Ayurveda treatment for asthma aims to bring the kapha lodged in the lungs and bronchi back to the stomach, from which it can be eliminated.
According to Ayurveda is accumulation of Kapha in the airways. The airways become narrow because of the blockage caused by Kapha. As a result, the flow of air to the lungs is interrupted, which makes the patient experiences difficulty in breathing. Asthma is caused because of excessive intake of vata (cold), consuming kapha aggravating food items, weakening of the lung tissues, and problems caused by lung diseases. Environmental and lifestyle factors also play a role in asthma. Consuming cold or stale foods are not easy to digest and lead to the formation of ama (mucus) thereby causing blockage in the respiratory channel and difficulty in breathing. Living in cold and damp environment is also a reason of asthma. All of these can be factors, and so Jiva doctor checks for all of these before beginning Asthma treatment.
Bronchial Asthma – Tamaka Swasa
Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath may be simply termed as Swasa (Asthma). It may be primary – originating from respiratory system, secondary – originating from other systems of the body but the impact is on respiratory system.
Bronchial Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of airway. It leads to recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, tightness of chest and cough particularly at night or early morning. As per Ayurveda, Swasa is mainly caused by the Vata and Kapha doshas. Swasa is broadly classified into five types in Mahaswasa (Dyspnoea major), Urdhawaswasa ( Expiratory Dyspnoea), Chinna swasa (Chyne- stroke respiration), Kshudra swasa ( Dyspnoea minor), Tamaka swasa (Bronchial Asthma).
Ayurvedic Asthma Treatment
Ayurvedic Asthma treatment considers bad digestion as a major cause. When the digestive system is weak, the body becomes oversensitive to dust, pollen and other substances which trigger an asthma attack. Deposits of ama (mucus) in the lungs and respiratory tract create obstruction in breathing and cause wheezing or coughing. Ayurvedic Asthma treatment focuses on restoring digestion with herbal preparations and the right diet and lifestyle changes. The medicines primarily work on pacifying Kapha and cleansing toxins from the body. In addition, specific herbal combinations are also supplemented to boost the body’s immunity.
Diet & Lifestyle Advice
Pulses like old rice (rice which is stored for at least one year is called old), wheat, barley, kulattha, mung beans, arhar beans, etc . should be consumed.
Honey, warm drinks like herbal teas, spice teas are also okay.
Sprouts, nuts and seeds can be taken in moderate amount.
The heavy foods and those which make ama should be avoided. This mainly includes milk products like cheese, curd, butter milk, creams, and banana, etc.
Oily, greasy and fried foods which are difficult to digest should be avoided.
White flour and white sugar products should be avoided.
In addition, try to avoid the cold foods, cold drinks and other refrigerated things.
Avoid excessive or physically demanding exercise. Yoga and Pranayama can be helpful.
Treatment modalities in Ayurveda
As per the Ayurveda Bronchial Asthma is Vata Kaphaja disease, it begins in the stomach, progresses to the lungs and bronchi. Hence the aim of treatment is to move the excess Kapha back to stomach and then eliminate it. For this purpose following methods are adopted.
- Swedana (Sudation)
- Vamana (Therapeutic emesis)
- Virechana (Therapeutic purgation)
These procedures will be followed as per the need of individual patient. Practice of Pranayama, laxatives, light diet in the night and use of warm water will helps in the treatment of Asthma.