Spring into Health; remedies for the hay fever season
Spring is a glorious time of year. The Earth bursts forth with green abundance and new life – an amazing showcase for the power of nature. After a tough Winter of lockdown and restrictions, many of us have found joy and solace in the great outdoors, so Spring this year brings particularly welcome signs of hope and new beginnings.
Unfortunately, the allure of the natural world in Spring is bitter-sweet for those who suffer with seasonal allergies such as hay fever. According to the NHS, that’s around one in four of us, and common triggers tend to be grass and pollen that are more prevalent in the warmer months.
Allergies occur when our immune system reacts to a foreign substance that the body perceives as harmful. In response to the ‘threat’, the body produces antibodies and releases histamine which causes the allergic reaction. Hay fever symptoms commonly include:
- Frequent sneezing
- Blocked or runny nose
- Itchy, red, watery eyes
- Itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
- Cough caused by post-nasal drip
There are many over the counter medicines that can help manage hay fever and other allergies. But these can sometimes come with unwanted side effects and they usually need to be taken repeatedly to stay on top of symptoms. In contrast, a well-matched homeopathic remedy can stimulate the body’s own ability to cope with the allergen, helping to recognise it as a harmless substance rather than mounting an attack response. It’s always best to seek professional help for chronic issues, but here are some key remedies that can bring relief as the weather warms up. Enjoy the Spring!
One of the most important hay fever remedies, Allium cepa can help when there is lots of sneezing and streaming eyes and nose. The nasal discharge will irritate and burn the upper lip, whereas from the eyes, the tears won’t be as sore. The person is usually thirsty, and feels worse indoors and when rooms are warm. They feel better in fresh air.
Another good hay fever remedy, Arsenicum can provide relief when there is burning or itching in the nose, eyes or throat. Discharges are watery, but will feel like they are burning the skin, and there may be a wheezy, asthmatic cough alongside. The person will probably feel chilly, restless and anxious and may have increased thirst, wanting to drink little and often.
Sourced from a plant traditionally known as Eyebright, this remedy is, unsurprisingly, helpful for conditions that affect the eyes. Consider Euphrasia for hay fever that comes with lots of sneezing and sore, swollen eyes with streaming tears that burn. The nose may also be running, but without the burning sensation here (note that this is the opposite of Allium cepa). Symptoms tend to be worse indoors, in the evening and from both warmth and bright lights.
There is always a heavy, tired and droopy feeling for a person in need of Gelsemium. They will have a flushed face and heavy eyes. The nose tends to run with a watery discharge that irritates the skin, and sneezing can be frequent and violent. Hay fever makes the Gelsemium patient feel fluey and may be accompanied by chills, aches and trembling. They will be thirstless and will feel better from resting and lying down.
This remedy should be considered if there is great itching and irritation in the nose along with violent bouts of sneezing. There is copious discharge from both nose and eyes, although the nostrils may feel stuffed up at the same time. Eyelids are red and sore and there may be a severe frontal headache as well. Someone needing Sabadilla is very sensitive to their surroundings, particularly to odours.
Think of Wyethia when there is an intolerable itching on the roof of the mouth and behind the nose. The patient may try to relieve the itch by ‘scratching’ with their tongue. The nose is likely to be streaming but there is a sensation that all mucous membranes are dry; even the voice may be hoarse and feel scratchy. Someone in need of Wyethia may feel irritated and depressed by their allergies and they tend to feel worse in the afternoon.
For an individualised prescription and best results, please consult a professional homeopath. Find a practitioner near you at: findahomeopath.org