Flu (influenza) and common cold are infections of the upper respiratory tract. Flu and cold are usually caused by RNA viruses of the Orthomyxoviridae family. The influenza virus evolves rapidly and the new strains replace the older ones every year, canceling humans immunity to the influenza virus.
However, influenza is more a severe disease than the common cold. A cold can be caused by hundreds of different types of viruses.
Both the flu and cold are transmitted through the air by coughs and sneezes or directly through contact with bodily secretions. Viruses can be inactivated by detergents, disinfectants, sunlight, and a frequent hand washing may reduce the risk of infection.
Homeopathic remedies should be used in a potency range of 6, 12 or 30 per dose. If the symptoms are more severe, the dosage should be 1 dose an hour at the beginning of treatment. The patient should feel relieved within three hours. As the subject recovers, the frequency of the dose administrated should be reduced. However, even after the full recovery, a patient should continue taking the assigned remedy at least once daily for a couple of days.
Allium cepa - also known as onion, is used in people with respiratory problems such as nose dipping, runny noses, acrid discharge in the nose or irritation of the upper lip. Correlating symptoms are dull pains in the head and nasal discharge. If the eye region is also affected, eyes may become red and sensitive to the light. Patients may also complain of pain in the larynx and cough in presence of cold air. Arsenicum - frequently used in homeotherapy, is derived from the metallic element arsenic. It is used in patients when there is a watery discharge and constant dipping from nose. This may further cause irritations in the upper lip region. Patients may also complain about dry and stuffed up nostrils, dull headache and hypersensitivity to light.Euphrasia - is used to tread eye infections, to relieve inflammation caused by colds, sinus infections and hayfever. Patients eyes may be affected by constant discharge and be very sensitive to light. The swollen lids may be accompanied by headache and feeling of pressure.Nat mur - is an alternative remedy based on inorganic salts that should be used if there is a watery discharge in the patient's nose that may thicken and appear whitish. The condition may worsen after midnight. Patients might also cough up salty mucus and eyes may become watery. Patients may complain about thirst and his lips may be extremely dry and cracked.Nux vomica - also known as strychnine tree, is used in patients with dry stuffed up noses during the night and runny noses during the day. Stuffed feeling usually occurs on the open air and runny nose inside a warm room. In children it may be accompanied with nose bleeding and often with dull head pains. Pulsatilla - also known as pasque flower (or pasqueflover) is used in the late stages of cold. In this cases a patient's nose may excrete a thick yellow-green mucus. Other symptoms may include sneezing and bleeding in the nose. Patients may lose smell taste and appetite.Prevention
Scrubbing hands with soap and hot water will stop the spread of the flu. Rubbing the eyes, nose or mouth should be avoided. Good health habits will strengthen the immune system and help it fight viruses. It is best to get vaccinated during the fall season and thus build up a viral immunity on time.