Dr. Prashant Sawant's Ayusanjivani Chikitsa
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Maharashtra, India

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ASTHMA
Disease having similar symptoms in ayurved - Shwasa

What is Asthma?
What are the predisposing factors?
What are the signs and symptoms?
What investigations are usually done?
What is the view of Ayurved?
How can I get relief from asthma?  
What are the preventive measures?
What are the dietary recommendations and other regimen?
What is Asthma?

Asthma is a disease of the respiratory tract, which manifests itself as paroxysms of breathlessness, a
feeling of tightness in the chest resulting from narrowing of the airways.

What are the predisposing factors?

An allergic reaction, an emotional upset, anxiety, occasional physical stress or a cold air triggers
most of the asthma attacks.
Common factors that may trigger an asthma attack are:     

•Mites in house dust.
•Animal dander.
•Drugs (aspirin, brufen etc.)
•Allergenic food.
•Industrial chemicals.
•Tobacco smoke.
•Family history of asthma or allergic disorders.
•Change of seasons or climate.
What are the signs and the symptoms of asthma?
Breathlessness, feeling of tightness in the chest and productive cough are the common signs and
symptoms of Asthma.
The majority of asthma attacks are not serious enough to warrant admittance to   hospital.

What investigations are usually done?

The investigation is usually a chest x-ray. In an acute attack, the lungs appear hyper inflated,
whereas, in-between the two consecutive attacks the chest x-ray is usually normal.
Other tests such as PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) and ABG (Arterial Blood Gas analysis) are
indispensable for the cases of severe asthma.
Skin hypersensitivity tests are usually performed with a group of common allergens known to cause
asthma.
These investigations should be carried only on the professional advice.

What is the view of Ayurved?

In Ayurved asthma is known as Tamak shwas. Tamak means darkness. The term suggests that during
an attack of asthma the patient feels as if he is going into the darkness.
Ayurved believes that even though the symptom of asthma erupts in the chest, its pathology begins
in the stomach.  Therefore every effort, to avoid stomach upset or digestive disturbance, should be
made to control the disease. 
How can I get relief from asthma?  
1.If the patient turns blue or becomes pale or / and clammy, do rush him to the nearest hospital.  It
is better to be safe than to be sorry.
2.Sit on an upright chair (this lifts the top of the rib cage, keeps it stable and allows more efficient
breathing). Do not force them to lie down.
3.Keep the feet and the hands warm by using hot water bottle or warm clothes without suffocating
the patient.
4.Make sure that there is plenty of air in the room.
5.Try to calm and comfort the patient.
6.A strong decoction of licorice root relieves breathlessness.
7.Fresh ginger juice (2 tsp.) with honey (1tsp.) is beneficial.
8.One tsp. of Trikatu (shunthi, marich and pippali in equal ratio) mixed with 2 tsp. of honey is
beneficial.
9.Shwas kuthar rasa, shwas kaschintamani rasa can be taken under medical supervision.

What are the preventive measures?

1.Family history of asthma or an allergic disorder should make you cautious about the disease.
2.Try to avoid exposure to flowering vegetation.
3.Avoid contact with dogs, cats, horses or other animals.
4.Avoid use of asprin, brufen (especially if you are an asthmatic) without professional advice.
5.If you are allergic to any specific food, identify and avoid it.
6.Avoid exposure to chemicals or if you are working in such a industry, try to change the occupation.
7.If change of occupation is not possible, use sesame oil in the form of nasya (nasal installation) 4
drops in each nostril. This should become your daily routine. Preferably nasya should be performed in
the morning before you leave for your job and at the bedtime. This may lessen the chances of an
acute attack.
What are the dietary recommendations and other regimen?
1.Diet should include wheat, moong dal, grapes, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom,
cloves, black pepper, cumin seeds etc.
2.Avoid bananas, pineapple, jackfruit, curd, buttermilk, green peas,  pickle etc.
3.Drink warm water.
4.Avoid exposure to cold air.
5.Compliance with the preventive measures is of highest esteem.
6.If the attack is severe do not try home remedies but take professional advice that will put you on
the right path without causing stress.