Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is characterized by itchy nose, throat and palate, congestion and/or runny discharge from the nasal passages, itching or stinging eyes. These symptoms are often associated with tiredness, lethargy and sinus-type headaches. Hay fever is caused by the body producing chemicals, including histamine, in response to pollens from plants attaching themselves to membranes in the nose and throat.
The orthodox treatment is the use of antihistamines, which temporarily blocks the effects of histamine. Other types of decongestant can be used concurrently. These treatments do not offer cure, only temporary relief, and it is worth trying alternative treatments, which can be very effective.
Complementary practitioners may look at hay fever as being an inappropriate response to pollens or other inhaled particles due to an over-sensitivity created within the body by food allergy or intolerance. Treatment for hay fever is therefore a complex, all-body concern and not one that demands a topical therapy.
Nasal washing techniques. The easiest to use is a yogic technique called Jala Lota, which employs a salt solution and a little watering can. One passes the solution from nostril to nostril by holding the head in a downward position; the solution washes off the pollens and the salt solution helps the congestion. Pots are available through many healthfood outlets but it is best to be trained by a yoga practitioner.
Gencido ointment and injections are a Swiss-made pollen-based homeopathic preparation that can be applied to the nostrils or, in more serious conditions, injected. This needs to be prescribed by a doctor with knowledge of the compound.
Vitamins C and A and zinc have all been shown to desensitize membranes and relieve hay fever. These supplements should be taken in the following amounts per foot of height in divided doses with food throughout the day: vitamin A (l,000iu), vitamin C (Ig) and zinc (5mgjust before bedtime).
The homeopathic remedies Allium cepa, Pollen and Arundo can be taken at potency 6, four times a day, as can the various hay fever homeopathic combinations.
Herbal preparations are useful but need to be prescribed by a specialist in that field.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine, refined sugars and cow’s milk products, all of which encourage mucus production and make congestion worse.
The holistic consensus of opinion is that hay fever suffers have, generally, an overaggressive immune system, attacking things like pollen that should not cause a problem. This is often caused by persistently eating or drinking foods to which the individual is allergic. Food allergy testing is recommended through blood tests or bioresonance techniques.
Desensitization with specific homeopathic remedies for that type of pollen can be beneficial. It is possible to check the bloodstream for immunoglobulins for airborne pollens in order to isolate which ones are the culprits.
Enzyme potentiated desensitization (EPD) is a specific desensitization technique being studied by the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England. Only a few doctors around the world have the equipment to use this new but effective treatment in severe cases.