Pollen, pets, perfume—whatever the cause, allergies can affect as many as one in five Americans. Often known as seasonal allergies or simply as “hay fever,” exposure to an airborne substance like pollen can trigger nasal and sinus symptoms that can make you miserable. It can get so bad that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that 40 percent of Americans seek integrative and complementary care such as homeopathy to ease their symptoms.
Homeopathy uses natural, non-toxic remedies to stimulate the body’s own inherent healing capacity. Since homeopathic remedies aren’t a one-size-fits-all treatment, practitioners customize remedies based on individual symptoms. Self-treatment is also an option using single remedies and targeted formulas. “For simple allergy symptoms, look for the homeopathic remedy that best matches the symptoms,” advises Lauren Feder, MD, a Los Angeles based physician who specializes in homeopathy.
What to choose when seasonal sniffles strike? These 10 homeopathic remedies are commonly used to treat specific allergy symptoms. They are sold individually as well as in combination formulas.
Good for: Clear, burning nasal discharge; frequent sneezing in open air; red, teary, burning eyes; headache.
Good for: Watery, runny nasal discharge that irritates the skin; stuffy, runny nose; frequent sneezing; wheezy cough; burning eyes; loss of taste. Symptoms are alleviated with warmth.
Good for: Watery nasal discharge that does not irritate skin; burning tears; swollen eyes; daytime cough that improves at night. Symptoms are worse in open air, in the morning, with warmth, during windy weather, and when lying down.
Good for: Runny eyes with burning or feeling of sand in the eyes; watery nose; flushing of the face; short, hard, tickling cough. Symptoms are worse at night and with cold.
Good for: Dry nose or swollen nasal membranes; runny nose with irritating watery discharge; frequent sneezing; aching in the back of the head and neck; chills along the spine.
Good for: Clear nasal discharge resembling egg whites; sneezing; watery eyes; loss of taste and smell; dark circles under the eyes. Symptoms improve when lying down.
Good for: Dry, tickling nose that is stuffy at night and runny in warm rooms and in the daytime; frequent sneezing; ticklish sensation at the back of the throat; headache. Symptoms are worse indoors and better in the open air.
Good for: Nasal discharge during the day and congestion at night; itching of the roof of the mouth at night; not feeling thirsty. Symptoms are worse in a warm room, during hot weather, during the evening, and while lying down.
Good for: Copious, watery nasal discharge; sneezing; itchy nose; red, runny eyes. Symptoms improve when outdoors.
Good for: Intense itching on the roof of the mouth and behind the nose; the head feels dry and irritated but the nose is watery and burning.
How to Take Homeopathic Remedies
Once you’ve selected a remedy, take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has stopped, another dose may be taken. If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.
Homeopathic remedies come in a variety of forms, including pellets, tablets, liquid, ointments, and suppositories. Pellets are the most popular form and are taken sublingually. The large number of capillaries under the tongue allow for faster absorption into the blood stream.
Because homeopathic pills or pellets are very fragile and easily contaminated, it’s wise to avoid handling them. Instead, pour the tablets or pellets into the bottle cap and carefully place them into your mouth.
Good Buys ...
BIOALLERS Pollen Hayfever Allergy Treatment is great for sinus pressure, congestion, sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
HYLAND’S Seasonal Allergy Relief defends against pollen, ragweed, grasses, mold, and animal dander.
KING BIO Allergy and Hay Fever Reliever is formulated with select homeopathics to address a wide spectrum of allergy symptoms.