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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,

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