If you are reading this now, you probably know all too well what allergic rhinitis or hay fever is, so I will not waste your time explaining it. I'll leave that job to WebMD. But according to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 30% of US population suffers with hay fever.
If you're lucky, you get allergies only during a particular season, but perhaps you're someone who has it all the time because it is literally impossible to escape dust mites or your beloved fur baby in the real world.
An allergen is not that harmless to someone with hay fever. In fact, it does a lot of harm and really affects the quality of life to a high degree. We could say it harms your life! After all, how can someone with sneezing attacks; itchy, runny, stuffy nose; red, watery eyes; headaches; fatigue; coughing, and hives enjoy life to the fullest?
Modern medicine has some options for us, and most of them are well known to us all, but perhaps not well enough. Let's look at the conventional treatment options and see how helpful and safe they are.
These drugs can cause drowsiness and dizziness and can actually cause headaches, which if you're experiencing hay fever symptoms, you most likely already have, but just in case you didn't, these drugs will get you one.
According to JAMA Internal Medicine, long-term use of OTC drugs, such as Benadryl, has been linked to increased risk of dementia.
We all know what they do – they let you breathe for a few hours and probably get some sleep. They will also raise your BP, which could be very dangerous for someone with hypertension, and if you use them longer than three days, they will cause rebound congestion.
The way they work is that with each subsequent dose, the drug's effect decreases and shortens and is replaced with even worse congestion. Have you noticed that?
When that happens, we use it more often and get ourselves into a vicious cycle of more doses followed by rebound congestion. This causes damage to the lining of the nose and creates congestion that sometimes lasts seemingly forever!
The warning label says a lot about these drugs' safety: speak to your doctor if you have an abnormal heart rhythm, heart disease, history of stroke, anxiety, a sleep disorder, high blood pressure, or bladder issues. Hmm, it makes you wonder, right?
Nasal and oral corticosteroids
This is a prescription steroid medication that suppresses your immune system's response to allergens to not react by producing histamine. Names such as Nasonex and Flonase are familiar to many just from hearing a TV commercial in the background. Those happy people in commercials do not tell you that these drugs come with their own unwanted effects and dangers.
Inhaled corticosteroids do not just increase your risk of oral candida infection but also carry much more significant systemic adverse effects on the body after prolonged usage. These include adrenal suppression, bone loss, skin thinning, increased cataract formation, decreased linear growth in children, metabolic changes, and behavioral abnormalities.
Long-term use of oral steroids can cause serious side effects such as osteoporosis and muscle weakness.
Immunotherapy: injections and sublingual
The biggest upside to this approach is that some studies have shown a 30% decrease in seasonal symptoms and a 44% decrease in allergy medication usage. It works much better for someone with seasonal rather than perennial (year-long) allergies. It is expensive, takes time, and, for some people, might be worth the trouble and risks because there are many.
This approach's scariest part is the many systemic allergic reactions, anaphylaxis, and even fatalities reported resulting from this treatment. This is especially risky for someone who also has asthma in addition to hay fever. Many adverse events!
Simply put – it's an allergen vaccine (injected subcutaneously), which means there are other ingredients than just the tiny amount of the allergen. And those ingredients are very similar to what you will find in other vaccines, including aluminum, phenol, human serum albumin – all of which introduce more toxins for the immune system to deal with. It's just more toxic load for the body to carry.
I can't really see how this can make someone healthier in the long run.
Now on to the good news!
Homeopathy, correctly prescribed, could be life-changing! Literally! And the best part is that it doesn't come with a long or even short list of nasty side effects like pharmaceuticals do, which do nothing less than create another disease in the body.
This is not just some wishful thinking and believing – numerous studies show its effectiveness when dealing with hay fever. Many people who have tried it can tell you the same – it works.
But don't just take my word for it; look at the research yourself.
Improved quality of life and reduction of conventional drugs in allergic patients treated with homeopathy
This study was done in Italy from 2011-2014 on 430 out-patients in the Centre for Integrated Medicine in Pitigliano (Tuscany).
The study's purpose was to assess any changes in the quality of life of allergic patients treated with specific homeopathic protocols and to evaluate their response to these protocols in terms of improvement of symptoms and reduction of conventional drug usage. Patients' age range was 3-78 years, and allergic rhinitis was the most common complaint. Only 28% of them had some prior knowledge of homeopathy coming into this study. 41% had co-morbidities.
The patients were prescribed combination homeopathic remedies based on their individual symptoms. This approach satisfied patient compliance, created uniformity and reproducibility of the protocol, and kept the costs low – only 12-15 euros per month per patient.
Data on compliance with treatment, evaluation of allergic symptoms, quality of life questionnaire, and changes in conventional allergy drug usage were collected at the end of the study.
The results were amazing! Compliance was 89% (11% reported that they dropped out of the study either due to experiencing significant improvement or due to geographical location and difficulty returning to the integrative center). None of the patients discontinued due to adverse side effects.
After two months of treatment, 75% of patients showed a high level of improvement at the first follow-up, and others reported complete resolution of their allergy symptoms. These improvements were maintained throughout the two-year follow-up period. By the end of it, “all patients with seasonal respiratory allergies had reduced their consumption of cortisone, bronchodilators or antihistaminic drugs to zero while patients with perennial allergic syndromes reduced their conventional drug usage by 85 to 100%”. All reported increased quality of life.
Is homeopathy a placebo response? A controlled trial of homeopathic potency, with pollen in hay fever as model
Here they tested the hypothesis that homeopathic preparations are nothing more than a placebo effect. This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that compared the effects of homeopathic preparations with the placebo in 144 patients with active hay fever.
The results showed a significant decrease in allergic symptoms and a reduction in the use of antihistamines in the homeopathically treated group of patients. They found NO evidence to support that homeopathy is just a placebo effect.
Hay fever & homeopathy: a case series evaluation
This was a clinical observational study in which eight patients were treated homeopathically over two years. Each patient received an individualized prescription of a single or combination homeopathic remedies, and their baseline self-evaluation questionnaires were compared with questionnaires at two and four weeks of treatment.
The average scores for eyes, nose, activity, and wellbeing improved significantly, and individualized homeopathic treatment was associated with marked alleviation of allergy symptoms and reduction in the use of pharmaceuticals.
Randomised controlled trial of homeopathy versus placebo in perennial allergic rhinitis with overview of four trial series.
This overview of multiple trials aimed to confirm that homeopathy is not just a placebo effect. The design was the gold standard of studies – a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multi-center study.
Fifty-one patients were randomly assigned a homeopathic preparation for allergies or a placebo. After the 3rd and 4th weeks, the changes in symptoms were compared to baseline.
The homeopathy groups had significant improvements in their nasal airflow compared to the placebo group. These results confirmed the earlier evidence – homeopathic preparations are not the same as the placebo.
Homeopathic complex remedy in the treatment of allergic rhinitis: results of a prospective, multi-center observational study
In this observational study, a total of 123 patients (children and adults) with a long history of allergic rhinitis were observed for four weeks while taking the homeopathic combination remedy Pascallerg®.
The results were positive again, with a marked improvement in quality of life and decreased overall symptom score. When the participants were asked to rate this study medication compared to their previous therapies to address their hay fever, they rated Pascallerg® as markedly more efficient at treating their allergy.
There was one allergic reaction in all of the study, while others had no adverse effects to the homeopathic preparation tested.
Based on the studies presented, it becomes evident that homeopathy offers a viable alternative to pharmaceuticals and shots in the treatment of hay fever. With a plethora of research supporting its effectiveness and absence of negative side effects, homeopathy emerges as a safe and efficient option for managing environmental allergies.
By addressing the root cause of hay fever, homeopathic remedies have the potential to eliminate the symptoms altogether. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you consider consulting with a qualified homeopath to explore this promising approach. Trying homeopathy may not only alleviate annoying allergy symptoms but also restore a higher quality of life. Take the step and discover the potential benefits for yourself.
Cumulative Use of Strong Anticholinergics and Incident DementiaA Prospective Cohort Study: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2091745
Adverse effects of inhaled corticosteroids: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7847437/
Allergen Immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis and asthma: A Synopsis: https://www.worldallergy.org/education-and-programs/education/allergic-disease-resource-center/professionals/allergen-immunotherapy-a-synopsis
Toxic Phenol Ingredient in Vaccines: https://thevaccinereaction.org/2016/04/toxic-phenol-ingredient-in-vaccines/
Improved quality of life and reduction of conventional drugs inallergic patients treated with homeopathy: https://www.hri-research.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/HRI_RIF_31_Ferreri_2016_RespiratoryAllergies.pdf
Is homeopathy a placebo response? Controlled trial of homeopathic potency, with pollen in hayfever as model: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(86)90410-1/fulltext
Hay fever & homeopathy: a case series evaluation: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27211328/
Randomised controlled trial of homeopathy versus placebo in perennial allergic rhinitis with overview of four trial series: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10948025/
Homeopathic complex remedy in the treatment of allergic rhinitis: results of a prospective, multicenter observational study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25824400/
Daiva Rizvi is a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Professional Homeopath located in Lyons, CO. She employs a comprehensive approach by combining nutrition and homeopathy to support her clients in achieving optimal health. Recognizing the significance of nutrition as the basis for a strong body, and utilizing the profound healing effects of homeopathic remedies, Daiva offers a balanced and effective solution.