Common cold and homoeopathy

Dr Azizul Islam Khadim

Common cold can be well treated with homoeopathic medicine. It is important to remember that there are no homoeopathic specifies for the common cold, only remedies for a patient who suffers from it. Because patients can have completely different symptoms of the common cold and their treatment depends upon particular symptoms that each of them experiences. It is imperative to remember that each patient must be treated as a unique individual. Depending upon susceptibility, the dosage and repetition differ from each person.

KEYWORDS∹  Common cold, Individualization,  Miasms, Selection of medicine, Potency.

The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. It usually lasts approximately 7 days. There are more than 200 number of virus associated with it. Season of the year especially change of weather,rainy season,age group are important factors in the type of virus causing the infection.

There are no major gender or ethnicity differences in incidence. Most of the infections occur in winter period. A US study found that 23.6% of adults have experienced a cold in 4 weeks. Children get 6-8 cold per year and adults get 4-6 cold per year.

AETIOLOGY∹The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Following virus are responsible associated with other factors like change of climate,season, immunity, susceptibility,.

Nowadays Air pollution is one of the most important factors for common cold,if the Air Quality Index(AIQ) within 100 then it is satisfactory but above it affects the human health.

  1. Rhinovirus-50%
  2. Coronavirus-15%
  3. Influenza virus-15%
  4. Adenovirus-10%
  5. RSV-5%
  6. Parainfluenza virus-5%

MODE OF TRANSMISSION∹ There are 4 major routes of transmission, these are- 1) Droplet infection, 2) Sharing contaminated objects, 3) Contaminated food, 4) Smearing of nasal.

CLINICAL FEATURE∹ Symptoms of common cold are as follwows- 1. Fever with cough and cold.

2. Sneezing. 3. Sore throat. 4. Runny nose. 5. Headache. 6. Fatigue. 7. Nasal congestion. 8. Bodyache. 9. Loss of appetite. 

Progression∹ Common cold begins with fatigue, a feeling of being chilled,sneezing and headache followed by running of nose and cough with fever.

In children, the cough lasts for more than 10 days in 35-40% cases. 

DIAGNOSIS∹ As per the clinical evaluation of symptoms, if the fever or other symptoms is not subsided with in 7 days then required another test as per availability of symptoms in patients.

PROGNOSIS∹ The common cold is generally mild with most symptoms generally improving in a week. Half of cases go away in 10 days and 90% in 15 days.

COMPLICATION∹ The complications, if they occur, are usually in the very old,the very young,or those who are immunosuppressed. Complications are-

                 1. Sinusitis (8% cases)

                 2. Pharyngitis.

                 3. Ear infections (30% cases),etc.

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS∹ 1. INFECTIONS∹ a) Sinusitis(more severe and lasts more  then 4 weeks or longer,purulent nasal discharge,facial pain.)b) Pharyngitis(Absent cough,tender anterior axillary cervical lymph node,tonsilar swelling or exudates.) c) Pneumonia.2. ALLERGY∹ a) Allergic  Rhinitis(due to allergen,fever abs

PREVENTION∹ Prevention is better then cure. In common cold required proper management and preventive measure,these are-

  1. Stay at home when you sick.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hand.
  4. Put used tissues in the wastebasket.
  5. Avoid cold exposure.
  6. Take a sufficient amount of water or vit.C fruit which enrich your immunity.

Physical Intervention∹ 67 studies various types of Randomized control trial,cohort study,case-control studies, various technique used like-hand washing/use of alcohol based disinfectant/masks/gloves reduce the risk of common cold.

Zinc supplements Cochrane rivew of the prophylactic efficacy of orally administered(10-15mg


Sec-73, As regards acute diseases,they are either of such a kind attack human being individually, the exciting cause being injurious influences to which they were particularly exposed……..Chills, over heating….are exciting causes of such acute febrile affections…….

Homoeopathy treats the man in disease.So when a person with fever comes he is treated on the basis of acute totality-onset,types of fever,sucession of stages of fever,modality,thermal,thirst,general activity. Apart these-ailments,physical(chills,overheating….),mental emotions….

Sec-77,  Maintaining cause is the important factor which must be removed, and for the treatment of pseudochronic disease. As for example-reside unhealthy localities, marshy districts…..overexertion of body and mind……

Sec-83, Individualizing examination of a case of disease…… 

Regarding Diet and Regimen,

Sec-263,The desire of the patient affected by an acute disease with regard food and drink is certainly chiefly for things that give palliative relief………the room and the heat or coolness of the bed-covering……with the patients wish………..

According to Stuart close, Susceptibility is one of the fundamental attributes of life. Upon it depends on all functioning,all vital processes.

There are many repertories which include FEVER chapter where we can find out a different group of remedies and how we applied as per availability of symptoms,these are,

1. THE THERAPEUTICS OF FEVER- Dr.H.C ALLEN (1879) Author states that, It is the patient not the fever that is chiefly and especially is considered. The remedy were selected from the totality of the objective,subjective and miasmatic symptoms.

Many repertories have given seperate chapters of fever like-Kents repertory/B.T.P.B/Complete repertory etc…..

But In B.B.C.R- Fever totality is the unique contribution of Dr. Boger. The arrangement of the chapter is self-explanatory.Each stage of fever followed by TIME/AGG./AME./CONCOMITANT .            

Over the years the incidence of communicable diseases has reduced but viral infections especially influenza is on rise. It is caused by different strains of virus that produce symptoms with some variation and is better known as Influenza like illness (ILI). Even World Health Organization (WHO) has set up National Influenza Centres in Western Pacific and S]outh-East Asian regions for its surveillance . ] Homoeopathic practitioners successfully manage cases of ILI in their routine practice, they use centesimal as well as LM potencies with variable success.

In order to elicit the healing properties of medicine according to the principle of similitude, homoeopathy employs human experimentation known as homoeopathic pathogenetic trials (HPTs) as its model of clinical pharmacological research. HPT takes into account all kinds of primary actions or pathogenetic manifestations (mentals, generals, and local symptoms) elicited by drugs on the state of health of human beings. [3] In this issue, we present HPT on Gymnema sylvestre, [4] a herb commonly found in central India and is widely used for diabetes mellitus. However, from the symptoms produced during the HPT, this drug seems to be useful in clinical conditions such as headache, vertigo, common cold, cough, diarrhea, etc. Further, clinical verification is desirable to explore its therapeutic potential.

There are large number of medicine for common cold these are- Aco,Ars.alb,allium cepa,Bell,Bry,cact,Chamomilla,cina,dul,ferr-p,gels,hep,merc.sol,phos,puls,rhus.tox…..etc.. And nosode like-Influenzinum which acts as a prophylactic.

I discuss few medicines with there characteristic of symptoms, these are-

  1. Aconite- Great fear and anxiety of mind/ skin dry and hot with burning thirst for large quatites of cold water/complaints from dry cold air,dry north and west wind/cough on expiration.
  2. Allium Cepa- Catarrhal dull headache with coryza˂in the evening˃in open air/coryza profuse watery and acrid nasal discharge.
  3. Ars.Alb-Mentally restless but physically too weak to move,cant rest in one place/great thirst for cold water:drinks often,but little at a time:eats seldom,but much/˂midday,midnight˃ heat in general.
  4. Bryonia-ailments from when warm weather sets in,after cold days,after taking cold or getting hot in summer,from chilling,overheated/dryness of mucous membrane /grat thirst for large quantites at long intervals/˂motion˃absolute rest.
  5. Belladonna-violent delirium,hallucination/great liability to take cold/congestive headache with red face,eyes,throbbing of carotid/dryness of mucous membrane.
  6. Puls-weeps easily,˃consolation/grat dryness of mouth with thirstlessness/nasal discharge thick,bland,yellowish-green.
  7.  Rhus.Tox-bad effects of getting wet after being over heated/restlessness,cant stay long in one position/great thirst with dry tongue(triangular red tip,imprint of teeth)/˂cold,during rest˃warm,motion.

CONCLUSION∹  Common cold is nothing but the immune mediated viral infection.Higher rates occur in humid, crowded conditions,change of weather, rainy season.

Homoeopathic treatment provides safe and quick relief in common cold. But along with medicine the patients need adequate rest, take a sufficient amount of water, nutritious diet, avoid cold exposure. 


  1. Davidson-Principles and practice of medicine(19th edition),p-525.
  2. Das PC,Textbook of medicine(6th edition),p-104.
  3. Smillie G.wilson The New England Journal of Medicine,vol-23,number-17,Smillie G.wilson(oct.24,1940)
  4. Worrall Graham,common cold(
  5. Common cold ,wikipedia(
  6. Cold,flu,pnemonia(
  7. Hahnemann samuel,organon of medicine(5th and 6th edition)p-67,73,132
  8. Allen HC,Allens keynotes(10th edition)
  9. Boericke willium,pocket manual of Homoeopathic Materia medica and Reperetory,Low price edition.
  10. Kent JT,Repertory of the Homoeopathic Materia medica,enriched Indian edition.
  11. Tiwari Shashi Kant,Essentials of Repertorization(5th edition)
  12. Manchanda RK,Homoeopathy in Influenza like illness2013,volume-7,issue-1 page-1-2(
  13. Allan Micheal.G and Arroll Bruce, Prevention and treatment of the common cold:making  sense of the evidence(, 18 Feb.2014

Dr. Azizul Islam Khadim
(PGT, Dept. Practice of Medicine, RBTS Govt. Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital)