In Ayurveda, an allergy is termed as “asatmya”, meaning intolerance. This intolerance tends to occur when the immune system becomes hypersensitive to a foreign substance such as pollen, chemicals, certain foods, dust, dander and so on.
So what creates this hypersensitivity, and is there a cure???
When dealing with any condition in Ayurveda, the first approach in healing is to find out the root cause of the disorder. You see, if you simply treat the symptoms and never the cause, then you will be dealing with a vicious and ongoing cycle throughout your life.
Of course the root cause of an allergy will differ according to each individual, as we are all unique creations. However, I will address several common factors of allergies, which may occur solely, or more likely, simultaneously together.
One major cause of allergies is heredity. According to western medicine, when a person has one parent with allergies, they become 30% more likely to also have them. If both parents have allergies, the risk increases to 60%. This in Ayurveda can be labeled as a “kavaigunya”, or a weak space in the body. Due to one’s genetics, this weak space will make an individual more susceptible to an allergy, especially during times of stress and imbalance. Luckily, with the proper knowledge and precautions, one may steer away from allergies, even when hereditary influences are strong.
Another detrimental factor in allergies is the digestive strength of an individual. When the digestive fire or “agni” becomes weak, food is not able to be broken down and absorbed properly. This results in a toxic build-up known as “ama” manifesting in the body. This toxic sludge begins to clog the channels of the body, causing heaviness, stagnation, mucus, a slow metabolism and lowered immunity. The cycle then continues its downward spiral, as the fire gets weaker due to the toxic build-up, which then results in more toxins. This may be one reason why an allergy may worsen throughout one’s life.
The third major cause in the manifestation of allergies, is one’s current state of balance and stress level. It is fairly well known that stress is the number one influence of most, if not all disorders. When stress is high, immunity becomes low. Sleep may become disrupted, further weakening the system and increasing stress levels in the body. Hormone levels become imbalanced and systemic dysregulation results. If one is already susceptible to an allergen, times of high stress will most likely set them off or worsen the reaction. This may be why one year you remained allergy free, but the following year an allergy came back worse than ever.
A few other risk factors include childhood trauma, repressed emotions and weaken spleen and/or thymus energy.
So now that we discussed the origins to this hypersensitivity, you can see we are indeed NOT doomed to a lifetime under the torture of allergies.
“With the proper diet and lifestyle changes, along with the appropriate herbal regimens, one may drastically reduce allergy symptoms, and eventually steer clear of allergies altogether.”
One must keep in mind that this involves much effort from the individual, along with knowledgeable guidance. The longer and stronger the allergy has been occurring, the longer and more involved the treatment may need to be. This doesn’t mean that symptoms won’t be reduced promptly; it just means that completely ridding the body of its past karma may be a long process. So don’t get discouraged. The noticeable improvements in your health and vitality that you will experience along the way will be enough to keep you strong on your path towards an allergy-free life!