Bronchial asthma is a long-term inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs causing recurrent, reversible airway obstruction and bronchospasm. Bronchial asthma is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors.
Bronchial asthma triggers may include: Smoking and second hand smoke, infections such as colds, flu, or pneumonia, allergens such as food, pollen, mold, dust mites, and pet dander, exercise, air pollution and toxins, weather, especially extreme changes in temperature, drugs (such as aspirin, NSAIDs, and beta-blockers), food additives (such as MSG), emotional stress and anxiety, singing, laughing, or crying, perfumes and fragrances, acid reflux
Signs & Symptoms- Asthma signs and symptoms include: Shortness of breath, Chest tightness or pain, Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children), Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu.
Signs that your asthma is probably worsening include: Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome, Increasing difficulty breathing (measurable with a peak flow meter, a device used to check how well your lungs are working), The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often
There is no cure for bronchial asthma. Symptoms of Bronchial asthma can be prevented by avoiding triggers, such as allergens and irritants. Inhaled corticosteroids help to reduce symptoms of Bronchial asthma. If they fail to control, long-acting beta agonists (LABA) or anti-leukotriene agents may be used in addition to inhaled corticosteroids. Inhaled short-acting beta-2 agonist such as salbutamol along with corticosteroids by mouth is used for rapidly worsening symptoms. In very severe cases, intravenous corticosteroids, magnesium sulfate, and hospitalization may be required.
The current management of Bronchial asthma with modern medicine only provides short term symptomatic relief to the patients. Also prolonged use of above mentioned drugs can cause adverse effect with systemic manifestation. As disease becomes chronic, drug dose dependency increases and may cause dilatation of the lung tissue to the extent that leads to respiratory failure.
Tamaka Shwas described in Ayurveda has a close resemblance to Bronchial asthma of modern erra. The disease is called Tamaka as during the state of attack dyspnoea becomes so severe that patient feels entering into the darkness. Symptoms of Tamaka Shwasa includes Gurghurkam (audible wheezing), Pinasa (coryza), Shirogaurava (heaviness in head region), kricchat bhashitum (difficulty in speaking) etc.
Ayurvedic Treatment of Bronchial asthma:
In Vegavastha (acute exacerbations), Ushna and Vatanulomak measures are used to liquefy Kapha. Snehana with Tila taila and Saindhav over chest and back followed by Nadi Sweda is used. Vaman (medically induced emesis) and Virechana (medically induced purgation) are effective in the management of Tamak Shwas. In Avegavastha, Shodhana chikitsa like Vaman (medically induced emesis), Virechana (medically induced purgation) is administered only if extremely essential and the patient is having good Dehabala and Satwabala (mentally and physically fit). Herbs i.e. Shirish Yashtimadhu, Kachur, Pushkarmoola, Kantakari and medicines such as Shwaskuthar Ras, Kanakasava etc are used.
During last 30 years, Dr. Kohli has successfully treated several patients suffering from Bronchial asthma with customized Ayurvedic treatments. Episodes of exacerbations of asthma reduced significantly and quality of life is improved. Many patients became asymptomatic and have stopped taking steroids to control asthma. The key to success in Bronchial Asthma is following Panchakarma treatments on a regular basis. In acute stages of Asthma, one has to continue the inhalers or might even require nebulization.