Homoeopathy in Cold, Cough and Flu – I

The common cold is known medically as coryza. It is a viral infection of the lining of the nose, throat and chest. It is usually mild, with symptoms lasting about one week or less. Over 200 different viruses are responsible for cold symptoms, including rhinoviruses, whose 100 different varieties cause most colds in early fall, spring and summer, and corona viruses, which cause most colds in the winter and early spring. Most colds occur during the fall and winter when people tend to spend more time indoors, making it easier for viruses to spread from person to person. Colds are also more common in winter because viruses survive better in the low humidity environment of winter. In addition, cold weather dries out the nasal passages, making the sinuses vulnerable to viral infections.

The symptom picture normally goes through a number of stages as the disorder progresses. Its symptoms are sneezing, discharge from the nose and eyes, and often sore and reddened eyes. It differs from influenza in that there is no bone pain, less prostration, and less sweat. 

In homeopathic treatment the colour and effect of the discharges are important, as well as the influences that make the disorder better or worse.
Stages1. Mucous membrane inflammation and pain: Discharge is absent or minimal.
2. Running nose, clear and more profuse, changing to white as the disorder progresses. 
There is eye involvement and sneezing.
3. Discharge thickening in texture, and moving from white to yellow.
4. Discharge yellow to yellow-green.

The homeopathic treatment of colds is very effective and can stop a cold at any stage. Since colds can have different symptom pictures, careful prescribing is necessary. As general winter treatment, Vitamin C is useful in preventing infection and hastening recovery.

To build up the general health after a cold, Calc phos 6x, a tissue salt is prescribed.

Colds Stage 1:
Mucous membrane inflammation and pain: Discharge is absent or minimal. In the very early stages, where there is the sensation of icy cold, but no fever. Nose stopped, dry and contracted. The head aches in front.
After exposure to dry cold; not much running of the nose, but burning and pricking of the throat, restlessness and heat, obvious fever. Anxiety, apprehension and fear.
High temperature with sudden onset, dry mucous membranes and great congestion of the nose and throat. Profuse sweating, restlessness, flushed face.

Nat mur 6x: 
A tissue salt, for a cold beginning with sneezing.

Ferrum phos 6x:  
A tissue salt, for painful, dry or moist cough. May have sneezing, but no other discharges. Feverishness; face pale or flushed, pulse is rapid.

The nose remains dry and obstructed; headache over the root of the nose persists, and is aggravated by motion. The lips are dry and there is considerable thirst for water in large amounts, but not particularly often.

Nux vomica: 
The nose is dry and blocked at night, flowing in the morning and in a warm room, with a sore throat. Shivering if uncovered, can’t get warm enough, wants warm drinks, very irritable.

Colds Stage 2:
Allium cepa: 
Running of the nose, clear and more profuse, changing to white as the disorder progresses. Eye involvement. 

Sneezing: Symptoms of Hay fever. Clear, profuse and acrid discharge from the nose, corroding the nostrils and upper lip, with heat and burning. Eyes are suffused and watery, tears are bland. There is sneezing and headache.

Tears are burning and acrid, the nasal discharge bland. Conjunctivitis, worse from light; the patient often dabs at the eyes repeatedly. The coryza is worse at night, in a warm room, and from lying down; better in the fresh air.

Thin, watery, nasal discharge irritating the upper lip, but better in a warm room. The discharge is more burning in character; the throat also burns. The patient may feel intensely hot, yet craves heat—hot drinks, hot rooms, hot applications—and is restless, always worse around midnight.

Kali mur 6x: 
A tissue salt, for white mucus discharge, with stuffiness and congestion.

Nat mur: 
Often good for treating a cold that begins by sneezing. Abundant tears and nasal discharge, clear and watery or thick and white like the white of an egg, either raw or cooked, sneezing is violent, paroxysmal, loss of smell and taste, dry cracked lips, cold sores about lips and nose.

Colds Stage 3:
Discharge thickening in texture, and moving from white to yellow. Bland, thick yellow discharges, often at the end of a head cold. The nose is stopped up indoors and at night, discharging in the open air. There is often a loss of smell and taste. The lips are chapped and peel easily; patient has a dry mouth with no thirst and a generally poor appetite. Better in open air, and worse from heat.

Rhus tox: 
Violent coryza, with red swollen throat, hoarse, raw and rough voice, better after beginning to talk. Thick yellow, offensive mucus, sneezing and coughing. Thirst for cold drinks, especially at night, but generally better from heat.

For colds that invariably spread to the throat, or where every sore throat ends in a cold. There is constant, profuse salivation with intense thirst, bad breath and bad taste in the mouth. The nasal discharge is thin, with sneezing, watering of the eyes and a sore throat that stings and pricks, making swallowing difficult. The nostrils can be red, raw and ulcerated. Often there is a profuse, offensive sweat, which does not relieve the symptoms.

Kali sulph 6x:
A tissue salt, where discharge is yellow, patient has desire for fresh air.

Colds Stage 4:
Hepar sulph: 
Discharge yellow to yellow-green. Takes cold at slightest exposure to fresh air, generally unhealthy. Nose blocks on going outside, with a thin, irritating discharge, yellow to yellow-green in color. A sore throat usually accompanies the discharge, is very sensitive to touch and drafts, often with the sensation of a splinter there. Sometimes a loose and barking cough, usually worse at night. Cold sores are common.

Calc sulph 6x:  
A tissue salt, for yellow discharges changing to yellow-green, profuse and intermittent, slimy and tenacious, sometimes tinged with blood.

Kali bich: 
Catarrh, with thick yellow (or green), stringy, ropy discharge, or tough and jelly-like; can be drawn into long strings.
Stringy, yellow, nasal discharge, sticky and tenacious.

—to be contd.