Allergies and Ayurveda

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.
  • Meditate
  • Pranayama
  • 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
  • Dance
  • 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!

Many Blessings,

Michelle

A Time To Rest & Pause

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The New Kind of Smart Water

Its been a full summer and as many of you know I am deepening my practice of Ayurveda. Drinking liquids that nourish me instead of deplete me has been key in keeping me hydrated and helping to purify, stimulate digestion, help elimination, reduce gas and bloating, provide antioxidant protection, clear wastes and toxins from the body and helping me to feel nourished. I have been infusing herbs into water and adding the water to my drinking water throughout the day.

The overall purpose of this water is to keep it simple, nourish the liver and kidneys to help them function and clear out excess ama (waste material/toxins). This recipe must be made fresh each day. Use only whole seeds or tea-cut size pieces of ingredients. Use only organic, food grade flowers and petals, without stems or leaves.

Basic Wise Water Recipe:

  • 1/4 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 quart of blessed water
  • steep for 15 minutes
  • add to water or drink straight up throughout the day either hot or warm to room temperature.

Why are these spices so important? They deliver hormone balancing effects at the same time that it gently clears out cellular wastes that may otherwise block the action of the hormone on the tiffs.

Coriander Seeds have a cooling effect and enhances urine flow and the removal of toxins from the blood, liver and kidneys. Overall it balances all three doshas (the three energies that define every person’s makeup) but especially pitta (fire and a little bit of water).

Cumin Seeds are cooling overall but this miraculous spice is a key digestive aid in many recipes and is especially helpful in moving gas and clearing out bloating. Cumin has specific detoxifying effect on the whole body. It helps to reduce inflammation. It also purifies both the blood and the uterus and enhances the reproductive essence.

Fennel Seeds are a premier digestive aid and are especially helpful in moving gas downward and out of the intestines. It helps reduce spasms. Balancing for both vata (air & ether) and pitta. It is also mildly phytoestrogens and balancing for the reproductive system of women.

You can also add other nourishing herbs and spices! I have been adding brahmi, it is  known to rejuvenate the mind, enhance memory, improve concentration, and to directly influence the quality of consciousness. Alma is used to support normal ranges of blood sugar, build blood and support liver function. Cardamom aids in digestion and fat metabolism without creating excess heat in the body, and it tastes delicious! Rose petals can benefit your body in a number of ways, not only are they great for the skin but they can also help you relax and even relieve digestive issues.

Making this everyday has given my water a little flavor and the health benefits are numerous! Start making your own today!

Love,

Michelle