Infections caused by the presence of a virus in the body are known as viral infections. One or more viruses cause these infections, and they are common in clinical practice. Although these infections can affect anyone, children and aged people are more susceptible due to weaker immune systems. Homeopathic treatment for viral infections helps resolve the condition by naturally strengthening the immune system, thereby enabling the body to fight infection.
Some viral infections are self-limiting while others can lead to severe complications. These infections produce debilitating symptoms and affect the day-to-day life of the infected person.
The symptoms vary depending on the organs or systems affected by the virus. The most prominent symptoms include high fever and severe body pain with marked weakness. In addition to this, specific symptoms also occur.
How do Viral Infections Spread?
Viral infections are highly contagious and get transferred very quickly by direct or indirect contact. Viral infections of the skin like herpes and chickenpox spread by direct or indirect contact through infectious discharge. This discharge oozes from skin eruptions that are a common symptom of these diseases.
Viral infections of the respiratory system spread through exposure to nasal or respiratory discharges. Discharge is spread while coughing or sneezing, or by direct contact with items like contaminated handkerchief or utensils.
Viral infections can lead to gastroenteritis or hepatitis. Here the spread occurs by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Few viral infections spread by the bite of insects like mosquitoes or ticks. They include hemorrhagic fevers e.g. dengue, chikungunya, etc. There are the sexually transmitted viral infections like AIDS, Hepatitis B, etc. They spread by unprotected intercourse with infected partners. The spread can also occur via blood transfusion.
Symptoms of Viral Infections
The symptoms of a viral infection depend on the nature of the virus, age and health status of the patient, and the organ affected.
However, there are general symptoms present in all viral infections. These include high fever and rising and ebbing temperature accompanied by chilliness. The patient may complain of extreme weakness and fatigue. Marked pain in the head, body-ache, muscle-pain, and joint-pain is also noted.
Nausea and vomiting are some other symptoms associated with viral infections.
Fever is the most common symptom that is present in almost all viral infections. It is the reaction of body’s immune system against foreign bodies, like viruses. It is a worrisome symptom in children and quick-relief is often sought through drugs to lower fever.
Fever-lowering drugs suppress the fever temporarily, but infection inside the body persists.
Homeopathic Treatment for Viral Infections
Conventional drugs do not offer comprehensive treatments for viral infections. Certain viruses like Influenza, HIV, etc. have tendencies to mutate (change) very rapidly, thereby lowering the effectiveness of such medicines. Additionally, viruses quickly develop resistance to these drugs, making the development of preventive medicine somewhat challenging. Conventional medications therefore only provide supportive management and suppression of the symptoms.
Homeopathic treatment for viral infections helps ease the symptoms and also enables the body to heal naturally.
Homeopathy treatment for viral infections is steadily gaining popularity as a natural way to deal with viral infections. These medicines help reduce the frequency and intensity of acute symptoms like weakness, fever, body pain, etc. These help with quick recovery. In some cases, they reduce the chances of further complications. Homeopathy treatment for viral infections treats the symptoms not by suppressing them, but by strengthening the immune system. It activates the body’s natural restorative properties by producing symptoms similar to the ones experienced by the patients. This method helps settle underlying internal disturbances in the body. Homeopathy treatment for viral infections also minimizes the weakness and fatigue commonly encountered as an aftermath of the infection.
Viral infections are highly communicable and spread rapidly from one person to another. Homeopathy treatment for viral infections is also preventative and helps reduce the chances of contracting the infection.
1. Viral Infections that Affect the Skin
The most common viral infections of skin include Herpes simplex infection, warts and eruptive fevers like chickenpox, measles, rubella, etc.
Herpes simplex is a viral infection that can occur in any part of the body. Most common sites include the mouth, face, genitals and anal region. It is of two types – Type 1 and Type 2.
Type-1 is oral herpes that mainly affects mouth and face. It spreads by direct contact with an infected person.
Type-2 is a sexually transmitted infection that affects the genital and anal region. Sores develop in the mouth, face, genital and anal area. General symptoms of fever, body pain are also present. In some cases, the infection may spread to eyes and lead to eye pain, discharge, and grittiness in the eyes.
Homeopathy treatment for viral infections like herpes simplex includes the use of medicines like Natrum Mur, Rhus Tox, and Petroleum.
Natrum Mur is indicated where eruptions develop on the skin during fever. They are filled with fluid and burst eventually, leaving behind a thin crust. They may present around the mouth, or on arms and thighs.
In cases where intolerable itching and burning accompany the herpes simplex infection, medicine Rhus Tox is used. The patient has an urge to scratch, but scratching provides no relief. Eruptions may contain a yellow-watery fluid.
Petroleum is a medicine for herpes simplex accompanied by itching sores. The eruptions may change into ulcers and be present on the chest, neck, and knee.
Eruptive fevers, as the name indicates, are viral fevers in which general symptoms are present with characteristic rashes. Chickenpox, measles, and rubella are all eruptive fevers.
The varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes chickenpox. It is a highly infectious disease that mostly affects children, but can also affect adults. It spreads through contact with an infected person via sneezing, coughing, saliva, and discharges from rashes.
The symptoms are mild in children and more pronounced in adults.
The symptoms of chickenpox include general symptoms of viral infections along with a typical rash. The rash erupts first on the trunk and face, where it is dense. It then spreads to the limbs.
These rashes are red-colored, itchy blisters filled with fluid with a crust on top.
Every new rash eruption comes with a rise in temperature. Homeopathy treatment for chickenpox includes medicines like Antim Crud and Antim Tart.
Antim crud is used when there is a formation of pustules accompanied by itching. There is soreness upon scratching. The eruptions may ooze out yellowish-green fluid. Eventually, thick crusts may develop and the patient may feel weak.
Antim Tart is another treatment for chickenpox with itching and red rashes. Painful vesicular eruptions may present on the whole body. They may fill up with pus and dry up, forming a brown crust. Fever often occurs with these eruptions.
Herpes zoster (shingles) is a common skin disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. In some cases, the virus is present in the nerves of the body in an inactive form. The virus becomes active and affects the nerves in case the immunity weakens. It leads to painful skin eruptions and is common in adults and old people. General symptoms accompany the development of rash over the length of the nerve. The rash develops in a small band or strip area. As the disease progresses, rashes change into fluid-filled blisters. Pain and itching are present, followed by the formation of a crust. Healing takes between 15-30 days, but the pain may persist for longer.
Treatment for viral infections like herpes zoster includes medicines like Ranunculus bulb, Mezereum, and Clematis. Ranunculus bulb is indicated when the blisters are of bluish –black color. They may fill with fluid and cause extreme burning and itching. Upon bursting, hard crust forms in place of the blister.
Mezereum is used in treatment for shingles with severe neuralgic pains accompanied by itching. It may get worse by touch in most cases. The blisters may burn and form brown scabs that heal slowly.
Clematis is a well-known treatment for long-standing cases of herpes zoster. The eruptions (in cases where this medicine is required) are red, coupled with intense itching that may get worse after washing.
Measles is another highly infectious disease caused by the rubeola virus. It affects children the most and spreads through contact with an infected person. Symptoms include general symptoms of viral infections and a typical reddish-brown rash. Sneezing, watery eyes, and cough may also be present. A characteristic feature is the presence of bluish –white spots in the oral mucosa (koplik spot).
Homeopathy treatment for measles includes medicines like Pulsatilla, Euphrasia, and Morbillinum. Pulsatilla and Euphrasia are given mostly in the catarrhal stage of measles. Severe coryza with redness of eyes and profuse lachrymation (flow of tears) may also be present.
Morbillinum is chiefly a preventive medicine for measles.
Viral warts occur due to infection by the human papillomavirus (HPV). These are harmless growths of the skin that commonly spread through direct contact with an infected person. Warts can occur at any age but are more common among school children. Warts are of various types; like plane warts (with a flat surface) as seen on face and hands, plantar warts on foot soles, filiform warts (with stalk) on the face, and mucosal warts in the mouth or around lips.
Homeopathy treatment for viral infections like warts includes medicines like Thuja, Nitric Acid and Causticum. Thuja is used to treat all types of warts. They are large and mostly appear on the back of their hands.
Warts accompanied by soreness and burning are treated with Causticum. Nitric acid helps in cases where there is pricking pain, bleeding after washing, and warts that are painful to touch. These usually appear on the upper lip.
2. Viral Infections that Affect the Respiratory System
Viral infections of the respiratory system include the common cold, sore throat, sinusitis, influenza, etc.
The common cold and sore throat are the most common viral infections, and every person usually experiences these at least once in a lifetime. These are highly contagious and spread from person to person through sneezing or coughing. Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, stuffy nose, pain in throat, body aches, and fever.
Homeopathy treatment for the common cold includes the use of medicines Allium cepa and Euphrasia. Allium cepa is used in cases where there are profuse acrid nasal discharges accompanied by sneezing. A headache may also be present, along with discharges from eyes. The cold usually appears after exposure to damp winds. Euphrasia is also used to treat the common cold where sneezing accompanies profuse nasal discharges. Irritating eye discharges may also be present.
Influenza is another viral infection of the respiratory system, also known as the flu. The causative virus is influenza virus A and B. Influenza virus is a constantly-changing strain and new strains appear every year. It usually affects young children and old people. People with low immunity, chronic heart or lung disease are more at risk of contracting this virus. It is self-limiting in a few cases while causing severe complications in others. Symptoms of influenza initially resemble the common cold. Fever with a chill, head pain, body pain, congestion of nose and throat, pain in the throat, weakness, running nose, sneezing, watery eyes, etc. are the typical symptoms. These develop suddenly and tend to last longer than the common cold. These symptoms are severe for 3-4 days, but the patient recovers after 7-10 days.
Homeopathy treatment for viral infections like the flu includes medicines like Aconite, Gelsemium, Oscillococcinum, and Influenzinum.
Aconite is indicated in cases where there has been an exposure to drafts of cold, dry winds. The symptoms appear suddenly and with high intensity. The nose becomes stuffy with scanty, watery nasal discharges. Fever may occur, along with restlessness.
Gelsemium treats influenza where dullness and drowsiness accompany typical symptoms, and the patient is prone to contract the virus with the change of weather. The after-effects of influenza remain for a long time. Weakness, along with thin, acrid, watery discharges from the nose, is present. Redness of eyes with watery discharges is also a common symptom.
Influenzinum is a medicine that reduces the intensity of these symptoms. It also prevents the spread of infections. Oscillococcinum is also used to treat and it helps in reducing the duration and severity of symptoms like fever, body pains, headache, etc.
3. Viral Infections that Affect the Gastrointestinal Tract
Rotavirus and Norovirus are the common causes of gastroenteritis (inflammation of stomach and intestines) in infants and young children. These are highly contagious and spread by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Symptoms of infection include fever, nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, pain in abdomen, weakness, body pain, etc. In some case, it is self-limiting, and the patient recovers within a few days. However, in other cases, it can cause severe dehydration. Arsenic Album and Nux vomica are the medicines used to treat viral infections of the gastrointestinal tract. Arsenic album is used in cases where diarrhea and vomiting are present with severe burning and restlessness. In most cases, the symptoms get worse after eating and drinking.
Nux vomica treats cases where constant nausea and vomiting are present, and the patient usually feels better after vomiting. Diarrhea, with a constant urge to pass stools is present, but only a small amount excretes at a given time.
Hepatitis A is another highly infectious disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. It leads to inflammation of the liver. The virus spreads through contaminated food and water. Symptoms of hepatitis include nausea, vomiting, pain in the abdomen (usually on the right side), loss of appetite, yellowing of skin and eyes (jaundice), dark-colored urine and clay-colored stool.
Treatment for viral infections like hepatitis includes medicines Chelidonium and Phosphorous.
Both medicines cover all the symptoms of hepatitis. In cases where Chelidonium is used, most patients feel better after eating hot food. Phosphorous is used when all the other symptoms accompany a burning and a desire to eat cold food.
4. Sexually Transmitted Viral Infections
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) refers to the fatal, final stage of the HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) infection.
The immune system weakens as a result of this syndrome. HIV destroys CD 4 T- cells which are essential for a person’s immunity, thus making the patient more prone to common infections.
HIV is sexually transmitted by an infected person to healthy person through unprotected intercourse. It can also spread through sharing of contaminated needles or blood.
The virus also gets transmitted to a growing baby in the womb if the mother is infected. It can spread from an infected mother to her child during delivery or breastfeeding. Initial symptoms occur a few weeks after exposure and resemble a flu-like fever. Lymph glands swell up, but the patient may remain asymptomatic for months, or years before the symptoms become severe.
Treatment for AIDS can currently only delay the associated complications, but complete recovery is not yet possible. The virus is prone to rapid changes, which is why there is a lack of vaccines in the conventional system to prevent infection. These medicines help the body restore its natural healing properties. Homeopathy treatment for viral infections strengthens the body’s immune system. Some medicines used to manage the complications associated with AIDS include Crotalus horridus, Medorrhinum, and Merc Sol.
5. Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers
The most common viral hemorrhagic fever include Dengue and Chikungunya fever. The virus in both infections gets transmitted to a healthy person by the bite of an infectious mosquito. The symptoms of dengue include high temperature and severe body, joint, and muscle pain. Pain in the head and eyes is common, along with nausea, vomiting, and weakness. Rashes also appear on the skin. People with weak immunity or those experiencing a second attack by dengue virus are more likely to have hemorrhages, called dengue hemorrhagic fever. In some cases these are mild, but in other instances, massive hemorrhages may lead to shock. If not managed properly, death may occur.
In Chikungunya fever, all symptoms resemble a common viral illness, but with severe joint pains. Most patients make a full recovery, but joint pains may persist for a few weeks to months.
Homeopathy treatments for viral infections like dengue and chikungunya work on restoring the body’s natural healing systems. Medicines for hemorrhagic fevers include Eupatorium perfoliatum and Gelsemium.
Eupatorium perfoliatum is used to treat severe body and muscular pain.
Gelsemium treats cases of hemorrhagic fever where there is a severe headache. The patient may complain of weakness and dullness, and muscular pains accompany the illness.
Mumps is a highly infectious viral disease caused by the mump virus. It is mainly an infection of salivary glands (most commonly the parotid glands). Mumps spread through direct contact with an infected person via saliva and nasal discharges. Symptoms include painful swelling of the glands, in addition to general symptoms of a viral infection.
Belladonna and parotidinum are the medicines used to treat mumps. Belladonna is used in case the parotid gland is swollen and painful. The glands are very hot and sensitive to touch and may be accompanied by ear pain. Parotidinum is a prophylactic against mumps infection.