First, remember that the remedy must fit the person if it is to be maximally effective. Thus someone who has flu-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue with irritability) will respond better to one remedy, where someone who has the same flu-like symptoms but is whiny rather than irritable will respond better to a different remedy – and both remedies are used to treat fever, sore throat and muscle aches.
So to pick a remedy homeopathically, first we must determine the symptoms, and second the temperament of the person who has those symptoms, if we are to find the best remedy.
This choice is very different from the allopathic “one size fits all” approach – for a fever and muscle aches you give Tylenol or motrin, for whininess or irritability you tell them to “get over it”.
The American Institute for Homeopathy - www.homeopathyusa.org – has well presented information about treatment of the diphtheria epidemic in Philadelphia in 1860 with homeopathic remedies.
The British Institute of Homeopathy USA has online training to learn the art of homeopathic treatment of illness, and is accredited by the State of New Jersey Department of Education. www.bihnt.com
Kaiser Permanente even has a page for homeopathic remedies for the common cold https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/kbase/topic.jhtml?docId=hn-2213002, and for influenza. https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/kbase/topic.jhtml?docId=hn-2236006
PeaceHealth, a Catholic health system in the Northwest United states, also has a page for influenza remedies https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/hn-2236006
Neither of the allopathic sites mentions the person who has the illness, whereas the AIH and the BIH both have temperament as a prominent feature of picking the remedy.
The remedies for colds and the flu are very similar – not surprising, since both are mainly respiratory infections, although the flu affects muscles and GI tract, where colds are mainly in the nose, throat and lungs. In homeopathy-speak, colds are a superficial illness, where the flu is a deeper and therefore more severe illness.
Here are some of the recommended remedies for the symptoms of viral illness that seem to be sweeping the world. Remember, the symptoms are sore throat, fever, cough, muscle aches.
To learn more about homeopathic medicine in general, click here.
To learn specifics about individual remedies, keep reading.
Remember, all these remedies treat fever, sore throat, cough and muscle aches.
Aconitum napellus – fright, fear and anguish is the hallmark of this remedy; sudden onset of fever, weakness, do not want to be touched. Forebodings of death. Intense thirst. Hot hands and cold feet. Swollen painful joints. Acute, sudden, violent infection with fever and fear are key symptoms for this remedy.
Apis mellifica – swelling, inflammation, poor concentration, fatigue, vertigo, sneezing, worse with heat. Irritability and business are prominent with this remedy.
Arsenicum album – great exhaustion after the slightest exertion, with irritability, anxiety, restlessness and weakness. Vomiting and diarrhea are part of the arsenicum picture.
Belladonna - high fever of sudden onset, irritability, thirst, splitting headache, hypersensitivity, restlessness, dryness. Violence and sudden onset are key symptoms for this remedy.
Bryonia alba (wild hops) – irritability, splitting headache, vertigo, parched lips, excessive thirst. Worse with heat. Irritability of excessive thirst are key symptoms for this remedy.
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset) – pain in the very bones, throbbing headache, pain in the eyeballs, low back pain, joint pains. Great thirst.
Ferrum phosphoricum – inflamed eyes, headache better with cold pack, nervous temperament - This relieves low-grade fever with weakness and tendency to nosebleeds and earaches.
Gelsemium sempervirens (yellow jasmine) – prostration, extreme weakness, apathy, dull headache, watery irritating runny nose, flushed face, bad breath, dry cough, trembling and weakness of limbs.
Nux vomica – irritable, hypersensitive, photophobic, feels chilly but will now allow covers. Skin feels burning hot.
Oscillococcinum® and Children's Oscillococcinum® - remedy made from goose liver and heart – geese serving as a reservoir for influenza viruses.
Phosphorus – organ destruction, fretful, fearful, bleeding gums, frequent vomiting. Better with cold. Diarrhea and gas. Palpitations, burning feet, weakness and trembling with exertion.
Rhus toxicodendron (poison ivy) – called the “creaky gate” remedy – joint pains better with motion, cracking joints, sore throat with swollen glands, lack of appetite, dry cough, intolerant to cold.
Sulphur – dislike of water, skin inflammations and rashes, pounding headache, tinnitus. Key symptom is a dirty patient, whether emotionally or physically. Useful late in the course of flu, when they just feel too bad to even take a shower.
Want to learn more about homeopathic remedies for flu?
Download our presentation "Homeopathic Treatment of Influenza" by Todd Rowe MD, MD(H), CCH, DHt