Colds Catarrhs

Dr. Dewey discusses the homeopathy treatment of Colds Catarrhs in his bestselling book Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics….

Aconite [Acon]

      When the attack comes on suddenly after an exposure to a cold, dry wind, with chilliness, followed by fever, Aconite will be the remedy. It should be administered just as soon as the patient realizes that he is taking cold. There is as yet no discharge, but from the congestion the nose is swollen, hot, dry and stopped up, and this stoppage is apt to change from side to side; there is tingling and burning in the nose and a throbbing frontal headache; there may be sneezing also. These symptoms are all better in the open air.

**Nux vomica has colds caused by cold weather, with a dry, stuffed up nose and rough, scrapy throat.

**In Belladonna there is more cerebral excitement and swelling in the throat is a prominent symptom.

**China has headache with pains, worse in open air, not better, as in Aconite.

**Ferrum phosphoricum is very similar to Aconite and may be used when the onset is less sudden and violent and when there is no anxiety and restlessness. It is also, like **Nux and **Calcarea carbonica, excellent for predisposition to take cold.

Arsenicum [Ars]

      Is especially useful in winter colds where there is a thin, watery discharge from the nostrils which excoriates the upper lip, yet in spite of this fluent discharge the nose feels stopped up. There is a dull, throbbing frontal headache and sneezing, photophobia, and contrary to what one would expect, the ***sneezing does not relieve in the slightest and the irritation continues as before and is worse on going into air. It corresponds well to patients who are rarely without a cold. These symptoms of watery discharge and sneezing place **Arsenic in the front rank in the treatment of hay fever. Catarrh based upon a malarial miasm in poorly nourished subjects calls for the remedy.

**Arsenic iodide may be found indicated when burning in nose and throat is marked. **Allium cepa has this excoriating nasal discharge also, but, if anything, there is more lachrymation, which, by the way, is bland. **Sinapis nigra resembles

**Arsenicum in the heat in the nose, but with **Sinapis there is dryness and no discharge. The discharge of **Mercurius, though excoriating and acrid, is thicker. The cold of **Arsenic always settles in the nose, that of **Phosphorus in the chest. The **Arsenic patient is chilly and wants to be near the fire all the time; the nose burns both externally and internally.

Allium cepa. [All-c]

      One of our best remedies for cold in the head, indeed, is said by come to be the best, and probably it is when indicated. The discharge is profuse, thin and acrid, with great smarting in the nose and eyes, and the distinguishing feature between this remedy and **Euphrasia is the profuse lachrymation which here is bland, and under **Euphrasia is excoriating, while the opposite condition obtains in the nose. Under **Allium the edges of the eyelids burn and the eyes are red and sensitive to light. The nasal discharge is thin and flows constantly, excoriates the upper lip, and there is prolonged sneezing. A peculiarity of **Allium is that the discharge ceases when the patient goes into the open air, but returns when entering a warm room again. It is a drug Which should be given early, and if there be a splitting laryngeal cough, causing the patient to wince and crouch with pain, it is all the more indicated. Farrington, however, claims that **Allium is apt to drive the trouble to the chest, and adds that when it reaches the chest **Phosphorus is the remedy. **Arsenic, too, is similar, but **Arsenic has sneezing in the cool air after leaving a worm room, and it lacks the laryngeal symptoms so common in **Allium. The **Mercurius discharge is acrid, and not as thin as that of **Allium.

Euphrasia. [Euphr]

      Here the upper part only of the respiratory mucous membrane is affected. Like **Allium cepa it has a copious, fluent discharge from nose, and copious lachrymation, the latter being most acrid, excoriating the cheeks, and being so profuse as to keep them wet all the time. It differs from **Allium, as we have seen, in the character of the discharge, from the eyes excoriating, from the nose bland. **Euphrasia is often well indicated in the coryzas which precede measles, when there is a cough which sounds decidedly measly. **Eruptions on the wings of the nose.

Arum triphyllum. [Arum-t]

      Under **Arum all of the secretions are acrid, and there is a discharge if ichorous fluid from the nose; the nostrils and lips are sore. There may be a discharge from both nose and eyes which is yellow and acrid. There is thirst, but drinking causes pain. The nostrils are sore, and there is constant desire to bore the finger into the nose. The nose may be completely stopped up, and at the same time there is a fluent acrid discharge. Drowsiness and an inclination to sneeze accompanies. **Lycopodium has complete stoppage of the nose night and day, with some discharge, which may be excoriating. Dryness posteriorly and discharge anteriorly is also characteristic of **Lycopodium.

Gelsemium. [Gels]

      This remedy is often underestimated in the early stages of cold in the head. It will break up a cold at the beginning quicker than any other remedy with these indication: Fullness of the head, hot fever and chilliness, as if a cold were coming on. The patient is dull and weak, chills run up and down the back, with a watery, excoriating, or bland discharge from the nose and sneezing. There is also a marked inclination in the patient to hug the fire. Colds brought on by warm relaxing weather especially indicate **Gelsemium, hence it seems to be most useful in spring and summer weather, and corresponds well to some epidemic colds. There is a predisposition to take cold on any change of the weather. It has been found specially useful in influenzas with fever. It is a remedy that must be used early in the cold. The Ix dilution will often suffice.

**Lachesis is often suitable for spring colds and catarrhs, with sensitiveness of throat. **Quillaya. In the incipiency of a cold, with very sore throat, this remedy has been found to be of signal use. **Sepia. Colds at onset of menstruation.

Nux vomica. [Nux-v]

      The first stage of ordinary cold in the head may be met by **Nux vomica, when it is brought on by damp, cold weather, or from sitting on damp, cold steps; associated with sneezing and stuffed up feeling in the nose. The nose is dry, there is very little discharge, the eyes water, and there is scraping in the throat, and dullness and oppression about the front sinuses; it should be given as soon as dryness and tickling in the nose begins; the nasal passages are alternately free and obstructed. These symptoms are worse in a warm room and better in the open air. It is of little use after the cold is established. **Mercurius is similar, having rawness and soreness in the nose, but it is especially aggravated in damp weather.

**Pulsatilla is more for a ripe cold, and Arsenicum also has heat and burning in the nose, but the coryza is relieved by warmth and aggravated by cold, which is opposite of **Nux. Another symptom indicating **Nux is a fluent coryza during the day and a stuffed up sensation at night.

Mercurius. [Merc]

      There is a profuse coryza which extends to the frontal sinuses, burning in eyes and nose, acrid discharge, violent sneezing, and tendency to perspiration which aggravates. When a cold begins with coryza, **Mercurius is a valuable remedy.

**Kali iodatum has great distress in frontal region, worse at 3 A.M.

**Mercurius is especially aggravated in damp weather and the coryza is worse by heat of stove room; nose is sore; wiping nose is painful. Thin watery discharges belong to **Allium cepa, Euphrasia, Arum triphyllum and Arsenicum.

The Mercury discharge is thin mucus, not thick as in **Pulsatilla, Hydrastis, and some other drugs, or it may be yellowish green in color.

Pulsatilla. [Puls]

      **Pulsatilla is more indicated in an advanced stage of cold in the head, what is known as ***a ripe-cold, hence it should not be given at the beginning of a cold, for it is never indicated. There is no sneezing or excoriating discharge with **Pulsatilla. The discharge is thick, yellow, muco-purulent, and, above all bland.

**Penthorum sedoides. Coryza with raw nose and throat; later it has the thick, yellow discharge of **Pulsatilla, but the keynote of this remedy is a sensation of wetness in the nose.

**Hydrastis is also similar to Pulsatilla, but there is no burning and rawness and tenacity to the discharge; sensation of a hair in the nostrils; constant desire to blow the nose, which feels raw and excoriated; the cold has settled in the back of the nose and throat. This remedy alone will cure more sinusitis than any remedy because it is more often indicated. Thick, yellow, tenacious mucus in posterior nares, more distinctly yellow than **Kali bichromicum and profuse. If you have a **Pulsatilla cold, and in addition to it you have sneezing, give Cyclamen, also for attacks of sneezing without a cold.

**Chromico-kali-sulphuricum in the 2X or 3X is highly recommended in chronic rhinitis.

W.A. Dewey
Dewey, Willis A. (Willis Alonzo), 1858-1938.
Professor of Materia Medica in the University of Michigan Homeopathic Medical College. Member of American Institute of Homeopathy. In addition to his editoral work he authored or collaborated on: Boericke and Dewey's Twelve Tissue Remedies, Essentials of Homeopathic Materia Medica, Essentials of Homeopathic Therapeutics and Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics.