Rhinitis is the medical term describing irritation and inflammation of some internal areas of the nose. A person is diagnosed as chronic rhinitis when symptoms continue long-term or occur for more than four days per week, and occur for at least four weeks. However, in practice there is great variation.
Following are the common symptoms of Rhinitis:
- A blocked or congested nose
- A watery discharge (‘runny nose’), and an itchy nose.
Less common symptoms include:
- Itchy throat
- Loss of smell
- Headache, and itchy and watery red eyes
- Bad odour in respiration
The most common cause of rhinitis is a cold.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, rhinitis, or duhta pratishya appears due to imbalance of pitta and kapha. Pitta is an Ayurvedic humor, which symbolizes heat or fire. Kapha is another Ayurvedic humour, which manifests as a mucus like substance, that is dense, heavy, firm, stable, slow, thick, sticky, wet, clear and cold in nature. Aggravated pitta and kapha produce heating mucus-like toxins. These toxins circulate in the blood and are transported through channels to weakest part of body. In such a case, the weakest part of the body is the respiratory system. Heating, mucus-like toxins accumulate in respiratory system and leads to rhinitis.
The line of treatment is to generally pacify kapha and pitta dosha
One should avoid foods which increase pitta and kapha dosha. One should avoid fried, oily, deep fried, sour and excessively sweet foods. Citrus fruits (lemon, lime, orange), chutneys, sauces, fermented food, mustard and vinegar should be avoided. One should avoid foods made from white flour such as bread, cakes, pastries and pizza etc. Artificial foods, fast foods, cola drinks, and tomatoes should be avoided. Tea, coffee, alcohol and smoking should be avoided. In addition, very cold, frozen and heavy foods (which are difficult to digest) should be avoided.
The focus should be on foods which are naturally sweet, bland and alkaline in nature. Foods that should be included in the diet are grains, freshly boiled rice, pasta, beans, breads (whole grain), dairy products like milk boiled with spices, juices, fresh vegetables and fresh fruits.
Vibitak (Terminalia Bellirica), Vasa (Adhotoda vasica), Talish (Abies webbiana), Lavang (Syzygium aromaticum), Dalchini (Cinnamomomnm zeylanicum), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) are recommended.