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I have a bottle of liquid that is meant to build my immunity to "cedar fever," a common allergy in central Texas. It is a homeopathic medicine which contains the cedar pollen at a 6X dilution, meaning 1 part pollen per 1 million parts water (or alcohol). The directions say to take 3 drops of this under your tongue 3 times per day.

I'm skeptical that this is going to do anything, but I understand that immunotherapy (allergy shots) work essentially the same way: they expose your body to a small amount of allergen to stimulate the immune system... or something like that. Anyway, that is a more standard approach that a traditional doctor would prescribe.

Are these treatments comparable? Can anyone tell me how much allergen is present in an allergy shot, so I can compare to the quantity in this homeopathic solution? Thanks!

  • The point of immunotherapy is to not stimulate your immune system. – octern Jan 24 '16 at 5:03
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A quick, non-comprehensive google search turned up a couple of publications targeted at doctors indicating that maintenance doses of allergens are in the range of 5-20 micrograms:

http://www.greerlabs.com/files/Grier_Tom_HowsMyDosing_Publication_3_2012.pdf http://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/0815/p689.html

This obviously varies a great deal depending on the allergen, the patient, and the progress of therapy, but it sounds like you could use it as an order-of-magnitude estimate. Some issues to note:

  1. I believe that 6X means the solution has been diluted to one millionth of the original concentration, but to find out the amount of pollen present you would need to know what the original concentration was.

  2. I don't know whether immunotherapy uses whole pollen, or some kind of isolated protein. If it's an isolate, 1mcg of allergen used in shots could be much more potent than 1mcg of solute in the homeopathic solution.

  3. I don't know how comparable sublingual and injected allergen doses are.

  4. Homeopathic remedies are unregulated and could contain basically anything.

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