An allergic reaction can be triggered by various allergens such as pollen, animal hair, dust or feathers. Symptoms of an allergy can be anything from a runny nose, coughing and sneezing, stomach pain, to a skin rash or swollen lips or eyes.
Hay fever or Seasonal Rhinitis is one of the most common types of allergy. Symptoms usually start in the spring and can continue into August or September. Causes of Hay fever include grass pollen, tree pollen (especially birch), spores from fungi, mushrooms and moulds, weeds such as nettles or mugwort and wind-pollinated flowers.
The nose performs an important part in filtering foreign bodies and dust particles from the air we breathe before it gets into the lungs. It is estimated that 10 per cent of the population suffers from some form of allergy which occasionally impairs the functioning of the nose. This can be hay fever or an allergic reaction to dust, cosmetics, fur or smoke. When the nose comes into contact with the allergen, this causes an allergic reaction such as sneezing, watery eyes, sore throat or a runny nose.
Homeopathic remedies for hay fever include:
~ Allium Cepa 6 for frequent sneezing and nose discharge especially aggravated by the smell of flowers
~ Euphrasia 6 for red, swollen, itching or burning eyes.
Sufferers of hay fever might also find that certain foods make them feel worse. It has been found that the immune system of some people with hay fever responds not just to pollen but to certain fruits and vegetables, especially melons and bananas. If you are allergic to tree and grass pollens, eating apples, cherries, carrots or peaches could make your symptoms worse and it is worth watching out for this. Some people with hay fever are also sensitive to the pollen in honey and in this it’s worth noting that different kinds of honey contain different kinds of pollen. So try switching brands until you find a one that doesn’t make your hay fever symptoms worse.
Eczema can be aggravated, in the spring, if there is more contact with animals and also because of the warmer weather. Natural therapies that might help alleviate eczema include:
~ Birch which has been used for centuries for skin complaints. This can be diluted with a carrier oil and massaged into the skin or add a few drops to a warm bath.
~ Burdock Root helps relieve skin problems
~ Chamomile will help reduce the itchiness associated with eczema
~ Add a few drops of Cedarwood to a simple moisturising cream and massage into the skin.
~ Geranium can be added to a carrier oil or bath to help eczema. It is also deeply relaxing and will help relax you, ready for a good night’s sleep.
~ Marigold is also a good healer. Add a few drops to your bath for skin complaints.
~ Marshmallow Root is a protective cream that can help protect against skin infections
~ Myrrh is often used in aromatherapy for eczema and for chest and nasal infections. A few drops in a bath can also help relieve stress. It should always be well diluted and never be used during pregnancy.
~ Patchioli is another essential oil that should be diluted before application and is used for eczema and tiredness.
Within homeopathic medicine, eczema and other skin irritations are seen as an outward expression of a disorder on another level. Should the symptoms persist, it would therefore be recommended that you consult a homeopathic practitioner for deeper treatment.
Insect Bites and Natural Remedies
Insect bites can cause an allergic reaction in the spring. Camphor has long been used as an insecticide (particularly in moth balls.) Add a few drops to a cotton ball or the hem of curtains or blinds for an excellent insect repellent. Marigold is excellent for insect bites but should be used in small doses as it does have an unpleasant smell!
Symptoms associated with allergies such as headaches, asthma, eczema and generally feeling low have all been found to be eased by using an ioniser. When positive ions prevail to a high degree, people can suffer more from allergic reactions. Inadequate ventilation, artificial fibres, smoke and electrical equipment can all affect a person’s well-being. If therefore you can’t throw your windows open to let fresh air into your home or workplace but you’re constantly suffering from headaches and cold-like symptoms, an ioniser could help alleviate these.
Herbal remedies can help relieve the symptoms of allergies during the spring but the ideal treatment for any allergy is to avoid the allergen. The environment is also important when determining how bad an allergy may become. A person is more likely to show symptoms of hayfever for instance if they live in the country than they would if they reside in the middle of a city!
The spring doesn’t have to be a totally miserable time for allergy sufferers and although it may not be possible to get rid of symptoms altogether, there are natural remedies you might want to experiment with to try to keep your allergies at bay.
Treacher, S “Practical Homeopathy” Paragon (1997)
Yeager, S “The Doctors Book of Food Remedies” Rosedale Press (1997)