Be Hay Fever-Free This Summer
In May, many of us experience a peak of the discomfort of seasonal allergic rhinitis; hay fever is perhaps the most common example as it is commonly known. Although such allergies can sometimes be inherited, the majority of sufferers have no family history of allergies.
Modern medical treatments such as anti-histamines, nasal steroids, antibiotics and decongestants can relieve the symptoms but do not usually provide a cure. Additionally, harmful side effects can sometimes accompany these treatments.
The Ayurvedic perspective
According to Ayurveda, hay fever manifests itself as a result of imbalance in our fundamental energies, or doshas. Kapha dosha that has accumulated in our bodies over the winter starts melting with the first spring warmth. Once liquefied, our body usually finds a way to expel this excess 'liquidity' from our body.
If you are of Kapha constitution (natural predominance of Kapha energy) or have a Kapha imbalance (caused by relevant disturbing factors) or the spring is not warm enough to melt all the "cold" energy in your body, Kapha starts circulating around the body locating itself areas prone to weakness.
Heaviness, lethargy, weak digestion, sinus problems and runny noses, coughs, allergies, asthma and allergic skin conditions begin flaring up. You begin to experience itchiness and produce excessive mucous. Vata and/or Pitta dosha can in turn become aggravated as a result of this leading to secondary issues.
Depending on the level of secondary imbalance caused by this, hay fever can present itself with a variety of symptoms. Correct identification of the dosha involvement is important in managing the condition. For example, Kapha aggravation will present itself with excessive thick white mucosal discharge, congestion, itching, heavy headaches and possibly swelling. Pitta involvement will further express itself as yellow, green mucous, feeling of excess heat in the body, burning sensation in the eyes, redness, possibly a few spells of loose stool or diarrhoea. Vata involvement may change the discharge to runny, thin, clear mucous, in addition to dryness and frequent sneezing among other symptoms.
How Ayurveda can help
Some of the Ayurvedic remedies are simple enough to try them at your home. However, if you have been suffering from hay fever for a long time, we recommend you to see an Ayurvedic consultant
If you suffer predominantly from Kapha-type symptoms:
1) Warm up some Kapha or sesame oil with a pinch of rock salt in it and massage well into the sinus area .Direct the massage strokes towards the nose to encourage the mucous out of the sinuses.
2) Following the massage, wrap a few spoonfuls of rocksalt into a muslin cloth to form a poultice and heat it up on a dry pan. Massage the sinus area with the heated bag, avoiding the eyes. This treatment can be follwed up by steaming your face using salty water. You will notice the previously blocked mucuous being expelled from your nose.
3) Honey is excellent for cleansing excess Kapha. Mix some honey with room temperature water and drink first thing in the morning and after meals.
4) Triphala is the cornerstone of Ayurvedic herbal remedies.. It is slightly laxative and an excellent remedy for Kapha disorders. For hay fever, take one capsule after food with honey water. Triphala is available from Ayurveda Retreat.
5) Chyawanprash is a rejuvenating herbal jam made from an ancient recipe that strengthens your immune system.. Take 1-2 teaspoons first thing in the morning with luke warm water or milk Â? although some people like to spread it on their toast!
6) Nasya is an Ayurvedic treatment where a few drops of special herbal oil are administered to each nostril. It is very effective for hay fever, headache, insomnia and sensory malfunction. It is important that this treatment is administered correctly Â? your Ayurvedic health professional will administer this treatment for you, and show you how to continue this at home.
If your hay fever symptoms show signs of secondary Vata or Pitta aggravation, you should see your Ayurvedic consultant for a customised treatment plan.
Enjoy your summer this year!
Ayurvedic Consultant at Ayurveda Retreat
About the author:Ayurvedic Consultant at Ayurveda Retreat Registered Practitioner with Ayurvedic Practitioners Association
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