Are you suffering from frequent sneezing attacks, runny nose and itchy eyes? If yes, then you are suffering from allergic rhinitis, simply called nasal allergy. Also known as hay fever, this condition sometimes causes breathing problems and is then called hay asthma. Homeopathic medicines can provide significant relief to those who suffer from allergic rhinitis not only temporarily but also a long-term cure for nasal allergy.
Top Homeopathic Medicines for Allergic Rhinitis
The top five homeopathic medicines to treat allergic rhinitis are Natrum Mur, Sabadilla, Arsenic Album, Allium Cepa and Arundo Mauritanica. Two medicines that require a special mention in homeopathy are Galphima Glauca and Histaminum. Both of them have been lately introduced in homeopathy and have done wonders in treating the acute symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
1. Natrum Mur – Top-grade medicine
It is the leading homeopathic medicine for treating allergic rhinitis. It covers nearly all the problem areas and is the most widely used homeopathic medicine for treating nasal allergy. Violent sneezing and runny nose is the foremost guiding symptom to put it into use. The nasal discharge is thin and watery resembling the raw white of an egg. This discharge may flow for a day or two followed by nasal blockage which makes breathing difficult. Frequent sneezing occurs early in the morning and a sensation of a small worm wriggling in the nostril is felt. Loss of smell and taste may also be noted.
When and how to use Natrum Mur?
It is the first choice of every homeopath for treating almost every case of allergic rhinitis. Whenever a person is having intense sneezing and runny nose, this medicine can be given without a second thought. It is suitable for persons of all age groups. Though it can be used in different potencies, the most frequently used is 6X potency which can be taken three to four times a day.
2. Sabadilla – for complaints worsening from strong smells
It is a natural medicine sourced from seeds of Cebadilla plant. It is used when a person is oversensitive to strong smells. The most noteworthy symptom to use this medicine is marked sneezing, along with runny nose which gets worse with strong odors, for example, perfume. It is followed by watering and redness in the eyes. Stuffed nose may sometimes add to your woes.
When and how to use Sabadilla?
Sabadilla can be given to persons who have a runny nose after exposure to strong odors e.g. perfume, along with sneezing. It can be taken in 30C potency, one to three times a day based on the intensity of the symptoms.
3. Arsenic Album – for watery nasal discharge with a burning sensation
Though placed at number three, it is equally effective as the above-mentioned two medicines. The only difference is that it is prescribed by a homeopath based on different symptoms. It is recommended when there is thin watery nasal discharge that causes a burning sensation in the nose, and excoriation which means peeling away of the skin of the nostrils. It is accompanied by sneezing. The patient’s condition worsens in the open air, but feels better indoors. Sometimes, you might have a stuffy nose along with the above-mentioned symptoms.
When and how to use Arsenic Album?
This medicine can be used when watery discharge flows from the nose that causes burning sensation and excoriation (damage or peeling of skin) in nostrils, along with sneezing. Use of this medicine is recommended in both low and high potencies. In the beginning, one may use 30C potency once or twice a day. For using high potencies, prior consultation with homeopathic physician is a must.
4. Allium Cepa – for irritating, burning nasal discharge and non- irritating eye discharge
The most pressing indication to use this medicine is profuse, watery irritating burning nasal discharge and copious, non-irritating eye discharge. In severe cases, the nasal discharge burns and corrodes (damages) the nose and upper lips due to acidic nature. It is accompanied by sneezing. Allium is also recommended when sneezing and nasal discharge worsen on entering a warm room and get better in open air. It is also effective when intense sneezing occurs on rising from bed. When nasal allergy worsens in spring or early in the month of August, Allium Cepa is the most extensively used remedy.
When and how to use Allium Cepa?
Nasal discharge that causes burning, corroding in nose and upper lip, with non–irritating eye discharge is the classic indicator to use this medicine. This medicine can also be used in both low and high potencies. It is safe to use it in 30 C potency in the beginning, once a day to thrice a day depending on the severity of symptoms, but for high potencies like 200 C or more, prior consultation with homeopathic physician is strictly advised.
5. Arundo Mauritanica – for itching in nostrils, with sneezing
The most outstanding symptom pointing to its use is itching in nostrils and sneezing. Itching of palate (roof of mouth) and eyes is also felt along with burning sensation.
When and how to use Arundo?
The key symptom is itching in nostrils with intense sneezing. It can be taken two to three times a day in 30C power.
Note Whenever taking any of these medicines, you may continue for about 2 to 3 weeks. If symptoms persist or you wish to continue any of these medicines beyond 3 weeks, it is strictly advised to seek consultation from a homeopathic physician. Also, do not take high potencies without consulting a homeopathic doctor.
What causes allergic rhinitis?
It is a part of the reaction of the body to a misdirected defense response from the body. This occurs when the body’s own defense cells called antibodies start attacking substances like pollen, wheat threshing dust, dust, etc. In other words, the body’s defense cells, which are meant to fight micro-organisms like bacteria and viruses, start attacking substances like pollen which are otherwise harmless to our body. This interaction between the defense cells (antibodies) and substances like pollen, wheat threshing dust (antigens), etc. results in the production of a substance, histamine, which is responsible for all local symptoms produced during allergies.
What are the symptoms?
Some symptoms arise immediately after exposure to the allergen and some of the symptoms may develop later. Its pertinent to mention here that symptoms of allergic rhinitis are not life-threatening but can seriously affect the quality of one’s life. The symptoms may occur only in a particular season or all the year around, which depends on the type of allergic rhinitis.
Following symptoms arise immediately on exposure to allergen:
– sneezing that can range from a few to many
– profuse watery discharge from the nose
– itching in the nose, eyes, roof of the mouth and throat
– watery, red eyes
Following symptoms may occur later:
– blocked stuffy nose
– sore, scratchy throat
– blockage in ears
– reduced sense of smell
– fatigue, irritability, feeling ill
– difficulty in breathing in some patients
-dark under-eye circles
What are the two types of allergic rhinitis?
The two types include seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis
It occurs during a particular time of the year i.e. in spring, summer and early fall. It occurs from response to outdoor allergens like pollen. It occurs during this time because pollen count is high with trees and weeds in full bloom.
Perennial allergic rhinitis
Its symptoms can occur throughout the year. It happens from exposure to indoor allergens like dust mites and pet dander. The symptoms may worsen in winter when time spent indoors increases.
How homeopathy helps in curing allergic rhinitis?
In allergic rhinitis, homeopathic medicines work by optimizing the overactive immune system. Homeopathic medicines provide a stimulus (in a highly diluted form) to the body similar to what the trigger or allergen would have produced, leading to the gradual desensitization of the immune system. Homeopathic medicines used for treating allergic rhinitis mainly come from plants or organic substances. So, they do not have any side-effects and help in recovering naturally.
What are the common allergens that trigger nasal allergy?
The common allergens that can trigger nasal allergy are as follows:
– different kinds of pollen (powder coming from flowering plants): Tree pollen, grass pollen
– mites in the dust inside our homes
– animal dander (tiny flakes shed from skin) from pets like dogs, cats
– wood dust
Allergic rhinitis occurs from allergies but there are certain external factors that can trigger or aggravate allergic rhinitis. Some of these include strong smells like perfumes, cigarette smoke, wind, cold temperature, wood smoke and fumes.
Who is at risk?
Though anyone can suffer from it, those having a family history of allergic rhinitis or some other allergies are at more risk. People who have atopic eczema and asthma are also highly prone.
Is allergic rhinitis contagious?
No, it is not contagious. It means it does not spread from one person to another via inhalation of respiratory droplets from the person suffering from allergic rhinitis.
How to know if it is allergic rhinitis, cold or flu?
Many people tend to confuse allergic rhinitis with cold or flu due to some similar symptoms. Here are some points to differentiate between these two conditions.
– In allergic rhinitis, sneezing and thin clear watery nasal discharge and symptom may last for many weeks, longer (even all the year around) than a cold.
– In allergic rhinitis, itching in the nose, throat, eyes, mouth is common and fever is absent. Allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction and not contagious. However, in case of cold or flu, the nasal discharge tends to be thick and a person can also have fever. Sneezing and sore throat may also occur. In most of the cases, cold happens from a virus and it is contagious. It lasts from 3 days to a week and in extreme cases, not more than two weeks.
Can allergic rhinitis lead to any complications?
Yes, sometimes a few complications can arise from allergic rhinitis. These include development of asthma or worsening of asthma, frequent sinus infections, frequent ear infections. The symptoms may cause poor sleep or inability to sleep at night.
Can hay fever be prevented?
Though allergic rhinitis cannot be prevented but some preventive measures can help reduce the intensity of its symptoms. These are as follows:
– During seasons when pollen is in the air, prefer staying indoors as much as possible
– When pollen count is high, keep the windows closed
– Wash hands immediately after handling pets
– Change clothes or take shower as soon you come home after being outdoors
– Use dust and mite-proof bedding covers
– Use air conditioner to decrease amount of allergens in the air
Role of Vitamin D in managing allergic rhinitis symptoms
According to a research paper published in Asia Pacific allergy journal (The role of Vitamin D in allergic rhinitis), decreased levels of Vitamin D worsens allergic rhinitis symptoms. Vitamin D controls or modulate defense cells (over-activation of which increases allergic rhinitis symptoms), so vitamin D levels are very important to treat allergic rhinitis.
As per research paper European Respiratory Journal, in persons with low vitamin D levels, the symptoms of allergic rhinitis were severe. A trial was done in which placebo (plain non medicated pills) was given to 50 pc of the persons who participated in the trial and the rest 50 pc were given oral vitamin D (chole-calciferol 1000 IU) for thirty days.
It was seen that there was significant reduction in the symptoms of allergic rhinitis in those who were given vitamin D supplement but symptoms persisted in those who received placebo.
In a similar experiment by the Pediatric Department of University of Lordz in Poland, a trial was done on children. It was seen that in children who received vitamin D 1000 IU daily, there was significant reduction in allergy symptoms.
From the above-mentioned papers, it is clearly evident that vitamin D 1000 IU daily during allergy period can offer significant relief.