Homeopathy Papers

Help for a Head Cold

Written by Robert Medhurst

The author presents a handy chart with thirteen remedies often useful for colds and their keynote indications.

Someone once said that a head cold without treatment will last for 1 week and a head cold with treatment will last for 7 days. If you’ve ever used homeopathics to treat a cold you’ll know that this statement isn’t necessarily true. Following are a few remedy suggestions that may help to reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms for those who suffer from them.


Differentiating Symptoms


Coryza, sneezing, and blocked nose with a dry, barking or spasmodic cough. Better for lying on the back and worse from dry, cold wind, speaking, deep inspiration, at night and after eating or drinking

Allium c Sneezing and copious, acrid coryza with frontal headache, profuse lachrymation and a sore throat. Symptoms are better in cool, open air and worse in a warm room, during damp weather and in the evening.
Ars alb

This remedy is well suited to the person who is restless, irritable and fatigued, is sneezing, and has a blocked nose or a watery nasal discharge. Better for warmth, motion and lying with the head elevated and worse for cold air, cold food or cold drinks and after midnight or after 2 a.m.

Arum triph

Symptoms include sneezing, nasal obstruction, and a fluent, acrid discharge with a sore throat where the pain may be described as raw or burning. Worse for talking, cold, wet weather and lying down.


Profuse acrid lachrymation, sneezing, a bland nasal discharge and burning, irritated eyes with photophobia often characterise this remedy. Symptoms are better in the open air and worse indoors, and are worse for warmth and in sunlight.


Weakness and fatigue with a watery nasal discharge, sneezing and a dry cough often indicate a need for this remedy. Symptoms are generally better for urination, alcoholic drinks and during the afternoon and worse for cold, damp weather, from the use of tobacco and during thunder-storms.

Hepar sulph Sneezing and nasal congestion particularly when exposed to a cold, dry wind, dry or loose, hoarse, croupy cough. Better for damp air or warmth, worse in the morning, from cold air, from any body part becoming uncovered or from cold food or drinks.
Kali bic Sneezing, a blocked nose with pain at the root of the nose, thick greenish- yellow discharge with sinus congestion and a loose, wheezing or barking cough with profuse yellow expectoration. Better for warmth, pressure and motion, worse on waking and after when undressing.
Kali iod Profuse, watery, acrid or thick green nasal discharge, sneezing, frontal sinus pain and pain at the root of the nose with a violent cough, especially in the morning, may indicate a need for this remedy. Symptoms are better for movement and in the cool open air and worse at night, from heat or from cold food or drink.
Nat mur

Colds characterised by an early fluent albuminous nasal discharge developing into nasal blockage, particularly where the cold begins with sneezing. Better for open air and perspiration and worse between 9 and 11a.m. as well as being worse for the heat of the sun.

Nux vom For the nervous, irritable person who commonly suffers from the effects of overwork, the overuse of stimulants and a sedentary lifestyle and develops colds characterised by sneezing, snuffles, nasal congestion or discharge on one side, and a tight, dry, hacking cough, nux vom is ideal. Symptoms often arise from exposure to cold air and are better for milk, moist air and lying on the side and worse for cold, open air, draughts, mental exertion and in the early morning.
Pulsatilla Symptoms include a nose that runs through the day and is blocked at night as well as a spasmodic cough that’s dry at night and loose during the day. Better for open air, cold food and drink, worse for warmth.
Sabadilla Tremendous sneezing with a nasal itch and a running nose with frontal sinus congestion. Better for open air, warmth generally and warm drinks, worse for cold air, cold drinks and mental exertion.

About the author

Robert Medhurst

Robert Medhurst BNat DHom DBM DRM DNutr is an Australian Naturopath & Homeopath with 40 years of clinical experience. He has written many articles and lectured on homeopathy throughout Australia and the U.S. Robert previously set up and operated 5 natural therapies practices in Sydney and Adelaide and was involved in teaching and medical research. He was formerly the Expert Advisor on Homeopathy to the Federal Government of Australia, Dept. of Health & Ageing. He specialises in homeopathy and is the author of The Business of Healing, the definitive guide for clinical practice establishment and management, as well as The Concordant Clinical Homeopathic Repertory. For more information see adelaidehillsnaturopath.com.au.


  • Good and handy choice of remedies to follow. Euphrasia has one peculiarity that I had the mortification to undergo; cough during the day but ceased the moment I put my head on the pillow at night!
    What about those colds that have settled? Some cause sinusitis that are not difficult to cure but some exert intense pressure and consequent pain on the ears of a person. This is not very common but can be very problematic.

  • I really aprpreciate articles that list all of the homeopathics for the particular problem. One problem that I didn’s see addressed is when the person has a stopped up nose at night, better with cold, discharge is very thick and white(when it can be removed). It would be good to address that one. Thanks for all of the information that has really helped me.

    • Hi Toni
      (Thanks for everybody’s interest in and comments on this article) Just on the fly, even though the character of the discharge may not match, Puls is worth looking at if it’s better with cold, runny through the day and stopped at night. Nux is also worth a look but failing these, nothing works better than hitting your repertory! 😉

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