As doctors, all of us are used to receiving desperate calls from
patients each spring, in between their sneezing and honking, pleading with us
to help them immediately. They are often miserable because of their persistent
hay fever symptoms. They may complain of burning, tearing eyes which they may
feel like scratching into oblivion. Or their nose may run like a faucet and
their wastebaskets may be filled with kleenex. They may have severe nasal
congestion, incessant, and sometimes violent, sneezing. Then, there’s the
itching, which may be unbearable. They may suffer from itchy eyes, ears, nose,
throat, or palate. Whatever the specific symptoms, hay fever is no fun. We have
found homeopathy to have greater than a 90% effectiveness rate in curing hay
fever. And often it does not come back the following year, especially if the
person is under constitutional homeopathic treatment. Here are a few examples
among our patients.
Prabha is a 30 year-old East Indian woman who we began treating two years
ago for asthma. Lycopodium helped her significantly with her asthma. She came
in last spring with hay fever of a two week duration.
It normally lasted all spring, until mid or late summer. She would wake in the
morning with a dry cough, congestion in the upper lungs, and slight wheezing.
During the day, she complained of terrible itching in the ears and eustachian
tubes, and some itching in the throat, nose, and, to a lesser degree, the eyes.
She had occasional sneezing, runny nose, and dry eyes. The symptoms lasted
throughout the day and were better when she was indoors.
Erik is a 29 year-old man, born in Norway, also suffering from spring hay
fever since the age of 5. It was usually worse in the summer, however this year
it was bothering him terribly in late March, prompting him to come in to see us
for the first time. He reported his symptoms as follows.
His main problem was frequent, violent, paroxysmal sneezing, which occurred in
spurts. He had a watery, runny nose, causing him to “run around with a
handkerchief all the time”. The skin under his nose was red and sore. His eyes
were itchy, dry, and irritated. There was no lachyrmation.
His nose was stuffy, whether he was indoors or out. His forehead itched.
With the hay fever, he found himself lethargic and had slept ten hours the
night before. This was extremely unusual for him since he was generally a very
high energy person. Since the hay fever began, he as irritable and felt
victimized by his acute illness. He had a strong desire recently for carrot
Todd, a 26 year-old computer program, was assured by another of my
patients that homeopathy could help him with his hay fever. He came in late
April of this year, like the two patients described above, in extreme
discomfort. He lamented, “I’m allergic to everything that’s not food!” His nose
ran all of the time. He was using half a box of tissues per day. His eyes were
itchy, puffy, and watery. He suffered from a post nasal drip precipitating a
sore throat. His sinuses sometimes swelled with the hay fever, causing a
pressing headache. His symptoms were definitely worse outdoors. He was
generally tired and wiped out with the hay fever. In the past it had lasted on
and off for four months. This time he came in after only a few days, however it
was his worst bout ever. He reported that he had “tried everything” orthodox
medicine had to offer him.
Marilyn is a 40 year-old artist. We have treated her successfully over the
past two years for her insomnia and mood swings, first with Arsenicum
album, then Sepia, as well as for several acute illnesses. She came
in last July, complaining of fits of sneezing, worse on waking, and a runny
nose. However, what bothered her most about the hay fever, was annoying itching
of the soft palate, and less so, of the eyes.
Finally, Catherine came in just last week. She called, desperate to get in
the same day, saying she “wasn’t doing well at all”. We had treated her
successfully for allergies in the past with Phosphorus, and hadn’t heard
from her in almost a year. We squeezed her into our schedule after the last
patient. Prepared for the worst, we figured she was probably very depressed.
She came in, kleenex clutched to her nose, lamenting her, you guessed it, hay
fever! She said her allergies had continued to be non-existent since treatment
with Phosphorus, but that her hay fever was driving her crazy. The roof
of her mouth was itchy. Her throat was terribly raw, especially on the right
side. The throat pain was better from warm drinks and worse from swallowing.
Her voice was beginning to crack. Her nose dripped constantly. The hay fever
began just a few days beofre she came in. At the same time she noticed a
tenderness of the right shoulder. It bothered her so much that she was
answering the phone all day (she was a receptionist) with the left hand. She
was much thirstier the past few days, and found herself drinking “all day
long”. She felt sick, tired, cranky, and achey, much unlike her good-natured,
So, what can a homeopath do to help these five poor, suffer- ing souls?
Please turn to page __ to find out.
Homeopaths, in emphasizing the individualization of homeopathic
pre-scriptions, can often be heard to say, “If we see five patients with a sore
throat, we may give them five different remedies.” So it is here. Each of these
patients was treated, effectively and quite rapidly, with a different
homeopathic remedy. You may wish to know, if you are not an experienced
homeopath, where to look up “hay fever” in Kent’s Repertory . We use the
rubric NOSE; CORYZA; annual on page 326. All of the other symptoms are
found in the eye, ear, nose, throat, or other sections, as appropriate. In each
of these cases, we gave a 30c potency of the specific remedy, to be used up to
twice a day, to stop when the symptoms improved, and then to continue only on
an as needed basis. The patients were told to call in three days if their hay
fever symptoms were no better.
We gave Prabha Nux vomica because of the dry cough with wheezing on
waking, combined with the sneezing and itching inside the nose. She received
the remedy in the spring of l990, with great benefit, and took it occasionally,
as needed, during the summer. She returned again this past spring, with the
same symptoms, and was again given Nux vomica, also with success.
Erik, the young Norwegian man with the violent sneezing, was given
Sabadilla, a Mexican grass. Sabadilla is one of the main
homeopathic reme-dies for a hay fever with spasmodic sneezing, nasal
congestion, itching inside the nose, and a fluent, copious coryza. The sneezing
and itching were relieved completely within two days. He experienced a swelling
of the nasal passages, which passed.
Todd, the man who was keeping the kleenex company in business, was given
Allium cepa, onion. Along with Sabadilla, Allium cepa is
a prime remedy for hay fever. Just think about what happens to you when you
slice an onion, and you’ll know just the kind of hay fever to use it for. It
works wonderfully for a hay fever, or a cold, which runs like a faucet (it may
be an excoriating coryza), along with itchy, watery eyes (bland lachryma-
tion), and considerable sneezing. Todd called three days later to say his nose
was no longer running. The first day after starting the remedy, he experienced
lots of sneezing, which passed quickly. Then he had a few mild headaches and
pressure behind his eyes. By the time he called, the symptoms had passed and he
had only slight nasal congestion periodically. He was told to take the
Allium cepa as needed.
Marilyn received Arundo (reed) for her itching of the soft palate
along with paroxysmal sneezing. Within a few days the itching and sneezing were
gone. Her symptoms returned a few days later after she used strong glue, then
were relieved again after another dose of the Arundo. She re-peated the
Arundo as needed for her same hay fever symptoms this year, also with
Catherine was given Sanguinaria (bloodroot). Sanguinaria is
notably a right-sided remedy and is well-known for right shoulder pain.
Combined with the right-sided sore throat, fluent coryza, irritability, and
extreme thirst, we felt that Sanguinaria, also known as a hay fever
remedy, was a clear choice. Catherine called to days after her visit to say her
sore throat was gone, as well as the itchy palate and coryza. Her shoulder pain
was much improved. All that remained was some nasal congestion. She told us she
was again convinced that natural medicine was the way for her.
When a patient is treated constitutionally homeopathically, for his or her
chronic symptoms, he or she may not suffer from hay fever at all, or may
continue to need the appropriate acute hay fever remedy when the symptoms
arise. Other common hay fever remedies not mentioned above are Euphrasia
(eyebright), used when the bulk of the symptoms are focused on the eyes.
Patients needing Euphrasia may have a coryza and sneezing, much like
Sabadilla and Allium cepa, however the most annoying symp- toms
will be the itching, burning, and red eyes with lachrymation. Wyethia is
another remedy for profound itching, particularly of the posterior nares, and
should be differentiated from Arundo. Naja (cobra) ia helpful for a hay
fever with excoriating coryza, lachrymation, and oppressive breathing. They are
said to wake in the middle of the night with a suffocative feeling, grasping at
their chest. We gave it once successfully to a woman whose asthmatic wheezing
was much exacerbated at 2-3 a.m. during her hay fever episodes. Many other
remedies, some of them unusual, can also be used very effectively for hay
So, for those of your patients who don’t experience relief from their hay
fever from other forms natural medicine, consider using homeopathy with them or
sending them to a homeopath.
Dr. Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Dr. Robert Ullman are licensed
naturopathic physicians and are board certified in homeopathy. They are
President and Vice President of the International Foundation for Homeopathy
where they teach homeopathy to licensed health care professionals. They
practice in Edmonds, WA at 131 3rd Ave., N., Edmonds, WA 98020 and can be
reached at (206) 774-5599. Their new book, The Patient’s Guide to Homeopathic
Medicine, is now available.