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How Not To Contract Flu and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection




Vision of a Physician

Vision of a physician lies in that he prevents himself, his dependents and patients from falling sick. His knowledge in prophylaxis, vis-à-vis his environment and socio-economic situation, should be vast and unrivalled.  He should save, with his foresight, himself and all the concerned from falling sick. Prescribing medicines for a developed disease or disorder is a small part (albeit a very essential and vital one) of his total role as a physician (which means: ‘a provider of health with vision of Nature). He imparts knowledge as to how to remain healthy and ward off diseases, and save himself, and all the concerned, from the inclemency of elements and weather. A physician is first a physician then a homeopath, an allopath, a vade or a hakeem. Being a physician is a mindset,with an inborn proclivity thereto. The selection of the therapeutic field is subservient and subsequent to it.


Temperament Can Protect An Individual

It is a common place observation that, during an invasive epidemic, many people escape the disease, in spite of being equally exposed to the effluvia of the raging miasm. What keeps them safe? Something in the individual himself, that does not match, or, rather, stand contrary to the infective influence. You may call it temperament.We have seen that when temperament is unmatching, a person can eat and sleep with a tubercular patient, and never get the disease.


Similarly, in an epidemic of ‘flu, of any modern denomination, or of yore, many members of a family completely escape, without any scathing influence, while others suffer intensely. What keeps or lets them escape unhurt is the dissimilarity in their constitution. Whatever you may call it, I name it as temperament. I know that many eyebrows might have been raised on this, calling it an antediluvianidea of the dead past.


But TEMPERAMENT is a fact. Every person has his own temperament. Every disease has its temperament, and every medicine has its peculiar temperament. And the whole business of curative therapeutics depends on ‘philic’ and ‘phobic’adjustment of temperaments of diseases and medicines.


Discussing Humours

Elements of nature express and flow in the garb of temperament. There is hot weather, cold weather, wet weather and dry weather. Expression and transition of weathers is always in compound humours, no single humour ever exists; i.e. a weather is not dry only, it is either cold-dry or warm-dry. Similarly, it is either cold-wet or warm-wet. Another natural fact is that transition is smooth by change of one factor at a time. That is, transition is not from cold-dry to warm-wet (i.e. opposite of both factors: warm for cold and wet for dry). Transition is from cold-dry to cold-wet, not to warm-wet, similarly warm-wet to warm-dry weather.


Keeping Oneself Warm

Now we come to our topic, which is about: cold, coryza, flue, rhinitis (also pharyngitis, laryngitis, and tonsillitis, etc.). Etymologically we find that cold and coryza has something to do with cold; that is, caused by cold.  So, logically we have to prevent it or cure it by opposing the cold with the warmth. To translate this edict into practice we have to go in some details. It is clear that to save oneself from cold, one has to keep oneself warm. That brings us to the age-old theory of humours.

What Does Nature Do?

The cold, coryza or flue is a cold-wet disease. This will upset the people who have the same constitutional humour: the Hydrogenoid of Grauvogl or the Phlegmatic of the Greeks. The allopathic treatment consists in drying up the secretions by cold-dry regimen or dispensation. That will certainly do the magic. That will arrest the flow; and it is in accordance with the humour theory. We practically find that foods of cold-dry nature, such as citrus fruits and lemon and orange juices help coryza. But this is counter to the drift of nature. We see in nature that cold-dry weather resolves into cold-wet weather, and cold-wet resolves in warm-wet. After a spell of intense dry-cold (that is, dry winter), rains set in, which change the weather to wet winter. And the cold-wet slowly, imperceptibly, with the revolution of the earth, transmutes itself into warm-wet (that is spring). Moderately warm and moderately cold is the humour of the spring breeze, that coax the elements and the earth to bring forth new plants with new leaves, buds and variegated flora, which fills the environ with beauty, rejuvenation and sweet scents. [Our mystic poet, Ghalib, says: the garden with nascent greenery, the sprouting buds and bewitching flowers is the personification of the invisible spring breeze.] The spring resolves into more and more warmth and less and less wet, ultimately we find summer (warm-dry weather) setting in. That is the cycle of nature.


Working With The Laws of Health

Whosoever goes with nature, goes with the laws of health. So the foods for cold and coryza, to be more effective, should be warm-wet. And these foods are not sour. They consist of fresh dates, dry dates, fresh or dry figs, nuts of various kinds (such as almond, walnut, cashew nut, pistachio, but not peanuts). The kitchen foods should include onions, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and ginger tea and many other warm herbal teas sweetened with honey. The best beverage, that is anti-phlegmatic, is cinnamon tea with a table-spoon of honey. People taking these foods or recipes, will fearlessly walk through the pandemic country-sides. Why? Because these people have so changed their humour that is now fully anti-phlegmatic; or better say complementary to phlegmatic or cold-wet.

Antipathy Produces Suppression

Let me enlarge a bit on the difference of ‘anti’ and ‘complementary’ terms. ‘Anti’ food or drug will wipe away the humour to which they are anti; but that will be a drastic action and unnatural one, because nature moves through transition, not in opposition or counter-action; and changes one part of the compound humour at a time. So, medically speaking, the ‘anti’ prescription leads to suppression of the disease, not to the resolutionof the disease. And that is not a wise step therapeutically.

This suppressive action can be taken as permissible if the flue has taken place because of late or recent indulgence, of an individual, in phlegmatic foods and activities, but the basic dyscrasia of the individual is not hydrogenoid. Such a person will feel at once relieved from all sufferings by these ‘anti’ foods and drinks. But the ‘flu of a person who is basically and temperamentally phlegmatic and hydrogenoid, the case would not be that simple. He will suffer drastically by this cold-dry prescription of foods. In such constitutions the invading similar acute miasm does not remain superficial, but gets at once wedded with the deeper undercurrents. Here suppressive measures make him more sick and moribund. He will say ‘I’m better in coryza, but not well myself’.


Learning The Best Approach

When an acute disease, similar to the predominant humour of the individual, attacks him, it acts as a homeopathic (but as a bio-nosodic, or morbific) agent which stirs up all the forces of the constitution. This is an occasion when the homeopathic medicine will act as a double-edged sword: fighting the new invading disease, and rectifying the thus activated underlying miasm, in one go. This will bring more order to the constitution. Here, we require, as nutrition, those foods that will help the constitution to unburden itself, by throwing out all the foul effluvia, and, at the same time, supplying the required vigour to the constitution of the individual. In the concrete situation of  our topic, the disease of cold-wet humour (coryza, for example) attacking the cold-wet constitution, theoretically and legitimately can be countered by prescribing cold-dry foods, as we have mentioned above, by giving acid foods, such as, for example, citrus fruits and juices. But in this case this will wreak havoc, because all the deep recesses of the miasmatic proliferation have already been stirred up, by the invading similar disease. By giving cold-dry foods we can arrest the fluent discharge of coryza only, but not the commotion that have been given to the underlying effluvia of old and stinking catarrh. This catarrh will come to an abrupt halt; leaving the patient with severe pain in frontal sinuses and maddening catarrhal headache. To help discharge these foul effluvia we require strong warm-wet foods, and other agents, (as have been detailed above) that would keep the discharge flowing, and, at the same time, provide the required warmth of the warm foods to help in maximum exudation and clean-up, without, thereby, feeling any exhaustion and weakness.


The Knowledgeable Physician

A physician should be well conversant with the scientific knowledge of temperament and constitutions, and the rules of diet and food prescription, according to these differences of temperament and character of the disease and the individual. Owing to this lack of knowledge one finds medical practitioners committing blatant mistakes. For this reason their whole activity remains counter productive. One finds that what they are doing, so to speak, with their right hand (by choosing the right remedy), they are undoing the same with their left hand (by advising ill-thought of food regimen).  So,

Physician, be thy own critic, and leave no stone unturned in polishing thyself!

Usmani Resource Page

Copyright 2011/All rights reserved © Dr Usmani
Contact author for permission to use

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Comment by Dr. Satish Kumar Rana on April 11, 2011 at 2:08am

Dr Usmani, your article is indeed fine.

But what Dr. Waquar has said is also 100% right.

"Prevention is better than cure".

Practising precautionary measures,including clothing and use of proper diet etc. one can avoid the load of herbal drugs on one's system too.

These herbs, as is advertised widely and wildly, are not as mild as preached. Being massive in doses they act through their primary actions and who will bear the secondary one?

Comment by Dr. Wequar Ali Khan on April 10, 2011 at 10:06am

Dr Usmani, your article is indeed mind tickling; But;

"Very nice article; may not go down the throats of many a scholars." as Dr Satish sees it also.


What i understand in a nutshell is that what you term as "temperament" is the body's capacity to resist disease,or what is normally associated with ones "immune system".A positive attitude in mental set up can also play a good part in it.


By understanding the reaction to seasonal changes which brings about "cold,coryza, flu etc" one should take

precautionary measures,including clothing, and use of proper diet , and  herbs as you have indicated.

This is my understanding, correct me if i am off the track.


Comment by Dr Rajneesh Kumar Sharma MD(Hom) on February 20, 2011 at 10:33pm
Very good article....
Comment by Dr. Satish Kumar Rana on February 19, 2011 at 7:57am
Very nice article; may not go down the throats of many a scholars.
Comment by Dr. Robert Bruck on February 17, 2011 at 8:52am
Very interesting article!!!

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