Learn about European Naturopathic Healing Methods

Cold and Flu

The whole world seemed to go crazy over the swine flu in winter 2009

To my personal opinion this is the biggest hype we ever got from the pharmaceutical industry. Finally the EU comission is investigating, to find out whether it was just a big campaign of the pharmaceutical industry, that lead to the purchase of zillions doses of (not yet approved) vaccines by the European Governments that have to be destroyed now.

If the death toll really would be so critical, then I really wonder why they did not ban automobiles or stop wars. Automobiles and wars   caused much more deaths that the swine flu ever will.

The Flu is caused by a virus. The onset of a virus flu is more dramatic like the common cold that is caused by bacteria.

With a flu you should stay at home and stay in  bed. As a courtsey to your fellow citizens you should stay at home with the common cold too, because both forms are contagious.

It is everyones choice what treatment is considered the best.

Conventional medicine works with vaccination, hoping to prevent the virus infection,  and treats bacterial colds with antibiotics.

There is still a tendency to treat virus infections with antibiotics. That is bogus, because antibiotics suppress the bodies self-healing quality and don't kill the virus. The infection with the virus even gets worse. In the worst case it kills the patient.

Some people don't like the side-effects and sometimes the inefficiency of conventional  treatments and seek help in naturopathy.

The following chapters are giving advise for all three stages.


You probably know this awful and helpless feeling, when you realize you just caught a cold. The best thing to fight this flu or cold is to prevent it. There are some really effective strategies.

Brace yourself up
In accordance to „Pfarrer Kneipp - the German Water Doctor“ this means take a shower and change the temperature from 1 minute warm to some seconds cold and repeat that some times. He gave detailed instructions how to apply the water on the skin. What you need is a hand held showerhead or a hose - lead the water upwards the right leg and the left leg to the groin area, then hose the right arm, left arm to the shoulders, chest, tummy, neck and face (brave ones also shower the head cold) Always change from 1 minute warm to cold. The last application should be cold. Take a towel and rub the skin well  and make some breathing exercises. Stretch your hands over the head - take a deep breath, move the hands down to the feet as close as possible and exhale. That is a good wake-up call for the circulation system. It is good for those who have a hard time getting into gear in the morning. Regular sauna and walking out in the open air also help to stay healthy.

In the flu/cold critical time of spring and fall you can protect yourself additionally by eating healthy. Healthy means no animal products, fiber rich, with plenty of vitamins and using the right oils. Best oil to use is a mixture of sesame- coconut- and olive oil in equal parts. At the onset of a flu it can be helpful to take up to 4 tablespoons a day. A sensitive nutrition is recommended all year round  because we are product of what we eat and what we think.

Oil Flush
If you take every morning before breakfast a sip of sunflower oil and slurp it through the teeth and move it vigorously throughout the whole mouth and spit it out after 10 minutes, it keeps the mouth and throat area clean of unwanted bacteria growth and helps also with chronic gingivitis. Do not swallow the oil-saliva mixture because it contains all the diluted toxins that you want to get rid of.

If you are a candidate for every flu/cold that is around the corner, you better brace up your immune system with Echinacea. As prevention you should take 3 times 20 drops of the tintura madre of the Echinacea plant (in Germany we have lozenges for that) If you do this regularly virus and bacteria have less chance to overwhelm you.

Best prevention is a healthy lifestyle. It is really simple

Sweat once a day
be really hungry every  day at least once
(and don‘t eat when you are not)

and laugh as much as you can

Treatment of first symptoms

What can you do if the first tingling sensation in the nose or the first signs of a sore throat signal that the cold or flu is about to come? Don‘t panic. There are lots of strategies how to get rid of this onset.

If you are feeling cold there is one good remedy: Warmth. Warm water and a warm bed.

a rising arm bath (where the temperature rises during application by adding hot water) enhances the circulation in the mucosa of nose and throat.
To do it right you fill lukewarm water into a basin and add cautiously (don‘t scald yourself!) hot water as long as you can tolerate the heat.
When you feel that the heat of the armbath is warming you up, you quickly wash the arms with a cold wet cloth and rub it dry.

Foot Bath
A hot footbath is dragging the heat from the head to the feet. This is very effective when the head already starts feeling  hot. After the footbath wash the feet with a cold wet cloth and rub dry with a towel. Then put socks on. Best time to do this is before bedtime.

Full Bath
The procedure is the same as with the arm bath. The rising (temperature) full bath with sea salt and two drops of aromatherapy oils like Pine, Fir, Thyme or Eucalyptus helps rising the core temperature of the body. That is the bodys natural strategy to kill bacteria and viruses. But be careful. People with circulation problems should ask their naturopath, whether the rising full bath is good for them.

a long forgotten remedy that never fails working. Especially when the swelling of lymphatic glands signal that the body needs some relief. What you need is an enema device from a drugstore. Fill it with lukewarm chamomile tea and place yourself into a pleasantly warm bath. The enema device could be fixed on the showerhead. Insert the irrigation part and let the chamomile tea slowly seep into the large intestine. Each time when the pressure of the water builds up,  you leave the bathtub and empty the guts into the toilet. You can repeat this until you have the feeling that everything from the descending colon has been cleared out. Enemas have been used in all old cultures and up to today. There is hardly  anything more effective,

After using one of the above mentioned strategies you should go to bed, drink hot  lime blossom tea and take a high dose of Vitamin C (up to 10.000 mg) You can also drink a hot lemonade, sweeten it with elder syrup or tussilago syrup or similar.

What help may you expect from your naturopath?
One possibility is the skilful application of foot reflexology and/or lymphatic drainage and/or colonics. I used to give my patients in Germany a „flu cocktail“ intramuscular injection of homeopathics, vitamin B12 and  a drop of their own blood. I also gave them (especially when I diagnosed through the reflexzones that this was a virus), a  drip with high doses of vitamin C.

Some homeopathic remedies are able to stop the  cold/flu in the early stages , like Phytolacca X200 for a sore throat, Ferrum phos X6 for overall achiness, Eupatorium X200 for Ear ache or the cold and flu preparations from BHI or other homeopathy companies.

Once you got it...

Sometimes this cold/flu catches you on the wrong foot and you get it full blast. You are far away from bed and bath and then it happens. Sore throat, running nose, headache, earache you name it - you got it. But also in this case the treasure box of Mother Nature has something for you.

Fever by itself is not a disease and should not be suppressed (as long as it is not continuously above 103 F). It shows that the body is trying to destroy the bacteria or virus. Fever is a strong indication to stay in bed. Most of the time a person with fever is tired anyway and feels the urge to sleep until she/he is well again. If the fever goes above 104 - which happens easily with kids, I give immediately 5 pellets of Aconite and Belladonna in the X200. It leads to heavy sweating and the temperature drops. After sweating it is necessary to take a warm shower, put some dry cloth on and reset the bedding.

Poultices with cold vinegar water around the calves have cured millions of kids worldwide. But there is a trick. You should always see that the person who gets this poultice has warm feet. If the feet are cold, wear stockings and you may even use a warm water bottle. That’s better for the circulation.

You can also sweat the fever out by drinking different teas
Anise, elder and lime blossom tea at equal parts - 1 tablespoon of the mixture scald with a quart of boiling water and let sit for 15 minutes, strain and let cool a bit down. Drink as warm as possible..

or  Barley Water
take a cup of organic, not genetically manipulated !!! barley and cook it in 2 pints of water. Cook until half of the liquid evaporated, cool down to body temperature and add honey and lemon to taste and drink

Sniffles (head cold)
When the nose is running like a water tap, the  homeopathic remedy Allium cepa X 30 is a proven remedy. Take 5 pellets or10 drops every 30 minutes.

Face bath is another strategy to clear the nose and sinus. Put warm water into a basin or bowl, add salt (that it tastes as salty like  tears) Close the eyes and dip with  the  whole face into the warm saltwater, hold your breath and when you feel the urge to breathe, last moment, snuff in the saltwater through the nostrils, then get out of the water and sneeze into a big paper towel or handkerchief.

Who doesn‘t like that method may try the nasal douche. In Germany we have the LOTA Nasendusche - a glass container where you can pour saltwater into one nostril and let it come through the other nostril. 
In the US in some health food stores they offer the Yala Neti from Ayurvedic Medicine. The technique itself needs some practice, but there is hardly anything  more effective to keep the nose and sinus free.

You also can make your own nose drops. You take Sea Salt 1 teaspoon full on half a quart of boiling water. Cool it down and store it in glass bottles with a dripper.  Drip the solution  into each nostril. In pharmacies and health food stores there is also saline solution available that does the same trick. You even may give these nose drops  to babies. Babies also get Sambuccus niger pellets in the X30 as  remedy when the nose is stuffed..

A stuffy nose is opening up when Angelica oil is put on the upper part of the nose between the eyes.

From the famous nun Hildegard von Bingen  an old recipe of fennel and dill was handed down.
Spread fennel seeds and dill herb on a baking tablet and bake at 480 F. When the herbs start blackening, open the oven and inhale the vapor. This is said to clear the nose  as well.

A lot of partnerships suffer because one of the partners is snoring so loud. There is a remedy:
Short before sleeping spray saline solution into each nostril.

Sore Throat
Gargle with salt water (1 teaspoon full on a quart of water) or with Sage Tea where you add the juice of one lemon.
Sage tea also can be mixed with oak bark (1 ounce each)
Oak bark has adstringent properties and takes the pain from the inflammation.

Another tea that helps well is Chamomile Tea with butter.
Scald 2 teaspoon full of chamomile blossoms with one quart of boiling water, let it sit for 10 minutes and strain. Then you add one teaspoon fill of butter, cool it down and drink it. Helps very well when the throat feels like swallowing scattered glass.

Flax seed helps internally and externally against a sore throat. Let 3 tablespoons full of flaxseed sit and swell in full-fat milk for 2 hours, then add 2 cups of cold water and boil it shortly. The  strained liquid is used for gargling (after cooling down)  and the flax seed pulp is  good  to make a poultice on the throat.

Another proven help for the sore throat is the „Priessnitz Poultice“ (Priessnitz was the doctor who promoted that kind of poultice) It is very simple. Put a linen cloth into cold water, drain it and lay it around the whole neck and throat. Put a warm scarf over it and let sit until  the poultice has warmed up. Repeat as often as needed. I also used it over night with good effect.

After the inflammation of the throat went further down to the voice box, the voice starts fading. Best remedy for that is a curd pack.

Here you learn how to do the curdpack right:
Lay a damp cloth of the needed size (washcloth) on a board. Put half an inch of curd on the whole surface (it goes easier with a long knife) Now you put the cloth (clothside to the skin) on the area (in this case the front over the voicebox) and cover well with a towel and a scarf. Don‘t put plastic on it, because the poultice has to „breathe“. Let it sit for 2 hours and rest in this time. The heat of the inflammation is extracted by this poultice. Curd poultices are recommended almost everywhere, where an internal inflammation (laryngitis, tonsillitis, pneumonia, inflamed varicose veins etc) should be cooled down. Only exemption. Never use a curd pack in the face. The ferments of the curd might get into the eyes and „digest“ the margin of the eyelid, which causes extreme pain for days.
The curd gets dry and crumbly after the two hours and should be thrown away. It should not  be used to feed animals.

Ear ache
At the first signs of ear ache it could help to dab the ear with garlic juice.
You can obtain garlic juice for the dabbing by smashing 3-4 garlic cloves, put them into a small container (eg eggcup), place Q-Tips into the eggcup. After a short while they sucked up the garlic juice and you may use it to dab cautiously the inside of the ear. The pain should subside with that.

A good „overnight“ remedy is to put chopped onions into a linen cloth (handkerchief)
make a little package and place this behind the ear. Fix it with a bandana.

Another helpful remedy is the hay-sack A little poultice containing crushed hay, gets heated up over steam and after cooling down to tolerable temperature it is placed behind the ear, fixed with a bandana and leave it on for hours or over night.

Or put some drops of body-temperature olive oil or St Johns Worth Oil into the painful ear

In case after a walk in the cold wind outside you have an acute ear ache, try ear candles. They are really helpful, as long there is not an acute inflammation. The quality of the ear candles should be good, otherwise you end up with wax in your ears (happened to me!)
Another helpful remedy is a damp warm cloth (hand towel) across the whole base of skull To keep the heat, it is recommended to rest the neck and head  on a warm water bottle. This is also helpful for people with vertigo as long it is neck related.

There are plenty of rubbing creams on the market, but did you ever try tea tree oil mixed with majoram oil?
Put 5 drops of each into 10 ml of olive oil (or coconut oil) and spread over the whole chest (front and back)
It is said to strengthen  the immune system against virus and bacteria.

A good remedy against cough at night ( that sometimes keeps whole family clans awake) , is to take a little piece of butter and dissolve it  in the mouth and swallow it.

Also really good is: Put 5 drops each of Peppermint Oil, Thieves Oil, R.C. Oil and Lemon Oil (all from Young Living) into a glass with hot water. Mix it and drink with a straw (it is better not to get it on the lips) You can refill the glass because the oil does not dissolve easily. You can also use it cold (room temperature!)

Do you know the grease pack?
Put warm clarifyed butter on a cloth and put it on the chest. Wrap with a blanket or towel and let sit over night.

Instead of butter you may also use calendula cream, which has an additional healing effect.
To produce your own calendula cream, you collect the blossoms between June and October.
Mix two handful of calendula blossoms (harvested best at midday) with 2 pounds of butter (clarifyed) into a pot,
heat up and stir with a wooden  spoon. Let sit on a cool place over night and warm up next morning.
Then strain and keep the calendula cream in the fridge.

When the cough gets really painful you can put a curd pack on the chest.
Here you learn how to do the curd pack right:
Lay a damp cloth of the chest size (kitchen cloth) on a board. Put half an inch of curd on the whole surface (it goes easier with a long knife) Prepare the bed first with a towel that can wrap around the shoulders, top this with a towel that can go under the armpits and have another folded towel in reach. Now you put the cloth (cloth-side to the skin) on the upper chest and cover it well first with the towel under the armpits, then with the towel over the shoulder and at last the folded towel atop of the poultice. Don‘t put plastic on it, because the poultice has to „breathe“. Let it sit for 2 hours and rest in this time. The heat of the inflammation is extracted by this poultice. I have seen miracle results with this.

The elder ones among us probably  recall the „tent“
The procedure was to take  a bowl with very hot water  and add herbs like eucalyptus or peppermint  or chamomile.
You put  the head over the bowl and cover yourself and the bowl with a big towel or blanket. Inhale the vapor. After the inhalation you should not go outside or be  in air-conditioned rooms and rest for a while.

In case you own a inhalation device you can use it to vaporize  homeopathic ampoules - that works like an iv injection and helps also in stubborn cases

To take a bath while having a cold or flu is not always a good idea. If you feel the urge to take a bath,  you should keep it short and add thyme tea (a handful of dried thyme leaves scalded with 1 pint of boiling water, let sit 15 minutes and strain) to the water. That has a relaxing effect on the bronchi

A proven mixture for a good tea to stop coughing .
Mix at equal parts: Tussilago, Primula, Thyme and Horsetail
Scald two tablespoons full of the herb mixture with a pint of boiling water, let sit for 10 Minutes and strain. Cool down to 100 F and add honey.

My own experience:
Last winter I had a real bad flu, with a throat that ached  as if I had eaten broken glass, pain all over my body, splitting headache and high fever. I still treated myself  with all my remedies. One night the fever was really high (41,5 centigrade = 106 F) My husband tried to call the emergency doctor and could not reach anyone. I took Aconite and Belladonna in the X 200 - 5 pellets each -  together and  I fell asleep.The next morning I had sweated it out. The fever was down and I was a bit shaky but ok. This extreme example showed me, that  even with   a real bad flu with high fever the body is able to help itself. I have to add, at that time I was 63 years old  and otherwise of good health.