What a great winter we've had here on the East Coast! After two consecutive harsh winters, the lack of snow rejoices us and makes us think that Spring is just around the corner. While kids might long for snowball fights, adults welcome this balmy winter weather.
Before we spread out the welcome mat to the weather gods, we might think about what this mild winter will create: more pollen, early blooming of plants and trees, and a fearful onslaught of allergy attacks. From early Spring until November, Nature will play a cruel game with millions of easy victims. In fact some people never get relief at all, suffering throughout the year from sniffling, uncontrollable sneezing attacks, burning eyes and a nose that runs like a faucet. Many of you wake up in the morning to a salvo of pitiful sneezes. After the "machine gun sneezing" you feel as though all the blood was zapped out of your system, leaving you more tired than when you went to bed. While the air is full of singing birds and bees sucking on the sprouting flowers, you forget the joy this season is supposed to bring you.
Sure enough, new over-the-counter drugs continuously promise you fast relief and no more drowsiness. Take one a day, they say, and be smiling all the way. I wish it were this simple! Since allergies are related to histamine release, ANTI-histamines are a well-intended prescription. Unfortunately, it's based on the erroneous principle of Western medicine that "the Contrary Cures the Contrary."
For example, if you have constipation, take a laxative. You have a pain, take a pain pill. You have insomnia, take a sleeping pill. Of course this approach can provide quick but TEMPORARY relief.
The big problem is that it ignores Nature's infallible Law: "Action is followed by an equal OPPOSITE reaction." For example, if you take a laxative, it causes the colon muscles to go into spasm: the long-term effect is a weakening of the colon muscles and a dependency on laxatives. If you take a sleeping pill, it mimics the natural brain chemicals associated with sleep—but the brain detects their presence and reduces its own output of these neurotransmitters, again decreasing your ability to fall asleep naturally and increasing your dependency on the drug.
The result is that attacks of the complaint keep coming back—with a vengeance. An ever-increasing dose of the medication is required as the patient becomes more resistant to its effects. And then side effects, so commonly accepted, add to the misery of the already troubled patient.
What about allergy shots? Aren't they based on the homeopathic principle that "Like Cures Like"?
Unfortunately, like most vaccinations, allergy shots are based (unconsciously) on only ONE Law of Homeopathy, ignoring two other essential ones: one remedy or substance at the time, prepared in infinitesimal doses. (Homeopathic doses have almost NO molecules present anymore in their dilution).
Allergy shots and other vaccinations confuse the body's vital energy by mixing different substances into one shot, and they use a crude amount of the substance, not a homeopathic dilution. (This is why vaccinations can cause serious side effects which homeopathic remedies never do.) Allergy shots prepared according to homeopathic principles would be so more effective than the present ones. The actions of the current allergy shots is questionable at best: it takes years before we get enough of a suppressive effect through frequent (too frequent) repeating of the shots, and often the symptoms come back when the series of shots is over. Is there another way to try to be more in harmony with our blooming Nature?
The overall tendency to sensitivity and to allergic reactions can be permanently changed, for life, through homeopathy. This type of constitutional chronic treatment can only be done by a homeopathic physician, however. And your professional homeopath can give you a special remedy available only by prescription: PSORINUM. The beauty of this remedy is that when only a one-time dose is given 14 days before the allergy season starts, it can prevent most allergy attacks and enormously diminish the intensity of the patient's suffering in other cases.
For those of you who don't have a homeopathic physician nearby, I'd like to teach you some over-the-counter acute remedies which might bring you some quick relief with no danger of side effects. You probably already know how cheap homeopathic remedies are: only one cent a day. Just remember: we don't have just one homeopathic remedy for allergies and hayfever. The remedies are totally individualized to each patient's unique symptoms. So let's go shopping through Nature's gifts and see if we can make it a memorable Spring after this beautiful Winter.
One of the most popular remedies might be right in your kitchen. Anyone who has cut up raw onions for cooking knows how they irritate the eyes and nose. Onions cause violent sneezing and lachrymation (eyes watering). Then if the homeopathic law of cures is true, it ought to be a good remedy for a runny nose and hay fever. In fact, ALLIUM CEPA (red onion) covers more symptoms of common cold and hay fever than any other remedy! It is indicated in increased secretions from nose, eyes, mouth, throat. The patients experience a profuse, runny, burning nasal discharge which is worse in a warm room and better in the open air. They have a profuse, bland (non-burning) tearing from the eyes with reddened eyes and a desire to rub them frequently. But the discharge from the nose is acrid and burning, often burning the skin under the nose and creating a red, raw "mustache". For onion lovers, this remedy is just another one of Nature's gifts.
From the kitchen we might as well walk straight to our yard and look for the plant EUPHRASIA or Eyebright. Its characteristics are easy to remember, because they are the opposite of Allium Cepa: bland nasal discharge and burning eye secretions. The eyes of the patient water so much that they seem to swim in tears. Sometimes thick yellow discharge escapes from the eyes. The whites of the eyes become red and the cheeks become reddened from the burning tears. The eye symptoms are worse in the open air, sunlight and wind.
Another very popular remedy, most welcome in the ragweed season (September- October), is AMBROSIA or potentized ragweed. The symptom picture is much like Euphrasia, but use Ambrosia instead if your hayfever comes from exposure to ragweed pollen. The eyes itch and water a lot, the throat may be irritated and the breathing asthmatic. The nose and head may feel stuffed up.
You must be familiar by now with the wonderful remedy Arsenic (ARSENICUM ALBUM) from my previous articles: nothing better for travelers' diarrhea or the start of any cold. But it is also a very specific for burning tears (it is a good remedy for burning symptoms in general) and clear, watery nasal discharge with the nose running like a faucet. The nasal discharge is often worse on the right side. A patient who needs Arsenicum will often wake up between midnight and 2 a.m. with sneezing spells, tossing around restlessly, sometimes with anxious cries and a great desire for cold drinks which they drink in little sips. If these symptoms are suppressed by Western medications, asthma attacks can be the result.
While we are discussing the wonderful poisons, we might want to mention "Poison weed" or WYETHIA, a small but very effective remedy if the hay fever symptoms ask for it. Its distinct symptom is an irritable itching behind the nose and/or at the roof of the mouth. A tickling sensation creates a dry hacking cough. The throat feels hot with a tendency to constant clearing even though it's dry. Often the patient will mention that the throat feels swollen with difficulty in swallowing.
To show you how homeopathy matches the remedies to the mental and emotional characteristics of the patient, consider the two remedies PULSATILLA and NUX VOMICA. They both have the same typical symptom for the allergy itself: the nose is runny during the day and stuffed up at night. But the personality of the patient needing each remedy is totally different: the Pulsatilla person (most typically a little girl) is mild-tempered, clingy and weepy, tending to cling to her mother even more than usual when she's sick. The Nux vomica person (typically a businessman) is ambitious, competitive and irritable, often a work-aholic who compensates by over-indulging in food or alcohol. For acute situations we often give a remedy just based on the physical symptoms, but when there is a definite personality trait for the remedy, we try to match that as well.
And to show you how specific Homeopathy is, consider the characteristics of Cevadilla Seed or SABADILLA: its symptom picture includes burning red eyelids, with tears flowing worse during sneezing, yawning and coughing. The face and lips feel hot; they burn as if scalded. There is spasmodic sneezing with a runny nose. The secretions are watery, worse from the odor of flowers, even from thinking about flowers. The patient picks at his nose because it feels dry and itchy. Cold air definitely makes the patient feel worse. The throat is painful especially on empty swallowing, is better from hot drinks and the pain can go from left to right.
Do you understand now that a homeopathic remedy has to be tailored to your individual allergy or hay- fever symptoms? Unlike in Western medicine, one symptom might change the prescription completely because we are curing symptoms, not suppressing them.
In this short article lie many secrets to relieving acute attacks of allergies and hay fever. However, be wise. Don't stop at this stage but consult a well-trained homeopathic physician. He or she alone will be able to eradicate the entire allergic predisposition. And when someone sneezes in your presence, don't say, "Bless you," just say, "Take the right homeopathic remedy!"