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.