Homeopathy and Hayfever

010The thought of sunshine and longer days brings a smile to most faces but for some spring and summer bring Hayfever and a truly uncomfortable time.

Hayfever (Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis) is an inflammatory condition of the mucus membrane lining the nose due to allergy to pollen.  Common symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose, nasal congestion, and itchy, watering eyes.  Being outside can make symptoms worse so instead of enjoying the fresh air suffers may be forced indoors.

Conventional treatment includes the use of oral antihistamine drugs, antihistamine or sodium cromoglicate eye drops, inhaled sodium cromoglicate or corticosteroid drugs.  These may help relieve symptoms for a short period of time but do not stop the symptoms returning year on year.

Homeopathy has much to offer hayfever sufferers as the following studies show:

  • US randomised controlled clinical trial – 40 people diagnosed with moderate to severe hayfever showed symptom improvement over a 4 week period that was above and beyond placebo response.
    (Kim LS, Riedlinger JE, Baldwin CM, Hilli L, Khalsa SV, Messer SA, Waters RF.  Treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis using homeopathic preparation of common allergens in the southwest region of the US: a randomized, controlled clinical trial.  Ann Pharmacother.  2005 Apr; 39, 4:617-24)
  • When compared to patients given a placebo, those given homeopathically prepared doses of 12 common flowers effectively reduced hay fever symptoms.
    (Reilly, D, “Is homeopathy a placebo response? Controlled trial of homeopathic potency, with pollen in hayfever as model,” Lancet, October 18, 1986, ii:881-6)
  • Symptoms improved in two thirds of the homeopathically treated patients suffering from hypersensitivity disorders that included asthma, eczema, hayfever and other allergies. Only one treated conventionally experienced an improvement and most were worse.
    (Lanso L, Kimby CK, Henningsen I Fonnebo V. An exploratory retrospective study of people suffering from
  • Significant improvement of symptoms experienced by those given the substance to which they were allergic, in homeopathic potency compared to what was normally experienced by those given a steroidal medication.
    (Taylor, MA, Reilly, D, Llewllyn-Jones, RH, et al., Randomised controlled trial of homeopathy versus placebo in perennial allergic rhinitis with overview of four trial Series, BMJ, August 19, 2000, 321:471-476)

 

During a homeopathic consultation a detailed history of hayfever symptoms together with  full details of health and lifestyle will be gathered to enable a remedy to be selected that is specific to the individual.  There are many remedies to choose from and below are details of some that may be considered.

Allium cepa – Eyes burn, sting and swell and are sensitive to light.  Nose and eyes stream with great amounts of watery discharge.  Discharge from eyes does not irritate the skin.  Burning discharge from the nose.  Post-nasal drainage make throat raw.  Extreme thirst.  Better in the open air.  Cough worse if cold air inhaled.  Worse indoors or in a warm room.

Ambrosia artemisaefolia – Intolerable itching and watering from eyes. Burning of eyes. Sneezing and watery nasal discharge. Nose and head feel stuffy. Nose bleeds.

Arum triphyllum – Irritation or itching in the nose leading to rubbing. Picks at lips and face. Burning throat, mouth, tongue or palate making it difficult to eat or drink despite thirst.  Hoarseness and peeling or chapping of the lips.

Arsenicum album – Burning or itching in the nose, eyes or throat.  Burning discharges from both eyes and nose.  Improvement of symptoms in the open air.  Sensitive to light.

Euphrasia – Sneezing with streaming eyes and nose.  Water from the eyes burns the cheeks but the discharge from the nose is not too bad.  Frequent sneezing that gets worse at night.  If a cough is present it is better at night and worse during the day.  Improvement of symptoms in the open air.  Sensitive to light.

Kali bichromicum – Thick, stringy, green or yellowish mucus from the nose or throat.  Post-nasal or pain at the root of the nose relieved by hard pressure.

Natrum muriaticum – Initially, streaming, bland discharge from both the eyes and nose with lots of sneezing.  Followed by a nasal discharge that is thick and clear like egg white.  Loss of taste and smell.  Gets easily burned, feel generally miserable, uncomfortable, blotchy and irritated in the sun.

Nux vomica  – Lots of sneezing, streaming from the eyes and nose, and an irritable, nasty mood.  Worse in dry air and relieved when the atmosphere is damp.

Pulsatilla – Weepy, needy, state of mind, together with discharges that are thick, bland and green or yellow.  Frequently has one side of the nose blocked or congested.

Sabadilla officinarum – Excessive spasmodic sneezing leaving the person exhausted, may also result in nosebleeds and severe headaches.  Sneezing from tickling inside the nose.  Sneezing causing the eyes to water. Profuse, watery nasal discharge.  Red and burning eyelids.  Dry mouth but little thirst.  Worse in the open air.  Better in a warm room.

Sulphur – Watery, burning nasal discharge, or a blocked nose, when outside. Frequent sneezing. Nose blocked on alternate sides.  Burning pain in eyes. Worse from warmth and becoming warm in bed. Better for being in open air.

Wyethia helenoides – Back of nose and roof of mouth itch intensely.  Throat is dry and has a sensation of being swollen causing difficulty with swallowing and clearing the throat of mucus.

Homeopathy and Sleep

Sleep – a natural necessary state but for some it does not come easily.  There can be a number of reasons behind not being able to sleep, noise, hunger, fear, anxiety, pain or there may be no obvious reason.  Without sleep the brain and body do not get the time to rest and be restored which may lead to wider health issues.

The amount of sleep that people need can vary, infants needing up to 20 hours, children 10-14 hours and adults 6 – 8 hours per night.  Without this people can be left physically and mentally stressed as a result of insufficient sleep.

02G60325Homeopathy is sought by individuals suffering from short-term episodes of insomnia and longer-standing sleep disorders.  I recommend that anyone suffering from these issues seek the help of a qualified homeopathy.

A few examples of remedies that may be considered:

Aconitum namellusPanic with insomnia.  Sudden fear and agitation.

Arsenicum albumAnxious, compulsive about small things, cannot sleep as everything is not in its place.  Dreams of fear and insecurity.

Calcarea phosphoricaGrowing pains.  Lies awake for hours feeling upset and irritable, then has difficulty waking in the morning feeling tired and weak.

CocculusToo tired to sleep after long-term sleep loss.  Feel weak, dizzy, trouble thinking, irritable, tearful.

Coffea crudaKept from sleeping by mental excitement and nervous stimulation.

IgnatiaKept from sleeping by grief.  Intense, repeated yawning or frequent sighing.

Kali phosphoricumSleepless from nervous exhaustion caused by overwork or mental strain  Weak and sensitive to everything.

Nux vomicaInsomnia after over-indulgence in stimulants, food and drink.  Waking at 3 – 4am.

SulphurSleepless from itching or an increasing feeling of heat in bed, especially in the feet.  Waking between 2 – 5am and unable to get back to sleep.

Sleep tight

“…and bless the man who invented sleep, a cloak to cover over all human thought, food that drives away hunger, water that banishes thirst, fire that heats up cold, chill that moderates passion and, finally universal currency with which all things can be bought, weight and balance that brings the shepherd and the king, the fool and the wise, to the same level” Don Quixote

Homeopathy and Flu

Winter illness

We have seen record breaking warm temperatures in recent weeks but as the clocks have changed, Bonfire Night whizzes and bangs are getting fewer and the early signs of the festive season are appearing, the cold weather seems to be making an appearance. Along with it some of us are already experiencing the coughs and sneezes of winter illness.

Flu is associated with this time of year, it is more than just the common cold and can wipe a sufferer out for weeks. Weeks which could be better spent out enjoying the crisp cold weather, putting energy into preparing for the festivities, studying for those mid year exams, going to the office party or just simply not being ill!

A common question I get asked around this time is ‘which remedies should I keep on hand for the flu season?’. Whilst the answer to this is individualized there are a number of remedies that I recommend for anyone with a home remedy kit to keep in stock:

Arsenicum album – Flu with gastroenteritis, vomiting and diarrhoea.  Feel worse midnight – 1am.   Streaming eyes and nose.  Hot face, craves open air yet feels chilled.  Fever is followed by chills with shivering and trembling.  Worse from eating and drinking with thirst for small sips of water.  Restless but with episodes of collapse and extreme physical weakness and exhaustion.  Wants company.

Baptisia – Face appears puffy and swollen, flushed red.  Feel “all in bits”, “scattered all over the place”.  Fever is high and there are accompanying gastric symptoms.  Looks and may feel dopey as if drugged.

Bryonia – Onset of symptoms are slow.  Thirst for large amounts of cold water.  Very hot, very dry.  Wants to lie still and be let alone.  Headache is worse with the least movement and better from pressure.  White coated tongue.  Painful dry cough.  Cough may appear to cause headache.  Irritable.

Eupatorium perfoliatum – Severe pains in limbs and back, bones feel broken, deep-seated severe pain.  Chilly feeling cold and shivery.  Chill begins 7am – 9am.  Thirsty for cold drinks. Eyeballs sore.  Bursting headache.

Gelsemium – Chills that run up and down the spine, alternating cold and hot feeling, , there is a feeling of great heaviness and tiredness in the limbs and body especially the head and eyelids.  The cough is hard and despite a dry mouth there is an absence of thirst.   There may also be a bursting headache from behind forward to eyes and forehead.  A peculiar symptom of relief felt after passing large quantities of pale urine.

Nux vomica – Cold even in bed.  Shiver and chill after drinking.  Aching limbs and back.  Stomach upsets such as diarrhoea.  Running nose but nose stuffed up at night.

These are just a few and symptoms should be matched closely to the remedy before taking. Only one type of remedy should be taken at a time.  Homeopathic remedies can be purchased from Homeopathic Pharmacies, most Chemists and Health Food shops.  In an emergency always contact your GP or A&E.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or just to share experiences of homeopathy and flu.

Claire