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Monday, 8 March 2021

Long Covid and Homeopathy

Everyone's experience of Covid-19 will be a personal one, largely depending on their general health, and the strength of our immune system. Some people can be ill for a few weeks; others will feel better within a few days; many will barely know that they have contracted the virus. However, for a few people Covid-19 can cause symptoms that last for months. Conventional medicine is calling this 'Long Covid'.

Patients who complain of 'long Covid' report many symptoms, such as sore throat, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, problems with memory and concentration, insomnia, heart palpitations, fever, dizziness, joint pain, anxiety and depression, tinnitus, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhoea.

One question, or clarification about 'Long Covid' is rarely, if ever, asked. Is 'Long Covid' just someone struggling to recover from the virus? Or is this a patient who went down with the Covid-19 virus seriously enough to be given a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs, and is actually suffering from the aftermath of adverse drug reactions? I have written before about the awful drugs given to patients placed on ventilators: so how many people suffering from "Long Covid" were patients who were placed on a ventilator?

In homeopathy we have always had a word or phrase for these 'lingering' illnesses - "never well since" - as homeopaths recognise that this is a common experience - the difficulty in overcoming an illness or disease, or even a shock or life trauma.

For instance, the symptom"never well since influenza" comes up with a single remedy (in the repertory I usually use) = Gelsenium, a remedy frequently with patients with influenza, as well as those struggling to recover full health following influenza. It would certainly be one of the remedies I would first think of  first if faced with a "Long Covid" patient, although I would want to do more reseach before settling on this remedy. Another top would be Arsenicum Album, which has been widely used by the Indian government's medical health service in both the prevention and treatment of Covid-19. But there are many more remedies to consider.

Homeopaths around the world are are busy treating Covid-19, and also Long Covid too. We do this quietly, in part to avoid being attacked by the conventional medical establishment, as in this recent Daily Mail article demonstrates. So, very quietly, for anyone who has an open mind, suffers from Long Covid, and has discovered that conventional medicine has little or no treatment, let's inform you about what homeopathy is actually doing.

First, we are treating Covid-19 according to its symptoms, not its conventional diagnosis. We always do this - with any illness. And what we know is that Covid-19 symptoms are similar, if not identical, to influenza symptoms. We ask the patient about his/her symptoms, and then match the patient with a remedy we know to have similar symptoms. As the Faculty of Homeopathy states, homeopathy has been using remedies extensively for flu-like symptoms. and in epidemics around the world. Indeed, it has been doing so for over 220 years. The Faculty mentions two remedies, Gelsemium 30c and Bryonia 30c which have been "commonly used for flu-like symptoms and have a long-established, traditional usage over many years"

Without doubt this is the other benefit of homeopathy. Not only does it work, homeopathy does not have to 're-invent the wheel' every time a new virus appears.

So as conventional medicine has little or no treatment treatment for Long Covid (although it does have a complicated and long-winded 5-point plan for Long Covid support) perhaps you might like to pursue the possibilities of using homeopathy to treat Long Covid.

There are now a number of websites that deal with the homeopathic treatment of Covid-19, and as the symptoms of Long Covid as similar/identical the same remedies will be effective for either - if the symptoms match the remedy will work. 

Both first, all these sources of homeopathic information emphasise the importance of natural immunity, and supporting the immune system; by eating a healthy diet, with particular attention being paid to vitamins C and D, and zinc supplementation, by regular exercise, by getting sufficient sleep, and so on. Both then they go on to provide short remedy descriptions that mirror the symptoms of Covid-19, and 'Long Covid'. Here, I am using two of these sources

This remedy descriptions emanate from from Robin Murphy, a world famous homeopath, who has made an extensive study of respiratory illness. He recommends these remedies - when the symptoms match.

Antomonium Arsenicosum: Lung, disorders. Emphysema with excessive dyspnea and cough; shallow breathing. Dyspnea, worse on eating and lying down. Loss of appetite. General sick feeling. Anxiety about health. Fear of death. Restlessness. Tickling dry cough. Coughs are worse by eating and on lying down.

Antomonium Tartaricum: Rattling Mucus, Great dyspnea and fits of suffocation. Oppressive breathing, must sit up. Snoring and difficult breathing. Pneumonia with extreme prostration, bedridden with exhaustion.Lungs are congested. Rattling of mucus, Thick white mucus. 

Camphora: Sudden sinking of strength, pulse small and weak. Limbs cold with cramps. Icy coldness of the whole body, sudden sinking of strength, pulse small and weak. Wants covers off and then on alternately with internal burning heat and anxiousness. Extreme prostration, bedridden with exhaustion. Low blood pressure, Low body temperature.  

Carbo Veg: Craves fresh air, and wants to be fanned all the time. Panting and Gasping for air. Icy coldness of the whole body, sudden sinking of strength, pulse small and weak. Apathetic. Anxious, Delirium. Distressed. Listless. Coma. Prostration. Unresponsive. Cough worse in evening, going from a warm to cold place, in bed. Great weakness on exertion. Extreme prostration, bedridden with exhaustion. Low blood pressure, Low body temperature. 

China Officinalis: Dehydration, Dizziness, Fainting. Weakness. Blood, loss. Anaemia. Worse from sweat or diarrhoea. Better from hard pressure, warmth. Better from loosening the clothes. Intermittent fever, chills. Influenza. Feels worse after mental exertion, emotional upset or loss of vital fluids. Sensitive to the cold wind and drafts. Diarrhoea. Bloated abdomen, flatulence, colic. Edoema. Food tastes bitter. Belches a lot which tastes bitter. 

Fatigue after the virus, or 'long covid'. Many people report a sense of fatigue that lasts long after the other symptoms have gone. This can happen after the common flu and it is called CFS or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Many cases of ME I have seen started right after a particularly bad bout of flu. There are a few remedies that help with this:

Phosphoric Acid, Sulphur or China. China has nausea as well, the difference with the other two remedies depends on the individual’s symptoms.

The second link offers a "short guide ... to help you choose the right remedy for friends and family". It suggests remedies that might be appropriate in each stage of the Covid virus.

In the early stages try the remedy Aconite. It can often prevent an infection getting established by stimulating the immune system to react. It may be needed in later stages if the person is very tense and afraid of dying.

Stage II. For the stage where the infection has taken hold but the person is not severely ill these are a few of the possibilities:

Phosphorus. There may be  hard exhausting cough with burning in the chest. Phosporus types can be fearful when alone and want company, maybe someone to hold their hand. They may need cold drinks and can crave ice-cream. Lying on the left side makes their problems worse. Most of the cases of coronavirus I have treated so far have recovered after this remedy.

The person may hold their chest when coughing, because in Bryonia any movement tends to be painful, or make them worse. Dry painful cough. The patient is dry and very thirsty. 9pm is their worst time. They want to be left alone and keep still.

Gelsemium types are weak and sleepy and can’t keep their eyes open. Nervous trembling. Paralysed by fear. Not thirsty.

Stage III. If the person is seriously ill with lung problems consider these remedies:

Ant Tart
In these cases you may hear rattling in the chest but the cough doesn’t have the power to raise the mucus. Drowning in mucus. The person is often sleepy and weak, maybe with blue lips and a white tongue. (But blueness (cyanosis) can indicate other remedies too.)

Ars Alb
The person is usually very chilly and restless and wanting someone near, and wanting sips of water. Often worse around midnight to 2am.

See notes in stage II above

This remedy and Conium are often needed for the elderly. In camphor the patient is in a state of collapse and is very cold, but may not want covers. They may be hardly breathing, nearly fainting, and snoring as they breathe. Not many of you will have this remedy at home, but it is an important one for coronavirus.

In Conium the patient sometimes has to sit up in a hurry straight after lying because of the cough, especially in the evening.. The cough may be triggered by a tickle in the larynx (other remedies too), or a part of the body getting cold.

Hepar Sulph
If the person has lost their sense of smell and taste consider this remedy. The person is very chilly and keeps every bit of themselves well covered. They may cough more if they uncover even part of the body. Sudden attacks of breathlessness.  Generally hypersensitive. Purulent mucus, offensive perspiration.

Unlike most of the other remedies this one is worse from warmth. Also they are not thirsty. They can feel sick or be vomiting, but the tongue is clean. There may be choking, gasping, or retching.

Kali Carb
Often this person wants to sit leaning forward as this position helps their breathing and their cough (Ars Alb also). They are often worse around 3am. Thick mucus. Stitching pains. They may hate draughts. Possibly easily startled. Sometimes a remedy has some strange features in its "symptom picture". In kali carb one of the strange things is swollen upper eyelids. Such features of the patient make it 
easier to see what remedy to give.

Nux Vom
Nux vomica people are often irritable. They can feel chilled just by moving around under their covers. Many people’s coughs and breathing problems can be worse, like nux vomica's, at around 3am. But the nux vomica cough can be worse from midnight until morning, or first thing in the morning, on waking.

See notes in stage II above. Also: the coronavirus pneumonia usually affects both lungs, but in phosphorus the left lung can be the worst. Blood in the sputum.

In Spongia the cough has a sawing sound and can be better from warm drinks or eating and worse from talking. The throat is sometimes dry and tight. Bending the head forward or backward can help. Spongia problems are often worse on waking up.

These remedies can be obtained from Homeopathic Pharmacies. But to be more certain of the good match it is usually better to contact a qualified homeopathic practitioner.