the Ferrum phosphoricum flu, Vancouver Washington, September October 2014
Vancouver has had mild rain storms in the last week with cloud breaks offering really nice sky views. At the same time, there has been a mild flu going around. A ferrum phos flu.
With all the talk about Ebola in the news these last two weeks, I have been wondering one thing: what are the exact symptoms of Ebola? How does the person feel? The Liberian man in Texas described his first symptom as a sharp headache. A couple of days later, I got a sharp headache. Other symptoms followed (not symptoms of Ebola, just symptoms of a flu). Since I had been studying possible Ebola flu remedies, I decided to try one I had picked as a possible remedy. Here are the symptoms which developed over the course of 4 days...
Fever: I knew I was not feeling well when I was putting on a thick sweater at the office. Normally, a summer sweater would do in air conditioning on a 75 degree day. Although the sweater felt nice, I didn't feel overly chilled, and definitely never got shakes. Throughout the flu, I actually felt warmer than normal, which was nice because I'm usually a little cold, especially in air conditioning. the warmth stayed near the surface of the skin, rather than feeling hot on the inside and cold at the extremities as is the case in other flus. So this was not a Gelsemium flu, Belladonna flu or Arsenicum flu.
Headache: quickly following the short lived chill I got a sharp headache. I knew what the Ebola victim meant by "sharp".The pain started in my right nostril/sinus and went up to my right forehead as if a spear or knife went straight up through those places. The maxillary sinuses were very tender to air going in, especially on the R side. Again, the pain could be described as sharp. It also felt like a pressing pain on the forehead and at one point, both temples hurt and felt congested, almost throbbing, but not quite. In addition, the headache started actually in the occiput on the Right side. I normally have pain in that area, so at first, I did not know it was a sign of the flu. It felt good to press on the base off the occiput and also it felt as if I needed a chiropractic adjustment. The headache remained throughout the flu and in fact, was the last symptom to leave.
Nausea: nausea quickly developed with lack of appetite. Although at work, I didn't eat hardly anything the entire day. At first, I thought it was just stress related stomach problems because I was buying a used car for my daughter that week. But with the temperature and sinus symptoms, I was getting the picture that it was a flu. The nausea was part lack of appetite, part dizziness, and part light headedness. Every time the homeopathic I finally took wore off, the nausea and lightheadedness came back. The one thing I did have an appetite for was ice. I wanted ice cold water, and chewing on ice made my stomach feel better, more settled.
Eyes: When the headache started, photophobia came on as well. I had to squint while outdoors so as not to make the headache worse. By the third day, my eyes felt burning and as if there was sand in the lids. I thought I might be getting conjunctivitis.
what was absent: with this flu there was absolutely no joint pain. In fact, usually I have a little stiffness and joint pain. I actually felt fairly comfortable throughout this flu, except for the crick in my neck around C1/C2. I did drink less coffee, but the garden was producing oodles of cherry tomatoes and I ate plenty of those. (As we all know, nightshades can cause joint pain). So whether or not a change in diet had any affect on joint pain is unknown. Either way, this was definitely not a Eupatorium or an Arnica flu.
So what did I take?
I had insomnia as is normal during a flu and during the night I got up and took Sanginaria. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, a Sanguinaria flu starts with a pain in the neck and trapezius on the Right side going up to the right forehead and eye. It did nothing for my symptoms. Later I took Ipecac due to the nausea because I had to go to work. At this point, I was still not sure if my symptoms were due to stress or a flu. The nausea did not get worse, but I had absolutely no appetite and felt that if I ate, the nausea would worsen. Neither of these remedies stopped the headache, dizziness, or fever (and by fever, I really mean a warmth throughout the skin). I took Causticum later due to it's connection with a feeling of a crick in the neck during a flu. Nothing.
Then I happened upon a remedy that I was investigating due to Ebola. Ferrum phosphoricum. It is iron phosphate. The iron remedies, especially ferrum phosphoricum, are used to treat iron deficiency anemia. We know that people with iron deficiency crave ice. That is what made me think of a ferrum phos.
Ferrum phos matches these symptoms in the repertory:
EYE--Photophobia, headache during
EYE--Photophobia, fever during
EYE-Pain, sand, as if from
HEAD-Pain, accompanied by fever
HEAD-Pain, occiput, sore
HEAD-Pain, occiput extending to forehead
HEAD-Pain, sides, right
HEAD-Pain, eye, above
STOMACH-cold drinks ameliorate
I had looked at this remedy due to it's possible accompanying symptoms of hemorrhages from any orifice (coughing up blood (hemoptysis), bloody stools, bleeding from the gums, nosebleeds). Also it is listed as a remedy for the beginnings of contagions. Obviously I did not have these symptoms. But I took the remedy.
I started to feel better. The pain in the nostrils subsided. The headache lessened. I had taken a 200c dose because I wanted quick results. A couple of hours later I didn't feel as well as I wanted to. I wanted to take another dose but knew it was inadviseable to take another high dose. I had some ferrum phosphoricum cell salts (6x) so I took that. Pain in the nose subsided the sinuses started to drain even though they had not really felt congested. It felt as it does at the end of a cold when mucous is the last sign of residual illness. I found a 30c dose and that was the next dosage I took when the headache worsened again hours later. All symptoms abated without any new symptoms arising.
I had to take more 30c doses, about 2-3 doses per day for 3 days before the symptoms completely subsided. Taking the remedy helped me feel good enough for a few hours to go about what I had to do--purchase a car for my daughter, cook, eat, type up chart notes, etc.
But was this only my experience? Was it isolated or was this flu going around? On the first day that I had a headache, a friend also had a headache. When I asked him to describe the headache it matched mine--on the Right side, in the nose and sinus and going up behind and above the Right eye. He also had a sore throat. I gave him a dose of ferrum phos 30c and asked him to get back to me. 4 hours later, he texted that he felt much better. About 24 hours later, he wanted another dose. He took that and felt better again.
In addition, two other people had similar flu symptoms that week. Their only complaints were nausea, lack of appetite, headache and slight vertigo.
It would be interesting for homeopaths to collect more detailed information about Ebola symptoms to see if ferrum phos could be of use, especially in the early stages. Perhaps Ebola is getting out of hand due to a ferrum phos flu going around simultaneously with Ebola. Either way, if you have any of the above symptoms in the next few weeks and try ferrum phos, let me know how it works.