Tis the season! Cough and cold season that is! Homeopathy is great for acute conditions such as coughs and colds. It can not only help to ease the severity of the symptoms but also to shorten the duration of an illness.
There are many homeopathic remedies for colds, coughs and sore throats. Regardless of what stage you are starting at there is a range of successful homeopathic treatment plans to help you and your family through the winter months. As with all homeopathic dosing, it is important to stop taking the remedy as soon as an improvement is noted and only repeat if needed – more is not necessarily better with homeopathy as we are using the medicines to trigger our bodies to heal themselves.
As with any illness or during cold and flu season it is important to boost the immune system to minimize the susceptibility of picking up viruses and infections during the winter months. Colds are viral infections that occur when the body’s resistance is low. Make sure you diet is balanced, rich in nutrients, packed with fresh fruit and vegetables and rich in Vitamin C & D to help your body build white blood cells which help fight against invading germs. Avoid sugar as it depletes the immune system.
Please note: Homeopathic medicines are legally recognized as drugs (usually “over-the-counter drugs” which is a drug that do not require a doctor’s prescription due to their widely recognized safety). Homeopathic medicines are most effective when they are prescribed for the unique combination of symptoms the sick person has, not just the name of the disease s/he has. Because of the need for this degree of precision, the more knowledge the user has on how to select the individually determined medicine, the better the results with homeopathic medicines. You may want to consider an appointment with a registered homeopath for your acute or chronic illness to help with this precise selection of the correct medicine.
Below is some information on remedies that are sometimes indicated for colds and coughs.
For the first signs of a cold with no real symptoms other than that run-down feeling and a feeling that you may be coming down with something you could use a tissue salt. Ferrum phos 6x potency is great for these occasions. You may just have a bit of a false glow, slight sniffle or a scratchy throat or slightly stuffed up but not a full fledge cold. These tissue salts can be repeated 3 – 4 times a day and are usually not needed more than 2 days.
This is a great remedy for cold symptoms that come on suddenly that usually occur after exposure to cold weather or a cold, dry wind. Symptoms include watery runny nose which may be accompanied by a headache or bright-red nosebleed. The cough is a croupy cough. Symptoms generally come on after midnight. Aconite is best given within the first 24 hours of getting sick.
(Nux vomica is also a well-known remedy for hangovers. But more about that in a later post!) A cold requiring Nux vomica is one in which the person feels worse from exposure to cold. The onset is quick but not as sudden as an aconite cold. There is a dry, tickling, scraping sensation in the throat and the nose runs during the day and is blocked or stuffed at night. You feel better in the fresh air and from warm drinks but feel worse from eating. Both sneezing and/or a cough is worse when first waking up.
This is a great remedy for those colds that go into the chest. When this remedy is indicated there is not a lot of expectoration and you may hear a bit of rattling moving around in the chest. There is a dry cough which is painful and comes in waves. The cough can be so painful that the person has to hold their chest when coughing and any motion aggravates the situation. You may feel thirsty for cold drinks and feel worse by eating. The person needing this remedy may be a bit of a grumpy bear when sick.
These colds produce a thick, bland, yellow or greenish mucus. The nose may be blocked in a stuffy room but run when in the fresh air. The person feels worse in a warm or stuffy room with improvement when going outdoors. There may be burning and itching in the eyelids. Cough can be both dry and loose. The expectorant can be creamy to yellow and not thin but not thick. Congestion and fever are worse in the evening. A person needing this remedy wants a lot of attention and comforting when ill and may even be tearful. This is also a great remedy for colds that are a result of teething.
A person complaining of burning pain and feelings of weakness, restlessness, and anxiety—may benefit from this remedy. Characteristic of this remedy is a watery discharge that burns the skin often seen by a reddening of the skin under the nose. The nose feels stopped up but runs freely. Irritation and tickling in the nose which can be followed by violent sneezing. Then, the tickle creates the cough! The cough can be loose or dry. A person feels worse in the cold air, worse lying down and worse from drinking cold drinks but better after warm drinks. There may also be a burning sensation in the chest.
This is a fabulous remedy for colds with predominant symptom is a sore throat which is often described as splinter like pain in throat which is worse on swallowing. Tonsils may be swollen with the sore throat and the pain can extend to the ear on swallowing. The discharge may be thick and yellow. The person may feel very chilly and is worse cold air, cold foods, and cold wind, even if they uncover they are much worse from even slight draft and become very irritated from getting cold. May have a rattling, wet cough which is often worse in the evening before midnight. A person needing this remedy is extremely sensitive and can be irritable when they are sick. They can respond in an irritable or angry way and don’t want to be touched and are worse from drafts so they don’t want to move around.
This is one of the best sinus remedies for both acute and chronic sinusitis. This remedy is usually for later stage colds when the discharge is yellow and green and very thick, stringy, ropey or gluey. This cold may have progressed to complete nasal congestion and the person may talk with a nasal voice. Similarly, the phlegm from the cold is ropey, sticky and difficult to cough up. The chest may feel sore and bruised from coughing. Generally feel better from resting and keeping warm.
The person needing this remedy is sensitive to the least change in temperature. The tonsils are swollen and could even be ulcerated. The pain can shoot up to the ear or neck on swallowing but its not the sharp splinter like pain seen in hepar sulph. The discharges are offensive even if it from sweating, nasal discharge or their urine. They feel cold or sick and are weak, tire easily and are generally slow to heal. They are prone to catching colds and swollen glands. The person needing this remedy is restless, anxious and/or nervous.
This is a remedy to think of for sore throat and especially a sore throat that is aggravated with talking. There will be a cough with chills and the person is very thirsty for cold drinks, even with a sore throat. They feel weak in the chest and there is a tightness, constriction or weight in the chest. Often people needing this remedy are prone to bronchitis or pneumonia. The phlegm that is coughed up is usually clear but could be streaked with blood. People needing this remedy tend to like to have people around them to reassure them and to rub their backs etc.
Think of this remedy for a croupy or harsh cough. The cough is loud, dry and hoarse and wakes the person from sleep. The cough is worse from excitement, talking, lying down and ice cold drinks. This remedy to also one to think of for laryngitis with a raw, dry, burning sensation in the throat.
Drosera is thought of for a dry, spasmodic, croupy cough. It has a barking or ringing nature. Often a tickle with excite the cough. The cough is worse lying down or from eating and the person may have to support the chest while coughing to reduce the pain.
This remedy can be valuable for the simple head cold to bronchitis. The cough is deep, wet, coarse, loud and rattling due to much mucous in the chest. There is plenty of phlegm that is difficult to get out and the incessant coughing can end in gagging or vomiting. The person may be irritable during illness.