12 Ayurvedic Practices to Help Alleviate Spring Allergies
Spring is a time of beauty and sweet smells as nature unfurls from the heaviness of winter. It’s a time to soak in the sunshine, breathe in the new blooms and enjoy all the outdoors have to offer—that is, until allergies kick in.
Allergies can be miserable with seemingly no end in sight. They keep your body in a perpetual battle mode to defend you from what your immune system perceives as potential threats of pollen, mold, or other substances in the environment. Drug stores are stocked with an arsenal of allergy medications this time of year to help ease symptoms, although there can be unwanted side effects with such medicines, such as drowsiness.
As an alternative, consider a more long-lasting and meaningful approach to getting rid of Spring allergies by using Ayurvedic practices. The body’s innate wisdom is a factor that’s often overlooked, especially in an age of quick fixes. By taking the time to pay attention, you can listen to your body and put into practice approaches founded in ancient wisdom to enjoy Spring as it is meant to be—a time of renewed vigor and new beginnings.
The Season of Kapha
The mind-body healing system of Ayurveda sees the individual as one with nature. Thus, as the snow melts and prepares the soil for growth, and animals shed their winter coats and expend their energy stored up from winter, we also go through our own similar process, just as it has been done for thousands of years. Though, sometimes it’s not that easy when allergies are involved.
Allergies affect people in different ways and can be influenced by your primary dosha. If you don’t know your primary dosha, you can take the quiz here. It’s helpful to understand your own mind-body constitution (Vata, Pitta, and/or Kapha) and notice where there might be some imbalances to help determine the cause of your allergies beyond pollen. Allergies associated with Kapha are especially strong during the Spring season.
Each season is associated with a specific dosha, which are composed of the different elements (earth, water, space, wind, and fire). Spring is governed by the Kapha dosha, made up of earth and water, which has qualities of being:
In nature, these qualities are increasing this time of year (think melting snow and wet, cool earth). Since you are an extension of nature, these same qualities are also increasing in you—though they become expressed in different ways depending on the individual. Take a closer look at the Kapha dosha and its characteristics to help understand its effects.
In balance, Kapha has the following characteristics:
- Provides lubrication of joints
- Provides sufficient mucous to lubricate mucous membranes
Out of balance, or an excess of Kapha, can lead to fluid retention and feelings of being:
An excess of Kapha in Spring can specifically lead to allergy symptoms such as:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes