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Influenza

The respiratory tract can be affected by many disorders; one of this is a viral infection called influenza. A winter disease, it can assume epidemic proportions during the cold season. The virus that causes influenza is highly mutable and because of this peculiar structure of the virus undergoing change every two or three years-susceptibility is high in most people as different forms of the virus keep cropping up now and then. Thus every two to three years, an epidemic of the influenza is often created, commonly called "the flu", in periodic outbreaks. Some people and especially children not affected during these epidemics may be infected by the virus between epidemics, causing smaller and intermediate outbreaks between two epidemic periods.

Contact with an infected individual or individuals is the usual mode of transmission of influenza, the virus is highly contagious-rapidly spreading from one person to the next. The contagious period can start in an individual as from about two days before the symptoms occur lasting to about the fifth day of the illness-during this time interval, the person can spread the disease by simple contact. Conditions such as a fever, chills and a headache, physical aches, extreme fatigue, and a lack of appetite are all typical symptoms of an attack of influenza in patients.

These symptoms can truly make the patient miserable and all treatments are generally directed at alleviating the physical symptoms that affect the person. This is compounded by the reality of complications such as encephalitis, pneumonia, croup, or seizures which can occur in the individual, although normally the disease runs its course in about two to three days at the most. Children will require immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms are apparent in the child.

Supplements and herbs

See age-appropriate dosages of herbal remedies

All these supplements and herbs can be given to children to help them recover. The Chinese botanical formula known as yin qiao can be administered to children at the first sign of the flu, which is an indicator of infection. The efficacy of this remedy after the third day of continual appearance of symptoms is nil and thus should be discontinued. While the symptoms remain acute during the first two days, children can be given a single dose, every two hours.
For your attention: because of the fact that the liquid extract contains no aspirin-it is to be preferred over the tablet form. In addition children under four years of age should not be given the tablet form. A single dose of chamomile tea, given two times every day will help relax and rest the child. A combination formula of the antiviral herb Echinacea and the antibacterial herb goldenseal can be given together to help stimulate the immune system and aid in recovery. Inflamed mucus membranes in the child can also be aided by the soothing action of the goldenseal herb. For about five days, this combination formula of the Echinacea and goldenseal combination can be given to children three times daily, to aid in the recovery process. The detoxification of the body can be achieved through the use of the garlic as a supplementary herb. Until the child achieves full recovery, a single capsule or one fresh clove of garlic, can be given to him or her about three times a day, as an aid to detoxify the body. If the child is suffering from problems associated with the stomach, the consumption of ginger tea is an excellent supplement. Dosage for this tea is as and when necessary.

Aromatherapy

Commonly used essential oils for influenza:

Homeopathy

The appearance of acute symptoms of the disorder calls for using the remedy as often as once per hour in a patient. The dosages can be at potencies of 6, 12 or 30 potency (x or c) per dose. The frequency of doses can be reduced or lowered in potency with the appearance of improvement or a decrease in the intensity of the symptoms. To prevent the recurrence of symptoms during the recovery stages, use the remedy once daily every three days.

  • Baptisia
    Baptisia is to be used as a homeopathic treatment in those patients in whom the symptoms include the development of heaviness in the muscles, and general soreness and aching muscles in the patient. Some other typical physical symptoms that calls for the use of this remedy include the development of rapid exhaustion, and any signs of weakness along with symptoms of toxicity in the patient. The patient may feel very ill at all times of the day and the night. Some other symptoms include the presence of a foul body odor, foul breath, and heavy sweat, along with discharges of some sort from the body. The person may have very bleary eyes. Symptoms can also include the development of a heavy, numb head, with soreness in the eyes, and the presence of a dusky face. The person tends to fall asleep regularly while he or she is talking. Some patients tend to show complete dullness and are confused at most times. Other symptoms can also include deliriousness, a feeling of restlessness; the patient may feel double or in pieces emotionally. The condition of the patient tends to worsen when in contact with open air, on exposure to the cold, or to fog, when staying indoors, and in hot & humid weather, the person is also sensitive to pressure, and exhibits symptoms on waking in the mornings. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the use of Baptisia as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the disease in the patient.
  • Bryonia
    Bryonia is to be used as a homeopathic remedy in the cases of patients in which the influenza is of the slow onset type, there may be a sensation of heat, and heavy sweating in the patient as symptoms. The patient also tends to suffer from the development of dryness in the nose, the nose may be obstructed, and these could be pain at the root of the nose as a typical physical manifestation of the condition. The person may have a very dry mouth, and large amounts of water may be drunk to slake an intense thirst that he or she develops during the appearance of these symptoms. The person also often has very chapped lips because of the dryness; the tongue is also coated by a dirty white substance. Some other symptoms are the presence of a bitter taste in the mouth. The patient also tends to suffer from a bursting frontal headache, and suffers from a dry hacking cough at most times. The patient also tends to be irritable, and often worries about his or her business as added emotional symptoms of the condition. He or she may desire to go home if at the hospital, and wants to be left alone at most times. The condition of the patient can often worsen even under the least motion, around 9 p.m. at night, and the right side of the body suffers more than the left, the person may feel uncomfortable in a warm room. The condition of the patient often improves on taking rest, and on being kept in a quiet place. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Bryonia as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the influenza in the patient.
  • Dulcamara
    Dulcamara is to be used as a homeopathic remedy in those patients where there is a lot of discharge during sneezing, the nose may feel stuffed up completely in cold air or during rainy periods. The patient also suffers from a stuffed at most times even during rest, and this may improve during motion or when moving around. There is abundant production of very thick yellow mucus from the nose, and these may form in green crusts around the nasal passages. During the summer months colds and flu are common in such patients. The patient may also have frequent colds that tend to affect the bowels, the bladder, the eyes or the throat at most times. The person also tends to have a rattling sensation from accumulated mucus in the chest. The glands in the person's body tend to become swollen. The person also tends to be affected in the back when having chills. Psychologically such patients tend to be the domineering sort. The condition of the patient often worsens on being exposed to the cold and damp weather, and during the rainy season, and when resting. The condition of the patient tends to improve when in motion, when walking about, and when staying indoors, or in a warm environment. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the use of Dulcamara as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the influenza.
  • Eupatorium
    Eupatorium is to be used as a homeopathic remedy to treat influenza in those where symptoms may include a feeling of intense thirst and a desire for cold drinks. Physical symptoms in such patients also tends to include the appearance of aching muscles that precede the development of chills and fever. There is a feeling of broken bones and these aches deeply along with the muscles, in such individuals. The other physical symptoms in such patients can include the presence of aches in the eyes, and in the back and the limbs. The head of such individuals also tends to ache heavily. The patients tends to exhibit a lot of restlessness and often feels worse from any sort of motion or movement. Another typical symptom that is exhibited in such patients is a feeling of nausea. The persons also tends to develop a very rough scraping cough, and the chest tends to be sore, the patient may feel that he or she needs to support it with his or her hands. There tends to be a watery discharge from the body. The person often moans with pain. The condition of such patients tends to worsen on being exposed to cold air, and when under any motion, also such symptoms tends to be severest around 7-9 a.m. in the mornings. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the use of Eupatorium as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the disease.
  • Gelsemium
    Gelsemium is to be used in the case of influenza patients in whom the disease has a gradual onset along with dizziness as a typical symptom. The other physical signs are weakness, the presence of chills, and feeling of dullness and lethargy in the patient. The chills tend to run down the spin and the patient tends to have aching muscles. Another typical symptom is a sensation of trembling in the body. The person also tends to suffer from blurred vision, and the eyelids tend to be heavy. There is also a sense of heaviness in the head, along with a dull pain in the back of the head. Such patients also tend to develop a dusky and flushed face when the symptoms appear. The patient is also characterized by the presence of a yellow tongue. Patients are also given to bouts of violent sneezing past midnight; they also tend to suffer from a stuffed nose with the production of a thin watery discharge from the nasal passages. The patient is drowsy at most times. The patients suffer from very little thirst. The condition of such patients tend to worsen around 10 a.m. in the morning, and when undertaking any motion. The patients also tend to get better when they are given over to sweating, and if they produce a lot of urine. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Gelsemium as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the influenza in the patient.
  • Rhus tox.
    Rhus tox. is to be used as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of patients affected in influenza in which the symptoms of the condition can include the development of fevers and chills when uncovered or on exposure to drafts. Another symptom is the presence of a tickling cough as a persistent irritant. The patient also tends to be affected by the development of cold sores. Such patients also tend to be given to a lot of sneezing, and there is a lot of thick yellow-green and foul mucus produced from the nose. The tip of the nose is often red in color; and nosebleeds are common in such patients. These symptoms can arise in the patient after he or she indulges in a bout of overeating or after he or she is chilled and when getting wet. The patient also often displays a dry, coated tongue, with a reddened tip as another typical symptom. The patient also tends to have severe bouts of aching in the muscles, and the stiff muscles are a constant irritant, the patient must stretch often to gain relief from such irritants. Psychological symptoms can include a persistent feeling of anxiety, and the presence of extreme restlessness. The condition of the patients tends to worsen in cold weather, and after taking rest, and in the nights. The condition of such patients often improves after the consumption of warm drinks, and on being exposed to heat, and when in gentle motion. The presence of one or more of these symptom calls for the immediate use of Rhus tox. as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of all patients affected with influenza.

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