Asthma

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Asthma

Overview

Asthma is a disease of the human respiratory system in which the airways narrow, often in response to a trigger such as exposure to an allergen, cold air, excessive exercise or emotional stress. This narrowing causes symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing.

Causes

Aggravated Kapha (water) accumulates in the airways, leading to their narrowing and obstruction. This causes an interruption in the flow of the air in the lungs, causing shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing. This happens because of increased intake of vata (air) and kapha aggravating foods, internal weakness of lung tissues, and various diseases affecting the lungs. Factors like living in a cold and damp atmosphere, having cold or stale food or drink, eating foods that are not easily digestible, and ama (mucus) formation that blocks the respiratory channels also causing difficulty in breathing.

Symptoms

Cough
Chest pain
Tightness in breathing
Wheezing
Shortness of breath

Ayurvedic View

Ayurveda regards Asthma as a disorder caused by impaired digestion. A malfunctioning digestive process causes hypersensitivity to certain substances, such as dust and pollen that triggers the asthma attacks. Deposits of ama (mucus) in the lungs and respiratory tract create obstruction in breathing and cause wheezing or coughing. Ayurvedic treatment of asthma 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.

Home Remedies

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.


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