Childhood Asthma (Swasa Roga)
Childhood Asthma-Swasa Roga
Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood and the leading cause of childhood morbidity from chronic disease as measured by school absences, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations. Childhood asthma isn’t a different disease from asthma in adults, but children face unique challenges Asthma leads to recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing (particularly at night or early morning). Clinical symptoms in children 5 years and younger are variable and non-specific. Unfortunately, childhood asthma can’t be cured, and symptoms can continue into adulthood. But with the right treatment, we can keep symptoms under control and prevent damage to growing lungs In Ayurveda, Asthma may be included in Swasa roga mentioned in Ayurvedic classics. As per the Ayurvedic principles, respiratory diseases have the predominance of Vata dosha (one among the functional pillars of body) along with vitiation of Kapha dosha and Pranavaha srotas (cardio-respiratory system).
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Causes of Childhood Asthma
Childhood asthma causes aren’t fully understood. Some factors thought to be involved include:
- Inherited tendency to develop allergies
- Parents with asthma
- Some types of airway infections at a very young age
- Exposure to environmental factors, such as cigarette smoke or other air pollution
- Increased immune system sensitivity causes the lungs and airways to swell and produce mucus when exposed to certain triggers
Triggers vary from child to child and can include:
- Viral infections such as the common cold
- Exposure to air pollutants, such as tobacco smoke
- Allergies to dust mites, pet dander, pollen or mold
- Physical activity
- Weather changes or cold air
Ayurvedic reference of Childhood Asthma
Symptomsof Childhood Asthma
- Recurrent Wheeze
- Recurrent Cough
- Recurrent Breathlessness
- Activity Induced Cough/Wheeze
- Nocturnal Cough/Breathlessness
- Tightness of Chest
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Diet in Childhood Asthma
Do’s (Pathya) inChildhood Asthma
- Limit exposure to asthma triggers. Help your child avoid the allergens and irritants that trigger asthma symptoms.
- Encourage your child to be active. As long as your child’s asthma is well-controlled, regular physical activity can help the lungs to work more efficiently.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can worsen asthma symptoms, and it puts your child at risk of other health problems.
- Keep heartburn under control
- Godhuma (wheat), Old rice, Mudga (green gram), Kulattha (Horse gram), Yava (barley), Patola (snake gourd)
- Use of Garlic, Turmeric, Ginger, Black pepper
Don’ts (Apathya) inChildhood Asthma
- Don’t allow smoking around your child. Exposure to tobacco smoke during infancy is a strong risk factor for childhood asthma, as well as a common trigger of asthma attacks.
- Exposure to Cold & Humid atmosphere
- Sweets, Chilled water, Stored food items, Curd
- Heavy, cold diet, Masha (black gram)
- Exposure to Smoke, Dust and fumes, Pollutants and Pollens
- Deep fried items, Mustard leaves, Fish
- If the child is allergic to house dust mite, don’t let them be surrounded by loads of teddy bears at night, and put their favourite one in the freezer overnight every month to kill off the mites.
- Consider if the stresses of life are making the child more anxious and worsening their asthma
Yoga Therapy forChildhood Asthma
- Baddha konasana
Nadi-shodhana Pranayama leads to marked improvement in the lung functions by strengthening the respiratory muscles and decreasing the resistance to the air flow in the lungs.
Ayurvedic Treatment forChildhood Asthma
As per Ayurveda, treatment principle for respiratory disorders is to balance both vata and kapha, so the drugs used for these diseases should possess qualities like vata kapha samana (alleviating vata & kapha dosha), ushna (hot by potency) and vatanulomana(carminative). Ayurveda has also potent single drugs and compound formulations for breaking the pathology of these respiratory ailments.
Internal Medicines forChildhood Asthma
- Dashmoola Katutraya Kashaya
- Bharangyadi Kashaya
- Vasa Vyaghri Kashaya
- Pathyashadanga Kashaya
- Elakanadi Kashaya
- Talisadi churna
- Sitopaladi churna
- Shringyadi churna
- Vyaghri haritaki
- Vasa ghrita
- Kantakari ghrita
- Baraka bhasma
- Sameerpannaga rasa
- Swasa kuthara rasa
- Swasnanda gutika
- Haridra khanda
External therapies for Childhood Asthma
- Abhyanga (massage) with Sarsapa taila (mixed with saindhava lavana) on chest
- Swedana (hot fomentation)
- Vamana (emesis therapy),
- Virechna (purgation therapy)
Single drugs used inChildhood Asthma
- Vasa (Adhatoda vasica)
- Madhuyasti (Glycirrhiza glabra)
- Bharangi (Clerodendrum serratum)
- Pushkarmoola (Inula racemosa)
- Vibhitaka (Terminalia bellerica)
- Shati (Hedychium spicatium)
- Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
- Shirisha (Albizia lebbek)
- Haridra (Curcuma longa)
- Ashtanga Hridaya Nidana Sthana, Swasahidma Nidana, Chapter 4, Shloka 3.
- Vidyadhar Shukla, Ravi Datt Tripathi, Charak Samhita, Vol. 2. Chikitsasthana Varanasi: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Pratishthan; 2010. p. 416 – 438.
- Yadav S, Ravishankar G, Prajapati PK. Anti-inflammatory activity of Shirishavaleha: An Ayurvedic compound formulation. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010 Oct-Dec; 1 (4): p. 205-207.
- Child Health and Ayurveda, Edition 2021, by Sahil Gupta, Childhood Asthma Chapter No. 44, Page No. 186-189.
Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)