Shwaasa (asthma)

Shwassa (asthma)

Dyspnoeas-difficulty in breathing.

This is a Prana Vaha Srotas roga

Shwasatram means vegavata (forceful) urdhwa (upward) vatavam (movement of vata)

Hetu (Causative factors)


Dhuma –smoke

Shita vayu-cold air

Sheeta ambu sevana (excessive intake of cold water)-including cold drinks, food, ice cream, etc…

Ativayama-excessive exercise

Gramya dharma sevana –  illogical type of living, working too hard, bad eating habits, etc…not following the code of conduct of leading a healthy lifestyle, basically a western/modern world lifesytle

One of the Maharogya – deadly diseases, not curable

More hetu:

Rukshanna-dry foods


Abhishyandi food

Kapha vardhaka nidana – things that increase kapha, guru, snigdha, madhur, amla,sheeta, lavana, etc…

Any obstructions in the kantha (throat) & urha (chest) – kapha

Vibandha (constipation)

Vegavidharan-suppresion of urges

Anashana-not taking food for a long time, starving, fasting.

Diwaswapna-daytime napping

Buffalo’s milk in excess-guru, abishyandi…should take cows milk

As a complication and after effect of some diseases- atisar causes dehydration which leads to shwas, jwara (fever)-causes increase respiration, pratishyaya (cold/cough), rajayakshma (tb)

Dividing hetus

Vata increase                                        Kapha increase                                                      Pranavahasrotas dushti


More vata involvement in Shwas vs. Kaasa-won’t die from Kaasa but can from shwassa

Maruta (synonym of vata)

Pranavaha Srotas Dushti                                                                                      Kapha formation in excess in Amashaya

3 Srotas get involved due to proximity

to Pranavaha,= Annavaha & Udakavaha Srotodushti

Annavaha-amashay(is the mulastan ) due to kapha

Udakavaha-throat & palate (those channels that carry water in your body-mulastan)

Pranavaha-hrudi & lungs

Treatment needs to include: heart, chest, agni-pranayama, then herbs


Anah-bloating in stomach due to constipation(this is initial stage of apanavayu dushti-first it collects due to blockage in udan & apan, so moves up and causes bloating)

Parshvashool- pain in flanks

Hrutpida-pain in the heart region

Difficulty in expiration(to breath out)-due to walls of bronchus being inflamed or blocked due to kapha then the lungs aren’t functioning properly and can’t push out the air.

Asya-vairasya-loss of sensation of taste


Dsypnoea-difficulty in breathing

  1. 5 types of Shwas
  2. Mahashwasa-big *incurable(asadya), severly compromised breathing, even though a person of this is sitting far from you, you can still hear their breathing. ( Simily of an intoxicated/angry bull-sounds that they make, heavy loud breathing)
  3. Urdhvashwas-Up-*uncurable(asadya), patient feels more difficulty in exhalation then inhalation, don’t usually see these first two in clinic require ICU
  4. Chhinna-irregular respirations (interrupted, not a uniform flow of breathing, increases, decrease, stops and restarts), associated symptoms-excessive sweating, dhaha, burning sensation in bladder, feeling thirsty-dryness in mouth, causes depression & mental weakness due to irregular oxygen to the brain. * Not as bad as first two but still uncurable
  5. Tamak Shwas-feels attacks of darkness in front of the eyes and is always in a Tamasic state, attacks happen more at night due to no sun present at night so Kapha increases and blocks. (sleep apnea falls here). Gets happiness by sitting-breathes normally when sitting=Aasino labhate sukham. Associated symptoms=coughing, itching in throat, & patient can’t relax in laying down position. *Not fatal, won’t kill as quickly at the other 3, manageable…not curable
  6. Kshudrashwas-little, less, mild, tiny, small *easily curable(sukhasadhya) mildest form, like from exertion or exercise. So just sit and relax. No medicine required. Bodies response to exertion. Everyone experiences this.


Hoarseness of voice, cough (Kaasa)and heart disease (due to heart having to work harder)

**If caught before 1 year then it can be cured…and otherwise can be managed with medicines.

**Practical on how to make dhumapana—liquify ghee, add to turmeric make paste apply to gauze or cheese cloth then roll, dry and light. Make cone (paper) inhale thru nose with eyes closed, then exhale thru mouth. Dhumapana-contraindications if any irritation or burning in the nasal passages, severe headache, heaviness, high inflammatory conditions, person with history of epilepsy (do whole room dhupana for epilepsy).

Guggulu, Vacha, jatamansi, haritaki


  1. Take away causative factors
  2. Sesame oil and rock salt heat and apply to chest. Liquifies Kapha so you can put it out of body, one way to do that is with Virechanika dhoomapana.
  3. If Kapha dominant then do virechana but Vata anuloman is best in general


  1. Tulsi leaves and rock salt can be chewed
  2. Tulsi juice & ginger juice with honey
  3. Guduchi is best works on all three doshas
  4. Maricha with honey for liquification of Kapha…ushna, tikshna& katu
  5. Vasa & Guduchi & black pepper all as single drugs are good.
  6. Sitopaladi Churna with honey and ½ to 1 tsp lick 2-3 times a day
  7. Talisadi Churna with honey and ½ to 1 tsp lick 2-3 times a day
  8. Bharangi
  9. Ajwain with salt (don’t use for Pitta, because very ushna & tikshna)
  10. Beetle leaf juice (tikshna, ushna, katu—breaks down the Kapha)
  11. Garlic-prepare chutney good for shwasa and kasa

**For both shwasa & kaas if hoarseness of voice then use turmeric, rock salt and warm water to gargle.

*Paan=deepan, pachan,

Herbs as mild laxative:

  1. Gandharva Haritaki=(messengers/hand of God)-castor oil with haritaki, there can be combinations of this that have many other herbs in them but the basic is ok.
  2. Isabgol- found easily in Indian stores

Yellow berry nightshade-Kantakari swaras

3 grams of entire plant in churna form taken with honey 3x a day

Haridra rhizome (root)+vasa root+guduchi stem+kantakari fruit=make decoction with black pepper is good medicine for on the spot stop and attack

Bhang (marijuana)-leaves can be smoked (dhumapan)—last remedy due to laws used in villages in india—for daily maintenance. (no narcotic affect if using only the leaf)

Lepa of ghee & rock salt on chest

Ginger juice plus honey 1tsp to 1 TBS 4x’s a day for 40 days

1/8 tsp nutmeg w/ little ghee given 3 x’s for spasm (Vataja) esp for children, adults ¼ tsp maricha w/honey (kaphaja)

Give roasted rice-kulata (horse gram…find it and eat IT)

Avoid new cereals-NO Fruits, or fruit juice

Chana daal

Spinach, radish, all kinds of gourds…snake gourd, dudhi, patol

Goat milk, cooked cows milk and some ghrita in moderation

Egg white, goat meat and meat of some birds that we don’t get here in the west

Honey is best

All spices except red chili’s really useful is garlic, raw onions, coriander

Avoid all shita, guru, abhishandi, ZERO exposure to cold breeze, no suppression of coughing or sneezing will lead to asthma, no nuts

Massage chest and back with narayana oil mixed with rock salt, then do hot poltice with flax seed (put seeds in a cloth then heat it on iron or on hot cast iron skillet)

Steam inhalation- with nilgiri oil (eucalyptus oil)-the one that grows in the Himalayans is especially for inhalation (can be put on cloth and sniffed, breathed in)

Can mix Kantakari powder+amalaki powder each 1 part+1/2 part hing with honey and lick

Bharangi + vasa+fresh ginger+pushkarmula+kantakari w/honey and lick

Paan leaf juice 1tsp-3x’s day

Dashmularishtum-1TBlsp 3x’s day

Can make dashmoola kwatha (decoction) with rice kanji…eat for 4-5 days

In childhood if there is lot of shwaasa then spiritual work needs to be done, read birth chart for this

Shwaasa is said to be one of the diseases that is not only from this life, but is due to previous life.


3 thoughts on “Shwaasa (asthma)

  1. Thank you Bradley for this.
    My son (9) has blocked nose now for 2 years, I think allergy to dust. Lots of dust, dry weather, no wind, where I live. He is now starting to get asthmatic type cough when he exercises, never had this before, so I need to step up treatment I think. What is your take on pro-biotics? As I am sure the quality of food we get now is such that we don’t (hardly) get any naturally anymore. Also a lot of hype now (so red flag is waving about validity) to take Kefir (milk) regularly. But it might not be good for HIM…

    Where can I buy a book(s) to study? It is hard (same time most useful) to study your blog, but I find books easier than PC…
    Many many thanks!!! _/\_

    • Hi Chantelle.
      I would not advise probiotics. It is just pitta in a capsule. If you want to go that route for whatever reason, look up takra on the site and get the probiotics in a safe way.
      Western exercise theory develops disease, the excessive exertion will cause all sorts of them, all varied to the individual. I believe I have written a post on kasa. Read it. Afterwards we can talk with more understanding.
      Exercise induced asthma is a ? in the Western world but from an ayurvedic lens it is obvious.
      I understand the computer and eyes thing.
      would be one book but you also need to understand Nidana. is another book.
      Both of these are heavy, and i do not mean in weight.
      This is the problem.
      If you were to write a book on Dummies Guide to Brain Surgery, how deep do you think that book would actually be. to try to write a book on real Ayurveda, the examples above is what you are left with.
      Without proper diagnostic knowledge and looking at how we have all been trained to just look at symptoms, Ayurveda is kinda difficult to understand without going all the way.

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