Up to 50 million people in America struggle with allergies every year and it’s considered one of the leading causes for chronic illness.
The immune system is a complex and dynamic system that protects us from disease by identifying harmful substances in our environment that it doesn’t recognize as safe, then triggering an allergic reaction to get rid of these foreign substances. An allergy occurs when the body’s natural defense turns on and against itself!
Allergies can cause a wide range of symptoms, from mild to life-threatening. They’re often caused by plant pollens or animal dander which we are allergic too without even knowing it because our bodies consider those substances harmful! Allergies and stress can also give people asthma, hives, itchiness, runny nose and watery eyes, when they’ve never had any before in their lives!
The practice of Ayurveda recognizes that there are many causes for allergies, one of the main reasons being the accumulation due to ama (toxic buildup from improperly digested foods). This combined together in our body with low Ojas (immunity) ~ leads to allergic reactions when it becomes too much. There can be several reasons why this happens: typically because someone has a genetic predisposition combined by unhealthy diet habits or chronic illness; sometimes mental stress will trigger an emotional trauma leading them down another path towards having more trouble breathing during seasonal changes. This is why following a seasonal diet and routine is so important, to build Ojas (immunity) and protect against seasonal and everyday allergens.
When the power of digestion (Agni) becomes weak due to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle, overtime this will cause an imbalance in our doshas. This causes ama – or undigested food particles-to accumulate within us which acts as allergies that trigger an auto immune response from tissue cells anywhere in the body, especially the respiratory system, digestive system, skin or any combination.
Ayurveda gives us the tools to live a healthy lifestyle through daily dinacharya, ritucharya (seasonal rituals), and our evening rituals, help strengthen our digestion, enhance our immune system, and clear out unwanted toxins.
Seasonal Practices to Keep You Healthy and Allergies at Bay:
- Do some spring cleaning
- For your body: Practice a spring cleanse
- For your environment: Deep clean your house
- Get rid of cosmetics with fragrances and chemicals
- Get rid of chemical cleaning supplies
- Wake Early
- Dry Brush
- Daily Nasya
- Exercise first thing in the morning: Sun Salutations, a brisk walk, a short jog, jumping jacks, anything that makes you feel good and revitalized.
- Keep warm during these cold, damp days
- Get an invigorating massage or Abhyanga
- Eat light, warm and cooked food
- Add some stimulating music to your playlist
- Laugh and spend time with loved ones
Ideas for Eating this Season to Create Balance:
- Add foods that are pungent, astringent, and bitter to your diet:
- Aloe, nettle, dandelion, quinoa, barley, mung beans, fiddleheads, arugula, mustard greens, chard, spinach, asparagus, spring onions, lemon, spiced broths, green tea, local honey
- Add apple cider vinegar to your foods
- Consume less meat
- Avoid dairy
- Drink CCF (Cumin, Coriander and Fennel) Tea
- Take triphala, tulsi, guduchi
- Add activating spices like cayenne, ginger, turmeric, black pepper and mustard
- Drink water
In conclusion, allergies are very common and can be caused by a variety of factors. Allergies can often be difficult to detect. With knowing your constitution and understanding your daily habits and lifestyle an Ayurvedic Consultation can help you to find the root cause and ultimately help alleviate symptoms!
Looking forward to connecting with you soon!