Allergies are abnormal immune system reactions to things that are typically harmless to most people. When you're allergic to something, your immune system mistakenly believes that this substance is harmful to your body. Substances that cause allergic reactions, such as certain foods, dust, plant pollen, or medicines, are known as allergens. In an attempt to protect the body, the immune system produces antibodies to that allergen. These antibodies then cause certain cells in the body to release chemicals into the bloodstream, one of which is histamine. The histamine then acts on a person's eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, or gastrointestinal tract and causes the symptoms of the allergic reaction. Future exposure to that same allergen will trigger this antibody response again. This means that every time you come into contact with that allergen, you'll have an allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions or diseases may involve any part of the body; the most frequently involved are the nose and chest with resultant symptoms of hay fever, rhinitis or asthma, respectively. The skin and eyes also commonly show allergic symptoms such as urticaria and contact dermatitis in case of skin and allergic conjunctivitis in the case of eyes. Anaphylactic shock is a severe allergy, which affects many organs at the same time causing a rapid decrease in blood pressure, fainting and, occasionally, death. Such a reaction, though, is rare.
Allergies are difficult to be cured but the symptoms they cause can be treated and controlled. This may require making changes in your environment or behavior to avoid or reduce your exposure to certain allergens. Many over-the-counter medicines are available that reduce or inhibit the production of histamine and the accompanying symptoms of allergy. Many herbs mentioned in Ayurvedic texts have powerful allergy-alleviating property without the side effects seen with commonly used antihistamines.
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia):
Guduchi has been used in Ayurvedic preparations for the treatment of various ailments throughout the centuries. They are used for the treatment of general weakness, fever, dyspepsia, dysentery, gonorrhea, secondary syphilis, urinary diseases, impotency, gout, viral hepatitis, skin diseases, and anemia. In compound formulations, Guduchi is clinically used to treat jaundice, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. Its antiallergic, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties are well documented
Tulasi (Ocimum sanctum):
Ocimum sanctum commonly known as holy basil is a sacred plant found throughout India. Different parts of plant like stem, flower, seed, leaves, root etc are known to possess therapeutic potential and have been used, by traditional medicinal practitioners, as expectorant, analgesic, anticancer, antiasthamatic, antiemetic, diaphoretic, antidiabetic, antifertility, hepatoprotective, hypotensive and antistress agent. Tulsi has also been used in treatment of fever, bronchitis, arthritis and convulsion. The findings from various studies reveal that Tulasi has antihistaminic and antianaphylactic activity.
Haridra (Curcuma longa):
Haridra, also popularly known as turmeric, is known for its antiallergic potential. Used as a kitchen remedy in the treatment of colds, cough and wounds, Haridra also have been cited for anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant effects. Haridra has a long tradition of use in the Ayurvedic systems of medicine, particularly as an anti-inflammatory agent and for the treatment of flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, hematuria, hemorrhage and colic. Many studies have demonstrated the antiallergic potential of Haridra. The active ingredient of Haridra effectively inhibits allergic symptoms such as airway constriction and airway hyper reactivity in animals exposed to allergens.