In recent years, there has been an increase in the incidence of diseases which are chronic and disabling. One such disease is asthma. Compounding the suffering caused by this disease LS the fact that Modern Medicine (the so called Allopathic system) has little to offer by way of permanent cure, in spite of all the technological advances.
It therefore becomes imperative that people are informed about the concepts and treatment of this disease in alternative systems of medicine, like Ayurveda.
Ayurveda, the Indian system of medicine, has a hoary past. The classical texts, like Charaka-samhita (CS) and Susrutasamhita (SS) which elaborate on the principles and practical respects of medicine are very ancient. The Charaka-samhita is an elaborate and comprehensive manual which deals not only with the different aspects of disease and treatment, but also with the philosophical basis underlying medicine. It is thought tat this text was compiled around the first century BC. The Susruta-sahita, which deals very comprehensively with the surgical aspects is supposed to have been compiled around 600 BC. Both these texts describe the etiology, symptomatology and therapeutics of asthma.
The term Asthma, which is derived from Greek literally means panting. It is thus applied to diseases which have the rain symptom of difficult breathing. The disease Svasa which corresponds to asthma is characterized by the symptom of difficult breathing. The causes, symptoms and treatment of Svasa have been elaborately described not only in the Charaka-samhita and Susruta-samhita but also in the later texts which were written in the medieval period.
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