At this time of year doctors medical rooms and indeed my clinic fill up with people looking to combat the symptoms of cold and flu. Sore throats, blocked sinuses and general flu like symptoms become more and more prevalent as the temperature outside drops.
Each individual that comes to see me in clinic has their own symptoms that make their cold or flu both similar and different to another’s, so each of them leave with a selection of remedies that best ‘fit’ the ailments they are presenting with.
Let’s take a look at some of the people I’ve seen this week and how I’ve been able to help them.
Jess brought her young daughter to see me early on in the week, she already has some Homeopathic remedies at home and when she noticed her daughter had started to drop in energy, she gave her some Aconite, Chamomilla and Belladonna a classic combination of remedies given at the first signs of colds/flu. Her daughters symptoms had progressed however and she now had a very snotty nose and was clingy and needing her mum’s attention. Her symptoms were generally much worse when she was indoors, where her nose would block up, but going outside improved the symptoms and her mood lifted slightly. These are typical symptoms of the remedy Pulsatilla, which I gave her Mum to add to the remedy mix she was already giving her daughter 4 times a day.
Jean contacted me for her ‘usual mix’ of remedies on Tuesday. Jean had previously had a nasty reaction to the flu vaccine and has sought an alternative from me for the last 4 years. Each year Jean collects a combination of remedies from me, which she takes twice a week for the winter season. This selection of remedies and herbal support, containing well known remedies such as Echinacea and less well known ones such as Ferrum Phos which boost the immune system and the respiratory system making the likelihood of catching a cold or the flu much less likely.
A very run down Daniel visited me on Thursday with a persistent cough and what we refer to as a post nasal drip! He felt really grotty, with aching muscles, poor sleep from coughing as soon as he lay down and a lack of appetite as his throat was sore and he couldn’t really taste anything because of the post nasal drip. Daniel’s symptoms were typical of many peoples at this time of year and he required a combination of remedies to help move his symptoms along and to start to feel better. I made up a combination of remedies for him, which included Hepar Sulph for his cough and phlegm and a combination called CCA, which helps to support the respiratory system and general chesty symptoms. The combination also included Gelsemium, which has the remedy picture we associate with the aching feeling Daniel spoke of and some herbal tinctures to support his immune system.
Getting lots of fluids inside you at this time of year is also important to help stave off winter bugs.
I recommend warm water with a slice of lemon and fresh ginger, with perhaps some organic raw honey and a few drops of Echinacea tincture, drunk regularly throughout the day. This mix helps keep fluid intake up and gives the body tools to keep the bugs at bay and supports the immune system to work at its optimum.
A good quality multivitamin aimed at supporting the immune system is worth considering. I particularly like Immunovite for its belts and braces approach to supporting the whole immune system. Many of my patients stock up on my own Immune Support at this time of year. A blend of Homeopathic remedies and herbs known to support the body’s defence system.
As always, if you’d like some support with the winter bugs that are looming or would like to arrange an appointment with me, just use the contact me form.
At this time of year, many students are suffering from exam stress and exhaustion.
Ryan and his mum came to see me last week, as a year 11 student mock exams were well under way and like many teenagers, Ryan was exhausted. Since September, the school had increased the pressure to study and with weekends full of sports matches and no down time, Ryan’s body had run out of fuel.
Although there were no emotional signs of stress, sleep wasn’t a problem, although he said he sometimes felt too tired to sleep, appetite was the same, Ryan didn’t feel anxious or worried about the forthcoming year of exams, but his body was showing physical signs that it was under strain.
Ryan said his legs felt like lead, they literally didn’t want to move his body around and he generally ached all over. He’d previously been to the doctors, who’d confirmed it wasn’t Glandular Fever, the obvious thought for most teenagers feeling unwell at this age, but still Ryan had struggled to get through a day at school since returning to the new term in September.
The picture Ryan was presenting with was that of the remedy Gelsemium, a remedy widely used for colds and flu, which has the mental dullness and aching body, which Ryan had come with. I also gave Ryan a combination of Homeobotanical tinctures to boost his immune system, which had become compromised by the stress he was feeling.
Leaving the clinic room with a bag of remedies to take, Ryan was also reminded that he also needed to ensure his diet was full of good quality nutritionally dense foods and not just crisps and fizzy drinks. With the majority of the immune system being based in the gut, the quality of our food significantly affects our body’s ability to fight illness. Stress also has a detrimental effect on our immune system, so keeping ourselves emotionally healthy and letting others know when we are feeling stressed and anxious is important too!
“Aargh, I’ve got another cold sore” is something I hear regularly in clinic, mostly because word has got out that I’ve had so much success in curing them, thanks to my all singing, all dancing box of tricks!
Cold sores are in fact the herpes virus (also in this family are chicken pox, shingles and mononucleosis), which can flare up in times of stress, a low immune system, hormonal changes, sunburn or a cold/flu.
Sufferers can generally ‘feel’ a cold sore (also known as fever blister) forming as they get a sensation of tingling in the spot where the blister will appear. A couple of days later, a raw open sore will appear, which will crust over. This blister may last a few days or even weeks and can cause real discomfort as well as making the person feel self-conscious.
As a viral infection, the use of antibiotics isn’t available and many people who come to me have tried all of the over the counter medications and found no long term relief.
Roll out the box of tricks!
Over the last few years, I’ve successfully helped a number of people who have suffered from cold sores for years. All of them are now cold sore free and remain amazed that within 3 months of treatment, the virus that has plagued them for years has gone.
Homeopathically, each of my patients are given an individualised bag of remedies to take to alleviate the symptoms they have. Typically these are remedies such as Rhus Tox, which is used for fever blisters around the mouth and Nat Mur a remedy for red inflamed skin and watery blisters.
Alongside this, each patient is given a combination of Homeobotanical remedies in a tincture to support the skin, immune system and anti-viral support.
Finally and most importantly, each patient is given a 3 month supply of Red Algae from Platinum. Red Algae, found in the 1970’s has been developed into a supplement which assists the body’s immune response and plays a major role in preventing the recurrence of viruses.
This supplement has been the big game changer in supporting patients with any form of viral condition. Even patients with colds and flu viruses have reported how quickly their symptoms are reduced from taking this medicinal supplement.
So that’s my three pronged approach to helping patients become cold sore free, often for the first time in years. Let me know if you’d like some help in becoming free from them too.
With so many colds and flu still in the air, very few of us will escape catching something.
As well as making sure we take good quality immune boosting supplements and ‘superfoods’ Homeopathy can offer support to help our bodies deal with the symptoms and support our general health and well being.
Pulsatilla is one of my ‘go to’ remedies for colds that have symptoms of congestion and thick yellow mucus.
Belladonna helps to bring down temperatures,
Gelsemium is a great flu remedy, for that aching drowsy feeling, which often comes with colds and flu.
Spongia is a great remedy for a ‘barking’ cough and Rumex is good for coughs that are worse as soon as you lie down at night. No two coughs are the same though, so it can take a keen ear to spot which of the many remedies are best for alleviating cough symptoms!
Don’t forget the importance of supporting your immune system. This is what protects our bodies each and every day from invading viruses and bacteria. Including a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement will help cover any shortfalls in a daily diet. Eating as much fresh, whole foods as possible, staying hydrated and avoiding processed foods, which contain additives that compromise and add a strain to our immune system all have a positive effect on our bodies ability to keep viruses away.