Allergies – Nature’s solution to an everyday problem

by Vibe
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What is Allergy?

The immune system is the finest armour that nature has provided all human beings and it is designed to nurture and protect life by warding off and neutralizing all threats to life. In some people however, the immune system over reacts or becomes hyper sensitive to certain substances (allergens) triggering off a chain of unpleasant reactions (allergy). Sneezing, sinusitis, asthma and hay fever (allergic rhinitis) are examples of such unpleasant reactions.

Allergy – The Ayurvedic prepective

Ayurveda says that allergies are the outcome of a poor immune system and the presence of amavisha (toxins). When the body is fed too much or fed something that is not suitable for it, the digestive process is incomplete leading to the formation of ama (toxins). If the body does not change its dietary habits, ama keeps forming and eventually spills over into different tissues and organs in the body. Ama then reacts with these and gets transformed into amavisha. It is this amavisha that triggers off the allergic reactions when it comes into contact with allergens.

The two-pronged approach of Ayurveda

  • do away with ama and amavisha,  and
  • bolster the immune system.

Necessary changes in diet and dietary habits can take care of the first approach. To bolster the immune system, ayurveda requires that one undertake certain physical activities and use certain herbs. The physical activities include yoga and nasya treatment.

Stress aggravates allergies and yoga is a sure antidote for stress. Yoga also employs many postures and breathing exercises that help in dispelling the accumulated ama. Nasya treatments can be done at home once you get the hang of it and involve the introduction of medicated oils or powders or plant extracts into the nose. A completely safe procedure, it flushes out the toxins and helps clear out and lubricate the sinus passageways.

Herbs that help:

  • Ashwagandha – Withania somnifera
    It has four distinct properties – growth promoter, immunostimulant, adaptogenic and anxiolytic. Ashwagandha is available as capsules, powder or in the form of lehyams (medicated jams).
  • Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
    One of nature’s most potent immunomodulators, it supports the normal white blood cell structure, functions and levels in blood thereby supporting the immune system.
  • Turmeric – Cucuma longa
    Turmeric with warm milk has been the staple home remedy for cold and fever in India. Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric is also a very potent antioxidant that slows down the aging process. Apart from using with milk, turmeric tea is a great way of warding off threats to your immune system.
  • Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum
    Loaded with antioxidants, it not only boosts the immune system, but also provides other benefits like stimulating the body and increasing physical endurance. Chewing fresh leaves or drinking tea by boiling a few dried leaves is one of the easiest ways to keep allergies away and keep cholesterol and blood pressure in check.
  • Mulethi – Glycyrrhiza glabra
    Liquorice boosts the immune system by boosting levels of interferons and, increasing production of lymphocytes and macrophages. Liquorice tea is a great way of bolstering your immune system.
  • Amla – Emblica officinalis
    A rich source of vitamin C, and one that reduces the inflamed vata, pitta and kapha, regular consumption of the fruit boosts immunity and rejuvenates the body. Powdered amla with a spoon of organic honey is probably the easiest and best way to enjoy the benefits of this fruit.
  • Chyawanprash
    A traditional Indian supplement incorporates amla and 36 other herbs to boost immunity and rejuvenate the body. As it contains an impressive group of herbs that boost immunity, a spoon of chyawanprash in the mornings with a glass of milk is more than enough to boost the immune system. This way, you do not need to collect all the herbs and have them individually.
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