INTRODUCTION TO THE DISEASE
An allergen is a harmless substance that causes an allergic reaction. Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, is an allergic response to specific allergens such as grass, dust and mould. Pollen is the most common allergen.
Body releases histamine whenever it encounters an allergen. Histamine is a natural chemical that defends our body from the allergen. This chemical causes allergic rhinitis.
Allergic rhinitis is a type of inflammation in the nose which occurs when the immune system over reacts to allergens in the air. Many people with allergic rhinitis can also suffer from asthma, allergic conjunctivitis or atopic dermatitis.
CAUSES OF ALLERGIC RHINITIS
Factors that cause or aggravate allergic rhinitis are:
- Outdoor allergens such as pollens from grass, trees and weeds
- Indoor allergens such as pet hair or dander, dust mites and mold
- Irritants such as cigarette smoke, perfume and diesel exhaust
- Laundry detergents
- Cleaning solutions, pool chlorine, car exhaust and other air pollutants
SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGIC RHINITIS
When a sensitive person inhales an allergen, the body’s immune system may show following symptoms:
- Stuffy nose due to blockage and congestion
- Increased nasal discharge
- Problems with smell
- Sore throat
- Puffy and swollen eyelids
- Itching mainly in the nose, mouth, eyes, throat or skin
- Difficulty in breathing
- Infection in middle ear
- Skin allergies
- Fatigue and irritability
According to ayurveda, allergy or sheet pitta is caused to the imbalance of Pitta dosha due to low immunity and toxins present in the body. Ama increases the levels of Pitta and Kapha in the body, thus giving rise to different symptoms of allergies. Ayurveda considers this as a Kapha-Pitta disorder.
HOME REMEDIES FOR ALLERGIC RHINITIS
- Add a slice of ginger, black pepper and cardamom while preparing tea
- Take two spoons of Apple cider vinegar and a bit of honey mixed in a glass of cooled boiled water early in the morning.
- Taking two tablets of Guduchi thrice a day or consuming tea made of camphor, cloves and basil for about two weeks will help in preventing the aggravation of kapha dosha, thus relieving allergic rhinitis.
- Turmeric is the best spice to treat allergic rhinitis. Using few pinches of turmeric in diet is the best way to keep allergic rhinitis.
- Take Aloe vera juice daily one hour before breakfast
- Boil half teaspoon of Amla fruit powder with one teaspoon of honey. Take twice a day.
- Boil half teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in milk. Add one fourth teaspoon of turmeric powder. Take 2-3 times a day.
- Prepare a decoction by boiling half teaspoon licorice root powder, one fourth teaspoon black pepper powder and one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger along with 8-10 basil leaves in a cup of water. Reduce the liquid to half. Add half teaspoon of sugar and drink lukewarm in the mornings and evenings.
- Use one drop of nasya thailam in each nostril daily.
HERBAL REMEDIES FOR ALLERGIC RHINITIS
Chandigarh Ayurved Center has come up with Allergy Care Kit that perfectly helps in getting rid of this situation.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE
- Avoid heavy, stale and junk foods, cool drinks and dairy products including cheese and yoghurt that increase kapha and decrease digestive fire.
- Have freshly prepared and warm food.
- Cover your nose in dusty environment.
- Practice Bhramara mudra (place your index finger at the base of your thumb. Touch the tip of your thumb beside the fingernail of the middle finger. Extend your ring and little fingers. Focus your attention and breathe as deeply, slowly and smoothly as possible. Hold for 10-15 minutes 2 to 3 times a day before food).
- Deep breathing or regular practice of Anuloma Viloma Pranayam and Kapalabhati can also prevent from allergic rhinitis.
- Keep windows closed during high pollen periods; use air conditioning in your home.
- Keep your living space clean to avoid dust and dust mites.
- Wash your hands after petting any animal.
- Drink plenty of water to liquify the mucus and elimination from the body.
- Keep yourself away from mental and physical stress because stress is one of the major causes of attacks of allergic rhinitis.
- Sufficient humidity should be present in the atmosphere to prevent attacks of rhinitis because dry air may produce symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
- Take adequate rest
Vaidya Jagjit Singh is a 3rd generation Ayurved physician from his family and is the remarkable person responsible for setting up of the Chandigarh Ayurved and Panchkarma Centre in sector 32 and 22, Chandigarh and Zirakpur and he is also the first founder member of Guru Ravidas Ayurved University. He has done his B.A.M.S. from Shri Dhanwantri Ayurvedic College, Chandigarh. He is an admirable ayurvedic physician with specialization in Chronic ailments.