Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease caused by the airways getting narrow. Asthma arises due to allergies, emotional stress, exposure to cold, heavy exercises. It gets triggered by certain food items as well.
Asthma starts with feeling wheezing and struggling to breathe, but if not treated early and appropriately can become dangerous as well.
The main symptom of asthma is difficulty in breathing. Because of lung disorder associated with it, apart from breathing difficulty, chest tightness and cough are the common symptoms.
The lungs’ breathing tubes are inflamed and become sensitive to all the environmental changes leading to asthma. This could be because pollution, smoke, and heavy workout can also expedite asthma.
Ayurveda for Asthma
Five elements constitute both our body as well as the universe. The elements are air, water, earth, fire and space. They combine to maintain the well-being and balance all the three primary doshas in our body.
People are affected with diseases when the doshas get imbalanced. Each of the doshas, such as Vatta, Pitta and Kapha. Depending on dosha aggravated, an illness associated with them attacks the human body.
Various doshas combinations are responsible for asthma, more cold food intake, or increasing the Kapha in the body. It weakens the lungs, and people with considerably high pitta are likely to get affected by asthma.
As mentioned earlier, aggravated Kapha increases the chances of asthma. Consuming stale and cold food becomes very difficult to digest as it leads to forming excessive mucus, further leading to blocking the respiratory channel and finding it difficult to breathe.
Kapha gets increased because of irregular and unhealthy food practices. This Kapha moves up from the stomach towards the lungs, trachea, bronchi, which interprets the natural flow of air leading to asthma.
The treatment of asthma focuses on removing the Kapha from the body and the lungs. This is how asthma is perceived.
All the treatments included in Ayurveda are based on this primary fact to decrease the Kapha in the body and stop it from moving over to the lungs.
Herbs also play a vital role in the ayurvedic treatment of any illness and diseases. There are a few herbs known for treating asthma as well. The few names are the vasa herb, yashtimadhu herb, and Pushkar Mela herb.
Symptoms of Asthma
One of the primary and common symptoms of Asthma is finding it difficult to breathe, shortness of breath, feeling wheezy, whistling sound while breathing.
Other symptoms are
- Difficulty in Speaking
These symptoms vary according to the type of asthma you face; each of the classes could have different symptoms. However, suppose you face shortness of breath or any of the significant asthmatic of the above symptoms. In that case, you should consult the doctor, as asthma is a condition that can develop later in life, and it is limited to the “being born with it” tag.
Asthma and Ayurveda
There are a few types in which Asthma can be classified are Non-allergic and allergic asthma.
Allergic asthma happens when the individual is exposed to dust particles and allergy-aggravating factors.
Non-allergic asthma could be because of various reasons such as weather conditions, medication, stress, and irritants in the air.
The full form of EIB is Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction, complications associated with it are namesake. As the symptoms of asthma develop because of tremendous exercise.
The symptoms of asthma are developed while they become adults.
Occupational Asthma is caused by inhaling chemical fumes, dust, smoke from industrial waste or any harmful substances.
Childhood asthma hampers thousands of children right from the age of five. Some children overcome it with the passage of the childhood stage, but some have an impact throughout their life.
Ayurvedic Herb Medicine for Allergic Asthma
Below are the few herbs that are listed as herbs, or the combination of herbs that help with Asthma and bronchitis.
Honey And Cloves
The mixture of cloves and banana helps to strengthen the lungs. Eat the combination of banana and cloves early in the morning.
Do not consume anything during this time. Follow it up with hot water and honey. This mixture helps with bronchial asthma.
Kantele is also known as nightshade and is very beneficial for throat infections and symptoms of asthma.
Consume this twice a day to relieve the symptoms of asthma and cold.
Make yourself a hot cup of herbal tea with carom seeds, ginger, tulsi, and pepper.
This tea will temporarily help in relieving the symptoms and warming your body. It will also make you a bit comfortable and will lessen the uneasiness.
Adulsa is very effective and is widely used in treating coughs. It also treats many other diseases, including asthma.
Adulsa is also known as the Malabar nut tree. It is not widely used in asthma, but it is very effective.
Turmeric is a herb that contains curcumin with many antioxidant components and can fight Bronchial Asthma.
Rubbing brown mustard oil on a person’s chest helps them get relief.
A few herbal concoctions for treating asthma are as below:-
Make a paste of black resin, honey and pippali. Mix this paste with warm milk in the morning and evening to prevent asthma attacks.
Mix Honey and Onion juice, add a pinch of pepper to this concoction. It helps reduce congestion and breathlessness.
Note: These are a few of the herbs that are generally formulated, keeping in mind each herb’s properties. It is not a permanent cure for asthma in Ayurveda or a customized sheet curated as per the doshas. Hence, it may not have the same effect on everyone.
For specific and customized solutions, consult with ayurvedic practitioner.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Asthma
Panchakarma is a holistic approach in Ayurveda that involves five steps of well-being.
Panchakarma is a process that everyone can undergo to maintain the cells function effectively and keep diseases at bay. This process is deeply rooted in Ayurveda and focuses on the purification of mind, body. Panchakarma is done under expert supervision as the procedures and channels involved are very complex.
Panchakarma is a primitive step of Ayurveda. It focuses on detoxifying the body and providing long-term health benefits. This detoxification process is very beneficial for asthmatic patients.
According to Ayurveda, Asthma is caused due to imbalanced Kapha; Pitta Dosha causes symptoms like wheezing, coughing, fever and irritability. Asthma caused by Vata Dosha can be acknowledged by wheezing, dry mouth, thirst, dry cough, dry skin, anxiety and constipation.
Virechana and Vamana are the two most common Panchakarma procedures for very effective treatments for Asthma in Ayurveda.
Vamana (Vomiting): Vamanam is a type introduced to remove Kapha from the body. It is because of excess mucus. Vamana is best to remove congestion from the lung and all Kapha-related diseases. It also is helpful for skin diseases such as psoriasis.
Virechanam: The elimination of toxins from the intestine with the help of therapeutic purgation, laxative. An individual and toxins consumed in herbal preparation are removed from the anus.
There are varieties of reasons that are associated with asthma. Below are factors that are the reason for asthma
- Genetics:- There are chances of this asthma development if your parents or siblings have asthma.
- Infections People with a history of severe viral infections during childhood (e.g. RSV) may be more likely to develop the condition.
If children are not exposed to allergies and viruses during infancy, there are chances that the immunity does not get more robust, leading to asthma and various other diseases.
Asthma vs COPD
Often people interchange COPD with asthma, as they have similar symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing etc. However, both the conditions are different, even though they have similar symptoms.
COPD is a general and expansive term for advanced level respiratory diseases, including chronic bronchitis. It can cause inflammation in the breathing pipelines over some time.
Whereas asthma can happen at any age, and the majority of them are detected in their childhood. The symptoms of COPD are seen at the age of 45.
There are high chances that the person detected with COPD also has asthma and the severity of it increases with age. The most common reason for COPD is smoking, and asthma reasons may vary.
The best way to avoid asthma is to keep away all the triggers that lead to this disorder, such as allergies, inflammation and maintain the Kapha level in check to not move up to the lungs. Meditation, breathing exercises, and diet is one of the best ways to take care of asthma.