The Unstoppable ‘Bless you’ Syndrome: The Problem of Allergies
Allergy is a common term to hear these days, which impartially affects all genders and ages alike.
It is an autoimmune response of the body after coming in contact with anything it doesn’t recognize as ‘safe’ - be it pollutants, dust, pet hair or even seemingly unpleasant odour/food.
These irritants, if persistent for longer durations, might cause the tissues to swell up and lead to various ill effects of allergies.
These include chest congestion, swollen/red/watery eyes or digestive disorders.
The bad news is, these allergies cannot be treated permanently, however it is possible to cure the side effects of allergies to a large extent using Ayurvedic remedies.
Descend of the Dreadful: Symptoms of Allergies
Allergies are of different kinds and so are their supporting symptoms that depend on the type and body part affected by the allergic reaction.
The symptoms may range from mild to severe, and in some cases might cause anaphylaxis, one of the severe signs of allergy, resulting in loss of consciousness, even death if not treated in time.
Other moderate symptoms and signs of allergies include:
Swelling up of face: This is a common symptom of food allergy, in which after consuming the allergic ingredient, the face, mouth, cheeks and lips swell up, often impacting the speech.
Problems in respiration: Due to the onset of any allergic attack, the air passages tend to constrict, which results in breathing issues like breathlessness, wheezing, sore throat, chest heaviness etc.
Dwindling body vitals: Due to the allergic reaction, often the blood pressure, mental function and heart rate drops down, a secondary side effect of allergy seen in serious situations.
Redness and itching: As a response to an allergic reaction the skin turns dry, and might develop itchiness, hives or flakiness in later stages.
Catching the Culprit: Causes of Allergies
There is no set rule for allergies and what might lead you into this worrisome situation.
Having said that, different people might have some or the other trigger that sets off the allergic reaction for them - peanuts, dust, pollen, gluten and likewise.
It might also suffice as a cause of your allergies if one or both of your parents had that particular allergy as well.
The reasons for allergies are many; however all occur due to our own immune system’s reaction towards something.
This happens as the body encounters any allergy triggering substance in the body, it gets alerted and starts the production of antibodies.
These antibodies lead the endocrine system to release ‘Histamine’, an inflammatory hormone that gets into the bloodstream, irritating the soft tissues and gets to all parts of the body causing an allergy attack.
The Right Fit: Treatment of Allergies
Keeping away from trouble: If you know what troubles you and causes the onset of an allergy attack, you could take necessary precautions so as to keep yourself safe from the same. For example, if one has allergies from peanuts, you need to make extra sure that the food you have is nut free, especially while eating out or trying something new. Similarly in case of dust allergy, wearing a mask in risky areas will help.
Antihistamines: Histamines are hormones produced by the body that cause the allergy attack. A very effective allergy medication for the same is antihistamines, which gets into the bloodstream and hinders the histamine flow in the body, thereby reducing the allergy symptoms. A regular dose for a week or so might help.
Epinephrine shots: In case of emergency, epinephrine shots can help to a large extent. These are injected into the body and work well as a protection against anaphylaxis.
Immunotherapy: An effective but equally expensive procedure, this involves injecting chemicals in the body to prepare the immune system for any allergic attack so that the intensity of the allergies is reduced or diminished altogether.
Ayurvedic treatment for Allergies: An ancient approach with no side effects, this involves using herbs that soothe the inflammation and provide relief from the attacks. It also helps to treat the respiratory and digestive disorders arising due to allergies. Yoga is a prime tool that accompanies this mode of treatment.
Whatever it Takes: Tips for Prevention of Allergies
Cool it down: A relaxing bath after a hectic working day might be the best thing to relax and feel refreshed, but it's an equally effective way to keep allergens away from the body or clothes. A nice moisturizer post bath would be great to keep the skin hydrated.
Keep a check: Making sure one’s surroundings are safe and pollutant free is the primary step towards keeping healthy. Keeping the pets well brushed to avoid too much pet hair, closing the windows well if there is too much pollution outside and stepping out with a mask on are few things that can be done for the same.
Hygiene is the key: One of the best ways to treat allergies is, ensuring the home where we reside is free from all potential allergy threats. Keeping the bed linen clean and fresh, keeping a vacuum cleaner to suck up all the dust and air purifier to ensure proper ventilation are few things that can be done.
Keeping nicotine away: Alcohol and cigarettes do more harm than polluting the environment. They act as stimulants to worsen the allergies by giving way to inflammation causing chemicals to enter inside the body. Ayurvedic treatment for allergies absolutely forbids tobacco and alcohol.
Diet checks: Fresh seasonal fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats and nutrients essential for overall health. They strengthen the immune system by keeping a check on the allergies. Plus they make the food really tasty and a variety of dishes are possible using these - an apt choice for everyone!
From Your Own Kitchen: Home Remedies for Allergies
C for Care: A daily intake of 1000mg Vitamin C in the diet is said to reduce the allergic reaction to a large extent. The slowing down of reaction time gives extra time to the body to take the necessary course of action.
Vaporizing: Inhaling steam for a maximum of 15 minutes at a stretch helps in breaking down of mucus and broadening the respiratory tract thereby helping in breathing. This is one of the most common home remedies to treat allergy.
Herbal all the way: A cup of green tea enriched with ginger and honey can help with chest congestion and sore throat. It also adds up to the daily fluid intake, the best of both worlds.
Bromelain boost: Bromelain is a highly effective nutrient that strengthens heart muscles and decongests the chest, preventing inflammatory reactions. It is present in commonly available fruits like kiwi, papaya and pineapple.
Spice it up: Common household spices like Turmeric, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Garlic etc. are natural ways to treat allergies and extremely beneficial against cough, cold, chest congestion and other respiratory ailments. Apart from this, they help in enhancing the flavor of the dish and keep the gut healthy as well.
Hand in Hand With Nature: Ayurvedic Herbs for Allergies
Guduchi: Commonly known as Giloy, this herb weakens the allergic reactions by unclogging the chest, curbing the fever caused due to allergy, and clearing out toxins from the blood.
Holy Basil: Commonly known as Tulsi in Indian households, it is a well known herb that helps with treating almost every type of allergy. Having its leaves daily or taking it as a kaadha reduces inflammation of the irritated tissues in the body.
Manjistha: A powerful herb for allergies of skin, Manjistha helps with soothing the itchy skin caused by an allergic reaction. It helps to clear skin rashes or ulcers and hydrates the tissues. It can be used both as a pill and as a paste for extra relief.
Trikatu: A herbal formulation made up by three antioxidant herbs that provide relief in throat and chest issues arising due to rhinitis. Its tea is extremely beneficial in raising the metabolism levels.
Dashamoola: Made up of 10 anti-inflammatory herbs, this provides relief against itchy throat, puffed up eyes and runny nose, apart from a variety of other ailments.
Going to the Roots: Yoga for Allergies
Virbhadrasana (Warrior pose): With wonderful ability to open up clogged muscles and nerves, this pose helps as a relaxant for both mind and body.
Vrikshasana (Tree pose): This asana has therapeutic benefits on the torso, along with the chest and heart. This is one of the best treatment for allergies and works to aid up respiratory processes.
Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand pose): This asana plays a vital role in calming down the breathing of the body by relaxing the muscles. It also stimulates the immune system of the body.
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