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 Seasonal Ailments

Homeopathic Treatment of Hayfever

Winter Woes.

Cold air nips our noses and ears as we scurry home, ice forms on windscreens: the Winter cold season is upon us again.
Sound nutrition, avoidance of cigarette smoke and a wise choice of ancestors are a good start to prevent the stampede to the GP’s surgery with colds and chest infections. There is, however, more for us to do to prevent infection homeopathically, and such simple treatments have stood the test of time.

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The earliest signs of infection after cold exposure are best treated by Aconite 30, 1 pill each 15 minutes for 6 doses, then at increasing intervals for 2 days. If you have already made it to the doctor’s surgery for a respiratory infection, it is probably a bit late for Aconite.
Other remedies, as described below, can help.

When colds and flu are trying to establish themselves but no clear prescribing pattern has yet emerged, Ferrum phos 30 is the best choice. The same dosage is given as above, but it will take up to four hours to see a good result, unlike Aconite, which acts more rapidly and is indicated in cases with a more violent onset. With Aconite, there is usually a sense of impending doom and fear of imminent death but this DOES NOT have to be present for Aconite to act.

Earache, and other infections which develop rapidly, may need Belladonna 30, however. In these cases, there is a high fever with icy extremities, red cheeks and pallor around the mouth. The pupils are dilated and shining, as if the patient were "on something". The pulse is rapid and the patient usually delirious with fever. Thirst is intense and the mouth dry.

As you expect, these are identical to symptoms of poisoning by Belladonna berry and accordingly, they are the main indications for prescribing homeopathic Belladonna.

Hoarse voice and croup often respond to Hepar sulph 30. The patient is greatly relieved by steam inhalations and hot showers and is remarkable sensitive to uncovering and drafts. Another clue is the irritability, which typically causes the patient to dislike being examined by parent, or particularly, by the doctor.

Bronchitis with a cough and clean tongue usually responds to Ipecac 30. This is prescribed in the same dosage as for the remedies above. If the cough is associated with a very coated tongue, then Ant tart 30 usually does the trick.

Cough which causes the patient to clutch the rib cage to prevent pain, usually needs Bryonia 30. The patient is often a cranky, if industrious soul, who worries about being away from his or her normal duties. The mouth is very dry and constipation is common as well. A headache, often from associated sinusitis, may be present. This too, is better for lying absolutely still and applying pressure to the affected part.

The prescription of the patient's constitutional remedy is based on careful case-taking which takes particular note of the family history and individualising aspects, such as reactions to heat, cold and times of the day. Even psychological symptoms, such as certain fears and dislikes, can be helpful. When skilfully administered, this is a remarkably effective way to enhance immunity, preventing infections and hastening recovery from them.

Nosodes (remedies prepared from disease organisms), when appropriately prescribed, are remarkably useful to boost immunity. They have no potential for infection and are medically quite safe. Remedies such as Tuberculinum and Influenzinum-Bacillinum, in skilled hands, have an effective and safe track record. They are not recommended for amateurs, as temporary aggravations may occur if the timing is wrong.

A list of medically trained homeopathic doctors in your area is available from the Faculty of Homeopathy at http://www.trusthomeopathy.org/

Dr Eric Asher FFHom, Thame


Homeopathic Treatment of Hayfever

Chronic hayfever is a real nuisance. Snuffly, stuffy noses, bursts of uncontrollable sneezing, heavy aching fullness in the sinuses. We all know the misery of this.

So far, treatment by conventional means has usually meant inhaling vasoconstrictors to open the passages and corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation. Oral antihistamines may also help but often cause sedation and/or a dry mouth.

While this treatment is effective, up to a point, it does nothing to reduce the tendency of the condition to resurface once the treatment is stopped.

Fortunately there is another way.

Double-blind clinical trials at the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital have repeatedly shown that homeopathic medication can certainly reduce the severity of the condition as soon as a few weeks, or even earlier in some cases.

This result is just not mind over matter. Other objective measurements, such as skin test results and nasal airflow have also been shown to normalise at the same time as clinical improvement.

Results of the trials which were published in mainstream medical journals (including the British Medical Journal, 19-26 August 2000) indicate that approximately 75% of patients experienced worthwhile improvement and virtually none experienced significant side effects.

An initial aggravation of symptoms was noted in some of the homeopathically treated group but this was inevitably mild and transient. The group treated with placebo had no such initial aggravation but rather, an initial, placebo-based improvement which, on reassessment after one month, had vanished.

These results confirm widespread clinical experience in the UK and overseas.

First, when treating hayfever, a careful clinical examination and review of patient history is performed to gain an understanding of the underlying factors and assess other mechanical causes of nasal breathing difficulty, which may include deviated septum, polyps and even neck problems.

Using standardised test allergens, the doctor then determines, by appropriate skin tests, the most likely suspects, such as house dust mite or cat fur, and prepares (or has prepared) a course of oral desensitisation drops. These are then taken as a course twice daily under the tongue.

The patient history (which includes the family history) often indicates an underlying constitutional predisposition, which can also be assisted homeopathically. Food sensitivities may well be a factor but these yield more slowly and less predictably to direct homeopathic desensitisation.

Hayfever treatment is now widely available from homeopathically qualified doctors throughout the UK. A list of these doctors can be obtained from the Faculty of Homeopathy (0207) 566 7810, or from their website at http://www.trusthomeopathy.org/ This website has a wide range of information about homeopathy and the significant research which confirms its usefulness and safety.

Dr Eric Asher FFHom, Thame

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