Bronchitis is characterised by the inflammation of the bronchi of the lungs which results in the discharge (coughing out) of a mucopurulent substance, commonly known as phlegm. The disease is of several types depending upon the nature of the discharge. Bronchitis can occur as a symptom of many other diseases like tuberculosis. In all such cases, one or the other type of germ is considered to be the causative factor.
In ayurveda, this disease is known as Kasa-roga. Krimis or germs are known in ayurveda to cause such diseases as bronchitis. But they are not considered to be the primary causative factors. Ayurveda considers
Kasa-roga or bronchitis to be caused primarily by the impairment of digestion. For the treatment of bronchitis, therefore, drugs with properties to correct both the lungs and stomach arc selected by ayurvedic physicians.
Whatever the cause may be, the simplest treatment for bronchitis is to give the patient one teaspoonful of turmeric (haridra) powder mixed in a cup of milk, two to three times a day, depending upon the severity of the condition. This acts better if given on an empty stomach. This is an absolutely harmless recipe which can be given to any patient irrespective of age, sex or condition of the disease.
A popular recipe commonly used as a household remedy for this conditionis the powder of sunthi (dried ginger), pippali (longpeppcr) and marica (black pepper)—all three mixed in equal quantity. This mixture is given in a dose of half a teaspoonful, three to four times a day, depending upon the severity of the disease. This powder can also be added to tea or coffec. All these three medicines, taken together, are known in ayurveda as trikatu or tryusana, and they are well known for their action on the lungs and stomach. They promote digestion and metabolism in the body and thus inhibit the production of the factors responsible for the causation of the infection and inflammation of the bronchi. Simultaneously, they help in the expectoration of the accumulated phlegm, and make breathing easy. At times, because of the infection, the patient also suffers from fever. These medicines cure fever as well, because of their anti-pyretic and stimulant effects. These drugs create such an environment in the body, and especially in the lungs of the individual, that the harmful germs do not find it congenial to thrive, not to speak of their growth and multiplication.
All these three drugs are also used in the kitchen as spices; hence they have no harmful effect whatsoever on the body. If taken in excess they may produce a little burning sensation in the chest, in which case the dose should be reduced, or some more honey should be added to the powder.
A medicinal plant called vasa (Adhatoda vasica) is very useful in curing cough and bronchitis specially in chronic cases. The juice of the leaves of this plant is generally used in a dose of two teaspoonfuls three times a day. The taste of this juice is slightly bitter. To make it palatable, an equal quantity of honey should be added. This plant grows naturally in almost all parts of India except in deserts and snow-clad mountains.
At times bronchitis is associated with a congested throat. In that case, khadiradi- vati shouldbe kept in the mouth and sucked slowly. About five tablets can be used each day. This produces a soothing effect on the throat and relieves the congestion. The main ingredient of this drug is khadira or catechu.
Curd and other sour things should be avoided. Some fruits includ¬ing banana and guava are also contraindicated.
Exposure to cold wind and rain should be avoided. Bathing in cold water (specially in winter) is contra-indicated more so when the bronchi¬tis is in its acute phase.