The lungs are made of pipes - starting from the nostrils all the way to the fine tubules in the lungs, through which the air we breathe passes through. The inhaled air also contains a lot of other particles - dust, pollen, virus, cigarette smoke, etc. Very often, the body is allergic to one or more of these particles, and the bronchi are constantly irritated and inflamed due to their sustained exposure. This causes allergic bronchitis which is identified by symptoms like chronic coughing, difficulty breathing, hoarseness, nasal congestion.
Ayurveda believes that the human body has 3 doshas or bio elements - vata, pitta, and kapha. Any disease is believed to be due to one of these being affected. Allergic bronchitis is believed to be an issue with vata.
- The most effective treatment for bronchitis is believed to be a glass of milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder in it. This mixture is believed to be most effective when taken on an empty stomach and can be had 2 to 3 times a day.
- Equal portions of powders of dry ginger, long pepper, and black pepper can be mixed with honey to make a smooth paste. This can be had 2 to 3 times a day to see wonderful results.
- One-half teaspoon of licorice powder mixed in 1 cup of water can be boiled, cooled, and stored to be consumed through the day.
- A creeping plant known as somlata (Ephedra vulgaris) is found to be highly efficacious in relieving asthma. This grows in western Himalayas in abundance and is sent in hundreds of tonnes to western countries where ephedrine is prepared from it. The powder made from the whole plant, after drying in the shade and is given in the dosage of 100 to 250 milligrams, mixed with honey or water at the intervals of 8 to 4 hours.
- Kapha katari - Literally translates as phlegm cutter, this works immediately. The powder needs to be wrapped in betel leaf and chewed slowly. Continue with another 4 doses over the next 24 hours.
- Kanakasava - The extract of Datura is very effective in halting bronchitis but needs to be taken under medical supervision only. This is habit-forming and therefore, needs to be used cautiously.
In addition, follow these general considerations too:
- Avoid or minimize exposure to known allergens, cigarette smoke and pollution
- Drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water to help form a thin mucous
- Avoid dust in the bedroom, avoid feather pillows
- Regularly vacuum clean the house
- Do yoga, especially the breathing asanas which are very beneficial for bronchitis patients
Allergic bronchitis is a chronic condition, and acute attacks can be avoided by following some of the pointers mentioned above.