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 Homeopathy: Common Cold 
The information provided here is not only applicable to children but to most people with the common cold.


Not every cold needs to be treated, since the body's natural reaction to the cold virus is a healthy response. Consider treating a cold if the symptoms are significantly disturbing the child, if the condition lingers, or if the child needs to attend a special event without having respiratory difficulties.

ACONITUM: This remedy is useful primarily during the first 24 hours after the onset of a cold. Typically, the child develops her cold or cough after being exposed to dry cold weather. She wakes from sleep with a dry, hoarse, croupy cough, especially worse at night and after midnight. She has a dry mouth, shortness of breath, and little expectoration. The cough is worse from being cold, drinking cold water, from tobacco smoke, lying on either side, and at night.

ALLIUM CEPA: This common remedy for colds is effective when the child has a profuse, fluent, burning nasal discharge which is worse in a warm room and better in open air. The nasal discharge will irritate the child's nostrils, causing pain from simply wiping his nose. He may also have profuse bland (non-burning) tearing from the eyes. He has reddened eyes and a tendency to rub them. He also tends to have a raw feeling in the nose with a tingling sensation as well as violent sneezing. Sometimes the discharge starts in the left nostril and moves to the right. The child may occasionally experience a congestive headache in the front part of the head.

Anas barbariae: Although this medicine (commonly marketed as "Oscillococcinum") is primarily effective in treating influenza, homeopaths have also found that it can also be helpful in treating the common cold. There are no known symptoms from which to individualize treatment, though it has been found to be very effective when used within 48 hours of onset of symptoms. Consider giving it if you don't know which other medicine to give.

Arsenicum: These children have a burning nasal discharge that irritates the nostrils and upper lip. They are very chilly and are sensitive to drafts or cold air. They may, in fact, sneeze from any change in temperature. Typically, the cold begins in the nose and moves down to the throat (once it goes down into the chest a different remedy is usually needed). They also have dryness of the mouth that leads to a great thirst but for only sips of water at a time.

Belladonna: This remedy should be considered when there is a sudden stopping of nasal discharge, and it is replaced by a congestive, usually throbbing, headache and high fever.

Bryonia: Like children who need Belladonna, children who need this remedy have little or no nasal discharge but a more prominent head pain over the forehead. Rather than throbbing pain however, these children have a dull ache. They sneeze often which may cause stitching pain on top of the head. The less the nasal discharge, the more painful becomes the headache. Their mouth is dry, as well as their throat, and they may also have a dry cough. They are very thirsty for cold drinks. They feel worse in a warm room.

Calcarea carb: This remedy is for infants or children who experience frequent colds and who fit the typical Calc carb syndrome. These children are chilly and very sensitive to anything cold, though they prefer to drink ice drinks. They may develop their cold after being chilled. They sweat profusely and have a sour perspiration. Likewise, their stools are sour smelling. Typically, these children are fair skinned and pudgy with poor muscle tone. They may concurrently get a sore throat with swelling of the tonsils and lymph nodes. They have a thick yellowish nasal discharge and rattling respiration due to loose mucus in the throat and chest.

(Excerpted from Homeopathic Medicines for Children and Infants ISBN: 0874776929)
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 About The Author
Dana Ullman, MPHDANA ULLMAN, MPH, is one of America's leading advocates for homeopathy. He has authored 10 books, including ...more
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