Bronchial Asthma (Tamaka Swasa Roga)
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Introduction

 

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.

Definition of Bronchial Asthma (Tamaka Swasa Roga)

 

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.

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Causes of Bronchial Asthma (Tamaka Swasa Roga)

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:-

  • Allergens such as molds, animal dander, grass, certain fibers, pollen of flowers, hair, lint and particular food grains,
  • Certain food colorings and preservatives such as monosodium glutamate (ajinomoto salt),
  • Drugs such as aspirin, non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, b blockers, etc. and
  • Changes in the weather.

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Symptoms of Bronchial Asthma (Tamaka Swasa Roga)

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:-

  • There is a wheezing sensation and a shortness of breath.
  • The chest feels cramped and tight.
  • Breath will come in large gasps and will be followed by coughing bouts.
  • In some cases, there is a claustrophobic sensation and a desire to run out into the open.

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

  • These attacks occur at the period in which the vata dosha is the most active, i.e. at dawn or at dusk.
  • The person will have a persistent dry cough and wheezing.
  • Thirsty feeling and dryness of the mouth are common.
  • Skin will also be dry, i.e. devoid of its natural gloss.
  • Constipation will be observed frequently.
  • The person will prefer warm drinks over cold drinks.

(ii) Symptoms of Tamaka Swasa Roga due to Pitta Dosha

  • These attacks occur at the period in which the pitta dosha is the most active, i.e. at noon or at midnight.
  • There is cough and wheezing with the discharge of yellowish phlegm.
  • Fever and sweating normally accompanies asthmatic attacks.
  • The person will be very irritable to the surroundings.
  • The person will enjoy being in cool air most of the time.

(iii) Symptoms of Tamaka Swasa Roga due to Kapha Dosha

  • These attacks occur at the period in which the kapha dosha is the most active, i.e. in the morning or in the evening.
  • The person has cough and wheezing accompanied with the discharge of clear white phlegm.
  • There is occasional congestion of the lungs in the person which causes a whistling sound when the person breathes.

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Prevention of Bronchial Asthma (Tamaka Swasa Roga)

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

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Diet during Bronchial Asthma (Tamaka Swasa Roga)

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.

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Ayurvedic Treatment for Bronchial Asthma (Tamaka Swasa Roga)

The following is a list of the herbs that have potential in treating tamaka swasa roga (bronchial asthma) in people.

Ayurvedic Name of the Herb

Biological Name of the Herb

Common English Name of the Herb

Action on the Human Body

Ajamoda or Ajwain ka patta

Apium graveolens

Celery

Celery is used in the treatment of asthma due to its antispasmodic properties. Its seeds are also proven to be effective in the treatment of asthma.

Ajwain

Tachyspermum ammi

Bishop’s Weed

Ajwain is an expectorant. Its bark in powdered form is a good remedy to allay asthmatic attacks, especially if taken in a decoction with buttermilk.

Asmania or Somalata

Ephedra germanium wall

Ephedra

Somalata is one of the prime herbs prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors in case of asthmatic attacks. A solution of somalata powder in water provides instant relief during asthma attacks by clearing the respiratory tract. It also provides a restful sleep to the person.

Dhatura

Datura stramonium

Datura

The smoke from the datura leaves is sometimes smoked to relieve asthmatic attacks. However this must be done only under supervision as datura is also an intoxicant.

Harad

Terminalia chebula retz

Chebulic Myroblan

If a person chews the fruit of the chebulic myroblan every night before retiring to bed, it is observed that the asthmatic attacks are vastly improved.

Hing

Ferula foetida

Asafetida

Three to six centigrams of the gum of asafetida is mixed with two teaspoons of honey, a quarter teaspoon of white onion juice and one teaspoon of betel leaf juice. This concoction taken thrice daily helps in the healing of bronchial asthma.

Kahu

Terminalia arjuna

Arjuna

The bark of the arjuna tree is beneficial in treating asthma. A powder is made of the dried bark and had with milk. This provides relief if the person does not sleep after the consumption for twelve hours.

Kaiphala

Myrica nagi

Bay Berry

The bark of the bay berry tree in powdered form is a good remedy for bronchial asthmatic patients.

Kasni

Chichorium intybus

Chicory

Chicory juices are very effective in removing asthma if milk and fermented foods are eliminated from the diet. The powdered dry root of chicory mixed with honey if also quite helpful.

Laal Dudhi

Euphorbia hirta

Euphorbia

Laal dudhi relieves the bronchial tubes and facilitates respiration.

Lahsun

Allium sativum

Garlic

Three garlic cloves drunk with milk every night is considered to be an excellent Ayurvedic cure for asthma.

Lavanga

Syzygium aromaticum

Clove

Clove has expectorant properties.

Makoy

Solanum nigrum

Black Nightshade

Black nightshade helps to remove the catarrhal and phlegmatic matters from the bronchial tubes. In this manner they improve respiration. The fruits of the black nightshade are also good remedies for bronchial asthma.

Sunthi or Adrak

Zingiber officinale

Ginger

Ginger has expectorant properties.

Vacha

Acorus calamus

Calamus or Sweet Flag

Calamus is a very effective herb in the treatment of asthma. It removes the catarrhal and phlegmatic matters from the bronchial tubes, making them free for respiration.

Velaiti Saunf

Pimpinella anisum

Aniseed

Aniseed is an expectorant. Hence it is beneficial in the treatment of asthma.

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) ChyavanpraashaAmla 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 kartari200 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.

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Post Your Comments

Comment Script

Comments

I started having asthma a year ago,it come with heavy heart,hard breath,light and steady cough,coldness on the legs and hands with stiffness.what can i do to stop it?
#1 - Audrey - 03/15/2010 - 12:55
1. Cure any infection u have. For that
take 2 tablets of cefalofroxin, 2
tables of Metrogyl for 3 days. (i.e., 6
each)

2. Eat eggs regularly (2 per day atleast
twice a week). It has vitamin-D
which stops asthmatic conditions.

3. Keep asthalin inhaler with you but
don't use it till it is necessary. So, any
psychological issues leading to
asthma will not disturb u.

4. Sleep well for 7 hours a day.

5. Do yoga particularly -> Sarpasana.

6. Don't care for anything. That's all.

Cheers.
#2 - Siva - 03/10/2011 - 05:16
Excellent work & script too
Jai hind
#3 - vaibhav - 01/29/2012 - 08:25
Excellent , really , Good advice!!!
#4 - vidita - 03/22/2012 - 07:18
Thank u so much... I am an asthmatic since young... I really hate it... But by reading the above stated information I gain so much knowledge thank u once again...
#5 - Atika - 09/19/2012 - 13:10
My wife aged 59 years started with dry cough since last 25 years.But on contacting different clinics advised that she is having allergy and treated differently. But now since last 6 months she is facing problem of breathing during nights.It seems to her that she can not breathe. Please guide me for ayurvedic treatment
#6 - Jagdish Trivedi - 01/05/2013 - 14:31
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