INTRODUCTION TO THE DISEASE
An allergy is defined as the response of the body’s immune system to normally harmless substances or allergens. Common allergens include pollen, food, metals, insect stings and some medications. The problems caused are hay fever, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma and anaphylaxis.
TYPES OF ALLERGIES
ALLERGIES CAN BE CLASSIFIED AS:
- Milk allergy
- Egg allergy
- Wheat allergy
- Nut or peanut energy
- Fish allergy
- Soya allergy
- Casein allergy
- Spring allergies
- Summer allergies
- Winter allergies
- Dog allergy
- Cat allergy
- Allergic rhinitis or hay fever
- Allergic conjunctivitis
- Hives or urticaria
- Allergies to poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac
- Allergies to insect or bee sting
- Mold allergy
- Pollen allergies
- Sun reactions to the skin
- Aspirin allergy
- Cosmetic allergy
- Nickel allergy
- Drug allergy
- Dust allergy
- Chemical allergy
- Penicillin allergy
SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGY
The symptoms of allergy vary depending on the type of allergen.
MAIN SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGY ARE:-
- An itchy, runny or blocked nose
- Itchy, red and watering eyes
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- A raised, itchy and red rash
- Swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
- Dry, red and cracked skin
In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Swelling of the throat and mouth
- Difficulty in breathing
- Blue skin or lips
- Collapsing and losing consciousness
According to Ayurveda, an allergy is caused by the particular substance or the allergen aggravating a specific dosha: Vata, Pitta or Kapha. Ayurveda therefore classifies allergies according to dosha.
VATA TYPE ALLERGIES SYMPTOMS AND CURE
Vata type of allergies are experienced in the digestive tract with symptoms such as:
- Digestive discomfort
- Gurgling intestines
- Abdominal pain
- Wheezing or headache
- Ringing in the ears
- Joint pain
- Muscle spasm
When vata is aggravated and causes allergy, it is important to keep warm, stay hydrated and eat a vata pacifying diet. Vata types of allergies are cured by Ginger or Licorice tea with an added drop of ghee. To bring back vata into balance, use calming herbs such as Ashwagandha, which is an immunomodulator that calms the immune system’s response to allergens. Another useful tool in calming vata is performing a self-massage or Abhyanga.
PITTA TYPE ALLERGY SYMPTOMS AND CURE
- Burning or red eyes
- Inflammation in the sinuses (sinusitis)
- Inflammation in the airway (bronchitis)
To pacify Pitta allergy symptoms, ayurveda recommends to ingest cooling herbs such as Coriander, Shatavari, Guduchi, Amalaki and Neem. Ingestion of clarified butter or ghee can calm the inflammatory reaction of pitta imbalance. These herbs contain healthy anti inflammatory and anti oxidant properties that support our immune system.
KAPHA TYPE SYMPTOMS AND CURE
Typical kapha allergy symptoms include:
- Running nose
- Watery eyes
- Heaviness and excessive mucus in the head and sinuses
Treatment that help relieve Kapha allergy symptoms include the use of pungent and bitter or astringent herbs and spices, including Ginger, Pepper, Basil, Cumin, Cardamom, Turmeric and Cinnamon. An easy remedy to reduce Kapha type allergy is drinking hot honey water or ginger lemon tea. Trikatu can also be taken daily to pacify kapha allergy symptoms.
HERBAL REMEDIES FOR ALLERGIES
Chandigarh Ayurved Center has come up with Allergy Care Kit that perfectly helps in getting rid of this situation.
- Take 250 ml carrot juice. Add 100 ml beetroot juice. Add 100 ml cucumber juice. Mix well. Have it once a day. This helps reduce allergic reaction and soothes existing allergies.
- Take one glass lukewarm water. Squeeze half lemon in it. Add one teaspoon honey. Mix well. Drink on an empty stomach.
- Warm water gargling with salt helps to treat allergens.
- For inflamed eyes use the mixture of lime, mallow and chamomile tea.
- Quince, honey and lemon show a good impact on the throat.
- Take peppermint tea for congested and inflammatory nose.
- Apply paste of sandalwood and lime juice on the affected allergic area.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE
IN CASE OF ALLERGY, ONE MUST FOLLOW:-
- Take extra amount of water.
- Bitter substances should be taken regularly.
- Avoid extra amount of proteins and fat.
- Avoid difficult to digest food.
- Avoid the types of food which irritate your skin.
- Clean your body regularly.
- Wash your eyes with cold water.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid excess sun rays.
- Avoid chemical based creams.
- Use sun glasses to prevent the contact from allergens.
- Keep your room pollution free.
- Remove old and dusty carpets from your room.
- Practice Sarvangasana and Pranayam.
- Eliminate dairy products from your diet.
- Eat warm and cooked foods.
- Practice nasya therapy. Nasya lubricates dry nasal passage and keeps allergens away from directly irritating the nasal lining.
- Use herbal supplements and spices particularly ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and black pepper.
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.