Clinical Cases

An Oscillococcinum Flu

A flu cured by Oscillococcinum

I haven’t used this remedy too often. I don’t think most people know when to prescribe it; so, here’s a case for you. If you’ve observed similar symptoms with this remedy, please let me know and maybe we can discern a picture of it.

They say you should give this remedy at the first sign of a flu or even as a preventative if you know the flu is in your area. This may be why we don’t get to know a lot about it.

I found this case quite by accident while looking for a picture of Shana’s dad.  I still haven’t found it, but I did find this old case. It’s a flu Shana had 10 years ago. She was 12. It started at 7 pm. She wasn’t feeling well but she didn’t tell me! She said her legs hurt. She wanted ice packs on them. (Is this remedy better for cold applications? Or is it an idiosyncracy of Shana’s? We don’t know.) By the time she went to bed she was burning hot with fever but didn’t complain! So what do we have so far?

Leg pains

Sudden onset of fever


The apathy makes us think of Gelsemium but Gelsemium doesn’t have sudden onset and there are no chills.

The next morning she called out “Mommy….” and then went back to sleep. Again, looks like Gelsemium with the tendency to fall asleep in the middle of a sentence.

When she finally woke up, she came into the living room crying! Now we’re not in Gelsemium territory anymore, it’s looking more like Pulsatilla. Her lips were chapped, she said her legs hurt. We went back to bed. She wanted me with her. Looking more like Pulsatilla and Arsenicum; but, she had no thirst; so, not likely Arsenicum. There was bad breath. You’d be thinking of Baptisia now but there’s no thirst to support it. Because she said her legs were burning, Arsenicum was tried but it didn’t work. Also, Arsenicum would not have liked cold compresses.

Remedies we tried were Gelsemium, Belladonna, Pulsatilla, Pyrogen and Arsenicum.

Belladonna and Pulsatilla helped slightly. With the failure of all the remedies that seemed close, we tried Oscillococcinum. In less than an hour she was completely well and back at the computer–posting on facebook, as usual!

P.S. She had tried to sit at the computer earlier while I was out. When I got home, the computer was on the start-up page and she was in bed; so, obviously, she wasn’t able to manage it.

So, what is the likely remedy picture of Oscillococcinum? Consider the following:

Pains in legs, better cold applications

Burning pains in legs

Thirstlessness (Shana is normally very thirsty)

Dry, chapped lips

Apathy and stuporousness with fever

High fever with apathy and inclination to sleep

Bad breath

Crying like Pulsatilla (possibly due to pains in the legs)

Desires company (earlier was apathetic; so, this aspect wasn’t consistent)

Sudden onset of fever


If you’ve had an Oscillococcinum flu, let me know if you can confirm this picture. I’m really anxious to see what other people’s experiences have been. Talk to you soon….


Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.

Elaine takes online cases! Write to her at [email protected]

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About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and


  • Apart from sudden onset high grade fever, rest of the picture is very similar to Gels flu. Like apathy, drowsy, thirst less, sleepy and we do get myalgia in it as well.
    I wonder if high potency of Gels could have worked as well ?

  • Apart from sudden onset and bad breath, it was like Gelsemium; but, I tried Gels. and it didn’t work. Puls. and Belladonna came close with somewhat of an effect.

  • I don’t know, but your comment about “expensive” reminds me about the directions on the package. The directions say that the entire contents of the half-dram tube is one dose. OMG! That is soooo not true! It’s just like any other remedy, a dose is 3 to 5 pellets; and in fact, one or two pellets would work just as well. Clearly, the only benefit to taking the entire tube is that the company sells more product! By all rights, one tube of Oscillococcinum should last your whole life!

  • If I understand the case of oscc. It was at a time when all diseases were thought to be caused by a germ such as bacteria or virus. Oscc was developed as an Isopathy against cancer. There was no proving done at least at that time and it was developed as a purely idea medicine. Where the inventor though he saw oscillating bacteria in a ducks liver. I wonder if oscc should even be considered to be part of classical Hom. Does it even have any use in its original application against cancer?

    • I have noted arguments very similar to yours used by skeptics in order to discredit homoeopathy, their idea being to claim that the use of duck viiscera as a flu remedy was based upon outdated, perhaps superstitious ideas.

      It is worthwhile to comment that several remedies regarded as part of our materia medica have either not been proved or have been proved only incompletely, but are used successfully by homoeopaths on the basis of experience gained from several generations of therapeutic use. In the absence of proving data for anas barb, Elaine Lewis’ attempt to harness the experiences of others in order to provide some guidelines for its use is to be praised and is utterly consonant with homoeopathic thought.

      In view of that, I’m not sure whether discussions about the remedy’s alleged use in cancer are really relevant.

      • At a seminar with Jens Wuster (a doctor/ homeopath) I did learn that you can use any “normal” homeopathic treatment for any illness (or cancer…) Look at the symptoms! And react on them.

  • It might be useful for people to know that whilst Oscillococcinum is a proprietary product of Boiron and as someone above says, expensive, it is possible to buy the generic form of the remedy as anas barb for no more than one would pay for any other homoeopathic remedy.

    I have used it myself from time to time, a couple of drops in a mug of water, and if taken early enough it will often abort fluey symptoms whatever those symptoms.

  • Ok, I found a remedy picture of Oscc (Materia Medica of Oscillococcinum: Robin Murphy; Courtesy of ReferenceWorks It says:

    PHARMACY – oscilloc. Oscillococcinum. Lysate from Oscillococcus. Virus. Historical dose: All potencies.

    CLINICAL – Aches. Anxiety. Bronchitis. Conjunctivitis. Ear pain. Epidemic, influenza. Fears. Headaches. Influenza. Gastro-intestinal disorders. Mastoiditis. Otitis. Rhinitis. Sinusitis. Varicose ulcer.

    HOMEOPATHIC – In the year 1925, Joseph Roy is believed to have observed in some conditions of a culture the existence of a germ animated by an oscillating movement. He named the nosode Oscillococcinum because of this fact. These researches helped him to describe a remedy of which the clinical experiments in the infections of influenza were carried out in particular by Paul Chavanon.

    Oscilloc. was developed by Boiron Laboratory in France. Pierre Schmidt said Oscilloc. is for “influenza at the beginning as a preventive, as well as during convalescence”

    Influenza of all types, especially in the earlier stages. Epidemic influenza. Bursting headaches and muscle aching. Gastro-intestinal troubles with the influenza. Beginning of influenza, rhinitis and otitis. Tendency to get influenza.

    Given early it is very efficacious. To obtain good results in a case which begins and to cut short the manifestations of influenza, it is necessary to use one dose of Oscillococcinum 200c every 2 to 3 hours or repeat only if necessary.

    Anxiety, paleness, chill. Sensitiveness to barometric weather changes. Tuberculous patients sensitive to cold. Asthenia, hyperthermia. Eye and nasal catarrh. Bronchial congestion. Painful congestion of the ear drum. Schmidt noted it for “Mastoiditis, at the beginning of a disease which does not develop.”

    MIND – Subjects with fixed ideas, obsessions. Obstinate. Agony, anxious without any motive. A busy body. Maniac, cannot bear disorder. Fear of dirt, of being polluted. Has the need to wash his hands very often and is afraid of giving his hand to others for the fear of pollution, contagion.

    ABDOMEN – Abdominal cramping pains followed by fetid diarrhea. Pains in the appendix region.
    EARS – Pains sometimes as if from needles in one or both ears. Tympanum red and swollen. Mastoiditis. Diminution of hearing acuity.
    EYES – Yellow conjunctiva. Conjunctivitis of influenza. Eye catarrh.
    FACE – Pain in the frontal and maxillary region.
    FOOD – Can digest neither milk nor eggs.
    HEAD – Bursting headaches. Headache with considerable throbbing.
    KIDNEYS – Turbid urine, less abundant, deep color. Painful urination.
    LUNGS – Muco-purulent expectoration with humid cough.
    MODALITIES – Better by heat, rest. Worse by milk, eggs.
    MOUTH – Tongue white.
    NOSE – Nasal voice. Nasal catarrh. Stuffed nose, nasal obstruction, sneezing. Serous discharge from the nose, then muco-purulent.
    RECTUM – Constipation.
    SKIN – Varicose type of ulcers of the legs.
    STOMACH – Swelling of the stomach. Putrid regurgitations. Vomiting of water or food.
    TEMPERATURE – Bruised sensation, chill, hyperthermia.
    THROAT – Aphonia, dry painful cough.

    RELATIONS – Eup-per. is to be associated with it. Compare: (1) Eup-per., Gels., Pyrog., Bapt., Ars., Influ. (2) Gaulphimia glauca – Hypersecretion of the nasal and ocular mucous, sneezing, hypersensitivity to change of weather. (3) Gelinsoga purviflora – Morning headache, makes mistakes when writing numbers and letters, stuffed nose, augmentation of diuresis, joint pains, lassitude, feels as if bruised. (4) Gink. – Pale face, drawn traits, numbness and chill. Laryngeal irritation with cough, frontal and left supra – orbita pain. (4) Luf-op. – Frontal-occipital headache, acute or chronic inflammation of the mucus membrane of the nasal fossa, lassitude and bodily fatigue.

    REFERENCES – Julian. O.

  • Depends on how you interpret the above: but a busy body (i.e., is not quiet), anxious (i.e., not apathical), MODALITIES – Better by heat, etc doesnt seem to support Elaine’s case at first glance…

    • It’s a shame they didn’t but my experience is that flus with different characteristics often yield to anas barb if the remedy is given soon enough which seems to be borne out by Pierre Scmidt’s observations of the remedy’s usefulness as a preventative if given at the beginning. Of course that statement doesn’t yield much dtata for your purposes.

      I remember reading a fascinating book many years ago called ‘The Fourth Horseman’. A story of epidemic disease and its impact upon the human race. The author devoted a chapter to influenza and gave Chinese animal husbandry as the source of many outbreaks, through the habit of mixing duck shit into pig feed. The argument went that ducks are a reservoir of different flu vituses and that these pass into pigs and through pork onto humans. I seem to remember similar arguments about wild fowl being reservoirs of flu viruses when the avian flu scare was on. Without wanting to get into a debate as to whether microorganisms are the cause of disease or simply a bi product, I’ve always assumed that the relationship between ducks and flu viruses has explained anas barb’s usefulness around flu.

      It is a laudable aim to see if anything could be added to Julian’s proving by way of people’s therapeutic experiences though

  • Stumbled upon this 8 years later…haha. I took a whole tube as per the instructions, as a prophylactic, since my kids have been getting sick. Soon my legs started hurting and they felt hot. My daughter said my hands and feet were so hot. I felt dull and sleepy, and thought maybe the whole tube was too much. So I made the aggravation zapper and then started to feel better, fell asleep and no more leg pain. I gave it to my daughter when she was complaining of pain in her hips, knees and ankles, had fever, but after 2 doses, no change. Hers was more of a joint pain and ferrum worked better. So one keynote seems to be leg pain with hot extremities, but not joints?

    • Thank goodness you knew to do the Aggravation Zapper! And it worked too, that’s great news! Yes, I think I wrote in that article that you don’t need to take the whole bottle of Oscillo at once! One or two pellets is fine! So, at least we have learned something about Oscillo: Leg pains, hot legs, hot feet, hot hands; dull and sleepy like Gelsemium. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Hi! I know this thread is super duper old but in case it helps- I take osc everytime I feel like I’m getting sick where my main symptom is profound fatigue and it has worked AMAZINGLY pretty much 100% of the time in these cases. I’m doing right now, I think I’m fighing off covid or something because I don’t remember the last time I had to spend the whole day lounging around in bed reading. For me, either it’s just the main symptom of extreme fatigue that this particular remedy seems to just knock out very quickly. I don’t really have any other physical symptoms that I’m aware of when this is going on. Just so so tired. I was curious about it because I’ve been getting more into homeopathy recently and reading remedy rubrics and didn’t even see this one in the entire book so then I decided to look it up online. Very very interesting! But it basically has a miraculous effect on me in these cases and then I can get back to regular life within a day or even hours depending. Definitely worth the money. But yes, now that I’ve actually learned about homeopathy to some degree, I did realize how odd it is to take so many pillules for 1 dose! Today for the first time with what I’ve learned I decided to liquidize a dose and succuss it as I go through this day and see how that goes. In the past I unwittingly took the whole tube, 3-4x in a day for 1-2 days because I just didn’t know any better, but I seemed to do well and didn’t notice any bad effects strangely.

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