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From the Townsend Letter
May 2008


Healing with Homeopathy
Homeopathy: Highly Effective for Hay Fever
by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP, LCSW, and Robert Ullman, ND, DHANP

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1983 – 2008
Celebrating 25 Years of Publication

Hay Fever is Here Again
If you have a general or family practice or specialize in allergies or eyes, ears, nose, and throat problems, your phone, like ours, will start ringing to announce the opening of hay fever season. It is fascinating how such a comparatively mild condition can cause so much discomfort. You might not imagine that sneezing, a stuffy, drippy nose, plus itchy, watery eyes could be so annoying, but they are, often for weeks at a time, depending on the weather, pollen count, and whims of the gods. Many of us avidly await the arrival of the first tulip to announce that spring has sprung. But just ask any hay fever sufferer how he or she feels about spring fever, and you will likely observe an expression of misery or dread. The allopathic crowd will reach for Afrin, Allegra, Claritin, or Sudafed. The more naturally informed grab stinging nettles, hesperidin, shea butter, or quercitin. In some cases, neither approach does the job.

Verified Clinically and by Research
You can find many clinical accounts of successful treatment of hay fever with homeopathic medicine. The following case is excerpted from our book, The Patient's Guide to Homeopathic Medicine, and from our January 1996 Townsend Letter article, "A Quintuplet of Hay Fever Cases." Todd, a 26-year-old computer programmer, was assured by another of my patients that homeopathy could help him with his hay fever. He came in late April in extreme discomfort. He lamented, "I'm allergic to everything that's not food!" The poor fellow's nose ran all the time, necessitating his use of half a box of tissues per day. Todd's bleary eyes were itchy, puffy, and watery. His incessant post-nasal drip precipitated a sore throat. Swollen sinuses resulted in a pressing headache. This young man's symptoms were definitely worse outdoors. He described himself as "thoroughly wiped out, with little energy for anything but sneezing and blowing." In the past, Todd's hay fever had lasted up to four months at a time. This time he came to see us after only a few days, however; it was his worst bout ever. He reported that he had "tried everything" orthodox medicine had to offer him.

We prescribed Allium cepa 30C (onion), one of the most common and remarkably effective medicines for hay fever. Just think about what happens to you when you slice an onion, and you'll know just the kind of hay fever to use it for. It works wonderfully for hay fever or a cold, in which your nose runs like a faucet (leaving the nose and lip raw), along with itchy, watery eyes with bland tears, and considerable sneezing. Todd called us three days later to say his nose was dry. The first day after starting the Allium cepa, he experienced lots of sneezing, which passed quickly. Then he had a few mild headaches and pressure behind his eyes. By the time he called, the symptoms had passed, except for occasional, slight nasal congestion. We instructed Todd to take the Allium cepa as needed.

We have one patient, Dorothy, who calls us, predictably, at the first sign of spring. We have treated her constitutionally in the past, but she feels well except for the seasonal allergies and has not felt a need for further treatment. Dorothy's eyes burn, and her nose is completely blocked. Whenever she sets foot outdoors, a searing, nasal discharge drives her crazy. She calls the moment her symptoms arise, and we prescribe one dose of high-potency Sulphur, which resolves her symptoms for another year.

David Taylor Reilly, a highly respected homeopath, researcher, and educator from the Glasgow Hospital in Scotland, demonstrated the effectiveness of homeopathy for hay fever (Is homeopathy a placebo response. Controlled trial of homoeopathic potency, with pollen in hay fever as model. Lancet. 1986;2: 881). Dr. Reilly compared the effects of a homeopathic preparation consisting of 12 mixed pollens in a 30C potency with that of a placebo. He found that the patients taking the homeopathic treatment had significantly fewer symptoms and needed only half the amount of antihistamines in comparison with controls over the same period of time. In our experience, if you take the homeopathic medicine that clearly matches your hay fever symptoms, antihistamines are unnecessary.

Treating Yourself for Hay Fever
If you are under constitutional homeopathic care, it is best to consult your practitioner for a number of reasons. You may simply need a repetition of your constitutional medicine, or the acute hay fever symptoms may aid your homeopath in better understanding your overall picture. He or she is likely to prescribe a single dose of the appropriate medicine, which, like Dorothy above, you may need to take only once during hay fever season. Quick and easy.

If you are not receiving homeopathic care, feel free to use the following information to self-prescribe. Of course, there are over 2000 homeopathic medicines, so you may need one that is not listed here. However, in our nearly 20 years of treating hay fever, we have found that the information here will allow many of you to treat your seasonal allergies quite effectively. The following material is excerpted from our book Homeopathic Self-Care: The Quick and Easy Guide for the Whole Family.

Some Guidelines for Homeopathic Self-Care
1. Only take the indicated medicine if it matches your symptoms clearly. If not, use another therapy.
2. Take the indicated medicine. If your symptoms improve, then return and repeat the medicine. If there is no improvement after two doses four to eight hours apart, it is not the correct medicine.
3. It is fine to use other natural therapies for hay fever, along with the homeopathy, with the exception of aromatics such as eucalyptus, camphor, or menthol.

Pointers to Finding the Homeopathic Medicine
• The most common medicine for hay fever with watery eyes, watery nasal discharge, and sneezing is Allium cepa.
• If there is an irritating discharge from the nose and a bland discharge from the eyes, consider Allium cepa.
• If itching of the nose and palate is the primary symptom, give Arundo or Wyethia.
• When eye symptoms, especially watering, are the most significant symptoms, give Euphrasia.
• When the eye discharge is irritating, but the nasal discharge is bland, give Euphrasia.
• When the discharge is like egg white and the person has cold sores or canker sores, a headache, and perhaps a recent disappointment, rejection, or grief, Natrum muriaticum is the medicine.
• If sneezing is the most prominent symptom, strongly consider Sabadilla.

• Give three pellets of 30C every four hours until you see improvement.
• If no improvement after three doses, give another medicine.
• After you first notice improvement, give another dose only if symptoms begin to return.
• Lower potencies (6X, 6C, 30X) may need to be given more often (every two to four hours).
• Higher potencies (200X, 200C, 1M) generally need to be given only once. Repeat only infrequently if the symptoms return with intensity.

Are the eyes watery? Red?
Is the nose running?
What kind of discharge?

"My nose is running like a faucet." Allium cepa
"My palate and nose itch." Arundo, Wyethia
"My eyes are watering intensely." Euphrasia
"I have a cold sore." Natrum muriaticum
"I feel like a sneeze machine." Sabadilla

Does anything itch?
How much are you sneezing?
How much is your nose running?
Any food desires or aversions?

Other Self-Care Suggestions
• Use an air purifier indoors to remove pollens from the air.
• Vacuum your living and work areas more often during hay fever season.
• Bioflavonoids 1000 mg one to two times a day can be helpful.
• Some people find nettles to be of benefit either in tea, capsule, or tincture form.
• Sip a glass of one to two Alka-seltzer Gold tablets dissolved in water.
• Take one teaspoon baking soda in a glass of water.
• Take 500 mg buffered vitamin C every two hours until symptoms pass, up to 3000 mg per day.
• Eyedrops made from Euphrasia or other herbs may be soothing.
• Irrigate your sinuses each morning with a neti pot (yogic technique effective for many sinus problems).

Allium Cepa (Red onion)

Key Symptoms
Most common medicine for hay fever
Thin, watery, irritating nasal discharge, pouring like a faucet
Eyes and nose run as if person were peeling an onion

Fear that the pain will become unbearable

Burning nasal discharge, especially from the left nostril, irritates the upper lip
Red, burning, very watery eyes with a non-irritating discharge
Hacking, tickling cough, worse from breathing cold air
Sneezing when entering a warm room

Warm room

Cool, open air

Food and Drink
Strong hunger and thirst
Desire for onions
Aversion to cucumbers

Arundo (Reed)

Key Symptoms
Strong itching of the palate and inside the nose, which causes sneezing

Runny nose
Salivate profusely when the nose runs
Ear canals burn and itch
Bluish mucous

Food and Drink
Desire for sour foods

Euphrasia (Eyebright)

Key Symptoms
Hay fever centers on the eyes
Hot, irritating discharge from the eyes but a bland nasal discharge (the reverse of Allium cepa)

Eyes are sensitive to light and water constantly
Sneeze frequently
Frontal headache

Warm room

Open air
Wiping the eyes

Natrum Muriaticum (Sodium chloride)

Key Symptoms
Egg-white or watery discharges
Cold sores
Crack in the middle of the lower lip

Depressed, withdrawn, and sad
Illness after grief or disappointed romance
Feelings hurt very easily
Wants to be left alone when sick
Doesn't like to cry in front of others

Watery eyes with swollen lids
Lose sense of smell and taste
Nose alternates between lots of discharge and being stopped up

10 AM
In the sunlight
At the ocean

Outside in the fresh air
Cool bath

Food and Drink
Desire for salt, pasta, bread, lemons
Aversion to slimy food

Nux Vomica (Quaker's button)

Key Symptoms
Runny nose in the day and outdoors; dry nose at night
Violent sneezing

Obsessed with business
Want to be the first and the best
Competitive and hard driving, Type A
Easily offended
Frustrated easily by little things

Intense crawling sensation in the nostrils
Smell acute
Nose feels blocked, but watery nasal discharge through one nostril
Spring conjunctivitis
Eyes bloodshot

Being outside
Cold air or drafts
Rich foods, high living, being sedentary
Coffee and other stimulants

Staying indoors
Hot drinks

Food and Drink
Desire spicy, fat, coffee, alcohol, and tobacco

Sabadilla (Mexican grass)

Key Symptoms
Violent sneezing that comes in attacks
Watery nasal discharge worse from the smell or even the thought of flowers

Imaginary diseases
Imagines his body to be some way it is not

Itching and tickling in the nose with a thin, irritating discharge
Nose is dry
Sensitive smell
One nostril is stuffy
Face feels hot and bright red
Lips are hot and burning

Open air
Cold air
Cold drinks

Warm drinks

Food and Drink
Desire for warm drinks, lemons, onions
Aversions to onions


Key Symptoms
Watery, burning nasal discharge when outside
Nose is plugged when indoors

Thinking all the time

Frequent sneezing
Nose is blocked on alternate sides
Tip of nose is red and swollen
Disgusted by the odors of others but can't smell his own
Burning pain in the eyes

Warmth and warmth of bed
Atmospheric changes
11 A.M.
Left side

Open air

Food and Drink
Desire for alcohol, sweets, and spicy

Wyethia (Poison weed)

Key Symptoms
Extreme itching in the throat, palate, and nose
Terrible itching at the back of the sinuses
Wants to scratch his palate with his tongue
Throat feels swollen
Back of the throat is dry and burning


Violent sneezing
Sensation as if something were in the nasal passages
Constant desire to swallow saliva to relieve dryness in throat, but it doesn't help


Looking for Further Homeopathic Help?
Assuming that these recommendations bring welcome relief for your honking and hacking, you may find homeopathy of benefit for your allergies or other chronic problems, including your mental and emotional health. Successful homeopathic treatment of acute problems can provide a taste of how much better you can feel overall with less pain and discomfort, greater energy, vitality, clarity of mind, and happiness and well-being.

Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP, LCSW, and Robert Ullman, ND, DHANP are licensed naturopathic physicians board certified in homeopathy. In practice for 25 years, they practice at the Northwest Center for Homeopathic Medicine in Edmonds, WA, and treat patients by telephone and video consultations as well as in person. They are co-authors of eight books, including the best-selling Ritalin-Free Kids, Rage-Free Kids, Prozac Free, A Drug-Free Approach to Asperger Syndrome and Autism, Whole Woman Homeopathy, Homeopathic Self-Care, The Patient's Guide to Homeopathic Medicine, and Mystics, Masters, Saints, and Sages: Stories of Enlightenment. They have taught also internationally. They live on Whidbey Island, WA and Pucon, Chile and can be reached at 425-774-5599 or at


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