According to ‘Allergy UK’, research shows that one-in-four people in the United Kingdom suffer from an allergy at some time in their lives. The numbers are increasing every year and as many of those affected are children.
Allergy is an immune response or reaction to substances that is usually not harmful. It’s often called atopy. It is an adverse reaction that the body has to a particular food or substance.
Any substance that triggers an allergic reaction is called an allergen. Some of the most common allergens include pollen, house dust mites, mould and pets. An allergy develops when the body’s immune system reacts to an allergen as though it is a threat, like an infection. It produces antibodies to fight off the allergen, in a reaction called the immune response.
The next time a person comes into contact with the allergen, the body remembers the previous exposure and produces more of the antibodies. This causes the release of chemicals in the body that lead to an allergic reaction. Examples of some allergic disorders include asthma, eczema, and hay fever.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Allergy:
In Ayurveda, our body is an end product of what we eat and how we live. Food is ingested and then digested. During the digestion, the food passes the seven different stages of nutrition. After passing the seven stages, the food sap, which remains, is known as the Nectar of the food (Ojus). According to Ayurveda, the Ojus enables the human body to fight against different diseases. Thus, a good quality Ojus is required for a better health. According to Ayurveda, allergens such as pollen, dust, and dander, may trigger symptoms in susceptible persons, but these allergens are not the primary cause of allergies. Ayurveda theory believes that the accumulation of ‘ama’ is the main problem because it prevents the immune system from functioning normally, which in turn causes over-reaction in the body, with allergies as the end result. When your body has a low digestive fire or unsteady digestive fire, or foods that demand more digestive power than the body possesses, are being eaten, it creates a half-baked gunk. When people continue their improper dietary practices, ama moves beyond the digestive tract through the circulatory system, thus settling in various bodily tissues and clogging internal pathway. In an effort to protect the body, the immune system offsets into high gear. Thus, as the toxic load increase, it becomes over- vigilant and defensive, violently attacking even harmless substances such as pollen, causing pointless symptoms.
- Poor digestion and elimination: Ayurveda theory maintains that the cause of allergy is in the stomach. Improperly digested food is carried through channels into various tissues in the body. The resulting toxin accumulation imbalances the tissues through several mechanisms; the toxins become irritants and are perceived as foreign bodies by the immune system. An allergic response is initiated by the accumulating toxins. Also, when the accumulation of impurities become excessive, the tissue often becomes hyper-responsive to other foreign particles and the individual becomes allergic to environmental substances that aren’t harmful.
- Accumulation of physical and mental stress
- Imbalance of nervous system strength and stability; In Ayurveda, the functioning mode in the body which is called Vata controls the overall level of balance and activation of the nervous system. Hence, an imbalance of Vata plays a major role in allergy symptoms.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Allergy:
- Boosting the digestive fire, detoxification, immune system strengthening, stress management.
The treatment modalities include panchakarma, external therapies, internal medications, Activities, advice on food and lifestyle changes.
- Panchakarma – Vamana, Virechana, Nasya
- Externally – Abhyanga, Lepa, Shiro dhara
- Internally – Vatanulomana (Herbs to balance the flow of Vata)
- Agni Deepana (Improve appetite)
- Ama Pachana (Digestives)
- Pitta and Kapha balancing herbs
- Rasayana which strengthen the particular system.
- Specific Asanas, Pranayama, Meditation.
- Foods which aids easy digestion and create nutrients assimilated into the tissues are advocated for.
- Intake of warm water
- Avoid heavy foods
- Develop a lifestyle that does not disturb the natural bodily rhythms.