Dusty environments, pollens, certain types of food or even metals can make you sneeze, have running noses, blisters on skin, etc. These are signs of allergy. Allergy is a common term and most of us are aware of it. Allergy, however, medically is termed as the hyper response of the body’s immune system. This response is not specific and generally harmful to the body. Allergy is developed through the sensitization of your immune system against specific substances. These substances are called allergens and the response of your body is called the allergic reaction.
There are several outcomes of an allergic reaction ranging from flu-like symptoms, redness or blister development on the skin, eczema, difficulty in breathing, asthma. Few of the reactions even cause stomach ulcers. The most dangerous outcome can be death due to anaphylactic shock. It is a rare but severe allergic reaction mostly due to food, insect bites or certain medications. A person does not develop any allergy if he/she is coming in contact with an allergen for the first time. They get sensitized for a prolonged period and then the body develops a kind of non-specific immune response, called allergic attack.
Overview Of Modern Therapy
There comes no 100% treatment for allergy. Modern science also prefers cutting off from the allergen is the best way to be treated from allergy. However, for mild ailments, one can take antihistamine tablets. One can talk to an expert on allergy about immunotherapy. They will give tablets or oral drops to curb the allergy down. But that is not a total cure. Here is the list of few modern-day therapies, which doctors may prescribe for allergy treatment.
- Antihistamines: The body produces histamines when they come in contact with allergens. The histamine may swell your tissues causing a runny nose, difficulty in breathing. Antihistamines will counter the production of histamines and bind with them. Antihistamines are the first line of medication given in case of mild allergy.
- Decongestants: They will help in shrinking the swollen tissues and blood vessels but they are not effective against rashes or itching.
- Anticholinergic Nasal spray: When sprayed into the nostril, they decrease the nasal secretion and clear the nasal passage and prevent the running nose.
- Steroids: This is used in moderate to a severe condition in the form of steroidal nasal spray. They are prescription-based medication. They decrease the inflammation of the nasal passage.
- Leukotriene Inhibitors: They work by stopping the production of leukotriene, a chemical that causes the nasal passage to swell and release mucus. A drug called Singulair by the trade name is used as a leukotriene inhibitor and is often used in asthma.
- Mast Cell Inhibitors: Mast cells are the first of their kind produced during an allergic bout. They are reservoirs of histamines. Cromolyn sodium is a mast cell inhibitor. It helps in rhinitis and itchy eyes.
All these medications should be taken under the guidance of expert medical practitioners. They may have side effects.
What Ayurveda Thinks About Allergy?
Ayurvedic science believes allergy is a type of disorder that is mainly due to a defective digestive function. Few symptoms like indigestion, constipation or diarrhoea serve as an indication of allergy. This anomaly in the digestive system may be due to certain kinds of food, pollen or medication. In the respiratory tract, there might be deposition of mucus or pollen and this can obstruct your respiratory tract. The outcome can be rhinitis, coughing, sneezing or dyspnea.
Every time a person’s immune system comes in contact with an allergen, the doshas namely Kapha, Vata or Pitta get imbalanced and the body releases few toxins which can damage the organs or particular circulatory system locally. For example, if Pitta Dosha imbalance, then toxins get deposited in the bloodstream, joints, muscles or in your lymph nodes. If there is an imbalance in Kapha Dosha then the toxins get accumulated in the respiratory pathway and may cause a blockage.
Ayurvedic treatment for allergy focuses on calming the out of radar dosha, restoring the digestive system with herbal supplements, herbal juices and herbs plus a change in lifestyle. There are several commercially available ayurvedic tonic and tablets for allergy treatment. A few of the well-known preparations are mentioned below.
Supplements and Herbal Preparations
- Histantin Tablet: It supports the treatment of allergic rhinitis. During an allergic bout or rhinitis, a compound named histamine is released into the bloodstream. Histanin controls the release of histamine and it provides a quick-release naturally. Histanin consists of Katuki, Jatamamsi, Nagakeshara, Vacha, Turmeric, Pushkaramoola, Cumin seeds, kiratatikta, Bhunimba, Prapunnada.
- Brihat Haridra Khanda: It is known to treat skin allergy. It soothes skin itchiness and calms the body temperature fluctuations.
- Rhinagra Capsule: It is used for the treatment of allergy-related to the respiratory system. It acts as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and an expectorant.
- Bromelain: It is an enzyme found in papaya and pineapple. They act naturally and improve the breathing by reducing the swelling.
- Probiotics: They are natural bacteria good for your gut. They help in improving the digestive system.
There are many such herbal supplements or preparations which can be used for the treatment of allergy. However, apart from medication, Ayurveda advises non medicated help like exercise, Yoga, meditation. Let us know about them.
Get expert advice regarding the ayurvedic treatment from renowned acharya for allergic treatment.
Best possible way to treat allergy is to avoid the causative agent. Ayurveda approaches this in two steps
It is a kind of detoxification and purification method. This helps to balance the dosha and eliminate the excess toxins from your body. It improves the immune system. Detoxification itself is of 5 types.
- Vomiting: For kapha allergies
- Purgation: For Pitta allergies
- Enemas : For Vata allergies
- Blood purification: For Pitta allergies
- Nasal irrigation: For kapha allergies.
Treatment and therapies for acute phases of allergic reactions. This can be done by management of your dosha.
Management of Vata related allergies:
- Avoid food like potatoes, tomatoes, beans.
- Avoid cold, dry weather.
- Take a Vata pacifying diet.
- Consume herbs likeTrikatu, Triphala, Ashwagandha, Guggulu
- Take ginger, cumin, lemon in some kind of food preparations.
- Can apply hot Mahanarayan oil. It can be mixed with water and consumed also.
Management of Pitta related allergies:
- Avoid strong spices, salt. Make sure food is cooked properly. Take bitter and astringent like green vegetables.
- Avoid hot and humid conditions. Avoid sun rays.
- Follow Pitta pacifying remedies
- Herbs like Shatavari, Guduchi, Triphala, Brahmi and Neem can be used.For skin related conditions, Neem and Manjistha is a very good combination. Both these herbs have blood cleansing properties.
- Other herbs like sandalwood and rose are good for external application.
Management of Kapha related allergies:
- Kapha is a cold dosha, Hence avoid cold, heavy and stagnant foods like cheese, yoghurt, milk, cream etc
- Heat warm food and bitter, spicy cooked preparation.
- One should avoid cold conditions.
- Nasal administration of saline or ayurvedic oils can be used for treatment.
- For symptoms of runny nose, sneezing and congestion, Jala Neti (nasal wash) is beneficial.
Know about the dosha pacifying diet from expert ayurvedic practitioners.
Apart from dietary restrictions, lifestyle controls and therapy, one can always go for yoga. It is strongly recommended that you consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before starting any detoxification process to eliminate Ama or taking Ayurvedic herbs for skin disorders. The treatment protocol may change based on a person’s body constitution and disease.
Well the answer is no. Once a body is sensitized with a particular allergen, the immune memory in the body remains for a long time. However, treatment is there as a preventive measure and one can control the severity. Once you know the type of allergen effecting you, the best way is to avoid coming in contact with that. For food allergen, avoid that component of food in your diet, for dust allergy avoid going to dusty condition and try to wear a dust resistant mask. Avoiding the allergen is the best possible way. However if you can’t avoid it due to lifestyle, then have to depend on medication.