03/25/2011 Mind-Body Health
As springtime begins in the Northern Hemisphere, the landscape is alive with nature’s beautiful expression, enlivening our senses with an infinite variety of color, scents, and forms. Unfortunately, for those of us with sensitivities to pollen, spring can also be a time of watery eyes, chapped noses, and other allergic symptoms. The healing system known as Ayurveda offers some time-honored remedies to relieve your allergies and allow you to enjoy the gifts of the season.
- Increase your intake of pungent foods, which will help relieve the congestion associated with allergies and the Kapha dosha.
- Use herbs that ignite your digestive fire, including fresh ginger, coriander, fennel, and long pepper. One way to enjoy ginger is in the form of ginger tree. Find a simple ginger tea recipe here.
- Favor foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids — flax seed, walnuts, leafy green vegetables, soy, and cold-water fish.
- Use a neti pot and herbal nasya oil to clean your sinus passages. A neti pot is a small container with a spout that you gently place inside your nostrils in order to administer a warm salt water solution. This procedure reduces the concentration of allergens and nourishes the mucous membranes to reduce allergic reactions. If you use a neti pot a couple of times a day, you may be able to avoid using decongestants and antihistamines. Watch a video with instructions for using a neti pot here.
- Take the Ayurvedic remedy trikatu to help clear and drain your sinuses.
- Consider using the Ayurvedic herb boswellia (Boswellia serrata)¸ which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antiasthmatic properties.
- You can also try the herb butterbur (Petasites hybridus), which has been shown to reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
- Drink plenty of fluids — water, juices, and herbal teas.
Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, fitness, or other health program.