One out of every ten people today is affected by respiratory problems like asthma attack to some extent and this number only keeps increasing as rapid industrialization and vehicular emissions keeps polluting our atmosphere. What is even more surprising is the fact that a vast majority of people are not even aware that they may be predisposed to bronchial asthma because their present conditions are milder as compared to people who suffer from frequent asthma attacks and have to carry an inhaler with them at all times. But it isn’t hard to find people who complain of wheezing, shortness of breath and dry cough at the same instance when they are suffering from sleeping difficulties, digestive issues and dry skin and this goes to show that there is more to this ailment we know as Asthma than we previously knew. In this post we will dig further to understand the root cause of asthma and look upon Ayurvedic home remedies for its cure in a holistic and natural way after keeping in consideration the modern medical point of view on this.
Causes and effects of Asthma attack
Asthma attacks are caused due to narrowing or blockage of airways that lead to the lungs and people suffering from this chronic disease find it difficult to breath. The intensity of the discomfort caused varies according to the severity of asthma and is primarily caused by these factors-
- Due to a hyperactive bronchial constrictor which is responding to a stimulus such as smoke, dust, pollen, mites etc that causes spasm in the bronchus and resultant narrowing of air passage within the lungs.
- Due to an inflammatory reaction, irritation or swelling in the airways.
- Due to excessive secretion and retention of fluids and mucous in the lungs.
Understanding Asthma attack from Modern Medicine and Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine’s viewpoint.
Modern medicine and Ayurveda have different perspectives on the causes of asthma and also differ in opinion on its treatment and cure. While modern medicine treats the source of asthma as a respiratory affliction only or purely as a lung disorder, Ayurveda holds the view that asthma or ‘tamak svassa’ is caused by a combination of gastro-intestinal factors (primary) that lead to a buildup of toxins in the body along with exposure to external precipitants (secondary) that may trigger an attack. This is why patients at the initial stage of the disease complain of indigestion, constipation and other stomach related ailments and this is the reason that we look for answers in Ayurvedic wisdom. According to Ayurveda, the origin of asthma is in the stomach. Due to the consumption of unhealthy food and its poor digestion and elimination thereafter, toxins and impurities are created in the body.These toxins build up as we continue to eat harmful junk food and eventually reach the chest and lung area (bronchial system) resulting in clogged channels of circulation and accumulation in cell tissues. At this stage the body’s natural defense mechanisms against foreign material are activated and it tries to dilute and wash away this toxin accumulation by triggering inflammation of the airways or by producing excess fluid secretion, which are the tell tale symptoms of asthma and potential asthma attacks. Therefore after identifying the underlying preconditions that result in asthma, Ayurvedic home remedies and supplements intend to eliminate the source of the disease permanently, instead of just looking for a symptomatic temporary relief for asthma attack as provided by modern drugs such as cortisone which can have serious side effects.
Treatment and cure of asthma attack using Ayurvedic medicines and herbs.
Ayurveda’s insightful approach towards asthma treatment and cure is based upon reviving the natural healing ability of the body. Beginning with the consumption of healthy food such as boiled vegetables and fruits we can amplify the benefit by including elements such as ginger, fennel and cumin in our diet because these elements aid in better nutrient absorption in the intestines. Once the body has adjusted to these healthy changes in the diet, intake of Ayurvedic medicines can be started.
The herbs and ingredients that are required for preparing such medicines can be hard to find, but if you do have access to them, you can prepare your own Ayurvedic home remedy for managing asthma in the following ways-
- Somlata, also known as Ephedra vulgaris is found to be highly powerful in relieving asthma symptoms. Entire part of this creeping plant can be dried in the shade and consumed after mixing with honey every 8 hours in small dosages of about 200mgs. It will stimulate the flow of bile and facilitates evacuation of fecal matter resulting in better elimination of toxic matter before it reaches the lungs to cause clogging.
- Chote Kateri or Solanum surattense is also very efficacious for treating asthma. After obtaining the juice of the whole plant, take approximately 10ml of this juice and mix with a gram of trikatu powder (dried ginger, black pepper and long pepper) in the morning and evening to notice the rejuvenating benefits.
- Triphala Powder is a potent combination of three herbs which are dried and powdered- amla or indian gooseberry (Embilica Officinalis), harad or haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and Baheda or Bibhitaki (Terminalia Bellirica). Half a teaspoon of Triphala powder three times daily not only helps in improving digestive function it also gives your entire immune system a vital boost while detoxifying and improving blood circulation.
Being aware that the underlying cause of an asthma attack is not the external allergen but the internal imbalance of the digestive and bronchial system, we can utilize the power of Ayurvedic medicines to re balance our physiological systems and succeed in alleviating symptoms of asthma to lead a wholesome life. We firmly believe that Ayurveda has the inherent ability to negate the harmful effects on the body by eliminating the causative factors in order to treat and cure asthma. The above mentioned herbs and Ayurvedic home remedies for the treatment and cure of bronchial asthma condition and asthma attacks are just a small slice of the vast offerings that nature has provided for us to harness through Ayurveda and we will continue to share with you more health tips in the the days to come so that everybody can lead a healthier lifestyle.