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Homeopathy has a great record for helping people recover from influenza infections. The easiest homeopathic remedy to use for influenza is Oscillococcinum which is specific for treating influenza and may be used by anyone age two years and up. It is a homeopathic medicine made from the livers of wild ducks that is widely available at health food stores, Whole Foods market and even many pharmacies including CVS.

If taken within the first 48 hours of illness it has been shown in studies to significantly reduce the severity of symptoms and length of illness. It is available in packages of single dose vials. Take one vial every twelve hours or so for a total of three doses. For a child, give just ¼ to ½ vial per dose. It tastes good so kids usually like it.

Oscillococcinum works best when taken in combination with an individualized remedy that is prescribed based on the patient’s specific and unique symptoms. While there are a number of others, some of the most commonly used homeopathy for influenza are:

Gelsemium (Yellow Jasmine)

Dullness is the word most associated with this remedy. The patient is dull, listless, lethargic, and rather apathetic about the illness. There may be difficulty keeping the eyes open. The face is hot and flushed, there is a dull aching in the neck and back, and the limbs are weak and trembling. The patient is usually thirstless and has chills up and down the back.

Bryonia alba (Wild Hops)

The patient is irritable and chilly, with dryness of the mouth and other mucous membranes. He is thirsty for large quantities, and made worse by motion. These patients do not want to move at all as it makes them feel so much worse. The headache is described as splitting or bursting and worse from light, noise, or even the slightest motion, such as moving the eyelids or the jarring that occurs from someone walking across the room or sitting on the bed. The patient just wants to be left alone.

Rhus toxicodendron (Poison Ivy)

This patient is chilly, sensitive to cold drafts, and better from warmth. She has aching, tearing, bruised pains in the extremities and back, along with muscle weakness. The pains are worse at night, better from heat, and the patient is very restless in bed, tossing and turning in an attempt to find a comfortable position. The joints and the back are stiff, especially on first moving, but loosen up after walking or moving around a bit.

Eupatorium perfoliatum (Thoroughwort of Boneset)

This remedy is most useful in influenza cases with aching in the bones, as if they will break. The patient has shaking chills, especially in the morning and after drinking, yet has increased thirst immediately preceding the chills.

Arsenicum album (a non-toxic preparation of Arsenic trioxide)

The patient is extremely chilly and thirsty, but only for a few small sips at a time. There are often gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. She is very restless, tossing in bed or pacing back and forth on the floor. There is profound weakness, and tremendous anxiety with fear of death and of being left alone. The symptoms are all worse after midnight, around 1 am.

Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade)

Illness comes on suddenly with a frighteningly high fever, often starting around 3 pm. The face is flushed, the pupils are dilated and the eyes are glistening. The patient may be delirious with fever or have hallucinations. The hands and feet may be icy even though the body and face are hot. The patient is not thirsty and may have a severe headache with throbbing and bounding pulses. There may be sore throat as well.

The above remedies should be taken in the 30C potency three times a day or six times a day in the 12C potency. If no improvement occurs within 24 hours, a different remedy should be prescribed. The medication should be discontinued when symptoms are clearly resolving or when symptoms change to a new remedy picture.