Treatment of simple acute problems with homoeopathy is easy as long as you know how to choose the remedy that matches the symptoms. You just need to know the basic symptoms that you need to look for while treating conditions such as common cold and flu.

The common cold is the most frequent infection in all age groups. Children especially contract a lot of colds. Colds are caused by a viral infection that affects the respiratory system. Colds often respond well to homeopathic remedies which is a tremendous advantage over modern medicine which has no cure for the common cold. Homeopathy emphasizes treating the underlying imbalance in the immune system rather than simply fighting the infection–although in the moment, fighting the infection may be the priority. 

To show how good homoeopathy is at managing the common cold, let’s look at just two studies: One study1 of 499 children in 1999 showed that those children whose colds were treated with homoeopathy were more likely to feel and do better than those children whose colds had been treated conventionally. The homoeopathically treated children also had fewer complications, and their parents took significantly less sick-leave than the parents of those children treated with antibiotics. Another 1994 study2 of 175 children at a University Hospital showed that those given a homoeopathic remedy had less symptoms and needed fewer antibiotics than those who had been given a placebo. They also went on to need fewer adenoidectomies. 

Treatment of simple acute problems with homoeopathy is easy as long as you know how to choose the remedy that matches the symptoms. You just need to know the basic symptoms that you need to look for while treating conditions such as common cold and flu. Dr. Subrata K. Banerjea in his book “Classical homoeopathy for an impatient world” suggests three areas to look into while prescribing for an acute condition such as common cold and flu. 

1. Aetiology, that is the cause – how the problem started ? For example: when a cold is caused by exposure to damp cellars, Antim tart can be the medicine of choice or Arsenic album.  

2. Modalities – For example, cold <on entering a warm room calls for Bryonia, >in open air calls for Pulsatilla.

3. Weakest link in the body, that is the organ that is affected the first. For example weakest area for Belladonna is head and throat.

Let us look at some commonly used medicines for cold and flu and quick ways to differentiate and prescribe quickly.

Cold - How it Manifests? 

  • Cold Affects Head - Belladonna
  • Cold affects Eyes - Euphrasia 
  • Cold affects Nose - Allium cepa, Bryonia alba, Dulcamara
  • Cold affects throat - Belladonna, Hepar sulph, Sabadilla
  • Cold affects chest  - Ferrum phosphoricum, Ocimum sanctum, Ipecacuanha
  • Cold results in fever - Aconite, Belladonna
  • Cold affects ears - Chamomilla, Hepar sulphuricum
  • Cold Affects Voice - Causticum

(Reference: Classical homoeopathy for an impatient world by Dr. Subrata K. Banerjea)

Aconite Napellus (Acon.)

Sudden onset and early stage of a cold, brought on by exposure or being chilled by a cold wind.

Cause: exposure to dry, cold winds

Modalities: worse in cold winds, better cool room and open air

Leads to fever with sudden and violent onset. 

Allium Cepa (All-c.)

A streaming cold with much sneezing and watery eyes. The eyes may be burning and sensitive to light but the discharge is bland and does not burn the cheeks, whereas the discharge from the nose is burning and can make the upper lip and nose raw. The patient may start sneezing on entering a warm room. All symptoms are much better for fresh air and worse in a warm room, and towards the evening.

Cause: Damp cold weather, from getting wet

Modalities: < warm room, > fresh air, evening

Weakest area: Nose

Arsenicum Album (Ars.)

A streaming cold with burning discharge from eyes and nose. Patient is restless and anxious and very chilly with apparent difficulty in keeping warm. Eyes and nose have a watery discharge. There is sneezing, without relief, and the nose feels stuffed up. Symptoms are worse for cold, during the night and better for warmth.

Cause : change of weather

Modalities: Worse in open air, better warmth

Weakest area: Always taking cold in the nose.


Acute cold and symptoms of flu with sudden onset. First stage of cold, sudden onset,high fever, red face, cold extremities, throbbing pains, patient radiates heat. Skin hot, dry with high temperature

Throbbing headache, very thirsty or not thirsty at allsore throat on right side, Tickly throat, light hurts eyes, Eyes glassy, Eyes dilated delirious in high fever, dry barking cough, desires lemons or lemonade. 

Cause: Exposure

Modalities: <cold and taking cold

Wealest area: Head and throat

Bryonia alba

A Cold slow to develop, painful coughs–patient holds chest when he coughs; worse from slightest movement, dry mucus membranes and very thirsty, worse for company, worse for having to answer questions, very irritable, wants to be alone. Better for being still and quiet.cold moves into chest. A painful, dry, spasmodic cough. Left-sided headache, otherwise, right-sided complaints. Better From applying firm, cool pressure to head and chest, In cool surroundings. 

Worse For movement. Bright lights. Eating, noise and touch, 9 pm and 3 pm.


Worse from damp and cold/damp weather, worse from change of weather, worse from drafts. Thick saliva and hoarse voice. Possible cold sores. Thirst for cold drinks. Post-nasal drip, lumbago or an Earache, watery diarrhea.  Better by warm, dry air, Movement. Worse For rest. At night, Cold, damp weather. 

Euphrasia (Euphr.)

The opposite symptoms to Allium cepa. The eyes are constantly streaming with a burning discharge, whereas the nasal discharge is bland and does not cause rawness of the nose or upper lip. The eyelids are swollen, burning and the cheeks are red from the burning tears. Sensitive to light, the patient is better in the open air and worse inside.


Modalities: >open air, <inside

Weakest Area: Eyes

Ferrum phosphoricum (Ferr-p.)

Colds come on slowly and may be heading for the ears or chest. Ferrum phos is particularly suited to the sore throat or that chesty stage before the cold develops into bronchitis. The patient may be flushed in the face and complain of feeling weak or lethargic. Eyes red and inflamed with burning sensation. Frequent colds with tendency to nosebleed.

Cause: checked perspiration on warm summer days, chilled drinks, ill effects of sun heat

Modalities: Morning <, cough <night

Weakest Area: chest

Gelsemium Sempervirens (Gels.)

A cold with flu-like symptoms, such as aching, trembling, a heavy, dull head. Dull, dizzy and drowsy.

Cause: Change of weather

Weakest area: Limbs (heavy)

Hepar Sulphuris (Hep.)

The later stage of a cold, with thick offensive nasal discharge. There is extreme sensitivity  to cold, in any form – even a cold wind provokes sneezing and streaming. This will thicken up later to yield discharges that smell like old cheese and are yellow to green in colour.

Cause: cold, dry wind

Modalities: <cold air, cold drinks, >sitting up, damp and wet weather.

Kali sulphuricum

Cold on exposure to cold air with yellow colored discharges and chilliness associated with every complaint. Chilly but still likes to be in open air. 

Cause: exposure to cold air

Modalities: <warm and closed room, > open air.

Weakest area: catarrh production (yellow)

Mercurius Solubilis (Merc)

Patient is sensitive to both heat and cold. There is a great deal of sneezing, especially in sunshine and warm conditions, and this will provoke a profuse burning discharge form the eyes. The nostrils are raw from the burning, profuse discharge, which is likely to be blood-streaked. As the cold progresses, the discharge becomes greenish, foul tasting and the breath offensive.

Pulsatilla pratensis (Puls.)

Colds that thicken up leaving one nostril blocked, with a loss of smell and offensive breath. One sided symptoms are common. The eyes may be itching and burning or stuck together, with profuse yellow-green mucus in the morning and the nose congested at night. All symptoms are much worse in a warm room and relieved by fresh air. The patient will either be weepy and clingy or crave sympathy and attention.

Modalities: <warm room, >fresh air


[1] Trichard, M, Chaufferin, Nicoloyannis, N., Pharmacoeconomic Comparison Between Homeopathic and Antibiotic Treatment Strategies in Recurrent Acute Rhinopharyngitis in Children, Homeopathy (2005)94, 3-9.

[2] de Lange de Klerk, ESM, Blommers, J, Kuik, DJ et al., “Effect of Homoeopathic Medicines on Daily Burden of Symptoms in Children with Recurrent Upper Respiratory Tract Infections,” BMJ, November 19, 1994;309:1329-1332.


Classical homoeopathy for an impatient world by Dr. Subrata K. Banerjea)