Oscillococcinum, also called Oscillo, is an over the counter treatment for influenza-like symptoms. It is popularly marketed as a homeopathic alternative medicine. As a homeopathic alternative medicine, Oscillococcinum does not ascertain any therapeutic effects. Homeopathic alternative medicines are not bounded by scientific evidences and are thought to be rationalized by local tradition and culture. However, there are a number of people who claim to have decreased clinical course of influenza after taking in oscillococcinum. Since it is chemically prepared, it is unavoidable to experience oscillococcinum side effects. What are these?
Boiron, a French Company, is the sole manufacturer of oscillococcinum. This medicine is popularly used in France and has been in the production for about 65 years already. The preparation came from the duck liver and heart (where homeopaths believed to be reservoirs of the influenza virus) and then diluted 200 times. The first mixture contains 1% of the extract and then 1% of the first extract is added on the second mixture until the 200th mixture is achieved. The preparation is so diluted that in the 200th mixture, there is no molecule left coming from the duck extract.
The word oscillococcinum was coined by a French Physician Joseph Roy in 1925 during the Spanish Flu epidemic. Roy saw an oscillating bacterium in the blood extract of flu victims thus named it Ocillococcus. He believed that the bacteria is also present in the blood of patients with viral diseases such as chicken pox, herpes and shingles. Roy created a vaccine like therapy but was ineffective.
When purchasing oscillococcinum in your favorite pharmacy or health shops, you will find that it comes in several tubes which contain small white pellets. The pellets are allowed to dissolve in the tongue and have a taste sweet. The sweet taste is derived from its sugar component. The manufacturer advices its consumers to take one tube at the first sign of illness in order to hinder the development of the flu.
There are manufacturers of oscillococcinum that lists “no side effects” on their package. Studies regarding alternative medicines have shown that about 3% of those who take in such kind of drug experiences side effects. The side effects of oscillococcinum were not severe because of the over diluted preparation. Some of the side effects that were reported with the use of oscillococcinum are dizziness, fatigue, stomach upset and even worsening of the flu symptoms.
Oscillococcinum contains sugar thus not appropriate for diabetic patients. When experiencing any symptoms of flu or any disease, it is best to consult your physician. Do not self medicate as this could post health damages on you. Prevention is better than cure. Eat and live healthy so to keep off any invading microorganisms in your body.