It’s April! Inhale a deep breath of sap flowing, buds bursting, the smell of dirt and warming soil. It’s spring—finally! The season of joy and life and renewal! Right? Ennhhh…wrong… Especially if that first whiff of spring brings on your symptoms of weepy/watery eyes, a burning, sneezing watery nose, a sore throat, and itchy mouth/nose/eyes. You are so stuffed up that breathing is impossible. You know that feeling? Stuffed up AND runny but darn if you can blow anything into your tissue!
April showers might bring May flowers, but if you are a seasonal allergy sufferer, April brings sneezy, wheezy springtime suffering.
HIDE IN THE HOUSE OR HEAD UNDER THE BLANKET?
Maybe your sure-fire solution is to simply stay indoors the whole season, but chances are good that spring allergy/hay fever symptoms start to spill over into summer and you find yourself still locked up in the house because your neighbours mow the lawn every second day!
Or you figure this year you will tough out the runny nose, but you end up with a cracked and bleeding schnoz…so much for tough.
And for some of you, maybe the best you can do to manage your symptoms is to bury your head under a cool damp towel and stay there until spring turns to summer. You are that desperate.
GIVE ME SOMETHING…ANYTHING!!
Maybe you’ve turned to over-the-counter medications just to get through the season, but you are finding that each year, you get crankier and crankier because of the medications. But you decide cranky is the better option—that’s how bad your symptoms are. Bend over, and the nose streams…steady…like the spring run-off flowing into the river. Who knew you could water your garden with nasal discharge?
Or maybe you take the over-the-counter or prescription medications because you’re sick of everyone asking, ‘Why are you crying?’ when they see your red, swollen eyes. Enough already!
One thing can be said for the over-the-counter medications: they do dry up the nose—and the eyes and the mouth. But, over the years, do you ever get that ‘out of it’ feeling? Taking one hay fever pill for daytime and one for nighttime seems like a good idea at the time, but maybe this is the year you decide that you really want to try something different, something more natural, AND just as effective (more effective, actually). What to do?
TRY HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES THIS SEASON
In the resources section of today’s newsletter, you will find links to some extremely well-written articles on homeopathy and hay fever (no need to rewrite something that is well covered). The article on the Helios Homeopathic Pharmacy website gives you descriptions of the most common remedies recommended for hay fever and allergies. Instead of one or two over-the-counter medicines for everyone with every symptom of hay fever, homeopathy can individualize based on characteristic symptoms of the person, rather than the condition itself.
For instance: If your strongest allergy/hay fever symptom is constant sneezing with a clear watery runny nasal discharge (watering the garden) but the nose feels blocked, you might need Arsenicum (especially if you have a history of asthma). With the general symptoms of Arsenicum, such as chilliness, wanting warm/hot drinks, restlessness, and any burning sensations that feel better with warm applications (think burning eyes and you want a warm cloth on them, not a cold one), you will likely find immediate relief.
There is one remedy that I would like to mention, however, because you won’t find it on the Helios link. In Dana Ullman’s article, “Homeopathy for Allergies: Nothing to Sneeze At,” he mentions a remedy that I had never heard of until today. (Thank you Dana Ullman!) Galphimia glauca is a plant common to Mexico and was used by German doctors in the 1960’s for allergies. In fact, there is a great deal of research on this homeopathic preparation. (Check out the link to the Ullman article at the end of the newsletter.)
What is characteristic with Galphimia is the hypersensitivity to weather changes (during the springtime in Calgary, we can have sunny and warm one day and snow the next) and with the allergy symptoms, shooting pains in the stomach. So in many ways it can be similar to Arsenicum, but Galphimia has its own peculiar symptom picture.
OR COMBINATION REMEDY?
Alternatively, the combination homeopathic remedy can be convenient if you are at the beginning of your allergy symptoms and you need some immediate relief until you can get in to see a homeopath. Or it is possible that you are just plain desperate and need something now!
In a previous newsletter (about teething), you learned how to look at the combination remedy list on the package. You noted that in some teething combinations, many of the remedies were the same but might have a slight variation. (You learn very quickly which teething remedy works for your child based on the remedy that is in one but not the other! Teething babies make fast learners of us all…what works and what doesn’t!)
The same goes for the combination hay fever remedies. When you read the different brand packages, you will find many of the same remedies with a slight variation in the formulation. You might need to try a couple of different formulations until you find one that is right for your needs.
Ullman highly recommends that you find a combination that has the Galphimia in it and after a look on the Internet, I discovered that Hyland’s does have a children’s formulation. It’s called Complete Allergy Relief 4 Kids. Adults could take it too. The Boiron product is called Sabalia. Check out both the links to Hyland’s and Boiron to read the ingredients. You will notice many of the same remedies are in both formulations and if you go to the Helios’ website, you can read the individual remedy pictures.
Homeopathy has many remedies that have proven very effective with seasonal allergies. Try it this season. If you find that homeopathy helps, consider booking an appointment with a qualified homeopath. If you are a DIY person and want to try finding a remedy on your own, you will likely be helped for the season. But if hay fever and allergies or asthma are a chronic health concern for you, a homeopath can find a remedy that will eventually, over two or three seasons, help you heal so that yearly allergies can be a thing of the past.
Let me know how your allergy season goes.
Yours in health and healing,
RSCHom, CCH, RSHom (NA), Classical Homeopath
Helios Pharmacy in the UK: an excellent resource on hay fever with recommendations for combination homeopathic remedies and single remedies. Descriptions of the individual remedies are very helpful for the beginning home prescriber. http://www.drfranklipman.com/homeopathy-for-allergies-nothing-to-sneeze-at/
WHERE TO BUY THE REMEDIES
Renewal Homeopathy and Wellness in Calgary, AB
This combination formulation has the Galphimia in it.
This also has the Galphimia in the formulation. Available at Renewal Homeopathy and Wellness in Calgary.