As I write this on a cold, wet, blustery April day it is still hard to imagine the full onslaught of hay fever symptoms that pollens and grasses will bring. However if I believe the weather forecast and look out at the hedgerows coming into leaf and the blossom emerging on the trees I know, for some, itching eyes, blocked noses and sneezing are on the way if you are an unfortunate enough to suffer from the disease.
Hay fever is an allergic condition of the mucus membranes particularly the eyes, nose and air passages that typically strikes during Spring, Summer and Autumn. When you come into contact with an allergen – pollens from grasses, trees, flowers for example – your immune system interprets these as allergens (harmful to your body) and responds by producing large amounts of histamine which triggers a ‘protective’ inflammatory response in the form of hay fever symptoms.
Typical symptoms include: headache, inflammation of the eyes, nose and throat; difficulty breathing with either dryness or production of mucus ranging in colour from clear to yellow/green in varying consistencies. There can be light sensitivity, sneezing, coughing, tiredness and itching of the face, skin, nose, lips and palate. Mucus can range from bland and non-irritating to feeling hot and burning which can leave the skin irritated and sore. Symptoms can range from mild to severely debilitating and very intense.
You may experience hay fever from certain “triggers” – for example a specific tree or grass pollen or ALL pollens. In addition, you may be suffering with “allergic rhinitis” – this includes symptoms which may not be seasonal but on going. Allergy triggers could be house dust, feathers, pet dander or pesticides.
Hay fever and homeopathy
From a homeopathic point of view hay fever is an indication of a highly sensitised immune system. If you suffer from hay fever your immune system is on high alert and when it encounters particular allergens it triggers an allergic response. This sensitivity is permanent, even when you are not experiencing symptoms, i.e. not encountering any of your triggers.
If you have chronic hay fever, you have had it all your life, or developed it as an adult and you are considering homeopathic treatment the best thing is to seek constitutional treatment from a qualified homeopath during the Winter months. This type of treatment addresses the underlying reasons for your hay fever and can strengthen your resistance to pollen and other allergens. It can help clear the disease from your system but it can take several seasons of treatment, when you will notice a lessening of symptoms each year.
If you or your child are suffering with hay fever it may also mean you are living with other signs of a sensitised immune system. Eczema, asthma and food sensitivities are all your body’s way of expressing the same sensitivity. Homeopathy can also help treat these related conditions.
Homeopathic remedies for the hay fever season
Below you will find some of the most commonly used remedies to help ease the “active or in-season” symptoms of hay fever or on going allergic rhinitis. These remedies are a gentle and effective way to treat your symptoms.
Here are some remedies to try:
Allium Cepa: streaming nose and eyes with a headache; red, stinging eyes; itching and swelling eyelids; intense, frequent sneezing and sometimes a blocked nose; dry, tickling nose and throat; sore lips and nostrils; worse in a warm room; better in open air and cool room.
Arsenicum Album: congested airways/mouth breathing; violent and painful sneezing with watery burning discharge/blocked nose; red lips and nose; dull throbbing headache; photophobia; asthmatic breathing; restless, anxious, worse at night (12-2am).
Euphrasia: profuse hot/burning yellow discharge from eyes, which can be swollen and red; or a bland runny discharge from nose; catarrhal headache; asthmatic breathing; cough better for lying down; worse in the sun, evening; better in cool, open air, bathing. Can be used as an eye wash.
Gelsemium: tired and droopy with a flushed and heavy-feeling face; dry swollen or watery nose; frequent sneezing; aching in the back of the head and neck; a trembling feeling with chills along the spine
Natrum Muriaticum: sore, burning, streaming eyes; constant egg-white type mucus from the nose, with a feeling of obstruction; loss of taste and smell; copius sneezing; cold sores; worse in open air and wind.
Nux Vomica: long bouts of sneezing, worse first thing in the morning; nose stuffed up during the night and runny throughout the day; itching of the eyes, larynx and trachea; irritable; sensitive to light and the smell of flowers.
Pulsatilla: fluent yellow bland watery discharge from nose and eyes; intense itchy, watery eyes, better for cold applications; eyes feel sandy/gritty; wheezing and coughing worse for lying down; runny nose in morning, blocked at night; itching palate; thirstless; better for cold applications to the face.
Sabadilla: Eyes and nose feel hot and look red; lots of sneezing (especially) near flowers with prickly itching of the nose and pallet; copious watery discharge from nose and eyes; severe frontal headache; dry mouth; chilly and sensitive to cool air; great sensitivity to odours and surroundings.
Wyethia: intolerable itching on the roof of the mouth and at the root of the nose sometimes extending into the throat and ears; dry feeling in head but with runny nose; dry, burning, swollen feeling throat.
How to take your remedy
Use a 6c, 12c or 30c potency
Take 1 dose (1 pill) and observe the symptoms. You can take up to 4 times per day. Stop taking the remedy as the symptoms start to improve.
If the symptoms are very intense and come up quickly take 1 dose and repeat hourly until symptoms start to improve.
If symptoms do not start to improve in 3-4 hours assess the symptoms and look for a new remedy.
If you are unsure between 2 remedies alternate these remedies and assess symptom progress.
The remedies above you can try yourself but I am also happy to chat about your particular hay fever symptoms and talk further about homeopathy in general.
Please call on 07180 464527 or email at email@example.com.