Customer Support (800) 215-9934 / Mo-Sa 9am-7pm ET

Healthy Lungs and Shwasa Relief with Ayurveda

Healthy Lungs and Shwasa Relief with Ayurveda

by Kottakkal Support March 09, 2021

Kottakkal USA_Healthy Lungs and Shwasa Relief with Ayurveda

Asthma is a chronic respiratory tract disorder that obstructs the normal airflow in the lungs. When you have asthma, the bronchial tubes are obstructed and inflamed, and the inner tissues are swollen, causing wheezing and difficulty breathing. Having an asthma attack can be a scary and uncomfortable experience!

Ayurveda has a similar disorder called shwasa, described by Caraka in Chikitsa Sthana Chapter 17. Shwasa is caused by aggravated vayu along with vitiated kapha, obstructing the channels of prana, udaka and annavaha [45].

Causes of Shwasa According to Ayurveda

  • Vata Prakopa (vata vitiating)
    Aahar (foods that increase vata), vihar (activities that increase vata), ruksha (dry foods), intake of cold water, excessive salt intake, exposure to cold windy weather; exposure to dust, smoke; excessive sex.
  • Kapha Prakopa (kapha vitiating)
    Aahar (diet), Vihar (activities), heavy foods, eating too many bananas, black gram,abhisyandi (kapha producing), unboiled milk, sour curd, and red meat. Eating foods that are too heavy at dinner and living in a cold and damp climate.

Samprapti - Pathogenesis

The increased kapha dosa causes avarodha in the pranavaha strotas (blockage of channels of respiratory system) leading to vata dosa obstruction. The blocked vata dosa moves in the reverse direction, or pratilomana vayu. Vata dosa increases dryness and the moist smooth tissues of the air passages are disturbed, causing constriction and difficulty breathing.

Physical Causes

  • Occupational is due to chemicals and dust particles in the work place.
  • Exercise is due to heavy exercise broncho constriction appears in the professional athletes, swimmers, cyclist, that leads to induce asthma.
  • Aspirin is known to induce asthma with prolonged use.
  • Alcohol is known to induce asthma in some people or make it worse.
  • Kapha increasing foods like black grams, excess salt, unboiled milk, seafood, red meat, oily heavy foods may induce asthma due to the kapha increasing qualities.
  • Hereditary – as many as 40% people with asthma have a family history.

Ayurvedic Classification of Shwasa 

  • Maha Shwasa

Symptoms of maha shwasa is heavy, loud breathing during the night caused by the upward movement of aggravated vata and becomes obstructed. Fainting, distorted vision, abnormal face expressions, obstruction of bowel movements, feeble voice and fatigue. This type is not considered curable by Ayurveda.[46-48].

  • Urdhava Shwasa

Urdhava shwasa has symptoms including prolonged, upward breathing caused by kapha obstructing the channels of respiration, leading to the aggravation of vata. This causes a longer expiration with shallow inspiration (difficulty breathing inward) and the person experiences fear, fainting, extreme dryness of mouth and restlessness. If the upward movement of vayu is aggravated enough and completely obstructs the downward movement of vayu, the person will become unconscious. This type is not considered curable by Ayurveda[49-51].

  • ChinaShwasa

The symptoms of china shwasa include when the breath is completely interrupted due to prana vayu. The person has an obstruction in the airway and suffers great feeling of cutting the marma or vital energy, sweating, unconsciousness and red, teary eyes. The person struggles to breathe, there is discoloration of the skin. It can be fatal if the obstruction is not removed[52-54].

  • Tamak Shwasa

Tamak shwasa is chronic asthma, and is indicated by vata moving in the opposite direction and obstructing the respiratory tract. This person experiences neck stiffness, kapha rhinorrhoea (thin mucus)and rhonchi (rattling wheezing sound). Chronic attacks overtime deplete prana. During an attack the person has prominent eyeballs, faintness, sweating, severe cough, difficulty expelling phlegm, the voice is hoarse, and there is difficulty speaking. It’s hard to sleep lying down. The symptoms increase during cold, cloudy, rainy weather and easterly winds. The person’s symptoms are relieved with heat. This type is potentially controllable with a healthy lifestyle[55-62].

  • Kshudra Shwasa

Kshudra shwasa is allergic asthma, and will subside on its own and is caused by the intake of dry food and over exertion. Vata is mildly vitiated in the kostha and moves in an upward direction to the respiratory tract. The person does not have any other bodily symptoms. It is not very painful as it does not affect the digestive system nor does it cause pain to the sense organs. This type is potentially curable witha healthy lifestyle[65-67].

Ayurvedic Assessment

Tamak shwasa (chronic asthma) is controllable and kshudra shwasa (allergic asthma) is curable. More than 70% of people with asthma have these two types. Maha, urdhava and china shwasa are more rare and are difficult to cure. For healthy people, shodhana virechana and shaman chikitsa are recommended, along with diet management and herbal remedies. For weaker people, vatanashak and kaphanashak is recommended along with anupān. With proper diet, lifestyle and Ayurvedic remedies, shwasa rog may be managed for a long time.

Dosa Influence on Types

  • The air element – dry
  • The fire element – infection
  • The water type – congestion

Kottakkal Products for Chronic Asthma

  • Agastya Rasayanam supports asthma and respiratory disorders, including bronchial asthma, hiccups and coughs. It’s a very powerful rejuvenative when there is weakness.
  • Balajirakadi Kwatham balances vata and kapha with its anti-tussive and bronchodilator properties, supports respiratory conditions bronchial asthma, coughs and colds.
  • Dasamulakatutrayadi Kwatham supports the healing of respiratory conditions like bronchial asthma, coughs and colds. It balances vata and kapha.
  • Draksha Arishtam simultaneously improves digestion, physical strength and heals respiratory disorders. Useful for asthma, tuberculosis and COPD.
  • Vasakadya Arishtam useful for asthma for its natural bronchodilator and anti-asthmatic properties. It soothes inflammation, balances vata, kapha, and rakta dosa.
  • Lohasinduram (7) Capsules are effective for chronic respiratory disorders, asthma, balances vata and pitta.

Ayurvedic Herbs for Shwasa

Kutki is a significant herb in Ayurveda because it’s used in virechana. There is sloka "Tamake Tu Virechanam," which says in the case of asthma, virechana therapy is best. For daily virechana (purgation treatment) in asthma and bronchitis, take 1-3 grams of Kutki1-2 times per day with honey.

Other Useful Herbs

Vasa (adathoda vasica), Kantakari (solanum indicum), Sunthi (zingibar officinale), Black pepper (pipper nigrum), Jatapatri (myrstica tragrans), Oman (hyscoyamus niger), Tagara (trylophera indica), Madhu yashti (glycyrrhia glabra), Rasna (alpinia galangal), Pippli (piper longum), Tulsi (ocimum sanctum), Vanaschlochan, Nagkeshar.

Useful Therapies for Shwasa

  • Yoga Therapy - Nadi shodhana pranayama, deep breathing (kapalabhati pranayama), ardh matsendrasana, pavanmpuktasana and poorvottanasana are helpful for building lung strength.
  • Sunbathing - morning walk in the purified air infused by green light during sunrise.
  • Hydrotherapy-take warm bath and steam for improvement of circulation.
  • Chromo therapy - drink water infused by the blue light during sunset.

For more information about Ayurvedic protocols, CHIKITSA SAMGRAHAM- VAIDYARATNAM by P. S. VARRIER, is available for purchase. This book by Ayurvedic experts from Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, is available on our online store.

Original source: Dr JV Hebbar,

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Kottakkal Ayurveda products and this information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. If you have serious, acute, or chronic health problems, please consult a trained health professional. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor, call (800) 215-9934 or email us at and we will provide you with one of our affiliated Ayurvedic professionals. Check with your doctor before taking herbs when pregnant or nursing.

Kottakkal Support
Kottakkal Support


Also in Healing with Kottakkal Ayurveda

Balancing Nidra (Sleep)
Balancing Nidra (Sleep)

by Kottakkal Support April 13, 2021

At one point in our lives, most of us have probably struggled with getting good sleep. Insomnia and chronic fatigue are common problems in our modern lives. Sometimes, loss of sleep is temporary, like staying up late traveling or studying for a test. Other times, it’s chronic—and that’s when real health problems can arise.

Read More

Ayurvedic Solutions for Out-of-Stock Products
Ayurvedic Solutions for Out-of-Stock Products

by Kottakkal Support April 08, 2021

We are extremely grateful to our customers who continue to express desire for products which we currently do not stock. Due to low demand some products were not restocked, however we have customers requesting to bring them back. For some requests we do offer a different size or similar products.

Read More

Product Highlight: Kshirabala Tailam
Product Highlight: Kshirabala Tailam

by Kottakkal Support April 06, 2021

Kshirabala Tailam is most renowned in the Ayurvedic community for managing all types of acute and chronic rheumatic disorders. We have three different Kshirabala products for whatever your needs may be! The oils can be administered both internally and externally and comes in 200 ml bottles and 5-liter cartons from Kottakkal Ayurveda.

Read More