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The Common Cold - Ways to Send it Packing - Homeopathy Plus

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Everyone hates a cold. Even the mild ones are unpleasant while more
severe colds cause us to take time from work or interfere with our family
life.
These annoying colds are the bread-and-butter of many homoeopathic
practices during the autumn-winter months yet few people realise how
easy it would be for them to treat their own cold at home. To show how
good homoeopathy is at managing the common cold, lets look at just
two studies:
One study1 of 499 children in 1999 showed that those children whose
colds were treated with homoeopathy were more likely to feel and do
better than those children whose colds had been treated conventionally.
The homoeopathically treated children also had fewer complications,
and their parents took significantly less sick-leave than the parents of
those children treated with antibiotics.
Another 1994 study2 of 175 children at a University Hospital showed that
those given a homoeopathic remedy had less symptoms and needed
fewer antibiotics than those who had been given a placebo. They also
went on to need fewer adenoidectomies.
To help you stop colds in their tracks with some simple measures, as
well as with homeopathy, we have put together the following
information for you:

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The best ways to avoid a cold


The best self-help measures treat a cold
Homoeopathic remedies which will kiss them goodbye

For the brave and adventurous, we have also provided cutting edge
information on how to help a cold with wet socks and peroxide. Just
read down to, Strange but True to try them out. Please enjoy and nip
those sniffles in the bud.

Infection and Spread


Billions of colds happen every year, especially during the cooler autumn-

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winter months. They are caused by virus a which enters the body
through the mucus membranes of the nose or eyes. Symptoms normally
appear 23 days after exposure, at which time the person is then
infectious to others.
Although the common cold is mostly regarded as a nuisance disease, it
can lead to complications such as sinusitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Symptoms include:
1. Sore throat
2. Runny nose
3. Sneezing
4. Coughing
The disease usually progresses from one symptom to another until it
has run its course over a 3 to 7 day period unless other opportunitistic
bacterial infections take hold while the person is in a weakened state.

Avoiding the Common Cold


Wash your hands. Surprisingly, air-born viruses, coughed and sneezed
by sick people, arent the main way colds are spread. They usually travel
by skin to skin contact so shaking hands with someone with a cold, or
coming into contact with something they have touched will transfer the
virus. Wash your hands frequently when youre around someone with a
cold to reduce your risk of catching it.
Dont rub your eyes or nose. Likewise avoid rubbing your eyes and
nose, especially if you havent been able to wash your hands, as these
are the two main points at which the virus enters your body.
Vitamin D helps the immune system respond to viruses and bacteria. It
is manufactured in the skin when it is exposed to sun so make sure you
get at least 30 minutes of being in the sunshine each day.
Make healthy lifestyle choices such as getting enough sleep, drinking
pure water, and eating fresh and healthy food to build up resistance to
coughs, colds and flu.

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Be happy, dont worry. Research has shown that a cheerful, optimistic


outlook strengthens immunity. Not only that, but optimistic people who
do catch a cold describe less symptoms than others. Laughter also
releases endorphins which promote happiness and reduce the
discomfort of a cold.

Ways to Treat the Common Cold Treatment

1. Practical Advice
Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses a day will thin the
mucous and make it easier for your body to expel. Try drinking extra
fluid with lemon juice, or turning it into a herbal tea for additional
benefits (see below).
Go slow on the milk. Reduce, or stop, your consumption of dairy. Dairy
stimulates the production of of mucous, especially in those who are
sensitive to it, which in turn supports the growth of viruses and bacteria.
Rest is one of the most important things you can do when youre sick.
Illness is your bodys cry that it needs some time-out so listen and let it
recover.

2. Stimulate that Immune System


Oysters are high in zinc, a mineral that is vital for immune function. It
assist the helper T-cells of the immune system to recognise foreign
invaders.
Yogurt and kefir contain micro-organisms called probiotics that
increase the bodys white blood cells which protect against infections
and harmful bacteria. Eat one to three serves every day.
Oregano is one of the best herbs for a cold. It is an excellent
anti-inflammatory that contains phenolic acids, flavonoids and colour
compounds that increase resistance and boosts immunity.

3. Control Infection
Lemon: When the body is sick it is usually too acidic. If you know this is

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the case with you (test your urine with a pH strip from the chemist),
drink the juice of a lemon squeezed into a cup of water or tea every few
hours. Even though lemons taste acidic, their juice helps to alkalinise the
body once drunk.
Garlic is fantastic at treating sore throats and infections. Crush five
cloves and mix with half a cup of honey. Let it sit for a couple of hours
(it will become runny and thin) and take teaspoonfuls as needed. The
same thing can be done with some onion rings. The concoctions taste a
liot better than they sound!
Cinnamon is another natural antibiotic. It is rich in compounds that
inhibit bacterial growth and strengthen resistance. Add it to your food or
drinks to boost your immune system.
Turmeric contains an anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin,
which has strong cold and flu fighting properties. Stir a teaspoon into a
glass of water or use it in your cooking.
Cayenne pepper Take a teaspoon of pepper in a glass of water
immediately you feel a cold or sore throat coming on. Its strong
stimulatory effect can be enough to knock a cold out in the early stages.

4. Break up Mucus
Chicken soup, homemade from scratch (yum!), contains a natural
amino acid called cysteine that thins the mucous, allowing you to expel
it more easily.
Spices, especially the hotter ones used in curries, also thin mucus so it
can be expelled easily. Ground fenugreek seed for example will cause
your nose to run, as does chilli, black pepper, and other hot seasonings.

5. Soothe those Symptoms


Honey and lemon soothe the mucous membranes of the throat and
have an antibacterial effect raw honey is best. Research shows that
children who take a spoonful of honey before bed cough less and sleep
better than those who take over-the-counter products for coughs and
colds. Adding a little lemon to the honey will increase its anti-microbial

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effect. Honey and lemon can also be combined with hot water to make a
soothing tea.
Ginger is a stimulant that will also warm you if youre feeling chilled
with your cold. Its best used fresh rather than as a powder so peel and
grate a small piece of ginger root and place in a cup of boiling water.
Allowed it to steep for five minutes, sweeten with honey if desired and
sip whenever needed.
Herbal teas such as oregano, sage and thyme also relieve the symptoms
of a cold. Add a teaspoon of dried herb to a cup of boiling water and
steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and sweeten the liquid with honey if
desired, then cool and store in the fridge. Take a teaspoon every hour as
needed for a day or two.
Peppermint can clear blocked noses and sinuses. Enjoy it as a
stimulating tea or add some teabags of it to your bath.
Vinegar can also ease congestion. Place some heated vinegar in a small
bowl and gently inhale its vapours.

Strange but True


1. The Wet Sock Approach
Believe it or not, wet socks can trigger a reflex response from your body
that relieves nasal congestion so you can have a better nights sleep.
Before going to bed, warm your feet in a tub of hot water so they are hot
and pink. At the same time soak a pair of cotton socks in iced water.
Wring them out so they dont drip and immediately place them on your
feet (ooh!). Cover your icy socks with a thick pair of woollen socks and
then climb into bed as quick as you can, making sure you are covered
and warm.
This is simple hydrotherapy approach triggers a reflex in which your
surprised body immediately increases its circulation which then clears
blocked nasal passages and speeds up the activity of your immune
system.

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2. Tickle your Ears with Hydrogen Peroxide


Several researchers claim that the cold virus actually prefers to enter the
body through the ear rather than the nose and eyes. They say that a cold
can be stopped in its tracks during the early stages if drops of 3%
hydrogen peroxide are placed in each ear to disrupt the replication
process of the virus.
To do this, tip your head onto one side and have somebody gently place
some drops within your ear. The liquid will fizz, producing a tickling
sensation that sometimes mildly stings, but this is harmless. Leave the
drops in place for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bubbling stops, then tip your
head over and drain the fluid onto a tissue. Do the same with the other
ear.
This process may need to be repeated a few times every 1 to 2 hours
until no more bubbling occurs when the peroxide is placed in the ear. If
this approach is applied early enough, the virus will be destroyed leaving
you cold-free. You should also have very clean ears!

What about Conventional Medicines?


When it comes to health-care it sometimes seems we have lost our way.
While most of us know that manufactured chemicals in our food,
cleaning aids and personal products are causing some serious problems,
we seem to be less aware that the same thing is true with our
medicines. In Western society we are now so dependent on chemical
drugs for our health-care that we have forgotten that simple measures
can work just as well and with far less risk. Lets look at what some of
those risks are.

Save the Children!


When it first became known that children were being admitted to
hospital and dying from over-the-counter cold and cough medicines,
enquiries revealed that these products were useless for their intended
purpose and contained dangerous medicines.
In 2008, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) decided
that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should not begiven to
children younger than 2 years of age. Drug regulating bodies in other
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countries such as Canada said they should only be given to children 6


years and older.
Pharmaceutical companies now place warnings about these products on
their labels but because they did not have to be recalled, old
merchandise is still sitting on the shelves of stores and being sold.
Beware.
Remember, dont give these medicines to children under 2 years of age.
For children 2 years or older, still take care. Instructions issued by the
TGA now state:
1. Do not exceed the recommended dose, frequency of dosing or
duration of use.
2. Only use the medicine measure supplied with the medicine rather
than a kitchen spoon so the right amount is given.
3. Do not give other medicines containing similar ingredients at the
same time.

What about the Adults?


But it is not just children who can be affected. Pharmaceutical
companies will tell you that all cold and cough medications cause
side-effects that affect some people more than others. Until the
medication has been taken, and perhaps more than once, there is no
way of knowing who that person will be or how marked the side-effect.
A quick look at a typical list of cold and cough medication side-effects
includes: dizziness; excitability; headache; nausea; nervousness or
anxiety; trouble sleeping; weakness; severe allergic reactions (rash;
hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth,
face, lips, or tongue); difficulty urinating; fast or irregular heartbeat;
hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache;
stomach pain; tremor; yellowing of skin or eyes.
If resorting to these chemical medicines for your simple cold it really is a
case of Russian roulette, or buyer beware. Maybe it is time to think
carefully and try some of the safer options first.

Treating Colds with Homeopathy


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Treating yourself with homoeopathy for simple acute problems is easy


aslong as you know how to choose the remedy that matches your
symptoms. The common cold is the perfect opportunity for you to
practice and become familiar with homeopathy. Unless you prefer to,
there is no need for you to see a homoeopath first, and all remedies are
safe for use with babies through to the elderly when used according to
instructions.
To treat your cold, look through the remedies listed below to see which
one matches your symptoms then just take it. Instructions on how to
dose, and how often, can be foundhere . If there is no improvement by
3-4 doses just reassess your symptoms and choose another remedy.
Should you find it difficult to identify and sort through your
symptoms,ABC Homeopathy has an online remedy finder that can make
it easier. Alternately, an appointment can be made with a homeopath
who will try to get to the bottom of things for you.
Homeopathic Remedies for the Common Cold
Many of the following remedies are found in home-use kits.
(Taken from the Remedy Prescriber booklet that comes with the
Ainsworth 42 Essential Remedy Kit.)

Aconite Napellus (Acon.)


Sudden onset and early stage of a cold, brought on by exposure or being
chilled by a cold wind.
Allium Cepa (All-c.)
A streaming cold with much sneezing and watery eyes. The eyes may be
burning and sensitive to light but the discharge is bland and does not
burn the cheeks, whereas the discharge from the nose is burning and
can make the upper lip and nose raw. The patient may start sneezing on
entering a warm room. All symptoms are much better for fresh air and
worse in a warm room, and towards the evening.
Arsenicum Album (Ars.)

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A streaming cold with burning discharge from eyes and nose. Patient is
restless and anxious and very chilly with apparent difficulty in keeping
warm. Eyes and nose have a watery discharge. There is sneezing,
without relief, and the nose feels stuffed up. Symptoms are worse for
cold, during the night and better for warmth.
Calcarea Carbonica (Calc-c.)
Stuffy colds, with offensive smell in the nose and unpleasant smelling
yellow mucus. Dry, sore, ulcerated nostrils. Individuals that catch colds
easily at every change of weather and babies with snuffles.
Euphrasia (Euphr.)
The opposite symptoms to Allium cepa. The eyes are constantly
streaming with a burning discharge, whereas the nasal discharge is
bland and does not cause rawness of the nose or upper lip. The eyelids
are swollen, burning and the cheeks are red from the burning tears.
Sensitive to light, the patient is better in the open air and worse inside.
Ferrum phosphoricum (Ferr-p.)
Colds come on slowly and may be heading for the ears or chest. Ferrum
phos is particularly suited to the sore throat or that chesty stage before
the cold develops into bronchitis. The patient may be flushed in the face
and complain of feeling weak or lethargic. Eyes red and inflamed with
burning sensation. Frequent colds with tendency to nosebleed.
Gelsemium Sempervirens (Gels.)
A cold with flu-like symptoms, such as aching, trembling, a heavy, dull
head.
Hepar Sulphuris (Hep.)
The later stage of a cold, with thick offensive nasal discharge. There is
extreme sensitivity to cold, in any form even a cold wind provokes
sneexing and streaming. This will thicken up later to yield discharges
that smell like old cheese and are yellow to green in colour.

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Kali Bichromicum (Kali-bi.)


Tough stringy catarrh is the guiding symptom. Violent sneezing with
stubborn congestion and a ropy, stringy or sticky discharge. Eyelids
swollen and burning. Good for snuffles in children, especially fat, chubby
babies. All symptoms are better for heat.
Mercurius Solubilis (Merc)
Patient is sensitive to both heat and cold. There is a great deal of
sneezing, especially in sunshine and warm conditions, and this will
provoke a profuse burning discharge form the eyes. The nostrils are raw
from the burning, profuse discharge, which is likely to be bloodstreaked. As the cold progresses, the discharge becomes greenish, fould
tasting and he breath offensive.
Natrum Muriaticum (Nat-m.)
Streaming eyes and nose with much sneezing. Eyes may be burning, but
the discharge form eyes and nose is bland. The copious discharge is
clear, like egg-white, for the early stage, but after about three days is
superseded by congestion. During the cold, the patient typically loses all
sense of taste and smell with tiredness and weakness. They may resent
being fussed over and be easily irritated by silly little things. Worse in
the morning, from exertion, heat and better for fresh air.
Nux Vomica (Nux-v.)
These are irritable people, who dont suffer fools gladly and everything
upsets them- light, noise, draughts, etc. They get stuffy colds after
exposure to dry cold conditions and are congested with a dry nose.
There is a peculiar picture of being stuffed up in fresh air and at night,
although they have streaming noses when inside.
Phosphorus (Phos.)
These are outgoing, expressive people who require reassurance. The
anxiety about their health is easily placated unlike the Arsen alb patient
who will worry endlessly, even after much reassurance. The Phosphorus

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patient is very prone to nosebleeds and symptoms arise through a


change in weather or from moving from heat to cold or vice-versa. Colds
which result from being run down.
Pulsatilla pratensis (Puls.)
Colds that thicken up leaving one nostril blocked, with a loss of smell
and offensive breath. One sided symptoms are common. The eyes may
be itching and burning or stuck together, with profuse yellow-green
mucus in the morning and the nose congested at night. All symptoms
are much worse in a warm room and relieved by fresh air. The patient
will either be weepy and clingy or crave sympathy and attention.
Many of the above remedies are found in home-use kits.
References
[1] Trichard, M, Chaufferin, Nicoloyannis, N., Pharmacoeconomic
Comparison Between Homeopathic and Antibiotic Treatment Strategies
in Recurrent Acute Rhinopharyngitis in Children, Homeopathy (2005)94,
3-9.
[2] de Lange de Klerk, ESM, Blommers, J, Kuik, DJ et al., Effect of
Homoeopathic Medicines on Daily Burden of Symptoms in Children with
Recurrent Upper Respiratory Tract Infections, BMJ, November 19,
1994;309:1329-1332.

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