Allergies are the way the body’s immune system responds to “foreign material” that is ingested, inhaled or in contact with your skin. Food intolerances and chemical sensitivities, on the other hand, are not mediated by the immune system.
According to Ayurveda, a weak Agni (digestion and metabolism) is at the basis of all allergies (as well as intolerances and sensitivities). Agni is responsible for breakdown of incoming matter so that it can be assimilated into the body. This process of assimilation is the process of converting “non-self” (what is foreign) into “self”. If this process is incomplete, the incompleted digested and metabolised matter, known as “ama”, is considered foreign and an immune response is mounted to protect your body from this foreign substance.
This resulting immune response or inflammation involves aggravated Pitta (redness, heat or burning) and Kapha (itch, swelling or mucus production). It can take the form of hives, runny nose, sneezing, red irritated eyes, swollen lips and if more severe can cause airway obstruction and collapse.
If exposure to the foreign invader continues, harmful products of inflammation accumulate, overloading your Agni and adding further to the burden of ama. Hence allergic reactions can continue to recur.
So rather then just focussing on the allergen, it is important to reduce the dominant dosha, remove the ama and strenghen the i.e. the pollen, chemical or food. To correct the imbalance underlying allergiest, it is recommended to avoid:
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