Ayurveda attributes seasonal allergies and caused by a reactive type of digestive toxin called amavisha.
Ama, the simpler initial form of digestive impurities, is created because of imperfect digestion.
If the accumulation of ama in the digestive tract is not corrected, the ama eventually travels to different organs or tissues in the body and over time gets transformed into the more reactive amavisha.
Allergens such as dust or pollen interact with the amavisha, creating an allergic reaction. Wherever they interact and interfere, these toxins make it hard for the cells to function properly in that part of the body.
Signs of amavisha vary depending on which part of the body the amavisha is located. If the amavisha/allergen combination affects the skin, various types of rashes, discoloration, roughness or irritation could result.
The same combination in the lungs is linked to respiratory allergies. Amavisha/allergens in the digestive tract cause gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, such as diarrhea.
It is not the allergens themselves that cause the allergic reaction. Many other people breathe the same pollen and ragweed and have no reaction.
It is the presence of amavisha in the physiology that causes the allergens create such a reaction.
Amavisha has an additional long-term effect: disrupting the natural balance of the immune system. When the immune system is affected by the accumulation of amavisha, it loses its adaptability, its ability to regain equilibrium when confronted with sudden change.
At the beginning of spring, new plants bloom, releasing pollen, coupled with shifts in weather patterns that present dramatic environmental changes, which challenge the immune system.
If the immune system is already taxed by the presence of amavisha and cannot respond to seasonal change with normal flexibility, the body succumbs to imbalance and exhibits allergic reactions.
Detoxifying to correct imbalance
In ayurveda we have a principle: Detoxify the body at the end of each season, before the new season begins.
This is recommended, because the weather and environment during one season impact the body and create certain imbalances, causing the body to accumulate ama or amavisha.
You need to flush out those toxins before the next season starts, in order to prepare the body to confront the changes it will be facing.
Another reason for seasonal detoxification is to cleanse the shrotas, the microchannels that carry nutrients to the cells and carry waste products away. If the shrotas are clogged with toxins, the immune system slows down.
Avoid eating heavy, indigestible foods such as ice cream and other ice-cold foods and beverages, heavy desserts, greasy or fried foods, yogurt, red meat and hard cheeses.
Also avoid leftovers, prepared, canned, frozen or processed foods of any kind, as these are difficult to digest and include chemicals or preservatives that tax the liver and lead to the formation of amavisha.
Instead, eat a light, nourishing diet of cooked, lightly spiced organic, fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and dhal soups for protein.
Sip hot water throughout the day to help eliminate toxins. Get plenty of rest and enjoy mild exercise such as walking every day.
Continue to detoxify your body during allergy season by eating lots of green vegetables and summer squash, such as zucchini. These are cooling and pacify the reactivity of amavisha.
Hard winter squash, such as pumpkin and butternut are not recommended as they are more difficult to digest.
In spring, take Aller Defense (http://www.doshasmart.com) to remove toxins from your body while strengthening your immunity, simultaneously. These tablets also help block toxic reactions, improve digestion, cleanse the microcirculatory channels (shrotas) and decrease sensitivity to allergens by nourishing and purifying the liver. Ayurveda and Allergies VIDEO
Lissa Coffey is a relationship expert and author of “What’s Your Dharma? Discover the Vedic Way to Your Life’s Purpose.” Take the dharma quiz http://www.whatsyourdharma.com