Respiratory diseases can make everyday life difficult. Since they affect breathing, day to day activities can totally get disrupted. Asthma and Bronchitis are two major disorders caused by impairment in the respiratory function, due to accumulation of mucus, infection etc.
Bronchitis is the swelling in the lining of lungs, which can be caused due to infection. When the lining in the bronchial tubes become inflamed it obstructs breathing, the absence of proper airflow in lungs leads to infection. Recurrence and severe episodes of breathlessness, tightness of chess, chronic cough and wheezing leads to Asthma.
The causes of these respiratory conditions include the following:
- Allergic reaction due to a number of factors – perfumes, environmental factors, pollutants etc
- Seasonal changes causing frequent cold, flu, cough and infection
- Allergic reaction to food and drugs
- Genetic and environmental reasons
In rare cases, psychological triggers like deep-seated emotional problems, insecurity, lack of parental care, and hereditary also cause Asthma and Bronchitis. While this may appear as an outcome of impairment in the lungs or bronchial tubes, it begins from poor food choices and improper digestion as per Ayurveda.
Both Asthma and Bronchitis are categorized under the disorders caused by the Vata / Kapha imbalance. Respiratory system is connected to Kapha dosha. Bronchitis and Asthma arise from the stomach, the place of Pitta dosha. These conditions are triggered by vitiation of Kapha and Vata, originating from the place of Pitta dosha i.e. stomach.
Asthma comes under Svasa Roga ( Breathing Disorders). It is referred as Tamaka Svasa. When accumulated kapha moves to the lungs, respiratory track, throat etc.it manifests in the lungs. While Vata is dry, rough and mobile, Kapha is heavy, cold and unctuous. The contrasting qualities join together and form thick deposts in the lungs, walls of the bronchi, respiratory tract and also leads to narrowing of the tract. As a result, it obstructs the passage and causes troubled breathing.
Charaka Samhita briefs that Asthma as one of the deadly diseases which can literally kill an individual. Asthma and Hiccups can take away the life instantaneously.
Treatment for Asthma and Bronchitis generally focuses on pacifying vata and kapha dosha.
Clearing the Ama blockage in the respiratory tract proves beneficial.
Diet and lifestyle changes have major share in treatments for Asthma and Bronchitis.
Diet plan involves nourishing fresh fruits and vegetables, steamed and boiled foods, and easily digestible foods. A big “NO” to milk and milk products, as they increase kapha. Also, dry foods, carbonated beverages, heavy oily foods and processed foods should be avoided.
Lifestyle changes include stress reduction, avoiding smoking or exposure to smoke, allergic perfumes, pollen grains, dust and fumes and all other triggers that aggravates your condition.
In many cases, based on the diagnosis, administration of medicines becomes essential. Some of the prescription medicine includes the following:
- Single herbs that are Anti-Vata , Anti-Kapha and mucolytic are helpful against Bronchial Asthma. The important ones are Basil / Tulalsi, Shireesha, Pushkaramoola, Liqorice, Ginger and Honey.
- Combination Medicines includes ShireeshghanVati, Taleeshadi Powder, Tankana / Borax Powder, Shwasakuthara Rasa, Chyawanprasha etc are useful.
- A selection of 1 or 2 single and combination medicines according to the patient’s age, diagnosis outcome, symptoms, associated medical conditions, lifestyle are provided.