4 Surprising Benefits of Yoga

There are many physical benefits yoga of practicing yoga regularly, for example, improved flexibility, and core strength etc. However, the nonphysical advantages are less well documented, but still very much a benefit. Some of the non-physical benefits of regularly engaging in yoga are outlined below.

1. An elevated mood and increase in contentment

When practicing yoga you are encouraged to regulate your breathing using meditation and deep breathing techniques. This enables you to slow your breathing; leaving you, feeling much more relaxed. However, there has also been research carried out that points to a stimulation of brain activity, leading to a more positive mood. The study found an increase in Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)-ergic activity for those that practiced yoga regularly.

The study was conducted over 12 weeks and compared a group that carried out a walking activity compared to a set of participants practicing yoga regularly, finding higher levels of GABA in the yoga group. Low levels of GABA have been associated with anxiety and depression.

2. Improves concentration and focus

Yoga has been proven to increase a person’s ability to focus and concentrate. Research has shown that people are far more able to focus and maintain their concentration after a yoga session. Researchers compared a yoga group to one that had performed a regular workout at the gym and found the gym group, on being asked to perform tasks, lacked focus.

There were no definitive answers as to why this may occur. However, researchers pointed to the fact that yoga increases your self-awareness and leads to a less anxious state where cognitive function can be improved.

3. Improves mind/body connection

Yoga has long been shown to improve the relationship between mind and body, predominantly through the use of poses and particular breathing techniques. Particular poses and breathing techniques have been shown to increase blood flow to the brain and throughout the nervous system.

The ‘conversation’ your body has between the mental and the physical can be improved by many types of movement and exercise. Yoga is excellent for this very purpose as it encourages movement to be synchronized with breathing regulation. Ultimately, yoga is about unity of mind and body, with them being two sides of the same coin.

4. Increases self-knowledge

Self-awareness or self-knowledge is encouraged by many psychotherapists and natural healers. Those seeking this should be warned that it is not simple. However, yoga can bring about this awareness and the rewards are great. Once this has been attained, life becomes a much richer experience, with an outlook on life and general positive attitude that enables the yoga practitioner to experience physical sensations not usually felt within the confines of normal consciousness.

Feelings not encroached on by word or thought can be a revelation, leading to subtle but definitely noticeable changes in the mind and spirit. By learning to ignore the chatter of the mind whilst strengthening the body, you are able to unlock the secrets of self-knowledge.

Using Yoga to Quit Self Destructive Habits

Overcoming self-destructive habits can be a complex issue. Without a change in behavior and lifestyle, the habits will often return, sometimes worse than before. Practicing yoga can help bring about that change whilst also having the benefit of improved health and fitness. The root causes of these habits are myriad, with many being linked to poor emotional wellbeing.

Yoga can help bring about increased self-awareness and a will to improve mind, body, and spirit. The principles of yoga also encourage satya, or honesty. By developing satya, you become honest with yourself and become aware of habits that negatively affect your life.

Ultimately, yoga is about self-discovery. The journey required to bring about change to quit self-destructive habits is also needed to practice yoga successfully. Getting to know yourself is a key factor in stopping the habits that are causing the damage. Yoga has the effect of uniting mind and body, and this where the journey begins.

Smoking

Smoking can be a difficult habit to kick. One of the key aspects of smoking is the temporary relief from stress that the tobacco brings, causing the smoker to cling onto their addiction. Yoga is a fantastic substitute that can help relief stress in a natural, harmless way, whilst also bringing about physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Keeping a relaxed mind and body is essential to both quitting smoking and the successful practicing of yoga.

There is also evidence that the damage done to internal organs from smoking can be repaired. The cardiovascular systems, long starved of oxygen, can be improved by the increase in blood flow that yoga brings about.

Furthermore, the concentration of breathing combined with movement helps balance the respiratory system, beating the ill effects that smoking has wrought on the body.

Drinking

Drinking is another habit that can be harmful to the body. Although most people can drink in moderation, there are still detrimental effects on the body that are caused by consuming alcohol, obviously made worse if drinking becomes a problem.

Like smoking, some people drink to relax. Yoga can be the replacement that a person needs to stop drinking. Instead of a glass of wine at the end of a stressful day, why not avoid the stress in the first place?

The breathing and movement yoga requires helps to you to cope with stressful situations. Beginning the day by practicing yoga helps set you up for the daily challenges that life brings.

Over-eating

Over-eating is another self-destructive habit that can be curbed by practicing yoga. Unlike smoking and drinking alcohol, we need to have some sort of relationship with food to survive. Yoga can help you develop an awareness of your body that brings about a healthier interaction with food. Obviously, if you are at the stage where you are overweight there are some forms of yoga and exercise in general, where it will be difficult.

Overstressing the body at this stage can be more harmful and occasionally dangerous. However, there are classes for the beginner that can be appropriate for the overweight person, and with time, it is likely that your weight would decrease if you practiced yoga regularly.

Becoming promoting satya within yourself, you can become aware of what you put in your body. Portion sizes and the quality of the food you consume can all be affected when you practice yoga and satya successfully.

Emotional Eating

Finally, emotional eating can also be overcome with yoga. Emotional eating is not just about eating fatty foods at times of emotional stress; it is also linked to constant dieting and being unhappy with your body and mind. Being all about the attainment of wellbeing, yoga can help you fix the problem by making you aware of your body.

Yoga is about learning to love yourself. Through practicing yoga on a regular basis, you can help become more aware of your eating habits and the reasons for them. Meditation associated with yoga can help to create relaxation within yourself, which can help overcome emotional eating.

5 Excellent Tips for a Successful Yoga Teacher Training

If you are just about to head for your yoga instructor training and thinking that you will certainly return as a skilled and proficient yoga teacher. You may be wrong!

As just by simply getting enrolled in renowned educational institutions of the world not necessarily will turn you into a successful person, in the same way, completing your 200- hour yoga teacher training course from a renowned yoga school will not turn into a successful yoga instructor.
For a successful yoga teacher training, rather than just being totally dependent and reliant on your mentors, One needs to be completely dedicated, committed and put their efforts as well.

Here are 5 tips you need to follow to make your 200-hour yoga instructor training successful:

1. Proper Time Management: Because of the comprehensive curriculum, a yoga teacher training has a very compact and heavy schedule. To get a humongous amount of knowledge and become a qualified teacher, it is essential to fit in the allotted amount of time. It’s a daunting task to make harmony between your yoga classes, lectures, practice, and rest. By managing your time properly and planning your day well, you can avoid overwhelming yourself from the crammed schedule of the training.

2. Stay hydrated and moisturized: During your intense yoga sessions, it is imperative to keep your body hydrated and moisturized as you sweat a lot more than usual days. Always carry a water bottle along with you. On sweating, we lose our electrolytes. Simple water can’t replenish all of them. So, it is advisable to add a pinch of salt and a bit of lime juice in your water as that would replenish your body with minerals.

3. Pay attention to your body: Despite the fact that the main motive of a yoga teacher training program is becoming well-versed with yoga postures. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to perform the correct posture in the first attempt only. Listen to your body, know its limitations and give it as much time as it needs. Gradually your body will extend its limitations automatically without getting hurt or injured.

4. Practice as much as you can: Yoga teacher training is all about transforming you into a yogic expert who can perform all yoga posture with ease. To make this happen, it’s very important to practice all the yoga postures being taught to you as much you can because we all know that be it maths or yoga, practice makes you perfect.

5. Enjoy your training: In order to make your yoga training more effective and successful, one of the most important things is that you enjoy every single moment of your training. If you would take it just as any other ordinary, intensive course, you would never be able to achieve the desired outcomes. Enjoy risks, your mistakes, in-depth learning, core practices, your connection with your teacher and other peers, your food, your accommodation, enjoy each and every provision being facilitated to you. Practice like nobody’s watching, eat like you have been provided with the most delectable meals, live like you are in a palace and then see how this time become one of the best and memorable time of your life.

So, keep these little things in mind and make the most out of your yoga instructor training.

Natural Remedies You Can Use to Improve Your Allergy Symptoms

Allergies can prevent you from having a normal life. This is especially so for those who suffer from year-round allergies. It’s a miserable state to be in, then throw in the fact that you have to take toxic antihistamine drugs to suppress the symptoms. If you talk to a naturopathic doctor, you will find that there are natural, healthier alternatives to allergy treatment.

Once you have had allergy testing, you can use the following remedies to alleviate your symptoms.

SLIT

The days of going to a naturopathic doctor for shots are over. With the SLIT treatment, you’re getting a natural allergy procedure that will help to alleviate your symptoms over time. It is taken beneath your tongue, so it’s pain-free, fast and convenient. What’s great about this method is that it allows you to completely overcome your allergy reactions by teaching your body to stop attacking normal substances, like food, pollen and other typical allergens that aren’t harmful. Allergy testing will likely be performed before you have the treatment done.

Saline Rinse

During the spring and summer, the amount of pollen in the air increases. This leads to your nose and lungs being filled with the substance, causing your allergies to flare up. One way to counteract this is to use a saline rinse. You can buy this over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. It’s a temporary solution that you can use until you obtain the SLIT treatment.

Fish Oil Supplements

Taking fish oil supplements everyday is a great way to combat allergies as well. Fish oil works by lowering leukotrienes levels in your body, which can reduce asthma symptoms caused by allergens.

Wear Sunglasses and Hats

This doesn’t seem like much, but wearing a pair of sunglasses can really help when pollen counts are high. It can protect your eyes from the wind and the pollen it blows along with it. Your hat of choice should also have a wide brim, so that it can keep pollen away from your face.

Butterbur

If you don’t mind trying herbal remedies, give butterbur a try. Most people use it for headache relief, but it’s also effective for reducing nasal symptoms. It’s a great replacement for antihistamines, which normally cause drowsiness.

Acupuncture

The 10-Minute Gentle Yoga Routine That Can Help You Lose Weight

It is all about choices that what kind of yoga you opt. Then there are a school of thoughts that believe yoga needs a long period of time and in a busy schedule it is almost impossible to add a yoga session but it is possible to choose from variety of options as in yoga, only basic poses are more than 80. Hence, you can start your yoga as soon as you get inspired and this article can be an apt start for your yoga journey today since we are going to discuss a 10 minute yoga session that you can easily squeeze in your tough hectic routine. Let’s start!

There are several postures to select but these 4 poses can not only be a great start for a beginner as well it can be good for those who want to make it as short as possible!

Lion Pose:
Lion pose that is also called Simhasana must be done in early morning. However, if you cannot manage it in the early morning, you may practice it in evening too with only one condition that there should be a break of 5-6 hours at least between your practice session and your meal since it is requisite that your stomach should be empty when you practice any posture.

Things to remember:

Difficulty level is basic, style is hatha yoga, repetition: one leg at a time, Strengthens your throat, voice and lungs and the duration of this pose is around 30 seconds

Directions:

Sit down and then kneel down on the yoga mat. Cross your ankles in a manner that the front of left ankle crosses over the back of the right ankle. The feet must be pointing out on both the sides. The perineum is supposed to press downward on the top of the heels.
Keep your palm on your knees. Spread your palm and fingers too. Plus, give a pressure through them firmly against each knee.
Keep your eyes wide open, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth while doing this, make a sound ‘ha’, with open mouth and stretch out your tongue. Make it sure that the breath passes over the back of the throat.
You have two options either you can look at the tip of your nose or keep your stare between the eye brows.
A few time “Roar”, do the same process with your other leg and repeat the posture.
Downward facing Dog Pose:
Adho Mukha Svanasana also known as “downward facing dog pose” is great for shoulder, claves, hands, back, arches, foot & hamstrings stretches and it strengthens your back, arms & legs

Things to remember

The style is Ashtanga Yoga, it takes up to 1-3 minutes and there is no need to repeat this asana in one session.

Directions:

Your body should form a table like structure, means stand on four limbs.
Make it sure, your body make a shape of inverted “V”, gently lift your hips and make your knees & elbows straight while you exhale.
Your hands and shoulders ought to be in same line, and your feet must be in line with your hips & please ensure that your toes are pointing outwards.
Press hands on the yoga mat & lengthen your neck while your ears should be touching your inner arms, and you shall turn gaze to the navel area.
Be in this pose for a few seconds, then go in bending knee position and repeat the table position.
Note: If you have any of these situations (Carpal tunnel syndrome, High blood pressure, a detached retina, A dislocated shoulder, Diarrhea, weak eye capillaries or Pregnancy), it is advisable to talk to your health expert first then try this posture.

Ardha Bhekasana (half frog pose):
It is a great pose for Quads, flexors, chest, abs, groin, ankles and hips, it takes up to 1 minute then switch the sides and repeat at least for 3 times.

Directions:

Lie down on the mat in face down position. Extend your legs, press your forearms and palms in to the mat and simultaneously lift your torso & head. Place your elbows under your shoulder. Keep your forearms parallel to each other. Spread your fingers in such a fashion that they must be pointing away from your body. Ensure, that your legs and pelvis are pinning to the ground you lift.
Do not move your elbow, cross your left arm in the front in the direction of right arm at around 45 degree angle. Bend your right knee and move the right heel toward your hips. Take your right hand on the back to hold it around the inside of the right foot.
Start rotating your elbow upward, to make this pose happen, take the palm of your right hand and rotate it to the right, farther from your body, till your fingers are pointing forward & you are able to grab your fingers over your toes. Bring your right foot closer to the hips. Remember, your elbow should be facing toward the ceiling. Press down on the top of your foot.
Note:

Take deep breath between each step.
Do not perform it if you have knee, back, shoulder or any neck injury.
Please do not do this position if you have insomnia or migraine issue.
Eagle Pose:
Garudasana or Eagle Pose is a perfect option for strong arms, legs, knees, ankles, open shoulder joints, making space between the shoulder blades. Enhance the circulation to all joints, improved balance and focus. The time is 3-4 minutes

Directions:

Stand in Tadasana, bend your knees and lift your left foot, so you can cross it over your right foot.
Keep your right foot on the yoga mat firmly, the left thigh is over the right thigh and your left foot toes ought to be pointing downward.
Cross the right arm over the left arm & bend elbows to keep them in perpendicular to the floor and make it sure those back of your hands are facing each other.
Press the palms together and stretch the fingers on the upside direction.
Keep your gaze at one place; be in this posture for a duration in which you take a couple of breaths.
Release your hands in slow motion and bring them to the side of your body.
Lift your left leg & put it back on the yoga mat and come back in Tadasana in slow manner.
Note: Do not try this asana if you are suffering from ankle, shoulder or knee pain and speak to your doctor if you are pregnant.

These poses are tried and tested. Additionally, they are great start for anyone who is looking for short yet effective method to lose weight.

Dietary Dos and Don’ts for Managing Allergies

What you’ll learn are natural allergy treatments and remedies, which can help end your symptoms for good. For instance, you can learn about SLIT, which is a treatment that you can use to slowly get rid of your allergic reactions forever.

It’s also recommended that you change your diet. There are certain foods you want to include and exclude to help improve your allergy symptoms. So once you have had allergy testing performed by a naturopathic family care doctor, you can start working on a plan to tweak your eating habits.

Let’s review some of the dietary dos and don’ts for folks battling allergies.

Dietary Don’ts

Studies show that there are certain proteins found in foods that cause similar symptoms as environmental allergens. For instance, those who are allergic to ragweed sometimes have allergic reactions to foods like tomatoes, bananas, melons, sunflower seeds, chamomile, zucchini and chamomile. Then those who are allergic to grass may also have reactions from celery, melons, peaches, oranges and tomatoes. One way to find this out is to have allergy testing performed.

Dietary Dos

Aside from avoiding certain types of foods, you should also try implementing more of the “good stuff.” These include foods that are known to help ease allergy symptoms, such as the following:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: You can get a lot of this from eating grass fed eggs and meat, and krill oil. Fish is another great source of omega-3s as well.
Vitamin D: This has shown to reduce asthma symptoms and reactions to mold. You can get plenty of vitamin D from the sun and eating foods like mushrooms.
Probiotics: Taking this throughout allergy season can help reduce symptoms, since it increases antibodies that help fight against allergy reactions.
Hot Peppers: This includes hot chili peppers, hot mustards and horseradish, which act as decongestants. It’s a great alternative to nasal spray.
If you’d like to learn more about improving your diet and allergy symptoms, then schedule an appointment with a naturopathic family care physician today.

Headaches, Hives & Heartburn? Histamine Could Be the Cause

Dealing with symptoms like heartburn, headaches and hives is no walk in the park. This is especially true if you have no idea of how to stop them. Most people, and even some conventional doctors, don’t know how to prevent or stop these type of symptoms because they don’t understand the cause. Anytime you’re trying to treat a problem, you must first find the root. This is exactly what we do in naturopathic family care.

One of the most overlooked health concerns in America is allergies. It’s chocked up as being an uncontrollable illness that can’t be stopped, only remedied with medications. Stats show about one percent of the population exhibits symptoms when faced with histamine overload. The symptoms normally include migraines fast heart rate, constipation, low blood pressure and diarrhea. The issue is that these symptoms can be related to a host of other underlying conditions, so it’s difficult to pinpoint histamine as a culprit.

Histamine Intolerance is a Real Disorder

Another way to look at allergies is as a histamine intolerance. This is a disorder that can cause the above symptoms, but are hardly ever linked to histamine. If you were to take allergy testing during these times, it would reveal it. At this point, you can ask a naturopathic family care doctor for natural allergy treatment, such as SLIT. This is a non-invasive treatment that can ease and reverse your allergy symptoms over time.

A Closer Look at Histamine

We hear the word histamine (or anti-histamine) all the time, but what is it really? Histamine is a part of a group that consists of small molecule neurotransmitter substance, like adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. It’s always circulating throughout your body delivering messages to your brain. It passes between neurons and your nervous system. It can help regulate things like sleep, proper gut function and even sexual response.

When your body is exposed to allergens, it triggers an immune response (an influx in white blood cells), which releases histamines and causes inflammation (such as swollen eyes and skin rashes). Histamines can also be produced when you eat certain foods that contain histamine, as well as by gut bacteria.

An Overview: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Allergic reactions can range from an irritating itch to a fatal outcome. But knowing how to handle such an emergency can make the vital – sometimes, the life-and-death – difference.

One peaceful Sunday afternoon you’re dozing comfortably in a deck-chair when a sudden scream fills the air and your kid brother, running towards from the direction of the public garden, crashes into your solitude. Your blood runs cold – his face is all red and swollen, and he’s gasping for breath. A bee has stung him and he’s one of those few people who are highly allergic to bee venom.

What do you do to treat an allergic reaction – whether it’s caused by a bee sting or fresh strawberries ‘n cream? Even if you’re a novice at emergency care, our step-by-step guide will tell you what needs to be done before you can reach a doctor.

WHAT HAPPENS – AND WHY

What exactly happens in an allergic reaction? An allergy is an over-reaction of the body’s defence mechanism to the introduction of a foreign substance; the symptoms include intense itching, swelling up of body parts, watering of the nose, and breathlessness.

Allergies are of several types, including delayed and chronic ones, but the present article is limited to the management of immediate types of hypersensitivity reactions that can cause a lot of damage in a short time if not treated promptly and correctly.

Materials that can be cause such severe, immediate allergies include:

Different kinds of proteins – edible (such as eggs and dals) as well as those used locally.
Anti-serum (Snake venom, Tetanus, Rabies etc.)
Hormones
Enzymes
Venom (Bee and hornet stings, etc.)
Pollen extracts
Foods (Milk, eggs, fish, wheat, strawberries, chocolates etc.)
THE SYMPTOMS
Some common signs of allergy to look for are (System-wise):

Skin: Flushing and redness; itching; urticarial (large, irregular, raised patches with redness and itching); swelling of the skin over a part of the body; bite marks or sting punctures.

Eyes: Redness; swelling; itching; watering.

Respiratory Tract: Sneezing; watering of nose; coughing; breathlessness; chocking; tightness in the chest; suffocation; a sense of something stuck in the throat; inability to talk.

Gastro-intestinal: Vomiting; diarrhea; pain in the throat.

General: Anaphylactic shock – manifests itself in swelling of the face and body, sudden sneezing, dizziness, restlessness, nausea, suffocation and panic and unconsciousness – these symptoms can occur one after the other rapidly and the patient can die in minutes if emergency measures are not started at once.

(It is not necessary that you will find the symptoms of only one system in an allergy – a mix of symptoms may be found.)

Here’s how you deal with individual allergies (Source-wise):

ANIMALS

A person can be allergic to the dander, i.e. the fine scales and dust of dried-up skin and hairs on an animal, and can react violently to this alien protein. Cats especially can bring on a violent reaction – most commonly, rhinitis (watering of the nose) and asthma (or breathlessness) which could become severe. Some people are allergic to n animal’s saliva.

Remove the offending animal from the victim’s presence, and take the sufferer into an open area where he can breathe in fresh air. If he’s been licked, immediately wash the area with soap and water. Brush off all tell-tale traces of the animal’s hair from the person’s clothes. If the contact has been longer and the victim is sneezing or coughing violently and getting more and more breathless by the minute, give him an anti-allergy pill and take him to a doctor.

INSECTS

Bites and stings from insects like ants (especially fire ants), bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets can produce severe allergic reactions in the susceptible; even through their venom is mild. Such reactions include urticarial, nausea, abdominal or uterine cramps, bronchospasm, massive swelling of the face and glottis, breathlessness, bluish skin due to lack of oxygen, low b.p., coma and death.

A word of caution – even normal people can develop severe allergic reactions if bitten in the mouth or throat.

Unlike wasps and ants, bees can leave their stings embedded in the skin. If you have a pair of tweezers, pull out the sting. Or scrape it off carefully with a sharp knife or needle. Do not scratch the bite; this will only spread the venom. If you have an anti-histamine cream or a steroid cream, use it. Even calamine lotion helps. If no cream is available, put ice or cold water on the sting.

Reassure the patient and make him lie down on his back. Loosen tight clothing around the neck and waist so that breathing is not restricted. Cover him with a rug or a blanket. Raise his feet by placing a cushion or folded coat below them. Do not offer the victim anything to eat or drink and don’t let him smoke – it may choke him further.

If breathing starts getting difficult or if he begins to lapse into unconsciousness, take him to a hospital immediately. While transporting him or waiting for help, turn him to one side so that he does not choke on his vomitus.

If he has stopped breathing, give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or chest compression by putting him flat on his back and placing the balls of your palms on his breast-bone and pressing down at intervals of a few seconds.

Some large caterpillars, especially Gypsy Moths, can cause severe reactions due to the chemicals in their hairs. Brush off the insect with a twig and remove the hairs by pressing down some leucoplast or cellotape or dough on the area and pulling up – do this in different directions till all the hairs have come off. If allowed to remain the chemicals in the hairs can cause more damage.

Put ice on the area, wash with a lot of cold running water, and apply anti-histamine or steroid cream. Swallow an anti-histamine tablet and go to a doctor.

FOODS

Some people can develop nasty, even fatal reactions to certain food stuffs. Some common culprits include protein-containing foods like nuts, cow’s milk, hen’s eggs, soya beans, fish and sea-food; sunflower seeds, chamomile tea, peanuts, bananas, sesame (til) oil and food additives like metabisulfites – which are common in beer and Chinese food.

Food allergies occur mainly in children.

Reactions may be classified as:

EARLY REACTIONS (Less than two hours): Asthma; Abdominal Pain; Vomiting; Urticaria; Anaphylaxis; Diarrhoea; Rhintis; Angio-oedema (Swelling); Dermatitis.

LATE REACTIONS (More than two hours): Asthma; Gastro-intestinal bleeding with anaemia; Growth retardation; Urticaria and Dermatitis; Alveolitis (Inflammation inside the lungs); Malabsorption, diarrhoea; Protein-losing enteropathy; Vomiting

Severe diarrhoea, including vomiting, can develop 12-36 hours after the ingestion of certain foods like cow’s milk. If this happens in infants who are being weaned for the first time, rapid dehydration can occur if remedial measures are not undertaken immediately. Plenty of fluid should be given orally and the international Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) which consists of one glass of boiled and cooled water + the juice of one lemon + 4-5 teaspoonsful of sugar + a pinch of salt should be stirred and sips of this given several times a day, as much as the patient can take. The initial vomiting should not be stopped because it might help to bring out some of the allergy-causing food.

Asthma, or sudden breathlessness, can be relieved by taking the patient out into an open space and making him do slow, deep-breathing exercises. An anti-allergy pill may help as also an anti-asthma. The patient should be reassured, calmed down and made to sit in a propped-up position as lying down may aggravate the asthma.

Abdominal pain can be relieved with a hot-water bottle, drinking plenty of water, and mint juice + honey or a tiny pinch of asafetida or aniseed.

Urticaria can be relieved by applying cold water and calamine lotion.

Sneezing can be controlled by pressing the area just below the nostrils with a finger.

Rhintis or watering of the nose will be relieved with an anti-allergy pill.

If swelling of the face, hands and feet begins, take the patient quickly to a hospital or to a doctor, because this is a serious portent.

DRUGS

Many drugs can cause mild to moderate allergic reactions like nausea, vomiting, loose motions, pain in the abdomen, rhinitis, asthma, skin irritation, urticaria, burning in the stomach, dark skin patches, white skin patches, headaches and watering of the eyes. Locally-used products like creams can cause redness and swelling of the skin and rashes.

Some drugs can even cause severe anaphylactic shock. These include Aspirin, Penicillin, Sulphonamides, Streptokinase enzyme (used in the treatment of heart attacks), Indomethacin Iodine dyes used for x-rays, Tetanus and Rabies Anti sera, Streptomycin and even Liver extract and Vitamins.

Some medicine like the anti-malarials – Chloroquine and Primaquine – and drugs like Nitrofurantoin and Ciplofloxacin (an antibiotic) can cause breaking up of the red blood cells if the person has a G 6 PD Enzyme deficiency in the blood.

Many asthmatics can suffer severe aggravation of their symptoms with certain drugs like the anti-inflammatory ones – Ibuprofen, Acetyl Salicyclic acid, Indomethacin, Mefenamic Acid. Many normal people can also get a bout of debilitating Asthma or Rhinitis with these drugs because they can cause obstruction of the upper and lower airway tracts, giving rise to a life-threatening episode.

When an allergic reaction to an injection occurs, starting with intense itching and swelling at the site of the injection, then generalized itching all over the body, urticarial rashes, tightness in the throat and other symptoms, immediately tie a rubber tourniquet 2” or so above the site of injection to prevent further spread (this method can be employed in a bee sting as well); then use all the methods suggested for treating anaphylactic shock while you’re preparing to take the victim to a doctor.

If a drug has been taken orally and causes early allergic manifestations, try to encourage or induce vomiting by giving the person a mugful of water into which a tablespoonful of salt has been added. If given within an hour of swallowing the medicine, quite a lot of the drug can be brought out, thus minimizing its effects.

Calm the patient and help him lie down with his head turned to one side, feet raised. Keep him warm.

Keep the mouth passage free from vomitus or any other obstruction.

If he’s conscious and not vomiting, give him plenty of water to drink; this will dilute the drug. If you have an anti-allergy pill give it to him. Even cold tablets can help in such a situation. If these are not available, give him a tablespoon of some antacid.

Make sure to take down the name of the drug that he has taken or retrieve its wrapper from the waste-basket before going to a hospital. Show the name of the drug to the doctor there so that he can give the necessary antidote.

Certain drugs can cause Dyskinesia – nerve complications like twisting, deviation or trembling of the lips and face into abnormal shapes and movements. The drugs that give rise to dyskinesia are anti-psychotics like Chlorpromazine, Trifluperazine, Stemetil etc. The treatment for dyskinesia is Dazepam tablets or injection.

For pruritus or itching of the skin, taking cool baths helps as well as applying grease or unscented oils to the skin just after a bath. Cool, loose cotton clothing also helps. Avoid extremes of temperature.

CONTACT DERMATITIS

Irritation of the skin can occur with detergents, creams, local medication, hair dyes, leather slippers, plastic objects, rubber gloves, solvents, cleaners, metal coins, jewellery, bleaches, insecticides, cosmetics, adhesives, petrol etc.

Wash the skin thoroughly with soap and water, and then rinse with plenty of running water. Cold milk soaks might be helpful, as also topical cortisone creams.