Allium cepa is a homeopathic remedy made from red onions that is commonly used to relieve the symptoms of hay fever, nasal congestion, or similar complaints. It is a popular remedy and may easily be obtained from a pharmacy that carries a range of homeopathic medicines. Many people keep a supply of it with them if they are prone to suffering from hay fever.
To make allium cepa, an entire fresh red onion plant that is harvested in July or August is used. Onion contains an acrid, volatile substance that stimulates the tear glands and the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. Homeopathic remedies typically work by using a tiny amount of a substance to cure a condition that normally would be produced by larger concentrations of that compound. The theory states that this treatment will prevent discharges from the tear glands and mucous membranes.
Other physical symptoms that might be alleviated by this treatment include headaches, earaches — particularly in children — streaming eyes and nose, or a congested nose. It may also be helpful if someone has a toothache in the molar area, or pain that moves around in the mouth. Further physical complaints that might be helped by allium cepa are hoarseness, the early stages of laryngitis, coughing that causes spitting, and neuralgic pain. At one time, it was used to cure worms and cure bites from mad dogs.
Symptoms that respond best to this remedy tend to be those that are aggravated by warm rooms, cold or damp air, or the smell of flowers. These complaints also commonly start on the left side of the body and later move to the right side. Symptoms usually are improved by cool rooms and fresh air.
As with all homeopathic remedies, certain rules should be followed when taking the medicine. The remedy can be obtained in 6C and 30C potencies, either of which is suitable for home use. More potent versions usually need to be obtained from a specialist homeopathic pharmacy, but typically are better left alone unless prescribed by a qualified homeopath.
One pill or tablet should be taken in a clean mouth and touched by hands as little as possible. It should be sucked or chewed slowly rather than swallowed. No food or drink should be ingested for the first few minutes after taking the remedy, and it should be kept away from strong-smelling substances such as peppermint and eucalyptus. Following these rules typically ensures the best chance that the remedy will work.