Allergic Rhinitis Treatment In Ayurveda
ALLERGIC RHINITIS, also called hay fever, is a condition which mainly involves the upper respiratory tract (nostrils, nasal cavity, sinuses, throat, pharynx, and larynx), characterised by running nose, tearing & redness of eyes, congestion, heaviness in the head, continuous sneeze & sore throat. Here will discuss about Allergic Rhinitis Treatment In Ayurveda in detail
WHAT IS ALLERGIC RHINITIS?
Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is a response to an allergic reaction when an individual comes in contact with tiny particles in the air called allergens. When you breathe in allergens, your body reacts to them by producing a chemical substance called ‘histamine’.
Allergic rhinitis is not the same as infective rhinitis, which is otherwise known as a common cold. Allergic rhinitis is not contagious.
WHEN DO PEOPLE USUALLY SUFFER FROM ALLERGIC RHINITIS (HAY FEVER)?
You can have allergic rhinitis at any time of the year, but most common in spring, summer and early rainy as most of the trees bloom during this time so the pollen counts will be higher. Unseasonal allergies can happen with pets, dust mites & cockroaches at any time of the year.
WHAT ARE THE PREDISPOSING FACTORS OF ALLERGIC RHINITIS?
Genetics – it gets inherited, if any of the family members present with allergies.
Residing in places having very low air quality.
People who have asthma or any skin allergies like eczema.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSATIVE FACTORS FOR ALLERGIC RHINITIS?
Exposure to pollens during spring and summer.
Intake of refrigerated food and water
Intake of too much water.
Exposure to Mould spores
A sudden change of environment.
WHAT ARE THE SIGN AND SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGIC RHINITIS?
- Running nose – initially there will be a running nose, where the mucosal discharge will be watery in nature.
- Headache – heaviness in the head and there will be difficulty in lifting the head due to accumulation of mucus in the sinuses.
- Pain in the sinuses – there will be an accumulation of mucus in the sinus cavities for a long time leading to infection and inflammation of the sinuses leading to sinusitis.
- Watering of eyes – when exposed to allergens irritating the eyes, histamines will be produced as a response. Histamines cause eyelids and conjunctiva to become swollen, itchy, red, & watery.
- Nasal blockage – as the disease progresses, the mucosal discharge becomes thick and purulent in nature. Sometimes we can see blood stains in the discharge.
- Cough – swelling and irritation in the airways and also exposure to allergens trigger cough
- Fever – Hay fever will be present when an individual is exposed to allergens.
- Malaise – general discomfort will be seen when there is an infection in the body.
- Change of voice – as this disease involves the upper respiratory tract, there will be inflammation of the larynx caused by allergens/infection & narrowing of the nasal passage which leads to a change in resonance of the voice.
- Confusion/disorientation – as an allergic response there will be brain fog. Individuals experience mental fatigue and face difficulty in concentrating on daily activities.
WHAT IS THE PROGNOSIS OF ALLERGIC RHINITIS?
Allergic rhinitis symptoms remain as long as the person is exposed to allergens. Most of the symptoms can be treated if the treatment has been started in the initial stage.
If it is left untreated it leads to many other associated diseases like asthma, nasal polyps, sinusitis, inflammation of turbinates’
AYURVEDIC PERSPECTIVE OF ALLERGIC RHINITIS
In Ayurveda, allergic rhinitis is known as Pratishyaya.
Word meaning ‘prati’ means abhimukha (in the opposite direction) ‘shyaya’ means gamana (flowing).
Pratishyaya is a condition where the secretion produced due to vitiation of kapha, pitta and rakta at the root of the nose (nasa mula), flows down in the opposite direction by the influence of vitiated vata. Nasal discharge will be initially watery, later it becomes thick mucopurulent in nature.
In Samhitas, pratishyaya is described as purva roopa (premonitory symptom) of Rajayakshma(tuberculosis), if left untreated it will become Dushta Pratishyaya.
SYMPTOMS OF PRATISHYAYA
- Shirogurutva – heaviness in the head
- Kshavathu – continuous sneeze
- Aruchi – anorexia
- Mukha shushkata – dryness in the mouth
- Jwara – fever
- Netra srava – lacrimation in the eyes
- Shiroshoola – headache
AYURVEDA ASPECTS OF TREATING ALLERGIC RHINITIS
While treating Pratishyaya it is very important to know whether the disease is in AMA STAGE (nava pratishyaya) or PAKWA STAGE (jeerna prathishyaya)
GENERAL LINE OF TREATMENT / Allergic Rhinitis Treatment In Ayurveda
Nava Pratishyaya (treatment in the initial stage)
- Langhana – one has to absorb fast by taking light foods like Ganji, kichadi, and Pongal for at least 3 to 5 days.
- Swedana – one has to keep themselves warm by covering ears with cotton balls, using hooded jackets & taking steam inhalation.
- Administration of deepana pachana dravyas – including jeera, pepper, hingu, ajwain, garlic, ginger & cinnamon in your diet
- Including dravyas which are having sour taste, teekshna & ushna properties
- Usage of warm water for drinking and bathing
- Intake of milk with juice taken from wet ginger
- Intake of dry ginger with jaggery
Pakwa Pratishyaya (treatment in the later stage)
- Ghritha pana – intake of medicated ghee gives rasayana (immunity) effect
- Resting in a place which is devoid of pollution, dust and pollens
- Covering the head with thick clothes
- Steam inhalation using alma (sour) dravyas
SHODHANA TREATMENT / Allergic Rhinitis Treatment In Ayurveda
NASYA – nasya is a treatment which is performed through the nostril. A medicine either in the form of oil, ghee, powder or smoke is infused into the nostrils. Nasya is considered a very important treatment in Shiro rogas (a disease related to the head region), as the nose is considered the pathway to the brain. It helps in removing accumulated Kapha dosha in the head region. The choice of drug will be determined by an Ayurvedic practitioner after analysing the individual’s condition.
- Nasya is the important line of treatment for pratishyaya
- Sneha nasya is contraindicated in the initial stage(nava) of pratishyaya (allergic rhinitis).
- Avapeedana nasya can be given in the initial stage of pratishyaya to reduce the inflammation & it helps the sticky discharge to flow out.
– In general, swarasa(juice) of maricha(pepper),
pippali(long pepper), Tulasi(basil leaf), or ardrak
can be used for avapeedana nasya.
- In general, navana nasya can be given with the medicated ghritha(ghee) or oil formulated with maricha, pippali, or saindhava lavana (rock salt), etc.
DHOOMAPANA – dhoomapana is a procedure where medicated smoke should be inhaled through the mouth or nose (depending upon the doshas situated) and exhaled only through the mouth. The choice of drug will be determined by an Ayurvedic practitioner after analysing the individual’s condition.
Dravyas that can be used for dhoomapana in general are,
- Devadaru (Cedrus deodara)
- Apamarga (Achyranthes aspera)
- Aragwada (Cassia fistula)
- Maricha (Piper nigrum), etc
Vamana – It is a controlled emesis that helps eliminate the vitiated doshas (toxins) from the body. It is recommended in individuals suffering from pratishyaya for a long time, to eliminate the accumulated kapha.
Virechana – it is a controlled purgation, which removes doshas (toxins) especially vitiated pitta dosha from the body. It is recommended in pratishyaya as it helps to remove toxins from the body and improves digestion and metabolism thereby improving overall functioning of the body.
Basti – asthapana basti is indicated in pratishyaya. Where enema is given using medicated Kashaya. It mainly helps to pacify accumulated vata and removes all the toxins in the body.
The choice of drugs used for the above-mentioned panchakarma treatments will be determined by an Ayurvedic physician after analysing the individual’s condition.
As the immune system plays a very important role in preventing pratishyaya, one has to be treated with Rasayana dravyas like ashwagandha, Guduchi, haritaki, Amalaki, shankhapushpi, Brahmi, shalaparni, etc. in non-attack phase to improve individual’s immunity.
Haridra (Curcuma longa) – it is rich in antimicrobial & anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of curcumin. It helps to reduce infection and inflammation in the body, by fighting against allergens by producing specific antibodies.
Tulasi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) – rich in antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, anti-allergic, anti-oxidant, anti-tussive, anti-asthmatic and immunomodulatory properties. This can help to combat infection thereby reducing the severity of disease.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) – rich in anti-inflammatory & immunomodulatory properties. It helps to boost your energy levels and reduces stress & anxiety. It fights against the antigens thereby reducing inflammation.
Ardraka (Zingiber officinale) – it is rich in antihistamine properties, thereby reducing the production of histamine as a response to allergens. It also helps to get relief from headaches and improves digestion.
Yoga also helps in pratishyaya. Certain breathing exercises will help you to breathe normally without any congestion.
It is very important to note that before taking any of these above-mentioned herbs or treatments you have to consult the best Ayurvedic doctor.
Have a word with expert doctors at Adyant Ayurveda treatment centre, Bangalore for comprehensive care for Allergic Rhinitis Treatment In Ayurveda.