Seasonal Allergies can result in various types of ailments like cold, cough, constant sneezing, or itching or rashes in various parts of our body, watery eyes, sore throat etc, and can flare up in many other forms, particularly during spring or winter season.
Ayurveda believes that allergy is the result of aggravation of a specific dosha (vata/pitta/kapha) due to a particular substance (the allergen), depending on which dosha has been triggered in the individual case. Sometimes, it is possible for more than one dosha to be involved too.
Often, allergic reactions are reflective of our own constitutions.i.e., a pitta predominant person may develop a pitta type of allergy, while a kapha predominant person may suffer from a kapha kind of allergy, when our predominant doshas are vitiated.
Bronchitis is known as ‘Shwasa Pranali Shoth’ in Ayurveda, wherein the bronchial tubes that carry air to lungs gets inflamed. The disease is characteristic of cold and damp climates, and is often caused due to certain germs. But, Ayurveda believes that the root cause of bronchitis is an impaired digestive system, which if cured, can also cure bronchitis.
Seasonal bronchitis, or bronchitis caused due to allergens (due to environmental factors) are referred to as allergic bronchitis.
Allergic bronchitis may last from a few weeks to months, with the symptoms fading away with seasonal change or when there is less exposure to the allergen, depending on what triggers it in the first place.
Allergic bronchitis may include one or more of these symptoms:
Cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, excess mucus production.
Although identifying the type of allergy you suffer from, is the first important step, there are several treatment strategies that can be helpful for all kind of doshas.
General strategies to be followed
These general strategies are the baseline to prevent onset of allergic bronchitis or manage it in a better way:
Avoid the allergen – Obviously, avoiding exposure to a particular allergen may give your body relief from the overactive immune response, which is the root cause of your allergy. For instance, if you are allergic to pollen, stay out of its way for a while, or if you are allergic to cat dander, you could stay away from it or avoid contact with synthetic fibres if you are allergic to that, or stay away from cold weather during spring/winter if it’s a seasonal allergy.
Take Triphala – Triphala is the traditional ayurvedic formula that balances all the three – vata, pitta and kapha. It is known for its ability to gently cleanse and detoxify the digestive tract fore better immune response, while also replenishing and nourishing the tissues.
Follow dosha-pacifying diet: If you have more kapha type symptom, follow kapha-pacifying diet, as allergic bronchitis is often associated with kapha dosha.
Dietary cleanse: A dietary cleanse helps to clear toxins and balance doshas and kindle a strong digestive fire, to support digestive health and proper immune function and lessen allergies. A half or full day fast, or short juice cleanse, or a mono-diet as advised by the physician may be of help, as Ayurveda has several effective cleansing techniques.
Lubricate nasal passage: Nasya and Neti Pot helps in clear breathing by offering direct support to nasal passages, by helping to clear the impact of allergens on delicate tissues.
Gargle with liquids: Gargle with a bit of honey in lukewarm water, or do saltwater gargling with lukewarm water, as it can be clarifying and soothing.
In acute and chronic stages, presciptions such as Sitopladi Churna, Rasa Sindoor, Praval Pishti, may be recommended thrice a day with ghee or milk cream. Some other useful medicines that physician may recommend include Shringyadi Chura, Kahachintamani, Kaphaketu and Khadiradi Vati.
Natural Remedies from Ayurveda
Prepare powder of equal quantities of black pepper, long pepper and dry ginger, and consume half teaspoonful thrice a day with honey.
Dissolve a teaspoonful of turmeric with milk and take thrice a day.
A teaspoon of honey and ginger juice dissolved in 150ml of hot water will cause expectoration of trapped phlegm.
Juice of vasa is beneficial if taken twice or thrice a day.
Tulsi (Basil) is excellent for bronchitis. Boil water with tulsi leaves and use it as gargle. Else, make a decoction of tulsi, black pepper and ginger in equal quantities and drink it thrice a day.
Diet and Lifestyle
- Avoid sour substance, pickle and curd. Avoid cold items like ice creams or cold drinks, and fruits like banana or guava too.
- Have warm foods that are easy to digest, and ensure to include plenty of green leafy vegetables.
- Strictly avoid tobacco and alcohol.
- Restrain from exposure to cold wind, rain, excess humidity, dust, and allergic pollens.
- Avoid physical exercises that are heavy, and limit to walking/stretching/yoga.