Throughout history, homeopathy has enjoyed a proven track record in treating influenza and other epidemic disease. During the Spanish Flu of 1918, homeopaths reported mortality rates of 1-5%, while their conventional counterparts, had rates of 30% and higher. Homeopaths of that era used a therapeutic approach in the treatment of the flu, honing in on the most characteristic and individualising symptoms of the flu outbreak in their community.
Today, homeopathy has 4 categories of treatment approaches: constitutional, therapeutic, prophylactic, and isopathic. Each one has unique benefits, and a mix of them can potentially be used together to optimize results for a modern population.
Constitutional treatment is often referred to as classical homeopathy. The homeopath takes an in-depth, all systems approach in determining the single best remedy needed by the individual. Constitutional treatment is in line with the “soil, not the seed” theory in that when the body (the soil) is weakened it provides a hospitable environment for pathogens and disease (the seed) to take root. The constitutional remedy of the individual can be used to treat symptoms, reduce susceptibility, and maintain optimal health.
Therapeutic treatment in homeopathy is when remedies are chosen based a specific symptom set or tissue/organ affinity. In cases of the flu, an example of this would include the prescription of Gelsemium. Gelsemium is known to be useful when people experience symptoms of drowsiness, muscular weakness, sneezing, stuffy nose, swollen glands, fevers with chills, and dull headache. “Over the counter” homeopathics that are sold as combination formulas use several remedies combined to offer a “broad spectrum” coverage of symptoms. Drainage remedies, organotherapy, and tissue salts are also used therapeutically to combat the flu.
Prophylactic homeopathy primarily uses nosodes as a pre-emptive approach for the flu. Nosodes are like an education tool for the immune system. Nosodes stimulate an innate immune response, which readies the body in preparation of potentially facing the real pathogenic substance. Because of this immune “priming”, the body is often able to overcome flu symptoms with little or no disturbance being felt by the person.
Isopathic remedies are made from the exact substance that causes a set of symptoms. Because of the specificity of isopathic remedies, they are typically only effective for the exact disease for which they are meant and are most beneficial when symptoms are in their infancy.
Sarah Hutchinson, Registered Homeopath uses all of these approaches in her practice, and offers a specific flu protocol that is available by appointment during the months of November and December.