Vasarishtam – Ayurvedic Medicine For Bronchial Asthma
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a condition in which airways narrow, swell and produce excess mucus.
Types of Asthma
- Allergy-induced asthma
In this type, the signs and symptoms occur when triggered by allergic substances. Some common allergens are pollen, mould spores, etc.
- Occupational asthma
Here signs and symptoms are triggered by some chemicals, fumes, gas or dust at the workplace.
- Exercise-induced asthma
Exercise-induced asthma occurs when triggered by physical exertion or exercise.
What is Bronchial Asthma?
Bronchial asthma is commonly known as asthma.
Causes of Asthma
The actual cause of asthma is not clear. However, studies show that asthma is probably due to a combination of environmental and inherited factors.
There are some triggering factors of asthma. The triggering factors include
- Allergens like pollen, cockroach, mould spores etc.
- Respiratory infections like common cold, influenza etc.
- Physical exertion
- Cold climate
- Air irritants like dust, smoke
- Extreme changes in temperature
- Some perfumes and fragrances
- Certain medications (Aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Strong emotions
- Some food preservatives (shrimp, dried fruits, processed potatoes, beer, wine)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
Risk factors of Bronchial Asthma
- Parents or siblings having asthma
- Other allergic conditions like atopic dermatitis
- Exposure to fumes and other pollutants
- Exposure to some chemicals
Signs and Symptoms of Bronchial Asthma
Signs and symptoms vary from person to person. Some common symptoms are
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness of chest
- Chest pain
- Sleep trouble due to shortness of breath, cough or wheezing
Diagnosis of Bronchial Asthma
Bronchial asthma tests may include
- Spirometry – Spirometry is a lung function test to measure your breathing capacity.
- Peak expiratory flow
- Chest X-ray
A severe asthma attack may be life-threatening. Seek emergency treatment when there is
- Rapid worsening of shortness of breath
- No improvement even after using an inhaler
- If there occurs shortening of breath even after minimal exertion
Asthma in Children
Asthma in children is not different from adults. But children face unique challenges. Childhood asthma may interfere with sports, school, and sleep. In some children, unmanaged asthma may cause dangerous asthma attacks.
Vasarishtam is a self-generated alcoholic preparation. The formulation is explained in the textbook ‘Gadanigraham’.
Primary ingredients of Vasarishtam
- Vasa (Adathoda vasica)
The plant shows antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, bronchodilator and anti-ulcer activity. In addition, it also shows antidiabetic, antioxidant, anti-allergic and hepatoprotective activities.
- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
The plant shows antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and antimicrobial activities. In addition, the plant is effective in the treatment of neurological and cardiovascular diseases.
- Cardamom (Elettaria cardamom)
The plant shows bronchodilator, antispasmodic, carminative, fungicidal and antibacterial activities.
- Tejapatra (Cinnamomum tamala)
The plant shows antibacterial, antidiabetic, anti-diarrhoeal, antioxidant, antihyperlipidemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory activities.
- Nagakesara (Mesua ferrea)
The plant shows bronchodilator, immunomodulator, antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities.
- Kankola (Piper cubeba)
The plant shows immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective, antidiabetic, nephroprotective and wound healing activities.
Trikatu is an ayurvedic formulation comprising dried fruits of Piper nigrum, Piper longum and dried rhizome of Zingiber officinale. Studies show that Trikatu has hepatoprotective, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antihyperlipidemic activities.
- Hribera (Pavonia odorata)
The plant shows demulcent, diuretic, diaphoretic activities.
- Dhathaki (Woodfordia fruticosa)
Method of preparation
Coarse powder of herbs added to water boiled and a decoction made. To this decoction, jaggery and Dhathaki are added. Then keep the mixture in an airtight container for one month for fermentation. Then the honey is added.
Indications of Vasarishtam
Vasarishtam and Bronchial Asthma
Vasarishtam is an effective medicine in the treatment of bronchial asthma. It possesses mucolytic and expectorant action. In addition, Vasarishtam helps to reduce phlegm formation. The formulation expels the formed phlegm and thus relieves chest congestion. Furthermore, it acts as a bronchodilator and thus helps to ease breathing difficulty and wheezing.
Vasarishtam and Throat Pain
Vasarishtam being an expectorant soothes the throat.
Vasarishtam and Cough
Vasarishtam is effective in the treatment of productive cough. It acts as an expectorant.
Vasarishtam and COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Vasarishtam acts as a supportive medicine in the treatment of COPD.
Vasarishtam and Fever
The formulation is effective in the treatment of fever with a chest infection.
Vasarishtam and Digestion
The medicine improves appetite and regulates digestion. In addition, it helps to relieve bloating and gas formation.
Vasarishtam and Bleeding Disorders
The medicine acts as a supporting medicine in the treatment of bleeding disorders.
- One should take medicine only under medical supervision.
- Commonly 15-30 ml once or twice daily after food or as advised by the physician.
- For children, 5-10 ml or as directed by the doctor
- Pregnant women
- Lactating mothers
- Type2 diabetes mellitus
- A high dose may cause acidity
- As directed by the physician
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