Friday, October 19, 2007

Common Flu Remedies

Common Flu Remedies

This is general information only. These remedies should be used only under the guidance of a trained homeopath. Please call my office if you have any questions. 617-388-5126

Aconite – Acute conditions arising from shock, coming on suddenly and with great intensity. Often indicated during the early phase of respiratory infections, influenza, and pneumonia. There is a sudden, marked heat with fever alternating with chills. Heat and flushing to the face, pupils constricted, restlessness, thirst for cold drinks, cold extremities, and often with great anxiety and fear.

Baptisia – confusion, dullness of mind, tired, may fall asleep while talking. Sore, aching, and heavy muscles… bruised feeling where the patient is uncomfortable in any position. The bed feels too hard (Arnica). Can have red, inflamed throat that is painless.

Belladonna – Start suddenly with high fevers and great intensity of physical symptoms. The face is red and hot, eyes glisten, the pupils are dilated and the feet and hands are cold. Typically the patient is thristless. Pains can be throbbing. Symptoms may be worse on right side. May have fits of delirium with the fever.

Eucalyptus – Relapsing fevers. Profuse catarrhal discharges, foul and fetid. Vertigo with all stages of the fever. Stuffed up sensation in nose, feeling of mucus in throat. Irritating cough with flu. Odorous perspiration.

Eupatorium Perfoliatum – Tremendous bone pains accompanying fevers. Aching as if the bones are broken. Thirst for cold drinks during the chill. Influenza with high fevers. Patient is typically restless with the extreme pains. Pains worse lying down. Vomits water or food that has been taken in. Little or no sweat with fever, but perspiration typically improves symptoms. Restless, but worse with motion. Better with vomiting, better with conversation.

Gelsemium – Weakness on all levels- mental, emotional, and physical. Overall sense of heaviness. Thirstless. Dizzy, drowsy, dullness, and trembling. Better with urination. Fever with absence of thirst.

Rhus Toxicodendron – Influenza with much aching forcing the patient to shift around constantly. Great restlessness. Better with continued motion. Better with hard pressure. Better from heat or a hot bath.

Sanguinaria – Generally right sided complaints. Better from eructaion, flatus, or vomiting. Painful cough, colds often move to the chest. Cough better from vomiting. Feet hot at night, must put out from under the covers. Flushes of heat rising into the face and head.

Veratrum Album – Profuse cold sweat, especially on forehead. Internal coldness and much worse from cold. Weakness and collapse states, especially with vomiting or diarrhea. Sudden urging with vomiting or diarrhea. Emotionally haughty. Voracious appetite and thirst.

*synthesized from the Concordant Materia Medica, by Frans Vermeulen and from the Desktop Guide to Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms, by Roger Morrison, M.D.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Innate Healing and Naturopathic Philosophy

Once again, I was out on the town in Cambridge this past weekend visiting a local health food store. I enjoy these opportunities to talk to customers about their health and the potential for healing, often supported by the available herbs, homeopathics, and supplements. I am frequently amazed and sometimes impressed, by the customers own grasp of health and healing. And then there are the times I am amazed and not so impressed. This weekend provided a bit of both.
There was a woman that was in the store and we began to discuss her recently broken arm. She had fallen three weeks earlier and shattered her wrist. I am not sure which bones, but she said she required plates and the doctors were recommending that she attend physical therapy to support healing so that she would have continued use of the arm. She did not want to go, instead preferring to allow the body to heal itself. She shared her belief that the body should heal itself if given the right foods and listening to your internal instincts. She asked me what I thought.
I expressed my concern that fibrosis and adhesions that can form during the healing process can severely limit future use. It is not advisable to leave an injury totally immobile. I would use homeopathics and hydrotherapy in addition to the physical therapy to help facilitate the healing process in the body.
This answer was totally unacceptable to her. I was accused of being to "western" in my medical beliefs. When I tried to elaborate on Naturopathic philosophy, I believe she directed an expletive toward me and then walked off to allow her wrist to fibrosis as she wanted.
I am not sure what she wanted to hear. But I am sorry that we couldn't meet somewhere in the middle. I respect her desire to allow the body its own healing process. I too, desire to allow the body its own healing process. But as a Naturopathic Doctor, I believe we can support and enhance these actions with specifically selected treatments. The body does have an innate ability to right imbalance. We are striving constantly towards a state of equilibrium. I guess we could sit back and expect this all to happen despite the influences that are beyond our control. Or, we can make those little changes, do those little things to make it that much easier for the process to happen. Would using alternating hydrotherpy, hot and cold baths, to support circulation to an inflamed tissue area be an acceptable treatment? For me and the vast majority of my patients, Yes. But for the woman in the health food store this past weekend it would be too much.
I hope she heals well and finds the support she is seeking to validate her beliefs. I feel fortunate to already be comfortable with my healing philosophy and to share those beliefs with patients that are willing to pursue their own ideals.