The immune system is a complex system. When it is in balance, it does a seamless job of identifying and eliminating potential threats such as bacteria, viruses, dust, smoke, pollution etc. However, sometime our immune system responds too vigorously to a particular substance in the environment that is usually harmless such as pollen, mold, animal dander etc. As a result, there is an experience of uncomfortable symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, coughing, itchy, watery eyes etc.
Nasal allergies affect a large percentage of the population and can significantly limit activity. Although the body can mount allergic responses to many things, including food, medicines, foreign material etc.
Here we will discuss the common phenomenon of nasal allergies.
The symptoms of nasal allergic reaction communicate sensitization to certain antigens in the environment. The initiation of antigen reaction stimulates mast cells to release histamines into the blood which interacts with the blood cells to produce most of the allergy symptoms.
Drugs that block the action of histamine are known as antihistaminic drugs while the drugs preventing mast cells from releasing histamines are considered as anti-allergic drugs.
According to Ayurveda, Mandagni (low digestive fire) as the root cause of nasal allergies which produces Ama (endotoxins). Therefore, Ayurvedic treatment of nasal allergies include herbal remedies that are deepan, pachan and vishghana in nature.
Thus, natural treatment of nasal allergies is initially focussed on improving the digestive system. The herbal remedies are administered to clear the blockage from the channels by eliminating toxins from the body. The immune-booster medicines are also given to provide strength.
Home Remedies for Nasal Allergies
1. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
In Ayurveda, tulsi is known as ‘Queen of Herbs’. Tulsi acts as an immuno-modulator by boosting the production of antibodies thereby preventing recurrent infections. Tulsi leaves soothes the airways by expelling the mucus.
How to take: Take few tulsi leaves and boil water in a pan. Add tulsi leaves,1 teaspoon of grated ginger and 5-6 peppercorns. Boil the mixture for at least 10 minutes. After boiling, add a pinch of black salt and squeeze ½ lemon to it. Now strain and drink it warm.
2. Mulethi (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Mulethi, commonly known as licorice is an effective remedy for nasal allergies. It has expectorant property. It thins and loosens the mucus inside airways. This reduces congestion associated with nasal allergies.
How to take: Take 1 piece of mulethi and add it to boiling water. Add grated ginger and let it simmer for around 15 minutes. Drink this tea twice a day.
3. Dry Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Dry ginger is popularly known as sonth. When taken with honey, it acts as a soothing remedy for nasal allergies. Dry ginger contains certain phytoconstituents that are anti-inflammatory in nature.
How to take: Take 1/4th teaspoon dry ginger and add 1 teaspoon of honey. Mix well and take it twice a day.
4. Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia)
Giloy is also known as Amrita meaning nectar. It is quite useful in building immunity and helps to manage allergic reactions due to pollution, smoke, dust etc. The anti-inflammatory and immuno-modulatory properties of ginger are helpful in the treatment of nasal allergies.
How to take: Take 2 teaspoons of juice of Giloy root with warm water on an empty stomach in the morning.
5. Pippali (Piper longum)
The expectorant property of pippali loosens the mucus thus allowing the patient to breathe easily.
How to take: Take a pinch of pippali churna and swallow it with 1 teaspoon of honey once or twice a day.
6. Cumin, Coriander and Fennel
Fennel is one of the best herbs for strengthening agni (digestive fire) without aggravating Pitta dosha. Cumin flushes out ama (toxins) and relieves congestion. Coriander reduces inflammation and aids digestion.
How to take: Take ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, ½ teaspoon fennel seeds and 4-5 cups water. Heat the water in a stainless steel pot over high heat. Add all the ingredients and allow to boil for 5-10 minutes. Strain out the seeds and sip this water throughout the day.
Honey is not only good in taste but also helps in nasal allergies due to its antimicrobial property. It also provides relief from chest congestion by loosening thick mucus.
How to take: Take 1 teaspoonful of honey before going to bed at night.
Click here to consult Dr. Sahil Gupta (Registered Ayurvedic Vaidya and Allergy Specialist) online. He is serving the whole world through his idea of natural friendly healing for all with Ayurveda. He is the CEO and Founder of the Institute of Applied Food Allergy. He has vast experience and deep knowledge of Ayurveda.