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 Arsenicum album.
Remember—the key to choosing the correct/helpful remedy is ALWAYS the same. One must match the characteristic (unique and peculiar) symptoms of the patient (not the common symptoms of “I have a headache, cough, sore throat, fever, etc.”) 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 the patient, you will have a happy outcome every time. If you don't, you or your patient will either feel no effect, or one that is mild at best
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 this remedy will almost always describe themselves as restless and uneasy. If they are too young to speak, you will see that they toss and turn and have trouble sitting still even when weak. They will also tend to be anxious and may even talk about being fearful they will die. The restlessness and anxiety are often worse after midnight. They don’t want to be left alone, and feel better if you stay with them.
Key Physical Characteristics: A person needing the homeopathic remedy Arsenicum album will often complain of being very weak— that every movement exhausts them. In fact, as they begin to feel poorly, there is frequently a rapid sinking of energy. They have a strong inclination to lie down. Their limbs feel heavy and they will frequently look pale and sickly.
People requiring this remedy will be chilly—often with coldness felt over the entire body, and it is very hard to warm themselves up. They don’t like cold air or cold applications of any kind and can often be found huddling near a heat source.
During any chills, which may appear at 10 or 11am, there is rarely thirst, but during the fever stage there is much thirst, particularly for small sips of water taken at frequent intervals. Fevers can be intense with a feeling of internal and external heat, yet despite the heat, the patient prefers to be covered.
If a sore throat is present, the pain will most often be of a burning nature and better from warm drinks (this is a good example of a ‘characteristic’, or peculiar symptom). Any pains experienced anywhere are typically burning as well.
If a cough develops it will typically be a short, dry, sometimes hacking cough caused by a tickling sensation in the throat. If there is any expectoration, that expectoration is difficult to bring up and is scanty and frothy, consisting of tenacious mucus, which has been lodged in chest.
If a headache is part of the picture, it’s often felt in the front of the head and the pain feels as though the head is under great pressure. The nose may be stopped and running at the same time. This discharge is often watery, which can cause burning and smarting in the nostrils.
In general a patient who will benefit from Arsenicum album will be better from warmth and being wrapped up and warm.
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.
If you think you have the influenza virus, please seek the advice of a medical professional.
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. 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