By Dana Ullman MPH, CCH
(Excerpted from Homeopathic Medicine for Children and Infants, Tarcher/Putnam)
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This information below is not only applicable to children but to most people with influenza.
REMEDIES LISTED IN CAPITAL LETTERS REPRESENT MORE FREQUENTLY INDICATED REMEDIES
Children with fevers higher than 103.5 degrees (orally) that do not respond to these remedies or general home care within six hours should obtain medical care. Infants less than six months old should receive medical care for any fever higher than 101.5 degrees. Infants less than two months old should receive medical care for any fever. Also, when a child has any fever with extreme irritability, lethargy, and mental confusion along with stiffness of the neck, seizures, recurrent vomiting, or labored breathing, seek medical care immediately.
ACONITUM: This medicine should only be considered within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. These children experience a sudden onset of fever with chills. They become easily chilled from uncovering and get the chills shortly after getting in bed. They have a rapid and hard pulse, and either have a flushed face or one that alternates between being pale and being red.
ANAS BARBARIAE: Controlled scientific studies have proven this remedy effective in treating the flu. It is particularly effective if it is taken during the first 48 hours of onset of the flu. Some homeopaths consider it a generic homeopathic remedy for the flu, though other homeopaths find that it is primarily helpful when the flu has a rapid onset, bursting headache, a painful cough, or when flu symptoms begin after being exposed to a cold wind.
Arsenicum: These children have a rapid onset of a high fever, along with a weak but restless feeling. They are apt to have a concurrent headache, cold, sore throat, digestive disorder, or most commonly, diarrhea. They have great thirst but only for sips of water at a time. They are very chilly.
BELLADONNA: A distinguishing symptom of children who need this medicine is a flushed face and reddened mucous membranes, especially lips and gums. They have a sudden onset of high fever with a hot head and cold extremities. Parents can feel a radiating heat from the child’s head. The children have a dry heat (without perspiration), a strong and bounding pulse, and may see hallucinations when their eyes are closed. They toss and turn in their sleep and may suffer from scary dreams.
BRYONIA: When children have a slow onset of a fever that is typified by body aches which are worse by motion, this medicine should be considered. These children have a great thirst for cold fluids. They are aggravated by warm rooms and warmth and prefer cool rooms and open air. They have a dry mouth and great thirst, especially for cold drinks. They tend to have a headache in the front part of their head which is aggravated by any motion. These children are irritable and are averse to sympathy.
Eupatorium perfoliatum.: A characteristic symptom of children who need this remedy is aching in the bones which is worse from motion. These children may experience chills at any time, but the chills tend to be worst in the morning between 7 and 9 a.m. and are preceded by a thirst and great soreness, especially of the back. Despite their chilliness, they crave cold drinks and even ice cream.
Ferrum phos: This medicine is primarily for the first stage of fever. The fever does not have the suddenness or intensity related to Aconitum or Belladonna, nor the degree of weariness of Gelsemium or the irritability of Bryonia.
GELSEMIUM: This is one of the most common medicines for influenza. These children suffer from great weakness and heaviness of the body. They are sometimes only able to open their eyes halfway because even their eyelids feel heavy. They have general achiness and a headache in the back of the head. They are aggravated by motion, not necessarily because it hurts to move but mostly because they feel so weak that motion exhausts them. They are also chilly and seek to stay warm. One of their unique symptoms is a sense of relief after urination. Another characteristic symptom is their lack of thirst. This medicine is also commonly effective for children who have lingering symptoms, especially fatigue, after having the flu.
INFLUENZINUM: This remedy can be taken once a month during the flu season to prevent onset of this condition. It is also helpful if a child has symptoms that linger after experiencing the flu.
Rhus tox: These children experience achiness and stiffness that is aggravated by rest or by initial motion and relieved by continued motion. Because of this relief from continued motion, they seem restless and toss and turn. Their fever and aches become worse at night and in bed. In addition to stiffness in the back or neck, they may feel aching in the bones. They may also have a dry cough or sneezing which is aggravated by cold or by uncovering. Their fever may alternate with chills. A rare but important keynote symptom of this medicine is a brightly red tipped tongue.