Allergies and their treatment as per principles of ayurveda

Allergic Types and their treatment in Ayurveda

There are many different types of Allergic Diseases and with the help of Ayurveda Medicines, a patient can lead a normal and healthy life. In short Ayurveda offers a very concrete and logical solution to all sorts of Allergic Problems. And also there are very good Home Remedies to these Allergic Problems. 

Allergies can irritate us no end. With symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, itching to even asthma at times, allergies can make us miserable to say the least.  If you have an allergy, you could be suffering from a cold, and in extreme cases, asthma and breathing difficulties might crop up. Add to that aches and pains, irregular heart beat and gastrointestinal problems, and your whole system might go for a toss.    

Allergies occur when an immune system that is hyper sensitive reacts to a common or unusual substance (also called allergens). In some people, allergies are hereditary but one can develop allergies at any time in his or her life. A person might be allergic to such allergens as chemical toxins, food, dust, animal hair, pollen or parasites.

Food Allergies are immune-mediated disorders due to IgE antibodies and type i hypersensitivity reactions. Up to 20% of the population perceives themselves to suffer from food allergy but only 1-2% of adults have genuine food allergies. The most common culprits are peanuts, milk, eggs, soya and shellfish. Clinical manifestations occur immediately on exposure and range from trivial to life-threatening or even fatal anaphylaxis. In the 'oral allergy syndrome' contact with certain fresh fruits results in urticaria and angio-oedema of the lips and oropharynx. Allergic gastroenteropathy has features similar to eosinophilic gastroenteritis, while gastrointestinal anaphylaxis consists of nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and sometimes cardiovascular and respiratory collpase. Fatal reactions to trace amounts of peanuts are well documented. 

The diagnosis of food allergy is difficult to prove or refute. Skin prick tests and measurements of antigen-specific IgE antibodies in serum have limited predictive value. Double-blind placebo-controlled food challenges are the gold standard, but are laborious and are not readily available. In many cases clinical suspicion and trials of elimination diets are used.

Treatment of proven food allergy consists of detailed patient education and awareness, strict elimination of the offending antigen and in some cases antihistamines or disodiu cromoglycate. Anaphylaxis should be treated as a medical emergency with resuscitation, airway support and intravenous adrenaline. Subsequently, patients should wear an information bracelet and be taught to carry and use a preloaded adrenaline syringe.

According to Ayurveda, ama (undigested toxins) and low immunity are the main cause of allergies. Amacan settle at the digestive level or in various tissues with different symptoms at each level. When improperly digested ama is carried through channels into the various tissues in the body, the resulting toxin accumulation imbalances the tissues.  Ama toxicity aggravates Pitta or Kapha, and in each case, the symptoms may vary.In fact, you may be a Kapha, Pitta or Vata person, but an allergy when it occurs in any constitution, can throw up various symptoms. 

A Pittabased allergy, for instance, manifests itself through sore red eyes and an inflamed itchy nose. There could be low fever and the person might feel extremely irritable. Exposure to sunlight will set off sneezing attacks. Citrus blossoms are said to be main the culprits behind Pitta allergies.

Kapha allergy, on the other hand, may induce a dull heavy feeling in the head, stuffy nose and sinuses, lethargy and drowsiness, swollen eyes and lots of mucous production. Damp related allergens like moulds can set off this type of allergy and even cause asthma in susceptible victims.

Vata allergy attack may be caused due to dry dust in which case the throat may run dry and become hoarse. There would be a feeling of excessive dryness and pain in the nose and sinuses too. Asthma characterized by spasms may result in extreme cases.

Below are some ways you can treat allergies through simple home remedies.

  • Home remedies for Pitta Allergy

Take half a teaspoon of amlaki, steep in boiling water and then strain the liquid before drinking it.Amlaki is a virechan (laxative) herb and helps remove Pitta Dosha during the allergy season. Breathing coconutOil deeply in each nostril a couple of times a day, drinking neem leaf tea  three or four times a day and drinking warm milk (a quarter cup) with half a teaspoon of  turmeric will also prove beneficial. It is important to follow a Pitta soothing anti-inflammatory diet by avoiding fried food, processed and spicy food, chillies, onions, garlic, red meat, egg yolks, caffeine and alcohol.

  • Home remedies for Kapha Allergy

This type of allergy needs Chyavanprash which has to be taken twice daily to strengthen the lungs. Triphala will also help in detoxifying the system. The person suffering from this type of allergy needs to take half a teaspoon of triphala steeped ten minutes in boiling water. The liquid has to be strained before drinking it. Kapha-causing foods specially wheat and dairy products is best avoided during such allergies.

  • Home remedies for Vata allergy

For Vata-caused allergies, seasameOil is highly beneficial. A teaspoon of Ashwagandha  taken with a cup of warm milk during bedtime will also balance Vata. Those with Vata causing allergies can use nasya oil (sesameOil) for dry, painful nasal passages while liquorice (mulethi) tea will relieve a dry, raspy throat. Alternatively, they can drink three or four cups of ginger root tea per day for immediate relief.


Treatment for Allergies

In Ayurveda, allergies can be treated through shodhan (cleansing) treatment in the form of nasya where the drop of medicatedOil is instilled in the nostrils. Take the case of Nikhil (name changed), a 32 year old executive from Agra who was suffering from severe nasal allergy. As an executive working in a metropolitan city, he was initially taking allopathic medicines, before he decided to take recourse to Ayurveda.

While suffering from nasal congestion,  he was administered Ayurvedic nasyaOil made up of  Jivanti, devadaru,usira, sariva, sveta canadana, daru haridra,yasti, satavari, rasna, Kantakari to help relieve sinus inflammation. SuchOils can be applied twice a day by hanging the head over the edge of the bed and squeezing 3-5 drops of theOil in each nostril. While lying there, Nikhil’s nose and cheeks were massaged in a motion towards his forehead. This helped to lubricate the mucus membrane while allowing theOil to drain up in his sinus cavity.

If Nasya therapy is carried out effectively, Kapha related toxins from the paranasal sinuses are eliminated. Due to this, the patient feels great relief in the head and experiences clarity of the sense organs. Breathing becomes completely unobstructed which gives sound sleep at night. There is improvement in the olfactory area too. For Nikhil, too, nasya helped him to breathe effortlessly after a long time and his condition has changed for the better.

Besides nasya, allergies can also be effectively treated through shaman (pacification) treatment in the form of medicines where Kapha pacifying herbs are used. In shaman treatment, the herbs that are usually given to pacify Kapha include mulethi, vasa, pushkar mul and kantakari. Powders like Palishadi Churna and Sitopladi Churna and tablets like Lakshmivilas Ras and Vyoshadi Guggulu are found to be a surefire way of pacifying Kapha

Be it through nasya, churna or tablets, Ayurveda has a cure for allergies of every hue. The point is to diligently stick to the treatment plan, allergies would cease to be a bother altogether.