As pollen counts hit spring highs, help is at hand for hay fever sufferers who are looking for an alternative to conventional medication.
Between 15 and 20 per cent of the British population suffer from the often debilitating symptoms of pollen allergy,(1) ranging from sneezing to itchy swollen eyes.
But a survey on behalf of Nelsons Pharmacy showed that 72 per cent of sufferers would prefer a natural alternative to anti-histamines and 79 per cent would like to access natural treatments on the NHS.(2)
And a different survey estimated that hay fever would cost British businesses £324 million in sick days over the summer months.(3)
A number of research trials have shown that homeopathic treatment can produce a significant improvement in hay fever symptoms,(4-7) but what does this involve?
When consulting a homeopath for hay fever treatment, you may find that they prescribe homeopathic medicines for you in two different ways – firstly with the aim of addressing the acute hay fever symptoms when they occur, and secondly to try to reduce the frequency of your hay fever attacks in the first place.
Homeopathy is a system of medicine which is based on treating the individual with highly diluted substances given in mainly tablet form, which triggers the body’s natural system of healing. Based on their experience of their symptoms, a homeopath will match the most appropriate medicine to the patient.
It is recommended that a qualified and registered homeopath (look out for the RSHom designation) is consulted as each sufferer will be treated according to their own individual combination of symptoms and how it affects them.
1. Asthma and Allergy Information and Research website. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~aair/hayfever.htm
2. One Poll survey of 3,373 respondents on behalf of Nelsons
3. http://www.lloydspharmacy.com (find in information, about us, press releases)
4. Reilly DT, Taylor MA, McSharry C, Aitchison T. Is homeopathy a placebo response?
Controlled trial of homeopathic potency, with pollen in hayfever as a model. Lancet,1986;2: 881-6.
5. Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G. Clinical trials of Homeopathy. Br Med J, 1991; 302:316-22.
6. Launsø L, Kimby CK, Henningsen I, Fønnebø V. An exploratory retrospective study of people suffering from hypersensitivity illness who attend medical or classical homeopathic treatment. Homeopathy, 2006; 95: 73-80.
7. Kim LS, Riedlinger JE, Baldwin CM, Hilli L, Khalsa SV, Messer SA, Waters RF. Treatment of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis Using Homeopathic Preparation of Common Allergens in the Southwest Region of the US: A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial. Ann Pharmacother, 2005; 39(4): 617-24.