Sunday, February 2, 2014

It's The Flu Season!

Even Though The Flu Season is upon us.

There is no need for panic!

Tips to prevent catching a Cold or Flu

As there are no cures, the key to avoid catching a cold or flu is prevention. There are several measures you can take to minimize your exposure to the viruses responsible for colds and flus, including behavioral, environmental and pharmacological strategies.

Limit exposure

1. Wash your hands

Maintaining strict hygiene is vitally important during the cold and flu season. Colds and flus can be spread via aerosol droplets created by coughing and sneezing, and by touching surfaces that infected individuals may have been in contact with. The virus most frequently enters your body when you touch your nose, mouth or eyes with infected hands. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

It is best to make a habit of washing hands for at least 10-15 seconds in warm soapy water, especially after coughing or sneezing and before eating.
Teach children to wash their hands as well. if you do not have access to water, you can use an alcohol-based disinfectant hand gel with at least 60% alcohol content.

2. Avoid crowds and sick people

Sometimes it is difficult to avoid sick people, as people who are infectious may not have any symptoms in the early stages of their illness. Try to avoid people who you know have a cold or flu, and stay away from crowded areas during flu season to reduce your chance of infection. This is particularly important for infants in the first few months of life.

3. Clean well used surfaces

Keep household surfaces clean (e.g. door knobs, switches and telephones) as they can harbor viruses for several hours. Wipe and clean these surfaces with your favorite natural solutions regularly. Also use separate towels or paper towels in kitchens and bathrooms for infected individuals. Throw tissues out immediately after use as they can spread the virus to surfaces.

Practice healthy habits

If you are healthy, your immune system is stronger and better able to fight infection. You can enhance your body’s natural resistance mechanisms by eating well, remaining physically active despite the cold weather, and getting enough sleep.

1. Eat and sleep well

Eating a balanced diet provides your body with the nutrients and vitamins it needs to help the immune system fight infection. Eat foods containing phytochemicals such as dark green, red and yellow fruit and vegetables. Eating yogurt daily can reduce your chances of catching a cold by 25%.

Getting plenty of sleep also helps boost the functioning of your immune system.

2. Reduce stress

People who are under stress tend to have weakened immune systems, so are more likely to get sick and experience more severe symptoms. In addition, people who are more sociable are less likely to get sick. If you are run down or stressed, try to incorporate some relaxation techniques into your life. If you remain relaxed, your immune system produces more of the chemicals needed to fight infection.

3. Stop smoking

Smokers are more prone to respiratory illness than nonsmokers, and experience more severe and frequent colds. This is because cigarette smoke dries out nasal passages and paralyzes the hairs that line the mucous membranes, which normally act to sweep viruses out of the nasal passages. Nonsmokers should take care to avoid secondhand smoke.

4. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise, particularly cardiovascular exercise, helps keeps you fit and gives your immune system a boost, enabling it to function more effectively. Exercise can increase the number of virus-killing cells in your body. It may not prevent all infections, but it can speed up recovery and reduce the intensity of symptoms.

However, heavy exercise is not recommended. Don’t overdo it if you are suffering from a cold or flu, as this can exacerbate your illness. Moderate exercise (e.g. walking) can help alleviate some of the cold symptoms.

5. Regulate humidity

Other ways to avoid catching a cold are to ensure your house is not overheated, and to increase the humidity by using cool mist humidifiers or vaporizers. The low humidity created by heating dries out the mucous membranes of the nasal passages, making you more vulnerable to infection. Low humidity also provides an environment that encourages viruses to survive and thrive. Make sure you go out and get fresh air to counteract the drying effects of indoor heating.

The main difference between the common Cold and the Flu (Influenza) is the severity of the symptoms.

  • If you have a stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat and a hacking cough, most likely have a COLD
  • If you have a high fever, severe headache, muscle and body aches, extreme tiredness and a dry cough, you probably have the FLU.

If after taking all the precautions, you still find yourself with the Flu

Remedy suggestions that should help your Flu symptoms :    

Aconite nepellus:
Sudden onset of the flu with great anxiety and fear. She thinks she is about to die.  Worse especially after exposure to very cold, dry windy weather. The person is often anxious, and feels worse in a warm room and worse at night.

"DO NOT take Aconite at first signs of fever, as it will alter the symptoms and interfere with getting a true picture of remedy needed, and will suppress the fever."
W. Taylor

"You should not automatically give Aconite at the beginning of the fever because you can confuse the symptoms especially in a person of low vitality. If you give a remedy that is really not the Similimum you delay healing and make it difficult to give the really curative remedy."
C. Dunham

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.

Antimonium tartaricum: 
  • Too exhausted to cough up the phlegm that is in their chest
  • When they can finally cough up the phlegm they are relieved 
  • Prolonged respiratory complaints following the flu
  • 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

Arnica montanna: 
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    
  • Feeling of great worry and fear
  • The individual is very restless
  • Fear of death with anxiety, tossing and trembling 
  •  Croupy cough
  • Pneumonia with sudden onset
  • Coughing up of blood

Arsenicum Album:
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

Baptisia tinctoria: 
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 all over the bed
  • 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

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

Flu with a severe, throbbing headache, body pains.  All symptoms are worse from any motion. 

  • Extremely irritable
  • 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 home
Better: pressure, rest
Worse: any excitement, noise, touch, movement, bright light, from eating              
             and coughing and at around 3am and 9pm.

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 vegetabilis:
  • Desperate cases
  • Cold; even the breath and tongue are cold; very pale, 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
  • Prolonged respiratory complaints following the flu
     China (Cinchona officinalis)
Ailment from loss of fluids: blood loss, vomiting, diarrhea.   
  • Dehydration  
  • Desperate cases
  • Debility with chilliness
  • Anemic; pallid; weak
  • Sensitive to touch: motion: to cold air
  • Worse at regular periods: 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

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: With any movement

Ferrum Phosphoricum:
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]

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

  • Slow onset of symptoms
  • 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
  • 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, Eupatorium perfoliatum patient is thirsty, and Gelsemium patient is not

Always Broncho-spasm *wheezing / asthma) 
Short of breath, nausea, vomiting, spasms
These symptoms will be secondary to the main respiratory complaints of the Flu:
  • 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.

Is not a typical flu remedy, but worth keeping in mind.
Similar to Arsenicum
  • Glands are swollen; or atrophied
  • Weakness, emaciation
  • Discharges are COPIOUS, watery, acrid, salty; thick; green or foul
  • Diffused soreness; after pains; of affected parts
  • Craves motion in open air
  • Coldness; of painful part in bones
Worse: Heat, Pressure, Touch, Night time, from dampness
Better: Motion, Cool air, Open air.

Bad temper, Harsh tempered and cruel.
Irritable, irascible esp. towards his children; his family.
Despondent, Trivial details of life seem insupportable
Nervous, must walk.

Violent headaches, as if screwed, through sides of head agg. warmth and pressure.
Brain feels enlarged.

Puffy, burning, watery; conjunctiva red.
Winking is painful.
Edema around.
Lower lids twitch

Red, swollen.
Coryza; descending, profuse, acrid, hot, watery discharge agg. cool air; with salivation and Dyspnea.
Tightness at the root of the nose.
Cool, greenish, irritating, discharge from nose.
Burning, throbbing in nose and sinuses.
Violent sneezing.

Tight pain at zygomatic nerve



Larynx feel raw.
Whistling asthmatic breathing.
Dry bronchitis.
Frothy, greenish, soapsuds like expectoration.
Chest pains go backwards; Pain from Sternum to back.

Neck and Back
Small of the back as if in a vise.
Bruised pain in lumbar region agg. sitting bent.

Chilly in bones; in painful parts.
Heat in evening.
Uncovers then chilly.
Fever alternating with perspiration
Alternate heat and chilly.
Heat with shudders.
Hot and Dry then drenching sweats
Profuse night sweats which ameliorates

Kali sulphuricum: 
  • Yellow, slimy discharge 
  • 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
  • Drools, increased salivation
  •  Offensive breath
  •  Profuse offensive sweat
  •  Tongue; large, flabby, dirty looking, geographic, mapped
  •  Thirsty
  •  Craves bread and butter
Worse:  at night, from the heat of the bed 

Nux Vomica:
Flu with great irritability and over sensitivity.  

  • 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

The flu quickly affects the lungs, especially the base of the right lung.  
  • Lots of coughing 
  • Bloody discharges    
  • Craves cold drinks, which may be vomited when they become warm in the stomach
  • Burning, pressure and constriction in the chest; worse lying on the left side;
  • Worse lying on the painful side (both the patient and the cough)
  •  Nose bleed, bright red
  •  Cough, worse talking and laughing
  •   Prolonged respiratory complaints following the flu
  •   Pneumonia following Influenza. Most often they are going to also need             Sanguinaria         

Pulsatilla pratensis:
  • 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 motion

Sanguinaria canadensis:

  • Bronchitis
  •  Pneumonia
  •  Prolonged respiratory complaints following the Flu
  •  High fever
  •  Aching of neck extending to the forehead, feeling the neck has to crack
  •  Rawness in the throat 
  •  Influenza that progresses down into the lungs or does not recover
  • 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

Spigelia anthelmia:
  •  Headache
  •  Pain eyes, eyes feel too large, profuse acrid tears
  •  Chronic mucus with post nasal drip
  •  Prosopalgia (facial pain)
  •  Trigeminal neuralgia, worse daytime
  •  Offensive breath
  •  Sweat offensive
  •  Tongue coated yellow/white
  •  Mapped. geographic tongue
  •  Dyspnea
  •  Neck stiff
  •  Fever  worse night time

Sticta pulmonaria:
  •  Coryza, bronchial catarrh
  •  Nervous and rheumatic disturbances
  •  Rheumatic stiffness
  • General feeling of dullness and lassitude as when a cold is coming
  •  Painful dry mucous membranes. (needs to blow nose, but there is no discharge)
  •  Scabs in nose
  •  Better when nose drains
  •  Forehead pain
  •  Sore eyeballs
  •   Dry hacking cough
  •   Stiff sore neck and shoulders
  •   Restlessness
  •   Copious sweat on hands
Worse:  Night, Lying down, Motion, Change of temperature
Better:  Free discharges, Open air

Aches before catarrhal discharge appears
Heaviness; forehead.

Burning of eyelids with soreness of eyeballs on closing lids or turning eyes.

Pressure or stuffy fullness at the root of nose.
Constant need to blow the nose but not discharge.
Painful dryness of mucous membranes.
Coryza which dries up soon, forming scabs difficult to dislodge.

Dry; dropping of mucus posterior.

Tickling high up in pharynx.
Incessant dry hacking cough prevents sleep, agg. coughing, inspiration; towards evening and when tired; after measles, colds; influenza; whooping cough.
Air passages numb.
Pain from sternum to spine agg. motion.

Neck and back
Sore stiff neck; pains to shoulder.
Restless hands and feet.
Cold moist limbs.
Profuse sweat on hands.
Chorea like spasms

Sleepless from nervousness; from cough; after surgical operation.

Similar to Sanguinaria
People who would improve with Arsenicum, might not fully recover and they could next need 
Kali-bic may also need be followed by Nux-vomica. 
Septic States
Septic flu remedies are much sicker than the above remedies.  
Septic means the infection has entered the blood stream. They have Incredible Fever
Consider: Arnica, Baptisia, or Pyrogenium 

Signs and Symptoms of Sepsis
  • Chills
  • Altered mental status (Confusion)
  • Fever
  • Low body temperature
  • Low urine output
  • Rapid heart rate (Tachycardia)
  • Feeling of lightheadedness
  • Rash (Petecheia)
  • Low blood pressure (Hypotension)
  • Skin may feel very warm
  • Weakness

© Lynn Cremona 2012, all rights reserved.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care.