This article covers:
- Why you shouldn’t wait until hay fever symptoms strike to treat it
- The ‘chicken and the egg’ argument to hay fever
- The hay fever diathesis, or how natural medicine understands hay fever
- Constitutional homeopathy and hay fever.
This may seem like a counter-intuitive title. Why would you have your hay fever treated, when symptoms aren’t there?
Are you one of those people who is fine all year, except when spring time comes around? Is it at this time, when your full-blown hay fever symptoms strike?
Well the good news is that you don’t have to wait until hay fever season is at its worst to do something about it.
Why would I treat my hay fever when symptoms aren’t there?
Even though natural medicine such as Homeopathy is used to manage the acute symptoms of hay fever — for example, in a similar scenario to when you may reach for an antihistamine tablet — Homeopathic theory incorporates a rich philosophy and treatment approach for chronic conditions.
This is important as seasonal hay fever is viewed as part of a deeper, more chronic, dysfunction. It’s this dysfunction that predisposes us to hay fever.
The aim is to correct this dysfunction, resulting in a reduced predisposition over time.
For this type of treatment, it is not necessary to wait to an acute episode of hay fever strikes, and can be commenced any time of the year. In some cases, it’s even preferable to undertake this type of treatment outside of the hay fever season as it can:
- help to prepare the body before the next hay fever season
- provide an opportunity to just focus on the underlying susceptibility to hay fever and promote general wellbeing, rather than also worrying about managing the annoying acute symptoms.
Chicken and the egg
The idea of hay fever as an underlying dysfunction raises a ‘chicken and the egg’ type scenario, of which comes first: your hay fever, or your predisposition to it?
Natural medicine tends to view the development of hay fever being due to an underlying allergic diathesis.
The hay fever diathesis
Diathesis is a tendency to suffer from a particular condition. With people suffering from hay fever, we often see an allergic tendency or trait run through an individual’s health history, such as:
- Sensitivities in other areas, such as with:
- food and diet
- Allergies in other family members, such as with parents or siblings.
There also may be certain ‘weaknesses’ in the organs most affected by hay fever, such as a history of respiratory complaints from childhood, onwards.
Why this diathesis is in place could be due to any number of reasons. According to one of the major theories called the hygiene hypothesis, this could be due to the increasingly sterile environments of modern life, where we haven’t been exposed to enough environmental challenges early on in life to prime our immune system correctly.
In natural medicine, diathesis is tied to the concept of constitution.
What is my constitution?
Constitution is an old-fashioned term. You may have heard the phrase ‘taking a constitutional’, which used to refer to ‘taking a daily walk’, an activity which promotes general wellbeing.
Our constitution is what makes us who we are, different from others. Sometimes it is referred to as our ‘make-up’, who we are or how we are built. As a concept, it includes that which we are born with, our nature as an individual, and the influence of the inner and outer environment on our health.
Our nature, or ‘how we are built’, gives us our unique positive characteristics, but also contain the seeds of what we’re susceptible to.
The role of classical homeopathy
The focus of classical homeopathy is on our unique constitution. To understand us, classical homeopathy takes in many factors, including our past health history, lifestyle, mind and emotions, as well as our various stressors. This helps a professional Homeopath build up an understanding of our constitution, which is then used to find one or a sequence of medicines highly tailored to us, with a view to lower our susceptibility to that which ails us.
Classical homeopathy is an involved and engaging process. It often requires a long-term commitment to work with a homeopath to get the benefits. Many seek this form of healthcare as the vision of classical homeopathy is for sustainable health: improving our constitution on a longer-term basis.
Observational study: homeopathy, allergies and constitution
Many people seek to use the homeopathic medicines traditionally used to improve the allergic tendency, such as with hay fever, and the following observational study gives a good example of this:
Real-life effect of classical homeopathy in the treatment of allergies: A multicenter prospective observational study.
The aim of the study was to assess the real-life efficacy of classical homeopathic treatment, as well as the potential to reduce conventional medication dosage used to manage the condition.
The study looked at people diagnosed with various allergic conditions: allergic rhinitis (which is medical term for seasonal hay fever), allergic conjunctivitis (allergic condition of the eyes), bronchial asthma (allergic condition of lungs and respiration) and neurodermatitis (allergic condition of the skin).
What did they find?
They observed that all clinical symptoms were shown to improve substantially, in most cases quite markedly. 62% were able to discontinue at least one medication, while the remaining patients reported a dose reduction in at least one conventional medication. No side effects were reported during treatment.
The researchers concluded that the symptoms of patients undergoing homeopathic treatment were shown to improve substantially and conventional medication dosage could be substantially reduced.
It’s important to note here that any reduction of conventional medication must be done under the supervision of the prescribing medical practitioner, such as a GP.
- In Homeopathic philosophy, hay fever is seen as part of a deeper disfunction.
- This dysfunction, predisposes an individual to hay fever.
- Classical homeopathy aims to improve our constitution so that this predisposition is minimised, and general wellness is promoted.
Learn more about hacking your hay fever naturally
To learn more about using natural approaches for hay fever: