Ayurveda is a traditional medicine system which uses a range of treatments such as herbal medicines, panchakarma, yoga, massage, and acupuncture to encourage health and well being.
It is a healing system based on the notion that perfect health depends on the balance between mind, body, and spirit.
According to Ayurveda, every single person is made up of a combination of five elements, namely air, water, fire, earth, and space. These five elements combine to form three life forces known as doshas- Vata, Kapha, and Pitta. An imbalanced dosha is said to interrupt the natural flow of the vital energy.
Causes of allergies in food and skin
Allergy is a form hypersensitivity to certain stimuli such as foods, drugs, environmental irritants, or conditions such as temperature and weather. They act as antigens and gives rise to a reaction in the body that involves production substances like histamine.
Allergy is a result of the following:
- Weak Agni (digestive fire)
- Certain foods- tree nuts, wheat, soybeans, peanuts, fish, egg, milk, etc
- Ama accumulation (toxins)
- Individuals basic body constitution
- Imbalanced Dosha in the body (Vata, Pitta or Kapha)
- Substances such as latex cause skin allergies
- Weak immune system
- Insect stings- include bee and wasp stings.
- Amount of allergens in the body.
Ayurveda for food allergies
Preventing food allergies by selecting foods in accordance to a person’s body constitution and seasonal alterations is considered as one best strategy in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda suggests some simple rules for eating, such as:
- The food you eat should be warm.
- You should only eat when you are hungry.
Allergies are induced due to poor digestion and the build-up of toxins in your bodies. Ayurveda for food allergies includes taking herbal laxatives and building up the digestive fire. Intake of herbal laxatives helps in proper bowel movements and improves digestion. According to Ayurveda, one should avoid eating and drinking cold foods as it does not help in digestion, and it also results in itching, especially around eyes and lips. Avoid the following:
- Combination of milk and acidic foods
- Excessive intake of acidic foods
- Combination of alcohol and honey
- Combination of hot and cold foods
Ayurveda for skin allergies
Our skin serves as the primary protection from the toxins and pathogens surrounding the environment. Most skin problems associated with contact dermatitis, temporary blisters, rashes, etc. stem from reactions to external irritants like nickel, insect bites, poison ivy sap, etc.
Chronic skin conditions, including eczema, acne, psoriasis, etc. have an internal cause, and according to Ayurveda, these are caused by imbalances in the blood, lungs, and liver.
Ayurveda provides long-lasting and holistic remedies such as using only natural remedies like plant and herb extracts to treat skin-related allergies.
According to Ayurveda’s perspective, most of the skin disrupted toxins arise from excess blood tissue which together with plasma nourishes the skin. The plasma becomes imbalanced when we consume hot food items, alcohol, work excessively, expose to the sun, etc. All these are attributes to pitta dosha. It is said that Pitta dominant individuals experience more skin problems than Vata or Kapha.
Use topical cooling remedies such as aloe gel and calendula cream in case of contact dermatitis.
Ayurveda for Seasonal Allergies
In Ayurveda, the allergy symptoms in the spring season include runny nose, congestion, sneezing, and watery eyes – all of which are an accumulation of the Kapha dosha.
Use pungent and bitter spices, including ginger, cayenne, pepper, basil, cumin, cardamom, sage, turmeric, and cinnamon to reduce Kapha dosha and treat spring allergies. Another easy remedy is to drink hot honey water, ginger tea, or lemon tea.
Allergy symptoms that occur in the summertime are mainly due to the imbalance of Pitta dosha since it is governed by the elements of water and fire. During the summertime, excess heat produces inflammation in the skin or respiratory tract. To pacify this dosha, Ayurveda suggests ingesting cooling herbs, like coriander and cilantro. Also, herbs such as Guduchi, Amalaki, and Neem may be helpful.
Allergic symptoms such as headache, wheezing, muscle aches, and sneezing occur when Vata is out of balance. It is essential to stay hydrated and drink warm liquids like honey and ginger tea to balance Vata dosha. Use of calm herbs such as ashwagandha, an immune modulator which calms the immune system’s response to allergens is considered as one of the best ayurvedic medicine for this dosha.
Best Ayurvedic Treatments of allergies
Given below are a list of best ayurvedic treatments of allergies.
- Cleanse and lubricate the nasal passages by practising nasa and neti-pot.
- Avoid the intake of cold and heavy food items.
- Take Ayurvedic medicines(medicinal herbs) such as Triphala and Trikatu.
- Follow Kapha reducing diet.
- Take warming spices.
- Gargle using supportive liquids.
- Prioritise proper food combining.
- Drink ginger tea.
- Take moderate amounts of seeds, honey, and nuts.
- Practice pranayama.
- Daily exercise.
Stay allergic-free by building a much stronger immune system through ayurvedic practices. Talk to an ayurvedic health specialist before taking any ayurvedic treatment of allergies on your own.