Studied Homeopathic Remedies
- L52 (a combination of Eupatorium perf., Aconite, Bryonia, Amica, Gelsemium, China, Belladonna, Drosera, Polygala, and Eucalyptus )
Influenza (more commonly called the flu) is caused by three main types of viruses: type A, type B, and type C. Of the three, type A is the most common by far, as well as the most potentially severe; type B is the second most common; and type C is relatively uncommon.
The symptoms of influenza are similar to those of the common cold but almost always more severe. The onset is usually sudden, with fever up to 103°F (39°C), severe exhaustion, and muscle and joint aches (especially in the back and legs), in addition to a prominent headache, runny nose, sore throat, and possibly a cough. As the illness progresses, the muscle aches tend to get worse and the cough becomes more prominent. When you have influenza, you may notice that you’re sensitive to light, your eyes may water, and you may even experience nausea and vomiting. While the majority of these symptoms should abate in a few days to a week, you may find that your fatigue and weakness linger and that you tend to sweat easily for weeks.
Although it’s annoying to everyone who gets it, influenza can be dangerous for the very young and very old; women in the third trimester of pregnancy; and those with lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, blood diseases (such as sickle-cell anemia), or immunosuppression (as with AIDS or leukemia). Flu can also worsen chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma and bronchitis, possibly leading to hospitalization. Other possible complications include inflammation of the brain, heart, or nervous system.
Note: Homeopathic treatment should not be relied upon to prevent dangerous complications of influenza.
Scientific Evaluations of Homeopathic Remedies for Flu
Two widely used homeopathic flu remedies have been studied in scientific trials; evidence is quite promising for the first remedy.
Oscillococcinum is a widely available homeopathic treatment for flu. It is made from tissue that might be infected with flu—ducks, which are known to carry influenza. Thus, this remedy is very much like a homeopathic nosode . Oscillococcinum is of 200c potency, meaning that it is diluted to one part in 10 400 (a dilution so high that even if you started with a chunk of duck the size of the sun, not one molecule would remain).
double-blind, placebo-controlled studyOscillococcinum
Participants who received Oscillococcinum rather than placebo demonstrated a significantly greater percentage of early recovery rate (within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms). Overall, about 61.2% of participants in the Oscillococcinum treatment group gave it a favorable judgment, whereas only 49.3% in the placebo group rated their “treatment” favorably. This difference in positive perception by the treatment group was statistically significant . Furthermore, the treatment group used significantly fewer optional symptomatic medications (such as acetaminophen) than the control group. This suggests that their symptoms were less severe.
However, while these results are apparently very positive, the published reports are scant on detail, making the quality of these studies difficult to fully assess.
Traditional Homeopathic Treatments for Flu
In classical homeopathy , there are many possible homeopathic treatments for flu, to be chosen based on various specific details of the person seeking treatment.
For example, if you are experiencing chills up and down your spine, and you feel tired and weak but not thirsty, then you might be given homeopathic Gelsemium . Further details of this remedy’s symptom picture include headache, runny nose or sore throat, and a desire to be left alone.
However, different axillary symptoms might indicate an alternate choice of remedy. For example, suppose you have the flu and are very thirsty, especially for cold drinks, and you feel better in a cool room than a warm room. Your other symptoms include pain with motion and irritability. These symptoms fit with the homeopathic treatment Bryonia .
Other Natural Options
Several herbs and supplements may be helpful for treating symptoms of flu. For more information, see the Colds and Flus article.
For a thorough explanation of homeopathy, including dilution of therapies, see the Homeopathy Overview .
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -