Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Hepar sulph (Fall 2015)--the flu that just won't end
In my last post (please read), I told about the Bryonia flu, in which cold intolerance is a hallmark. While Bryonia marks the beginning of this slowly onsetting flu, when it continues and morphs into the sticky, gluey, stuffy cold you get when mucous fills the respiratory tract and decides to set up camp, you might have the hepar sulph flu.
Hepar sulph is also known as calcium sulfide and is prepared by peeling the calcium rich inner layer of an oyster shell (see pic above) and combining it with sulfur and then treating it with hydrochloric acid. One of the hallmarks of this remedy is the inability to bear cold, so it is a remedy which follows the Bryonia flu well.
Similar to Bryonia, people suffering from the Hepar sulph flu feel worse with cold drafts, want to be wrapped and even their head covered up to protect the ears from cold wind. They feel better in warmth and humidity. They are also irritable like Bryonia. People in a chronic Hepar sulph state are good workers (similar to Calc carb.--calcium carbonate) but they don't tolerate the imperfections and the annoying nature of other people and thus are known to be 'grumpy'. At the same time, they are also sensitive and get their feelings hurt easily, mirroring their sensitivity to a slight cold draft.
In the flu state of Hepar sulph, there is much mucous. Take a look at the oyster shell picture above. It does not look clean and smooth. There is a lot of icky matter clinging to the shell. Simlarly, in a Hepar sulph flu mucous is abundant and becomes sticky and thick, coating the sinuses, throat, and bronchioles. It is difficult to expel. Sinus infection ensues (or what is known as a sinus infection in western medical terms) as well as bronchitis. While these problems are commonly treated with antibiotics in the United States, the medicine does not solve the problem of the sticky mucous.
Hepar sulph is commonly used for tonsillitis and ear infection where the sore throat pain on swallowing shoots up to the ear in a piercing manner. In a child who does not talk, you may notice them cry out every time they swallow and they may also tug on their ear or cover their ear with their hand They want to be wrapped up. Mouth ulcers and cold sores can also be helped by hepar sulph.
Already this year I have had a few people come to me at the end of their course of antibiotics thinking that they need something more--more antibiotics or something different. I give them something different--homeopathy. Their noses are still stuffy, they are still coughing. Though they might feel that their production of mucous has waned, the existing mucous still clings to the mucous membranes. Whereas the Bryonia cough is dry, the Hepar sulph cough is wet sounding, yet the mucous is difficult to bring up. When the nature of the cough changes from dry to wet sounding, you know you have to switch from Bryonia to Hepar sulph.
Actually, if people would take the Bryonia homeopathic near the beginning of the flu, I am certain that they would never reach a Hepar sulph state. However most people come to me after having gone to urgent care and having taken antibiotics already. If you go to your nearest Natural Grocers, Chuck's produce, Whole Foods or other health food store, stock up on Bryonia and Hepar sulph in a 30c dose if you can find it. Those in a less toxic state or children may get away with a 12c or 6c potency. You can usually avoid antibiotics by having the proper homeopathic remedies on the shelf.