How Do Homeopathic Cold Remedies Work?

By Delialah Falcon. May 7th 2016

Despite centuries of research, medical experts have been unsuccessful in developing a cure for the common cold. This is because there is no single virus that is responsible for causing a cold. Instead, there are hundreds of cold viruses that are constantly mutating and creating even more cold viruses.

According to The Mayo Clinic and other reliable sources, there is no cure for the common cold. However, there are steps and remedies that you can take to reduce the severity of cold symptoms. Homeopathic cold remedies is one option some may wish to try to help shorten the duration of a cold and decrease the severity of cold symptoms.

What Is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine that is based on the premise of “treating like with like”. What this means is that when any substance that is given to an individual in a large dose produces symptoms, that same substance can be given in small doses to actually treat those unwanted symptoms.

Homeopathy relies on the use of highly diluted homeopathic remedies to elicit a response form the body’s natural healing system. For example, individuals who are allergic to pollen may receive treatments to cure their allergies in the form of diluted doses of bee pollen.

How Is It Used To Treat Colds?

While further studies are needed to verify the effects of homeopathic treatments, homeopathic cold remedies tend to show a decent rate of success for minimizing symptoms and shortening the duration of the cold. Homeopathy aims to recognize and treat the underlying condition that is responsible for the development of the cold, rather than treating just the cold itself. Individuals who suffer from more than the average one or two colds per year may have an immune system imbalance or underlying deficiency that is making them susceptible to frequent colds.

Is Homeopathy An Effective Treatment?

Homeopathy is a commonly used form of medicine around the globe. Many consider it to be a very effective treatment for cold viruses, though not in the traditional sense. What this means is that, unlike over-the-counter cold medications, which treat the symptoms and can make you feel as if you are no longer sick, homeopathic remedies do not offer instant relief. In some cases, individuals may even feel worse after taking a homeopathic remedy before they begin to feel better. This is because these treatments are intended not to offer immediate albeit temporary relief, but to help clear up the virus altogether, while helping to strengthen the immune system and prevent future viruses at the same time. When homeopathic medicines are ingested, rather than masking the symptoms to offer temporary relief, these remedies work to strengthen the body and create a balance that helps the body to heal itself.

Homeopathic Cold Remedies

There are dozens of homeopathic cold remedies to choose from, and they should be selected according to the specific symptoms being exhibited by the body. For example, some homeopathic cold remedies, such as Belladona, are best taken at the first sign of illness, for colds that come on suddenly. Others, such as Rhus tox, are given during the second stage of illness, when nasal discharge has changed from clear and watery to a thick, green-tinged mucous. The most popular types of homeopathic cold remedies are:

  • Allium cepa
  • Arsenicum album
  • Belladona
  • Dulcamara
  • Gelsemium
  • Nux vomica
  • Pulsatilla
  • Rhus tox

The type of homeopathic remedy that you choose should be based on your specific symptoms and what stage the cold is n at the time. Here are some things to remember when using homeopathic cold remedies:

  • A homeopathic physician will be able to prescribe the proper treatment after evaluating your condition.
  • If you are not under the treatment of a physician and are attempting to treat yourself with homeopathic remedies, speak with the clerk at the health store where you are purchasing your remedy. Although they are not physicians, many of these clerks have received some level of training and may be able to assist you with your decision.
  • Most manufacturers of these remedies will include instructions and will list what type of symptoms the remedies should be used to treat.

Are They Safe For Everyone?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), homeopathic remedies used under the guidance and supervision of trained professionals is typically considered safe. Because they are created with minute doses of substances, they should not cause any type adverse reactions, even in highly sensitive individuals. There are generally no side effects, and they are non-habit forming and non-addictive substances. It is safe for babies, kids, pregnant women, mothers who are breastfeeding and the elderly. However, one should consult their regular physician before trying any new form of alternative treatment, which includes homeopathic cold remedies.

With that being said, there are instances in which taking homeopathic cold remedies may have undesirable effects. For example, taking the wrong remedy that is not specific to the symptoms being exhibited can result in unwanted symptoms that can slow healing. If you have any doubts about whether the type of remedy you have chosen is the proper one for your symptoms, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with an experienced Homeopath. If you are unable to do so, consider making an appointment with your health care provider and bringing the homeopathic remedy with you. Although your physician may not be trained in homeopathic remedies, those that are used to treat colds have been in use for many years, and chances are that your physician will know a thing or two about them.


While some support the use of homeopathy as an effective cold remedy, further study is necessary to determine such health claims. Also, homeopathic remedies can cause the body to stimulate the cold symptoms for a short amount of time while attempting to achieve a healthy body balance. When this occurs, some individuals may feel a temporary worsening of their cold symptoms. This is a normal effect and generally subsides very quickly. However, one should always consult with his or her physician before trying a homeopathic cold remedy.


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