Allergies affect about a third of the world’s population. Their conditions range from very weak, barely noticeable adverse reactions to certain substances or factors, to very severe crises and seizures, bordering on a threat to the patient’s life.
To this day, some people mistakenly believe that being allergic is a sign of a weak immune system . This is not true at all.
They are in fact a kind of distortion in the body’s immune response, something like an exaggerated reaction to certain stimuli. This is what makes us experience a number of unpleasant and painful, and sometimes life-threatening symptoms.
In fact, allergology is one of the most mysterious and complex branches of medicine . Treating these diseases is a challenge. The truth is that with proper treatment we can fight allergies and finally overcome them, not just suppress them with drug therapies.
To do this, we need to turn to the wisdom of Ayurveda – the ancient Indian science that studies human health, considering it as a balance of our life energies. In India to this day, it is precisely this imbalance that is considered to be the main source of disease.
The difference between Ayurveda and Western medicine
What distinguishes Indian traditional medicine is its holistic approach to disease. No condition is considered as an independent fact, but as a consequence of interdependent factors.
While conventional medicine and pharmacology in the West are mainly focused on treating the symptoms of all diseases, including allergies, in the East the emphasis is on achieving absolute healing by restoring the body’s internal balance.
The most famous and common allergens
Especially peanuts – you’ve probably seen the warning on the packaging of many products that it may contain traces of nuts. This is one of the most dangerous allergies not because of anything else, but because peanuts can appear as a surprise in even the most unexpected foods.
In many patients the allergy manifests itself with swelling , which is actually the most dangerous allergic reaction – as it can lead to suffocation and death.
Soy, wheat, sesame
Very often these products do not cause an acute allergic attack , but simply lead to digestive problems. Very often we cannot understand the cause of these ailments on our own and we continue to eat in the same way that is harmful to us.
Fish and seafood
In fact, what causes the reaction are the microorganisms that live in them.
Dairy products and eggs
Ayurveda has developed a very simple methodology to check whether the consumption of fresh milk is contraindicated for us. Drink a little in the evening before going to bed and do not brush your teeth.
If your mouth tastes sour in the morning, keep in mind that you will probably need to reduce your consumption of this food group.
Raw fruits and vegetables
Unfortunately, there is also an unpleasant form of allergy that directly affects our lifestyle by excluding whole food groups from our diet. The good news is that even if you are allergic, in most cases you can eat these fruits in processed form.
These fluffy, loving creatures sometimes also cause allergic reactions . This is because there are small living organisms in their fur, otherwise harmless, but not for people prone to allergies.
Did you know that among the fruits that are most likely to cause allergic reactions, are apples, peaches and other mossy fruits. The apple is the least allergenic, so you can eat it without any problems.
What causes allergies from the point of view of Ayurveda?
While modern Western physicians look for the causes of allergies in specific foods, beverages, substances or other environmental factors, Indian traditional healers seek to look at the root causes of these unpleasant reactions – the preconditions within us.
It is believed that our inner fire (agni) plays a major role in this. When it is weak, toxins accumulate in us, and they in turn make us more vulnerable to one or another external influence and thus cause allergic conditions.
Some of the most common allergies in the world are:
- Allergic rhinitis and seasonal allergies associated with sinusitis and rhinitis
- Skin allergies and nervous sensitivity of the skin
- Allergic respiratory diseases
How does Ayurveda help us deal with allergic conditions?
Initially, in order to prescribe therapy for an allergy , the Ayurvedic doctor will ask to examine the patient and get acquainted with his condition. You need to be prepared in case you are asked some questions about your lifestyle, preferences, habits and other defining traits.
This initial examination will help your therapist get to know you better to judge what your “constitution” is. This refers to the natural balance of your life energies. In each person it is individually conditioned and has a state of rest as well as an irritated state (out of balance).
How do different types of constitution suffer from allergies according to Ayurveda?
In patients with vata constitution allergic attacks are often associated with headache, muscle aches, sneezing.
People with predominant coffee energy suffer from allergic reactions to pollen and other plant fibers. Their symptoms appear most often in spring and autumn and include increased nasal secretions, tearing and redness of the eyes, general fatigue, sneezing.
Here, for example, is a great idea for relieving allergic rhinitis, rhinitis and sinusitis, inspired by Ayurveda –
Apply the jalanetti technique. It is a cleansing of the nasal mucosa with a solution of water and sea salt. This is a gentle way to get rid of excess mucus in the upper respiratory tract.
In Indian traditional pharmacology a number of remedies for similar conditions have been developed based on various herbs such as ginger, black, white and long pepper, basil, cumin and others.
People with the constitution most often suffer from allergies in the summer. They often experience various reactions to solar radiation. They are prone to rashes, dryness and irritation of the epidermis.
Symptoms of allergies, affecting the respiratory system, may include dry cough, dry eyes. For these patients, it is recommended to take foods and herbs with anti-inflammatory properties.
After investigating your case, the Ayurvedic doctor will prescribe a therapy that in 99 percent of cases is much more complex than the standard prescription we are used to receiving at the clinic.
You should not be surprised if your therapist asks you, for example, to change some things in your lifestyle. Since nutrition and exercise are key to maintaining balance, we need to pay proper attention to them.
It is best to take time to train , consulting with experts about when is the best time of day for physical activity, depending on your constitution.
The main focus should be on breathing exercises, which in Ayurveda and yoga we call pranayama. They are especially important if our allergy affects the airways, but not only in these cases.
As a basic life process, respiration is important for absolutely every activity of our body, including the immune response and the production of immunoglobulin E, which is at the bottom of allergic reactions.
The diet will also be prepared based on your personal personality. This should not worry you – in Ayurveda cuisine occupies a central place and most recipes are not only healthy, but also extremely tasty.
You will be amazed at how much you will like it, even if you are a carnivore (most dishes in Indian traditional cuisine are vegetarian or even vegan).