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Friday 8 November 2013

Preventing Colds and Flu's this winter

The winter is approaching, and the season for colds and flu is upon us. This blog has often outlined why conventional flu vaccines are ineffective, and harmful to health. So what should you do you as an alternative.

On the "Why Homeopathy?" website, treatment by conventional medicine, and by homeopathy, are compared on a variety of illnesses and diseases. This blog reproduces what is said about the prevention and treatment of 'flu.

"The 'flu’ can be an unpleasant disease, although for most people who are in good general health, it is not usually a dangerous one. 

The choose of medical therapy for both prevention and treatment is important, as there are serious doubts about both the effectiveness and safety of conventional medical treatment.

Conventional Medical Treatment
For the prevention of 'flu, the 'flu vaccination is recommended (NHS Choices).

However, like most vaccines, the frequently reported adverse reactions to the ‘flu vaccine are often played down, but they certainly include headaches, fever, itching, fatigue; but can cause seizures, and Guillain-Barre Syndrome. But there are many other known dangers attributed to the flu vaccine.
However, the main concern about the 'flu vaccination is whether they are effective. 

For the treatment of 'flu itself, NHS Choices recommends two anti-viral drugs.
  • Tamiflu. NHS Choices mentions that the side-effects of this drug include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhoea. However, the FDA (USA) are aware of far more serious consequences of taking this drug. They have received reports of unusual neurological or psychiatric events such as delirium, hallucinations, confusion, abnormal behaviour, convulsions, and encephalitis. The reports, mainly from Japan, identified 12 deaths in children. I cannot explain why patients are not given this information on NHS Choices.
  • Relenza. NHS Choices says that this drug (a similar drug but inhaled rather than taken in tablet form) has few side-effects. However, it is associated with similar neuralgic and psychiatric events. This article, reporting on 7 trials, published by the BMJ, suggests that this drug should not be given to children under 12 years of age. One researcher is reported as saying that "the downside of the harms outweighs the one-day reduction in symptomatic benefits". I am not aware why NHS Choices does not give this information to patients.
The Homeopathic Materia Medica (HMM) 
Many people ask homeopaths for advice about both avoiding and treating influenza, and the following remedies are often used either to prevent, or to treat 'flu.
  • Oscillococcinum: a proprietary (Boiron) brand name for a remedy which is generically known as Anas Barb.
  • Influenzinum-Bacillinum: a combination remedy used by some Homeopaths for the prevention and treatment of colds and 'flu.
Simply by taking a single remedy on a monthly basis, more regularly perhaps for those people most at risk, is something I have done with my family and friends (and with many patients) for many years now - and we have been almost entirely flu-free.

These homeopathic remedies are readily available from Homeopathic Pharmacies, they are safe, and can be used by anyone who wishes to do so.

Randomised Controlled Tests (RCTs) on Homeopathy
Homeopathy has been widely used in the treatment of influenza throughout the world. And its use has been supported by a considerable number of Randomised Controlled Trials. 

The Swiss Government has recently published an extensive and comprehensive report which found homeopathy to be an effective, safe and cost-effective medical therapy. But in particular, the report highlighted a particularly strong body of evidence to support the effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections (and respiratory allergies). The report cited 29 studies, of which 24 found a positive result in favour of homeopathy. Furthermore, 6 out of 7 controlled studies that compared homeopathy with conventional medicine showed that homeopathy was more effective than conventional medicine.

Three studies in particular were large, multi-centred placebo-controlled, and double blind; and each one provided 'statistically relevant results'. They are as follows:
  • Casanova, P; Gerard, R (1992). Bilan de 3 annees d'estudes randomises multicentriques Oscillococcinum / placebo. Oscillococcinum-rassegna della letterature internationale. Milan: Laboratoires Boiron; 11-16
  • Ferley, JP; Zmirou, D; D'Admehar, D; et al (1989). A controlled evaluation of a homeopathic preparation in the treatment of influenza-like syndrome. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 27, 329-335.
  • Papp, R; Schuback G; Beck, E; et al (1998). Oscillococcinum in patients with influenza-like symptoms: a placebo controlled double blind evaluation. British Homeopathic Journal 87; 69-76.