Spring-time allergy and hayfever reactions are due to a sensitivity to pollen, which is airborne once the trees and plants in your neighborhood begin to flower. Hay fever, also known as "allergic rhinitis", is the result of an oversensitive immune system, which reacts to inhaled pollen. The immune system makes antibodies that ultimately lead to the release of histamine. It is histamine that creates the classic hay fever symptoms: runny nose, mucus, tearing, itching and swelling. It can sometimes also, in strong reactions, produce rashes and hives on the body.
Conventional medicines for hay fever and allergies are antihistamines – chemicals that inhibit the action of histamine on the tissues. However, the immune system continues to be oversensitive, so the medicine has to be taken as long as the irritants are present in the environment. For some people this can seem like a good portion of the year!
Homeopathy can help. A carefully chosen remedy, over time, can help the body return to balance and reduce the long-term need for antihistamine use. In the meantime, choosing an over-the-counter homeopathic remedy can alleviate the most common symptoms of hay fever.
- Allium Cepa – for dripping nose with burning discharge, sneezing, and watery eyes (which do not generally burn).
- Arsenicum Album – sneezing from a tickling feeling in the nose, burning sensation in eyes, nose, throat; watery discharge from the nose; worse with cold (like to be indoors and wrapped up).
- Euphrasia – also known as "eyebright"; nasal discharge does not burn, but the eyes are red, swollen, itchy and burning; violent sneezing.
- Pulsatilla – thick, yellowish or greenish discharge from the nose; worse with heat and better with walking around or gentle motion.
- Sabadilla – for sinus congestion, frequent sneezing, and watery discharge from the nose.