Every winter media outlets report pandemic warnings on that particular year’s influenza strain. If you’re like most people, your social media feed is littered with daily stories of illness stats and even death.
The solution provided isn’t a variety of well-researched options for flu prevention and treatment with the overall goal being a strong immune system.
Myths, confusion, and fear around the yearly influenza risks can leave you not knowing how to prevent and treat the flu, but also panic-stricken at the onset of reported symptoms.
What Is Influenza?
Influenza (or simply, the flu) is often a catch-all for any winter virus or illness that makes people feel lousy, keeps them from work and play, and has miserable symptoms including cough, sore throat, fever, body aches, fatigue, and even vomiting (people mistakenly refer to this as the “stomach flu” which is usually a gastrointestinal illness completely separate from influenza).
Influenza isn’t just one virus. There are many strains and flu viruses that people can pick up. And “flu season” is just the winter months when people are indoors more and in close proximity where transmission is easier.
The flu is often mixed up with other conditions like bronchitis, sinusitis and the common cold. And because it’s a virus, antibiotics are useless in treating it. If diagnosed early, anti-viral drugs are available but they have limited effectiveness and concerning side effects - sometimes worse than the flu itself.
Symptoms of this ailment go far beyond the common cold:
- Bodily aches and pains
- Sore throat
- Chest congestion
- Extreme fatigue
In the very young and in senior citizens with compromised immunity, this is a serious condition that might be fatal. For most people, if you get the flu, it’s a nasty experience and you feel awful, but you’re able to ride it out and maybe treat your symptoms with over-the-counter medications.
But what if there is another way? Well there has been… for well over a century.
An option that can help kick out the flu at its first onset so your immune system knocks it out completely on its own, or lessens the severity of symptoms and duration without side effects, letting you get back to your life with a stronger immune system in the process.
Most doctors, and certainly all the media outlets covering each year’s influenza news aren’t aware of the efficacy of natural or homeopathic treatments. If they are, they haven’t seen the evidence and have dismissed alternatives altogether as woo-woo fake medicine.
The truth is that homeopathy has a strong track record against this oppressive--and sometimes fatal--illness.
Defeating the flu is a relative victory. Where viruses often elude effective treatment from conventional medicine, homeopathic remedies often prove superior.
In 1918, the flu virus reached an epidemic scope in the United States: of those treated with homeopathic means, only 1.05 percent died; of those to whom conventional treatments were administered, 30 percent passed away.
Homeopathy has been effectively used to treat the flu for more than 100 years.
Common Homeopathic Remedies to Treat Influenza
In short, the organic nature of homeopathic treatments make the body stronger and the symptoms weaker. Thus, an alternative practitioner is likely to target the medicine to where the indications are the most intense. For example, a patient who complains of chest congestion and severe thirst might receive a dose of Phosphorus. If fever is the dominant manifestation, then Aconite—coming from a flower known commonly as wolfsbane—might be prescribed. Some of these naturally occurring substances are appropriately diluted since they can be toxic in their original concentrations.
For recent influenza strains the following remedies and symptom presentations that they would be have been particularly effective:
- Arsenicum album - if nausea/vomiting is present and patient feels worse with exposure to cold. They feel intense thirst despite only tolerate sips of water.These people feel restless and worry about being sicker than they are, feeling worse near midnight and when alone.
- Bryonia - when body aches that get worse when moving are predominant symptoms that accompany headache in their forehead and dry cough, dry/chapped lips, who feel thirsty for cold water. These people feel warm, but don’t want to be in a warm room. They also are more irritable around people and want to be left alone.
- Gelsemium - for fatigue and feeling weak, heavy, and shaky, these people may feel like their eyes are heavy and hard to open. They experience chills, a headache in the back of the head, and don’t feel thirsty in the same way the other remedy pictures portray.
- Rhus toxicodendron - when a patient has muscle aches that feel better when they are able to move and feel restless especially at night. Thirsty for a few sips of water with a sore throat, and may even develop a cold sore.
Although scientific research in this area has only just begun, the initial results are encouraging. Because the medical establishment casts a wary eye toward homeopathic practice, particularly in North America, money for research does not yet abound. However, the British Homeopathic Association points to over 100 papers documenting randomized placebo-controlled trials that vastly favor positive results for homeopathic treatments over negative.
If conventional means failed against the virus in 1918, how are they doing a century later? Given the new strains that are continually emerging, traditional physicians are struggling to keep up.
The CDC’s own efficacy statistics, show that the rate of effective protection from the flu strains that they have identified as being the most prevalent and significant, has not surpassed 38%. And some years it is as low as 19% and lower in the specific populations it is most recommended to protect (ie. senior citizens).
The National Institute of Health accurately describes the problem in a 2008 study: "Unfortunately, confidence in the potential benefits of antivirals is tempered by the possibility of their improper use (and potentially their overuse), which could perhaps result in lessened benefit to the individual, and pose an enhanced risk that a resistant virus will emerge in the population."
Homeopathy, since the early 1900’s, has been creating it’s own annual flu prevention in the form of Influenzinum. When studied in 1998, prophylactic treatment with a homeopathic preparation called Influenzinum resulted in 90% of patients NOT contracting the flu that year and without side effects.
While it’s true that influenza can be a serious respiratory illness with varying long-term outcomes dependent on age, immune system, and access to treatment options, for most, it is a recoverable infection that responds to rest and fluids. However, it can keep you ill for weeks and can become serious, so having a variety of treatment options to reduce the risks and either prevent it taking hold or improve your healing time is important. In addition to all the usual prevention techniques like hand washing, proper nutrition, exercise and other immune boosting strategies - fortifying the physiology against the affliction may be a superior strategy to avoid lethal pandemics in the future.
Treating the flu homeopathically is an excellent strategy when symptoms first appear and having a relationship with a classically trained homeopath who can give professional advice for your individual symptom presentation is the best way to get the most accurate remedy to combat influenza at any time of year.
Written by T Miller
[This article is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for medical advice by a licensed physician. Always consult with a doctor for your health complaints. The opinions and views expressed in this article are the author’s own, and do not, necessarily reflect the view of Jackson’s Naturals.]