There’s a saying “whoever finds the cure for a cold should bury it” because colds give us a chance to get the rest we need and deserve. Remember it next time you get sick: instead of popping a painkiller and pushing through an unproductive day of work, take a couple of days of rest and recovery along with a well chosen natural homeopathic remedy to build resilience over the long term.
Since we are all made differently, with our unique biochemistry and our own way of expressing our symptoms, homeopathic medicines work best when given according to the unique symptoms we experience. I usually recommend a 30ch potency, since it’s widely available and tends to work fast. Start by repeating frequently, every couple of hours for 3 or 4 doses and then continue 3 times daily as symptoms improve. Stop when you’re feeling better.
At the beginning of a cold, these are my top picks
Natrum muriaticum 30ch is a great choice if the cold starts with sneezing. William Boericke, a homeopath with a lot of experience a century ago said it was “infallible for stopping a cold that starts with sneezing” – and I’ve seen it stop a cold in its tracks over a century later. Also consider Natrum muriaticum 30ch when the mucous is the consistency of egg white, the eyes stream and within a few days, the nose becomes stuffed. It’s a good remedy for the loss of smell and taste with a cold. Fever blisters around the lips can also be remedied with Natrum muriaticum if caught early. The picture above could well be a picture of a Natrum muriaticum type cold.
Arsenicum album 30ch is for a head cold that drips constantly, with clear mucous which burns the nasal passages and the upper lip. Symptoms are worse at night and the person needing Arsenicum tends to feel exceptionally chilly, overall miserable and restless with a need to keep things tidy. While the latter symptom is not necessary to give the remedy, when it fits it’s a nice confirmation – often the person will feel unusually anxious. You’ll find someone needing Arsenicum album continually sipping warm drinks to soothe.
Nux vomica 30ch rivals Arsenicum album for a head cold. Like Arsenicum album, the cause of the cold may be overwork and lack of sleep, and the person feels super chilly and wants to be wrapped up, sipping warm drinks. In this case though, symptoms tend to be worse in the morning on waking and cause headaches which feel more like a hangover, with a sensitivity to noise and light. The nose typically runs during the day but is dry and stuffy at night. Sleep is often elusive, especially after waking around 3 am with thoughts of all the things that need doing. Nux vomica is a good student’s remedy for that reason.
For later stages of a head cold or sinus infection, you may need to switch to a new remedy:
Hepar sulphuris calcareum 30ch or Hepar Sulph is a fantastic remedy for head colds when the sinuses are sore and achy from exposure to cold weather. In fact, the least exposure to cold causes pain – and the person will bundle up, wearing scarves and a toque if needing to go outdoors. The nasal cavity fills up with yellow or green mucous and there is pressure that is sensitive to touch. There is copious mucous, and if there is a cough it’s loose.
Pulsatilla 30ch is for a head cold when the mucous turns yellow and green like Hepar Sulph, but you can’t confuse the two because the person who needs Pulsatilla feels better outdoors and in the open air, and feels suffocated in a closed room. It’s often useful for clingy velcro kids or women – and men – who tend to run warm, like company and need looking after.
Kalium bichromicum 30ch or Kali bich is THE sinus remedy when a sinus infection threatens. While it’s not the only sinus remedy, it’s by far my favourite. Typically the mucous is stringy and sticky and plugs up the sinuses, making breathing difficult. Pains are felt either in a very small spot at the root of the nose, above the eyebrows or in the face – basically anywhere there’s a sinus cavity. While there is yellow and green mucous, it usually doesn’t come out easily, and blowing your nose may seem futile.
Fall not only brings warm days and cold nights but also the susceptibility to viral infections. Add to that the fact that we’ve all been self-isolating these past few years and it’s no surprise that we need a little more help this year. Homeopathy not only helps strengthen the body’s resilience, it eases suffering and shortens the duration of a cold. Another benefit is that it is entirely non-toxic, there are no by-products in the manufacturing process and it’s entirely safe for the planet. If you need to take medications, there is no conflict either.
A final note
Colds can be hard to treat yourself, especially when they linger or turn into sinus trouble – if you’re struggling, reach out to your homeopath for the best fit. Just a few appointments of constitutional homeopathic prescribing helps make sure your body recovers more fully the next time you get sick and helps create resilience, so you are less susceptible. Find out more at www.vancouverhomeopath.com