It is early September. My husband and I accompany Sahara (5) and Aysha (6) to their beginning-of-the-year school assembly with mixed feelings: it’s nice to get a bit more time to ourselves, yet summer was so much fun that we wish it weren’t over quite so soon. During the assembly, the principal mentions swine flu, a topic that has been mentioned a lot by the media during the past few months. The principal assures parents that the school will not be closed if some of the students become infected with swine flu. I am relieved to hear that, since I am very critical of all the scare tactics that the mainstream media has resorted to regarding the supposed swine-flu “epidemic”. Also, unlike many other parents, I am not worried at all if my kids are exposed to either the regular flu or the swine flu, because I have had years of formal training in classical homeopathy, a natural healing art that has been used successfully for the treatment of all types of flus for more than 200 years.
My kids will not be getting either the swine-flu shot or the regular flu shot this year. Thanks to long-term constitutional homeopathic treatment, my kids have a strong immunity. So I don’t even have to worry about protecting them against the flu, because most people who die from the flu have compromised immune systems. But if for some reason I were worried about my kids getting the flu, I would give them the homeopathic remedy influenzinum. Influenzinum is made from flu viruses and then prepared in a homeopathic manner so as to render it safe and nontoxic. It has been used for at least the past 150 years as a natural flu preventative. In 1998, the Société Franí§aise d’Homéopathie conducted a survey of 23 homeopathic doctors and 453 patients concerning their use of influenzinum as a flu preventative over a 10-year period. Results of the survey were remarkable. In approximately 90 percent of the cases, no instances of the flu occurred when influenzinum was used.
My children are young, and their immune systems are still developing, so there is a chance that they will end up getting the flu this year. If they do, I will be treating them confidently with homeopathy, which was used effectively to treat one of the deadliest strains of flu in history, the 1918 Spanish flu. During the Spanish flu, Americans who were treated with traditional medicine had a mortality rate of 28.2 percent, while those who were treated with homeopathic medicines only had a mortality rate of 1.05 percent, according to a report by the American Homeopathic Institute in 1921.
There are many possible remedies for the flu, depending upon the particular symptoms that the infected person is experiencing. During the Spanish flu, homeopathic gelsemium was the most frequently used remedy. In general, gelsemium is thought of as the number-one remedy for the flu. Homeopathic bryonia and Eupatorium perfoliatum are also very frequently used remedies.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about homeopathy is that it is often difficult to decide between one homeopathic remedy and another. If you are not sure which remedy to use for the flu, a sure bet is Oscillococcinum. Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic remedy invented in 1925, made from the liver and heart of a Barbary duck. There have been two large double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials measuring the efficacy of Oscillococcinum for the flu. The results of the first trial were published in 1989 in Britain’s Journal of Pharmacology, and the results of the second trial were published in 1998 in the Homeopathic Journal. The studies showed that Oscillococcinum reduces the duration of the flu, speeds recovery, and reduces flu symptoms such as pain, fever, and backache.
Homeopathy is a safe medicine for the flu, with no side effects; the same cannot be said for traditional flu treatments.
Sonya McLeod is a Vancouver homeopath. The views expressed in this column are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the Georgia Straight.