Sunday, 14 May 2017

Ayurveda and spring allergies

The allergies we have tend to reflect our dominant dosha so that if you are of a vata constitution you are most likely to have vata allergies.  However this is not always the case. In spring kapha dosha is dominant and the tree pollens and grass pollens are high.  This means that many of us tend to hayfever symptoms, sinus congestion, bronchial congestion and wheezing that is more typical of the kapha constitution.

A kapha pacifying diet will help.  Especially avoid dairy which can be mucus forming. Ginger tea (please see 'Superfood-Ginger') will help reduce inflammation and if you are not vegan, local honey will help desensitise you to the pollen in the area.  Avoid heavy, oily, salty, sour or sweet foods including sugar, white bread, white flour and white pasta, fried foods, pickled foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and salty foods (including soy sauce).  If you are not vegan or vegetarian moderate your intake of dairy, fish, chicken and meat. 

The spring diet should be based on foods that are pungent, astringent and bitter. Pungent foods are spicy and include cumin, coriander, ginger, mustard and cinnamon as well as chillies and the garlic/onion family. Astringent foods include pomegranate fruit or juice, grapes, green apples, peas and beans.  Bitter foods include green leafy vegetables such as kale or brussel sprouts as well as broccoli, and squash.  Some foods that we think of as 'sweet' such as sweet potatoes could be included too, as could such grains as quinoa, or barley.  These help remove toxins (ama) from the body because they are high in fibre.  

We can also clear kapha through our yoga practice.  See 'Spring Practice- Balancing Kapha' on my YouTube Channel. Sun salutations help balance kapha and forward bends and inversions will help clear the congestion associated with allergies.  If you suffer with spring allergies every year, a cleanse at the start of spring will help.  

Breathing techniques can also help - Ujayii breathing for instance boosts immunity and alternate nostril breathing reduces stress which can increases inflammation.  Meditation also reduces stress.

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