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Simple Treatment Options for Cold, Flu & Earaches

By Lauren Feder, MD

As the FDA continues to restrict use of many traditional cough and cold OTC preparations for the pediatric population, more parents expect their healthcare provider to offer additional safe options during the winter season. As a physician and homeopath, I have the advantage of offering my patients "the best of both worlds."

One of the common questions from concerned parents is about the choice of natural medications available for earaches, cough, cold and fever. Fortunately, homeopathy has the answer and can be easily integrated into a busy medical practice. Established in Europe since the late 1700s, and regulated by the FDA according to strict standards in the US, homeopathy is a safe, effective and convenient form of natural medicine with no contraindications with other medicines. For the seasoned homeopath, there are over 1600 homeopathic single remedies to sift through with texts called materia medicas. For the rest, there are combination products, which combine commonly used single remedies to help the prescriber 'cover the bases' for a wide variety of symptoms.

Bacterial infections are a common cause of earaches, and currently antibiotics remain most pediatricians' choice for treating acute otitis media.  Although we have been encouraged to 'wait and watch' for at least 48 hours, most practitioners feel compelled to offer advice and a prescription antibiotic right away. Consider other options such as homeopathy, especially during the 48-72 hour waiting period. Hyland's Earache Drops and Earache Tablets help to relieve ear pain, fever, and sleeplessness and speed the healing whether it is due to a cold or allergies.  The formulas contain commonly prescribed remedies such as Pulsatilla (ear pain at night), Chamomilla (for fever, fussiness and restlessness), and Lycopodium (pain and congestion).
 
Every autumn and winter, many children and adults suffer from the familiar flu. I receive many inquiries regarding the natural or homeopathic approach to flu care.  In addition to general measures of frequent hand washing, resting, dressing children in an extra thin layer of clothing, and minimizing sugary snacks which compromise the immune system, I prescribe homeopathics such as Complete Flu Care. Easily administered, it can nip flu symptoms in the bud when given at the onset. If the flu has already begun it also contains homeopathic medicines such as Gelsemium, Bryonia and Eupatorium that help relieve symptoms of fever, headache, aches and chills. Because it has no known side effects, it can be given with other standard medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
 
Popular amongst my families for head colds with sneezing and nasal congestion is Tiny Cold Tablets. If the child is coughing, I prefer an additional choice such as Hyland's Cold 'n Cough 4 Kids. The strategy is similar to our multi-symptom OTC allopathic medications. Cold 'n Cough is indicated for URI symptoms including sneezing, sore throat and congestion.  It contains a combination of the most prescribed homeopathic medicines such as  Allium Cepa indicated for watery nasal discharge, dry cough, pharyngitis, Pulsatilla for spasmodic cough,  thick nasal congestion, as well as several other meds to help you  'cover your bases.'

Many patients come to my office looking for a homeopathic remedy that is natural and safe without any side effects. Acute cold, flu and cough symptoms respond well to homeopathic treatment. Homeopathic single remedies come in different strengths or potencies. Combination remedies are formulated to simplify prescribing while offering our patients complete coverage. Homeopathic medicine is safe and effective, without the side effects of standard medicine, and it is wonderful to use for babies and children.  Without the side effects of standard medicine, and it is wonderful to use for babies and children.