Allergen Help from Maharishi Ayurveda
Millions of people cringe when they see flowers start blooming in the spring each year, because they know they will soon be dealing with reactions to allergens. According to a recent article in the U.S. News & World Report, sensitivity to allergens is widespread in the United States, with up to 30% of adults and 40% of children now dealing with issues such as nasal congestion and itchy, watering eyes. Allergen sensitivity now reportedly appears regularly in the top 10 reasons for visits to doctors’ offices.
Researchers and doctors are still unclear on exactly why some people are affected by allergens such as dust, pollen and mold while others are not. Faced with data showing that the developed nations of the West have a higher incidence of such difficulties, scientists have put forward the “hygiene hypothesis” — that the “clean” surroundings, immunizations and antibiotics prevalent in these countries may be responsible for many people’s reactions to allergens. Other factors that may be contributing include diet, exposure to chemicals and carpeted housing.
Doctors have traditionally asked sufferers to avoid the allergens causing a reaction, but this is often easier said than done. Standard Western medical treatments can create harmful side effects and reactions, worsening the situation. Scientists and researchers appear to be convinced that the ultimate solution will be to figure out ways of teaching the body to be indifferent to innocuous allergens. The irony is that the human body is born knowing how to do just that. The question is, what can be done to prevent the body from “losing” that knowledge?
What Maharishi Ayurveda Says
Gearing up the body’s own immune system to effectively combat allergens is exactly what Maharishi Ayurveda suggests as the long-term, effective solution. In the spring, impurities inside the body are melting due to the rising temperature in the environment. The liquefied toxins clog the channels of the body. When the channels are blocked, nutrients are not delivered properly to the cells, and the body’s immune system for resisting allergens becomes overwhelmed. In the spring, as flowers burst into bloom, they fill the air with pollen. So the allergens in the environment are increasing at the same time that the body’s defenses are being challenged. That’s the reason for the incidence of allergen reactions suddenly shooting up in the spring.
For respiratory allergens, a particular sub-dosha of Kapha, called Shleshaka Kapha, is involved; it is responsible for maintaining moisture in the upper respiratory tract. As the ama (digestive impurities) in the body starts melting, it combines with Shleshaka Kapha to form a thick, sticky toxin called Shleshma, which starts to fill the respiratory tract and sinus cavities. The entire respiratory system, as a result, becomes a fertile breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to secondary issues.
Strengthening the Body’s Defense Systems
So what can one do to help the body combat allergens? It is not enough just to quell the symptoms. The long-term solution is to delve into the root cause and build up the body's immune system to effectively withstand allergens. The Aller-Defense herbal formulation from Maharishi Ayurveda can help. Taking Aller-Defense twice daily helps remove toxins from the body and supports the body's immunity. Aller-Defense helps block toxic reactions, aids digestion, and helps decrease sensitivity to allergens by nourishing and purifying the liver. This herbal formulation is designed for all kinds of allergens, because it promotes the body's overall capability to deal with them.
What about diet? Researchers have found that a diet that includes regular intake of spices with anti-allergen capabilities can reduce vulnerability to plant-induced reactions. These spices contain chemicals that include flavonoids and phenols. For example, turmeric is rich in curcumin, a compound that is known to support a healthy inflammatory response. Turmeric can also help improve digestion and balance the flow of bile. Sage, red pepper, cumin and coriander are some other spices that are known to help the body deal with allergens. Sautéing a combination of ground turmeric, cumin and coriander in ghee and using the mixture to season vegetables is a way of incorporating some of these helpful spices into your diet.
From the ayurvedic perspective, it is important to follow a Kapha-Pitta pacifying diet. When allergens affect the body, the body's immune system releases various chemicals. So it is considered essential to pacify Pitta, because Pitta regulates chemical functions in the body. Drinking Organic Pitta Tea or using the Organic Pitta Churna (food seasoning) are convenient ways of doing this. It is also important to pacify Kapha to counteract sluggish digestion and congestion. This is especially true in the Kapha season (spring). Understanding the need to strengthen the body's defense systems to effectively combat allergens is important. Appeasing symptoms provides only temporary comfort.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.