I often suggest acquiring and keeping an acute or emergency homeopathic remedy kit, if you have committed to using this wonderful modality for the daily or occasional scrapes of life, and especially to every parent with young children in my practice.  Comes in handy at any time, at home or during travel including when those ails hit in the middle of the night.  But, if you don’t want to invest in a kit, here are some guidelines for remedies that can feature in your natural medicine cabinet.  The remedies, if stored properly in a cool, dark place away from heat, direct sunlight, and strong EMFs, will last forever.

ARNICA – The #1 “accident-remedy” for bruises, bumps and bleeding.  Take immediately after injury or  surgery.  You will be amazed how quickly you heal!  Also helps jet lag.

ACONITE – The “fright remedy” relieves states of shock and panic.  Also used for colds or flu that come on suddenly after exposure to cold wind.

IGNATIA – The “grief remedy” soothes those suffering loss (e.g. death, divorce, relocation), especially if they sigh frequently.

NUX VOMICA – The “hangover remedy” for overindulgence in food  or drink with irritability.  Helps most acute digestive distress.

CHAMOMILLA – The “teething remedy” helps sick kids who are angry, demanding, inconsolable, and want to be carried.  Soothes teething, colic, earaches.


The most important consideration is recognizing the differences between cold and flu symptoms.
Cold: It’s all in the nose – A cold will often begin 1 to 5 days after being exposed to a virus or bacteria.  Symptoms will mainly stay in the nose giving runny, stuffy nose, and sneezing symptoms.  Some colds will bring on a fever.
Flu: You are sick all over – A flu will begin abruptly with hardly any notice. Generally, a high fever will be the first sign following a flushed face, body aches and lack of energy. After a few days, symptoms may travel down the respiratory system creating sore throats, coughs and bronchitis.

FERRUM PHOS – Usually given at early onset because there are no clear keynotes for any other remedy.  They maybe better with touch and cold application.  They feel worse when lying on right side.

BELLADONNA – Most people will present with a sudden, high fever, and a red face. Cold hands and feet with a very hot head, dry skin, and sensitivity to light and sound.  Bad dreams, night terrors may also be present.

ACONITE – This is usually the first remedy given when a cold or flu is noted ( or when wanting to help prevent one).  Especially if the person is fearful.  Similar to Belladonna, the symptoms will come on rapidly with a high fever but usually due to exposure to cold, dry wind.  They are very restless and have heavy throbbing head pain.

BRYONIA – The patient has a slow developing fever that creeps up over a few days.  They also do not want to be touched due to body aches and feel worse with moving.  They will crave cold drinks.  Because of the above, they may be quite irritable!  A good flu remedy.

GELSEMIUM – The flu will come on slowly especially after a change in the weather ( cold to warm or vice versa).  There will be no thirst and the body will feel heavy – eyelids to limbs and weak.  A fever will accompany moments of cold shiver running up and down their back.


Biochemic cell salts, also called tissue salts, stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms to satisfy mineral imbalances.  These are great compliments to regular homeopathic remedies, especially if you are having a hard time figuring out the best matching remedy.

CALC PHOS 6x – General tonic.  Ideal for teething, sore throats, general restlessness.

FERRUM PHOS 6x – Ideal for fevers and congestions, head colds, and first stages of a minor injury.

KALI MUR 6x – Ideal for colds, sore throats, runny nose.  Take along with Calc Phos and Ferrum Phos to help the body adjust during a season change such as Spring, and Fall.

SILICEA 6x – Homeopathic lancet.  Ideal for splinters and skin eruptions; brittle hair and nails.

BIOCHEMIC PHOSPHATES – A combination of all five phosphates, it can be used for relief of symptoms of nervousness, irritability and occasional sleeplessness.  Also, great to use during convalescence after a flu or a long lasting acute illness.

Side Note: It is best to go to the ER or consult your primary care physician in case of an accident or injury or if you suspect any of these acute illnesses, for everyone but especially, for children under the age of 2.

Biocides – colloidal silver, tea tree, et al.

  1. a poisonous substance, especially a pesticide.
  2. the destruction of life.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines biocides as “a diverse group of poisonous substances including preservatives, insecticides, disinfectants, and pesticides used for the control of organisms that are harmful to human or animal health or that cause damage to natural or manufactured products”.
Thus a biocide can be:
A pesticide: this includes fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, algicides, molluscicides, miticides and rodenticides.
An antimicrobial: this includes germicides, antibiotics, antibacterials, antivirals, antifungals, antiprotozoals and antiparasites.  In short, because biocides are intended to kill living organisms, many biocidal products pose significant risk to human health and welfare. (source: wikipedia)

You see, if you simply attack a symptom with biocides, whether they be synthetic or natural, things may, and often do, become worse.  Why?  Because symptoms are created by the interaction between the germ and the terrain.  The vulnerability and sensitivity of the terrain, aka the susceptibility, is ignored or overlooked when using such an approach.  And, DISEASE essentially begins and ends with this susceptibility and how well that is able to be addressed.  In the famous words of Paracelus – “Those who merely study and treat the effects of disease are those who imagine that they can drive away winter by brushing the snow from the door.  It is not the snow that causes winter, but winter that causes the snow”. When going after the microbes with biocides, one is going after merely the snow, and mind you, it is not as gentle as using a broom.  Besides, the microbes that survive the killing spree return strengthened.  We all have heard about superbugs, correct?  Yes, biocides can create them, too.

Well, take, for example, colloidal silver – one of the most widely used “natural antimicrobials” out there and people swear by it. Unfortunately (as well as fortunately), biocides do not kill everything, which is why we can get away (almost) with using them in our living bodies to begin with.  But, that which doesn’t get killed comes back stronger, over and over.  It’s the law of Nature, survival of the fittest.  Not to mention the accumulated toxicity from repeated use of the biocide.  I just saw two cases of silver toxicity last month.  One client was on 1 teaspoon of colloidal silver a day for almost two years.  One of her presenting symptoms was restless leg syndrome which started about a year and half ago.  Just taking her off the daily oral dose of the stuff reduced her restless leg by 50%.  And it got completely better after a dose of a homeopathic remedy chosen to match her overall symptoms and which also incidentally had an indication for silver toxicity.  Go figure.

So – if you have come to the awareness and are no longer turning to antibiotics and medications to help resolve your symptoms like before, that’s wonderful news!  But then, if you have switched to alternative killing methods, like colloidal silver, tea tree oil, oil of oregano, parasite cleanses, etc.  you are still inadvertently setting yourself up for potentially further problems in the future.  Just like antibiotics, these alternatives have their place in medicine and can be tools at certain times for certain situations. But, I see them as being useful in very limited ways only, for a short term or once in a while strategy, when there is access to no other resource, or the person is very very sick.  They may appear to work, but be aware that it’s a symptomatic approach, and actually may lead to suppression instead of resolution.  Hence, if you find yourself needing to use these biocides frequently, then know that you are over-doing it, and that something is amiss, and that it would be better to seek out a better solution.

What would be better?  It would be much better, and more effective, to equip and train your own microbiome to fend off the pathogenic microbes than to go to war inside your own body and risk having your body be collateral damage.  Think of it like raiding (or bombing) the whole village to take out the robbers that have infiltrated it.  Not too smart, is it?  Instead, the appropriate intervention would be one that resolves the susceptibility, aka miasmatic and constitutional weaknesses, that led to the infiltration in the first place.  When we put to use our body’s vital energy and tap into our body’s self-healing capabilities, we train our immune system, our microbiome, and reduce susceptibility.  I prefer and recommend constitutional homeopathic care for any and all such symptoms that seem to indicate an issue with microbial imbalance, be it skin issues, recurring infections, yeast issues, chronic infections, lyme, or any symptom that on the superficial level seems to call for a biocide, recurrently and/or for long periods of time.  The idea is to boost your overall well-being so you can fix your individual susceptibility and balance from the inside-out.  Know that if you still choose or have to use a biocide however natural, that is totally fine, it’s your choice.  Just be aware, and know the risks.  Don’t operate with the mindset that it is safer just because you are choosing a “natural” killer of living things rather than a synthetic or a patented one, and then wonder why you are still sick, or getting sicker by the day.  Knowledge is power.

How to tell if something is being used as a biocide?

A thorough treatise on the subject of biocides is available at GreenFacts, a very useful resource.  I also love the following criteria succinctly put forth by Mary Aspinwall, a noted homeopath with over 20 years of experience, to identify a biocide.  She also aptly says – “Sadly, when we use biocides our bodies and our natural immunity are collateral casualties and we are increasing our susceptibility to the next thing looking to colonize us.” (emphasis mine) –

1.  A biocide kills things.
2.  It targets the symptom or the perceived “invader”.
3.  It’s a one size fits all approach.
4.  It is intended to work in exactly the same way for everyone (except that it doesn’t).
5.  It is used without any need for individualization.
6.  It is an outside-in strategy.
7.  It doesn’t seek to increase the natural immune response from the inside-out.

In my opinion, the last two items in the above list speaks to the paradigm that the body is too weak to defend itself (again a matter of susceptibility).  Therefore, it always needs help from the outside to restore health – it’s a common paradigm in conventional western medicine that is adopted in the world of alternative medicine with the use of antimicrobial alternatives.  Using a biocide essentially imposes on the vital force and the immune system – here, let me do the killing for you, every single time, because you are incapable.  Any parent raising a child will quickly realize the fallacy of such an approach, the disadvantages of doing everything for your child instead of teaching and supporting him or her in the right ways to be self-sufficient.  It is no different when dealing with the body’s own immune system.  And, that’s just one facet in understanding the complexity of it all.

Some popular natural biocides include Pau d’arco, Colloidal Silver, Hydrogen Peroxide, Tea tree oil (also called Melaleuca), many other essential oils, GSE (Grape Seed Extract), Oregano oil, Natural lice treatment with Neem, and Olive leaf extract.

I have come across many natural health articles on the internet that list the above substances as holistic treatment for various symptoms.  These substances when used in this fashion as biocides are simply not holistic methods.  Bring in your awareness and seek out truly holistic and nurturing means to strengthen your body’s own innate ability to restore order and balance.  The right foods and exercises for physical and emotional nourishment (indeed diet and lifestyle are always first in my book); and homeopathy (well-matched homeopathic remedies) to remove susceptibility; these are my top choice tools to strengthen from the inside out, and thereby getting rid of symptoms!