An allergy starts when immune system of an individual mistakes a normally harmless substance for a dangerous invader. The immune system produces anti-bodies for a particular allergen. When a person is exposed to allergen again, these antibodies release a number of immune system chemicals like—histamine that cause allergy symptoms. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. In severe cases, allergies can trigger a life threatening reactions known as—anaphylaxis.
In modern medicine, treatment of allergies include– allergen avoidance, over the counter or prescription medications in, nasal sprays, etc. the form of pills which help to reduce immune system reaction or immunotherapy treatment when allergies are not cured by any other treatment. Immunotherapy involves a series of injections of purified allergen extracts. These methods provide only temporary relief. There are certain herbs gifted to us by Mother Nature which provide permanent relief from the allergies.
- Individual is at increased risk of allergies if family members have asthma or allergies like—hay fever, eczema, etc.
- Children are more likely to develop an allergy as compared to adults.
In this article, we are going to discuss two types of allergies—
- Respiratory Allergies
- Skin Allergies
- Respiratory Allergies
Nasal Allergies—Nasal Allergies also called allergic rhinitis may cause:
- Itching of the nose, eyes or roof of the mouth.
- Watery, red or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis)
- Runny, stuffy nose
Nasal Allergies according to Ayurveda
- It is broadly classified into two types—
- Allergic rhinitis is caused due to weak immune system. It is caused by the factors like—pollen, dust, cockroaches, smoke, etc.
- It includes all year around symptoms of nasal blocka ge and runny nose. It is not triggered by an allergen.
According to Ayurveda
- Allergic Rhinitis is compared with Vataj-Kaphaj Pratishaya. The concept of “Ama” or endotoxins and incompatible food also predict the allergic conditions.
- “Ama” is caused due to impaired digestion. It affects Rasa and Rakt dhatu leading to the manifestation of Pratishaya. Wrong food combinations having antagonist properties like—taking fruits with milk, fish with milk, cow’s ghee with honey, ice-cream after night meals, etc. lead to allergy.
- Ayurvedic treatment of nasal allergies include relieving “Ama” as well as balancing Tridoshas. In Allergic Rhinitis, first of all, Vata, Kapha and constipation removal is necessary. For allergic rhinitis, keep watch on the elements that cause irritation and stay away from those irritants, always take warm water bath and do not get expose to hot sun rays.
- Respiratory allergies are caused when there is obstruction in easy flow of air in the lungs. In Asthma, bronchial tubes get obstructed and become inflamed and inner surface also becomes swollen. This causes breathing difficulties and wheezing.
- According to Ayurveda, this condition is known as Pranvaha Sroto Vikara. Vata prokopa diet and activities lead to accumulation of Vata in the body. Intake of heavy diet, cold water, excessive salts, heavy meals during night, exposure to smoke, cold, dust etc. are the causes of Asthma.
- Skin allergies are increasing day by day due to unwholesome food habits and bad food combinations. In addition, chemical contacts and allergic substances also cause skin allergies.
Causes of skin allergies according to Ayurveda
- Surely, the Ayurvedic treatment will remain pivotal in the successful treatment of skin allergies. According to Charak Samhita, skin allergies are characterised by the skin having red rashes with bumps, intense itching and often blue discolouration. Some other symptoms include—painful and dry lesions, black lesions with severe itching and watery discharge over the skin are also available in classical versions.
Two factors that cause skin allergies are
- Allergic or sensitive skin
- Exposure to an irritant.
Besides this, various other causes like—chemicals, cosmetics, clothing, etc. may also contribute in a significant way in causation as well as worsening the skin allergy.
Causes of skin allergies in Ayurveda are food concerned and habit concerned. Incompatible food combinations like—intake of sour foods with milk, use of fish, lemon and milk together, use of radish with jaggery, etc. lead to skin allergies.
Symptoms of Skin Allergies
- Decreased sweating or excess sweating
- Discolouration of the skin
- Mild burning
- Roughness of the skin
- Bluish-black discolouration
Top 7 Home Remedies for Allergies
- For allergic rhinitis, take 6 cloves, 6 black pepper and 1 teaspoon of turmeric. Make powder and consume it with honey.
- Chew a piece of garlic and ginger regularly is helpful in curing allergic rhinitis.
- Take extract of black pepper, ajwain and poppy seeds for nasal allergies.
- Dusting with powders of herbs like—turmeric, acacia and neem tree is very helpful in reducing excessive secretion and oozing.
- Wash the skin lesion with Triphala decoction is extremely useful to calm down the worse skin allergies.
- There is a herb known as “Khadira” extremely useful in wide range of skin disorders. Bathing water prepared with Khadira is useful in curing skin allergies.
- Regular use of turmeric in diet is highly beneficial in all kinds of allergies.
- For respiratory allergies like—Asthma, take black pepper, sunthi and cloves and boil it in 1 cup of water and take its extract.
- During an attack of asthma, rub Nilgiri oil, mustard oil or plain balm on the chest and get fomentation. Inhale mint and camphor.
- For asthma, take one teaspoon licorice with garlic at night before sleep.
Natural Herbs for Skin Allergies
Single herbs used in the treatment of skin allergies include Pitta balancing with blood purifying, detoxing and skin soothing benefits.
These herbs are:
- Manjishta (Rubia cordifolia)
- Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus)
- Nimba (Azadirachta indica)
- Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia
- Chandana (Santalum album)
- Haridra (Curcuma longa)
- Daruharidra (Berberis aristata)
- Bakuchi (Psoralea corylifolia)
Things to be Taken & Avoided
- Light food, bitter vegetables, snake gourd must be included in the diet and heavy food intake which causes indigestion and imbalance of Kapha leads to worsening of itching so it must be avoided.
- Excess intake of milk and milk products must be avoided as it causes Kapha increase leading to itching and excessive secretion, Sour foods are also avoided as they cause Pitta imbalance, non-vegetarian food, jaggery, spicy food, sugarcane derivatives, salty food must be avoided.