Asthma – An Ayurvedic Approach

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease. In Ayurveda, asthma is known as Swasa Roga. Once you get asthma it may take a long time before you get rid of it. In some extreme cases, asthma even lasts for the life time. Interestingly, asthma is the most common disease among children. There is not a single universally agreeable definition exits for asthma because asthma is a condition in which a number of mutually related symptoms co-exists. In general, inflammation and constriction of the airways result in difficult breathing and increased sensitivity towards any substance that may inhale are the common characteristics of asthma.

However, Ayurvedic system of medicine makes clear distinction about different types of Asthma. Ayurveda is of the opinion that when the three humors – the vata, pitta, and kapha – of the body are in balance then the body is healthy. Any deviation for such a balance may lead to diseases. Based on the predominance of these humors, Ayurveda defines three types of asthma.

1. Vata Type

In cases of vata type asthma, dry cough and wheezing are the main symptoms. Asthma attacks occur during the early morning and early evening. Other symptoms include thirst, dry cough and skin, and constipation. Psychologically, the patient may show symptoms of anxiety and ask for warm drinks.

2. Pitta Type

Dry cough, breathing with a whizzling or rattling sound, and yellow phlegm are the common symptoms of pitta type asthma. Asthma attacks occur usually at night and at noon. Some patients develop fevers and sweating. Psychological symptoms include irritability and the need for cool air.

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