If you’re like most, your life is so busy that you don’t have time to get sick – especially during cold and flu season. The next time you feel the onset of symptoms of the flu, consider a homeopathic remedy called Oscillococcinum.  Read on for a brief overview about a form of alternative medicine known as homeopathy and about Oscillococcinum, which many people use to fight cold and flu symptoms.  Lastly, I’ll share my story on how this remedy has become part of my arsenal for promoting wellness.

About Homeopathy

Homeopathy is one of the fastest growing forms of alternative medicine in North America [2474]. Homeopathic remedies use micro-doses of mineral, plant and animal substances to trigger your body’s immune response and treat many health conditions. Such medicines are widely considered safe and effective, with no side effects.

Some criticize homeopathy as a pseudo-science given its unconventional approach to healing. Yet, as an alternative form of healing, it has endured for more than 200 years and has garnered positive reviews by patients who have experienced its effectiveness time and again.

Some homeopathic remedies are available at drug stores and health food stores. Those wishing to pursue homeopathic treatment can also consult a homeopath, homeopathic doctor or naturopathic doctor – all of whom have extensive training in the field. 

About Oscillococcinum

Oscillococcinum (pronounced os-SILL-low-cox-see-num) is a homeopathic remedy aimed at temporarily relieving flu-like symptoms including headaches, chills, body aches, fatigue, and fever.  Despite some skepticism about its efficacy, Oscillococcinum is extensively used in Europe (especially in France) and is gaining a foothold in the U.S.

Oscillococcinum pelletsCredit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DoseOscillococcinum.jpg

The company Boiron manufactures Oscillococcinum under pharmaceutical grade standards. The active ingredient is Anas barbariae hepatis et cordis extractum 200CK HPUS.  HPUS is the acronym for Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States.  Some people find the active ingredient (micro derivative of the Muscovy Duck) to be off-putting.  The inactive ingredients are less bothersome -- sucrose and lactose (sugar).  

You can buy this homeopathic remedy in tiny vials in packs of 6, 12, 18 or 30. Each vial contains a single dose, which consists of tiny white sugar pellets with an extremely diluted version of the active ingredient. There is neither a smell nor taste (other than mild sweetness from the sugar pellets).

Where to Buy

Oscillococcinum is sold over the counter and costs about $2 per vial.  You can buy it a drug store or health food store in your area, but you’ll find the best deals online at Amazon even with shipping charges.

Personal Experience

My naturopathic physician introduced me to this homeopathic remedy when I was feeling under the weather.  I immediately take a dose when I feel like I’m coming down with a cold.  I continue with a dose (one vial) every 6 hours for 24 hours.  Here’s what I’ve experienced and why I like this approach for relieving my cold and flu symptoms.

A Focus on Prevention
It is a preventive measure. Rather than allowing my symptoms to progress into a full-blown cold, Oscillococcinum helped me to stop symptoms from getting worse.   

Easy to Take
Unlike products like the dietary supplement Airborne, which you have to dissolve in a glass of water and drink, I can just place the tiny Oscillococcinum pellets under my tongue and wait for it to dissolve.  There is no smell or taste other than from the sugar pellets. Unlike zinc lozenges which can have an unpleasant taste, the mild sweet sugar taste is all I experience.  My young daughter will take Oscillococcinum without complaint.  

Oscillococcinum vials(86636)

Convenient to Carry
vials are also convenient to carry. The vials are very small; I always carry some in my purse.

No Side Effects
I experience no side effects with Oscillococcinum.  Other decongestants make my nose and throat too dry, or give me insomnia. 

Cost Effective
At about $2 a vial, which you must buy in a pack, Oscillococcinum is not a cheap. However, I justify the cost with the time and misery it saves me from preventing symptoms from escalating. Compared to pharmaceutical medications, Oscillococcinum is comparable in price.

Easy to Integrate with a Wellness Plan

I don’t eschew western medicine. I see my regular physician, and I take pain relievers and decongestants when necessary.  But I see Oscillococcinum as one of the important first steps – along with getting adequate rest and eating well -- in staying healthy.   

Summary Boiron Homeopathic Medicine Oscillococcinum for Flu- Box of 6x 0.04oz Doses (Pack of 2 boxes)Credit: Amazon.com

As a form of alternative medicine, homeopathy is an effective approach to strengthening your body’s defense system and stimulate healing.  Based in my experience, Oscillococcinum has been a star player in the line-up of homeopathic remedies, particularly as everyone has experienced cold or flu symptoms at one time or another. Despite skeptics who question the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies, I recommend Oscillococcinum for cold and flu symptoms because I have experienced its effectiveness firsthand.  Give it a try the next time you feel a cold coming on and you might just stave off uncomfortable symptoms!