The lungs are a vital organ, and consequently Maharishi Ayurveda describes the causal factors of the lowered immunity of the lungs in sophisticated and elaborated detail. There are three major factors for common imbalance or infection in the lungs as related to flu, colds, allergies and coughs:
The first factor is holding natural urges. Ignoring the urge to urinate, the urge to move the bowels, or even the urge to sneeze or yawn, can create an imbalance in Udana Vata and start the chain of reactions that lead to lowered immunity in the lungs. Ayurvedic texts advise that you don’t resist any natural urges, including the urge to sleep, to eat, to breathe normally while exercising, to cry, and to drink water — and the urges created by intestinal gas, vomiting, and ejaculation.
The second factor is dietary. Eating nourishing food is important. By nourishing food is meant warm, freshly cooked meals that include all six tastes, are suitable for the person’s constitution and imbalances, are light, wholesome, and easy to digest. Eating too much dry food or eating a steady diet of leftovers, fast foods, processed foods, or heavy foods that produce ama instead of ojas can lower immunity. Eating ama -producing foods disturbs the immune system in two ways: it creates weak digestion and improper elimination, thus leading to more production of ama than ojas. Other dietary factors that cause ama to accumulate are not eating the nourishing food at a regular time every day, not eating the main meal at around noon, when the digestive fire is at its peak, or overeating or fasting too much.
Additional factors that can lower immunity in the lungs are hemorrhage, excessive jealousy, excessive mental and emotional stress, too much exercise, and weight lifting beyond your capacity. For example, carrying a load that is much too heavy for your ability, especially next to the chest; jumping from a high place; or trying to throw your weight into a moving vehicle to stop it all would be instances that could strain your chest and lungs. These, I would say, are the main causal factors.
The passage of oxygen etc through the airways is governed by Udana Vata. Udana is aggravated by exertion – pushing beyond your capacity. Udana is also disturbed through restraining natural urges. Ignoring the urge to urinate, the urge to open the bowels, the urge to sneeze or yawn, the urge to sleep, to eat, to breathe normally while exercising, to cry, and to drink water, can create an imbalance in Udana Vata. When Udana is disturbed it can start a chain of reactions that lead to lowered immunity in the lungs.
The sinuses and lungs are also the main seat of Kapha in the body. When Kapha increases it leads to increased mucus production. When Kapha is associated with ama (incompletely digested and metabolized residue), the mucus becomes more viscous and sticky and hence more difficult to clear from the airways. As a result viruses / bacteria proliferate and irritants / allergens are not eliminated leading to sinusitis, bronchitis and allergies
Hence according to Maharishi Ayurveda, in order to prevent respiratory tract infections and allergies, it is important to prevent the accumulation of Kapha. It is also important to ensure your Agni (digestion and metabolism) is strong so thatama is not produced. Kapha tends to accumulate in cold, wet winter months and liquefies in the warm of spring which results in more mucus production at that time. This can be avoided if you avoid Kapha aggravating foods in the late winter.
To correct the underlying imbalance it is also important