Herbs for Spring Allergies

Reader Contribution by Dr. Arya Krishna
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Are you a person who is super exited about the arrival of spring, but still worried about flaring up of allergies? Then this is for you. We will be discussing about the herbs that can help you ease allergic reactions.

Ayurveda classifies allergies according to Dosha, depending on which are triggered according to individual constitution.

We all have Vata, Pitta and Kapha in our body. Then why are we all not alike? Our physical features, characters, and immunity are different from others. The reason for this individuality is the combination of Doshas in each person. Any one, two, or three of these are expressed dominantly in a person by birth. This is known as Prakrithi, or Constitution.

Each of the dosha—Vata, Pitta and Kapha—has it’s own specific qualities. When they combine together, there can be seven Prakrithi or constitutions. 

Single Dosha Prakrithi

  • Vata Prakrithi
  • Pitta Prakrithi
  • Kapha Prakrithi

Dual Dosha Prakrithi

  • Vata-Pitta
  • Pitta-Kapha
  • Vata-Kapha

Sama Prakruthi 

When all three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha are equal.

Prakrithi can simply be called as Dosha body types in modern terms. It is decided at the time of conception, when the sperm and ovum fuses itself. Are there any factors describing your Prakrithi or constitution?

YES. Scholar Charaka in his book Charaka Samhita, Vimana Sthana has mentioned the factors responsible for Prakrithi. 

  • Characters inherited from sperm of father and ovum of mother
  • Characters happened during intrauterine life — age of conception of mother, the season in which she conceived, etc. 
  • Diet and behavior of the mother during pregnancy
  • Predominant Mahabhootha, which is present during pregnancy period can give rise to specific prakrithis. For example, if Vayu (air) and Akasha (Ether) was dominant during pregnancy, Vata Prakrithi can be formed. 
  • Racial peculiarities, familial peculiarities, genetic factors, etc. can also determine your Prakrithi
  • Age factors — Though your entire prakrithi will not be changed, as age advances there will be a natural increase or decrease of specific doshas. For example, increase in Vata dosha in old age. 

It’s important to know your basic constitution before taking any Ayurvedic Medicine.

Tips for Soothing Vata Allergies

Vata allergies will be generally dominated by abdominal discomfort like burping, constipation, wheezing or headache, as well as sneezing, ringing in the ears, joint pain and even insomnia.

Saying this, let’s look how one can use herbs for pacifying Vata type of allergies.

1. Ginger: Having a cup of ginger tea can help all the abdominal troubles due to distorted Vata. Ginger’s heating qualities make it useful for treating Vata imbalances. It’s better to use fresh ginger rather than dried in the form of the spice.

How to prepare ginger tea?

To make 1 cup of ginger tea, take a piece of whole, unpeeled ginger root and grate 1 heaping teaspoon. Stir the ginger into a cup of hot water and let steep for 2 minutes. Strain or let the ginger settle at the bottom of the cup. You can add honey for sweetness.

What are the health benefits of ginger tea?

  1. Ginger tea is useful for treating Vata imbalances, such as digestive issues, because it improves all three phases of gastrointestinal function (digestion, absorption, and elimination).
  2. Drinking a cup of ginger tea before travelling can help prevent the nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness.
  3. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties that make it an ideal home remedy for muscle and joint problems.
  4. Ginger tea can help relieve congestion associated with the common cold. Hence it becomes an excellent choice for spring.
  5. The vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in ginger tea can help restore and improve blood circulation that may help decrease the chance of cardiovascular problems. Also, it has the ability to lower cholesterol levels.

2. Triphala is a combination of three fruits, which include amalaki (Indian goose berry), Terminalia chebula, and Terminalia Billerica. It gently cleanses and detoxifies the body without irritating the colon. Have 1 tsp Triphala powder with 1/2 cup hot water before bed.

3. Aswagandha: This potent drug is rejuvenating and calms the nervous system. It ensures good sleep and has ability to bring Vata back to normalcy. It can be consumed along with milk or can even be taken in the form of capsules.

Tips for Soothing Pitta Allergies

When Pitta becomes aggravated or excessive, you may experience heartburn, inflammation, skin rashes, hot flashes, and irritability. You can use soothing and cooling herbs as part of an overall Pitta-balancing lifestyle.

Now let’s check out the herbs for Pitta allergic symptoms.

1. Shathavari which is Asparagus racemosus is a cooling potent drug for Pitta. It’s so soothing that it’s even advised during pregnancy. The recommended dose is 500 to 1,000 mg twice daily.

2. Bacopa or Brahmi has a cooling effect on the physiology that helps balance the Pitta dosha. Recommended daily dosage is 1-3 mg in a day.

3. Manjishta is another herb which pacifies Pitta. Take 1 tsp of Manjishta mixed with half glass of water, three times a day.

Tips for Soothing Kapha Allergies

Kapha allergy symptoms include irritation of the mucus membranes, hay fever, cold, congestion, cough, sinus infection, water retention, bronchial congestion, asthma, and even sleeping disorders. The person can always feel sluggish and lethargic.

Let’s check how to pacify the Kapha allergies.

1. Drinking lightening and clarifying teas such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, or clove can also help to liquefy, dry, and eliminate excess kapha.

2. Intake of raw honey can help soothe the Kapha allergies.

3. Herbs include turmeric (500 mg in a day), punarnava, and the combination of three peppers called Trikatu.

It’s important to consult your Ayurveda physician before administering herbs for curative effect. The details provided here are meant for the basic knowledge of herbs to cure allergic reactions.

It’s always good to include spices like turmeric, cinnamon, basil, coriander, cumin, and pepper in spring. All these spices have the ability to improve digestive power and fight against any inflammatory reactions.

Health Tips for Preventing Spring Allergies

1. In case of allergies to skin in spring, external application of Aloe Vera, called Kumari in Sanskrit, can be used. It soothes the skin and provides relief from skin problems.

2. Drink water boiled with ginger throughout the day.

3. Exercise and practice breathing exercises.

4. Nasya—an authentic Ayurvedic treatment of instilling nasal drops, like Anu Thaila, can be done daily after bath. (2 drops in each nostril)

5. Spring cleanse—follow a detoxify diet and go for a Virechana (Purgation) for total body cleanse.

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