Allergic asthma treatment with traditional AYUSH methods

Allergic asthma treatment with traditional AYUSH methods

By Avishek Majumder and Abhinash Jena on February 20, 2019
Image by Felix Lichtenfeld from Pixabay

Allergic asthma is the most common type of condition and the most prevalent globally. However, there are various advanced treatment methods that are now available globally. Allergic asthma treatment methods are made possible by both allopathic and traditional medications (Ministry of AYUSH, 2018). Traditional medicines include Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and herbal medicines. Allopathic medications include steroids, leukotriene blockers and combination drugs that are mainly inhaled.

However, Erdem et al., (2015) found that steroids and leukotriene blockers have side effects like:

  • difficulty breathing,
  • abdominal pains,
  • gastrointestinal tracts,
  • liner and,
  • drug hypersensitivities.

On the other hand, in a study by Kajaria et al., (2014) implicated that herbal treatment of diseases using ayurveda, unani, and other traditional medications using natural products and their byproducts shows no side effects. The researchers themselves worked on the treatment of asthma using Polyherbal compound in aerosol form and reported no side effect. This raises the demands of using alternative or traditional medications for the treatment of asthma.

Treating asthma with Ayurveda

Asthma in Ayurveda is known as ‘Tamak-Shvasa’. Treatment of asthma in Ayurveda comprises of a combination of Ayurvedic drugs, lifestyle management and dietary plans or ‘Shodhana Chikista’. The management of asthma in Ayurveda is based on the condition and the severity of the asthmatic conditions (National Health Portal, 2015). The main method comprises of removal of obstruction of the respiratory passage or ‘Svasavarodha’ and ‘Srotosuddhi’.

However, Pravin et al., (2015) stated that the treatment of asthma and its management is possible in three ways namely:

  1. Shamana Chikitsa,
  2. Shodhana Chikitsa and,
  3. Avegakalina Chikitsa.

Shodhana Chikitsa is further classified into three types of treatment methods ‘Vegakalina’ during the asthmatic attack, ‘Avegakalina” treatment during the absence of an attack, and ‘Vegakalina’. The following the list of different compounds used for treatment of asthma.

Ayurvedic name of compounds used Common name of compounds used Commercial product name References
Lavanagadivati, Dhanvantar Gutika, Sathyadikashaya, Hinguadivati, Svasakasa chintamani ras, Svasabhairava ras, and Sirishadikashaya Ginger, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, turmeric, and black pepper Dabur dashmularista, Dabur Ashwagandha Churna, Baidyanath Rasnadi Guggulu. (Pravin et al., 2015)
Til oil, Ardraka Arka, Chyavanprashsa, Vardhaman Pippali, Chausashta Prahari Pippali, Kantakari Kwatha, Naradiya Laxmivilasa Rasa Menthol, Thymol and Camphor; Ginger, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, turmeric, and black pepper Dabur Clove Oil, Himalaya Kapikachhu Capsule, Kerala Ayurveda Vasarishtam
(Gholve et al., 2015)
Abhrakbhasma, Sameerpannag, Shwaskuthar, Gandharva Haritaki, Hingwashtak, Karpooradi, Samasharkara, Sitopaladi, Yashtimadhu, Narayan taila, Lavangadivati Ginger, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, turmeric, and black pepper; medicated milk; Myrobalan, black salt, castor oil, clove, Indian long pepper, acacia, and camphor Patanjali Lavangadi Tablets, Dabur Lauhasava, Baidyanath Basant Kusumakar Ras. (Joshi et al., 2017)

Treating asthma with Unani

Asthma in Unani is known as ‘Zeeq-un- nafas sho’abi’ and the main causal according to Unani is cold ‘Barid’, fluid ‘Raqeeq khilt’, and inflammation ‘Zeequn Nafas’ caused from allergens or foreign objects (National Health Portal, 2015). So the concept of allergic asthma is the same as in Ayurveda and in Unani. The treatment method mainly focuses on use of medical plants and medicinal byproducts taken from different plant extracts.

The treatment methods in Unani are based on regimental therapy (physical methods of treatment), pharmacotherapy (medicines from plants and plant extracts), surgery and diet therapy (restrictions of diet and lifestyle). However, to treat asthma only pharmacotherapy or ‘Ilaj-bil– Dawa’ and diet therapy or ‘Ilaj-bil-Ghiza’ is used for treatment in Unani system (National Health Portal, 2015). The following list provides a list of different pharmacotherapy or drugs used in the Unani system. The drugs named in the table below act as bronchodilators, anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic medicines.

Ayurvedic name of compounds used Common name/Scientific names of compounds used Commercial product name References
Leaves of Arusa, fruits of Filfil Daraz, roots of Kutki, flowers of Zufa and seeds of Kataan Adhotoda vasica Nees, Piper longum Linn, Picrorhiza kurroa, Hyossopus officinalis Linn, Linum usitatissimum Linn. Rex Sharbat Sadar, Rex Kaforex, Rex Nazlina

(National Health Portal, 2015)
Root of Arusa, rhizome of Turmeric, stem of Giloe and the fruit of Katai and powdered filfil Adhatodavasica, Curcuma longa,Tinospora cordifolia, Solanum surattense, Piper nigrum, Dehlvi Asmacap Capsule, Rex Kaforex
(National Health Portal, 2015)
A mix of roots and leaves Clove, warm water, garlic, ginger, black peeper, and plant extracts. Dehlvi Asmacap Capsule, Rex Kaforex, Dardmand Rais Un Nafas
(National Health Portal, 2015)

Treating asthma with Siddha

Siddha is another traditional medication where asthmatic conditions is referred to as ‘Eraippu Erumal’. This type of treatment is based on the use of plants and plant extracts, meditation or ‘Kayakarpam’, and physical therapies or ‘Varmam’. However, in the case of Siddha treatment methods, medication and Varmam is the most preferred. According to Siddha, asthma can be classified into 5 stages, out of which the ‘Vazhi eraippu noi’ and ‘Iyavazhi eraippu noi’ indicated allergic types of asthma. National Health Portal, (2015) indicated the names of various natural plants used for the treatment of allergic asthma.  The Siddha treatment method also believes in using mercury, silver, arsenic, lead and sulphur for treatment of various diseases. The following table presents the list of different plants and plant products used in the treatment of asthma by siddha system.

Siddha name Common or scientific name Commercial drug Reference
Athimathuram, arathai, adathodai, kanchori, thippili, shambirani, manjal, kottam, vaivilangam, kalathi, korai, kanduparangi, velakkai, thuthuvalai, kandangattari, milagu.
Alpinia officinarum Hance, Piper longum Linn, Styrax benzoin Dryand, Curcuma longa Linn, Embelia ribes, Clerodendrum serratum, Ficus tsiela Roxb, Woodfordia fruticosa Kurz, Solanum trilobatum Linn, Solanum surattence Burm.f, Piper nigrum Linn. Dabur Shwaasamrit, Castor Oil Amanakku Vilakku Ennai, SKM Viigorwin legiyam.
(National Health Portal, 2015)
Tulasi, kandankathiri, adathodai, kanchankorai, karisalai Ponnankani, uthamani, thumbai poo, Impooral, and manathakkali
Ocimum sanctum, Justicia adhatoda, Ocimum album, Eclipta prostrate, lternanthera sessilis, Pergularia daemia, Leuces aspera, Oldenlandia unbellata, and Solanum nigrum SKM Viigorwin legiyam (National Health Portal, 2015)

Treating asthma with Homoeopathy

The treatment method of Homoeopathy is based on the usage of secondary metabolites extracted from plants and on the law of similars. According to which certain symptoms of a healthy person can have a curative effect on a sick person who has similar symtoms (National Health Portal, 2015). Asthma is a multi miasmatic disorder, and its treatment is almost the same as in other traditional methods.

The treatment is not just to suppress the symptoms but to mitigate underlying causes. The most commonly used homeopathic remedies for asthma comprise of

  • Aralia Recemosa,
  • Blatta Orientalis,
  • Grindelia,
  • Ipecac,
  • Lobelia,
  • Natrum Sulph and,
  • Nux Vom

These compounds are found in commercially available drugs such as Dr Reckeweg Teucrium Marum Verum, Dr Reckeweg Aurum Muriaticum Natronatum, and SBL Gnaphalium Polycephalum.

Treating asthma with SOWA-RIGPA

Although there is a lack of documentation for the treatment of asthma Sowa-rigpa, the age-old Tibetan method is mostly the same as Ayurveda. However, Angmo, Adhikari, & Rawat, (2012) identified the use of

  • Aconitum violaceum Jacquem. ex Stap,
  • Ephedra gerardiana Wall. ex Stapf,
  • Hyoscyamus niger L,
  • Jurinea ceratocarpa (Dcne.) and,
  • Peganum harmala L; and Dawa.

Hussain, & Tamchos, (2013) identified Withania somnifera and Bacopa monnieri for the treatment of asthma. However, the drugs or medicines in Sowa-rigpa are not found commercially to treat asthmatic conditions.

Traditional methods for asthma treatment in India

Different methods of AYUSH for asthma treatment
Different AYUSH methods for asthma treatment

AYUSH traditional methods of medication for asthma treatment mainly comprises of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy, and Sowa-rigpa. The systems of asthma treatment management using AYUSH is mostly the same. Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy, and Sowa-rigpa depend on natural products like plant and its byproducts for the treatment of asthma. Nowadays, AYUSH based drugs are easily available commercially. More than 1000s of medical care institutions and drug manufacturing companies have come up in India to manufacture commercial AYUSH-based drugs.


  • Angmo, K., Adhikari, B. S., & Rawat, G. S. (2012). Changing aspects of traditional healthcare system in Western Ladakh, India. Journal of ethnopharmacology143(2), 621-630.
  • Dawa, S., Hussain, A., & Tamchos, T. (2013). Medicinal and aromatic plants as a viable livelihood option for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Indian Horticulture Journal3(1and2), 40-42.
  • Erdem, S. B., Nacaroglu, H. T., Karkiner, C. S. U., Gunay, I., & Can, D. (2015). Side effects of leukotriene receptor antagonists in asthmatic children. Iranian journal of pediatrics25(5).
  • Gholve, S., Nadarge, S., Todkar, G., Bhusnure, O., & Thonte, S. (2015). A Review On: Holistic Approach For Management Of Asthma. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 4(4), 1116-1134, ISSN 2277– 7105.
  • Joshi, K. S., Nesari, T. M., Dedge, A. P., Dhumal, V. R., Shengule, S. A., Gadgil, M. S., … & Valiathan, M. V. S. (2017). Dosha phenotype specific Ayurveda intervention ameliorates asthma symptoms through cytokine modulations: Results of whole system clinical trial. Journal of ethnopharmacology197, 110-117.
  • Kajaria, D., Tripathi, J., & Tiwari, S. (2014). Anti-asthmatic effect of Shirishadi compound through nasal spray actuation. Ayu35(3), 261.
  • Ministry of AYUSH. (2018). AYUSH systems. Available online: (accessed on 18-2-2019).
  • National Health Portal. (2015). Unani. Available online: (accessed on 18-2-2019).
  • Pravin, M., Vedika, A., Patel, K., Kori, V. K., & Rajagopala, S. (2015). An evidence based review on ayurvedic management of tamaka shwasa (bronchial asthma). Int. J. Ayur. Pharma Research3(2), 11-18.
Avishek Majumder