Originally published in Homeopathy in Practice Summer 2020
Whatever just happened? I fell asleep in March and woke up in Covid-land. A world of half-crazed politicians and newscasters exhorting us to stay indoors, not touch our faces, cough into our elbows and to wash our hands so much that even Lady Macbeth would be wondering what we’d been up to. A world of divine quiet, bright blue skies, birdsong and empty streets.
The joy of realising that homelessness had just been solved overnight – rough sleepers had been put in hotels – the magic money tree had suddenly been found! Then there was the joyful realisation that the rich had to clean their own houses and the crazy, toxic, deafening spiders web of air traffic over London had been grounded. How did we get the western world to sit down and shut-up, lockdown and hug toilet paper like some Gollum-like creatures looking for ‘my precious..’ ?
It’s true though – we’d been like a load of race horses in the final furlong, beating ourselves to within an inch of our lives and not even realising we’d passed the winning post years ago – and we’d all lost! How the heck did that happen?
How did XRs dream come true – we dropped CO2 production 17% in April? How did Greta get to have the biggest school strike of all organised for her? And yet how did David Attenborough’s attempts to have us eschew single use plastic get turned into ear deafening cries for PPE and microplastic face masks for all!
The world’s gone utterly mad we kept saying. Utterly, totally, unbelievably mad! A mild to moderate viral flu was suddenly afforded Kardashian style celebrity status and 24hr news rolled and spewed a non-stop conveyor belt of fear-mongering terrorism, extremely incomprehensible statistics, strange military terms like furlough and nightingale hospitals and they rounded off each day with pictures of bats and pangolins. Somehow I felt this would all be over by Easter and there would be no need for lockdown (if indeed there ever had been) from the end of the Easter holidays. This turned out to be true – but unheeded by those we euphemistically call ‘The Government.’
What could any self-respecting homeopath do? We get the Materia Medica out and get the remedies in and watch and wait. The first thing I did was text all my patients. Being a good, code-of-ethic-abiding homeopath I never tell my patients what to do or what NOT to do – I always remind them that their health decisions are their health decisions and should be made by them alone – informed and intelligently. However extreme times demand extreme methodologies and in my unprecedented text I said this:
I’m writing to you all to say hi and to remind you that I’m here if you need. I’m still seeing patients via Skype or similar and sending remedies out. The important thing to think about if you DO get symptoms is to not suppress any fever you might get.
Fevers are here to deactivate viruses (or bacteria) and to rally our white blood cells to deal with any kind of pathogen. Please remember that health comes from what we think, eat, drink and do. The remedy most useful at this time is Arsenicum 30 and some people recommend you take one daily – especially if you are fearful or getting symptoms.
Sunlight is the absolutely best medicine and we are being given loads – for free!! So please open the window, sit on the balcony, sit at your front door – anywhere where you can get sun on your body and it will do the rest! You are welcome to text for advice or book an appointment at any time. I’m checking my messages daily and between sessions in the week
Much love to you at this turning point
I think we’d been treating this flu for a while – but it’s only after it got the celebrity treatment did the real trouble start. People were frightened. The MSM was relentless in its mission to terrorise and infect everyone with the most contagious thing of all: fear. As Paulo Coehlo says – ‘If you want to control someone, all you have to do is to make them feel afraid’ So that was easy then.
The symptoms were coming in thick and fast:
‘Had a painful sore throat all last week. Didn’t feel particularly ill though and kept working. Since yesterday it’s gone to my chest. Still feel ok and going to work. But coughing (not a lot)..’
Ok so absolutely no need to panic – we are in a homeopathic paradigm – where we work with deep respect and trust that the body knows where it needs to go. As long as we listen for the changes and respond with remedies and support, not suppress, the path will be clear. This is a viral flu with a definite tendency to go to the lungs but, like any inflammatory acute illness it will have stages.
It turns out there were three definite stages – and a long convalescence (in some cases). Stage one was often the burning sore throat, persistent dry cough and anxiety and restlessness. Stage two brought the aching jointed flu symptoms – often with fever and the weight on the chest. Stage three dry painful cough loosened and out came the discharge – loads of snot! Stage four – unbearable headaches and slow return to health.
I saw all the amazing genus epidemicus remedies coming in – camphora, ozone, ant ars, eup.perf, justicia, lobelia and many more. Weekly updates from Homeopathy Friends and ‘tip-offs’ from other colleagues. However – in the cold light of day – what were we actually looking at? A mild to moderate viral flu that seemed to cause problems in people who had, what’s euphemistically called, ‘underlying health conditions’.
I was wondering what that actually meant and soon realised it meant people who were living with chronic ill health and most often that means ‘supported by multiple prescription drugs’.
The wonderful thing about choosing Homeopathy as your primary health care is that you are choosing real health and supporting that with vibrational medicines which means you have an immune system intact and ready to do its seasonal ‘flu work.
We were now in lockdown and the silence was deafening but patients were texting in various stages of a flu-like illness, none of them with long lists of prescription drugs to suppress their immune systems, but many of them showing a certain amount of anxiety about their health. First prescription was turn off all main stream media! This was as crucial as not suppressing the fever – if they were getting one.
What I felt most strongly about was the importance of honouring the inflammatory stage and NOT suppressing the fever. Homeopathy is so deeply respectful of the wisdom of our amazing immune systems that we have no need to fear – we just need to listen.
I had lots of patients texting – some out of the blue from a while back – many texting for their partners and a general feeling of heightened anxiety. Most people had only the 36 remedy kit so I wasn’t about to say Justicia 200 or Ozone 30 – no matter how GE they might have shown to be. The 36 remedy Basics Plus Helios kit will have to do.
Taking a tip from Hahneman himself I often alternate remedies in acute cases. Often I feel the remedies will be part simmillima, and other times I feel the remedies have a relationship with each other which almost ‘pumps’ the immune response – therefore nudges the symptoms of an acute illness. The kit has only 30C potencies in it, so repetition is necessary and mostly I recommend alternating the remedies every two hours for a day or two – and reporting back.
In stage one I found nearly everyone needed Arsenicum to settle the panic and the general level of heightened anxiety. A very typical prescription would be to alternate Arsenicum and Drosera in that first stage with the persistent cough and the general restlessness. Sometimes, if the fever was already full on the Arsenicum changed to belladonna and the Drosera, maybe, changed to Bryonia.
‘There’s a deep feeling in my sternum which is like a dry cough when I cough- catarrh hasn’t shifted and trying to clear my throat’ Ars/Dros
‘He’s under the duvet but is feeling like he could easily become shivery- as an awareness. Still sporadically coughing- dry and painful and knackering’ Ars/Bry
‘No it’s like a clearing of my throat but in my chest so it just lasts for a bit and then I get frightened. Tight. If I breath in deeply, then at the very end it feels like I’ve inhaled smoke into my lungs and like I need to cough but it’s just for a couple of coughs. Very dry’ Acon/Ars
‘It started with me with a chesty cough, which is still persistent, but not dry. Sleep all day… My symptoms: chest, phlegmy cough, loss of appetite, exhaustion, slightly shivery. Cough no pattern, but doesn’t keep me up at night.’ Ars/ ferr phos tissue salts
‘Very dry yesterday and tight chest but today looser and sounds like a smokers cough! Not bringing up catarrh yet but tastes infected’ Ars/silica
‘By Tuesday evening he was in bed with full blown high fever and uncontrollable coughing fits. He’s been in bed since. High fever and coughing.’ Bell/dros
Stage 2 was when the real Gelsemium and Eupatorium picture came up – but then the SRP of this flu – the lead weight on the chest symptom – was coming through loud and clear. While Eup. Perf has the breakbone symptoms and huge thirst – Gelsemium had the doddery, drowsy, diploplia and no thirst – but Gelsemium has ‘chest, oppression,’ and heaviness in the middle of the chest.
People experienced it as a great weight and I had had a tip off from a colleague about the unknown (to me) remedy Justicia Adhatoda – a favourite of Ayurveda. ‘Dry cough from sternal region all over chest. Hoarseness, larynx painful. Paroxysmal cough, with suffocative obstruction of respiration. Cough with sneezing. Severe dyspnœa with cough. Tightness across chest. Asthmatic attacks, cannot endure a close, warm room. Whooping-cough. Irritable, sensitive to external impressions; hot, full and heavy head; lachrymation, with coryza, profuse, fluent, with constant sneezing; loss of smell and taste; coryza with cough’.
Homeopathy! How brilliant is that? It looked like we’d hit the jackpot with an acute remedy that was also the GE.
For people who could come to my door to pick up remedies I would bundle up packets of Justicia 200 and any other remedies that were appropriate for that patient. Stage two, therefore, would often be an alternation of Gelsemium and Justicia:
‘Feeling worse this pm – chest feels clamped.’
‘I’m not bad but I feel a pressure on my chest.’
‘Pressure in the lungs’
‘..a terrible pressure on my chest’
These were all various Justicia combinations and here were more of the stage two flu symptoms:
‘Very like flu. Headache, sinus pain, upper teeth hurt, skin sensitive all over. Tired. But not really coughing much.’ Gels/Bry
‘Chilly morning and evening. Hot in the day. Headache and joint pains all the time. Currently having right back pain too’. Gels/Bell
‘I am just weak and my sinuses keeps being blocked. I also have achey joints.’ Gels/Bry
Thank goodness for the 36 remedy kit as it was all people had, in many cases, and as the pharmacies had been inundated, they had stopped taking orders.
Moving out of the high flu stage into the discharge stage three we had these sort of symptoms coming through:
‘I have developed a more productive cough and a runny nose. Nausea is gone and have been hungry and eaten soup and a meal today. No taste’ Puls/kali bic
‘Been following your instructions and feeling much better. The chill and aches have subsided. My sinuses still problematic, air too dry.’Bry/Sil
‘Just to let you know I’m starting to feel better – improvement of cough and sore throat, less muscle pain, headaches and fatigue. I’m getting yellow/green phlegm in the mornings’ Kali bic/silica
‘Mucus in throat – green solid blob with separate small black thready bit. Chest feels less heavy right now’ Kali Bic/ Silica
As we know – all homeopaths love a discharge – so this stage was welcomed with congratulatory texts such as ‘job done!’ ‘Immunity is yours!’ ‘Keep getting in the sunshine.’
Stage four is more complex and much more to do with the constitution of the patient. Some people came out of it quickly, others languished in a long, drawn-out convalescence, not seen since the days of the Victorian consumptives.
The excruciating headaches were difficult to treat but I found Carc 10M helped in some cases, as did a good dose of Syph high – always recommended after an influenza.
Sulphur is usually the universal pick me up after acute and debilitating illness and was helpful in some cases. The Phosphorous patients needed ph-ac. Some people took a while to come right, many came for a follow up in the weeks that followed and all acute cases stopped after the Easter holidays – as I had predicted!
While the MSM continued to show horror stories of nightmare ventilator scenarios, body bags piled up and makeshift PPE concoctions I couldn’t help thinking that the 36 remedy kit could have saved a lot of that mayhem. My Lachesis-tongued mother in law once said, ‘you only treat the worried well’ which is, of course, a venomous attack – but I can’t help thinking that the ‘worried unwell’ would most definitely have done better had they not been urged to take paracetamol every four hours at the start of symptoms, or been whipped up into a frenzy of 24/7 germ-theory-gone-mad hysteria.
Rix Pyke RSHom 8/7/20