Asthma is a prevalent chronic inflammatory condition of the airways, characterized by intermittent and recurrent symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Individuals with asthma experience challenges in moving air in and out of their lungs, leading to symptoms like persistent coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
In Ayurveda, asthma is referred to as “Pranavaha Sroto Vikara” and is known as “Swasa.” This common respiratory ailment causes regular breathing difficulties and can affect individuals of all age groups. It often initiates during childhood but can also manifest for the first time in adults.
Risk factors and causes of Asthma
Asthma arises from intricate interplays between an individual’s genetic predisposition and their interactions with the environment. The specific mechanisms that cause a genetically susceptible individual to develop asthma are not yet fully comprehended. Various risk factors associated with the development of asthma include:
- Family history of allergic conditions
- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
- Viral respiratory infections during childhood
- Increased exposure to cigarette smoke
- Exposure to air pollution or biomass burning
- Respiratory infections such as cold or flu
- Physical exercise
Types of Asthma
Ayurvedic Treatment for Asthma
According to Ayurveda, Asthma is primarily caused by an imbalance in the Kapha and Pitta Doshas. Each Dosha imbalance results in specific symptoms:
Kapha Dosha Imbalance: Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, fever, and irritability.
Pitta Dosha Imbalance: This type of asthma can be identified by symptoms such as wheezing, dry mouth, thirst, dry cough, dry skin, anxiety, and constipation.
In Ayurveda, two common Panchakarma procedures, Virechana and Vamana, are highly effective in the treatment of asthma.
Vamana: Patients consume Vamana herbs like liquorice, sweet flag, and emetic nut. These herbs induce therapeutic vomiting, which helps eliminate the imbalanced Dosha from the upper gastrointestinal tract.
Virechana: Patients are given herbal cleansing preparations to promote toxin elimination through the anal route, ensuring the patient’s overall well-being.
After the Panchakarma treatments, patients receive oral medicines along with dietary regulations as part of Rasayana therapy. Rasayana therapy enhances immunity, prevents recurrence, restores normal bodily functions, and provides long-term protection against diseases.
Ayurvedic remedies for asthma include:
Agastya Rasayana: Effective herbal medicine for asthma treatment.
Chyawanprash: A rich source of Vitamin C, Chyawanprash is typically consumed in one teaspoonful doses three times a day. For better results, it can be taken with Sitopaladi Churna and honey.
Home Remedy: A combination of honey, black pepper, and onion juice is recommended for relieving asthma, especially when it is associated with constipation.