Use these home remedies as adjuvant Patients and their family may have a history of asthma, atopic dermatitis, and allergic rhinitis. In fact, a number of studies have shown that a majority of children who develop asthma have allergies as a trigger for the asthma. Often a child develops eczema, and then develops allergic nasal symptoms "hay fever" and then asthma.
Asthma in children is an obstructive respiratory condition characterized by recurring attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, prolonged expiration, and an irritated cough that is a common, chronic illness in childhood. Although the disease can begin in infancy, it is often difficult to diagnose asthma in young children. Nevertheless, these children require treatment.
The lung is the main organ of the respiratory system and its main function is respiration (exchange of gases between the environment and the body). Air enters the nose where it is filtered, warmed and humidified. After passing through the trachea (windpipe), the air travels into the lungs through the bronchi, bronchi are a system of branching airway tubes that become smaller as they reach deeper into the lung. The smallest of the bronchi, the bronchioles, open into balloon-like sacs called alveoli. An asthma attack occurs when these airways narrow and the muscles around them tightly contract, this condition is called bronchospasm. The membranes lining the inner walls of the airways become swollen and inflamed, and the glands within these walls produce excessive mucus.
A strong hereditary factor associated with the disease. Patients and their family may have a history of asthma, atopic dermatitis, and allergic rhinitis. In fact, a number of studies have shown that a majority of children who develop asthma have allergies as a trigger for the asthma. Often a child develops eczema, and then develops allergic nasal symptoms "hay fever" and then asthma. This progression has been termed the "allergic march". Allergens such as pollens, foods, dust, mold, feathers or animal dander irritants in the air, such as dirt, cigarette smoke, gases and air pollution odors in the household, such as household cleaners, perfumes, paints, varnishes, fabric softeners, laundry detergents and cooking fumes irritants in the workplace, such as fumes and vapors from wood products and metals, metabisulfite - a food preservative found in dried fruits, fruit juices, beer, wine, salad bars and vegetables, respiratory infections, such as colds, flu, sore throat and bronchitis.
Features of asthma in children are cough, recurrent cold, wheezing, shortness of breath, interrupted talking, agitation, flaring of the nostrils when breathing in.
For the diagnosis physician relies heavily on the observations of the parent for diagnostic clues, especially in young children. Recurrent or constant coughing spells, sometimes at night, may be the only sign of an asthmatic state. Diagnosis is made by the medical history, including family history and symptoms, physical examination, and measurements of expiratory function with a peak flow meter. Sometimes a chest X-ray is necessary. In children six years and older, pulmonary function tests are very helpful if the child is cooperative.
Since a large number of children with asthma have allergic triggers for the asthma, allergy testing for inhalants (such as pollen, animal dander and dust mite) or foods should be considered.
Prevention of Asthma in Children: Allergic responses to perennial environmental allergens, such as dust, mold, or indoor pets, can worsen asthma and can be unrecognized because of the mistaken idea that children cannot develop allergy until they are several years old. It is essential that the child be protected from irritants, most importantly tobacco smoke. Chronic irritation of the airway of an asthmatic child exposed to secondary smoke may make asthma difficult to control.
Periodic assessments and ongoing monitoring of asthma are essential to determine if therapy is adequate. Children and their parents need to understand how to use a peak flow meter and to understand the symptoms and signs of an asthma exacerbation. Regular follow-up visits (at least every 3 to 6 months) are important to maintain asthma control and to reassess medication requirements.
Home Remedies for asthma
Honey (Madhu): Honey is one of the most effective home remedies for asthma. It is said that if a jug of honey is held under the nose of the asthmatic patient and he inhales the air that comes into contact with honey, he starts breathing easier and deeper. The effect lasts for about an hour or so. Honey usually brings relief, whether the air flowing over it is inhaled or whether it is eaten or taken either in milk or water. It thins out accumulated mucus and helps its elimination from the respiratory passage.
Garlic (Lahsoon): Garlic is another effective home remedy for asthma. Ten cloves of garlic should be boiled in 30 ml of milk. This makes an excellent medicine for the early stages of asthma. The patient should take this mixture once daily. Steaming ginger tea with minced garlic pods in it, can also help to keep the problem under control and should be taken both, in the morning and evening.
Turmeric (Haldi): Turmeric is valuable in asthma. The patient should be given a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a glass of milk, two or three times daily. It acts best when taken on an empty stomach.
Bitter Gourd (Karela) Root: The roots of the bitter gourd plant have been used in folk medicine since ancient times. A teaspoon of the root paste, mixed with an equal amount of honey or juice of the holy basil, is an excellent expectorant, and is a remedy for asthma. It should be taken once every night for a month.
Figs (Anjeer) dry: Dry figs help clear mucus from bronchial tubes and are therefore a valuable food remedy for asthma. Phlegmatic cases of cough and asthma can be treated with success. It gives comfort to the patient by draining off the phlegm. Three or four dry figs should be cleaned thoroughly with warm water and soaked overnight. They should be taken during morning time in an empty stomach, along with the water in which they are soaked. This treatment may be continued for about two months.
Indian Gooseberry (Amla): This fruit has proved valuable in asthma. Five grams of gooseberry mixed with one tablespoon of honey, forms an effective medicinal expectorant and tonic for the treatment of this disease. It should be taken every morning. When fresh fruit is not available, dry gooseberry powder can be used, mixed with honey.
Mustard (Rye) Oil: During the attack, mustard oil mixed with little camphor should be massaged over the chest. This will loosen up phlegm and ease breathing. The patient should also inhale steam from boiling water mixed with caraway seeds (siyha jeera). It will dilate the bronchial passage.
Lemon: Lemon is one more fruit found useful in the treatment of asthma. The juice of one lemon, diluted in a glass of water and taken with meals, will bring good quality results. One of the well liked home remedies for asthma.
Dietary considerations: The patient should avoid the common dietic errors. Ideally, it should contain a limited quantity of carbohydrates, fats and proteins which are acid-forming foods, and a liberal quantity of alkaline foods consisting of fresh fruits, green vegetables and germinated gram. Foods which tend to produce phlegm such as rice, sugar, lentils and curds as well as fried and other difficult-to-digest foods should be avoided. Asthmatics should always eat less than their capacity.
Other measures: The patient should take enema in the beginning of the treatment to clean and colon and prevent autointoxication. Other helpful measures include application of mud-pack to the abdomen, wet chest packs and steam bath. Fresh air, breathing exercises, dry climate, mild physical exercises and correct posture help in treating the ailment.
The patient must also pursue the other laws of nature. Air, sun, and water are great remedial agents. Normal fasting once a week, an infrequent enema, breathing exercises, fresh air, a dry climate, light exercises, and right posture go a long way in treating the disease.
During the attack, mustard oil mixed with little camphor should be massaged over the back of the chest. This will loosen up phelgm and ease breathing. The patient should also inhale steam from the boiling water mixed with caraway seeds. It will dilate the bronchial passage. The patient should also follow the other laws of Nature. Air, sun and water are great healing agents. Regular fasting once a week, an occasional enema, breathing exercises, fresh air, dry climate, light exercises and correct posture go a long way in treating the disease.
1.Sr. Lecturer, P.G. Deptt. of Samhita & Siddhant
Rajiv Gandhi Govt. P.G. Ayu College, Paprola
2. Lecturer, Deptt. of Basic Principles,
Dayanand Ayurvedic College,