Homeopathic Prescriptions For Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)

 

What is hay fever?

It is an allergy to pollen which causes inflammation of the nose and the eyes resulting in symptoms of sneezing, running or blocked nose and watering eyes.  Conventionally it is treated with antihistamines.  People usually seek homeopathic treatment when antihistamines have caused unwanted side effects or because they would like to see a more long term resolution to the problem.

How can I help myself with homeopathy during the hay fever season?

There are two ways of approaching hay fever homeopathically.  The first involves visiting a homeopath in order to receive constitutional treatment i.e. using a prescription which covers the tendency/susceptibility to get hay fever and which also covers other conditions the person may suffer from and their general demeanor and character. The second involves looking at the acute symptoms (such as watery eyes etc) and prescribing a homeopathic remedy which fits those symptoms.

Ideally the two approaches need to be combined.  Prescribing the constitutional remedy early in the year i.e. during January to March often reduces the reaction that will occur during the allergy season.  Following this, the use of an acute prescription for the symptoms that remain tends to be more effective.  If you work with a homeopath and receive both of the above approaches your symptoms can be dramatically reduced and very often complete resolution is possible.

The information for prescriptions which you will find below is based on you using the acute remedy.  Remember do not attempt to treat any serious symptoms yourself, always seek professional advice.  If you are under homeopathic treatment already please always consult your practitioner before self prescribing. 

How do I take the remedy?

You would choose from the below remedies the one which best fits your symptoms.  The remedy can be purchased in capsule form from Korres Pharmacy, Eugenia (Tel: 210 722 2774).  Ask for the remedy in the 30CH potency and order 4-6 capsules initially.  The remedy should not be taken within half an hour of eating or drinking.  The contents of the capsules (which are absorbed through the mucous membranes of the mouth) should be tipped onto the tongue and sucked until dissolved.Store the remedy in a cool, dark place away from strong smells such as perfume and menthol and avoid coffee and mint during treatment

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How often do I repeat the homeopathic remedy?

During the period when your symptoms are worse you might need to repeat the remedy up to several times a day.  If your remedy does not appear to be giving you any relief after four doses you need to consider changing the prescription.   

If this fails you need to be aware that either you have not managed to establish the correct prescription or that your body needs a constitutional prescription (which will work more deeply) in which case you are best advised to visit a homeopath who has the expertise to help you more.

Certainly if you have strong symptoms, such as severe itching of the palate or accompanied by asthma this is beyond the help of home prescribing and you should refer to an experienced practitioner.

Some ‘acute’ homeopathic medicines indicated for hayfever

Please remember there are up to 100 possible prescriptions that a homeopath would choose from for hay fever, therefore if you do not have success with your prescription it is preferable then to seek professional help.  These are just a few of the most common that are suitable for home prescribing.     

Arsenicum Album
The nose drips, worse on the right side but feels blocked.  The upper lip can be aggravated from the discharge from the nose.  Pains are burning and drinking hot drinks or using heat helps.

Euphrasia
The eyes are mostly affected with extreme irritation, burning and itching.  There is watery discharge from the nose (which is bland) and sneezing but this is not as bothersome as the inflammation of the eyes.  Eyelids are often stuck together on waking and are also sensitive to light.

Gelsemium
The hayfever symptoms are accompanied by feeling of weakness and drowsiness.
The eyes will feel heavy as if you want to close them.
Strong sneezing in the morning, feeling exhausted with the sneezing (compare to Nux Vomica).

Allium Cepa
The symptoms are the opposite of Euphrasia.  The discharge from the eyes is bland and so consequently the eyes are less affected.  The discharge from the nose is burning and can be profuse.  So severe person may even want to stuff tissue in the nose to stop the discharge.

Nux Vomica
Violent sneezing which may occur in the morning immediately on waking or on rising, even as early as 6am.
The discharge will flow during the morning but nose is blocked at night, feels worse in open air.
   
Pulsatilla
This should be compared to Euphrasia as the eyes will have lot of itching and watering, which will be helped by cold applications.  Pulsatilla usually feel better in open air but for hayfever symptoms they will feel worse outside but better in air conditioned rooms.

 

Sabadilla
Strong attacks of sneezing which are exhausting.  Constant itching and tingling in the nose.  Copious watery nasal discharge and watering eyes which get worse with every sneeze.
Worse in open air and better in warm room and with warm drinks.  (compare Euphrasia for strong aggravation of eyes, compare Arsenicum with amelioration from warm drinks and also compare with Nux Vomica, sneezing on waking).

What is the difference between taking one of the single homeopathic medicines above and a formula or brand that contains a mix of homeopathic remedies for hay fever?

The homeopathic prescriptions which are contained in a mixed formula (containing three or more remedies) are designed that way in the hopes that more of the population will respond to the formula .  However from a mixed formula you would not be responding to all of the remedies contained in it but to only one.  For example if you mixed Euphrasia, Allium Cepa and Pulsatilla from the above then a person that suits one of these remedies would respond.  However if your symptoms suggested that you needed Nux Vomica then you would not respond.

In classical homeopathy we strive for the simillimum, the one prescription that fits the case better than any other.  If you use mixed remedies you will never know which remedy has helped you and you may actually find that if its not suited to you it will do nothing at all.   

What else can I do to help myself during the period?

In addition to homeopathy please find below some suggestions for natural supplements which  are a useful adjunct.  

People often find using a saline douche to clean the nose, followed by coating the inside of the nose with some vaseline helps to trap some of the pollen.  The tincture of euphrasia (eyebright) can also be used to soothe the eyes.  Add two drops of pure tincture to an egg cup of sterile/cooled boiled water and bathe eyes as required, making the solution freshly each time. 

Vitamin C 1000-2000mg, has antihistamine properties, use preferably in timed release formula.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) together with Vitamin C increases its function as an antihistamine.  The B vitamins work best in a combined formula so you might wish to get a B Complex formula which contains pantothenic acid.

Nettle
This can be either taken in capsule form or better still as a tea and is helpful for hay fever.  It also contains Vitamin C, iron, calcium and potassium so is a good general tonic.  Please note should not be used if you suffer from diabetes or blood pressure problems.

Quercetin
It is a dietary flavonoid that is found in tea, wine, cabbage and broccoli. Also known for its antihistamine properties you will often find it already combined with Vitamin C for this purpose.

Zinc is also important for the functioning of the immune system

For herbal supplements, if pregnant, breastfeeding or taking other medication please check for contra indications.

Wishing you a sneeze free Easter and summer period!  Hoping the above information is useful to you.  Please feel free to email with your comments or suggestions or if you would like to be included on a mailing list for when new information becomes available.

Thank you for reading.