It’s estimated that over 23 million Americans suffer with hay fever. If you are one of them, you know the common symptoms:
- Runny nose and nasal congestion
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
- Sinus pressure and facial pain
- Swollen, blue-colored skin under the eyes (allergic shiners)
- Decreased sense of smell or taste
Common triggers include pollen from trees, grasses and weeds – but there are other triggers like dust, mold and pet dander. Allergies can be seasonal – or for some – a year-round problem.
If you are like many people, you’ve probably tried a variety of conventional over-the-counter medications to manage your symptoms. The problem with those solutions – they often make a person drowsy, edgy or feel plain lousy. Happily, as research has shown – homeopathy can really help!
One of my favorite homeopaths was a British physician named Margaret Tyler. In her wonderful book “Pointers to Common Remedies,” she gave indications for a number of homeopathic remedies that might help a patient with hay fever. I offer some of her selections, with some embellishment:
Allium Cepa: Begins sneezing, with increasing frequency. Watery discharge drips from nose; excoriates lip and wings of nose. Rawness in nose; copious tearing of the eyes. Fluid from nose irritating: from eyes bland. (Reverse of Euphrasia). Generally begins left side and goes to right. Morning runny nose with violent sneezing: very sensitive to odor of flowers and skin of peaches. Symptoms often worse rising from bed, in a warm room or outdoors in the heat.
Arsenicum: Discharge can burn a red streak over upper lip and around the wings of nose, with sneezing and profuse, watery nasal discharge occurring at the same time as a blocked stuffy nose. The typical Arsenicum patient is anxious, restless, often asthmatic – his worst hour is shortly after midnight. Sneezing is a prominent symptom…starts from tickling in one spot of the nose; after sneezing, tickling is as bad as before. Much weakness, chilliness and thirst. Better heat and warm drinks.
Arum Triphyllum: A prickling sensation in the nose that cannot be left alone. The patient pinches and pricks, and bores his finger into the nostrils, however sore. Nose stopped, worse left side. Sneezing worse during the night. Fluent acrid coryza, with lachrymation usually bland. (Compare to Allium Cepa.) Fluid from nose, produces rawness, smarting, burning: leaves red streaks as it flows over skin.
Dulcamara: Nostrils stopped up, cannot breathe through nose. Constant sneezing, profuse watery discharge from nose and eyes. Worse open air: better in closed room: worse near newly cut grass: better at Seaside. Eyes swelled and full and most affected, then nose, then again eyes. Dulc. cannot stand cold and wet: worse from chill when hot.
Euphrasia: Profuse acrid tearing, with profuse bland discharge from nose (reverse of Allium Cepa). Can be also useful in upper respiratory affections without fever. Eyes feel worse in open air, and wind.
Gelsemium: Sneezing: hot face: feeling of great weight and tiredness in whole body and limbs. Violent morning outbursts of sneezing: tingling in nose. Watery, excoriating discharge from nose. Very chilly and thirstless. Eyes so tired, lids start to droop. The 5 D’s: drowsy, dopey, dizzy, dumb and dull.
Lachesis: Paroxysms of sneezing worse after sleep even in the day time. Headache extending into nose, with frequent and violent paroxysms of sneezing. Dry stuffed sensation through head: face red, puffed: eyes seem almost pressed out. Red, sore nostrils and lips. Lach. sleeps into aggravation, meaning they are worse at night or on waking – a chief characteristic symptoms. Throat sensitive to touch or pressure, worse warm.
Natrum Muriaticum: Watery discharge from eyes and nose. Severe discharge from nose, had to lay a towel under nose. Woke with headache; after rising nasal discharge with violent and frequent sneezing. Loss of taste and smell: cough from tickling in throat pit. Tears acrid; corners of eyes red and sore. Characteristics: Worse in sun; desire for salt, better at seaside.
Nux Vomica: Distressing prolonged periods of sneezing. Excessive irritation in nose, eyes, face. Heat in face with coldness of body. Itching extends from palate to larynx and trachea. Nux is very irritable: very sensitive to cold. Often has a watery, drippy nose with sniffles and a blocked nose. Sneezing or coughing in bed on waking. Worse outside in cold air.
Pulsatilla: Loss of smell, thick yellow discharge and the patient feels better in open air. The discharge from the nose is bland and does not irritate the skin. There can be stuffing up at night and copious flow in the morning. Also free flowing nasal discharge in the open air and a stuffed feeling in a closed room. This patient can be a bit weepy – craving sympathy.
Sabadilla: Spasmodic sneezing: fluent coryza. Nostrils stuffed up: inspirations through nose laboured: snoring. Severe itching in nose; even with bleeding. Violent sneezing; with copious watery discharge. Severe frontal sinus pains and redness eyelids. Very sensitive to smell of garlic.
Wyethia: Peculiar itching in roof of mouth, for relief patient must draw tongue back and forth over soft palate; with this coryza, sneezing, etc.
The key to choosing the correct remedy is always the same. Match the characteristic symptoms of the patient to the characteristic symptoms produced by our many remedies – choosing the remedy with the most similar characteristics – and you will have a happy outcome every time. As with any medical condition, consult with your homeopathic physician if you have any concerns about the severity of your illness as it may first require medical diagnosis and/or intervention and monitoring.