A widely prevalent chronic inflammatory condition, asthma is emerging as a major concern for public health where asthma in India accounts for approximately 12.9% of global asthma cases while being responsible for 42.3% of all global asthma deaths burden as per the data from 2019. Every year on May 2, World Asthma Day is commemorated to raise awareness among patients and educate them on how many ways they can seek relief for their symptoms as it requires symptomatic treatment however, Ayurveda experts insist that Ayurveda can aid assistance to asthma patients in a multitude of ways with some very efficacious methods of managing breathing difficulties.

World Asthma Day 2023: Ayurvedic ingredients that can troubleshoot your breathing problem (Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash)

Ayurvedic Physician Dr Amit Deshpande shared, “The usage of anti-inflammatory ingredients from the vast sphere of Ayurveda can help to minimise recurring asthma problems. However, expert guidance is certainly needed to understand what ingredient plays what role in managing breathing difficulties among patients. Asthma can be simply defined as the mucus congestion developed in the airways of an individual. This mucus, cold in nature, causes the airways to become inflamed, narrowed and swollen, blocking the airway passage and raising extreme difficulties while breathing.”

He elaborated, “In Ayurveda, asthma is described as tamaka swasa and is considered an imbalance of Vata and Kapha dosha which occurs due to the cumulation of metabolic toxins or Ama, corresponding to lifestyle and seasonal changes among other reasons. Primary symptoms which appear in asthmatic patients are cough, tightness of the chest, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Increasing cases of asthma can correspond to several factors including pollution, extreme weather conditions, etc, along with other triggering factors pollen, smoking, cold air, exercise, and stress among others.”

Talking about the ingredients that can act as a reliever for asthma patients, he said, “Integrating Ayurveda, which focuses on treating the root cause of any disease over addressing symptoms only, can benefit asthma patients immensely. Since asthma is an inflammatory disease, it requires the intake of ingredients that are anti-inflammatory in nature.” According to him, these include:

  • Garlic and curcumin are such ingredients which possess anti-inflammatory properties and help in dissolving mucus that prompts Asthma. Being hot in nature, these ingredients when consumed get in contact with cold-natured mucus congestion and melt it, reducing the inflammation and resulting in a clear passage for the lung’s airways, ultimately resolving breathing difficulties of asthma patients. Asthma patients can consume these ingredients in the form of oil, capsules and tablets among various other methods etc.
  • Ginger has a certain spiciness that not only helps clear mucus from the throat but also soothes the irritation or scratchiness faced by an Asthma patient. Components in ginger relax the airway smooth muscle (ASM). It is a traditional superfood and has been used for various medications and treatments for more than 5,000 years. For better results, an asthma patient can steep ginger powder with jaggery or use the same combination for tea. The combination can be taken early in the morning on an empty stomach. Both ingredients are splendid to cure a number of respiratory issues and have long-lasting soothing effects.
  • Tulsi, which is a popular herb in Ayurveda and is mostly available in almost every Indian household, comprises anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial qualities which not only help in battling infections but also aid strength to the respiratory system of the body. Rich in antioxidants like zinc, and vitamin C, consumption of tulsi with tea, or tulsi leaf juice with honey can aid relief to patients suffering from asthma, bronchitis, influenza, cough and cold.
  • Kalmegh is another Ayurvedic ingredient that supports the treatment of a multitude of respiratory conditions as it contains anti-inflammation, anti-viral, antioxidant, anti-bacterial and immune-stimulating properties.
  • Another ingredient that results in providing relief to asthma patients is Vasaka. It is a common ingredient used in Ayurveda and functions as a potent activator of the respiratory system. Besides asthma, it helps in the treatment of bronchitis, and other lung diseases.

He concluded, “In the vast Ayurvedic ingredients ocean, the above-mentioned are some of the highly effective ones that foster the treatment of Asthma using natural ways while receiving a normal course of treatment from pulmonologists. Ayurveda serves as additional support to patients and helps them in treating the root cause of the disease.”

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