Ahh-choooooooo! Yep, the season for colds and flu has arrived. But, how do we best keep ourselves healthy? Most of these illnesses are viral, so antibiotics are likely not the way to go – and the efficacy of flu vaccines is questionable.
So, what can we do to stay healthy, and recover faster if we do fall ill? Let’s start with some basics. In addition to washing your hands, you can also suppress the growth of germs floating around in your house. Did you know that certain plants give off active volatile substances called phytoncides? The name literally means, “exterminated by the plant.” Onion, garlic, tea tree, oak and pine tree, are very good examples of plants that can benefit your health when placed in all the rooms around your house. I bet you did not know that a real Christmas tree could have health benefits! Airing out your house regularly is also important.
In the arena of homeopathy, there are many remedies useful for treating colds and flu, such as Aconitum, Belladonna, Gelsemium, Bryonia, Rhus toxicodendron and more. If you have a sudden rise in temperature to a high fever, two remedies can be considered in the first twenty four hours: Aconitum and Belladonna. A violent throbbing headache with a flushed face and dilated pupils, a very sore throat, and feeling worse from light, noise, and being jarred calls for Belladonna. If the sudden onset of high fever came from exposure to cold dry wind and is accompanied by anxiety and restlessness Aconitum will help.
An effective remedy very close to Belladonna is Bryonia. A throbbing headache, pain in the eyeballs, a dry cough, symptoms that worsen with the least bit of motion, a desire to be left alone, very irritable if bothered, and a desire a for large amount of cold drinks call for Byronia. Unlike symptoms that call for Belladonna, Byronia symptoms do not come on so suddenly and there is not so much head congestion.
Rhus toxicodendron is also helpful. It resembles the anxiety and restlessness of Aconitum, but again, its symptoms are not as sudden as Aconitum. Rhus toxicodendron is caused by overexertion or getting cold and wet. There are muscle aches and stiffness (especially on first movement), and the desire to stretch and move to find a comfortable position. Everything is ameliorated with warmth (drinks, baths, and applications) and massaging or rubbing.
Another great remedy for battling the flu is Gelsemium. Here we have muscle aches throughout the body but with weakness and trembling; dizziness; drowsiness; dullness with heaviness of the eyelids and blurred vision; a pressing head,ache across the forehead and back of the head; a desire to lie down and sleep; and a fever without thirst.
There are many other remedies, but the ones listed above are the most common. If your illness persists, you’ll probably need a more specific remedy and the care of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
To prevent spreading a cold or flu, there is an easy and effective “stay home” prescription. At the first signs of a cold or flu, stay home for at least three days and let your body focus on the important work of getting you well.
If you have a comment about this blog or questions you would like answered in future posts please leave a comment below. If you would like to seek care, please contact me.