Originally published in The Chalkboard Mag on June 28, 2018.
NOTHING PUTS A DAMPER on a perfect summer day like an itchy throat, puffy eyes and a stuffy head. We asked Ayurvedic expert and author, Sahara Rose, how to handle allergies throughout the year, the ancient way. Discover your dosha with this quick quiz, then find your mind-body type’s ultimate fix with these tips for dealing with summer allergies…
Sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, burning cough, some might say allergy season is the worst – every year having to combat the same annoying symptoms with seemingly no luck other than the dreaded ‘allergy pill.’ If you’re sick of taking allergy pills and are in search for alternative ways to alleviate summer allergies this year, ayurveda can help! As someone who suffered from chronic allergies for years, I know the struggle.
Ayurveda is an ancient healing system designed to balance your unique mind-body type for optimal health and vitality. So how can it help with allergies? Well, allergic reactions are an immune response, which means during these high flyin’ pollen times your immune system is working extra hard for you. By boosting your immunity during allergy season, you can help reduce allergy symptoms.
Ayurveda reveals which foods are best for each body type and, as there are many immunity-boostingfoods, herbs and spices, it’s important to note which ones are going to be most beneficial to each body type during which allergy season.
Winter and Early Spring
VATA | During this time of year, vata is alleviated though it doesn’t mean the allergies are! A few vitamin-rich foods, potent antioxidants and herbal teas specific to vata type will help boost the immunity through this pesky allergy season. Oranges are a great choice, since they’re packed with vitamin C, as well as apricots, which are filled with antioxidants. Add an extra boost by adding fenugreek seeds to either cooked foods or to hot water (soak, strain and drink). Tulsi tea will also truly nourish and boost the immune system as well.
PITTA | This is a time when purifying the body is super important! Pitta types often need toxins purified from the blood, so we’ll add a few natural blood cleansers to this allergy season. Cilantro and leafy greens are excellent blood purifiers as they alkaline the acidic pitta body type into a state where organs and immune function are in great working shape. Taking the alkalinity to the next level, mixing some spirulina into any smoothie or drink, will give an extra immunity boost of vitamins and minerals. Sip on some echinacea tea, and allergies don’t stand a chance!
KAPHA | Kapha types are probably in the worst shape during this time ayurveda calls ‘kapha aggravation season.’ It’s damp and fluctuating between warm and cool. Kapha types really don’t want to mess around: Dive right into all the immunity-boosting foods. Fresh ginger and fresh garlic are sure to kick start any sluggish immune responses, inhibiting kapha as they fire up and strengthen all metabolic functions. Parsley is nice mixed in or garnished on many dishes and will help purify and refresh the system. Add a side of ginseng tea to your day and you’ll be the energizer bunny through this kapha allergy season!
Summer and Early Fall
VATA | The season of alleviation now enters aggravation for vata. Fall time is not vata’s ally as cooler temps come in and the wind starts to blow. It is crucial to take some extra precautionary steps to make sure the immune system is at its best. Acai berry is known for its incredibly powerful levels of antioxidants along with vitamin C. Fresh basil will not only help purify the body, but bring a sense of calm and nourishment to vata’s nervous system. Taking extra steps with an oregano oilsupplement will boost immunity and digestion. Serve it all up with an extra-hot cup of grounding chicory root tea, and you’ll stay cozy and protected all season long!
PITTA | Things have been hot and are starting to cool down. Take some extra steps to help cool pitta with anti-inflammatory, immunity-boosting foods. Blueberries and lime are of the season and a great watery source to cool down pitta while bringing in much needed antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Keep bringing down the inflammation with turmeric root: Add it to foods or take it as a supplement. For a little bit of fall warming and immunity boosting, enjoy a hot cup of dandelion tea.
KAPHA | Kapha is catching a break here as the weather is more conducive to this body type. Diving into some fall eats is just what kapha needs! Grapefruit and cranberries are both excellent choices for kapha, as they are astringent and bring a powerful punch of antioxidants and vitamin C. Elderberry extract is a great way to take immune response to the next level, as it helps clear up sinus issues and so much more. Add its counterpart, elderberry flower tea, to warm up the fall season and you’ll wonder why allergy season was ever a problem in the first place! Stay uplifted and supercharged all year around by honoring your ayurvedic body type and your immune system, letting allergies melt away with the spring sun and be blown out by the autumn breeze.
AFTERTHOUGHTS:Ayurveda also suggests cleansing routines to keep your nose and eyes more clear, which is no joke during the allergy battle. Neti pot, nasya oil and eye rinsing can seriously aid in feeling optimal.
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.