If you have ever experienced itchy, watery eyes, dry cough or nasal symptoms of seasonal allergies, then you are well aware of how uncomfortable, and at times, physically limiting they can be. Allergic responses are our body’s way of defending against and trying to eliminate foreign substances that we encounter. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is believed that the health of your agni, or digestive fire, determines how severe of a reaction you have to common allergens. By strengthening your agni, you can reduce, or possibly eliminate the physical discomfort associated with allergies.
Vata allergy symptoms tend to be more noticeable in later fall and early spring when the air is cold and dry. There is a very strong air element to Vatas. Allergy related discomforts may include dry eyes, dry cough, headache, wheezing, sneezing and dry itchy skin.
Vata symptoms require hydration in order to be kept in proper balance. Make sure you are consuming adequate amounts of clean, pure, hydrating liquids.
Try one of the following liquid preparations to soothe Vata allergies. Ashwagandha is a wonderful, calming herb that will help bring Vata back into balance. Consume it in an infusion made in warm milk. Or try licorice and ginger root tea to help to relieve dry throats, coughs and wheezing.
Sesame oil works beautifully to balance Vata. Try giving yourself a gentle massage around the sinuses and throat area using just a touch of sesame oil.
Those with a primary Pitta dosha are prone to inflammation. Warm weather allergies can exaggerate this inflammation to an uncomfortable level, especially in the sinuses, lungs, and skin. Any of the burning sensations associated with allergies are considered to be Pitta allergy symptoms. Burning itchy eyes and a burning throat is common Pitta ailments. To help ease these symptoms you need to balance the heat and inflammation with something cooling. It is important to only apply the use of cooling oils and herbs to your regime, but also eliminate those that are heat producing. Pittas should stay away from spicy food, drink, herbs and oils while suffering from allergies.
Pitta symptoms are also eased by the use of aloe. Either apply aloe directly in inflamed, allergic skin reactions or consume in the form of aloe juice to bring a cooling effect to the entire body.
Kapha is the dosha associated with dominate water and earth elements. Kapha allergy symptoms tend to be more watery, such as mucus drainage and watery eyes. The strong earth presence also means that blockages are common, as is a sluggish, stuck feeling.
To help ease these symptoms and balance the Kapha dosha, a good nasal cleansing is recommended. Nasal irrigation should be done using a neti pot. This teapot like device is used to flush water through the nasal cavities and facilitate easier and faster removal of mucus and the opening of blocked passages. It is important to always use sterile water in your neti pot. You may either purchase sterile, distilled water or you may boil your own and allow it to cool to a lukewarm temperature before using. You may also add a tiny bit of salt to the pot to facilitate the process.