Hay fever Season:

The Evening Standard’s Health&Fitness section led with a full page article entitled ‘At last, I don’t cry when the sun comes out’ which was all about the trials, tribulations and treatment of hay fever sufferer, James Delingpole. James had suffered for many years from very severe hay fever symptoms which lasted from May to September causing him untold misery.

He describes how he tried everything from the orthodox treatments of antihistamines, nasal inhalers, eye drops and disposable tissues to naturopathic treatments like dairy free diets – but without significant relief. He was skeptical about homeopathy, having watched a very anti-homeopathy programme on television last year. The programme did not show any ill effects of homeopathic treatment, merely that a laboratory trial didn’t show a difference between the effects of water with a homeopathic remedy in it on live cells in a test tube and water without a homeopathic remedy in it. It wasn’t a clinical trial (when you test the effects on live human beings, known as ‘patients’ in my profession). Studies of clinical trials, known as meta-analyses actually show that patients do tend to be helped by homeopathic remedies.

Nevertheless this programme put some people off homeopathy and Jamie was one of them. In desperation, he went to see a homeopath anyway and to his astonishment, his hay fever has improved dramatically. The crowning glory of his successful treatment was that he was able to attend the Glastonbury music festival last year (outdoors in the country in case anybody didn’t know) with hardly any symptoms at all. Having tried so many treatments without a result, Jamie is convinced that it was homeopathy that finally did the trick for him.

Homeopathic Tip of the Week: Hayfever

Hay fever can be tough to treat but homeopathy is well worth a try. It doesn’t have the side effects of orthodox treatment and many thousands of people resort to it at this time of the year. As always it’s best to see an homeopathic doctor who can individualise your remedy. Still here are some basic guidelines for OTC (over the counter) homeopathic remedies:

1. Allium cepa: You can try this remedy if your hay fever mainly affects your nose. Your eyes may water, but you are constantly sneezing and the discharge from your nose is acrid, burns the skin and causes redness under your nose. Use strength 6c four times a day.

2. Euphrasia: This is the remedy when it’s the eyes that are most affected. This time the discharge from the eyes burns and makes the eyes look red. You may also have a nasal discharge, but it’s likely to be bland and non-irritating. Use strength 6c four times a day.

3. Mixed Grasses and Pollens: (This is the remedy that played a part in Jamie’s treatment in the story above.) The idea of this remedy is to try to ‘desensitise’ you to the very things that hay fever sufferers are allergic to. There was a time that orthodox doctors used small but very tangible doses of these same pollens to desensitise patients against the allergens. It worked in some cases, but in a significant few, produced a dangerous allergic reaction which caused it to be more or less abandoned by the medical profession. In a homeopathic potency however (extremely dilute – 10-60 for the mathematically inclined) there is no such risk.

This is the one to try when your hay fever definitely gets worse when the pollen count goes up. It can be used in conjunction with one of the remedies mentioned above where it can safely be taken in strength 30c one dose a week. Again supervision by a homeopathic doctor is always preferable.