Natural Remedies for Winter: Homeopathy for Cold and Flu
By Katharina Sandizell
Winter can be a time of dread for many parents who know that their kids might catch any number of colds and flus. It’s always hard to watch our kids get sick, especially when they are small and just beginning to be exposed to these bugs in pre-school or from older siblings. First of all, don’t panic, your child is building her immune system and colds and flus are normal. In fact, they are nature’s way of building the muscle of your child’s immune system and his future resistance to these viruses.
For mild colds, I suggest your own loving care. You want to be sure to let your child’s body have the immune boosting opportunity that minor colds present – without inhibiting them. You can make your child comfortable, but know that colds are building up his resistance, and though uncomfortable, they are not dangerous, so there is no need to treat them homeopathically or otherwise. This way, you can encourage his or her immune system to become stronger each time it has fully gone through the illness cycles.
Along with a toolbox of six homeopathic remedies for the flu, I always suggest letting your child have his or her fever, and if possible, not tamping it down with fever suppressants (if over 103, call your doctor and proceed accordingly), but finding other ways of making him or her comfortable.
Natural Fever Relief
Fevers are there to help the body fight off whatever bug is in the body, and they are important to allow as much as possible. What I do with my children’s fevers when they get uncomfortable is to use wool socks or wraps soaked in lukewarm lemon water and apply them to the calves, neck, hands, and feet. This does the trick in lowering the temperature to a more tolerable level where it is still able to do its job.
Six Flu Remedies
When looking for a homeopathic remedy for your child, remember that each child is unique and therefore his expression of a particular illness will be different from the next child’s. When you see the descriptions for each remedy, remember that each one can be indicated to fight the same kind of virus, but each is different according to your child’s one of a kind response to that virus. Because of this, you need to look at the specific characteristics of your child during that acute illness.
For example, look specifically at if she is thirsty, does she want hot or cold drinks, is she restless or still. What is his particular state of mind, has he become angry, withdrawn, or frightened since becoming sick? One word of re-assurance, homeopathic remedies can be confusing because of all the specific details that each one brings. Don’t worry about the remedy exactly matching your child. His or her state of mind may not be obvious, or you may not be able to find out the details of your child’s thirst level. Try to just get the general feeling of the remedy and see if it matches the obvious expression of your child. If there are two or more details that match, then you are probably on the right track. To make things easier, I have put the most important aspects of each remedy in bold so that you can just glance at them and know what each remedy is essentially about.
The child needing belladonna has a sudden, high fever, a red face and tongue, and sometimes even dilated pupils. Her skin is dry and she can have cold hands and feet with a very hot head. The child can have an earache, sore throat, or headache and often craves lemonade. He is sensitive to light and sound. Symptoms can disappear and re-appear rapidly.
Mentally, the patient often has bad dreams, sometimes to the point of night terrors with hallucinations.
This remedy you can spot a mile away because your child will be fearful, and, like Belladonna, there is a sudden onset of symptoms with strong fever. This is a great remedy for sudden fear in general. In the case of a sudden fever onset, think about Aconite when the child is fearful and the symptoms were brought on by exposure to the elements.
The child who needs Bryonia has a slow-developing fever (by that I mean over a day or two). The child doesn’t want to be touched because of the strong body aches, which are worse when moving. The child wants to keep still and often craves cold drinks. This remedy can also be used for sprains but is more often used in dealing with the flu.
Mentally, the Bryonia child can be quite irritable.
This is another slow-developing fever remedy. Your child is not thirsty at all. In this case, the patient feels heavy and exhausted, not wanting to move because of the heavy, weary feeling, not because of the Bryonia type pain. There can be aching around the eyes.
Generally, the patient feels very weak, depressed, and doesn’t want company.
*This is incidentally also a great remedy for stage fright, if you are giving a presentation and are nervous, go ahead and take a 30c of gelsemium, and watch yourself relax.
With inflammation and high fever as the signposts of this remedy, you often see respiratory and/or gastrointestinal troubles. The fever develops slowly and is accompanied by flushed cheeks. This is a remedy you can also give later on during the illness, after an initial remedy like Aconite where the fever is hanging on for no apparent reason.
The personality of this child is that he is usually open-natured and talkative. He or she is generally on the thinner side and is usually very affectionate. This can continue with the illness, or, more commonly, she can become the opposite, suddenly withdrawn, indifferent, and wanting to be alone.–Rhus-Toxicodendron (poison ivy)
Rhus Tox is known primarily for its effectiveness in treating the flu. The Rhus tox patient has terrible muscle aches. Movement helps the pains temporarily subside. The child is restless and better from movement. He is generally worse at night because of the restlessness and constant need to move around.
She can be anxious or worried about something bad happening.
*This remedy can also be good for treating skin rashes associated with poison oak and poison ivy exposure.
It’s always empowering to have your own arsenal of homeopathic remedies for the flu season. Homeopathic remedies used for acute illnesses can be extremely effective when needed. Remember that if your child is generally healthy, the opportunity to fight off each cold and flu creates a boost to his development and immune system. You can make her as comfortable as possible and use homeopathic remedies only when you think she needs the extra support.
About Katharina Sandizell
Katharina Sandizell, MA, PDHom, is a Classical Homeopath who received her training and degree from the School of Homeopathy in Devon, England. She is also a licensed Marriage Family Therapist with a Masters Degree from CIIS in San Francisco. She lives in California with her husband and two boys.
Katharina does homeopathic consultations in person and over Skype.
For more, visit www.resonanthomeopathy.com