(NaturalNews) Researchers from Strategic BioSciences and the Institute for Asthma and Allergy in Wheaton, Maryland, have found that homeopathic nasal sprays using capsicum, an active component derived from the fruit of the cayenne pepper plant, are effective in relieving symptoms of allergic rhinitis. This could help some 50 million Americans who suffer from nasal allergies breathe a sigh of relief -- the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) estimates that seasonal allergies cause over 8.2 million days of restricted activity, 3.8 million lost school and work days and more than 16 million doctor visits each year.
The investigators conducted a double-blind, cross-over study that included 24 patients who tested a specific capsaicin-based homeopathic formula (marketed as MucoAd and Sinol) and another specific homeopathic formula (Sinol-M) that was identical except that it also contained additional molecules of hypromellose, a plant-derived substance that prolongs contact of the spray with the nasal surface.
All the research subjects, who suffered from persistent symptoms such as a runny, itchy and stuffy nose and sneezing several times a day, recorded their symptoms daily for a month. Their symptoms significantly improved with both homeopathic formulae. However, the version with hypromellose had the best results and required less frequent dosing. In a media statement, the scientists noted the detailed results of this study will be published in the future in a peer reviewed journal.
"These findings have important implications for the millions of people in the US who suffer from nasal allergies. Unlike the prescription nasal steroid sprays, this is an all-natural product that has now been demonstrated to provide clinical benefit and is available without a prescription," chief investigator Martha White, MD, said in a statement for the press.
While homeopathy remains rarely used or studied by the mainstream medical community, some academics are at least considering that this form of non-toxic therapy might have merit. "I don't know if it works," Kelly Karpa, associate professor of pharmacology in the Penn State College of Medicine, stated in an article on the Penn State College web site. "The whole basis of homeopathy is counterintuitive to everything pharmacologists have learned about drug actions. I won't say that I buy into it 100 percent, but I won't say that I think it's quackery either. Having never used it myself, I try to keep an open mind. Some patients are convinced that it has helped them..."
Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA's "Healthy Years" newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine's "Focus on Health Aging" newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic's "Men's Health Advisor" newsletter and many others.