In Ayurveda, Bronchitis is also known as kasa roga. Ayurveda considers bronchitis to be primarily caused by impaired digestion. Therefore, as treatment for bronchitis, physicians prescribe drugs that have the ability to correct both the lungs and stomach. The impairment of digestive processes and the remedies chosen for its cure are those that help in restoring the digestive balance too.
Bronchitis is characterized by inflammation of bronchial tubes that carry air to the lungs which results in discharge of muco-purulent substance, also known as phlegm. It is a disease endemic to cold, damp climates, but can occur anywhere.
Bronchitis can occur as symptom of several other diseases like tuberculosis. The inflammation attacks the mucous membrane of the bronchi to which phlegm adheres and there is difficulty in expelling it. The phlegm when expelled is found to be viscid and purulent. However, due to tendency of viscid phlegm to stick to bronchi, a difficulty in breathing is felt and the lungs are starved of air.
In acute cases of bronchitis, there will be rise in temperature, constant cough, breathlessness, pain in chest, abdominal pain, nasal congestion due to excess phlegm, hoarse voice and loss of appetite, and in chronic form it results in manifestation of tuberculosis. Therefore, if no proper care is taken the disease gets chronic as it may deteriorate into bronchial asthma.
Chronic bronchitis may also be caused due to airborne allergens like cigarette smoke and environment pollution accompanied by chronic cough.
The simplest form of treatment for bronchitis is the administration of a teaspoonful of turmeric powder with a glass of milk twice or thrice a day. It acts best when taken on empty stomach.
A powder made of equal quantities of dried ginger, black pepper and long pepper, mixed with honey can also be administered thrice a day. Due to the anti-pyretic qualities of the powder, these three deal with bronchitis and balances the metabolism of the patient.
Some standard medicines advised by ayurveda for acute and chronic bronchitis are juice of vasa, honey, Rasa Sindur, Pravala Pisthi, Sitopaladi Churna, Kaphachintamani, kaphaketu, Shringyadi churna etc. In case of a congested throat that accompanies bronchitis, Khadiradi Vati gives effective relief, due to the presence of catechu that helps relieve congestion.
In case of an infection, the patient suffers from fever and these medicines cure fever as well, due to their anti-pyretic and stimulant effects.
The herb ‘vasa’ is also useful in curing cough and bronchitis, particularly in chronic cases. The juice of leaves of the herb gets chronic. The leaves of the plant are used in a dose of two teaspoonfuls thrice a day. Adding honey makes it more palatable.
Care should be taken to avoid cold weather conditions. Bath in cold water is contraindicated, particularly when bronchitis is in acute phase. Curds and sour substances need to be avoided, and banana and guava are also fruits that are contraindicated in this disease. Proper care and attention is a ‘must’ for treatment of the disease.
As a home remedy, grind liquorice root into a powder. Take a cup of water, add half-a-teaspoon of the powder to the water and heat for 15 minutes. Filter it and drink twice everyday for a week.
Along with the said remedy, add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk, mix well and drink twice a day.
Vamana and Virechana Therapy are ayurvedic treatments recommended for Bronchitis.