What Is Oscillococcinum and Does It Work?

While walking through your local pharmacy or health food store, you might have come across a box of Boiron’s Oscillococcinum. If you were puzzled by the unusual name (it’s pronounced o-sill-o-cox-see-num), you’re not alone.

So what is Oscillococcinum exactly and does it really work? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Oscillococcinum?

Oscillococcinum is one of the most popular over-the-counter homeopathic flu remedies in the natural products industry.

To better explain what Oscillococcinum is, we must first give you a brief description of homeopathic remedies. Homeopathic remedies are made from a variety of substances including plants, herbs, minerals, and animal products. These medicines are made and prescribed based on the laws and principals established by Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician often referred to as the “Father of Homeopathic Medicine.”

The first principal is that “like cures like,” meaning that if a substance can produce symptoms in a healthy individual, it may be used to alleviate those symptoms in an individual suffering from disease.

The second principal is the fact that homeopathic remedies are prepared through dilutions or potentization. Through a process of serial dilutions, a very exact extract of the substance is made.

In this instance, Oscillococcinum is made from the original substance known as Anas barbariae. This is a specific extract of wild ducks heart and liver, which may be reservoirs of and vectors of the influenza virus (1).

Oscillococcinum Benefits

So why has this product become so popular during cold and flu seasons?

One study out of Italy found that the active ingredients in Oscillococcinum have preventive effects on the onset of respiratory tract infections as well as improving the health status of individuals who suffer from respiratory disease (2).

Another recent study showed that 63 percent of the patients who took Oscillococcinum at the onset of flu-like symptoms showed “clear improvement” or complete resolution of their symptoms after 48 hours versus only 48 percent with a placebo (3).

Some individuals choose to use Oscillococcinum in the prevention of influenza infection, but there is not as much supporting evidence. Overall, there is still more research that needs to be done to verify the complete effectiveness of Oscillococcinum in flu treatment.

How to Take Oscillococcinum

Homeopathic medicines are often formulated as sugar pellets that are placed under the tongue and allowed to be absorbed by the body. These “pellets” are usually a combination of sucrose and lactose. Other preparations of homeopathic remedies do exist, but Oscillococcinum only comes in pellet form.

Oscillococcinum should be taken at the first sign of flu-like symptoms, fever, chills, headache, body aches, or feeling run-down. The recommended dosage for children over the age of 2 and adults is to dissolve the entire contents of one tube in the mouth every six hours, up to three times per day.

You should try to avoid touching the actual pellets as best as possible to not contaminate them with the oils found on your hands, as this may hinder some of the absorption. Lastly, it’s advised that you don’t eat or drink 15 minute prior to or after taking the homeopathic remedy.

Oscillococcinum Side Effects

Because homeopathic remedies use diluted substances as their active ingredients, side effects tend to be less common than you would find with prescription medications. Oscillococcinum won’t cause drowsiness, which is another benefit over the aforementioned prescription medications.

Although side effects are not common, and it’s generally considered safe, some side effects have been reported. This includes headaches, itching, and myalgia (muscle pain). Some people have reported swelling as side effect.

As mentioned previously, the pellets that are used for homeopathic preparations often contain lactose. If you have lactose intolerance, Oscillococcinum shouldn’t be a problem in micro amounts, but you might still consider speaking with your health care provider before trying it.

Where to Buy Oscillococcinum

Boiron is the only supplier of Oscillococcinum. It’s available over-the-counter in boxes of six, 12, or 30 doses.

You can get Oscillococcinum right here at LuckyVitamin, where we hand-pick natural products we believe in. Here’s what LuckyVitamin customers are saying in Oscillococcinum reviews:

“This is the best product ever. Providing I catch my pre-cold/flu symptoms right away, I can 9 times out of 10 discourage the virus from entering my body with this outstanding homeopathic remedy.” – Hope, Washburn, WI

“I have used this product when I have experienced flu-like symptoms and it really works! The first time I experienced those symptoms I was on the train to NYC. I found this product in a pharmacy and to my amazement the symptoms stopped. Years later I needed it again and I experienced the same results. This product is a winner.” – Denise, Albany, NY

“Keep this in the medicine cabinet so you can take it at the first sign of flu. I’ve been able to ward off colds and flu for many years with this homeopathic remedy.” – Stephanie, Apple Valley, MN

Will you be adding Oscillococcinum to your medicine cabinet? Let us know in the comments!


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