Many of you have asked for more extensive guidance on remedy selection for flu-like symptoms. In this article, I will describe the symptoms you’ll want to see to reach for the homeopathic remedy Gelsemium.
Remember - the key to choosing the correct/helpful remedy is ALWAYS the same. One must match the “characteristic symptoms” (ie, unusual or peculiar) of the person you are caring for to a remedy capable of producing similar characteristic symptoms to have success. If you choose a remedy with characteristics most similar to the characteristic symptoms of your patient, you should have a happy outcome every time. If you don't - you or they will either feel no effect, or one that is mildly positive at best, but there is never a bad effect from choosing the “wrong” remedy.
Key Mental Characteristics: A person needing the homeopathic remedy Gelsemium can “look” mentally a bit like Bryonia and even a bit like Nux vomica. They desire to be left alone and quiet, are often irritable and prefer not to speak, nor have any one near them for company, even if that person is silent. Mentally – they feel very dull – in fact, thinking may take extra effort.
Key Physical Characteristics: A person needing this homeopathic remedy is someone who feels utterly weak, exhausted and drowsy during their illness. Everything about a Gelsemium patient feels heavy to them – particularly their eyelids and their extremities. They may also complain of feeling sore as if bruised all over. Someone needing Gelsemium tends to dread motion – not because of pain, like Bryonia, but because they feel so weak.
Gelsemium patients are in most cases thirstless or if they are thirsty – they drink very little. Another peculiar characteristic - their tongue may tremble when they stick it out.
With flu-like symptoms, Gelsemium patients often experience their fever without thirst and want to lie still and rest or sleep. During the fever is a time when they feel particularly dull and drowsy. The face may become flushed with the fever and the heat experienced can be felt as a burning heat. There are often characteristic chills which run up and down the back.
If a headache is part of the picture – it’s often felt in the back of the head and may extend to the forehead. The headache may be worse in the mid-morning – around 10:00AM. There may also be a sensation of heaviness of the head. The eyes may also feel sore as if bruised. Oddly – and characteristic of Gelsemium - the headache as well as dullness of the head may improve with profuse urination and by slightly shaking the head.
Symptoms of the nose, if there are any, may include a watery discharge and at times a tingling sensation in the nose. There may also be a tingling sensation in other parts of the body during the fever stage.
If a cough is in the mix of symptoms – it typically comes on from tickling or roughness in the throat and there can be burning in throat and chest when coughing.
In general a person who will benefit from Gelsemium may feel better lying down with their head resting high on a pillow.
If you or someone you know is experiencing flu-like symptoms and their symptoms match those of this remedy, dose with either a 30C or 200C potency to start - placing one pellet under the tongue or one pellet in water, stirring vigorously and taking teaspoon doses as needed. Always cease dosing when relief begins and only re-dose if symptoms again worsen. As with any medical condition, consult with your physician if you have any concerns about the severity of your problem as it may first require medical diagnosis and/or intervention and monitoring.
About Dr. Lisa Samet
Dr. Lisa Samet N.D. provides Washington Homeopathic Products with a weekly column on using homeopathy for the family. She's a naturopathic physician who specializes in homeopathic medicine and she's a partner with Dr. Andre Saine N.D. She is perhaps best known as a guest expert on homeopathy used by Dr. Mehmet Oz M.D. on the popular TV program - the Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Samet graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 and has been practicing in Montreal since then. She was born and raised in New York.
Dr. Samet has chosen to focus on homeopathy because in her experience it is the deepest healing modality available in that it does not just soothe or palliate symptoms but can actually stimulate the body to start to heal itself. Dr. Samet sees patients in her Montreal office as well as long distance using Skype. Learn more here: Dr. Lisa Samet