Homeopathic remedies for allergies offer a drug-free natural way to treat your sneezing, runny nose, and other types of allergic symptoms from pollens, grasses and other allergens. There are specific remedies that can help you shift your body away from having chronic types of allergies and others that may just help you get through the immediate misery.
Using homeopathic remedies for hayfever is a little different from other natural treatments. Although many people mistakenly think that herbs and other natural supplements are “homeopathic,” this is not true. Homeopathy is a specific type of alternative health care that differs from herbs or vitamins in how the remedies are made.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathic remedies come from not only plants (herbs), but also animal and mineral sources. The preparation process involves long periods of intense grinding or milling (called trituration) followed by serial dilutions in water or a water-ethanol solution.
After each dilution step, remedy solution is shaken 10-100 times (or put through a modern technology called vortexing). Recent research has shown that the unique preparation methods for homeopathic remedies release tiny particles of the original source material as well as larger amounts of silica from the inside walls of the glassware.
The homeopathic “potencies” (their terms for doses) that you can get at a health food store or online include 6C and 30C or 6X and 30X. A C potency means that the dilution factor is 1/100. An X potency means that the dilution factor is 1/10.
Homeopathic dosing is typically different from ordinary conventional drug dosing. You do not want to take the remedy continuously. Instead, you want to take it only in widely separated doses. That is, homeopaths recommend that you take a dose of a remedy intermittently only when you are having symptoms.
If you are improving when you take another dose, the treatment may actually set off a short term reversal in your improvement. This type of treatment is more like giving your body a good push to get started in a go-cart down a hill, but once you get going, the momentum toward better health will increase and you can coast to the finish line without taking ongoing doses.
Although controversial in conventional medical circles, more than 500 million people worldwide use homeopathy as part of their healthcare for allergies and many other conditions. The remedies may be particularly helpful at balancing or modulating. Studies have shown that these natural products can change the activation and deactivation of immune, inflammatory, and biological stress responses
The trick in using these remedies effectively is knowing which one is right for you at a given point in time. If you have chronic allergic problems, you will need to consult a well-trained and experienced homeopath to treat you. However, for an occasional flare up of acute hay fever or seasonal allergies, you may be able to find a good remedy for your particular case on your own.
Treating the Patient, Not the Diagnosis
In homeopathy, it is very important to know who has the symptoms along with very specific details of what they are like and what types of things make the allergies better or worse. Homeopaths like to say that they treat the patient not the disease. This approach is very holistic, but also very different from how ordinary doctors have trained us to think about our illnesses and their treatment.
Let’s consider some examples. Let’s say that two women of roughly the same age and geographic location come to a homeopath for their chronic allergies. One woman gets sneezing and a stuffy nose along with a headache on the left side of the head that can worsen around 10-11 in the morning. A homeopath might end up suggesting a remedy called Natrum Muriaticum for her. That woman might be very focused on issues in her relationship with her significant other partner. When hurt emotionally, she would withdraw and want to be alone.
On the other hand, the other woman might awaken in the night around 1 am with an attack of her allergies. She might also feel very anxious along with the nasal symptoms. She is actually a real worrier who is obsessed with her health and her finances, always concerned about some issue in that area. The homeopath might recommend that the second individual take the remedy Arsenicum Album.
Acute Remedies for People with Allergies, Allergic Rhinitis, Hay Fever, or Seasonal Allergies
While you might need one of those two remedies for an acute hay fever episode, you probably are better off choosing one of the relatively smaller number of acute remedies that people can learn to take on their own with a little self education.
Some acute homeopathic remedies for allergies options would include:
Allium cepa – useful in individuals with acute allergies that include a watery discharge from the nose that irritates and burns the nasal area and lip. Going into a warm room can trigger a sneezing attack, whereas getting into open, cool air can help reduce symptoms. Such a person may be afraid that any pain or discomfort will turn into something unbearable.
Euphrasia – helpful for persons whose allergies bother their eyes a lot, with watery eyes and sensitivity to light or wind. Wiping the eyes may help reduce the discomfort. The Euphrasia type of discharge is irritating to the eyes. In contrast with Allium cepa (above), a Euphrasia person’s nasal discharge will be bland and non-irritating to the nose itself. The person needing Euphrasia may be overly worried about their symptoms or indifferent to them (polar opposites are common in homeopathy).
Nux Vomica -useful for driven individuals who have a runny nose during the daytime but a drier nose at night. The prominent behavior of a Nux Vomica person is impatience, irritability, and competitiveness (a workaholic, Type A way of looking at the world). In this type of case, the person gets worse outdoors or in cold air. They often rely on drinking a lot of coffee to keep going.
Where To Learn More about Homeopathy
You can learn more about how to choose acute remedies for yourself and your family in allergy season in various ways and places. One good starting place is the National Center for Homeopathy (NCH), which is a non-profit organization that can provide a list of qualified homeopaths near you. Joining NCH also give you a monthly informative self care magazine. Their website has case examples, news and ideas about how to deal with various conditions, first aid challenges, and inspirational stories about successes in trying homeopathic remedies for various health problems, from allergies to injuries to different infectious diseases.
Be aware that there are over 1300 different remedies in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, so matching the person and their unique set of symptoms to the one right remedy at the time is no small feat. While this is a huge challenge for treating chronic illnesses, it is less relevant to acute flares.
That is because of the relatively smaller number of well-known remedies that can help out in shorter term problems like an acute allergy flare as compared with trying to “cure” a long-standing chronic illness. In the case of allergies, there may be only half a dozen common options.
Another strategy in self care is to look for a combination remedy product online or at the health food store. In combination remedies, the manufacturer puts multiple single remedies into one product. The idea behind this is that one of them may help you, even if a different one might help a different person. It is also possible with combination products that none of the ingredients in the product are right for your particular case – and if so, most likely, not much will happen.
Homeopathic remedies can shine in their ability to help people who do not tolerate other types of conventional or alternative treatment. It may be a great way for you to get some non-drowsy relief from your pollen allergies.