It's estimated that over 23 million Americans suffer with hay fever. If you are one of them, you know the 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 is that 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 her list below in its entirety.
Allium Cepa: Begins sneezing, with increasing frequency. Watery discharge drips from nose; excoriates lip and wings of nose. Rawness in nose; copious tearing. 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, and handling peaches.
Arsenicum: Discharge burns a red streak over upper lip and about wings of nose, with sneezing and profuse, watery nasal discharge The typical Arsenicum patient is worried and restless. Sneezing a prominent symptom...starts from tickling in one spot nose; after sneezing tickling as bad as before. Hay asthma.
Arsenicum Iodatum: Hay fever with fetid, corrosive discharge. Discharges excoriating, thick and yellow, resembling honey.
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. (Comp. Allium Cepa.) Fluid from nose, produces rawness, smarting, burning: leaves red streaks as it flows over skin'.
Arundo Mauritanica: Tyler Kent MD gave this remedy high grade in hay fever. Hay fever begins with burning and itching of hard palate in the mouth and the conjunctiva in the corners of the eyes. Head congestion with snuffling. First water runs from the nose, later green mucus. With sneezing, pieces of indurated greenish mucus are discharged. Itching, burning, dryness of sinuses. Curious symptoms, when sneezing.
Bromium: Fluent upper respiratory inflammation with frequent violent sneezing. Corrosive soreness under and margins of nose. Right nostril more affected. Aversion to smoking: to drinking cold water.
Carbo Vegetabilis: Frequent sneezing, with constant violent crawling and tickling in nose; lachrymation and biting pain in and above nose. Ineffectual desire to sneeze, with crawling in left nostril. Watery discharge, and sneezes day and night. Suffers from heat: is chilled by cold: sweats in a hot room. No comfortable place.
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). Short-acting remedy: very useful in upper respiratory affections without fever. Sneezing; fluent bland nasal discharge with acrid tears. 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. Curious symptom, a feeling from throat up to left nostril, like a stream of scalding water.
Kali Iodatum: Violent sneezing, acrid, watery discharge from nose. Worse cool air, worse open air: but patient feels better in open air: i.e.: finds no quarters for relief. Frontal sinuses involved with the upper respiratory inflammation; much pain in forehead, eyes, cheekbones.
Kali Phosphoricum: Hay fever. Itching in posterior nares. Sneezing ; at 2 a.m. Eyes burn, sting, swim in tears. Tongue coated like stale brownish liquid mustard.
Lachesis: Paroxysms of sneezing worse after sleep even in the day time. Headache extending into nose, with frequent and violent paroxysms of sneezing. Mucous membrane or nose thickened: dry stuffed sensation through head: face red, puffed: eyes seem almost pressed out. Red, sore nostrils and lips. Lach. sleeps into aggravation; throat sensitive to touch or pressure.
Naja: Much sneezing: water runs from nose: cannot lie down at night; dryness of air passages of nose. Hay fever. Suffocative attacks in August. Like Lach. wakes suffocating gasping, choking. Rawness of trachea and larynx, as if excoriated.
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 in hay fever, better at seaside. Recorded case, cured by a swim in the sea.
Nux Vomica: Distressing prolonged periods of sneezing. Excessive irritation in nose, eyes. face; Heat in face as if a hot iron plate were near it. Itching extends from palate to larynx and trachea. Nux is very irritable: very sensitive to cold.
Ranunculus: Eyes smart; lips burn and are sore. Nose stuffed, especially evenings, with pressure root of nose and tingling and crawling inside. May attack posterior nares: hawks and swallows in effort to scratch affected part. (Comp. Wyeth.) Hoarseness. Stitching pains chest: muscles sore.
Sabadilla: Spasmodic sneezing: fluent coryza. Nostrils stuffed up: inspirations through nose laboured: snoring. Itching in nose; bleeding from nose. Violent sneezing; with copious watery discharge. Severe frontal pains and redness eyelids. Very sensitive to smell of garlic.
Sanguinaria: Rose colds in June. Sensitive to flowers and odors. Hay fever with burning in nose, throat - dry: as if mucous membranes would crack open. Dry burning in larynx with hoarseness of chest with asthma. Palms dry, burning, wrinkled. Burning palms and soles: puts them out of bed.
Silicea: Begins with itching and tingling in nose. Violent sneezing and excoriating discharge. Itching in posterior nares, or orifice of Eustachian tubes.
Sinapis Nigra: Mucous membrane of nose dry and hot: worse afternoon and evening: one nostril affected, or alternate nostrils. Nose swollen, stuffed: discharges a thin acrid mucus. Eyes suffused, itch, smart.
Sticta Pulmonaria: Constant need to blow nose, but no discharge results on account of dryness. Nose is stuffed up; secretion drying so rapidly it cannot be discharged. Almost constant sneezing; tingling right side nose. Fullness right side forehead to root nose. Excessive dryness of soft palate. Tickling high up in pharynx.
Wyethia: Peculiar itching in roof of mouth, for relief patient must draw tongue back and forth over soft palate; with this coryza, sneezing, etc.
Zincum metallicum: Frequent sneezing starts with cutting-crawling in nose, without discharge; or fluent discharge from nose; sensitive nostrils; crawling in nose; frequent sneezing. Itching in left nostril: in right: followed by frequent sneezing. Much burning in eyes. Itching. Sensitivity to light. Overworked; over-excitable; extremely over-sensitive. Characteristic: Burning whole length of spine: fidgety feet; relief with menstruation.
**And I (Dr. Samet) would like to add one more that in my experience is often called for...
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.
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 physician if you have any concerns about the severity of your illness as it may first require medical diagnosis and/or intervention and monitoring.
About Dr. Samet:
Dr. Lisa Samet N.D. provides Washington Homeopathic Products with a regular column on using homeopathy for the family. She's a naturopathic physician who specializes in homeopathic medicine and she's a partner with Dr. Andre Saine N.D. Dr. Samet graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 and has been practicing in Montreal since then. She was born and raised in New York.
Dr. Samet has chosen to focus on homeopathy because in her experience it is the deepest healing modality available in that it does not just soothe or palliate symptoms but can actually stimulate the body to start to heal itself. Dr. Samet sees patients in her Montreal office as well as remotely using Skype. Learn more here: Dr. Lisa Samet