The common cold is one of the most ubiquitous infections known. Seemingly resistant to treatment, the acute common cold will run its course of 7 to 10 days, before freeing the afflicted person of its irritating symptoms. The type of treatment used will determine the amount of relief sustained or what sequelae will develop.
There is no one cause to which we can attribute the common cold. It is often said to be a viral infection when nothing else is obvious. It could also be related to environmental pollutants, overexposure to the elements, changes in weather or season, allergies or sensitivities to foods, odors or pollen.
Unfortunately Western medicine has convinced the world of the necessity of suppressing any nasal discharge as soon as it appears with nasal sprays, decongestants and anti-histamines, and even antibiotics. The resultant dry stuffy nose that causes difficulty breathing and heaviness in the head is directly associated with the suppression of a healthy discharge. However the general belief is that if the discharge is no longer present, the medicine has worked. But the simple innocuous runny nose that has been suppressed could develop into more severe symptoms such as sinusitis, fever with sore throat or cough. According to homeopathy, a discharge is a positive sign, an expression of the body’s efforts to help clear out the infecting agent or local irritant. The homeopathic remedy assists the immune system’s efforts so that you may even initially experience more discharge after taking the appropriate remedy, accompanied by a distinct feeling of relief.
Rather than suppressing the discharge it is better to make some changes in lifestyle such as changing the diet to avoid mucous producing foods such as dairy products, sweets, fried foods, processed foods; cold drinks and cold foods such as ice cream. It is also helpful to avoid overexposure to the elements and to environmental pollutants. Simple steam inhalation can help to relieve nasal congestion. Any products that contain menthol or camphor should be avoided as they will antidote homeopathic remedies.
The Schuessler tissue salts or 12 biochemics have proven to be very effective in the treatment of the common cold. If the simple runny nose is accompanied by other symptoms or is threatening to develop into more serious symptoms, the indicated homeopathic remedy can be added to the biochemics. It is best to avoid antibiotics because clinical experience has shown that the frequent and overuse of antibiotics in the treatment of upper respiratory infections often leads to chronic infections, occurring every two to three weeks after the previous one. This is a common complaint seen in children who have been given antibiotics at the first sign of an upper respiratory infection. Over a period of time the child is seen to develop a troubling cough along with the runny nose.
The next article will elaborate on the appropriate homeopathic remedies and biochemics to use in the treatment of the common cold.
Dr. Barbara Bova, HOD,
Department of Homeopathy