Much research has been done on this troublesome ailment in an effort to find the cause, without much success. A virus, (a very small infectious agent) is probably responsible but it is very resistant to the newer drugs.
Preventive measures : Some people are prone to catch catarrhal colds easily, a slight draft, a chill or exposure from becoming over-heated are causal factors which are important contributing factors. One’s body resistance is all important and every effort should be made to increase it by common sense measures.
Following are some of the points to consider:
1. Are working conditions proper? Too much air-conditioning? Dampness and drafts about? Over-heating?
2. Is there any chronic infection of the throat? Infected tonsils? Poor nasal breathing? Infected or poor teeth?
3. In winter especially, a good vitamin A-D preparation should be taken regularly.
4. Above all, regularity of habits is the most important single factor. Regularity of eating, elimination, sleep, and of proper clothing (women are the worst offenders here) as can be readily understood.
5. Regarding “cold shots” or virus vaccine. Statistically, the results are not impressive but certain individuals do benefit. It might be advisable to have your physician given them to you if your colds are very frequent.
6. Avoid local treatment by rubs, inhalers, sprays, nosedrops, etc. The benefit derived therefrom is temporary and they inactivate the delicate cleansing function of the nasal lining. Make up your mind to endure for a few days and he cured rather than to stop the discharge temporarily and prolong the whole affair. The internal homoeopathic remedies are usually quite effective and the most important ones are indicated by symptoms as follows:
First Stage of Colds
Aconite : At the very first sensation of burning, tingling, or sneezing in the nose. This drug may abort the condition completely if taken every 20 minutes for 4 or 5 hours. It is not effective once the discharge has become profuse.
Allium Cepa: This is perhaps the best general remedy for a free-running, watery head cold without complications. The Allium Cepa case is always better outside and worse in a warm room.
Arsenicum Iodide: A very thin, excoriating discharge which burns the edges of the nostrils. Weakness and run-down state. Often the best for a “virus” type of infection. Give three tablets every two hours until the discharge thickens up.
Kali bich : Pressure at the root of the nose; thick, tenacious, purulent discharge with tendency to invade the sinuses. The stringy character and difficulty in getting it up are the main indications.
Hydrastis : Poor vitality is present, preventing the cold from clearing up and hence it drags on and on. One is always blowing the nose and the discharge is globular and thick.
Kali mur : This tissue remedy is suitable when the thick discharge is white. The head feels full and the sinuses are apt to be involved. The cold usually starts with a sore throat and one usually suffers from a stopped up ear or ears along with the involvement of the nasal passages.
Coughs Due to Bronchitis
Ferrum Phosphoricum: This is the best general remedy for early symptoms of bronchitis, before expectoration. The cough is dry, the fever is high and there is marked difficulty in breathing. This drug, being a tissue salt, may be alternated with any of the following:
Ipecac: A suffocative rattling, gasping cough, the violence of which leads to nausea and vomiting. Ipecac cases have a rapid onset. Give it at the irritative stage of the cough. Coughs with every breath.
Bryonia: Sharp pains on breathing and patient is worse from any motion. Dry mucous membranes but profuse sweat. Very thirsty for large quantities. Severe cough, worse on entering room.
Phosphorus: Deep seated cough. Craves cold drinks which may be vomited as soon as they become warm in the stomach. Much oppression and heaviness of chest with expectoration.
Rumex crispus: Dry cough from tickling in throat pit. Brought on by change of temperatures, especially cold air.
Sticta pulmonaria: Raw throat, dry cough, hacking through night. Pain through chest to back. Fullness of root of nose, posterior nasal drip.
Homoeopathically, the following drugs are important, not so much to control the immediate bronchial spasm but it is given during the intervals between attacks to aid in aborting them.
Natrum Sulph By far the best remedy for children. Most important is the order of symptoms. Attack brought on by dampness and wet. Aggravation around 4 or 5 in the morning. Cough is violent and the child holds his chest. The pain is apt to be on the lower left side. Loose cough with expectoration. Continue for several weeks.
Ipecac: Give for the same symptoms as mentioned for bronchitis. Ipecac is aggravated from warmth and particularly in the open air.
Aralia racemosa: This is a typical homoeopathic remedy for this condition according to experience. Aside from the asthmatic picture, two symptoms are important, aggravation around mid-night and from sleep.
Chamomilla: Here we find asthmatic attacks which appear to follow anger or frustration. The patient is always irritable, has periodic flushes and paleness. One cheek is flushed and the other one pale. Breathes with the heat bent backward and craves cold air.
For dosage and time of administration, see page 8.