Each year, some strain of the flu, or influenza, affects between three and five million people worldwide, resulting in between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths according to the World Health Organization (WHO). With millions of people in the world having no access to mainstream, allopathic medicine, many people turn to homeopathy.
What Type of Flu is it? Choosing a Treatment
In order to choose the appropriate homeopathic treatment, a person must know the type of flu virus that he or she has. The flu virus is separated into three different categories:
- Type A viruses are responsible for the pandemics experienced periodically. The 1918 Spanish flu outbreak, the avian flu outbreak and the swine flu outbreak are all type A viruses. Type A viruses affect both humans and animals.
- Type B flu viruses cause epidemics, but unlike type A viruses, these types of viruses only affect humans, not animals and they don't cause widespread pandemics.
- Type C viruses are not as severe as type A or type B viruses and they don't cause epidemics. These viruses are often no more severe than a common cold.
The difference between an epidemic and a pandemic is the number of people affected and a pandemic affects a much larger portion of the world than an epidemic does.
The flu can manifest in a number of ways. Nearly everyone has some of the typical flu symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, aches and chills, but everyone may not experience every symptom and the symptoms can vary from person to person. With homeopathy, emphasis is placed on treating the symptoms that a person has, and the treatment is much more specific for each person.
Combination remedies are by far the most common types of homeopathic flu remedies. They combine ease of use with a multi-symptom approach. This is usually the first type of homeopathic treatment that people choose and it is effective in treating most cases of flu.
Combination remedies are exactly what they sound like, combinations of several different homeopathic medications. They can contain any number of different things, but the most common ingredients are Aconite, Gelsemium, Eucalyptus, Ipecacuanha, Phosphorus, Bryonia, and Eupatorium perfoliatum. These remedies are available at most health food stores and apothecary shops.
These remedies will typically work quickly, with people feeling better after the first dose or two. If symptoms persist it may be necessary to find a more specialized treatment.
There are a number of remedies that are useful for treating specific flu symptoms. These are for more advanced or severe cases of the flu, and it is not an all-inclusive list. They are listed in alphabetical order.
- Aconitum Napellus is effective for the flu-like symptoms that show up suddenly after exposure to some kind of shock, such as extreme cold. While research is inconclusive, there is some evidence that suggests exposure to cold temperatures puts stress on the body that can trigger dormant viruses. This particular type of treatment is effective for those who have a fever that alternates with chills, anxiety, and a strong thirst. They may also be easily agitated and the symptoms may become noticeably worse at night.
- Anas barbariae is marketed under the name Oscillococcinum and is widely available at drug and discount stores. It is a great all-around remedy and has strong anti-viral properties.
- Apis mellifica is great if someone has a fever alternating with sweating, flushing and a sore throat. The pain may also be felt in the ears and eyes as well. These people may find relief from cold compresses. This type of flu manifestation doesn't usually have a thirst component, despite the high fever. Irritability is quite common.
- Arsenicum album is a very popular flu treatment for those who have the chills, respiratory symptoms and a fever. It is also useful for when the body feels cold, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea. This is also frequently used in combination remedies because these are some of the most common symptoms.
- Belladonna is a very popular homeopathic remedy, but unlike many homeopathic preparations, belladonna is used in mainstream medicine as well. Belladonna is useful in treating inflammatory symptoms such as headache, sore throat, and fever.
- Bryonia is great if a person has a headache, thirst, cough, constipation and is irritable. Bryonia is also used in combination treatments.
- Ferrum phoxphoricum is useful if the symptoms are not completely clear or in the very early stages.
- Mercurius solubilis is the solution to a flu that lingers. The flu will often go away within two weeks, but if it doesn't this may do the trick.
- Sulphur is often used to treat infections, even in mainstream medicine. This medicine is great for lingering symptoms, or for those who have not taken care of themselves well.
Homeopathy has successfully treated symptoms of many strains of the flu for hundreds of years, with no concerns about creating resistant strains of the virus. So if flu symptoms appear, reach for one of these treatments and feel better soon.