Allergy is caused by an oversensitive immune system, which leads to a misdirected immune response. The immune system normally protects the body against harmful substances, such as bacteria and viruses. Histamine and its related substances are responsible for mediating the allergic response and causing the characteristic symptoms of allergy, by reacting to substances or allergens that are generally harmless and in most people do not cause a problem.
Allergies are also generally worse in dry cold climates, and are typically better in humid or coastal climates. With low humidity, the constant dryness can lead to chronic respiratory conditions. Added to this the increasing pollution and dust in most cities only aggravates the condition.
Generally allergies can be classified as seasonal allergies and perennial allergies.
Seasonal allergies occur during certain seasons of the year. They are caused by inhaling microscopic particles in the air and substances like pollen released by plants, grasses and weeds.
Perennial allergies occur throughout the year. They occur due to mould, fungi and dust found indoors also by fur from cats and dogs and other pets.
Identifying the specific allergen- or the substance which triggers the allergy is of help in certain cases, where the substance can be avoided. In most cases though, the substance is a part of the air and the general environment, and are unavoidable without major changes in lifestyle, like moving out of a city to a different place. Specific allergens can be pollen, dust mites, animal fur/hair- from dogs or cats. Cigarette smoke is another big trigger. Strong smell of perfume, or flowers; smoke from agarbathis or crackers; and paint or turpentine are strong triggers.
Allergies- the symptoms
This may be typically allergic rhinitis, or allergic bronchitis.
When left untreated, the local irritation to the respiratory system, can lead to chronic conditions like nasal polyps, chronic bronchitis and asthma.
- Frequent and continuous sneezing
- Watery nasal discharge
- Nasal obstruction or block
- Itching and watering of the eyes
- Swelling of eyelids
- Loss of sense of smell
- Throat irritation and dryness, with constant clearing of the throat
- Dark rings around the eyes
- Dry cough with wheezing
- These symptoms may be accompanied by Fatigue, sleeplessness and headaches.
- Gargle with warm- hot water. Even if there is no throat irritation, the steam that rises up from the throat while gargling, will help with the nose irritation and nose block.
Steam inhalation every night at bedtime, will clear the nose block. This when done regularly, will help cut down on the use of inhalers.
- Drink a glass of warm water first thing in the morning and at bedtime. Have a good water intake through the day.
- At night, keep an open vessel or bowl of hot water close to where you sleep. The moisture level in the room will combat the excess dryness and the resultant irritation.
- Eat a citrous fruit (oranges, sweet lime etc.) or drink its fresh juice daily. The vitamin C in citrous fruits is very good for this condition. Adding a few grains of pepper and salt to the juice will prevent it from affecting the throat.
- Make a decoction of pepper with ginger and turmeric, and drink once a day.
- Practicing pranayama can provide good relief. It will help prevent nasal blocks. Regular and continued practice is curative to the condition. Even simple deep breathing techniques can improve the oxygenation of the blood, and bring down the fatigue associated with the allergies.
- Regular exercise routine can help the respiratory system strengthen and the immunity to improve.
Homeopathic treatment –
Homeopathic medicines are the one effective cure for allergies, where the abnormal immune reactions are brought down, and the over reaction or the allergic reactions to normal substances are reduced.
The immunity treatment is done for a few months, where the problem is chronic. When the immunity is improved, the allergic reactions to the environment are drastically reduced. Exposure to the allergens or the weather change should not lead to symptoms. This can be achieved with homeopathic treatment
Sinusitis is an infection of the para nasal sinuses that occurs due to obstruction or bacterial growth.
Acute sinusitis is the most common form. It lasts no longer than eight weeks or occurs less than four times a year with each attack lasting no longer than 10 days. Acute sinusitis can be successfully treated with medications, leaving no residual damage to the mucous linings.
Chronic sinusitis lasts for eight weeks or longer or occurs more than four times a year with symptoms persisting for more than 20 days. Chronic sinusitis can be long term conditions, affecting the lifestyle, and hampering everyday activity.
The cause for chronic sinusitis is sometimes unclear. Stress and exposure to cold wind can also cause the chronic inflammation. Bacteria are the most common cause of acute sinusitis, and a pre existing lowered general immunity. Structural abnormalities, like a deviated nasal septum, can lead to a chronic sinusitis.
- Congestion and obstruction of the nose.
- There may be a thick yellow or greenish mucous discharge from the nose.
- There is persistent heaviness of the head through the day.
- Headache in the forehead and temples which can be severe. The headache associated with sinusitis can be severe and mistaken for migraine headaches.
- Pain is generally worse in the mornings and gets worse on bending the head.
- Postnasal drip, which can cause repeated throat clearing.
- Facial tenderness or pain may be present. This is due to inflammation of the frontal sinuses which usually results in a dull, constant ache. The face may also look swollen or puffy.
- Bad breath, loss of sense of smell, or a constant bad smell internally
- Symptoms can be worse during winters or in the rainy season with relief during the summers. Direct exposure to an AC can also worsen the symptoms.
Drink plenty of fluids. Water is the best fluid and helps lubricate the mucous membranes.
Avoid direct exposure to the cold wind; especially while traveling or in a vehicle, and cover the head and ears adequately.
A concoction of pepper, ginger and turmeric can help relieve the congestion of the sinuses. Hot beverages have similar soothing effects from steam. Hot soups, tea with honey and lemon can be helpful.
Inhale plain steam two to four times a day, it relieves the congestion, bringing out the mucous from the sinuses. This relieves the headache associated with the sinusitis.
Gargling with warm water or washing the face with hot water can also relieve the symptoms.
Deep breathing and pranayama can help bring the chronic condition down, by improving the air flow and preventing the congestion.
The constitutional medication is used to cure the chronic condition. Within few courses of treatment, there is a reduction in the frequency and intensity of the sinusitis. The chronic headache related to the sinusitis is very well cured by the Homeopathic medicines.
Homeopathic treatment cures the problem. The acute attacks are managed with the acute medicines in Homeopathy; this unclogs the congestion of the sinuses, and brings the infection down, reducing the pain and discharge.
They are pale, swollen, mucosal covered masses commonly seen in patients with allergic rhinitis within the nose. They are freely moveable and non-tender. They may result in chronic nasal block and a loss of sense of smell.
- Discharge from the nose
- Nose block constantly
- Mouth breathing
- Loss of smell (Anosmia)
- Secondary infection leading to headache and Sinusitis
- A grayish grape-like growth is seen in the nasal cavity
Asthma; Chronic sinus infections; Hay fever (allergic rhinitis); cystic fibrosis
Homoeopathic medicines very effectively treat nasal polyps.
Homoeopathic medicines can control and prevent the recurrence of such a condition. It is seen that even after a surgical removal of the nasal polyps there are 70% chances of recurrence.Even in cases where surgery is already done, homoeopathy helps in preventing the recurrence.
The tonsils are masses of lymph tissue that act as two guards located on the right and left at the back of the throat. Tonsils act as a filter and prevent the spread of infections in the throat, mouth and sinuses from spreading to other parts of the body. The tonsils produce antibodies or cells that fight disease, when they are first encountered at the throat. Inflammation of the tonsils due to infection is called tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis is mainly caused due to bacterial infections. When the general immunity is low, there is a tendency to develop a sensitivity so that tonsillitis may be triggered due to cold food and drink, cold weather, change of weather, certain foods like package food which contain artificial coloring agents and preservatives etc.
Tonsillitis is spread by close contact with an infected person. Droplets pass through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes; then become infected after breathing in these droplets. Infection can also occur by contact through skin or on objects that come in contact with mouth, nose, eyes, or other mucous membranes.
Children who are prone to tonsillitis, repeated exposures to the triggers lower the immunity of the child and tonsils become chronically inflamed.
- Sore throat, irritation in the throat with hoarseness of voice
- Difficulty and pain while swallowing
- High fever and Loss of appetite
- Swelling of neck glands
- Fatigue or body pain sometimes
When the infection becomes chronic, the tonsils swell and block the airway and make breathing and swallowing difficult.
Gargle with warm water and salt
Drink ginger and honey tea
Hot soups and beverages can soothe the throat
Homeopathic treatment helps to cut down the frequency and severity of attacks and improves the immunity so that external factors like food and temperature do not bring on tonsillitis.Surgery can be avoided by curing the condition with Homeopathic medicines.
In acute phase of tonsillitis, homeopathic medicines act on the tonsils to cut down the infection and promptly bring down the pain, soreness and fever.
Homeopathic treatment is the best way to treat a case of tonsillitis esp. in children. It is also very convenient to administer the medication to young children.
Asthma is a chroniccondition involving the respiratory system in which the airway occasionally constricts and becomes inflamed, with excessive amounts of mucus collecting in the air passages. An acute episode is the attack of wheezing, cough and breathlessness.
With the level of pollution, dust, pollens and smoke in the cities asthma is one of the most common respiratory conditions in the cities today.
While the whole city breathes the same air, why is it that at least 10% of the population suffers with Asthma, most of all the children? The key problem lies in the level of their immunity and health, the level of their resistance to atmospheric pollutants, susceptibility to stress, and their genetic predisposition.
Homeopathy addresses the immunity and improves resistance to disease, making Homeopathy the most effective treatment to cure asthma.
A family history of asthma, allergies or tuberculosis may be a causative factor. Allergic Asthma is often associated with personal or family history of other types of allergic diseases like hay fever, rhinitis, eczema etc. Low immunity is one of the major causative factors for repeated infections that could lead to asthma.
Some well known triggers of asthma are mould, dust mites, smoke, cockroaches, cats and dog’s fur, air pollution like pollen, certain foods, cold drinks, respiratory infections, emotional upsets, changes in weather and exercise.
Stress is a precipitating factor for asthma, where an exam or a deadline at work, or tension can precipitate an attack of wheezing.
In children, Asthmamay be precipitated after the suppression of a skin disease like eczema that has been treated by a steroid, or where recurrent respiratory infections have been treated with repeated strong medication.
- Cough, wheezing and mucous production are the main symptoms of asthma.
- Wheezing usually begins suddenly and comes in episodes which may be worse at night or in the early morning; or during stress or exertion
- Gets worse with cold air, exercise, and heartburn (reflux)
- Cough with or without sputum (phlegm) production
- Shortness of breath that gets worse with exercise or activity
- Tightness or constricted feeling in the chest.
Symptoms during a severe acute attack- Extreme difficulty in breathing; Severe anxiety due to shortness of breath; Rapid pulse and Sweating; Decreased level of alertness.
Acute episodes can be triggered by smoke, animal dander, strong perfumes, flowers, and pollen. Generally people with asthma are more comfortable in the seaside, or coastal regions, due to the humid atmosphere, and tend to have more attacks in dry weather.
Exercise should be medium paced, and not strenuous. High intensity cardio exercise should be avoided as this can precipitate an attack of asthma.
- The cleaning of the house or the surroundings should be done by wet mopping rather than sweeping, wherever possible. This avoids the generation of allergen aerosols which could act as a triggering factor.
- Steaming with plain warm water daily acts as a preventive. In dry climates, keep an open vessel of water in the room at night. This improves the moisture levels and decreases the bronchial irritation.
- Common food allergens that tend to trigger an asthma attack include eggs, fish, shellfish, milk, chocolate, food preservatives and coloring.
- Foods that tend to produce mucous are milk and diary products, rice, fried food and fats are best avoided.
- Ginger juice mixed with fenugreek decoction and honey helps in reducing the mucous.
- Dinner should preferably be finished at least three hours before bedtime, as lying down immediately after eating can cause irritation of the respiratory tract and precipitate an attack.
- Avoid smoke, especially cigarette smoke.
- Avoid close contact with pets, as animal dander is a trigger to asthma.
- Breathing exercises which improve the airways and the lung capacity are very good. Pranayama or deep breathing helps to improve the oxygenation levels, reducing the effects of the disease on the body.
Homeopathy has excellent cure for asthma. Immunity based constitutional treatment can reduce and cure the tendency to attacks of asthma. This combined with medication to strengthen the respiratory system, can show very significant improvement within a short period of time. Within few months of beginning the Homeopathic medicines, the attacks are reduced in intensity and frequency.
Children recover very well with short term Homeopathic medication, and the use of inhalers can be totally avoided. The treatment also effectively addresses the appetite and growth issues in asthmatic children.
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder)
It is a condition wherein there is a complex of diseases which give rise to airway obstruction or difficulty in breathing. The complex of diseases in this condition is made up of chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
- Cigarette smoking or passive smoking
- Occupational dusts and chemicals
- Outdoor air pollution
- Frequent infections and Allergies
- hereditary factors
It mostly affects the age group of 50 to 60 yrs
- Excessive and continuous cough
- Sputum production
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty in breathing is seen initially only on heavy exertion, later as the disease progresses even in mild activity breathing becomes difficult.
- There might be pinkish or bluish discoloration of face
- The main sign is the recurrence and increase in the intensity of symptoms as the condition progresses
It is largely preventable through elimination of long-term exposure to tobacco smoke or pollution. Smoking an be slowly reduced if possible stopped
Since this is a chronic condition it has very good treatment in homoeopathy.
A detailed case history is taken after which the treatment is started with a regular follow up.
Follow up has to be regular so as to fully recover from this condition. After the treatment is started the cough will be better and the immunity is made strong. The duration of treatment will depend on the intensity of the condition.