AEtiology: - To the same group of exciting factors which bring in an attack of hiccough should be attributed the origin of that voilcnt disease which is known as Svasa (asthma). The vital Vayu known as the Prana-Vayu foregoing its normal function rises upward in unison with the deranged Kapha of the body and produces that gasping and laboured breathing which is called Svasa (asthma). This dreadful disease though virtually one in its nature and origin is divided into five spicific types, viz., Kshudra-Svasa, Tamaka-Svasa, Chhinna-Svasa, Maha-Svasa and Urddhva-Svasa. 2 4.
Pain in the region of the heard and at the sides, aversion to food as well as to all other pursuits, suppression of stool and urine and a bad taste in the mouth, may be regarded as the premonitory symptoms of the disease. 5.
The type in which the least movement or exertion brings on an aggravation of the disease, and a distinct amelioration or relief is restored in a sitting posture, is called Kshudra-Svasa The type which is accompanied by such symptoms as thirst, perspiration, vomiting and a rattling sound in the throat and finds aggravation specially in foul weather is called Tamaka-Sivasa. In a case of Tamaka-Svasa the patient is weak and has a loud (wheezing) sound in the throat, as also cough, the symptoms of (bronchial) catarrh and an aversion to food. He is oppressed with difficult breathing even in sleep which abates only when the cough subsides and is aggravated when the patient sleeps. If a case of Tamaka-Svasa be attended with fever and fainting fits, it is then called Pratamaka. 6 - 9.
The case wherein the patient pants for breath and has tympanites and a burning sensation in the bladder, and wherein the breaths are painful, detached and intermittent, is known as Chhinna-Svasa. The case wherein the patient breathes heavily lying unconscious and with a loud rattling sound in his throat and with cramps at his sides, the lips and the throat being parched and the eyes riveted in a fixed gaze or stare, is known as Maha'-Svasa. The case wherein a patient breathes hurriedly, lies unconscious with choked voice and upturned eyes and with his Marmans stretching out fully with each stroke of breath is called Urddhva-Svasa. 10 - 12.
Prognosis: - Of these (five) types the one known a Kshudra-Svasa is easily curable, while the one known as Tamaka-Svasa is hard to cure, and the three remaining ones, as well as Tamaka, ocurring in a weak or enfeebled patient are regarded as incurable. 13.
Several authorities aver that mild emetics and purgatives (lit. upward and downward cleansing - Sodhana - of the system) with the exception of the application of Sneha-vasti would be the chief remedies in cases of asthma, if the patient possesses sufficient vitality. Old and matured clarified butter duly cooked with Abhaya, Vit-salt and Hingu or with Souvarchala, Abhaya and Vilva would be beneficial in cases of cough, asthma, hiccough and heart-disease. Similarly old and matured clarified butter duly cooked with the pulverised drugs of the Pippalyadi group as Kalka and with (the decoction of) the drugs of the first i.e. the Vidarigandhadi group and with the five officinal kinds of salt added to it by way of an after-throw, relieves both cough and asthma. 14 - 15.