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Common Cold and Flu in Children

Dr. R. K. Bhartiya

‘Influenza’ and ‘Common Cold’ are two very common illnesses with a very great similarity in symptoms of both. Here we describe the differences between the two infections with their homoeopathic treatment.


Common cold and flu are the two most common and contagious viral infections of the respiratory tract. The symptoms of both infections are very much similar, therefore, very often one is confused for the other. The flu symptoms develop quickly and are usually more severe.

The homoeopathic treatment is symptomatic, therefore there is not much difference in the homoeopathic remedies prescribed for cold or flu. These two illnesses are discussed together alongwith their homoeopathic treatment.

The difference between the two has also been explained, so that the parents are able to differentiate between these two infections.

Common Cold
The common cold is a contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. It is most common in school age children. Children usually recover from common cold within 7 to 14 days unless complicated by sinusitis, ear infection, laryngitis or bronchitis. The contagious phase is the first 2-4 days after the symptoms appear. Children can catch the infection from breathing in virus particles spread through the air by sneezing or coughing or from person to person contact.

Signs and Symptoms
The first symptoms of a cold are often a tickle in the throat, a runny or stuffy nose and sneezing. Sore throat, cough, headache, mild fever, fatigue, muscle aches and loss of appetite may accompany. The discharge from the nose changes from watery to thick yellow or green.

Treatment
Usually, common cold after running its course subsides on its own. Homoeopathic medicines get rid of common cold in no time.

Homoeopathic Remedies for Cold
Aconite.
This is the best remedy at the onset, but this stage is generally passed without treatment. The patient at the earlier stage is feverish with dryness and tingling in the nostrils. There is marked restlessness. Aconite 30, 4 times a day gives relief.

Bryonia. Nose blocked with congestion in the head. Cannot breathe through the nose. Dry cough with pain in the chest. An excellent remedy for flu also. Bryonia 30 should be given 4 times a day.

Gelsemium. It is indicated in bland discharge from the nose which is thick. It has sneezing, headache, chilliness in the back and aching pains. The patient is dull and weak. Gelsemium 30, 4 times a day gives relief.

Arsenic album. It has the symptoms of watery discharge from the nose which is acrid and thin. There is sneezing and pain in the limbs as in Gelsemium. It has proved to be the best remedy for flu. Arsenic album 30 helps especially if the complaints are during the changing weather.

Allium cepa. It is useful when there is an acrid discharge from the nose accompanied with bland discharge from the eyes. Soreness of muscles and tired feeling is also there. Better when out of doors, worse in warm room. Very sensitive to odours of flowers and skin of peaches. Allium cepa 30, repeated frequently helps.

Pulsatilla. When there is thick yellowish-green discharge from the nose, it is useful for what is generally a symptom of this remedy. Cold with consequent coryza and loss of smell and taste. Pulsatilla 30 should be given 4 times a day.

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