HERBS

CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE (COPD)

ABOUT THE DISEASE

This term is used for those chronic disorders in which there is either partial or complete obstruction to the airflow at any level from trachea till the alveoli. The pathological conditions included in COPD are:-

  • Bronchial Asthma
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Bronchiectasis

Bronchial Asthma and Chronic Bronchitis had already been discussed before.

EMPHYSEMA

It is a medical condition characterized by permanent dilation of terminal bronchioles along with destruction of inner membranes of these airways.

Etiologically this disease is mainly linked to smoking and air pollutants and infections Genetic predisposition is also present in many cases of emphysema.

PATHOGENESIS

The factor significantly responsible for pathogenesis of Emphysema is deficiency of Alpha-1-antitrypsin in the alveolar walls. The function of this protein (Alpha-1-antitrypsin) is to inhibit the neutrophil elastase (which are defence cells of body) from digesting the alveolar membranes. Thus, in deficiency of this enzyme, the alveolar membranes become more susceptible and gradually degrades leading to emphysema.

Smoking decreases Alpha-1-antitrypsin protein and subsequently increases elastase activity in the airways hence it promotes the disease in both ways.

CLINICAL FEATURES

  • Gradual increase in exertional dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing).
  • Barrel shaped chest (elongated chest with decreased Antero posterior diameter).
  • Cough with mild sputum production
  • Weight loss is a common feature.

It is characterized by Abnormal and irreversible dilatation of bronchi and other small airways.

The disease develops usually secondary to chronic inflammation of bronchial walls as a result leading to their weakening.

Neoplastic growth inside the bronchi, viral and bacterial infections, hereditary and genetic factors also play an important role in its causation.

One important disease in which Bronchiectasis is commonly found is “Cystic fibrosis”

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder in which the protein responsible for production of secretions from exocrine glands like sweat, digestive enzymes and mucus is defective. These secreted fluids are normally thin but in case of Cystic fibrosis the secretion becomes thick and viscous.

It mostly affects Lungs, Pancreas, Liver, Kidneys and Intestines.

Symptoms - Persistent cough with expectoration of foul smelling, purulent sputum (mostly greenish in colour).

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Emphysema and Bronchiectasis symptom wise can be correlated with Kshayaja kasa.

Acharya Charaka has described derangement of Agni as main causative factor for Kshayaja kasa. Disturbed Agni (Digestive fire) leads to partial digestion of food which leads to production of Aam (toxins) in the body. Aam in turn vitiates all three Doshas together leading to degenerative Kshayaja kasa.

SYMPTOMS

  • Cough with greenish or bloody purulent copius sputum.
  • Severe pain in the chest due to persistent cough.
  • Pain increases sometimes due to intake of hot and cold meals.
  • General debility
  • Sometimes fever0
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Altered constipation with incomplete semi solid motions.

PRINCIPLE OF TREATMENT

Kshayaja kasa patients should only be treated if strength of the patient allows it. It is sadhya (easily curable) disease in acute cases and in patients with good physical strength.

Since Mandagni (low metabolic activity) is the main cause of kshayaja kasa therefore firstly Deepana Chikitsa should be given to boost up the metabolism after that Srotoshodhana to clear the obstruction in the airways, followed by Brihmana Chikitsa to improve the physical strength and weight of the patient.

MEDICINES

1. Single Herbs - Amla (Phyllanthus emblica), Pippali (Piper longum), Kakdasringi (Pistacia Integerrima), Vibhitak (Terminalia bellerica), Munakka(Raisins), Kantakari (solanum xanthocarpum), Duralabha (Fagonia cretica), Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), Bhumyamalki (Phyllanthus niruri), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum).

2. Aushadhi (Herbal combinations) – Sauvarchaldi churna, Vibhitak churna Kantkaryadi churna, Giloy satva, Haridra khand, Vidangadi churna, Duralabhadi churna, Samsharakr churna, Karpooradi churna, Vyoshadi vati, Lavangadi vati, khadiradi vati, Eladi vati.

3. Ghee preparations – Rasna Ghrita, Kantakari Ghrita, Pippaladi Ghrita.

4. Rasa Aushadhis (Herbo mineral preparations) – Chandramarit rasa, Anandbhairav rasa (kas), Tankan Bhasm, Kaph ketu rasa, kaphkuthar rasa, Nagvallabh rasa.

5. Brihmana drugs to increase the general strength and weight of the patient – Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Vidari (pueraria tuberosa), Root of Bala (Sida cordifolia).

6. Dhoompana (Medicated smoke inhalation) - Jatyadi dhoom, Jivaniyadi dhoom.

HOME REMEDIES

1. Avoid dust, fumes and pollution as much as possible or wear masks on their exposure.

2. Quit Smoking. Smoking causes permanent damage to the airways and alveoli of your lungs. It also causes harmful effects on all systems of body and is carcinogenic.

3. Daily massage chest with luke warm sesame oil mixed with 2 to 3 pinches of rock salt help in removal of phlegm from chest and helps in bronchodilation.

4. For recurrent cough Take 3-4 gms of jaggery with 2 to 3 drops ginger juice and one fourth black pepper powder daily 3 times.

5. If bowel is not clear then take 5 gms triphala with luke warm water at night or Aragwadhadi kwath 5-10 ml twice daily.

6. Daily intake of a herbal tea made up of tulsi leaves, ginger and Giloy helps in improving immunity of body which will prevent recurrent lung infections.

7. For improving the functioning of lungs practice following yoga asanas after taking the advice from your doctor – Bhujangasana, Anulom vilom Pranayama, Kapalbhaati pranayama, Bhastrika Pranayama, Surya Namaskar. Don’t practise during acute attacks of cough and dyspnoea.

8. Regular walk for 20 to 30 mins improves the oxygen level in all cells of body.

9. Wear Mask in overcrowded and polluted places.

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.