All about Allergies Ayurveda
An allergy is the response of your immune system to a foreign substance. These foreign substances are allergens, and they are typically not harmful.
Allergies are very common in the world. While there is no cure for most of the allergies, there are treatments that can better manage your condition.
Ayurvedic treatment for allergies is one of the popular options as it has minimal side effects and is quite effective.
- Dust mites
- Mold spores
- Pet dander
- Insect stings
Your immune system will fight off these to keep you healthy. It is your body's defense system.
Depending on the allergen, the response may be sneezing, inflammation, or a host of other signs.
What causes an allergy?
It happens when your immune system mistakes a harmless substance (allergen) to be a virus or bacteria. It will then produce antibodies that will attack these allergens.
These antibodies will then release many chemicals that will cause allergy symptoms. These allergens can be
- Certain foods - It can be peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, soy, eggs, and milk.
- Airborne - These can be pollen, animal dander, dust mites, and mold.
- Some medicines
- Insect stings - From a bee or a wasp
- Latex or any other substances
Risk factors of allergies
You are more prone to developing allergies if you:
- Are a child
- Have asthma
- Have a family history of asthma or any allergies
- Symptoms of allergies
- The signs may differ as per the type of allergen
- If you had a food allergy, you might have these signs
- Skin rashes or hives
- Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, and mouth
- Tingling in the mouth
Hay fever can cause
- Runny, stuffy nose
- Itching of the nose, eyes or roof of the mouth
The signs of drug allergies include
- Itchy skin
- Facial swelling
Ayurveda and allergy
Ayurveda, an old medical system from India, provides another way of handling our health. It has a holistic approach that considers your body, mind, and soul as a whole.
Ayurveda's focus will be on the person as much as it is on the disease. So, the doctor will consider the person's nature while preparing the treatment plan. Thus, the plan will be specific to each person.
A key feature of Ayurveda is the focus on the balance of elements for a healthy life. As per Ayurveda, the main elements, earth, fire, water, air, and space, are present in all of us as three doshas or energy forces.
Each of us has a primary dosha, which defines us. The other two doshas are also important, and the three have to be in balance for us to be healthy.
Ayurveda stresses the importance of digestion in our bodies. Many diseases have digestion as the root cause. Allergy is one such case.
When the food that you eat does not get digested, it becomes a toxin. This toxin or 'Ama' in Ayurveda then accumulates in your digestive tract. If you continue having improper or junk food items, it adds to these toxins. They then spread to other parts of your body, adding fat to the tissues and blocking your channels.
The immune system starts to work more to overcome these problems. It then becomes more defensive. It starts to assume even harmless substances (allergens) as threats and attacks them.
As per Ayurveda, these allergens tend to aggravate specific doshas. So, you will have three types of allergies as per these doshas.
- Vata allergy: These are related to food items. You will feel the effect of this in your digestive tract with signs like burping, bloating, gas, pain in the gut, etc. Food items like black beans, raw food, and animal proteins tend to aggravate this.
- Pitta allergy: It usually happens due to the contact of some foreign elements with your skin. You will have rashes, hives, itching on your skin due to this. You may also experience stomach upset, heartburn, acid reflux, etc. Tomatoes, eggplants, citrus fruits can all make this worse.
- Kapha allergy: This type occurs mainly due to seasonal changes. It is more common in winter seasons. Cold, cough, asthma, sleeping disorders are the major signs. The food items that aggravate this condition are dairy products like milk and cheese, cucumber, wheat, etc.
Ayurvedic treatment for allergy
The main goals of the Ayurvedic treatment for allergy are
- Pacify the aggravated doshas
- Clear any blocks in your system
- Improve your digestion process
- Strengthen your immune system
The treatment includes internal medicines and external therapies. Some of the common methods are
- Nasya- the administration of medicines through your nostrils. It clears any blocks in your nasal channels.
- Vamana - the induced vomiting process where the toxins get eliminated through your mouth
- Virechana- the induced purging process to remove the toxins through the lower pathways
- Internal medicines to improve your digestion and to reduce the allergic reactions.
- Rasayana procedures to optimise your immune system
As mentioned above, your doctor will decide the right methods for your body type, main dosha, and allergy type. You will have to be in the hospital for 14-21 days for the treatment.
Yoga and meditation are part of the treatment as it helps to reduce stress and to improve your metabolism. Diet is another key factor in the treatment. Your doctor will advise the diet that you have to follow both during and after the treatment.
With proper treatment and by sticking to the advice of the doctor, you can expect great results.
Other treatments for allergies
The common treatments for allergy include
- Medications - Medicines can control the reaction of your immune system and lessen your symptoms. These can be nasal sprays, eye drops, or other medicines.
- Allergen avoidance - Your doctor will help you identify your triggers and avoid them.
- Immunotherapy - For severe pollen allergies, you may have allergen immunotherapy. It involves a number of injections of purified allergen extracts. It can also in the form of a tablet.
Complications of allergies
Allergies increase your risk of other medical problems. These include
- Severe shortness of breath
- Skin rashes
- Severe wheezing.
- A drop in your blood pressure
- Sinusitis and ear infections or lung infections