

Infants who suffer from nasal congestion that becomes much worse at night, yet turns into running in the day time, may need Nux Vomica. A burning sensation may accompany the runny nose. According to Dr. Maesimund B. Panos, irritability and impatience are also common when Nux Vomica is needed for a cold. The remedy may be administered every 30 minutes to two hours, reducing the frequency as symptoms begin to disappear.

Pulsatilla

Pulsatilla is often the best remedy when a cold is accompanied by thick yellow mucus discharged in large amounts. If an infant does not have a fever yet feels warm consistently, this may be a well-suited remedy. Give Pulsatilla every 30 minutes to two hours. Once the mucous has become clear or less prevalent, immediately reduce the frequency of administration.
(taken from livingstrong.com)

 

There are many combination homeopathic remedies that contain the above listed remedies. Many people will choose a combination remedy to use to take the guess work out of the situation.

Some of the ones that I have found most effective are:

 

Cold and Flu Remedy by Family Homeopathic Medicine™ which is produced by a company called Vitasalus and can be found at their website: http://vitasalus.com

ColdCalm by Boiron…though I have found this combination remedy best for the start of cold and not for symptoms that are full-blown.

 

I will mention too that I keep handy this cough syrup by Boiron. It is called Chestal Honey and it works well too! There is one for adults and one for children and is in a honey base (not suitable for infants).

 

Here is a very handy chart I found at: http://health.hpathy.com/common-cold_hugall.asp

 

Print it off and keep it handy just in case!

 

REMEDY

KEYNOTE   SYMPTOMS

OTHER   SYMPTOMS

MAKES   YOU FEEL BETTER

MAKES   YOU FEEL WORSE

         
Aconite

Comes   on suddenly.

Fearful,   restless, cheeks hot and red.

First   stage of cold. Caused by exposure to cold dry winds

Sudden   dry painful cough/croup watery mucous, sweats on uncovered parts. High fever   with sensitivity to light. Thirsty, watery runny nose, possible bright red   nose bleed.

Fresh open   air, sleep

Warm   stuffy room

In the   evening and at night

Lying on   affected side. Irritated by music, dry,

cold   winds.

Allium cepa

Profuse,   bland, watery discharge from eyes. Nasal discharge is profuse and burning.   Warm rooms aggravate, better in open air.

Eyes run   but the discharge is usually bland

Violent   sneezing.

Mucous   burns/corrodes top lip. Tickle in larynx, hoarseness, hacking cough worse   breathing in cold air

desires   onions

Fresh   air

Evening.

Cold air.

Stuffy   room.

Getting   feet wet.

Arsenicum album

Complaints   are usually right-sided. Watery, burning nasal discharge. Restlessness,   weakness, anxiety, thirsty for sips at frequent intervals, chilly, desires   company.

Right   nostril burns/corrodes top lip watery thin discharge, but nose feels blocked.   Excessive sneezing, Irritation, tickling of the nose. Cold might move to   chest.

Heat,   elevated head,

Warm   drinks, company

Wet,   windy weather.

Midnight   to 2am. Sight or smell of food.

Belladona

First   stage of cold, sudden onset,

high   fever, red face, cold extremeties, throbbing pains, patient radiates heat.

Skin hot,   dry with high temperature
Throbbing headache, very thirsty or not thirsty at all

sore   throat on right side

Tickly   throat, light hurts eyes
Eyes glassy
Eyes dilated

delirious   in high fever
dry barking cough
desires lemons or lemonade

Sitting   upright or standing.

In warm   room

Jarring,   movement,

Noise,   drafts.

From   lying down.

After   12noon,

3PM

Bryonia alba

A Cold   slow to develop, painful coughs–patient holds chest when he coughs; worse   from slightest movement, dry mucus membranes and very thirsty, worse for   company, worse for having to answer questions, very irritable, wants to be   alone.

Better   for being still and quiet.

cold   moves into chest. A painful, dry, spasmodic cough. Left-sided headache,   otherwise, right-sided complaints.

From   applying firm, cool pressure to head and chest.

In cool   surroundings

For   movement.

Bright   lights.

Eating,   noise

and touch

9pm and   3pm.

Dulcamara

Worse   from damp and cold/damp weather, worse from change of weather, worse from   drafts.

Thick   saliva and hoarse voice

Possible   cold sores

Thirst   for cold drinks

Post-nasal   drip, lumbago or an Earache, watery diarrhea

warm,   dry air.

Movement

For   rest.

At night.

Cold,   damp weather

Euphrasia

The   opposite of Allium Cepa: Nasal discharge is bland; discharge from the eyes is   burning. Cough only in the daytime.

Copious   fluid from nose

Bursting   sensation as sinuses fill. At night little pains all over body. Heat/fever   descends the body, sweats only on front.

Later   symptoms, chilliness, loose violent cough, pressing pain under sternum.

Lying   down in darkened room but may feel more blocked up.

For   coffee

From   warm, windy weather. Being indoors.

In the   evening.

Bright   light.

Ferrum phos.

A cold   that comes on slowly. Beginning of colds when symptoms are vague. Right-sided   complaints.

Mild   fever may be present

Mouth   feels hot.

Throat is   red and swollen.

Possible   nose bleeds.

Gentle   exercise.

Applying   a cold compress to the forehead.

For   fresh air.

In the   Sun.

For   jarring or touch. Lying on right side. Between

4am&   6pm

Gelsemium

Cold   comes on gradually. Patient’s appearance: dopey, drowsy, droopy and dull. You   could also add dizzy! Inclination to sleep. Apathetic. Weakness, chills run   up and down back, headache starts in back of head or neck and spreads   forward, heavy head, thirstless.

Tiredness,   heavy body sensation. Headache above nape of neck. Tickling in nose gets   worse. Later a running nose, watery and irritating

Fresh   air.

movement,

After   urinating.

Bending   forward, sweating.

Drinking   alcohol.

Before   thunderstorm.

Early in   the morning and last thing at night.

Humidity.

Tobacco   smoke.

Hepar sulph

Over-sensitive   to pain; anxiety, irritable, angry outbursts, chilly and worse from cold,   intolerant of drafts, worse uncovering a hand or a foot, swollen glands, bad   odor of discharges, splinter-like pains.

Cold   starts with watery runny nose. Later, excessive yellow mucous with   offensive-smelling discharge and sneezing. Irritability and chilliness.

For   wrapping

head   firmly.

Warm,   moist environment.

In   cold air, draughts.

Getting   cold from undressing.

If   touched.

Kali bichrom

Second   stage of cold.

Thick,   yellow, ropy, stringy nasal discharge. Sinusitis.

Thick   post-nasal drip.

Thick   mucous may block nose.

yellow or   green discharge with postnasal drip. Sinus headaches, pressure pain at root   of nose.

From   warmth

In   the morning.

Hot   weather

Getting   cold from undressing.

Natrum mur

Beginning   stages of a cold with sneezing. “Egg-white” nasal discharge. Runny   eyes worse in open air or wind. Sun and light aggravate. Warm, worse heat.   Cold sores on lips, vesicles in mouth, cracked lips, ailments from grief.

Wants   to be left alone.

A dislike   for sympathy.

Cold   starts with fits of sneezing and a thin catarrhal discharge consistency of   the white of a raw egg. Nose maybe blocked with tendency towards developing   cold sores.

Applying   cold compresses to the sinuses.

Fasting.

Fresh   open air

In sea   air or wet weather. Mental, physical exertion. Around 10am. Bright light or   hot sun. Noise, talking, music.

Nux vomica

Cold,   chills, worse slightest draft of air, ailments from over-work, irritable and   angry, impatient; runny nose in the morning, obstructed at night; stomach   pains, better warm drinks, constipation with ineffectual urging.

Runny   nose during the day

blocked   at night.

Overcritical   of others, impulsive,

chilliness,   watery eyes,

sneezing,   headache,

sore   throat

Sleep,

warmth.

Firm   pressure,

in the   evening.

Washing   and

warm   compresses

Windy,   Cold, dry weather. In public places. After over-indulgence of spicy foods

and   stimulants such as coffee.

Between

3am &   4am.

Pulsatilla

Patient   is weepy and wants to be consoled. Warm and worse heat, worse sun, better   walking slowly in open air, worse warm stuffy rooms, dry mouth but no thirst,   worse at twilight, worse from fatty foods; bland and often greenish nasal   discharge

Possible   nose bleeds

runny   nose during the day,

blocked   nose at night

thirstless,   loss of smell

Headache   above eyes

Crying   and Sympathy.

Exercise   and

fresh   open air.

Cold drinks,   cold compresses.

Raising   hands above the head.

Rich,   fatty foods.

Heat, In   the sun.

In the   evening and at night.

Rhus tox.

Second   stage of cold

Congested   nose and scratchy throat. Worse cold and cold wet weather. Better warmth and   warm bathing. Stiffness and restlessness. Desires cold milk. Worse in cloudy,   foggy, rainy weather; worse getting wet. Can’t be still, must move.

Thick,   yellow/green nasal discharge with a red scratchy throat, dry cough, tickling,   hoarseness. Cough prevents sleep

From   warmth, hot bathing.

>From   motion.

For   changing positions.

Cough   worse in cold room.

Cold,   wet, rainy weather.

During   sleep.

 

I cannot emphasize enough that if you don’t see symptom improvement within 4 doses in the first 1-2 hours then you need to try a different one…don’t keep taking something that isn’t working for you!

Also, I will note, that if you aren’t getting better within a week, symptoms become severe or a high temperature is run for more than 6hrs, you should seek professional help. Wisdom is knowing when to ask others for help.

The next article will discuss and share homeopathic remedies for the flu. Be sure to see Pt.4 coming soon!

December 6, 2011 Posted by | Baby/Infant, Homeopathics, Medical Conditions, Self-Help | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cold? Flu? Allergies? Pt.2 Prevent

Cold, flu, ear infections, coughs, upper respiratory infections strike millions of human beings every year and send many of those same people piling into the doctors office. In a TEOTWAWKI situation, grid down or SHTF situation (or even not having health insurance) what will you do? What would you do to help someone you loved? I have put together a list of ‘things’ you can do to prevent and treat these common health challenges that will become more prevalent as time wears on due to higher rates of unemployment, homelessness, and stress (yes, stress! Stress has a DIRECT impact on your immune system), its not that being unemployed, homeless or stressed out makes you sick, it just means that some of the most basic ‘healthy’ ways become secondary to survival…sanitation, access to medicines and doctors, living in close quarters, eating less than desirably to maintain health. A lower standard of living than what we have seen in the past few decades will result in higher incidences of colds, flues, and the like. It happens…be prepared! Some are very basic concepts and some get more detailed and may take planning on your part to ‘be ready’ ‘just in case’ but all have value in our survival.

First things first…wash your hands! Soap is cheap…and the last time I looked water was readily available. This is a drop dead imperative and may save your life…you hands touch everything and are most likely to ‘give’ us whatever it is that we ‘catch’. Soap and water, at least 30 seconds of rubbing and then rinse off your hands in (preferably) hot/warm water until the soap is gone. In a pinch, bottled water will work. This is your first line of defense against ‘catching’ something. Second best is using an alcohol based hand sanitizer, but be aware of this: while they can be very effective, they don’t get everything like soap and water can and in fact, don’t kill some of the more virulent viruses and bacteria out there. And in a pinch, use a baby wipe or one of those Clorox type bathroom cleaner wipes. Doing something is better than nothing in this case.

On the same note: keep your hands by your side…germs are great at getting into your system through the eyes, nose and mouth. Be conscious about rubbing your eyes, your nose or any other part of the face. Don’t give those germs an opportunity.

Eat your apples, squashes and other fall foods. There is no ‘true’ science behind what I am about to say except to say that many of the vitamins and minerals found in foods that are harvested in the ‘fall’ of the year help you fight off infections, colds and flues. There is a distinct and intrinsic knowledge in mother nature. Vitamins A and D are big helpers in keeping your immune system healthy…which brings me to my next suggestion…

Take your vitamin D supplement…again, another ‘non-scientific’ preventive, but empirical (meaning observed) evidence suggests that those who are out in the sun as much as possible during the summer, spring and fall and then take vitamin D in the winter are less likely to get sick with a cold, cough or flu. Lack of Vitamin D has been implicated as ‘causal’ in individuals who are ‘sick’ all the time.

Cook with and eat your garlic and onions and apple cider vinegar and honey. All 4 of these have shown anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral activity. Its easy to incorporate garlic and onions into your cooking on a daily basis and while ‘fresh’ is best, dried will help too.

An old folk remedy is to make a cup of tea and add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey and drink once a day or every other day to keep the doctor away. Sounds gross, yes, but there are many, self included, who swear by it. Personally I buy the apple cider vinegar that has the mother tincture in it…works ‘better’ it seems.

Now lets get into herbal immune stimulants/supporters that are known in the herbal world as ‘tonics’ that can be taken regularly to prevent coughs, cold, sinus infections and upper respiratory problems.

Burdock, Cayenne, Dandelion, Garlic, Ginseng, Nettles, Yellow Dock, Astragulus. Use burdock root daily during the cold/flu season along with nettles, ginseng and dandelions. A tea made of these taken daily will help to keep the nasty bugs away from you. Pick one, pick all but a cup of tea will keep you out of harms way.

Use Echinacea when you are definitely around others who are sick…be advised though, overtime, Echinacea will stop ‘stimulating’ your immune system and be less effective in preventing. It is often recommended to use Echinacea for 10 days and then take a 4 day break before using again. I personally recommend to drink a cup of tea or using the tincture for 3 days on 3 days off or every other day for prevention. Astragulus is similar to Echinacea…use the same way for prevention.

Ginseng can be taken daily to help pump up your immune system.

Here’s another thought…do you have a wood stove? or a way to put a pot of water on and heat so that it releases steam? Using any herb that has anti-bacterial or anti-viral properties you can create within a house a hostile environment by simply adding some herbs to the kettle or pot of water and boiling on simmer so that steam and the oils in the herbs are released into the air and you thus breath them in helping to prevent infections from occuring…this also humidifies the air which helps the mucous membranes maintain their proper balance during the winter time. This is important because as the mucous membranes dry out, it causes ‘cracks’ which allow germs to penetrate into the body and get a foothold into the body more easily.

Also, many times post-nasal drip (which can cause an unrelenting cough) is caused by the membranes being too dry (dry air). Some of my own favorite herbs to use in humidifying the air:

Eclampane/Inula Thyme Cloves Chamomile Peppermint Cinnamon Rosemary Lavender Almost any herb can be placed into a kettle or pot to make what I will call health steam which not only humidifies the air, but the steam also carries tiny droplets of the oils from these plants which are then breathed in or settle on surfaces thus helping to make the environment you live in hostile to germs.

Next, get your sleep! A healthy immune system begins with getting enough rest.

Take your elderberry syrup…this is an old fashion way to help bolster your immune system. I would personally recommend 1 tsp every other day for preventative measures. Best part is that it can also be used as food!

You may also go one step further in helping yourself and your loved ones to avoid catching the flu by taking a homeopathic remedy specifically designed to fight the flu before you get it. There are several variants on the market today. The trick is this, don’t follow the directions on the box! If you buy the most popular brand take 3-4 pellets ONCE A WEEK. There are others that are tablets, take one tablet once a week. IT WORKS! If you are exposed to someone who has the flu or a cold take 3 times in one day to prevent infection. DO NOT take repeatedly if you do not show symptoms! This will cause symptoms to appear…it is called ‘proving’.

And finally, if all else fails and you do get sick…remember this…stay home!

Most germs spread passively, either from a hand or through water droplets (a nice way of saying someone coughed or sneezed without covering their mouth/nose when doing so) they are opportunistic in their nature…so IF you are sick, stay home, don’t go grocery shopping, don’t be running around do non-essential ‘errands’ and if at ALL possible, call in sick to work. In the right situations germs will spread like wild fire and while I get and understand that you need that ‘paycheck’ think about those around you…don’t you get irritated with that mom or dad who takes their kid to childcare or the babysitter who is sick and make everyone else (including staff) sick? How many time have you personally gotten irritated with the co-worker who is hacking away? Or even still, you have to take off work because you child brought something home from school and is running a wild temperature because another parent thoughtlessly sent their child to school sick. Remember these things the next time YOU get sick, in a pandemic or major outbreak of disease, not just including respiratory problems, it is thoughtlessness that will get you and others killed or sick.

In Part 3 I will discuss various options to help yourself if you do ‘catch’ something.

December 2, 2011 Posted by | Herbs, Medical Conditions, Self-Help | Leave a comment

Cold? Flu? Allergies? Pt. 1 Which or what is it??

Its that time of the year, the weather is getting colder and its time for colds, coughs, allergies and the flu to make its appearance. What is it? What are the signs and symptoms? What do you have? How can you improve your chances of NOT catching something? And what do you do IF you or a loved one starts to feel something isn’t right?

I have put this information together for ease of reading and understanding and all information is taken directly from WebMd.

In this first part of Colds, Flu, Coughs, Allergies we will discuss what the symptoms/signs are of some the most common upper respiratory ailments are. Part 2 will have prevention tips and suggestions and Part 3 will address what to do ‘just in case’ you get a cold or the flu and finally, we will discuss, in Part 4 what complications may arise from the common cold or flu. No matter if its an average day when you get sick or the end of the world as you know it, we got you covered to help yourself, just in case.

Colds

Colds usually begin abruptly with a sore throat followed by symptoms such as clear, watery nasal drainage; sneezing; fatigue; and sometimes a low-grade fever (below 101 degrees F). Postnasal drip causes the sore throat and cough that accompany colds.

For the first few days of a cold, your nose drips with watery nasal secretions. Later, these secretions may become thicker and darker. (Dark mucus with a cold virus does not necessarily mean that you have developed a bacterial infection, so don’t beg your doctor for an antibiotic.)

A mild cough is a common cold symptom. The cough won’t get much worse, but this common cold symptom is likely to last into the second week of your cold. If you suffer with asthma or other lung problem, a cold may make it worse. If you are coughing up dark mucus — or if you are feeling a lot of distress in the lower parts of your lungs — you may have a bacterial infection. It’s a good idea to touch base with your doctor to find out if you need to be seen.

Usually, there is no fever with common cold symptoms. In fact, fever and more severe symptoms may indicate that you have the flu and not a cold.

Common cold symptoms usually start between one and three days after you are infected by a cold virus. Typically, they last for about three to seven days. At that point, the worst is over, but you may feel congested for a week or more. During the first three days that you have common cold symptoms, you are contagious. This means you can pass the cold virus to those you come in contact with.

If cold symptoms do not seem to be improving after a week, you may have a bacterial infection, which means you may need antibiotics.

Sometimes you may mistake cold symptoms for allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or a sinus infection. If your cold symptoms begin quickly and are improving after a week, then it is usually a cold, not allergy. If your cold symptoms do not seem to be getting better after a week, check with your doctor to see if you have developed an allergy or sinusitis.

Flu

Flu symptoms are usually more severe than cold symptoms and come on quickly. Symptoms of flu include sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and cough. Swine flu in particular is also associated with vomiting and diarrhea.

Most flu symptoms gradually improve over two to five days, but it’s not uncommon to feel run down for a week or more.

How do you know if you have flu or cold symptoms? Take your temperature, say many experts. Flu symptoms often mimic cold symptoms with nasal congestion, cough, aches, and malaise. But a common cold rarely has symptoms of fever above 101 degrees F. With flu symptoms, you will probably have a fever initially with the flu virus and you will feel miserable. Body and muscle aches are also more common with the flu. This table can help determine if you have cold or flu symptoms.

Symptoms Cold Flu
Fever Sometimes, usually mild Usual; higher (100-102 F; occasionally higher, especially in young children); lasts 3 to 4 days
Headache Occasionally Common
General Aches, Pains Slight Usual; often severe
Fatigue, Weakness Sometimes Usual; can last 2 to 3 weeks
Extreme Exhaustion Never Usual; at the beginning of the illness
Stuffy Nose Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore Throat Common Sometimes
Chest Discomfort, Cough Mild to moderate; hacking cough Common; can become severe

Other great questions to ask yourself or your child to figure out what ‘it’ is:

Flu vs. Colds: A Guide to Symptoms
Questions Flu Cold
Was the onset of illness … sudden? slow?
Do you or your child have a … high fever? no (or mild) fever?
Is you or your child’s exhaustion level … severe? mild?
Is you or your child’s head … achy? headache-free?
Is you or your child’s appetite … decreased? normal?
Are you or your child’s muscles … achy? fine?
Do you or your child have … chills? no chills?

Colds and flues are caused by hundreds of different viruses. When one of these viruses gets into your body, your immune system attacks. Some of the effects of this immune response are the classic symptoms of a cold, such as congestion and coughing. With the flu, you will often have the classic symptom of body aches and fever.

The germs that cause colds and flues are contagious. You can pick them up when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or shakes hands with you. After a couple of weeks, at the most (with the flu its just days), your immune system fights off the virus and you stop having symptoms.

Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system. For some reason, your body mistakes harmless substances — such as mold or pollen — for germs and attacks them. Your body releases chemicals such as histamine, just as it does when fighting a cold. This can cause swelling in your nasal passages, a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. Allergies are not contagious, although some people may inherit a tendency to develop them.

Differences Between Colds and Allergies

Characteristic

Cold

Allergy

Duration

three-14 days

Days to months — as long as you are exposed to the allergen

Time of Year

Most often in the winter, but possible at any time

Any time of the year — although the appearance of some allergens are seasonal

Onset of symptoms

Symptoms take a few days to appear after infection with the virus.

Symptoms can begin immediately after exposure to the allergen

Symptom

Cold

Allergy

Cough

Often

Sometimes

Aches

Sometimes

Never

Fatigue

Sometimes

Sometimes

Fever

Rarely

Never

Itchy, watery eyes

Rarely

Often

Sore throat

Often

Sometimes

Runny or stuffy nose

Often; usually yellow mucus

Often; usually clear mucus

Although there are some differences, cold and allergy symptoms overlap quite a bit. The most important difference is that colds don’t last longer than 14 days. If you still have symptoms after two weeks, these may be allergy symptoms.

In the next part of this series, Cold? Flu? Allergies? we will discuss common ways to prevent ‘catching’ a cold, flu or having allergy symptoms.

December 1, 2011 Posted by | Guidelines, Medical Conditions | , , , , , , | Leave a comment