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Homeopathy: Remedies for Influenza

Cool: Google Flu Trends

w/ flu call musculoskeletal complaints concommitants

FLU
zoonotic dz: waterfowl, swine
diseases that were formerly devastating: scarlet fever, rheumatic fever
"it does not serve a germ well to kill its host"
flu infx humans since 1100ad
smallpox wiped out 90% of native american pop
less domestic animals in US-->less zoonotic dz
measles--horses
smallpox/chickpox--horses, varicel for spiderbite on horses
whooping cough, Bordatella--dogs, kennel cough
HIV--monkeys
malaria--

TAMIFLU AND DUCKS** INTERESTING! this is the only pharm in post
drug is converted to active form in body
active form not degraded, but excreted in urine
sewage treatment plants don't remove it
goes into water supply unchanged
ducks live where warm sewage outflow enters Wilamette river
ducks prefer this warm water
ducks are "cookin'" next generation(s) of drug-resistant viruses

APHORISMS 72-74
*chronic dz: environmentally maintained is improperly called chronic
(chronic is miasmatic = infectious dz caused imbalance, we can't heal w/o help)
*acute disease: true acute = befallments, sporadic dz, epidemic
*acute expression of chronic disease: OM from tubercular that is irritated

We're talking about true acutes today.
Taylor's illus:
organism as circle
stress or insult as arrow pointed at circle
perfect response would be equal and opposite arrow
balance is maintained
response mb off by a little: disatuned-->develop disease
give remedy
response 1: good response to acute remedy, return to chronic state
response 2: complementary remedy, goes to another new state

flu is new to us
we respond more to the virus than by our chronic tendencies
we respond similarly: as humans vs the flu
true acute: "flip out completely into a new remedy state"
rheumatoid arthritis clears up when person has flu
or RA pt may not be able to get the flu

GENERALS-influenza: gels*, eup-per*, rhus-t, influ, bapt, bry, stict*, chel, ars, camph, tub, kali-bi, sang, acon, phos, sail? sulph, caust, r?, sabad, ant-t, pyrog, abrot, eucal?
(Taylor would cross out belladonna and aconite, not use: "close-enoughicum" to lower fever but not otherwise help)
(sticta for pneumonia)

SX OF FLU
remitting fever: alternating fever and chills not on any particular schedule
(also found in typhus/typhoid)
stiffness/aching
URI

interesting study: quadruple blind
nobody knew homeopathic remedy involved
in France, H1N1
Lancet
Ferley, Zmirou, 1989
http://homeoinfo.com/06_materia_medica/other/oscillococcinum.php
this site is where Dr Taylor pulled the text for his powerpoint
haven't found the study yet
new mention 2005 Lancet says Oscillococcinum NOT effective
http://homepage.mac.com/loughbunny/nmw/homcoldsflu.html
http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/integrativecare-therapies-ho1
In three clinical trials (involving 2,265 people) homoeopathic oscillococcinum taken on a regular basis did not prevent the flu, although the development of fever and muscle aches and pain was reduced slightly. In four clinical trials (involving 1,194 people) taking homoeopathic oscillococcinum once the flu was contracted shortened the duration of the illness by about a quarter of a day (on average) and reduced the severity of some of the symptoms experienced. Mild but reversible side effects (such as headache or skin rash) can occur when taking homoeopathic oscillococcinum. Some people also experience tiredness, dizziness, diarrhoea or a temporary worsening of symptoms when using homoeopathic remedies. No serious side effects have been reported with the use of homoeopathic oscillococcinum.
http://www.hpathy.com/research/mathie-homeopathy-influenza-research.asp
ABSTRACT OF STUDY HE MENTIONED, FOUND ON MEDSCAPE
Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1989 Mar;27(3):329-35.
A controlled evaluation of a homoeopathic preparation in the treatment of influenza-like syndromes.
Ferley JP, Zmirou D, D'Adhemar D, Balducci F.
Centre Alpin de Recherche Epidémiologique et de Prévention Sanitaire, Grenoble University Hospital, France.
1. A controlled clinical trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness of a homoeopathic preparation in the treatment of influenza-like syndromes. 2. 237 cases received the test drug and 241 were assigned to placebo. Patients recorded their rectal temperature twice a day, and the presence or absence of five cardinal symptoms (headache, stiffness, lumbar and articular pain, shivers) along with cough, coryza and fatigue. 3. Recovery was defined as a rectal temperature less than 37.5 degrees C and complete resolution of the five cardinal symptoms. 4. The proportion of cases who recovered within 48 h of treatment was greater among the active drug group than among the placebo group (17.1% against 10.3%, P = 0.03). 5. The result cannot be explained given our present state of knowledge, but it calls for further rigorously designed clinical studies.
PMID: 2655683 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID: PMC1379831

******************************************************************************

Readings:
On the Genus Epidemicus
http://www.wholehealthnow.com/homeopathy_pro/wt10.html

LIST OF REMEDIES USED IN FLU
Remedies you should be familiar with in the context of Influenza ('flu):

Nosodes of Influenza (useful in prophylaxis)
Oscillococcinum (Anas barbariae hepatinii et cardiae extractum)
Influenzinum

Big "Influenza" remedies:
Eupatorium perfoliatum (Eup-per) #1
Gelsemium sempirvirens (Gels) #2


Polychrests commonly indicated in influenza:
Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus-t)
Arsenicum album (Ars)
Nux vomica (Nux-v)
Bryonia alba (Bry)

Other "influenza" remedies of some relatively common importance:
Sanguinaria canadensis (Sang)
Baptisia tinctoria (Bapt)

Kali bichromicum (Kali-bi)

Arnica montana (Arn)

Commonly mentioned in the literature, but of questionable real application in influenza:
(Aconite)

*****************************************************

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLU REMEDIES (for the boards, etc)

Oscillococcinum (Anas barbariae hepatinii et cardiae extractum)
--of the heart and liver of duck and heart extracted
--use at 1st sx or prophylactically
Heart & liver of Barbary Duck - the native host of the 'flu
a Nosode of the 'flu - involving multiple current & potential future strains
Prior to determination of a genus epidemicus for the year's epidemic, may be used
(1) at first signs of the illness, prior to development of differentiating symptoms;
(2) in prophylaxis when desired
Rarely, if ever, useful in developed cases

Influenzinum
--use for early tx of incipient sx or for prophylaxis
Influenza nosode
Several different preparations - need to know your source
- from the year's immunization (Washington Homeopathic Products)
- from the year's prevalent strains as predicted by the WHO (Boiron)
- from past epidemics (e.g, the 1918 Spanish 'flu epidemic)
Prior to determination of a genus epidemicus for the year's epidemic, may be used
(1) at first signs of the illness, prior to development of differentiating symptoms;
(2) in prophylaxis when desired
Rarely, if ever, useful in developed cases, won't come up in analysis
Taylor doesn't use it, Peabody does

Eupatorium perfoliatum (Eup-per)
Gelsemium sempirvirens (Gels)
If you repertorize the description of influenza in Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, these two remedies will come up #s 1 & 2. In a search for "influenza" in Encyclopedia Homeopathica's full library of 800+ books and journals, these remedies come up essentially tied for first place, well in the lead ahead of #3.
*If you prescribe on the obvious "common to 'flu" symptoms of a 'flu case, without paying attention to the (often subtle) individualizing features of the case, one of these two remedies will frequently appear to be indicated. They very often are - but they very often are not.

Eupatorium perfoliatum (Eup-per)(aka Boneset, likes roots in water)
*Aching in the bones, as if broken (bonebreak fevers; boneset)
- intense, unbearable aching
*Very high fevers
*fever-succession of stages-chill-followed by heat-then perspiration
*perspiration scanty and does not amel
*much watery coryza
*resless with the pains but it does not help to move

Gelsemium sempirvirens (Gels)
(native to SE coast, carolinas, VA)
*slow onset, over a couple of days (compare Bryonia)
*tremendous weakness, debility, fatigue dullness;
-difficult to lift head, to open eyelids
*does not wish to be spoken to
(too much effort to listen or respond; not the irritability of Bryonia)
*chills down spine, or originating in and radiating from thoracic spine
*significantly ameliorated after perspiration
*minimal thirst (contrast with Eupatorium)
*perspiration amel
*muscles ache, not bones
**headache starts in occiput and comes forward over the eyes

Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus-t)
*Rhus tox guiding symptoms - cold, >scalding heat, < immobilization, somatic restless (tossing in bed), restless anxiety; restless legs aching in bed, > with movement (tho in 'flu of course, it may be difficult to motivate the patient to actually get up & move, rather than just toss restlessly beneath the warm covers)
compare: Arsenicum album (cold, craving heat, somatic restlessness, restless anxiety); Sanguinaria (cold, craving heat)

Arsenicum album (Ars)
Appears to be this year's (2008/9) genus epidemicus (but see also Kali-bi, below) - I'm seeing Arsenicum either thru the entire illness, or at the beginning & end, with often a Kali-bi phase in the middle.
*at onset, cannot decide if warm or chilly - but seeking warmth, turning up thermostat (compare Nux vomica, Sanguinaria)
*high fevers, accompanied by or followed by marked chills and rigor
*water, acrid nasal discharge
*thirsty for small sips (this may not be reliable in face of learned habits re drinking)
*restlessness and restless anxiety alternating with collapse and prostration

Nux vomica (Nux-v)
was genus epidemicus of recent H1N1 epidemic, 99.1% one virus
*rapid onset, high fevers
*excessive sensitivity to all stimuli
*irritable at minor inconveniences (short sheeted bed example)(compare Byronia)
(many other remedies exhibit this: not grounds for prescription)
*cold - small movements under the covers <
*intense chills & rigors (Chill predominating)
*normally craves and is better with heat,
but chill is not amel. by warm covers or hot bath
*intense headache, as if hung over
(may give after Gelsimium)

Bryonia alba (Bry)
*gradual onset, slow progression
*chills predominate
*chills not ameliorated by external heat, CHILL-WARM room not amel, hot bath not amel
*chills begin in periphery - fingertips, lips
*< slightest motion or disturbance; irritable when questioned or spoken to
*may have whole-body aching, but headache is the worst of it
*dry mucosa; if nasal discharge, this is scant, and burning
*chill alt w/ heat not much perspiration phase
*MOUTH-discoloration-coating-dirty brown in center

Sanguinaria canadensis (Sang)
Was genus epidemicus in several epidemics of last 18 years
*mucus membranes dry (compare Bryonia)
*irritable, morose, "borrows trouble" (Nux-v like in mental-emotional)
**headache from R occiput to R eye characteristic (but not always present)
*eyeballs painful, sore/bruised (compare esp. Bry, Eup-per, Rhus-t, Bapt)
*cough from intense tickling deep in trachea - feels like it would feel good to scrape it with a bottle brush, itching behind sternum
*may progress readily to pneumomia
(not in Morrison)

Baptisia tinctoria (Bapt) - wild indigo
*incredibly dull, more wiped out than Gelsemium, everything is sore
*Rapidly developing, high fever, severely debilitating illness
*Sore, bruised, bed feels hard & uncomfortable (Arn, Bry)
*Dusky red, besotted, dull (much moreso than even Gelsemium)
*Confused delirium with fever - delusion his body is spread around the bed - arms here, body there, ...
quoting Duke Ellington -
you ain't had the 'flu
no, no, no
you ain't had the 'flu
'till you've had that 'flu, wild indigo ...

Kali bichromicum (Kali-bi)
Included here largely because it is appearing to be part of the genus epidemicus of this year's (2008/9) 'flu epidemic - in the mid stage of the 'flu (Arsenicum album earlier & later) if the following appear:
*Viscous, tenacious yellow to yellow-green nasal discharge, bloody, with nasal obstruction and pressure at the root of the nose;
*Tracheal/bronchitic cough with viscous, tenacious yellow to yellow-green expectoration, bloody, may be difficult to raise

Arnica montana (Arn)
*Bruised, bed feels hard & uncomfortable (Bry, Bapt)
*head not, body cold during fever
*compare Bryonia - consider if Bryonia appears to be indicated but fails to act
*epistaxis, subconjunctival hemorrhages, esp. with cough (would not be common, but would favor Arnica)

----

Aconite
You'll read often in the literature, the suggestion that Aconite might be taken "at first sign of a fever". This is likely bad advice, particularly w regard to 'flu. Aconite bears little similitude to influenza (its fevers are monophasic, compared to the intermitting fevers characteristic of influenza; ...). Perhaps, in low potency, Aconite might act palliatively as a kindofclosicum in the early stages of the illness; but it would need to be followed later by another remedy as the illness progressed, & we can do much better than this. Far better to treat at the earliest signs of illness with the Genus Epidemicus for the outbreak if this is known, or with Oscillococinum (or Influenzinum from the current strains) if the Genus Epidemicus is yet to be determined.

naturopathic euphemism: "warming socks"

genus epidemicus = remedy indicated for the composite of everybody in a given outbreak, can give prophylactically. takes 3-6 cases to determine.

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