see also Pneumonia in Children
Inflammation of the lungs, usually caused by same viruses which cause Colds and Influenza, or by Pneumococcus bacteria; other causes may be inhaled liquids or poisonous gases such as chlorine. May be mild if state of health is good, or life-threatening if person is very young or very old, immobilised or inactive, an alcoholic, or already suffering from some form of respiratory, heart, or kidney disease; people taking immuno-suppressive or anti-inflammatory drugs on a long-term basis are also likely to be very ill. If only one lobe of lung is involved, condition is known as lobar pneumonia, in bronchopneumonia, there is patchy inflammation of one or both lungs; double pneumonia simply means that both lungs are affected. Complications can include Pleurisy, empyema, and abscess on the lung.
Symptoms usually onset within hours, but vary with virulence of microbe responsible; person may suffer from breathlessness, even when resting, develop a Fever and a Cough, and feel sweaty and chilly by turns; if there is also blood in sputum or chest pain, or if lips become bluish, consult your doctor if there is not improvement in 2 hours.
Most serious form of pneumonia is viral pneumonia, caused by influenza virus, against which antibiotics are ineffectual, although they may prevent secondary infection; bacterial (especially staphylococcal) pneumonia is treatable with antibiotics.
The homeopathic remedies listed below should only be used in mild cases of viral pneumonia or if, for some reason, antibiotics are contra-indicated; if there is no response within 24 hours, see your medical doctor. Constitutional homeopathic treatment is recommended during and after recovery to boost resistance to infection.
Specific remedies to be given every 2 hours for up to 10 doses
- Sudden onset, especially if weather is cold and dry, chest pains, fever, anxiety, fear of dying Aconite 30c
- Cough, rust-coloured sputum, person feels weak, trembly, and nervous, numb extremities, symptoms get worse lying on left side Phosphorus 30c
- Sharp chest pains made worse by slightest movement but alleviated by lying on affected side Bryonia 30c
- Right lung affected, deep breathing causes pain which extends into right shoulder blade, exhausting, staccato cough, breathlessness, person already has a liver complaint Chelidonium 30c
- Pneumonia which follows on from flu, right lung affected, phlegm rust-coloured but difficult to bring up, tickly cough that seems to come from centre of chest, shortness of breath, symptoms relieved by lying on back although person has compulsion to sit up Sanguinaria 30c
Self-help: Take extra Vitamin C and rest in bed, sitting up if possible. Dry air exacerbates pneumonia, so humidify.