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Posted 04/13/2023 in Ayurveda

Treating Allergies Holistically through Ayurveda

Treating Allergies Holistically through Ayurveda

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, allergies affect more than 50 million people in the United States alone. An allergy is an abnormal immune response to a normally harmless substance, called an allergen. The immune system of a person with allergies reacts to the allergen as if it was harmful, causing a variety of symptoms. Allergies can be mild to severe and can affect many different parts of the body, including the skin, respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, and cardiovascular system.

Common allergens include pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, insect bites, certain foods, and certain medications. When an allergen enters the body, it triggers an immune response that involves the release of various chemicals, including histamine, which causes inflammation and the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Symptoms of Allergies

Allergies can cause a wide range of symptoms, which can vary in severity and duration depending on the individual and the specific allergen. Some common symptoms of allergies include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, watery, itchy or red eyes, itchy nose, mouth or throat, skin rashes or hives, coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, swelling of the lips, lips, tongue, face or throat etc.

If you experience any of these symptoms after exposure to a particular allergen, it's important to speak with your doctor to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment. Severe allergies can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical attention.

Common Causes of Allergies

There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing allergies, including:

  • Genetics: A family history of allergies can increase the risk of developing allergies.

  • Environmental factors: Exposure to certain allergens, such as pollen or pet dander, can increase the risk of developing allergies.

  • Lifestyle factors: Certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking or being overweight, can increase the risk of developing allergies.

  • Age: Allergies can develop at any age, but they are more common in children and young adults.

  • Immune system disorders: People with certain immune system disorders, such as autoimmune diseases, are more likely to develop allergies.

  • Stress: Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making a person more susceptible to allergies.

Approaching Allergy through Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine and according to Ayurveda, allergies are caused by an imbalance in the body's doshas, or energies. By addressing this imbalance, allergies can be treated holistically. Here are some Ayurvedic approaches to treating allergies and reducing the symptoms:

Identify the allergen: The first step in treating allergies is to identify the allergen causing the reaction. This can be done through an allergy test or by paying attention to when and where the symptoms occur.

Detoxification: To remove toxins and balance the doshas, Ayurveda recommends a seasonal cleansing program known as Panchakarma. This involves a series of treatments, including massage, herbal remedies, and enemas.

Use herbs and spices: Ayurveda uses herbs and spices to treat a range of conditions, including allergies. Some of the most commonly used herbs for allergies include turmeric, ginger, holy basil, and licorice.

Practice pranayama: Pranayama is a breathing practice that can help to reduce inflammation in the body and improve lung function. This can be especially helpful for those with respiratory allergies.

Follow a balanced diet: Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of following a balanced diet that is tailored to your individual dosha. This may involve avoiding certain foods that exacerbate your allergies and incorporating foods that help to balance your doshas.

Use neti pot: The neti pot is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy for allergies and sinus problems. It involves using a small pot to pour saline water through the nasal passages to help remove mucus and allergens.

Get adequate sleep: Adequate sleep is essential for overall health and can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Ayurveda recommends getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

Regulative Therapy in Ayurveda

Apart from the above approaches, Regulative therapy has proven results in treating Allergies. In Ayurveda, regulative therapy refers to a set of therapeutic interventions aimed at restoring balance and harmony to the body, mind, and spirit. According to Ayurvedic principles, imbalances in the three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) can lead to various health problems, and regulative therapy is used to correct these imbalances and restore the body to its natural state of health.

Regulative therapy in Ayurveda can involve a range of approaches, including dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, herbal remedies, and detoxification therapies. Some of the specific regulative therapies in Ayurveda include:

  1. Panchakarma: A detoxification and cleansing therapy that involves a series of five therapeutic procedures, including massage, herbal steam, and enemas, among others.

  2. Abhyanga: A type of Ayurvedic massage that uses warm herbal oils to improve circulation and promote relaxation.

  3. Shirodhara: A therapy in which warm herbal oil is poured onto the forehead in a steady stream to calm the mind and nervous system.

  4. Yoga and Meditation: These practices are used to promote mental and physical relaxation, balance the doshas, and improve overall health and well-being.

  5. Ayurvedic Diet: The use of specific foods and dietary guidelines as advised by Ayurvedic practitioners, to balance the doshas and promote optimal health.

Overall, Ayurveda offers a holistic approach to treating allergies by addressing the underlying imbalances in the body. By following these Ayurvedic remedies and incorporating them into your daily routine, you may be able to reduce the severity and frequency of your allergy symptoms. However, it is always important to consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare provider before trying any new treatments. Click here to book an appointment now!