Ayurvedic Approach to say
Good Bye to Allergy
Shree Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College, Chandigarh
Life is ever-changing. Today’s busy life standards has not created only a harmful lifestyle but also a polluted environment. Due to all these major changes with a negative and imbalanced impact, a lots of problems including health hazards such as Allergies etc had attacked the people.
Allergy=allos(other) + generon(to produce)
Allergies are typically a form of hypersensitivity reactions against allergens.It is an acquired abnormal responses to a substance.
In this process, sensitization or an initial exposure to allergen is required, subsequent contact with allergen results in broad range of inflammatory response known as hypersensitivity or allergy.
ALLERGEN CONTACT = PRIMARY DOSE = SHOCKING DOSE = ALLERGY
In Ayurveda it is termed as Anurjata. Anurja=an+urja dhatu.
According to Amarkosha urja deals with vitality and immunity. Therefore absence of urja bhav is anurja i.e. loss of immunity and vitality with weakness. Immunity may be compared with Vyadikshmatva , which is described in classics of Ayurveda. This also includes Oja, bala and Prakrit Sleshma etc.
Allergen are the substance that causes manifestations of allergy. Some common allergens are-
· Inhalants = dust, pollen fungi, smoke perfume, odor
· Foods = egg, milk, chocolate, strawberries, wheat etc.
· Drugs = Aspirin, antibiotics etc.
· Infectious agent = Bacteria, fungi, virus, parasites.
· Contactants = chemicals, plants, animals etc.
· Physical agents = heat, cold, light, pressure, radiation etc.
These allergens and their response differ from person to person. In Ayurveda some bhavas are termed, which can be compared with allergens and allergy are – Apathya / Ahita /Asatmya Anupsaya /Adhyasana / Psychological Factors etc.
Samprapti Ghatak of Allergy:
Dosha=Vata & Kapha Sannipata
Dushya= rasa & Rakta dhatu
Srota= Rasavaha srotasa – skin allergy
Pranavaha srotasa –allergic asthma
Annavaha srotasa – food allergy etc
Adhisthana = Sarva sharer
Agni = Agnimandya
Ama vs Free Radicals
Prime causative factor of allergy is a byproduct of improperly digested food,a toxic substance known as AMA. This ama is produced in digestive system and then absorbed in circulatory system. After entering in circulatory system, ama can block and clog the channels of circulation (called srotas) Being circulated in whole body it produces symptoms according to samprati.
Ama = ‘Aa’ means near to or toward + ‘Ma’ means poison.
Hence the word Ama denotes a substance or group of substance near to poison or which acts like poison. This is raw, indigested, immature, oxidized combusted food particles. This abberated metabolite (ama) is hazardous and injurious to the tissues of the body.
Ama of Ayurveda may be compared with Free radicals of western side. With unpaired unstable molecules Free radicles are lacking appropriate electron to be stable. They always lookout to swap electron from the other molecules as DNA, Protein, Fat etc.
In this endeavor of gaining stability, they kill cells, destroy enzymes and produce toxic agents that damages cellular function. Free radicles are most threating factor for health. That is exactly what ama does in body and it is also very difficult to remove or correct this enemy.
Psychological distress factors, Mental and emotional stress are other common contributing factors in a hypersensitive allergic response.
Factors Producing Ama and Free Radicals
· Cooked food, animal products, metabolic waste products contained in animal tissues and organs.
· Refined food as white sugar, white flour, hydrogenated oil etc.
· Preservatives, coloring agent, food additives, cold storage vegetables etc.
· Aireated drinks, Alcohol etc.
· Pollution – air, water, pesticide residue.
· Polyster, plastics.
· Electronmagnetic radiation- television,computer etc.
· Breathing smoke, lack or overdue of exercise etc.
Therefore by just avoiding above told factors one can get rid of the fear of ama and free radicles production that are the contributing factors in allergy and other disorders.
Allergy Symptoms as per Body Constitution:
Depending on the body type, the underlying cause and symptoms of allergic hypersensitivities varies.
The vata body type is susceptible to various hypersensitivity reactions. The vata imbalance causes excessive dryness in the body. When this dryness finds its way to the respiratory system and sinuses, the protective mucous lining dry up. This natural protection acts as a filter, temperature buffer, and first line of allergic immunity. When this layer of mucous dries up, the airborne allergens of dust, pollen and pollution act as irritants in the sinuses, evoking an immediate hypersensitivity response. The body’s natural response to these irritants is to lay down mucous as a means of protection. The dryness alone will also trigger the body to produce mucous, making allergic symptoms a common vata condition. In this instance, allergic symptoms can be chronic and constant due to a deep mucosal dryness rather than a particular allergen. For the vata body type, precautions during the beginning and end of vata season (fall and spring) must be made to prevent against vata-based allergic symptoms. The vata body type is also particularly sensitive to lifestyle and daily routine. Most important with regard to allergens and distractions, that aggravate the vata aspects of digestion, producing ama and hypersensitivity reactions.
Pitta Body Type
The Pitta type is identified with excess of heat and burning sensation in the body. The heat is produced as a result of a physiological hypermetabolic state needed to burn off the excess ama in the blood. This heat, as does all heat, will rise in the body. When this heat rises up onto the sinuses, the effect is one of dryness along with the accumulation of impurities (ama) in the blood. The result of the dryness aggravates vata as we mentioned previously, and the axcess blood ama aggravates pitta. The sinuses respond by acting as organs of excretion rather than secretion.
The treatment for pitta-based allergic response os twofold. The blood must be purified with pitta-pacifying herbs and thr dryness must be dealt with, as in the case of vata.
Kapha Body Typa
The Kapha body type is classically the most susceptible to allergies, and Kapha imbalance is often the causative factor in most allergic conditions. It is the nature of kapha to-produce and hold more water, congestion, and ama, however, and the treatment of kapha in all allergies is a common mistake.
Congestion, Sputum Production, Fatigue, Malaise, Heaviness and Dullness in Body are some common symptoms.
In this regard, the treatment is straightforward with the focus on pacifying kapha with bitter, astringent, and pungent herbs and spices.
Allergy treatments can become more complicated when multuiple causes are present. Imbalances in vata and kapha, for example, can easily create chronic allergic symptoms. Treatment for each are opposite in nature, and care must be given to balance both kapha and vata at the same time.
Ama Treatment: To treat the produced Ama and prevents its further production is the first line of treatment. Ama can be neutralized by following guidelines-
· Sip plain hot water every half-hour for one month.
· Drink eight to ten glasses of warm lemon water each day.
· Avoid dairy and wheat and favour fruits and vegetables.
· Avoid having heavy food in dinner.
· Have a mild and relaxing walk after meal.
Different Types of Allergy and their Treatment:
Manifestation of Allergic reactions depend upon the site of its production. As Ayurveda states that the place where Khavaigunya is present vyadhi and its symptoms appear. In the same manner allergic hypersensitivity reactions also depends upon khavaigunya. So many different forms of allergy is possible. Such as-
Skin Allergy-Skin is the first and foremost layer for defence. Therefore it is most susceptible for allergen attack. Commonly seen in four forms-
1. Contact dermatitis with inflamed skin and rashes etc.
2. Prickly heat in warm weather due to trapped sweat.
3. Bites and sting
4. Urticaria also known as Udarda and Shitapitta.
v Herbs – Neem, giloy, manjistha, Haridra, Sariva, Chandana, Lodhra, Aamalka etc.
v Pharmaceutical Preparations- Sarivasava, Manjisthadya kwatha, Lodhrasava, Trifaladya churna etc.
v Diet- Dring plenty of water/ Intake of tikta substances regularly/ Avoid extra amount of protein and fat/ Avoid heavy and difficult to digest food.
v Life Style- Clean body regularly/ Wash skin with herbal gentle soap/ Use cotton garments/ Exercise regularly / Avoid excess sunrays/ avoid chemical contacts/ Avoid polluted water air surroundings etc.
v Yoga – Try Sarvangasana/ Pranayama/ Jalaneti/ Kapalbhati.
v Preparation – Try following prapations
1. Take Trikatu + Basil leaves +Cloves + Camphor + Coriander = make powder of all. Have three times in a day with luke warm water.
2. Make herbal tea with Mulethi, Cardamom, Camphor, Clove, Chandana.
3. Inhale medicated vapour made by mixing Basil leaves with Eucalyptus oil in water.
Food Allergy –It is a term applied to a group of disorders characterized by abnormal or exaggerated immunological response to specific proteins present in food resulting in a variety of symptoms. It is most common in children, It is very difficult to diagnose and treat as well. Food items implicated in allergy are- Cow’s milk, eggs, Shell fish, Soyabean, Chocolates etc.
Ayurveda states that prakriti of a person, climate variation, place, doshas condition, agni, bal etc are key factors for allergy or any kind of disorder to appear.
Symptoms –GIT disorder, lip swelling, urticaria, angioedema, eczema, allergic tension fatigue syndrome etc.
1. Avoid that food
2. Follow the ritucharya and dincharya as told by ayurveda i.e. lifestyle.
3. Have the foods in accordance with one’s prakriti or body type.
4. Avoid curd at night.
5. Start use of rasayanas such as – Ashwagandha, basil, shatavari, Brahmi, amalaki etc.
6. Use of Panchakarma if needed.
Allergic Rhinitis –It is the most common type of allergy seen in children as well as adults.
Cause – Pollution, Temperature fluctuation, Chemicals and tixins, Seasonal variations, Canned frozen processed food, Dust, Pollengrains, unusual odour etc.
Symptoms – Running nose, Headache, Mailaise, Sneezing, Redness in eyes, Fever etc.
1. Use immunity enhancer rasayanas as told above.
2. Herbs – Turmeric, Basil, Shirisha, Vasa, Guduchi etc.
3. Try mixture of Haritki + Kutuki to eliminate tixins present in body.
4. Nasya of Shadbindu tail – two times a day.
5. Medical Yoga – Chitraka Haritki, Vasawaleha, Haridra khanda, Sitopaladi churna, Vyoshadi vati, Marichadi vati, Abhraka prep. etc.
6. Home Remedy – 3 parts of Turmeric +6 parts Fennel + 6 parts Coriander + 1 part Black pepper + 1 part Ginger = Fry it in ghee. Have it two times a day.
7. Yoga - Practice Asanas, Pranayam, Kapalbhati etc daily.
Some other forms of allergy are allergic Asthma, allergic Conjuctivities, IVDye allergy etc.
Treatment According to Doshawastha-
Vata Dosha: vata dosha can be treated with Dashamoola kwatha, Panchmoda, til taila, triphala, shunthi, Garlic pills etc.
Pitta Treatment: Triphala powder, Neem churna, jirak churna, Haridra khand etc. can treat pitta type of allergy.
Kapha Dosha: Trikatu churna, Sitopladi churna, Mulethi (licorice) churna, etc. are useful for pacifying Kapha.
Line of Treatment for all types of Allergy:
1. Ama reduction and removal by Srotosodhan and Improve Digestion is the primary management of allergy.
2. Use of Rasayanas as immunity enhancer and rejuvenation.
3. To follow properly the life style and ahar vihar as told by classics of Ayurveda.
4. Use fresh and seasonal fruits-vegetables.
5. Try to use natural vegetables and fruits since natural coloring agents i.e. phytochemicals are known to be excellent antioxidants and act as scavenger to free radicles. Vit. C, Vit. E, selenium, B Carotene, Lycopene, Zeaxanthein are antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables.
6. Exercise daily.
7. Practice Yogic Asanas, Pranayam etc.
8. Daily Morning walk in fresh air.
9. Avoid unusual stress and strain, be always happy and enjoy the precious life.
10. Practice meditation.