The holiday season may be over, but flu season is still going strong. Many of us are all too familiar with the symptoms-fever, body aches, coughing, raw sore throat, chills, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. The next time you start to feel off, instead of reaching for an over-the-counter or prescription drug, consider homeopathic alternatives as a customized form of first aid for the flu. Homeopathic remedies are inexpensive, effective, and free of side effects, making them extremely safe.
When shopping for a remedy, keep in mind that homeopathy isn't a one-size-fits-all form of medicine. You want a product that most closely matches your physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. Here are six to try.
You know that you have an Arsenicum flu when you experience a flushed face yet chilled body accompanied by shivering, vomiting, and diarrhea. You may be unusually anxious and restless and feel the need to be around people.
You can tell Gelsemium is the right remedy when you have a gradual, slowly developing flu that sneaks up on you over the course of a few days. Unrelenting fatigue and weakness is the most pronounced symptom for this remedy. When you're in this state, you can barely keep your droopy eyes open.
This is the "I've been hit with a Mack truck" of flu remedies. Extreme aching of bones and muscles with a high fever and chills characterize this remedy.
True to its name, a Nux vomica flu is characterized by intense nausea that is relieved after vomiting. In this state, you are very chilly, irritable, sensitive to light and sound, and can't stop thinking about work.
When you have a Pyrogenium flu, you look very sick and are chilled and sore to the point where even the bed feels too hard. You will have offensive discharges: foul-smelling sweat, offensive breath, and a horrible taste in the mouth. You may have a disparity between your heart rate and temperature-for example, a high pulse of 140 yet a mild fever. Mentally, you may feel restless, scattered, and almost delusional.
This is your Swiss army knife of flu remedies and is most effective when used at the very first sign of general flu symptoms: headache, body ache, chills, and fever. Oscillococcinum (or Oscillo for short) is widely available at health food stores.
In addition to individual remedies, some health food retailers offer homeopathic kits that contain the top 50 remedies for natural health care. In general, I recommend keeping at least Oscillo on hand at home or when you travel as a first line of defense when symptoms arise.
Use the Right Dosage
Take your remedy in a 30C strength every four hours, and expect to feel an improvement within a day. Once you feel significantly better, discontinue the medicine. If your symptoms haven't improved by the second day, search for a better-matched remedy.
In addition to homeopathy, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, watch for signs of dehydration, and take 1,000mg of vitamin C at least three times a day. (Decrease the dose if you have loose stools as a result.) And most importantly, take time to get plenty of rest.
A good self-care plan plus the right homeopathic remedy will ensure that you're on the quickest road to recovery. If you aren't feeling significantly better in 3-4 days, see a naturopathic physician for further care. To locate one near you, visit naturopathic.org.