The human respiratory system is a series of organs and tissues that helps us to breathe. Their main function includes transporting air in and out of the lungs and providing protection against inhaled particles. Respiration provides energy that is necessary for the functioning of the body. The quality of respiration considerably affects the health of the organs and tissues.
Respiratory problems can affect the upper respiratory system (nose , mouth, throat, sinuses) or lower bronchial tubes and lungs. Conditions that can cause inflammation or affect the respiratory system includes allergens like inhaling dust , pollen , cold, etc, various infections , diseases like asthma, COPD , damage to the tissues and aging.
In Ayurveda , the function of pranavayu are held responsible for the process of respiration in human body. The pranavaha srothas are channels in which prana vayu flows. Respiratory disorders in Ayurveda have been described as problems arising out of an imbalance in kapha and vata dosha due to imbalance in the digestive fire , accumulation of toxins in the body, low immunity, allergies, stress etc.
Common respiratory diseases that respond well to Ayurveda are:
- Upper respiratory tract infections
- Bronchial asthma
- Nasal polyps
- Allergic rhinitis
Classical management of this vitiated kapha along with vata dosha in respiratory disorders involves improving the digestive fire , purification therapies like vamana ( emesis) , virechana ( purgation) , nasyam ( instilling nasal drops ) to pacify the aggregated doshas and detoxify the system. Swedana or steam therapy with herbs infused into the steam helps to eliminate the toxins through specific channels. Pranayam and yoga are beneficial in treating respiratory diseases.
Ayurvedic medications like Amritharista, Dashamoola katutrayadi kashaya , Kanakasava , Vasarishta , thaleesapatradi choorna , Agasthya rasayana etc are very effective in treating respiratory disorders and should be taken after consulting an Ayurvedic physician.
The life style changes advised are , to follow healthy diet and routines that help to boost metabolism, reduce stress and strengthen immunity. Avoid cigarette smoking, cold and refrigerated food. Avoid exposure to cold , dust ,smoke and chemicals .