Ayurveda Treatment for Childhood Asthma
Asthma can start as early as childhood, known as childhood asthma. Asthma is a chronic respiratory problem with wheezing, cough, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Childhood asthma will occur when there is a blockage of free airflow to the lungs, mainly due to muscle squeezing, swelling, or excess mucosa. Due to various triggering factors, the person’s airway becomes narrowed and inflamed, which results in wheezing, cough, and tightness in the chest.
Few causes for asthma are
- Chronic airway inflammation and excessive airway sensitivity to various triggers.
- A cold environment increases the asthmatic attacks.
- Allergic reaction to the triggers.
- Low Immunity.
- Allergic Rhinitis.
- Polluted air such as tobacco smoke.
- Airway irritants like smoke, dust, pollens.
- A recurrent upper respiratory infection like cold, fever, sinusitis.
- Viral infections such as the common cold.
- Weather changes.
- Family history of asthma and allergies.
Early signs and symptoms:
- Recurrent cold,
- Running nose,
- Persistent cough,
- Upper airway symptoms,
Causative factors or Triggering factors:
- Dust, dusty air,
- Intake of cold articles,
- Cold season,
- Improper diet,
- Excessive nourishment,
- Increased doshas,
- Injury to vital points,
How is Asthma Diagnosed?
The doctor will use different methods of testing for Asthma. They include
- Physical examination
- Medical history
- Lung function test
- Chest X-ray
- Allergy Tests
- Sinus x-ray
Types of Asthma
Asthma is classified into four types based on severity. They are
- Intermittent Asthma – Asthmatic attacks less than twice a week and wakeup less than two nights per week.
- Mild Persistent Asthma: Having symptoms two or more days a week and wake up three to four nights a month.
- Moderate Persistent Asthma – One has symptoms every day and wake up one or more nights a week.
- Severe persistent Asthma: Having symptoms during the day and wake up every night due to asthma.
Asthma Medicines and Treatments
The conventional medical system says that there is no cure for asthma, but it can be controlled and managed with a suitable treatment plan. The first step includes avoiding asthma triggers and then taking medication depending on the severity.
Asthma medications are taken directly to lungs through inhaler or nebulizer. Some medications are in the form of pills.
Ayurveda Treatment for Childhood Asthma
Asthma is compared to Tamaka Shwasa in Ayurveda, and it is one among the other respiratory diseases affecting the pranavaha srotas (channel carrying vital life element/air). The name tamaka means dark or night as the disease precipitate during the night, and in severe condition, the patient feels entering into darkness. It produces symptoms like prolonged expiration, wheeze, dyspnoea, etc.
According to ayurveda, the pranavaha Srotas gets obstructed by the kapha dosha resulting in obstruction to breathing. They are thus resulting in Tamaka Shwasa. So the line of treatment is to eliminating excessive kapha dosha and making a free flow of prana vayu.
As per Ayurveda, the causes for Tamaka Shwasa are as follows
- Intake of dry, cold, heavy, incompatible food and irregular food habits.
- Excessive intake of black gram, sesame, meat products of aquatic animals
- Intake of cold and exposure to cold weather.
- Exposure to dust, smoke, and wind
- Excessive exercise and overindulgence in sexual activities.
- Injury to throat, chest, and vital organs.
- Suppression of natural urges.
Tamaka shwasa is classified into two types, namely pratamaka shwasa, which is associated with fever, fainting, distention of the abdomen, and indigestion. When the pratamaka shwasa feels submerged in darkness, then this is known as Santamaka shwasa, is alleviated by taking of cold regimen.
Asthma Treatment in Ayurveda
Ayurvedic treatment for asthma is classified into purificatory therapy and palliative therapy, along with avoiding causative factors, triggers and adopting a suitable lifestyle.
- Palliative Treatments (Shamana Chikitsa) – Medications are administered in the early stages to prevent asthma. In the initial stages of asthma, following proper food habits, daily regimens, avoiding triggering factors, and few internal medications will help a person cure asthma.
- Shodana Chikitsa: Purificatory treatments like Vamana and virechana are administered to remove the increased doshas, and then internal medicines are given. This is a must to the persons who are suffering for a long period.
Diet for Asthma :
One has to follow good food habits to be healthy, especially in asthma, one has to eat right to avoid asthmatic episodes.
- Take only three times food in a day
- Take easily digestible food
- Breathing Exercise
- Exercise or Yogasanas
- Drinking hot water and having food when it’s warm
- Shali dhanya (red rice), Shastika Dhanya (rice variety that grows in 60 days), Old Wheat, green gram, horse gram, barley, Asafoetida, ghee, salt, pomegranate, ginger, pepper should be used frequently in the diet.
What to avoid in Asthma:
The following has to be avoided
- Eating heavy food and improper timing and quantity
- Mixing cooked and uncooked food.
- Animal products like meat, fish, dairy products.
- Old food items.
- Oily and junk foods.
- Day time sleep.
- Intake of food that increases kapha dosha in the body.
- Consumption of cold food and drinks.
- Exposing to cold weather and triggering factors.
- Avoid old food.
How to prevent Asthma attacks and control asthma?
- Avoid the Asthma Triggers
Avoiding the triggers is the best way to reduce asthma attacks. It can be dust and smoke, food, drinks, etc. make a note whenever you experience or identify the triggers.
- Asthma Medicines:
Continue prescribed medication at the prescribed dosage. Medicines helps you to prevent recurrent asthma attacks.
- Observe and Track your Asthma
One can feel the early symptoms such as cough, chest tightness, etc. the progress of the symptoms usually slow, and people may not take it seriously until they become severe. Identifying the early signs and taking suitable precautions and medications can prevent asthmatic episodes.
Commonly used herbs in Asthma Treatment
- Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum)
- Vasa (Adhatoda vasica)
- Sunthi (Zingiber officinalis)
- Bharangi (Clerodendrum serratum)
- Pushkaramoola (Innula racemosa)
- Karkataka Shringi (Pistacia inergerrima)
- Haridra (Curcuma longa)
Note: All these drugs to be taken under the supervision of a qualified physician only.
Home remedy for Asthma
Apply warmed mustard oil mixed with a little salt to chest and back, do gentle massage on these areas, and then give steam. This helps to liquefy the mucus in the lungs and allowed them to expel out. Steaming also helps in reducing breathing difficulty.