Respiratory system is the network of organs and tissues that help you breathe; In general it is categorized into upper and lower respiratory tract. Upper respiratory tract comprises parts like nose, nasal cavity, nasopharynx, oral cavity, while the lower respiratory tract comprises Larynx, laryngopharynx, trachea, lungs & alveoli.

Key functions of respiratory system are transmission of the air, gaseous exchange, pulmonary circulation, excretion of carbon-di-oxide which is residue of gaseous exchange. In Ayurveda, Pranavaha srotas is considered as respiratory system because its main functions are concerned with expiration & inspiration, and life depends upon respiration.

Acharya Shrangadhara explains the process of Respiration as “the air coming out of the body to the external atmosphere through throat and after taking ‘AMBARAPIYUSA’ (Oxygen) comes back quickly into the body to nourish and to enliven the digestive fire in the stomach”. Life begins with breath and ends with cessation of breath; this breath is well-maintained throughout the lifespan by Pranavaha srotas along with its moola sthanas (root organs).



Kantakari also known as ‘Yellow berried nightshade’ is one of the herb among the Dasamoola group (roots of 10 herbs) & generally used herb for the management of respiratory problems like kasa (cough) and swasa (bronchial asthma) due to its expectorant quality. It expels out mucus accumulated in the lungs, clears airway passages and prevents bronchial asthmatic attacks.

Ayurvedic Properties


Katu (pungent) & Tikta (bitter)


Laghu (light), Rooksha (dry), Teekshna (penetrating)





Effect on tri-dosha

Balances kapha – vata and increases pitta

Chemical Constituents:
B-carotene, diosgenin, carpesterol, solasodine, solamargine, B- solamargine, Solanine, Solasodino-L-rhamnosy-B-D-glucoside (solasurine), solanocarpine(solanine-S), tomatidienol etc.

Medicinal use

Bronchial Asthma

As per Ayurveda Vata and Kapha are the dosha involved in bronchial asthma. Vitiated Kapha combines with imbalanced Vata dosha in the lungs causing obstruction in the respiratory passage, which leads to breathing difficulty i.e. bronchial asthma. Due to kapha & vata balancing karma (action), kantakari expels excess mucus from the lungs and gives relief from the symptoms of bronchial asthma.

Cough and Cold

Excessive accumulation of mucus in the respiratory tract leads to cough, which is caused by the aggravation of kapha dosha, hence Kantakari due to its kapha balancing qualities and action expel the mucus accumulated in the lungs


One of the common causes of indigestion is aggravated kapha, which leads to state of agnimandya (weak digestive fire). Kantakari due to its Deepana and pachana qualities helps to improve Agni (digestive fire)

Side Effects:-

In Pitta disorders it should be used with carefulness. It is generally considered as safe during pregnancy but consult your doctor for an opinion 


Vasaka also known as Malabar Nut is a potent ayurvedic medicinal that boosts the respiratory health. It has mucolytic, expectorant and bronchodilator action, and is the ultimate remedial measure for lot of respiratory system ailments like cough, cold, congestion, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, bleeding disorders etc. It helps to fights respiratory infections and infused with qualities like antitussive, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic etc.   

Ayurvedic Properties 

Rasa (taste)

Tikta (bitter), kashaya (astringent )

Guna (qualities)

Laghu (light), rooksha (dryness)




Sheeta (cold potency)


Balances kapha and pitta

Vasicine (quinazoline alkaloid), vasicine acetate, vasicinone, vasicinolone, 2-acetyle benzyle

Adhatoda Vasica is the most used for respiratory diseases in Ayurveda. It is the main ingredient in every proprietary Ayurvedic medicines used for cough and bronchial asthma.

 Cough & Cold

Recurrent coughs and congested throat leads to discomfort and make the person feel tired and exhausted. Because of the antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, expectorant qualities of vasa it cures common cold, cough, sore throat and flu like symptoms.  Adhatoda Vasica has potent antitussive properties hence gives relief from cough. It is useful in conditions of coughing with yellow thick sputum associated with fever, wheezing or difficulty in coughing up the sputum.
The decoction of vasa reduces inflammation, cough, wheezing, eases breathing and prevent from respiratory infections.

Bronchial asthma

Adhatoda Vasica has anti-inflammatory characteristics hence it helps in bronchial asthma and reduces inflammation of airways and lungs. VASICINE compound found in Adhatoda Vasica is a bronchodilator, which eases the breathing process and reduces wheezing in bronchial asthma. 

Side effects of Vasaka (Adhatoda Vasica)

Adhatoda Vasica can be used during pregnancy to combact symptoms of nausea, vomiting, acidity along with ginger. Thus, it might be safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding if not used long term.


Arkaparni is rich in medicinal properties and used for the treatment of respiratory system ailments. Its leaves are expectorant & used to treat respiratory infections, bronchitis and whooping cough. It is highly useful in cases of bronchial asthma, bronchitis, wheezing and cough. It is also beneficial in condition of excess mucus production leading to shortness of breath.

Ayurvedic Properties:


Tikta (bitter)


Ruksha (dry), laghu (light)




Madhura (sweet after digestion)

Chemical Constituents:

Entire plant yield alkaloids as well as tylophorine, tylphorinine, desmethyltylophorine and desmethyltylophorinine, and a flavonoid kaempferol. The root yield alkaloids, tylophorinidine and gamma-fagarine. The leaves contain tylophorinidine, dsepticine, d-iso-tylocrebrine, triterpenoids alpha-and beta-amyrin, betasitosterol, stigmasterol and campesterol, phenylalanine, and quercetin.




Leaves of this plant work as an expectorant and aids to get rid of the excess mucus accumulated in the lung tissues

Bronchial Asthma

It is highly effective in the treatment of bronchial asthma with a productive bronchial asthmatic cough it acts as an antibacterial agent and cures the infections in the lungs, which leads to bronchial asthmatic attack or trigger an attack of breathlessness.

Tylophora Indica is beneficial for patients suffering from acute and chronic sinusitis. It helps to reduce the symptoms such as a headache, nose block, congestion in the nose, and running nose.

The medicinal value of Tylophora Indica extends beyond just treating bronchial asthma; alkaloids present in Tylophora Indica have the ability to modulate the cellular immune response and inhibit delayed hypersensitivity reaction. Hence, it is useful in the treatment of ailments disturbing the immune system.

This herb is highly effective in the treatment of bronchial asthma with a productive bronchial asthmatic cough.

Tylophora Indica is also useful in other respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, and sinusitis.


Pushkarmoola has been used in the Indian system of medicine for a long time. It is used in the treatment of heart diseases, respiratory diseases like bronchial asthma, bronchitis, chronic cough, emphysema etc. It’s anti-histaminic and bronchodilator actions make it useful for respiratory diseases.

It is one of the most multipurpose herbs that can be used for its numerous benefits.

Ayurvedic Properties


Tikta (bitter) , Katu (pungent)

Guna (qualities)

Laghu (lightness), Teekshna  penetrating


Ushna – Hot potency



Effect on Tridosha

Balances Kapha & Vata dosha

Major chemical constituents

Alantolactone, Isoalantolactone D- Mannitol, Inunolide- Germacranolide, Dihydroisoalantotolactone, B- Sitosterol, Dihydroinunolide, neo-Alantolactone, inunolise, Alantodiene, Sesquiterpene lactone- inunol, etc.

Medicinal Uses

It helps to reduce the fever caused due to the imbalance of vata and kapha dosha, swelling, anorexia, breathlessness and pain in the sides of the chest. Root of the plant is considered as specific remedy for cough, dyspnea, bronchial asthma and tuberculosis. In general it helps in clearing airways and in relieving hiccups, dyspnea. Overall it relaxes the irritated bronchial tree and rejuvenates lungs. Extract of the fresh or dry roots is given in liver problems and rheumatic pains.

Leaves are extensively used in chronic and acute bronchitis. Dried leaves are used ad herbal smokes in bronchial asthma. It improves cardiac circulation, relieves weakness and boost tissue metabolism

Side effects:

In high BP it should be used only under medical supervision. Over-dosage may cause low BP.


Talispatra is a medicinal plant, leaves of this plant have medicinal value hence used in various ayurvedic preparations for respiratory diseases. Its leaves are useful in diseases like bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, cold, sneezing, allergic rhinitis and upper respiratory infections. A Bronchodialtory action of leaves eases in breathing process and Anxiolytic quality reduces mental stress associated with persistent cough and bronchial asthma.

Ayurveda Properties:

Rasa (Taste)

Madhura (Sweet), tikta (Bitter)

Guna (Qualities)

Laghu (light), teeksna (penetrating)


Katu (Pungent)


Ushna (Hot potency)

Effect on Tri-dosha

Blances Kapha-vata


Talispatra is beneficial in all respiratory diseases. The leaves act as anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator on airways and lungs. They also have antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial qualities. 

Common Cold

Decoction prepared from Leaves of Talispatra leaves relieves watery discharge, sneezing and nasal congestion due to its antiviral qualities.

Chronic Bronchitis & Bronchial Asthma

Due to mucolytic, antitussive & anti-inflammatory qualities it clears the airway passage and dissolve thick mucus accumulated in the lungs & drops mucus production also. Hence, it helps in dipping symptoms of chronic bronchitis and bronchial asthma.

Side Effects

Excess or unwise use of Talipatra can cause following side effects:

  • Heartburn
  • Mouth ulcer
  •      Vertigo 
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