Dusting off the ol’ blog to share some homeopathy news which may be helpful during this crazy flu season. The Genus Epidemicus is a homeopathy term describing the one remedy which fits the current circulating (epidemic) illness. Although some people may experience different symptoms than someone else, all of the symptoms are usually covered by the Genus Epidemicus (GE).
The great thing about determining the GE is that you can then use the remedy to try to prevent the illness. If someone starts coming down with the illness, you can give the GE right away and that person may be able to fight it off and not get sick. It can also help once a person does become sick to minimize symptoms and speed recovery.
Here in southwest Florida, the weather has turned cold, then a brief warming last week, and now cold again and windy. I have seen two cases of flu so far (my daughters – one at home and one away) with similar symptoms as follows.
Case 1 started on 1/8/18
Day 1 & 2:
- starts with severe sore throat & fever
- throat pain, swallowing but food ameliorates
- fever with heat and perspiration, but chilled if covers removed
- skin sensitive, hurts to touch
- head pain, forehead
- post nasal drip
- stuffy nose, coryza alt sides
- body aches
She tried Arsenicum on her own with no results, then called me. I suggested Nux, 30c on Day 2.
Day 3 (rubrics in parentheses):
- really deep cough, difficult expectoration, “so deep I can’t get it out.” (cough, deep enough, as if he could not cough, to start mucous)
- cough is worse as soon as I lie down at night (cough, lying agg, down, head touches pillow, as soon as)
- skin still hurts (skin, pain, sore, bruised)
- “I feel delirious.” (mind, delirium)
- sweating with fever and now chills (fever, heat, followed by chill)
Took Nux, then took Lachesis on her own, both didn’t really help. Called me. Sounded like Causticum, which she did not have, or Drosera. So I suggested Drosera, 30c complementary to Nux. Took it – said it helped immediately.
Day 4 good with Drosera riding.
- constant all night, deep cough (cough, constant, night; cough, deep seated)
- nose blocked, can’t breath through it (nose, inflammation, catarrhal, suppressed)
- bad headache, like my brain hurts (head, pain, brain)
- can’t bring up mucus, cough it up and must swallow “it doesn’t get up high enough.” (expectoration, swallow, must, what has been loosened)
- I can’t get it out of my throat – like a lump or ball of mucous, (larynx & trachea, mucous in air passages, ejected with difficulty; throat, mucous, detach, difficult to; throat, mucous lumps; generalities, ball sensation, internally)
- mucous, what little I can get out is clear or white (expectoration, mucous, white)
- cough, sometimes it’s dry, sometimes loose (alternates both morning and evening)
- I feel like I’m about to die (mind, delusions, imaginations, die, about to)
- skin hurts (skin, pain, sore, bruised)
Sepia (fits her well overall, plus complementary to Nux).
“Worked GREAT!” Two doses, no further dosing necessary. Took Kali Mur cell salt to help clear up the rest of mucous.
Case 2 – Started on 1/14/18
- fever, dry, great heat all over but chilled if uncovered
- severe sore throat, talking & empty/liquid swallowing agg.
- Skin hurts bad to touch
- mild stomach ache
- headache and mild body aches
Tried Aconite, 30c first since it started in morning upon waking, day before was cold and windy, and she often responds to it. Didn’t help. Went to Nux after noon. Nothing with 30c, just taking the edge off with 200c, 1M aggravates.
Intense heat with fever, but uncovering caused a chill and, sensitive, sore skin seemed to be the two biggest symptoms which pointed to Nux. Was also irritable. Alternated Nux with Influenzinum every 2 hours. Nat Sulph and Ferrum Phos cell salts. No real improvement. Feels “like death” at 10pm.
Gave Sulphur, 200c – matched symptoms and based on it being chronic and complementary to both Aconite and Nux. Also, when well indicated remedies fail in acute illness. Went to sleep immediately. Woke up at 11:00 pm, perked right up and said, “I’m craving bacon. I feel better.” Insisted on eating bacon at 11:30p (had not eaten all day). Was significantly improved. No further doses.
Much better but still sick. Expectoration horrible green/yellow chunks with blood. Fever intermittent. Repeated Sulphur, no help. Gave Tub (she responds to Tub constitutionally and is craving bacon.) Also, Tub has fever with shivering if uncovered and is indicated in ailments while recovering from influenza. Also did not want to follow Sulphur directly with Lycopodium).
Same but improved. Lots of expectoration but no cough. Very strong craving for oranges. This is significant for her as she does not like fruits or vegetables and ate an entire orange at 9:30p. Desires oranges, bold for only two remedies: Lycopodium and Med. But as she was definitely improved and feeling good, no dose was given.
Seems a bit worse. “Feels like a giant ball of mucus in my throat. I can’t get it out. It’s like it is right there but I have to swallow it back down.” Symptoms for Lycopodium now showing strongly. Dosed Lycopodium, cleared up very quickly. Asked to go to school later in the day!
Hering Materia Medica:
Nux – Mucous membrane of uvula very red and swollen, with sensation of ball in throat and constant desire to swallow.
Lycopodium – Accumulation of mucus in throat; as if a ball rose up in throat; hawking of bloody mucus or of hard, greenish-yellow phlegm; feeling as if a ball rose from below into the throat; feeling as of a hard body in esophagus;
Looking back it seems Lycopodium covered all from the start. Zigzagged through first case but perhaps Lycopodium would have cured sooner as the symptoms were all similar. After 2nd case, three more cases in household at first sign (sore throat, achiness, and stomach ache), Lycopodium worked immediately and fought it off completely.
This is a great example of how modalities and Strange, Rare, and Peculiars (SRPs) can really help find the right remedy. Colds and flus are sometimes difficult to treat as so many of the same symptoms fall under different remedies and they can all start to look alike. Thankfully, the body will usually show you the right symptoms to determine the best fit.
For example, Gelsemium usually has heavy arms and legs, a headache starting in the back of the head and spreading up to the forehead, and is not typically thirsty. Arsenicum is usually chilled, has quite a productive runny nose, and can be quite thirsty but for small sips. Eupatorium has horrible aching in the bones. Beyond that, symptoms like achiness, sore throat, and fever are pretty much useless in helping to select the remedy unless you can get specific modalities. We also often fall into the pattern of giving Kali Bich because the mucus is thick and yellow or green or giving Phosphorous because it went right to the chest, but a more specific match might be better indicated. The Materia Medica will usually have the answers while the repertory will give us the general remedies to investigate further.
In this case, both of the first cases had a fever with extreme heat but horrible chills when uncovered. Both had skin that felt sore to the touch. Both had a “ball sensation” of mucus in the throat and mucus that was difficult to detach and “had to swallow what they could bring up.” These are all very good clues that can be pieced together to find the simillimum.
The second case gave even more clues and even SRPs (Strange, Rare, and Peculiars) like craving bacon after a day of severe illness where she had basically slept all day and not eaten. Then craving oranges with a relapse of symptoms. The body will tell us what it needs if we listen.
Hope it is helpful and hope you stay well!