Seasonal Advice

The Cold Season has started

The nights are drawing in, the days are colder and wetter – coughs and colds are beginning to make the rounds.

Most common colds are unproblematic and, with some common sense measures, will last only a few days. Drinking plenty of fluids, eating fresh fruit and vegetables, following the body’s needs for rest and early nights will usually avoid the need to take any form of medication, even homeopathic remedies.

When colds are drawn out, have painful sinus involvement or sore throats, or go to the chest, then homeopathic remedies can be used to support.

As always, if symptoms persist then it is necessary to consult with a qualified homeopath or health practitioner. For recurring colds, coughs or sore throats it will be necessary to see a qualified homeopath for supportive constitutional treatment.

The following remedies can be tried in self-help. The remedies are listed for the different ailments but I would recommend that you look through all, as most cover more than one ailment. As ever, the better the match of symptoms the more of a chance that the remedy will help.

Colds

Aconite
The number one remedy for a cold that comes on suddenly after exposure to cold, dry wind. This remedy needs to be taken at first signs of a cold with maybe a sore throat and a clear runny nasal discharge. Once the cold has settled and the nose is more blocked or thicker discharges are present then a different remedy needs to be looked for.

Arsenicum
There is a burning, watery discharge from the nose. The nose might be dripping whilst being blocked up at the same time. There is sneezing that doesn’t give any relief. The nasal discharge is acrid and the nose will look red and sore. This person will feel extremely cold and shivery. They will be sitting by a warm radiator or fire, whilst sipping from a hot drink.

Gelsemium
This is the Number 1 remedy for flu. Symptoms take a while to come on, with feeling under the weather for a few days. There is heaviness in all muscles and even the eyelids are drooping. There is usually a dull headache at the back of the head. Once the flu has developed there is aching in the muscles and fevers with chills that run up and down the spine and cause shivering.

Natrum muriaticum
There is a feeling as if the whole head is blocked up, like a typical head cold. The blocked up feeling alternates with streaming nasal discharges, which are running like a tap. There is a feeling of dryness of all the membranes and the lips become dry and cracked. Cold sores are very common. The patient is reserved and doesn’t like to be fussed over. They are likely to feel better in fresh air.

Nux vomica
Blocked nose alternating with discharges and sneezing. The teeth may ache. They are thirsty and chilly and better for resting. However, they are very impatient and ill-tempered and may be tempted to take any medicine going, just to be able to get back to work (or play) more quickly. The cold might have come on from over-working, or the individual can generally be described as a workaholic.

Sinus problems

Kali bich
This is the Number 1 remedy for painful sinuses with difficult, stringy nasal catarrh. Mucous discharges tend to be green and nasty smelling. The pain is exquisite and often in a very localised area – the person needing Kali bich can literally put the finger on it, and pressure will usually alleviate the pain.

Hepar sulph
The whole area of the sinuses is very painful, with thick, yellow-green catarrh. The nose is obstructed and the whole front of the head feels congested and heavy. Inhaling cold air aggravates the sinus pain badly. This person is very touchy and irritable.

Sore Throat

Belladonna
Sudden onset of a sore throat with fever. The throat is bright red and inflamed looking. There is a burning pain on swallowing. Usually the right side is affected first or worst. The fever can go quite high, with a dry burning heat and a flushed face.

Hepar sulph
The pain in the throat is exquisitely sharp and feels like a fish-bone is stuck in there. Tonsils might be affected with ulceration and an offensive smell. Any cold (air, drink, food) will aggravate whilst keeping warm will give some amelioration. They will usually want to cover the throat and neck area with something warm. They are touchy and irritable.

Mercurius
The glands are swollen and the tonsils are affected and ulcerated. Key indications for this remedy are profuse saliva and offensive smelling breath. There may be a bitter, metallic taste in the mouth. The pains are sore, raw and burning or can feel like a splinter stuck in the throat. Both hot or cold make the pain much worse.

Coughs

Frankincense essential oil can help a tickly cough and may well be all that is needed for a good night’s sleep. Just place a couple of drops on a handkerchief and place it somewhere in the room.

Bryonia
A dry, hacking cough from tickling in the throat. There is a great sense of dryness of the back of the throat and the air passages. Often there is pain with the cough, in the chest and in the head. The person suffering from this type of cough will try to be as still as possible. When coughing they will hold their chest firmly, similarly they will hold the head if there is associated headache.

Phosphorus
Every cold goes to the chest. The cough is loose and dry in alteration, with yellowish phlegm. There is a burning pain in the chest and a tickling in the throat. Talking and laughing will set off a bout of coughing, as will a change of temperature like going from a warm room into the cold outside.

Pulsatilla
The cough is usually associated with a cold and possibly catarrh in the throat. There is a dry cough that starts at night in bed on becoming warm, disturbing sleep and possibly ending in retching. In the morning the cough is loose, with yellow-greenish expectoration. This person will feel much better for fresh air. They tend to feel weepy or, in the case of children, will become clingy and whiny.

Asthma and other chronic chest problems will need to be prescribed for by a professional homeopath.