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How to keep asthma away

With winter on its way, can respiratory ailments be far behind? Be it because of bad food combinations or allergic reactions, in the first of a two-part series, Shikha Sharma writes on how to control the condition.

brunch Updated: Nov 01, 2014 20:54 IST
Shikha Sharma
Shikha Sharma
Hindustan Times
Shikha Sharma,Asthma,Winter

According to modern medicine, asthma is caused by the constriction of the airways as a result of allergic reactions. In defending itself against these reactions, the immune system sometimes goes overboard and triggers inflammation.

Ayurveda believes asthma is the result of bad food combinations. These secrete toxins, which collect in the digestive system and are aggravated by wintry conditions, affecting the lungs.

To prevent asthma, ayurveda suggests detoxifying the body before winter with a semi-solid or liquid diet, cleansing therapy, herbs and laxatives.

The routine

* On waking up, a glass of warm water with half a teaspoon of honey.

*A half hour’s walk.

* Ayurvedic body massage with herbal oils.

* A warm water bath followed by a steam inhalation using peppermint essential oil.

* Two bowls of warm spinach and corn soup with ginger and black pepper for lunch.

* Black pepper and long pepper decoction with a teaspoon of pure honey after lunch.

* Light yoga exercises in the evening, followed by a foot massage and a dip of your feet in warm water.* Steam inhalation and a chest massage with sesame oil and a pinch of rock salt.

* Two bowls of lentil soup for dinner.

* One teaspoon triphala with warm water at bedtime.

Asthmatics must avoid:

* Dairy products.

* Rice, bananas and maida based foods (noodles, pasta, naan, bread, biscuits, rusk).

* Cold water or drinks.

* All kinds of melon, especially watermelon.

* All kinds of fried foods.

* Heavy dinners.

* Late dinners.

* All dry fruits, except almonds.

* All sour foods, including chutneys, achars, ketchup, etc.

* Alcohol. Avoid these food combinations

*Fruits with curd and dairy products.

*Hot and cold foods together, such as ice-cream with gulab jamun and cold coffee with hot waffles.

Include these herbs in your diet

*Garlic for its anti-allergic properties.

*Liquorice, which calms the airways.

*Ginkgo biloba, which reduces airway hypersensitivity.

(To be continued ....)

From HT Brunch, November 2
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First Published: Nov 01, 2014 20:54 IST