When it comes to hayfever, homeopathic remedies can provide quick, effective relief without any side effects.
For the most effective long term relief, homeopathic desensitisation taken alongside the remedy that is most indicated for your symptoms works best.
Desensitisation involves taking a homeopathic remedy made from whatever you are allergic to, for example, tree, grass, flower, rapeseed or weed pollen. I have found desensitisation to be most effective when taken in the winter prior to developing any hayfever symptoms, however, it can also be used once the symptoms have developed.
These are guidelines for some of the homeopathic remedies for hayfever that I have successfully used in my practice.
Some of the homeopathic remedies for hayfever are quite similar to each other so one question that I find really helpful to ask is “what is the worst thing about your symptoms”. For example, you may have itching eyes, nose and throat but also a runny nose and lots of sneezing. However, if it’s the itching of your eyes that is the most distressing, you know you need a remedy which has been shown to help itching eyes, even if it doesn’t exactly match all of your other symptoms. In Homeopathy we are looking for the remedy which is similar and the closest match to your symptoms but it doesn’t have to be exact.
All of these remedies are available from Helios Homeopathy. The symptoms in italics are particularly indicative of the remedy.
Allium Cepa (onion):
This remedy, made from onion, is well suited to hayfever with similar symptoms to those you may experience from chopping a strong onion.
Red eyes with burning and smarting. Watery eyes. Sensitivity to light.
Acrid, burning, watery nasal discharge with sensation of rawness in the nose; sneezing.
Catarrhal headache, mostly in the forehead, worse in a warm room towards the evening; dullness of the head with difficulty concentrating.
Hoarse voice, tickling in the larynx and a hacking cough on breathing in cold air.
The symptoms tend to be worse in the evening and in warm rooms and better in the open air.
Intolerable itching of the eyelids, blood shot eyes with swollen blood vessels. Eyes run, smart and burn. Fissured skin around the eyes.
Sneezing with itching nose and watery discharge or nosebleeds. The nose and head feel stuffed up when the discharges stop.
Asthmatic attacks with irritation of the trachea and bronchial tubes. Wheezy, asthmatic cough which is worse from 9pm until midnight.
Itching and burning of the nostrils, palate, eyes and roof of the mouth (like Wyethia). Sneezing, runny nose and loss of smell (like Nat Mur). Excess saliva and mouth ulcers.
Aralia Racemosa (American Spikenard):
Frequent sneezing set off by drafts and the movement of air. Copious watery, irritating nasal discharge with a salty taste. Smarting and soreness of the nostrils.
Feeling of something stuck in the throat with nausea in the throat.
Asthmatic breathing, wheezing and whistling on lying down at night or after being asleep for a short while. Spasmodic, dry cough and ticking in the throat. Must sit up for relief.
Symptoms are worse on hot, humid evenings and better in cool weather. Diarrhoea may also accompany the hayfever symptoms.
Nat Mur (Chloride of sodium)
Running eyes, worse in the open air, wind or from reading. Tears stream down the face during coughing. Feeling of sand in the eyes. Itching of the inner corner of the eyes, sensitivity to light.
Violent bouts of sneezing with copious nasal discharge. Soreness and dryness of the nose.
Loss of taste and smell; mouth ulcers and cold sores.
People needing nat mur may feel embarrassed by the symptoms.
Wyethia (Wyethia helenoides; Poison Weed):
Itching of the inner corner of the left eye.
Dryness of the nose with violent sneezing.
Itching of the palate – need to scratch it with the tongue.
Throat feels dry, swollen; constant need to swallow to clear the throat; hoarse voice, pharyngitis
A person needing Wyethia may feel quite depressed and irritable with the hayfever.
Desensitisation remedies (available from Helios Homeopathy):
Mixed pollen 30c including tree pollen or mixed grasses 30c – take 1 pillule daily for 2 weeks. Repeat during the winter to help avoid getting hayfever the following year.
Tissue salt combination H containing mag phos, nat mur and silica: 2 pillules 4 times daily until the symptoms are alleviated. This can be taken alongside the homeopathic remedies and are available from Homeoforce:
How to take Homeopathic remedies for hayfever:
When taking a homeopathic remedy, just pop it under your tongue and suck it. They need to be taken at least 15 minutes away from eating or drinking (except water), and cleaning your teeth as they can be antidoted by strong tastes. We are all unique so the dose and frequency can vary, however, my general recommendation is to take the indicated remedy 3 times a day for 3-4 days but if relief is obtained before then you don’t need to continue taking it unless the symptoms return. If there is no change at all after about 4 days it would be worth reassessing to see if a different remedy matches your symptoms better.
Other tips for hayfever relief:
Take a probiotic supplement:
We have a symbiotic relationship with our microbiota, the diverse range of bacteria that reside in our gut. By communicating with the immune system, our microbiota have the potential to influence allergy and inflammation so it makes sense to support the beneficial bacteria in hayfever sufferers. Several studies have shown a positive effect of probiotics on allergic rhinitis, one of the major symptoms of hayfever. Probiotics that I have found beneficial clinically include Biocare Bioacidophilus and Allergy Research Group Culturelle.
When you have hayfever your immune system is already working overtime so try to avoid any food or drinks that you know don’t suit you. Eating foods that you are intolerant /allergic to will put extra pressure on your immune system, potentially worsening your hayfever symptoms.
Some people with pollen allergy also experience symptoms when eating certain cross reactive foods. For example, people who are allergic to silver birch pollen may also react to apples, apricots, cherries, kiwis, nectarines, peaches, pears and plums. This occurs because certain plant foods share similar proteins to particular pollen. Approximately 70% people who are allergic to birch pollen may experience symptoms after eating cross reactive foods.
You can view a chart of cross reactive foods by clicking the link below:
Yang G, Liu Z-Q, Yang P-C. Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis with Probiotics: An Alternative Approach. North American Journal of Medical Sciences. 2013;5(8):465-468. doi:10.4103/1947-2714.117299.
Ouwehand AC, Nermes M, Collado MC, Rautonen N, Salminen S, Isolauri E. Specific probiotics alleviate allergic rhinitis during the birch pollen season. World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG. 2009;15(26):3261-3268. doi:10.3748/wjg.15.3261.
Wang MF, Lin HC, Wang YY, Hsu CH. Treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis with lactic acid bacteria. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2004;15:152–8.
VIETHS, S., SCHEURER, S. and BALLMER-WEBER, B. (2002), Current Understanding of Cross-Reactivity of Food Allergens and Pollen. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 964: 47–68. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb04132.x
Boericke W, M.D.; Pocket Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica and Repertory, B.Jain Publishers Ltd, 1999.