The discomfort of sinus congestion and colds is rampant this month. To the rescue: the 200-year-old homeopathy system of medicine, which uses microdoses of natural substances to stimulate the body’s own healing.
Homeopathy works on the basis that “like remedies cure like diseases,” and remedies are chosen–not by disease–but according to the symptom experienced.
An Age-Old Principle
Allium cepa, the red onion, is a prime example of the “like cures like” principle. Just as cutting an onion will cause teary eyes and a runny nose, small doses of onion in the form of Allium cepa will cure symptoms associated with mucus that burns the nose and upper lip. Persistent sneezing and a tickling cough that hurts the voice box are other symptoms that indicate treatment with this homeopathic remedy may be effective, illustrating that indeed “like remedies cure like disease.”
Analogies can also help us understand the “like cures like” principle. In conventional medicine, minute substances in vaccines stimulate the body’s immune system to that very same illness. Similarly, in music, the note struck on a piano creates sympathetic resonance that causes the same note to resonate and vibrate on another piano across the room.
Whatever the analogy, homeopathy works. A study published in 1997 in the UK medical journal The Lancet evaluated over 100 clinical trials on homeopathy. Researchers concluded that homeopathy is more effective than placebo. In addition to studies, over 200 years of clinical evidence proves its value.
Better Than a Cold Pill
Here are some cases of its effectiveness treating sinus congestion and cold symptoms.
Natrum muriaticum, while made from ordinary table salt, is said to be infallible for stopping colds that start with sneezing. Deborah, a 28-year-old travel agent, had a dramatic response to this remedy after she began sneezing and developed a runny nose with clear to white mucus. She lost her sense of smell and had a tendency to develop cold sores. Emotionally, she would hold grudges instead of expressing her emotions. (While this state is not necessarily present when treating a cold, it is a sure sign for Natrum muriaticum when symptoms fit.) Since Deborah received the remedy early on and it suited her well, her cold completely disappeared after only one dose, and she was able to catch her flight to Beijing.
Nux vomica contains the poison strychnine before its homeopathic preparation. Forty-five-year-old Nicole, a busy architect, was irritated by her cold: her nose was running all day and stuffed up all night. She felt her worst in the morning, her throat raw and body chilled. At work she felt angry and frustrated by inefficiencies; as it was, she had been up too many late nights meeting project deadlines. Nux vomica got her immune system working and calmed her nervous system, and within a few days, she was back to her old self.
Pulsatilla is the windflower and, like the wind, symptoms are always changing. More teary than usual, young Isabella, a 14-year-old music student, hadn’t been well for a couple of days. Her nose felt stuffed up, and now and again she would blow out thick yellow mucus. She had to be reminded to drink enough and felt better outdoors. Emotionally, the remedy Pulsatilla fits the mild, tearful type and is particularly suited to children and women who feel this way when sick.
Arsenicum album, made from the notorious poison arsenic, is one of our most important remedies. Its symptoms are best illustrated by 70-year-old George, a retired mechanical engineer, who would become anxious whenever a cold began and often wound up tidying the yard or the garage because he could not rest. His nose would get stuffed and run watery mucus that burned his upper lip. He was chilly and craved warm drinks. Within a short time, his head cold would descend to the chest, which also burned. Arsenicum always gave George rest.
When prepared homeopathically, some of the most poisonous substances like arsenic become some of our most powerful remedies. Common substances like salt become potent enough to treat colds and congestion.
If any of these remedies suit your symptoms, try for yourself: take a 30C (or 9C) potency two or three times daily for a day or more, stopping as symptoms improve.