Homeopathy and Hay Fever





 Alison Fixsen  RSHom  PGCE  Dip NN  MFNTP

Registered Homeopath and Nutritional Therapist

What is Hay Fever?

Hay Fever is a common condition affecting a large number of people in the UK.  Basically it is an allergic response to the pollen of various grasses and plants that affects the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes and air.  Common symptoms include sneezing, a watery discharge from the nose and itchy irritated eyes.  Suffers may also get itchy ears or itching of the palate and throat.  In some instances there can also be wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing which is referred to as pollen or hay asthma.

Hay fever occurs due to an over-reaction of the immune system which recognises pollen as a foreign body or an antigen.  In response to airborne particles of pollens, grasses etc, antibodies are generated causing mucus membranes in the nose and other areas to release histamine and other substances.  The role of histamine is to dilate local blood vessels making them more permeable thus helping components of the immune system to clear up any irritation.

Conventional treatments include desensitisation injections, anti-histamine tablets and nasal sprays.  These give some temporary relief but may cause side effects of drowsiness and poor co-ordination.  In severe cases steroid preparations are also prescribed.


What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is believed to work by stimulating a person's innate capacity for self-healing and self-regulation.  During the consultation the homeopath will question a patient to identify which homeopathic medicine will be most suited to their symptom picture and to prescribe it in the correct dose for their overall health and vitality.

Homeopathy can be used as an alternative to or alongside conventional medicines for hay fever.  The remedies are safe to take for all age groups and are free from side effects.  Over the counter remedies can be purchased from health stores and chemists and can be taken during the season itself.

However, despite many symptoms being seasonal, hay fever is a chronic condition.  As well as treating symptoms when they appear, in my practice nutritional advice and homeopathic remedies are often given several months before the hay fever season, aimed at strengthening the constitution and reduce the sensitivity to pollens.

Useful Suggestions for Hay Fever Sufferers

Avoid the allergens you know affect you.

Avoid grass and hedge cuttings and in spring or summer do not walk in long grass.

Avoid cigarette smoke and strong perfumes.

Keep the bedroom and car windows closed as much as possible when the pollen is high.

Take your walks at midmorning on warm days when the pollen count is low.

Shower and wash your hair in the evening to wash off the pollen.  During the day splash your face with cold water or sniff water with a pinch of salt to soothe inflamed membranes.

Wear sunglasses to protect sensitive eyes.

Bathing eyes with a solution of Euphrasia tincture can also be helpful.  Place one drop in an eyebath of water.  NEVER put tincture directly into the eye.

Foods that can help: eating local honey for some months before and during the hay fever season can act as a natural protection.  Take extra vitamin C and zinc to strengthen the immune system.

Foods to avoid:  cut down on dairy products and wheat during the hay fever season.  As common food allergens they may aggravate symptoms.

Some Homeopathic Remedies for Hay Fever

Arsenicum Album - continual sneezing giving no relief.  Discharge thin and acrid.  Symptoms are worse lying down especially after midnight.

Allium Cepa - cold like symptoms with blocked or runny nose and irritated eyes, violent sneezing on rising from bed, worse indoors, better outside.  Begins in spring but symptoms are at their worst in August.

Euphrasia -  burning and swelling of the eyelids, sore, watery discharge from the eyes with a runny nose, blistering on the cornea.   Symptoms are worse when sitting or walking outdoors.

Gelsemium - for hay fever beginning in spring with cold like symptoms with much sneezing.