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The homeopathic remedy Galphimia glauca, alone and in a combination nasal spray, has shown promise as a treatment for allergic rhinitis.
Effect of Galphimia Glauca on Allergic Rhinitis
Homeopathic remedies do not work in a direct or obvious way. Homeopathic theory has some relationship to ancient healing traditions, but in many ways stands uniquely on its own ground, unrelated to other approaches. The term "homeopathy" is formed from the combination of two Greek words: omio meaning “same” and pathos meaning "suffering." This reflects the homeopathic belief that a substance that causes certain symptoms in a healthy person can cure an ailing person of similar symptoms. This belief is the basis for how homeopathic remedies are formulated and recommended.
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Research Evidence on Galphimia Glauca
Seven double-blind, placebo-controlled studies involving a total of 752 participants have evaluated the potential benefits of Galphimia in relieving symptoms of hay fever.9 Potencies of the remedy used in these trials ranged from 2c to 3c. All of the studies evaluated improvements in allergic symptoms related to the eye, and some also considered symptoms related to the nose. Overall, the results were encouraging.
In the best of these studies, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of Galphimia glauca in alleviating hay fever symptoms in 201 people.^10 ^The treatment group received Galphimia glauca 2c in a liquid solution of 43% alcohol, and the placebo was in an identical solution. Improvement was noted after 2 weeks, and the relative benefit of treatment over placebo continued to increase throughout the 4-week study period.
Not all of the studies found evidence of benefit. However, when researchers put the results of all the studies together, using sophisticated statistical methods called a meta-analysis, the results indicated that the remedy worked significantly better than the placebo in relieving the symptoms. The success rate in those treated was an average of 78%, a rate that was superior to placebo by about a factor of 1.35.
A subsequent double-blind study, enrolling almost 150 people, evaluated the effectiveness of a nasal spray containing homeopathic Galphimia glauca along with Luffa operculata, Histamine, and Sulphur by comparing it to a standard treatment for hay fever: cromolyn sodium.11 The results showed equal benefits.
How to Use Galphimia Glauca
In classical homeopathy, there are many possible homeopathic treatments for hay fever, chosen based on various specific details of the person seeking treatment.
When you chop an onion, your eyes often sting, water, and itch as they do if you have hay fever. A person with profusely watery eyes and a nose that runs like a faucet fits the symptom picture for Allium cepa, which is made from common red onion.
However, hay fever doesn’t always appear in this form. Galphimia is associated with a symptom picture dominated by swollen eyelids, sneezing, skin rash, stomach pain, and sensitivity to weather changes.
If you are experiencing a pressing headache with dizziness, a fluent nasal discharge, difficulty breathing, and much sneezing, then you fit the symptom picture for the homeopathic remedy Euphorbium.
In the US, over-the-counter homeopathic remedies are available in pharmacies and healthfood stores. Unlike herbs and supplements, manufacturers of homeopathic products are allowed to make strong healing claims on the labels, in part because one of the founders of the organization that became the Food and Drug Administration, Senator Royal Copeland, was a homeopathic physician. He made sure that homeopathic medicines were given a specially protected status.
Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment
Constitutional (or classical) homeopathy is a holistic art that looks at the symptom picture of a person, including psychological, emotional, physical, and hereditary information, and tries to choose an appropriate remedy. Recently, however, a simplified form of homeopathy has developed, disease-oriented (or symptomatic) homeopathy, in which remedies are given based solely on specific diseases. Both types of homeopathy have been studied scientifically, although disease-oriented homeopathy has received more attention for the simple reason that it is easier to study.
Homeopaths, sometimes called homeopathic physicians, practice homeopathy. Homeopathic support is also available from health professionals, such as naturopathic doctors, who use homeopathy as part of their broader medical practice.
Homeopathic remedies are, by nature, completely nontoxic.
However, according to the principles of classical (or constitutional) homeopathy, versus disease-oriented (or symptomatic) homeopathy, these remedies can cause problems. On the way toward a cure, temporary exacerbation of symptoms are said to occur frequently. Such “homeopathic aggravations” are supposed to indicate a release of underlying problems, and are therefore seen as ultimately helpful, if temporarily unpleasant. However, there is no meaningful scientific evidence that such aggravations take place at any higher rate than could be accounted for by chance (and patient’s expectation).
- Ludtke R, Wiesanauer M. A meta-analysis of homeopathic treatment of pollinosis with Galphimia glauca. Wien Med Wochenschr. 1997;147:323–327.
- Wiesenauer M, Gaus W, Häussler S, Wiesenauer M, gau Haeussler W, Treatment of pollinosis with Galphimia glauca: A double-blind clinical study. Allergol. 1990;13:359–363.
- Weiser M, Gegenheimer LH, Klein P. A randomized equivalence trial comparing the efficacy and safety of Luffa comp.-Heel nasal spray with cromolyn sodium spray in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. Forsch Komplementarmed. 1999;6:142–148.
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