When the flu strikes. Think Homeopathy!
Sally Tamplin DSH, PCH, MARH
The flu is a hot topic, the newspapers; television and radio broadcasts are continuously informing us everyday about the increasing number of people who are
succumbing to the virus. In a few areas we are hearing about the closure and disinfecting
of schools. Some people are beginning to panic because they have not had a flu shot and
now we are informed that there is a national shortage of vaccine. There is also some
debate as to whether or not the vaccine includes this year’s flu strain. Vaccination is a
controversial topic amongst the homeopathic community but beyond the scope of this
Over many centuries medical practitioners have always noted that in any epidemic there are always a number of people, who despite exposure, never seem to get
sick. These people seem to have stronger constitutions and are less susceptible.
Unfortunately, many of us have weaker constitutions, and we are asking ourselves what
we can do to keep the flu at bay this year. For most of us if we do get sick it is not likely
to be a life-threatening problem, there will simply be the inconvenience of a few days off
work or school. However, there are growing numbers of people who are immune
compromised and for them an encounter with this year’s flu may land them in hospital or
prove to be life threatening.
As a classical homeopath, one of my main priorities is to inform the general
public about this wonderful system of medicine that can help the body to heal quickly
and without the toxic side effects of conventional medications. However, few people
understand the principles and practice of homeopathy. Most people that I encounter at my
public speaking engagements confuse homeopathy with herbalism. Homeopathic
remedies come from different sources and although many are derived from plants there
are a number of remedies that come from the animal and mineral kingdoms. The FDA
regulates the manufacture of all homeopathic remedies sold within the United States.
The interesting point about these remedies is that they are made in a way that renders them so dilute that in most cases there is nothing of the original substance in the
pill. As a result of this process there is no danger of toxic substances building up in the
body and producing unwanted side effects. Homeopathy is probably the safest type of
medicine that you will ever find. Many people say that homeopathy must work because
of the placebo effect. The truth is that no one has been able to explain exactly how the
remedies work but for the past twenty years veterinary medicine has contributed to the
development of homeopathy. It has shown that this system of healing works on animals
that are unaware of what they are taking.
I have a six-year-old dachshund that took a turn for the worse this summer, he developed a right-sided herniated disc and suddenly his back legs became paralyzed. The
prognosis was extremely poor for him. I gave him a homeopathic remedy specific to this
problem for over a period of three months. I am delighted to say that according to the vet
he has made a 98% recovery and now he wants to play tag when I get home from work!
Homeopathic remedies are prescribed according to the Law of Similars.this law
states, “ That which makes sick shall heal.” This means that the symptoms caused by
an overdose of a substance are the symptoms that can also be cured by a small dose of
that same substance. As an example, we know that when we cut up an onion most people
experience an acrid runny nose, soreness in the throat and stinging runny eyes. A
homeopath will prescribe Allium Cepa, this is the homeopathic remedy made from the
onion for the individual who has a cold and a sore throat with these symptoms. Therefore,
homeopathy uses medicines prepared from natural substances that are similar to the
illness in contrast to conventional or allopathic medicine, which treats and often
suppresses the patient’s symptoms with large amounts of drugs, which have the opposite
A well chosen remedy acts as a signal, which energizes or stimulates the body’s
self healing powers, mobilizing the defense systems and working on all aspects of the
body, mental, emotional and physical. Homeopathic literature, both past and present,
documents cases, sometimes of severe pathology, that have been cured or significantly
helped by homeopathy.
Since its discovery, two hundred years ago, homeopathy has provoked much controversy, criticism, acclaim and impassioned support. It is interesting to note that
during the 1918 flu pandemic large numbers of people sought homeopathic care and were
restored to good health, in many cases their life was saved.24, 000 cases were treated
with conventional medicine and the mortality rate was 28.2%. 26,000 cases of the flu
were treated with homeopathy; there was a mortality rate of 1.05%
A homeopathic remedy is prescribed upon the totality of an individual’s symptoms taken from the mental, emotional and the physical levels. The homeopathic
Materia Medica has well over 3,500 remedies. There is no one remedy that is specific to
the flu because individuals will manifest symptoms in different ways that are unique to
them. The most important point to remember about homeopathy is that it treats the
individual. However, I have selected a number of the more common remedies that have
proved to be useful in flu outbreaks. Please read the remedy picture carefully and select
the one, which seems to fit the picture of the individual whom you are caring for. The
remedies can be purchased from local health food stores, Twin City Co - ops, Byerly’s
and Lund’s stores and Present Moment Books and Herbs in Minneapolis. Generally they
are available in low potencies.
? I would recommend that you purchase either 12c or 30c potencies but whatever
potency is available will suffice.
? The remedy comes in the form of small sugar pills that are easily dissolved on
the tongue, do not eat or drink approximately 15 –30 minutes before and after the
? The doses can be repeated frequently in an acute illness but as soon as
symptoms improve it is very important to stop the remedy.
? If you select a remedy and take several doses but there is no improvement,
review the symptoms and select another remedy that seems to fit the current
? Usually the most important symptoms are how the individual feels mentally
and emotionally. Consider what things make the individual feel better or
? It is important to only take one remedy at a time.
? Children, adults and senior citizens can safely use homeopathic remedies, they
are not intrinsically dangerous but they are powerful and must be treated with
care and respect. Store the remedies in a cool, dark place away from strong
? The remedies can be safely used in conjunction with conventional medication;
there is no known interaction.
? It is extremely important to work in conjunction with your licensed health care
provider if symptoms are causing concern. When the patient’s condition requires
serious conventional treatment, homeopathy often helps to speed up the healing
process and it can enable a reduction in the dosages of conventional drugs and
decrease the unwanted side effects.
Prevention is the best remedy.
No one wants to be sick this holiday season, the obvious precautions are to look after
ourselves, this means good nutrition, regular exercise and an appropriate amount of sleep.
Washing the hands regularly helps to reduce the spread of infection, and if sickness
strikes it is better to stay at home and to use a handkerchief or tissues. The homeopathic
remedy Influenzinum can be used as a preventative. It can be taken once a month during
the flu season and more often if contact is made with someone suffering from the flu.
Many homeopathic pharmacies make it fresh from that year’s flu vaccine. Some
homeopaths say that it is more effective than the conventional flu shot and without any
side effects. Studies in England and India between 1968 and 1970 using homeopathic
Influenzinum as a preventative showed that this remedy was highly effective at
preventing the flu.
If the flu does strike your household here are some useful remedies to have on hand:
? Aconite: Flu with great restlessness and worry.
This remedy is useful if the flu symptoms came on very suddenly, especially after
exposure to a dry, cold wind, infection or from an emotional shock or fright. There is
a high fever, sore throat and feeling of great worry and fear. The individual is very
restless and they feel better in the fresh air. They are worse in a warm room, in the
evening or at night, when exposed to tobacco smoke or near music
? Baptisia: Flu with high fever and a feeling of being bruised all over.
This remedy is useful for flu that comes on suddenly and the individual feels bruised and sore all over, the body and limbs feel as if they are scattered and all in bits.
There is profuse sweating with a high fever and an intense thirst. The face is dull red
in color and people who need this remedy look dazed and sluggish as if they may
fall asleep at any time. This remedy is also for gastric flus with vomiting and diarrhea.
? Belladonna: Flu with a high fever, face is red and pupils dilated.
This remedy is useful when a very high fever comes on suddenly usually as a result of exposure to infection or from the head getting cold, wet, or overheated. The face is
flushed and bright red, the throat is sore, the eyes are wide and staring and the pupils
dilated, there is possible confusion and delirium. The individual feels better when they stand or sit upright and in a warm room. They are worse from any noise or bright
light or movement. They are worse from lying down and at night and symptoms tend
to affect the right side of their body.
? Bryonia: Flu with a severe, throbbing headache, wants to be left alone.
This remedy is useful for a flu that comes on slowly, they ache all over and the
remedy tends to be characterized by a violent headache that is made worse by
coughing or by even slightly moving the eyes. The headache feels better if firm
pressure is applied and they can sleep. There is dehydration and a need to drink lots
of fluids at infrequent intervals. They feel very irritable, and want to be left alone
and at home. They may be worrying about financial problems. They feel worse from any excitement, noise, touch, movement or bright light, from eating and
coughing and at around 3am and 9pm.
? Eupatorium Perfoliatum: Flu with a feeling that the bones are broken.
This remedy is for the most terrible of all flus. The pains are so severe that it actually feels as if the bones are broken. The muscles ache and feel sore and bruised.
The individual moans and groans and everything hurts. They feel worse for any kind
of movement. They have a bursting headache and sore eyes. There is a lot of sneezing,
the nose is runny, the chest is sore and coughing makes the head hurt. These people
want ice-cold water although it brings on violent chills in the small of the back. They
don’t sweat much but when they do they feel better except for the head.
? Gelsemium: Flu with chills and paralytic weakness.
This tends to be the number 1 flu remedy. In contrast to Aconite, Baptisia and
Belladonna the symptoms of Gelsemium come on slowly after exposure to infection or as a result of worrying about a forthcoming task or event such as a public
speaking engagement. There is a sore throat and chills, which run up and down the
spine. They may have a splitting headache, which is better after urinating. There is a
general feeling of fatigue, the legs feel weak and shaky and they just want to lie in
bed. The eyelids are droopy, the head feels heavy and they may have double vision.
There is pain felt in the bones. Although they may have a fever they do not sweat and
they are not thirsty. They feel better in the fresh air, when moving around and
bending forward. They feel worse in the early morning and last thing at night, in the
sun, and when exposed to tobacco smoke.
Never well since the flu?
Sometimes people get over a bout of the flu but never feel that they have completely recovered. If this is the case consider using the remedy Influenzinum.A
single dose of the 30c potency is usually all that is required to rectify the situation.
There are many remedies that can be self-prescribed for minor ailments and in a
first aid situation; in acute cases a well-chosen homeopathic remedy acts quickly and well. Homeopathy also has an excellent track record of being able to help more chronic
conditions from ADD, ADHD and chronic fatigue syndrome to asthma, excema, allergies
and ear infections to name just a few. If you are impressed with the results of
homeopathy consider seeing a professional homeopath. If you or a loved one is suffering
from a chronic health problem it generally takes the considerable expertise of a
professional homeopath to find a suitable remedy and to manage the case. There is a
strong homeopathic community in the Twin Cities as well as an excellent school of
Sally Tamplin comes from the UK; she is a graduate of The School of Homeopathy in
England and a graduate of the Dynamis School of Advanced Homeopathy. Sally is also a
member of The Alliance of Registered Homeopaths (UK). She served as Executive
Director of The Minnesota Homeopathic Association for four years.
Sally’s homeopathic consulting business, Alternative Horizons LLC, is based in Illinois
and Minnesota. If you would like to find out more about Alternative Horizons please call:
(708) 784 - 9397
(Copyright SL Tamplin)