No doubt about it — this has been a difficult flu season, especially on the East Coast. Homeopaths have also been having some difficulty treating this year’s flu, possibly because there seem to be several different presenting pictures. There just might be several different flus going around, so a single set of genus epidemicus remedies has been hard to find. I’ve been trying to accumulate some data myself, so here are some of my results thus far. At the end of this article, I’ve included a short “materia medica” of common flu remedies that you can read up on to select the one that might be best for your family’s flu experiences.
As far as dosing goes, it is usually best to start with a 30c potency and keep using it if it is working. If a 30c works for a while and stops, then move up to a 200c. It is my own preference to give the initial dose dry, and give repeat doses in water. (See my article on water dosing.)
Here are some remedies that have been helping for certain distinct presentations:
Severe tiredness, especially if onset is slow, with thirstlessness:
Consider Gelsemium (typically the #1 flu remedy).
Intense bone aching/pain:
Worse from any movement whatsover, with irritability and thirst:
Consider Pertussin and Drosera.
Vomiting and stomach symptoms:
Consider Arsenicum and Veratrum.
Fast onset after exposure to cold wind or a fright:
Other remedies that homeopaths have been using with some success are: Influenzinum (made from this year’s flu vaccine, it is useful as a prophylactic); Hepar Sulphuricum; Oscillococcinum.
Common Flu Remedies:
The number one flu remedy (also the remedy that was curative for the 1918 flu epidemic). Totally weak and prostrate, almost paralytic weakness. Droopy eyes — can hardly keep them open. Legs weak and shaky. A slow onset. Flu might be preceded by worry over an upcoming event or task. Bursting headache beginning in the neck and back of head. Aching muscular pain. Thirstlessness. Chills up and down the spine. Better from fresh air and urinating.
Sudden onset of fever, with chilliness, anxiety and great restlessness. A remedy to consider after patient has been exposed to cold, dry weather or a fright.
Intense aching and painful limbs and back, bones feel like they were broken. Bursting headache. Dare not to move because of the pain. Shivering with chills in back. Chill begins 7-9:00AM. Eyeballs sore.
Very anxious, restless, and thirsty. Fear of death, being left alone. Worse from midnight to 2am. Exhaustion after the slightest exertion.
Very irritable. Very thirsty for cold drinks. Worse from any movement or noise. Pain from moving eyes. Wants to lie quite still and be left alone. Headaches and pain better from pressure. Can have great pain in the head when coughing.
Irritability and oversensitivity, especially to noise and light. Flu might be preceded by anger or indignation, or be precipitated by overwork. Very cold. Wants to stay under the covers. Desires warm drinks. Shivering. Headache from noise and light. Fatigue and collapse. May want to keep working even when sick. Stomach upset, gas, diarrhea.
Rapid onset. Sinks rapidly into stupid state. Dull red face; patient looks drugged and out of it. High temperature with red face. Drops asleep while answering questions. Gastric flu: sudden attacks of violent diarrhea and vomiting. Great prostration.
Flu that comes on after cold wet weather. Aching and stiffness in joints, worse from first movement but better after continued movement. Restlessness. Better from warmth. Anxious and weepy.
Good to consider when none of the other flu remedies match well. A mid-grade fever — 102-103F. Flushed face. Headache better from cold applications. Burning sensation in eyes. Stuffiness. Nose bleeds. Red swollen throat. Cough better at night. Sour burps, vomiting of undigested food. Aversion to meat and milk. Stiff neck. Restless and sleepless. Chill at 1pm. Worse from being touched or jarred.