Homeopathic remedies for spring allergies

When I first started school to be a naturopathic doctor I had a basic idea of what a naturopath used as treatment tools such as nutrition, herbs, acupuncture, lifestyle counselling, etc but I had no idea what homeopathy was. I thought, “I like everything else, who cares if I have no idea what homeopathy is? I’ll just practice everything else and ignore it for now.”  As it turns out, I couldn’t ignore it and now it is the primary modality I use in practice.

We were given an assignment to go to the student clinic and have our homeopathic case taken (the case taking process is very detailed and a little longer than your typical 8 minute visit with the doctor) and were prescribed a remedy.  I took mine and experienced very positive effects on my wellbeing, moreso than just changing my diet or taking supplements had done and I knew I wanted to experience more about homeopathy.  A lot of my other classmates were hesitant to take their prescribed remedies or didn’t experience any effects at all, either positive or negative and concluded that homeopathy was not going to be part of their healing toolkit.  I don’t think they should have been so easily discouraged because there are many factors that could influence the effectiveness of a remedy:

The skill of the doctor to obtain information from the patient, analyze it and choose a remedy could have been lacking (we were seeing student interns, of course they were in the beginning stages of learning too).

Or maybe the remedy choice was correct but prescribed at an incorrect potency.

Or maybe the power of skepticism can be just as strong as the power of positive thinking or placebo and lead to negative or non-effects.

 As an intern at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine we treated patients on different shifts under the care of different supervisors.  One of my shifts was a homeopathy focus shift and in the end I learned that I loved homeopathy and had very good results with it.  After graduation I enrolled in the Ontario College of Homeopathic Medicine to obtain my Homeopathic Doctor degree and have since gained more knowledge and experience with homeopathic patient care.  However, I learned that we are always learning and it never stops.  You just have to pay attention to the lessons that can come from anywhere, your teachers (obviously, that’s what they do!), your classmates, colleagues, and most importantly your patients.  All these relationships are important and that is a key lesson I have learned: the relationship between the doctor and patient is crucial to healing and is fostered in the homeopathic casetaking process.

So, just because you try the following homeopathic remedies which may or may not work for you, please keep in mind that there are many factors to the homeopathic prescription.  Homeopathic doctors prescribe remedies based on the totality of the symptom picture. We don’t just take into account your allergy symptoms, we also prescribe on your other physical, mental and emotional symptoms.  This is because you can have itchy eyes and I can have itchy eyes but how it affects you and your experience of it can be very different than my experience, perceptions and reactions to it.  This makes your prescription unique to you!

Now to the remedies:

Allium cepa (onion, think about your symptoms when chopping an onion)

  • Lots of sneezing with watery discharge and burning
  • Itchy, watery eyes – bland, non-irritating discharge
  • Symptoms are better outdoors and with splashing cold water on the

Euphrasia officinalis (eyebright flower)

  • Very red, itchy and watery eyes with burning (conjunctivitis)
  • Nasal discharge – bland
  • Very sensitive to the light and prefers to stay indoors in a dimly lit room

Arsenicum album (arsenic, don’t be scared! homeopathic remedies are very dilute and there is a minute amount of the original substance present) —

  • Sneezing with nasal burning relieved by hot compresses on the sides of the nose and breathing warm air through a humidifyer
  • Specific allergies to mould, dust and cats
  • Restlessness, tiredness, coldness of hands and feet and distressful waking in the night
  • High-strung and anxious about health

Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal in homeopathic form! see my previous blogpost on goldenseal: https://drellensimonend.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/goldenseal-a-great-herb-to-combat-spring-allergies/)

  • —Very thick yellow-green discharge from nose
  • —Mucous often forms thick crusts around the nose
  • —Constipation
  • —Averse to bread and vegetables

Sabadilla officinalis (cevadilla seed, part of the liliaceae plant family)

  • —Spasmodic fits of sneezing with a lot of discharge
  • —Itchiness of the nose and soft palate, the child will want to scratch the top of his mouth
  • —Triggered by exposure to flowers

Most homeopathic remedies can be purchased from a health food store in a 30CH potency with recommended use of letting 5 pellets dissolve under your tongue 3 times per day.  If you don’t see relief after 3 days then it is not the correct remedy for you and you can try a different one or perhaps see a homeopathic doctor for a constitutional prescription which will encompass all of your symptoms.  Homeopathic remedies do not interact with medications and supplements but it is always a good idea to consult your doctor prior to starting any new treatment.