Many of us who live in northern climes eagerly anticipate summer, craving the sunlight and heat that’s often in scarce supply during the rest of the year. We look forward to the season’s arrival so much that we can forget that even the lazy days of July and August come with their own challenges. And plenty of them.
Seasonal stressors include too much of a good thing (sunburn), things that make us itch (bug bites and poison ivy), and allergies (to all sorts of things, including pollen).
Fortunately, there are numerous homeopathic remedies to help us truly savor summer.
Allergies & Hayfever
The smorgasbord of seasonal allergies begins in early summer with grass pollen. As summer progresses, the list grows to include allergens such as ragweed and goldenrod. Experts recommend that in dealing with allergies, you should choose the remedy most like your symptoms. If three days pass with no relief, you are likely using the wrong remedy and should try another, according to James Balch, MD, and Mark Stengler, ND, authors of Prescription for Natural Cures. “When you first notice improvement, stop taking the remedy unless your symptoms begin to return.”
In keeping with the homeopathic principle that “like cures like,” some homeopaths recommend that those suffering from ragweed allergies try Ambrosia (ragweed) for relief and those allergic to goldenrod use Solidago (golden rod). Consider Arsenicum iod to quell a frequent desire to sneeze, and Natrum mur 6C six times daily for a constant nasal drip that resembles raw egg white. If sneezing and a runny nose are accompanied by hot, stinging, swollen, and watering eyes, and symptoms seem worse indoors, consider Allium cepa 6C six times daily. Euphrasia 6C six times a day is a common remedy to soothe red, itchy, and burning eyes, thick eye discharge, and sneezing that worsens at night. Try Pulsatilla 6C six times daily if sneezing that worsens indoors is accompanied by nighttime congestion.
Insect Bites & Stings
Wasp, yellow jacket, or bee got the best of you? If the pain lessens after ice or cold applications, try Ledum (wild rosemary) 30C every half-hour for further relief. This is typically the first remedy given after a bug bite. For swelling and burning pain, Apis (crushed bee) 30C every 30 minutes may be useful. Carbolicum acidum is useful if you’ve been stung multiple times.
Poison Ivy, Oak, & Sumac
The bane of summer, these poisonous plants can make life feel unbearable at times. If your rash feels better when you’re submerged in a very hot bath, use Anacardium. However, if any kind of warmth only aggravates your condition, Sulphur may be the more appropriate remedy.
Those tormented at night by itching can try Rhus toxicodendron for relief. Graphites helps address rashes with pustules that weep a glutinous, honeylike substance.
If you overdid your time in the sun, apply a soothing calendula-based gel, spray, or ointment to your burn. Urtica urens has been used to ease the pain of first-degree burns (painful redness but with no blistering, which is typically a second-degree burn). Dennis Chernin, MD, MPH, author of The Complete Homeopathic Resource for Common Illnesses, recommends using the 30C potency “every five to ten minutes.”
Alternatively, try Belladonna 30C. To minimize the blistering and pain of intense burns, consider taking Cantharis 30C.
This is a dangerous condition, so remedies should never be given in place of professional care. However, remedies can be given while a person is being transported to a healthcare professional. If accompanied by fever, headache, dilated pupils, reddened face, and stupor, use Belladonna. Use the 6th, 12th, or 30th potency every 30 minutes for the first two hours. After giving a remedy for two hours, reduce frequency to every one to four hours.