Allergies are the adverse reaction of the body’s immune system to specific substances such as food, environment, cosmetics, or even some medicine which our body misidentifies as harmful. This hyper reaction of the body immune system is known as an allergic reaction and the substances that cause it are known as allergens. Allergies can also occur during seasonal change. When these allergens come in contact with the body it aggravates one or more dosha in the body that causes the symptoms of allergy such as sneezing, itching, wheezing, running nose, and breathing problems.
The ayurvedic approach towards allergies
According to Ayurveda, the root cause of allergies is the vitiation of doshas or bio-energies that governs the function of the mind and body. When the digestive fire or Agni in the body becomes weak it leads to the accumulation of toxins in the body. These accumulated toxins in the body affect the working of the body. These lead to the imbalance in the doshas of the body such as Vata, pitta, and Kapha which further aggravates the condition. As the accumulation of toxins in the body leads to weakening immunity. When the allergens enter the body, the immune system is not able to expel out from the body and when it continues for a long time it becomes a chronic condition.
As per Ayurveda allergies can be classified into three types
Vata related allergy
Vata related allergy mostly occurs in the fall as the air becomes cold and dry. This can cause due to the accumulation of elements of air and space in the mind-body system that leads to other imbalances in the body. It leads to dry cough, dry eyes, and restlessness.
Pitta related allergy
Pitta related allergy mostly occurs in the summertime which is caused by an imbalance in pitta dosha. In summer the excess heat can leads to inflammation in the skin or on the respiratory tract. The symptom of pitta related allergy includes headache, burning of eyes and inflammation in airway and sinus.
Kapha related allergy
It generally occurs in the spring season due to aggravation in Kapha dosha. The imbalance in Kapha dosha leads to the feeling of heaviness and production of excess mucus in the sinus and head. The typical allergy symptoms include a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, congestion, tiredness, and sluggishness.
Relieving allergies through natural ayurvedic ways
Eat warm cooked food
In Ayurveda eating warm cooked food gives your digestive Agni a chance to rest. When our digestive fire is low it leads to building toxins in the body. When the digestive fire is low our body cannot absorb the nutrition present in the raw food and it can create toxins in the body. Eating warm cooked food is prepared in ghee helps to ignite the digestive fire of the body.
Warm up the food with herbs and spices
While cooking the food it is important to use warming spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cumin seed, black pepper, and garlic which kindle the digestive fire. This helps in restoring our digestive Agni which leads to a balance of our internal energies. When we balance our energies, we become less susceptible to seasonal allergens.
Jala neti or neti pot is an ancient yogic cleansing method that helps in loosening up the heaviness of Kapha dosha in sinuses. The process of Jala Neti involves clearing of nasal passage with lukewarm saline water. This helps in clearing all the allergens which might be sticking to the nasal passage. This might look difficult in the beginning but it is highly effective in nature. It is essential to practice Jala neti in the morning followed by nasya.
Nasya and oil massage therapy
Nasya is a powerful ayurvedic treatment that comes under panchakarma treatments in Rishikesh. Nasya is an ayurvedic therapy that is immensely helpful for people who are suffering from allergies. In this treatment few drops of herbal medicated oil is dropped into each nostril that helps in reliving from nasal congestion and sinus problem. You can also go for a facial and neck massage in Rishikesh afterward which helps in relaxing your neck and shoulder muscles which is immensely beneficial in treating allergies. The daily practice of Nasya not only relieves you from chronic nasal congestion but also creates a protective layer on nasal tissue that prevents the entry of allergens into the nostril.
Avoid fried food
Stay away from heavy fried food that includes processed food, cold beverages, leftover food, sugar, and even dairy as these will help in reducing the mucous development in the body. Also, these food hampers with digestive Agni which is really important for removing toxins from the body.
Practice yoga and pranayama
Practice gentle yoga poses every day for 30 minutes as this will help in kindle digestive Agni and also help in the elimination of toxins or ama from the body. Practice sun salutation as this will build internal heat and highly invigorating and activating in nature. You can also join an Ayurveda yoga teacher training in Rishikesh in which you will learn the yoga sequence according to your health condition.
Also, post-yoga session practice yogic breathing such as anulom vilom, ujjayi breath, and deep bellow breathing or bhastrika as these are not only clear your nasal path but these will also calm you on a mental and spiritual level.