Full confession, I have had seasonal allergies for years; itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and sneezing attacks, the full deal. As a yogi – someone who places a premium on self healing – it was a point of consternation.
Historically, I’d adjusted my yoga asana practice (to include more inversions) to address it, but had minimal results. Natural supplements did not do the trick either.
This season, and last season, I decided to dedicate myself to a path of self healing and implemented simple ayurvedic remedies for allergies. Ayurveda is the ancient healing science of India that grew up side by side with yoga.
Ayurveda is the ancient healing science of India
That grew up side by side with yoga.
According to ayurveda, allergies (along with many other ailments) stem from accumulated toxic build-up, called ama, as a result of poor digestion. The treatment is quite simple; reduce ama. This can be done through a deeper cleansing process (called shat karma) or, more immediately, through diet.
Here are the basic guidelines I follow. I find it easier to negate certain foods and eat what remains, which will inherently be nourishing. Ayurveda has a lot to say about diet but here are the basics:
- Typically it helps to have a 4-6 week dietary reboot before the actual allergy season hits. “Prevention is Supreme” as they say in ayurveda. All the same, these simple changes will make a change, it just may take a little longer to reverse the cycle.
- Remove sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine, and alcohol
- Maybe start by reducing one or two and phase others in once you see the value of the preceding changes
- Start by removing sugar and dairy (then gluten)
- Additionally, I find it helpful to brush my teeth immediately after eating to reduce any cravings. You can also integrate turmeric shoots for their anti-allergy properties and for general anti-inflammatory properties. The bitter-astringent taste also reduces cravings.
- Dandelion greens are good anti-allergens as well, which you can probably get from your backyard.
”Prevention is Supreme.”
Changing one’s diet can be a tough pill to swallow but inevitably turns out to be worth the sacrifice. In this case, the payoff was increased energy, eliminating allergies, and a sense of empowerment – I can heal myself through my own choices and actions.
Of course, a dedicated yoga practice will also help the cause. Consider taking a class (online). I happen to be offering a meditation series that you are invited to attend.
- Wednesday and Friday, 7:30-8:10am
- Zoom link provided upon registration
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