Remedies for influenza

By January 9, 2013Notes from Alexis

I have just received my first calls of the season from clients with the flu. We are hearing on the news that this is a particularly bad year for the flu, and health care providers are being swamped by people suffering from debilitating symptoms. On NPR, a Boston Public Health official asked people NOT to go to the doctor if they had the flu, but to stay home and rest. It is sometimes hard to just stay home and rest when your symptoms make you feel like you are going to die.

Homeopathy has a wonderful track record of healing influenza, which is good news, since there is very little that the doctor can do to help. Flu is generally accompanied by some combination of these symptoms; aching, fever, weakness and lethargy, cough, and sore throat. The aching and weakness are the key that tells you this may be flu and not just a bad virus.

Depending on which symptoms are the worst for you, and how your symptoms develop and express themselves, you will need a particular remedy. It can be very challenging to treat yourself, or even your child when it is the flu. Please don't hesitate to call me for an acute consultation when you are ill. There are a few remedies that are very common for the flu. If you have the potential remedies on hand, all the better. I have made a flu kit, with each of these remedies in two potencies for $35, please email me if you would like me to mail you one.

The best way to reach me for an acute consultation is to email me. I get my email even when I am busy with other things, and can plan a time to call you back quickly. Though my working days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, I can often find a time on other days to fit in an acute call.

Here is my email:

Flu remedies and their descriptions:   

Arsenicum Album:
Think of it for: Food poisoning, gastroenteritis, colds, flu, sore throats, viral illness.
Keynotes: Restless, fastidious (cleaning up even while sick!). Burning pains, discharges. Thirst for small sips. Anxiety, or fear to be alone. Chilly. Desires warm drinks. Vomiting or diarrhea, or both simultaneously. Seems sicker than the illness warrants. Worse 12 to 1 a.m., cold in any form, wet weather, drafts. Better from warmth.

Bryonia Alba:

Think of it for: Flu, colds, digestive problems, injuries, fractures, coughs.
Keynotes: Much worse from motion, aversion to any effort or motion. Anxious about his condition. Symptoms have gradual onset. Sensations: stiffness, stitching pain, weakness, tenderness. Very thirsty, sweats profusely. Wants to brace against movement for security (holds chest while coughing). May come on after exposure to wind. Worse from motion. Better from heat, lying still.

Eupatorium Perfoliatum:
Think of it for: Fractures or other trauma to bones, influenza, viral illness.
Keynotes: Intense pain in the bones and/or chilled to the bone. Restless with pain. Chilled but wants cold drinks or food. Lack of sweat with a fever.

Think of it for: Headache, influenza, anticipatory anxiety (stage fright).
Keynotes: Extreme weakness and weariness. Slow onset. Desire to lie down, can hardly sit up. Can’t keep eyes open. Trembling. Face is hot, extremities are cold. Chills up and down the back. Thirstless. Headache in the back of the head. Diarrhea from stage fright. Better from lying down. Worse from wet weather, heat, sunlight.

Nux Vomica:
Think of it for: Stomach cramping, influenza, constipation, allergies, hangover.
Keynotes: Type A personalities. Can be irritable and impatient. Straining to have a bowel movement. Cramping and sharp pains. Uncontrollable sneezing in the morning after waking. Watery nasal discharge during the day with obstruction at night. Worse in the open air and morning. Better warm room and hot drinks.

Think of it for: Influenza symptoms and influenza prevention.
Keynotes: First sign of flu or flu-like illness, exposure to flu. Early in illness, symptoms are vague, and do not point to another flu remedy.

Rhus Toxicodendron:
Think of it for: Poison oak, strains and sprains, influenza, childhood illnesses.
Keynotes: Strains and sprains from overexertion. Stiffness, soreness. Cannot get comfortable. Feeling of weariness. Restlessness. Desires milk. Cramps in legs that feel achy. Burning thirst. Burning, itching skin eruptions (poison oak). Worse from first moving around, but better from loosening up. Better from heat. Worse from cold and wet.

Nutrition note:
My friend Susan Crane gave a wonderful demonstration of making homemade chicken broth and mineral broth, which are excellent immune boosters. Keep it in the house and use it like a daily immune protector for your whole family. Here is her blog with her recipes: http://www.100mile-

Practice note:
Please give my name to mom’s groups or parent groups that you may know. I’d love to speak to your group of moms about how to use homeopathy at home for family wellness throughout the year.