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Ayurveda Approach On Psychology!

Mr. Senthilkumar 92% (550 ratings)
Diploma In Counselling Skills
Psychologist, Bangalore
Ayurveda Approach On Psychology!

Today’s most commonly searched keyword in google is “Anxiety or Depression or  Stress“. Why are these terms suddenly becoming important in our modern life? Reason may be factors like our disordered lifestyle, Influence of modern gadgets, excessive use of Internet, social media, diet, nuclear family, environment, toxin accumulation, exercise levels etc. 

If we try to understand this disorders in a layman's language;

Anxiety /fear is a mental disturbance caused by overthinking about “Future” ex: fear about exams, interviews, Job security, maintaining relationship, career, financial risks etc

Stress/Tension is a mental disturbance caused by overthinking about “Present ex: achieving goal, commitments, pressure to meet schedules, running behind goals, race against time etc 

Depression/Worry is a mental disturbance caused by overthinking about “Past” ex: failure in exams, relationship failure, death in the family, loss of money /business etc.

As the body and mind are interconnected, these mental factors also influence body functions by creating health issues and discomforts.In medical terms this is called as "psychosomatic diseases".

Ayurveda Approach

In Ayurveda, these mental factors are directly linked with the  characteristics of 5 energy elements  in the name of Vata (Ether and Air), Pitta (Fire and Water) and Kapha (Water and Earth) called as Tridosha. Tridhosa is the driving forces behind everything happening from creation to death at atomic to cosmic level in this universe. 

Tridosha

  • Vata - a movement principle exhibits the qualities of Air/Wind in the characteristics of an individual like creativity, artistry, energetic, inspiration, enthusiasm, intuitive behaviors. But if the air energy is imbalanced they show up nervousness, anxiety, fearfulness, weirdness, manic, insecurity, negative dreams, suicidal behaviors. Similarly, at body level it causes sleeplessness (Insomnia), headache, palpitation, tiredness, joint pain, constipation etc   
  • Pitta - a transformation principle exhibits the qualities of Fire/Sun in the characteristic of an individual like leadership, commanding, ambitious, Sharpness, clear thoughts. But if imbalanced, it displays stress, anger, hypertension, irritation, judgmental, controlling, violent behaviors. Similarly, at body level it causes acidity, heartburn, skin irritation, blood pressure, excessive hunger, thirst, fever etc·       
  • Kapha – a stability and cohesive principle exhibits the quality of water/ Moon in the characteristic of an individual like patience, generosity, peacefulness, nurturing, love, loyalty, compassionate behaviors. But if imbalanced, it displays depression, worry, stubbornness, possessiveness, holding grudges, attachment to objects, selfish characters. Similarly, at body level it causes slow digestion, nauseousness, obesity, dullness, lethargy, water retention etc.

According to Ayurveda, health is not merely considered to be a state of freedom from ailments or diseases, but rather a state of enjoying uninterrupted physical, mental and spiritual happiness and fulfillment.  Ayurveda considers any treatment with a holistic approach to cure both body and mind. 

So Ayurveda approach for treating such mental imbalance would be, a  combination of any of the below mention solution based on the individual's body and mind constitutions analyis (our body is made up different ratio or combination of five elements):

Solutions

  1. Daily Routine (Lifestyle Change)
  2. Taste and Dietary Recommendation
  3. Oil Massages / Abhayanga and  Shirodhara Treatment
  4. Yoga and Meditation
  5. Herbal Supplements
  6. Ayurveda Medicine
  7. Panchakarma Treatment (Detoxification Therapy) 

Prevention is better than cure. All these solutions can also be followed by a healthy individual if he wants to balance his body and mind in a natural way.

3 people found this helpful

Ayurvedic Approach To Prevent Ama Build Up!

Dr. Ashwani Kumar Khera 87% (1030 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Fazilka
Ayurvedic Approach To Prevent Ama Build Up!

The field of Ayurveda treats a variety of ailments by diagnosing conditions that are not otherwise recognised by modern day medicinal systems. One of these conditions or concepts is Ama or mild toxin. Improper digestions, stress, pollution, a bad diet can all cause toxins to build in our body. This is why periodic internal cleansing is very much advised in Ayurveda. Anything which is not completely processed is known as Ama.

Now let's look at ways on how you can prevent the build-up of Ama in your body:

  • Overeating and Indigestion: One of the best ways to avoid Ama build up is to keep oneself from overeating. Also, as per Ayurveda, one must not sit down for a meal before the previous meal is digested. Also, emotional eating leads to overeating and all kinds of unhealthy food including excessive sweets, fried and fatty food. Also, one must eat meals at the same time every day and avoid skipping meals in order to ensure that an irregular digestive system does not end up producing Ama in the body.
  • Diet: One needs to ensure that the dietary intake is made up of healthy foods. In order to avoid Ama build up, you will also need to eliminate food that is difficult to digest including aerated drinks, food and drinks that are taken at extremely cold temperatures including ice cold water and ice cream. This usually puts out the digestive fires which keep the digestion going.
  • Meditation: Practicing transcendental meditation is a good way of keeping Ama at bay. Transcendental meditation is a state of being in one's deepest sense of awareness. It is a simple meditative technique that helps you remain well balanced with just 20 minutes of practice every day. This method is known to prevent ailments in the body through its function of awareness.
  • Exercise and Sleep: Some amount of exercise is required by every human body. This also helps in preventing Ama. Exercise keeps the metabolism and digestive system in peak and active form. Indulging in light to moderate exercise ensures that you sweat and flush out the unnecessary toxins of the body, even as you work up an appetite for food which ensures healthy eating. Sleep is equally important in reducing Ama as well.

Sleep, exercise, proper eating habits and a patch of meditation every day are some of the various ways that can aid the blocking and reduction of Ama.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3017 people found this helpful

Diabetes: Why Should You Approach Homeopathic Treatment?

Dr. Pankaj Chhajed 92% (115 ratings)
M.D Homoeopathy ( Practice of Medicine ), BHMS
Homeopath, Nashik
Diabetes: Why Should You Approach Homeopathic Treatment?

Diabetes is basically a disorder of the metabolism causing excessive thirst and the production of large amounts of urine. To further elaborate one need to understand the role of insulin in the body. While eating, the body turns food into sugar or glucose. At that time pancreas is supposed to produce the right amount of insulin to move the glucose from our blood into our cells. In diabetics, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin, or the body cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. Due to this, glucose levels rise in the blood, floods into the urine and passes out of the body, making the body lose its main source of fuel. Diabetes is of many types, but the most common are Type 1 and Type 2.

How to treat Diabetes:

Controlling blood sugar level is the major goal of diabetes treatment, in order to prevent complications of the disease. Treatment may be in Allopathy or Homeopathy, conventional medicine often uses insulin itself in the treatment of diabetes. Since this is kind of replacement, so diabetes becomes a life-long disease. Homeopathy can be used effectively in the treatment. Let’s see how diabetes can be worked with Homeopathy.

Diabetes & Homeopathy

In homeopathy, the main focus is on functioning of the pancreas in efficient insulin production. There are specific medicines which are used effectively in the treatment of all the stages of the diseases.

Homeopathic treatment can help improve the general health of a person with diabetes:

  1. If a person with diabetes is in good health, his or her insulin requirements will be steady and the blood glucose well controlled at the same time.
  2. If the general health is poor, it can be very difficult to achieve good control.  

Homeopaths resort to different approaches towards diabetes Management of Blood Sugar. First is when the blood sugar level is very high, the priority is to control it and there are homeopathic remedies that could reduce the sugar. The commonly used remedies are Uranium Nitricum, Phosphoric Acid etc. These are classical homeopathic remedies.

Depending on the level of the blood sugar and the requirement of the patient, doses are given with doctor’s consultation. It’s a holistic approach in medicine. This treats the patient taking into consideration the mental, emotional and physical peculiarities of the person who is affected with this state. In this, it is considered that the disease is a mere deviation in life force and hence all the efforts are to correct this disorder. The treatment will be to bring into balance the various systems involved in diabetes, for example, pancreas, hormones, and your immune system. Treatment will again be different if you have other ailments along with diabetes.

Homeopathy regards health as a state of balancing the equilibrium of the life force. Whatever treatment is taken it’s always advisable to be in regular touch with the doctor and keep sharing the health status with the doctor. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4661 people found this helpful

Masturbation - The Ayurveda Approach!

Dr. Arun Desai 95% (986 ratings)
BAMS, M.D.Alternative Medicines
Ayurveda, Belgaum
Masturbation - The Ayurveda Approach!

When you are fatigued, depressed and bored of a routine life after a long day at work or study, you may think of a lot of different things to do so that you may be able to get to sleep on a more positive note. Some people may like to surf through the net, some may be into reading, some may listen to music to relax and rejuvenate and some may think that masturbation is one of the most relaxing things to do when you need to beat stress and fatigue

However, little do we realize that the feelings that we may seek to run away from may be the ones that are aggravated because of masturbation. 

Adolescents, who have had their first taste of early adulthood, discover a range of new feelings when when they touch themselves and the pleasure that they feel from an act that can be done without the help of anyone else, is on a different level altogether. 

What does Ayurveda say? 
According to detailed and in-depth studies of Ayurveda, masturbation is considered as the pathway to a number of physical, mental and emotional troubles. Some of the most commonly experienced problems include tiredness and lack of concentration, feeling of monotony and depression and a wrong impression of how actual sex might feel.

Apart from the emotional and mental stress, there may be a possibility of causing injury or infection to the penis because of regular touch and this risk is heightened in case where unhygienic methods of masturbation are practiced. Touching the penis with unclean or infected hands may cause an infection in the region and put you at the risk of major diseases or allergies. 

The treatment: 
While you may think you have an addiction towards masturbation, you should never rule out the possibility to be able to treat it and lead a better life because all of it is possible with the help of Ayurvedic treatment and therapies.

The excess and the effects of continued period of masturbation over the years can be reversed with the help of medication such as Vajikarna Rasayana, which helps in restoring the sexual libido with the most natural ingredients, as deemed fit by Ayurveda. 

While it may be important to opt for medication when you are in the clutches of masturbation, it is also essential to make sure that you take medical advice from a trusted Ayurvedic specialist and get the right treatment path shown to you. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

5090 people found this helpful

The Ayurvedic Approach To Diabetes!

Dr. Rajesh Raghuwanshi 89% (1172 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Bhopal
The Ayurvedic Approach To Diabetes!

Ayurveda is a system of medicine that takes a holistic approach to treat various diseases. It is believed in Ayurveda that when a disease occurs in your body then it means that the mind, body and soul is unbalanced. 

It is believed that everyone is made up of five elements - earth, air, water, ether and fire. If all of these elements in the body are well balanced, then the body tends to function in a healthy manner. An illness is a sign that one or multiple elements in the body are not balanced. A practitioner carries out a diagnosis of your diet, lifestyle, seeks to find out the cause of the imbalance and provides treatment accordingly. 

Diabetes is a condition in the body which is characterized by blood sugar spikes that result in the body being unable to use the glucose in the body. 

The various symptoms of diabetes are outlined below -

  1. Fatigue: You may experience fatigue as the glucose in the body will not be effectively utilized.
  2. Frequent urination: You may urinate frequently because of the presence of excess glucose in the blood.
  3. Weight gain: You may experience weight gain.
  4. Bruises take longer time to heal: Injuries take more time to heal if there is too much glucose concentration in the body.

The various ayurvedic remedies for diabetes are -

  1. Eating bitter gourd with ghee is good for bringing down blood sugar levels.
  2. Bitter gourd juice can also be an effective remedial measure.
  3. Make a mixture of turmeric, powdered fenugreek seeds, white pepper and milk. Consume this drink at least twice a day.
  4. Combine "neem" leaves, "tulsi" and "belpatras" with a glass of water and drink it on empty stomach to keep diabetes at bay.
  5. Limit sugar consumption by restricting foods such as banana, potato and rice.
  6. Consume bitter vegetables
  7. You should exercise on a regular basis; activities such as running, strength training and yoga will help you manage diabetes better
  8. Consume lots of green vegetables and herbs as they assist in insulin production.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3333 people found this helpful

Impotency,Sexual Weakness And Homeopathy Approach!

Dr. Vishwajeet Singh 94% (2485 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Bahadurgarh
Impotency,Sexual Weakness And Homeopathy Approach!

When you face difficulty in maintaining an erection long enough for having a satisfactory sexual intercourse, it is said to be caused due to a condition called impotence. Sexual satisfaction is vital in a relationship, and when impotence is the reason for displeasure, you must try to understand the cause of impotence.

Often, believed to have a connection with the consumption of marijuana, many people ask questions whether it is possible to treat this condition or not. Well, there are quite a few options that can treat this particular sexual problem of men.

What is marijuana?

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug, also known as cannabis, acquired from the cannabis plant, which is intended for recreational and medical purposes. As far as the global status of marijuana is concerned, it is an illicit drug that is most commonly used. Containing over 400 chemicals, the effects of marijuana can be psychosis, suicidal thinking, mood changes, addictions, etc.

Can marijuana influence impotence?

Many studies have established a relationship between marijuana and erectile dysfunction or impotence. But marijuana does not have a direct influence on erectile dysfunction. Rather, it's the effects that marijuana has on the brain that increases the risks of the exasperating and depilating sexual problem called impotence.

Many people smoke marijuana as it leaves them mentally feeling all good and pleasant. Every time they smoke marijuana, the levels of the inflammatory hormones in the body such as the prostaglandin e-2increases. Though these hormones help in relaxing the muscles of the body, an excessive production of them can cause serious inflammation in the body. Therefore, consumption of marijuana beyond the right dosage leads to the arteries becoming constricted. The arteries play a crucial role in erections, and the inability of the arteries in pumping enough blood to the necessary areas results in erectile dysfunction.

How homeopathy and sexology can be of help?

Sexology is the study of the human relationships and sexual life that focuses on analyzing, and offering a solution to the sexual problems. While homeopathy deals with boosting the immunity power of the body from within and eliminating the cause of a disease. So for treating impotence caused due to the intake of marijuana both the medicinal specialties offer great help. It is done by detoxifying the toxins that marijuana leaves inside the body and completely heal the person of impotence.

Impotence is also referred to as erectile dysfunction, and nowadays, it is one of the most common sexual conditions in men. Though it is not a life-threatening condition, it can have a significant and serious impact on a person's quality of life, as well his personal or sexual life. Therefore, opting for necessary treatment is essential to ensure a normal and sexually satisfying life. 

6 people found this helpful

Masturbation - The Ayurveda Approach!

Dr. Aanand J 96% (23510 ratings)
Advanced Aesthetics
Ayurveda, Gulbarga
Masturbation - The Ayurveda Approach!

When you are fatigued, depressed and bored of a routine life after a long day at work or study, you may think of a lot of different things to do so that you may be able to get to sleep on a more positive note. Some people may like to surf through the net, some may be into reading, some may listen to music to relax and rejuvenate and some may think that masturbation is one of the most relaxing things to do when you need to beat stress and fatigue

However, little do we realize that the feelings that we may seek to run away from may be the ones that are aggravated because of masturbation. 

Adolescents, who have had their first taste of early adulthood, discover a range of new feelings when when they touch themselves and the pleasure that they feel from an act that can be done without the help of anyone else, is on a different level altogether. 

What does Ayurveda say? 

According to detailed and in-depth studies of Ayurveda, masturbation is considered as the pathway to a number of physical, mental and emotional troubles. Some of the most commonly experienced problems include tiredness and lack of concentration, feeling of monotony and depression and a wrong impression of how actual sex might feel.

Apart from the emotional and mental stress, there may be a possibility of causing injury or infection to the penis because of regular touch and this risk is heightened in case where unhygienic methods of masturbation are practiced. Touching the penis with unclean or infected hands may cause an infection in the region and put you at the risk of major diseases or allergies. 

The treatment: 

While you may think you have an addiction towards masturbation, you should never rule out the possibility to be able to treat it and lead a better life because all of it is possible with the help of Ayurvedic treatment and therapies.

The excess and the effects of continued period of masturbation over the years can be reversed with the help of medication such as Vajikarna Rasayana, which helps in restoring the sexual libido with the most natural ingredients, as deemed fit by Ayurveda. 

While it may be important to opt for medication when you are in the clutches of masturbation, it is also essential to make sure that you take medical advice from a trusted Ayurvedic specialist and get the right treatment path shown to you. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3627 people found this helpful

Garbhasanskar - An Ayurvedic Approach!

Dr. Nitin Kochar 89% (30 ratings)
BAMS, MD - Ayurveda, Diploma In Yoga
Ayurveda, Mumbai
Garbhasanskar - An Ayurvedic Approach!

A happy and healthy baby is what every couple dreams about. Turning to Ayurveda is the perfect way to make the dream come true. The traditional medicinal system of India offers a holistic approach to treating any disease and disorder. But it does not end there. Ayurveda sets the path for healthy life and guides every individual on how to live wisely. It helps in leading a balanced life, both physically and emotionally.

Plan it in advance: Any species aims at reproducing the next generation. Creation and procreation are, in fact, the basis of life. In the recent years, it has become common to see many couples waiting for treatment to be bestowed with a progeny. With the surge in population every year, the list of infertile couples is growing as well. This is because not many lead a healthy lifestyle. Junk and processed foods fill the plates and the work style is completely sedentary for most of the people. Messing with food, health, and lifestyle certainly affect the chances of becoming a parent. Ayurveda recommends couples to start planning at least three months before you actually want to get pregnant. This planning period should be meant for eliminating toxins and taking nourishment.

What is Garbhasanskar all about?

Garbhasanskar means educating the child in the womb. From the very first day of pregnancy, brain development of the child begins. Garbhsanskar ensures the child is born intelligent and healthy. This is an Ayurvedic approach to pregnancy that recommends eating the right foods and maintaining positive thinking. Doing mild exercises and yoga, and positive thinking are insisted as a part of this technique. Pregnant women are advised to stay happy and relaxed. Getting to know your constitution is the first step in Ayurveda for staying healthy. This can be done only by a medical practitioner.

Consult an Ayurvedic doctor and determine your constitution or prakriti, which is the Sanskrit term. Ayurveda considers eggs and sperms as the deepest form of transformation of nutrients. Foods one consumes are refined multiple times to transform them into the vital essence of life. This is called the seed of the life. Any obstacle in the body can affect the reproductive system. This can be anything from excess weight to anemia, polycystic ovarian syndrome, constipation, or an infection.

Diet and lifestyle:

The foods one take can stimulate the production of eggs and sperms. Reproductive foods, as they are called, when taken during the planning period, can help conceive and give birth to a healthy baby. Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, saffron, ghee, and honey are good examples of reproductive foods. Asparagus or Shatavari helps in improving the reproductive health of both men and women. The menstrual cycle is considered vital for a healthy pregnancy. Healthy periods should constitute a moderate flow, no pain or discomfort, should be devoid of clots, and the length of the cycle should be of 26 to 30 days.

An Ayurvedic doctor can determine which dosha dominates your menstrual cycle. Based on this, foods and lifestyle changes are prescribed. Pregnant women are advised to take panchamrut. It simply means an elixir with five ingredients. This offers strength and boosts the immune system. Mix curd, honey, ghee, and sugar (one tea spoon each). To this add seven spoons of milk. Taking this in the morning every day is recommended. Listening to music has a great benefit on the health of the fetus. However, listen to the hymns of Vedas, devotional music, and Carnatic music. These relax the mind of both the mother and the baby. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1 person found this helpful

A Holistic Approach to Treating Depression

Dr. Yogesh Kankariya 87% (20 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Pune
A Holistic Approach to Treating Depression

Depression can be referred to as a psychiatric dysfunction which is generally associated with a recurrent feeling of sadness, loneliness, disinterest in daily affairs and low self-confidence. Due to the stresses of the modern lifestyle and constant anxiety the occurrence of depression is on the rise and it is affecting more people around the world.

Love disappointment, Loss in business, disharmony in the family, performance pressure, death of a loved one, some unfortunate events in life, Domination, Abuse sexual and physical are one of the main reasons of depression. Homeopathy lauds the benefit that it does not induce drug dependency and no side effects.

Causes

Depression can spring up because of hereditary factors, excessive substance abuse, hormonal imbalances, sudden shock or trauma and also anxiety. Depression tends to be chronic and can come back in timely intervals to hamper your life.

Symptoms

The symptoms of depression include loss of appetite, a recurrent feeling of exhaustion, tendencies of isolating oneself continuously, significant trouble while sleeping, abrupt mood swings, lack of concentration in daily affairs and recurrent feeling of melancholy.

Homeopathic Treatment for Depression

Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat depression but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several medicines are available for depression treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, condition, sensation and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Some important remedies are given below for depression treatment:

 

  1. Sepia – This medication is useful for people who face recurrent episodes of sudden mood swings and feelings of isolation. If someone gets depressed with the slightest of the matters, Sepia can also be helpful.
  2. Aurum Metallicum – If someone undergoes the symptoms of recurrent suicidal tendencies, hopelessness and a lowered self-confidence, this preparation can be recommended.
  3. Cimicifuga – Cimicifuga can be really useful if you undergo the symptoms of severe headache and neck pains during depression along with intense episodes of desolation.
  4. Causticum – If someone suffers from the symptoms of memory loss, frequent weeping and the depression had occurred due to the loss of someone close, Causticum can be recommended.
  5. Phosphoric acid – If you suffer from the symptoms of appetite loss and social awkwardness, a prescribed dosage of phosphoric acid might help in the elimination of the symptoms.
  6. Kalium Phosphoricum – This is a very important medication as it is very effective at treating depression that occurs due to stress. People who are overworked or students who have over-studied and may have developed depression from of stress are greatly benefitted by this medication.

These are just a few of the commonly used Homeopathic remedies and are mentioned only to create awareness about the effectiveness of Homeopathic medicines for Depression. It is not advisable to resort to self-medication for any disease.

3062 people found this helpful

An Ayurvedic Approach to Seasonal Allergies

Dr. Rahul Gupta 97% (17360 ratings)
MD-Ayurveda, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery (BAMS)
Sexologist, Dehradun
An Ayurvedic Approach to Seasonal Allergies

An Ayurvedic Approach to Seasonal Allergies

Our immune system is a complex and wonderful system. When in balance, it does a seamless job of identifying and eliminating potential threats to our health, such as toxins, bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. However, sometimes our immune system responds too vigorously to a substance in the environment that is usually harmless, such as pollen, animal dander, or mold. As the body acts to eradicate the perceived threat, we can experience the uncomfortable symptoms of an allergy reaction, including a runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing, and itchy, watery eyes. In addition, an exaggerated immune response can lead to symptoms in the lungs (asthma) and skin (hives, eczema). Allergies affect a large percentage of the population at one time or another and can significantly limit activity. Although the body can mount allergic responses to many things, including food, medicines, and other foreign material, in this article we will discuss the common phenomenon of environmental or seasonal allergies.

The Underlying Causes of Allergies

You may wonder why one person can spend an afternoon walking through blossoming fields without any symptoms, while someone else can't step out the front door without experiencing severe allergic symptoms. Heredity is one of the major distinguishing factors. As scientific research has found, your risk of developing allergies increases by approximately 30% if one of your parents is allergic. If both of your parents have allergies, your risk is greater than 60%.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, in addition to inherited tendencies, several other key factors determine whether a person experiences an allergic reaction and how severe that reaction will be. These include the strength of the individual's digestive fire, or inner resilience (known as agni), the quantity of allergen that enters the body, and a person's current state of balance/imbalance in the doshas. Fortunately, there are techniques to strengthen our agni, avoid allergen exposure, and improve our state of doshic balance. By addressing all of these factors, we can help prevent allergies as well as keep them under control.

Strengthening Agni

Ayurveda considers a strong agni, or digestive fire, one of the most important factors for our health. When our agni is strong, we can take in energy and information from our environment, extract whatever is beneficial to us, and eliminate everything we don't need. In addition, when agni is burning brightly, our body won't mount an aggressive response to foreign material such as pollen, but will instead remove it in a healthy, beneficial way. In other words, our body is more resilient to the changes in the environment.

One way to keep our agni strong is to develop a regular meditation practice. When we calm the mind and body, we are less likely to respond to foreign 'invaders' aggressively. We increase our ability to take in nourishment from our environment, as opposed to seeing them as threats. Other mindfulness practices, such as yoga and conscious breathing also strengthen agni.

One breathing technique that is useful for strengthening agni is ujjayi, or ocean's breath. Ujjayi (pronounced oo-jai) is an ancient yogic breathing technique that helps calm the mind and body. Ujjayi has a balancing influence on the entire cardiorespiratory system and releases feelings of irritation and frustration.

Here is how to perform ujjayi breath:

Take an inhalation that is slightly deeper than normal. With your mouth closed, exhale through your nose while constricting your throat muscles. If you are doing this correctly, you should sound like Darth Vader from Star Wars.
You can also get the hang of this practice by practicing exhaling the sound haaaaah with your mouth open. Now make a similar sound with your mouth closed, feeling the outflow of air through your nasal passages. Once you have mastered this on the outflow, use the same method for the inflow breath, gently constricting your throat as you inhale.
Another important way to strengthen agni is to eliminate ama, which is a Sanskrit word for toxicity. Ama includes both physical and emotional toxicity that accumulates in our physiology and can interfere with our natural healing. One herb that is helpful in treating allergies by cleansing ama is triphala. The recommended dosage is 500-1000mg, taken at bedtime.

Reducing the Quantity of Allergens That Enter the Body

Another step to controlling and preventing allergy symptoms is to be mindful of how much of the aggravating allergen is in our environment and making conscious choices to eliminate them as much as possible. According to Ayurveda, we are in constant dynamic exchange with our external environment. When we put ourselves in an environment where we have high levels of exposure to an allergen, it becomes difficult to control symptoms, despite our best efforts.

While it is sometimes difficult to completely avoid an allergen, you can protect yourself from direct contact with it by using a few Ayurvedic healing practices. One effective practice for prevention and treatment of allergy symptoms is using a neti pot to perform a gentle saline rinse. A neti pot is a small container with a spout that is placed in your nostril as you tip your head sideways, allowing warm salt water to flow in one nostril and out the other. By performing this saline rinse once or twice daily, you can flush out any foreign material that has come into your body through the nasal passages.

After using the neti pot, it is very helpful to follow up with an Ayurvedic technique known as nasya, which consists of applying a few drops of oil to the nasal passages. The oil forms a protective layer on the nasal tissues and prevents allergens from directly attaching themselves to nasal membranes.

Balancing the Doshas

A person's primary dosha, or mind-body constitution, can often predict which allergy symptoms will manifest, so it's important to understand your dosha type as well as your current imbalances.

In addition to understanding our primary dosha and individual tendencies, it is important to understand that each of us has all of the doshas within us and can therefore experience imbalances in of any of the doshas. Different types of allergy symptoms represent imbalances in different doshas. By recognizing this, we can more specifically guide the treatments.

Kapha Allergy Symptoms

In Ayurveda, the typical allergy symptoms in the spring season - congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing - are described as an accumulation of the Kapha dosha, which is made up of earth and water elements. This leads to the feeling of 'heaviness' and excessive mucus in the head and sinuses. Other symptoms are sluggishness and feeling tired. For the classic Kapha-type allergy symptoms, there are several simple and effective therapies that will relieve acute symptoms.

Nasal Cleansing

As mentioned above, the neti pot is a useful tool in treating allergies. In addition to the benefits of removing allergens, from a doshic perspective, it is especially effective in decreasing Kapha in the head and sinuses. The use of nasya oil with invigorating scents, such as eucalyptus, camphor or juniper, can act as a natural decongestant, thus reducing the symptoms of heaviness.

Other treatments that help relieve acute Kapha allergy symptoms include the use of pungent and bitter (astringent) herbs and spices to reduce Kapha, including ginger, cayenne, pepper, basil, cumin, cardamom, sage, turmeric, and cinnamon. An easy remedy is drinking hot honey water, or ginger lemon tea. A classical Ayurvedic herbal treatment to reduce Kapha is trikatu, which can be taken daily. In addition, treatment should be geared toward lightening the body in other ways, such as daily exercise and use of a dry sauna.

Pitta Allergy Symptoms

When allergy symptoms occur in the summertime, the underlying source is often an out-of-balance Pitta dosha. Pitta is governed by the elements of water and fire, and in the summer, excess heat can produce inflammation in the respiratory tract or skin. These symptoms are usually rash, headache, burning or red eyes, and inflammation in the sinuses and airway (sinusitis, bronchitis).

To pacify Pitta and the resulting allergy symptoms, Ayurveda recommends ingesting cooling herbs, such as coriander and cilantro. In addition, herbs such as shatavari, guduchi, amalaki, and neem may be helpful. Ingestion of clarified butter, or ghee, as well as aloe, can calm the inflammatory reaction that is typical of Pitta imbalance. From a biochemical perspective, these herbs contain healthy anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that support our immune system.

Vata Allergy Symptoms

When Vata is out of balance, the allergic symptoms include headache, wheezing, sneezing, and generalized muscle aches. These may be seen more typically in the fall as the air becomes cold and dry. This is due to the accumulation of the lighter elements of space and air in the mind-body physiology. Other manifestations of this Vata imbalance include dry cough, restlessness, and dry eyes.

To balance the excess space and air elements, it is important to stay hydrated and drink warm liquids, such ginger tea with honey. To bring Vata back into balance, use calming herbs such as ashwagandha, which is also an immune modulator that calms the immune system's response to allergens. Another useful tool in calming Vata is performing a self-massage, or abhyhanga.The most nourishing and warming oil for balancing Vata is sesame.

When our agni is restored, we avoid aggravating allergens and ama (toxicity) by making conscious choices, and we maintain balance of our internal energies, or doshas, we are less likely to experience ill health, such as allergies. Instead of seeing our environment as a threat, we can begin to calm the excitability of the immune system and, instead, experience our connection to the external world as nourishing. Ayurveda provides us with the tools to experience this connection and move closer to our natural state of health and balance.

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