A widely prevalent chronic inflammatory condition, asthma is emerging as a major public health concern where asthma accounts for approximately 12.9% of global asthma cases in India while accounting for 42.3% of all global asthma mortality burden as of 2019. Every year on May 2, World Asthma Day is celebrated to raise awareness among patients and educate them on how they can find relief from their symptoms as they need symptomatic treatment, but Ayurveda experts insist that Ayurveda can help asthma patients in a big way. Some very effective ways to manage breathing difficulties.
Ayurvedic physician Dr. Amit Deshpande said, “Using anti-inflammatory ingredients from the vast field of Ayurveda can help reduce recurring asthma problems. However, expert guidance is needed to understand which components play which role in managing breathing difficulties among patients. Asthma can generally be defined as a mucus congestion that develops in a person’s airways. This mucus of a cold nature causes the airways to swell, narrow and swell, blocking the airways and causing extreme breathing difficulties.”
He added, “In Ayurveda, asthma is known as tamak svas and is considered an imbalance of vata and kapha dosha which is due to metabolic toxins or amama, lifestyle and other causes along with seasonal changes. The primary symptoms of asthma patients are cough, chest tightness, wheezing, coughing and Difficulty breathing. The increased cases of asthma correspond to many factors including pollution, extreme weather conditions, etc., pollen, smoking, cold air, exercise, and other trigger factors such as stress.”
Talking about the ingredients that provide relief to asthma patients, he said, “Integrating Ayurveda, which focuses on treating the root cause of any disease and not just the symptoms, will greatly benefit asthma patients. As asthma is an inflammatory disease, it requires intake of substances of an inflammatory nature.” According to him, these include:
- Garlic and Curcumin These are ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties and help dissolve the mucus that prompts asthma. Being hot in nature, consumption of these ingredients comes in contact with the cold-natured mucous congestion and dissolves it, reducing inflammation and making a clear passage for the lung airways, ultimately solving the breathing difficulties of asthmatics. Asthma patients can use these ingredients in the form of oil, capsules and tablets in various other ways etc.
- ginger It has a certain spiciness that not only helps to remove mucus from the throat but also soothes irritations or scratches faced by asthmatics. Ingredients in ginger relax airway smooth muscle (ASM). It is a traditional superfood and has been used for over 5,000 years for various medicines and treatments. For better results, asthma patients can mix ginger powder in jaggery or use the same combination for tea. This combination can be taken early in the morning on an empty stomach. Both ingredients are excellent for curing many respiratory problems and have long-lasting soothing effects.
- basilWhich is a popular herb of Ayurveda and available in almost every Indian household, it contains anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties that not only fight infections but also help in strengthening the body’s respiratory system. Rich in antioxidants like zinc and vitamin C, drinking basil with tea or basil leaf juice with honey can provide relief to patients with asthma, bronchitis, influenza, colds and flu.
- Kalmegh This is another Ayurvedic ingredient that supports the treatment of many respiratory conditions as it has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antioxidant, anti-bacterial and immune-stimulating properties.
- It is another ingredient that provides relief to asthma patients Wasaka. It is a common ingredient used in Ayurveda and acts as a powerful activator of the respiratory system. Apart from asthma, it helps in the treatment of bronchitis and other lung diseases.
He concluded, “In the ocean of vast Ayurvedic ingredients, the above mentioned are some highly effective ones that promote asthma treatment using natural methods while receiving general treatment from pulmonologists. Ayurveda acts as an additional support to the patients and helps them in treating the root cause of the disease.”