Intermittent fever with chill always at the same hour with thirst only between the chill and heat - Sabad.
Vomiting between the chill and heat with bitter vomiting, "As bitter as gall“ - Eupat-per.
Between the chill and heat, sour vomiting; "Sour as vinegar“ - Lyc.
Fever after use of a catheter: Acon.
Fever commencing with vertigo: Cocc.
Fever without thirst – Gels. Puls. Apis. Calad. Acet-ac. Vario.
Fever with yawning and stretching: Rhus-t.
Dr. Sunirmal Sarkar: Mental insanity coming on after suppression of intermittent fever - Elat.
[Cummings and Ullman]
Fever and influenza
Fever is not a disease, but it so commonly accompaning many kinds of illnesses that we have covered it separately here. Influenza, on the other hand, is a specific type of viral infection.
Fever can accompany almost every type of infection and occurs in other illnesses as well. Fever may be the only apparent symptom of an illness (early stages).
Don't be frightened by the fever itself, fever is usually a beneficial phenomenon. Not only is it a valuable warning that an infection is taking place, but the fever is itself part of the body's defence against the infection.
Ancient physicians (Hippocrates and Celsus) considered fever a means by which the body "cooks," separates, and eventually eliminates the disease. In more scientific terms, the ability to increase body temperature has come to be understood as a basic defence shared by all organisms that can regulate their own internal temperature. Fever may help fight infection in various ways.
Simple elevation of temperature reduces the growth of or even kills some disease-causing organisms. More indirect effects of fever include enhancement of such innate immune defences as increasing the production of interferon (a substance made by the body that inhibits viral reproduction) and increasing white blood cell mobility and activity. Fever, indeed, is an important positive response of the body.
Fever is defined somewhat arbitrarily as a rise in body temperature to above 99.5° F (measured orally). Actually, normal body temperature varies from person to person and, for each person, with time of day, activity level, and other factors. The traditionally normal reading of 98.6° F (37°C) is only an approximate average; your own temperature may range from a little higher than 96° F to about 99°F when you're perfectly healthy. Also, temperature elevations (as high as 103° F in children) can occur after exercise or from being overdressed.
The body's regulatory mechanisms limit fevers to a maximum of 105° F to 106° F during simple acute illnesses in normal individuals.
Higher temperatures can be harmful, but unless there is something else complicating the acute illness, a fever rarely gets so high that it threatens health. Dehydration that results from fever can be dangerous (children/elderly), but it can be prevented by making certain that extra liquids are consumed.
High fevers also sometimes cause seizures in children. Such "febrile seizures" usually occur while the temperature is rising rapidly, and end once it has reached its peak. They are most likely to occur in boys between 6 - 24 months old. In children who are otherwise healthy, the seizure tends to affect the whole body, not just one part or one side, and to last no more than twenty minutes, usually much less. Any deviation from this pattern may indicate an underlying neurologic disorder. Although all children who have seizures during a fever need to be medically evaluated, simple febrile seizures tend to happen only once or twice and cause no lasting ill effects. They are not uncommon and generally do not represent a serious health problem.
What all this means is that the fever accompanying an acute illness is not ordinarily a cause for concern. Instead of worrying about the fever, you should pay attention to the illness responsible and try to aid the healing efforts of the body. So long as it is not too high, the fever is best left to continue its work as part of the body's effort to heal.
Rest and plenty of liquids (to replace the body fluid lost due to sweating) are still important in the care of a person with a fever. It is normal for fever to be accompanied by a diminished appetite, so don't force-feed the patient. Since heat is dissipated through the skin, allow for good air circulation in the room and make certain the patient isn't heavily covered or dressed - clothing should be the minimum necessary to prevent chilliness.
Often these steps are all that's necessary to relieve a mild fever. We don't recommend treatment with either conventional or homeopathic medicines for minor fevers.
Sometimes bringing the fever down is a worthwhile goal in itself - if the temperature is 103.5°F or higher for more than an hour, if at any time it climbs above 105°F, if the patient is a child who has had febrile seizures, or if the fever simply has lasted long enough to be exhausting or really uncomfortable. But remember, fever is a protective response, and you should consider suppressing a fever only for the reasons just mentioned.
Although there is some controversy about its efficacy, sponge bathing is recommended by many clinicians as an effective, drug-free way to bring down fevers of mild or moderate illnesses - and should be used immediately if the temperature rises to 106° F or if the patient becomes delirious or has a fever-related seizure. If the patient can put up with some discomfort, sponge bathing works more quickly than conventional medicines. Actually, research shows that sponge bathing works best in combination with acetaminophen given to reset the body's "thermostat" about ½ hour before - but if you've decided to use conventional medicine, you probably won't need to bother with a sponge bath.
In any case, here's the technique: Just have the person sit in a basin or tub in waist-deep, lukewarm water (don't use alcohol). Gradually lower the water temperature by letting a little cold water run into the tub. Use a wet sponge or washcloth to bathe all exposed skin, including the face, and get the hair wet as well. Continue for 10 - 15 minutes. Then pat-dry the largest drops of water and allow the skin to air-dry in a cool room, protecting the person from drafts.
When fever is too high, too uncomfortable, or has lasted too long, and if the homeopathic medicines are not working rapidly enough, you may want to use medication such as acetaminophen (= paracetamol), aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn). All these drugs work to reduce fever, but keep in mind that there is good scientific evidence that they also interfere with the body's own immune defenses. Each has its pros and cons and should not be used with any other. In general, we prefer acetaminophen if one of these drugs must be used. In any case, you must be absolutely certain they are stored in a safe place so accidental poisoning cannot occur. Seek medical advice before giving any of these medicines to a baby younger than two.
When used correctly, acetaminophen is safe and rarely causes side effects, and it is easier to give to children because it is available in a liquid and in suppositories. However, overdoses can cause serious poisoning with potentially irreversible liver damage. Be especially careful to follow package directions when using the liquid forms of acetaminophen. The drops meant for babies are much more concentrated than the liquid intended for older children, which has led to poisonings when parents confused the two forms.
Aspirin should not be given to children or teenagers because it has been implicated in Reye's syndrome, a rare but often fatal disease covered more in detail at the end of this chapter. Aspirin also can produce side effects and allergic reactions in relatively low doses. Still, it's inexpensive and time-tested, and a good choice for adults who are not allergic to it.
The newer over-the-counter drugs ibuprofen and naproxen work much like aspirin and share its most serious side effects, although less likely to cause ringing in the ears. Their effects last longer than acetaminophen's, so you can take them less often - but this is a disadvantage when you're trying to minimize your interference with the body's natural healing process.
Character of the symptoms:
• Did the symptoms seem to begin after a particular stress? For example, from exposure to cold air or wind, loss of sleep, or overindulgence in food or drugs?
• How recently did the fever start? Within the last 12 hours, or earlier than that?
• How quickly did the symptoms begin?
• Is the face flushed?
• What is the person's mental condition - is he dull or confused, delirious, restless and anxious, irritable, or clingy and tearful?
• Does the person feel warm or chilly? How do external heat and cold make him feel?
If you decide that the illness should be treated and fever is the only obvious symptom, consult the homeopathic information in this chapter for help with choosing the right medicine. If there are other symptoms as well (sore throat, earache, and so on), consult the appropriate chapter for relevant homeopathic medicines.
Generally, the ill person will recover quickly or at least after one night's rest. If the fever isn't gone or much lower by the next morning, you'll probably want to try another medicine.
Bell. and Acon. are the best medicines to try during the first stages of a sudden fever.
Bell. by far the most commonly given medicine for people with simple fever. It's the medicine to give first unless another is clearly indicated.
Bell.: fever includes a red flushed face, intensely hot skin, reddened mucous membranes, and glassy eyes with dilated pupils. The skin can be so hot that you notice the heat lingering on your hands after you touch it. Although Belladonna patients are mentally dull and may not fully comprehend what's going on around them, they may well be restless and agitated. Children may even hit, bite, tear at things, or exhibit strange behaviors such as speaking incoherently about scary or violent hallucinations. Of course, most people who need Bell. don't have these extreme symptoms. Still, they often do show some nervous excitability and their senses often are more acute. As the illness progresses, they may develop muscle twitching, which, like many of the Belladonna symptoms, comes and goes suddenly.
Acon.: fever comes on suddenly and the patient is anxious, restless, and fearful (begin after exposure to dry and cold air or wind). Mentally alert – like Bell. - but frightened, and he may toss in his sleep or throw off his covers or clothes. In the classic case, he has dry skin, dry mouth (perhaps with unquenchable thirst for cold drinks), and a dry cough. The pupils may be constricted.
Ferr-p.: early in the course of a fever. Symptoms develop gradually, rather than all of a sudden as in Belladonna and Aconite. Ferr-p. also when Belladonna seems indicated but doesn't work after 2 - 3 doses.
Nux-v.: ChiLLY. Chills < uncovering (slightly moving the blankets - can't move under the covers without setting off a wave of chilliness). Begin after overeating, going without sleep,
or using too much alcohol or drugs of any type. The person also may have various digestive symptoms, such as constipation or nausea, and may have a sensation of heaviness of the head.
< in the morning/in the open air. Irritability is typical.
Puls.: often used when there are clear symptoms of a cold or ear infection, you can give it when fever is the only symptom. Characteristic mental and general symptoms of this medicine are evident: weepy/clingy/craving affection. Moods are changeable. May be irritable, whiny not angry or strong. Intolerant of external heat/feel << warmly covered or in warm rooms. Begin after the patient has eaten too much rich or fatty food, and tend < at night. Classically, the Pulsatilla patient isn't thirsty, even with a fever.
Though illnesses such as colds, digestive upsets, and other maladies are often called "the flu," technically influenza is an acute infection of the respiratory tract associated with a particular group of viruses. Practically speaking, the diagnosis is influenza if acute respiratory symptoms like runny nose or cough are accompanied by marked fever, general weakness, and muscular aching. The person with the flu looks and feels more ill than he would with just a common cold.
Though uncomfortable, influenza ordinarily lasts only 3 - 5 days in most healthy people. However, the severity of the illness varies from person to person and from year to year. Even the milder strains can lead to life-threatening disease among young children, the elderly, and those debilitated by chronic illnesses - because severe bacterial infections such as pneumonia can develop when the system is weakened by the flu virus (ear and sinus infections also may occur). Also, the flu viruses mutate rapidly, and some strains have been much more virulent than others.
Home treatment for people with influenza is the same as for those with fevers and colds. Avoid aspirin, especially when treating children under nineteen, as its use is associated with Reye's syndrome, as discussed in more detail at the end of this chapter. Antibiotics are unnecessary and actually can be harmful; they should be avoided unless a secondary bacterial infection has developed.
CASETAKING QUESTIONS FOR INFLUENZA
Character of the symptoms:
• Which are the more bothersome symptoms—tiredness, a heavy feeling, or aches and pains? (If fever is a predominant symptom, see the previous section; if there is significant runny nose or cough
• Is there a headache, and if so, where is it located and what sort of pain does it cause?
• Does the person have chills?
• Is the person restless, or does she prefer to lie still?
• How does moving about affect the pains?
• How do heat and cold affect the body aches, and do they make the person feel better or worse in general?
One of the great success stories of homeopathic medicine concerns its superb treatment of epidemic influenza during the 1917—18 flu season. Records maintained by government medical officers at the time show that proportionally, far fewer patients treated homeopathically died from the flu or its complications than those who received conventional medical treatment.
Among appropriate flu medicines covered in other chapters are Acon. Bell. Ars. Puls. Nux-v.
In many ways, the symptoms of Gels. represent the classic picture of flu - this is the medicine to give if you can't find a better fit.
Gels.: Mainly feels tired, weak, heavy, and sick. Generally wants to be left alone, not because they're especially irritable, but simply because it's too much work to interact with people.
They don'tfeel restless, and although motion isn't painful, the patient just lies still because she's so weak. The eyelids look heavy and droopy, and the face may appear dull and lacking in expression.
Gels. flu is characterized by chills, which often run up and down the back. Typically, there is little thirst in spite of the fever. The nose may be runny and the throat may burn. Headaches are common, usually in the back of the head and extending
to the top or forehead. More striking symptoms, however, are general weakness and tiredness.
Bry.: irritable with aversion to company, and physical aggravation from motion. If either or both of these are present, give Bry.
Compare: Gels. with Bry.
Bry. doesn't want to be disturbed and is truly irritable. May snap when asked questions or refuse to answer them altogether. May be preoccupied with worries about business/ordinary affairs. < Motion; > lying still. Likely to have generalized muscle and joint aches that are definitely more painful from motion. Lies still because it hurts to move, not just because he's too tired (headache < with motion (walking, or even from moving the eyes/light touch, eating, stooping, and talking also may make headaches worse, while applying firm pressure and lying
still may relieve them). < in warm rooms and > in the cool air. They may have an intense thirst for cold drinks. A dry, hacking, often painful cough may accompany the flu symptoms. Constipation.
Rhus-t.: restless. Muscles stiff and achy if the patient lies still for any length of time. Paradoxically, her pain feels most severe when trying to move after a period of rest, but it improves as soon as she moves about and limbers up. She may be unable to sleep, because it's so uncomfortable keeping still. Chilly and feel < in cold, wet weather, improving in warmth and with applied heat.
Exposure to damp weather or overexertion may have brought on the illness. Thirsty, sometimes only for sips of water at a time, and may sweat profusely. Mentally, she may be anxious, apprehensive, irritable, or depressed. Dry mouth and lips, dry sore throat, and hoarseness often accompany the general symptoms.
Eup-per.: Severe aching and pain that feels as though it comes from deep inside the bones. Bruised soreness all over the body, and the bones (back), feel as though they would break. Symptoms that confirm the choice of this medicine—but that aren't necessarily present—include a sudden nasal discharge with sneezing and redness in the eyes preceding the onset of the body aches. Chills (morning between 7 - 9 h. Typically they have great thirst for ice-cold drinks, but liquids may cause digestive disorders. A dry, hacking cough that shakes the body also is characteristic.
‡ Folgendes hat anthroposofische Einschlüße ‡
[Philip Incao] M.D. medical practioner in
Q. Pediatrician Daniel Alexander, MD (
A: This question raises an important point. The answer requires us to look at the process of acute inflammatory illness more closely. Every feverish illness proceeds in a rhythmical course with alternating cycles in which fever takes hold of us, then lets go, takes hold, lets go, etc. This is a primal biological process of contraction and expansion, like in-breathing and out-breathing.
As fever takes hold, a child contracts and concentrates her forces inward. She usually loses interest in play, food and drink and wants to curl up under the covers. As the body temperature rises,
the child perceives its surroundings growing colder relative to its warming body and she starts to feel chilled or even shiver.
As the "Father of Western Medicine" Hippocrates rightly understood, this inward concentration of heat into the depths of the body betokens a cooking, digesting and ripening process which he named pepsis in Greek. During this phase of inner contraction and cooking the child may be slightly dehydrated yet instinctively refuses to drink or eat, because her bodily energy is fully concentrated and engaged in the inner work of digesting of the illness. If a child is induced to eat or drink during this phase of the illness, she often vomits.
When the fever peaks or breaks and starts to come down, this signals the expansion and relaxation phase of the illness process. The child feels warm, may sweat and then, having perked up somewhat and thrown off the blankets, may announce that she's thirsty and hungry, and may need to go to the bathroom. This is the out-breathing phase, in which the waste products of the previous cooking-digesting phase are eliminated through sweating and mucus discharge as well as through the usual channels of bladder and bowels.
Hippocrates called this phase of the illness the catharsis, meaning the active throwing off and release of poisons from the body. Having detoxified somewhat, the child now feels better and may want to play and become active. Often however, the catharsis is merely a hiatus and not the end of the illness. After some hours the fever starts to rise again as the child, feeling unwell, draws her energy inward for the work of further digesting the illness.
The inner work of digesting an inflammatory illness is much easier for a child if its stomach and colon are relatively empty of food. A child will often have vomiting and/or diarrhea at the very beginning of an illness, and these will often abbreviate the illness or even prevent it altogether.
The various complications of an inflammatory illness, including dehydration, usually result from the incomplete digestion and/or the inadequate catharsis of the illness, causing the child to become "toxic."
Anti-inflammatory drugs [acetaminophen (Tylenol)/ibuprofen/aspirin work] by interrupting the cooking-digesting phase of the inflammatory process, thus lowering the fever prematurely before the body is ready and ripe for a cleansing catharsis. This explains why such anti-inflammatory, fever suppressing drugs may increase the risk of toxic complications in an inflammatory illness. Reye's syndrome from aspirin and the invasive bacterial complications reported two years ago in New Zealand after ibuprofen treatment of children with chicken pox are examples. I would argue that dehydration is not caused by the fever itself, but by the inner toxicity which results when fever is unable to do its job.
In 30 years of treating children's feverish, inflammatory illnesses in the home, I have never recommended fever suppressants like Tylenol for fevers below 106 degrees and I have never seen dehydration as a problem, Nor have I ever seen dehydration result from judicious bowel cleansing with suppositories or Milk of Magnesia in toddlers and children.
To be sure, infants are vulnerable to dehydration, especially with repeated vomiting and diarrhea. I do not recommend Milk of Magnesia for infants under one year old. Using a glycerin suppository in a healthy feverish infant who hasn't had a bowel movement in the past 8 hours has always proved helpful in making the infant more comfortable and less restless, in my experience, and I believe it also helps the infant in getting over the illness. When infants under six months old become ill for any reason, I always recommend checking with your doctor.
Fieber: Wer lange keines hatte, wähnt sich zu Unrecht als besonders gesund. Denn Fieber ist eine zentrale Immunantwort unseres Körpers auf pathogene Keime in unserem Körper. Bleibt also die physiologische Reaktion unseres angeborenen Immunsystems aus, ist das ein Zeichen für eine Immunschwäche.
Uwe Hobohm, Professor für Bioinformatik an der FH Gießen, hat nach einer wissenschaftlichen Erklärung für die immer wieder vorkommenden Spontanremissionen bei Krebserkrankungen gesucht. Er analysierte hierfür die entsprechende medizinische Literatur der Jahre 1918 – 2004 – und entwickelte hieraus zwei interessante Thesen:
1. Menschen mit einer Vorgeschichte mit vielen fieberhaften Infekten erkranken signifikant seltener an Krebs.
2. Spontanheilungen bei Krebskranken stehen häufig in Zusammenhang mit einem schweren, fieberhaften Infekt.
Uwe Hobohm nimmt an, dass eine Erklärung in der Hitzeempfindlichkeit von Tumorzellen liegen könnte. Weiterhin wird durch die Erhöhung der Körpertemperatur die Ausschüttung von Antigenen angeregt, die Tumorzellen erkennen und vernichten können.
Ein Grund für das dauerhafte Fehlen von Fieber bei Erwachsenen liegt oftmals an Dauerstress: Ein permanent hoher Stresslevel führt zu einer dauerhaften Ausschüttung von Cortisol, eines Stresshormons, das – ebenso wie das künstliche Cortison – Entzündungen unterdrückt. Menschen, die dauerhaften Stress empfinden, leben also oft in einer dauerhaften Unterdrückung ihres Immunsystems.
Insofern sollte jedes moderate Fieber von ansonsten gesunden Menschen seinen guten Dienst leisten dürfen, ohne durch fiebersenkende Arzneien – und hierzu zählen selbstverständlich auch homöopathische Arzneien! – willkürlich unterbrochen zu werden. Gestressten Eltern, die die schlechte Laune oder gesteigerte Anhänglichkeit ihrer fiebernden Kinder nicht länger ertragen wollen, verschreibe ich bei den Fiebererkrankungen ihrer Kinder aber immer gern eine Arznei, die sie wieder gelassen stimmt, um auch die dritte Nacht mit häufigem unfreiwilligen Besuch im Kinderzimmer ohne fiebersenkende Mittel zu überstehen.
A fever is a temperature of over 100° F
Most of us believe that a fever is the worst thing that can happen to us! It must be stopped immediately before it spirals out of control, causing convulsions or even death!
When it’s our kids who are sick, we are even more freaked out and can’t abide even the lowest temperature imaginable! We will jump right in with Aspirin or Tylenol, even before the fever reaches 100°! If we bring the fever down to normal with our toxic interventions (also called “medicines”), we are really proud of ourselves! We CURED the case! We think. Yay!!!!
This hysterical over-reaction to, and misunderstanding of, fever actually brings harm with it! Basically, everything you thought you knew about fever is wrong! The body has a way to protect itself from excessively high temperatures. Most parents don’t know this and believe that temperatures will just keep climbing and climbing, going up and up and up until we’re finally faced with coma or death; but, in fact, a normal child’s temperature will not rise out of control. It is exceedingly rare for a child’s temperature to exceed 107°F during a routine infection.
Most of you think the fever is part of the illness; and therefore, if the fever is gone, the illness is gone! Seems logical, but, in reality, the fever is part of YOU–your defense system. Here’s what happens: A virus, or gang of thugs (bacterial low-lifes), enter your body and, in response, your immune system releases its gang–cytokines–which signal the hypothalamus to turn up your body heat! For what? Why? Why is this happening? Not only because the heat ramps up the production of antibodies, but also for the most obvious reason in the world: germs cannot survive in intense heat anymore than you can survive in the desert!
Can’t you just hear them now? “What happened??? It was so nice when we checked in -through the nose- so comfortable, temperate, so balmy and relaxing… Now we’re sweltering!
We’re all gonna die! (I’m melting…..melting…..)”
But then, here you come to the rescue with your Children’s Tylenol and Baby Aspirin! But, who are you rescuing?
“Oh! Wait a minute, wait a minute! Hold up, everybody! The weather is changing! The heat wave is breaking; I think we’re gonna be alright! OK, let’s get to get to work, we’ve got a lot
of cells to occupy!”
Now, I know that regardless of how much sense I may be making, it’s all going to go right out the other ear as soon as your child gets a sniffle! That’s why the topic for today is…
For instructions on how to dose in acute cases, see my article “Dosing in Acute Cases”, which is right here:
This is our most common childhood fever remedy. What illnesses do we see Belladonna in? Ear infections, sore throat, the flu, appendicitis, mastitis, headache, meningitis, rabies, strokes, boils, measles, mumps, etc. but remember, the symptoms have to match! Belladonna has high fevers that come on suddenly! Don’t panic when you see this! Children are very healthy and THAT is why they put out such high fevers, because that is what a healthy body does in the presence of harmful germs! A high fever is going to make fast work of those invaders and in short order! An article titled “Adverse Effects of Aspirin, Acetaminophen, and Ibuprofen on Immune Function…” in The Journal of Infectious Diseases found that these fever-lowering drugs suppressed the immune system! They interfered with antibody production and prolonged the illness! 2/ So remember, parents, drugs that lower fevers aren’t necessarily doing anybody any favors! A child who can put out a strong Belladonna fever is a really healthy child who’s going to get better fast–and especially because now you know to give Belladonna which is going to seal the deal! Oh, and one more thing. You know what else suppresses the immune system? SUGAR! So, no sweets, no sodas, no ice cream when your child is sick!
OK, back to Belladonna. You can feel the heat from the Belladonna child’s body just by putting your hand near the skin! Usually, in Belladonna, it’s a dry heat, the face is red, the head feels congested; there’s a rush of blood to the area -usually to the head and face- with throbbing; and the patient is very much < noise/motion/light/exertion/being jarred/bumped; and
> hard pressure;
The child’s hands +/o. feet are usually cold. He will not want to lie flat but will prefer sitting up or standing. His eyes are glassy and pupils are enlarged. Bell. tends not to be thirsty.
Also in Belladonna, you will feel a sense of “urgency” about the child, this is the message you’re picking up from him, that the case is intense; he is somewhat frantic, perhaps a bit
delirious, and you’ll be thinking, “I have to act fast!” With this feeling of urgency, think of Bell.
Gels.: not frantic and intense, it is very passive, unconcerned, disinterested, dull, lethargic, dizzy…they may not even tell you they’re sick! You just walk in the room and find them in bed asleep, it’s all they want to do! They may have wanted to tell you how sick they were, and how they wanted another blanket or something for their headache, but they’re just too dull and apathetic to speak up or call out! You try to question them, and they can’t even complete a sentence! It’s like all they want to do is sleep. They tend not to be thirsty but they may be quite cold and they usually have a headache in the back of their head along with body aches and heavy limbs. Their eyelids are quite droopy and they have a besotted look about them.
As a matter of fact, I have to tell you about one of Shana’s illnesses. I went into the bedroom to see why she still hadn’t gotten up, and there she was, wide awake, lying in bed, obviously unwell, looking unrelaxed and uncomfortable, and the fact that she never called me and never complained made me think instantly of Gelsemium! I gave Gelsemium 200C and within no time she was fine as if nothing had happened, and we even went out that day! Well that’s how it is with homeopathy if you act fast and don’t let the case linger and worsen. Often you see a Gelsemium state forming due to stage-fright or effects of receiving bad news; also, look for Gelsemium in flus, colds, sun-headaches, measles, meningitis, etc.
Gels.: not so fearful or anxiety-ridden like our next patient, the ever UNpopular…
Ars.: You can’t miss Arsenicum! They probably have a bad flu or other virus, though it could literally be anything from food poisoning to asthma to malaria to the common cold. In a serious case, they are quite clingy, anxiety-ridden, scared, desperate, begging for help, pleading for you to stay with them…you’ll feel quite cornered and trapped! Everything has to be on their terms, they will not listen to reason, they do not care that you have to go home, that you have children waiting; they will refuse to go to the hospital even though that’s where they belong; they may even refuse to go home with you–which you offered out of desperation! They tend to be restless, tossing back and forth, moaning and groaning; they may be pacing; they may be nauseous, may have diarrhea, will probably ask for water and they will take frequent sips from the glass, not gulps. They may say they have burning pains or sensations, but they are better for heat, hot drinks like tea, and hot compresses. They are very cold! They crave sympathy and consolation but it never satisfies them, they simply have an insatiable need for company, attention, reassurance and they may also seem critical and negative about every minor little thing! Charming people.
Puls.: another clingy remedy but they are actually better for reassurance whereas Ars. won’t believe you, it doesn’t matter how many times you say, “You’re going to be fine!” it’s never enough! Puls.’s clinginess doesn’t make you feel trapped, your heart actually goes out to them, as they project a piteous picture, making you want to help; with Ars. you just want to get away!
Not surprisingly, most Pulsatilla cases are children’s cases (colds, flus, chicken pox, measles, conjunctivitis, ear infections, ailments from creamy foods or fatty foods, like too much pizza
or too much ice cream…) I know that every time Shana is sick and she starts to cry, she just looks so sad, I go right for the Pulsatilla without even thinking about it! It doesn’t matter what the illness is, it could be anything–menstrual cramps, a headache or whatever–it doesn’t matter; the Pulsatilla look is unmistakable! They’re sad, they’re pitiful and better for attention, hugging and reassurance.
See my article “The Pulsatilla Child” for more information on this often-used remedy in childhood:
Compare this with our next remedy…
Cham.: the exact opposite of Puls., nothing makes the Cham. child feel better! Oh, except for one thing–brisk carrying! And how long can a parent keep up with briskly carrying a sick child before collapsing? At some point the child has to be put down, and here comes the crying and screaming again, their bodies stiff, practically beside themselves! The parents are frantically trying to pacify them and nothing is working–not toys, not anything that might be handed to them or even things they asked for! They throw them down as soon as they get them! Why are they behaving this way? Well, it’s usually because they’re in pain. It could be an ear infection, a stomach ache or teething, who knows, but your clue is the ceaseless, angry, crying and their unending demands to be picked up and carried.
Merc.: The actual name is Mercurius vivus or Mercurius solibilis. Either one is fine. So here’s the Mercury person with a fever: They’re hot, then they’re cold. They’re hot again, then they’re cold. The blankets are on, then they’re off. The windows are opened, then they’re closed; opened, closed. They have a well-known narrow range of temperature tolerance! The minute the thermometer strays from 72° or 75° F, as the case may be, they’re uncomfortable and have to do something about it, just like a human thermometer! And what are thermometers made of? Mercury!!! The Mercury patient is almost always in bed because they are so weak and exhausted. Their illness has been around for a long time, they don’t get better. There’s a lot of sweating which seems to make them worse; plus, drooling, salivation and bad breath. They’re thirsty. They’re worse at night, may have bone pains, swollen glands, sore throats. Ask to see the tongue as it will probably show the imprint of the teeth around the edges and is probably coated, slimy or mapped. There’s the famous “never-get-done” feeling after stool. Stools can be bloody or slimy in dysentery. Frequent urging to urinate and urinates more than what has been drunk.
Acon.: Fever comes on suddenly. You may have gone out without your hat on a brisk, windy, March day, and the next thing you know, you’re in bed with a high fever, red face (which turns pale on sitting up) and an unquenchable thirst! In fact, it may look an awful lot like Belladonna with skin being red and hot, but Belladonna is thirstless, has dilated pupils, glassy eyes and cold extremities while Aconite is thirsty with tiny pupils. Aconite is well known for “ailments from cold dry winds”. It might just as easily be known as “ailments from aggressive air conditioning!” Shana once had a headache after I picked her up from school. I gave her Bryonia and it did nothing. I said, “Where were you when you got the headache?” She said, “Sitting in math class next to the air conditioner.” I gave her Aconite and she recovered right away! If your patient is fearful, restless with a bounding pulse and a need for fresh air and cold water, give Aconite, especially if it follows a fright! Arsenicum is also fearful and restless but Aconite has more energy compared to the weak and prostrated Arsenicum. Think of Fear, Fright, Sudden Onset, Ailments from Cold Dry Winds and a 12 h. aggravation time.
Nux-v.: Speaking of air conditioning, Nux-v. can’t stand air conditioning! In fact, they are so cold, they can’t bear the smallest draft when they’re sick. And you don’t have to worry about them being clingy like Ars. because they will surely, rudely, throw you out of their room if you keep bothering them! They can’t stand your incessant questioning, the draft of air you create, the light that’s shining in from the hallway, the noise from your television set; in fact, you are really getting on Nux-v.’s nerves! Nux-v.’s nerves are so frayed, his senses so acute, that noise, odors, light, almost all incoming impressions, are too intense for him! And by the way, he is very impatient so if he asked you for something, you better bring it fast! He feels very toxic, probably has a pounding headache, probably has constipation
with frequent urging and nothing to show for it or a bladder infection with frequent urging and, again, nothing to show for it; so, he is very irritable; just please get out and leave him alone before
he starts cursing!
Bapt.: I’d be willing to guess that no one has this remedy, but, that would be a big mistake since this is a somewhat common “septic flu” remedy. And what do I mean by “septic”? Bad odors, bad breath, high fever, lethargy, confusion, sleepiness, besotted appearance, muscle aches, sensation that the bed’s too hard and can’t get comfortable, feels sore and bruised. This is our number-3 “sudden onset” remedy but easy to differentiate with Aconite and Belladonna as Bapt. looks very much like Gels. only with a higher fever, “sicker” appearance -and thirsty- and the case comes on suddenly, not slowly as with Gels.. Think of it as Gels., only worse! Like Gels., they will be quite apathetic, dull, not asking for what they want, quite stuporous, not able to answer or finish a sentence and falling asleep while spoken to or in mid-sentence.
Pyrog.: This is another one I’m guessing you don’t have. Order it! You’re going to need it for post-surgical fevers, plus it’s another septic flu remedy like Baptisia. I actually had a Pyrogen flu once, and Shana had a Pyrogen strep throat, so, don’t think it can’t happen! Again, think of it when the bed feels too hard and the patient feels sore and bruised making him very restless in an effort to get comfortable. Pyrogen, like Baptisia, again, is known for bad odors and bad breath, confusion, delirium and prostration. Baptisia appears to have more thirst than Pyrogen, which may have no thirst at all. In fact, for Baptisia, the materia medica says “constant desire for water…great thirst” (Murphy). They say a keynote of Pyrogen is that when the fever is high, the pulse is slow; but, when the fever is low, the pulse is fast - completely the opposite of what it should be. I didn’t have that, but I did realize it was Pyrog. when I heard myself say, “The bed feels too hard!” Shana’s prescription was based on bad breath and Mercury didn’t work. In fact, you may have a hard time distinguishing Mercury and Pyrogen. Both can be cold, then hot, and sweating. I don’t think Mercury is restless though, and I don’t think Mercury is confused or stuporous. Pyrogen is also a great remedy for dental abscesses (so is Mercury, come to think of it), I wouldn’t want to be without Pyrogen!
Rhus-t.: You went camping and slept out on the cold, damp ground; came home, and woke up with a fever and possibly a sore throat. Or, you were out exercising on a very hot day, got all sweaty, and then jumped into a cold swimming pool! You can probably gather that Rhus-t. illnesses come about from being exposed to cold and damp, cold water and cold and rainy weather. Or being hot during the day and then being exposed to cold night air. In any case of fever, you always have to find out the cause, the precipitating factor, if at all possible, because that might very well determine the correct remedy. How can you tell a Rhus-t. illness?
The patient feels stiff, is very restless, needs to stretch, cannot remain still, and is much better for a hot bath, hot shower or hot compresses and worse at night and worse cold, being still and worse in the morning after being still (sleeping) all night. Worse on first motion, better on continued motion. These better/worse things are called “modalities” and you always have to ask for them in order to land on the right remedy. You should be like a broken record with, “What’s the modalities? What’s the modalities?” Symptoms have no meaning to a homeopath without the modalities. “I have a sore throat that’s better for swallowing hot liquids, worse inside the house, better outside the house, worse in the morning on waking, worse at night, better in a hot shower…” This is the way we need to hear a symptom. And we need to hear the sensation too. “I have a sore throat with a burning sensation.” This is how you talk to a homeopath.
Bry.: The opposite of Rhus tox. While Rhus tox must stay in motion, must keep moving or else he stiffens up, Bryonia must hold perfectly still, not even daring to breathe! Why? There is always some terrible, usually sharp, pain in
a Bryonia case that keeps him from moving the least little bit. It could be a broken bone, it could be an extreme headache or lower back pain or sciatica; or a cough that’s so painful, he dares not cough or has to hold his chest while coughing. Whatever it is, when you walk in the Bryonia patient’s room, he is lying perfectly still! If you ask him to get up, he can’t! If he’s nauseous, even lifting his head off the pillow makes him worse. Bryonia tends to be very thirsty. They will drink the whole glass but at infrequent intervals because they hate to move in order to drink. They like firm, hard pressure. For instance, for their headache or backache, they will be better if you press on the area very hard. They may want an ace bandage wrapped tightly around their sprained ankle. Their mucus membranes are dry, they are constipated, and they will not want to talk to you; so, unless you’re bringing water or offering to give hard pressure, just go away and leave them alone, they’re very irritable.
Phos.: Often associated with the lungs; so, your Phosphorus patient probably has bronchitis, pneumonia or a bad dry cough which may have started as a simple cold but went to the lungs. “As if a weight on their chest”, <: open air/cold air/lying on left side; longs for cold food like ice cream, and ice cold drinks like water or soda. In fact, if you think you see a Phosphorus case, but there’s no longing for ice-cold drinks, you probably have the wrong remedy. Often so thirsty, and drinks so much water, that they can’t keep it down. Cough < laughing and talking. Blue circles around the eyes. The voice may sound hoarse. Oh, and Phosphorus wants sympathy, company, reassurance, consolation and is better for it.
Arn.: A non-descript flu, except the patient may say, “I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck!” Which explains why this is our chief injury remedy! Always have Arn. 200C in your pocket! Bed feels too hard, can’t get comfortable.
Ant-t.: Loose cough. Lungs full of mucus, hard to breath; bronchitis. Pneumonia. Tongue thickly coated white. Rattling cough but no expectoration is possible; phlegm can’t be raised. Rattling respiration. Face cold, blue, pale, covered with cold sweat. Worse warm room, better cold, open air, better sitting up, lying on right side. Drowsiness, inclination to sleep. Thirst for cold water, little and often. Nausea, > vomiting.
These two are given as prevention in flu season, just pick one. Take it once or twice during flu season instead of that God-forsaken flu shot (which contains mercury, by the way). Shana did have a flu once where Oscillococcinum was the remedy and I had a flu once where Influenzinum was the remedy. You pick these when nothing else works or you have nothing, no clear remedy picture, to go on. They’re general flu remedies.
Ferr-p.: Take this at the start of any cold in the 30C potency and it could nip the illness right in the bud! I keep Ferr-p. next to my bed and if I get a sore throat in the middle of the night, I take a dose, go back to sleep, and that’s the end of it!