Ayurvedic treatment for asthma
Ayurvedic treatment for asthma like for any other disease consists of drugs that derive their potency from their taste.In Ayurveda every drug has a taste which gives it the potential.
According to scientists at the University of Massachusetts medical school ,substances which give some foods their bitter flavors can also act to reverse the contraction of airway cells. This reversal known as bronchodilation is used to treat airway obstructive disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.The sense of taste is mediated by taste receptors in the tongue.These receptors were thought only to exist in the tongue but recent discoveries have shown that they are expressed in various cell types throughout the body.In particular bitter taste receptors exist in the smooth muscle cells in the airways.
The fact that bitter substances can relax these smooth muscles suggests that they have the potential to halt asthma attacks,and in fact could even be an improvement over current treatments since the relaxation effects are quite fast.
From Ayurvedic point of view this discovery explains how bitter tasting herbs are working in asthma.The reason why this study is monumental is because it opens a window of opportunity to explain how other tastes might be working in other diseases.There might be receptors for different tastes in different organs.
However the scientists say that this find is not a cure as it does not approach inflammation which is the fundamental cause of the disease.On the basis of our clinical experience we can say that it is definitely a cure.Properties of bitter taste as mentioned in Ayurvedic texts in detail, counter the inflammatory process.However bitter taste is not going to work in all cases of asthma especially where a lot of mucus plugs are present as bitter taste will be rendered ineffective by mucus plugs.This is where pungent (chilly) taste will work as it is known to have mucolytic and mucus dissolving properties.
Scientists also say that other types of diseases like COPD and Emphysema could possibly be less receptive as there is extensive damage to lungs.This is very true as sweet herbs which have regenerative properties work well here.Although this is not that simple as there are many other factors apart from taste which have to be kept in mind during Ayurvedic treatment for Asthma.
Western researches as always search for active principles as opposed to Ayurvedic fundamentals which are holistic.So here also scientists talk of
‘substances which give bitter taste to food’ rather than talking of food or herbs as a whole.It is a proven fact that herbs used in Ayurveda fortreatment for asthma have no side effects as they are used as a whole rather than using active principles.