By Janet Levatin, MD
Certain elements in our society seem to thrive on making us feel afraid. We are warned that if we don’t get the flu shot, we (or our children) may catch the flu and die. We are told that if we do get flu, we should treat it with the antiviral medication Tamiflu. The flu is presented as an aggressive virus, lurking around every corner, waiting to attack us and take us down. The flu shot is portrayed as the panacea for all this suffering. We are warned that without it, we will no doubt succumb to the “deadly” flu.
Many people, however, have become aware that flu shots are not only ineffective, but contain ingredients that can degrade our health, lead to devastating disability (such as Guillain Barre syndrome), or even death. We has also learned that Tamiflu has very limited effectiveness, has serious side effects, and is contributing to the rise of viruses that are resistant to treatment.
Instead of being taken in by all the hype, take matters into your own hands and stay healthy during the flu season by eating well, getting enough sleep, washing your hands, and maintaining a good vitamin D level. If you feel that something more is needed, homeopathy is the best choice. As a preventive, homeopathy boosts your resistance to influenza viruses; and should a viral illness catch up with you, homeopathic treatment can be individualized for your case.
There are a couple of homeopathic approaches to preventing influenza. One is to take homeopathic Influenzinum at regular intervals, such as weekly, during the flu season. Influenzinum is made from an extraordinarily small sample of the influenza virus, and in this way it is similar to the vaccine. It is serially diluted and succussed (shaken with impact) until the actual virus is no longer present in the remedy, but its immune-stimulating properties remain. Unlike the flu vaccine it contains no actual flu virus and no toxic ingredients. Influenzinum can be take alone or in a combination homeopathic remedy such as GripiaPro or FlumaxPro (by Apex Energetics and available at TIMC). These combination remedies also contain Oscillococcinum which can be taken alone (to prevent flu if one is exposed, or has early flu symptoms), or in the combination remedies.
Homeopathy can work wonders to quickly you get back on your feet if a virus does get you down. Since homeopathy stimulates the body’s immune system and natural defense mechanisms, homeopathic treatment truly improves your health. Whether your illness is caused by influenza or an influenza-like virus does not matter: the treatment will work in either case. Here are a few commonly recommended flu remedies and their indications:
- Gelsemium: this remedy is recommended for symptoms of feeling chilled, especially across the back; headache and heaviness of the eyelids; and low thirst. Other symptoms include feeling weak, sleepy, and lethargic.
- Eupatorium perfoliatum: the person who needs this remedy feels chilled to his core but despite being chilly, will ask for cold food and drinks. In addition to a watery, runny nose, she will be very achy in her muscles, and even say her bones hurt. The person feels desperate due to the aches and pains.
- Bryonia: the person who needs this remedy is typically warm and sweaty, feels dry and thirsty for large amounts of water. Instead of diarrhea, he may be constipated. All the body aches and pains are worse with movement: his chest will hurt when he coughs, and a headache, if present, will hurt more with sudden movement. He will be irritable and wish to be left alone.
Since homeopathics are diluted and work on the energy body, they are safe to give to children, elders, and pregnant or nursing women. The indicated homeopathic remedy should be taken under the tongue in the 30C or 30X potency, 3-4 times daily, with nothing else by mouth for at least 15 minutes before and after. It is safe to use these and other homeopathic remedies at home.
When other illnesses are involved, such as, asthma or bronchitis or GI symptoms, selecting the appropriate remedy can be more complex and require in-depth training. I can help you select the correct remedy if you need additional help.