The 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.