Homeopathy for coughs and colds- A study of 500 patients treated by 30 practitioners in four countries showed a response rate of 82.6% in the homeopathy group compared to 67.3% in the group receiving conventional medicine for the treatment of respiratory complaints .
Riley D, Fischer M, Singh B, Haidvogl M, Heger M. Homeopathy and conventional medicine: an outcomes study comparing effectiveness in a primary care setting. J Altern Complement Med 2001; 7: 149-159.
Homeopathy can be a very useful tool when treating coughs and colds and may provide the gentle remedy for your cough and cold. Homeopathy can be a great addition to give your immune system a much needed boost, it’s a healthy alternative without harmful side effects whilst strengtening the immune system to withstand further attacks .
The cold, damp weather can bring infectious colds and flus our way . We spend more time indoors in central heating in closer contact with each other , in schools and in the office creates an ideal environment for the spread of colds and flu.
The common cold is caused by a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract causing inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the nose , and a watery discharge which can rapidly become thick . It can be accompanied by a moderate fever .
According to the World Health Organization ~ “Antibiotic treatment has no role in the management of children with the common cold because antibiotics do not shorten the duration of the illness and do not prevent complications or the development of pneumonia.”..
Cough decongestants ~ warning read the label !!
Many over the counter medicines for coughs and colds, including some painkillers and decongestants, are not suitable for children or patients taking certain prescription medication.
Cold sufferers should be aware that decongestants containing phenylephrine which is a common ingredient in many common over the counter degongestants such as Sudafed , Actifed cold & allergy , Lemsip Max, Benilyn to name a few,these medicines should not be taken by children under the age of 6 yrs . According to the FDA decongestants, such as phenylephrine, and pseudoephedrine, produce a narrowing of blood vessels. This leads to clearing of nasal congestion, but it is also known to cause an increase in blood pressure in patients . We need to measure carefully whether it is worth the risk. Which is more life threatening nasal congestion or raising existing high blood pressure further ? Although the warnings are clearly marked on the labels many people assume these decongestants as harmless.
These commonly used over the counter cold & flu medicines containing phenylephrine may be doing more harm than good in patients that have any of the following common complaints ;
High Blood Pressure
Practical self- help for colds
As soon as you feel the start of a cold coming on take extra Vitamin C ( 1000mg daily for a few days ). Vitamin C helps the body fight infection. People suffering from kidney stones should avoid large doses of vitamin C.
Rest as much as possible.
Plenty of fluids – hot water with fresh lemon Juice and a little honey, avoid dehyrating drinks such as coffee and strong tea, teas especially ginger and peppermint teas can be beneficial and warming .
Echinecea tincture 10 to 15 drops in water twice to 4 times daily whilst ill helps fight infection .
Keep yourself warm but not overheated .
warm light nourishing soups , add fresh garlic for its anti bacterial qualities , teas especially ginger and peppermint teas can also be beneficial.
Well indicated Homeopathic remedies will hasten the recovery if they match your symptoms .
Homeopathic remedies for Colds & Flu
Remedies may be taken safely by any patient including babies and those taking prescription medication without concerns regarding side-effects or interactions.
Below is a list of some of the more common Homeopathic remedies used to combat various cold symptoms .
Sudden onset of cold especially after exposure to dry cold winds, burning throat, chills , thirsty and possibly anxious with flushed face . Restlessness, worse at night .
Cold comes on suddenly , with a high temperature, skin hot and dry, headaches made worse by light, rightsided sore throat . Huge thirst .
Cold comes on more slowly, mild fever only esp if face is pale with red spots on cheeks , can be prone to nose bleeds . Dry hacking cough .
Early stages of cold with sneezing in morning and watery discharge like raw egg white , streamimg nose and perhaps watery eyes , blocked nose,cracked lips , cold sores. Loss of smell and taste . Person rejects sympathy and prefers to be left alone .
Catarrh is thick and yellowish green , infection spreads to ears or to throat. Feels as if a splinter is lodged in throat, person is chilly and very sensitive to draughts . Irritablity and profuse and smelly perspiration .
Cold comes on slowly over a few days like a flu with heavy head . Person feels shivery and sluggish with aching heavy limbs . Face flushed , heavy, hot sweaty. Flu-like chills up and down spine . Feels as if mowed down by a truck .
How often do I take the cold remedy ?
The above is just a short list of some of the most common remedies treating colds , if you see your symptoms clearly in one of the above remedies , try taking that particular remedy in a 30c potency every 3 hours for 3 doses .
If you find an improvement , continue with the remedy reducing how often you take it as you improve .
A typical cold might need the indicated remedy repeated 3 to 4 times on day 1, 3 times on day 2 and once or twice on day 3 always reducing as you improve . If however you find no improvement whatsoever after 3 doses it is not the correct remedy.
Self-prescribing is often difficult and the advice of a health professional trained in homeopathy will always provide the most appropriate treatment and most effective outcome.
Homeopathy for Coughs
A persistent cough can be an exhausting and irritating symptom that is sometimes left behind after a heavy cold or flu . It is important to remember why a cough is there in the first place before we reach for the the cough suppressant. Coughing is a basic reflex used by the body to rid the air passages of mucus and so a cough suppressant really only gives short term relief without tackling the chest symptoms. When we cough up phlegm we are less congested and then can breathe more easily. However quite often a coughing cycle is set up where the cough is quite unproductive and mucus is lying low . A well chosen homeopathic remedy given at this stage can give the body the necessary boost to move the cough to a more productive cough allowing mucus up and easing the congestion in the chest .There are also remedies to help with the pain in ribs caused by the contant coughing .
Practical Self help for coughs
It may seem obvious but do not swallow phlegm that you have coughed up , spit it out into a tissue and bin the tissue. Encourage children to do the same .
Do not allow the atmosphere to become too dry as this may cause excessive coughing . This is very common with central heating , do not have cental heating too high. Use a humidifier or if you don’t have one simply place bowl of water near radiators or heaters. As the water evaporates refill the bowls .
If your cough is worse at night from lying down , prop yourself up on pillows so you are not lying flat .
Steam is very effective to help loosen mucus .. especially with babies and young children sitting in a steam filled bathroom and leaning them forwards will help expell mucus.
Cut down on your intake of dairy products, milk , cheese, yogurts can contribute to chest congestion due to excess mucus .
Take a garlic supplement or add extra to your food for its antibacterial qualities.
Take Echinacea tincture 15 drops in water twice daily .
warm teas , ginger & lemon , Mint tea is helpful for irritated coughs .
Hot lemon and honey drinks will soothe a raw throat and may temporarily calm the cough .
A well chosen homeopathic remedy . Below are a few common remedies for coughs . Match your symptoms carefully .
Please note symptoms that involve difficulty breathing , rapid breathing with high temperatures and in some cases accompanied by stabbing pains may be the symptoms of pneumonia and need direct and immediate medical attention.