Homeopathy for Common Colds

The common cold can be caused by any one of over 100 viruses. Every year the average adult can expect to suffer the effects of a common cold at least two times. Children catch a cold between six and ten times a year on average.

Homeopathic remedies can help alleviate the symptoms of the common cold as well as promote a healing process within the body. Homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, is an alternative system of medicine whose underlying theory assumes that “like treats like.” This means that in homeopathy, a patient takes very small doses that cause symptoms similar to those he or she suffers from. Homeopathic remedies may be a viable option to treat symptoms in someone who wishes to avoid the side effects of over-the-counter cold medicines such as drowsiness or light-headedness.

Which Homeopathic Remedies Can I Use to Treat a Cold?

When using homeopathic remedies to treat the common cold, it is best to choose remedies that will treat the specific symptoms that are being exhibited. Remedies can also be chosen according to when the person will begin to use the remedy during the course of a cold; some work better during early stages of a cold, while others work better in the latter stages.

  • Aconite napellus. This remedy is best used for symptoms of a dry stuffy nose, a scratchy throat, and a choking cough. It is most effective when used within the early stages of a cold.
  • Allium cepa. This remedy is useful with symptoms of watery eyes, excessive sneezing, an itching in the back of the throat, or a runny nose with discharge that causes irritation to the upper lip.
  • Arsenicum album. Those with frequent and recurrent colds will benefit from this remedy. Symptoms treated include the feeling of an obstruction in the nose with white discharge, excessive sneezing, irritation or tickling of the nose, and feelings of weakness and restlessness.
  • Belladonna. This remedy is best used for colds with a sudden onset. Belladonna will treat more severe symptoms of the common cold such as a dry nose, fever, pounding headache, glassy eyes, and sensitivity to light.
  • Bryonia. Bryonia is best used with slowly developing coughs. Symptoms of increased thirst, irritability, little to no nasal discharge, and a dry-spasmodic cough will be treated by this homeopathic remedy.
  • Dulcamara. This remedy is specifically beneficial when a cold develops after becoming wet or chilled, and also colds related to weather changes. It is helpful in pains that occur in the face, the feeling of a stuffed-up nose, as well as those who suffer from allergies.
  • Euphrasia. Symptoms of red, irritated, and burning eyes are treated with euphrasia. It can also appease those with a cough due to an increased production of phlegm.
  • Ferrum Phos.  (Phosphoricum). Best used at the beginning of a cold when symptoms are not as severe, this remedy will treat those experiencing mild fevers and sore throats.  Those who take ferrum phos during later stages of a cold would treat symptoms such as fatigue, moderate fever, and short hard coughs.
  • Gelsemium. This remedy is used when dealing with the difficult symptoms of a cold such as drowsiness, droopy eyes, lethargy, weakness, and headaches that start at the back of the head.
  • Kali bic.  (Bichromicum). This is another remedy that is beneficial during the later stages of a cold is kali bic. This best treats thick mucous that is difficult to expel from the nose and throat, post-nasal drip, and also sinusitis. 
  • Oscillococcinum. This remedy will help with the intense feelings of the flu or severe colds.  It is best to take oscillococcinum when symptoms of the flu first appear as it can help to decrease the duration of the flu and lessen the severity of the symptoms.
  • Pulsatilla. Pusatilla is ideal for treating those who are inconsolable during a cold. Symptoms such as increased watery discharge from the eyes and nose, frequent sneezing, and a loss of taste and smell are indicated usages for this remedy.
  • Rhus toxicodendron. This remedy is ideal for colds that originate body aches and body stiffness. Often times this sort of cold will occur with cool, damp weather. In addition to the aforementioned, symptoms alleviated by this remedy include nasal congestion, restlessness, and nasal congestion.

Things to Consider When Taking Homeopathic Remedies for Common Colds

When the decision has been made to use homeopathic remedies, always pay close attention to the product labeling. Double-check the indications of the remedy as well as proper dosage instructions on every product that is purchased. When questions arise, consult a homeopathic physician or a pharmacist.

Always make certain that your physician is aware of your decision to use homeopathic remedies, as some remedies may interfere or interact with prescription drugs.

What is Homeopathy?

Since its origination in Germany in the late 1700s, homeopathy and homeopathic remedies have been used in the United Sates dating as far back as the early nineteenth century.

Homeopathy is a form of medicine that uses non-hazardous substances normally found in nature such as plants, minerals, and animals. A substance chosen to treat an ailment will produce, when given in a much larger dose, the same characteristic symptoms of that which is being treated. This system of treatment is termed “like cures like.” Thus, through a series of dilution processes homeopathic remedies are developed and made available for symptomatic treatment in liquid, pellet, or tablet forms.

Symptoms of the Common Cold

It is important to understand the symptoms of the common cold, as they can be very similar to those of a mild case of influenza. Generally a cold will last for two to three days, while a more severe cold could last as long as one to two weeks. The symptoms of the common cold will include sneezing, watery eyes, a sore throat, a cough and possibly hoarseness in the voice. Headache and mild to moderate fever are other possible symptoms of the common cold.

Influenza, on the other hand, presents the following symptoms:

  • Fever, possibly high
  • Body aches and pains
  • Chills
  • Nonproductive cough

Additional Resources

CommonCold.org is a website that provides detailed information on the diagnosis and treatment of common colds from a Western Medical perspective.

Hpathy.com is a website that provides additional information on Homeopathic remedies and their use for a variety of conditions.

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