Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory tract in which there is a narrowing of the airways. This mostly occurs when factors like cold air exposure, allergens found in the air, stress due to several emotions or vigorously doing exercise.
When the airways get narrower, it causes symptoms in patients like the tightness of the chest, wheezing sounds while breathing, cold & cough and shortness of breath. The main cause of asthma is the increase of doshas known Kapha dosha in the abdomen or stomach area.
From there it progresses towards the lungs, bronchi, and trachea. The aggravated Kapha blocks the normal flow of air, which creates spasm in the bronchial area which results in asthma and wheezing sounds.”
Out of the three energies or doshas, Kapha is one which is responsible for maintaining the balance of the overall body. In Ayurveda for asthma treatment, Kapha lodged in the lungs is eliminated firstly.
If the condition is severe and persistent it leads to life-threatening conditions. Inflamed and mucous filled with bronchial tubes makes difficulty in breathing in an asthma patient. During the asthmatic attack, the airway further tightens the breathing for the patient more difficult.
Ayurvedic view of Asthma
As per Ayurveda, Asthma is mainly due to Kapha Doshas imbalance while cardiac Asthma is caused by pitta doshas. The symptoms of Cardiac Asthma include coughing, wheezing, fever, yellow phlegm, and irritability. Asthma symptoms due to Vata Dosha include wheezing, thirst, dry mouth, anxiety, dry cough, dryness of skin, and constipation.
The ayurvedic products are mainly formed from natural herbs, minerals vitamins, and proteins that build up the immune system. Asthma is correlated with Swasa which is classified into five types –Dyspnoea major (Mahaswasa), Expiratory dyspnoea(Urdhawaswasa ), Chyne stroke respiration(Chinna swasa), Dyspnoea minor (Kshudra swasa), Bronchial asthma(Tamaka swasa).
Panchakarma in asthma
Snehana – Medicated oil mixed with mild salt should be gently massaged on the chest and back to lose the Grathita Kapha in the chest. In Asthma, Grathita Kapha (mucus plug) is present, thus the snehana procedure is useful in Vilayana of the Kapha, thereby removing the sanga (obstruction of the airway).
Swedana – By this process, the grathita kapha gets dissolve in the body thus the Kapha becomes softened in the channels and as a result, the movement of Vata is restored to its normal condition.
Vamana& Virechan –Panchakarma procedures which are most common that show effective results in the treatment of asthma naturally.
In the Vamana procedure, the herbs mainly used are liquorices, emetic nut and sweet flag which are given to the person. The main function of these herbs is they induce therapeutic vomiting that eliminates the toxins & imbalanced Dosha through upper GIT( gastrointestinal tract).
In the Virechan procedure, the patient is asked to consume natural herbal purgative preparations that induce loose motions and hence elimination of toxins through the anal region and ensure the well-being of the patient.
Nasya – Pouring the medicated oil in both the nostrils is a highly beneficial treatment in Asthma. This is effective in reducing the severity of attacks and can be used as an effective and safe therapeutic procedure in the prevention of Tamak sawas.
Dhumrapana – After Vamana, to eliminate the hidden pathogenic substances in the dosha which are in the Linavastha (not completely purified), dhumrapana is done.
Rasayan therapy – After the Panchakarma treatments, Rasayana therapy helps to rejuvenate body and mind. Oral medicines are given to the patient in this therapy along with the regulation of diet. Rasayana helps to restore the normal functioning of the body and maintains overall health.
Causes of asthma:
- Tobacco smoke active or passive
- Food allergy
- Psychological factors
- Weather changes
- Airborne allergens
- Exposure to allergens
- Food allergy
- Family history
- Shortness of breath
- Recurrent episodes of coughing along with shortness of breath
- Tightness of chest
There are 3 types of Asthma
Acute asthma – It is a sudden attack caused by an inflammation of the air sacs of the lungs that further causing the narrowing and contraction of the bronchioles which restrict the airflow and make breathing difficult.
Chronic asthma – It is characterized by frequent asthma attacks that required medical management to prevent and minimize the acute attacks.
Exercise-induced asthma – It is triggered by exercise and is characterized by coughing, wheezing, difficulty in breathing. Intense symptoms usually last for 10 minutes after exercising and gradually subsides over time.
Diet and Lifestyle:
- Take a good amount of liquids so that mucus formed in the lungs gets loosened.
- Avoid smoking
- Take steam for 15 mins to get relieved
- Take proper sleep to relieve stress.
- Have a check on your weight
- Take a pinch of turmeric powder mixed with mi\lk
- Take 5-6 leaves of tulsi
- A patient suffering from asthma should take dinner 4 hours before going to sleep
- Avoid cold and damp places.
- Go for morning and evening walk for at least 30 minutes.
- Keep rooms well ventilated.
- Avoid perfumes, incense sticks, mosquito repellants.
- Eat foods with omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish like salmon, sardines and some plant sources like, flaxseed- are believed to have several health benefits.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Yoga improves the strength, flexibility, and capacity of the lungs, the three necessary components of overall fitness. Yoga therapy improves lung functions and reduces the frequency of exacerbations. It emphasizes conscious breathing and includes relaxation.
- Medication has beneficial effects on personality, emotions, and psyche. After medication, the asthmatic person can learn to come to a place of peace and stillness.
- Postures recommended for bronchial asthma are: Shirshasana, Dhanurasana, Chakarasana, Bhujangasana, Supta vajrasana are highly beneficial in asthma condition.
- Avoid reckless over-the-counter asthma medication as much as possible
HERBS IN AYURVEDA:
This herb act as a suppressant. It suppresses cough & cold conditions.It keeps the respiratory system healthy. Used to treat dry cough and sore throat. CAC kas shwas har churan has this effective herb.
It enhances the vasodilatation of blood vessels and maintains circulation to the lungs. it has expectorant, decongestant and bronchodilator properties. It rejuvenates the lungs. It is also an ingredient of Kaas swas har churan
Commonly known as cardamom. It is pungent and warm. It reduces vitiated Vata and Kapha doshas. It shows good results in sore throat, hoarseness of voice, influenza, breathing difficulties, bronchitis and cold.
CINNAMOMUM ZEYLANICA (DALCHINI)
Commonly used spice in India. it acts against microbes present in the respiratory tract. it expels mucus from the lungs and respiratory tract. It shows good results in sore throat, hoarseness of voice, influenza, breathing difficulties, bronchitis and cold.
As per Ayurveda, Bronchial Asthma is a Vatakaphaja disease; hence the treatment aims to balance the aggravated dosha. In Ayurveda, a lot of herbal medicines are there which gives the best result in the condition of asthma. Chandigarh Ayurved Centre provides you ‘’Asthma Go Kit’’, that is helpful to cure this disease naturally. The kit contains – Cough and Cold sachet, Kas Shwas Hari Rasa, Kaphaketu Rasa, Kuka Fighter Syrup, Anu Tailam.
Vaidya Karanvir Singh is the younger Vaidya in Chandigarh Ayurved & Panchakarma Centre. He is the fourth generation in his family who is practicing as a general consultant in Ayurved & Panchakarma treatment at Chandigarh. In his practice, he had treated more than 1000 plus patients worldwide.