Sunday, April 26, 2020
One of my colleagues who has chronic asthma recently recovered from a fairly severe case of COVID. Honestly if she would have gone to the ER she likely would have been put on a ventilator. Luckily, she did not do that and treated herself at home with supplements, inhalers, breathing treatments, many forms of heat, and a CPAP. The worst part of her time was 4 days in which she had pain with every breath and pain in most of her joints.
When she reported her case to me, these were her main signs and symptoms:
-high fever with some sweating but wants to be warm and wrapped up.
-hot showers, hot tea and hot soup all help with cough and pain. She took a long hot steamy shower every day
-chest is tight, as if a band is around it
-bone pain better with movement, she wanted to constantly move to help the pain
-headache terrible, nothing making it better except for being asleep
-fatigue was crushing as if she could not move. She was trying to lie perfectly still except the tiny movements that helped the joint pain
In the Desktop Companion to Physical Pathology, Roger Morrison describes the Rhus tox flu like this:
-flu with anguish, aching and restlessness
-moderate to high fever
-chills especially from uncovering or draft (this is similar to BRYONIA)
-chilly and relieved by warm baths, applications or drinks (actually we know that Rhus tox is usually better with piping hot things)
-pains ameliorated by nearly constant movements
It is also a pneumonia remedy. Roger Morrison lists these symptoms:
-later stages of pneumonia with restlessness, anxiousness (ARSENICUM) and stupor (GELSEMIUM)
-physical restlessness with great aching
-sudden chills and fever in paroxysms
-cough worse cold
-thick mucous, sputum may be rusty
While there are more lung symptoms with COVID which are not described here but the ones that are described do fit. The flu symptoms certainly all fit.
I showed my colleague Morrison's description and she said that 'anguish' really describes it well.
I normally use Rhus tox for arthritis (especially arthritis which is worse by eating nightshades) and for lyme disease. Rhus tox is poison ivy. I think that since lyme originates in the forest (via ticks), it's neat that the cure (for many people) is also from the forest.
Please, start using Rhus tox and let me know how it goes. I was not able to give it to my colleague because I spoke with her after she had recovered.
To make an appointment with Dr. Wagner, call 360-433-2727
Sunday, April 19, 2020
Homeopathic medicines have been used to treat epidemic diseases as well as been used as a prophylaxis during epidemics to avoid infection.
The founder of homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, wrote about epidemic prophylaxis in the 6th Organon of the Healing Art (aphorism 73, footnote 73b). This idea was introduced during a time before vaccines were invented, therefore many M.D.s were open to using homeopathy as treatment and prophylaxis of epidemic disease. Robert Dudgeon M.D., a founder of the Hahnemann hospital, wrote about the effective prophylactic treatment of 1646 children by 10 doctors. 123 of the children contracted scarlet fever which is an infection rate of under 1%. This is much lower than the rate of infection at that time which was as high as 90%. At that time Belladonna (in homeopathic dilution) was used for this prevention.
Homeopathic medicine was used for the influenza epidemic of 1918. Mortality rate was generally 2.5% when treated with allopathic medicine, but those treated homeopathically had a mortality rate of 1.05% (History of the Treatment of Epidemics with Homeopathy by Julian Winston).
For every flu circulating, homeopaths try to find the 'genus epidemicus' of that flu. That means they try to find the homeopathic remedy that can alleviate the specific symptoms common to the circulating flu. That is the reason this blog was started. Each flu has different symptoms--fever, headache, joint pain, nasal stuffiness, chills, etc. We can tally these symptoms in a number of people to find which remedy matches most of the cases we see. Hahnemann said that the remedy found could be given to healthy individuals to prevent the flu.
To find the correct remedy for the circulating flu, patients are interviewed at length about their symptoms. Doctors in Hong Kong have compiled a list of common symptoms amongst COVID19 positive patients then watched closely for positive effect of homeopathic given in office. (After listening to symptoms and choosing a remedy, the patient stayed in the office until a positive effect of the given remedy was seen). The most common symptoms were slow manifistation of symptoms, chill, mind stupification, weakness, tickling cough, and pain in the bones. They found that these remedies were their top four effective remedies:
The Gelsemium picture looked like this: chill and fatigue, mental fatigue, no thirst, headache like a band around the nead, tickling in the throat, cough with involuntary urination while coughing, cough worse at night, and all symptoms worse wet weather. This was the top remedy.
Bryonia follows Gelsemium well especially after suppressive medications such as Ibuprofen and Tylenol are given. Bryonia symptoms were increased thirst (especially for warm water), dry cough worse at night, desire to be alone, chest pain with cough, tickling in the throat worse when entering a warm room, throat pain and a catch in the breath with cough. Many people feel that Bryonia is the top remedy for COVID19.
Arsenicum symptoms were chill, diarrhea and vomiting, minimal cough, thirsty but nausea worse with drinking, nausea at the smell of food, symptoms aggravated when eating and drinking and nausea temporarily relieved by vomiting.
Eupatorium symptoms were fever, severe myalgia even to the point of the back feeling broken, mild cough, and thirstlessness. I have heard reports of severe body aches in people who treated themselves at home (ie: did not have to go to the hospital for shortness of breath).
So we can see that in different people there are different symptoms though many symptoms overlap. What does this mean for finding the genus epidemicus?
1. There are likely different strains of COVID19 circulating
2. There may be regional reactions to COVID19 based on air temperature and air quality, humidity or other factors
3. There may be differing reactions to COVID19 based on the predisposition of the individual. This predisposition could be based on genetics, lifestyle, and the level of something called the 'vital force'--which is thought to be the inherent life energy of an individual which is capable of bringing the body back to homeostasis.
4. There may be 2 or more remedies for this flu because it is a complex flu. Is there bacterial infection on top of the viral one? Many feel this must be the case because Azithromycin does seem to help people.
What the doctors in Hong Kong decided to do was recommend a combination of Gelsemium and Bryonia, both in 30c dose, to be taken as prophylaxis. It is estimated that 50% of the population in Macau, China used these as prophylaxis. Out of over 600,000 people there were only 10 local cases of COVID19.
How often should one take these homeopathics as prevention? The common recommendation is to take one dose once weekly. When 2 remedies are suggested, one can take them alternating or combined into one remedy.
What strength should be used? This is debated amongst homeopaths and each individual has their favorite method of dosing homeopathics. Hahnemann tested out differing methods of dosing and in his later years gave doses in water rather than by pellets. This was thought to have a more gentle effect, especially when given as prophylaxis.
Can people get symptoms from taking a homeopathic prophylaxis? Yes. Similar to getting some flu symptoms from a flu vaccine, taking a homeopathic prophylactically can, in some people, create mild symptoms. Symptoms could be felt for a few hours to a couple of days for most people, although the majority of people will not note any symptoms from homeopathic prophylaxis at all.
I have taken a homeopathic combination formula developed for bronchitis during this (COVID) time. Any time I have felt shortness of breath, I have taken it. It has always relieved symptoms within about five minutes. One week when I felt very exhausted, shaky and drained at the end of the day, I took Gelsemium twice and I felt better within a day. I am currently working on a homeopathic combination in liquid dose that should be effective for the symptoms we have seen with COVID19. I must note that I did get a nasopharyngeal COVID 19 test after 5 days of mild shortness of breath and the test was negative. I will be taking the antibody test soon.
I also would like to note that most homeopaths believe that if someone has a 'constitutional remedy', that remedy should be taken as prophylaxis. A constitutional remedy is a remedy which matches a person's constitution--or their typical weaknesses and recurring symptoms. Since the remedy brings the body back into balance or to a position of strength, their constitutional remedy has a good chance of helping them fight off an infection while remaining asymptomatic.
Stay tuned for the availability of our homeopathic flu prophylaxis for 2020.
Saturday, March 28, 2020
Homeopathic doctors from Hong Kong today reviewed cases with naturopathic and homeopathic doctors from around the world. Theses are case studies followed up by initial epidemiologic study of homeopathic prophylaxis in Hong Kong. This is what they found for patients who tested positive for COVID 19: (caveat--these were outpatients who were ambulatory presenting to clinic, generally younger than 40, healthy)
-homeopathic principles must of course be followed such as:
1. take the case for each patient (different patients may require different remedies)
2. the strength of the dose should match the strength of the symptoms in the case
3. homeoprophylaxis does work to decrease cases
The top remedies for Hong Kong (compiled from 18 COVID positive patients) were:
Gelsemium--symptoms are slow onset of chill, lethargy, mind stupefication, no thirst, cough worse at night, tickling in the throat, involuntary urination with cough
Bryonia--slow on set of symptoms, chill without fever, stupification, weakness, desire to be alone, increased thirst for lots of cold water, tickling in the throat, headache increases with cough, difficulty breathing worse at night and worse with motion (wants to lie still). Bryonia follows Gelsemium well so it is not surprising that these are the two top remedies showing up together.
Arsenicum--symptoms begin with diarrhea and vomiting, chill, nausea with smell of food and better temporarily from vomiting. Minimal cough. This could be a good remedy for those presenting to hospital or a good remedy for the elderly
Eupatorium perfoliatum--fever, severe myalgia, cough. The back feels like it is broken. No thirst, mild cough
Homeoprophylaxis was then used in thousands of people with very good results in terms of preventing infection (or at least preventing symptoms as asymptomatic people were not tested). Gelsemium and Bryonia were the homeopathic prophylaxis remedies used. In Macau where up to 50% of the population used homeoprophylaxis there were only 10 COVID cases in a population of over 622,000 where there are visitors arriving from mainland China daily! https://www.usnews.com/news/cities/articles/2020-03-24/macau-how-a-densely-populated-chinese-territory-is-keeping-coronavirus-at-bay
For prophylaxis what was given was once weekly (or daily for known contact with infected case) 30c dose in water. Remember, these suggestions are based on epidemiologic facts as we have them now. Full and complete studies have not been completed. The CDC does not support the use of homeopathic prophylaxis for COVID or any other illness.
Homeopathy is a great treatment to give during the time between a sample is taken from the patient and a test result comes back. Even in Hong Kong they experienced 7-10 days before they got results from the lab. As hospitals and even doctors are not allowed to give precious new potential treatments to patients with only mild to moderate symptoms, homeopathy is really one of the best options we have at the moment. It can be combined with vitamin or herbal therapies (as long as herbals are given at a different time or in capsules).
Thursday, February 27, 2020
*******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. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2761044
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. (http://www.flucaster.com/2019/11/kennel-cough-season-bryonia.html
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.
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. UPDATE: turns out this is the main remedy used in Hong Kong by some homeopaths.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT, BUT VERY IMPORTANT....
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 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5339989/
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
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 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
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
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.
- 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.
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.