For most of us the first signs of spring are joyous, heralding the imminent arrival of summer. But for the one in five of us who suffer from hayfever, the daffodils and bumblebees are just warning signals of the streaming nose, itchy eyes and woolly head soon to come.
Hayfever is one of the most common chronic conditions we see in our homeopathic clinic, and one of those which conventional medicine struggles to help with. The antihistamine medicines taken by millions come with strong side effects, and their effectiveness often wanes over the years.
There are a number of different approaches to treating your hayfever homeopathically, depending on what triggers it, how severe it is, how long you’ve had it and whether you have a family history of that and other allergies. As well as alleviating the symptoms in the short term, we would also aim to reduce or remove your tendency to hayfever. Our most effective method of treatment is usually to treat patients in their ‘off’ season – generally winter – where we will give remedies based on your whole picture of symptoms including your family health history. We advise it can take two to three years of seeing you each winter. Alongside this deeper treatment we tend to also give remedies to take acutely when hayfever strikes.
There are a wide range of homeopathic remedies to help with the symptoms of hayfever, including some specifics such as ‘mixed pollen’. Here are a few to get you started, with their most common symptoms:
Allium cepa (onion) has similar symptoms to when you cut an onion: streaming eyes and nose, where the nasal discharge can be burning.
Euphrasia (eyebright) has almost the opposite symptoms to Allium: burning, watery eyes, and a bland discharge from the nose. It also comes as a tincture you can use to bathe the eyes.
Wyethia (poison weed) is all about itchiness – that annoying itch in the roof of your mouth and nostrils that hayfever can bring.
Sabadilla (from the lily family) helps hayfever with extreme bouts of sneezing. They’re worse for being outdoors, and are very sensitive to the smells of flowers and plants.