I rather hesitate to express my opinion upon such a trite subject before a group of men who have been in active practice for many years. However, I think the topic that I have selected to discuss is often treated in a haphazard fashion rather than in a true homoeopathic manner. In this day of medicine and surgery we are apt to practice polypharmacy and listen to the fine, clear-cut stories of the travelling salesmen from the many pharmaceutical houses, instead of trying to delve deeper into our own materia medica and add more knowledge to our already accumulated knowledge of homoeopathy.
In order to practice homoeopathy perfectly, one must study each case individually and study the human economy as a whole. The same holds true in prescribing for common colds. Each case must be studied separately and a proper remedy selected to fit the case. The treatment of common colds by homoeopathic remedies is interesting as well as fascinating, and furthermore, one can get results and will get results if the proper indicated remedy is selected when making a homoeopathic prescription.
I will dispense with the many causes of the common cold, but will take up the symptoms and remedies which are indicated in fulfilling a homoeopathic prescription. For brevity, I will divide the symptoms of the common cold into three groups or stages.
Chilliness of the entire body which is usually later followed by a dryness of the nose.
Cold hands and cold feet.
Headache which may be of a dull character and may be located in the frontal or occipital regions.
Creeps up and down the spine.
In this group we find a profuse watery secretion from the nose.
Mouth breathing due to nasal obstruction form swelling of the mucous membranes covering the turbinates.
Redness of the eyes and nose, incessant sneezing.
Alternation in the sense of state and smell; sometimes a complete loss of these two senses.
Change in the voice, hoarseness, sometimes a nasal twang.
Cough but not productive.
In this stage the discharge changes form a profuse watery secretion to a thick yellowish discharge.
Nasal breathing easier and the sense of taste and smell returns.
Voice becomes more normal and not so husky.
The cough lessens.
These three stages are not always definitely grouped as I have just stated. Sometimes the symptoms of a case may not be confined to one group alone. Nevertheless, I will endeavor to group the remedies for the different stages.
1. Camphor: Chilliness of entire body, sneezing dryness of nose. Incessant sneezing on sudden changes of weather. Whole body is icy cold. Tongue trembling.
2. Aconite 3x: History of exposure of dry cold winds. Chilliness of the body. Temperature rises. Body warm, headache, sneezing, thirsty, restless, fearful, nose stopped up, ameliorated in open air, aggravated in warm room, dry cold winds.
3 Belladonna 3x: Face and body flushed, throbbing carotids, pulse full and bounding, coryza, nose and throat dry, fever, no thirst with fever, aggravated from draught, noise or lying down.
4. Gelsemium 2x: Chilly creeps up and down the spine, head feels full, dull and heavy, eyes feel heavy, vision is blurred, thoughts confused, eyeballs sore and tender to touch; prostration, sneezing, dryness of the nasal fossae, aggravated from damp weather, excitement or bad news, ameliorated from open air, continued motion.
1. Arsenicum 3x: Burning of nose, throat burns, everything burns, the discharge from the eyes and nose excoriates the tip of the nose and upper lip, cant bear smell of food, thirsty, but takes sips at short intervals, profuse burning discharge from nose excoriating the upper lip; aggravated wet weather, night, from cold drinks and cold food, ameliorated from heat.
2. Allium cepa 3x: Coryza profuse, watery discharge from the nose, nasal secretion acrid, eye secretion bland sneezing especially when entering a warm room, eyes watery, ameliorated in open air and cool room, aggravated in evening, warmth.
3. Euphrasia 3x: Watery discharge from the eyes excoriating the cheeks, nasal discharge bland and profuse, worse warmth, evening; better cold.
4. Sanguinaria 3x: Profuse offensive discharge, blood tinged, sense of taste and smell lost, complaints of a diarrhoea as coryza improves; worse form motion, better from rest.
1. Pulsatilla 2x: Thick greenish discharge, stoppage of right nostril, thick yellowish discharge from eyes bland in character. No thirst, cough loose, expectorates bland, thick greenish lumps of mucus, worse from heat, better from cold, open air and motion.
2. Nux vomica:Nose stuffed up at night, first one side and then the other, nose discharge in day time and is stuffed up at night, worse cold, better warm and strong pressure over nose.
3. Kali bichromicum 3x: Pain at root of nose, discharge thick, ropy, greenish yellow tenacious hard to dislodge at times, mucus comes from nose in tough thick plugs, voice hoarse, profuse yellowish expectoration; better from heat.
4. Hydrastis: Thick tenacious discharge which drops back into the posterior nares, tendency to blow the nose all the time, dry harsh cough.
I have not discussed all the remedies that might be used in the treatment of colds. However, I think I have selected the most important and most commonly used homoeopathic remedies.
Such remedies as Ferrum phos., Sanguinaria nitrate and Dulcamara also deserve attention.