Asthma Ayurvedic Treatment, Natural and Herbal Relief
About Asthma Ayurvedic Treatment
Asthma is a chronic long-term inflammatory disease of lungs narrowing the airways carrying air in and out. People who suffer chronic condition (long-lasting or recurrent) are said to be asthmatic. It is caused by genetic and environmental factors. Diagnosis is based on the pattern of symptoms and spirometry test. Asthma can be categorized as atopic and non-atopic asthma. Severity of symptoms vary from person to person. It is incurable, but can be symptom free with good overall treatment. Asthma occurs with people of all ages but mostly it is activated in childhood. The occurrence of asthma has increased significantly since the 1970s. In 2011, 235–300 million people globally have been diagnosed with asthma, and it caused 250.000 deaths.
To understand asthma it helps to know how airways work. Air is carried through tubes called bronchi into smaller bronchioles from air goes into the alveoli air sacks where oxygen is diffused into the blood. The inside walls of an asthmatic bronchial tubes are swollen or inflamed. This swelling or inflammation makes the airways extremely sensitive to irritations and increases risk to an asthmatic reaction. As inflammation causes the airways to become narrower, less air can pass through them, both to and from the lungs. When the airways get asthmatic reaction the muscles around them tighten. This narrows the airways , causing less air to flow into lungs. Swelling can worsen making airways more narrow.
Symptoms of Asthma
Narrowing of the airways causes the symptoms like
Wheezing (a hissing sound while breathing)
Feeling of tightness in the chest
Shortness of breath
Cough- because of increased created of sticky mucus (phlegm). Mucus is thick liquid that further narrows airways.
Symptoms become stronger during night and early morning
Difficulty in sleeping, because of shortness of breath and mucus creation
Complications of Asthma
Asthma if not treated properly can lead to many complications-
Symptoms that interfere with sleep, work or recreational activities
Sick days from work or school during asthma flare-ups
Permanent narrowing of the bronchial tubes (airway remodeling) that affects how well you can breathe
Emergency room visits and hospitalizations for severe asthma attacks
Side effects from long-term use of some medications used to stabilize severe asthma
Psychological problems, stress, anxiety, depression
Fatal attacks when airways are totally blocked
Causes of Asthma
Asthma can be caused by genetic interactions, lifestyle, external factors or a combination of these. These factors influence both its severity and its responsiveness to treatment.
Genetic Disposition: It is possible that some 100 genes are linked to asthma - 25 of which have been associated with separate populations as of 2005.
Stress and psychological factors: People who undergo stress have higher asthma rates. Part of this may be explained by increases in asthma-related behaviors such as smoking that are encouraged by stress. However, recent research has suggested that the immune system is modified by stress as well.
Physical exertion: Strenuous exercise can trigger asthmatic reaction from parasympathetic nervous system.
Viral infections: Syncytial virus and rhinovirus may increase the risk of developing asthma when acquired as young children
Overweight adults: Those with a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 30 are 38% more likely to have asthma compared to adults who are not overweight. Obese adults - those with a BMI of 30 or greater have twice the risk of asthma.
Pregnancy: The way baby enter the world seems to impact person’s sensitivity to asthma. Babies born by Caesarean sections have a 20% increase in asthma occurrence compared to babies born by vaginal birth.
Atopy: Atopy - such as eczema, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), allergic conjunctivitis (an eye condition) - is a general class of allergic hypersensitivity that affects different parts of the body that do not come in contact with allergens. Atopy is a risk factor for developing asthma
External Factors causing Asthma:
Allergens: Allergens such as dust, cockroaches, hay, pollen, fungi, food, and animal proteins cause allergic asthma. Allergic reactions triggered by antibodies in the blood often lead to the airway inflammation.
Medicinal drugs: Beta Blockers can trigger asthma.
Tobacco Smoke: Tobacco smoke has been linked to a higher risk of asthma as well as a higher risk of death due to asthma, wheezing, and respiratory infections. Adolescent smoking has also been associated with increases in asthma risk.
Environmental factors: Indoor air pollution consist such a things as mold, fumes from household chemicals, nitrogen oxide from gas stoves. Outdoor environmental factors include traffic fumes or high ozone levels, sulfur dioxide, cold temperatures, high humidity and weather changes.
According to Ayurveda, the main cause of asthma condition is improper digestion. Improper digestion causes accumulation of toxins (called ama). This causes a reaction with external triggering factors like dust, temperature, climate,.etc, which causes mucus accumulation in the respiratory tract.
All three doshas- vata, pita and kapha are involved in causing the asthma condition. High intake of vata (air) and kapha aggravating foods produce toxins which accumulate within the body. This toxins or ama, and their interaction with the external triggering factors causes mucus to be accumulated in the respiratory tract.
Imbalance in Kapha, also accumulates mucus in the airways, causing difficulty in air intake. This causes difficulty in breathing.
Ayurvedic treatment of Asthma involves internal medication prescribed by the doctor, panchakarma detoxification therapy for the removal of toxins and a strict ayurvedic diet.
The treatment procedure starts with-
Consultation with an ayurveda physician. (We at superbeing arranges free consultation over the phone or email with a specialized doctor, provided you have send a detailed description of the disease condition and the concerned medical reports)
The doctor performs thorough diagnosis of your body by analyzing your medical reports. He then prescribes a treatment routine to be followed-
A typical treatment routine includes:
No of days required for treatment
The therapies to be followed in each stages of treatment
Number of total sessions required for each therapy
Internal medicines and its timings
Diet to be followed during treatment
Do’s and Don’ts to be followed before and after each session
Some of the Panchakarma therapies advised in Ayurveda for Asthma are-
Vamana is conducted in the morning preferable between 7 to 8 A.M. If the patient is on empty stomach, a special type of rice preparation made from 1:6 ratio of rice and water, with ghee may be given before treatment. Then Snehana and Swedana are performed.
Snehana (Oleation) includes
Abhyantara Snehana (Internal Oleation)
Bahya Snehana (External Oleation)
The patient who is intended to undergo Snehapana (Internal administration of medicine, Sneha) is the take the medicine in the early morning (within 15 minutes of sunrise) in the prescribed dose based on his digestive capacity, nature of the disease, condition of the body etc. The patient is advised to take complete rest, avoid day sleep and follow a strict diet as prescribed by the doctor.
Swedana is a process to induce sweating (sudation) artificially in a patient who has already undergone Snehana.
Swedana has many classifications-
On the basis of induction of heat- Thermal & Non Thermal
On the basis of application of heat- Local & General
On the basis of nature of heat- Dry heat & Moist heat
On the basis of intensity of heat- High sweat, Medium sweat & Low sweat
The most common sudation therapy is Vashpa Sweda (Steam Bath). In Steam Bath, medicated steam is applied to the patient’s body for a certain period of time to get perspiration. It removes stiffness, heaviness and coldness from the body.
After these procedures patient is advised to sit comfortably in a chair. Then a mixture of milk is given full stomach. Vacha powder with honey is given to lick in between.
Medicines for Vamana should be administered in proper quantity, according to the age, strength, constitution, season etc. Usually Vamana starts with 10-15 minutes after giving the medicine. While the patient starts vomiting, masseur massages back and chest in upward direction. To stimulate the urge for the bouts of vomiting, warm water mixed with some herbs is given repeatedly.
Vamana is the best treatment procedure for gastric problems and some respiratory diseases.
Before Virechana the patient should undergo the preparatory procedures Snehana & Swedana.
Snehana & Swedana procedures are explained in details above.
Snehana is done for 3-7 days and then Swedana for another 3 days. The medicine for purgation is to be given early morning in around 6 A.M on empty stomach. Usually the purgation will start after 3 hours. Warm water may be given in small doses, when the patient feels thirsty or the urge for evacuation is not felt sufficient. When the evacuation of the bowel is complete as per the features described for proper purgation, the patient is advised to take complete rest.
Virechana is the best treatment for Gastrointestinal disorders, Dermatological disorders etc. Virechana cleans the channels by the removal of accumulated waste products, undigested material, and the toxins mainly from the gut (Gastrointestinal tract). It enhances the appetite, power of digestion and absorption of food.
Nasya is a Panchakarma treatment which involves administration of medicines through nostrils. It is applied in case of diseases surrounding the head and neck.
The patient is made to sit or lie down in a comfortable posture. He has to undergo gentle massage over the head, forehead and face followed by mild Swedana, Slightly warm oil is instilled in prescribed dose in each nostril. Gentle massage is performed on the plantar and palmar regions, shoulder and back. The patient is allowed to spit if he feels any discomfort due to oil in the throat. After the completion of procedure, oil on the face is to be wiped off and complete rest is advised to the patient. Gargling with warm water may follow Dhoomapana (inhalation of medicated smoke) though mouth may be given after Nasya. Nasya is normally done for 7-14 days depending on the condition of the disease.
Nasya is very effective in treating headache, ENT disorders, facial paralysis, cataract, cervical spondylitis etc.
Urovasti is one of the most effective panchakarma therapy for respiratory disorders. The word ‘uro’ means ‘chest’ and ‘vasti’ means ‘to hold’.
In this procedure, warm medicated oil is poured over the chest. The oil is made to retain in the chest area, by making a partition with wheat or black gram flour. This oil is made to hold in the chest area, covering the lungs for a certain period of time. This is one of the most effective treatment procedures for treating chest and lung disorders.
In this method medicated powders are made into a paste and is applied as a pack over the affected area.
Abhyanga is a part of Panchakarma treatment method which involves application of warm medicated oil over the body with mild pressure. The medicine is rubbed over the body in directions comfortable to the patient. It improves strength and alleviates Vata. Abhyanga is a type of Bahya Snehana which can be performed as therapeutic procedure as well as preventive procedure.
The patient is made to sit on the Abhyanga table with leg extended. The oil is to be heated to optimum temperature and applied over the head, ears and soles of the feet. And then the oil is applied uniformly with mild pressure over the body by two masseurs standing on both sides of the table. Massage is started from scalp, head and moves down to neck, upper back, shoulders, upper arms, forearms, hands and then chest, abdomen, lower back and lower limbs.
Abhyanga should be done in sitting, supine, right lateral and left lateral positions and prone position. At the end of the procedure the oil on the body is wiped off with tissue or towel. The procedure normally takes 30- 40 minutes.
Patient is advised to take complete rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bath can be taken with hot water and soap to remove the oil from the body. Light semisolid digestible diet is advised after the bath.
Advantages of Ayurvedic Treatment for Asthma
The treatment procedure removes inflammation in the airways, and also control the further production of sputum, thereby improving the quality of breathing.
The treatment procedure is focussed at curing the root cause of the disease, rather than trying to suppress the symptoms. Thus the treatment helps in giving a permanent cure, and not a temporary relief.
Since the internal and external medications are always focussed at removing the toxins from the body, it enhances the breathing capacity of the lungs and gives you a healthy feeling.
Helps to overcome dependency on using of inhalers and nebulizers.
The treatment procedure and medicines are completely natural and free from any side-effects.
The medicines help to remove side-effects caused by other medicines which you have used earlier.
Since panchakarma is a complete detoxification therapy, it gives you a complete healthy feeling and thus improve the quality of life.
Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Asthma
Mix 1 tsp of honey with half tsp of cinnamon powder. Slowly consume it to remove mucus from the lungs. This gives relief from difficulty in breathing.
Mix some honey into a glass of lemon juice. Drink this twice a day. This will help in controlling the mucus generation.
Add crushed ginger into a glass of lemon juice. Drink this twice day for getting relief from asthma.
Drinking herbal tea frequently is very good for asthma relief. Prepare a tea by mixing some ajwain, a pinch of pepper, 2-3 basil leaves and some crushed ginger. This combination is very effective in getting relief from asthma symptoms.
A mild massage with sesame oil on the chest helps in asthma relief.
Prepare a drink by mixing a pinch of turmeric and pepper in a glass of water. Drink this in empty stomach, in the morning. Turmeric is a very effective herb in the treatment of inflammations.
Ayurveda, which means the science of life. (Ayur = Life, Veda = Science). Ayurveda is a traditional System of treatment (medical science) which was developed in India more than 5000 years ago. Ayurvedic treatment which helps to cure most of the diseases. Major treatment methods are massages, Pizhichil, Njavarakizhi, Sirodhara, Vasthi, Sirovasthi, Udvarthanam, Abhyangam, Nasyam, Thalam etc. The main Advantage of taking ayurveda treatment is, its completely natural because herbal medicines are used to treat any disease conditions. Its a natural medical system focused on physical, mental and spiritual growth of human beings and it focus on treating and get rid off the root cause of the disease (Complete cure) rather than suppressing the symptoms.Special Ayurveda packages available in kerala for most of the ailments