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Allergic Rhinitis and Homeopathy

Read more about Homeopathy.

Overview

Homeopathy has demonstrated great potential as a treatment for allergic rhinitis. Homeopathy is a healing system that is available in the United States but especially popular in Europe. In homeopathy, special remedies--made by diluting specific substances--are used to evoke a healing response in the body. In classical (constitutional) homeopathy, remedies are tailored to the unique symptoms as they are experienced by each patient. Several well-designed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on homeopathic remedies for allergic rhinitis (hay fever) have yielded very positive results.

Effect of Homeopathy 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.Although this theory sounds superficially similar to the principle behind vaccines, homeopathy actually functions in a distinctly different manner.

Research Evidence on Homeopathy

Several well-designed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on homeopathic remedies for allergic rhinitis (hay fever) have yielded positive results. The best evidence at present is for isopathic remedies. There is also some evidence that the homeopathic remedy Galphimia glauca may be helpful for the eye symptoms of hay fever (allergic conjunctivitis). In addition, a combination treatment containing Euphorbium has shown promise for treating sinus problems.

A single, but substantial study evaluated a combination of* Cinnabaris* D3, Echinacea D1, Hydrastis D3, Kalium bichromicum D3 for the treatment of hay fever.15 In this three-week double-blind study of 144 people, use of the homeopathic remedy reportedly reduced symptoms to a markedly greater extent than placebo.

How to Use Homeopathy

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. 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.

Galphimia is associated with a symptom picture dominated by swollen eyelids, sneezing, skin rash, stomach pain, and sensitivity to weather changes.

In contrast to classical homeopathy, isopathy makes use of the precise substance that causes your symptoms, diluting the allergen to make a homeopathic remedy.

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.

Side Effects and Warnings

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).

Treatments

Effect of Isopathic Remedies on Allergic Rhinitis

Isopathy is a special branch of homeopathy that makes use of the precise substance that causes your symptoms, diluting the allergen to make a homeopathic remedy. This may sound the same as the...

Read more about Allergic Rhinitis and Isopathic Remedies.

Effect of Euphorbium 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...

Read more about Allergic Rhinitis and Euphorbium.

References

  1. Reilly DT, Taylor MA. Potent placebo or potency? Br Homeopath J. 1985;74:65–75.
  2. Reilly DT, Taylor MA, McSharry C, et al. Is homoeopathy a placebo response? Controlled trial of homoeopathic potency, with pollen in hayfever as model. Lancet. 1986;2:881–886.
  3. Taylor MA, Reilly D, Llewellyn-Jones RH, et al. Randomised controlled trial of homoeopathy versus placebo in perennial allergic rhinitis with overview of four trial series. BMJ. 2000;321:471–476.
  4. Reilly D, Taylor MA, Beattie NGM, et al. Is evidence for homoeopathy reproducible?. Lancet. 1994;344:1601– 1606.
  5. Hardy J. A double blind, placebo controlled trial of house dust potencies in the treatment of house dust allergies. Br Hom Res Group Comm. 1984;11:75–76.
  6. Aabel S, Laerum E, Dolvik S, et al. Is homeopathic 'immunotherapy' effective? A double-blind, placebo- controlled trial with the isopathic remedy Betula 30c for patients with birch pollen allergy. Br Homeopath J. 2000;89:161–168.
  7. Aabel S. No beneficial effect of isopathic prophylactic treatment for birch pollen allergy during a low-pollen season: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of homeopathic Betula 30c. Br Homeopath J. 2000;89:169–173.
  8. Lewith GT, Watkins AD, Hyland ME, et al. Use of ultramolecular potencies of allergen to treat asthmatic people allergic to house dust mite: double blinded randomized controlled clinical trial. BMJ. 2002;324:520–523.
  9. Ludtke R, Wiesanauer M. A meta-analysis of homeopathic treatment of pollinosis with Galphimia glauca. Wien Med Wochenschr. 1997;147:323–327.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Mossinger P. Untersuchung zur behandlung des akuten fliesschnupfens mit Euphorbium D3 [in German; English abstract]. Allg homoopathische Zeitung. 1982;227:89–95.
  13. Weiser M, Clasen B. Klinische studie zur Untersuchung der wirksamkeit und vertraglichkeit von Euphorbium commpositum—nasentrofen S 1994;1:251–259.
  14. Kim LS, Riedlinger JE, Baldwin CM, et al. Treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis using homeopathic preparation of common allergens in the Southwest region of the US: a randomized, controlled clinical trial (April). Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Mar 1 [Epub ahead of print]
  15. Friese KH, Zabalotnyi DI. Homeopathy in acute rhinosinusitis : a double-blind, placebo-controlled study shows the efficacy and tolerability of a homeopathic combination remedy. HNO. 2006 Dec 19 [Epub ahead of print].

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