Colds and influenza ("flu") are common infections that affect the upper respiratory tract, including the nose and throat. It is caused by different types of viruses such as rhinovirus, influenza, and adenovirus.
After initial infection, symptoms continue from 12 hours to 8 days. These symptoms include:
- Running nose, watery eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Muscular aches
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
- Symptoms of the common cold usually resolve in 7 to 8 days.
The flu occurs most frequently in winters, the rainy season, a humid atmosphere, and sudden changes of weather.
These viral infections are usually transmitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes and spreads contaminated droplets through the air. Infections may also be spread by direct contact with the infected person or his or her personal effects.
The Orthodox Approach
Treatment is usually available by medication: antibiotics, antiviral drugs, analgesics, and antipyretics (fever-reducers).
The IMI Approach
The Naturopathic Approach. Normally, a simple, herbal, viral management therapy that supports the immune system is the recommended approach. The following are a part of our protocols:
- The extract of elderberries has been proven in studies to both reduce the severity and duration of flu, provided it is of therapeutic strength and taken at therapeutic doses.
- Propolis from the bee is more than handy; it is often given to manage a developing throat infection. Our product, from Brazil, is the strongest available.
- Certain forms of zinc have been proven to reduce the severity and intensity of flu symptoms. It is taken as a lozenge.
- High doses of Vitamin C may be used to prevent secondary bacterial infections.
- Like Vitamin C, Echinacea is considered at the very first stage, though is of not much help in the later stages.
- Bed rest and plenty of warm water with honey and lemon, sometimes ginger, is also often recommended.
- Homeopathic remedies are also usually used based on the main symptoms.
A naturopath's concern is also to reduce the frequency of colds and flu, as these are so often present in schoolchildren. There are a couple of excellent strategies using selected probiotics and nutritional supplements that have been effective. One Lactobacillus product has been shown in four studies to reduce by half the number of fevers and days off school.
For recurrent colds, a look into allergies is often required.
The Homeopathic Approach. Naturopaths will often combine the treatments described above with a homeopathic remedy. Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. Remedies are selected based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity. The aim of homeopathy is to not only treat the symptoms, but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. The only way complete health can be regained is by removing all the signs and symptoms from which the client is suffering.
Many parents rely on homeopathy to successfully treat colds and flu in their children, as children like the sweet taste of the pills.
Some important remedies for cold treatment include: Aconite, Bryonia, Belladonna, Hepar Sulph, Allium Cepa, Euphrasia, Ipecac, Ammonium Carb, Aurum Triph, Kali Carb, Kali Bich, Phosphorous, Merc Sol, Calcaria Carb, and many other medicines.
For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the client should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor.