INFLUENZA

Here is what you can do:

Homeopathic medicines are highly effective for both preventing and treating the flu. Here are my recommendations for my patients:

For Flu Prevention:

Influenzinum 200C - 4 pellets under the tongue twice a day for 3 days every month beginning now through April.

For Treatment:

Oscillicoccinum 200C - one vial every 6 hours immediately at on set of fever, chills and muscle aches.

Flu Remedies

Gelsemium

The patient feels a little out of sorts the day before, possibly a little headachy, a little feverish, has a little indefinite pain, is probably a little stuffy; he goes to bed, does not sleep well, and next morning feels rotten.

The patients are very dull and tired, look heavy and are heavy - eyed and sleepy; not wanting to be disturbed but to be left in peace, and yet - the first outstanding symptom - if they have been excited at all, they spend an entirely sleepless night, in spite of their apparently dull, toxic state. Gelsemium influenza patients always have a certain amount of tremulousness, their hands become unsteady much more quickly than you would expect from the severity of their illness; they are definitely shaky when they lift a cup to try and drink.

Gelsemium influenzas always include a very unpleasant, severe headache. Typically, there is a feeling of intense pain in the occipital region, spreading down into the neck with a sensation of stiffness in the cervical muscles; and, it is a congestive headache, it is usually throbbing in character.

The patient is most comfortable when keeping perfectly still, propped up with pillows, so that the head is raised without the patient making any effort. With these headaches, the patients often complain of a sensation of dizziness, particularly on any movement.

Most Gelsemium patients have that appearance of intense heaviness of the eyelids that is associated with this dull toxic condition.

These patients get very definite acute coryza, with a fluid, watery discharge, accompanied by very violent sneezing and a feeling of intense fullness and pressure just about the root of the nose.

They may have acute abdominal irritation accompanied by diarrhea. Usually, the stool is very loose and yellowish but not particularly offensive.

Eupatorium

In most of the cases the helpful symptom was ACHING in the BONES. I always ask: "Is the aching deep, in the muscles, in the joints or in the bones? "It is often possible to get a very definite answer to this.

The outstanding point which leads to the consideration of Eupatorium is the degree of pain which the patients have. There are very intense pains all over - of an aching character - which seem to involve all the bones of the skeleton, arms, legs, shoulders, back, hips and, particularly, the shin bones.

As a rule, Eupatorium influenzas develop rather more quickly than others, and the pains develop very rapidly. The patients say it feels as if the various joints were being dislocated - it is that type of very intense, deep - seated pain. Associated with the pain, there is incessant restlessness; the patients are always moving to try to ease the aching pain in one or other of their bones.

In Eupatorium influenzas - a useful differentiation point - the sweat is very scanty. Eupatorium patients are always chilly; they feel cold and shivery, are sensitive to any draft of air and very often have a sensation of chilliness spreading up the back.

Interestingly, eupatorium patients are thirsty for cold drinks.

Coryza in Eupatorium is rather distinctive. The patient has a feeling of intense obstruction - as if the nose is completely stopped - up and this is accompanied by most fluent discharge with violent and incessant sneezing.

The Eupatorium cough is very violent, with scanty sputum, and it seems to hurt the patients from head to toe. It makes their head burst and increases the chest pains, so that they try to restrain the cough or control the chest movement, even while they are coughing, because of the pain. It is a generalised aching pain - as if they were being broken; not the sharp, stabbing pain of Bryonia, which is equally as sensitive.

Bryonia

Bryonia patients are also definitely dull and do not want to be disturbed - but if they are disturbed they are irritable. Irritability is always cropping up in Bryonia patients. They do not want to speak, and do not want to be spoken to. They do not want to answer because speaking annoys them, not because they are too tired to do so.

They can have a very definite anxiety about their business. They talk about it; if they become more toxic, they are apt to dream about it, and it is an underlying thought in the back of their minds throughout their illness.

Get hold of this fact very clearly, because it is so frequently mentioned in text - books that Bryonia patients are aggravated by motion. Apparently it does hurt them, but they get into this restless state when they will not keep still.

When the patients are restless, find out whether it eases them or not. If it does not, they are probably Bryonia cases. If it does ease them, consider one of the other drugs - possibly Baptisia or one of the restless drugs, such as Rhus tox. It is a point that needs early clarification.

Bryonia patients feel hot, and are uncomfortable in a hot stuffy atmosphere; they like cool air about them. This can be linked with their thirst. They are always thirsty, and their desire is for cold drinks - large quantities of cold water - though, they may ask for cold, sour things and then refuse them when they are brought.

All Bryonia influenzas have very intense headaches. Usually, the headache is intense, congestive and throbbing; the most common situation for it is in the forehead. The pain modality of the headache is that it is very much relieved by pressure, firm pressure against the painful forehead affords great relief to the Bryonia headache. The most comfortable position is semi - sitting up in bed, just half - propped up.

There is liable to be a very early extension of the catarrhal condition into the larynx with a very irritating, tickling, burning sensation and very definite hoarseness - sometimes actual loss of voice. Also a feeling of rawness, and a very suffocative tight sensation rather lower than the larynx, with a very irritating, bursting, explosive cough.

There is usually no abdominal or ear involvement.

They are much more likely to have a chest disturbance, even a definite pneumonic attack, than a gastric attack.

Of course, if the patient does have a pneumonic attack, it will be the typical Bryonia pneumonia, with violent stabbing pains in the chest, a feeling of acute oppression, extreme pain on coughing, pain in the chest on movement with the desire to keep it as still as possible. But this is rather going beyond the uncomplicated influenzas.

Rhus Tox

The onset of a Rhus tox. influenza is usually gradual and without a very high temperature; it is a slowly progressing feverish attack, which is accompanied by very violent generalized aching.

The aching in Rhus tox. is very typical indeed. The patients are extremely restless; their only relief lies in constant movement, constant change of position. If they lie still for any length of time, their muscles feel stiff and painful, and they turn and wriggle about in search of relief. This constant restlessness is the most noticeable thing about Rhus tox. patients on first sight.

They are very chilly, and very sensitive to cold. Any draft or cold air will aggravate all their conditions, and is enough to aggravate their coryza and start them sneezing.

Rhus tox. patients invariably have extremely bad nights. It is very difficult for them to get to sleep because of their constant discomfort; when they do sleep, their sleep is very disturbed, full of all sorts of laborious dreams - either that they are back at work, or making immense physical effort to achieve something.

Rhus tox. patients are extremely anxious; they get no peace at all, and are mentally worried, apprehensive and extremely depressed.

They sweat profusely. And the sweat has a peculiar sour odor, the sort of odor one used to associate with a typical case of acute rheumatic fever.

These patients always have intensely dry mouths and lips, and very early in their disease they develop a herpetic eruption which starts on the lower lip - small crops of intensely sensitive vesicles that spread to the corners of the mouth. These usually develop within the first twelve hours of their illness.

The typical Rhus tox. tongue is very characteristic. It has a bright red tip and a coated root, the coating varying from white to dark brown. Instead of the typical triangular red tip, some patients have a generalised dry, red tongue which tends to crack, is burning hot and very painful.

They develop extremely sore throats - dry and burning. On examination, the throats appear to be edematous. They are very sensitive on swallowing, particularly empty swallowing; and it is easier for them to take solids than fluids.

Rhus tox. patients have very violent attacks of sneezing. As a rule, the nasal discharge is somewhat greenish in color.

Rhus tox. patients often complain of a feeling of intense heat inside, and yet their skin surface feels the cold. They are sweating profusely and any draft seems to chill them - they feel the cold on the surface - but they feel burning inside.

The patients are not usually markedly thirsty, though they do like sips of water to moisten their very dry mouths and throats.

Mercurius

The appearance of the typical Mercurius influenza is much the same as in Pyrogenium, though the patient looks a little more puffy. There may be a generalised flush in Mercurius, often with the face bright red. And there is a damp sweat - peculiarly oily - looking, so that the patient looks greasy.

In contrast to the loquacity of Pyrogenium, Mercurius patients tend to be hurried; their speech is hurried and they rather tumble over their words. There is much more anxiety and restlessness.

Their general temperature reaction is another distinguishing point. Mercurius patients feel just about as hot as Pyrogenium cases, they have the same sort of hot sweat, and are uncomfortable if covered too much and chilly if they uncover; but, there is never the same intense sensitiveness to cold as in Pyrogenium - the state is one of alternating between too hot and too cold. If a Mercurius patient is kept in a still atmosphere at a moderate temperature, he is fairly comfortable.

Mercurius patients, unlike Pyrogenium, have a very marked nightly aggravation; they are very uncomfortable all night, liable to have a marked rise of temperature and apt to sweat more, which only increases their discomfort.

It is difficult to distinguish between the headaches of Pyrogenium and Mercurius patients. Both suffer from exactly the same type of pressing headache, in just the same situations; both have the same feeling of heat in the head; both seem to get involvement of the frontal sinuses, antrum and ear; and the symptoms are very similar.

Mercurius patients are thirsty and want cold drinks. But the actual state of the mouth gives definite indications. The Mercurius mouth always shows a swollen, flabby, pale, coated tongue, with a nasty, greasy feel about it, and there is always troublesome, sticky, fairly profuse salivation. The Mercurius tongue is tremulous; it shows a definite fine tremor when protruded.

The Mercurius throat is acutely inflamed, and there is early marked enlargement of the submaxillary glands. The throat itself is very much swollen, dusky, dark red, very tender; it feels hot and burning. The whole of the tissues round the back of the throat seem to be inflamed, and any movement hurts; swallowing is very difficult and may cause stabbing pains that spread out into the ears.

Mercurius influenza patients always have an intense conjunctivitis, with profuse lachrymation of hot, burning tears, which seem to excoriate the cheeks. They have severe photophobia, and are peculiarly sensitive to radiant heat - the heat of the fire - that makes their eyes smart and burn.

These patients have a profuse nasal discharge, acrid and watery, which tends to excoriate the upper lip. There is a tendency for the watery discharge to become thicker, and greenish in color. It is then that the patients are liable to have intense pains radiating out into the antrum, underneath the eyes or up into the frontal sinuses.

With the intensely inflamed throat of Mercurius influenzas there is liable to be pretty acute involvement of the middle ear. It usually starts with a feeling that the ears are choked and stopped - up; and there may be a certain amount of buzzing in the ears. Very quickly the ear becomes painful. There is a feeling of increased tension and the ear throbs. Pain tends to spread right up the side of the head and, very often, involves half the head. There is marked tenderness behind the ear and very often enlargement of the glands, spreading down into the neck.

Pyrogenium

These influenza patients usually run a fairly high temperature. Typically, they are flushed, hot, sweaty and somewhat congested - looking. They very often complain of a sensation of burning heat, and feel horribly oppressed by it.

Most of the Pyrogenium influenza patients that I have seen have been over - active mentally. They tend to be very loquacious and chatter away readily, and become definitely excited in the evening may be even delirious.

They are very troubled with sleeplessness, due again to excessive mental activity; if they become toxic, they may get a slight degree of delirium with a sensation of uncertainty as to where they are.

A constant Pyrogenium indication is that, though the patients feel so very hot and uncomfortable, they are sensitive to any draught. It makes them shiver at once - very much as in Mercurius - and they quite frequently get little shivers, almost little rigors, intermingled with their feeling of intense heat. Very often the patient feels chilly for a moment, gets a little shiver, turns horribly hot and then breaks out into a definite sweat. As a rule, the sweat in Pyrogenium is offensive.

There are two other indications for Pyrogenium that should be mentioned. Firstly, before the patients develop any signs of cold at all, they are conscious of extreme pains starting in the legs and spreading gradually upwards. Secondly, there is always a marked discrepancy between the pulse rate and the temperature of a Pyrogenium patient.

The discrepancy can go either way: rapid pulse and comparatively low temperature or high temperature and comparatively slow pulse.

A dry mouth is always found in a Pyrogenium case, with a good deal of thirst for small quantities of cold water. The tongue tends to become dry, the mouth offensive.

Pyrogenium patients always complain of an unpleasant taste - just a feeling of flatness or lack of taste, or a definite putrid taste. They very often say that a lot of stuff accumulates at the back of their throats and when they spit it out, it has a foul taste. This gives them complete aversion to food, they have no appetite at all. And their very painful throat makes it difficult for them to swallow.

Baptisia

When Baptisia is indicated there is a very high temperature, 104° or so and abdominal symptoms, often with diarrhoea, a very low toxic state, MORE ill than Gels.

Baptisia runs very closely to Gelsemium in symptomatology.

Personally, I look at Baptisia as Gelsemium exaggerated, more intense. Associated with this is the general Baptisia confusion. The patients themselves are not quite clear why they are there, where they are, what they are talking about or trying to discuss; and they are not quite clear whether there is somebody else talking to them, somebody else in the bed. They are simply more fuddled than Gelsemium patients.

In contrast with Gelsemium, Baptisia patients are always thirsty. They have a constant desire for water, but if they take much at a time it often produces a sensation of nausea. Taking a little at a time, they are all right, but their thirst is always one of their troublesome features.

The Baptisia patient sweats a lot, but the sweat, in contrast to the somewhat sourish odour of Gelsemium, is definitely offensive. This is true of anything in connection with Baptisia: it is all offensive. Mouth, breath, sweat, diarrhea (which Baptisia: patients incline to) sputum, all are offensive; much more so than one ever finds in Gelsemium.

In their influenza attacks, Baptisia patients are very liable to have a gastric or liver disturbance. Very often it is associated with acute diarrhea accompanied by violent tenesmus, a good deal of colic and a greenish-yellow stool.

Baptisia patients always have intense aching pains all over. Any part they press is painful and tender; they also have acute pains in their joints, a feeling as if they were sprained or had been bruised; moving is very painful.

Belladonna

Arsenicum

Why not Bell.? Why not Rhus? Well, the appearance of Bell. was not there, nor the amelioration from movement of Rhus, though the restlessness, was a marked feature in both. Only it was more an anxious restlessness than a desire to move. VERY ILL AND VERY ANXIOUS ABOUT IT is one of my guides for Arsenicum!

Nux Vomica