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Case of Childhood Asthma

[Name and specific details have been changed to protect identity.]

I'd like to share one of our success cases with hopes that this may create more awareness of Ayurveda's effectiveness in managing asthma in children. Recently we had a case of a female child, age 10, named Marina who had been suffering from asthma since age 5. She was taking three different medications a day to help control symptoms, and her parents contacted us hoping to reduce medication use as they were seeing side effects emerge. They also wanted to improve Marina's overall respiratory health.

When I spoke to the child on the phone (they lived out of state and a meeting was not possible), she, along with her parents, described to me when her wheezing attacks would occur: when exercising such as during school recess or gym class, when exposed to cold weather, during certain seasons and at the change in weather, exposure to air pollutants such as smoke or dust, exposure to pets, and sometimes she said in certain homes or environments where she was unsure of the cause.

The parents and the child were frustrated and disappointed, because the medications did not seem to be helping Marina. She was forced to use inhalers when playing with her friends, she avoided outdoor play most of the time, didn't enroll into any sports, and her parents who liked to travel were always nervous about how she would react in a new environment. They were also scared about the side effects they were seeing, such as eczema patches on her skin and increased sense of uneasiness in the child.

The protocol given to Marina included a regimented, elimination diet and Ayurvedic herbals that target the respiratory system, helping to alleviate chest and nasal congestion, soothe irritated throat and air passages, ease symptoms such as chest tightness, coughing and swollen lymph, and work as potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents. The child didn't want to take tablets, so I suggested powders that could be mixed with honey, an effective carrier of herbs to the lungs. I was apprehensive about how the child would adopt the diet, since it eliminated many of her favorite foods for a period of 30 days, but she was on board.

The herbals in my formula included amla, pippali, guduchi, licorice, and cinnamon along with vitamin supplements to correct her nutrient deficiencies. There was also daily nasya practice advised. Pranayama would have been part of the protocol but the child was not so inclined.

I had predicted 3 months for Marina to be breathing easier and off her medications (with the approval of her physician), but at our 30-day follow-up, Marina reported to me that she had not once used her inhaler since she began the protocol. She was playing outdoors and her wheezing attacks were no longer disrupting her life. She had occasional shortness of breath which she managed by stopping her activity for a brief time. Marina continued to improve over the next 2 months, after which she was no longer taking any medication, and we began to gradually add foods back into her diet.

Marina's Ayurvedic protocol for childhood asthma was completed with successful results in 90 days after which she no longer needed to see me for guidance.


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