What is asthma?
Asthma is a condition in which the airways become narrow and swell. The production of extra mucus makes breathing difficult. This triggers coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
For some people, this condition is a minor nuisance and in some, it can be a major breathing problems problem. In worse conditions, it interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
What is an Ayurvedic view of Asthma?
In Ayurveda, bronchial asthma can be correlated to ‘Tamak Swasa’. This disease is mainly caused due to the vitiation of Vata and Kapha dosha.
In Ayurveda, Swasa is classified into five types which are named Mahaswasa (Dyspnoea major), Urdhawaswasa (Expiratory dyspnoea), Kshudra swasa (Dyspnoea minor), Chinna swasa (Chyne stroke respiration), Tamaka swasa (Bronchial asthma).
Tamaka swasa (Asthma) is also caused due to the Intake of dry, heavy and incompatible food, cold climate, exposure to dust, smoke, wind, etc.
Due to these causes strotorodh (obstruction) is caused in the Pranvaha srotas that block the natural direction of Vata and Vata dosha and are reversely directed.
The vitiated Vata dosha causes dryness due to which natural lubrication is disturbed. This causes difficulty in breathing, wheezing sound and the rate of respiration is increased.
What are the causes of asthma?
The main cause of asthma is unknown but it is a combination of environmental and genetic (inherited) factors.
Some triggering factors include:
- Airborne substances, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander or particles of cockroach waste
- Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
- Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma)
- Cold air
- Air pollutants and irritants, such as smoke
- Certain medications, including beta-blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc
- Strong emotions and stress
What are the symptoms of asthma?
Symptoms of Asthma may vary from person to person and can increase at certain times — such as when exercising — or have symptoms all the time.
Asthma signs and symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Difficulty in sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
- Coughing or wheezing attacks that get worsened by a respiratory a cold or the flu
Some effective home remedies for asthma:
A variety of herbs that have been used as natural remedies for asthma includes:
- Garlic: Garlic is the wonderful herb that has been used as a natural remedy for Asthma to manage many symptoms particularly cardiovascular disease, because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Since asthma is an inflammatory disease, so it helps in relieving asthma-related symptoms. The use of garlic daily will eliminate the harmful toxins from the body and prevent it from infections.
- Ginger: Ginger is a well-known herb that is useful in decreasing inflammation, and a recent study has stated that ginger is very useful in improving asthma symptoms.
- Echinacea and Licorice Root: Echinacea and licorice root is often used to treat upper respiratory tract infections. These possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is sometimes used by people with asthma to soothe their lungs. Consult our doctor before the use of these two herbs because its excessive use can cause various side effects also.
- Turmeric: Turmeric has been used in Ayurveda for Asthma for many ages because it possesses some anti-allergic properties. Turmeric has an effective result on histamines, which can cause inflammation. It is a safe and effective natural remedy for asthma.
- Honey: Honey is used as an ingredient in many cough and cold remedies for soothing up an irritated throat and calm a cough reflex. People who are suffering from asthma may try mixing honey with a hot drink for relief in asthma-associated symptoms.
Some home remedies are:
1. Ginger and Garlic Cloves Tea:
Ginger is one of the most wonderful herbs which deals with inflammation. Mix 2-3 crushed garlic cloves in half cup of ginger tea which is proven to be an effective remedy to release the Kapha accumulation in the airways which thereby prevents asthma attacks.
2. Ginger and Turmeric Powder milk:
Add freshly grated ginger in a glass of milk and then boil it. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder to it. Drink this twice a day and it will reduce the frequency of asthma attacks.
3. Cinnamon and Honey tea:
Mix one teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4th teaspoon of trikatu (sonth, marich, and pippal) into a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of honey to it before drinking.
4. Licorice and Ginger tea:
Licorice also known as mulethi and this herb has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. Add half teaspoon of licorice and half teaspoon of ginger to a cup of boiling water.
This tea helps to manage asthma and its associated symptoms. Ginger tea helps in normalizing the airways to enable proper breathing.
5. Bay leaf tea:
Take half teaspoon of bay leaf and add 1/4th teaspoon of pippali to it. You can also add 1 teaspoon of honey and drink it two to three times a day to prevent chronic symptoms of asthma.
Healthy Tips and Diet for Asthma Patients
- Avoid going in cold and damp places.
- Go for a morning and evening walk for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and smoking.
- Rooms should be properly ventilated.
- Avoid perfumes, mosquito repellents.
- Drink plenty of water daily
- Avoid vigorous excessive exercise and indulgence in sex.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Practice yoga and pranayama regularly as it improves the strength, flexibility, and capacity of the lungs which are the three necessary components of overall fitness.
- Do meditation also as it has beneficial effects on a person’s personality, emotions, and psyche.
- Yoga asanas that are beneficial in bronchial asthma are:
Shirshasana, Bhujangasana, Chakarasana, Supta vajrasana Dhanurasana, etc.
Dr. 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 1 Lakh Plus patients worldwide.