In continuance of our discussion of the treatment of the common cold we can now look at some homeopathic remedies. It should be understood that the remedies are not meant to suppress or suddenly stop the symptoms. Rather they will give a boost to your immune system so it can more effectively deal with the infection or allergy, and you will feel more energetic and not so dragged down by the cold symptoms.

Aconite is usually thought of as the first remedy to take at the onset of a cold, especially if the symptoms have come on suddenly after exposure to a cold, dry wind. However I have found Rhus tox to be more effective than Aconite in the initial stages of a cold, with the keynote symptoms of exposure to cold, damp or rainy weather or after taking cold drinks or food. There may also be fever with general body aching and restlessness.

After the initial dose of either aconite or rhus tox the feverish state will subside and you can then proceed according to the symptoms.

A few of the common cold remedies include:

Arsenicum album. Its symptoms include: burning watery discharge that causes irritation and and redness of the skin below the nostrils; frequent sneezing; chilliness and thirst for small quantities of water frequently; aggravation after midnight; irritable and restless; nose may feel stopped up though there is fluent discharge.

Gelsemium may be required more in flu season or when the weather is changing. It is more beneficial in the summer or when it is hot and humid. Gelsemium is characterized particularly by heaviness of the eyelids with drowsiness and lethargy, headache, backache and aching in the limbs. There will be violent sneezing in the morning with watery burning nasal discharge and redness of the edges of the nostrils as in Arsenicum. Thirstlessness is one of its keynotes with chilliness or alternation of heat and chills.

Pulsatilla will be indicated more in the later stages of the cold as the discharge is now thick and yellow or yellowish green in the morning, but transparent throughout the day. The discharge will be more fluent outdoors but stopped up in a warm room, as Pulsatilla patients tend to feel better in open air. Pulsatilla is also known for its thirstlessness and whininess, and will probably require a lot of attention. There may be loss of taste and smell. A peculiarity of Pulsatilla is that the discharge may be one-sided, predominantly from only one nostril.

It is not possible to cover all of the possible remedies that could be used for the common cold in such a small article, but this gives you an idea of how to proceed with treatment.

Dr. Barbara Bova, HOD, Dept. of Homeopathy