One of the most difficult transitions to using homeopathy is that sometimes you already have your “tried and true” practices for home treatment. Hopefully I can provide you with some homeopathic alternatives to symptoms you would typically treat with a decongestant.
What are symptoms to look out for?
Remember, in homeopathy we do not need a diagnosis in order to pick a remedy. Sometimes the diagnosis can help you pick a remedy quicker, but sometimes it doesn’t matter! So first we’ll talk about symptoms that would cause you to reach for a decongestant.
If you are choosing a single remedy (which is typically more effective than combination remedies), then the first step is to observe.
- Is there drainage? If so, is it clear, runny, sticky, burning, etc.?
- Is there a fever? If so, is it low, high, causing dehydration or lethargy, etc.?
- Is there a headache? What part of the head?
- Are there body aches or chills?
- Is it the beginning or the end of a cold?
Why avoid over-the-counter decongestants?
Honestly, I don’t keep up-to-date on conventional treatments anymore. But I know many people have questions about why not to use certain over-the-counter treatments. As an example, the most common treatments for the common cold are decongestants and antihistamines. The list of possible side effects, however, are enough to make me want to avoid them!
But the biggest reason I want to avoid something such as a decongestant is because of what in homeopathy-world we call “suppression”. Suppression is what happens when symptoms are covered up by a drug instead of encouraging the body to heal. This covering up of symptoms can also lead to pushing symptoms deeper into your body (and eventually they may pop up again and manifest in other ways, such as joint pain or allergies).
So how can you encourage your body to heal quicker and without any side effects? Let’s explore some homeopathic options.
This is not meant to be a post of differentials, but rather a springboard for further investigation. I encourage you to get a good book (or one of my e-booklets) to study the differences in remedies so you can choose the best one for your situation.
A list of example remedies follow below. Pick your most annoying symptom and start with that! Use one remedy at a time, starting with a 6C or 30C, and remembering to follow the rule of 3s (that you can learn about in my Homeopathy Basics e-course).
- Pulsatilla for thick discharges from eyes or nose.
- Allium cepa for eyes and nose that run clear and profusely.
- Ferr phos for low fevers or Belladonna for high fevers.
- Nux vomica for headaches caused by sinus pressure. (This is a common one for colds in kids.)
- Oscillococcinum (or Anas barbariae) for body aches and chills.
- Kali bich for a lingering stuffy nose.
If you’re new to homeopathy or just want to have a simpler option on hand, combination remedies can be effective as well! Try one of these during your next cold or during allergy season:
- ColdCalm by Boiron – they have several options. Don’t let the “for kids” label fool you. All homeopathy, including the remedies not marked for kids, are safe to use regardless of age. Just remember to observe symptoms carefully and stop when you are feeling better!
- TinyCold by Hyland’s – this one is great for the littlest ones who catch a sniffle because the tablets are super easy to take and dissolve quickly.
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