HERBS

BRONCHIAL ASTHMA

ABOUT THE DISEASE

Asthma is an inflammatory condition characterized by hyper responsiveness of airways to various stimuli viz. dust, cold, pollen & grains etc.

The exposure of such stimuli leads to spasmodic narrowing of the airways along with mucus secretion which causes dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing), wheezing (a whistling sound produced during breathing) and cough.

The course of the disease is generally episodic with bouts of exacerbations of symptoms followed by symptom free periods till next exposure to the allergen.

The course of the disease is generally episodic with bouts of exacerbations of symptoms followed by symptom free periods till next exposure to the allergen.

A) Allergic asthma – This predominantly begins in the childhood or early adult years. Most patients suffering from this type of Asthma have a strong family history. They also have history of other allergic disorders like Urticaria or allergic rhinitis. The allergens in such cases mainly include dust (house dust or any chemical dust), cold winds, smoke, fumes, moulds, pollens, animal hair, egg, cereals and fish etc.
In such patients, allergy tests are generally positive with high IgE levels in their blood sample.

B) Non Allergic Asthma - This type of Asthma largely happens in the adult years. Mostly, there is a negative family history related to any sort of allergy, negative Skin allergy test and probably normal serum IgE levels. There are no recognizable allergens. The cause behind this type of Asthma generally includes a previous viral infection like recurrent cold or viral fever or nasal polyps or Gastrointestinal upset.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

According to the Ayurvedic literatures it can be correlated to “Tamak Shwas”. It is a type of Shwas roga.

CAUSES

Excessive exposure to dust or fumes, living in extreme cold places, drinking chilled water, excessive physical exertion, incompatible diets (food with opposite nature viz. having hot and cold food together), poor health, excessive Panchakarma therapies, resisting natural urges, Aam formation (excessive collection of toxins in the body) or as a consequence of other systemic disorders like cardiac disorders, poisoning, GI upset etc.

It can be concluded that etiological factors in Ayurveda covers both types of factors responsible for Allergic or non Allergic asthma described in modern texts.

The origin of Shwas roga has been described as Pitta Sthana (seat) in the body.

According to acharyas “Amashaya” is described as an organ which is main seat of pitta dosha. The location of Amashaya is described above umbilicus where ingested food particles are digested so it can be correlated with stomach.

PATHOGENESIS

Due to the etiological factors, Pitta dosha gets deranged leading to partial digestion of meals which eventually causes formation of Aam dosha (toxins) in the body. These toxins get collected in the respiratory channels and hamper the normal movement of vata. Vitiated vata dosha moves in upward direction towards chest and in turn aggravates Kapha dosha in lungs (Chest region is the main seat of Kapha Dosha).

As a result it creates difficulty in breathing (due to deranged Vata Dosha), wheezing (due to obstructed respiratory channels) and cough as reflex to remove the vitiated Kapha (mucus) from throat region. Hence the trio of symptoms forms which in modern science is called Asthma.

SYMPTOMS

  • Shortness of breath or intermittent breath in which patient feels that he is not getting enough air.
  • Difficulty in breathing/labored breathing.
  • Wheezing (A musical sound during breathing).
  • Tightening of chest.
  • Cough
  • The symptoms increase on lying down while slightly decrease on sitting posture.

MANAGEMENT

While managing Asthma, firstly Agni (digestive power) should be corrected which is the root cause of this disease. The toxins accumulated in the body should either be digested or removed out of the body through Panchkarma (recommended only if the patient is not too weak) and then Vata and Kapha Shamak treatment should be given. Emphasis should also be given in improving the immunity of the patient so that it does not react to allergens easily.

1. Single herbs - Somkalpa (Ephedra vulgaris), Kachur (Curcuma zeodaria), Pushkarmoola (Inula racemosa), Amlavetas (Garcinia pedunculata), Ela also known as green cardamom (Elettaria cardamom), Hingu (Ferula asafetida), Aguru wood (Aquilaria agollocha), Surasa (Ocimum sanctum), Bhumiamalki (Phyllanthus niruri), Jeevanti (Leptadinia reticulate), Chorpushpi (Angelica glanca), Vasa (Adhatoda vasica), Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia), Haldi also known as turmeric (Curcuma longum).

2. Aushadhi (Powder combinations) – Bharangi churna, Sitopladi churna, Shatyadi churna, Mustadi churna, Pushkarmoola churna, Vasa churna, Talisyadi churna, Haridra Khand, Vyoshadi vati.

3. Kwath (Decoctions) – Dashmool kwath, Bharangyadi kwath, Devdarvyadi kwath.

4. Awaleha(Lickable preparations) – Chywanprash, Chitraka Haritaki, Draksha Haritaki, Gudawleha, Vyaghri hareetki.

5. Rasa (Herbo mineral Preparations) – Abhrak Bhasma, Shwaskuthar rasa, Chandramrit rasa, Manahshila rasa, Gandhak Rasayan, Muktadi churna, Shwas chintamani rasa.

6. In case of Allergic Asthma Blood purifying herbs like Neem(Azadirachta indica) , Manjishtha(Rubia cordifolia) , Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Sirish (Albezzia lebbek) can also be used along with above options.

7. Panchkarma procedures like Virechan, Vaman, Nasya can be also be used.

HOME REMEDIES

1. Regular chest massage with Sesame oil and Saindha namak (rock salt) along with localized luke warm fomentation helps in removing the mucus from the airways and relieves from obstruction.

2. Take onion juice or carrot juice and regularly put two drops in each nostril regularly.

3. Take one fourth tea spoon of black pepper, half teaspoon turmeric powder, 4 to 5 drops of ginger juice and 1 tea spoon full of honey. Take this mixture twice daily regularly. This combination helps in bronchodilatation and cleanses the congestion of respiratory tract.

4. Take one fourth teaspoon of Tankan Bhasma in one glass of luke warm water empty stomach in the morning for continuous 10 to 15 days. It helps in reducing wheezing and also improves difficulty in breathing.

5. Herbal tea made of tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Carom seeds, Ginger (Zingiber officinale)and turmeric (Curcumin longum) works a natural expectorant and also improves immunity.

6. Keep your gut clean. You can also take enema for detoxification of colon.

7. Include regular Practise of yoga and Pranayama in your routine like – Uttanapadasana, Bhujangasana, Gomukhasana, Kapaalbhaati, Anuloma vilom Pranayama, Ujjayi Pranayama or as advised by your doctor.

8. Take luke warm water specially in morning and evening time

9. Avoid sugar, rice, pickles, ice cream, cold drinks, curds etc. as all those lead to mucus production also avoid wine, vinegar, cheese, beer as it may provoke Asthmatic attack.

10. Always eat freshly cooked food and chew your food slowly.

Disclaimer

The purpose of Ayurvidya is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider regarding your medical condition or treatment and before undertaking any new health care regimen.