Allergies are caused by the body’s hypersensitivity to foreign substances such as pollen, animal dander, dust, and food. Irritation of the mucous membranes along the upper respiratory system is common. Symptoms are sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes, irritation of the roof of the mouth, a stuffy nose, congested sinus areas, and a headache. Allergies are not simple to treat; they generally represent a chronic problem that is genetic, although they may skip one, two, or three generations. Homeopathic remedies can help in the acute stages of allergies to help relieve the symptoms, but usually a more constitutional approach to help the underlying condition is necessary for permanent help.
Homeopaths believe there is an association between allergies, skin problems (such as eczema and hives), and asthma. It is best not to suppress the symptoms of the skin or mucous membranes since that can actually drive the process of irritation further into the system, creating such conditions as asthma or perhaps joint problems. It is always best to start with homeopathic remedies to see if the symptoms improve.
Allergies that occur in the wintertime are generally due to allergens such as dust from heating systems and molds that accumulate in basements, humidifiers, and furnaces. Allergies in the springtime are often due to tree pollen, and in late spring or early summer, grass pollens are usually the cause. Later in the summer, problems are often due to Ragweed, Goldenrod, and dust during the dry season. Molds, especially those from trees and leaves, are usually the allergen during early to late fall when the weather is damp.
Natural Treatments Can Help Allergies
Natural treatments that can help allergies include using eyeglasses or sunglasses to avoid getting pollens in the eyes and washing the eyes out with water after being outside and exposed to irritating pollens. Rinsing the nose with salt water can be helpful to wash out pollens. The use of a HEPA filter in the furnace can help take out mold, animal dander, and dust in the air. Keeping dogs and cats out of the house while children are suffering from allergies is also very important. Keeping the basement dry can help mold from accumulating. Having hardwood floors and avoiding carpeting is helpful, especially when the person is allergic to dust. If the person has a sensitivity to feathers, pillows made from foam rather than down should be used.
Other helpful hints are avoiding cigarette smoke, car exhaust, and alcohol, since they inflame bronchial tissues. Not storing newspapers and magazines and making sure that old rugs, carpets, stuffed animals, and upholstered furniture are clean are also helpful. Houseplants can be a source for pollen and should be avoided in the homes of people who have allergies. Venting clothes dryers outside is important, as is removing damp clothes from the washer quickly so mold does not accumulate. Keeping windows closed during the summer and fall when the allergens are high in the air can be of help. Running a clean air conditioner in the summer months may also help take mold out of the air. A low-fat diet is recommended and avoiding foods that are mucus producing, such as dairy, yeast, and sweets, is important. If the person is allergic to a specific food, that food should also be avoided. Aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided in people who have allergies. Certain vitamins and herbs are known to help allergies. Consult herbal and nutritional references for further information.
Some Homeopathic Remedies That Can Help With the Symptoms Caused by Allergies
The eyes burn, sting, and swell and are sensitive to light. Tears are profuse but do not irritate the skin around the eyes (Euphrasia is the opposite with irritating eye discharge and non-irritating nasal discharge). An important characteristic is that the nose and eyes stream with great amounts of watery discharge. The person sneezes frequently. Acrid nasal discharge burns, making the nose and upper lip sore. Post-nasal drainage makes the throat raw. The person is extremely thirsty. A headache often accompanies the allergies and may be felt in the back of the head or in the forehead in the sinus area. Symptoms associated with Allium cepa seem to get better in the open air, especially when the air is cool. However, the cough that accompanies this illness may get worse when cool air is inhaled. Symptoms seem worse indoors or in a warm room.
Asthma is often associated with this type of allergy. Mental agitation, anxiety, and restlessness occur. The eyes burn, and tears are hot and acrid, stinging the face and cheeks. Sneezing can be extreme. There may be a tickle in one spot inside the nose that is not relieved by sneezing. Heavy mucus drainage from the nose alternates with blockage of the nose. Nasal discharge is thin and burning and is not yellow or green, but watery. The upper lip is irritated and raw from the discharge. There is extreme thirst for warm drinks, which are sipped rather than gulped. Often, breathing is labored. The person is chilly and intensely intolerant of light. Warm applications to the face and nose, elevating the head, and wrapping up the body seem to help the symptoms. Sitting up is often the best position. Wet weather, weather changes, and being by the ocean aggravate the symptoms. The allergies tend to get worse from midnight until 2:00 a.m.