What exactly are allergies? Why some are extremely allergic, some are allergic only at some points in their lives and others are non-allergic? Why it is that one person can cheerfully play with their dogs/cats for hours, while others can’t get even near to a pet without developing a fit of sneezing and coughing or itchy eyes? You'd love to smell the roses, but every time you do, your allergies kick in. And every spring, your stack of used tissues grows faster than the flowers out your window and reducing you to a sniffling, sneezing, congested mess. If this sounds familiar, perhaps it's time to deal with your allergies using an Ayurvedic approach.
Ayurvedic theory maintains that an allergy is the result of a particular substance (the allergen) aggravating a specific dosha (vata,pitta, or kapha) in susceptible people, they are not the primary cause of allergies. On the contrary, it's the accumulation of AMA (Sanskrit for “uncooked,” “raw,” or “undigested.") that's the main problem. AMA is essentially an unmetabolized waste - a sticky, cloudy, smelly residue that comes from poor dietary practices coupled with inadequate digestion.
Ayurveda, therefore categorize allergies according to dosha, depending on which one is triggered in each individual case. It’s possible for more than one dosha to be involved.
Vata type: Vata types of allergies are often experienced in the digestive tract with symptoms such as bloating, burping, digestive discomfort, vague abdominal pain, intestinal colic gas and gurgling intestines. They can also include symptoms of constriction such as headache or wheezing, as well as sneezing, joint pain, ringing in the ears, sciatica, spasms or muscle twitching, nightmares, insomnia and other vata-type discomforts.
Foods to avoid: Foods with a cooling essence, like cold and frozen foods or carbonated drinks, deep fried foods, raw foods, certain animal proteins (like pork), legumes (such as beans and lentils), bitter greens, certain astringent taste fruits (including pears, pomegranates and dried fruits), vegetables (such as, cauliflower, turnip, artichoke and asparagus)
Pitta type: Pitta type of allergies usually occurs when the sharp, hot qualities of an allergen comes in contact with the skin and then later enter the bloodstream. Pitta-type allergies are often skin-based reactions such as rashes, hives, allergic dermatitis, itching, eczema, and may also involve bloodshot eyes. In the GI tract, pitta allergies can cause acid indigestion, stomach upset, heartburn, nausea or vomiting. Pitta-type allergies can also induce sweating and hot flashes.
Foods to avoid: Sour fruits, citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, hot, spicy dishes and fermented foods. Avoid consuming excess caffeine (coffee), black tea, alcohol and other stimulants
Kapha type allergies are the most likely to be exacerbated during the season shift periods, spring, cold seasons and external allergens like pollen-based allergens. Kapha allergy symptoms include irritation of the mucus membranes, cold, congestion, cough, sinus infection, hay fever, water retention, asthma, bronchial congestion and even sleeping disorders. In the digestive tract, kapha types of allergies can create sluggish digestion and certain heaviness in the stomach.
Foods to avoid: Dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt, root vegetables, Sweet, Sour, Salty / Heavy, Cold foods.
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