Are hay fever and rhinitis the same? How to treat it naturally?

By Dr Sharda Ayurveda In Respiratory

Many people might wonder- What is hay fever?

Hay fever or allergic rhinitis is a swasa roga (respiratory disease) that disturbs the upper respiratory tract. The pranavaha srotas like nostrils, nasal cavity, sinuses, throat, pharynx, and larynx are the affected areas. It is an allergic reaction in the nasal area and affects the pranavaha srotas (respiratory section). Some people may confuse hay fever and rhinitis, but both these terms are used for the same disease i.e. Pratishyaya. 

You may feel you have a common cold, but it can be hay fever disease. The most important point of dissimilarity in both of them is that hay fever will not be caused from one person to another. It is only caused due to an allergy-causing factor. Out of all allergens like dust, bacteria, or others, pollens are the chief allergens responsible for pratishyaya (allergic rhinitis).  

In Ayurveda, allergic rhinitis is a kapha pitta disorder. It is caused by a disturbance in both Kapha dosha and Pitta dosha out of the three doshas defined by Ayurveda. It is known as pratishyaya in Ayurveda.                     

Kapha dosha vitiation usually results in the mandagni which means the digestive fires are not working properly and there is indigestion, a feeling of uneasiness and heaviness after food, or not feeling hunger. It can create a sensation of weakness in the body and the patient may feel like sleeping for most of the day. 

An uneven pitta dosha on the other hand can irritate various organs like the eyes or nose. It can also cause dehydration because there is excessive water loss in the form of mucus (thick fluid-like jelly). It can also cause swelling, headache and fever. 

By now, we can understand that kapha pitta disorder or hay fever is caused by pitta and kapha dosha imbalance. However, there are some other causative elements: 

  • Animal fur
  • Smoke
  • Pollens
  • Unhygienic surrounding 
  • Sudden change in the environment
  • Dry or damp weather
  • Low immunity 
  • Some other breathing disease

Symptoms for hay fever

There can be various symptoms for hay fever which can help a person know if they are suffering from it:

  • Nose Congestion 
  • Constant fever
  • Sneezing
  • Running nose 
  • Coughing and irritation in the nose 
  • Breathlessness
  • Breaking voice
  • Itching in mouth roof
  • Lowered sensation of smell and taste
  • Weakness and pain in the body. 
  • Watery and red eyes
  • Headache 

Hay fever and rhinitis can affect a person at any time but it is much more common in dry and damp seasons or changing seasons. This is the reason that many people say winter is the season of hay fever disease. 

It is the time of the year when there is dryness in the air and people may fall sick easily. So the number of people affected by kapha pitta disorder or hay fever rises. Also, the spring season can increase the number of affected people because this is the season when flowers bloom and pollens are floating in the air. These can enter the respiratory system and cause an allergic reaction thus allergic rhinitis.

However, it can be treated naturally with Ayurveda because Ayurvedic treatment is administered by herbs, diet, and lifestyle. So it is best to choose Ayurveda if you wish to know the magic of healing with nature.

Natural Treatment of  Hay Fever

Some of the effective herbs that can be used in hay fever treatment are:


It is a combination of three herbs - ginger, clove, and black pepper. These herbs together have almost magical properties. It can help in managing the symptoms of pratishyaya (hay fever). You can prepare an herbal tea by boiling it in water and adding honey for madhu rasa or a sweet taste. 

CCF (cumin-coriander-fennel) tea

All these herbs have a pacifying or soothing effect in the system which helps in improving digestive issues like gas or acidity. These are also very good in cleaning the blood. 


Also, known as Anantmoola or Indian Sarsapilla, the herb has huge potential to purify the blood and provide relief from multiple skin, and rheumatic conditions. 


In India, it is also considered an Amrita herb. Its immune-boosting power, on one side, works as a natural shield to prevent viral infections, and on the other side, it also potentially reduces the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. 


Apart from religious uses, Tulsi can also show promising results in the treatment of hay fever and rhinitis. With its Rasayana property, it contributes towards easing viral fevers and also lowers body temperature to normal. 


The herbs have huge potential to effectively manage aggravated Kapha in the body, which is a crucial aspect in treating this swasa roga, namely- rhinitis


Often used in the preparation of multiple Ayurvedic medicines, the herb is quite useful for the treatment of all types of allergies including rhinitis, viral fevers, sinusitis, laryngitis, and even asthma. 


Hay fever treatment in Ayurveda also involves the use of sitophaladi churana, which is well-known for its vata-kapha balancing nature. You can take it with honey, or lukewarm water.


Commonly called long-pepper, is an immunomodulator that contains a list of anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and anti-bacterial properties. Apart from helping in the management of hay fever, it also shows effective results in the treatment of common cold, cough, and fever. 

These herbs can be used in diet or they can be boiled in water to make a herbal tea. Some of these herbs like tulsi are even more effective if taken on fasting. Adding them to salads or boiled veggies is also a very good way of consuming them, but make sure to eat fresh.

Dietary Changes

Apart from these some of the changes in diet are :

  • Eat warm and easy-to-digest meals, like vegetable soups or porridge. It will help in balancing Vata dosha. 
  • Do not eat cold and dry foods, refrigerated or processed foods. 
  • Do not eat sweets, desserts, or yogurt as they will further imbalance kapha dosha. 
  • Avoid fermented or sour foods.
  • Eat a lot of green veggies and add some herbs as garnishing. They will be very effective in overcoming weakness and it is also very good for inner healing.

Lifestyle Changes

Also, some lifestyle changes will help in recovering faster:

  • Drink a little bit of lukewarm water, whenever you eat something. 
  • Use warm water for drinking or snana (bathing).
  • Stay in a clean environment devoid of dust, pollution, and pollen. 
  • Have a good sleep routine and wake up early in the morning. 
  • Practice some yoga asanas or easy stretching exercises which will help in clearing the blockages in the body. It will also increase the supply of oxygen in the rakta (blood).
  • Practice nasya karma or steam that will help in clearing the thick green slime (mucus) from the nasal passage. You can take steam by boiling some water or use a steamer instead. Adding some herbs to the steam will multiply its effectiveness. 

These are some of the Ayurvedic remedies that can be easily followed at home. They can significantly bring down the symptoms. Pratishyaya (allergic rhinitis) can be well managed with Ayurveda and it is the most effective way to say goodbye to this problem. 

However, if a person is diagnosed with pratishyaya, they must consult an Ayurvedic practitioner, along with following these home remedies. A vaid or Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor) will study the prakriti of shareera (constitution of the body) and then they will make a personalized treatment plan. One of the best things about Ayurvedic treatment is that it focuses on the root cause of the roga (disease) and not just the lakshana (symptoms).

Frequently asked questions

What is the best remedy against hay fever?

Drinking herbal tea made up of the herbs given above is the best way to prevent yourself from hay fever. This is a remedy that has been used for ages in the treatment of Pratishyaya.

How to treat hay fever in Ayurveda?

Ayurveda has been used for a long time in treating diseases with the help of herbs, oils, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. Pratishayaya can also be managed with all these ayurvedic remedies. Also, the best part is that with Ayurvedic treatment, the body will become stronger from the inside and you will not fall sick easily. 

How long does hay fever last?

Hay fever and rhinitis last for some time like 1 to 3 weeks. However, such duration may vary slightly from patient to patient depending upon his/her body constitution, and chronicity of the disease. 

Is it normal to get hay fever in winter?

It is more likely to get hay fever in winter (due to dryness). However, if a person has strong immunity, then they will not be affected by any causative factors. 

Article By:

Dr Sharda Ayurveda

At Dr. Sharda Ayurveda emphasis is made on treating the patients with the power of Ayurveda and traveling along with them in the path of natural and safe healing. The satisfaction and recovery of our patients is our utmost priority.