Homeopathy for winter ailments

Posted on: 9th March, 2015

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

Bernie Smyth has been practicing homeopathy in Clonakilty for over 15 years. She is also a lecturer and mentor of students at the Irish School of Homoeopathy in Cork and Dublin and also in Wales.

What a winter it has been for coughs, colds and tummy bugs! Most of the coughs, colds and acute illnesses can be treated homeopathically at home, but if symptoms persist, do contact your local homeopath, as you or your child may need deeper, ‘constitutional’ treatment. Here are some remedies (handy to have stuck on your fridge), which may help in Acute Coughs/Digestive Upsets.

ACONITE 30c: this is a very useful remedy at the very beginning of a cold/cough. There is usually a sudden onset, often from exposure to a cold, dry wind. The nose runs, with a clear, watery discharge, and there is often frequent sneezing. A cough, which responds well to Aconite is typically, dry, barky, and spasmodic; the first remedy to think of in a case of croup.

PULSATILLA 30c: One of the most outstanding characteristics of children needing this remedy is their clinginess, very whingy, whiny, and hanging onto Mammy! The nose runs constantly, a thick, yellow-green, bland discharge. The cough is loose, or dry in the morning and loose in the evening; it is better from going outside in the fresh air, and it gets worse in a warm room. The person is often thirstless.

PHOSPHORUS 30c: The Phosphorus cough is typically dry, tickling, and incessant. The person coughs on and on with no relief, and becomes quite exhausted from it. Other symptoms include pale face, thirsty for cold water, and often feeling chilly. There may be mucus coughed up, which is green, and may taste salty.

IPECAC 30c: One of the remedies I’ve used most this winter is Ipecac: The cough, which responds to Ipecac, is often a choking cough; it comes in fits, and is worse when lying down at night. It is a pretty violent cough, and the person may retch and vomit from the coughing, and the face is usually red during the coughing bout. It can be frightening, as one may lose the breath with this cough.

DROSERA 30c: Another remedy for coughing fits is Drosera. Again, the cough is much worse lying down, but unlike Ipecac, the cough starts as soon as the head touches the pillow. It is a spasmodic cough, and also quite violent, sometimes provoking vomiting. Hoarseness often accompanies the Drosera cough.

BRYONIA 30c: The Bryonia cough is a hard, dry cough; the chest is often painful and sore, and the person may hold their chest when coughing. Also, this cough may cause the sufferer to hold their head when coughing, as it also causes pain in the head. The person is usually very thirsty for long drinks of water, and may be very irritable. (‘bear with a sore head’ remedy). Bryonia is always worse for movement and feels better for pressure.


NUX VOMICA 30c: This is an excellent remedy for nausea, a sick feeling, where the patient says he would feel better if he could just vomit, but he can’t! There is constant nausea, no appetite, and often a bitter taste in the mouth; there may be a pain in the stomach, typically ‘like a stone’, and irritability…Nux is our classic remedy for over-indulgence in rich food, or too much alcohol, a marvellous ‘hangover’ remedy. But is also useful in the nausea of the tummy bug, where there is no vomiting present.

ARSENICUM ALBUM 30c: Arsenicum is often the first remedy to think of in acute tummy bugs. There are cramping pains in the stomach, accompanied by vomiting and diarrhoea; the pains may be burning. The person may be thirsty for sips of water, which are often vomited immediately; they are usually chilly, restless and sometimes fearful.

PHOSPHORUS 30c: Another remedy for digestive complaints is Phosphorus. There is vomiting and diarrhea; the patient is very thirsty for cold water, which is not vomited immediately, but after about 20 minutes, when it is warmed in the stomach. There is a weak, empty sensation in the abdomen.

Dosage for the remedies: In acute cases, give one pillule of 30c, and wait. Repeat in 30 minutes. If the complaint does not improve after four doses, then you need to reconsider your remedy choice. If the symptoms change, then you will need to change the remedy.

If in doubt, contact your local homeopath. Good luck!

Bernie Smyth LIC ISH, ISHOM. PCHOM works at Bank House Clinic, Emmet

Square, Clonakilty. Telephone 023 8836704, or email


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