Tuesday, April 3, 2012
by Jessica Vellela
Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life, has some great advice for seasonal allergy sufferers who would like to eliminate the root cause of symptoms. The solution lies in the connection between the gut and the immune system. When digestive and metabolic activities work in synch with elimination, the body is able to rid itself of toxins which could otherwise block the channels to produce a variety of allergic response symptoms.
In healthy individuals, inhaled pollen and dust are trapped by the mucosal lining of the respiratory tract and either expelled forcefully through the mouth or nostrils, or broken down internally. When the protective ability of this mucosal barrier is compromised, the body compensates by increasing the production of mucus to facilitate expulsion of the allergen. This is followed by more common allergy symptoms, and suddenly even simple activities like breathing become difficult.
In Ayurveda, there are several ways to manage this, ranging from pacification treatments to intense full body detoxification and purification. Although detoxification takes a little longer (several weeks to months, depending on the individual), it is the recommended line of management for those looking to rid themselves of symptoms.
The treatment involves one or more of the five Pancha Karma procedures, which methodically remove toxins from the deep tissues and safely expels them from the body. Its specialty lies in the use of medicated fat (usually ghee) to bind toxins which are the root cause for all types of allergies, including respiratory, digestive, skin allergies and even auto-immune disorders.
Here, we’ll discuss the simple pacification treatments for respiratory allergies which can easily be done at home following these general rules, in the order mentioned.
Optimize your digestive system
This is the key to managing most allergies. If your appetite is low, and bowels are not moving regularly, the digestive system must be corrected first. For a few days, eat very light food such as hot, clear, oil-free soup made with fresh ginger and black pepper, along with steamed rice. Avoid anything cold, including fruit! This will increase the appetite and stimulate the gastrointestinal tract to begin eliminating toxins more easily.
Once the appetite becomes strong, return to your normal diet. This may take anywhere from 1 – 5 days depending on the person.
Instill nasal drops
In the early morning after evacuating the bowels, 2 – 3 drops of warm sesame oil can be instilled into each nostril to strengthen the nasal mucosal and prevent allergic attacks.
Use oils inside and out
In order to build healthy epithelial and mucosal linings throughout the body, a sufficient quantity of oil must be ingested on a daily basis. According to the person, season and location, the ideal type and quantity of oil can vary from 40 – 70mL or more per day. Excellent, easily available oils include unrefined coconut, sesame and olive, which can be used while cooking or added to a hot meal. Always avoid cold food and drinks with the meal as they can solidify the oil and lead to indigestion.
Externally, warm coconut or sesame oil should be massaged over the body before showering.
Apply heat and steam to open the channels
After applying oil externally, heat and steam from a hot shower help to soften the tissues and open the sweat glands. This stimulates excretion of toxins through sweat and also allows the oil to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. Very mild soap should be used (or none at all) for those prone to dry skin.
Sources for this article include:
Charaka Samhita, Sutra sthana & Chikitsa sthana, Chowkhamba Publishers (Sanskrit text and translation by Dr. RK Sharma and Dr. Bhagawan Dash)Ashtanga Hrdaya, Sutra
Ashtanga Hrdaya, Sutra sthana, Chowkhambha Krishnadas Academy (Sanskrit text and translation by Dr. K.R. Srikantha Murthy)
Originally published on naturalnews.com on April 3, 2012.