Besides the coronavirus, people continue to suffer from many other diseases including hay fever. According to the WHO, the prevalence of seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) ranges from 1 to 40% in different countries and perennial (year-round) allergic rhinitis – up to 18%.1 The number of such people is progressively increasing. There is a close relationship between allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma.2,3
The homeopathic approach to the treatment of seasonal rhinitis was described by James Kent:
“You may know that the true nature of hay fever is not generally understood. Many a time have I seen hay fever wiped out in one season by a short-acting remedy, only to return the next just the same, and perhaps another remedy will be required. As soon as the hay fever is stopped you must begin with constitutional treatment. It is a difficult matter to find a constitutional remedy when the hay fever is at its height, for it resembles an acute disease; but it is a manifestation of psora, like any other manifestation of psora, as eruptions, cough, etc. In a psoric condition a short-acting remedy is insufficient, it may help for one day only, and the deep-acting remedy that includes the patient as well as the hay fever and all the other symptoms will have to be administered. The best time to treat hay fever is after the acute attack subsides and until it begins again the next season”.4
Among the constitutional remedies that should be prescribed outside the period of exacerbation of hay fever, many authors pay special attention to Psorinum and Tuberculinum. Henry C. Allen wrote about Psorinum: “Hay fever appearing regularly every year the same day of the month; with an asthmatic, psoric or eczematous history. Patient should be treated the previous winter to eradicate the diathesis and prevent summer attack”.5
James Kent wrote about Tuberculinum bovinum: “When Psor., Sulph., or the best selected remedy fails to relieve or permanently improve; follows Psor. as a constitutional remedy in hay fever, asthma”.4
Choosing an acute drug for hay fever is not an easy task because the symptoms are very general. George Vithoulkas wrote about Ambrosia: “This remedy should be thought of in cases where Dulcamara, Sabadilla, Wyethia, Aralia, Arundo or Ars-iod were prescribed and failed, especially in cases of hay fever that start with catarrh and end with asthma”.6
Also, he wrote that Arundo has proved useful in certain obstinate cases of hay fever where Sabadilla, Wyethia, Kali-b. or Agaricus have had no effect, though seemingly indicated.
Below is a table for comparative study of some acute hay fever remedies. It can be used for studying, teaching and practical purposes. In the differential diagnosis of such drugs the special attention should be paid to the time and conditions of the onset of hay fever, the peculiar symptoms, concomitant pathology, especially asthma, and modalities. An attempt to reflect all these features is presented in the table. The material was collected from Materia Medica of many authors.
|Redness, burning itching of ears, as if they had been frozen.
Itching of eyelids, palate, inside and outside the nose.
Sneezing on exposure to the least bit of sun.
|Odor of flowers
Skin of peaches
|Acrid nasal discharge with profuse bland lachrymation is the most characteristic symptom.
Much itching of the nose, conjunctiva and nasopharynx. Nasal obstruction morning.
Redness in eyes, photophobia.
Violent sneezing from rising from bed and deep breathing
|Headache (forehead, temples) Disturbance of sleep and appetite
Ambrosia artemisiae folia
|Ambrosia All kinds of pollen, especially from roses
|Lachrymation and intolerable itching of the eyelids, and a feeling as if the whole respiratory tract and the head were blocked.
Stuffed sensation in the nose and chest; oppressive pain in the left chest, must sit up; awakens suddenly with pertussis-like cough; face dark red; eyes congested, smarting, watery; nose red, swollen; watery coryza.
|Violent sneezing from least current of air.
Asthmatic attacks, whistling breathing, must sit up.
Copious, watery, acrid, salty discharge from the nose excoriating the nostrils; soreness of the posterior nares.
Walking in the sun
|Yellow thick discharge alternates with or follows a thin water discharge both acrid and excoriating.
Great irritation and tingling of the nose, with a constant desire to sneeze but this brings no relief.
|Mental and physical restlessness
|Dry, cold windy, foggy weather Apples
|Begins with burning and itching of palate (Wyeth) conjunctiva and nostrils.
Severe sneezing with the itching in the nostrils, with constant catarrh.
|Loss of smell
|Coryza, sneezing, watery discharge from the nose with asthmatic breathing and suffocative cough.
Spasmodic cough from tickling in the larynx, resulting in the forceful ejection of viscid mucus from the bronchial tubes, which sometimes flies forcefully out of the mouth.
|Asthmatic breathing with paroxysms of suffocative cough
|August, (warm days, cold nights)
June (rose cold)
|Cut grass Newly mown hay
|Nostrils entirely filled up, preventing breathing, constant sneezing.
Profuse discharge of water from nose and eyes, eyes sometimes swelled and full.
At one time nose most affected, then again eyes.
|Sudden change of weather to cold, wet
|Contrary to All-c, this is the remedy with a nonirritating nasal discharge, but with pronounced conjunctivitis.
Cheeks are red and hot.
Cough is only during the day.
The more pronounced the respiratory manifestations of allergies and skin symptoms, the more indicated.
|Itching in anterior chamber of nose, agg least dust.
Profuse watery coryza excoriating alae nasi, drops down into throat, salty taste. Later the coryza is thick, white and tenacious.
|Asthmatic breathing, especially with dryness in the larynx, suffocation.
Flow of water from nose for a few minutes; then intense sneezing, which > the breathing.
The rawness in the throat and larynx; dreadful aching in the throat extending to the larynx, swallowing does not relieve.
Much sneezing; with running of water from nose; inability to lie down at night; suffocating spells after sleeping; dryness of larynx.
|Eyes are inflamed, painful, bloodshot.
The head is hot.
High degree of asthma.
|Hay-fever with asthma.
Itching of nose and eyes.
|Walking in forest
|Smarting and burning in the eyes.
Stuffy dry nose: particularly tingling and crawling, which the patient tries to relieve by hawking and blowing the nose
Sometimes this sensation attacks the posterior nares, causing the patient to hawk and swallow, and endeavor in every way to scratch the affected part (Ars, Sil).
Itching in soft palate (Wyeth).
|Hoarseness General muscular soreness
Sharp stitching pains in and about the chest
Burning on urinating
June (rose cold)
|Beginning of hay-fever, with involvement of Eustachian tube (Sil, Ars, Ran-b) and hardness of hearing, tinnitus (Lob).
|Ears involvement (hardness of hearing, tinnitus)
|June (rose cold)
|Odors of flowers
(roses), fruits (apples)
Thinking about them
|Hypersensitive to odors.
Violent, spasmodic sneezing (Stict).
Itching in soft palate (Wyeth).
Lachrymation upon going into the open air.
Running nose; copious watery
nasal discharge; itching and
tingling in nose and soft palate.
burning in eyes with lachrymation.
severe frontal pains; dryness and
roughness of throat.
|Pain in the forehead
Odors of flowers or fruits, even thoughts about them
Inhalation of hot air
|From August to late
|Hot, dry nose; either nostril may be affected alone or alternately.
Oppression of chest, as if something heavy oppressed it from neck to diaphragm.
Rattling, wheezing in chest, dyspnoea.
Eyes red, smart, burn and itch.
(Hay fever) Lying
|Sitting up in bed with shoulders drawn forward
|Incessant sneezing (Sabad.)
Fullness in the forehead and root of nose and tingling.
Nose is completely plugged up, though continual sneezing.
Irritating hot watery mucous discharge which may become thick and even purulent. Distressing dryness of the nose and palate, the mucous surface feeling as stiff as leather.
Dropping of watery mucus from nostrils.
Inflammation through respiratory tract; causing asthma, chest pains, etc.
Itching of eyelids, canthi and nose.
|Itching of the soft palate (Arund, Ran-b, Sabad); patient must scratch it with the tongue. (Nux-v – itching extends to the larynx and trachea, irritability, sensitive to cold).
Violent acrid copious coryza.
Extreme dryness of the nose, mouth, throat and pharynx with burning. Constant desire to swallow saliva and cleaning throat. Elongated uvula and burning of the epiglottis.
- CS E, HC P. Epidemiology of allergy. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2011;44(3):537-548. doi:10.1016/J.OTC.2011.03.001
- J B, PW H, I A, et al. Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) Phase 4 (2018): Change management in allergic rhinitis and asthma multimorbidity using mobile technology. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019;143(3):864-879. doi:10.1016/J.JACI.2018.08.049
- Morjaria JB, Caruso M, Emma R, Russo C, Polosa R. Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis as a Strategy for Preventing Asthma. Curr Allergy Asthma Reports 2018 184. 2018;18(4):1-9. doi:10.1007/S11882-018-0781-Y
- J.T.Kent. Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica. B.Jain Publishers (P) LTD; 2002.
- Allen HC. Allen’s Keynotes. 10th ed. B.Jain Publishers (P) LTD; 2016.
- George Vithoulkas. Materia Medica Viva. Volume 1. International Academy of Classical Homeopathy (IACH); 1993.