When the flu strikes, think Homeopathy

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tamplinOn April 26, the U.S. declared a public health emergency for the emerging new Influenza A (H1N1) swine flu. As of June 10, The World Health Organization reported that 74 countries worldwide had 27,737 cases of this infection, including 141 deaths. In this country, there have been 13,217 confirmed and probable cases in 48 states and 27 deaths. Many of those hospitalized experienced underlying medical problems.

However, the Center For Disease Control anticipates that there will be more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths associated with this new virus in the coming days and weeks because the population has little to no immunity against this new virus. Young healthy adults between the ages of 20 and 35 have been hit just as they were in the severe pandemic of Spanish Influenza that occurred in 1918-1919.

There has been speculation that the new strain may appear again in the fall and winter flu season and may be considerably more formidable and dangerous compared to the mild effect that it has generally had this spring. This is a cause for ongoing vigilance. It is not a time to remain complacent. If we look at the pattern in past pandemics it may be reasonable to assume that one third of the world’s population may become infected. Even if the new strain continues to remain “mild,” large numbers of people could develop pneumonia and require respirators. The medical system may be unable to deal with such an event. The worst-case scenario is that the medical system will collapse. Now is the time for the general public to become acquainted with homeopathy, I encourage you to take a look at the informative and easy-to-navigate web site that I co -authored at www.flusolution.net. We offer this as a public service.

Keeping flu at bay
Over many centuries medical practitioners have always noted that in any epidemic there are always a number of people, who despite exposure, never seem to get sick. These people seem to have stronger constitutions and are less susceptible. Unfortunately, many of us have weaker constitutions, and we are asking ourselves what we can do to keep this new swine flu at bay. For most of us, if we do get sick it is not likely to be a life-threatening problem, but an inconvenience of a few days off work or school. However, a growing number of people are immune compromised, and for them an encounter with the swine flu or the general flu that comes around every year may land them in the hospital or even prove to be life threatening.

As a classical homeopath, one of my priorities is to inform the general public about a system of medicine that can help the body to heal quickly and without the toxic side effects of conventional medications. However, few people understand the principles and practice of homeopathy. Most people that I encounter at my public speaking engagements confuse homeopathy with herbalism. Homeopathic remedies come from different sources, and although many are derived from plants, a number of remedies come from the animal and mineral kingdoms. The FDA regulates the manufacture of all homeopathic remedies sold within the United States.

The interesting point about these remedies is that they are made in a way that renders them so dilute that in most cases there is nothing of the original substance in the pill. As a result of this process, there is no danger of toxic substances building up in the body and producing unwanted side effects.

Homeopathy is probably the safest type of medicine that you will ever find. Many people say that homeopathy must work because of the placebo effect. The truth is that no one has been able to explain exactly how the remedies work. However, for the past twenty years veterinary medicine has contributed to the development of homeopathy by showing that this system of healing works on animals that are unaware of what they are taking. We have listed several double blind studies on our web site.

The Law of Similars
Homeopathic remedies are prescribed according to the Law of Similars. This law states, “That which makes sick shall heal.” This means that the symptoms caused by an overdose of a substance are the symptoms that can also be cured by a small dose of that same substance.

For example, we know that when we cut up an onion most people experience an acrid runny nose, soreness in the throat and stinging runny eyes. A homeopath will prescribe Allium Cepa, the homeopathic remedy made from the onion for the individual who has a cold and a sore throat with these symptoms. Homeopathy uses medicines prepared from natural substances that are similar to the illness – in contrast to conventional or allopathic medicine, which treats and often suppresses the patient’s symptoms with large amounts of drugs, which have the opposite effect.

A well-chosen remedy acts as a signal that energizes or stimulates the body’s self-healing powers, mobilizing the defense systems and working on all aspects of the body – mental, emotional and physical. Homeopathic literature, both past and present, documents cases, sometimes of severe pathology, that have been cured or significantly helped by homeopathy.

Since its discovery 200 years ago, homeopathy has provoked much controversy, criticism, acclaim and impassioned support. It is interesting to note that during the 1918 flu pandemic, large numbers of people sought homeopathic care and were restored to good health; in many cases, their life was saved. Meanwhile, 24,000 cases were treated with conventional medicine and the mortality rate was 28.2 percent. Homeopathy was used to treat 26,000 cases of the flu, with a mortality rate of 1.05 percent.

Individual symptoms
A homeopathic remedy is prescribed upon the totality of an individual’s symptoms taken from the mental, emotional and the physical levels. 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.

However, for this article I have selected a number of the more common remedies that have proved to be useful in flu outbreaks. Please read the remedy picture carefully and select the one that seems to fit the individual case more accurately. The remedies can be purchased from local health food stores. The Pandemic Influenza Kit that Dr. Jacob Mirman and I designed is available from our web site [www.flusolution.net] along with Helios Homeopathic Pharmacy basic first aid kits, which contain many of the main influenza remedies.

  • I would recommend that you purchase either 12c or 30c potencies, but whatever potency is available will suffice.
  • The remedy comes in the form of small sugar pills that are easily dissolved on or under the tongue or in a little water. Do not eat or drink approximately 15 -30 minutes before and after the dose.
  • The doses can be repeated frequently in an acute illness, but as soon as symptoms improve it is very important to stop the remedy.
  • If you select a remedy and take several doses but there is no improvement, review the symptoms and select another remedy that seems to fit the current picture.
  • Several remedies, in succession, may be needed to restore you to good health.
  • Usually the most important symptoms are how the individual feels mentally and emotionally. Consider what things make the individual feel better or worse.
  • It is important to only take one remedy at a time.
  • Children, adults and senior citizens can safely use homeopathic remedies. They are not intrinsically dangerous but they are powerful and must be treated with care and respect. Store the remedies in a cool, dark place away from strong smells.
  • The remedies can be safely used in conjunction with conventional medication; there is no known interaction.
  • It is extremely important to work in conjunction with your licensed health care provider if symptoms are causing concern. When the patient’s condition requires serious conventional treatment, homeopathy often helps to speed up the healing process and it can enable a reduction in the dosages of conventional drugs and decrease the unwanted side effects. If you purchase our Pandemic Influenza Kit, we recommend that you use the remedies in conjunction with advice from a professional homeopath and your licensed physician. This article is for educational purposes.

Prevention is the best remedy
No one wants to be sick this fall or winter. The obvious precautions are to look after ourselves with good nutrition, regular exercise, taking steps to decrease stress and get an appropriate amount of sleep. Washing the hands regularly helps to reduce the spread of infection, and if sickness strikes, stay at home and use a handkerchief or tissues.

Do keep an eye on our web site. We will post on the front page the homeopathic remedies that we have found to be the most helpful in dealing with this new H1N1 swine flu. You also can purchase the NIOSH – 95 masks to ensure that you and your family are in the best state of protection. On our site, under the articles section, download The Pandemic Survival Book that Dr. Mirman and I wrote.

If the flu does strike your household, the following are some useful homeopathic remedies to have on hand. Many more are listed on our web site along with useful, easy-to-follow Powerpoint presentations:

• Aconite: Flu with great restlessness and worry. This remedy is useful if the flu symptoms came on very suddenly, especially after exposure to a dry, cold wind, infection or from an emotional shock or fright. There is a high fever, sore throat and a feeling of great worry and fear. The individual is very restless and they feel better in the fresh air. They are worse in a warm room, in the evening or at night, when exposed to tobacco smoke or near music

• Arsenicum Album: Flu with extreme restlessness, oversensitivity, anxiety and weakness. This remedy is useful for someone who has great anxiety, fear and restlessness. They don’t want to be left alone. As they have a fear of dying. A general aggravation time is between 1 and 2 a.m. They are very weak and will be chilly; their face will be pale with an anxious expression. People needing this remedy complain of burning-type pains that are better from warm applications and small sips of cold water. Vomiting and diarrhea are commonly seen with this remedy picture and the discharges are acrid and offensive.

• Baptisia: Flu with high fever and a feeling of being bruised all over. This remedy is useful for flu that comes on suddenly and the individual feels bruised and sore all over. The body and limbs feel as if they are scattered and all in bits. There is profuse sweating with a high fever and an intense thirst. The face is dull red in color and people who need this remedy look dazed and sluggish, as if they may fall asleep at any time. This remedy is also for gastric flues with vomiting and diarrhea.

• Belladonna: Flu with a high fever, face is red and pupils dilated. This remedy is useful when a very high fever comes on suddenly usually as a result of exposure to infection or from the head getting cold, wet, or overheated. The face is flushed and bright red, the throat is sore, the eyes are wide and staring and the pupils dilated. There is possible confusion and delirium. The individual feels better when they stand or sit upright and in a warm room. They are worse from any noise or bright light or movement. They are worse from lying down and at night and symptoms tend to affect the right side of their body.

• Bryonia: Flu with a severe, throbbing headache, and the person wants to be left alone. This remedy is useful for a flu that comes on slowly, and the person aches all over. There tends to be a violent headache that is made worse by coughing or by even slightly moving the eyes. The headache feels better if firm pressure is applied and they can sleep. There is dehydration and a need to drink lots of fluids at infrequent intervals. They feel very irritable, and want to be left alone and at home. They may be worrying about financial problems. They feel worse from any excitement, noise, touch, movement or bright light, from eating and coughing and at around 3 a.m. and 9 p.m.

• Eupatorium Perfoliatum: Flu with a feeling that the bones are broken. This remedy is for the most terrible of all flus. The pains are so severe that it actually feels as if the bones are broken. The muscles ache and feel sore and bruised. The individual moans and groans and everything hurts. They feel worse for any kind of movement. They have a bursting headache and sore eyes. There is a lot of sneezing, the nose is runny, the chest is sore and coughing makes the head hurt. These people want ice-cold water although it brings on violent chills in the small of the back. They don’t sweat much, but when they do they feel better, except for the head.

• Gelsemium: Flu with chills and paralytic weakness. This tends to be the number 1 flu remedy. In contrast to Aconite, Baptisia and Belladonna the symptoms of Gelsemium come on slowly after exposure to infection or as a result of worrying about a forthcoming task or event, such as a public speaking engagement. There is a sore throat and chills, which run up and down the spine. They may have a splitting headache, which is better after urinating. There is a general feeling of fatigue, the legs feel weak and shaky and they just want to lie in bed. The eyelids are droopy, the head feels heavy and they may have double vision. There is pain felt in the bones. Although they may have a fever, they do not sweat and they are not thirsty. They feel better in the fresh air, when moving around and bending forward. They feel worse in the early morning and last thing at night, in the sun, and when exposed to tobacco smoke.

Never well since the flu?
Sometimes people get over a bout of the flu but never feel that they have completely recovered. If you feel completed drained and have difficulty getting out of bed, then consider using the remedy Gelsemium 30c. Just one or two doses should put you on the road to recovery!

There are many remedies that can be self-prescribed for minor ailments and in a first aid situation. In acute cases, a well-chosen homeopathic remedy acts quickly and well.

Sally Tamplin teaches The School of Homeopathy First Aid Course In Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois for those who wish to learn more about homeopathy and help themselves and their families in everyday situations. Classes are listed at www.flusolution.net. Look for classes in Eagan, MN, this September at www.soundmindbodyhealing.com or email [email protected] She also is arranging classes this fall in Wisconsin and Chicago.

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Sally Tamplin, a native of the UK, is a graduate of The School of Homeopathy in England and The Dynamis School of Advanced Homeopathy. She is a member of The Alliance of Registered Homeopaths (UK). Sally's homeopathic consulting business, Alternative Horizons LLC, is based in Minneapolis. Sally has worked with Jacob Mirman M.D., a homeopathic physician, for many years and together they have developed the Minnesota Homeopathic Influenza Pandemic Plan. Contact them through their website at www.flusolution.net or call 708.784.9397.

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