Itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose. This is the misery that allergy season can inflict on many of us this time of year. But don’t despair! Here is a small sampling of remedies that can help make the season more bearable, and might rid you of your symptoms for good:
Allium Cepa – This remedy is derived from raw onion, so just think of the symptoms you get when you’re chopping onions. The hay fever-like symptoms show up as a nasal discharge that is clear and burning and that irritates the nostrils and the upper lip. The eyes can be red and burning and be accompanied by non-irritating, streaming tears. Symptoms can become worse in warm rooms or indoors and improve in open air.
Euphrasia – This remedy is the opposite of Allium Cepa, in that there is a non-irritating, watery nasal discharge and copious, burning tears. Euphrasia (or Eyebright) is particularly good for eye conditions where the discharge is thick and mucous-like. Oftentimes, people complain of having dust or sand in their eyes. The eyes and the lids may also be red.
Sabadilla – With this remedy, you will see copious amounts of watery nasal discharge and spasmodic sneezing. There can also be the other classic symptoms of hay fever like itchiness and red, runny eyes. Symptoms improve by being outside in the open air. There might also feel like there is a lump in the throat and a constant urge to swallow.
Wyethia – This remedy is accompanied by intense itching, especially at the back part of the roof of the mouth (the part that you can never quite reach!). There might also be itching behind the nose. The throat, nose and nasal passages may feel dry, even though there is copious burning and watery discharge.
Histaminum – This remedy may sound counter-intuitive. Shouldn’t we be taking an anti-histamine? In homeopathy we use the smallest amount of a similar substance, such as histamine, to treat the body’s overproduction of histamine. The result is a lessening of symptoms. This principle is based on the Law of Similars (like cures like). Try this remedy if you have the classic allergy symptoms of redness, itching, watery eyes, sneezing. Take in combination with another remedy that matches your symptoms (e.g. Sabadilla and Histaminum).
Pollen – If you know that you are reacting to pollen specifically, you can take the homeopathic version of pollen. Similar to Histaminum, the theory behind its use is based on the Law of Similars. You might want to consider taking a few doses at the beginning of the allergy season, or as needed, and you might just find you don’t have to reach for the conventional anti-histamines.
Other things to consider with seasonal allergies is your overall immune health. Immune health can often be linked to gut health. The intestine acts like an immune barrier and can be considered your first line of defense against immune reactions, says Carolee Bateson-Koch in her book Allergies: Disease in Disguise: How to Heal Your Condition Permanently and Naturally. If homeopathic remedies are not enough, you might need to look at your diet. The healthier your gut, the less likely it is you’ll have allergies. Kefir, miso, sauerkraut and other fermented foods can provide a natural source of beneficial bacteria in your diet, which can improve gut health. Check out Bateson-Koch’s book on how to further improve gut health and, by extension, immune health.
Finally, it might be worth looking at supplements or herbs such as Quercetin and Nettle. Quercetin stabilizes mast cell production, which helps control how much histamine is produced while nettle works as a natural anti-histamine. Check with your natural health practitioner on the dosage that is best for you.