WHAT IS ALLERGY?
Allergy is a hyperactive response of the immune system to particular substances called allergens. These allergens may be food, pollen, dust, drugs, molds, air-borne, dog, cat, mushroom, soy, gluten, etc.
Common allergic disorders include asthma, eczema and hay fever.
Doctors don’t know why some people experience allergies. Allergies appear to run in families and can be inherited. If you have a close family member who has allergies, you’re at greater risk for developing allergies.
Although the reasons why allergies develop aren’t known, there are some substances that commonly cause an allergic reaction.
Common allergy triggers include:
Airborne allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, dust mites and mold
Certain foods, particularly peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs and milk
Insect stings, such as from a bee or wasp
Medications, particularly penicillin or penicillin-based antibiotics
Latex or other substances you touch, which can cause allergic skin reactions
- Itching in
- Nettle rash/Hives
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Sinus Pain
Quantitation of total plasma IgE
Tests for specific IgEs recognising a wide range of allergen
Allergy specialists perform and interpret allergy skin tests.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis
Allergic fungal sinusitis
Having one type of allergy increases the chances of being allergic to something else
In many cases, asthma is triggered by exposure to an allergen in the environment (allergy-induced asthma).
Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
Infection of lungs
Infections of the ears
Identify and avoid the causative allergen
Wear a medical alert bracelet —
If ever had a severe allergic reaction. A medical alert bracelet (or necklace) lets others know that you have a serious allergy in case you have a reaction and you’re unable to communicate.
When there is imbalance between tridosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) the immune system becomes weak with weak Agni (Digestive fire). A weak Agni results in Ama (toxin) formation in the body. Allergies are more common in people with Ama in their system.
Therefore, Allergy is more common in-
Weak Agni (digestive fire)
Ama accumulation (toxins)
Individuals basic body constitution.
Imbalanced Dosha in the body (Vata, Pitta or Kapha)
State of the Dhatu (tissue) Agni (digestive fire): this determines which tissue or organ system will be affected.
Number of allergens in the body.
Weak immune system
According to dosha Allergies can be of three types:
Vata related allergy
Pitta related allergy
Kapha related allergy
All Vata aggravating factors.
Such people are allergic to dry, bitter, spicy and astringent foods, raw foods, cold foods, beans, cold dry and windy weather, excess stress and overactivity.
Nervous system, respiratory system, bones and colon are important Vata organ and systems hence the symptoms are seen in these parts of the body.
Bloating of stomach, flatulence, abdominal pain and discomfort, tingling sensations in limbs, loss of sleep, twitching of muscles, bone aches and pains, intestinal colic are seen in these parts. Such people are also prone to constipation, anxiety, restlessness.
Pitta aggravating factors like spicy, sour and salty foods along with citric fruits, fermented food articles, hot weather and extreme sunny conditions. Such people have very sensitive skin and are allergic to certain fabrics, metals, synthetic materials etc.
Skin, eyes, parts of the digestive system, liver and spleen are important organs of Pitta Dosha.
The symptoms seen in these parts of the body are red rashes, urticaria, and allergic dermatitis, and eczema, redness of the skin with itching and pustule formation. Other symptoms are heartburn, nausea, acidity, diarrhoea, burning and redness of the eyes.
Kapha aggravating factor like sweet, sour, salty foods including dairy foods, cheese, yoghurt, milk etc. also fruits like cucumber, water melon may lead to allergic reactions. The allergies are aggravated during cold, rainy and cloudy season.
Sinuses, nasal passages, parts of the respiratory system are all Kapha organs.
The symptoms include runny nose, mucus accumulation, hay fever, congestive disorders, colds, coughs, sinusitis and also Kapha related asthma. Other Kapha related allergic symptoms are water retention, heaviness in abdomen, sleeping disorders.
Ayurvedic treatment for Allergy:
Ayurveda believes in Nidana – Parivarjanam.
That means avoid the cause of the disease so avoid all common allergens in everyday life.
Ayurvedic approach of treatment of any conditions comes under two categories:
Ayurvedic detoxification which will help to remove the root cause of the allergic reaction. This also helps to correct the imbalanced Agni, eliminate excess Dosha from the body and helps to strengthen the immune system. This is usually done when there is no acute phase of the allergic reaction.
The five actions of detoxification known as Panchkarma are as follows –
Vomiting (Vamana): Kapha related allergies
Purgation (Virecana): Pitta related allergies
Enemas (Basti): Vata related allergies
Blood-letting (Rakta Moskhana): Blood related and Pitta related allergies
Nasal treatments (Nasya): Kapha related allergies
Treatments and therapies for acute phases of allergic reactions.
Avoid all causes relating to Vata allergic reactions.
Take a Vata pacifying diet which includes mild sweet, sour and salty tastes.
Beneficial herbs for Vata related allergies are:
- Trikatu (Trikatu is an Ayurvedic blend of equal parts of the fruits of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum), Long Pepper (Piper longum) and the rhizomes of Ginger (Zingiber officinale).)
- Triphala (Triphala (“three fruits”) is an Ayurvedic herbal rasayana formula consisting of equal parts of three fruits, taken without seed: Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula).
- Dashmool (ten roots) In ten roots, five roots are of the tree and other five are roots of shrubs. Combination of Kshudra Pancha Mool (Sarivan, Pithvan, Badi Kateri, Choti Kateri and Gokhru) and Mahat Pancha Mool (Bilva, Agnimantha, Shyonak, Kashmari and Patala)
- Tulsi (holy basil)
- Herbal teas containing ginger, cumin, lemon and orange are beneficial.
- Applying of hot Mahanarayan oil locally will also help. Some people also take a few drops of this oil in hot water.
- Frequent Basti (enema) administration also helps to reduce the frequency of allergic attacks.
- Commonly Dashmool enema or Mahanarayan oil enema is given.
Avoid all causes relating to Pitta allergic reactions.
Avoid spicy, salty sour foods, and concentrate on bitter and astringent tastes like green vegetable and salads. Make sure cooked food is eaten at all times and this is far better than raw food.
Avoid direct contact with sun and extreme hot conditions.
Beneficial herbs for Pitta related allergies are :
- For skin related conditions, Neem and Manjistha is a very good combination. Both these herbs have blood cleansing properties.
- Herbal teas with fennel, ginger, and saffron are beneficial for such conditions.
- Therapeutic purgation helps to eliminate excess Pitta and heat from the body which usually leads to such allergic reactions.
- Blood letting is also a very useful.
- sandalwood and rose are good for external application.
- Tikta Ghrita is very effective
- Coriander juice
- Coconut water
Avoid all causes relating to Kapha allergic reactions.
Avoid cold, heavy and stagnant foods like cheese, yoghurt, milk, cream etc
Avoid cold, rainy, wet weather.
Beneficial herbs for Kapha allergic reactions are-
- Tulsi (Holy Basil)
- Therapeutic vomiting and purgation is beneficial.
- Nasal administration of oils which contain herbs like black pepper, Pippali are very good.
- For symptoms of runny nose, sneezing and congestion, Jala Neti (nasal wash) is beneficial.
Yoga for allergies:
- Sun salutations
- Forwards bends, extension poses are good.
- Breathing exercises like Anulom -Vilom
- Right nostril breathing (Surya Bheda)
- Spinal twists are good.
- Breathing exercises like Anulom -Vilom are especially helpful.
- Chandra Bheda or left nostril breathing,
- Shitali Pranayama (breathing through the mouth and over the tongue)
- Shitkari Pranayama are good.
- Sun salutations are most beneficial.
- Extension positions are good
- Breathing exercises like
Right nostril breathing,
and Ujjayi Pranayama are good.
It is strongly recommended that you consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before starting any detoxification process to eliminate Ama or taking Ayurvedic herbs for skin disorders. The treatment protocol may change based on a person’s body constitution and disease.
- Neem (Azadiracta Indica): Neem has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Use neem oil to massage on the affected areas. Neem can also be taken internally as a natural remedy for skin allergy that can heal the skin from the inside out. Take neem capsules or drink neem-tulsi juice for glowing skin.
- Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia): The herb guduchi or giloy having a relaxing impact on nerves, improving digestion and fighting against infections.
- Giloy juice when had on a regular basis can be a very effective treatment for skin allergies.
- One can also combine giloy juice with juices of neem, amla or aloe vera as herbal remedies for skin allergies. Make an anti-allergy mask by mixing giloy with amla and neem powders to get clear skin.
- Manjistha (Rubia Cordifolia): Manjistha is a cooling herb that cleanses the blood and supports healthy skin. The neem and manjistha mix can also be taken internally; take half tsp. of the herbal mix in warm water thrice a day, after meals.
- Haridra (Curcuma Longa): Turmeric is one of the best anti-inflammatory agents because of its strong clarifying and detoxifying effect and its potent healing effect on the digestive system, liver, blood and the skin. Haridra can be used in daily cooking for a holistic cure for skin allergies, or one can also use turmeric topically in the form of masks or oil.
- Tulsi (Ocimum Sanctum): Trikatu + Basil + Cloves + Camphor + Coriander in equal quantities. Take half a teaspoon of the powder with warm water twice daily. Take steam inhalation by adding tulsi and eucalyptus leaves to hot water.
- Kumari (Aloe Barbadensis): The application of fresh aloe vera gel is a powerful cure for itchy skin. You can also add a few drops of healing essential oils like cedarwood, chamomile, geranium, rose, jasmine or lavender to help with skin rashes and allergies.
- Sariva/Anantamool (Hemidesmus Indicus): It cleans blood problems like heat and toxins that are at the root of skin allergies. Take 30 gms of anantamool and boil in one liter of water till it reduces by 1/5th to prepare a decoction. Filter and drink 50 ml twice daily. Get anantamool benefits for skin with a topical treatment made by mixing the powder with milk and honey and applying on the affected area.
- Khadira (Acacia Catechu): Khair or khadira is very helpful in managing Pitta conditions like heat and toxin accumulation – common causes of skin allergies. The herb also has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Boil a small piece of cutch with water and add this to your bathwater. A paste of khadira leaves can be used topically to get relief from itchy, inflamed skin.
Ayurvedic Supplements (to be taken under physician’s guidance – Consult Now)
Ayurvedic preprations for Allergy:
- Fightox cap
- Gajderma cap
- Gandhak Rasayana
- Mahamanjisthadi Kadha
- Panchatikta Ghrita
- Kaishore Guggulu
- Triphala Juice
- Kamdudha Ras
- Talkeshwar ras
- Kushthkuthar ras
- Kayakalap vati
- Drink lots of water as one of the top natural remedies for allergies as it helps to detox.
- Bitters foods should be taken regularly.
- Avoid extra amount of proteins and fat.
- Avoid foods that take very much time to digest and cause Amavisha.
- Avoid the types of food which irritate your skin.
- Spicy and sour foods should be avoided.
- Make sure bowel movements are regular.
- If one is allergic to gluten, one is advised to eat a gluten-free diet. The same goes for any other food allergy or food sensitivity.
- Cleanse the skin and hair properly.
- Do exercise regularly.
- Do meditation and Yoga Regularly.
- Avoid chemical-based creams and lotion.
- Keep your living quarters free of pollen and allergen. (Remove old carpets, ensure that dust doesn’t accumulate in corners, wash woolen bedding thoroughly, keep everything dry to prevent mold, etc.)
- The Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
2. Kapalbhati Pranayama
3. Upside-Down Pose (Viparita Karani)
4. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
5. Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)