Asthma is a respiratory disease which is characterized by narrowing of the airways. This happens when the body responses to a trigger such as exposure to cold air, allergens in the air, emotional stress or heavy exercise. When the airways narrow, patients show symptoms such as tightness of the chest, wheezing noise while breathing, coughing and shortness of breath.
The cause of Asthma 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.
- Chest pain
- Tightness in breathing
- Shortness of breath
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.
- Prepare a mixture of powdered dried ginger root, black pepper and long pepper in equal amounts and store in an airtight container. Have ½ teaspoonful of this powder mixed with ½ teaspoonful of honey twice a day with lukewarm water.
- Take 11 guava leaves, 11 black pepper, 1 cup milk and one cup water. Put all of them in pot and boil it well, when it reduced to one cup, drink in empty stomach. Take this daily for at least six months or a year.
- Boil cumin seeds in water and inhale the steam. It helps dilate the bronchial passage.
- Take 5 gm of ginger, black pepper, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, turmeric and 30 gm of sugar. Grind the mix to a powder. Take half to one teaspoonful and mix it nicely with honey. Take it twice a day.