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Bronchitis

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Definition

Bronchitis is a condition in which there is an acute inflammation of the trachea and bronchi of the lungs, resulting in the accumulation and discharge of phlegm or sputum. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis is of short duration and is cured within a few weeks, while chronic bronchitis persists for much longer duration.

Causes

Aggravated Vata (air) blocks the Kapha (water) in the respiratory channels, the movement of the air gets interrupted, and phlegm accumulates in the lung tissue. In order to expel this phlegm, there is a natural reaction of coughing, which results in Bronchitis. This can be attributed to many reasons like inhalation of smoke and dust, physical exertion, intake of foods and drinks that have a drying effect on the body, and the obstruction of the trachea by food particles. Another cause is suppressing the natural urges of the body, such as passing stool and urine, hunger, thirst, sleep, sneezing, breathing, yawning, tears, coughing, etc.

Symptoms

Irritation in the throat, cough, tightness in the chest, and difficulty in breathing are some of the common signs of Bronchitis.

Ayurvedic View

Ayurveda calls this disease Kasroga and considers it to be caused by poor digestion. Poor diet, poor digestion and incomplete elimination of wastes lead to formation of ama (mucus) in the lungs. This creates a favorable ground for growth of infecting organisms in the bronchial area. Stress, poor lifestyle, bad circulation, and lack of rejuvenative measures can deteriorate the body’s immune response to invading organisms in the bronchial area.

The Ayurvedic treatment of Bronchitis is aimed at simultaneously correcting lung and stomach functions. Herbs are given to ease troubled breathing and expel phlegm. At the same time, Ayurvedic digestive formulas are prescribed to enhance the digestive fire in order to kill pathogens.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

  • Stay warm and drink hot herbal drinks.
  • Suppression of natural urges should be avoided.
  • Regular body massage with warm sesame oil helps to pacify Vata Dosha and softens the Kapha Dosha in the chest.
  • Cover your nose when you are in smoky and polluted atmosphere.
  • Take a steam treatment whenever you feel irritation in your throat.

Some Home Remedies

  • In case of dry cough, massage the chest with warm olive oil followed by the application of a very warm, moist compress (fomentation).
  • In case of productive cough, prepare a mixture of powdered dried ginger root, black pepper, and long pepper in equal amounts and store in an airtight container. Have ½ teaspoon of this powder mixed with ½ teaspoon of honey twice a day with lukewarm water.
  • Mix ½ teaspoon of licorice root powder, ½ teaspoon of black pepper powder, and ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder along with 7-10 basil leaves in 1 cup of water. Boil until liquid is reduced to half. Add ½ teaspoon of sugar and drink it lukewarm twice a day.
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