Allergic rhinitis is the most common cause of rhinitis, which indicates inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose. Sneezing, itching and congestion in the nose, and watery discharge are common presentations of rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis usually causes inflammation not only in the nose but also in the surrounding areas which include eyes, eustachian tubes, middle ear, sinuses and throat. Genetic and environmental factors are believed to be important in the predisposition to allergic rhinitis. Antihistaminic medications play an important part in the modern management of this condition.
The Ayurvedic management of this condition consists of both local as well as generalized therapy. Local applications include the use of medicated oils like Anu Tel, Panchendriya-Vardhan Tel, Vacha Tel, or just simple Til oil. Individuals who have a highly localized inflammatory component respond very well to this treatment modality, and may not require oral medicines at all. The sneezing and nasal congestion clears up rapidly, and episodes of allergic rhinitis may reduce dramatically. However, all individuals may not respond to this treatment; in fact, some people with a generalized inflammatory component may show aggravation of symptoms.
Oral therapy of allergic rhinitis is aimed at improving the strength and immunity of the nasal mucous membrane, as well as the general immunity of the body. Prior to this, medicines are given to reduce local congestion, inflammation and infection, as well as to help heal the damage to the mucous membrane of the nose and surrounding areas. Medicines used for this purpose are Tribhuvan-Kirti-Ras, Naag-Guti, Sitopaladi Churna, Talisadi Churna, Shwas-Kuthar-Ras, Sutshekhar-Ras, Kamdudha-Ras, Praval-Panchamrut-Ras, Sukshma-Triphala, Abhrak-Bhasma, Praval-Bhasma, Mukta-Bhasma, Yashtimadhuk Churna, and Triphala Guggulu.
Once the acute condition has subsided, medicines can then be given to improve both local as well as general immunity, so that the frequency and severity of recurrent episodes can be significantly reduced. These medicines include Pippali (Piper longum), Chausashtha Pippali (Fortified Piper longum), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Laghu-Malini-Vasant, Madhu-Malini-Vasant and Suvarna-Malini-Vasant. Such medicines should however, be taken for limited periods and under medical supervision. In individuals with severe episodes of allergic rhinitis, it may be necessary to repeat courses of such medicines, in order to bring about a lasting or permanent therapeutic benefit.
People affected with this condition also need to adopt other counter measures like avoiding known offending food products, reducing exposure to outdoor and indoor allergens, and adopting a healthy life-style.