Asthma is a chronic disorder of the lung, caused due to inflammation in the airways, which become narrower and fill with mucus. It ultimately blocks the airflow, which then results in short gasping breaths, causing wheezing, coughing and tightness of the chest. Asthma can be triggered by allergic reactions to irritants like dust, smoke, fumes or chemical allergens like pollen and grass. The underlying cause of all asthmatic conditions is-‘Increased Kapha dosha in Stomach’. From there it progresses into the lungs, trachea and bronchi. ‘Kapha’ is one of the three energies or doshas (Vata, pitta and Kapha) responsible for balancing the overall health.
Bronchial Asthma is one of the most’ Fatal Respiratory Diseases’. It’s called ‘Tamaka Shvasa‘ [difficulty in breathing]. The primary dosha associated with bronchial Asthma is the watery Kapha which leads to mucus formation. This accumulation leads to narrowing and obstruction of the arteries. As a result, there is an obstruction in the airflow of the lungs, causing ‘shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing’.
Let us understand the different types of Asthma based on the dominant doshic influence——–‘The Causes.’
Vata dosha: This type of Asthma is caused due to physical or emotional stress. It could also be triggered by a diet that is dry and cold (qualities of Vata). It usually exhibits dry cough following an asthma attack, that could lead to drastic weight loss along with other symptoms of Vata deterioration. Vata Dosha is the most common type of dosha.
Kapha dosha. Consuming excessive cold and heavy foods or even overeating, can trigger this type. A wet cough will usually follow with an asthmatic episode. Mucus is cloudy in consistency and white. Those suffering from this type, may be overweight or show other signs of Kapha vitiation.
Pitta dosha: Pitta vitiation can be a combination of Vata or Kapha type asthma. It is usually caused by exposure to allergens or microbes. The bronchial passages get inflamed, and the cough produced has a yellow or green mucus.
Here are some Ayurvedic remedies that can help in reducing the symptoms of Asthma and controlling the frequency of the attacks. The treatment aims to move the excess Kapha back to stomach and then eliminate it. The following methods are adopted—
- Swedana [Sudation]
- Vamana [Therapeutic emesis]
- Virechana [Therapeutic purgation]
The above therapies will be applied as per the need of individual patients. The practice of Pranayama, laxatives, light diet in the night and use of warm water add to the treatment of Asthma.
Ayurvedic treatments for asthma focus on eliminating the Kapha lodged in the lungs. Herbs like Vasa, Pushkarmula and Yastimadhu are all known to control the symptoms of asthma”.
Pathya—Execute the following
- Goduma (wheat), od rice, Mudga (green gram), Kulattha (Horse gram), Yava (barley), Patola (snake gourd)
- Lukewarm water, goat milk, honey
- Respiratory exercises, Pranayama, yoga
- Use of Garlic, turmeric, ginger, black pepper
Apathya—Avoid the following
- Exposure to Smoke, Dust and fumes and pollen
- Exposure to cold & humid atmosphere
- Sweets, cold water, stored food items, curd
- Suppressing of natural urges
- Excessive physical exertion
- Cold foods, fried and heavy snacks, fish etc.
Come to our centre at ‘Madras Institute of Ayurveda’ [ MIA] Chennai, to learn more about the treatments offered for various health issues. With an ever-increasing awareness on Ayurveda, the quest is for proper treatment and facilities by qualified therapists. MIA aims at bringing natural ayurvedic medicine with all facilities to a more accessible location. Log onto www.miayurveda.org for any questions.