Homeopathic remedies work differently to traditional medicines. While traditional medicines see many illnesses as being caused by infections and foreign bacteria, homeopaths believe that all illnesses are a result of the ‘living whole’. Every illness according to homeopathy comes about through an interplay of the complex innate susceptibilities of the individual combined with the environment, meaning that one ‘cure’ won’t work in all cases. The function of homeopathic remedies is to target specific symptoms and treat these on an individual basis rather than attempting to combat them by fighting the route of the illness. For a cold for example then, homeopathic remedies will focus on specific elements of the condition, including a homeopathic remedy for mucus. Similarly the same homeopathic remedy for mucus might be used when treating a viral infection; however the precise mucus remedy could vary depending on other factors such as the colour of the mucus and the personality of the affected. Common treatments however include kali mur and kali bichrome. A rough guide to the particular homeopathic remedy for mucus that should be used follows:
If the mucus is white then use Belladona.
If the mucus is yellow then use Phosphorus.
If the mucus is red then use phosphorus and Merc.
If the patient is nauseous with the condition add the Antimonium Tart and Causticum.
If the symptoms are the result of a flu then add Oscillococcinum 200C.
Also unlike traditional medicine, homeopathy works by exacerbating the symptoms of the illness rather than attempting to subdue them. The ingredients in an effective homeopathic remedy for mucus then should cause phlegm and mucus when ingested healthy patients. The idea here then is that by causing these symptoms, the body’s immune system is encouraged to increase efforts in combating them. At the same time homeopaths believe that ‘working against’ the symptoms to try and suppress them using medication will only serve to drive them further into the internal organs. This again puts them at odds with conventional wisdom and modern medicine and is a source of controversy within the field.
It is not uncommon then when using a homeopathic remedy for mucus to experience at first a worsening of the symptoms including increased phlegm and sinus difficulties. Over time however if the remedy is working this should subside and continue to subside to the point of being healthy.
To purposefully incur the symptoms of an illness could be dangerous past a certain point, and so for this reason homeopathic remedies are heavily diluted, usually in distilled water (the extent to which being indicated by the ‘C’ scale). In fact the substances are watered down to the point where not a single molecule of the original substance exists within the final mixture. It is believed by homeopaths that the water nevertheless retains the ‘vital force’ of the active ingredient through a form of ‘water memory’. However there is no scientific evidence for such a phenomenon and many critics believe that the higher ‘potency’ mixtures are no different from the water or the sugar they are mixed with. At the same time clinical trials have failed to substantiate the claims of homeopathic experts and any results are thought to work through a placebo effect (whereby simply thinking something will work has positive psychosomatic effects that alleviate the condition or the perception of its symptoms). For these reasons, while some individuals may find homeopathic remedies helpful, they should not be taken in the place of traditional medicine.