Allergies and Ayurveda: Rediscover the balance

They can have many symptoms and be caused by multiple factors, but allergies needn’t be the bane of our lives

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We have all suffered from it at some point of time or another, as we struggled our way through sneezing or coughing fits, itchy skin that drives us insane, blocked nose and watery eyes and nose.

Allergies are the bane of many people’s lives, and dictate everything from the food they eat to where they will holiday.

According to Ayurveda, the root cause of allergies is the accumulation of toxins (ama) in the body as a result of the digestive fire (AGNI) becoming imbalanced.

Symptoms displayed by a person, or rather the reaction of a person to an allergen, is also related to their doshas and how it interacts with the toxins (ama) in the body. Additionally, factors like a poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, seasonal changes, long-term illnesses and trauma can contribute to this imbalanced and further exacerbate the allergies too.

In very simplistic terms, ama is a sticky, toxic residue that is created in the body due to a combination of a weak digestive system and a poor diet. If the digestive fire (AGNI) is also weak then it is not able to digest the meal and as a result ama deposits form in the digestive tract.

Continuous build-up of AMA results in it moving beyond the digestive system into the circulatory system and settling in bodily tissues and clogging internal pathways.

To protect the body from the build-up and spread of ama, the immune system kicks into high gear and even becomes overly defensive, at times reacting to harmless items like pollens too.