Spring always brings a much-needed break from a cold, barren stretch. The vibrant buds and blooms are our rewards for making it through the winter, but they’re also harbingers of a variety of pollen—airborne allergens that can instigate a cascade of symptoms, including coughing, a runny or stuffy nose, and itchy eyes, nose, mouth, and throat. If you think that your symptoms are getting more severe and erupting earlier each year, it is probably not in your head. Climate change may be increasing pollen concentrations and extending the allergy season.
Our immune system is a complex and wonderful system. When in balance, it does a seamless job of identifying and eliminating potential threats to our health, such as toxins, bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. However, sometimes our immune system responds vigorously to a substance in the environment that is usually harmless, such as pollen, animal dander, or mold. As the body acts to eradicate the perceived threat, we can experience the uncomfortable symptoms of an allergic reaction, including a runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing, and itchy, watery eyes. In addition, an exaggerated immune response can lead to symptoms in the lungs (asthma) and skin (hives, eczema).
Balancing the Doshas
Your primary dosha type can often predict which allergy symptoms will manifest, so it’s important to understand your dosha type as well as your current imbalances. Dosha types include Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each of us has a combination of these three doshas within us and can, therefore, experience imbalances in any of the doshas. Different types of allergy symptoms represent imbalances in different doshas. By noticing this, we can more specifically guide the treatment of relieving seasonal allergies.
Kapha Allergy Symptoms
The accumulation of the Kapha Dosha in spring can lead to congestion, a runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. This dosha is made up of earth and water elements. It creates a heavy feeling and excessive music in the head and sinuses. Some other symptoms include sluggishness and tiredness.
To relieve this, the neti pot is a useful tool in treating allergies. In addition to the benefits of removing allergens, from a doshic perspective, it is especially effective in decreasing Kapha in the head and sinuses. The use of nasya oil with invigorating scents, such as eucalyptus, camphor or juniper, can act as a natural decongestant, thus reducing the symptoms of heaviness.
Other treatments that help relieve acute Kapha allergy symptoms include the use of pungent and bitter (astringent) herbs and spices to reduce Kapha, including ginger, cayenne, pepper, basil, cumin, cardamom, sage, turmeric, and cinnamon. An easy remedy is drinking hot honey water, or ginger lemon tea. A classical Ayurvedic herbal treatment to reduce Kapha is trikatu, which can be taken daily. In addition, treatment should be geared toward lightening the body in other ways, such as daily exercise and use of a dry sauna.
Pita Allergy Symptoms
The underlying source of allergy symptoms in summer is often an imbalance in the Pitta dosha. Pitta is governed by the elements of water and fire, and in the summer, excess heat can produce inflammation in the respiratory tract or skin. These symptoms include rash, headache, burning or red eyes, and inflammation in the sinuses and airway (sinusitis, bronchitis).
Ayurveda recommends ingesting cooling herbs, such as coriander and cilantro to pacify Pitta and the resulting allergy symptoms. In addition, herbs such as Guduchi, Amalaki, and Neem may be helpful. Ingestion of clarified butter, or ghee, as well as aloe, can calm the inflammatory reaction that is typical of Pitta imbalance. From a biochemical perspective, these herbs contain healthy anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that support our immune system.
Vata Allergy Symptoms
When Vata is out of balance, the allergic symptoms one may face include headache, wheezing, sneezing, and generalized muscle aches. These are typically seen in the fall as the air generally becomes cold and dry. This is due to the accumulation of the lighter elements of space and air in the mind-body physiology. Other manifestations of this Vata imbalance include dry cough, restlessness, and dry eyes. It is important to stay hydrated and drink warm liquids, such as ginger tea with honey.
To bring Vata back into balance, use calming herbs such as ashwagandha, which is also an immune modulator that calms the immune system’s response to allergens. Another useful tool in calming Vata is performing a self-massage or getting Abhyanga Full Body Oil Massage.
Natural Ways of Relieving Seasonal Allergies
One of the best ways to relieve seasonal allergies is to eat light, warm and cooked food. Warm, cooked vegetarian foods, made with a little bit of clarified butter (ghee) helps the body to bounce back. Eating warm, cooked foods gives the digestive fire a chance to rest. When the digestion is low (and hence the fire is low), it can’t access the nutrition stored in raw foods, and the poorly digested food creates toxins. When you know that your digestion is up to par (especially in summer), enjoy raw greens and salads.
Reduce or Avoid Dairy
To reduce the symptoms related to mucous and allow the body to get rid of the toxins naturally quickly, reducing or avoiding dairy is very effective.
Do Gentle Exercise and Practice Pranayama
Yoga poses along with the practice of pranayama, or breath techniques will help reduce most imbalances. These basic and easy practices can help not only on a physical level but also on a mental and spiritual level, bringing calmness and tranquility into your life.
Get Instant Relief with a Nasya Therapy
Nasya Therapy is a sinus therapy with herbal Oil. Your nose is the doorway to the brain as well as the doorway to consciousness. Prana, the life force, enters your body through each breath taken in through your nose.
This therapy consists of an application of herbal oils into the nostrils and stimulation of Marma points around your face.
Some benefits of Nasya Nasal Therapy are:
- Cleanses Sinuses
- Relieves allergies
- Heals Migraines and Headaches
- Expels Mucus buildup
- Improves Voice
- Releases Toxins
- Helps you concentrate and brings mental clarity
For appointments or more information, please contact us via WhatsApp at 407.617.9016.
We will be happy to assist you