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Homeopathic Matters: Treating Seasonal Allergies with the Aid of Homoeopathy

by June Sayer(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 158 - May 2009

As the seasons change from winter into spring and summer we look forward to the longer, brighter and warmer evenings.  Our senses become alert as we see the bright yellow horizons of rapeseed fields and the variety of colours as beautiful fresh flowers begin to bloom and in the distance we hear the unmistakable sound of lawnmowers and smell the scent of freshly mown grass.

Whilst spring and summer are a time of delight to many people, we acknowledge that there are others who view these seasons with dread.  Even though these individuals are likely to appreciate the colourful beauty of nature, for them it is marred because the seasonal changes are accompanied by a variety of substances that cause them to react with the telltale sings of hay fever.

If we were to take the term hay fever literally, we would expect the person affected to display symptoms of fever when the hay is traditionally gathered in the summer.  But this is not the case. 

Hay fever, or seasonal allergy as it is also known, is a reaction to airborne substances such as pollens, grasses or mould spores, with symptoms becoming noticeable at certain times of the year, the most likely times being spring and summer. However, because different areas of the country have different pollen seasons, symptoms may occur in the autumn, and some individuals will experience longer periods of discomfort due to the fact that they are sensitive to more than one pollen or spore.

The main area of the body affected by hay fever symptoms is the membrane lining the nasal passages, resulting in allergic rhinitis, and if airborne substances come into direct contact with the membrane lining the eyelids, the result is allergic conjunctivitis. The symptoms are familiar to sufferers and observers alike.  The eyes are sore and water profusely.  The nasal passages produce a clear watery discharge and become red and swollen accompanied by sneezing. There may be a crawling feeling in the back of the throat or itchiness at the roof of the mouth.  Other symptoms include headache, coughing and wheezing. It is no wonder that individuals affected by hay fever symptoms, whatever their age, feel thoroughly miserable, irritable and jaded as they try to cope with these symptoms whilst they go about their daily lives in as normal a manner as possible. 

The conventional form of treatment for hay fever is antihistamines or decongestants or a combination of both, and if these treatments do not work, then the doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid nasal spray. But whilst the effects of these treatments are classed as minimal, drowsiness is common.

So is there an alternative?  Yes there is in the form of homoeopathy. Homoeopathy as a system of medicine has been in existence for over 200 years and the remedies in the homoeopathic materia medica have been proven on healthy humans who have been able to record the symptoms they exhibited when proving a remedy. This is why some of the strange, rare and peculiar symptoms experienced by a person are of most value to the homoeopathic practitioner when they are recording a case history.

Homoeopathic remedies treat the individual, not the complaint.  With a wide range of remedies to choose from one will match the symptoms displayed by the sufferer.  Here are a few examples:

Allium Cepa    Watery nasal discharge streaming from the eyes and nose, accompanied by a headache.  There is frequent sneezing and the discharge from the nose is acrid, corroding the nose and lip area. In contrast the discharge from the eyes is bland;

Euphrasia    The nasal discharge is bland, but the discharge from the eye is excoriating. The eyes feel painful and there is a frequent desire to blink.  The nasal discharge tends to be more profuse in the evenings.  Catarrhal headaches are also part of this symptom picture;

Gelsemium    Soreness of the nostrils due to the excoriating discharge making it seem as if red-hot water was passing through them.  There is a teasing, tickling cough and a dull headache. The face may appear hot and heavy and the eyes feel heavy.  Sneezing is generally worse in the mornings;

Arsen Alb    Even though the nose feels continually stuffed up, there is a thin watery discharge from the nose, which excoriates the upper lip.  The sensation of a feather tickling in the nose causes sneezing, but this does not make any difference. The person is likely to be fastidious about their appearance and always feels cold;

Arundo    The hay fever symptoms begin with burning, prickling and itching of the palate and conjunctiva, with sneezing and loss of sense of smell.  The person needing this remedy would also have salivation and be thirsty;

Sabadilla    Spasmodic sneezing and copious watery nasal discharge that is made worse by the smell of flowers.  The person requiring this remedy would be oversensitive to many smells.  There is itching and tickling in the nose and the margins of the eyelids are red and burning;

As mentioned above, these are just a few of the homoeopathic remedies that have been used to treat the symptoms of hay fever, and based on the information given here you may decide to purchase a homoeopathic remedy from the local health shop.  Please do remember that this is only a small part of the remedy; if the selected remedy does not work for you immediately don't make a negative judgement of homoeopathy. Homoeopaths study for four years before gaining their qualification, and in that time they will have to study the philosophy of homoeopathy and learn many different remedy pictures in order to carefully select a remedy most suited to the individual.

Whilst homoeopathic remedies are useful for the acute phase of the symptoms of hay fever, it is advisable to begin constitutional treatment before the season begins so that the homoeopath is able to deal with the underlying susceptibility and sensitivity, and work towards eliminating the distress felt by the sufferer during the offending season. Personally, I have treated many people with seasonal allergy symptoms and the best results are achieved when they begin treatment before their symptoms present themselves.

Homoeopathy is an effective alternative to conventional methods.  The beauty of homoeopathic remedies are that they are non-toxic and do not cause drowsiness. 

Be bold – take a different, natural approach to summer.


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About June Sayer

June Sayer DHom (Med) MARH MRHom DNTh DIridol Homeopath Nutritionist Reiki Master/Teacher became fascinated by homeopathy after seeking treatment for her children and herself some 23 years ago; this dramatic change in their overall health led her to train as a homoeopathic practitioner. She qualified from the Hahnemann College in 1992 and has been in practice since that date. She is one of the founding directors of the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths and has a practice in Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex where she enjoys training individuals in the art and practice of homoeopathy. She may be contacted on Tel: 01621 730664;   


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