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Homeopathy, the Most Effective Therapy for the Present Epidemic of Sinusitis/Mucous

By editor - Posted on 11 February 2014

Dear patients,

(Note that the following information is solely based on my personal findings and do not necessarily reflect a complete picture of what is presently going on in all the medical clinics in the area. If you suffer from sinusitis/cough symptoms, you must be seen by a qualified health care practitioner in order to receive proper care. The information below is meant to be for educational purposes only.)

There appears to be a widespread outbreak of sinusitis/cough going around in our region. Excessive mucous in the sinuses and throat (not in the lungs) appears to be present in every single case. You will find this blog helpful if you happen to be acutely sick with any kind of upper respiratory infection at the present time since you will most likely be suffering from the epidemic (of excessive phlegm/mucous production in the sinuses and/or throat area).

I have been told by all my patients who happened to have tried antibiotics or other medications for their upper respiratory tract infection over the last several months that their symptoms were not relieved at all. Many seemed so stay sick for over a month or two (and in some cases several months) without homeopathic care. Some were hospitalized and were put on numerous rounds of antibiotics and steroids only to find that the illness returned as soon as they stopped the above therapies. I had a patient who quit her job and was borderline suicidal after contracting this epidemic. Several adult patients have literally broken down in my office and wept due to the severity of the symptoms and the length of time they have been ill. It's disheartening to see that conventional health care practitioners do not appear to be well informed about this epidemic, and as a result are completely misdiagnosing many of the patients, and offer inaccurate prognosis (i.e. what to expect) as a result. As far as treatments, unfortunately, there does not appear to be any pharmaceutical treatments for curing this particular epidemic. At the very best, pharmaceutical medicines appear to offer only palliation (i.e. symptom relief). Furthermore, even herbal and nutritional supplements designed for treating acute upper respiratory infections do not appear to be effective. Fortunately, there appears to be a curative therapy for this epidemic of upper respiratory excessive mucous/phlegm production. The effective therapy is a particular homeopathic remedy called Kali bichromium (also known as Kali bich). It’s noteworthy that homeopathy has always been highly effective during epidemics and pandemics. (Google the Spanish flu of the 1918)

Most of my acutely ill patients these days come in with complaints of sinus congestion, coughing, and much phlegm/mucous in the throat. In most cases this excessive mucous is stuck in the throat and does not come out freely, but in some cases, the mucous does come out. Regardless, the mucous is sticky and stringy, and if it comes out, it comes out in thick globs. The excessive mucous in the throat is what causes the cough, which can significantly disturb the person’s sleep at nights. Other symptoms that may OR may not be present include: shortness of breath, laryngitis, vomiting (likely as a result of too much mucous in the throat that does not come out; the forced coughing which is an unconscious attempt to bring the mucous up can cause vomiting in some patients), diarrhea, headache (often in one spot), and “wondering” (meaning moving from one place to another in the body) aches and pains, foggy thinking (due to all the phlegm in the sinuses), and a unusually great sense of hopelessness and gloominess (that is out of proportion to what the body is going through). In one case, the patient acted as if she was dying of some terminal cancer! Another patient was literally suicidal. Nearly all these patients appear to feel cold and like to bundle up.

It is critical to note that some patients may present with similar symptoms as above and may indeed have pneumonia (with or without sinusitis) in which case it may be critical for them to use conventional antibiotics. Therefore, proper diagnosis is absolutely key.

There are a few different homeopathic remedies that I have been prescribing to treat the present, what I would call, epidemic of sinusitis/cough. However, the single most effective homeopathic remedy for this outbreak is Kali Bichromium. Note that there are different remedies that come up during various epidemics, depending on numerous factors that is beyond the scope of this blog. In other words, if remedy X was effective in treating an epidemic last year, it may not work for an epidemic this year. It’s as if the epidemic is a living, breathing organism that keeps on shifting, and we need to shift our therapies as a result, in order to successfully heal the imbalance at any given time.

One dose of Kali bich 200C has NOT been sufficient in a good number of the cases I have treated so far. (Note that the 12C and 30C potencies are available over-the-counter, but the 200C and 1M which are considered high potencies are NOT available over-the-counter, and are typically only available at homeopathic practitioners’ offices.) Some patients do well with one dose, but many need 2-3 doses of 200C, taking one dose every few days. Over the last few weeks, I have been recommending Kali bich 1M, and have found it to be significantly more effective than the 200C. I send patients home with at least 2-3 doses of this remedy in the 1M potency and instruct them to take the extra dose(s) ONLY if their symptoms improve initially, followed by a plateauing effect for say 24-48 hours or by a return/worsening of the acute symptoms. As always, as long as the patient is improving, they do not need to redose. (Note: one “dose” should be at least 5 pellets.) In majority of the cases, patients report an opening sensation in their throat and sinuses before they even leave the office. The mucous breaks up and starts to flow down the throat. The decongestion effect of this remedy is absolutely incredible.

You must remember that the symptom picture might change week by week, so the homeopathic remedy Kali Bich may or may not be the suitable remedy a few weeks from now. Just remember that if you are suffering from sinusitis (sensation of pressure/discomfort in the sinuses), sinus headache, nasal congestion, complaint of much phlegm/mucous in the throat (thick mucus regardless of whether it’s stuck or flowing), and cough, you should most definitely consider taking this most wonderful remedy, assuming 1) you do not have any other accompanying conditions such as pneumonia which would potentially require other therapies instead of or in addition to Kali Bich 2) your symptoms match the remedy Kali Bich better than any other remedy. (Note: I have had to use a few other remedies such as Mercurius or Gelsemium in some cases.)

Your good old “constitutional” homeopathic remedy (refer to handout on this topic under Educational Articles on this site) does NOT seem to be very effective in the treatment of the acute sinusitis/cough that is going around at the present time. This is a great example of how “acute” prescribing is necessary at times. For example, a few months ago, I had a case of sinusitis/cough that I prescribed Phosphorus 1M for. The remedy Phosphorus happened to be the patient’s core or constitutional remedy, and seemed to cover the acute symptoms on hand fairly well. However, the patient was not helped much at all. The remedy Kali bich 200C was significantly more effective in her case. I have seen this situation in many cases so far during this cold/flu season, and that is why I am not even recommending that patients take their regular “constitutional” remedy for the treatment of their upper respiratory infections these days. In fact, one could say that, presently, for some reason (and I am not certain why) people’s “constitution” appears to be changing to Kali bich temporarily (or the remedy that best matches their present “state” or the acute state at hand is Kali bich) regardless of the underlying ongoing constitution that they used to have.

Below you will find some additional information on dosing/redosing as well as on how to maximize the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies. Hope you find this information helpful.

How often should you take your prescribed homeopathic remedy during acute conditions?
Take a dose. Wait to see improvements. Here are the various possibilities. Whether you take more of the same homeopathic remedy or consider a different one depends on how you feel after the first dose of today’s remedy:

1) As long as you are improving (or your health is climbing), you do NOT need to take another dose. In other words, you do not want to take two doses of the same homeopathic remedy too close to each other (if you are already improving) as this may have a negative effect on you. (The analogy would be to push someone too hard from behind to make him/her walk faster when (s)he is already walking as fast (s)he can! The person may fall forward and get hurt!)

2) If you stop improving (plateau for 24-48 hours or more) OR if your condition gets worse again (after an initial improvement), then you should take the next dose of the remedy. Most patients need to take a dose of their homeopathic remedy when the effect of the previous dose has worn off by at least 50%. In other words, don’t just take a 2nd or 3rd dose of the remedy just because you have had a small setback, i.e. just because you feel 10-30 or even 40% worse. Wait until you are certain the remedy needs a real boost before you take the 2nd or future doses.

3) If the first dose does not provide any improvements within a few up to 24 hours maximum, it is most likely because either the selected remedy is incorrect or you need other therapies along with or instead of homeopathic treatment. Having said this, sometimes patients need a 2nd dose of their remedy before they feel any improvements. In such cases, you may want to wait at least several hours after the 1st dose before you try the 2nd dose of the remedy.

NOTE: Remember that coffee (regular or decaf both) can antidote homeopathic remedies. Therefore, as long as you are ill you should be completely avoiding coffee. Additionally, you ought to avoid sugar, alcohol, fruit juice, soda pop, and junk food all together until you are completely well. Last, but not least, if you happen to know what foods you are allergic to, you may want to avoid them until you feel much better. And, if you don't know what foods you are allergic to, you may want to note that the top most allergenic foods in the U.S. at the present time are gluten, dairy, soy, corn and eggs. The chances are that you are allergic to a number of the foods mentioned above.

How to maximize the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies?

There are various ways of helping maximize the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies. The following are the most common techniques I have discovered over the years which I recommend you take note of if you use homeopathic remedies at all:
Always take homeopathic remedies at least 15 minutes away from food/drinks. Ideally, you should be fully fed and hydrated BEFORE you take your homeopathic remedy. Prior to taking the remedy AND for at least 15 minutes after taking the remedy, you should be sitting down, relaxed, your mind free of all thoughts/worries; try to be almost in a prayerful/meditative state. If possible, avoid perfumes at least on the day when you take the remedy.

Do your best to have an easy day without much stress on days when you take a homeopathic remedy. On such days, go to bed early, don’t drink alcohol, don’t get into arguments with people, don’t work too hard and avoid junk food. The remedies seem to work better if you receive EFT or “tapping” (a form of acupressure) by me in the office. Therefore, ideally reserve your remedy and take it during our visits together. Remember coffee seems to antidote (or cancel the effect of) homeopathic remedies; therefore, for as long as you are enjoying the effect of your remedy (which could be a number of months or even years), you should seriously consider avoiding coffee (regular or decaf). Caffeine (from any source other than coffee) is fine, however. Other factors that can antidote homeopathic remedies are listed in the document called “Basics of Constitutional Homeopathy” which can be found under Educational Articles on our website, www.drsharif.com.

One “dose” of a homeopathic remedy is about 5 pills, all of which are typically dispensed at our office in ONE small yellow envelope. In homeopathy the number of pills is immaterial (although you should take at least 3-5 pills at a time just to make sure you get enough of the medicine), it’s indeed the potency that counts.

Please feel free to email and share this blog with others you know who may be suffering from acute upper respiratory symptoms.

Please feel free to call our office if you have any questions about your particular case. Emailing me works, but I may not be able to return your emails immediately due to large volume of emails that are sent to me on a daily basis.

May God bless you all.

Dr. Sharif

How to Maximize the Effectiveness of Homeopathic Remedies

By editor - Posted on 15 January 2014

There are various ways of helping maximize the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies. The following are the most common techniques I have discovered over the years which I recommend you take note of if you use homeopathic remedies at all:

Always take homeopathic remedies at least 15 minutes away from food/drinks. Ideally, you should be fully fed and hydrated BEFORE you take your homeopathic remedy. Prior to taking the remedy AND for at least 15 minutes after taking the remedy, you should be sitting down, relaxed, your mind free of all thoughts/worries; try to be almost in a prayerful/meditative state. If possible, avoid perfumes at least on the day when you take the remedy.

Do your best to have an easy day without much stress on days when you take a homeopathic remedy. On such days, go to bed early, don’t drink alcohol, don’t get into arguments with people, don’t work too hard and avoid junk food. The remedies seem to work better if you receive EFT or “tapping” (a form of acupressure) by me in the office. Therefore, ideally reserve your remedy and take it during our visits together. Remember coffee seems to antidote (or cancel the effect of) homeopathic remedies; therefore, for as long as you are enjoying the effect of your remedy (which could be a number of months or even years), you should seriously consider avoiding coffee (regular or decaf). Caffeine (from any source other than coffee) is fine, however. Other factors that can antidote homeopathic remedies are listed in the document called “Basics of Constitutional Homeopathy” which can be found under Educational Articles on our website, www.drsharif.com.

One “dose” of a homeopathic remedy is about 5 pills, all of which are typically dispensed in ONE small yellow envelope. In homeopathy the number of pills is immaterial (although you should take at least 3-5 pills at a time just to make sure you get enough of the medicine), it’s indeed the potency that counts. The potency is expressed in either “C” or “M” units. I typically prescribe the higher potencies, 200C or 1M, which are not available over-the-counter, and should not be taken too frequently. Ideally, one dose per month is typically sufficient for most people. The subject of dosing homeopathic remedies is not straightforward. However, for simplification purposes, most patients need to take a dose of their “constitutional” homeopathic remedy when the effect of the previous dose has worn off by at least 50%.

Protecting Yourself in a Chemically Driven World

By editor - Posted on 02 September 2013

Dear patients,

The following blog is extracted from an article by Dr. Mercola titled "The Chemicals Behind the Shrinking of Boy's Genitals". I encourage you to educate yourself on the subject of environmental toxicity and its impact on your health and the health of your loved ones. There are a variety of resources on my website on this subject for your education. As a rule, I highly recommend a seasonal cleanse/detoxification program for everyone, regardless of one's health status.

Here are Dr. Mercola's suggestions on how to protect yourself in a chemically driven world:

"No one knows what health consequences to this toxic chemical cocktail will cause to an adult, let alone a developing baby. Unfortunately, it is our future generations, and possibly the species as a whole, who will likely pay the heftiest price for this lack of safety concern, as an embryo and fetus develop at a much faster rate than adults.

While this development occurs, cell division and growth is rapid -- and these rapid changes provide many opportunities for mistakes to occur. It’s clear that boys appear to be at particular risk but, really, no one is safe. I encourage everyone with children or grandchildren to review Theo Colburn's Our Stolen Future, which is one of the BEST resources on this topic. Further, while you make the switch to remove and reduce chemicals around your home, remember that one of the ways to significantly reduce your toxic load is to pay careful attention to what you eat.

Organically-grown, biodynamic whole foods are really the key to success here, and, as an added bonus, when you eat right, you're also optimizing your body's natural detoxification system, which can help eliminate toxins your body encounters from other sources. Rather than compile an endless list of what you should avoid, it's far easier to focus on what you should do to lead a healthy lifestyle with as minimal a chemical exposure as possible:

1.As much as possible, buy and eat organic produce and organic free-range foods to reduce your exposure to pesticides and fertilizers.

2.Rather than eating conventional or farm-raised fish, which are often heavily contaminated with PCBs and mercury, supplement with a high-quality purified krill oil, or eat fish that is wild-caught and lab tested for purity.

3.Eat mostly raw, fresh foods, steering clear of processed, prepackaged foods of all kinds. This way you automatically avoid artificial food additives, including dangerous artificial sweeteners, food coloring and MSG.

4.Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap and canned foods (which are often lined with BPA-containing liners).

5.Have your tap water tested and, if contaminants are found, install an appropriate water filter on all your faucets (even those in your shower or bath).

6.Only use natural cleaning products in your home.

7.Switch over to natural brands of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics. The Environmental Working Group has a great database7 to help you find personal care products that are free of phthalates and other potentially dangerous chemicals. I also offer one of the highest quality organic skin care lines, shampoo and conditioner, and body butter that are completely natural and safe.

8.Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners or other synthetic fragrances.

9.Replace your non-stick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware.

10.When redoing your home, look for "green," toxin-free alternatives in lieu of regular paint and vinyl floor coverings.

11.Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric, or install a glass shower door. Most all flexible plastics, like shower curtains, contain dangerous plasticizers like phthalates.

12.Limit your use of drugs (prescription and over-the-counter) as much as possible. Drugs are chemicals too, and they will leave residues and accumulate in your body over time.

13.Avoid spraying pesticides around your home or insect repellants that contain DEET on your body. There are safe, effective and natural alternatives out there."

Healing Skin Conditions Without Pharmaceutical Drugs/Creams

By editor - Posted on 10 July 2013

By far the majority of skin conditions are caused by either poor diet and/or poor internal organ health. The main exceptions are skin conditions that are caused by direct contact to irritating substances (such as poison ivy), hazardous substances (such as various industrial chemicals), infectious agents (such as fungi), too much heat (causing skin burns), or even too much sunlight. In other words, unless your skin is exposed to some agent that damages it directly, you should not be developing a rash or a lesion.

The effect of diet on skin health is of paramount importance. Not drinking sufficient amounts of water on a daily basis, eating foods that negatively impact our health (i.e. allergenic foods, processed or junk foods, and genetically modified foods), overeating, not eating sufficient amounts of healthy foods (including vegetables and fruits), eating hastily, drinking too much liquid with meals (which can disturb digestion by diluting the digestive juices in our stomach), consuming excessive amounts of unhealthy drinks such as alcohol, soda pop, or coffee can all be detrimental to our skin health. Put differently, we don't develop a skin rash due to cortisone cream deficiency! However, we might develop a rash due to deficiency of a nutrient(s) which could have been brought on by either a poor diet and/or poor digestion.

Even though there are pharmaceutical creams and drugs that can alleviate various skin conditions, such unnatural therapies are hardly ever curative in nature. In other words, you often become dependent on the use of such therapies indefinitely, and the rash returns soon after you stop using them.

To truly cure a skin condition, patients often need to make some dietary changes (for example eliminating one or a few food allergens or drinking more water) and/or take up a naturopathic detoxification/cleansing program to optimize the function of the main internal organs, namely, liver, intestines, and kidneys.

It’s noteworthy that some patients are told that their rash (namely acne) is caused by hormonal imbalance, and are put on birth control pills. Even if that may be true, the real cause of hormonal imbalances can still be found in the person’s poor diet and/or poor internal organ health, most specifically their liver.

There is yet one more aspect to healing skin conditions. There are often times when the patient’s deep and inherent “tendency to develop skin problems” needs to be directly addressed using homeopathic remedies. We all have a different make up which in homeopathy is called ”constitution”. Some constitutions are more prone to various skin conditions. For example, the Nat mur (Natrum muriaticum) constitution is more prone to dry skin conditions such as eczema. Or, the Thuja constitution is more prone to warts. Yet, individuals with the homeopathic Pulsatilla constitution often tend to suffer from a dry mouth. To address these deep tendencies, patients will need to take their “constitutional” homeopathic remedy which can be identified by a skilled homeopath. In many cases, I find that homeopathy is the single most effective therapy in treating skin conditions. In other words, even if patients make the required dietary changes and go through a comprehensive detoxification program, they might still suffer from skin conditions UNLESS they use homeopathic remedies.

At Whole Health Clinic, we specialize in homeopathy, naturopathic detoxification (i.e. organ health optimization) as well as food allergy testing and nutritional counseling. Using the above therapies/approaches, satisfactory results can be achieved in treating nearly all skin conditions including acne, eczema, psoriasis, warts, and various other rashes that are not diagnosable by dermatologists. It’s noteworthy that rashes that are often difficult to diagnose and/or treat by conventional pharmaceutical treatments are often the easiest to treat by natural therapies.

An Update on Treatment of Acute Illnesses such as the Flu, Cough, Sinusitis, and vertigo

By editor - Posted on 13 March 2013

Note: The following information is not meant to replace medical advice from a homeopathic practitioner, and is meant to be educational only.

This year I have found that what I used to consider a person’s “constitutional” homeopathic remedy does NOT appear to treat the person’s acute conditions (such as the flu, cough, sinusitis, vertigo, etc.) as effectively as it did in the past. Fortunately, instead, I have used the remedies that are commonly considered “acute” remedies such as Baptisia, Belladonna, Bryonia, Drosera, Gelsemium, Hepar Sulph, and Mercurius with much success. Clearly, these acute conditions are displacing people from their usual constitution/state into new ones, the ones that are often considered “acute” constitutions/states. Once patients are relieved of their acute illnesses (the flu, cough, sinusitis, vertigo, etc.), they seem to shift back into their usual “constitution”, whatever that may be. Although I have seen cases where the patient did not shift back into her usual constitution and needed a re-dose of the new remedy for her acute constitution before she was able to shift back into her usual constitution.

Recently I seem to be witnessing a sort of epidemic of sinusitis in my practice here in Kent, Washington. Just today, I treated 3 cases of sinusitis that had been going on for different lengths of time, one for a week, one for two weeks, and one for over a month. I have had much success treating acute sinusitis cases with Hepar sulph 200C, over the last month. Patients with various typical constitutions of Calc carb, Nat mur, or Phosphorus are finding themselves in a Hepar sulph state. The remedy helped every single one of them within 5-10 minutes, nearly complete recovery in less than an hour. It’s noteworthy that these same patients had already tried their previous constitutional remedy (Calc carb, Nat mur and Phosphorus) without significant improvements with their sinusitis symptoms, although some other symptoms had indeed improved. All of these patients were very content with Hepar sulph 200C within minutes, however. (Note: Key symptoms of Hepar sulph were present in all these cases: On a mental/emotional level, irritable and moody, angry in some cases and acting out in an angry way (out of character for many of these patients), chilly (or chillier than usual if already a chilly person), swollen submandibular and/or cervical lymph nodes, stitching or splinter-like pains somewhere in the body (in the head, sinuses, or anywhere else totally unrelated to the head/sinuses), ear symptoms, sore throat, and cough. Not all of the above symptoms must be present for the person to be able to benefit from Hepar sulph, but the majority of my sinusitis patients so far this year have demonstrated most of these symptoms. It’s interesting that the above symptoms are typically NOT associated with most patients’ usual constitutions, namely Calc carb, Nat mur or Phosphorus.)

I have also been seeing a large number of cough cases, and used the various “acute” remedies listed above with rather impressive results. For example, severe relentless cough that had lasted a few weeks ended within 1-2 hours in several cases with Drosera 200C. (Note: Key symptoms of the constitution Drosera were present in all these cases: Violent paroxysm of coughing, worse at nights, particularly worse upon lying at night, either vomiting from coughing or feeling as if they could, and dry throat.)

Regarding vertigo, I would like to point out that we seem to have had an epidemic of vertigo (which appears to be getting progressively worse) over the last year or so. Homeopathic remedies are probably one of the most effective methods of treating vertigo. Although, sadly, I have seen cases that are rather challenging to treat even using homeopathic remedies.

However, that being said, sometimes a person’s own usual good old constitution seems to fit the symptoms of the acute illness rather well. For instance I had a cough case last week which after much deliberation, I decided that her own usual constitution/state, Sepia, had indeed not changed into a new one (as a result of the stress from the acute condition). She was still in a Sepia state. The remedy helped her severe cough that had been going on for nearly two weeks within hours. Coincidentally, the next day she developed a rash on her chest, what is referred to as a “healing reaction”, totally desirable, homeopathically speaking.

In summary, if you are ill with an acute illness this season, it’s quite likely you may need a homeopathic remedy different from your usual one. To find out what the correct remedy may be at this time, I would have to investigate each case, one by one.

In health,

Dr. Sharif