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 only suppress symptoms and often make a person drowsy, edgy or feel plain lousy.
Happily, as research has shown, homeopathy can really help!
Here are a number of homeopathic remedies to consider:
Allium Cepa: People needing this remedy often have a dull frontal headache with their allergies. The dull frontal headache can be worse in the evening and in a warm room, better in open air. Watery, irritating discharge drips from the nose (particularly left nostril); reddening the lip and wings of nose. A feeling of rawness in nose is common. Sneezing of increasing frequency is also common. Eyes are typically watery and red and can burn a bit— feeling a bit like one has smoke in their eyes. Nasal symptoms may begin on the left side and go to right. There can be a morning runny nose with violent sneezing. Those needing this remedy are generally sensitive to the odor of flowers and skin of peaches. Symptoms can be worse rising from bed and handling peaches. A shortcut to understanding this remedy would be to think of how you feel when you peel and chop a red onion. If you experience similar symptoms with your allergies, Allium cepa may be a homeopathic remedy to consider. Remember the concept of “like cures like.”
Arsenicum alb: Those needing this remedy are often anxious, restless, and chilly. Eyes may feel as if they have sand in them. The nose may feel alternatingly stopped followed by fluent discharge or it may feel totally stuffed and yet flow like a faucet at the same time. There may be a burning sensation in the nose. Discharge from the nose burns a red streak over upper lip and about wings of nose, with sneezing. Sneezing is often a prominent symptom and starts from tickling in one spot of the nose. Then after sneezing there is a tickling sensation in the nose which is just as bad as before. The person needing this remedy may also be quite thirsty.
Arum Triphyllum: The nose, particularly the left side, feels very stuffed leaving the person to feel they must breathe through the mouth and feels worse in the morning. A prickling sensation in the nose that cannot be left alone is present. The patient pinches, pricks and bores his finger into the nostrils, however sore. Person needing this remedy often has sneezing that is worse during the night.
Dulcamara: Those needing Dulcamara will find their nostrils entirely filled up, preventing breathing through the nose, with constant sneezing and a profuse discharge of water from the nose and eyes. These symptoms are worse in open air, on awaking in morning, and in the evening and better in a closed room. The eyes can sometimes be swollen and full. It is not uncommon for the nose to be most affected, then the eyes feel worse. People needing this remedy cannot bear to be near cut grass or newly mown hay, but can feel better by the ocean. Those needing Dulcamara are uncomfortable in the cold and wet and worse from chill when hot.
Euphrasia: Cases requiring this remedy often center on eye symptoms. Profuse acrid tearing is extremely common for those needing this remedy (the eyes may burn a bit—requiring frequent blinking), with profuse bland discharge from nose (reverse of Allium Cepa). The eye lids may also itch and burn as well as swell a bit. Eyes feel worse in open air and wind. A dull frontal headache is not uncommon with seasonal allergies.
Lachesis: Paroxysms of sneezing are worse after sleep even in the daytime. Headache extends into the nose, with frequent and violent paroxysms of sneezing. Mucous membrane or nose thickened with a dry stuffed sensation through the head. Face is red and puffed. The eyes seem almost pressed out. Red, sore nostrils and lips are present. Lachesis patients frequently wake up feeling worse; throat sensitive to touch or pressure.
Natrum Muriaticum: There is watery discharge from eyes and nose. Discharge from nose can be like an egg white. Discharge from nose can be so severe that one has to lay a towel under nose. “Woke with headache; after rising nasal discharge with violent and frequent sneezing.” Loss of taste and smell common. There can be a cough from tickling in the throat pit. Tears are acrid and corners of eyes red and sore. Headache may be throbbing, as if caused by little hammers. Someone needing this remedy will often feel worse in the sun, have a desire for salt and feel better at the seaside.
Nux Vomica: Distressing prolonged periods of sneezing are common. Excessive irritation in nose, eyes, face. There is heat in the face as if a hot iron plate were near it. Forehead may feel heavy and full. Nose often feels obstructed and dry—particularly at night—with fluent discharges during the day. Nose can also feel blocked when outdoors but runny when inside. Nux patients are very irritable, sensitive to cold, and often have a great sensitivity to odors.
Pulsatilla: Loss of smell, thick yellow discharge and the patient feels better in open air with this remedy. 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 and crave sympathy. They also tend to be thirstless as a rule.
Sabadilla: Spasmodic, sometimes violent sneezing with runny nose is common. Nostrils can also be stuffed up and inspirations through nose labored. Itching inside nose is common as are severe frontal pains and red eyelids. Patients are very sensitive to smell of garlic.
Sticta Pulmonaria: For someone needing this homeopathic remedy, there is a constant need to blow the nose, but no discharge results on account of the dryness. Nose is stuffed up (particularly at night); the secretion dries so rapidly that it cannot be discharged. There is almost constant sneezingwith tingling on the right side of the nose. There is often fullness on the right side of the forehead to the root of the nose and excessive dryness of the soft palate. Tickling high up in throat is common.
Wyethia: For someone needing this remedy, along with the running nose and sneezing, there may be a peculiar itching in the roof of mouth. For relief the patient must draw tongue back and forth over the soft palate.
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. Lisa 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 long distance using Skype. Learn more here: Dr. Lisa Samet. You can follow her on Facebook as well.
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