Allergies can occur to anybody with a hypersensitive immune system at any point of time in life. The causes of allergy could be the food or chemicals present in food, medicines, environmental factors like pollen, dust, air, parasites or chemical toxins.
From an Ayurvedic perspective the toxins present in the body (ama) and low immunity are the causes of most allergies. Ama gets settled in different tissues in the body and aggravates the levels of Pitta or Kapha in the body giving rise to different symptoms of allergies.
Hay fever or seasonal allergies characterized by sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, throat irritation and swelling or hives in the skin is common during early summer and spring when the plants are flowering or producing pollens. Severe reactions of such allergies might result in Asthma or respiratory difficulties or diarrhea etc. People of Vata constitution are more prone to Hay Fever. Ayurveda considers this as a Kapha-Pitta disorder.
A few home remedies and ayurvedic remedies for Hay fever are:
- Nasal medication is recommended for prevention of seasonal allergies. This includes using sesame oil made by mixing agaru (aquilaria agallocha), kantakari (solanum xanthocarpum), lotus, licorice, bilva (aegle marmalos) and nut grass. A drop of this medication can be poured into each nostril during bed time. Continuous application for a month will provide relief.
- Take equal amounts of black pepper, dry ginger and pepper powder in equal portions weighing about 20mgm and add about 250mgm basil and 10 mgm each of cloves, coriander and camphor. This mixture can be mixed with warm water and consumed thrice a day starting much before the season until the end of the season.
- Herbs like barberry, Echinacea and dandelion can be taken 1 to 3 gms a day for about fifteen days. Else, a tea made of dried herbs like santalum, cardamom and licorice can be boiled in water (ratio 1:4) and reduced to quarter of the quantity. Drinking this often will help in preventing the aggravation of Pitta dosha. Taking two tablets each of guduchi thrice a day or consuming tea made of camphor, cloves and basil for about two weeks will help prevent the aggravation of Kapha.
- Other home therapies include inhaling vapor made by boiling basil leaves in water with a few drops of eucalyptus oil added.
- Even pouring two to three drops each of coconut oil into the nostrils at bed time could provide relief. Ayurvedic treatment procedure involves inducing therapeutic vomiting which helps in balancing Kapha.
- In addition to this Yoga and breathing exercises are also recommended.