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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Corona Virus, Best Remedies for Pneumonitis--and Stop Diffusing Essential Oils!

*******UPDATE 3/20/20 ********

New Upate on Coronavirus and homeopathics that might be useful (note, the remedies listed have changed a bit):
We always try to find one best remedy for a flu that is going around.  However with COVID some people have a flu prodrome while others start with a sudden fever and shortness of breath.  It could be that people's constitutional remedy plays into how they get sick OR there could be more than one virus going around with people getting 2 or 3 problems at once.

In India homeopaths have been working hard on finding a COVID 19 remedy that might work for a majority of people, even though many people have different symptoms. Here is a link to that discussion which can give you insight on how homeopathic remedies are chosen:

The main take home is they agree with me that BRYONIA may be the best remedy right now. See below for other remedies that are being discussed:

Symptoms of Coronavirus or other flus going around right now:

-Cough (mostly dry)
-Dyspnea (trouble breathing)

According to the latest chinese study, these are the symptoms which people with coronavirus have been presenting to the hospital: fever (98.6%), fatigue (69.6%), dry cough 59.4%, myalgia 34.8%, and dyspnea 31.2%. 

Laboratory and imaging findings in China have been the following: lymphopenia, prolonged prothrombin time (low platelets or inadequate clotting/platelet aggregation--do not take aspirin!), high lactate dehydrogenase (indicating tissue damage),  and a ground glass appearance on lung CT scan.
--Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, ChinDawei Wang, MDBo Hu, MDChang Hu, MD; et al, JAMA. Published online February 7, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1585

Ground glass Opacities of the lung on CT scan are the lighter/light grey areas inside the lungs:

Basically the alveoli--the end units of the lung where oxygen transfer takes place, can collapse, become filled with fluid or become smaller from inflammation of the surrounding tissues. You can imagine the feeling of shortness of breath that can happen when inflammation or fluid accumulates here rather than higher up in the bronchioles, which we see with bronchitis. Causes of the ground glass appearance and accompanying symptoms are typically viral, hypersensitivity reactions, or other inflammatory reactions.

Homeopathy is a great adjunct to any other therapy being used. Here is a list of the best remedies for current COVID

Bryonia-- This is the remedy for kennel cough that I wrote about in Fall. (
Bryonia flus are slowly progressing (they don't feel terrible on Day 1) but coughing/chest symptoms do start pretty early. It may start with just fatigue and sneezing. It can even start with incredible thirst for dry mouth. Then it can progress to the upper respiratory tract (sinuses) causing infection, then lower respiratory tract causing bronchitis. Typically the cough is painful and the patient feels like they have to hold their chest while they cough due to the pain. One patient who had been coughing for a couple of weeks did not cough all day after one dose of Bryonia 200c.  Take the 30c strength if that is all you can find and take it every 3 hours or as needed for cough.

Aconite-- for fevers  that start suddenly, especially after exposure to cold wind. That exposure is happening a lot right now as we have sunny days followed by really cold evenings or sunny days with a very cold wind that picks up. Use Aconite for fevers that start sudden (within a few hours) and goes very high. 

Phosphorus--suggested by many homeopaths. with phosphorus there is a dry cough, tickle in the throat and a fever that gets very high very quickly. there is a great thirst for cold drinks. Usually the stomach is upset by warm drinks but better with cold drinks. Mucous that is coughed up can be blood tinged. Any bloody cough should be treated with Phosphorus, but you don't have to have bleeding to benefit from it. The shortness of breath is worse at night laying down and the person feels like they have to sit up to get enough air. There can be a heaviness in the chest as well as headache from coughing. 

Belladonna--this has not been suggested by other homeopaths but it fits the description of people who were perfectly fine then suddenly spiked a high fever and had a dry cough with it. Probably  better for people who respond well to Belladonna for other colds and flus.

Lycopodium--suggested by India and by Paul Herscu, well known American homeopath. This cough is dry, tickling, teasing and there is hunger for air (shortness of breath) worse laying down. People will feel better sitting up even if the cough is dry. This has been a good tuberculosis remedy in the past. Patients may or may not have the typical digestive symptoms of bloating and gas. I have seen a couple of people lately where the digestive symptoms are the only symptoms they have had (not tested positive for corona, but sick right now).

Gelsemium--I just added this back to the repetorization after hearing of a COVID sufferer in Seattle describe her flu symptoms.  Hers started slowly with fatigue, brain fog, chilliness, then went to a head cold and then the cough came on later.  These symptoms are exactly how a gelsemium flu starts. Now it could be that she had more than one virus. She could have had a gelsemium flu caused by Influenza A then COVID on top of that causing the cough.  At least it is worth noting here for anyone experiencing these symptoms. 

Sulphur--suggested by Paul Herscu who has treated people with bronchitis and pneumonia lately (but no one who tested positive for corona virus). Sulphur is a very common remedy used for all kinds of ailments. With corona, the symptoms sulphur can help with are dry cough, pain in sternum extending to the back which is worse at night. I have had a patient with these exact symptoms and I muscle tested another person who was recently sick and he responded well to sulfur. 

Arsenicum--Dr. Klinghardt is suggesting Arsenicum for the pnemonitis/pneumonia of Coronavirus. There may be burning pains either in the chest or sinus or throat but the person feels extremely chilly overall. The chest feels tight. Typically this remedy is very good for elderly patients or people who are extremely debiliated/end of life.

Antimonium tartarticum---I personally think this might be a very good remedy right now as i have used it successfully with 2 people with cough. This is best for advanced weakness and wet cough. With this remedy the patient just does not have the energy to clear rattling mucous in the chest. This can be used whether the deep lung problems are diagnosed as asthma, pneumonia or pneumonitis.  I feel that this remedy would follow Gelsemium well. Both have hallmark of fatigue. Ant tart is simply a deeper, wetter version of Gelsemium. The patient experiences a profound feeling of suffocation and may even turn a little blue. They usually will want to be left alone as they feel too weak for company and too drowsy to talk.

Ipecacuanha--I have heard of some people starting this flu with vomiting. In these cases, Ipecachuana (as a homeopathic only) can be used.  It clears asthma and pneumonia associated with coughing, gagging and vomiting. Usually the feeling of suffocation is worse than the actual O2 saturations when Ipecac is needed.  Remember, take the homeopathic, not Ipecac syrup!

Euphrasia--not for the coronavirus but for allergies which are also happening now that the plum trees have blossomed. Though a less debilitated or severe remedy, Euphrasia seems to be indicated right now for people allergic to pollens. It can be used for hayfever, asthma or hacking cough with a soreness behind the sternum.


One thing I would like to note, explain and stress to everyone right now:  many of the lung symptoms we are seeing are hypersensitivity reactions to essential oils!  I have been testing many people over the last couple of months for colds, ear infections, eczema and asthma and one product keeps coming back as a problem: OnGuard or Thieves blend. Made by different companies, these two products are similar blends of citrus, cinnamon and clove. I think Cinnamon may be the main culprit but the citrus strips away the protective lipid lining of the tender mucous membranes of the throat, sinus and lungs. Citrus is used as a degreaser. We should not be degreasing our lungs. Is this causing people to become allergic to cinnamon? There has been at least one study investigating pneumonitis as a result of hypersensitivity to essential oils:

 'When Oil Meets Air: A New Cause of Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis' by Kara Calhoun
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a complex lung disease whose cause may be difficult to guess. Reactions may not happen right away where the patient is first exposed. One article describes it this way: 
'The acute form occurs after hours or days of antigen exposure, that generally is a short-term and intermittent exposure. The patient’s symptoms begin with fever, cough, dyspnea, asthenia (weakness) and malaise that may persist for about a week after the causative agent exposure ends. --Gian Galeazzo Riario Sforza and Androula Marinou Clin Mol Allergy 2017; 15:6  

Please, please STOP diffusing essential oils. Though they may be nice as an occasional air freshener, people are diffusing them non-stop in offices, schools, daycares, and homes.  Essential oils are very potent. It is not good to be breathing them in for hours at a time. In medical school we learned to use eucalyptus and thyme oil as a short inhalation for sinus problems, putting a few drops into a steaming bowl of water while the patient puts their face over the bowl, breathing in deeply.  But this is short use, never more than 5 minutes at the most. I know people are going to be mad at me because their MLM company has the "purest, most organic" form of oils that can heal the world. But essential oils are simply too strong to be used in the ubiquitous way they are being used now. Let me repeat, the quality of the orange oil doesn't matter. Orange oil is a strong degreaser. I have also seen Cedar oil and Lavender create strong allergic reactions. I don't think these oils are bad, they are simply overused.

I hope this article has been helpful.  Though I have not seen any coronavirus patients, the symptoms described in the research and symptoms that I have heard and seen in my community lately really match the above remedies.  If you use these remedies, let me know how they work.  I am leaning strongly towards Antimonium tart as a major flu remedy right now, potentially also for Coronavirus.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Colocynthis-the crampy stomach flu

There is a stomach flu going around since about the week before Thanksgiving. It has gone through whole families and it takes days for everyone to be done with it. 

You start with a little nausea then comes the crampy abdominal pain which can continue throughout the ordeal. The cramps are so intense you have to bend over double and/or press in on the abdomen. Pressure and heat both help the crampy pain. Colocynthis is perfect for this.  These symptoms also go very well with Mag phos, however so far, Colocynthis has worked well for several people.

The cramps cause diarrhea, urgent diarrhea. The patient will have to head right back into the bathroom after coming out. When the stomach cramps come, the bathroom better be close by. Babies with this flu can have colic all day and night. Men have described the cramps as akin to being able to understand how labor feels. So you can imagine what a little baby who can't talk feels.

The good news is Colocynthis works quickly no matter which phase of the flu you are in. If you are lucky enough to take it when the only symptom is a little nausea, you will avoid this flu altogether. If you have the stomach cramps, just keep taking another dose every time they come back. One dose should last a few hours or even a whole day. If you get little sharp pains, such as a pain low down, making you think you might have appendicitis, take another dose of Colocynthis.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Kennel Cough Season--Bryonia

Kennel cough season is here again. Actually dogs can get "kennel cough" just about any time of year.  But Spring and Fall are the most common times when this cough goes around.

Dogs don't get kennel cough from being in a kennel. Rather, it is known this way because it is highly infectious. So if you kennel your dog with other dogs when you go on vacation, they are exposed to the other dogs and all the germs those dogs have. They quickly contract the cough though symptoms may not present for a number of days. Symptoms are snorting, hacking, gagging or coughing ending in vomiting.

Dogs can also get a cough from smoke or other inhaled particles so do not actually have to be in contact with other dogs for a cough to present. However the bacteria Bordetella Bronchisepitca is the most common bacteria causing cough in dogs and it is very contagious.

Typically kennel cough is treated with Doxycyline antibiotic. However, you can treat symptoms more quickly, or even treat alone, with homeopathic medicine. (Keep your dog quarantined until they have been symptom free for 10 days, however).

I was dog sitting the last week and the dog arrived with a cough and gagging ending in vomiting foamy saliva. She had been to the dog park several time in the past week. The vet assistant down the street confirmed it was kennel cough but there was no vet on hand to write a prescription for antibiotics. The owner was coming back late the next evening so I decided it would be ok for the dog to wait. She was running and playing and mostly not personally bothered by her cough or all the spit up I had to clean up.

So I went through remedies for pertussis.  Ipecac, Drosera and Bryonia include coughing until vomiting. Giving them all in a 6C low dose by mouth and by putting it in the water did not give good results. However Bryonia 30c by mouth (putting pellets on the floor and letting the dog lick them up) worked great. She stopped vomiting then stopped coughing all together. By the time her owner came to pick her up the next night she had not coughed for over 7 hours (it had been about every 15 minutes before that).

Interesting is the fact that outdoors in the cold foggy weather the dog had no cough. But indoors where it was warm due to heating, the cough was very bad. Bryonia does have the hallmark of symptoms being worse in a warm, stuffy room. Usually Bryonia is a very thirsty remedy but the dog did not seem to have a lot of thirst. Other than the cough she was playing and behaving normally.

The owner did take her to the vet and got antibiotics. However a couple of days later she was back to retching and having a dry croupy cough. I got her back the third day and started her on the Bryonia again. She has not been coughing since.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Fall 2019 ...Causticum! and repeat of Hepar sulph

The start of the school year saw the start of the cold, cough and flu. This fall came with the typical Hepar sulph nasal and chest symptoms of last school year:
  • sneezing leading to 
  • intense sinusitis with sinus pain, then 
  • thick mucous, post nasal drainage and 
  • cough where the mucous is thick and difficult to bring up
With Hepar sulph this can start with an exposure to cold wind, similar to other remedies. It can also be the last phase of a flu which leads into a chest cold. Usually Hepar sulph will follow Aconite which is a great remedy for the first hours of a fever which comes on after an exposure to cold, dry wind. However the flu which might be the instigator this year is Causticum.

Causticum is not a typical remedy that people immediately go to for the flu or a cold. An interesting symptom that many people have described at the very start of a flu this season is a feeling of being stupid.  It feels almost like the head is totally empty. You feel as if you have a total inability to do any mental work be it math, writing or even carrying on an interesting conversation.  You feel unable to do anything. Some might feel as if they even have Alzheimers!

At this time a person might also start feeling typical flu symptoms of chilliness, sensitive skin--very similar to Gelsemium. In fact, one person did tell me that they used Gelsemium for the empty head/flu symptom and they felt better. Gelsemium is known for the tired mind. It's not surprising that more than one remedy could work for a flu, especially near the beginning. That is because homeopathy is based on "like-cures-like". A remedy that is like or similar to the best remedy will also give some relief.

But there are more Causticum symptoms particular to this cold/flu. Causticum will have
  • sinus pain due to cold air. The sinuses are so painful that 
  • the face and teeth feel the pain.
  • pain can also go up to the ear.
There is also some sense of paralysis or muscle relaxation. This could be felt as:
  • awkwardness in chewing 
  • a sense of something stuck in the throat.
  • droopy eyelids (similar to Gelsemium)
  • a general feeling of relaxation in the whole body where the patient is not inclined to exercise.
  • Constipation
Despite paralysis, the tendons can become tight. It can be tight enough in the neck to cause torticollis. This tightness makes the joints hurt and if this becomes a chronic condition, it could lead to bones spurs or ankylosing spondylitis. Notice if your back pain gets worse during this flu. Also at the end of this flu, even a couple of weeks after, the knees, hips and other joints can feel very stiff when getting back to exercise.

People are also experiencing a lot of bladder infections right now. With Causticum there is burning and cutting pains during urination. There is itching or irritation at the urethra. If your usual Cantharis remedy for burning and cutting pains is not working, try Causticum.

One companion symptom with chronic Causticum is warts. If you have warts, you may notice more warts appearing during this cold and flu.

One of the hallmarks of Causticum as a constitutional remedy is a sensitivity to injustice. A Causticum person is very upset at the idea of dogs in the humane society, refugees not receiving aid, or any person/people group (or the earth for that matter) being oppressed. They feel they need to stick up for the downtrodden to the point of being willing to be rebellious or even to break laws. The current political climate in America is rife with this, and it is no wonder that the Causticum flu has shown up this year.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Gelsemium, Hepar sulph, Arsenicum --and don't forget the Aconite!

No energy? Feel like just laying in bed? Chilly? Headache? Tummy ache?

I heard that last week 30% of of the 8th grade was out of the local middle school sick. At an elementary school all the 5th grade teachers except for one were out sick. Three flus are operating concurrently this spring. Two are carry-overs from the winter. Here are the main symptoms of each flu, according to the remedy that treats them:

Gelsemium: This is the main flu right now. Typically this flu comes on more in spring when weather changes from cold to warm. Person is tired and weak. The brain also feels foggy or too tired to think. There is a significant heaviness and chilliness which alternates with feeling of fever. Head feels heavy, eyelids feel heavy. The voice can be hoarse. The throat feels swollen or as if there is a lump in it. Pain and swollen feeling can extend to the ears especially on swallowing.  This remedy is also useful for muscle weakness or fatigue that lasts long after the flu seems to be gone.

Hepar Sulph: This can be used concurrently with Gelsemium or by itself. Use Hepar sulph when there is a lot of mucous that is difficult to cough up. The stuck mucous can also fill the sinuses or continue to drain from the sinuses to the throat after the person feels that they have gotten better. Mucus is always thick in the case of Hepar Sulph. The cough will sound terrible even when the person doesn't feel bad anymore.

Arsenicum: There have not been many people complaining of this but there have been some. This time the arsenicum flu symptoms are focused on the gastrointestinal tract. Arsenicum flus will exhibit some burning symptoms while the person feels very chilled overall. The person feels as if they just cannot get warm but the nose, throat and stomach (mucous membranes in general) can feel burning or acidic. This can lead to feeling nauseousness and vomiting. Warm drinks such as tea feel good to the throat and stomach. The nose can have thin, watery, acrid coryza rather than the thick mucous of Hepar sulph.

ALSO: as we get into spring don't forget Aconite!!! When people are exposed to a cold wind and sickness comes on quickly (within 12 to 24 hours), give Aconite. This happens a lot in springtime because although it looks warm and sunny outside, the temperatures have actually not risen to summer levels. People often go outside without proper clothing or kids take jackets and sweaters off while playing then a cold wind comes and gives them a chill. Aconite Aconite Aconite first, then choose one of the remedies above.

Get these remedies now and you will be set to ward of a flu when the first symptoms strike this spring. If you have already gotten over your flu but have residual symptoms that just won't seem to leave, Gelsemium, Hepar sulph and Arsenicum with set you to rights.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

November 2018--Gelsemium flu

It is time for Gelsemium again. Whether you got the flu from a friend, family member or flu shot, consider Gelsemium for treating these symptoms:

--flu that comes on slowly. First you're tired, maybe the body/muscles feel a little heavy. Your brain feels a little slow or dull. But you don't yet realise you're getting sick.

--symptoms are worse with cold, damp foggy weather.

--heaviness in the limbs. All muscles feel relaxed, but not in a good way, more weak, heavy.  The weakness and heaviness can lead even to paralysis, which is why it may be a good remedy for Guillan barre or other paralysis caused by vaccinations.

--aching felt in the joints, but the main feeling is that of heaviness. The pain is a deep ache.

--Despite the relaxation of the muscles there can be twitching around the eyes or face and also writer's cramp in the hands.

--low back pain that feels deep, stiff, weak and goes to the hips.

--head feels heavy as do eyelids. The eyelids might even droop halfway. It's too difficult to keep the eyes open. Everything takes too much effort, even keeping the eyes fully opened.

--if there is a headache, it is in the occiput (back of the head) and behind the eyes. If not headache, the bones around the eyes feel bruised. Many areas of the body can feel bruised.

--there is not much thirst and the inside of the nose might be dry.

--trembling, dizziness, shakiness

It is always good to have Gelsemium on hand. Because by the time you realise you have the Gelsemium flu, you are too tired, weak, achy and dizzy to go to the health food store.

If you don't have any on hand, rest is the only thing that works for this flu. Gelsemium flus typically don't last too long once they are in the acute/feverish stage. But it's effects linger, with the achiness and slight heaviness lasting longer after the acute phase is over. So get some Gelsemium now so you can get better faster. A 30c dose is best.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Lycopodium, Aconite, Hepar sulph

Brrrr! It's cold!

There are a couple of illnesses going around right now. There is a stomach thing, a cough thing and Strep throat.  It starts with the cold:

When you get sick right after being out in the cold (especially cold wind), chances are you need Aconite. Aconite symptoms are:
Severe headache with fever
Sore throat, burning sensation, tonsillitis (enlarged, inflamed tonsils)
Increased thirst
Early stages of croup (loud unproductive cough)
in kids, one cheek will be red, the other pale
there may be anxiousness or fear with the fever, but not always
If you take Aconite within the first day of being sick, the homeopathic remedy has a good chance of turning things around.

If you let the sickness develop too long before taking Aconite, you may need Hepar sulph.
HEPAR SULPH follows many remedies and Aconite is one of them. When you have thick, stuck mucous or exudate (white spots) on the tonsils, Hepar sulph is a good choice.
The sore throat will come and go with Hepar sulph and the sore throat pain will shoot to the ear when you swallow. Sometimes it feels like there is a splinter in your throat when you swallow.

The third star remedy right now is LYCOPODIUM
I haven't talked about Lycopodium in a couple of years. What I've seen are a couple of very typical Lycopodium symptoms: lots of abdominal gas and bloating and increased appetite.
Sinus: right sided sinus inflammation, blocked sinuses worse at night, thick mucous
Resp: chronic, dry, tickling cough. Pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma

I've seen people with just the abdominal symptoms of Lycopodium, just the respiratory symptoms and just strep throat after having had a cough.  If there are any gastrointestinal symptoms, I would try the Lycopodium first.  If everything starts right after being out in the cold and the symptoms come on quickly, try the Aconite.  Use Hepar sulph when things go on too long (over a week or two) and the mucous seems really stuck.