Veronica Wheat, aka Chef V, the innovator behind Organic Green Drink and cleanse/detox programs, is all about using all-natural solutions to improve health. This last winter, lots of people were nailed by colds and flu. In this article, Chef V takes a look at homeopathy and the best homeopathic remedies for quickly kicking colds to the curb – in any season.
What a crazy winter it’s been! I feel bad for anybody who has recently moved to San Diego, where I live and home to Chef V’s West Coast headquarters. It has been insanely rainy, blustery and cold. In fact, just the other night, we had a hailstorm that dusted our back yard with strange-looking white stuff. SNOW! In San Diego!
Add to that insanity the fact that I’m now pregnant and, during the last rain storm, our condo got flooded! But hey, enough about my first world problems. Let’s talk about you. How are you handling this bizarre winter? If you’ve been struck down by a cold or flu, what’s the quickest way to get over it and feel like yourself again? Spring is just about here, and now is the time to conquer a cold.
Have you ever heard of homeopathy or homeopathic remedies? If not, let’s dive in.
What is Homeopathy?
Out of all the alternative and complementary forms of medicine like acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, etc., I think homeopathy is the most fascinating. That’s because it’s the only form of healing to my knowledge that operates on the principle of “like cures like.”
What “like cures like” means is that one natural substance can cause symptoms in a totally healthy person while the same substance can be used to treat the same symptoms in a healthy person.
Let me give you an example. Take onions for instance. If you’re a chef like me, you’ve probably experienced watery, itchy eyes when chopping onions. So if my eyes are fine to begin with, onions make my eyes water. However, and here’s where homeopathy is so interesting … If I already have watery, itchy eyes because of an allergy, a trace amount of onion in a homeopathic solution can relieve my symptoms.
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How Old Is Homeopathy?
Unlike other modalities like acupuncture that date back thousands of years, homeopathic remedies are the relatively new kid on the block. Invented in the late 1700s by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann, homeopathy, like other forms of holistic medicine, doesn't just treat symptoms. The idea is to treat the whole individual.
Another example of the “like treats like” principle was discovered serendipitously (by accident) like Viagra by Hahnemann himself. Searching for a treatment for malaria, Hahnemann was turned on to the bark from a South American tree called cinchona. Not sure what dose to take, Hahnemann took a high dose of the tree bark extract and developed malaria-like symptoms.
It’s fitting that homeopathy was invented in Germany because in modern times, homeopathy remains widely accepted even in the mainstream medical community. This is widely different from the attitude that mainstream medicine has towards homeopathy here in the U.S., which is downright hostility.
How Does Homeopathy Work?
It’s easy to see why some people think homeopathy is a snake-oil disguised as medicine. (If you’re curious, the best homeopathic remedy for snake bites: ledum palustre, aka Labrador tea.)
This is because homeopathic remedies are extremely diluted in water or alcohol. You can say that the “trace essence” or the “spirit” of the homeopathic remedy—usually a plant, mineral, or even a virus—is what’s left. The highly-diluted remedies are supposed to kickstart the body’s natural healing processes. In homeopathy, the dilution process is based on the principle of potentization. Basically, the remedy is vigorously shaken each time after it’s diluted. This action is what theoretically increases its potency.
Again, it’s easy to see why mainstream medicine bashes homeopathy because of these woo-hoo principles. But there are plenty of people who swear by it. I’m not here to take an official position on it. I just want to introduce it to you as an option for when you’ve got a nasty cold or flu. It’s up to you to decide whether homeopathy is right for you. Millions of people around the world have successfully used homeopathy. Whether it’s because of a placebo effect or the remedies actually work, who is to say.
pasqueflower - used to make Pulsatilla
Best Homeopathic Remedies for Colds and Allergies
As I mentioned, it’s a nasty cold and flu season, at least out here in the west, where it’s been COLD A.F. (Earmuffs, little one in my belly.)
Here are 5 homeopathic cold, flu and allergy remedies.
- Allium cepa: Remember the onion example? Well, that’s what allium is (garlic, too). Made from red onion, allium is used for symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes.
- Oscillococcinum® is a patented homeopathic medicine that is made from a 1% solution of wild duck heart and liver extract. Obviously, you’ll pass on it if you’re a vegetarian. But keep in mind it’s diluted 200 times with water and alcohol. So the true amount of animal parts is like a grain of sand on a beach.
- Arsenicum album – Ingesting arsenic can kill you, but a homeopathic remedy with a trace amount of arsenic may help sneezing, coughing, and sore throats.
- Nux vomica – Although it sounds way too similar to “vomit” this remedy can help you if you have a stuffy nose, headache, and feel like a whiny bitch (the less politically incorrect term: irritable). And don’t be turned off by the fact that it’s made from strychnine. Hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
- Pulsatilla – This one’s good for nasty mucus and noses that think they’re running a marathon. Vegetarians will delight that it’s made not from weird animal parts but the pasqueflower.
For best results, I recommend not self-treating but actually visiting a homeopathic practitioner. Or at the very least, research the bejeezus out of it to make sure you’re taking the right remedy not only for your symptoms but other patterns.
nux vomica evergreen tree used to make nux vomica
Does Research Support Homeopathy?
Like I said, your average mainstream whitecoat probably has a negative opinion about homeopathy. Most of Google’s top listings for the search “is homeopathy effective” links to articles that bashing it.
Yet for every article that bashes it, you’ll find a study that supports it.
Here’s one study from Brazil that examined the effects of administering homeopathic remedies to 445 children. The conclusion of the study:
“These results suggest that the use of homeopathic medicines minimized the number of flu and acute respiratory infection symptomatic episodes in children, signalizing that the homeopathic prophylactic potential should be investigated in further studies.”
In another peer-reviewed study, the researchers made a bold statement: “There is little evidence that the decongestant, antihistamine, or cough suppressant medications commonly used to treat cold symptoms in preschool children are effective.”
So the researchers set out to see if 154 kids ages 2-5 years old who were diagnosed with an upper respiratory tract infection would get better when given a commercial homeopathic cold syrup versus a placebo. The syrup was given to them for 3 days. The outcome of the study was that the homeopathic syrup “appeared to be effective in reducing the severity of cold symptoms in the first day after beginning treatment.”
In another study, this one published in Global Pediatric Health, the efficacy of a commercial brand of homeopathic medicine called Influcid was examined. The 2016 study recruited 261 kids in Germany and Ukraine. Researchers concluded that the group treated with Influcid used less medication and their symptoms were resolved significantly earlier. Not only that, the kids had higher proportions of fever-free from day 3 onwards.
Cleanse Your System To Fine Tune Your Immune System
Maybe you’ve been eating like crap lately? And not exercising. And maybe you’ve had a lot of stress and you’re not managing it …well, if you recently have been sick, doing a CHEF V Cleanse is the best way to reboot your immune system and your digestive system.
Choose between a 5 DAY, 3 DAY or 1 DAY CLEANSE.
That’s all the work you have to do. Chef V will take care of the rest.