Tamaka Swasa Roga is the Ayurvedic term for bronchial asthma. Bronchial asthma is a respiratory disease which obstructs the steady respiration of a person.
The incidences of bronchial asthma are rising rapidly in the modern world. Experts believe the changing climate and the rising pollution to be the culprits. The situation has become so drastic, that surveys have shown one in every five children in developed countries to have some or the other symptoms of bronchial asthma.
Asthmatic people must carry a device called as an inhaler or respirator with them. This device opens up the respiratory canal and allows air to enter. Respirators are known to have saved many lives of bronchial asthmatic people.
Bronchial asthma, or simply asthma, is a disease of the respiratory tract. Asthmatic people find difficulties in breathing due to a constriction or narrowing of the respiratory tract, especially the trachea. Bronchial asthma can be triggered by a host of factors such as dust, allergies, some foods, clothes, hair, or it could be passed down genetically. An asthmatic patient has bouts of bronchial asthma when the causative factors are in proximity. In between these bouts of bronchial asthma, the patient can lead a normal life. However, sometimes, the bouts are so severe that they may cause death of the person.
What Causes Asthma?
Ayurveda classifies bronchial asthma as a kapha disease. Kapha is the dosha that relates with water and earth elements. Shleshaka kapha is the fluid that is filled within the heart and the lungs. This is the fluid that is responsible for the proper respiration in the person. Any vitiation in the shleshaka kapha results in bronchial asthma.
Though bronchial asthma is mostly a kapha dosha disease, vitiation in the vata and the pittadoshas can also cause it. The cause of bronchial asthma lies within the internal constitution of the person.
Clinically, some factors have been found out to be the cause of bronchial asthma. A list of these factors is given below:-
The symptoms of bronchial asthma are similar to the symptoms of the other kind of prevalent asthma, i.e. cardiac asthma. In an asthmatic patient, the following symptoms can be observed:-
Ayurveda clearly delineates the symptoms of the bronchial asthma that is caused due to vata, pitta and kapha doshas. The following are the symptoms of the humor related bronchial asthmatic conditions.
(i) Symptoms of Tamaka Swasa Roga due to Vata Dosha
(ii) Symptoms of Tamaka Swasa Roga due to Pitta Dosha
(iii) Symptoms of Tamaka Swasa Roga due to Kapha Dosha
There are many precautions that an asthmatic person may take with regards to the living environmental conditions.
The first step to be taken is to find out the causative factor of the asthma. Once that has been found out, that factor must be completely eliminated from the house.
The bedroom shouldn be thoroughly cleaned and kept totally free of the bronchial asthma-causing allergen.
Patients with severe bronchial asthmas must wash their mattresses at least once a week. Eiderdown and other stuffing of the mattresses, as well as the dust that accumulates on them, can cause bronchial asthma attacks.
Brooms must not be used for cleaning the house. The residue of the broomsticks can aggravate the asthma. Use a vacuum cleaner for safe results.
Perfumes, deodorants, aftershaves and air fresheners must be avoided as these can exacerbate the bronchial asthma problem.
The person must never lie down during an asthmatic attack. This chokes up the respiratory tract, further complicating the process.
Air-conditioner filters, smoke absorber cartridges and even the pouch bags in the washing machines must be regularly cleaned.
For an asthmatic patient, smoking is almost like sounding the death-knell.
Swimming is an excellent exercise for asthmatics as it builds up the chest tenacity. Swimming is also not a very strenuous activity. However severe bronchial asthmatic patients should swim only under supervision.
Yoga is also a very effective exercise. The different stretching and contorting asanas of yoga are helpful in extending the respiratory tract completely. Some yogic asanas that are beneficial to bronchial asthmatic patients are:-
- Surya Namaskar
- Shankha Asana
- Pranaam Asana
- Sarvanga Asana
- Supta Vajrasana
- Ushtra Asana
- Hasta Uttana Asana
- Utthita Lola Asana
- Dwikona Asana
- Matsya Asana
Bronchial asthmatic patients must be very particular about their dietary regimen. The following diet routines are beneficial to asthmatics in general:-
Avoid foods that are difficult to digest. These include all animal products, milk foods (especially for people who are lactose intolerant) and pulses.
Supplement your diet with a healthy intake of fluids to facilitate easy digestion.
Avoid curds and buttermilk as they take long to digest. Also keep away from fruits with high sugar content such as bananas, guavas, apples, etc.
Avoid fried foods and foods with heavy spice content.
Several people are allergic to yeast. If so, then yeast foods, i.e. fermented foods such as breads, cakes, pastries, etc. must be avoided.
Fish and other sea foods are also a prime cause of asthmas. Check whether your asthma is due to any marine product. If yes, then avoid that food entirely.
The following is a list of the herbs that have potential in treating tamaka swasa roga (bronchial asthma) in people.
Apart from the above herbs, there are some very popular Ayurvedic preparations that are prescribed for bronchial asthmatic patients. Some of them are:-
(i) Sitopaladi choorna – Sitopaladichoorna must be taken thrice or four times a day in a teaspoonful quantity mixed with honey to obtain good results.
(ii) Chyavanpraasha – Amla or Indian gooseberry is the main ingredient of Chyavanpraasha. This provides vitamin C. Chyavanpraasha taken thrice a day in teaspoonful quantities, preferably before meals, provides good relief from bronchial asthmatic attacks.
(iii) Kapha kartari – 200 milligrams of kapha kartari enclosed in a betel leaf and chewed slowly brings immediate results to bronchial asthmatic patients. The result is so immediate that the chest feels freer as soon as the first juices of this paan enter the respiratory tract. Kartari means ‘scissors’ in Sanskrit. Hence, kapha kartari is so named because it cuts through the vitiation of the kapha dosha like a knife.
(iv) Bharangee guda – Bharangee guda in about 12 grams mixed with Chebula Myroblan herb provides relief from chest congestion and coughs.
(v) Kanakasava – Kanakasava is a known Ayurvedic medicine for coughs, asthmas and tuberculosis. The main ingredient of kanakasava is dhatura.