Spring Allergies: A Perspective through Ayurveda
Spring is here and sunshine seems just round the corner bringing with it longer, brighter and happier days. It also brings discomfort and suffering for those with Spring Allergies, who have a hypersensitivity to certain stimuli/articles ranging from drugs, foods, environmental irritants like pollen, cat hairs, dust etc, or sudden changes in the weather.
These substances act as antigens giving rise to a bodily reaction which involves production of certain substances like histamine in the body. Reaction can be respiratory leading to wheezing, sneezing, runny nose, mucus congestion, hay fever, colds coughs and sinusitis or skin reactions such as rashes, hives, allergic dermatitis, redness of the skin and a flare up of existing skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis.
Spring Allergies, Ayurveda’s Perspective
According to Ayurveda, an allergic response is a result of a weak or imbalanced Digestive fire (Agni), which leads to the accumulation of toxins (Ama) in the body due to a weak immune system. Allergies are categorised as Vata, Pitta or Kapha dosha in dominance and display symptoms based on the imbalanced dosha and which tissue or organ/system is affected.
- Vata kind of allergic reaction may start suddenly with wheezing and Vata related asthma, dizziness, giddiness, tinnitus, ear aches and pains, headaches. Or digestive issues such as bloating of stomach, flatulence, burping, abdominal pain and discomfort.
- Pitta kind of allergic reactions include red rashes, urticaria, and allergic dermatitis, and eczema, redness of the skin with itching and pustule formation. Other symptoms are heartburn, nausea, acidity, diarrhoea, burning and redness of the eyes.
- Kapha kind of allergic reactions involve runny nose, mucus accumulation, hay fever, congestive disorders, colds, coughs, sinusitis and also Kapha related asthma. Other Kapha related allergic symptoms are water retention and heaviness in abdomen.
Based on your Doshic reaction, by changing your diet during this season, can stop further aggravation to your symptoms and provide some relief.
Avoid foods like potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines, beans, bitter and astringent foods. Take a Vata pacifying diet which includes mild sweet, sour and salty tastes
Avoid spicy, salty sour foods, and concentrate on bitter and astringent tastes like green vegetable and salads. Make sure cooked food is eaten at all times and this is far better than raw food.
Avoid cold, heavy and stagnant foods like cheese, yoghurt, milk, cream etc. Avoid excess of sweet, sour and salty tastes. Favour more of bitter, spicy and astringent tastes.
By improving digestion, removing toxins from the system and balancing the Doshas within the body Ayurveda not only provides symptomatic relief but also builds the immune system with the view to change response to those antigens in the future.
It is recommended that you consult an Ayurvedic Practitioner before trying to eliminate toxins or using any Ayurvedic herbs as the treatment protocol might change based on your body constitution and current imbalance.
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