Flu season is now upon us, and it’s time to prep our bodies as best as we can. Fortunately, there are many wonderful natural remedies that can help this season go by more smoothly: remedies for preventing illness, remedies for uprooting illness, and some for alleviating symptoms without suppression.
Why Natural Remedies?
So, why would I want to stick with natural alternatives? For one thing, illness is often the sign of an overloaded system. I’ve read it described as a vent to help the body detoxify from too many toxins. When the body is healthy and the immune system is strong, you can very often deal with the viruses and bacteria in the environment without too much of a problem, which is why two people can be exposed to a virus and one may fall ill and the other will not.
When the body is weak, however, illness can set in, and the course of the illness, including a fever, may be what is necessary to kill the pathogens and restore the system to balance. When over-the-counter pharmaceuticals are used, however, this process is suppressed, often leading to deeper pathology and illness in the future.
Natural remedies, on the other hand, allow the body to uproot illness more quickly and restore its natural balance without side effects or toxic ingredients. As mentioned above, when the body is allowed to deal with illness properly, it grows stronger and more resilient.
The thing is, people often think of natural remedies as being ineffective, or they think it means suffering through the entire illness for days on end. They worry even more when it comes to their children, and the idea of watching them suffer makes them reach for the first sign of relief.
Fortunately, with the appropriate use of homeopathy, you and your family can often bounce back quickly from it all. Here are some remedies that can help give you the confidence to treat acute illnesses at home.
Natural Remedies Defined
1. Homeopathy: This is an amazing natural medicine that does not have any side effects nor does it interfere with any medications. It is not to be confused with “home remedies.” When used properly, it is safe for infants, pregnant women, the elderly, and everyone in between and is used around the world to treat both acute and chronic illnesses.
Homeopathy stimulates the body to uproot illness and can often alleviate symptoms within minutes or a few hours. Homeopathic remedies can also be used prophylactically in order to prevent illness, which makes it a wonderful medicine to have on hand. If you’ve never heard of homeopathy, check out this post for an overview or this one for remedies you’ll want to take wherever you go.
When taking homeopathy, avoid food and drinks for 10 minutes before and after a dose. A shift toward healing usually occurs by the 4th dose. If a shift has not occurred by that point, select a new remedy.
2. Essential Oils: I love therapeutic essential oils for alleviating symptoms and helping with healing. When the symptoms are minor, I usually turn to essential oils as a way to bring comfort to the sufferer. When the symptoms are more extreme, I turn to homeopathy first, then use essential oils on the tail end of the illness to continue the healing process.
SPECIAL NOTE: One thing to keep in mind is that some essential oils can actually antidote homeopathic remedies. Examples of these include: peppermint, melaleuca (tea tree), eucalyptus, and wintergreen. When treating an illness, select the remedy that best fits the illness and try not to mix the two.
3. Natural Immune Boosters: When illness strikes, I often turn to some natural vitamins, herbs, and foods that help boost the immune system as well. Examples of these include: homemade bone broth, elderberry syrup, cod liver oil, immune-boosting herbals, zinc, and probiotics.
So, how exactly do we put it all together? Here’s what works for us:
1. We, personally, do not get the flu shot. The flu shot often contains mercury, one of the most toxic substances known to man. You need to know that even the “thimerosal-free” ones may contain “trace amounts” of mercury that has been shown to accumulate in the brain. Here’s a post I wrote on the specific risks associated with the flu shot.
2. We do build our immune system naturally by eating organic and all-natural, whole foods.
3. We diffuse essential oil blends throughout the house to purify the air and kill viruses and bacteria.
4. We follow Joette Calabrese’s protocol for using homeopathy prophylactically. Here is the article with more in-depth information. To summarize, we take 4 doses of Influenzinum 30 once a week for a month. These 4 doses are spread out throughout the day, one in the morning, one at noon, one mid-afternoon, and one in the evening. After the initial month, we repeat the process once a month for the remainder of the flu season.
These protocols are usually all we need for a healthy flu and cold season, but if we get knocked down due to stress or other factors, we push on through with the following treatments.
Treating the Flu
1. Continue taking natural immune boosters on a daily basis (see above).
2. Give everyone in the family or in contact with the sick person a dose of Oscillococcinum to prevent or lessen symptoms. (Young children can take 1/3- 1/2 a dose.)
3. To treat the flu, especially body aches and pains, dose with Oscillococcinum every 4 hours until you have a shift in relief. Once the symptoms are more manageable, usually by the fourth dose, stretch out the doses for 2-3 days.
4. Give a second homeopathic remedy in between the Oscillococcinum doses that best coincide with the next prevalent symptom. For example, begin with Oscillo, then two hours later, give the second remedy, and continue to alternate every two hours with Oscillo, second remedy, Oscillo, etc. until one is no longer needed.
The “second remedy” we most often take for relief is Belladonna. Belladonna is wonderful for bringing down high fevers and treating sore throats. For very young infants, Ferrum Phos 6X would be a better option.
If another symptom is more prevalent, such as vomiting, then another remedy, like Arsenicum Album, can be substituted here. If the main cause of pain are body aches, try Rhus Tox 30 or Eupatorium perfoliatum 30. If extreme head pain is prevalent, Gelsemium 30C would be the best choice to alternate with Oscillo.
***If for some reason, oscillococcinum does not bring relief within 48 hours, try taking Aconitum 200 along with Bryonia 30. Read Ahh Choo! The Flu! for more information on remedies that may be more effective for your specific case. Of course, seek a seasoned homeopath or healthcare provider if you are unable to get control of the situation.
5. Once the symptoms begin to go away or change, then stop taking the above remedies and only use again if symptoms return. Treat new symptoms, such as cough or sniffles with new remedies as necessary.
Treating Other Flu and Cold Symptoms
Once the fever, chills, and most uncomfortable symptoms are under control, you can then switch to new remedies or essential oils for the “tail end” symptoms of the flu or general cold symptoms. Here are some remedies that work well for us.
1. General Cold Symptoms: Homeopathic Boiron’s Cold Calm works really well for this. It shortens colds altogether and helps us feel better more quickly.
3. Cough: Homeopathic Hepar Sulph 30 can be used for a wet cough; Spongia Tosta 30 can be used to treat croup; Phosphorous 30 works well for a dry, tickling cough, and Rumex for a persistent cough. If you’re unsure which remedy to use, Chestal may be a better option as it covers a range of coughs.
I’ve also used therapeutic essential oil blends topically for nighttime coughs. I dilute the oil with coconut oil and rub on the back, chest, and feet. (Just don’t mix this with homeopathy!)
4. Sniffles: Homeopathic Cell Salt Kali Mur 6X can be taken every 30-60 minutes for white phlegm, congestion, and stuffiness. Essential oils also work well for this. I usually put one drop of peppermint on the tip of the nose and inhale.
5. Excess Congestion: Kali Bich 30 and saline nose rinses
6. Hoarseness: Homeopathic Phosphorous 30
7. Fever: Homeopathic Belladonna 3C for a high fever and red face. For lower fevers, I usually treat with this homeopathic Fever Blend or Peppermint Essential Oil. (Just remember not to mix the oils with homeopathy!) Also make sure to keep the sufferer hydrated with bone broth or coconut water.
8. Ear Infections: Homepathic Belladonna 30 works well when a high fever is associated with the ear infection, and the ear is bright red. Chamomilla 30 works well when the child is extremely fussy and irritable from the pain, and the fever is lower. Hyland’s Earache Drops can also be helpful if you have them available.
When neither are on hand, I crush a clove of garlic and steep it in olive oil for 15 minutes. I then strain the oil and dip a cotton ball into it, placing it in the infected ear. This usually provides relief quickly and helps kill off the infection. Repeat as necessary.
Where to Find Natural Remedies
***Homeopathic remedies do not expire as long as they are kept away from sunlight and strong fumes or essential oils. Purchasing a homeopathy kit can be a great investment as it can be passed on to loved ones and maintain its effectiveness over time.
3. Essential oils and blends can be purchased through Doterra, Young Living, and Plant Therapy.
My prayer is that people begin to see the truth about natural remedies in order to heal their families and loved ones without harm. Confidence in alternative remedies, unfortunately, only comes through education, actual practice and application. When given the options, however, I have found natural remedies to be the treatment of choice for our family.
What are some of your favorite natural remedies for the flu and cold? T