Whilst Spring is in the air and so too is a whole lot of pollen, which results for many Brits, in the onslaught of symptoms like sneezing, a runny nose, itching eyes and a scratchy throat. There are, Dr Deepa Apté (also an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Hatha Yoga teacher) writes, a number of natural ways to combat hay fever with a combination of food, herbs, massage and Yoga…
Often when hay fever symptoms arise, people seem to have a cold. It is due to allergies to pollen or other substances during specific times of the year. Ayurveda looks at Hay fever as a Pitta-Kapha imbalance along with presence of toxins or Ama in the body.
Foods to Avoid:
- Cold and heavy foods like dairy, yoghurt, cheese early in the mornings or later in the evenings.
- Faulty food combinations like fruit and dairy.
Foods to Consume:
- More general spices like turmeric, black pepper in foods.
- More hot soups and liquids. This helps to liquefy/melt the congested mucus.
- Tea or decoction made from liquorice, black pepper, basil and ginger should be taken twice daily before the hay fever season starts. This will help to prevent the onset of symptoms.
- Plenty of steamed green vegetables or salads garnished with black pepper, basil, thyme, rosemary.
- Pippali which is also known as long pepper is one of the best herbs to strengthen the immune system.
- Turmeric when taken regularly will help to prevent onset of Hay Fever. This can either be taken three times daily in warm water or mixed with honey.
- Tulsi which is also known as Holy Basil is known as one of the best respiratory system rejuvenators. People with more congestion, runny nose will find this herb helpful.
- Nasya, the Ayurveda Nasal treatments is very good for Hay Fever. Medicated Ayurvedic herbal oils are administered into the nostril after an energising massage and steaming to the face. This once again helps to cleanse and clear out any mucus congestion from the sinuses.
- Ayurvedic foot massages are very helpful for people suffering from redness, burning, itching and watering of eyes.
- Ayurvedic abdominal massages are also good if they have Ama or toxins in the body.
- Energising breathing exercises like the cleansing breath exercise is the exercise of choice for Hay Fever. This not only helps to cleanse and clarify the sinuses but also helps to strengthen the immune system.
- The Sun Salutations are the sequence of choice for this imbalance.
- Neti or Nasal wash with a mild salt water solution with a few drops of sesame seed oil can be done regularly every morning.
Director, Dr Deepa Apté MBBS (India), YLA, BYV, ITEC, MICHT is a fully qualified Indian medical doctor (Bachelor of Medicine; Bachelor of Surgery, India), a qualified Yoga teacher (specialising in Hatha Yoga and the Sivananda tradition) and a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. As a former external Examiner for a Masters degree accredited by Middlesex University, she also anExecutive Director of the APA’s (Ayurvedic Practitioners Association).She lectures widely on Ayurveda and Yoga (both in the UK and Germany) and regularly writes articles for, and features in, magazines and the press.