Asthma is a disorder in which the sidewalls of the lungs gets inflamed and hence the entire passage becomes narrow. That leads to wheezing, shortness of breath, stiffness of chest, and coughing. There are several stages in asthma like mild, moderate or severe. This disease is affecting a lot of people now and some of the reported stats are staggering. Children are more prone to this disease and their entire childhood can get spoiled by this disease. This article will cover the causes, conventional treatments, home remedies and ayurvedic treatment for this disease.
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- Number of noninstitutionalized adults who currently have asthma: 18.9 million
- Percent of noninstitutionalized adults who currently have asthma: 8.2%
- Number of children who currently have asthma: 7.1 million
- Percent of children who currently have asthma: 9.5%
Several people who suffer this disease have a family history of allergies, such as hay fever or eczema. Ayurveda for long has said that excema and asthma are highly related and avoiding trigger factors is the best way to combat this disease. There are some cases where asthma is not related to family history. Some of the common triggering factors for Asthma are
- Animal fur
- Sudden change in climate
- Severe Exercise
- Mental stress
- NSAIDs and painkiller drugs
Asthma Diagnosis and Conventional Treatment:
The most common diagnosis methods used are
- An arterial blood gas (ABG). This test measures the levels of carbon-dioxide and oxygen in the blood by taking a sample from the artery. This is to determine how well your lungs are functioning.
- Testing eosinophil count, eosinophils are white blood cells which fight parasites in the body, however a higher count is also related to asthma and other autoimmune diseases.
- Chest x-ray
- Lung function tests
- The peak expiratory flow (PEF) test. This is a simple test and can be even done at home using a small hand-held device called as peak flow meter. It monitors the person’s ability to breath out and in doing so it evaluates the amount of obstruction in the airways.
When it comes to treatment, there are no cures for asthma in conventional medicine. The most common treatments are based on suppressing the symptoms. Conventional treatment addresses this through prevention using strong medicine and quick relief medicines. However there are no treatments to cure this disease.
Home Remedies and Ayurvedic Cure:
I. Dietary Treatments for Asthma
- Avoid highly processed foods, foods that are reheated and stale. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. However among fruits avoid banana, guava, papaya and watermelon,
- According to ayurveda it is important to avoid any food that creates a Kapha imbalance. Foods like white rice, yogurts, buttermilk, refined sugar, lentils and cheese; it is advisable to avoid these foods.
- Start a day with drinking 600 ml or more of pure water. Another method is to soak fenugreek in water overnight and drink the water in an empty stomach the next morning after filtering out the fenugreek seeds.
- Avoid binge eating and have a light early dinner.
II Ayurvedic Medicine for asthma
- Siddha and Ayurveda recommends three important herbs for respiratory problems and asthma. They are dried ginger root, long pepper and pepper. You can add these herbs to all the food stuff as a spice. they enhance the taste and flavor too.
- Thoodhuvalai (Solanum Trilobatum) is an excellent medicine for asthma and cough. Take powdered form of this herb, mix it with a glass of water and drink it. It is bitter in taste, but is an excellent medicine.
- Honey lemon is a good medicine. Two tablesppon of lemon juice mixed with 1 tablespoon of honey.
- Have a cup of decoction made out of dried ginger and fenugreek 1 hour after a meal.
- Vegetable juices are better than fruit juices. Avoid refined sugar in these juices. Spinach and cabbage juice is very good for people with asthma.
- Garlic is an excellent anti-inflammatory medicine. 10 cloves of garlic can be boiled and taken along with food.
- Bharangi is a very old herb in Ayurveda often classifed as a divine herb. This herb helps in restoring the health of the lungs and in improving the voice. This herb can be taken as capsules or ground and taken along with honey
- Bay leaf powder prevents asthma attacks. One TSP of bay leaf powder mixed with honey can be taken before bedtime to prevent asthma attacks.
By using these ayurvedic herbs one can easily overcome asthma. However remember we are what we eat, make sure to have a healthy and balanced diet everyday based on your body type.