The prevalence of emphysema has increased steadily over the past 20 years. It is the 4th leading cause of death all over the world. Emphysema is a main type of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). In this condition, the patient feels as if something is blocking the smooth flow of air into and out of the lungs. The major cause of emphysema is cigarette smoking. It comes under Shwasa Roga in Ayurveda which is a disorder of Pranavaha srotas.
What are the Causes of Emphysema?
- In 85% of cases, the cause of emphysema is cigarette smoking.
- Toxins inhaled at the workplace such as cadmium, coal, etc.
- Smoke is emitted from indoor cooking and heating, especially in rural areas.
What are the Symptoms of Emphysema?
The main symptoms of emphysema are:
- Shortness of breath which may start only during physical exertion.
- Chronic cough
- As the condition progresses, chronic cough can occur even at rest.
- Presence of blue tinge on lips and fingernail beds.
- Loss of weight and appetite.
Emphysema – According to Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, Vata and Kapha doshas are responsible for maintaining the elasticity of air sacs in the lungs. In Ayurveda, it is said that the main seat of Kapha dosha is the chest cavity. When Kapha dosha in the chest cavity is decreased, Vata dosha gets increased and when Vata dosha gets increased, it causes excessive dryness due to loss of moisture, for which Kapha dosha is responsible. As a result, the air spaces lose support and elasticity. The air sacs also get enlarged, become damaged, and stretched.
Dhuma i.e., smoke is also considered as one of the etiological factors for the causation of breathlessness and cough according to Ayurveda. Raja (dust) has also been mentioned which can be correlated to air pollution, occupational dust, etc. Ayurvedic treatment helps patients to get rid of emphysema naturally.
What is the Alternative Treatment for Emphysema?
Emphysema in Ayurveda is treated on the basis of the doshas involved. The natural treatment of emphysema includes the use of various single herbs, Rasayanas along with Nidanaparivarjana (which includes lifestyle and diet modifications), shaman (pacification), and shodhana (bio-purificatory) methods.
Some Herbs Useful in the Treatment of Emphysema are:
The herbs that are ushna (hot), tikshana (sharp), chhedna (piercing), kapha-vata shaman (kapha-vata doshas pacifying), cleanses the srotas (micro-channels) are effective. According to modern point of view, herbs that are immuno-modulatory, bronchodilatory, mucolytic, and expectorant in nature are useful.
- Haridra (Curcuma longa)
- Trikatu (Piper nigrum, Piper longum and Zingiber officinale)
- Pippali (Piper longum)
- Ela (Elettaria cardamomum)
- Vasaka (Adhatoda vasica)
- Anantmool (Hemidesmus indicus)
- Shirish (Albizia lebbeck)
- Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Diet and Lifestyle
- Take a fresh and warm diet that is low in saturated fat.
- Include seasonal fruits and vegetables in the diet.
- Intake of warm water at regular intervals is also recommended.
- Herbs such as turmeric, garlic, and ginger should be included.
Yoga and Pranayam
Yoga and Pranayam are quite beneficial as Pranayama purifies the Nadi. Simple diaphragmatic breathing increases the volume of air moving through the lungs during inhalation or exhalation.
Various yoga postures that are beneficial: –
Various Pranayamas that are beneficial: –
- Nadi Shodhan
- Anulom Vilom
Thus, treatment of emphysema through Ayurveda can help tremendously in the prevention of the progression of Emphysema effectively and expeditiously. Ayurvedic treatment can prove a milestone in this regard. For more information, you can consult with our health expert – Dr. Sahil Gupta. Book your appointment now.