Oscillococcinum - What is it & How to use

Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic product. Homeopathy is a system of medicine established in the 19th century by a German physician named Samuel Hahnemann. Its basic principles are that “like treats like” and “potentiation through dilution.” For example, in homeopathy, influenza would be treated with an extreme dilution of a substance that normally causes influenza when taken in high doses.
A French physician discovered oscillococcinum while investigating the Spanish flu in 1917. But he was mistaken that his “oscillococci” were the cause of the flu.

Practitioners of homeopathy believe that more dilute preparations are more potent. Many homeopathic preparations are so diluted that they contain little or no active ingredient. Therefore, most homeopathic products are not expected to act like drugs, or have drug interactions or other harmful effects. Any beneficial effects are controversial and cannot be explained by current scientific methods.

Dilutions of 1 to 10 are designated by an “X.” So a 1X dilution = 1:10 or 1 part of an active ingredient in 10 parts of water; 3X = 1:1000; 6X = 1:1,000,000. Dilutions of 1 to 100 are designated by a “C.” So a 1C dilution = 1:100; 3C = 1:1,000,000. Dilutions of 24X or 12C or more contain zero molecules of the original active ingredient. Oscillococcinum is diluted to 200C.

Effectiveness

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for OSCILLOCOCCINUM are as follows:

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…

  • Flu (influenza). There is no reliable evidence that taking oscillococcinum can prevent the flu. However, in people with flu symptoms, there is some evidence that oscillococcinum might help people get over the flu faster, but only by 6 or 7 hours. This may not be of much importance. The reliability of this finding is also questionable due to flaws in the study design and bias related to the company that makes the product.
  • Common cold.
  • H1N1 (swine) flu.

More evidence is needed to rate oscillococcinum for these uses.

Dose

The appropriate dose of oscillococcinum depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for oscillococcinum. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Safety Concerns

Oscillococcinum seems to be safe for most people. This is a homeopathic preparation. This means that it does not contain any active ingredient. Most experts believe that it will have no beneficial effect and also no negative side effects. However, cases of severe swelling, including swelling of the tongue, and headache have been reported for some people taking oscillococcinum.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: This product has not been studied in women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. However, it is a homeopathic product and contains no measurable amount of active ingredient. Therefore this product is not expected to cause any beneficial or harmful effect.

Interaction with medication

It is not known if this product interacts with any medicines.

Before taking this product, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.