The Flu

Well, I’ve been looking for time to write this post for the past two weeks, to no avail, no-fat-on-my-operation, no time when I wasn’t actively working on clients’ cases or caring for my children. Tonight was actually a night when we had a babysitter, we were going to go out to a friend’s place for dinner, etc. and THEN….

Daughter #1 came down with the flu. She’s asleep on the couch right now, in fact. I figured, no time like the present then to write my influenza post.

There are a lot of scare tactics employed these days when it comes to the flu, and I think that’s mainly because it’s a virus, and western medicine doesn’t have a cure for it, other than what we all did in the old days – rest, fluids, rest, fluids, rest, fluids and more rest and fluids. Those two elements are super important, and a good homeopathic remedy combined with rest and fluids can turn this dreadful disease from a 5-7 day illness into a 12 or 24 hour one.

I thought I’d share the remedies that I’ve been using that seem to be making a difference. I’d be curious to hear what other homeopaths are noticing, as I have only four subjects so far, starting with myself.  Two weeks ago I found myself on the subway going to a music rehearsal, and felt extremely nauseous getting off the train. I am prone to a certain amount of motion sickness and thought it could be because I sat in a backward facing chair on the train car, but before I knew it, I was sitting on a couch in the rehearsal studio unable to move. I’d also bought chicken soup on the way in, thinking it would help stabilize me, but I could barely eat any of it; I was steadily becoming more and more nauseous. My husband dutifully went to the corner drugstore and picked me up some oscillococcinum, the homeopathic remedy made from the flu virus, and I took a whole vial under the tongue. Oddly, I found myself 10 minutes later able to stand up and start setting up my guitar, etc. My husband asked if I wanted to sit and play, and I opted to stand. This told me my energy had totally changed, and by the middle of the 2 hour rehearsal, I felt completely back to normal. That remedy, when taken early for true flu symptoms, works like a charm. I’ve used it twice in my life to this effect and can’t sing it’s praises highly enough, but it must be taken as soon as there are symptoms or it will not be effective.

The next day, I had a lingering headache, for which I took Gelsemium Sempervirens. This remedy, though effective for a range of symptoms and situations, is also a known flu remedy. A flu needing gelsemium will be of slower onset, and characterized by an extreme heaviness, just listlessness. Arms are so heavy it just feels impossible to even lift them. Eyelids are heavy, too heavy to keep open. Weakness, weakness, weakness. I frankly didn’t take the time to look at my own symptoms too closely and just took Gelsemium for what I felt was an unfinished flu and luckily my headache went away.

Two days later, a client of mine called me with extreme weakness, swollen neck glands and felt she was coming down with the flu. I instructed her to take oscillo first, which helped her, then followed with Gelsemium. She felt much, much better after that. A day later she said while her sickness symptoms had abated on Gelsemium, she still felt extremely tired. After repeating Gels a bunch of times, I looked at her symptoms again and prescribed Phosphoric Acid. She reported the next day feeling an energy that she hadn’t felt in quite a while, even on a constitutional level.

Meanwhile, this client’s 6 year old daughter had fallen into compete exhaustion that evening, and this is VERY unlike her! I know this from having treated her in my practice for the past few years, she has vitality. So though I probably could’ve gone straight to Gelsemium and skipped the Oscillo, I was hesitant to mess with the cocktail that had been working for the others. Oscillo first, then followed by Gelsemium, repeating every 15 minutes for 2 hours.

I do not generally prescribe one to take a remedy with such frequency, but when it comes to an acute illness as strong as the flu, I am relentless. My former homeopath, Tina Quirk, is retired from private practice now, but she used to say, ‘When there’s an acute, we want to chase it away.’ I always recall that when something as tenacious and painful as the flu strikes! We want to chase it right out of the schoolyard.

The 6 year old girl was better the very next morning. My client called me saying that she could not believe the difference between her daughter’s state the prior night and her energy and vitality that morning. We were both elated, HOWEVER, by afternoon, we realized we’d celebrated a little too soon; the little girl was complaining of a sore throat, tickling like a feather, worse on swallowing, and extreme tiredness like her mother’s. I suggested one dose of Phosphoric Acid for her, as it covered all the symptoms she described, and that evening, she was back to normal.

So naturally I’ve done the Oscillo/Gelsemium combination tonight with my daughter who is currently sleeping on the couch. All I can say so far is that her fever went from 102.4 to 99 after 3 sips of diluted Gelsemium, and I’ll report in on what transpires.