Hay Fever :Allergic Rhinitis

A symptom complex including hay fever and perennial allergic
rhinitis, characterized by seasonal or perennial sneezing, rhinorrhea, nasal
congestion, pruritus and often conjunctivitis and pharyngitis.


Hay fever is a form of allergy affecting the lining of the nose, &
often the eyes and throat too. As the name implies, it is an allergic response
to the pollen of certain grasses, but is used to describe similar reactions
to a wide range of pollens & the spores of some fungi.



Actions Indicated for the Processes Behind this Disease

Anti-catarrhals will ease the symptomatic discomfort that often
characteristic of this problem. Again, avoid trying to `dry up’ the overproduction
with herbal de-congestants as in allergic rhinitis it can end up being quite
painful .

Expectorants are needed if wheezing or pulmonary congestion ensue.
Consider relaxing expectorants primarily.

Anti-spasmodics are essential for any marked difficulty with breathing.

Bitters help tone the whole body in the face of the immune systems
response.

Anti-inflammatories will help with the various symptoms as and when
they arise.

Astringents will often ease the symptom picture.

Adaptogens and Immune support may help long term. This `catch-all’
covers any need to support liver, kidney etc. etc.. Please refer to that
section if this is not clear.



System Support

The immune system needs support in the face of its response, often highlighting
stress as an issue. The upper and lower respiratory systems should be aided.


Specific Remedies

Individuals may find certain herbs that suit them well, but otherwise there
is no specific as such. A plant that has much to offer as a broncho-dilator
and reducer of allergy reactions is the well known TCM remedy Ephedra
sinica
, Ma Huang. Ayurveda and Unani medicine use a plant with a similar
biochemical impact, Ammi visnaga, that is being introduced into the
west.


In addition to such alkaloid rich plants, certain herbs might be considered
specific for the various types and sites of symptom that arise. For example
Eyebright (Euphrasia spp.), will ease distress that occurs in the
eyes.


One possible prescription:

Ephedra sinica — — — 1 part

Hydrastis canadensis — — — 1 part

Euphrasia spp. — — — 1 part

Urtica dioica — — — 2 parts

Solidago virgaurea — — — 2 parts 5 ml. taken three times a
day



Ideally start the treatment 2 months before the `hay fever season’ is thought
to be due. Start the following dosage regime:

Weeks 1 – 2 — — — 2.5 ml. once a day

Weeks 3 – 4 — — — 5 ml. once a day

Weeks 5 – 6 — — — 5 ml. twice a day

Weeks 7 – 8 — — — 5 ml. three times a day



If this treatment cannot be started before the allergy re-appears then start
on full dose immediately and possibly increase to 5 ml. four or five times
a day (for adults only).


These herbs supply the following actions:

Anti-spasmodics (Ephedra sinica)

Anti-catarrhals (Hydrastis canadensis, Solidago virgaurea, Euphrasia
spp., Ephedra sinica
)

Anti-inflammatories (Hydrastis canadensis, Solidago virgaurea,
Euphrasia spp., Urtica dioica
)

Anti-microbials (Hydrastis canadensis)

Astringent (Euphrasia spp.)

Bitters (Hydrastis canadensis)




Treating the whole person is the trick to successfully ameliorating this
common problem. In addition to the symptoms of the allergy, focus on general
health, stress and elimination. Diet must based upon avoidance of any specific
allergen as well as general good nutrition.


Various essential oils help with the symptoms, but the specifics vary from
person to person. Oils that have been recommended by aromatherapists include
all those mentioned above for the common cold, but especially:


Blue Camomile, Lemon Balm, Lavender


If a steam inhalation makes the patient feel even worse, give them some
oil to put on a tissue, to sniff whenever needed. Massage with any of these
oils can also be helpful.

David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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